Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Kit 49 – Uptown Tote

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When I first opened my 49th kit from Annie’s Hook & Needle Club I have to admit that my first response was that of one of the utterly disappointment. The pattern itself was cute, stylish and one might even say practical. The problem was that it resembled the 19th kit (Classic Tote) (Kit 19: Classic Tote Review) so closely that I felt as if I was crocheting an old patterns vs. a new one.

The Uptown tote kit came with two skiens of yarn, one pink and the other black, a total of about 315 yards of yarn. As with the Classic Tote kit I needed to use an F hook and a tapestry needle.

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Although there was some variations, the pattern was similar to the first tote I did. It was clear to read and easy to follow. I have already crocheted several of the first ones, so I know I like the pattern enough to crochet it again.

The yarn used in the kit was Caron Simply Soft which I always enjoy working with.

I am really not reviewing this kit as fully as the others, because I felt I have already done so. If you crochet this kit, you might want to read the review for the Classic Tote, as I had a few suggestions to help make the crocheting process more enjoyable.

I am rating this kit a 6 – I think the lowest score to date. Mostly because of the unoriginality of the pattern. There are so many kits I have seen on the internet that I have patiently been waiting to receive over the last four years. The Uptown Tote kit that I received in April, made me feel cheated, and like I wasted my money.

I am sharing the pictures of some of the kits that I have found on the internet that I am looking forward to finding in my mail box.

What are some of the kits you are looking forward to sinking your hook into?

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Hook & Needle Club-Kit 52 – Checkerboard Place Mates

 

The 52nd kit I received from Annie’s Hook & Needle club is the Checkerboard Place Mates. I was excited about this particular kit since I was wanting to make place mats for my dining room table. Upon opening the package, I knew this would be perfect for our table.

First of all, the kit came with approximately 300 yards of light weight cotton yarn of each white and red. My dinning room is painted blue and so the colors would match perfectly. Secondly I really love the look of post stitches. The kit furnished enough yarn for two placemats.  And as usually a pattern for either crochet or knit.

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For this project all I need was my H hook and a tapestry needle and a working knowledge of the chain stitch (The Chain Stitch), the single crochet (The Single Crochet) and the long double crochet (Long Double Crochet ). All of which I have tutorials for if you are unfamiliar with any or all of them. The pattern is marked at an “easy” level, making it ideal for a beginner or as in my case, a relaxing project for a couple of free afternoons. I normally listen a movie or listen to an audio book.  Today I popped in Signed, Sealed and Deliver – Higher Ground movie to watch while crocheting my “easy” projects

After I made a hot cup of Twinning french vanilla chai I gave the first six rows my full attention to make sure I counted correctly, but after that it was a repeat pattern. The pattern itself was very clear to understand and easy to follow. I had no trouble executing the desired pattern for the placemats. It is an enjoyable project which was completed in two afternoon’s.

The yarn was a made of cotton, which will make it more suitable for a placemat, as the cleanup will be more manageable. The yarn itself was delightful to crochet with, except when you are coming to the end of the skien, I would caution you to watch for easy tangling at this point.

To summarize, Easy to follow pattern, great yarn and a pattern I would enjoy working again. I am rating this kit a 9, losing one point for the yarn coming in unmarked labels. Which will make this kit like so many from Annie’s Hook & Needle club, impossible to repurchase for future projects. I personally would love to buy some of this yarn for some crochet dishcloths. However, as it is, I am going to enjoy my placemat’s.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Deadlines – we all have them

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Crocheting on a deadline always brings to mind the children’s book “The Little Engine that Could”  – as the dead line approaches I am going up the mountain saying I think I can – I think I can – Praying that  I will make my deadline and will be saying I knew I could – I knew I could – – – this time next week.

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Just a thought…..

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If you are still undecided and at a loss figuring out how to participate in National Crochet Month, I might have a suggestion for you. Before I started blogging I had a blank journal that I would add pictures to and some pertinent information that I called my Crochet Journal. Remember that this was back in the dark ages, before internet and the availability of the many types of journals and templates so easily accessible today.

After placing a picture of a project or useful article on the page, I would fill in the following information:

Where I found the pattern.
If it was a gift who I might give it to,
the washing instructions of the yarn.
Any personal observations I had about working the pattern for future reference.
The hook, especially if I used a different one then what the pattern called for.
The yarn I used.

It was not fancy in any ways, but it did help me remember the projects I had worked over the years. When I started my blog I kinda of got away from it and blogging replaced my Crochet Journal. In a lot of ways it helped to prepare me for blogging, by writing down my feelings and thoughts on each project.

This could be a small investment simply by buying a blank journal at Walmart, or a larger investment by purchasing a journal designed for cataloging crocheting projects. Nowadays they have many templates on the internet for downloading that could be placed in a 3 ring binder. Although I have not personally checked out the usability of this app, I did find one in the iTunes Store for a digital journal of your projects that you could keep on your iPad or iPhone. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crochet-journal/id866600896?mt=8) I would caution anyone who uses the digital road to make sure of the dependability of how the information is stored.

Which ever path you decide, consider this month to start a journal. If not for your self, how about as a keepsake that could be passed down to your grandchildren children as part of your family legacy? Think about it as you look lovingly on them, is there one there who will carry on the crochet torch? As I am aging, I am realizing how important it is to inspire and influence the next the generation to keep this art form alive.

