Category Archives: Gift Guide

Christmas Gift Guide – Crochet for Beginners

Welcome to part three of my Christmas Gift Guide. Have you already shared the links from the previous posts with a loved one?  Here they are again:

Christmas Gift Guide – Crochet on the Go

Christmas Gift Guide – Notions

Today I’m talking beginner crochet. The perfect starter pack.  On this list are the items that I wish I had had when I was first starting out, but instead found myself standing in the yarn section of my local craft store completely clueless!

The Learn to Crochet Project

By Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin

Kat and Joanne have been teaching crochet all over the UK and beyond for years, and this book is the culmination of all those lessons learned with great advice including choosing yarn, tools you’ll need, how to avoid simple mistakes and most importantly, the book will actually teach you how to make some beautiful and wearable items.  Not a dishcloth or mug cosy to be found!

The Learn to Crochet Project Book ~ PRINT COPY ~ A beginners crochet course available on Etsy for 10 Pounds https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/557998558/the-learn-to-crochet-project-book-print?ref=shop_home_active_3

The girls at the Crochet Project have a fantastic special offer right now too, if you buy this book as a gift, add a note to the Etsy comments and they will post a free copy of a pattern of your choice (to the same address).  Or, if you gift a copy via Ravelry, send a DM to Joanne at notsogranny who will send you a pdf of your chosen design.

The Learn to Crochet Project is available from 1st of December on Etsy and Ravelry, and is also ready for pre-order right now for 10 pounds GBP.

Clover Amour Crochet Hooks

When it comes to buying a full set of crochet hooks, I don’t think you can beat the Clover Amour hooks for quality and price.  For around 60 euros you have a set of 9 hooks and a storage case and you’ll never have to worry about not having the right hook in your stable.

Clover Amour crochet hooks, available from Wool Warehouse: http://shrsl.com/nvki

Seriously, that first day when I was standing in the craft store, I had picked out my yarn and then had to choose a hook.  I had no idea how to read a yarn label so I, no word of a lie, picked the coolest looking hook on the shelf.  It also happened to be the most expensive, and not at all suited to my hands.  Oh, and it was the wrong size, but I didn’t understand why my work was all wonky.  Ah….. Hindsight….

The Clover Amours are available from Wool Warehouse* (who ship globally) for 60 euros.  While you’re buying hooks, pick up a set of my matching stitch markers for under a tenner.

Yarn Needles

Technically I could have put this under notions, but I think it’s suited here.  You’ll absolutely need a darning needle or two to sew in your ends and you can grab them at any store that sells needles and thread, from Hema to Kmart to the supermarket.

My favourites though, are cute coloured needles like these that I picked up from Stephen and Penelope in Amsterdam.

http://www.stephenandpenelope.com/en/eight-seasons-tapestry-needles-5-pk.html

They make a great gift, and they’re only 2 euro!  Get them at Stephen and Penelope.

A Scheepjes Catona Colour Pack

This is a box chock full of mini balls of Catona in all the colours you could possibly imagine and they make the perfect starter pack.  It would be enough to make a colourful blanket or shawl, or perfect for making little amigurumis.

The yarn is mercerised, doesn’t split, and is hardwearing, so it’s the perfect yarn for a new crocheter.

The yarn packs are available from Wool Warehouse* who ship globally for just over 60 pounds GBP.

In my next (and last) post in this series, I’m going to be hosting a monster giveaway, with some of the great items that I’ve recommended here, and more!  If you haven’t already, subscribe in the top right corner so you don’t miss out.

See you next week!

*Affiliate link

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Christmas Gift Guide – Notions

If you haven’t already, head back to my post from earlier in the week where I shared my recommendations for gifts for the crocheter on the go.  Loads of inspiration to be had!

Now onto today’s guide.

Notions make wonderful gifts.  Especially for loved ones who live far away and need lightweight gifts to pop in the post.

Wrist Ruler

I’ve been wearing variations of the I Love Handles Wrist Ruler for most of this year and I LOVE it! It ages beautifully and I have complete strangers regularly noticing and commenting on it.  It’s just the most convenient accessory, great for measuring gauge and I don’t know about you, but I can never find my tape measure when I need it! I’ve also been known to measure up spaces and furniture in Ikea using it.  You’ll surprise yourself with how useful it is.  I’ll have a full review coming soon!

Wrist Ruler from ILOVEHANDLES.com

This version is leather (available in multiple shades), but there is also a vegan option if you prefer.  You can buy direct from ilovehandles.com for $19.95 USD, or if you’re in the Netherlands wol-zo-eerlijk.nl stocks them for 22.95 EUR.

Stitch Markers

Ok, full disclosure: these are made by me.  They’re a set of ten colourful stitch markers/progress keepers designed to match your set of Clover Amour hooks.  Whenever I put a project down for even a few days, I often struggle to remember which size hook I was using, so I designed these markers to be attached to your work and remind you which hook to use!  Because of the large clasp, they’re easy to use and can also work with knitted projects when you need to slip markers from one needle to the other.

