Wednesday 29 November 2023

How To Add Your Personality To Your Crochet Projects

Hello! As a crochet designer, I love nothing more than to see others following my patterns and creating something from them with a touch of their own personality. We're all unique and the choices we make will lead to us creating something different from everyone else, even if we follow the same pattern. 

Yarn choice is an obvious example. There are all sorts of reasons for not choosing the same yarn the designer did (eg. stash busting/ budget/ availability) and this is probably one of the biggest ways to crochet your project differently.

Then there are decisions such as sleeve length on a jumper, number of rounds on a hat or how big to make a blanket. There are even more subtle options if we start to think about the number of stripes or how many repeats we do.

I haven't even started on colour choices yet - that throws things wide open! 

Can you see how one pattern can be crocheted up in millions of different ways? 

If you're looking for guidance to adding your own personality  I actually list 4 or 5 options at the end of my designs with ideas for getting you started. As an example, here are the ideas to personalise your Perth Beanie (a free pattern here on my blog):

  • Use 4ply yarn and add more increases to create a finer version of the hat.
  • Use a second colour for the brim.
  • Can you design something else entirely using the Alpine Stitch pattern? (I’ve given you the instructions for working in rows in the Tension section too).
  • Gillian, one of my testers, suggested making the brim section extra long and then wearing it doubled over.
  • Simply add a pompom!

If personalising in this way is something you're keen to start doing, check out my crochet patterns today and take the first step towards being more creative!

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Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Mother-daughter Getaway In Amsterdam!

Hello! I'd like to share a little about my recent trip to Amsterdam with my mum - what an amazing trip that was! We sailed on the overnight ferry from North Shields just outside Newcastle to IJmuiden just outside Amsterdam. It rained non-stop on our first day which spoiled things a little but we still found our way (after many wrong turns!) to Stephen & Penelope - the yarn shop which inspired the whole trip!

The shop was absolutely everything we'd hoped it would be. The yarn was all set out beautifully: there were samples hanging everywhere for you to see; the staff were super friendly, knowledgeable & helpful; they had all sorts of notions and books; AND it was dry inside - a welcome haven from the rain!

I bought 2 skeins of yarn and a few souvenir bits and pieces - I was very restrained, but I've never been one for keeping an extensive stash! Before I went, I knew I wanted a skein of Tandem from West Yarns, but when I got there the colour range was so vast I almost couldn't choose! With help from my mum I chose a colour I wouldn't normally go for - Dijon - a mustard/ olive colour which is very autumn! With this DK merino skein I plan to design a crocheted hat. I'm beginning to see the pattern forming in my head, will give it time to develop before I begin. 

The other skein was from a German dyer called Punk Rock Unicorn whom I had heard of via Claudia (Sunbird Crochet) and others. Her yarns did not disappoint either - the colours were stunning! I was looking for some colour changing yarn to knit socks and I chose something bright and colourful - can't wait to see how it knits up! 

My other purchases were a wooden needle gauge and a trio of notions nests. Two very practical items to keep as souvenirs and remind me of my trip to Amsterdam with my mum.

After our Stephen & Penelope visit we grabbed some very sweet and indulgent waffles smothered in Nutella and broken Oreo pieces - YUMMY! We continued exploring until it began to get dark and we found a cosy Italian restaurant for dinner. Everyone we came across in Amsterdam was so friendly and helpful, it's such a lovely city to be in. 

Back at our hotel we took our knitting and crochet to the bar area in the hotel and unwound over some wine, chatting all about our day and planning the next day.

The following day (also our last day, it was a whirlwind trip!) the rain had stopped and it was so good to see everything properly! We headed to the Rijksmuseum via the Metro - what an amazing museum! I think you could spend a week inside there and still not see everything! I really enjoyed the paintings by Rembrandt and the more modern exhibits, including a dress by Yves Saint Lauren.

There was time to squeeze in some more coffee & cake and a little more wandering (gazing at canals never became dull!) before it was time to meet up with our bus for the drive back to the ferry. If you ever have the opportunity, I'd definitely recommend a trip to Amsterdam! Stephen & Penelope yarn shop is delightful and the rest of the city is too!

If you'd like to receive my blog posts staright to your inbox, please subscribe to my mailing list. You'll be sent my free pdf 25 Top Tips Every Crocheter Needs To Know when you do! 

Until next time, 

Marta xx


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