Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Crochet

So Christmas has been and gone already.  And what a fabulous Christmas it was too.  A little different for me as my parents spent the holidays over in Australia with my sister and so it was just me, Coop and Squitchy.  I have to admit, I was a little bothered about having a Christmas on our own.  Without the family, and the food and games that come along with them, how would it be different to any other day?  I needn't have worried.  Christmas was a lovely relaxed day which is just what I needed as I worked until late on Christmas eve.  Lots of presents, lots of food and lots of time spent together.  Perfect.  

This super relaxed Christmas has also given me some time to catch up on a little crochet.  Fresh Stitches crochet specifically.  Coop bought me a cute Cath Kidson bag for Christmas and tucked inside was a rainbow of yarns; I was very excited (and impressed, he picked them all by himself - with a little help from Paul the wool man - and they are just what I would have chosen had I been there).  So once the cooking was finished and we couldn't fit anymore sweets or chocolate in, I picked up my hook and set about making this multicoloured monster from a Fresh Stitches free pattern here.

Doesn't he look great in rainbow stripes?  I also finished off my Fresh Stitches Gingerbread Man who I think  is one of the cutest little things I have made.  I just love his smiley little face.

Now those amongst you who are particularly eagle-eyed may notice that his right arm is slightly shorter than his left.  The gingerbread man was my plane project when I flew to Chicago.  Unfortunately, I flew on the day that all air traffic control was down in the UK and so had a rather long wait on the tarmac for the plane to take off. The gingerbread man was finished rather swiftly, but I ran out of yarn with around two rows to go on his last arm!    Rather than wait until I got home and risk him unravelling, I decided that this quirk would add to his overall charm, and I am so very happy with how he turned out!

I hope you have all had an enjoyable relaxing Christmas spent with the people you love.  Did you get any crochet gifts this year?  And most importantly, dud you manage to sneak in a little crochet time over the holidays?!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Came Early!

I am a very lucky girl this week for two reasons:

Number 1 - Chicago baby!
A few months ago, I was very lucky to be selected to be one of six paediatric specialists from the UK to be sponsored to travel across the Atlantic to the windy city of Chicago to attend the biggest paediatric audiology conference in the world.  And finally, the time is now!  I am so excited to make my first ever trip to America (I know, I know, I'm in the minority as almost everyone has been to the States before) and I'm even more excited knowing that there's a pretty good chance it will snow whilst I'm there! I don't think there is likely to be anywhere that will get me in the Christmas spirit more than going to America two weeks before the big day; I can't wait to see the snow, the Christmas lights as well as the Willis (Sears) Tower and am already planning a trip down the river too to get some great views of the skyline.  It's such a great opportunity and I can't believe I was lucky enough to be chosen.

Number 2 - A Christmas gift from DMC Creative World
This week I was contacted by DMC Creative World who had seen my myboshi review, and wondered if I would like some samples of their other products to review.  What answer could there be other than yes please!

Today, the samples arrived and I am very excited!  Here they are:

Cottons, Merinos, wools and patterns - yes, Christmas has definitely come early!

I have looked at these Natura Just Cottons for a while now and am very happy to finally have some in my possession.  And what a beautiful colour selection:

And these Woolly merino wools are some of the softest yarns I have squeezed: 

These unusual aspen wools have got scarf written all over them:

 And my mind is already spinning with ideas for these crochet threads:

DMC were also kind enough to send me a little inspiration for these beautiful yarns; three of their pattern books: 


Unfortunately with my trip I'm going to have to wait for a few days before I can really get my hands on these, but it's definitely going to be something for me to look forward to when I get back, and to try and squish in before Christmas - exciting times :D xxx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I love Christmas.  Completely and utterly love love love Christmas.  The weather, decorating the tree, the Christmas music, the shopping frenzy, time off and everything else, ahhh it just makes me so happy.  

