Crochet Learn It. Love It. Book Review

I received Crochet Learn It. Love It. By Tracey Todhunter to review. As most of my readers already know I love crochet, so I couldn’t wait to review this book. I have to say before I explain any further, if you are looking for a comprehensive beginners guide to crochet then this is definitely it!

Crochet Learn It. Love It

Crochet Learn It. Love It.

The book contains a mix of essential crochet skills, patterns, tricks and tips to ease you into a life of learning and loving crochet!

Chapter 1 – Essential Skills

Essential Skills covers everything you need to know starting with different yarn types and weight. I was pleased to see a Ball Band explanation, something I haven’t seen anywhere else before. With different types of hooks available, basic accessories and even luxury accessories explained, any beginner is sure to feel knowledgeable.

Essential Crochet Skills

This handy book shows you all the essentials from holding and tensioning the yarn via various methods. It also shows you how to hold the hook, make a slip knot, foundation chain, count chains, work into chains and fasten off. All explained in great detail, accompanied by photos making it easy for any beginner to learn Crochet.

Basic Stitches

There is a great guide to basic stitches which will help you get started on most projects. To make this easier there is a full explanation on how to understand crochet stitches to help you make sense of your work and pick up on any mistakes, a huge help for any beginner. I remember looking at my first crochet attempts and having no idea what I was looking at or if it was correct. This book puts your mind at ease as you learn making it much more enjoyable.

Basic Stitches

Confidence Building

Crochet Learn It. Love It makes reading patterns and charts a breeze and explains measuring AND adjusting your tension! From joining yarn to working neat stripes, stripes with a difference and shaping your work, you’ll feel like a pro in no time.

You’ll find yourself knowing how to finish your work, different blocking methods, tapestry needle stitches, crocheted, slip stitch and conceal crocheted seams enhancing your work. I’ve been crocheting at least 2 years now and I had already learned so much from this book, without even passing this first section!

Quick Start Projects

There are several quick start projects throughout the book. These consist of quick and easy patterns which require little yarn. Each project states the finished size and tension along with the items you’ll need. These are items such as yarns, crochet hook sizes, yarn needles, buttons etc.

There is also a list of abbreviations and techniques used in the pattern along with the page no within the book to help you with stitches. Following pattern notes you can find the pattern itself with photo’s to guide you. Compared to other crochet books I’ve read I genuinely felt that I could try each project. This would have been perfect when I first started out. With such great explanations and notes you are filled with confidence to complete each project. I’ll definitely be making a few of these once I’m done with my current Crochet Projects!

Chapter 2 – Working In The Round

Working In The Round

Moving on to the second section you quickly learn how to work in the round. Learn the foundation ring, magic ring and finger wrap methods to start. This section will quickly show you how to crochet circles and spirals along with a gorgeous ‘sun in the center’ pattern to show off your new crochet skills!

Sun In Circle

Blocks and motifs are great for making various pieces and are also worked in the round. This books explains how to make a plain granny square block, granny motif, granny triangles and granny hexagons. These are useful from cushion covers, blankets, cardigans and more. You will also learn to crochet a circle or flower in a square. There’s a lovely pattern at the end of this section for a granny square cushion similar to the one I recently made too.

Granny Triangle

I love granny squares as they are nice and easy but I decided to try a granny triangle for the first time. I found the pattern easy to follow and can now tick it off my list of things to learn!

Granny Triangle

Learning tubular crochet can make things quite fun. Luckily this book makes it simple to learn with some fab patterns to go with it! This handy guide makes crocheting a beanie or Amigurumi fox a piece of cake

Chapter 3 -Stitch Patterns

Stitch variations really can change crochet, from working into just a front or back loop, extended stitches and alternate loops, this book covers it all. This is something I hadn’t found in my other books either and Tracey Todhunter explains it all so well.

