Beginners guide to crochet!

I thought I would put together a beginners guide to crochet for anyone looking to pick up the hobby.

What you’ll need: 

– Hooks

I recommend getting a set of hooks as you’ll never know what size yarn you’ll pick up, these soft grip starter sets on amazon are amazing and so affordable. They usually come with some other goodies which I’ll list below too.
However if you’re looking to just pick up one hook for now, I recommend a 4mm one as this is pretty much the standard for most yarn.

– Yarn

Capture

You’ll want to head down to your local crafts store or have a shop online (I made a list of the places I buy yarn from here). It’s important to have a yarn which matches your hook size, you can usually find the size of hook you’ll need on the size of the packaging.

– Stitch Markers 

When I first started crocheting I used markers a lot so I did not lose my place / could understand where the beginning of a row was. Once you get the hang of counting you may not need them but they always come in handy for some more difficult projects!

– A notepad

This is really good for helping you count how many rows or stitches you do by marking them in notebook. Also if you’re working from a pattern and want to make notes (especially if you’re deciding to change the pattern slightly).

– Scissors 

A simple thing that most people have in their home, but you might want to treat yourself to a gorgeous pair of crafting scissors. I love these ones on Amazon.

– Needles

If you haven’t started yet you might be wondering why needles? You’ll need blunt needles to be able to sew in the ends of your work – you can try and do this without a needle but it’ll be time consuming.

Nice to haves: 

– Measuring Tape

– Thread ruler

– Crafts storage

Best ways to learn: 

– Beginners books (I own all of the books below)

– YouTubers I recommend

Some basic tips and tricks:

– Try a Granny Square first

– Don’t fret if your first try is unsuccessful

  • My first few grannies squares looked really bad. They were twisted and every stitch was a different tension. Do not give up – keep making them and watch your progress (I saved my first ever squares to see how far I’d come)

– The more you redo the better you’ll get

  • Similar to the last point, it’s so easy to undo and redo your work with crochet, you simply pull your yarn. However it’s also nice to see your progress so you might not want to undo every single mistake.

– Tension is key

  • It will take a while before you find your perfect tension, most people begin crocheting with their tension quite tight, however I found that the loser the better.

– Try not to lose count

– Find a way to hold your yarn that’s comfortable for you

  • There are so many tutorials which tell you how to hold your yarn, I tried all of these but in the end found a way which worked for me. You might find that the way someone recommends you to be perfect, or you might want to experiment and find a comfortable solution.

– Learn what the ‘top’ of a stitch looks like

  • Once you move onto a second row of any project you’ll be more than likely stitching into the top of a stitch, so it’s worth making sure you recognise what the top of a stitch looks like.

– Challenge yourself

– Do not give up! 

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How many of you are going to try Crocheting? And how many of you have stories to tell of your first time learning to Crochet?

I also started an Instagram specifically for my Crochet/Cross Stitch, you can follow me here on Stitches In Wonderland.

-Amy x

Holly & Hazel – Review

 

 

 


Title: Hazel and Holly

Author: 
Sara C. Snider
Publisher: 
Double Beast Publishing
Genre: New Adult, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Release Date: May 16 2019
Rating: 

 

 

 

So I have a confession, I actually started reading this quite some time ago but I had so much going on with work I stopped and suddenly picked it back up. I was instantly hooked on the book once again and binged the last 2/3’s quite quickly.

Here is the synopsis pulled from Netgalley:

Nestled within an enchanted forest is the Grove, a community where witches and warlocks practice natural magic, brew mystical potions, and lock their cellars against beer thieving gnomes. Life is quiet and uneventful. Well, except when Hazel’s long-lost father uses necromancy to trap her dead mother’s soul.

That simply won’t do. Necromancy is forbidden in the Grove, and for good reason too. Nobody wants filthy corpses shambling around, mussing up one’s garden. Hazel is determined to find her father and undo his treachery.

But despite Hazel’s plans of becoming a one-woman army, she can’t do everything alone. It’s not until wild sister Holly convinces her to leave the house for once and go to a party that Hazel finds a pair of unlikely allies in two bickering warlock brothers.

