Sunday, March 26, 2017

Which Crochet Hook?

I have been crocheting for a while now, and while I have noticed that there are lovely hooks out there, decorative and functional, I've never really given much thought to what kind of crochet hook I use. When I first learned to crochet, I had some old plastic ones, one a 5.00mm and the other a 4.00mm, which I didn't like using as much. When I began self teaching myself more (thank you Internet!) I bought a set of Susan Bates hooks. Why Susan Bates? They were sold in a set instead of separately and it was more economical. Nothing more, nothing less. But then, one day while crocheting with a 4.00mm hook and driving myself nuts, I decided I'd go and pick up a 4.50mm hook.

Picture is not my own work.

Or not. I could not find a single hook in that size at the store, so I picked up a Boye hook in 4.25mm hoping it would be just large enough to make my life easier. And so began my journey into checking out other crochet hooks--I didn't like that Boye hook because it was different somehow. Later I found out the Susan Bates is an in-line hook and the Boye is a tapered hook, and while I'm still not sure how this affects your project or the look of the stitches, I immediately knew I preferred my Susan Bates hooks. But I couldn't find any of this brand of hooks at my local Michaels other than in the set pictured, which is the exact set I purchased. It's hard to find in-line hooks apparently?

As I began working with chunkier yarns, I picked up some plastic hooks from Boye, and I don't mind working with those. I also purchased some ergonomic hooks from Boye, which I also wasn't a huge fan of, the soft plastic grip began to slip and move around and I didn't notice it was more comfortable to work with (likely because I have a crochet style all my own, my yarn hand doesn't hold yarn or the work but works to yarn over while my hook hand hooks in a way I've never seen another crocheter work) so I've always preferred the Susan Bates hooks for all of my projects.

Picture is not my own work.

But, sadly, I've become such an avid crocheter that I have now encountered PAIN from crocheting! At least, I'm pretty sure that's why my shoulder hurts so much. So I did some research on crochet hooks and decided to purchase one Clover hook, in a 5.00mm. I've long had my eye on this hook, but not being a fan of the tapered hook and thinking ten bucks for a hook was a bit much, I had never bothered to purchase one. It seems well liked among crocheters however, so I hope it helps my shoulder. Since this handle is very different, I will also try and hold my hook in a knife grip and use my yarn hand to hold and guide the yarn more like other crafters. I know there is no one right way to crochet, each of us has our own style of holding the yarn, or hook (knife grip? Pencil grip?) but I want to see if I attempt to work more traditionally if that will assist with my shoulder pain. We'll see.

This brings me to the questions--which hook do you use? How do you hold you hook? Comments are always welcome so please share! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.



Happy Hooking,
Jewels

Friday, March 10, 2017

Oversized Crunchy Scarf

Not too long, while surfing around crochet patterns, I found this pattern from Hopeful Honey I had to hook up, and so I have. It's gorgeous, but then, all her stuff is! Anyway, being that it's still winter in my neck of the woods, this was quickly hooked up and gosh, but I love it!

I did make some modifications to the pattern. I did not use the yarn from the pattern, I found it pricey and decided to try another yarn. I have no objection to splurging on yarn, but at the rate I'm making projects, I might need a second job just to pay for yarn, and then I'd have no time to crochet! I found this lovely yarn from Stylecraft and I have to say, while it wasn't what I was expecting, it is beautiful and feels lush and soft and is warm. I was very happy with this yarn choice and would purchase it again.

The pattern is easy to follow, and for me, it was a simple easy stitch. Great for a beginner but fun for anyone. The texture created from this stitch is lovely and the chunky yarn works up quick and easy and is a nice easy keep your hands busy crochet project with a lovely piece for you at the end.


The other modification I made was adding in some extra sttiches to the beginning chain, in a multiple of three, since I deiced to use a smaller hook. I have the hook recommended in the pattern, but the yarn didn't seem to suit it, so I went with a 10.00mm hook instead. Trust me, this is still an oversized scarf. It worked out beautifully.

I'm always torn about colour choice. I love colour but I often feel conflicted--do I want something bright and colourful? Or do I want something more netural? If I do want bright and colourful, what will I pair it with? And, what colour do I want? And if I think I want netural, well how many netural pieces do I need/want? See my problem? I have to say, this cream colour I picked is lovely and goes with everything and I'm very happy I gave careful thought to colour choice for this oversized scarf.

Want to try this pattern out? Click on the link at the top and you will find this free pattern.

Till next time,

Happy Hooking,
Jewels

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Claret Squishy Scarf

You're probably wondering how many scarves one woman needs, but scarves are a great accessory. They add a pop of colour, are warm and are just fun to make. I found the pattern for this big squishy scarf at Etsy, and I loved loved loved it! First of all, when I saw this on Hopeful Honey, I instantly fell in love with the colour and look. You might have noticed I didn't use the same colour, but I have to say, I love the claret colour that I did chose. Gorgeous for the winter months.

And warm! This yarn is Debbie Bliss Roma, a wool and alpaca blend that is so soft, so luxerious and warm that I instantly fell in love. And I fell in more in love with the finished project. I'm talking warm, soft, squishy. Have I said that I'm in love, because I am! This yarn was the yarn listed in the pattern and I decided to go with it because it called for a super chunky yarn and I wanted something a little luxurious, something I could wear to work or around the town and not just under my coat. A statement piece if you will, and I am so glad I decided to splurge on this yarn. Worth every penny.