Stitch Markers made by Nerissa Muijs. shop on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/574419467/knitting-and-crochet-stitch-markers?ref=shop_home_active_1

They’re on Etsy for 9.50 EUR for a set of ten.

Cohana Shozaburo Scissors

I know I touched briefly on these in my last gift guide post, but these are deserving of their own recommendation.

Thread Clippers by Cohana, available at Black Sheep Wools: http://bit.ly/cohanaBSW

These Shozaburo thread clips are handmade one pair at a time by Japanese artisans; the iga braids that wraps the handles are made using a traditional method that has long been practiced in armour making.  The blades are so sharp that I keep mine stored safely up high on display, away from little fingers.

The thread clippers are available at Black Sheep Wools for 40.50 GBP

Nostepinne

I find winding yarn to be one of life’s pleasures.  I have a lovely swift from Scheepjes and a horrible cheap winder that I bought a long time ago from a bargain shop somewhere. But I find that my arms and a nostepinne are the perfect tools for winding hanks into cakes or balls.  The rhythm of winding and moving my arms is almost meditative.

You can find nostepinnes all over Etsy at varying prices, but I love these from Be Inspired in South Africa the most:

 

 

They’re essentially made to order from varying woods, and are priced between 250 and 650 RAND (15-40 EUR).

Sock Blockers

An item that has been on my wishlist for a long time is a set of sock blockers.  I know they’re not really that necessary, but they’re cool and fun and great if you’ll be gifting socks instead casting them off and sliding them on your feet.  I love these from Bryson:

Bryson stainless steel sock blockers from Loop London: http://www.loopknittingshop.com/p/3694/Bryson-Stainless-Steel-Sock-Blockers

Image credit: Loop London

They’re available from Loop London for 19.50 GBP.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the Christmas Gift Guide!

Christmas Gift Guide – Crochet on the Go

It’s that time of year again, when we all start to panic about the gifts we will be giving, and if you’re anything like me, receiving!

In my husband’s family we are all asked to complete a wishlist, and it’s generally agreed that we won’t shop outside that list.  Because it always feels a bit greedy, I struggle with creating this list each year.  So to make it easier on you, I’m starting this series to give you some ideas.  You might find something that you love and you can just forward the link to this post to a loved with the note: “Everything please,” or you might find the perfect gift for that one person who is impossible to buy for.

I’m doing my best to cater for all budgets, so let’s start with the first in the series: Crochet on the Go; perfect gifts for the crocheter who doesn’t restrict herself to Netflix and the couch.

Crochet Hook Key Ring

This is the perfect gift for a Secret Santa, and can be found all over the internet at prices varying from the cost of shipping to about $5 USD. With 3, 4 and 5 mm hooks, it’s great to have on hand for that moment when you just can’t put your hands on your crochet hook when you need to.

crochet hook key chain, buy on Aliexpress: http://bit.ly/crochetkeychain

I picked these up from the Looen Crafts store online for under 5 euro.

Needle Nest

Although not technically crochet, needle nests are always handy.  You can use them to store your hooks, and are perfect to keep small WIPs like socks safe on the go.  I’ve just put this cute watermelon print nest from Undercover Otter priced at 9.50 EUR into my shopping basket:

Needle Nest from Undercover Otter: http://bit.ly/needlenest

Spring Flamingo Yarn and Bag Set

Vanessa at My Creative Garage makes THE best project bags around.  They’re so good that I have at least three!  As of posting this, there are still a couple of her Spring Flamingo project bags and yarn sets available which I can’t rave about enough.  I have last year’s Christmas set and this year’s Easter, so although I’m on a yarn diet I still want this year’s offering too.

The bag and yarn sets are available for $66 AUD (two storey bags alone for $50) at mycreativegarage.com

 

Canvas Tool Bag

The gorgeous products from Cohana are the ultimate gifts for the crocheter who has everything.  I have this beautiful tool bag and I love it. The fabric is paraffin coated canvas, making it lightweight and durable. It’s perfect to fit one or two skein projects in and has space to hold all your favourite tools and notions as well.  It will also double as a handbag insert, if you’re super organised, unlike me!

Cohana Tool Bag: from Black Sheep Wools: http://bit.ly/cohanaBSW

The bags, and a lot of other beautiful Cohana products (including the coolest scissors, made out of samurai sword steel) are at Black Sheep Wools in the UK and are priced at 81 GBP.

Tune in later in the week for the next instalment of the Christmas Gift Guide, where I’ll be talking tools and notions!  Plus, at the end of this series, I’m going to be holding a bumper giveaway with a selection of the items that I recommend.  It’s going to be massive!