Stitch Patterns

I was surprised to find so many beautiful stitches and patterns to go with each stitch enabling you to create impressive crocheted pieces instantly! It really is quite an extensive list for a beginners guide and will no doubt make falling in love much easier.

Chapter 4 – Finishing Touches

Finishing touches such as buttons, holes, edging stitches and more are explained in great details with some fantastic techniques shared. Whether finishing crochet work or adding a touch of crochet to a pillowcase or similar, you can use these finishing touches to pretty up just about anything!

Finishing Touches

Each section is bursting with enough crochet knowledge that you feel confident taking on new projects. I may not be a complete beginner but I still learned a good few tips and stitches. The patterns throughout are simple to follow and will have you falling in love with crochet in no time!

Chapter 5 – Taking Your Skills Further

The Final chapter shows you a few more advanced skills such as tunisian, broomstick and hairpin crochet. I will be attempting the Tunisian at some point as this guide looks much easier than other’s I’ve looked at. Detailed step by step photos with explanations make each technique seem doable.

Taking Your Skills Further

A Fantastic Guide To Crochet

Honestly, Crochet Learn It. Love It. is a fantastic guide to crochet and makes it so easy to learn, you really will love it! You can learn so much from this fab little book and I know I’ll be using it for reference in future. There are a good few stitches in the book I’ve yet to try. I can’t wait to speed through my current projects and try them.

Winter Wonderland Weekend Box Review

We received a Winter Wonderland Weekend Box to review last week! We’ve worked with Weekend Box reviewing their fantastic craft boxes before and couldn’t wait to try the Winter Wonderland box.

Winter Wonderland Weekend Box

Weekend Box

Each Weekend Box comes with 4 themed STEAM activities along with a booklet of activities and instructions. Each box also comes with a set of stickers for your booklet for each activity as well as fun character sticker cards.

Winter Wonderland Weekend Box

Winter Wonderland Weekend Box

The Winter Wonderland theme comes with some really cool and fun activities. The booklet is full of fun activities like word searches, pictures to colour, stories to complete as well as fun facts and jokes. There are also instructions for each activity in the booklet. Everything you need comes in the activity packs apart from a few items you will already have like pencils, scissors etc.

Pop Up Penguins Craft

The first activity we chose to do was this fun and simple pop-up penguin craft. Male penguins find the smoothest, shiniest pebble and places it in a females nest as a ‘proposal’.

Making pop up penguins

This fun activity involved making 2 penguins that pop up, one presenting the other with a smooth, shiny white stone provided in the pack. We began by cutting out 2 penguin shapes, penguin feet & beaks. Then we stuck the feet on to the bottom of the penguins then made a paper spring as instructions and stuck the head down on to it. We then added the eyes and beaks.

pop up penguin craft

This was a lovely, quick activity that only took 10 minutes and the girls loved making them!

Icy Tea light Holder

Next we made an Icy tea light holder, another really easy but satisfying activity! Using the balloon provided we filled it up with water and froze it for a few hours. We then cut the balloon off, broke a hole in the top, let out the water. We then lit the tea light and popped it inside which created a gorgeous effect!

Icy tea light holder

Rocky Road Snow Bites

rocky road  snowbites

A quick and tasty activity like this onev is perfect at the weekend! We simple melted chocolate buttons, mixed in crushed biscuits and marshmallows, sprinkled with icing sugar and let them set in the fridge for half an hour.

Rocky road snow bites

We only managed to make two rocky road snow bites but they were delicious! We’ll be making these again ourselves with enough for everyone!

Salted Snowflake

Salted snowflakes

Making Salted snowflakes was quite fun but a little messy! We traded the snowflakes with a glitter glue pen, let it dry slightly, sprinkled it with salt then dropped watercolour paint onto it and let it dry. It created a gorgeous colourful, sparkly effect.

salted snowflakes

Try A Weekend Box

 Use code SCBR199 and pay just £1 P&P to receive your first box free!

Second Crochet Project Update

Here’s a second crochet project update, you can read the last one here. I set myself a goal of 10 projects to complete this year and have been working my way through them quicker than I thought I would.

