Crochet Dates, Crochet-Alongs and Hook-ins. The tale of a busy week

Well, to be honest, I kind of combined them all together ^_^”

Last wednesday, I visited my friend Jaqueline from EenMooiMomentje/Threading Along for a crochet date. We had planned the perfect date, since on wednesdays EchtStudio holds their weekly Hook-ins. It’s a pretty long drive for me, but because I could spend the afternoon at my friends house, it was definitely worth it.

We drank loads of tea, chatted and all the while worked on our most current projects. She’s knitting a hat, which I believe is pretty amazing, since I can’t knit. I started working on a smaller project than I thought it would be: a unicorn for the latest Ana Paula Rimoli Crochet-Along. I’m really starting to love CALs, especially when they’re based around one or two patterns. It’s so much fun to see what everyone comes up with to really make a pattern their own.

After dinner, we went over to EchtStudio for the Hook-in. Which was way more fun than last time! I have to admit, being back in my comfort zone with making amigurumi helped a lot. Last time, I was so annoyed by my own confusion about wanting to make a blanket, I just couldn’t seem to enjoy myself. Also, last time it was really, really busy, while this week, only two tables were taken (must have had something to do with that giant crafts fair that’s going on…)

I spent the evening working on the unicorn and just wandering around the shop. But like I said, my unicorn is turning out a bit smaller than expected, so it’s almost done already. Inevitably, I came to the point where I didn’t bring the yarn to make the manes and horn, so I had to stop working. Right on time as well, as the evening was drawing to a close. This is as far as I’ve come that day:

Tiny little unicorn

Tiny little unicorn

One last walk around the shop and I stumbled on something I’d been looking for for a while now: the first Zoomigurumi book, in English! It’s been impossible to get and even though I do still plan on joining the Design Contest where you can win both the books, I couldn’t resist inquiring what the price was. And since it was their last one, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse ^_^ Needless to say, it was a very enjoyable day for me.

I also came across two projects I really want to do in the future, if I ever find the pattern for them:

African Flower Hippo

African Flower Hippo

African Flower Owl

African Flower Owl

I have to say, I think I love everything about them: their enormous size, their vibrant colours (you can’t really see on these pictures), their squishiness ^_____^

Tomorrow, I will visit the giant crafts fair I mentioned earlier: Kreadoe. It’s my first time there, so I’m pretty excited and have no idea what to expect! But I’m sure it will be loads of fun and a great way to get tons of inspiration for upcoming projects.

What are your plans for the weekend? And don’t forget, today is the first friday of the month, which means: BYATWF!

Cheers, Lydia

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Why crocheting in a group is great fun and totally sucks

Disclaimer: Please note that this is a pretty rant-y, negative post. If you prefer to read about happy little crochet projects, please come back another time or browse my older posts ^_~

Last night, I went to my second Hook-In at Echtstudio. The first time I went, I had loads of fun, met new people and was able to talk about different techniques and materials. Yesterday was, well, different. Overall it was fun, I took the big Minion with me and some oohs and aahs were uttered when he came out of his little box. A couple of my friends were there as well, which is always nice. I love seeing familiar faces in a crowd.

Cause that’s what it sure was, a crowd. Echtstudio moved to a new studio since the last time I’ve been there and it’s gotten a lot bigger. Also, I guess a lot of people came especially to see DenDennis, an up and coming pattern designer (I got my picture taken with him, yay!) All in all, it ended up a lot less cozy and personal. At least, that’s what it felt like to me, could have been a completely different experience for anyone else.

I went in the hopes I would be able to buy the yarn for the Afghan I want to make. I pretty much picked out the material I wanted to use: Stylecraft Special DK. The only thing I wasn’t sure about were the colours. The pattern calls for three different colours, one main and two contrast. So I picked out a couple I liked and went to my friends to ask for some feedback. Two of them were sitting at a different table and when I got there, someone else who was sitting there as well asked me what I was going to make with it. So I told her about the pattern and what I wanted to use the blanket for.

And that’s where things went wrong for me. She told me that I absolutely HAD to use a different kind of yarn: Paris Drops. I have worked with this yarn before and I really didn’t like it. It splits, gets stiff and just doesn’t feel right to me. Also, I’ve been seeing a lot of projects made with Stylecraft lately, especially blankets and wanted to try it out. Plus, I would need twice as many skeins to make the thing with Drops. So I told her what I thought. But she kept going on and on about how if I used the Stylecraft I wouldn’t be able to get the cat hair out of it and it would get all dirty and be too warm and the Drops would be so much better. Right.

Then she said something that made more sense to me: calculate the difference in price. So I went and summed up the price for Stylecraft and Drops. Turned out, Stylecraft would be about 10 euros cheaper. Since these kinds of projects cost a lot of money and time either way, I think that pretty much settles it for me. After all, I am going on vacation and should be careful with my spendings for a while. She didn’t see it the same way. Apparently ‘only 10 euros difference’ is another great argument to keep pushing her favorite brand.

Apparently yarns wasn’t her only expertise, when I showed her a picture of the Afghan in colour, I had to change that as well. Since the ones I picked weren’t exactly the same as in the pattern. All I could think of was: I don’t need the exact same colour scheme, I can make it in whatever colour I darn well please!

For those people who are more visual, here’s a picture of the Afghan in question:

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The biggest problem wasn’t her though. It was me and my ever so insecure personality. I started to doubt whether it would be a good idea to make such a big project with a yarn I hadn’t ever worked with. And if maybe Drops wasn’t really better after all, because well, cat hair would definitely get on it. And maybe I just needed to get used to working with the yarn and then it wouldn’t split so quickly anymore. And maybe the colours are a lot brighter and better… And so on and so forth.

