This week has consisted of launching pattern booklet Number Five, juggling writing pattern booklet Number Six with fielding demands and comments from my three lovely girls (all at home this week), being a taxi driver for said girls, managing one girls' room re-decoration, trying to at least THINK about preparing for a holiday, as well as the usual chores and so on that we all have to do. This busyness led me to mislay my wallet (well, its a knitted purse actually) which sent me into a panic and made me reflect that I need to somehow find a way to slow down.
I eventually found my wallet under my crochet kit box from Crochet Camp, which I sadly have not touched this week, and so am very behind on the projects. I intend to catch up next week! Phew!
So, I haven't had much time to blog until now (and let's face it, I don't REALLY have time now either!), but I can't let Fibre East slip by without a comment.
It was a very hot day on Saturday, when I made a rare solitary excursion out to potter around this local yarn festival.
Today I want to write about the fun I am having at Crochet Camp.
What a brilliant concept this is! The brain child of the lovely Kat Goldin, and a fantastic way of bringing crocheters or aspiring crocheters (like me!) together over a hook and some yarn. We haven't only been crocheting, we've been spinning a yarn about it as well on the facebook group which Kat set up, where everyone can show off their work, write about their experience of the patterns and yarns, and just generally enthuse about all things crochet.
It took me until Wednesday to get my kit out and get started, due to work and life and stuff getting in the way. In the odd spare minutes on Monday and Tuesday I was oohing and sighing over everyone's else's work on facebook, which was kinda useful because I was able to learn some lessons which I could apply to my own project.
Now, I have been knitting non-stop since I was seven years old (I'm 40 this year - Argh!) but I only picked up a crochet hook when I was about 33 for the first time, and taught myself to do the BASICS. I crocheted a blanket, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but then never took things to the next level, and the crochet hooks got buried beneath the knitting needles.
So, when I heard about crochet camp, I knew this was my chance. Here is the front of my potholder (above). I did this in one evening, but was watching the Apprentice at the same time, so that's why I was so slow! I sewed it up the next morning, discovering that my stem was a bit too long, so I had to give it an artistic bend. The pattern says to make two chains for the stems, but I cheated and made one and folded it in half. I love finding short cuts.
Here is my finished potholder. I had to change the design, because of my tension problems. Basically, my red back piece came out about 0.5cm bigger than the blue one all the way round! So, rather than start again, I crocheted the two pieces together by inserting the hook into the second st/row in on the red piece, and half a st/row in on the blue piece. This brought the two pieces together whilst keeping them flat. It meant I had to do the edging in red instead of blue, otherwise this cunning plan would have just looked like what it really was - a bit of a mess. Anyway, I think the end result is ok, don't you? Not bad for a near beginner. Oh, and the other thing I did differently from the pattern was to create the hanging loop as I went round making my edging, instead of doing it afterwards. I hate sewing in ends, so this was another cheat on my part.
This has really helped me think about the end user when writing my own knitting patterns and the importance of tension, and the difficulty of achieving the right tension that a beginner has. I really liked the way Kat included photos all the way through her patterns of each step, and this is a real necessity for a beginner, or even someone like me who has crocheted before but can't remember anything other than a dc!
Today I had a visit from a lovely retailer, who wanted to feel and touch and see all my yarns and kits before she bought.
I am happy to welcome anyone who is interested in viewing my work, and I have just updated my 'stockists enquiries' page to include an encouragement to do so, along with some pics of my workshop, which I took just before my visitor arrived! It doesn't always look that tidy, but having a visitor is a great incentive to clean and tidy, don't you think? And the rest of the day has been ultra-productive because I have been working in a lovely tidy space. I even had some help from my daughter, who is on hols from school already. Perhaps she was inspired by my lovely workspace?
Knit Today, August 2013 Issue 88
This morning, I had half an hour to kill while I was waiting to pick up my intern, Casey, who is working with me for these two weeks, and wandered into the newsagents to pick up August issues of some knitting magazines. I was really delighted to discover inside Knit Today, that my yarn had been chosen to feature as the Editor's favourite!
A few pages on there is also an interview 'In the Spotlight' where you can read more about my motivations and how I started my business.
There are also LOTS of lovely patterns in this issue, so its well worth buying!
I'm crazy about yarn, Scotland, food, my husband and my three girls, and I live in a perpetual state of organised chaos. Some just call it creativity.