1st of December means the Christmas tree must go up.  Not a day before (I am anti decorations in any month other than December) but as soon as it's officially December we are good to go!  I made a special trip to the supermarket this morning to treat myself to a new Christmas CD.  I've had the same CD ready in my car for the past 10 years so it seemed about time to mix it up a little and it was perfect music to work away to as Coop and I decorated the house.  

Some of my favourite decorations

In my house, much to Coop's frustration, a Christmas tree is not a Christmas tree unless the decorations are bright, shiny and multi-coloured.  I think this is a throw back to when I was little; memories of Christmas trees are lots of different colours, lots of different quirky little decorations and the most gawdy tinsel.  When we first lived together, Coop and I couldn't agree on decorations so we had a Christmas tree each!  His was very coordinated and well put together and a little like something from a magazine whilst mine was the exact opposite.  Over time, I seemed to have managed to force my decorations onto the tree in the lounge although Coop draws the line at tinsel. 

Isn't he lovely?!  Oooh I'm so pleased with how he turned out.  We also have a few other decorations scattered around the house...

This year, we popped along to our local garden centre just to look at the decorations, certain that we didn't need anymore.  However we came home with a selection of multi-coloured outdoor lights instead!  Almost as much as Christmas, I love Christmas lights.  Looking at other peoples' efforts as I walk Sas in the evenings makes me very happy so having my very own outdoors display is fantastic!   Coop worked away this afternoon for a few hours getting things ready just I'm time for when I got dark.  I'm sooooo happy with the results...

There's a 'Merry Christmas' sign, some multi-coloured rope lighting running around the top of our porch and my favourite piece, a cherry blossom tree.  Our neighbours even came out whilst we were admiring Coop's finished work to tell us how lovely it looked!  I also managed to sneak in a small multi-coloured light for indoors too which looks just right on my windowsill.  

The only one who wasn't so happy with all the Christmassy business today was poor Squitchy.  He's not used to being anything but the centre of attention so it's been a tough day for him as we've run around getting things ready.  In fact, he's currently lying across my lap looking at me with those big sad eyes, so I better take him out for a walk to appease him... x

ps. I realise that today should be a November round-up post but I"m just too excited about my Christmas decorations to write about anything else today!

pps.  Don't forget the Black Sheep Wools #creativechristmas competition is still ongoing!  Pop along to their website to take a look at the free patterns available for inspiration and to enter their competition for a fabulous prize!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sometimes you need a little perspective...

I admit it, I'm a moaner.  A complainer, a whiner, a negative nellie.  It's easier for me to see the bad than look for the good.  Not an attractive quality, I know, but I feel like I can be honest with all of you out in Blogland.  That's not to say I don't try to be better.  As I've got older, I've become mindful of the time wasted bothering myself about what other people are up to,  especially as I never feel like I quite have enough time in the day.   And Coop is a good, calming influence on me in this regard.  Eternally optimistic, almost always positive we balance each other out perfectly.  Still, life at times catches up with you and it's easy to get ground down by mundanity until a bit of perspective is thrown your way.

This week, we had a family bereavement of someone not much older than me.  It's not often that I think anyone is all-round good; (there I go again) in my opinion everyone has a little quirk in their personality that you see every now and then which is not quite so shiny and nice.  But not in this case.  She was one of the truly good people, ever positive despite a life of real hardship at times.  Although we were much closer when we were little and time and life had come between us, I was more upset than I expected to be when I heard the news.  Upset for her, for her family, for the years that will never come to be.  And it gave me that little shake needed every so often to make you step back and gain a little perspective on how lucky you really are.   

I started to think about documenting the small but important things that happen every day in my life that make me feel happy and loved so that I don't wait for something so dramatic to happen before I appreciate them in the future.  And I thought that maybe you would like to see some of the things that have inspired me so far.

Jen is a fellow East-Anglian crafter who was inspired by this Pinterest post to keep a record of life each day on an index card in just a sentence or two.  Each year, you reuse the same card for that date so you can track your life from one year to the next.  I think this is such an excellent idea; it's so easy to be swept from one week to the next without realising that it's even passing you by let alone year to year.  It would be nice to be able to look back through the years and trace your life back every now and then.  