So I ended up putting everything back and not buying anything and going home feeling a bit bummed and not even having had a lot of time to work on the penguin I took with me to work on.

In the end, crocheting with a group of people, whether they are your friends or not can be real fun. I think it’s great to be able to share whatever you’re working on with others.

But I really dislike it when people you don’t really know and who don’t know you start giving you unwanted advise and don’t listen to your counter arguments and only want to push you to do what they want you to do. I’m sure she meant well, but to me, it ended up being a pretty bad experience.

I guess I need to learn to stand my ground and not be swayed so quickly by what other people think.

Now that I think about it, I believe she was the same person I had a discussion with last time I went to the Hook-In. About fuzzy yarn and which one is better/easier to work with. I guess some people just can’t see that whatever material they prefer to work with isn’t always the best for someone else.

Oh well, I got some extra time to decide if I really want to make an Afghan or if I will just bring some extra paperbacks with me to Greece 🙂

How do you handle unwanted, but well meant advise and the insecurities that come with it?
And what kind of material or brand of yarn do you prefer to use when making blankets/afghans/whatever (if you’ve ever made one)?

Cheers, Lydia

Just keep swimming…

I finished work on the big minion that was requested by a friend of mine a couple days ago and now I’ve already finished the goldfish! I’m pretty glad that it turned out to be a quick project, even despite the slightly difficult pattern. I really needed something that didn’t take me a couple weeks to finish. (Even though work on the minion didn’t take nearly as long as the last time)

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I think maybe the eyes came out a little too big, but I still really like this fish. Especially the fins and scales have been brilliantly thought up!

I’ve got quite a couple projects going on, more in my head than in real life, since I have been able to keep myself from starting too many things at once. I kind of feel like I’m starting to drown in my own work and that can’t be a good thing. But then again, I can’t seem to be able to stop crocheting >_<”

Right now, I’m working on the penguin from All About Ami and tonight I’m going to another Hook-In at Echtstudio, where I can get the yarn I need to get started on the afghan I want to make during my vacation.

Actually, I’m pretty excited about tonight, since DenDennis will be there. He has created some very cute crochet patterns and I’m pretty curious as to what he will be making in the future. If you like anything from Mario to Star Wars to original designs, go check out his blog! I’ve still to buy one of his patterns, but I think I will do that either tonight or after my vacation ^_^

In the meantime, while I haven’t been sitting still, neither has my blog. I guess someone mentioned me on Facebook, since a lot of people got directed here in the past few days. I haven’t been able to find out where they came from, but I want to take this opportunity to thank whoever linked here and everyone who liked it enough to take a look!

Well, I guess it’s back to the grindstone. Have a great everybody!

Cheers, Lydia

I should update / Hook-in

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I really should, but what exciting news do I have for you?

Well, nothing extremely special really. Except for this.

Last week, me and a friend went to a so-called ‘Hook-in’. Now, I know you’re all wondering what the fudge a hook-in is. Well, basically, it’s a gathering of people who like to crochet. You bring your own work with you and/or whatever project you are working on at the moment and you all sit down in the same room and well.. crochet. Plus, there is tea and coffee and all sorts of sugary goodness!

I had a lot of fun that evening. It gave me a great opportunity to see other people work on their crochet and talk about all sorts of different techniques and styles. For instance, I managed to surprise quite a few people with the tutorial I’d used for the hair on my My Little Ponies. (it can be found here)
And in turn, I got to see how your work turns out if you finish off every round with a slip stitch. I know now that it’s not really for me, but then again, it does make it a bit easier to see where your last round ends and the next one begins, plus, colour changes are a lot smoother that way. (I usually hide my colour changes at the back of bottom of my work or behind limbs…)

The event was organised by a Dutch crochet studio called ‘Echtstudio’ and it was held in their actual studio/store. It was great fun to see all the different kinds of yarn they sell. They also had loads of different amigurumi’s, bags and other accessories on display, which was awesome to see. I actually just wanted to browse all evening, but instead I got a little bit of work done on my Catbus and just chatted the rest of the time away.

Here are some pictures I nicked from the Echtstudio facebook page:

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It was pretty full, but really cozy at the same time 🙂
And the best part of the evening? 10% off everything you bought there! But I managed to contain my enthusiasm and actually only bought some yarn that I’d needed:

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I really needed to get more dark-brown, as the Catbus was starting to devour my last skein. And I simply adore the fuzzy yarn, they actually had a lot more colours and shades, but I had to take it easy and only took some colours that could be used in an upcoming project (ssst, it’s a secret ^_~ ). Great thing is, I can always order more from their online shop! I did already, couldn’t resist the package deal for their Easter Bunny pattern, got the pattern in my mailbox immediately (PDF file, yay!) and I should have gotten the yarn in the post today, but I haven’t checked yet. They also have some free patterns on their site, which are really fun to make.

And just for fun, here’s a link to Echtstudio on facebook. It is all in Dutch, mind you.

To finish my rambling, I learned something new about myself that night. I appear to have a “crochet-tic”. I put my yarn over the hook as if I’m knitting! Well, the best excuse I could think of was that I learned how to crochet with my right hand, while I’m actually left-handed. But frankly, I have no idea why I would do that. It’s not as if I’m more familiar with knitting or anything. Oh well, I was quickly consoled by another guest who admitted that she didn’t like to crochet in public much because she had a tic of her own. I never got to see what it was though…

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed another bit of my rambling! I might be able to put up some pictures of the Catbus pretty soon. Right now, it’s just down to making all the paws (that thing has TWELVE legs 0_O) and the windows and then it’s just a matter of sewing it all together.

Cheers, Lydia