Boots and Bonnets

This was the next project I tackled after the success of my shawls as I still wanted to do more crochet but desperately needed a new pattern to try to keep my enthuisiasm going. But what pattern to choose…. Lucky for me my sister was going to have a baby! So i decided to make something for the baby, and given that my sister was due to give birth in July that meant the baby would need something to keep warm in winter. I still needed something kinda simple so i decided to make the baby a hat and matching booties 🙂

The bootie pattern I found via Ravelery after a friend of mine recommended it as great place to find patterns (she is a massive fan). So i had a look around after joining up and there were heaps of them some a bit more complicated than others but I found one that had beginner in it’s tags 😀  and it was free to boot!!!!! It also could be worked flat and then stitched into a bootie shape at the end which made it very easy to do (at least for me it  did) I even managed to get my first pair of booties from this pattern done in about 1 1/2 hours on my first attempt and they turned out great!… except that  they were really teeny tiny as i hadn’t done a gauge swatch to test my wool and hook for the pattern *Embarrassed*

Lesson: Do a gauge swatch test if you’re not sure if your wool and hook match those suggested in the pattern (the pattern came from America and they use different terms to discribe wool to what i’m used to here in Oz)

On my second try I changed wool and did a gauge test and they turned out just right

For the hat I also found the pattern in Ravelry and there were lots to choose from in the easy baby hat category, though I couldn’t for the life of me understand how to get the hat started as i was totally confused by the starting instructions. Stayed confused after asking a couple of people to explain it for me too (though to be fair they were only able to explain and not show me as none of us had wool and a hook on us when i asked for help) so i ended up on Youtube and found a great video that showed really clearly what I was supposed to do to start a hat.

So with the help of the pattern and the video i managed to get it started and finished. Used the same wool as in bootie attempt No.1 and the hat ended up teeny tiny like the first booties. So tried again with wool from bootie attempt No.2 and it worked out great.

Lesson: 4 Ply baby wool crochets up teeny tiny!  Will need to learn to adjust and add to patterns to compensate for this

Overall I was quite happy and my sister really liked them too 🙂

Sadly I dropped my camera with my bootie pictures on the  hardwood floor and it’s broken and won’t turn on 😦 so i can’t load my pictures, but will add them if I can get hold of a card reader.

A shawl anyone?

Back in January I decided I wanted to learn to crochet. I have previously had a go at this and made a very wonky ragged edged scarf using double crochet stitch and put it all away after that as I wasn’t keen on the result and figured I had no talent in that area. But I started seeing pictures of really lovely knitted/crocheted shawls and I really wanted one, but wasn’t able to find one that felt nice when I went looking 😦

The solution…

Have another go a crochet this time with the help of some good books and youtube! (knitting was not an option as i just can’t seem to get the hang of purl stitch and i keep losing stitches in weird places)

I found these books very helpfull especially as it had lots of close up colour photos:

1. Teach yourself how to crochet by by Lincraft. It’s actually a pack that comes with a variety of hooks and yarn needles and the book of instructions on how to use then and was very helpful

2. Crochet 200 Q & A by Rita Taylor, covers lots of crochet related questions starting from basic stitches through to finishing you projects and lots of things in between. Not so many pictures but lots of step by step written instructions which I found easy to follow.

This youtube channel was also a really really great help to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?safe_search=on&index=1&feature=BF&v=w45qDIM5S9Y&list=PL2A48795AA8E54AA1

So after all my research I made a “sampler” swatch using different stitches to practice them, with lots of referring to youtube and my books to make sure I was doing it all properly. Then I went looking for an easy to do pattern (had to learn to read crochet patterns too at this point as well as translate American stitch terms into English ones at the same time as I learned that they are not the same thing!)

Found a really nice pattern for a triangle shawl that was easy to follow here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1230068/easytomake_crocheted_shawl.html?cat=24

and it turned out really nice too, so nice that my mum asked me to make one for her aswell. I made hers out of very different wool to mine and they look very different

The one on the left was the one I made for myself out of a large chunky yarn and it came together really quickly, while the one on the left is the one I made for my mum and I used 4ply baby wool for it and it took longer to do as the wool was much smaller. Im happy with how they both turned out and they gave me the confidence to try out another project which is a lap blanket that i’m making for my sister’s children and it is very colourful, but i’ll post about that later.

Well that’s it for now, hope everyone is having a great weekend!