I stumbled across this video from Hailey Bartholomew on the Mollie Makes Inspiration blog page and found myself blubbing for ages afterwards.  Hailey embarked upon the task of photographing each day something that made her feel grateful so that she learnt to recognise the good things she has in her life.  She's collated these now into a video, narrating what she learnt along the way.  N.B.  Don't watch this if you're feeling emotional, it's a tear-fest!

3) One Sheepish Girl 52 Weeks of Instax
I know you know how much I love Meredith's One Sheepish Girl blog.  And this is one of the things I have found particularly inspiring.  Using an instant camera, (you know, the kind that prints out the photo straight from the camera, not high quality but quite fun) Meredith photographed something that happened each week of the year and displayed it in a picture frame.  

I tried to do this earlier this year after crazing Coop to buy me a Polaroid camera for my birthday.  Although I kept it up initially, I soon forgot to take my camera out and about with me (it's a bit of a chunky monkey) and the weeks soon whittled away.  

So what's my plan?   Well, I'm not quite sure yet.  I think whatever project I decide upon, I won't start until the new year, as I want to make sure I set aside the time to make a proper job of it.  I'm thinking of perhaps using my Polaroid camera to try a month of gratitude, finding a small thing each day that makes me happy and capturing it in a photo to display in my frame to remind me.  And if I can keep it up for a month, who knows?  Perhaps I can keep it going for 2014...

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Free Hanging Christmas Tree Decorations!

A while back I asked you to keep your fingers crossed for me as I'd had some exciting news and was waiting for it all to be finalised.  Well now is the time when I can finally share it all with you!

I'm so happy that the British company Black Sheep Wool asked me to design some free christmas tree decorations for their christmas campaign.  I was a little hesitant at first; I'd only ever designed Sheldon before and that was completely on a whim, what if I couldn't come up with anything this time?  I decided it was a huge opportunity I could't turn down, and set about coming up with some designs.  

And here they are:

Pretty cute right?!  

The patterns are available on the Black Sheep Wools website here along with christmas patterns from popular bloggers Annaboos House and Little Things Blogged.  

And there's something even more exciting.  Black Sheep Wools are launching the Creative Christmas Competition and they need your help.  The christmas tree at Black Sheep Wools' headquarters is looking bare and waiting for you to send in your decorations to make it festive!  There are fabulous prizes for the five best decorations selected the week before christmas so start crafting!  I can't wait to see what fantastic decorations you come up with, so remember to use the tag #bswcreativechristmas on FacebookTwitter or Pinterest so we can see your awesome work :)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Shhhhhh! It's my yarn winder!

My family don't quite understand my crochet obsession.  Coop is really good about it all; probably because he has an ulterior motive - the more I crochet, the more uninterrupted time he has with his Playstation!  But the rest of my family find it hard to see the appeal.    They watch with confused glances as I hook away by the fire, and meet my new creations with a mediocre "Oh that's nice".  Luckily for me though, they pretend admirably when it comes to presents.  I saw a brief wrinkle pass across my mum's face when she asked what I would like for Christmas this year as I answered swiftly back "posh yarn, a yarn bowl and a yarn winder", but she nodded in agreement and gave me some pennies so that I could get what I wanted.  

Do you remember this:

Oy, that was a frantic week, made only harder by this tangled mess staring at me every time I walked through the kitchen.  Luckily for me, one of the christmas presents I had procured was a yarn winder.  Once I'd spent quite possibly in the region of 6-8 hours untangling this, there was no way I could leave the winder in the box and risk this happening again.  And anyway, I had to be sure that the yarn winder worked ok before I handed across to mum to be wrapped, right?

