Posted on April 12, 2014
Do you crochet, knit or create in public spaces? I do and I’ve found it’s a good conversation starter. People want to know what I’m making and we talk about what they or their mother/sister/friend/daughter is making or has made. Yesterday while was out crocheting I started talking with a lady who told me that her 20ish son knits to relax. He doesn’t follow a pattern or make anything in particular, he purely knits to let go of his worries and burdens. The lady was obviously very proud of her son, and I think it’s great he’s got a tool to relax.
I try to crochet whenever I can and this conversation got me thinking about why I love to crochet. This is what I came up with:
- For the finished product - there’s nothing nicer than having a handmade rug to snuggle up to or to wear a stunning scarf that I’ve made myself. I love the sense of achievement I get when I’ve finally finished what I’ve been making.
- To relax – when I’m a bit stressed and when my mind is buzzing I find that the repetitive motion of crochet soothes and relaxes me. It puts me in a better frame of mind.
- For healing – I have a chronic illness that leaves me with no energy – walking the dog and preparing meals is about all I can do on a bad day. On these days I’ve found that if I crochet something simple it gives me the satisfaction of being able to achieve something and makes my illness easier to live with.
- To create art – because I love to crochet I use it as a way to create art. I love to combine colours and textures in different ways to make an item of beauty.
- For happiness – my ideal day involves crocheting because it makes me happy. It really is the simple things in life that bring the most joy!
From this list everyone should be crocheting! We’d all be happier, healthier and more relaxed, and maybe there would be no wars!
How about you? Why do you crochet, knit or do something else that you love?
Posted on April 5, 2014
This week I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about feedback. It all started because I’ve received some pretty bad service at my local post office over the last couple of weeks. I’m not talking about poor customer service, I’m talking about being overcharged and messing up mail redirections. I addressed each of the situations with the store at the time but I also decided to use the feedback form on the Australia Post website. Almost within an hour I received a reply with a plan of how it was going to be addressed. I was pretty impressed by how my feedback was handled.
Feedback and Blogging
Feedback is a great thing. Feedback lets businesses and organisations improve. It’s a powerful tool that lets them know what they’re doing right and what they need to improve on. But how can this be useful in the bloggy world? How can we harness the power of feedback to improve our blogs, without losing the inherent uniqueness that makes them special?
There are a couple of forms of feedback for blogging that come to mind:
- Feedback Form – similar to what Australia Post and other businesses have, why not include a feedback page on your blog? I decided to give this a go and I have set up a feedback page (it only took about 5 minutes to do!). You can check it out here.
- Statistics – the numbers show how many people are visiting and what they’re looking at. Statistics give a raw, impersonal and basic understanding of what’s working and what’s not. To get the most out of these it needs regular checking and analysis.
- Comments – As well as continuing the discussion, comments sections are a great way of saying “that was really interesting”, “your link isn’t working” or “have you thought about a blog post about this”. Sometimes it pays to ask for feedback in the blog post.
- Reader Survey – why not run an online survey asking for feedback? If you’re thinking of bringing in some changes you could ask about these as well.
- Giveaway – why not run a giveaway with one of the conditions of entering is to give some feedback?
- Blog awards – The purpose of blog awards is to recognise, promote and share blogs that individuals love with the blogging community. These are a great way of giving a blogger a virtual “pat on the back” and sharing the love.
Posted on March 13, 2014
There’s been some exciting things happening in the Homelea Lass nest and I want to celebrate them with you. My You Spin Me Round Necklace crochet pattern has been amazingly popular on the interwebs and it’s even appeared in the very first issue of Little Sparrow Magazine. Then I was amazed to find that somewhere along the way Homelea Lass has ended up with over 500 followers on Instagram and that I’m a Voices of 2014 nominee – you guys rock!
So to celebrate all this happiness I’m giving you a chance to win one of two exclusive prizes that you can’t buy anywhere in the world. You can win either a custom made You Spin Me Round Necklace or a everything-you-need kit so you can make your own necklace. You can even choose what colour yarn from the choices in the photo below.
