Weekly Update: 24th -30th January 2022 + 31st January – 6th Feb (A double dose)

When I started my blog at the end of December, I had planned to post twice weekly. I felt that was manageable. But so far that has proved beyond me as it’s taking me a while to get to grips with WordPress and everything that goes into making interesting content. Then on top of that I was sick for a week and it all fell by the wayside.

But I’m back, determined to keep going and get back on track. So back to my update we go:

A Custom Order

The last week in January was a great week for me and my little crochet business. I sold the lovely cowl I spoke about previously in this post. And I also got a custom order for a baby blanket. I was so excited to get started as it’s been a long while since I have made a blanket. I’ve been busy making Christmas decorations and then hats and trying out little amigurmis and coasters.

So a nice little baby blanket is going to be so good for a change and for my mental health. Sometimes doing a pattern with a lot of repeats can get a little boring but it can also be a lovely way to unwind after the day and let your mind relax and enjoy the repetition.

The customer decided on yellow, grey and white for the blanket colours as the sex of the baby is yet unknown. And she absolutely loved the fabulous Superbly Simple Baby Blanket by Heather over on keepcalmandcrochetuk.com

Superbly Simply Baby Blanket by keepcalmandcrochetuk.com

So for the first week in February while I’ve been off from my day job, I’ve spent every day adding a few rows to this fabulous blanket. I am going to show it to the customer tomorrow and hopefully she will be very happy with it. Mine is coming out a bit smaller than the pattern predicted. I reckon I crochet much tighter than other people so I’m going to see if she would like more repeats added.

Of course I don’t have a single end woven in. I really wish I was the kind of person who did them as I go along! But I always leave them until the end. The great thing about this pattern though is that the repeats are long and there are only a few colour changes so there are not too many ends to weave in -score! And I will also block it for that nice neat finish.

Shop In Ireland Marketplace

I also got around to finishing all my Fishermen’s Hats and putting them up on my page one the Shop In Ireland Website. There are for sale now for €20 plus postage. It’s finally time to start moving this mountain of yarn out of the house. I haven’t seen Stephen since my last yarn purchase. I think he is stuck in a corner of my craft room never to be seen again !!

My Beanies for sale in my store

So that’s a quick summary of my last 2 weeks. I am back to my part time day job tomorrow and I intend to spend my evenings and the rest of the week finishing off the beautiful baby blanket and moving on to my next project -checkerboard bags. My daughter tells me that they are the ‘in’ thing at the moment. So I must go figure out how to make one.

Image from Pinterest

Until next time

Anita x

5 Free Crochet Love Heart Patterns

Love is not just for Valentines Day and should be celebrated every day. But just in case you were thinking of making some love inspired crochet items, here are five of my favourite free heart patterns right now:

Free Pattern 1: Pride Heart Keychains

Pride flag love heart key rings crocheted
Pride Love heart key chains by Julia Simpson at Wayward Pineapple Creations

I absolutely adore these fab heart key rings. And what makes them even better is how inclusive they are. Using DK yarn and a 2.5mm hook, you will have these whipped up in no time.

Pattern found here

Free Pattern 2: Swirly Heart Pattern

Oh my god, I think these are just gorgeous. I haven’t had a chance to make them myself yet but they are definitely on my list (which I’m sure you will already know if you’re a crocheter, is longer than I’ll ever get to crochet!)

These fabulous colourful hearts can be made with any yarn and suitable hook size you like. So you could make some cute tiny ones and large ones. Or a mixture of both would be lovely too. Great for using up scrap yarn and to have hanging up in the house all year round.

The pattern from Atty*s has fantastic instructions including photographs of each round and a chart for those who find following patterns difficult.

Pattern chart for Swirly Hearts pattern by Atty*s

This fantastic pattern can be found here. While you are on the website, I would also encourage you to look at her other fabulously colourful patterns.

Free Pattern 3: Hearts of Hope Crochet Coasters

Crochet coasters designed by IraRott

Using Aran yarn and a 4.25 crochet hook, these coasters would look so pretty on your coffee table, now that we are allowed have friends over again. The pattern is available in English and Korean.