Second Crochet Project Update

Second Crochet Project Update

I’ve managed another 2 projects on the Crochet To-do list leaving just 6 left. Thankfully a second list has begun as I can’t see this keeping me occupied all year after all, haha!

Cushion

Admittedly the ‘Cushion for me’ was actually for Martyn! I wanted to make it as a surprise using some of his mums left over wool he gave me at Christmas. I didn’t use a pattern thinking a simple granny square design would suffice. I’ve never made a cushion before but decided to just give it a go.

Granny square cushion

I used blues as it is Martyn’s colour, particularly the middle and grey goes quite nicely in between. As I was using scraps I had to work out a pattern before I started. I made the squares as two pieces then stitched them together leaving one side open to insert the cushion.

Blue and Grey Granny Square Cushion

I was quite impressed with my stitching on this cushion. I added a short panel on one side like on pillow cases so the base of the cushion didn’t poke out. I then added two star buttons to help keep it shut. This means the cover can be taken off to wash and dry.

Unicorn For Izzy

Next I started on a Unicorn for Izzy. I used a pattern for this but with Izzy’s guidance we changed a few things!

The pieces were all quite easy to make. Although my stitching still needs a little improvement with Amigurumi patterns it went together quite easily!

Crochet unicorn

It didn’t take long at all to stitch everything together and see a unicorn slowly appear.

Unicorn with legs

Apart from the glitter wool (never again! Ouch) I quite enjoyed making Izzy’s unicorn. Although I did get a little bored making so many curlicues.

Crochet Unicorn

Luckily Izzy decided we needed less curlicues and rather than two rows all the way down the head she opted to spread them out more like hair. Phew!

Crochet Unicorn

Next Make

I decided my next make will be the Grumpy care bear for Hannah as I have all the yarn I need for it and it looks like another quick make!

Crochet Projects Update 1

A Crochet Projects update was needed this week as I’ve been pretty busy! Izzy has been quite poorly this week so I’ve spent a lot of time cuddled up with her. She’s been fairly sleep but clingy so we’ve been watching a film and I’ve sneaked in some crocheting.

Crochet Projects Update 1

Crochet Projects Update – First Make

I started off with a blue Tulip for Checka, a fairly quick make. The pattern was quite easy to follow too. This was the first time I was adding a stem and then sewing a leaf onto it.

Originally, I thought it would be much trickier, especially the sewing. I was quite pleased with the results in the end I noticed an improvement in my tension and sewing. I was hoping setting myself 10 crochet projects would help me improve and learn more and so far it seems to be working well.

Second Make

Having completed the Tulip I decided to make the pig next. Checka’s daughter, Autumn, is quite poorly with Shingles and bored having a few weeks off school/ I thought it might cheer her up so I posted it off today.

Never having made an animal before I was excited to see how I got on and to order more crochet supplies and to see how safety eyes worked too. Having found a pattern Autumn was happy with, we made a few tweaks to create Piggy Jr. Autumn already has a Piggy and wanted a son for him so we decided to make a blue dummy too!

I didn’t quite get his ears right so he has a bit of a Dobby the house elf look about him. He also seems to have inherited my Scoliosis and even curves to the left like me! We love Piggy Jr though even with his imperfections.

Current Make

Unicorn Head

Izzy has also been rather poorly this week so I have begun making her unicorn. So far the head is complete and I am about to begin the body. I needed more stuffing though so I ordered 2 bags and a few more yarn colours so I can start the Donkey, Jesus for Martyn and the Grumpy Care Bear for Hannah next.

10 Crochet Projects For 2019

I’ve got 10 Crochet projects I want to complete throughout 2019. I set myself 6 goals this year and one is to continue learning to crochet. I figured the best way to ensure that happens is to set myself 10 Crochet Projects for 2019.

