Hello again!

I just can’t believe that it’s September already and I haven’t posted for weeks. Where did the summer go?

Well, the good news us that I passed Part I of my course, The International Diploma in Crochet.

According to the course info I’m now properly qualified to teach crochet skills to my group of lovely ladies – can’t wait to start again in a couple of weeks and get them trying out more challenging techniques. Broomstick and hyperbolic crochet have already been requested! Watch this space!

Apart from being away in France in July and August I’ve taken the opportunity to “weave” in a few loose ends over the past month or so …. and believe me there have been many of those, both literally and figuratively speaking.

Some time ago I started a table runner using the beautiful stonewashed colours of a pack of Stof and Stil Scandinavian yarn given to me last winter and which match the rug in our living room ….

Well, that’s finished. Worked in the yo-yo stitch it was fiddly but great to transport on our travels.

I also made some sunflowers for my granddaughters who took part in the musical Singing in the Rain just before our visit to France. Fresh flowers are the usual gift at the end of a performance but are often drooping by the next morning so I opted for these……..

……….. a well written pattern by Krawka and easy to piece together.


In preparation for exploring the techniques of working different shapes in the round I had a go at a granny circle stool cover – there was a certain amount of guesswork involved to reach the right size but the result looks fine.



There won’t be so much time for projects like these over the coming months, I suspect. I have enrolled for Part II of the course….. brave or foolhardy? Time will tell. My coursework has arrived ….


. …exciting but a little scary as there is a greater design element to this part and design is not my strong point. I’ll let you know how it goes!

I hope you’ve all had a good summer and found time for some craftwork.

Happy crocheting

Jenny x


Buttons and braids (no! …. edgings actually!)


Two of the samples required for the International Diploma in Crochet Part 1 are seven different, usable, crocheted buttons and three crocheted edgings in DK yarn appropriate for adding to the front edges of a plain edge-to-edge knitted/crocheted jacket. I have been working on these during the last couple of weeks and sent them off to be assessed last week.

Each of the buttons had to be different so I settled on covering a flat button (lime green), a button with a shank (turquoise), a small round one (cream) and a metal ring (multi) which I covered in double crochet before weaving in and out of wheel-like spokes.  These were all worked in fine threads of differing thicknesses in amigurumi style, spiral double crochet.

The remaining three needed to be firm enough to hold their shape by either stuffing or working very firmly on small hooks: a red disc of trebles, a small pink globe filled with toy stuffing and a turquoise, variegated flower.

Here they are …..


Let’s hope my mentor approves!

I can’t truthfully say that I found this to be a fun exercise as I found it quite fiddly. The buttons also needed more finishing off with a needle than I ever would choose. My friends all know that I go for a crochet join rather than a stitched one wherever possible!

The edgings (they differ from braids in that one side has to be plain double crochet to stitch onto existing fabric) proved more interesting and it was fun trying out a few new effects with stitches …


Dk tweedy mix

This first edging is worked in a tweedy Scandinavian yarn called Sandnes Garn Robust and the last two rows form the half treble crochet puff stitch which I found in Pauline Turner’s book of finishing techniques.

Htr and front loop only crab st

Wendy Ramsdale DK provided a lovely woolly look and feel to this edging where I experimented a bit with working into back loops only.

Front post trebles

Finally, an edging based on an American afghan border which I had, using a combination of trebles and front post trebles.

Aside from these samples, I just could not resist starting a couple of extra projects  …… different requirements for car journeys, watching TV, knitting group etc. Well, that’s my excuse!!

So, here’s a glimpse of a real stash-buster that I have on the go using one of my favourite stitches – linen stitch, also sometimes referred to as woven or up-and-down stitch. It’s not a fast grower but I love the way the resulting fabric lies so flat …..

What could it be?

Linen st

Last week, feeling that a visit to a local Craft centre was justified by my stash-busting I splashed out on this interesting looking Bergère de France yarn. It has a metallic thread running through it …

Bergère de France reflet

I have to say I am pleased with the way it’s growing into my next shawl/triangular scarf; the four-row pattern is designed by Elisabeth de Herraiz and featured in Issue 41 of Simply Crochet

Elisabeth Davis de Herraiz lacy shawl

So there we are …. plenty to keep me busy over the next few weeks not to mention coming to grips (unintentional pun!) with Broomstick and Hairpin crochet for my course.

Enjoy your knitting and/or crochet wherever you are and be inspired to try something new. We all know how beneficial any crafting is.

Best wishes,

Jenny x



Second batch results and braids to go!

Hello again,

I just thought I would update you briefly on how the crochet study is going. My second set of samples came back very quickly – pleased to report that they all passed, in the upper band of 90% or over. I was relieved that the sample of double crochet ……  should have been the easiest of all ……. was fine this time as I seem to have sorted the problem with the edges and turning chains. Phew!

My mentor for the course appears to place more emphasis on hook size than Pauline did when she marked my first pieces. I shall, therefore, have to consider more carefully matching hook size to yarn in order to achieve a better drape. I can see that in the creation of fabrics to wear this is important and, probably, not having made many garments has made me less aware of the need to crochet a looser fabric. As you know, most of my previous projects have been afghans, cushion covers and other household items.