I have saved the pattern to my Ravelry library but I am aware that some American people have issues with Ravelry so here is a link to the designers own website. What I love about this pattern is that you get a free download which makes it so much easier to follow and print out. How nice is Ira Rott!

Free Pattern 4: C2C Pillow

C2C Love Pillow from Nanascraftyhome.com

If you are looking for something more challenging then this is the pattern for you. The love heart panel is actually Part 2 to a previous pattern she released which had a blank back panel. Made with Lion Brand’s Baby Soft Boucle this would be a lovely and soft pillow to have on your couch for Valentines. Another great thing about this pattern is that there is no sewing required, it’s joined by single crochet and chains.

You could choose to have one pillow with Love on one side and the heart on the other or make 2 separate pillows with the patterned side and a blank white back side. The designer has included great pattern instructions and charts for both options.

Pattern can be found here

Free Pattern 5: Crochet Heart Granny Square

Picture and pattern by GoldenLucyCrafts.com

How beautiful is this granny square from Golden Lucy Crafts? We all love a granny square. I think everyone has made one on their crochet learning journey. But these beautiful heart squares are a stunning addition to anyone’s collection. It is classed as an intermediate pattern but don’t let that put you off. The instructions are clear and once you take your time, and follow the pattern you should haven no problems creating your own fabulous heart square.

This beautiful pattern can be found here

So there are the 5 free love heart patterns that caught my eye recently. I’m definitely going to make them over the next few weeks and I’ll post them on my blog when they are done. I would love if you gave them a try and let me know how you get on.

Weekly Update: January 17th – 23rd

The Pandemic is Over! (Well according to the Irish Government it is)

This week has been a strange one here in Ireland. For me personally, it started off with news of more cases of Covid among people I know and then all of a sudden on Friday the government announced that it was going to drop nearly all Covid measures almost immediately.

Time to Celebrate

I know I should be thrilled, finally this madness is over, but the truth is I’m in a bit of shock. I didn’t expect things to change so rapidly when cases are still so high. I have gotten so used to my restricted life, so comfortable in my little work/home world that suddenly being able to leave it kind of scares me. I can feel the anxiety rising in my body.

What’s the best thing for Anxiety?

Crochet!

Taking time away from social media and spending time doing a focused, repetitive, meditative activity is so good to calm that build up of anxiety in the body. I’ve also started walking outside in the sharp fresh air recently and find it great for my mind too.

Right… back to crochet!

This week I focused on the fisherman’s hats I talked about last week.

I completed my first order and sent it off. I hope the customer loves it. He is a fantastic supporter of my little business.

First Sale of the Year- delighted!

Stephen and I are finding the Stylecraft Life Chunky yarn to be very tickly while I’m crocheting so I’ve decided to make hats in every colour I have, using up all of the supply of that wool I have and hopefully they will sell well. Then the tickling will be over. I’m definitely keeping one for myself. They are just so cozy.

I’m still working on organizing and setting up my craft room. It’s a work in progress. Very slow progress! But I’m very excited to have such a lovely space to crochet in. It will be fab when it’s all sorted. Not Instagram fabulous, but fabulous for me.

I need to get my arse in gear and get these updates out sooner. I also want to add more useful posts to my blog but my time management skills are terrible. I spend way too much time scrolling on the internet. So that’s my plan for next week- focus more on the things that are important to me.

I’ll let you know in the Weekly round up if I succeed!

Weekly Update – January 10th to 16th 2022

Woman wearing crochet infinity scarf
Hello, it’s me wearing a scarf I made!

Hi there,

I hope this past week has been a good one. I finally managed to finish some of my WIPs (works in progress). I love it when that happens. Makes me feel all smug. Look at me everyone! I finished something I started 😂

So the first thing I finished was this fab Ice Fisherman’s Beanie by Jenni Designs. I used Stylecraft Life Super Chunky in Parchment and within 10 minutes of adding these pictures to my Facebook page, I had my first order of 2022. Whoop, Whoop! I’m thrilled. This beanie comes out nice and big which is a huge bonus as a lot of the hats I made last year were definitely too small and I think my friends were too kind to say it. This top down beanie even fits my head. Which is a miracle I can tell you as I have an unnaturally large head!

Here is the Jenni’s YouTube video which also contains the pattern link that I have added below the photos too.