Until next week, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Beginner’s First Doily Online Class Review

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In February I decide to invest in one of Annie’s On-line crochet classes, The Beginner’s First Doily. (Beginner’s First Doily)  This is the least expensive of all the Annie’s online crochet classes, costing me only $6.99 to add to my library. This class is part of a larger class, and if you act on it like I did and purchase this one-first, you will receive a code for $5.00 off the “Learn to Crochet with Thread” class.

The entire class is less than 41 minutes to view. Then, upon watching again as you work the “easy skilled” doily, you could crochet it in one short evening. Making this a great class for relaxing one night and one that will produce quick results with a finished project.

It is not a class for a novice. You will need a working knowledge of the chain stitches, (The Chain Stitch) single crochet,(The Single Crochet) double crochet (The Double Crochet) and treble crochet. (Triple/Treble Crochet)  However, the instructor, Susan Lowman, does teach you how to follow a symbol chart to complete a small lace doily. So if you would like more experience with reading charts, or if you would like to try your hand at working with thread, then this is the recommended class for you.

Things you will learn in addition to reading charts. You will;
Learn how to work and join rounds.
Learn how to single crochet in a ring to form the first round.
How to change colors.
Learn to work a simple treble crochet shell.

Susan did a wonderful job in demonstrating the process. I had no trouble understanding what I needed to do to complete the project. I was also given access to the pattern for pdf download, so that I could follow alone with her.

Some suggestions:

I agree with Susan, and strongly suggest you take the time to count each row. This may seem time consuming, but in reality it saves a lot of time, and helps to spot any mistakes early.

I would suggest using a stitch holder at the beginning of each row. I have found in my working with students that some have trouble knowing where the beginning of one round begins and the previous one ends.

Conclusion:
I was wanting to use some of my thread stash, so I made one doily in only two colors of white and green, which is now residing in my living room. I would suggest this for your unused thread as this is a small project.

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I then proceeded to crochet a second one in all white, which I intend to give to a friend who has a birthday in the middle of this month.

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To be honest, I did not believe I would enjoy the online classes, but after taking the first one, and now a second one. I must admit, not only have I enjoyed them but I have also learned something new with each class. I am sure you will benefit as well.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Celebrating National Crocheting Month

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March is one of my favorite months of the year for two reasons – first of all it is my birth month and secondly, it is National Crocheting Month. National Crocheting month is designed for those of us who really love the art of crocheting. Let’s be honest, if you love crocheting as much as I do, we really don’t need to have a reason to pick up a hook.

So I make a conscientious effort during this time of the year to focus on ways to express the passion I have for crocheting. I have decided this year to celebrate in four different areas;

To show my love to other, I am planning on carrying a crochet bag everywhere I go and publicly work on my projects.

To pass on the skill to others I have been given, I will teach three people to crochet in a beginning crochet class.

To share with others, I have started an afghan in February that I will give as a gift for a friend of my who is getting married on the 24th of March.

To further my own skill, I plan on choosing an online video class and work the project by 31st.

These are just a few of my suggestions, do you have a unique idea we can learn from?

Until next week, keep those hooks flying.

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Join me in National Unplug Day: March 3, 2017

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This week we will all have the opportunity to experience life as it was , before the hectic lifestyles we have all become accustomed to. Our homes and minds are filled with loud unharmonious sounds that are all around us normally and usually are coming from our electronic devices.

March 3 is National Unplug Day, we get the decision to choose whether or not we will unplug from our technology. This means my hubby and I will be powering down our computer and iPad , turning off the television, and yes. even doing without out cell phones for the day. We plan on enjoying a simpler, slower lifestyle for one day out of the year. Who knows, we might even park the car for the day.

Because we are both off of work, our unplug day will be on Thursday March 2, a day I am already planning with some excitement. I plan on starting the day with some of my favorite hot tea, Twining’s Lady Gray and some quiet time with the Lord. The only appointment on my schedule is the Ladies Bible study, which I intend on walking to (weather permitting).

My husband and I have been trying to read a biography for about a month now, so our plan is get in a few chapters in. My husband has a great reading voice, I have always thought he would be great narrator for audio books. Our plan is for me to get some crocheting in while Don reads. This is a good way we can enjoy quality time together while I am crocheting. If you are not into reading, you could always get out some of your favorite music to listen to.

I also really enjoying baking, so I know that will be on the list and maybe an enjoyable walk through the park with hubby. What ever sounds good- this is the day we plan for it to happen.

You are probably asking yourself, what does this have to do with crocheting? Imagine how much crocheting you can achieve, without interruptions from reminder alarms, Facebook alerts, responding to emails and those badly timed phone calls? Don’t we all know a person who just loves to send text after text? Which always seems to last just long enough for me to forget where I was in the pattern forcing me to spend the next ten minutes finding the spot I left off at.

What ever you would like to do that day, choose a day this week to unplug from the world of tech and pick a crochet project to work on instead, and enjoy your uninterrupted flow of creativity, unplugged for the day.

Would love to hear how your day progressed, please share. It is such an encouragement to hear from your experiences.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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