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Broomstick, yoyo plus other crochet stuff

Hello,

Broomstick crochet is one of the techniques required for the International Diploma in Crochet. I had been putting it off as it looked a bit awkward but, in fact, it’s not too bad at all as it turns out.

My three samples all passed – just one or two issues with tension (again!)

You use a normal crochet hook and a huge 15mm knitting needle: loops are placed on the needle and then crocheted off in groups using double crochets.

The second sample shows that it is  possible to incorporate treble crochet between the rows of broomstick …..

I also had to show that I could use the same technique in a full size item so I used some gorgeous DK sock yarn bought in the USA to show off the open stitches.

 

A while ago a friend brought me a lovely pack of Scheepjes cotton in stonewashed colours. As they were mini balls I had no real plan as to what I would make but then, last week, I noticed the yo-yo stitch in a magazine.

I’d never met the stitch before but it looked as if it would work well in the different colour cottons which are similar in tone to the Turkish rug in our lounge and I could just visualise a coffee table centre to coordinate.

Apart from the obvious nuisance of having ends to weave in after every little circle the pattern is effective and I’m loving the way it is working up …..

The other good thing about this project is that it is very portable and as we have quite a few trips planned it should grow on our numerous journeys. Cotton is cool for working on hotter days as well so it will probably come to Greece with me in a couple of weeks.

I hope you all have some “cool” crochet on the go for the days ahead. Crochet and/or knitting as therapy is being advocated more and more regularly at the moment – having included a feature on the health benefits of these crafts in our book, The Woolly Prawn in 2012 my daughter and I are encouraged to hear of any real initiatives to promote this.  Those of us who enjoy knitting and crochet know the benefits. Let’s spread the word wherever we can.

Happy knitting and crocheting,

Jenny x

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Knit one, heal one

Hello again and Happy New Year to you all!

I hope you have all enjoyed good Christmas and New Year celebrations. It’s nice to be back and to be working on projects other than Christmas presents; more of those later.

A knitting friend sent me the link to this interview with Betsan Corkill who runs Stitchlinks, a support network for those who enjoy the therapeutic benefits of crafts such as knitting and crochet. This is the clip from a Boxing Day radio programme.

I listened to it this morning and it immediately set my mind racing. My first thoughts were that this is the same researcher that my daughter wrote about in the Knitting as Therapy article in The Woolly Prawn, the book which we published in December 2012.

the book

Amongst those of us who knit or crochet it has been accepted for some time that these crafts are beneficial in the treatment of pain relief, anxiety and depression as well as in the rehabilitation of patients who have suffered strokes.  It is good to hear this research being aired on national radio … let’s hope that every person who was inspired by the broadcast to pick up some yarn and needles or a hook may find a whole new healing world opening up to them.

When I listened to Bethan speaking I also thought of the late Marinke Slump aka Wink who sadly succumbed to depression last July after a long battle during which crochet had played such an important part in the management of her illness. Her designs are some of the most potent inspirations for those of us who love colour and crochet.

During the last six months the blogger, Kathryn Vercillo of crochetconcupiscence.com has worked tirelessly on a project called Mandalas for Wink to heighten awareness of how those who suffer from anxiety and depression can be helped by crafting. Kathryn has also written two books on the subject, Crochet Saved my Life and Hook to Heal.

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I strongly believe that knitting and crochet groups are so important: ideas and techniques are shared, problems are solved and support is given to huge numbers of people. Knitting and crochet can provide an outlet and focus which might not otherwise exist – let’s continue to extend and enjoy these social networks wherever possible. These are just a few of the projects completed by members of my lovely group of ladies:-

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Sue's

granny pastels

On that reflective but positive note I shall wish you all a very good day full of inspirational knitting and crochet fun and creativity.

Jenny x