Those Freshers are lookin a bit crafty

I promise that I haven’t given up on my whole ‘learn a new skill’ resolution, it’s just going very slowly. I did make a few pompoms which I enjoyed but haven’t taken any photos of and they’re at home so I can’t show proof. I promise I made actual round pompoms though! Even tied them together and made a snowman, sewed a little hat and scarf and everything. I’ll show you all when I get home for Christmas.

Anyways, I am currently back at university for the Freshers week and have absolutely nothing to do before classes start next week and so I decided to focus on my reading and my crochet. I went into the local crafts store and she gave the advice that many of you have already given me. I was to buy a bigger hook and thicker wool. I did just that and here is the result.img_1734

Not perfect at all and for some reason it doesn’t maintain its shape. Is that because I change how tightly I pull the hook through the yarn do you think? I’m pretty proud of myself for what I have so far, planning to keep going so I have a very thin and misshapen scarf or something to that effect.

So it’s just a quick little update, I’m thinking of getting even thicker yarn and an even thicker hook but I’ll see how I feel next time I’m out shopping. Please send me ideas for fun things a beginner like myself can make as I would love to actually make something.

Thanks for reading!

Charlotte

 

A crafted moose, of weird moose shaped bit of fluff

Finally! A crafty update. It’s been a while since I did any crochet and so this week I decided to have a try at something new (for me anyways.) I attempted…..a Granny square! Yes, I have been told that these are very easy and make a lovely design however, i’m not even going to show you my first attempt as it would make you all bang your heads against the wall. 

I know, you’re all very impressed with my progress over my previous updates and of course it doesn’t seem to have taken fifty steps backwards since the last entry. I tried, I followed videos and guides and banging my head against a wall but I didn’t succeed. Not this time, or the next time, and very likely I failed a few other times that I won’t mention. I’ll just show you the evidence below.

As you can guess, I got so good that I practically stopped following the directions, I did so on purpose to create the masterpieces you see before you. I think I might go back to trying my squares for a little bit just to feel as though I’m not a complete crochet failure.

On the plus side of things, I went back to the straight rows, then got a bit bored and decided to be adventurous (I know, I know, not a good idea) I think it was worth the risk. Look a Moose! He’s a work of art! I set off from the start to make a moose I swear. If you don’t think he looks like a moose, then I will be very sad so for now it’s a moose!

Sorry not much of an update, but I’m really not a quick learner when it comes to crafts, it was fun to try a flower but even the beginner videos are more advanced then I am. I am considering trying out making a quilt at some point as I have a few different fabrics so that will be something I look at doing maybe over my Christmas holiday. I’ve seen tutorials and am going to buy a proper set of tools so I can do it properly. I’m a bit impatient so I’m going to do it very slowly and take a lot of breaks so don’t be disheartened if this is the last you hear of it for a very long time. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress when I get it started though.

For now, lots of odd bits of cotton lying around my room, my dogs are happy to steal them so at least it’s benefiting someone.

 

A crafty update

Today has been a bit of a crafty day again as I’ve tried a few new little projects. Both with my cloth pad making and my crochet. I’ll start with the cloth pads. I’ve managed to make a few more from my own penned out design and I’m getting a lot better at my top stitching. Still need to work on my starting stich as my pads don’t turn over very symmetrically. I tried altering my design slightly and things ended up a little better but my wings didn’t look very nice. I’ll work on my original design again and try a few new things.

I did try to do an exposed core pad as well as I’ve seen a few videos and tutorials on how to do this and really wanted to try it out but my sewing machine didn’t want to cooperate with me. The thread keeps snagging or breaking. I’ve tried changing threads, rethreading an altering the thread tension but none of this seemed to help. I’ve given up for today and I think I’ll give it another go soon.

As for the crochet, I’ve tried little crochet flowers and haven’t done very well. I got a bit sick of doing straight rows and ending up with off shape squares and thought I’d try something else. It hasn’t worked so far but I’ll keep having a go when I get the chance. I haven’t included pictures because it went so wrong it pretty much unravelled and so I have nothing to show for my effort, but trust me, it looked great….ish.