10 crochet projects for 2019

My confidence has grown a lot over the last year when it comes to crochet. I’ve stopped panicking it’s beyond me and giving most patterns a go, knowing if I mess up I can simply start again.

10 Crochet Projects

1. A Tulip – This is for Checka as she kindly bought me new crochet hooks enabling me to crochet easier and with less pain!

2. Grumpy Care Bear – This is for Hannah as she loves Care Bears and when I spotted the patterns I just knew I had to try and make one for her.

3. A blanket – There are so many gorgeous patterns though, it’s going to be tough to pick one.

4. Dobby – Eva loves Harry Potter and she loves Dobby, I want to make her a Dobby of her own and a mini sock to go with him.

5. A cushion – This will be for me, our sofa is horribly uncomfortable so a few extra cushions should help and keep me busy.

6. A unicorn – OK maybe a few of mini unicorns for my girls and one for one of Checka’s daughters too.

7. A pig – Another one for Checka as one of her daughters loves pigs!

8. An aeroplane – I spotted a pattern for an aeroplane and love it. I want to create more items for boys and the first will go to Checka’s little boy.

9. Jesus – Martyn’s choice, I’ve yet to attempt people so this will be a fun challenge!

10. Finally, a Donkey – Again for Martyn as he loves them.

A Fun Challenge

I’m really looking forward to challenging myself over the coming year with my 10 crochet goals. Crochet has become quite a comfort for me, on my bad days I can still feel like I’m achieving something. Each make on the list is different and different levels of difficulty and I know I’ll learn a lot along the way.

If I finish all 10 projects with time to spare then I’ll probably try to fit a few more in too!

Do you have any crochet goals this year?

Part 2 – Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan

Part 2 of my Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan is finally here! Yes, that’s right, after far too long, I finally finished! You may remember Part 1 when Ritohobby kindly sent me some of their gorgeous Infinity Hearts Rose 8/4 yearn to create this cardigan with. 

Purple Crocheted Summer Caridgan Using Ritohobby Yarn

What Took Me So Long?

I loved this project so much but being a much thinner yarn and using the purple 3mm hook began to cause excruciating hand pain. After just 5 minutes of crocheting I’d begin getting sharp pains and after 10-15 minutes, I just couldn’t continue. This led to me crocheting in very small spurts and not overly looking forward to it. I did manage to slowly make progress, but each sleeve took a month.

Part 2 - Purple Crocheted Cardigan

Part 2 

I began getting quite stressed about the delay to part two of my post which unfortunately Checka heard all about! After getting fed up with my moaning she kindly treated me to some new crochet hooks with much more ergonomic handles.

Crocheted cardigan in progress

I was quite overwhelmed, to be honest, crochet has helped me so much until this point because it was the only body part that didn’t hurt! Pain slowing me down had been really hard to cope with. As soon as my new hooks arrived I got to work again, completing the final piece of a sleeve, hem and beginning the hood. 

Front of Purple Crocheted summer cardigan

With a better hook, this yarn began to work up even quicker than before too. The Infinity Hearts Rose 8/4 yarn is gorgeous to work with and the colour still amazes me. I’m a little sad not to be working with this yarn any longer. I am however very pleased to be adding this cardigan to my wardrobe! Originally meant to be a summer cardigan, it is one I can see me wearing year round too.

Back of Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan

So what do you think of the completed purple crocheted summer cardigan?

Mental Health Benefits Of Crafting

Mental health benefits of crafting ranges from stress relief to a sense of achievement. There are several benefits of crafting, something I have written about before. I especially find crochet relaxing. Having anxiety, depression, PTSD and chronic pain (peripheral neuropathy) is hard work, focusing on a small craft project can be really beneficial.

Menta Health benefits of Crafting

Mental Health Benefits

Over the last few years, I’ve realised crafting is so much more than a hobby for me. It’s a stress reliever, a way to escape, a way to quieten my brain whilst I’m ‘in the zone’. For someone who struggles to go out and can’t work, it gives me a sense of achievement I otherwise lack. With low self-esteem and confidence crafting gives me a huge boost!

