Posts Tagged ‘crochet’

5 crochet blankets to make over the winter months

Having decided to opt for an autumn/winter wedding next year, we’re now turning our thoughts to how to make our wedding feel cosy – lots of lights, colour and warmth is the aim of the game of us. My thinking hat is well and truly on and today I thought I’d share some crochet blanket patterns I’ve seen… ones I’m thinking about making for our wedding. There’s a sofa/chill out area at our venue and, if it’s a dry day, people might want to sit outside for evening food. We may well end up buying blankets for IKEA, but I do love the idea of making them in our chosen wedding colours.

So without further ado, let’s look at some crochet blankets…

5 crochet blankets to make over the winter months
1. C2C

I first came across C2C, or corner to corner, when Holly created Repeat Crafter Me’s crochet Christmas character afghan. It’s not necessarily a new technique, and I haven’t found the origin of it, but I know this to be a great stash buster if nothing else. Unlike most patterns, this one starts in the corner and works out. The photo below is from Holly’s Instagram feed and shows you how it looks in detail. To learn more about how to make it, do have a look at The Crochet Crowd‘s handy guide.

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - c2c, or corner to corner.

2. V stitch

V stitch is one of those techniques that instantly catches my eye whenever I see it; I love the detailed stripes and depth of each stitch. Similar to the ripple blanket, I think this could be equally as addictive and, given the winter months, I feel like the depth of the stitch could make for a super snuggly blanket that I can make and show off our wedding colours with. There are lots of pattern options on Ravelry, and I liked The Patchwork Heart‘s write up too.

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - v stitch.

3. As we go stripey

This blanket pattern is slightly different to the rest, as it’s a combination of various stitches. I came across this on Instagram and the blanket was created by Hannah at Not Your Average Crochet. Stitches include granny Stripe, Catharine wheel, star stitch, bobbles and ripple, so it’s the variety that really caught my eye here. Variety is so important when working on big projects, like blankets, so I don’t think you’d get bored making this!

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - as we go sripey.

4. Waffle stitch

If we’re talking about winter blankets, having something thick and cosy has got to be top of the agenda. The waffle stitch totally fits the bill for that criteria, just look at how deep each stitch is. Team the stitch with a chunky wool and I’d imagine it wouldn’t take too long to work up something really cosy for the colder months. Plus a quick project, win win! Bella Coco has a great video tutorial up to help learn this technique.

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - waffle stitch.

5. Harlequin

Last but by no means least, the Harlequin blanket. Another one I found from Holly’s Instagram feed, it was the colours that caught my attention. I love the block colours (whichever shades you use) and geometric feel to this make, plus I’m curious about how this stitch works. I found the pattern over on Ravelry and if you want something bold, that’s going to stand out, I feel like this pattern is the one to go for.

Crochet blankets to make over the winter months - harlequin.

Any favourites that jump out at you? I think the waffle stitch is my favourite and would certainly teach me a new technique, but then I’ve heard corner to corner is great for stash busting. But then again, the as we go stripey has some great techniques and variety to it. Decisions, decisions!

Thanks for reading and happy crocheting – let me know if you do make, or have made, any of these in the past.

Leanne x

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Photo credit: holly_pipsThe Patchwork HeartNot Your Average Crochet and Lu North, Strong & Free

Paintbox Yarns – colour combination ideas

It’s been a while since I’ve taken some time out to have a play with colours; often it involves me putting a whole bundle of yarn on our bed and organising them into colours that I think work well. It’s such a fun thing to do, even if there’s no purpose, it’s just fun. Disclaimer: I have to work hard not to just throw myself into all the gorgeous colours, stop whatever else it is I need to do and make something immediately with all the colours. I digress!

When LoveKnitting sent me a bundle of newly-launched Paintbox Yarns I knew it was the perfect opportunity to have a play. Paintbox Yarns launched with 60 shades in four lines, DK, aran, chunky and cotton. In this post I’ve focused on the DK collection, but note there are a couple of exceptions.

So, without further ado, here are some ideas for how you could combine Paintbox Yarn shades.

