Simply Crochet Hook ‘n’ Learn CAL Blanket Part 9

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Just a quick post to share my lastest completed part of the Hook ‘n’ Learn crochet along from Simply Crochet. Part 9 from Issue 75 creates this wonderfully 3D textured apache tears pattern in Scheepjes Stone Washed XL Turquoise (864) and Morganite (874). Each row involved fastening off at the end so there was an awful lot of ends to sew in after I’d completed all of the rows, which was the only laborious bit for me as, like many crocheters, I do not enjoy sewing ends in! But I got there and I was really pleased with the finished result. My tension was actually the best it has been for all the parts I have done so far – some of my parts are definitely smaller than they were supposed to be because my tension is generally too tight (it’s hard not to miss the tension issues in my layout image at the end of this post!). Hopefully my blanket will still come together okay though!

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The gaps in my blanket layout are gradually getting filled and I only have 3 more to complete now before I can move on to joining all the parts up and crocheting the edging/trim. I placed a yarn order from Wool Warehouse the other week to get the remaining yarn I needed and it came within only a couple of days! So quick! So I’m all set now to get my blanket finished…. hopefully before the end of the summer and in time for when Autumn starts rolling in.

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I’m on to Part 10 next but first I’m going to complete the project from new bigger Little Box of Crochet that arrived last weekend!! I’ll be popping a post up on the new LBC box as soon as I’ve finished the project!

I’ve popped some links below to my previous posts on the Hook ‘n’ Learn CAL if you fancy a read.

Simply Crochet Hook ‘n’ Learn CAL Blanket Part 8

Simply Crochet Hook ‘n’ Learn CAL Blanket Part 7

Simply Crochet Hook ‘n’ Learn CAL Blanket

 

Little Box of Crochet has grown!

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Little Box of Crochet is back and after a couple of months since the last original smaller format boxes were sent out, I was so excited when the new bigger and beautiful box arrived a couple of weeks ago! Like the previous boxes, the new one continues to provide an exquisitely designed box packed to the brim with gorgeous goodies, and of course a fabulous pattern from one of the many lovely crochet designers out there – only now the project is bigger, there’s oodles more yarn, there’s even more lovely extras and we’ve got eco-friendly bamboo hooks! Seriously, what more could you ask for?!

Amanda and the rest of the lovely LBC team wanted to move to bigger, bi-monthly boxes with the aim of being able to provide larger projects for us to make, and I am so pleased that they made this decision. I have loved receiving and making my smaller LBC projects but I have been dying to make bigger items such as garments and bags, anything that I can get more use out of on a day to day basis. So I was incredibly chuffed when I open my LBC box and discovered what the project was – a bright and fun Summer Market Bag designed by Helda Panagary. Helda’s blog here is well worth a follow if you haven’t come across it before.

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To create this lovely bag, included in the box was 6 balls of Yarn and Colours Epic yarn in Pepper, Orange, Girly Pink and Pesto; a 4.5mm bamboo crochet hook and a pack of bamboo marking pins from Kinki Amibari; a bodkin needle; and a set of 4 stitch markers from Koru Clay Studio in colours that match the yarns. On top of all that, there was also a cute little travel case from Rex London that I’m going to use to put my bodkin needle, stitch marker etc. in when working on projects; a set of beachy themed iron-on patches from Jennie Maizels; and a matching postcard and notebook from Nicola Allen.

After admiring all the lovely things in my box and having a read through the booklet, I set to work on the colourful Summer Market Bag. I have to be honest, I found the bamboo hook a little tricky at first and it took me a few rounds of the project to get the hang of it without constantly catching it on the yarn, but I was determined to persevere as I would like to move to using more eco-friendly products.

I love how this pattern is pretty much made up of a big crochet square. It’s quite a simple design but the end result looks amazing and it creates such a lovely pattern. I decided to embellish my tassels with a couple of little flower buttons that I had in my stash and I’m so chuffed with it! I’ve already started thinking about making another in a neutral colourway and my Mum would like one in blue tones. I can’t wait to take my new Summer Market Bag on its first outing- I think it’s going to be perfect for our camping holiday in Dorset next weekend.

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Little Box of Crochet – Beach Bunting

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When my April Little Box of Crochet arrived at the end of the month (the end of April I mean), I couldn’t wait to unbox it. Amanda had announced that the lovely Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet was the designer of the final box in the original format before it moved to a bigger, bi-monthly format this month.

As this meant I would have 2 months to wait before receiving my next box instead of 1 (and combined with the fact that I was still recovering from a very stubborn chest infection that did not want to bugger off), I decided to take my time making this project and enjoy making it at a leisurely pace. Of course Eleonora and the Little Box of Crochet team delivered a colourful, fun and beautifully designed project with a seaside themed Beach Bunting – Eleonora is exceptional at creating wonderful coastal inspired projects.