I encourage the girls to craft too as I know there are so many benefits. You’re are never too young to look after your mental health, a day at school can be stressful and crafting is great for winding down. 

I’ve teamed up with BestFabricStore.com to share the infographic below highlighting the many mental health benefits of crafting.

How Crafting Is Good For Your Health from BestFabricStore.com

Anyone that follows my blog will know I craft most days, whether it’s crocheting blankets, drawing with the girls, crafting Cardboard box dragons, I even learnt to make a felt woodland garland last year!  The Mr, having realised how much blogging & crafting is beneficial to me has encouraged me to create my own workspace too. It’s made crafting, writing and storing things so much easier. 

Especially as the cold weather closes in rapidly on us, crafting can turn dull days into something positive. You can turn your mood around completely by working on a craft you enjoy. From painting, drawing, crochet, knitting, paper engineering, sewing and countless other crafts, there is something for everyone. 

Do you craft to benefit your mental health too? What is your go to craft?

Unicorns & Rainbows Craft Box From Squidgydoodle

We received a Unicorn & Rainbows Craft box from Squidgydoodle to try out. Each box comes with 4 themed crafts, the girls loved the Unicorn & Rainbows Crafts. Debbie who runs Squidgydoodle lovingly hand-makes each box. From as little as £2.75 for a mini box there are several different craft boxes including party boxes! Something I know my girls would love to!

Squidgydoodle Craft Box

Unicorns & Rainbows Craft Box

Our Unicorns & Rainbows craft box contained 4 fun crafts for the girls to do including Unicorn Slime, Unicorn Crown, Rainbow Scrape Painting & a Rainbow Rain Unicorn. These crafts are quite different from the typical craft boxes we’ve received. I love the theme and uniqueness of the crafts. 

Rainbow Scrape Painting

Eva wanted to do the Rainbow Scrape Painting but decided to do things a little differently but still ended up with a lovely colourful rainbow picture.

Rainbow Scrape Painting

Using the rainbow template, Eva used the paints to create a colourful rainbow and surrounding leaving a white cloud & rainbow print.

Rainbow Rain Unicorn 

Izzy wanted to try the Rainbow Rain Unicorn craft first. This is a lovely simple craft perfect for any age. Simply mix water with a drop of paint supplied (any colour you like, or mix your own!) and collect it up with the pipette. Then squirt the watered paint all over the card, letting it drip down to create cool patterns. Once finished, remove the unicorn to leave a unicorn silhouette in a colourful background!

Rainbow Rain Unicorn

Unicorn Slime

Eva loves to make slime so she chose to make the Unicorn Slime. We mixed all the ingredients but we couldn’t quite get the right consistency but it was still so much fun getting messy and watching the colours mix.

Unicorn Slime

I’m sure if we tried this again the slime would turn out better but we added to much water! 

Unicorn Crown

Finally, Izzy made the Unicorn Crown using the items supplied including pink glitter glue, sheets of glittery card, coloured tissue paper and glitter! Everything you need to be a sparkly unicorn.

Unicorn Crown Craft

Izzy really enjoyed this craft and had loads of fun cutting and sticking things on to her Unicorn Crown. Once she was finished we rolled up the Unicorn horn and taped it together. We then added elastic and Izzy had a fab Unicorn Crown to wear!

Unicorn Crown

Squidgydoodle

As a family we LOVE crafts, there simply isn’t a day that goes by without one of the girls cutting, sticking, drawing and creating. Whilst I do like craft boxes I tend to find they are a little too restrictive. Squidgydoodle craft boxes are much more fun and lets you vary the crafts slightly. This is always a win as kids aren’t always fond of sticking to the rules! We love Squidgydoodle and I’ll be ordering more boxes myself for the girls. 

