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Scarves for Beginners – An Introduction

scarf for beginners

It seems to me that the most popular item for a beginner to make, and that can be knitting, crochet, felting or even macrame, is the humble and oh so useful scarf.

They can be skinny or wide, long or short, plain or fancy, light or warm and can be really simple and straight forward as well as really delicate and intricate. It all depends on the wool you have chosen.

Scarves can also be expanded on once you have the knack of the stitches and you will soon be on your way to adding a hat and even gloves to match.

How to Start a Scarf

Before you decide if you are going to knit, crochet or felt a scarf you need to decide what the scarf’s purpose is. Is it for decoration or to keep you warm. If it’s to keep you warm, is it for spring or summer to take off the evening chill or autumn into winter to keep off the cold. Based on the answers to these questions you can decide which method would be best for you.

For spring and summer a light flimsy lacey knitted or crochet scarf would be ideal. For autumn, you would need something a little more substantial and for winter something capable of keeping you a lot warmer.

The lighter more intricate lacey scarves I would recommend for someone who has a little more experience as the wool or yarn will also be a lot lighter to work with, almost a cotton and so more delicate and possibly not as easy to use.

For the others you would use a standard thickness of wool or something a lot thicker or more chunky. For autumn, you can go for more plain scarves with mostly ribbing stitches adding in a few patterns for good measure. For winter scarves you can go with more advanced ribbing stitches and throw in some cables and bobbles to create interest.

Felting is a little more difficult as for the spring and summer versions a nuno felted scarf would be the way to go and these take a lot of time and practice and are mostly wet felted. Autumn and winter versions would require thicker felting and would also be made using the wet felted method and you could add interest with needle felting according to the season as well.

Choosing wool for your scarf

Again the wool you want to use for your project will depend on a few things.

If the scarf is for spring or summer you would want to choose a lighter wool, almost a cotton weight. For autumn and winter I would recommend much thicker chunky wools.

Also take into consideration if you want just a plain color or if you want to go with wool that has varied colors and is self striping or just speckled for interest.

There are so many different wools out there to choose from and they have all been made with a variety of uses in mind. I would highly recommend looking carefully at the wool and reading the labels as some have recommended uses and patterns on the label around the ball.

Many stores will also have free online patterns available for the wools they stock as well as selling pattern leaflets and books in store.

Knitting Scarf Pattern Ideas for Beginners

There are a huge number of free knitted scarf patterns available for beginners online, in your local library and in knitting magazines which are available in most stores.

Once you have purchased your wool you can also look up patterns through the wool makers website as most wool suppliers have online patterns available.

Make sure the pattern you choose if for the thickness of wool you have purchased. Also check what size knitting needles are required for the pattern as this will be very important to make sure you get the correct tension. The patterns will also guide you and let you know the needle size required and what the tension should be.

Most websites also now offer tutorials for beginners that show the basics of how to cast on and do the basic stitches, of knit, purl and stocking stitch as well as a few of the easier ribbing and cabling instructions.

Crochet Scarf Pattern Ideas for Beginners

As with the Knitting Patterns, there are many free online patterns for crochet scarves aimed at beginners as well. Most libraries will also stock books with projects that are another resource as are crochet magazines.

As with the knitting, be sure to check what size crochet hook is required on the wool and on the pattern and check any guidelines regarding tension.

As with the knitting, very many sites have tutorials showing how to do the basic crochet stitches required to start your scarf as well as more advanced decorative stitches.

Conclusion

The thought of getting started with a project like this can be quite daunting if you haven’t ever knitted or crochet before. It needn’t be very stressful at all as there is so much help and support out there. Just ask at your local Craft store if they sell wool as there is bound to be someone there that will be able to assist.

If you purchase your wool online, their support teams are amazing and more than happy to help. Most online sites have social media pages where you can ask questions and get support which is really great for beginners. I have learned so much in this manner as they often post tutorials as well.

I’m also very happy to offer any assistance if needed so please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding anything I’ve discussed so far, I’m only too happy to help.