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

1. Dark Aubergine, Pansy Purple, Dusty Lilac, Pale Lilac and Paper White. I’ve changed my mind about purple; while it used to be a colour I wasn’t hugely inspired by, since making these purple flowers I’ve had a change of heart. The contrast of the darker shade versus light brings a cosy warmth to it that works really well. I could see these five shades being made into a gorgeous stripy cardigan, or jumper, for a little girl.

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

2. Soft Fudge, Melon Sorbet (chunky), Mustard Yellow, Pistachio Green and Paper White. These collective colours spring to mind a meadow for me; you’ve got the harvest light brown, with the Pistachio Green and, to bring it all together, the sunshine warmth from the Melon Sorbet (chunky) and Mustard Yellow shades. I think this could make for a super cosy blanket for that autumn cuddles on the sofa or spring picnic.

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

3. Coffee Bean, Midnight Blue, Red Wine, Sky Blue and Pure Black. I’m going to call this primary colour madness – and I say that with a smile on my face. The Midnight Blue and Red Wine shades really caught my eye, so I’ve teamed them up with the Coffee Bean and Pure Black to bring it to life. I’ve then added the Sky Blue to soften the colour combinations. I could see these colours being used in a make for a little boy.

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

4. Slate Grey, Seafoam Blue, Mustard Yellow, Bright Peach (aran) and Banana Cream. Moving on from primary colours, I feel like this is an alternative version with a softer palette. The Slate Grey and Seafoam Blue looks great together and teaming it up with the Mustard Yellow looks great to me. Looking at this again, since photographing it, I think this has more work to be done to get the right combo but there’s definitely something great to work from. What do you think?

Paintbox Yarns colour combination ideas. Post via This Little Space of Mine

5. Stormy Grey, Blush Pink, Pistachio Green, Peach Orange and Banana Cream (chunky). I feel like this is the most feminine of colour collections in this post, what do you think? I built it from the Peach Orange and Banana Cream shades and then muted it with the Stormy Grey, Blush Pink and Pistachio Green to create a soft, spring time feel. I would love to make this into a blanket or similar; the Blush Pink and Pistachio Green especially warm my heart.

What do you think? Any standout colour schemes that catch your eye?

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so definitely go and check out Paintbox Yarns; I feel like there were hundreds more colour combinations I could’ve chosen so I may well be back soon with more ideas!

Thanks for reading, and do let me know if you have a favourite.

Leanne x

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A selection of Paintbox Yarns’ range was sent to me by LoveKnitting, but all opinions and excitement about yarn are my own.

Stash busting – 100 days of crochet challenge

I’m a sucker for punishment; I regularly make myself too busy and then stress out because I have too much to do and want to lay on the sofa watching Gilmore Girls but feel guilty for stopping. So what did I do when I returned from our holiday in Greece in August? I started a new one-a-day project… to keep me super busy!

I’ve called it #100daysofleannescrochet over on Instagram and the idea is quite simply to crochet a granny square a day and join it to a blanket. I made a similar blanket for Freds earlier in the year and this one will be going to a local cat charity. I’ve got far too much wool and stash busting for animal charities feels like a good use of my limited time.

I’m recording the whole thing on Instagram using #100daysofleannescrochet so pop over to see how it’s grown. I haven’t taken on a daily craft project like this since the sky blanket and there have been a mixed bag of days; one where I get it done as soon as I wake up, and others when I’m doing it in bed literally falling asleep as I crochet. This week marks the half way point and I love knowing that by Christmas (providing I get the border done) I’ll have made another blanket.

So if you’re looking for stash busting ideas, this is a pretty good one and by doing it daily makes it really manageable. I’ve also written a previous post on stash busting ideas, should you be on the lookout for project ideas!

Are you working on any interesting craft projects at the moment? I’ve had to restart a Christmas present, which I would be annoyed about, but I’d rather get it right and give a gift I know will be the best it can.

Thanks for reading!

