February is jam packed with some amazing events and pattern releases.
I'm excited to share with you, not just one but two, brand new patterns. They are definitely the cutest I've designed so far, so much so I almost lost them before getting a photograph of them as my girlies have already put dibs on the one they want.
Join me this February for a spot of crochet...
Who's going to have a guess at what they are? Sneak peak at two brand new crochet patterns to be released February 2017. I may even do a couple of custom orders, I love making them that much. Who'd like one?
Visit me Etsy shop to view my full range of patterns.
I have a busy month ahead of me, I'm looking forward to meeting some more amazingly creative people and hearing all your feedback. Dont forget to leave me a comment so I know you're listening.
Like with anything new you try confidence comes with time and practice. If you have the right instructor and you practice enough, you’re sure to be able to crochet with confidence. Easier said than done, right?!
Whether you’ve never picked up a hook before or you’re just starting out and feeling overwhelmed, I hope you find this post useful. The same also goes for seasoned crocheters in need of a confidence boost. With the right guidance, I believe, anyone can give crochet a go.
Where do you start?
With so many books, YouTube videos and creative workshops out there, which one do you choose? The answer is, the one that is right for you. So, which one is right for you?
I, like many of my students, prefer to learn from a real person, right there in front of me, guiding and encouraging me and telling me where I’m going wrong. Others are happy to sit at home and teach themselves via the internet, YouTube or trawl through books for the most appropriate tutorial for their learning style.
So, which type of learner are you?
Whichever way you learn, confidence cannot be taught. Confidence comes from within. I taught my first workshop of the year the other day, I was joined by four ladies who lacked confidence with crochet. Almost all of them had had a go at crochet before but just couldn't quite get to grips with it. This is where I came in.
How to feel Confident!
Simply, take baby steps, practice lots (and lots, and lots), ask for help, experiment with materials and take your time. You are not going to be crocheting master pieces on your first try and yes, no doubt, there will be lots of frogging, yay, new word… frogging means pulling your work out… Not your hair out!
I would start by learning the stitches, finding a comfortable way to hold your hook and yarn and relax. Simple squares work better than long continuous rows as you will gain more of a sense of accomplishment. One of the worst things you could do is start an elaborate project to then become bored of the repeat. Squares allow you to play around with colours and textures easily and they can then be joined together to make a blanket or cushion cover for example.
Within my Introduction to Crochet workshops I always begin by explaining that everyone's crochet journey is different. Some struggle to grasp the basics in the early stages (I know it took my Granny a while to teach me those many years ago) and others pick things up very easily, just like Tracey who attended my January Introduction to Crochet Workshop. Within the three hour session Tracey mastered the chain stitch, double crochet, treble crochet, double treble as well as experimenting with the shell stitch.
"But I just can't seem to get it. I don't think crochet is for me!"
The beauty of crochet is that it only requires two things to begin, a hook and some yarn. Ok, so patience, willingness to learn, creativity, and an interest to create with yarn are also required but if you’re reading this then you’re almost there! Of course, the right teacher also helps!
Often, the yarn or hook type you choose can determine whether your first experience of crochet is a success or not. The best way to start is to purchase a value ball of yarn and a basic crochet hook. Choosing a yarn that is too textured or the wrong colour can prove to be a nightmare. For instace, never choose a dark coloured yarn whilst you're practising as you will struggle to see the stitches. These challenges may be what are holding you back from feeling confident and moving forward with your crochet journey. I use double knit (DK) acrylic yarn in my beginners classes and a 4mm crochet hook. Stylecraft yarn is a great yarn option as it comes in a huge range of colours, I buy mine from Knitworking in Gedling but you can also buy online.
Did you know?
Remember, learning to crochet is a journey and there will be bumps along the way. Take regular breaks, stretch your shoulders, wriggle your fingers and enjoy. Once you find a comfortable way of holding your hook and yarn, which is often the hardest thing to master, you'll be away. Start small and your confidence will grow. Jumping in at the dead end can only mean disaster!
I run a monthly Crochet Clinic which is a great place to gain support when you're struggling, be inspired by others and crochet in a social environment. If you're not local to Nottingham then why not see what craft groups are running in your area. Knit and Natter, Craft and Chat, Stitch and Bitch are just a few terms you could pop into a Google search.
Be confident my lovelies, you can do this! Happy Crocheting!
Curious about crochet!
Curious? Who’s Curious? I am. On Saturday I joined the lovely ladies over at Curious for my first crochet workshop of the new season.
If you haven’t heard about Curious then you’re in for a treat. Curious? Is the working studio of artists and makers Sarah Manton (theSarahManton), Sarah Sewell (Wildgoose Designs) and Jess Kemp (Jakinthegreen). The girls have 3 fantastic units in the newly renovated Sneinton Market avenues in Nottingham. One is their shared studio space and the other two are where they invite local artists and talented folk to run creative workshops.
This is where I come in. I feel so privileged to have been invited to run my crochet workshops at this wonderful location. Just like my own business Curious is a brand new venture and it’s so exciting to be joining their collaboration from the very start.
Saturday saw my first crochet workshop back after months of prep and launch mayhem. I kicked started my workshops with an Introduction to Crochet class. I was joined by four talented ladies who all had their own stories to tell about their crochet journeys so far, one of which was Curious' Jess Kemp herself.
Beginners crochet workshops are my favourite because students come in feeling lost and go away with the skills and confidence to tackle their crochet desires. In this session we covered holding the hook and yarn, creating a foundation chain, double crochet, treble crochet and then moved onto producing a couple of granny squares. Not bad for a 2.5 hour workshop, oh I almost forget we learnt how to change colour too!
Here's a picture summery of our day...
I bloomin’ love to teach and hope to see some of you soon at my future workshops and events.
So what’s coming up?
I have a Crochet Squares workshop in October, Crochet Colourwork in November and then I am working on a special Christmas themed workshop for December. All of these workshops are great for experienced beginners and by experienced beginners I mean anyone that knows how to hold their hook and yarn and produce the basic stitches… Is that you?
If you’re in to crochet but not keen on joining a scheduled crochet workshop then why not pop along to Crochet Clinic on the first Wednesday of the month. Crochet Clinic is a drop in social session suitable for anyone wanting a bit of guidance or inspiration, plus there’s tea and cake on tap.
Thanks for reading my lovelies. Tatar for now.
Hi, I'm April.
Crochet designer and tutor based in Nottingham.