Friday, 29 May 2015

The one with a clutch bag and a workshop

Ooooo, I've had some lovely projects on the go at the moment.
This is my most recent, and absolute favouritest: 

I had the idea of using a star stitch, something I've been playing around with. It's not a difficult stitch, just a bit fiddly, but the real problem I had was in finding other stitches which could work around it.

You see, the star stitch is greedy. A very greedy little stitch indeed. And boy, does it pull in the yarn. The trouble I had was that everything I tried in the rows after it just didn't work. (There were several sweary moments, let me tell you.)

And then I cracked it. It was a simple case of reducing the number of stitches. Then my rows worked.

After that, it was a cinch.
I'm so pleased with how it looks. And although I love using lots of colours, stripes being a particular favourite of mine, I think reducing the palette really makes the stitches work hard and stand out.

Sooooo, I'm very pleased to be able to offer you the chance to learn how to make one of these gorgeous bags at an exclusive one-day workshop at Black Sheep Wool's Craft Barn on the 17th July in Warrington* AND I'll be there the day before for some fun meet-the-author/ book-signing malarkey. 
The day itself consists of much crochet-y fun; I'll show you how to make the clutch bag and you'll be provided with all the materials and know-how, a delicious buffet lunch and 10% discount to spend that day in the shop!

*Your response will be one of these:
a. Excellent! I live just around the corner.
b. Oh no. I live too far away (I'm in the UK)
c. Oh no. I live too far away (I'm outside the UK)

My answer would be this:
a. Awesome. See you there.
b. Not a problem. Grab a friend who shares your passion for crochet and do an overnighter, staying in one of Warrington's finest hotels. Or one of its worst. Up to you.
b/c. For those of you unable to get time off work, or living impossibly far away, then don't worry, I'll be releasing the pattern for sale after the workshop, so you'll still be able to get yer mitts on it.

To book your place on the workshop, then visit Black Sheep Wools and sign up. Spaces are limited, so get in there early to avoid disappointment.

I can't wait to see you there,

Sarah xx

Friday, 8 May 2015

It's a blog hop!

It is my very great pleasure to be starting off my first EVER blog hop*, organised by the fab team at Stitch Craft Create.

*A blog hop?
For those not in the know, it's where a blogger writes a post with a special theme and then nominates other bloggers to do the same. Those bloggers write their posts, each nominating more bloggers...and so on. Soon, bloggers from all over the world are joining in and sharing stories.

Sounds good, eh? And what I love about this hop is the theme; to share stories about beginner crochet experiences..
Good AND bad. Let's call it Beginner Win, or Beginner Fail.

So let's kick things off....

Let me take you back to early 2011. I had taught myself to crochet a little bit, using books. Mostly, I had made lots and lots of boring stitch samples in horrid yellow acrylic yarn. Why yellow? I have no idea. They were so awful, I didn't even keep them (FAIL). 
Anyhoos, being thoroughly bored to pieces over making said horrid yellow samples, I decided to make cute toys for my little boy. It took a few attempts to get the hang of working in circles, counting stitches and all that malarkey, but I did it!!
And I created my own version of the Octonauts TV characters! (WIN)

I had to dig them out of the boy's room and was impressed to see they have survived- a little squished perhaps - Captain Barnacles Bear has evidently lost his jaunty hat, but pretty much in one piece.

But, and this is a big BUT.
Can you see the total crochet FAIL??
I see it every time I look at these little fellas and it makes me cringe!
Got it?

They're all inside out!!!!! 

Yes, as a beginner, no book I had ever read told me that there is a right and a wrong side when you're working in the round, so my little creations all ended up inside out.

I don't suppose it really matters and my boy has loved them all the same, but still, it irks me...

I'm glad to say, my amigurumi making has improved somewhat since the early days and still remains one of my favourite projects to crochet. And happily, none of my more recent makes are inside out!

So that's enough from me. If you'd like to enjoy other people's beginner crochet stories, then here's the wonderful bloggers I nominate:

Shelley from Spincushions,
Chrissie from Chrissie's Crafts,
Marianne from MaRRoseCCC,
Heather from Pink Milk,
And Maria from Dinki Dots Craft.

These bloggers will be posting in the next few weeks. To find out when, head over to Stitch Craft Create's Blog where you'll find the complete list of international bloggers who will be taking part.

And if you have a beginner's crochet story you'd like to tell, why not share on Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #crochetconfession. We'd all love to read your tales of newbie crocheting!

Don't forget that if you'd like to learn to crochet, I have a written a rather super book called Beginner's Guide to Crochet (bet you didn't see that coming), which tells you, amongst other things, which is the inside and outside of your crochet when toy-making. You won't make the same mistake I did!

Stitch Craft Create

And if you need crochet and yarn supplies to get you going, have a look at my curated shop here:

Ambassador Banner_Sarah Shrimpton

Have a great weekend, and enjoy hopping to all the other blogs...I'll see you there!

Sarah xx

P.S.  I do hope I'm not the only one with a beginner crochet fail...

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Call the Ambassador

When the peeps at Stitch Craft Create asked me to be their very first ambassador, I was thrilled.

See? Look at that photo. I am positively beaming with thrilled-ness.

What this means is that I get to write the odd guest-blog post for them, maybe review some products, but most importantly, curate my own little online shop at Stitch Craft Create, filling it with all the products that I love from their online store.

And so, I've browsed the virtual aisles for you, choosing my favourite yarns, along with the essentials that you'll need for your crochet kit and other goodies I think are just nice to have.

Need a mahooosive 15 mm hook?
It's in the shop.

Want some of this lush yarn?
In the shop.

Yearn for a totally gorgeous project bag?
You know where to go.

(Actually, must put one in my basket. I loves it so much. Don't tell the Mister - I have like, a zillion craft bags...)

And if you're after a rather marvellous book to teach you how to crochet, then I happen to know of a very good one...
Available in the shop, of course.

If you fancy a perusal and a cracking good discount too, then click on the blue text-link below the pic and await your transportation to my online emporium.*

Save 15% Off Everything at Stitch Craft Create

I hope you enjoy the shopping  as much as I did!

Sarah x
*If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Stitch Craft Create will pay me a small commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep me designing new patterns, so thank you.