A bit of a short update but I honestly haven’t been up to much this week. Will try and be a bit busier next week and maybe get a few more reviews done. It’s my own fault, I’ve been watching a new anime and got a bit caught up with it. It’s called ‘Free!’ and it’s about a swimming club which sounds boring but it has a lot of really likeable characters. I heard about it through a YouTube channel that I follow, ‘Dollastic’ who gets really excited about loads of stuff and is really fun to watch, she really cheers you up so here’s her link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI_DrjoooGWVxAPt7N3Ybag

If there’s anything you want me to write about or if you have any crochet patterns you think I should try out please let me know!

Dabbling with a sewing machine

For those of you following my crochet progress, I haven’t given up! I am still working on it but the square has yet to appear. I am getting neater lines but around half way through I change the tension I use and it becomes misshapen. I’ll update the progress once there’s more to report.

I haven’t stopped there though. I managed to purchase a cheap £10 sewing machine to be able to make my own cloth menstrual pads and I’ve been enjoying trying my hand at that. I’ve only ever used a sewing machine back in high school, maybe once or twice. The neatness of my work leaves a lot to be desired but I’m getting better and am pretty proud of my progress so far. I love finding materials and hunting down really nice prints of fabric. Mainly bought star trek or Spiderman themed cotton for when I get a bit better. It’s my incentive to progress.

I was given a box of old fabrics some of which I don’t know what they are. I started out using these before I ruined anything I’d spent money on. My first attempt, well that didn’t work very well.IMG_1180

I’d just brought the machine home and spent around an hour, maybe two; trying to thread the bastard. I managed and had to try my hand at sewing a pad immediately. I didn’t draw any template or have any idea what I was doing, as the result clearly shows. I’ll also say that threading a sewing machine is a skill I never knew existed. I ended up taking the entire thing apart with a screwdriver thinking I was missing something. I wasn’t it was just hard dammit!

My second attempt went a little better than the first. The thread isn’t very straight and the colour is a bit off for the lighter fabric, but it’s not a disaster. I didn’t use a proper centre, just scrap material to see if I could make a pad. I was pretty proud of myself to be honest.

I spent last night drawing up a basic template which I will be tweaking. I then used my own fabrics to make a usable pad. I’m super proud of myself! It looks and feels like a pad! The thread is a bit pulled in places but not too bad. It only needs snaps to be complete and I don’t have any of those yet because I can’t afford any extras. After pay day I’ll be buying me some snaps.

So yeah, this is my new, learn a new skill. I will continue my crochet, but I think I enjoy sewing a little more than I expected. The excitement may wear off but I doubt it.

Thanks For reading!

Charlotte x

It has edges!

A crochet update for my lovely readers: I achieved a finished product! Tada! I know what you’re all thinking, my masterful technique and skill is beyond your wildest comprehension and you’re all awed by my talent. I hate to let you all down by telling you this but…it was supposed to be a square okay! I know it makes an amazing wonky half circle thing but I don’t know when it went from nice neat little rows to, oh so wrong.

It’s an achievement though, I finished the rows until I ran out of them and then tied them off. My first completed project. I will try again and again until I get it right.

I did manage to get it right on the next try! Look at this picture!

It’s still not fully square but that’s because it’s a work in progress, it’s a rectangle. I managed to get fairly even rows, only a few missed stiches and it only took me about 2 hours to do. Yes, 2 hours. I’m sure I’ll get faster at it eventually but for now I’m proud of my small achievement. I’ve been invited to try other designs and eventually I will but for now it’ll be boring row upon row until I can do it in my sleep, then on to the next challenge.

Also a quick note, I may have mentioned The Art of Crochet magazine before but I do not recommend it. The customer service team are very rude and they don’t send out the bonus gifts when they say they will. They were really difficult with me when I initially bought the subscription a few years ago and so i’d say stick to YouTube 🙂 x

Charlotte x

A minor crochet success

My crochet progress update is, again, not good. I’ve made pretty much an identical little rectangle to what I showed on my last little update and then things started to get a bit tangled and I got a bit lost on where the links were and where I needed to loop and, I got lost okay! I tried to have another go today but the cat distracted me and we played chase the yarn for a little bit. This was probably the most fun I’ve had so far whilst trying to learn. My mum did mention the fact that if my aim is to make a blanket I’m doing really well. She pointed out that what I was doing would probably be great as spider blankets, so at least the spiders in the area will be warm this winter.