The eveything-you-need kit includes:
- a ball of Pierrot Tours linen yarn in your choice of colour,
- a 3.00mm KnitPro Symfonie wooden crochet hook,
- a pair of embroidery scissors,
- a tape measure,
- a Clover darning needle set,
- a printed pattern,
- and a Namaste pouch to keep it all in.
The custom made necklace will be made by me just for you. You can choose the colour and the length of the necklace.
You even get five chances to win, and they’re easy! All you need to do is leave a comment below with any combo of these:
- tell me what makes you happy.
- tell me if you’d like to win the kit, the necklace or both.
- like Homelea Lass on Facebook and tell me what your profile name is.
- tell me what you like about Homelea Lass.
- follow Homelea Lass on Instagram and tell me what your profile name is.
Posted on March 9, 2014
This week I’ve been learning about crochet cotton from a grand lady who crochets beautiful creations with it. I’ve learnt that one of the best crochet cottons was J&P Coats Mercer Crochet and it’s not made anymore.
I’ve had a rummage through my stash of cotton to see if I had any in the fine sizes and I found a few balls to pass onto the grand lady. I know she’ll enjoy creating with them.
Posted on February 8, 2014
This week I’ve been finishing off the River Walk Wrap that I’ve been crocheting. I’ve made a few of these in the last couple of months, this is the sixth one to come off my crochet hook. Would you have guessed that I really like this pattern?
The River Walk Wrap pattern is designed by Sharon Faulkner and it’s published in Interweave Crochet. Once I got used to the pattern I found it easy to crochet – it’s perfect for doing in front of the tv. This is a pattern that definitely needs blocking, it turns the crochet into a light and striking wrap, shawl or scarf that is perfectly sized for wrapping around your shoulders. I’m planning on getting plenty of use out of the wrap I made for myself because during spring and autumn I like to have a wrap on hand for those times when I need a little bit of warmth.
Anyhow, back to how blocking changes the River Walk Wrap. Here are some photos of the wraps I made using Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca Lace, the first set is unblocked and the second set is blocked:
Can you see the difference from blocking? It’s really opened up the fabric and made it light and soft, as well as stretching it to shape. It’s amazing what a difference a bit of water, wires and some pins can make.
I also made the River Walk Wrap using Knitsch 4ply wool sock yarn, once in the Blunderbuss colourway (green) and once in the Arronax colourway (purple). Even though this is a larger yarn than that used in the pattern the finished result is still great.
I also crocheted one of these using a hand dyed silk-linen blend but I forgot to take photos of it before I gifted it – silly me! This lace weight yarn made this pattern into a beautiful feeling textile.
Of all the yarns I’ve made the River Walk Wrap out of the 3ply Alpaca Suri yarn from Shiann Alpacas at Gympie really made this pattern shine. The finished product is beautiful, soft and it has a slight haze. I’m sure it will be treasured for many years.
There is nothing I don’t like about this pattern. It’s easy to follow and it doesn’t have any errors. The finished textile is beautiful and a good size. What more could you want? You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.
Do you have a pattern that you find yourself making over and over again? It doesn’t have to be a crochet pattern, maybe it’s for sewing or knitting. If you do have a favourite pattern please share it below in the comments, I’d love to check it out.
Posted on January 30, 2014
If you’ve been following Homelea Lass on Instagram you may have seen that I’ve been working on a large project of late. It’s taken me months and months to finish it and I’m proud to say that I’m done. This might sound like a massive crochet project but it’s not. Instead I’ve turned my studio from a untidy dumping room to a tidy, organised and altogether wonderful space.
It’s gone from looking like this:
To looking like this:
(Complete with my little dog Min of course!)
I must admit that a lot of the mess was my yarn “collection”. I do have a love for lovely yarn made from natural fibres and it seems I’ve amassed quite a few balls and skeins. These days my yarn collection is now happy living in the favourite part of my studio – my restored kitchen hutch complete with suitcases, boxes and baskets on top.
Isn’t she a beauty? I’ve got my other creative treasures stored in the hutch as well, things like pattern books, crochet needles, buttons, half finished projects . . . . . everything now has a home.
