Crochet, Lace Making

Going Back To The Beginning

Going Back To The Beginning

I was going through pattern books recently looking for baby knitting patterns when I came across a cotton crochet book. The temptation of going back to the beginning of my crochet journey was very strong, but I diligently resisted while I finished a few projects that were on the go.

Going Back To The BeginningProgress has been quite good over the last month or so, so I unearthed a ball of cotton I had bought on special a while ago “just in case”, got out my set of crochet hooks, and allowed myself the treat of starting one of the so-called “Easy One-Day Doilies”. To be fair, the pattern I have chosen is relatively straight forward and, if I gave in to temptation and just sat with it until it was finished, it would probably only take a day to do. The unfortunate reality is that there are a lot of other things that need to be fitted into my days as well, minor details like work for instance, so it has taken me over a week to get halfway through so far.

Going Back To The BeginningIt has been really enjoyable to do some cotton crochet again. I taught myself to crochet doing fine cotton pieces. These were inspired by the beautiful things my grandmother made. The book I am using has some lovely projects in it and I am sure I will be able to make time to do some more. I now enjoy crocheting with yarn, which is obviously a bit quicker, but there is something very special about the delicate lacework of fine cotton crochet.


Christmas Knitting Ideas

Christmas Knitting Ideas
The last post in my Christmas series is Christmas knitting ideas. I have rediscovered a wonderful pattern book on my shelf called “Jean Greenhowe’s Christmas Special”. All the photos I have taken for this post are of pictures in this book. It is a Sirdar book (number 236).

Christmas Knitting IdeasI am not usually overly keen on knitted Nativity scenes, but I find the one in this book quite delightful. I won’t have the time to make it for this year, but plan to give it a go next year. I really like the way the figures all seem to belong together.

Christmas Knitting Ideas Christmas Knitting IdeasThe book has a great selection of knitted toys too. They come in a range of sizes and would all make lovely gifts for children and maybe even some bigger people too. There are several versions of Santa, including a Mrs Claus, and several different snowmen too. They are joined by such things as an upside down doll, a teddy, a reindeer, an elf, and even a fairy for the top of the tree.

Christmas Knitting IdeasChristmas Knitting IdeasAnother thing which interested me was a collection of small Christmas stockings. They look like a great idea for putting just a few small treats in. I find that a lot of stocking patterns seem to be a bit big. I find that a lot of stocking patterns seem to be a bit big. It can also be fun to use up some of your yarn scraps knitting little tree decorations.

If you are looking for a bit more inspiration for projects to add to your Christmas craft selection, I suggest you check out some of my affiliate sites listed below. Enter “Christmas” in their site search bar and you will find a treasure trove of ideas. Enjoy your browsing!

Affiliate sites:

Leisure Arts, Craftsy, Annie’s, Knit Picks, LoveKnitting, Creative BugConnecting Threads

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Cross Stitch

Christmas Cross Stitch Ideas

Christmas Cross Stitch Ideas
Christmas Minis in Fox Collection catalogue

Continuing on the theme of my last three posts, albeit a little later than I had planned, I am now going to look at Christmas cross stitch ideas. I have recently received the latest “Fox Collection” catalogue (see “Are You On Track For Christmas?”) which had another full page of Christmas ideas in it.

I have included some photos I have taken of items in the two Christmas catalogues. I thought you might find some inspiration from some of them. In previous years I have stitched a few personalised cards for some close friends. There are some cute ideas in these photos along with a number of other projects.

Christmas Cross Stitch Ideas Christmas Cross Stitch IdeasSomething I noticed for the first time in last year’s catalogues was the wine bottle aprons. These are just a bit different and would make a nice personalised gift for a special friend or family member, especially if it was on a nice bottle of wine. There are several different themes in my catalogues, but you could choose any design of your own that was a suitable size.

Christmas minis as decorations are always a popular idea, along with Christmas sachet bags. Sachet bags can be used to contain fragrant material such as lavender or pot pourri, or edible treats like chocolates or lollies.

Christmas Cross Stitch IdeasOther cross stitch projects for Christmas include things like cushions, table runners, place mats, and tree skirts. These are all a bit bigger and probably not practical for the time frame left for this year. They would be good ideas to put on your “to do” list for next year though.

Happy stitching and best wishes for your holiday season preparations. I have included a list below of some of my affiliate sites if you would like to check them out for kitsets or more ideas.


Affiliate sites:

Leisure Arts, Craftsy, Annie’s, Knit Picks, LoveKnitting, Creative BugConnecting Threads

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Christmas Crochet Ideas

Christmas Crochet Ideas

I mentioned in my post “Are You On Track For Christmas?” that I have rediscovered some books with Christmas patterns in them that I had forgotten I had. They contain a number of fun ideas for a range of projects which I thought I would share with you. I have taken photos of some of the projects and hope they will provide you with some inspiration.

Christmas Crochet IdeasOne book that had a number of crochet ideas in it was the Patons book 304 “Traditional Christmas”. It contained knitting projects as well, but I am going to focus on crochet in this post. (This photo is of the back cover.)

Christmas Crochet IdeasThere is a lovely pattern for a Christmas afghan in this book. As we are now well into November it would be a big ask to get the afghan finished for this Christmas, but the pattern is done in squares which would be well suited to being adapted to a smaller project. It might be a nice idea to make cushions instead using different combinations of the square patterns.