And so I set to work crocheting each of my flags and taking some pictures along the way.

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The box included yarns from Ricorumi (DK 100% cotton yarn) in White (001), Yellow (006), Candy Pink (012), Sky Blue (031) and Grass Green (044). The colours are so vibrant and the yarn is really lovely to work with. And as always there was a cute little stitch marker designed by Koru Clay Studio (who makes my favourite stitch makers) that looks like a little orange slice (annoyingly I don’t seem to have got it in my unboxing photo!), a soft handled crochet hook, needle, a retro beachy design postcard from Kayti Peschke and a pair of beautiful Liberty print flower earrings from Chloe at Cotton Clara.

Once I’d finished all my flags and joined them up, I was far too excited and impatient to get my bunting hung up that I didn’t actually block it – naughty I know! But I kept my tension pretty tight and the sturdy 100% cotton yarn has meant that they flags haven’t curled too much and I actually don’t think they look too bad! I’m pretty chuffed with my finished Beach Bunting anyway and it’s really brightened up my craft/office room where I’ve decided to hang it. This project has really inspired me to create some more themed buntings, in particular I’m thinking of designing a Halloween bunting or even a Christmas bunting that I might just hang somewhere in my wedding in December! How cool would that be?! If I do, I’ll be sure to share a post and some pictures!

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Crochet Society – Box 1

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Like many, I love a good subscription box and even more so, I love a crochet subscription box! Crochet Society is the latest box to arrive on the scene and has been launched by Sarah-Jayne from Bella Coco Crochet and Practical Publishing. I first saw the announcement on Instagram but then I also saw a reader offer in Crochet Now and snapped it up!

The first box included:

  • A project booklet containing 4 patterns from different designers including Toni Lipsey, Lucy Djevdet, Jillian Hewitt and Kat Goldin.
  • 2 balls of West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep Luxury DK yarn in Tin Man (305) and Sea Horse (293).
  • A bespoke 3.5 mm hook
  • Bespoke tape measure
  • Set of 3 bespoke stitch markers
  • Set of 3 bespoke sticky notes
  • A pocket notebook
  • A postcard
  • Plastic toy eyes

I particularly liked that the project book provided a choice of patterns and I found that there’s actually enough yarn to make two designs. The yarn is so so soft and I love the colour combination.

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I couldn’t resist making the Willowfield Mitts and my mum has also requested a pair, so I’ve already started on a second pair. Once I’d made one mitt and I was familiar with the pattern, I managed to whizz through the second mitt in a couple of hours. Its a really great pattern with lovely stitches. I also found the video tutorials really helpful as I haven’t done star stitches before – another stitch to add to my repertoire.

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Overall, I really enjoyed the first box and it comes with a great selection of goodies, however I do prefer the style of clay stitch markers from makers such as Koru Clay Studio if I’m honest. I’m looking forward to see what Box 2 has in store!

 

Simply Crochet Hook ‘n’ Learn CAL Blanket Part 8

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Ta da! Part 8 of my Simply Crochet blanket is now complete. I feel like I’m starting to get on a bit of a roll with it now and my excitement to hold my first ever finished crochet blanket is building. I know I’ve still got a bit of a way to go with the remaining parts, the joining and the edging but I’m really enjoying seeing it evolve.

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The puff stitch design used for this part has been one of my favourites, I really love the look and texture of this stitch, and once again it was so easy to create! I’ve mentioned the details in one of my previous posts, but the whole blanket is made using Scheepjes Stone Washed XL yarn, the colour used in this part is Morganite (874). There is another colourway that uses Scheepjes Colour Crafter yarn but I really loved the colours in the Stone Washed XL version.

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I’ve started contemplating whether I would like to sign up for the International Crochet Diploma. I read an article about it recently in Simply Crochet by the lovely Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet and having looked in to it in more detail, it sounds really interesting and I would love to learn how to write my own patterns and make sure I’m doing the different crochet techniques correctly. But I’m going to have a think about it a bit more and make sure it’s definitely something I want to do and and put enough time into, to pursue. Right, I’m off to start part 9 now!

Reusable Crochet Alternatives

Like many, lately I’ve been thinking about how I can cut down my impact on the environment and move away from using single-use (or temporary use) items such as plastics, face wipes, cotton pads, dishwashing sponges, plastic bags etc., and I’ve been inspired by some of the crafty makes I’ve seen that people have created to replace single-use items. Now its on my ‘to do’ list to design my own patterns but I thought it would be inspiring and hopefully helpful to collate some of the ideas and patterns I’ve seen out there.