Leanne x

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Attic 24’s ripple blanket – my first crochet project

Just over a year ago I’d come to the conclusion that crochet just wasn’t for me. No matter how many times I tried, I ultimately got cross, made a mess and any attempts to teach me usually ended up with raised voices or wool thrown across the room. Oops. Then I went to the Knitting and Stitching show and picked up three balls of very bright wool and said to myself “I’m going to make a ripple blanket out of these”. And hey presto, that will to learn and determination to finally be able to crochet was born.

Making Attic 24's ripple blanket, my first crochet project

Thankfully I had my friend Tam on hand to help get me started. I think because I had a plan in mind for the wool that it gave me that push to finally learn it. Here are a couple of pictures from those early days.

It took me just over a year, in between other projects, but the ripple blanket is finished and I feel pretty proud of it. Once I got the hang of the stitches, granted Tam did the first chain row for me, I found it quite relaxing. There’s something quite soothing about the ripple blanket and how it goes up and down and the stitches change regularly, but not too much to make it complicated. Plus, Lucy’s pattern is a dream to work with – her instructions are so clear and perfect for someone who’s new to the craft.

Attic 24's ripple blanket - my first crochet project!

So if you’d like to have a go at making a ripple blanket yourself I’ve jotted down some of the bits and pieces you’ll need.

While the yarn might not seem the best quality (only £1.25 a ball!), I have to say I quite liked working with it. It’s quite thick, but smooth to work with and glide over a crochet hook. I wouldn’t rule out working with it again in the future, so worth checking out.

Making Attic 24's ripple blanket, my first crochet project

The finished size of the blanket was: 132.5 x 187cm; it comfortable covers our bed. I worked in the following sequence: Green (two rows), blue (two rows), pink (two rows), cream (two rows), green/blue/pink (one row), cream (two rows). For that middle one row I changed it each time; I introduced the cream just to break up the blanket from the boldness of the other shades!

What do you think? Have you made a ripple blanket before? If not I really recommend it, especially as a first time crochet project. Choose yarn or colours you really love and just go for it!

Thanks for reading,

Leanne x

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Making a granny square crochet blanket using scrap yarn

Hello! I thought I’d drop in today with some pics and notes on a recent project I finished – a granny square crochet blanket. The idea was to stash bust as much as possible, and to give Freds a nice blanket he could cuddle up on, have in his vet basket and take to the cattery when we go away in August.

I pretty much made it up as I went along, there was no real order to it or decision on how big I’d make it; my main aim was very much to stash bust. Here are a few in progress pics…

I opted to slip stitch into squares for the final round of each granny, meaning I didn’t have a big pile of squares to sew up at the end. My big mistake was not weaving in my ends as I went, so I’d definitely recommend doing that! Just look at the mess I had to tidy up, all when I thought I was really close to finishing it.

It’s also worth noting that the yarns I used were quite different, some sometimes a square would come up smaller/bigger than the others. I thought I might need to block it at the end but, to be honest, it’s a blanket for Freds and I kind of like that some squares aren’t quite the same.

Some quick notes for you too:

  • I made 100 squares in total – the blanket took on a 10×10 form
  • I used a 4.5mm crochet hook
  • The finished size of the blanket was: 105x100cm

When it came to the border, it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do but in the end I went for two rows of trebles followed by a double crochet stitch for the edging. I’m not too hot on my crochet terminology still, so do correct me if I’m wrong. This project was a great learning curve for a newbie-crocheter, so as well as stash busting I felt like I learnt a lot.

And here’s the finished blanket…

Making a granny square crochet blanket using scrap yarn - all about stash busting! Post from This Little Space of Mine

Making a granny square crochet blanket using scrap yarn - all about stash busting! Post from This Little Space of Mine

Making a granny square crochet blanket using scrap yarn - all about stash busting! Post from This Little Space of Mine

Isn’t it pretty? I loved working with all the different colours, making it up as I went and literally just picking colours as I went – I really didn’t overthink it and matched up colours as I went along. I know some people would also work in rows, but for the majority of this make I worked from the centre out.

And my stash of yarn? Very much busted, but still a whole lot of yarn to use! I’m thinking of making a few more of these and donating them to a cat charity; Freds loves his blanket and cuddles up on it next to me when I’m working at home.

Have you worked on any fun crochet projects recently? Love to see some pics!

