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Simply Crochet

There is a new crochet magazine launching in the UK, called Simply Crochet. This is what the publishers say about it:

Simply Crochet is a brand new monthly craft magazine from the makers of Simply Knitting and Mollie Makes. It is full of creative ideas for anyone who loves – or would love to learn crochet. Inside you will find designs for the home, fashionable accessories, and gift ideas with clear and easy-to-follow instructions to ensure the best possible results every time.

I have been selected as one of an “exclusive group of bloggers” who are getting a sneaky peak at the front cover of the magazine, and here it is:

Simply Crochet issue one

I am intrigued! I have seen tutorials for hearts and flowers online, and know there are plenty of resources out there on granny squares etc. The scarf looks great and I love the colours in the blanket are great. I wonder how easy the instructions are to follow? I guess there is only one way to find out!

They have introductory offers on if you subscribe to the first three issues. They cost £5 in the UK (http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/scrx16/) and $10 in the US/Canada (http://www.imsnews.com/home.php?page=magPage&pubid=6907)

I am passing this on as I know some of my followers are crocheters, and I would like to improve my skills. I have not been paid for this.

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Magic Crochet Ring – how to make

It took me a while to get my head around making a magic circle when crocheting a flower (see https://mrsmmakes.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/crochet-flowers/).
This is a good step by step explanation.

thestitchsharer

A magic ring is a great way to start a crochet round as it allows you to adjust the size of the central hole. It’s often used when making amigurumi creatures as the hole in the middle can be tightly shut.

1. Firstly loop the yarn twice around your finger so that the ball of yarn is to the palm of your hand and yarn tail closest to your finger tip. 

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What a brilliant idea. Make your own poppy and donate money to the poppy appeal. Your handmade poppy will survive the season more than the paper/plastic ones.

thestitchsharer

Over the last few days I have been crocheting some Remembrance day poppies to help bring in some extra charity donations.

If you would like to make your own, please feel free to use this pattern and make a donation to your local Poppy appeal.

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Road trip crafting

We spent almost eight hours on the road yesterday (it was only supposed to be five!) to get to the house of one of our good friends. Bank holiday traffic is never fun!

I kept myself busy as we progressed north:

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The photo above was on the M1, and the photo below was hours later on the A1(M).

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It may look as though I didn’t make much progress, but each round is 85cm, so it takes a while! I figured this would be my only crafting opportunity this weekend, as I’m with two boys (sorry, men).

Do you craft whilst on the move? What do you make? The last time we travelled a long way from home within the UK I cross-stitched a card.

So long, farewell…

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye!

Can you tell the school production was The Sound of Music this year?

I’m going to say farewell for four weeks as Mr M and I are off to Southeast Asia tomorrow. We saw Bangkok and parts of Vietnam last year on our honeymoon and want to see more. We’ll be in Siem Reap on our actual wedding anniversary.

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This crochet is going in my hand luggage. I have seven flights (excluding connections!) so wanted something to do on the planes. I’ve bought a bamboo hook especially! This is what I achieved after two nights behind the scenes at the production last week.

In the words of Rolf Harris “Can you guess what it is yet?”

Art of Crochet – A Charity Shop Find

I found issue 1 of Art of Crochet for sale for 99p in Oxfam yesterday.

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I have learnt a little crochet, but have never followed a pattern.
Along with the wool, there was a getting started bit which went through the basic stitches:

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They introduce treble and linking chains in the main magazine.

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The idea of the magazine seemed to be that every issue you learn how to make a new square and eventually build up a throw once you’ve bought the whole series. After a quick google I found they are now up to issue 129! I’d never commit to something like that, but I do like the relatively easy projects inside:

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I might add some of these to my to do list. I really should try to follow a pattern. Even if I don’t actually make the projects, 99p just for the wool isn’t bad!

Crochet Flowers!

I learnt some of the basic stitches of crochet (chain, treble and slip) whilst doing my crochet squares, but you can do so much more. When I saw Make and Do were doing a workshop on crochet flowers I jumped at the chance to join them.

Crochet flowers start differently to squares, by making a loop, which was a bit fiddly, but once I had that I was away! Each layer of petals starts off with a ring foundation and you do the petals onto the ring with just a double (a new stitch to me), a chain, trebles, a chain, then a double again. I suffered from poor counting and had to restart my first layer of petals after finding I’d only done seven spokes instead of eight oops! Later on, after I’d thinking I’d finished my first layer, I realised I’d gone into the wrong bit of the flower and had to pull it back.Unlike last time I wasn’t completely clueless – I just couldn’t count and made a few silly mistakes. I now have the confidence to pull back work and start bits again, but it is hard if you’re starting out. Unfortunately one girl completely gave up and left and another just decided to do a rectangular piece (i can’t do that!).

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Once the first layer of petals was done you have to join the next one. This involves turning your work over and working on the wrong side and forming new base loop type bit for your next petals to go from. This only involved chain stitch and trebles round the prongs and was required serious thinking at first, but I soon had that done. I also changed colour as this was the perfect time. Then it was back to the right side for your petals, which were one treble wider this time. Just as the workshop was ending I finished that layer and cut off the wool.

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Ta Da! Then I realised I’d skipped a petal on the outer layer. I took some wool and decided I’d need to go backwards. I actually pulled it back (I had to go halfway round) on the second of my two bus journeys and also redid half on the bus too! As soon as I got home I finished the layer again. It would have been much easier if I’d counted properly to start with. As I had snipped the wool I had to join a new bit in and that didn’t look amazing. Oh well, this is my first attempt!

Sensibly at this point (11:30 on a school night with my usual 6am get up) I should have gone to bed, but crochet is addictive! I started another layer of petals with the purple wool I had for the bag. I did a couple of petals then forced myself to go to bed. I put my crochet in my work bag, thinking I’d finish it at lunch.

As I’m still waiting for the DVLA to give me permission to drive, my commute currently involves some walking, a bus journey and a train trip. I decided to do some crochet on my bus trip in – after all I’d managed it on my way home! It got a bit tight when someone sat next to me, but I got a few petals done. It was also nice that a lady I see every morning on the bus spoke to me as I was doing it – we’ve never spoken before! I then finished off the layer on the train (just!) but had to wait until I got to work to cut the end of the wool. I then couldn’t do any more as I didn’t have a darning needle.

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It didn’t take me long to actually finish it at home. I just darned the ends in, added a button on the front and turned it into a brooch by adding a brooch finding.

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Being my first attempt at these it’s not perfect. The tension is a bit too tight in places, but as they can be used as brooches, on hats, bags etc I think I’ll probably make more!