I also got round to photographing the infinity scarf mentioned in a previous update, and uploading it to my Shop In Ireland store so hopefully I have a buyer for that soon.

www.shopinireland.ie

I was also so amazingly organised on Saturday and Sunday that I crocheted a few Lump of Coal Chocolate orange covers for NEXT Christmas!!! I used this great pattern by The Yarnivore which works up so quickly and easily.

I decided that this year I would take a few days every month and work on stock for next Christmas, so I won’t be under as much pressure with trying to get orders made and out on time. Delighted to have 5 stored away already.

So yes, last week was one of feeling very organised and on top of things. Lets hope that carries on into this week!

Until next time

Anita x

P.S. If you have some time, I would appreciate it if you could leave me some feedback. What could I do better here on my new site? What would you like to know about me? Have you any crochet questions? Or any other feedback?

Weekly Update 3rd Jan – 9th Jan 22

Yikes, things haven’t been working out as planned. When I started this blog I had planned to post a weekly update as well as one other useful post minimum per week. I’ve already fallen behind with that. But hey it’s January and we are all getting back into a routine after Christmas and the New Year.

So this week I returned to my day job in Youthreach. We had planning days and prepared for our students return to the centre. I am like a mad woman carrying my HEPA filter around from room to room with me, but I really want to keep safe so I don’t catch this virus and pass it on to my mother-in-law who suffers with COPD and other lung and heart complaints.

Of course going back to work means I was extra tired and so not much crochet happened. I’m still working away on my Shamrocks to see if I can make the beautiful bunting from the Knotted Nest.

Crochet Love hearts
Making slow progress on the Shamrocks

On Thursday I decided to change plan for a little while, as we are experiencing some cold weather here in Ireland. I decided it was a good time to focus on hats again. So I started working on a simple Half Double Back Loop Only rectangle style hat.

Might have made it a little too big!

There are many helpful blog posts and patterns out there for this simple hat but I learned how to make it from this Youtube video by CreationsMisfit

On Friday, Stephen and I headed off to IKEA in Dublin, to buy some bits and pieces to help make my craft room more of a room for crafting rather than dumping everything and anything. Did I mention I love IKEA, I wanted to buy everything but I was very good and only got enough to fill the back of the car.

The main thing I wanted was a pegboard

Pegboard Inspiration

I have suffered from huge Pinterest pegboard envy for a while now so I was very happy to pick up two for myself. Cant wait to get organising. I’ll definitely do a before and after post on my craft room. I must also finish that hat and post and update too.

So again, I’m sorry for the delay in this update. Must do better!

Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and let me know what you are up to.

Until later

Anita x

8 Great Reasons to Start Crocheting in 2022

I love crocheting so much I shout it from the roof tops. I can’t help it. It’s become such a huge part of my life and brought me such joy and fun. In these difficult times having a hobby like crochet can give you some lovely moments of wonderful escape from all the craziness of life.

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

So let’s get into my 8 Great Reasons to Start Crocheting in 2022 in a little more detail:

  1. It’s fun and easy to learn

One of the main attractions of crochet is that you can learn a few basic stitches and off you go. You can make a nice little project, such as a pot holder, a coaster or a scarf in no time. And once you master the basics you can move on to much more exciting and fun projects because after all crochet is just a combination of different stitches in different patterns. And the fun thing is that there is always something new to learn. You are gaining a life long skill and carrying on this beautiful craft into future generations.

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

2. You don’t need to spend lots of money on materials (to start)

All you need is a hook and a ball of yarn to get started. I would suggest buying a 4mm hook and some double knit (DK) yarn as these are my go to for making the vast majority of projects. Then pop on a beginner Youtube video, such as this great total beginners one from BellaCoCo and get practicing. Or if you are left-handed like me, this video is for you. Once you have decided you love crochet you can start looking into expanding your stash. (I’ll let you into a secret now though- once you start investing in this hobby you will find out it in fact becomes 3 hobbies – crocheting, collecting yarn and collecting patterns.)