Leanne x

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Baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn’s Special DK collection

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve shared some yarn peg colour inspiration and so, with my best friends baby due next month, I thought I’d share with you some baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn‘s Special DK collection. I love playing with different colours and it was great fun to sit in the garden last week and put together different combinations to share with you. I’d also like to think my photos have improved since last time!

Baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn's Special DK collection. Post from This Little Space of Mine

Baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn’s Special DK collection

Before I get started I should mention that I know there’s a lot of conversation about colour preferences for babies; some like gender neutral and hate stereotypes like girls in pink, some don’t like dark colours on babies, as two examples. I’m sure there are lots more. With that in mind, I’ve gone for some gender specific ideas, gender neutral ideas, brights and a little darker tones too. I hope there’s something for everyone and, let’s face it, that’s the joy of the Stylecraft Special DK range – there’s something for everyone!

Baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn's Special DK collection - Duck Egg, Storm Blue, Sherbet, Cloud Blue and Silver. Post from This Little Space of Mine

1. Duck Egg, Storm Blue, Sherbet, Cloud Blue and Silver. Kicking off this post with a baby boy inspired colour scheme, thinking of my friend in mind as she’s expecting a boy. I’d avoided going for anything too bright here and instead focused on softer colours with the Storm Blue shade bringing it all together. Grey’s also work well with blue so I added in Silver, plus the Duck Egg shade has a blue/grey feel to it.

Baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn's Special DK collection - Parma Violet, Soft Peach, Candyfloss, Apricot and Cream. Post from This Little Space of Mine

2. Parma Violet, Soft Peach, Candyfloss, Apricot and Cream. By complete contrast to the first idea, here’s a collection of colours with a baby girl in mind. I’ve again opted for soft colours, which are always popular for a baby, and I’ve added in a contrast in the Parma Violet shade. Looking back I’m not convinced it’s entirely worked and the Candyfloss and Soft Peach shades are the standout colours for me.

Baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn's Special DK collection - Grass Green, Citron, Shrimp, Sunshine and Cloud Blue. Post from This Little Space of Mine

3. Grass Green, Citron, Shrimp, Sunshine and Cloud Blue. How about this for gender neutral? I love this collection and how bright it is. I feels like a safari or beach type collection of colours and I love how the colours work together. You’ve got Citron and Sunshine for the summer feeling, Grass Green for a grassy, woodland vibe and Cloud Blue and Shrimp for the seaside. I’m not sure it’d work for a winter baby, but for this time of year it’s an absolute winner and my favourite of the 5 ideas in this post.

Baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn's Special DK collection - Parchment, Soft Peach, Cream, Duck Egg and Stone. Post from This Little Space of Mine

4. Parchment, Soft Peach, Cream, Duck Egg and Stone. I love this collection and feel like it’s a good middle ground between neutral and gender specific – with the inclusion of the Duck Egg and Soft Peach shades. The natural tones of these shades, with Stone and Parchment, feels cosy and suited to a newborn baby and there’s a vibe of the classic neapolitan ice cream about it. Certainly one of the softer collections in this post, this could be used for a baby gift all year round.

Baby colour scheme ideas using Stylecraft Yarn's Special DK collection - Mustard, Lobelia, Fondant, Teal and Empire. Post from This Little Space of Mine

5. Mustard, Lobelia, Fondant, Teal and Empire. I’d say this feels like a more ‘grown up’ baby colour scheme. The colours are quite rich, as well as having a couple of bright tones in the Mustard and Fondant shades, but they’re balanced well with the other colours. The reason I like this collection of colours for a baby is because it feels warm, the warmth of the Lobelia and Teal especially stood out and this makes for a great gender neutral colour scheme. Plus, babies aside I want this is my home!

What do you think? Any standout colour schemes that catch your eye?

I should also mention that I chose Stylecraft Special DK (again) for this post because a) I love their range of colours but b) the yarn washes up really well, which is just what you need for a baby! In terms of where to buy it, there are lots of online and bricks and mortar shops that stock it though I tend to buy from Wool Warehouse as it’s affordable and their delivery is pretty quick!