See the vertical door on the right? Behind it is some shelves which are perfect for holding yarn. This is what it looks like inside:
My collection of vintage suitcases and baskets are great for storing yarn in too. I’ve got tags on the handles so I know what is in each one.
While I was doing my massive tidy up I found my colourful rag rug. It’s now got a home on my studio floor.
The hutch is very useful for storing my treasures but she’s also full of vintage charm. The original textured glass, hinges and catches are far from ordinary, making her a thing of beauty! She has been a little bit popular on the interwebs and she’s even made an appearance in issue 66 of Gathered by Mollie Makes.
I’ve been tossing up whether or not I should give my vintage hutch a name – what do you think? If you think she’s special enough for a name what do you think it should be? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Posted on January 22, 2014
When it comes to anything crocheted or knitted, chunky is better. The large loops, interwoven together, create a texture which just has to be touched. Chunky throws are the ideal accompaniment for snuggling on a cold night, preferably with a wood fire!
To fulfil all your chunky throw needs I’ve designed a throw for you to make. The Cold Hands Warm Heart throw is super chunky, making it the perfect winter accessory. Made from merino wool yarn, it feels and looks soft and luscious. It looks that good that it’s hard to resist it when it’s draped over your sofa. The great thing is that you can whip this throw up in a couple of hours – bring on the snuggling.
What you’ll need:
- 3 skeins of Big Loop Merino Yarn (available from Loopy Mango)
- 25mm (size U) crochet hook (available from Loopy Mango)
- Finished size – 1.2m x 1.2m
- Gauge – 3 stitches and 2 rows in a 100mm x 100mm square
How to make it:
This pattern uses UK crochet terminology.
- Foundation Chain – Make a slip stitch and then make 32 chains.
- Row 1 – Work a double crochet into the first chain from the hook, then form a chain (this is the first stitch of the row. Then work a treble into each stitch. At the end of the row you’ll have 32 stitches. Turn.
- Row 2 – Double crochet into each stitch 32 times. Turn.
- Repeat rows 1 and 2 another 12 times so that at the end you have 26 rows.
- Fasten off and weave in the ends. Because this yarn is so big the best way of doing this is with your fingers.
Super dooper, easy peasy! How did you go? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to see a photo of your Cold Hands Warm Heart throw – share a photo on the Homelea Lass facebook page or tag @homelealass on Instagram or Twitter.
If you like oversized crochet then pop over and check out my extreme crochet board on Pinterest.
You can find this pattern on Ravelry here.
PS – this post is not sponsored.
Posted on January 15, 2014
Have you whipped up a You Spin Me Round Necklace but need a bit of inspiration on how to wear it? One Homelea Lass reader suggested that a tutorial on how to style the necklace would be useful and I thought this was a great idea. I decided that this was a fantastic opportunity for the first Homelea Lass video – I’m a little bit excited about talking to you!
In the video I go through 4 different ways to style and wear the necklace (they’re in the photo below) plus another 3 styles – that’s a total of 7 different ways to wear one necklace. The great thing is that the styling ideas can be used on any necklace you have that’s similar.
Here’s the video so watch away to your hearts content! If you’re looking for the crochet pattern to make the necklace you can find it here.
My favourite ways of wearing the necklace are styles one and four, how about you?
Posted on January 12, 2014
Do you have a soft spot for chunky scarves? I do. I thought I’d share with you the chunky scarf I crocheted for a friend awhile back. I love how the wool yarn alternates between thick and thin and how the earthy colours gently change and combine.
You can find this project on Ravelry here.
Posted on January 5, 2014
What you’ll need
- 12 small Let It Snow crocheted snowflakes (you can find the pattern here)
- Coloured yarn or twine
- Measuring tape
How to make
- Using the coloured yarn/twine, make a slip knot leaving 300mm of yarn loose.
- Make 30 chains, then make a slip stitch through one of the snowflake points.
- Continue step 2 until all the snowflakes have been joined into the garland.
- Make another 30 chains and fasten off, leaving a 300mm loose end.
- On each end tie a loop with the 300mm of yarn.
- Hang up your garland, smile, tilt your head on the side and go “owwww” :)