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Sunday 31 July 2016

Trailwalker 2016

A week has now passed, and its only now that I feel that I have recovered sufficiently to put it to words the events of last weekend. Last weekend I took part in Trailwalker, organised by Oxfam. This is an endurance event originally devised as a training exercise for the Gurkha Army. This amazing event involves walking 100km (just over 62 miles) across the South Downs in team of four. But here it gets hard, you have to complete the walk in under 30 hours! 

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Staying creative when RSI strikes

This post is for those of us who suffer from repetitive strain injury from crochet or knitting. I wrote about my experiences back in 2014 and an update on Monday. The Crochet Project also wrote a fantastic post about the same subject yesterday and I definitely recommend you give it a read, regardless of whether you are having any problems. 

With this post I want to show how you can have a creative life outside of crochet when pain strikes, and some of the things I like to do to keep me on the straight and narrow when crochet went out of the window. 

Monday 18 July 2016

RSI and me- an update

Cherry Pi by Joanne Scrace for The Crochet Project crocheted by SallyStrawberry

Whilst finishing this lace weight shawl for a deadline (it was for a birthday present) my arm was aching, literally aching from wrist to shoulder, for a 6mm hook and some chunky yarn.

As longer term readers will know I suffered terribly from RSI for a long while when I upped my crochet game. It got to the point where even pouring myself a cuppa or chopping vegetables for dinner was agonisingly painful. I wrote a collaborative post with Not So Granny and Lazy Daisy Jones on our experiences of crochet-induced Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). This post is my most popular post on this blog so obviously this is a massive concern and prevalent problem amongst the crochet and knitting community. 

Sunday 10 July 2016

Join-as-you-go Granny Square Method- a tutorial

As promised I have created a tutorial to demonstrate the 'join-as-you-go' granny square joining method I used in my Rainbow Disco Blanket. This joining method is fantastic in that it is much quicker than joining your squares at the end by slip stitching or sewing. More importantly for me if you are joining a you go along you are able to see your blanket emerge before your eyes, giving much needed motivation to finish. This method is not only for blankets, I also used it on my vintage tea cosy and hot water bottle covers which you can find on Ravelry by clicking through here

One caveat though is to be careful if you are making a very large blanket as the weight of the wool will pull on the joins. Instead use a more secure fastening such as double crochet or hand-sewing. I have also produced a downloadable PDF of this tutorial which you can find under my tutorial tab here

Here goes with the tutorial, I hope you find it useful :-)

1) Work your first square to the total number of rounds (3 in this example) and sew in the ends

2) Work your second square to the penultimate round. You will be completing the final round as you join

3) It is easiest when you are first learning this method to start with a corner. As you get more experienced you will be able to start anywhere along the granny square and know exactly where to put your hook for the join.

Join on your yarn and make your first 3-treble cluster of the corner. Usually if you were making a granny square you would make three chain stitches then your second 3 treble cluster. This time however you will make your first of your three chains as normal and INSTEAD of the second chain make a DOUBLE CROCHET (UK terminology) into the corresponding 3-chain space of your FIRST granny square.

Make the third chain stitch as normal followed by the second 3 treble cluster to finish the corner of your second granny square. 

4) So now you have joined your first corner you need to join along the edge.

To do this, make your next stitch a DOUBLE CROCHET into the 1-chain space between the treble clusters on the edge of your first (red) square as shown by my needle on the second image below. 

…..Then make your three treble cluster into the next 1-chain space on your second (orange) square. It will look like this…..

5) Repeat step 3 for the second corner, making your middle chain of your three chains of the corner a double crochet into the corner of your first square. 

6) Complete the final round of the second square as you would normally for a granny square. Voila! You have your first join. This becomes a bit more tricky when you are working a blanket rather than just strips of squares as some squares you will have to join on both sides. Once you get going though I am positive that you will love this technique!

If you do use this tutorial please let me know how you get on and show me your projects!

Thursday 7 July 2016

The fragility of small businesses- raise a glass to supporting the independents!

In the past couple of weeks my two most favourite independent yarn companies have closed. Libby Summers closed her doors last week and Artesano announced that they were going into liquidation today. 

Sunday 3 July 2016

The Disco Rainbow Blanket- The details

SallyStrawberry rainbow crochet granny square blanket

Thank you for you kind response to my Disco Rainbow Blanket. Here are some more details for you if you wish to have a go yourself. I will include some more information including how to work the join-as-you-go squares in a later post (next Sunday so keep a look out).