The most important thing to remember when you have started your scarf project, is to sit back and relax and enjoy the process. It’s not important to give yourself time limits if that’s going to stress you out especially if this is not something you have done before. Just try to set aside time each day and you’ll be surprised how quickly the time adds up and how quickly your project will start going.

Relax and enjoy!

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Even More Star Wars Crochet Pack – My Review

my version of these cute makes

Even More Star Wars Crochet Pack


Name: Even More Star Wars Crochet Pack
Website: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1781575614?ie=UTF8
Price: GBP 12.83
Owners: By Lucy Collin
Overall Rank: 4 ½ stars by customers

Even More Star Wars Crochet Pack

This product is a crochet pack that includes the yarn, a pattern book, crochet hook, needle and all the other items needed to make up BB8 and Jawa as well as patterns and instructions to make ten other characters.

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

The quality of the wool and crochet hooks supplied is very good.

It arrived promptly.

The patterns are very easy to follow even for beginners.
The finished products do actually look like the characters that they are supposed to represent.


The Bad:

It would be great to include enough yarn to make more of the characters.

This is definitely for Star Wars Crochet fans

This kit is aimed at people who love to crochet and are also Star Wars fans or who have family and / or friends that are Star Wars fans that they can create these for.

I’m not sure that it would be suitable for a complete beginner but as long as you can do the basic stitches you should be fine as all the instructions are included in the book along with pictures to guide.

Even More Star Wars Crochet Pack – Support

I didn’t require any support with the product but can see from other customer reviews that support is available and that queries were answered by both Amazon and the supplier.

PRODUCT PRICE £12.83

Was RRP: £19.99

When I purchased just before Christmas it was more expensive that it is now but still well worth the money. There are no hidden costs and delivery is free if you are an Amazon Prime Member.

My Final Opinion of Even More Star Wars Crochet Pack

I loved making the different characters and they were well received as stocking fillers by my Star Wars fanatical family.

There are more in the series that I’m looking forward to trying.

If you have any queries or there is a character you would like me to try please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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King Cole Wools

As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to pick up knitting needles / crochet hooks again when I happened across a delightful wool that I simply couldn’t resist.

There were in fact two that I couldn’t make up my mind which I wanted so I ended up buying both with some vague ideas of the possibilities. 

Chunky Wool Patterns

Having bought the wool and not being too sure what to do with it, I decided to look up patterns to knit or crochet for chunky wool and more specifically for the actual brand itself.

On the band around the wool some brands include an actual pattern while others include a picture of what a finished item would look like. There is also normally information about the wool and the size needles / hook that would be best and also some other useful information pertaining to the wool.

On this occasion there was a picture of a finished jersey as well as knitting needle and gauge guide both of which were very useful.

I also went onto the King Cole website which was very informative despite the wool being a fairly out dated one.and found that they had a huge variety of patterns for the wool I’d purchased, as well as their other chunky ranges.

Having all the information needed regarding what needles to use really helped and I was easily able to find these online. Unfortunately the store I bought the wool in didn’t stock the size I needed but they did stock many others. 

Having googled around I found the best value for money on Amazon and ended up buying a set of different sizes just in case. I was very pleased with the quick delivery ( I couldn’t wait to get started by now) and the quality.

Unfortunately there wasn’t a specific pattern that took my fancy and so the hunt for the right pattern started. I had decided that I didn’t want to do the usual hat and scarf and I definitely didn’t feel up to trying to do a jersey. I decided that a shawl or poncho would be the better option and started off looking at pattern ideas by just Googling. 

Chunky Wool Knitting Patterns – for free

I simply Googled the above and found plenty of patterns available. Most of them were pictures that took me to Pinterest where I found even more ideas. I must have spent days looking until I found the one that I’m working on at the moment.

During my search I found a host of websites offering all sorts of inspiration and tutorials which have been a great help along the way.

The pattern I chose used a ribbing pattern that I hadn’t come across before and also made use of a lace stitch and some cabling, neither of which I’d done before.