If you fancy catching up on previous Stylecraft colour scheme posts, here are a couple of links you might like:

Thanks for reading, and do let me know if you have a favourite.

Leanne x

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Why I’m raising funds for Stroke Association’s ‘Make May Purple’ campaign

I’ve been a little nervous about sharing this post and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written it and then binned it. What’s to be scared of? Well, putting into words what happened is hard, but publishing it online has made me anxious about the reaction I’d get; would people care, would they comment, would they think I was being over the top? And with any of those, how would I feel as a result? Silence can be the worst sometimes, so those fears put me off. But time has gone on and I feel braver and more confident that sharing is a good thing. I want to share what happened to Dad and I hope that even if just one person reads it and digests what happens it means they may one day save someone’s life or improve their chance of recovery should (and I hope not) a stroke happen.

I’ve broken this post into two – should you want to skip a part; 1) how I’m raising funds by crocheting purple flowers, and why and 2) what happened to Dad at the beginning of the year, and how it could so easily have happened to anyone at any age.

A look back at April 2016 - This Little Space of Mine

Handmade purple flower badges for Make May Purple

The month of May is Stroke Association‘s annual fundraising month, Make May Purple, and to help raise funds for the charity I am making and selling these pretty flower crochet badges for a £3 donation, all you have to do is pop over to my JustGiving page to make a donation and I’ll put one in the post to you. All donations go directly to the charity and a big thank you to Lucy from Attic 24 for allowing me to use her flower pattern.

The idea with these flowers is to wear them throughout May and hopefully it’ll prompt conversation and raise awareness. I’ve worn pins on my coat before and often people in shops and the likes comment, so I really hope that happens with these flowers.

At the time of writing this I’ve raised just over £300(!) and hope to raise lots more throughout May. I’ll be busy crocheting these flowers now and until the end of May and I hope this money will help the wonderful work Stroke Association are doing; their website was a great support to my family and me and continues to be as Dad recovers.

Why I'm raising funds for Stroke Association's 'Make May Purple' campaign

What happened to Dad

Back at the very start of January my Dad had two strokes, one around New Year’s Eve and one on the 4th January. Between those two dates we’d had a family meal for my 30th birthday and all said separately how Dad had behaved a little oddly, but put it down to the fact he had a heavy cold and may have taken a bit too much Lemsip. How I wish I’d known. The second stroke, on the 4th, was more severe and caused him to fall at home. When he didn’t turn up for work his boss raised the alarm and called my sister. I’ll never forget the moment my sister called us and said “something’s wrong with Dad”. Thinking he had concussion, to then hear he’d been rushed to hospital after a suspected stroke was terrifying.

A day later and an MRI scan confirmed he’d had 2 strokes and that the reason for this was due to a perforated artery in his neck – most likely caused when he had a fall while walking in the Lake District the previous April. By this point Dad was walking, talking, eating and his face had return to normal, but cognitively there was damage and he’d lost some of his vision.

After a week in hospital Dad was allowed home to the care of a community team. The community team were there to help him in his recovery for 12 weeks, visiting him on average about 3 times a week. During this time they also helped with doctor’s appointments, advised on how he’d return to work and provided a general support. He thankfully passed his visual test and was allowed to return to driving 2 months after the stroke and the follow up MRI showed his artery has healed, so the chance of another stroke is minimal. In April he begun slowly returning to work, for a few hours every other day.

While the headlines are really great news, Dad’s recovery continues and will do for a long time yet. The brain is a funny old thing and is taking its time to heal. He’s getting there and I’m so proud at how determined he’s been to get back to his old self. He tells me he plans to beat this and live on to 100 now. If anyone can do it, he can.

The point I have to mention is that Dad was 58 when it happened, healthy, eating well and regularly exercising. There are a set of risk factors behind why a stroke might happen, but the reality is they can happen for any reason to anyone at any age. The consultant told us the damage Dad did to his neck could have happened to someone turning their neck funny, which is so scary. We largely can’t prevent a stroke happening, but what we can do is be aware of the signs when one happens – that’s what ensures our loved ones are kept safe and they have the best chances at full recovery. Please head over to this webpage to see those signs and understand them. That’s my hope from this post, that you’ll just take 2 minutes to familiarise yourself with the signs.