So here it is:

It's just a cheapy one, bought on Amazon for around £16, and there are plenty similar ones out there to choose from.  It works ok; the little clamp tightens up nicely onto my dining table, and although it works slightly loose over time, it was fine for what I needed.  The part that didn't work so well and caused a little frustration was the tension arm (the little wire piece on the left hand side).  It tucks away for easy storage, pulling out when in use, and is supposed to click in place so that the yarn is at the appropriate tension to make a nice, tightly wound ball.  However, this one doesn't really click, and so fairly regularly the yarn ends up all over the place as the tension is lost.  This could be overcome by holding the yarn in a certain position that prevented the arm from slipping, but it makes the process a bit slower and fussier.  

Having said that, I'm no major yarn winder, and so it will do just fine for my needs.  The little cakes it produces are neat, centre-pull balls which are easy to work with.  Once I'd wound one, I hunted around for extra yarn so I could wind even more!

For now, the winder is back in it's box and in the safe care of my parents.  I didn't mention that I'd given it a whirl (ha!) and am practicing my surprised face for when I open it on Christmas Day.  I'm also planning all the little yarn cakes I cam make once it's officially mine...

Friday, 1 November 2013

October Round Up

Whoah.  October has been a crazy month for me and Sheldon.  Who would have thought that posting a picture of him on the Yarndale Ravelry group would lead to such exciting things.  Sheldon has gone global!  His popularity has been truly overwhelming, I'm so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to send kind comments about Sheldon and have loved seeing pictures of Sheldon's cropping up on the internet.  

Because of Sheldon, my life of crochet has become even more diverse.  I have been asked to team up with a British wool company to work on some designs, yarn reviews and all that good stuff.  I can't tell you how excited I am at this opportunity.  On one hand, I am a little nervous about being ready for something like this.  Up until now, my crochet has been just for me, occasionally shared with my friends but mostly only to satisfy myself.  What if what I do is not good enough for what they want?  But I've shaken those thoughts off.  When am I ever going to get an opportunity like this again?  So I'm going for it, and plan on doing the best that I can do.  One design is already done, and there are more to come in time for Christmas.  When I can tell you more, I will do, I promise :)

Plans for October - reviewed

  • Making some bunting for a friend that I've already taken shamelessly, embarrassingly long to get around to (ok, I'm going to be realistic, I have every intention of doing this, I'm just not sure exactly when it's likely to be, and probably not before christmas now)
  • Starting my tunisian crochet Craftsy class - still to do, perhaps when I have some holiday from work I'll get to it
  • Learning more about using my DSLR camera - some reading done, more learning to do
  • Starting to think about things I need to make for christmas decorations/presents - I've made a start, but there's so much to do!  Another holiday project I think
  • Making a cowl for myself (well, I deserve a treat too) - stuff for me has taken a bit of back burner for now, this might have to drop off the list for now
  • Trying my hand at a bit of designing (!) - well at least there's one tick this month!
  • Christmas Christmas Christmas really!

Plans for November
Are your plans Christmas focused too or have you got any other things on the go this month?

What are you most pleased to have made this month?  What are your plans for October?

Monday, 28 October 2013

myboshi Yarn Review

As 'myboshi' is a new product, I thought it would be a good place to start for a yarn review.  To get the legal stuff out of the way; the review below is my own opinion and the yarn from my own supply.  I have received no payment for this review, I just thought it would be a nice thing to do!  

Information on the brand
myboshi was developed by two German Skiiers, Thomas and Felix who learnt to crochet whilst at a remote ski resort in Japan.  Whilst it's gathering popularity in Europe, it's only just coming over to the UK and so it's quite hard to find much more about myboshi in English.  It's being distributed by DMC, and as well as yarn, there are crochet hooks, labels and patterns available too.

Information about the yarn
myboshi original No1 50g ~ 55m ~ 60 yds
Content: 70% Polyacrylic, 30% merino wool
Wash: machine wash, 30 degrees
Recommended hook size: 6mm, US J/10
Recommended needle size: 6/7, US 10
1 hat ~120g
Medium hat = head circumference 53-56cm
Large hat = head circumference 57-60cm
Cost: Around £4 per 50g ball

First Impressions
The colour range for myboshi is outstanding.  The 36 colours in the collection include neutrals, pastels, brights and neons and so give a modern, young, unisex feel.  The merino in the yarn makes it feel soft and warm but without looking whispy.  It's actually softer to touch than it looks.  The yarn is nice and chunky and perfect for it's intended purpose; outdoor winter hats.