Squidgydoodle craft boxes

10% Off Code

As promised, the lovely Debbie at Squidgydoodle has provided you lovely readers with a 10% off code. If you fancy trying out a craft box yourself then enter PURPLE when ordering online. This code is valid until Midnight 8th December! 

What do you think of Squidgydoodle? Will you be trying out their craft boxes? 

Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan – Part 1

I’ve been creating a purple crocheted summer cardigan using yarn from Ritohobby. Summer may be over but this purple crocheted summer cardigan will be perfect for next year. Ritohobby is a Danish company supplying yarn & hobby products who have recently launched in the UK too.

Infinity Hearts Rose 8/4 yarn

I was sent the gorgeous Infinity Hearts Rose 8/4 yarn in purple to try out. This yarn is 100% cotton, it’s much thinner than the yarn I used for Eva’s Rainbow Unicorn Hoody. I was looking for yarn more like this for that project so I will be ordering more soon! The shade of purple I received is gorgeous and will look lovely with the outfit I wanted to team it with (Jean shorts and a vest top).

Infinity Hearts Rose 8/4 Yarn from Ritohobby

Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan

As always, this project is taking longer than expected, forgetting that the summer holidays meant a lot more tidying! Creating the design myself using stitches I already know, I’ve worked on it over the summer and slowly getting close to finishing. I’m hoping to work much quicker with Izzy starting school tomorrow!

I wanted something light but warm, living near a river means even on the hottest days we can sometimes get quite a breeze. Whilst summer is over, this will be great for indoors on those warmer days.

Purple crocheted summer cardigan

I’m pleased with how this yarn works up, it looks lovely and feels lovely. I decided on a pattern I liked the idea of and got started. Similar to Eva’s rainbow unicorn hoody, the main body is worked as one piece until the armholes. I wear a size 8-10 cardigan so this is the sizing I’m going with.

Progress So Far

Whilst I have been slow with this project, the end is nearing! I just have a front panel, sleeves, hood & hem to complete. I’m really happy with how this is turning out and I absolutely love the Infinity hearts rose 8/4 yarn from Ritohobby. I will definitely be a regular customer with Ritohobby!

Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan

 

What do you think so far? Have you heard of Ritohobby before?

Cute Arts And Crafts Marketing Products By Printkick

We’ve been trying cute arts and crafts marketing products by Printkick this week. The girls love arts and crafts and these are really cute too! Printkick offer products for business marketing and have a wide range of products to meet your marketing needs. 

Cute Arts & Crafts Marketing Products

Wooden Painting Set

Small wooden childrens paint set

We received a Painting set in a wooden box, perfect for keeping little ones entertained! With paints, paintbrush, crayons, a pencil, sharpener and an eraser you are all set for some crafty fun. This fab little set can be printed on in up to 4 colours using screen print with your companies personalisation on top. You can buy a sample for £2.24 before ordering too!

Assorted Puzzles

Puzzle Games

Next, we discovered 5 assorted puzzle games. This tricky little puzzles kept us all buy for quite some time! Each puzzle has a different solution all involving metal balls. Some you have to get the ball into the centre, other’s into hoops. Other’s are slightly trickier and need balancing or rearranging somehow! A sample puzzle is just 28p.

Puzzle game from Printkick

One by one, we managed to solve them all though. The girls keep playing with these puzzles over and over! With up to 8 colours available for printing using print pad you can have your logo placed on the front of these fun puzzles.

Colouring Magnetic Stickers

Colour in Magnets

Lastly, we received this cool colouring magnetic stickers which the girls loved! With the fun circus theme, the girls quickly chose their favourites to colour and got busy. 

Magnets to colour in from Printkick

Eva really took her time to colour her’s and focus in whereas Izzy obviously sped through happily scribbling colour everywhere and having fun! These magnets are great for older and younger children, they kept the girls quiet for a while. You can have your logo printed in 1 colour using print pad and order a sample for £1.08.

Colouring magnets from Printkick

What do you think of these cute arts and crafts products from Printkick?