If you've looked at the designer's picture, you'll notice I did not include pom poms on my scarf. I do love the look they lend to the piece, but I've never made pom poms and I didn't think a yarn like this was the type of yarn to learn with. It's just too nice so I decided to skip the pom poms.

This was a joy to work up and is definitely my favourite scarf. I know I've said that about others before, but I don't own a thing like this and I think I'll be hard pressed to find another piece quite as lovely as my claret squishy scarf.

Thoughts on the new look of my blog? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.


Happy Hooking,
Jewels

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mulberry Wine Puff Stitch Scarf

I have a new look for my blog! This one suits me much better, so I'm hoping it'll be around for a while. With the new look, comes a new blog post. I had been putting off working on this blog for two reasons, one being I thought I needed a new look, something a bit more eye catching, and the second being that I was very unhappy with the photos I've taken. I have mentioned before that I don't have much in the way of photography know how and that taking photos has been challenging. I'm working on that. I'm trying to learn more about lighting, looking at good photos and takine more time to set up the projects so that the photos turn out better. But, on to today's crochet project--a lovely scarf I worked up thanks to a pattern I found in the February issue of I Like Crochet. 


I really like the designer of this pattern, and I've always got my eye out for her patterns. I find them easy to follow, stylish and they always grab my eye and make my hands yearn to start crocheting. She arranges stitches beautifully I think, and I'm always excited to try out one of her patterns.

 The stitch used here is a puff or cluster sort of stitch, very easy so even a beginner can try their hand at this scarf. Which I love! I used Debbie Bliss Cashermino Aran, which I purchased through Lovecrochet.com. A word of warning--it's super easy to quickly become enthralled by the lovely yarns. I've been addicted to buying them! This particular yarn is soft, smooth to work with, and I love the mulberry colour I chose for this project. Paired with a black top and jeans, it's a cozy winter day outfit.

If you've not looked into I Like Crochet, the subscription is inexpensive and the magazine features a variety of patterns for the home, for fashion accessories and children's accessories as well--tons of really cute and neat ideas, so I highly recommend you check them out, and wish you some very

Happy Hooking,
Jewels

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Great Grit Stitch Scarf

I make a lot of scarves, and today I've yet another one to share with you. Scarves are a great accessory, and fun and easy to work up and also warm in the colder months. I was recently hit with a yucky stomach flu and I took a day off work to rest and that day I was feeling better so as I was resting in front of the TV I whipped up this scarf and learned a new stitch too! One I am using again because it creates a bit of a stretchy fabric if you use a larger hook and a nice lace like look too.


I adore the grape punch colour I picked up. It's bright and it's just what I need in these grey winter months. I've now got a few brightly coloured pieces to brighten up my winter day and I love them all! Not used the grit stitch before? Never fear, it's super simple and if you can single crochet, it's as easy as that. The video will show you exactly how to create this wonderful stitch. This is perfect for scarves, blankets, shawls too I think--in fact I'm working on one using this stitch--and would a lot to any piece you creating. It'd be interesting to see a sweater using this stitch. Maybe one day!



Hope the video is useful--I love Hopeful Honey's video's because she takes her time and gives easy to follow instructions. She has a wide selection of stitches you can learn as well which is great in my books!

Happy Hooking,

Jewels


Monday, January 9, 2017

Slouchy Crochet Hat

I've only made a few hats in my crocheting days, and each has been a learning experience and also, quite fun. I had made three beanies and decided it was time to tackle a slouchy hat. I found a great pattern, and started hooking it up, counting as I went along since counting makes a hat in crochet.


I have to say, I think the hat turned out quite well. The colour is especially bright and happy and fits the causal look of the hat I think. I found the pattern on Ravelry. I had never really used Ravelry much till recently and I am becoming quite indebted to the creators of crochet patterns that share their patterns for free on Ravelry. This pattern was easy to follow, and even when I thought it wouldn't work, it totally did. I did make the band a little less wider than is pictured in the pattern, but I think I was needlessly worried about it being too big as the design of the band keeps the hat snug on your head.

If you'd like a slouchy hat, this pattern would work for any crocheter.

Happy Hooking,
Jewels

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Double Single Crochet Infinity Scarf

I had bought a beautiful yellow yarn and had decided to make a braided earwarmer out of it, but in the end I decided to make yet another scarf. I wanted a big, bulky one for the winter and the bright yellow seemed to fit the kind of project I had in mind. I turned my big yellow scarf into a big yellow infinity scarf. I adore it.


To create this scarf, I used a 6.00mm hook, and a stitch I found that I thought both simple (as in even a beginner can do it) and pretty. The combination of the stitch and the larger hook created a chunkier look even though I used a worsted yarn.

The stitch I used is known as the Double Single Crochet and I loved working it up. I found it via Hopeful Honey's video, which I'm sharing with you so you can see how the stitch is done yourself. It's super easy and fun!


I made the scarf quiet wide and long enough that I could stitch into an infinity scarf. I wanted something bulky for the winter and I wanted it to stand out among the blacks and greys most people sport during the colder months. The yellow seemed to quite stand out. The scarf is warm, and wraps even around my head acting as a sort of hood if I fancy it to, and it's one of my more eye catching accessories.

I've a vast collection of scarves now, and this one is currently one of my favourites. The bright, happy colour brightens up a winter day, and it certainly keeps out a frosty wind so it's no wonder I'm currently loving it.


Happy Hooking,
Jewels