Crocheting with yarn 
This yarn is pretty nice to crochet with.  It works up especially fast to make a hat in a hurry.  It's very slightly splitty, but not so much that it's problematic.  The merino/polyacrylic blend means that it has a bit of stretch in it, but not enough to loose shape.  For a chunky yarn, it was easy on the hands. I found that the patterns in the small guide were clear to follow if you've crocheted before, but would probably be tricky to follow if you were new to crochet.  I also found that I needed a fair few more rounds in order to make a long enough beanie to cover my head although this could be because I crochet very tightly.

Final thoughts
I'm a fan.  myboshi yarn gives a polished finish that means even simple stitches like half trebles (UK terms) produce a professional looking hat.  myboshi beanies are easy to make, and would be perfect as a beginner project, although the patterns aren't the clearest I've seen.  I'm sure it could be used to make scarfs and gloves easily and would make great gifts for christmas.  

Sunday, 27 October 2013

My Boshi Yarn - My New Favourite Thing!

There are three yarn shops in Great Yarmouth.  One at the end of the dodgy end of town, so rarely visited.  The other two are cute little local yarn shops, full to the brim with soft squidgy good stuff in hundreds of colours.  Whilst celebrating payday by browsing the aisles for some christmas inspired cottons, I found this:
I took this after I had raided the stash, which is why the display looks a little unkept!  
Bright colours?  Check.  Thick and chunky?  Check.  Ooooh it was everything I'd been waiting for to begin making those winter hats everyone keeps asking me to do.  I scooped up as many colours as I could hold (that's not an exaggeration, literally as many as I could hold) and made my way to the counter.  I even went back and picked up a couple of accessories for good measure.   

The owner of the shop,  Lisa, told me a little about the 'My Boshi' brand.  It's the idea of two German skiiers who learnt to crochet whilst at a remote Japanese ski resort in order to make their own beanies ('Boshi' is Japanese for 'beanie').  The guys then had their idea picked up by DMC and now it's available all over Europe.  You can read a little more about their story here although to be completely honest, most stuff I've found about it on the internet is in German.  

Now I went to town on this stuff.  The heady mix of payday and bright chunkys appears to have forced the sensible, money-conscious part of my brain to switch off so I made it home with a ginormous stash.  

 This is most of it.  There were a couple of pinks and white too.  And more grey.  I loooovvvee grey.  It just goes with everything.  A good mix of fluorescents, brights and base colours.  These three however are my absolute favourites:

I think mossy green is such a lovely colour and the photo doesn't do the bluey-teal justice.  I can't wait to use these together.  In my frenzy, I also picked up the small pattern guide and a label two pack.  The labels are a nice touch in my opinion (although I'm sure some of you will think it's a bit gimmicky).  The labels say 'Selfmade Boshi' and add a nice finishing touch to take away that homemade feel that I wanted to avoid.  The pattern book has three patterns, one slouchy hat, one beanie and one ear warmer and gives patterns for both medium and large head sizes.  Were they a bit of a rip off?  Probably.  The labels were £2! Although I've since found them on the internet for 85p for two and the patterns I probably could have worked out if I gave it a little thought.  But still, I was happy with the things I'd bought.  

I woke up early the next day and could only think of starting a hat.  I blame the fact that it was ridiculously early to account for me making the hat double the size it should have been.  I'm not really sure how I even managed it, or how I failed to notice, but when Coop eventually woke up and began questioning who's head I was making it for, I realised there was only one thing for it; it had to be frogged.  Luckily for me, this stuff works up quickly and the hat was even quicker to make when it was human head sized rather than that of a small elephant!  I should think it took less than three hours from start to finish.  