Free Knitting Stitches Instructions

Luckily for me there is a wealth of instructions covering numerous stitches so you should be able to learn just about anything if you’re prepared to do a couple of searches.

I found written instructions with superb pictures as well as a variety of very useful YouTube videos to help me along.

I would highly recommend finding that dream pattern and don’t be put off if you think it’s too complicated. Just break the pattern down into bits and learn each of those with the use of tutorials that can be found everywhere.

Once you’ve learned the techniques the pattern itself should be easy to do.

Knitting Pattern Help

I have found that sometimes I simply don’t understand what the instructions. At first I thought it was just me but having gone back to the website I noticed that there were a few people that were stuck and to my utter amazement and delight, the pattern creator and a few people that had managed to figure it out themselves, were only too happy to help. They gave step by step instructions and even created videos to help each other. It was really great to sit and chat to people all over the world battling with something similar and then being able to celebrate with each other once we’d figured it out with all the help that had been offered.

What’s next ….?

I’m not too sure what my next project will be or even if it will be knitting, crochet or felting.

I’ve recently bought a few knitting and crochet magazines that had the cutest things to knit which I may try next. I found the little bird stitch markers really irresistible and I love bird watching too.

I have signed up to quite a few newsletters where I get the most delightful inspiration from. They have amazing patterns and deals on wools and some even sell a variety of knitting kits which is really great.

If you have no idea where to start with a project I’d definitely recommend signing up to a newsletter or magazine subscription and learning that way.

If you have any patterns you would like me to try or if you’d like some advice please don’t hesitate to ask.

Enjoy your day xxx

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Needle Felting for Beginners – where to start

completed red robin

In December last year while Christmas shopping, I stumbled across a book on Needle Felting.

I simply couldn’t resist the cute characters pictures on the cover and inside and the lure of being able to learn to create them was just too much for me so I bought the book.

I had heard of needle felting before but I had never even considered it as a craft despite loving all things’ wool. I put the book away until after Christmas then looked around to see what I could find as far as the equipment and wool that I would need to start one of the projects.

Shopping for Felting materials

It was rather unfortunate but I found it really difficult to find any felting wool or equipment in any local stores even ones further away from me and I do try to support local as much as possible especially our High Street stores.

I did however find a lot online through various sites.

I was very nervous about starting as I’d never seen this done before and had no idea how to start and the book I bought wasn’t really for beginners.

While looking at the equipment and wool available and tutorials for beginners, I found a lot of kits for beginners as well.

Felting Kits for beginners

r I found a lot of delightful kits aimed specifically at beginners that come with everything needed to start and complete a project. They come with great instructions including pictures (always look for ones with pictures to start with, they’re essential) and some have links on their websites to video instructions as well. If you’re like me and learn by watching, these videos are imperative to learning.

My first project was a Bobbin Robbin which I really enjoyed and then I tackled a woolly sheep but this was without a kit but with watching a variety of how to videos.

completed red robin

I’m very proud of my makes which are just for myself at this point until I get better at it. My children find them a little creepy as the eyes are made so I may just buy eyes they’ll look a little better.

It’s absolutely fascinating that you can stab away at a ball of unwound wool with a sharp needle and start getting a shape. You can create 2D and 3D creations and the possibilities are absolutely endless. I have so many ideas in my head and the thought of possibly combining some felted creations with my knitted or crocheted creations is very very exciting.

felting flowers

Find out what you need to start

felting basics

Like knitting and crochet, there are many different types of wool used for needle and wet felting and it’s important to learn what is best to be used as the base and what is best used as the covering.

There are also a wide variety of felting needles with specific functions and felting mats as well. It’s important to make sure you have all the basics before starting.

There’s also learning how to make wire armature for some animals which makes them poseable which brings in a whole different dimension to the makes.

Eyes eyes and more eyes, there’s the choice of making your own fabric eyes or buying synthetic real looking eyes or just plain googly eyes depending on the character you want to create.

