Travel, crochet and wool

Weather Report

Windy and sunny this morning.

The bin is out for emptying and the washing on the line, the last for today I hope.

Why I like to crochet

  1. Versatile enough to take anywhere with me, now so versatile you can crochet many items which are useful, gone are the days of table mats and chair covers.

  2. Easy to fix mistake - many years ago my motto was if it wrong pull it out, but I must have mellowed a little…. too many stitches work 2 together…. too few stitches work an increase.

  3. So much to learn- stitches, Double Crochet, treble, slipstitch, double treble and lots more

  4. Many different patterns are available, when I taught myself to crochet many years ago there were very few to be found.

  5. If you can make a granny square you can make anything - We hear people say, “I can only make a granny square”, That’s great you can make so many projects with granny square, bags, clothes and toys.  The techniques learnt making a granny squares means you can transfer those skills to any other crochet project. Chain, Treble and slip stitch are very versatile.

  6. So many patterns online as well as books and printed there are many designers to follow.

  7. Fast

  8. Reduces stress and increases mindfulness - Calming motion

  9. So many skills to learn, hairpin, Tunisian crochet, fillet

  10. Can be an affordable hobby - yarn doesn’t have to be expensive.  You can make practical items like clothes, hats and scarfs with any yarn

  11. Stops you looking at your phone so much

  12. You can take crocheting out and about -  I take my crocheting everywhere. 

  13. Use up all your oddments of yarn

I have taught people tatting, embroidery, knitting and crochet for over 30 years and a lot of knitters struggle to learn crochet because they use the yarn in their right hand and need to use their left for crochet.  Unless they are left handed of course, that is totally different.

It is a real challenge to me when someone says “I can’t crochet I have tried for years,” I love it when they get the right stitch in the right place and realise that they can crochet at last.

It is all in your hands.

I had a lady come once and said that she had only come to be with her friend and I would not manage to teach her to crochet so that was a challenge I set her off and after 2 terms she managed to make a fine cotton crocheted christening gown it was beautiful. So as I usually say to any new starters if you really want to learn you will…… and practice is the easiest way to get any better. Tension only comes with practice and holding the yarn comfortably and not too tight. Practice practice practice…..

Acrylic versus wool

Another question I am always asked is what type of yarn should I use.

I love wool and can crochet with it but can’t wear it, I become very itchy and get a rash.  When I first started doing shows I designed mostly dolls and toys so I use a lot of acrylic, the choice of colours is amazing, it is practical and washable so it is suitable for what I need. Now I design more shawls, scarves and bags I like to use cotton and wool, socks of course need a stronger nylon content, so here once again everything has a place......

Do not worry about what you use I use what fits the purpose of the item you want to make.

Tatty Blanket - Great crochet scrap blanket

This blanket, Tatty Blanket designed by Louise uses a mixture of yarns worked together, an acrylic double knitting yarn and a 4 ply sock yarn. Experiment with mixing colours and types of yarns to give more texture.


You may have wondered why I have not been so prolific sharing what I am working on at the moment, Phil and I have been on another 16 night expedition holiday this time to Orkney. As stated above I take my crocheting everywhere. I took 3 bags of yarn and a project to travel with and with a laptop to do some work for the wet and windy days we were expecting. We spent many hours over winter plotting our journey as we wanted to take a few days to get up to Scrabster for the ferry. In the end we had 6 nights in different places going up and 3 nights coming home with 7 nights on Orkney.

I did not use my laptop much the weather was fantastic. So not many patterns got finished oops, I will be in trouble with Louise for that.

I have lots of photos for inspiration though, the colours of the sea and the flowers were lovely.

I did make some progress with my projects though even outside while Phil was taking pictures..

Ali crocheting on holiday in Orkney

I finished a pair of socks

Wool and the gang socks
Socks, crochet monkey, face scrubbies, and new blanket pattern

I also started more socks, crocheted 2 monkey toys, one in cotton and the other in double knitting, Made some more scrubbies for the website and almost finished a blanket…… not a bad haul for a very busy holiday.

Oh and I managed to buy some lovely baskets for our stand and a few hanks of hand dyed yarns “oh dear” I am sure Louise will help me use these treasures up.

The Woolshed near Evie and The little Dye shed at Button are really worth a visit as is the Wool shop in Stromness.

Wool buying in Orkney

Now the washing is all done and I have a pile of ironing to do. I love holidays but yesterday I was washing all day, luckily it has all dried and ready for ironing today.

Right on with the work

Thanks for reading I will be back to normal chaos next week : )

Ali and Louise