I am so pleased with how it turned out.  With such a large colour selection, it's easy to find complimentary colours that work well together.  Here it is:

 And modelled by me: (notice the glasses?  I'm rocking a 'Where's Wally?' kind of thing)

The orders for 'My Boshi' hats are already rolling in so I don't think it will take me too long to get through my stash of colours.  Even Coop, a huge clothes snob has selected his colours and requested for his hat to be made next.  Praise indeed!  

Tomorrow, I'll be reviewing My Boshi yarn so be sure to come back and take a look.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Tangled yarn, tangled life

Oy.  What a week.  Busy at work, busy at home, on the go without a second to pause.  I'm not complaining particularly.  I like to work hard, keep myself active.  I'm not one to sit and watch life drift idly by.  But this week time has slipped away right under my nose without giving me the chance to do the things I needed to.  

The yarn knot above is a fairly good representation of how my mind feels at the moment.  A huge tangle of thoughts and 'to do' lists that haven't yet been unravelled.  I guess the only thing to do is to get right back to it... x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Fresh Stitches Kit Club Big Reveal!

As if going to Yarndale wasn't exciting enough, the day I was driving up to Yorkshire I also received my Fresh Stitches Kit Club through the post.  I love  this idea.  Every other month, a mystery item is sent through the post.  It features a Fresh Stitches pattern, plus everything you need to make your cuddly (except stuffing) and a mystery gift to make your toy something special, more than just your regular singlet crochet.  In past kit clubs, this has included beading and working with pipe cleaners all supported on Stacey's website so you know exactly what to do with it to make sure it turns out super cute! 

As I'd enjoyed my other kit clubs so much in the past, I signed up for this year's one and waited patiently for my kit to arrive.  It's tougher than you would think; as Stacey's followers are spread all over the world, some receive their kits much before I do.  It's so tempting to snoop around on the internet to find out what's in the package, but I resisted this time, making sure it stayed a surprise right until I opened the box.  

And what a great surprise it was!

When I ripped open the box, I have to admit my first thought was "A teddy bear made from plain yarn, is that it?"  but of course it wasn't.  As I dug out all the bits and pieces I realised that tucked under the pattern was the part that suddenly made it all very fun.  Kool-Aid sachets.  Kool-Aid is particularly  exciting to me as it's not something we have here in the UK so it's been one of those things on my list of things to track down, that I never really got round to doing.  In case you haven't heard of it, Kool-Aid is a drink (!) in America, a bit like the squash we have over here.  

After Yarndale, I eagerly watched Stacey's video to get set in my mind what I needed to do, then gingerly emptied the contents of the sachets into two separate bowls; one blue, one orange.

Which didn't look that interesting until I added a bit of boiling water...

The colours were soooo vivid!  There are two packets of orange here with one blue.  And the smell!  A wonderfully sweet fruity smell filled the house once the water was added.  What I hadn't anticipated was how quickly the dye is slurped up by the yarn.  The video had warned the yarn was dye hungry as it was untreated animal wool, but wow this was fast!  Within perhaps two seconds of tentatively laying the wool in the dye mixture it was gone!  I was a bit shocked by this; I had expected to have to poke it around a bit to get it to take to the dye (I had only just finished my yarn dyeing workshop at Yarndale and was thinking of how things had taken there) so hadn't arranged the yarn quite as I might have liked.  

I tried adding a little bit more water to see if I could dilute the dye to make it go a little further, but as you can see any water I added had no colour.  I think this is because you use boiling water to make up the dye, it instantly sets the colour so it doesn't leak at all.  I rinsed the yarn well under cold water, but very little dye came out.  A good rinse also makes sure your yarn won't be crispy when you come to work with it, so it's worth taking a little time over it.  

After a thorough squeeze, I had to sit back and wait for the yarn to dry, so I left it hanging in my conservatory, and crossed my fingers that Squitchy wouldn't notice it was there.

I was so pleased with how it turned out!  Not only are there those really bright, bright colours, but there's also some more subtle in-between shades in there too.

