I receive many, many emails from folk needing help with their crochet; not only from frustrated beginners, but also from those who have been crocheting for a while asking, what for some are, fairly basic questions… But there is no such thing as a silly, stupid or ‘I should know this’ type of query, even after many years of crocheting there are always new things to learn.
And so, I’ve put together this Beginners’ Crochet Notebook to help those of you who want to start crocheting but don’t know where to begin. And, even though I’ve written this notebook mainly with the novice in mind, that doesn’t mean the more experience crocheter won’t find a few helpful tips as well.
~What hooks to use with which yarn.
~Which yarns are: animal, plant or synthetic.
~How to read patterns.
I’ve done my best to gathered together answers to the most frequent questions I receive, but of course, it’s impossible to have an answer for everything. There is so much more information I could have included in this Notebook; so much more the reader might find useful; but it’s such a fine line between cramming in too much & overwhelming you.
Nevertheless, I trust this tutorial is a comprehensive journey through the crochet basics for the beginner & others, & that it encourages you to venture forth with a little more confidence & understanding of this wonderful craft.
Hi everyone, as another year nears its end, & I reflect back, I realise the many goals I had set for myself have gone by-the-way… One being updating my blog with new helpful crochet information & another, completing new crochet patterns…All are in the pipeline, just waiting for me to get on with it…
2018 will be remembered by me as the year of technical malfunctions… from personal household stuff to Government introduced NBN… Everything is now purring away as it should & I’m hopeful it will stay that way for a long time to come so I can get back to the things I enjoy: creating, inspiring, learning & not to mention, my over-grown, neglected garden.
Firstly, I’d like to thank all the lovely ladies who have participated in Crochet Classes this year; your support & friendship has been wonderful & most appreciated… I’d also like to send a special mention & Congratulations to the new beginners who have been coming along to class… it’s very gratifying for me to see you gaining confidence as your skills grow… I look forward to another year with you all.
I’d also like to thank everyone who has contacted me throughout the year. I really value your lovely compliments & feedback &, the requests for advise with those tricky stitches that we come across from time to time, I hope I’ve been helpful…
Another gracious, ‘Thank You’ must go to all my Etsy, Ravelry, Craftsy & Zibbet customers, most of which are international &, I really appreciate your trust & taking the time to leave great feedback.
2018 ~ Alice Springs Beanie Festival comp was fun. I received a ‘Special Mention’ for my ‘Blue Planet T-Cosy,’ which the judges mistook as a beanie, Whaaa! Ha! What a hoot! Goes to show how freeform can confuse the best of us.
~ Maleny Knitfest seems to be growing bigger each year, much to the delight of the organisers. Thanks again to Robyn Bailey who looked after my trade stall & helped customers after while I workshopped. Competition entries were very low this year, nevertheless, the standard was high. I won the Best Scarf award & 2nd prize for Best Beanie.
~ The Landsborough Tea Cosy/Beanie Challenge’ had a large increase in entries & I was lucky to win the Best Tea Cosy…
~ &, for the computer nerds, I’m now on Instagram… bit of self promotion doesn’t hurt… or, so I’m told.
Here’s hoping 2019 brings new inspirations & more interesting crochet challenges. I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas & all the very best for the New Year ahead… cheers, Renate
What a fabulous weekend it’s been for beanie enthusiasts & fibre tragics across Australia… From all reports Alice Springs Beanie Festival was a gigantic success & had its best sales ever… the competition entries were amazing as always & huge congratulations to all the winners, you can find the winner’s list & photos here . Caroline Payne won the Acquisition award, a huge honour. Megan Jack also received special mention for her Dark Emu. Congratulations to both of you.
these were my 2 competition entries: both sold so I’m pretty happy about that, yay!!
(1) Cosmic Goddess:
(2) The Blue Planet… which received special mention for the Embellishment category:
And so, to the Maleny Knitfest. The weather was perfect & people came from far & wide, so it’s getting bigger each year which the organisers must be thrilled about. The assortment of trade stalls selling beautiful yarns & fibres were buzzing with customers & workshops were overflowing with happy participants learning new & exciting skills. A big thank you to all the ladies who attended my 2 workshops. I hope I inspired & increased your crochet repertoire… Another huge thank you goes to Robyn Bailey, my trade stall off-sider, I always say it & I’ll say it again… I couldn’t have done it without you… You are a champion!!!
Knitfest competitions entries were down from last year, nevertheless some awesome pieces were on display… Tea cosy prizes were won by Jivan Leela, sorry I don’t have photos or a link. Caroline Payne won 1st prize for character beanie & 2nd for shawl… Megan Jack won 1st prize for beanie… These 2 girls ripped it this weekend, I must ask them what’s in their water…
These were my entries: I won 1st prize for shawl & 2nd for both character beanie & beanie… a great result all round
(2) Character Beanie
And so the fibre madness has come to an end… thank you to everyone who came along to say hello, & for all the lovely compliments you gave me about my work…
… So, that’s a wrap for 2018 (no pun intended)… but, let’s make it a date for 2019…
Hi everyone…The Maleny Knitfest 2018 is on again & just around the corner; 2 fabulous days of fibre indulgence. Sat, 30th June & Sun, 1st July.