3. You can become part of the lovely community of crocheters across the world.

There are so many Facebook groups, Instagram pages, Tiktok profiles and crochet blogs out there. Join a group, ask questions, read the files, follow as many crochet pages as you can. You will find a world of helpful information and networks of support out there just waiting for you to explore. Get involved. Put your makes up on Instagram and let people see your progress. I have found so many lovely helpful people through social media who share this obsession with crochet. People who truly understand the rollercoaster of emotions this hobby can put you through (Wait till you lose at yarn chicken or have to frog a project, then you will know how emotional this craft can make you!) If you are from Ireland, like me, a lovely group I recommend to join is Knitting and Crochet Ireland.

4. You can bring it everywhere you go.

Crochet is one of the most portable crafts out there. You can bring it along almost anywhere you go. Sometimes you might get some curious stares but it’s usually people watching in awe as you create something beautiful with some yarn and a single hook. I have had some lovely conversations with people asking me what I am making, while waiting in airport lounges or my doctors surgery. I crochet on my break at work, while waiting to collect my daughter in my car and I used often bring it along with me while visiting friends (before covid stopped all that). Just tuck it in your bag and you can crochet in the park, in a cafe, on a bus, you name it.

5. You get a huge sense of achievement

When you start learning to crochet and you have mastered a few stitches such as the skip knot, a chain and single crochet (Double crochet in UK terms), you will find that it becomes very rewarding very quickly. Choose the right project and you could complete it in a evening or a weekend. The fun and satisfaction of creating something with your own two hands is hard to beat. Even still for me, after many years of crocheting, I get a major thrill when I finish a project. I never thought as myself as one of those creative, crafty types and now I’m like “look at you go girl!, you are creative”.

7. It’s a great anxiety and stress reliever

Being totally honest, it can be very frustrating when you are starting to learn how to crochet. Some lucky people pick it up automatically but the vast majority of us, it can take a little while to get the brain-hand-eye coordination bit going. But I guarantee you, once you stick with it, one day it will click and it becomes so much easier. When that happens, crochet becomes one of the most calming activities you can do.

Studies of the brain have shown that more serotonin is released with repetitive movement, which improves mood and sense of calmness. Studies have also shown that crocheting can reduce blood levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone. How great is that?!

I’m a person whose mind is churning over things 90 miles an hour all the time. However when I am crocheting, I can’t do that. I focus on what I’m doing. I get so caught up in it so for that hour or so in the evening while I’m making a hat or something repetitive, my mind gets calmed and all those other thoughts get forgotten about.

Even more so when I am doing something more challenging. Yes it might be annoying when a stitch isn’t working out as a pattern says it should, but then again I am so focused on getting it right, that my other worries are banished to the back of my mind. If you are someone who can’t stand to be idle, crochet is a great way to give your body and mind a rest and not feel like you are wasting time.

Also if you want to cut down on your screen time, keeping your hands busy with a crochet project while watching tv or listening to a podcast is a way to avoid that aimless social media scrolling that we all are guilty of.

Stress Reliever Balls from YKCrochet on Etsy

8. You can make unique long lasting items in a world full of mass produced fast fashion.

Say NO to fast fashion handwritten inscription with angry signs. Design for posters, T-shirts, banners. Vector stock illustration.

More and more we are looking to find ways to help this battered planet of ours. In a world full of fast fashion, crochet items are long lasting, hardwearing and timeless. The satisfaction of making your own jumper or crop top cannot be matched by purchasing a mass produced item in a high street chain. Other items like baby blankets and teddies can become family heirlooms passed along from child to child. As we all gain a better social conscience about climate change and carbon footprints, handmade clothes and decorations are becoming more appealing to a wider range of people. Not only will your new hobby help you with stress, cloth you, keep you warm and make you feel better about yourself, it will also help save the planet! I mean I’m not sure what else I can say to convince you to start crocheting right away! Except maybe number 8

8. All the cool kids are at it

Tom Daley showing off his crochet skills

Head over to Tiktok and you will see hundreds of people making fabulous clothes and plushies of all kinds. It’s obvious crochet is very much on trend at the moment. British Olympic diver Tom Daley made waves last summer as he crocheted and knitted in stands. You couldn’t avoid coverage of it. Of course Tom had an Instagram page charting his crochet adventures for a long time before the Olympics but this coverage made him the biggest crochet influencer in the world and has brought so many young people to the craft.

