For those of you who don't know me, I am Laura, aka Sparkles and this is the story of how I became hooked (pun intended, sorry, not sorry!) on crochet!
New to the yarn world at the start of 2017, being at EYF surrounded by all the lovely yarns and enthusiastic yarnies I felt inspired to get involved. Walking around I was drawn to the TOFT stall and was swayed by an Edward's Menagerie kit to make a lion. In the van on the way back to Yorkshire I picked up a crochet hook for the first time and started trying out the stitches to start my lion off. Lets just say it didn't go too well. The yarn was a bit too fuzzy and with having to undo my attempts multiple times the yarn got fluffier and fluffier, making it harder and harder to use.
A week or so later I took home a partial ball of Tempo 4ply from Victoria's stash to practice with and after a few attempts and many youtube videos I finally started to get the hang of it although my hands did not feel comfortable or natural. Rather than pick up the Toft DK yarn again, I decided to carry on with the Tempo as a trial run and finally settled on a working towards a sheep. I know that I went wrong quite a few times while making him but didn't have the heart to pull it back and start again so decided to leave his uneven legs etc to give him some extra character.
Once I started to stuff him and sew him together it took shape quickly and I was really pleased with it (as long as I didn't look too closely). Then came the fleece. I was totally unprepared for how long that section took and there are patches where I can tell I lost enthusiasm and patience. But still, he was eventually finished and now comes along with us in the sample box to shows.
People have commented that amigurumi is an ambitious starting point for learning to crochet but I do love a challenge!
After I had finished the sheep, my husband asked for a Mario mushroom and so that was my next project. In comparison, the mushroom was really simple and took less than a day from start to finish. He now has pride of place on hubby's desk at work.
Over time he has been joined by another mushroom, a question block and most recently Yoshi, but that’s another story. I am also now taking requests from his colleagues for new characters to try to make, with a view to a very slow and subtle yarnbomb of their office!
As my confidence grew I started looking to the ECY pattern collection for inspiration for my next project. I was totally in love with the snuggly softness of Whitfell DK and decided to have a go at a flat project. With a few friends expecting babies over the coming months I thought that the Silsden blanket from the Drift collection would be a lovely keepsake for the little one. Not yet knowing the sex of the recipient, I wanted to go with something fairly gender-neutral and while spending time in the stockroom I was constantly combining colours. I eventually came up with combining Natural, Misty Woods and Ebony and I think this worked out perfectly!
This was definitely a labour of love and really opened my eyes to the time and effort required for a relatively small blanket. Again it is far from perfect but gave me plenty to learn from, eg what is and what isn't a stitch and the importance of keeping strict counts. I was so pleased to give the blanket to my friend after the birth of her baby girl, especially to find out the blanket matched the nursery colour scheme! So then imagine my sheer joy at having Tracey Todhunter mention my project in her blog! I was totally overwhelmed!!
With each new project I have learnt more and have gradually upped the skill levels required. By rotating projects between amigurumi, shawls, granny squares and garments I have gained experience in many different techniques, reading different pattern layouts and possibly the most tricky, switching between US and UK terminology.
To take a look at my projects to date, feel free to have a browse of my Ravelry notebook HERE.
Over a year into it and I am so pleased to have found a hobby that eases some of the chaos in my brain and gives me a positive output, replacing my obsession with Candy Crush!!