All that I’d like to do now is say a big thank you to everyone who sent my family and me kind messages when it happened, and to people who continue to provide a support to Dad and all of us. It’s not been the easiest of times, but we’ll get there. Raising funds is helping me to feel like I’m turning this situation into a positive.

Thank you for reading and, if you can, please donate £3 to my JustGiving page and wear a purple flower badge this month to raise awareness.

Leanne x

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Lazy Daisy Jones and Crochet Now’s Instagram crochet hook up

Morning! How are you? I hope you had a good weekend. Saturday I went for afternoon tea in Winchester with a friend and yesterday I had a planner session with a friend, so pretty darn good all in all! Today I thought I’d share some pics from Lazy Daisy Jones‘ and Crochet Now‘s Instagram crochet hook up.

Just when I was *almost* falling out of love with Instagram at the end of March, up popped Lazy Daisy Jones’ and Crochet Now’s idea to share a crochet related picture, based on a theme, every day in April. It was just what I needed; interestingly Ashleigh had recently written about finding her tribe and it was that exact thing I was struggling with on Instagram, but #ldjcrochethookup has really helped find some new accounts to follow (and in return, new followers myself). I’ve found some super talented crocheters who are inspiring me to make more and it’s all thanks to the hashtag and that wonderful crochet community. That’s what social media should be all about in my mind.

Lazy Daisy Jones & Crochet Now's Instagram crochet hook up - Pictures via This Little Space of Mine and @leanneabeale on Instagram

So enough of that, here are pictures 1-16 for you; there are ponies, glimpses of my craft room, projects I’ve worked on or am working on and some other bits and pieces I’ve found along the way. I’ve linked to each picture in the copy underneath, so you can click through for more insight.

Lazy Daisy Jones & Crochet Now's Instagram crochet hook up - Pictures via This Little Space of Mine and @leanneabeale on Instagram

Day 1 – 4: hook storage, a wip, crochet hero and cushion.

Lazy Daisy Jones & Crochet Now's Instagram crochet hook up - Pictures via This Little Space of Mine and @leanneabeale on Instagram

Day 5 – 8: scarf/shawl, crochet space, favourite hook and blanket.

Lazy Daisy Jones & Crochet Now's Instagram crochet hook up - Pictures via This Little Space of Mine and @leanneabeale on Instagram

Day 9 – 12: pretty in pink, flowers, yarn storage and finally finished.

Lazy Daisy Jones & Crochet Now's Instagram crochet hook up - Pictures via This Little Space of Mine and @leanneabeale on Instagram

Day 13 – 16: border, pastel or bright, crochet bag and toy.

The Instagram crochet hook up continues until the end of the month, so be sure to pop over to my Instagram feed to see all the latest.

You can also see the prompts for the 2nd half of April here, follow Lazy Daisy Jones’ here and Crochet Now here.

Thanks for reading, and here’s to a good week!

Leanne x

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The trials and tribulations of learning a new craft

Learning a new craft can be a daunting prospect; you have all the enthusiasm and curiosity to want to learn, yet the feeling of fear, impatience, frustration and comparison come sweeping in at various points. So for today’s post I wanted to share with you my trials and tribulations of learning a new craft, sharing how I eventually learnt how to crochet.

From time to time I struggle to learn something; getting it to stick in my brain is difficult and I hit wall after wall. I’ve been like it since I was a child and my parents tell me that I’d struggle and struggle and then one day it would get explained to me differently and I’d suddenly ‘get it’ and run with it. I remember being like that with my times tables in fact; I can still remember the struggle I had when all my friends confidentially knew the numbers.

The trials and tribulations of learning a new craft - This Little Space of Mine

The story so far

Learning how to crochet began a couple of years ago for me, when I went to a beginner’s crochet class on how to make a granny square. Oddly, looking back, I did get it but I don’t think I practiced as much as I should have afterwards and then forgot what I’d learnt. A few months later I remember asking my sister to teach me and us arguing because she got frustrated at how left-handed I am (she’s right handed) and how I was holding the hook like knitting needles.