It worked up really nicely, although next time I would try to think of my colour repeat a bit more.  What Ive found is that for the teddy's arms and legs, the colour repeat means that one side is really colourful whilst the other side is almost plain.  To try and alter this, I guess I would have to know how much yarn is used in one stitch for example, and then decide how many stitches I want each colour to be, to either make a repeating pattern, or completely avoiding it.  It would take a bit of planning, and to be honest, I quite like the random look!

Meet Teddy, the Bear

Teddy, the Bear didn't turn out quite as cute looking as I had hoped.  I can't quite put my finger on exactly what I'm not happy with, but there's definitely something.  I am, however, very pleased with the effect of Kool-Aid dye and I can't wait to get some more colours so I can experiment in the future.  Have you ever tried Kool-Aid dyeing?  Do you have any tips for me?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Unbelievable things to see...

This week has been the most unbelievable week for me.  Sheldon has hit the big time and it's taken me completely by surprise.  Don't get me wrong, I think he's a cool little guy (yeah I know I'm biased but still... he's a little cutey, right?!) but when I posted a pattern link to the Yarndale forum on Ravelry I didn't expect the reaction I got.  To be completely honest, I was waiting for someone to tell me they'd deleted my post because it was cheeky of me to put it there in the first place.  

But that's not what happened.

Things went crazy!  I have been completely overwhelmed by the lovely, kind, warmhearted things people have said.  That crocheters and knitters from all kinds of places have taken the time to not only stop by and read my blog but to comment, email, like and follow things has just astounded me.  I was so worried about how Sheldon's pattern would be received; anxious about any mistakes or confusions that might be discovered but it seems I had no reason to panic.  In fact, there are a few Sheldon's already made! It has been the best feeling to see other Sheldons cropping up around the internet.  You can take a look at a couple here if you like.  Aren't they fab?!  All of this has just proven once again what a gracious, accepting community the crochet world is, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.  

Spending so much time replying to these messages has confirmed one thing to me though.  I need glasses.  Really need them.  I used to wear glasses for work, but over time became certain that I did just as well without them.  Now however, that's not so true.  I've noticed that the laptop page is magnified a little more each time I need to read something, and at work my nose is almost bumping the screen I'm sitting so close to it!  

So today I picked up two new sparkly pairs of glasses.  Thick plastic geeky ones, as I just don't like the really normal looking ones (perhaps I can't fight the true geeky scientist in me any longer).  I'd forgotten how good things were supposed to look.   That small print on the bottom of the letter?  Read it.  The man and his dog that Sas has got his eye on in the distance?  Saw it.  People's faces on the telly?  Blur free.  All day I have been putting my glasses on and off, admiring how much clearer things seem.  I decided to settle down with a book, iced bun and cup of hot chocolate just to appreciate how much better reading is with my glasses on :)

It's going to take a while to get used to wearing glasses again, and at the moment I'm wearing them around the home so I recognise myself with them.  Maybe one day when I'm feeling brave, I'll let you see me in my new geeky glasses, but for now, it's just Coop and Sas who have seen them, and neither seems to have particularly noticed a difference!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Loop Stitch Tutorial

The loop stitch is an easy one, but on first glance appears quite fiddly.  I thought it might be useful to make a tutorial to help you work through the stitch, so that you can go ahead and make your very own Sheldon the Sheep!

I have made both a video and photo tutorial, as I know I usually have to see both to really understand what goes where!

Photo Tutorial

The first thing to note in the Sheldon pattern is that when working the head and body, I suggest to work in the back loop only.   Why?  I'm not sure really, it's just the way I've always done it!

Step 1: Put your crochet hook through the back loop of the next stitch, and then yarn over.

Step 2: Next, stick out your index finger that is feeding the yarn.  This makes the 'loop' of the loop stitch.

 Step 3: Can you see the yarn hanging between my index and middle finger?  Catch it with your crochet hook.

Step 4: Pull it through the first loop on the hook.  You should then have 3 loop on your hook.  

Step 5: Yarn over again.

Step 6: Pull the yarn through all three stitches.  And your done!  The loop will show on the back of the piece you are working on.  

Video Tutorial

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