I would definitely encourage starting out with a kit like I did as you get the wool, needles and felting mats as part of the kit along with all the instructions.

Learning and Support

my needle felting kit supplies

The book I have is absolutely amazing and I’m sure there are many more out there.    However there are unfortunately none in my local library and I haven’t seen any magazines that cover needle or wet felting.

Having spent a lot of time looking at tutorials in the way of websites and videos, there is a lot of very good content available out there, both free and paid for. Most of the sites where this learning content is available have kits for sales.

Most kits will come with their own tutorial links and most suppliers have FaceBook and Instagram pages as well as support emails so that you can contact them with questions.

my felting stash

I have followed a lot of these creators on their pages as there is so much to learn and the communities are amazing and so helpful and supportive of each other.

I can’ stress enough to get involved in the groups and support it’s such a huge help.

Finishing Off

Once you’ve finished an item don’t hesitate to share your makes with the creators of the tutorials. They seem genuinely pleased that you’ve taken the time to buy a kit and make it and share it with them.

Also never be shy to ask for assistance if you don’t understand something. I have found these groups to be amazingly supportive and they love to help out whenever they can.

Remember that even though you are following a tutorial, the item you are making doesn’t have to resemble the finished item from the tutorial exactly. You have every right to tweak it here and there to give it your very own spin and make it more representative of you.

Get out there and find a kit and get felting, it’s the most delightfully relaxing craft (just use finger protection!)

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask and if you have any suggestions please let me know.

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Learning to crochet for beginners – Where to start

two completed items from the kit

library bookHaving not crocheted for very many years it was quite daunting to start again as I had no idea if I’d remember how to do the basics. It’s just a hook and yarn but remembering how to do the basics did seem daunting at the time as did figuring out what some of the pattern terminology meant.

more local choiceNot only that I didn’t even have any of the paraphernalia needed to start a project.
lots available locally

Thankfully our High Street in Stony Stratford has a treasure trove of stores with a variety of what’s needed to start.

A quick search online I found some quality goodies with  everything I need to start   customer reviews in a variety of places as well. What a bonus.

I wasn’t particularly looking for a crochet project it was just when I bought my wool I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it.

Online ideas for beginners crochet

While looking online I found so many projects for people starting out in crochet for beginners. There are so many delightful kits available from a variety of online sites that include all the things you could possibly need (wool and hooks etc). There are patterns to please for everyone from amiguri or little creatures to simple hats and scarves.

Looking at the reviews it’s great to see the discussions and support people tackling the kits are giving each other as well as the help they get from the sellers of the kits as well.

Star Wars crochet kitI couldn’t resist a Star Wars themed kit while I was looking for crochet hooks and other kit and my brother and his son were thrilled with their little home made items.

The support with these kits is amazing and a lot of them have tutorials online as well for just in case the pattern instructions weren’t clear enough.

two completed items from the kit

More traditional learning

For those that are not into looking for information online, I found so much inspiration for a variety of crafts in my local library and the charity shop in our High Street.

There are of course all the magazines available in many stores for knitting or crochet or a combination. A lot of these magazines come with patterns and ideas as well as kits for a variety of items to try.

magazine choices

Many times these are themed around the time of the year so all sorts of goodies for holidays as well as spring, winter, summer and spring.

There are patterns and ideas and how to’s which are really great as well as Q & A’s and loads and loads of advice and ideas.

Free lessons on how to do the basics

There are free lessons online for anyone who has the time to dedicate. Just googling will bring up websites with the basics written out with lovely pictures or if you prefer there are plenty of videos out there too.

If you’re not into the online type of thing I highly recommend your library as a  free resource as they seem to have so much to offer from beginners topics right through to more advanced projects.

available books

A lot of the online content is very informative and helpful and if you contact the authors they are more than willing to engage with you and answer any queries which is really great.

As I’ve mentioned already, magazines although not free, have very valuable resources for beginners and will have tutorials online for most of their printed patterns.