There may have been a few attempts after that, but all ending with either disaster or me getting frustrated and giving up, moving on to knitting or other crafts I can do and found easier. With limited amounts of time for crafting it makes sense that we’d naturally opt for the one(s) we feel comfortable with; crochet was not one of those.

With the year long sky blanket taking over my craft life in 2014 I put crochet to the back of my mind but kept my Pinterest board of ideas. I think the board was once called ‘I wish I could crochet’ and then changed to ‘One day I’ll be able to crochet’. It’s almost like teenage angst and I cringe looking back!

The breakthrough moment

This came to me in the summer; I’d been given a couple of amigurumi kits the Christmas before and wanted to get them done – mainly because we were about to move house and I was mid packing and trying to clear things out. My friend Tam suggested that amigurumi might be a tricky place to start, so my next idea was the ripple blanket. I’d wanted to make Attic 24’s ripple blanket since I read her coast blanket story and had even bought some yarn for the occasion at the Knitting and Stitching show. Disclaimer: the yarn was in no way coastal related, I just liked the colours.

I was able to chain the starting row, with Tam’s supervision, and then Tam did the first row for me; I’m told that’s the hardest bit and being keen to give crochet another go, I was keen to avoid any obstacles that might mean I throw the crochet hook and yarn across the room. That has happened before in frustrating. We’ve all been there, right?

Where am I now?

The ripple blanket is and was the best place for me to start; there’s something so soothing about the stitches and how they go up and down and I found it addictive. Quite slow to start with, as I was constantly counting, but once I got going I was away with it. I haven’t finished the ripple blanket and it’s something I’ve been picking up and putting down for a while now; I hope to finish it this year.

I’ve also made two Heidi Bear Fatty Lumpkin pony’s, started a scrap blanket of granny squares and sent on a couple of snowflakes to Love Knitting’s Snowflake Appeal last November. The snowflake was the first time I’d read a pattern from start to finish all on my own, so I felt a huge achievement in that moment.

To say I’ve run with it is an understatement and I feel great at how much I achieved; Tam and I weren’t sure if I’d be able to make the Heidi Bear pony’s, so I approached it casually and told myself that if I found it too hard it wasn’t a big deal. My confidence has gone from strength to strength after these makes and I’m already planning some more crochet projects for this coming year. The fear has well and truly faded.

Tips for learning a new craft

I wish I had the answers for this; if you’re reading this and experiencing those ups and downs of learning a new craft – whatever that may be – all I’d say is keep going and don’t give up hope. Even if you put it down for a few months and go back to something you can do and enjoy, always aim to go back to it and make small steps forward. I have no idea if it helped, but I wonder if my growing confidence in knitting helped me feel ready to learn how to crochet.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope it’s been helpful. If you have any questions about how I learn a new craft or about crochet specifically drop me a message below, or you can always tweet or email me.

Leanne x

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Making a Heidi Bear Fatty Lumpkin crochet pony

After finally getting to grips with crochet back in the summer last year, I decided to set myself the ambitious challenge of making two Heidi Bear Fatty Lumpkin crochet pony’s – to give to our nieces for their 5th birthdays at the end of December. I wrote a work in progress post a while back, but pleased today to finally share a write up of how I made them and what I learnt.

This was a pretty significant project for me (and one I enjoyed every minute of) so I want to do this make justice. I’ve therefore broken this post down into sections to make it an easy read. Hopefully this post will encourage you to have a go at making one!

Heidi bear crochet pony - This Little Space of Mine

You’ll need:

Heidi bear crochet pony - This Little Space of Mine

Heidi bear crochet pony - This Little Space of Mine

Heidi bear crochet pony - This Little Space of Mine

Finished sizing:
  • Height of body: approx 26cm
  • Total height (including the head): approx 35cm
  • Length: 40cm
Making the African flowers

Before you get started the best thing you can do is have a go at making an African flower; Heidi Bear’s website has a free pattern for the flower and, while the joining can be tricky, if you can get to grips with how to make the flower this will put you in good stead. This was advice I took from fellow crocheters and making the flower first gave me a good feeling as to whether I could make the pony.

