Crochet Now

In my previous post I mentioned the brand new crochet magazine coming out – Crochet Now– well the first issue is in shops now!!

In it you will find pages of treasures. It contains patterns for everything from garments to toys, and of course my gorgeous Chevron cushion cover, 100 pages of pure delight.

I’m really taken with the Boho Chic mosaic scarf by Jennifer Pionk and big top blanket by Ashley Cramp AKA lazydaisyjones. There are also few adorable baby projects such as booties, little dress, bunny toy and even a rattle, which is just perfect as two of my friends are expecting babies and I seriously need to get making.

Image credit: Practical Publishing
 
 Image credit: Practical Publishing
 
 Image credit: Practical Publishing 

There are also few good articles in the mag and a fantastic column on the last page by the super lovely Lynne Rowe from The Wool Nest. Lynne is going to encourage you every month to get creative with your yarn left overs by providing a lovely pattern to use up your yarn oddments, this month the pattern is for very useful nesting bowls.

Lynne, along with Fay Dashper-Hughes of Ma Dashper, have just started a new podcast called The Crochet Circle, the first episode is out now and it is a really enjoyable listen, actually it has encouraged me to take a closer look at my, ever expanding, yarn stash and actually tackle reducing it, I know! The horror!! But more on that in next post.

And if all of that wasn’t enough there are also very useful news bites, yarn and yarn shop reviews, crochet workshop lists and tutorial on crochet cables and how to ready crochet charts and so much more, oh and included with the issue are three crochet hooks as a free gift. Honestly, this is truly a great mag and I’m not just saying that because of my pattern is featured in it, in fact it is a great honour to have one of my designs in such a great publication. Oh and if you turn to page 97 there’s a little preview of what will be in next issue and one of those designs is mine, but I won’t tell you which one yet 😀

But let’s talk about my chevron cushion……
It is a beauty! Made using tapestry crochet, a technique I absolutely adore, it produces beautifully firm fabric. I have again chosen Rowan Kid Classic in gentle colours, I love this yarn and just can’t help crocheting or knitting with it, but of course any worsted yarn will be great to use for this cushion. If you haven’t ever attempted tapestry crochet, don’t worry, a full tutorial is included with the pattern, perfect for beginners.
Give tapestry crochet a go, it is such a fantastic technique I’m sure you will love it!

                                                             Image credit: Practical Publishing 

Happy crocheting,

Anna x

For the love of Brietta


I’m still on clouds nine after Brietta cowl got the front page treatment in Let’s Crochet mag, which is a preview issue of brand new crochet magazine called Crochet Now. The mag is available together with Knit Now magazine. 
 As Let’s Crochet is a preview issue it contains carefully selected crochet designs that were previously featured in other magazines, Brietta was first featured in issue 65 of Simply Homemade magazine, which is just fab and jam packed with everything from cooking to card making. 
Brietta is a very eye catching cowl (if I may say so myself). The almond stitch gives you the perfect opportunity to play with colour, I have chosen hues of blue and turquoise, starting with the darkest and ending with lightest, the interruptions of cream colour in-between the almonds defines them beautifully. I have used one of my all-time favourite yarns for this cowl – Rowan Kid Classic, the Kid Mohair content of this yarn gives the cowl a lovely halo, not to mention the fantastic colour range the yarn comes in. 
You can really let your colour imagination let loose when crocheting this cowl. Choose your favourite combination or stick with subtly changing colours. I really like these Kid Classic combinations:

Of course you can use any worsted weight yarn for Biretta. At the moment I’m crocheting it with Louisa Harding’s Amitola Grande in Amelia sh. 527 and Rowan Kid Classic in Drought sh. 876. It is looking pretty amazing. Amitola is a gorgeous self-striping yarn, but the colour changes are not long enough to last for a full rows of almonds, at first I thought I might cut full colour lengths and use them as needed, but as I started to crochet I realised I really liked the two different colours in each almond.  

Let’s Crochet is available together with Knit Now Issue 58 – on sale now in newsagents, crafts stores and supermarkets. For more info or to order a copy visit: http://www.knitnowmag.co.uk/item/527-issue-58-on-sale-now
Happy Crocheting 
Anna x

All about crochet hooks


As a crochet tutor the question I get asked the most is: what is the right way to hold the hook? Well, there isn’t one, the right way to hold a hook is the way it’s most comfortable for you.  However, it’s good to consider that the way you hold your hook depends on lots of factors: your muscle memory, the length of your fingers and shape of your hands. Before we explore ways of holding the hook, let’s familiarise ourselves with it first.
Point – This part of the hook is inserted into stitches, allowing it to easily slide into stitches you are working on. The point can range from very pointy to rounded.
Hook – used to hook the yarn and draw it through loops of yarn
Throat – shaped area that helps to slide stitch up onto the next part of the crochet hook
Shaft – part of the hook that the loop rests on while you are crocheting. This part of the hook determines the size of your stitches.
Thumb rest – indentation that allows you to rest your thumb on the hook.
Handle – The handle is the part of the hook that you’ll hold while crocheting
Let’s look at the two most common ways to hold a hook:
Knife Method – exactly as it sounds, you hold the crochet hook as you would hold a knife. Your hand will grip over the hook with the handle resting against the palm of your hand and your thumb, index finger and middle finger grasping the thumb rest.
Pencil Method – hold the hook as you would hold a pencil, your thumb and index griping the thumb-rest, middle finger closer to the shaft, and the handle is resting on the fleshy area above your index finger. 
I hold my hook like a knife. This is the way I have been taught by my mum as a child, when I picked up crochet hook again after years it was this way I instinctively held it. 
The way you hold your hook and yarn is completely your choice, as long as your stitches look as they should. However, if after a bit of crocheting your hands, arms or back start hurting then it is time to explore different ways. Why don’t you experiment with the two different ways and see which one suit you best. 

Crochet hooks come in many different types and sizes. They are usually made out of:
Steel – come in the smallest sizes and are often used in fine thread.
Aluminium – come in broad range of sizes. Suitable for most fibres, allowing for smooth and quick crocheting.
Plastic – available in all the common sizes as well as jumbo hooks. Usually made out of hollow plastic.
Wood or Bamboo – available in all but the smallest and jumbo sizes. Lightweight and very good on your hands. Do avoid the smallest sizes with blunt points when you are working with thin yarns, as they do not pass easily through stitches.
I choose a hook depending on which fibre I want to crochet with. Fine steel hooks are perfect for crocheting fine intricate lace, like doilies and are perfect for working with fine cotton.
I always found wooden hooks perfect for working with alpaca yarns, mohair and silk,  and aluminium ones for wool, cottons and most other fibres.
Do apologise for the scratches on my hands, this is how my cats show me they love me 😛
Anna x