I tried a bit later on with a different wool and had a minor success! I worked out that I was doing the turn at the end of the row wrong which is why it was becoming so deformed! I made progress! Maybe there is hope for this square after all. The wool is so soft and fluffy that I didn’t want to use it until I had a bit more skill but I caved and found it easier than the yucky brown wool I had been using. I still find it difficult to identify where to place the next thread but I’m extremely proud of myself for managing to sort out the edges! Now if only I could find the patience to finish a full square.

I will attempt one more today I think and then I’ll leave it for another day. I’m slowly getting better and I know the images don’t look much like I am but it’s getting a little easier to do. Still a long way to go before I’m any good though, it would help if I didn’t give up on the fourth row pretty much every time. As they say in Galaxy Quest, ‘Never give up. Never surrender.’

Don’t worry, I won’t keep rambling on about crochet forever, I will start reviewing products soon, i’m just still in the process of trying them out, bare with me!

Charlotte x

Crochet failures and a worthy cause

The mystery of crochet still alludes me. How do people make these perfect little squares that have gorgeous patterns and make amazing patchwork blankets? It’s not possible! I’ve tried, I unravel and try again but it always ends up the same. A small misshapen rectangle that is anything but symmetrical. My fingers ache and I feel a bit frustrated and stressed. I’ve heard people say they do this to relax, bloody mental if you ask me. I even did a google of crochet for dummies and that wasn’t helpful either. I went through step by step guides, YouTube videos and again used the Art of Crochet magazine, but I have yet to improve.

I think I pull the wool too tight when I pull it through the hoops, which makes it difficult to make the next row. Maybe if I can take deep breath and do as the song says ‘have a little patience’ (sorry couldn’t resist that!) maybe I’ll make this allusive square. If anyone has any tips or tricks they know of that might help me please just let me know! I really want to improve but I get impatient when it keeps going wrong. I am yet to give up and will try again, I’ll let you all know if I get any better.

On the bright side I did go swimming today, managed 5 lengths which might not seem like much but I am a very bad swimmer so I’m pretty proud of myself. Hoping to go swimming more often over the summer and get a bit stronger, maybe even reach 10 lengths by the end of the summer? Who knows, I can hope!

Also on a side note, I am currently arranging a plaque in memory of my Grandma who passed away last month. This is just a shout out to Redwing Horse Sanctuary who do amazing work with horses and have amazing customer services. If anyone has any spare change and wants to donate to a worthy cause please keep them in mind, the website is: https://www.redwings.org.uk/  they are currently trying to help horses at Bodmin Moor. Even if you can’t donate then please pay them a visit, they’re in various locations across the UK and like I said, they’re really nice people and a great charity. My grandma donated to them for years so I’m hoping to raise a bit of awareness about them in her memory.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings, please subscribe and leave me any feedback!

Charlotte x

Crochet, not for the elderly

Okay I made today about learning something new. I am wanting to be craftier and maybe reach a point where I can crochet blankets or make canvas bags or maybe even my own cloth pads. With all that in mind I dug out my old crochet magazine subscription that I ordered a few years ago and never got around to doing anything with it. Today’s goal, crochet a single square. The result, not good. I managed some kind of mangled rectangle. Well a curling thread bare rectangular shaped thing. It took me about an hour to manage something about four lines long as I kept having to go back and start again.

When you see these lovely little old ladies with arthritis and God only knows what else; and they’ve somehow made an entire babies outfit in a single 30 minute bus ride. It’s not as easy as they make it look people! I came close to tears more times than I can count and eventually I have had to give up for the day. We need to save the elderly from the evils of crochet, their poor hands! I would even recommend it as a method of torture, “You there! Prisoner 3448, you must make 15 perfectly equal squares, and I mean now,” poor bastards would crack in minutes.

 I followed all the instructions and manipulated my hands to hold a single stupid piece of thread in a weirdly distorted position and in the end I accomplished a bloody rectangle! Tomorrow, tomorrow is the day I will complete a square. For now I’m going to look at my tiny rectangle and sob in despair. Why did I think this was a good idea? Who needs skills outside of computer games and reading books anyways? I will keep trying and eventually a square shall be achieved. If not, my next task is sewing, and maybe knitting, or beads! I like beads! I could maybe even regress back to my teenage years and stick to making friendship bracelets. I’m sure I still have a supply of threads somewhere. Anyways, practice makes perfect, I will not give up, not yet!DSCF2310