The theme this year is Outer Space/Sci Fi. As in previous years, The Maleny Knitfest promises to be a fabulous weekend of gorgeous fibre fun, with workshops, exhibits, trade stalls, competitions & much more… so there’ll be something for everyone.
Maleny Knitfest 2018 is offering 30 workshops, which you can check out & book here, I’m sure you’ll find one to interest you; I’m told workshops are filling fast so don’t leave it too long & avoid disappointment. If you’d like to know more about this year’s presenters, you can see them here.
For those of you with a competitive spirit, why not give the competitions a go; individuals, groups & businesses can all enter… check out the categories here, It’s only $5 per entry & you can enter as many times as you like…
This year I will have a trade stall selling my freeform pieces, my books & patterns & presenting the following 2 workshops:
About the Workshop: This is one of my most popular workshops, covering the basics through to those interesting stitches you’ve always wanted to try: Clusters, Puff sts, Popcorns, Crab st, Bullions, Bent Bullions, Coil st. Off-set Clusters, & a Clone st Tassel – 13 different stitches in all, not counting chains & slip knots… Samplers are a fabulous way to learn new stitches & increase your crochet repertoire… Stitches are worked over a short 21 stitch row allowing you to move on to the next row quickly. However, I do encourage everyone to work at their own pace.
~ The worksop includes 4 pages of written patterns with 1 page crochet chart (graph), & 6 pages of stitch drawings & stitch instruction. Those of you who don’t know how to read crochet graphs (charts), here is the perfect opportunity to learn.
Requirements: it’s essential that participants have good basic crochet skills
~ bring along your own collection of hooks, (I prefer you to use the hook you’re most comfortable with)
~ I will supply pattern sheets (11 pages)
~ I will supply 8ply yarn,
About the Workshop: An introduction to crochet flowers worked a little differently. Fun & practical motifs to enhance & decorate your projects: beanies, hats, scarves, thongs & shoes, headbands : turn them into brooches, garlands & lanyards: or anything your imagination can conjure up. This worksop includes 6 patterns, each a little different from the other. Patterns are in both written & graph (chart) form. You can make as many flowers as time allows
~ it’s essential that participants have good basic crochet skills
~ bring along your own collection of hooks & a large-eyed darning needle
~ I will supply 6 patterns to choose from
~ I will supply some basic, plain coloured 8ply yarn, however, please feel free to bring along your own favourite colours & yarn
I’m looking forward to a great weekend & hope to meet & greet you there…. cheers, Renate
Long before I found the creative joy of freeform crochet, with all its colour & texture, I was papermaking; I guess you could say it was my first creative love. I became obsessed with Handmade Paper, both natural fibre and recycled & by 1984 my papermaking was in full swing, retailing unique paper products across Australia & conducting regular workshops. In 1994, I even participated in a group exhibition at the Queensland Museum with the Papermakers of Queensland.
In today’s world we tend to take paper for granted. However, papermaking has a long history &, paper itself, was revered in ancient times as a sacred item, which is understandable when you consider the laborious process that handmade paper requires.
My days were spent, harvesting the natural fibres from wherever I could find them: my own garden, neighbours’ gardens, the bush. These fibres had to be cooked & reduced to cellulose, which then had to be masticated into pulp, to be sheeted (couched), pressed & glazed (I did this on glass). I’d start with a backyard of fibre, only to end up with a handful of sheets. It didn’t take long before I began mixing recycled paper & fibre pulp together to increase volume, keeping recipes so I could reproduce these lovely papers.
It’s a wonderful tactile craft, one I throughly enjoyed & often hanker back to. However, due to unforeseen circumstances at the time I had to give up my workshop & move on to other things.
Should there be any interested papermakers or, would-be papermakers, reading this, I have posted my ‘Papermaking Workshop Summary Notes’ here
So… why am I, a Freeform Crocheter, going on about paper? Well… it just so happens, I just couldn’t (or unwilling to) let go of the many gorgeous papers I had made over the years, selling a few sheets here & there, but keeping my favourites stashed in air-tight containers in the corner of my present workshop…
It’s time… time to de-stash, & now, with my work computer ‘out of action’ for some time yet, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time, … for those of you who love beautiful, handmade paper, it’s now for sale in my Etsy shop until stock runs out… with more listing to come as I get photos done.
Although a little sad to see the paper go, I know it will bring much pleasure to lovers of handmade paper; not to mention, creative opportunities for scrapbookers, collage & mixed media Artists, book binders, card makers…