So, here are the next five samples which passed muster:


trebles into spaces

trebles into spaces

2. Working a triangle from a single double crochet stitch proved a real challenge so it was great to read that it is a “lovely piece of work”.

triangle in double crochet worked from a point

triangle in double crochet worked from a point

3. This next sample worked from slip stitches up to quadruple trebles – four rows of each using the same hook and same number of stitches – illustrates well the issue of hook size since it seems so tight at the bottom but far too loose and uneven at the top, the widest point. Even here a point was deducted for using a 4.00 mm hook instead of a 4.50mm.

basic stitches getting taller every four rows

basic stitches getting taller every four rows

4. I loved doing the chevron and incorporating some colour; hook size was an issue yet again and the lack of visual balance because the sample did not finish with the same colour as at the beginning. I’m pretty sure, though, that in a proper project such as a blanket or cushion cover I would not do that.

chevrons worked without holes

chevrons worked without holes

5. Sorry this is not a very good image of the basket weave stitch I used to show a heavily textured fabric in trebles. I love the finished texture but wow ….     it uses a load of yarn.

example of heavily textured fabric in trebles

basket weave stitch working round front and back posts

My next samples will be examples of five different braids. Pauline herself writes “What is or is not a braid is a debatable point” so students are indeed expected to interpret in their own way. I have opted for what I consider to be the safe option – strips of fabric with identical side edges. Who knows what my tutor’s view is? Let’s hope for the best.

five braids

five braids

Well enough of my ramblings! News of my first garment project to follow soon. In the meantime have a good weekend lots of happy crochet and knitting.

Jenny x


First IDC results -scary!

Hello everybody,

Well, it was with considerable trepidation that I opened the envelope to discover my fate ……. I had posted off samples of six different but fairly simple techniques from the list of thirty-five required.

With the pass mark for each sample set at 80% I was not at all confident that my work would be sufficiently accurate to to earn these comments:-

Pass          80-84%

Fine            85-89%

Good           90-94%

Very good    95-99%

Excellent      100%

What I did not see coming was the failure of my double crochet sample which should, of course, be the most straightforward stitch! I have obviously been working the turning chain incorrectly for ages – into the base of the turning chain instead of the turning chain itself. Pauline’s description of the problem made it easy to redo so now I know what I should be doing and have done a second sample to resubmit with my next lot. Phew!

double crochet - failed since first stitch of each row was worked into wrong place

double crochet – failed since first stitch of each row was worked into the wrong place

The other five sample comments more than made up for the initial disappointment and even the piece of filet crochet, a technique which I had never previously tried, passed muster.

trebles worked normally - very good indeed

trebles worked normally – very good indeed


double trebles - good

double trebles – good


open/lacy pattern based on trebles - excellent

open/lacy pattern based on trebles – excellent


shell or fan stitch - excellent

shell or fan stitch – excellent


filet crochet including an individual motif - very good

filet crochet including an individual motif – very good

I am so pleased with these comments and to know that my work is progressing along the right lines. Working the samples was really enjoyable and it was particularly rewarding to have taken care over every aspect of each one. It was great fun producing the filet heart to such good effect.

My next batch will contain, amongst others, examples of chevrons, a triangle worked from one stitch and a very tricky piece worked in increasingly taller stitches. I fear for that one!

Anyway, that’s my update on progress ………  so far, so good.

This blogger is becoming obsessed I hear you murmur and yes, you are right, it is a fine line between obsession and passion!  So, to prevent samples from taking over my life I have started on a beautiful colour project from a kit purchased last summer. I saw the Brighton Plaid blanket in a supplement to Simply Knitting magazine and could not resist the jewel-like shades. It is worked from the centre out in a mixture of different size squares using the gorgeous Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails ….

Unicorn Tails

Unicorn Tails

how best to display this gorgeous yarn?

how best to display this gorgeous yarn?

But more of that next time….

Happy crocheting (and knitting, of course!)

Jenny x



International Diploma in Crochet

Hello again,

Well, I’ve done it – I’ve taken the plunge and in January I enrolled on Part 1 of Pauline Turner’s International Diploma in Crochet!

study guide and info

study guide and info

Having read the requirements – thirty-five widely diverse samples and four full-size projects – I wonder what I have let myself in for. But I am very excited to be embarking on something new. For a while now the feeling that my techniques need extending and my accuracy could do with improving has led me to search for local crochet classes of which there are none. So, distance learning it is and the fact that there are no time constraints makes it all the more appealing given my somewhat hectic lifestyle at times!

Sorting out packaging and labels for submitting the samples has been fun too, along with ordering some coordinating yarns to work them in ……. never need much of an excuse to buy some yarn!!

ready for the off!

ready for the off!

So following Pauline’s advice I completed the first six samples super fast and, having packed them carefully, sent them off earlier this week. The pass mark for each piece of work is 80% so not much room for error there.

I have been surprised by the number of apparently simple techniques which have got me thinking. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the ways I have used in my crochet over the last few years have led to bad habits and poor finishing. It will be good to sort that out and hopefully some of my self-taught skills will pass muster!

Wish me luck as I await my first feed-back.

Jenny x