I’d like to thank everyone who supported me throughout 2021: class ladies, customers, family & friends… you are what makes it all worthwhile.
2021 is coming to an end &, not a moment too soon, I hear you say. I’m sure many of us are Covid weary & look forward to a fresh, new year &, with borders now open, family & friends can reunite once more. I hope everyone is faring well in this ‘Big Wet’. The rain, of course, is very welcomed after such a long dry, but my heart goes out to those experiencing floods, especially farmers who always seem to do it hard. I for one have a drenched garden, raging weeds & bedraggled chooks.
I didn’t manage an entry for the Alice Springs Beanie competition this year, but Maleny Knitfest was a wonderful success despite the Covid obstacles that almost stopped the event. Unfortunately, this was the last Knitfest due to the coordinators retiring. Sadly, the Landsborough Market is still on hold for the time being although I have heard that it will resume some time in the future. I so miss this little market, the friends I’ve made, the lovely locals who supported it &, of course, the opportunity to showcase & sell my creations.
With 2022 just around the corner I’d like to wish you a wonderful Christmas & every happiness for the New Year. Stay well, stay safe, be happy. There is so much to be grateful for… cheers Renate
Spoil yourself, or gift someone you love, with one of these unique, Aussie flora & fauna inspired tea cosies.
Who doesn’t love a cuppa? And, what better way to enjoy it than serving it with a fabulous tea cosy.
The tea cosy bodies are Crocheted in chunky, double thread, 100% hand spun wool in a berry/bobble pattern to ensure good heat retention & fit average size tea pots. All 3 have openings for spout & handle & the button/loop closure enables easy access.
Embellishments are a mix of hand-felted & crochet Aussie flora: wattle, Flannel flowers, Waratahs, Gum leaves & Gumnuts to name a few.
I’m often asked, “I’m a left-hander, can I learn to crochet?” The answer is, “Of course, absolutely”. A little while ago I posted some basic left-handed stitch illustrations & received such positive responses, I decided to update & include some more.
The following are a few helpful tips to make left handed crochet a little easier for you…
Firstly, you’ll be holding the hook in your left hand & yarn in the right hand & working your stitches left to right, rather than, right to left.
When learning from a right-handed crocheter, sit opposite (face to face) & follow your teacher’s movements
Following patterns can be daunting for anyone. Moreover, written instructions are mostly for the right-handed. But don’t be put you off, there are always ways around this, as most left-handers know & have dealt with in the right-handed world.
Patterns with symbol charts (written for right-handers) are meant to be read right to left, so try to remember this & start your row on the opposite side of chart
Patterns with illustrations can be reversed by reading from a mirror, or scanned & flipped horizontally in a graphic program
When making garments, keep in mind, you are working left to right so if you’re working a pattern for the front right panel of a vest (for example), you’ll actually be working the front left panel.
When you’re crocheting in the round, you will be working clockwise, rather than ante-clockwise.
Also, be on the lookout for left-handed crochet publications; checkout your local libraries & of course the internet where you’ll find loads of video tutorials
Some left-handers have even surprised themselves by finding that they’re able to crochet right-handed…
This chart shows some of the symbols you’ll see when reading patterns:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Clusters:are groups of unfinished stitches where the last loop of each unfinished stitch is left on the hook & then drawn together.
Clusters can be worked over number of stitches (also used as a decrease) or in a specific st or sp (also known as Bobbles) & can be made with htr (US:hdc), tr (US:dc) or dtr (US:tr) & other high posted stitches
treble cluster(US:dc cluster),
(YO, insert hook in stitch or space as indicated by pattern & draw up a loop, YO & draw through 2 loops on hook) as many times as indicated by pattern, YO & draw through all loops on hook.
Popcorns: are groups of complete stitches worked in the same stitch or space & can also be made using htr, (US:hdc) or dtr (US:tr) & other high posted stitches
5 tr (US:dc) Popcorn:
Work 5 tr (US:dc) in st or sp as indicated by pattern, drop loop from hook, insert hook in first st of group, pick up dropped loop & draw through, 1ch to close.
Popcorns can be made to the front or back of your work
Puff stitches: are a group of loops drawn through the same stitch or space. The number of loops required will be indicated by the pattern
Shell & fans: are groups of complete stitches worked in a stitch or space as indicted by the pattern & can be made using htr (US:hdc), tr (US:dc), dtr (US:tr) & other high posted stitches
Back & front post stitches:
I trust this little tutorial is helpful & gives left-handers more confidence to continue with their crochet journey…
Have you ever wondered if there was an easier way to start a crochet project other than having to make that long foundation chain?
The good news is, yes, Chainless Foundation Stitches. This method can be used anytime you need a solid row of stitches or even when you want to add stitches at the end of a row. It can accommodate, increases, decreases & different height stitches. The only time it isn’t useful is when you’re working lacey patterns that use chains & chain spaces.
So, why bother using the Chainless Foundation Stitch when a foundation chain works perfectly fine?
Firstly, instead of having to count your chains, sometimes finding you’ve mis-counted after completing your first row only to rip it out & start again; with the Chainless Foundation St, you work the chain & stitch at the same time. For example: where a pattern asks for 11 chs to equal the 10 dc (US:sc) needed for your first row, or as for trebles (tr) (US:dc), where the pattern asks for 12 ch to equal 10 sts, you will be making the exact number of sts in one go… This is such a time saver, not to mention, no more frustration when mis-counting.
Another good reason is, you can work a project from top down or bottom up, both giving you a neat, strong, yet flexible edge, whereas, the simple foundation chain can sometimes be tight & less flexible or stretchy, which can be a problem around necklines or sleeve cuffs.
Want to give it a go? Great… I’ve created 2 short Pictorial Tutorials for working the Chainless Foundation Stitches.
I trust these tutorials are helpful, easy to understand & add another crochet trick to your repertoire.
Maleny Knitfest 2021, a great success despite the many obstacles that almost cancelled the whole event: the Covid lockdown the week before, the mandatory mask wearing & social distancing, the trade stalls & workshop presenters who had to cancel due to restrictions & distance & Saturday’s rainy weather. So, I give a huge ‘Thank you shout-out’ to everyone who turned up in droves, did the right thing & made it a fabulous event.
My 2 workshops were well attended & I trust everyone enjoyed themselves, that you’re inspired & have increased your crochet repertoire.
And, of course, the last ‘Thank You’ must go to my friend & tireless trade stall off-sider, Robyn Bailey, without whom I couldn’t have done it.
Congratulations to all the competition winners; the entries were fabulous this year. Unfortunately, I was too late taking photos but I’ll post some when I can find them. You can checkout more Knitfest action here
Finally, the following are my 2 Knitfest competition entries.