I would highly recommend going with more simple items like learning a variety of stitches doing granny squares which can be easily sewn or crocheted together to make into a knee rug, cushion cover, or for those that are more ambitious, a bed spread.

There are also magazine subscriptions which start at the very beginning teach the basics with the use of granny squares that then progress to more advanced stuff even adding wonderful bits like flowers to embellish with.

I love these styles of magazines as you get binders along the way as well which normally have divisions to put the various styles of patterns and they also send a variety of hooks and yarn with each subscription as well depending on what is needed for the lessons coming up.

There are just so many places and ideas to choose from for all levels of beginner I don’t doubt you’ll have any problems finding a project and getting all the help you need with it.

Beyond the Basics for beginners

With so much learning content and support out there it’s really easy to progress quickly. I recommend going with the variety of online and printed magazines especially as they almost always have new projects available and doing those is one of the best ways to learn. They teach you all the basics in the magazines and often have online content and videos to support the printed materials.

Most of the magazines also have FaceBook or Instagram pages where you can ask questions and I’ve found them to be more than helpful as have a lot of the subscribers. The support is amazing. I have seen some areas advertise a knitting and crochet club as well. I’ve seen our library hosts one every fortnight where the people get together with their projects for a cup of tea. It’s a wonderful way to learn and to meet new people too.

I’m by no means an expert at crochet and only know the basics but I’m learning as I go and love the process.

If you need any help then by all means contact me and I’ll see what I can do to help you.

As I’m learning I’ll be adding content to my site with regards reading and writing your own patterns as I’m learning this currently as I have a few ideas of patterns I’d like to create for myself and friends and family.

If you have any suggestions of topics you’d like me to look into and cover please let me know and I’m sure I’ll be able to fit it in.

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Choosing a knitting project

my current project

When I decided to start knitting again a few months ago, I had to start from the beginning buying all the standard kit that I would need. This in itself was rather daunting. Thank goodness for local wool shops and online stores including Amazon.

It all started when I spotted some wool and decided it would make something lovely. The important word being something. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to make I just loved the colors and feel of the wool. I had no idea what size needles I would need or if I even wanted to knit or crochet and if it would be for myself or someone else.

I wasn’t even sure if I could remember the basics. It was quiet nerve wracking and very very exciting.

How I chose my knitting project

I popped into my local library and found a treasure trove of knitting and other craft books that had so many ideas for knitting projects for beginners and more advanced knitters but I still wasn’t sure what I wanted do so I headed to the High Street in Stony Stratford (I really love our high street it has so much to offer) and popped into the Charity Book store. There they also had a delightful array of books available but nothing really suitable for beginners.

Stony Stratford LibraryCharity Book shop

I decided to call it a day and go home and hopped onto my PC and googled. Gotta love Google and what you can find, there really is something for everyone.

I started with the name of the wool I had purchased as I was sure they would have knitting patterns intended for that specific wool which they did but they were a little too complicated for me and I wasn’t really into trying an actual pullover.

By this stage I had decided I’d like to make a poncho or a shawl and had seen pictures with a poncho with a lovely cowl neck but there wasn’t a pattern just the picture. It was simply a case of doing search after search using different keywords that finally found me a pattern similar to what I was looking for.

Getting the project started

my current projectI know had a pattern, the wool and a variety of knitting needles along with some other paraphanalia that I might need. The only thing stopping me from starting my new knitting project, was the worry I wouldn’t be able to complete it because I didn’t understand the pattern and the stitches seemed terribly complicated for me.

The one I had decided I really liked had an almost lacey stitch and some cabling which is not really suitable for a beginner project but that’s just like me to choose something that complicated as a starting point.

I googled the various stitches needed for the project and found some great free tutorials. Some were written with lovely pictures and others were you tube based and all really helped to explain the various stitches I was worried about.

my current project

I then spent a little time practicing each element of the pattern the              lacey bits, the ribbing  and the cabling as well. Once I was comfortable I started the project and am really enjoying knitting my poncho.