It’s so exciting to see how many people of all ages are out there creating fantastic cardigans, dresses, toys, the list goes on and an one. Crochet is definitely not just for grannies!

One of the most popular plushies on social media, the Bee plushie

So if any of my 8 Reasons to Learn How to Crochet in 2022, have encouraged you to give it a go, please let me know in the comment box below. If I can help you in any way please get in contact with me and I’ll do my best to help you.

Also if you are more experienced and have any tips for beginners maybe you could add them to the reply box too?

Until later

Anita xx

Weekly Update 27th Dec 21 – 2nd Jan 22

Two days into 2022, please let this year be the end to this pandemic! I think we all are dying to get back to normal life again. One of the great things to come out of all this time at home though, has been all that extra time to crochet. It’s become so important in my life that I would feel weird if I went a day without doing a few stitches. Crochet is my therapy. It’s so relaxing and helps calm my mind down when it often is spiraling.

Anyway about this week, I’ve been really enjoying this time off. Now that the rush of Christmas orders is over, I’ve been able to just relax and crochet things I felt like trying out with no time pressure to finish anything.

I have been wanting to make more key rings after making these Squid Game Soldier ones last year.

My squid game soldier keyring

So when I came across this fab Peas In a Pod pattern by Carrie from The Caron Notebook, I had to try it out.

Crochet peas in a pod key rings handmade

Could they be any cuter?

The pattern is so clear and easy to follow, I couldn’t help myself and ended up making all different combinations, male and female, 2 females, 2 males and then 3 peas in a pod. I just added a few extra stitches to the pod pattern to make it large enough for the third pea.

I actually managed to start and finish a project in two days, which is a miracle for me. I used Lion Brand yarn for the first time and I loved it. I used Wool Ease thick and quick in Hudson Bay and could not get over how quickly it worked up. I used a pattern from Easy Crochet called the Half Double Crochet Infinity scarf. It was so simple, using hdc bio stitches to create a lovely cosy scarf. I’m just thrilled that Joann’s is now delivering to Ireland, so I can get my hands on these different types of yarn to play with.

The finished Infinity Scarf

I also started working on a heart garland from The Knotted Nest. I had bought the pattern a while back and had been wanting to make it for a while. There is also a free version on her site here

Photo of Valentine Hearts from Knotted Nest website

The pattern is lovely and easy to follow. So clearly explained. I quickly made up one heart using some Aldi DK yarn that has been hanging around waiting for me to find something to do with it.

Delighted with my first attempt at this lovely heart

I had also bought another one of Nikki’s patterns and so I started on that yesterday too.

Can you see the shamrock forming?

So as you can see I have a few WIPs on the go. My aim is to get both garlands finished next week. I’m back to work on Tuesday but only have 2 days this week so there will still be plenty of crochet time. I’m nervous about being exposed to so many people and catching covid but I’m going to bring my own air purifier with me and ignore all the strange looks as I carry it from room to room 😂

If you are reading this, thanks so much. I’m delighted you stopped by. Maybe you could let me know what you are working on at the moment? I’d love to know.

Until next week x

Hello

It’s New Year’s Eve. When could there ever be a better time to start a crochet blog I ask ya? Today is the day!

I think a very quick introduction is needed. This will be the short version because my 2-3 sentence About section turned into an essay (I have a feeling this might be an emerging trend in my new blogging adventure).

So I’m Anita Egan. I’m originally from Co. Clare but have lived in Tipperary for 13 years now. Love made me move to our bitter hurling rivals territory!

Oh yes- Crochet.

I love to crochet. I’m obsessed with it. Although I do tend to spend more time looking at what other people make, reading blogs, collecting 1,000s of patterns and mountains of yarn. Btw, I know I’m being all fancy saying Yarn, we just call it all wool here in Ireland, but I desperately want to fit in with the crochet world so I’m changing my lingo to fit in.

Anyway this blog is for me to put my rambling thoughts down somewhere. I am at a point where I sell finished items but I still feel like I have so very much to learn. I am going to be adding tips and helpful posts for people who want to learn how to crochet, especially if they are left handed and lost like I was when I started out. I don’t write patterns- yet! But I do think there is a place for me here.

So if you like the sound of all that, please be sure to subscribe to never miss a post. Who knows what you could learn!

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