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

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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

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

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

Glitter Granny Square Blanket

I am back with another finished project, I am on a role at the moment! However I have been working on this blanket for well over a year and a delay was caused by the place I buy my yarn not having it in stock for a very, very long time.

But huzzah, here is my finished pastel glitter granny square blanket! I used baby yarn as it’s the softest and all the colours used has a hint of glitter to it. I absolutely love how this blanket turned out, even if it did almost kill me in the process.

Granny Blanket

I am a left handed crocheter so I struggled picking up my first granny square without it twisting, but if you’re looking for a good tutorial I recommend checking out Bella Coco, who does right and left handed variants of all of her stitches! Here is her YouTube and the beginners granny square tutorial.

I also recommend using a stitch which allows you to continuously add each granny square, as I chose the option of adding one granny square at a time…it’s safe to say I never want to use this process again!

What do you think of this blanket? I just finished it in time for Easter too and the colours are very Eastery!

You can follow me on Instagram for more of my crochet updates as I am working on a project too.

What projects are you working on right now?

-Amy x

Deramores – Winter Sale Haul!

I am currently trying to use up some of my most colourful yarn by creating a cluster stitch blanket – you can see the the pictures on my Instagram.

Because I’m now using up my yarn quite quickly I thought I would have a little shop in the Winter sale on the Deramores website, you might see a theme with my yarn.

I ADORE ombre yarn and I love yarn with a bit of glitter (as you can probably tell). I also picked up my first yarn cakes, both have a beautiful hue. I went for more green/blue yarns as I tend to steer towards reds or pinks usually, but I thought I’d buy some which aren’t my usual to challenge myself. One day I’ll work with some darker yarn…

Now I just need to think up what to make with the bits I’ve just purchased! If you have any ideas, please let me know. I love making gifts for other people so normally I make things and then pass them on to friends and family.

Oh, I will one day finish my granny square blanket but I’m still waiting on Hobbycraft to restock the white I need!

Did you purchase any yarn in the holiday sales? Let me know below!

-Amy x

 

Where can I buy yarn and thread?

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a lovely time during your holidays.

Today’s blog is based on a question I get a lot and to be honest there are so many decent yarn/thread vendors online now you can buy most of the well-known brands from any crafting shop online.

I have A LOT of yarn, I have two storage units full of yarn of different sizes and boxes of silks and threads, colours and quality. So I thought I would share some of my top shops to buy yarn for those of you who live in the UK this will be easier as that is where I am based and I buy my yarn from UK shops mainly, besides a few etsy store exceptions.

Hobbycraft – I use a lot of the Hobbycraft yarn, I highly recommend their baby brilliance yarn if you’re looking to make a really soft blanket. I made this giant granny square blanket with the Baby Prints 4mm yarn in this purple ombre hue. I’ve also made two baby blankets for relatives using the same baby brilliance brand.

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Deramores – this website is great if you’re looking for specific brands, they stock various popular brands and have their own too. I use their Stylecraft range quite often and I’m currently using 10 different colours to create a giant rainbow blanket (using a cluster stitch) – hopefully I’ll finish this before 2019 ends…

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Woolwarehouse – this is another website which stocks a range of branded yarn, and also they have some of the best tools, including a blocking board which is great if you are stitching squares and you want to keep them flat!

SewandSo –  I have been using this online store for the longest time, ever since I began cross stitching 3 years ago. They’re great for cross stitching supplies and recently I have began buying yarn from here too. If you are based in the UK, their delivery is so quick! I cross stitched the below using threads from here.

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Silks4u – this is an etsy shop with some of the finest and highest quality silks you can get. The only catch is that the seller is based in Australia so it’s a short wait for your product but it’s 100% worth it! Some of the dyes and ombre colours the seller uses are phenomenal, and trust me when I say you get so much for your money. Below the Fries and Guys are both stitched in an ombre hank I ordered.

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Where do you purchase your yarns, threads and silks from? I would love to know more shops available to me and add to my addition even more!

-Amy x

 

What’s in my crochet bag?

I really like the blog posts where people talk about what is in their handbags, however I thought I would do something similar but with a crafting twist and talk about what is in my crochet bag!

I am currently working on a blanket for my sister, which I will admit I have been working on for quite some time…but I will get it done before Christmas I swear!

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So currently in my crochet bag (which is a really cute tote bag I received for Christmas last year!) there is a huge stack of granny squares in different colours, I think it was around 8 of each. Half of the blanket which has already been crocheted together, a ball of white yarn and 3 crochet hooks in the size 4mm.

All of the yarn I’m using here is laced with glitter and it’s super soft (these are from the Baby Brilliance yarn collection from Hobbycraft and they are 3 for 2), I highly recommend using baby yarn for all of your blanket projects for ultimate comfort.

It’s quite a small crochet bag, but I like to keep one project in my bag at a time so I won’t stray and start working on more projects at once…although that doesn’t always work.

Do you crochet? What are you currently working on?

-Amy x