Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Kit 43 – Bath & Spa Set

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It has been so long since I have written I feel as if I am starting a new blog. I decided to take a few months off to spend with my family, my daughter and her family were moving to Texas and I desired to try and be with them every minute possible. My daughter is now hundreds of miles away and I am once again turning my attention to my crocheting. I apologize for the delay in any of my responses to your comments. Your insight is important to me. I thank you for dropping back in.

During my hiatus I have received two kits from Annie’s Hook & Needle Club and am now in the process of finishing up an online class I started during the summer.

One of the kits I received was the Bath & Spa Set which included enough yarn to complete a face cloth, back and complexion scrubbie. In the kit was 480 yards of medium (worsted) weight yarn and two patterns for each item. One each in knitting and one each in crochet. To crochet this kit all I needed to supply was a G hook and a tapestry needle.

The kit was rated at an easy level with some popular special stitches, the front and back post double crochet, the slip ring and the single crochet decrease.

The timing of this kit was perfect, as I needed a small project to work on that was not difficult or time consuming to finish. This kit met both requirements. So, on the day I received this kit I opened it immediately and started to crochet, finishing the face cloth and complexion scrubbie the very first day. The back scrubbie was completed a few days later when I found another free day to crochet. It was a relaxing and fun project to work on with just a few challenging stitches to make it worth my while.

The yarn was easy to work with and crocheted beautifully, I loved the color. But I might be biased since blue is one of my favorite colors. I am just sorry that the yarn once again came in unmarked labels making it impossible for me to repurchase more.

The instructions were well written and simple to follow, even the special stitches were well explained. With all of this in mind I am rating the kit a 9, losing only one point for the yarn being in unmarked labels. As an avid crocheter it does put a damper on things when you really enjoy working with a yarn, knowing you will never be able locate another skein.

Looking forward to getting back in touch with you. Would love to hear about what is your favorite yarn to work with, and other crocheting projects you could share.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruges Crochet Class Review – Part 1

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Besides actually sitting down and crocheting a project there are two things I really enjoy doing. First, is passing on my love of crocheting to others by teaching them what I know and secondly, is to learn something new in crocheting for myself.

Annie’s Craft store has given me an opportunity to take a class of my choosing free of charge in exchange for an impartial review of my experience and thoughts after taking one of their on line classes.
NOTE; Make sure you read to the end of this article as there is a special discount for a limited time, for each one of you interested in a class they offer.

After looking over the 22 crochet classes they have for crocheters – either on line or by purchasing a DVD, I chose the “Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruge”. I already am well aquainted with the Hairpin and Broomstick stitch but have never mastered the Bruge lace. I thought this would give me an opportunity to see the class from two perspectives. One, from 2 stitches that I knew and one that I did not.

I will posting the entire class review in three postings. (one on each stitch). The first stitch reviewed here in this article today, will be the Hairpin Lace.

I have worked the Hairpin Lace stitch since my first year of crocheting. I have crocheted it in many items from a vest, to afghans and even a doily. To be honest when I started watching this class I was doing it with the idea that I was reviewing what I already knew.

Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I was shown the small pointers that makes my finished project look a little more polished! I also learned a few things about handling and crocheting with a Hairpin loom and doing it with a little more manageability while working that I never knew.

In part one of this class I learned the following:

Assemble and use a hairpin lace loom.
Join hairpin lace panels.
Work hairpin lace as a right- or left-hander.
Shown how to read hairpin lace symbols (which I did not know existed.)

The Pro’s:
The class was very well presented in an easy to understand way that I had no trouble retaining. I had no trouble following and copying what was being taught or putting into use.

The teacher is very encouraging and did inspire me to go on and try the other projects they assigned.

24 hour access to your on line class. Once you purchase it -you own it. You can go back at any time, and time and time again to review and watch it over .

You can stop and pause whenever you like while doing the class.

Six downloadable PDF patterns, two in each stitch being taught for you to crochet.

Con’s
There is no socializing, and the personalization you get with others. In some cases people prefer that, I like the human interaction.   It is just you and your computer or your video device. There is a way to either email or access to online chatting, but there is no face-to-face interaction for question and answer.

You must be discplined. There is no one to keep you accountable.

One caution however, Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruges Crochet Class is not for a beginner. I would strongly suggest that you are really familiar with the following stitches before you take the class; The chain, slip stitch, work single, half double and double crochet stitches.

I believe there is a two way street to learning. Firstly, the teacher has a responsibility of getting the material across in a way that is easy to understand. Secondly, the student who needs to do the work to learn what is being taught. So I decided to crochet each of the two projects for each stitch before I posted my review. This way I can better judge how well I learned.

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My first two projects were the Gentle Waves Hairpin Lace Scarf and

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the Simply Elegant Hairpin Lace Scarf.  I started the class on May 2, so it took me around a month to complete, but I have a very hectic schedule and only have a limited amount of time to crochet. If time allotted these could easily be completed in two weeks.

