Learning to Crochet

One of the first things I realised about learning to crochet is how it completely plays around with my OCD, I mean, it REALLY plays round with my OCD. Skeins of yarn here and there, constantly flitting from 1 ball to another and having to keep carrying bits and bobs around, storing them in different baskets and generally being unorganised – enough to put you off. So, I had seen a pattern for a yarn bag that one of the blogs I HEART had written up as a tutorial and I decided once I felt a little more confident I would give it a go. For the moment I continued to carry my yarn and WIP’s round in my pink co-op bag 🙂

I printed the tutorial pattern off – you must check out this blog and all credit for the inspiration and ‘ability’ goes to this lady ‘Lucy’… With credit to Attic24’s pattern: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/crochet-bag.html

I started whipping up circles, rainbow circles but opposed to Lucy’s 14 round increase I continued to a 16 increase just to make the ‘bucket’ part of the bag slightly bigger. (or it was an error?) 🙂

I continued up the rounds, I think the Lucy bag has 24? Mine has 2 full rainbows and some other bits thrown in, I went colour crazy – it kept me happy during the constant rounds of Double Crochet (us terms) and SC (single crochet in UK terms). Mine possible has 40 rows up the sides but the frilly (shells) around the tops remain the same and I love the colorfulness this brings..

My straps are longer (I chained 140) and I made them wider too (possibly 12 rows of single crochet (us terms). I am quite tall so I appreciate the longer handles – these were the only part I found tedious and making them so tight to take any excess weight I found it quite frustrating pulling the yarn super tight but they are soooo worth it, they look great don’t you think?

I made 4 identical pretty little flowers (again all credit to Lucy at Attic 24) and added 4 matching mini-buttons that I had acquired from my mother in laws stash – I knew they’d all come in very handy, they finish my little flowers off perfectly and I left the ends of the yarn long enough to thread them directly onto the bag and tied them as tight as I can on the inside and in double, triple and quadruple knots – they should last? (I hope).

Here it is: Finished!

Looking down on the inside, it looks faaaaaab and its huuuuge! 🙂

Final Pic! Isn’t it fabulous?!!

I also found a really sweet pattern: ‘the amazing circle motif shawl’ that Mikey from The Crochet Crowd had as a competition in partnership with Red Heart yarns. It seemed so difficult and I umm’d and erre’d about even attempting this with my crocheting rookie status and I am always one to question my own ability but Mikey made a video tutorial and I decided to Go For IT!
I am sooooo glad I did:
This was the inspirational pic and ‘how it should look’ I must admit, if I could have got hold of any in time I would have purchased this yarn but I couldn’t find a UK stockist and stumbled upon some ‘king cole special 30% wool 70& acrylic super soft’ in a self patterning, beige, orange and summer pink. YUM.
I initially brought 2 skeins but I underestimated what I would need and the 3rd became very hard to source, I had a few moments of defeat where the yarn was running incredibly low.

This was my very first motif, the pattern is here and here is the video tutorial

My first motif worked up pretty well, the yarn was super soft and lovely to work with and the ends weaved in nicely, I was on a roll – YAY!
 One motif became 2 and I joined them as I went as per the tutorial, not concerning myself over the centres for now until the main motifs were finished and all joined.
 Look at the wonderful yarn, I was amazed at how lovely it was to work with. I had never worked with anything other than 100% acrylic before and the wool blend really surprised me – scrummy soft. I fell in love with this yarn and I named it ‘pimms’ can you see the resemblance – yum 🙂
 I worked for hours into the night on this, I was dead set on having it completed within the guidelines of the competition and be entered into the draw to possibly win some of my own Red Heart Yarn, it made me feel more confident as I started seeing other crocheters completed shawls appearing on The Crochet Crowds Facebook page and knowing although theirs was probably tons better than mine, it was a random draw so yes, amongst the thousands, I was actually in with a chance, and producing something really lovely for my MIL’s birthday as I went…

This was the point I ran out of yarn – PANIC!!!!

 But with a little faith (mainly my husband) and a LOT of searching around local shops (my husband again) I managed to source my final skein AND I dropped on some bargain Aaran blend ‘Mint Choc Chip’ wool to compliment my shawl wonderfully so these had to make up the centres – a nice little bodge if I do say so myself. It was obviously meant to be?

COMPLETE HURRAY!!! A very proud moment…

It’s big, I had to stand on my bed and lay it on the floor to get it all in the picture, but it was worth it

Doesn’t it look lovely? 🙂

 I blocked it on my ironing board 2 rows at a time. I pinned the crinkly motifs out and gave them a little ’tisssshhhh’ with my steam iron and within seconds they held their shape perfectly. It makes ALL the difference don’t you think?

I couldn’t believe that I had produced something so lovely and professional looking. I wrapped it in tissue, in a little box and it stayed in my wardrobe, longing to be taken out and squidged and snuggled – or was that just me? Nethertheless I resisted and yes, it was my MIL’s birthday gift.

From this:

To THIS 🙂 🙂 Hurray for the Crochet Crowd, Mikey, Kathy, Diva Dan, Red Heart yarns AND the online Video Tutorials. You MUST check them out 🙂 🙂 XXXX
I continued learning to crochet and now, almost 5 years later have made many things I will share in my next post.

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