Knitting has always been a part of my life. Mum taught me the basics when I was very little, and I remember attempting to make a pink dress for one of my dollies. It didn’t work out too well, needless to say, and Mum ended up finishing it for me. Mum knitted lots of things for us growing up, including green school cardigans when we were in primary school. She was a pro, and I’ve spent years wondering how she got so good at it.
For example, how did she know what all those obscure acronyms meant on a knitting pattern? How did she correct any mistakes? How did she automatically know what the finished article should look like?
As an adult, it’s only recently that I’ve started to understand all those fundamental things about knitting, and it’s mainly thanks to the internet. Watching how-to videos on YouTube is the key to how I have improved my knitting skills over the last few years. I learnt to crochet through YouTube and I massively improved how I knit. The great thing about knitting (and crochet) tutorials on YouTube is that I can pause and rewind as many times as I like, and have the confidence while I’m watching that my project looks the same as the one being made on the video. Plus I can compare what I’m doing to a written pattern, and this has been indispensable. I finally know what most of those acronyms mean and how to apply them to the project I’m working on. Hoorah!
Watching videos on YouTube also means I can complete a project in full, and I hadn’t knitted a whole project in a long time. Squares for a blanket yes, but a whole finished product no.
Enter Studio Knit and a quirky lady called Kristen who taught me how to knit in the round. I didn’t even know what circular needles were for before her channel, and would never have attempted to use them without some serious research. In the month of October, Kristen uploaded 5 videos in 5 days that guided you through how to make a Strawberry Baby Hat. These hats are so cute and colourful that I just had to have a go. Each step took me about as long as each video is to do, and I ended up with a project I’m truly proud of. I didn’t make this with a particular baby in mind, so it’s sitting on my shelf in my wardrobe ready for a moment of gift inspiration.
Hopefully you will agree with how adorable this hat is, and perhaps it will inspire you to make one of your own. Knit away, knit away!
It’s amazing when you can use your hobby to raise money for charity. This is exactly what LoveCrochet is encouraging us all to do this November. They are asking crochet enthusiasts to have a go at crocheting a snowflake to help raise money for Home-Start – a UK based charity that helps families with young children have the best start in life and cope better with whatever challenges life throws at them.
LoveCrochet.com joined forces with Bella Coco and Kirstie Allsopp to ask us to send in crocheted snowflakes that will be displayed at the Christmas Handmade Fair at Manchester Central on the 20th – 22nd November. The snowflakes will then be sent to families across Britain that are supported by Home-Start to show that they are not alone – an uplifting message. You can also donate money to Home Start through their website or through the Love Crochet website – http://www.lovecrochet.com/home-start-donation.
Using Sarah-Jayne’s easy to follow tutorial on YouTube, I crocheted six in three different colours to send off for the appeal. They were fun to make and look super cute and I’m planning on making more to put on my Christmas tree later.
Have a go and support a great cause!
Half term has arrived and the clocks are going back tonight. It must be time to prepare for Halloween!
Although this is a holiday that enjoys lots of popularity in America, the fervour for all things spooky has spread through the UK like creeping ivy over the last few years. And it’s great to get involved in the festivities. Last year, we carved our first pumpkin and left it out on the doorstep for decoration, and I’m excited to do this again this year. I was surprised by how easy and fun this was to do – an internet template, spoon, metal skewer and carving knife was all we needed to create our masterpiece.
Not only will we have pumpkins on our doorstep this year, but we’ll also them in our living room too, in the form of crochet creations. I’ve been crocheting for a couple of years now, and I absolutely love it. I’ve known how to knit for years, but I find that crocheting provides a much quicker result, and with my time limited this seems to be working better for me. Not only this, but it seems that the possibilities for crochet makes are endless.
I follow quite a few crochet channels on YouTube, and a firm favourite for crochet at the moment is Bella Coco – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQEzmjboJ_6-uG8-1j4coNw – her videos are easy to follow and she uploads projects that always intrigue and inspire. A recent one was ‘How to crochet a pumpkin’, and as soon as this went up I was inspired to create some for my Halloween decorations.
Here are my results. I made a couple of small ones, and then adapted the pattern to make the pumpkins larger. I’m so pleased with the results, and these little beauties will be sitting proud on my fireplace on the run up to Halloween.