Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Big Reveal

I have finally finished the Fresh Stitches CAL and I’m extremely pleased with the results :)

As you’ve probably noticed from my previous posts, I am a massive fan of Stacey, Fresh Stitches.  I love her patterns, I love her blog, I love her Ravelry group, I suppose I have a bit of a crochet-crush!  Many of my previous creations are from Fresh stitches patterns because I think they are modern, cute and the kind of thing you would find in many shops today (I love to smugly tell my friends I could make the baby boots or rattle in John Lewis they’re cooing over for less than half price!)

Kanga, photobombed by Sas

This CAL is my favourite pattern to date.  I’m so happy with the end product, a cute Kangaroo and even cuter little Joey to live in her pouch. 

The Joey was so tiny to put together...

But the finished product is just so cute!

I really enjoyed that there were a couple of unusual pieces to make; the tail involves crocheting some shorter rows and then stitching around the sides created as well as around to make the bend in the tail, which eventually balances the Kanga so it can stand properly.  The legs were a little fiddly; but I rather liked the challenge of making things look the same on both sides (although if you had heard me at the time you may not have thought I was enjoying myself!)  I also liked how it was made up of lots of different pieces as this held my interest so much more than one continuous piece of crocheting.  

This project is going to take centre stage in my craft room as I’m not sure I can bare to give it away to anyone else!  Do you have any finished projects that you love too much to give away?  Until then...x

Monday, 8 July 2013

Ravelry, Amber Mystery CAL and a few other things

I love the crochet community.  I honestly can’t remember anytime in my life where I have welcomed by a collection of people who were so supportive, so uplifting, so generous with their words and so kind to take the time to offer words of compliment or encouragement.  

The discussion groups on Ravelry are a perfect example of this.If you have a question, someone will happily give you an answer.  If you’re stuck on something, you will be overwhelmed with people who will offer solutions.  And if you have completed a project, you will receive more praise than from anyone who doesn’t quite appreciate quite how complicated that stitch was or how many times you had to pull it out and start again.  This experience has made me take a little step back to look at my attitude and how I approach things and inspire me to be a little better, a little nicer.  

I particularly enjoy the Fresh Stitches Discussion Board for this.  Friendly, interesting people who treat you like a friend the moment you get involved.  And there’s so many exciting things going on in the group.  Buddy crochet swaps, Kit clubs and my personal favourite, mystery CALs.  

For those of you who haven’t come across a CAL before, it’s a crochet-along, where during a set time period, everyone crochets the same pattern all at once.  Fresh Stitches takes this to a new level.  MYSTERY CAL!  I participated in the last mystery CAL, the Archer CAL.  This turned out to be a dog who stood on four legs, and although the end product wasn’t quite to my liking, I loved getting a little part of the pattern each week and trying to guess just what these funny shapes might turn out to be.

The June/July mystery CAL is almost complete.  Two clues down, one to go, which will include how to put the pieces together and the big reveal.  I have a couple of bits from clue two still to complete (I’m madly crocheting when I should be working to get them all done in time!) so that I’m all set for the last clue.  Here are the pieces I have so far:

Personally, I have no idea, some pieces look like antennas but then the other pieces don’t fit with any kind of insect, there’s definitely some ears in there I think so who knows!  The Fresh Stitches forum is busy with suggestions! A Kangaroo and Joey, dragonfly are just a couple of suggestions.  I’m torn about whether to follow this thread closely or not as I don’t want to spoil the surprise but also want to know.  Only a couple of days until my curiosity is satisfied.  

The yarn I have used for this was from my cute little local yarn shop and the adorable owner Paul.  I have been wanting to use this Knitcol trends yarn for a while now, the colours are so bright and I love the different shades that work through each skein.  When the mystery CAL materials list was released and it said 1 colour, I knew exactly what I had to use and I completely love the results so far.  

It’s also really nice to crochet with and doesn’t split at all.  I usually make most of my amigurumi out of aran weight yarn, but this is dk so my mystery cutie may turn out to be a little smaller than on the pattern, but I’m sure he’ll look just as cute! I’m looking forward to getting the last piece of the puzzle and will be sure to show you the completed result.  Until then...x

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Where to Begin?

How do you start your first ever blog post?  This is a question I have been asking myself for a while now, ever since I decided that I wanted to make a crochet/crafty blog.  I suppose the best way is to start with some of the simple things.

So hello if you’re reading this.  My name is Leah and I live in the seaside town of Great Yarmouth, England with my husband Coop and my furball of a husky, Sasuke (said Sas-K).

My beautiful Sas on my local beach

  And I admit it.  I love to crochet.  Now I guess if you’ve stumbled across this blog, that you are a fan of crochet too.  If you really have accidentally stumbled across the wrong kind of blog, to answer the usual questions; yes, it’s different to knitting, and no, it’s not just for old people.  

I have a secret about crochet that I haven’t admitted to anyone out loud before.  But I’m feeling brave which is so much easier when I can’t see the look on your face as you read the words: crochet saved my life.  Whoa.  Big statement right?  Ok, so perhaps a slight exaggeration.  Maybe not my life, but certainly my sanity.  To explain, I have a reasonably important (read that as stressful) job at a hospital and for a long time it was life consuming.  Literally all I could think of all the time.  And that wasn’t really doing me much good and making me a pretty grumpy, hard to live with kind of girl.  Then, whilst looking for a gift for a friend’s baby, I decided that if I put my mind to it, I might just be able to make some of these gifts that were so expensive to buy.  So I called up my friend (you can check out her blog here) and persuaded her to show me the crochet basics.  She came straight round! I think she was pleased to find someone who showed a little interest and taught me to make a ball(ish) shape.  And that was it; I was completely hooked.

So that was just over a year ago and since then, I have mostly been crocheting amigurumi like this:

There’s other stuff too; I’ve made blankets and dolls and baskets and bags, but amigurumi (and especially Fresh Stitches patterns) is my favourite thing to do on a weekend.  

So that’s a little about me up until now.  What’s my hopes for the blog?  Well to keep letting you know about the things I’ve made, the classes I’ve taken and the fun I’ve had with crochet and a few other crafts.  I’d like to think I’ll make a few of my own patterns one day, and of course if/when I do they will be posted straight here!  Until then... x

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