20 February 2012

{friendship} february: get your hooks out & (another) giveaway!!

Hello there!
I hope you all had a great weekend....mine was spent buried under yards of silk, interfacing, a wee bit of boning & lots of pins....but I'll tell you all about that another day! 
Thanks for all the fantastic comments about online friendships, it was really wonderful to hear your thoughts on this amazing community we are part of!  I'm delighted to announce that the winner of the lovely Flutter. Kat patterns is:

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So congratulations Quilterbell! Could you please email me your address to get these gorgeous patterns off to you? For those of you who didn't win, I have a little surprise for you at the end of this blog post, but I'll let my next {friendship} february guest tell you all about it. I'm delighted to hand over to Sarah, one of my first bloggy friends (who happens to live only about an hour away from me!). She not only sews wonderful things, but crochets beautiful things too

Hello there!  Huge thanks to Karen for inviting me to guest post on her blog during her {friendship} february feature - thanks for having me!
Although I'm more frequently found behind the motorised needle of the sewing machine or hanging out here, one of my other needlecraft loves is crochet, and it's crochet Karen has invited me to talk to you about today.  For me, crochet is the sociable alternative to hiding away in the sewing room with fabrics and my rotary cutter.  I can grab a hook and a ball of wool and be part of the family again while letting those busy fingers of mine keep at it!  I also love crochet for its portability - great for car journeys, waiting for the kids at swimming lessons, well, you get the picture.
Crochet is also a fantastic craft for little projects that work up very quickly. In the space of an evening you can have some cute lovelies like these to enjoy!  
 Want to see how?
Firstly, choose a design you like that will allow you to layer the crocheted pieces in order of diminishing size.  For my brooch I have opted for two circular motifs, one slightly smaller than the other, but you could try squares or hexagons or any other shape you fancy.  If you want something really special you might even try more layers.
 Once your circles, or flowers, or whatever are complete, you need to stitch them together discreetly so that they will hold well when worn as the brooch.  Sew in any loose yarn ends.  Choose a co-ordinating button and stitch it in the centre of your flowers, making sure it is well secured.
 Now for the brooch pin.  These little pins are quite inexpensive and can be bought online or at craft shops.  If the back of your brooch will give you enough purchase you can go ahead and stitch the pin backing directly to your crochet.  Sometimes however, there isn't quite enough substance to hold the pin back in the right place.  If this is so, you can follow this handy little tip I picked up at a fab brooch making workshop by Judith- simply cut a small felt circle, sew the brooch pin to the felt about two-thirds of the way up and then glue the felt and pin to the back of your crochet.  Leave until the glue dries and then pin the brooch to your coat and wear proudly!
Once you've mastered crochet and the technique of brooch building the only limit is your creativity.  These little rose brooches were made from a length of narrow crocheted scalloped edging wound in a spiral: 
So, lovely readers, if you've persevered this far you deserve a chance to be rewarded! So, here are two little giveaways.
  • Firstly, if you've never tried crochet before but would like to have a go, I have a little starter gift for you.  There's a copy of the Art of Crochet DVD, a 4mm hook and a 25g ball of yarn as well as one of my little brooches to inspire you to stick at it.
 And, for those not so interested in trying crochet for yourself, there are these two little brooches:
To enter simply leave a comment letting Karen know which draw you'd like to be entered in - either the 'Beginner' or the 'Brooches'. If you follow either Karen's blog or mine, please let us know for bonus entries.
Well, that's me and my crochet brooches folks.  Hope you've enjoyed it and if you're at all inspired to have a go I hope you'll find these suggested resources useful:
'Start Crochet', Jan Eaton -  great instructions, clear pictures and progress through techniques into projects
'Cute and Easy Crochet', Nicki Trench - good illustrations of the stitch techniques, fun projects
'200 Crochet Blocks', Jan Eaton - great book of crochet squares for making samplers, cushions etc
'201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas', Melody Griffiths - I wouldn't recommend for a beginner, but for those with experience this book has a great selection of motifs for crocheting
'Crocheted Throws and Wraps', Melody Griffiths - definitely for the more confident crocheter, but gorgeous selection of throw patterns
Crochet Blogs: yarnroundhookattic24naturenutnotes - not strictly a blog on crochet but has some nice crochet posts/tutorials

Thanks so much Sarah! I just love those flowers! The giveaway will close on Friday 24th Feb at 12MN (gmt) & I'll announce the winner on Saturday....good luck everyone! I'm off to sew up some more silk!
Hope you all have a great week!


  1. ...and I can testify to how lovely the brooches are as I won one in a giveaway on Sarahs blog!
    Never tried crochet and it really is something I need to have a go with!

  2. i have not done crochet in years but would like to give it another go so i would like the beginner if i was lucky to be drawn !!

  3. I dabble in crochet from time to time, will start again so I would like to be put into the brooches draw please

  4. I would love to be entered for the brooch draw, I have started to learn crochet so have the basics but would love these to inspire me to do more!

  5. I'd love to win the brooches!

  6. Hi. Thanks for the post. I would like to learn to crochet as it is more sociable in the evening. Di xo

  7. I love the beginner prize. I want to make one for myself! Thanks.

  8. I haven't crocheted for years. Please enter me for the brooches. I love this idea.

  9. Oh please enter me in the beginners kit! I want to start to learn to crochet!! this is perfect!

    I follow this blog!

  10. I want to learn, but today I'm sticking to Brooches please - thank you x

  11. Beginner please - I am inspired to have a go!

  12. Great tute Sarah, but don't enter me for the giveaway! I'm good on crochet! Jxo

  13. such cute little brooches - I don't know how to crochet but would love to learn - I saw a crocheted finish on a quilt binding once and would love to be able to do that :) and I follow Karen's blog ! fabulous post thanks Sarah

  14. I love the brooches! I find crochet really addictive but I already have hooks, etc. so please don't enter me, it'd be nice for a complete beginner to win!!

  15. What a great idea. I really like the starter pack as I want to learn to crochet but just haven't found time and inspiration and instruction together yet. This seems like a great place to start.

  16. thanks for the giveaway!,i'm still new to crocheting so i like the starter kit.i also follow your blog.

    k_rampersad03 at yahoo dot com

  17. Love the brooches! Makes me want to get out my crochet hooks again!