All of this being said, I would highly recommend this class. It was fun, and educational. As you can see for yourself- the projects were easily finished. I liked the fact that even after thirty years of crocheting I was shown something new in the Hairpin Lace stitch.

For You for a limited time:

AnniesOnlineClasses.com

Here is a special *keycode – CHV23C1 – that is valid for 1 week. It runs from 6/6 – 6/13. Anyone can go to the link above, purchase the class and use the keycode above to get the special discount when they check-out.

Until next time, Keep those hooks flying.
The other classes to chose from are:
Learn to Crochet Flowers
Learn to Crochet Ripples
Learn to Crochet Easy Hats
Learn to Crochet Socks
Learn Yarn Substitutions for Crochet
101 Creative Crochet Solutions & Innovations
Learn to Read Symbol Crochet Diagrams
Learn to Crochet Sweaters: Raglan, Top-Down & Motif
Learn Tunisian Crochet Colorwork
Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruge
Learn to Crochet Jewelry
Learn to Crochet Amigurumi
Mix & Match Crochet Stitch Sampler
Learn to Shuttle Tat
Learn to Crochet
Learn to Bavarian Crochet
Learn to Crocodile Stitch: 4 Easy Techniques
Learn to Crochet With Thread
Learn to Tunisian Crochet
Tunisian Cables & Lace
Learn to Bead Crochet
Beginner’s First Doily

*Keycode CHV23C1 is valid through June 13, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. ET, only at AnniesOnlineClasses.com. The 15% discount only applies to the Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruges streaming online class and DVD versions. Only one keycode can be used per order. Keycodes cannot be combined. No price adjustments on previous purchases.

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My Crocheting Challenge to You….

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When I started my blog I wanted it to be a story of my crocheting life. The good, bad and in-between. I pick most of my blog topics based on what I am experiencing in my own life. Sometimes people will ask a question and that will inspire other blog posts. This post was brought about by a low more then a high on my road.

To clarify: the simple fact is that I love crocheting. If I am introduced to a new person, it would not be long before they are aware of three facts about my life; that I am a Christian, that my family will always come first and that I am passionate about crocheting. I started crocheting when I was twenty and have never looked backed. I not only wanted to know the basic stitches but all aspects of the craft. I lived, breathed and picked up a hook whenever possible. Now to my pleasure, after all these years I find I am still learning new stitches and techniques about crocheting. The more I learn about crocheting, the more I realize I still have much more to learn.

Now that being said, as much as I love crocheting – I am still finding myself reaching plateaus where I am not as excited to pick up my hooks as at other levels. There is always patterns that I want to do, or yarn I really love and have not used. But sometimes life can become so busy and hectic that when I do get a free minute, I find I just want to sit and take a breath.This is when my projects are maybe just taking a little longer to complete and I find I am not reaching for hooks in my free time as much for some unexplainable reason. This is when I know I need to look for a new challenge to bring me back to those hooks and yarn for that eager excitement that keeps crocheting new and fresh for me.

I love learning new things, it just part of my DNA. I enjoy the old familiar projects, for some I bring out and crochet all over again. But I believe we all should push ourselves out of comfort zones once in a while and try something new to help us go to the next level in this wonderful world of crocheting.

So my challenge to you in June is to find something that is just a little bit harder then your skill level and determine to travel to the higher ground of learning that new stitch or technique.

Whenever I teach a class the first question I ask everyone after their name is what would you like to learn? So now I am asking you, what would you like to learn…Let’s make June 2016 the month that I learned…..___________________, and you fill in the blank with whatever you have seen and really would like to begin to learn. After all the first step to mastering a stitch is learning it.

In the beginning of June I will share with you what I decided to learn next month. Please feel free to share below what you have always wanted to learn, but just have not found the motivation or have been inspired to do.

Make June that month and keep those hooks flying.

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What inspires you to Crochet ~~

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As I approach the end of the school year, the beginning of June and the start of the warm weather of summer, I am stopping and taking a breath to ask my self- what inspires me to crochet a certain project? After all, crocheting is a creative hobby and requires inspiration to get a certain amount of excitement and
enthusiasm.

This year it is my goal to dive into my yarn stash and to see a notable decrease by year’s end. It seems that I say this often, I must have a lot more yarn in my house than I care to admit. So my main inspiration this year is my yarn stash and looking for projects to fit that particular left over yarn.

This has led me to browse thru a lot of patterns that I have in my collection that I haven’t touched in a while. I have renewed my excitement about long forgotten patterns that I have wanted to do, but for some reason have laid off to the side.

I am also enjoy receiving the kits from Annie’s Hook & Needle Club which also gets my fingers itching to crochet. They have sent me a variety of projects such as small dishcloths, baby sweaters, items for me to wear and show off, all the way to house hold items such as doilies and baskets.

