Crochet

I thought I would pop in a page with resources for crocheting. I often find that I can't put my hand on a pattern, or the instructions for basic stitches. If I put a page here, I can always find them, and they may be of use to others, too.

I thought I would begin by giving my basic "what you need to crochet".

HOOKS & STITCH MARKERS

First off, you will need hooks. One of the most commonly used sizes is a size 4. I started off with bog standard metal hooks. They are sturdy, but I find they begin to annoy me, as they rub into my palm.




I bought my daughter a fun and functional set on Amazon. They are multi-coloured, and metal as well.

Hers are like this.




For my Christmas, a friend bought me some of these.


They are Knit Pro Waves. They have a rubber handle, and are INCREDIBLY comfortable to use. They feel nice and light in your hand, and they don't dig in like the metal ones. Way to go, for sure!

I have also now discovered the joy of hand made hooks.  Well, the handles are hand made. They are so comfy to hold, and you can get them in a tremendous array of beautiful designs! They make a lovely gift for an "hooky" friends you have, or a perfect treat for yourself! 

Little Boo Yarns (Also available at Sconch), "Fleabubs" Handmade by Lala, and Raindrop Yarns has also started making her own, too!   (All Facebook Links - check out Facebook, too)

Then, there are gorgeous stitch markers you can buy! It's kinda "bling" for crocheters! Yes, you can buy the boring, dull, plastic markers.  Who WOULDN'T want some of these beauties, though?

My Favourites are Tinkaboo Crafts For You and Doodlestop.   Tinkaboo (Laura) also has cute little storage tins, and markers with numbers, so you know which size hook you are using for the project your working on (SO easy to forget - ask me how I know....)  Doodlestop also has an amazing item called a "yarn buddy". I *SO* want one of these. You pop your yarn on the "pole" in the centre, and the base twirls it around whilst you work, so you don't have to keep yanking at your ball of yarn, like some kind of crazed lunatic, to get it to unwind whilst  you work! Genius! 


(photos used with permission)

Tinkaboo's numbered markers - you can custom order, via Etsy, with the numbers you want. 


These are lovely rainbow hearts. Having multiple colours is handy for projects where you have to mark two points in shaped piece, like a circle, or a bootee sole.



This is a picture of an order I had earlier in the year. Happy post! 



YARN

SO, obviously you will need yarn. Yarn comes in SO many different forms. Thick, chunky ones. Very fine, lace-weight yarns. And, everything in between. They most commonly used is DK - double knitting. It's generally the least expensive, and is pretty multi-functional. You tend to use a size 4 hook with that, but can use slightly bigger or smaller. Usually the size of hook corresponds with the weight of yarn. Heavier weight yarn, bigger hook. Lighter-weight yarn, smaller hook.

There are many, many places to buy yarn. You can get it from a wool shop, or from a department store such as John Lewis. Then, there are market stalls, and even charity shops now seem to stock new yarn. Online is another option. The only downside with that is that you cannot feel or see the yarn, in natural light. It may end up not being quite what you expected. (BTDT)  The best way around that is to do research in stores, then try and find the best price online. If you know what brand and shade you want, then you can shop around. Time consuming, yes, but will most likely save you money. 

Then there is the fab resource I recently found. There is a lady on Instagram, called Anita.  She takes pictures of colour combos of yarn, so you can see them together. What''s more, you tell her you are looking for something in particular, and she will take a picture and show you, to see if it is what you are looking for!! I want to make a blanket to co-ordinate with my lounge. I sent her a link with my lounge curtains, and she matched up some yarn. She will tweak the colours until it's what you are looking for. Then, she tells you a price, you paypal her, and she sends it to you! Simple! I got it THE NEXT DAY! WOOHOO!

You can find her here.

Another favourite place where I buy yarn is Wool Warehouse.  They are VERY quick to deliver, and yarn comes packaged in voile bags, ideal as ready-made project bags!  If you buy the Inside Crochet magazine, you will often find a discount code for Wool Warehouse, which is handy.

Another great place is Sconch Textiles.  Again, quick and helpful.  


HAND-DYED YARNS

I really must add a section about some UK sellers and producers of stunning hand dyed yarn.  If I am making a gift item, particularly shawls, I will buy hand dyed.  It's a more expensive option, but when you consider it's a gift item, lovingly hand-dyed, and supporting SAHM, then I think it's totally worth it.  I still use mass produced yarns for items like blankets, as it's much better value for money. Hand dyed generally is wool mixes, with other fibres, such as a little nylon, added.  There are also gorgeous ones with silk, yak and alpaca added, which is SUPER soft and scrummy! The colour mixes chosen by these ladies is just amazing.

My favourite sellers I buy via Facebook, mostly, but many have Etsy shops, too.  Most of them will have special sale nights, usually called "Market Nights", on Facebook, when they reduce prices to shift stock.  It's a good time to stock up for yarn, to make gifts. 

I have bought many from Unbelieva-wool.  Sam is competitively priced, very friendly and helpful, and her colour ways are just my cup of tea. The Desperately Seeking Shallow I made was using her yarn. 

You can find her on Etsy, and on Facebook.

Then there is Raindrop Yarns, again, one I have bought from a fair bit.

Again, Etsy, and Facebook.

Other sellers who I have got yarn from are Devon Sun Yarns, Cuddlebums and Truly Hooked.  All providing beautiful yarn, lovingly produced by ladies who are passionate about providing a great product. 


This is from Jodi at Cuddlebums - it's called "Stormy Rainbow", and I have four skeins of it to make myself something special.



This is in my stash, from Daisy (Devon Sun Yarns), waiting for a special pattern to jump out at me. I love how it will be little tropical rainbow in the midst of the cream. 



This was Unbelieva-wool's (Sam) Yarn Club colourway - "Blackberry" - which reflects the shades as a blackberry ripens. I have made a shawl, and a hat is in the process of being created as well. I also plan to make mittens, too.  SCRUM-MEEEEE.


This is the shawl I made with the "Blackberry" yarn. (It says "August shawl" because I am taking part in a challenge in our crochet group to make 12 shawls - all different patterns - with the chance of winning a yarny prize. Win-win insofar as I am making 12 shawls, some for me, some were gifts, whether I win a prize or not. Trying new techniques and patterns is a great way to develop your crochet skills.  Next on the list is beading!....) 



I got to know a lot of these ladies (Including Samantha, who runs Sconch Textiles) on a crochet group on Facebook. They have provided a huge amount of support and advice on various crochet projects I have undertaken. So, do try and support these ladies! 



UK/US Differences

As you merrily go through crochet blogs/sites, you will find there is a difference between UK and US terminology. This affects everything - hook sizes,  stitch names and yarn weights.

These are a few of the useful places I have found to untangle the terminology.

Here is a chart to explain the differences in yarn weights. 


INSTRUCTIONS

This is a site with some nice, clear instructions, for the basic stitches. It is in UK terminology, so don't forget to check the translations is you are using a US recipe. 



PATTERNS

   (I may end up creating a separate page just for patterns, but I will start with putting them here.) 
























I have loads more to add.... 


3 comments :

  1. Love this section! It's scarily addictive, and so relaxing :)

    I use Knit Pro Symfonie Wood needles for crochet & knitting. They are colourful, comfortable, and so smooth to use. I've never tried a crochet hook with a handle, I'm convinced I hold it too far down to use that kind, but might just give it a go one of these days.

    Dawn x

    ReplyDelete