Christmas Crochet IdeasOne pattern which really caught my eye was for a wall hanging Advent Calendar. This is probably not a possibility for this year either (unless you are a much quicker crocheter than I am), but I am definitely filing this away as an idea for next year. I will have a look around to see if I can find any patterns for similar projects too.

Some other ideas which might appeal to you are things like crocheted wreaths, table centres, or even a complete table setting. The possibilities are endless, you just need to look around a bit for inspiration. I suggest that you check out some of my affiliate sites listed below by just entering “Christmas” in their site search bar. Enjoy your browsing!

Affiliate sites:

Leisure Arts, Craftsy, Annie’s, Knit Picks, LoveKnitting, Creative BugConnecting Threads

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Karen's Korner

Are You On Track For Christmas?

Are You On Track For Christmas?
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Wow! October is nearly gone already! I don’t know whether it’s because I’m getting older (I turned 60 recently) or whether it’s just a sign of our society today, but the years seem to go by so quickly now. Ideally I should have started on Christmas projects in early September, or at least have some projects organised, but I’m afraid I’m running a bit behind.

I recently received my second Christmas catalogue from “Fox Collection” and am having as much fun browsing through it as I did going through the first one, which arrived in September. I am not in a position to buy much from the catalogue, but it is really interesting going through and getting ideas. They have kitset projects for a number of different craft areas, plus some gift ideas.

A number of my affiliate sites have Christmas hand craft kits available. You might like to check out Leisure Arts, Craftsy, Annie’s, Knit Picks, LoveKnitting, Creative Bug and Connecting Threads. If you enter “Christmas” in the site search bar of any of these sites you will be shown great selections of kits, patterns and products. Again, even if you don’t end up buying the actual kits, it is a great way to get ideas and inspiration. That being said, I would also recommend kits as a convenient and cost effective way to get all the materials you need for a project when you do decide on something.

I have also been looking through a number of my own pattern books which have Christmas themed projects in them. Several of them I hadn’t looked at for some time, and it has been good to find some patterns for projects that I had forgotten I had. I will go through my books and post some photos of interesting ideas for projects in different categories soon.

Enjoy your Christmas preparations. I would love to hear of interesting ideas you may have come across for decorations or gifts.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Cross Stitch

Cross Stitch and Men – Crossing the Gender Barrier

Cross Stitch and Men - Crossing the Gender Barrier
Image courtesy of Google

Cross stitch is not just an activity for women. Plenty of men love to pull out those needles and flosses to cross stitch projects that they enjoy. For most men who cross stitch it is about creating “art” or having a special interest in the design… and of course Cross Stitch is wonderfully therapeutic when it comes to de-stressing.

For some it is just not “manly” to call it a “craft”. While men do not make up a large percentage of cross stitchers, they most certainly do exist. Yet, many people wonder about men who like to cross stitch, and it brings up a number of interesting questions:

Are Men Better than Women… at Cross Stitch?
The simple answer to this question is that of course men are not better than women, just as women are no better than men either. Cross stitching is a learned skill, and any person who cross stitches is only as good as they allow themselves to be. Practice, practice, and more practice make a person a better cross stitcher, not their gender.

Do Male Cross Stitch Designers Exist?
Yes! Of course there are male designers. Why ever not? Cross stitch design is an art form and certainly not restricted to the female gender. There are many men involved in creating their own cross stitch patterns. For some it is a direct offshoot of their art – like Thomas Kinkade. For others, they are part of a design business, like the husband and wife team at Heartland House. Men are involved in designing and bringing you some of the great cross stitch patterns. Some cross stitch designers are also fashion designers and use their thread and floss to create patterns on the attire that they create.

Which Patterns are Popular with Men?
Men tend to choose more art-like patterns than women. They may not be as open to you choosing a teddy bear pattern for a pillow.

Often men are drawn to the things they like. If a man likes sports, he may choose a kit that represents his sports team. If a man is into architecture, then he may choose to cross stitch a pattern based on Frank Lloyd Wright. There are even some gamers that have cross stitched their favorite video game characters.

Other men use cross stitch to create designs on their clothing, too. If you are choosing a pattern to give to a man, then you should take a look at what they like. Go with their interests.

How Do Men Get Into Cross Stitch?
This question really depends on the man. Some men get involved simply because someone they love does it. A little boy may have wanted to do what his mother was doing. A man may help his wife finish a project only to find he liked it. Other men need something to do, and it is a craft just lying around. Often men do not find that they seek out cross stitching, but it finds them one way or another. Some men believe it makes them look attractive to women, so they use it as a way to “pick someone up”.

How Do I Handle a Man Who Wants to Cross Stitch?
Embrace it. It takes a lot of courage for a man to put aside an image of masculinity to admit they want to try a “girly” craft. If the man is a significant other, then take pride in the fact that your man wants to share something with you. If it is a young man, then encourage the creativity that will come from the craft.

It is not often that men can put away the machismo to do something enjoyable like cross stitch, so open up and be willing to teach and inspire. Who knows… the cross stitching man in your life may find a way to inspire you too!

John Wigham has been a professional author and editor for 20 years and is a co-founder of an online cross stitch club dedicated to counted cross stitch. The website has a small team of writers who are devoted to our cross stitch club”> and enjoy writing about their hobby.

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