Crochet Face Scrubbies
One of my priorities is to completely eliminate my use of cotton pads. I’ve already stopped using face wipes the vast majority of the time, I occasionally use them when camping for ease, but otherwise I know they aren’t great for your skin and I’ve largely cut them out of my skincare routine. However, I still reach for cotton pad when using toner or my aloe cream cleanser and I want to swap them out for a reusable alternative that reduces my waste significantly. And don’t we crocheters have a great, super simple, affordable solution – crochet face scrubbies! Like me, you’ve probably seen these all of crochet instagrams and blogs recently. They are so quick and easy to make and you can dive in to your yarn stash to whip some up as they don’t require masses of yarn. Making your own face scrubbies also allows you to create them in any colour or style you like. And when you’ve used some, you can just pop it in a delicates washing bag and pop them in the machine with a bigger wash. Then once dry, your nice, clean scrubbies can go straight back in your stash for next time. Here’s some of my favourites that I’ve found online. Click each pattern name to go striaght to designers website and the pattern.

Eco-friendly Make-up Scrubbies by the Crochet Society (FREE PATTERN)

Crochet Face Scrubbies by Handy Little Me (FREE PATTERN)

Easy Face Scrubbies by the Stitchin’ Mommy (FREE PATTERN)

Crochet Face Cloths and Dishcloths
Now I am already a long time fan of face cloths (or flannels), and I always use one when washing my face in the shower or bath. But again, us crocheters can easily design and create our own gorgeous washcloths with our yarn stashes, and this is something that I would really like to do. There’s something so special about using something you’ve made with your own hands.

As we have a dishwasher, I don’t use that many dishcloths or sponges but there are a few things we have to hand wash and of course we need a couple for cleaning the kitchen and a couple for cleaning the bathroom. I’ve seen some great eco-friendly, plastic free, washable sponges popping up that I would like to invest in but crochet dishcloths are another thing I can easily whip up myself. I think patterns for face cloths and dishcloths will be pretty interchangeable, however I’d probably use a nice, gentle bamboo cotton or a baby yarn for my face cloths, and either 100% cotton or a cotton and acrylic blend for my dishcloths as I would want something a bit sturdier.

Here’s some of my favoutie washcloths that I’ve seen lately. Click each pattern name to go striaght to designers website and the pattern.

Easy Crochet Dishcloth by My Hobby is Crochet (FREE PATTERN)

Granny’s Square Dishcloth by yarnspirations.com/bernat on the Fave Crafts website  (FREE PATTERN)

Easy Textured Washcloth by the Stitchin Mommy (FREE PATTERN)

Elegant Washcloth Pattern by Oombawka Design Crochet (FREE PATTERN)

Crochet Market Bags
Over the last couple of years I’ve managed to amass a number of cotton tote bags to replace my platic bags for shopping, which is great. But I’ve also been lusting over some gorgeous crochet market bag patterns that I keep coming across on Instagram. The ones that really caught my eye are below (Please note that some of these use US terminology). Click each pattern name to go striaght to designers website and the pattern.

French Market Bag by Two of Wands (FREE PATTERN)

Farmer’s Market Bag by Knit-O-Matic (FREE PATTERN)

Farmhouse Market Bag by Karlas Making It

As you can probably tell, I’ved started to create a very long ‘to do’ (or ‘to make’) list for myself so that I can be fully kitted out in my own crocheted reusable items. If you know of any other great patterns or reusable crochet alternative makes, please do share them in the comments.

Simply Crochet Hook ‘n’ Learn CAL Blanket Part 7

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Drumroll please, I’m proud to present a completed Part 7 of the Simply Crochet Hook ‘n’ Learn Blanket CAL from Issue 74, looking all colourful and slightly hypnotic with some psychedelic swirly patterns. I know I’ve said it before but I absolutely adore this Scheepjes Stone Washed XL yarn. They’re incredibly soft and the colours are so vibrant.

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Like the previous parts in the crochet along, I got to learn ways of creating a new pattern and yet it was so easy and quick to create. And so my blanket is getting there slowly! I definitely think all the parts will need blocking before I join them, don’t you think? Some of them are a bit curly at the edges and this part in particular could really use some assistance in lying flat and a little less wonky!

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Time to pull out Issue 75 and get started on Part 8. Having seen lots of peoples finished blankets popping up on Instagram lately it’s given me a burst of motivation to get my blankets finished, and its just the kick up the bum I needed for this project! I’m already looking forward to sharing my next finished part with you!

You see my previous post with more information about the CAL here: Simply Crochet Hook ‘n’ Learn CAL Blanket