Cross Stitch, Karen's Korner, Knitting

A Busy Start To 2018

I don’t know about you but I have had rather a busy start to 2018. It has involved family, friends, knitting and cross stitch, so it has also been a very good start.

One of the special things about Christmas is being able to catch up with family, and this year was no different. Following that, on the 6th of January, our elder son arrived with his two little dogs to stay with us for a few weeks. He has just completed “The Longest Walk New Zealand” during which he walked just over 5000 km around the country to try to help raise awareness of animal welfare organisations. You can find out more about his adventures on his website (see link above).

A Busy Start To 2018I have been spending quite a lot of time in the last few weeks with two of my grandchildren who live locally. The weather has been lovely for most of the time and we have been on a number of “adventures”. These have ranged from a paddle in the local stream accompanied by a crowd of curious ducks, to a bush walk and a walk along the shoreline of the local harbour. It is great when kids enjoy doing simple, outdoor things. I feel very blessed to have this involvement with them.

A Busy Start To 2018On the crafting front, I have knitted a couple of little hats for some twins girls who were born prematurely to a young couple from our church. I also made a larger version for their three year old sister. It was fun to do such tiny knitting, especially knowing that the twins and their mum are all doing well.

A Busy Start To 2018Over the last couple of months I have also been busy with three more cross stitched cushion covers. These are for the three grandchildren who live locally. They all have their birthdays within a few weeks of each other at the end of January / beginning of February, so it is good to have them finished. I just need to put the backings on them all now.

I hope you have all had a good start to the year and look forward to sharing more with you soon.


Learn To Make Blankets, Scarves, Hats And Sweaters With Simple Crochet Patterns

Learn To Make Blankets, Scarves, Hats And Sweaters With Simple Crochet Patterns
Image courtesy of Google

It is easy to find simple crochet patterns. Just warm up your search engines or visit your local craft or yarn store and find individual free patterns, or books full of patterns for those beginning in crochet. Some simple patterns include blankets, scarves, hats, baby items and dog sweaters.

One thing to consider when starting your first crochet project is the size hook that you will use. Larger hooks and small hooks are more difficult to handle than those in between. You should hold a hook between you first two fingers and thumb to see what feels comfortable to you. Also, look at the actual hook end. This is what will be producing the stitch and it is important that you can see it well.

Sizing hooks can be a bit confusing at first. In the U. S., hooks are often referred to in letters rather than numbers. The larger the letter of the alphabet, the larger the hook. In other words, a J hook is larger than a G. In the British or UK system, which is used throughout Europe, numbers are used, but the larger the number, the smaller the hook. It is best to familiarize yourself with all of this and be careful when reading a pattern to assure that you are using the proper size hook. Often the yarn packaging will list what hook should be used with that particular yarn in both systems. Conversion charts are also available and can be found free on many crochet websites. (See “The Minefield of Crochet Terminology“.)

Types of yarns change with fashion and fads over periods of time. Some yarn is more difficult to work with than others. Beginners should start with 4-ply yarn or baby fingering yarn as indicated on the pattern. With such a wide variety of colors including variegated yarns, it is easy to find something for you.

Choose your first project by the pattern itself. Most patterns will have photos of the finished project and some stores may have samples already crocheted of the item. Look for a pattern that says it is easy or simple. Starting with a more advanced pattern will usually lead to frustration and makes for an unpleasant experience. Many local craft stores offer crochet classes and many people find it easiest to learn through direct instruction. You may know someone who crochets and who would be willing to teach you. Videos of someone crocheting and explaining step-by-step what they are doing are available online.

Your pattern should have only one or a couple of crochet stitches, such as single and double crochet. Try a scarf or blanket pattern. If you are experienced in sewing, you are accustomed to sewing seams, so you may be able to start with a hat or simple sweater.

In picking your first crochet project, choose something that you can accomplish in a relatively short amount of time. Usually this would be a scarf or lap blanket. This will give you the feeling of pride in your accomplishment and motivate you to move forward with your next project which may be similar or maybe a hat. When looking for a sweater pattern, look for it to say easy or simple. These generally will not only have simple stitches, but fewer seams and are easier to complete.

Crocheting isn’t difficult at all. Most Simple Crochet Patterns just need one or a couple of different stitches. Pick the best hook for crocheting which you are comfortable with and get started. There are many downloadable crochet patterns based on the kind of project you want to crochet!

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