What you should be looking for …

If you are a true beginner I would highly recommend looking for basic tutorials that cover all the basic stitches from casting on to a couple of simple stitches and then projects like scarves and blankets that are fairly easy to do.

Inspiring magazinesEven better would be to go for a magazine subscription that comes with patterns, wool and equipment as they will also have tutorials explaining the stitches included.

There are some really great craft magazines out there to choose from. Not only paper magazines, more inspiring magsthere are plenty of online magazines where you can buy a kit including the pattern, wool and equipment needed and they provide tutorials for the varied stitches required for the pattern.

I feel that trying a variety of stitches and knitting squares or other shapes that can later be sewn (knitted or crocheted) together into a really nice creative knee blanket or even cushion covers is a great idea too.

The progression

Once you feel more comfortable with the basic stitches look for variations on those stitches and build on them that way then start adding slightly more complicated shaping patterns like shawls and ponchos. There are plenty of free knitting patterns for beginners teaching how to do fun things like shawls, cowls and even socks.

Find some fun wool for more inspiration and have a look at the recommended patterns to bring out the best in the self striping effects or different thicknesses and variations in types of wool and cottons in the new yarns available.

So many of the yarn manufacturers have introduced the most delightful combinations with patterns aimed to please. These range from free patterns for beginners through to more advanced knitters to some really complicated and not so free patterns too.

Planning your projects

It’s really easy to get over whelmed when you first start as there are so many tempting wools and free beginner patterns. Deciding what you want to make and learning to do the stitches is a process that can’t be rushed. I can only encourage you to take your time to learn the stitches required and enjoy the process.

There are many people out there that have discovered the joy of knitting and have found just how gratifying it is to complete a project whether for yourself or as a gift for someone else.

I can’t think of a better gift to give than something that you have taken the time to make for someone. It’s far better than any bought gift will ever be.

Don’t hesitate to contact the pattern creators if you need help as I have always found them to be most helpful in explaining anything you don’t understand. There are also a good deal of online knitting communities out there and they are all really helpful and don’t judge if you have questions.

I am in no way an expert knitter and take forever to do my projects. If you require any help with a knitting pattern please don’t hesitate to contact me through the comments section on this post and I’ll do my best to help.

Enjoy your projects, and let me know how your’e going.

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About Lee-Ann

Lee-Ann

Sheep in the meadow wet felt kit

Hello all,

Welcome to my rediscovery of knitting, crochet and all things’ wool.

YOUR STORY

Christmas magazine patternsI consider myself very lucky as I grew up learning to  knit, crochet, sew, embroider and do other craft work from an early age.

At the time it didn’t seem important and definitely was never a passion or hobby just life skills learned from Aunts and grans and at school.

When my girls were growing up I taught them too and they also learned at school.

Now I’m older I have found that I just needed to pick up a pair of needles again. This is definitely an expensive hobby as decent wool and equipment can be quite costly especially when you’re starting from scratch.

Thank goodness for the internet too. I forgot so much and the books available are really expensive. I found founds loads of help on the internet in the way of tutorials and patterns but all at a price!

WHY I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE

StarvaWars crochet book patternI decided to take my knitting to work with me for break time and discovered that very few of the ladies had been taught to or given the opportunity to learn a needle craft of any description.

I found that they reluctantly admitted that they might even be interested in learning which I thought was marvelous.

I’d love to be able to help young and old people that have not had the opportunity, to learn a craft with no judgment. I was surprised that most young girls fear being judged if they took up something like that. I found it rather sad.

Robin needle felting kitI couldn’t think of a better way to spend an evening making something for my home or an accessory as a gift or for myself.

THE GOAL OF MY SITE

The goal of my site is to reintroduce needle crafts to those wanting to learn while learning myself.

I’m going to be trying out patterns and new wools and cottons available and even try out some crafting magazines and their patterns.

If there is a pattern or wool you would like me to try please let me know and I’ll do my best to oblige.

I look forward to learning and sharing my journey and hearing about yours too.

All the best,

Lee-Ann