Sometimes I will get inspired by coming across a new technique. Even after thirty years of crocheting I am still learning new stitches and new methods and new roads that I have not traveled. One of the things that keeps me coming back to the crocheting hooks are the endless challenges of pushing myself to learn more about this age old art form and the desire of perfecting my craft.

Since I have started my blog in January, 2013 I have had a few yarn bundles from the well known company RedHeart, that also motivated me with the opportunity of trying the newest and latest yarn and gadgets. There is nothing like holding a new skien of yarn in my hands that will get my feet running to the nearest hook.

Then there is the occasional search for a nice gift on family or a friends birthday, the Christmas gift, anniversary gifts, or just I am glad you are my friend gifts. The satisfaction of finishing the gift and giving it to the intended person, especially the homemade gift, always means much more to us both. I love crocheting gifts for the important people in my world.

Recently, a company approached me about taking a crochet class for free and in return to write a review on the class itself. Who would imagine that? There is nothing like a new crochet class to inspire us into new avenues of crochet stitches. I will write more about this class in future blogs. I will be posting three reviews on the class and the company has generously offered with each posting to give a discount to my readers that would like to also take the class. I should be posting the first review about Memorial Day.

These are just some of the things that put a charge into me on my crocheting journey. And today I would love to hear what gets you so excited about crocheting and just gets your fingers so itching that you can hardly wait to start that next, new pattern.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Kit 41- Chair Rug

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In April of this year I found in my mail box the 41st kit from Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – The Chair Rug. The pattern is for a rug that is placed on a chair for decorative purposes.
The kit comes with 370 yards of medium worsted weight acrylic yarn in the colors of blue and white. With a J hook from my own tools and a tapestry needle, I will have enough yarn for two chair rugs.

The pattern is worked into rounds using the chain stitch(The Chain Stitch), single crochet (The Single Crochet), slip stitch (Slip Stitch) and double crochet (The Double Crochet). The added bonus is that you will be working several speciality stitches, The slip ring, V stitch (

V Stitch) and finally the fan stitch.

This is a unique idea and I have just the chair in mind when I have finished my first one.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Kit 40 – Handy Helpers Review

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I am slowly getting current on my reviews of the Annie’s Hook & Needle Club kits. With this posting, I will only be one behind – and my intention is to post another next week. I would like to thank you all for your patience.

Now for the review: I will have to admit that “The Handy Helpers” was a very enjoyable kit and one I am positive I will be pulling out again and working in the future. The kit came with four patterns: 2 for crocheting and 2 for knitting, each art form had a towel and a dishcloth and I opted for the crocheted ones. There was enough supplies for two towels and one dishcloth.

The pattern was well written with a beginning crocheter in mind. It was easy to read and not difficult to understand. Although it was not a repeating pattern, it was still a pattern I could relax and enjoy while there was down time with my hubby.

The kit came with three skins of cotton yarn in tan, green and variegated combination of tan, green and off white. I only need a G hook and a tapestry needle from my tools and Annie’s supplied the two 1 inch buttons for each of the towels.

There was a variety of stitches in the patterns, the chain stitch (The Chain Stitch), single crochet (The Single Crochet), double crochet (The Double Crochet) and slip stitch (Slip Stitch). There was also two specialty stitches of single crochet decrease (Single Crochet Decrease) and double crochet decrease (Double Crochet decrease) for an added challenge.

I kept the green towel and dishcloth and both have found a prominent place in my kitchen and decided to give the tan one to a dear friend of my on her 87th birthday. She really enjoyed homemade gifts and was excited at opening this one.

With all of this in mind I decided to rate this kit a 9, losing only one point for the yarn coming in unmarked labels. I really enjoyed working with this yarn and it so disappointing to know that I will not be able to purchase anymore.

I would also like to take this time to wish all your mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow! Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Until next week, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Kit 40 – Handy Helpers

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In March I received my 40th Kit from Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Handy Helpers. What a milestone, I cannot believe what I am already holding my hand and looking at- my 40th kit. Time really does fly when one is doing something they really enjoy.

The kit contains enough cotton yarn to crochet two kitchen towels and one dish cloth. The spring looking yarn is in three colors of green, tan and variegated. The kit also comes with two 1 inch buttons for the towels. So after reaching for my G hook and tapestry needle I will be ready to start.

The three projects are composed of a chain stitch (The Chain Stitch), single crochet (The Single Crochet) and double crochet (The Double Crochet) stitches. And although the patterns are marked easy and beginner there is the small challenge of working a few single crochet (Single Crochet Decrease) and double crochet decreases (Double Crochet decreases).

Personally, I am looking forward to crocheting this kit. Crochet dishcloths are one my favorite items to work. It is one I suggest to my students on a regular basis to crochet. They are small projects that will give you unlimited experience with new stitches and without becoming overwhelming.

If you are in this club with me, what number kit are you crocheting this month? Would love to know there are some crocheter’s who are working their way through the club along side me.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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