There a various shapes of the flower and for each pony you’ll be tasked with making the following:

  • 19 pentagons
  • 17 hexagons
  • 3 squares
  • 2 heptagons (probably my favourite shape!)
  • 1 triangle

I recommend weaving in the loose ends as you crochet the next round; it saves so much time at the end!

The ordering of colours I decided on for the ponies was as follows:

  • Pink: Fiesta for the centre, then Candyfloss before Fondant for the edge. Cream was used for joining
  • Purple: Emperor for the centre, then Clematis before Wisteria for the edge. Cream was used for joining
Joining the African flowers to form the shape

Joining was the part of the pattern I was most nervous about; it’s quite time consuming and definitely requires quite a bit of concentration, there’s no two ways about it. What I will say is that if you can make the flowers then I believe you can successfully join the flowers too – so don’t be put off by that.

The hardest bit about joining for me is that I’m left handed and naturally work in the opposite direction to the pattern; it wasn’t a barrier for me, but meant I needed to concentrate and think about how best to join. The hardest section to join is most definitely the legs, but stick with it. The body and head are a piece of cake!

Stuffing the pony and finishing touches

Stuffing each pony does take time – but it’s time well spent. A tip I had from my Mum was to break down the stuffing and add little bits at a time; the stuffing will naturally break down over time, so it gives you a chance to shape the pony and ensure it’s solid and will stand up.

Here I have to add how good the pattern is; you can tell a lot of thought and time has gone into it and that goes a long way. There are clear illustrations, diagrams, copy etc. – so it caters for every learning style. You’ll definitely need it page by page when it comes to joining and going about it in the right order.

While you’re working on it, watch out for any cats or dogs you have; for some reason Freddie really didn’t like the pony and more than freaked out when he saw it as he walked in the living room. This picture perfectly shows what went on; I couldn’t help but laugh!

Heidi bear crochet pony - This Little Space of Mine

Keeping organised and working to deadline

I talked a bit in my last post about how I planned to organise myself for making two ponies; I had 14 weeks to make them and knew, with Christmas approaching, that it would be a busy time and leaving it all to the last minute really wouldn’t help me! I gave myself 7 weeks to make each pony and, while I needed that amount for the first pony, by the second I noticed how quickly I sped up and was able to make it in a shorter period. I stopped once I’d made the flowers to make a Christmas gift, but picked it up a couple of weeks later and still finished in good time.

Crafting aside, I like to keep organised and by breaking it down into manageable chucks it didn’t feel too overwhelming a project. In fact, it’s probably why I enjoyed it so much!

Fatty Lumpkin in their new homes

I’ve got to say, taking the ponies to their new home was a bit hard. I loved making them and kind of want to keep them for myself! There was also a chance our nieces wouldn’t take to them (as kids sometimes don’t), but I needn’t have worried. The girls absolutely adored them and still do as I write this post. They’re on the girls’ beds and they cuddle them as they go to sleep. I couldn’t have asked for a better home for them!

Trying to get a still photo of both of them looking at me was near impossible. 😉

Heidi bear crochet pony - This Little Space of Mine

Children being children, they get sick from time to time. It turns out the pink pony got a little dirty and ended up being washed; I’m pleased to say it survived the washing machine! While the neck is a little floppy, it’s come out really well and you wouldn’t really notice. That’s the thing about Stylecraft, it’s so durable and washes up well – perfect for kids.

As you’ve probably guessed already, these two are probably up there with my proudest makes (alongside my sky blanket). I can’t believe I actually was able to make them and that they turned out so well!

Wow, long post! But I’m so happy I’ve finally been able to write this up and share with you my experience.

I’m adding this post to #CreateMakeShare, which this month takes on the theme of love. I absolutely made these with so much love for my nieces, knowing just how happy it could make them.

Create Make Share

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions on how I made them do drop me a comment below. I’m considering making more soon, too, if you’re in the market for one!

Leanne x

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