Friday, 13 October 2017

Beautiful Things - Crochet the easy way

As I was growing up we had a beautiful crochet blanket that my great grandma had made, it lived in my room and was my absolute favourite thing. Easily over 100 years old, it brought me so so much comfort. I wanted to create my own for my kids in the future, but back then I wouldn't have known where to start. Fast-forward a few years, still when I was a much littler, much cuter Kate, my grandma taught me how to knit. I thought I had ‘got it’ and I spent hours and hours sat clicking needles, determined to make my mum a little scarf for her birthday (I thought I'd work my way up to the blanket)– Little did I know at the time that my grandma was fixing my shoddy work between visits, and the scarf I eventually presented to my mother was more of a sign of nanna's hard work and talent than my own. 

In fact, I only discovered this truth when I tried knitting again in university, only for it to unravel on me and fall apart. I put the needles down for good when I spent an entire evening watching Youtube videos trying to crochet a small owl yet could not physically make them become circular… Needless to say I’m not naturally creative and crafty – but what I lack in ability I make up for in determination. (Turns out the owl instructions were in American as craft-guru Claire from Beautiful things explained to me later on).
Beautiful Things crochet kit.
Photo property of Claire Mackaness.

Fast Forward a few months, I was scouring twitter for something new to try and stumbled upon a new way to learn how to crochet. Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness is a small craft workshop in Essex which hosts classes for anybody who wants to learn a new craft, from dress-making to knitting. Thankfully for us northerners they also offer a virtual course online which consists of a 90-minute tutorial video, and access to an exclusive Facebook support group. I signed up for the semi-virtual “Crochet the Easy Way” course, a pinch at only £25.

I have to admit, I was a little sceptical to begin with. I am not creatively gifted in the slightest, and I have already spent HOURS of my life watching very confusing tutorials on the topic in the past, the last thing I wanted to do is waste even more of my time and energy only to end up with another ball of tangled wool. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.

The video tutorial was really easy to follow – even for somebody as clumsy and left-handed as myself. I soon found myself making stitches without really over-thinking the motions that I was going through. By the end of the session Claire had the viewers make a crochet rose. I would obviously post a picture on here of mine had I not taken it apart to use the wool as part of my childhood dream of making a blanket, which I'm now one step closer to doing! (I will totally post a picture of the blanket when I finish it, its gonna be huge!) 

I would definitely recommend these virtual courses for anybody who has always wanted to learn a craft, but been a little confused where to start, or what to do. Even better – if you are closer to Claire why don’t you pop in and pay a visit? 


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