<![CDATA[Crochet and chill - Blog]]>Fri, 11 Mar 2016 02:24:13 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[My first blanket]]>Thu, 10 Mar 2016 23:01:31 GMThttp://www.crochetandchill.com/blog/my-first-blanketI'm finding it difficult getting the balance between crocheting and blogging about it with the continued interrupted evenings, using my spare time to crochet a number of WIPs instead. I am aware my blog is dying a slow death if I don't update soon, so here it is - my first blanket, styled artfully by the recipient in her home with her own props.
I told my friend that I wanted to make her something for the home, and she chose the colour duck egg blue, which I got in Stylecraft chunky acrylic. I had planned to make a rug, but what I produced was far too small and simply didn't work. So I went through my crochet book and found the easiest complicated pattern possible, which turned out to be "fans and arches", and voila, this blanket was born.

Like I mentioned earlier, the project took me over a year, as I worked on it on and off, not really knowing how big it would be at the end. It even went on holiday to Italy with me, so if it had a label it would have to say "handmade in the UK and Italy" - how fancy!

The completed product is big enough to cover the laps of two people side by side. It is a bit narrower than I would like, but I learned a lot doing this blanket, about tension and borders in particular. I've promised the friend another
crochet gift, and while I'm really proud of my efforts, the next project will be on a smaller scale I think!
<![CDATA[Christmas crochet gifts]]>Sat, 09 Jan 2016 23:52:56 GMThttp://www.crochetandchill.com/blog/christmas-crochet-giftsPicture
A bit of a late post, since tis no longer the season, but I felt these gifts deserved a showing off.

The CW got me this puntastic canvas bag from notonthehighstreet, as well as this A-Z of crochet techniques, which has good descriptions as well as step-by-step photos to illustrate them.

Meanwhile, a very good friend gave me a Clover stitch counter, Clover yarn cutter and Pom Pom maker (photo below) - I'm geekily very excited about using them! So far I've been using the yarn cutter but I've yet to try the other two gifts. I see Pom Pom hats in my future...

In other news, we went on our very first house viewing today. Not the house of our dreams, required much more doing up than the pictures had suggested, but not completely ruled out yet. Fortunately we aren't in a huge rush yet, but fingers crossed the market wakes up again soon.

<![CDATA[Catching up, hopefully]]>Fri, 08 Jan 2016 21:29:19 GMThttp://www.crochetandchill.com/blog/catching-up-hopefullyPicture
An 8-month-old baby's sleep regression is severely hampering my crochet and chilling time, and consequently the progression of this blog...

I'm hoping the phase passes soon because the first of my Christmas orders from Deramores ​arrived today, which means I can start on some of the smaller projects I have planned. (The Crochet Widower is complaining that I need to finish something before I buy more wool.)

The difficulty is that I'm struggling to tear myself away from my growing hearts blanket. It's at the stage where it is starting to look like a blanket rather than just some random colours, which is encouraging, but is realistically quite a few months' more work, especially if the baby has forgotten how to sleep.

So the stash I've bought is all Stylecraft Special DK acrylic (pictured below) which people seem to rave about (and was in a £1 a ball sale). However, having only worked with the more expensive merino wool so far, the balls don't feel as soft. Maybe they will soften up once made into something and washed - anyone know?

Generally, I'm trying to decide how much of my personal life should go in this blog. It isn't a very exciting life, but then again crochet is hardly the most exciting subject unless you're deep into this subculture (what CW called it, making it sound much more subversive than it actually is!).

Right, both babies are asleep and fingers crossed they will stay that way tonight. I went to bed at 7.30pm last night because I was exhausted after a trying week of poor sleeping, which was great for recuperating but not so good for the neglected crochet.

Tonight, I hope to be crocheting and chilling in front of a new TV series, or a film... maybe Force Majeure?

<![CDATA[Mastering the magic ring]]>Mon, 04 Jan 2016 23:13:22 GMThttp://www.crochetandchill.com/blog/mastering-the-magic-ringPicture
Ok I exaggerate, I haven't quite mastered the magic ring yet, but following this tutorial I have achieved it, finally.

I should get a chance to practise it when making the many baby hats I plan to make this year. The next 12 months promise to yield a bumper crop of babies among my friends, which is very exciting, but as well as for them, I would quite like to make some hats for premature babies for a local hospital, I think.

Tonight, I am crocheting and chilling in front of The Bridge season 3 finale.

<![CDATA[Links to unwind with: 3 Jan 2016]]>Sun, 03 Jan 2016 21:28:16 GMThttp://www.crochetandchill.com/blog/links-to-unwind-with-3-jan-2016
  • 6 ways to improve your product photography from Mollie Makes. Part of this blog will be to learn to take better photos and I've used this for some initial tips.

  • I don't have time to do a crochet-along (CAL) this year but for those that do, I thought this one from Keep Calm and Crochet On UK looked interesting. Loving the different shades of blue yarn.

  • Can't decide on colours for your next crochet blanket? I spent hours on this site admiring the beautiful colour palettes. 

  • This crochet needle case is definitely on my to-do list! Looks easy enough and will help keep my bits and bobs organised.
<![CDATA[New Year, new goals]]>Fri, 01 Jan 2016 23:44:39 GMThttp://www.crochetandchill.com/blog/new-year-new-goalsPicture
Last year, my vague attempts at crochet finally seemed to click into place and I really started to enjoy it. Some - my husband, mainly - would even say obsessively so. (Sorry, Crochet Widower.)

This is why the beginning of 2016 marks the start of my official (blogging) adventures in all things crochet. I'll start by recapping my crochet achievements in 2015. 

First of all, I finally finished a blanket that I'd promised to make as a present for one of my very crafty friends.

​It was initially meant to be a rug but I struggled to crochet into the round so I ended up with a rectangular blanket. It took 14 months for me to make (things like being pregnant and having a baby also happened in that time) so it definitely felt like a labour of love.

This spurred me on to make another present, for Christmas - a pouf. This was a new experience, working with much larger T-shirt yarn and a much larger hook. However, because the stitches were bigger, I finally understood how to count them and how to crochet in the round. This led to...

HATS. For years I have been failing at making hats. They would always turn out absolutely tiny. But finally, I learned how to increase the size and it has been a revelation. I want to make so many more, but so far I've made two baby hats (one for my own daughter and one for a friend's son). I foresee more hats in my 2016 future.

Meanwhile, I have a hearts blanket (the pic at the top of this post) that is my current work in progress. I'm making it from wool my Crochet Widower bought me for our seven-year wedding anniversary this year.

I've got a million more projects in my head and hope to at least get through some of them this year, documenting my progress right here.