Together, the four of them go on a journey that takes them out of the Grove and into a world where necromancy reigns and the dead won’t respectfully stay in the grave. Hazel will do whatever it takes to stop her father and save her mother’s soul. Even if it means turning to necromancy. Even if it means losing her friends. Because they would never help a necromancer. Would they?

Continue reading “Holly & Hazel – Review”

I’m back!

Hey all,

I took a small break and managed to actually take myself off on holiday, this was very much needed but I am refreshed and back!

I haven’t really read or created anything over the past month as I’ve been catching up on other things *cough*…video games! However I do have a couple of Disney trip announcements.

I will be heading to Disneyland Paris in September for Jungle season AND we are there for the 100 character annual pass event! The event looks amazing and I am sure to be vlogging it over on my channel here

Myself and Zoe will also be heading to Disneyland Paris again for the Christmas season in November, which I am super excited for as I’ve been for the Christmas season for the last 2 years now.

Right, now I will get some new content scheduled for you!

-Amy x

Beautiful Virus Shawl

I have finished another crochet project which is super rare for me to do so many in such a short space of time, the Easter weekend was fairly busy for us however on Bank Holiday Monday I decided to sit down and finish a shawl I started the week before. Surprisingly this although this pattern looks very complicated, it didn’t take long at all and I think if you know how to do the basic double/triple crochet you will be able to do this fine.

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The yarn I have used it the Cotton Kings Twirl from Hobbii (which I absolutely adored working with and will be getting more) and as you can see the gradient is absolutely beautiful. I only used one ball of yarn (it comes in 800 M length). I ended up with a tiny bit of left over, but not enough to do the last round unfortunately however I think it looks good regardless.

The tutorial I used was Bella Coco’s video tutorial which was super helpful and really easy to stitch along – I will say the virus shawl looks more complicated than it actually is. Once you’ve done around 2 – 3 rounds of the pattern you’ll pick it up really easily.

I highly recommend doing this in a light lacey yarn as it gives such a delicate effect – however it does become a little fiddly to work with at it’s multiple strands of yarn woven together.

Have you been working on any handmade projects recently?

-Amy x

Ever Alice – Review

 

Title: Ever Alice
Author: 
H.J Ramsay
Publisher: 
Red Rogue Press
Genre: Fantasy, Teens & YA, Sci-Fi
Release Date: August 1st 2019
Rating:

 

 

 

If you know me personally you would know that Alice in Wonderland is one of my all time favourite books,  I grew up watching the Disney version of the film over and over again. In fact I know my parents have a VHS of me somewhere singing ‘All the Flowers’ proudly in the front room for the whole family.

When I saw that Ever Alice was available on Netgalley to review I jumped at the chance,  it sounded like a mixture of the world I once knew as a child mixed with the harsh realities of mental health. By now if you’ve been reading my blog you will know that I love a good dark Fantasy fiction, especially tales with a twist.

Here is the synopsis pulled from Netgalley:

Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.

I have now finished reading Ever Alice and my review is below, there will be a few spoilers so be warned.

Continue reading “Ever Alice – Review”

Finale – Review


 

Title: Finale
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: 9th May 2019
Rating:

 

 

 

The Caraval series has had me gripped ever since I sat down to read the first book, I was absorbed and fell in love with the fantastical world that was presented to me. I also fancy the pants off of Dante, but that’s a tale for another day…

I can say now that Finale did not disappoint. From the first page I was just as hooked as I was when I read both Caraval and Legendary, I actually managed to read it in just two sittings.

There will be light spoilers in this review, so please stop reading now if you want to avoid those. I will try and talk about the book as much as possible without revealing too much.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:

“Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything…”

Continue reading “Finale – Review”

Simple Baby Blanket

I recently finished another crochet project and this time I did a simple granny square baby blanket. I am an aunt again so I thought I would make a blanket which felt like Easter and was also super cute – luckily I have so much yarn I didn’t have to purchase anything new for this, I simply just used some Stylecraft yarn I already had.

For this I did a simple granny square and then every 2 rows I changed colour, so the blanket is a complete square. I then finished it with a double crochet (UK) border 🙂

Let me know what you think in the comments below and also let me know what projects you’re currently working on.

-Amy x