Crochet Diploma: Module 9

On we march to Module 9: Shawls & Scarves. A lot of the remaining modules follow the same format – introduce item, yarns, yarn amounts and tension, then a pattern for that item.

In this module I learned the difference between a summer scarf and a winter scarf and took note of some more useful estimates of how many metres of yarn needed to make a scarf or shawl. This module also introduces a 5 step “How to design “thing”” formula which doesn’t really change lesson to lesson but is a useful scaffold for creating your very first independent designs.

After the headache that was Module 8, this was a nice simple module that included two patterns for pretty and simple scarfs. One made of basic trebles and tassels and another made from motifs.

The assessment went well enough. At least I understood it all!

Happy Hooking!

Liz x

EDIT:  I achieved a score of 100% for this module.

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Crochet Diploma: Module 6

This module is about Care & Finishing and covers blocking, seaming, weaving in ends and laundering your work safely.

They delved into much deeper detail about blocking in this section and covered a few methods such as soaking a piece or steaming more delicate pieces. I have never had much luck blocking acrylic yarn which is apparently a universal experience as animal fibres take to blocking much better than man made ones do.

I usually sew a whip seam when joining granny squares because I am impatient like that but the break down of an invisible seam (I have seen this referred to as a ladder stitch in sewing) was very useful as was advice on how to make the crocheted seam ridge part of your design aesthetic.

Weaving in ends. OMG. Nightmare. There’s no way around the grunt work (unless you weave as you go but let’s be serious) and this lesson advised to weave in three directions to secure your end.

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Preach! Source: Jimmy Beans Wool on Twitter

The True or False questions in this assessment were a lot clearer. We are getting through this course! Next up, Advanced Techniques.

Happy Hooking!

Liz x

EDIT: I passed this module with a mark of 100%

 

 

 

Crochet Diploma: Module 3

Module 3 is called Basics II and covers turning chains, crocheting a flat piece, crocheting in the round, the Magic Loop, increasing and decreasing, and the shell stitch.

The UK terminology is still doing my head in. Luckily this module is mostly treble crochets (US = double crochet) and gathering stitches.

The first lesson covered how many turning chains to do for each stitch (e.g. 3 chains for a treble crochet) then moved on to the first practical exercises in the course.

Module 3 excercises
Exercise pieces – one flat piece worked in rows, one circle worked in the round.

The first exercise piece was to practice finding and crocheting into your chain. The next was to practice the Magic Loop and to crochet a basic 6-12-24 expansion in doubles.

Now they used the term ‘crocheting in the round’ to describe this method of joining your round with a slip stitch and chaining 1 to count as the first stitch of the next round. In my experience with amigurumi (small crocheted animals, dolls etc) ‘crocheting in the round’ means to continue on without joining and marking your starting point of each round with a stitch marker. Not a big difference, just something I noticed.

I like that they teach the Magic Loop method. A lot of new crocheters struggle with this but once you get it, you never go back to the 4 chain circle. When using a magic loop, remember to weave in the end in the most secure way you can. I prefer to thread it through the centre circle again, then sew back the way I came weaving in and out of the stitches. I didn’t do this on a baby blanket once and every granny square came loose. I was devastated.

The next lesson touched on increasing and decreasing and introduced the DC2tog stitch. There was also a lesson on how to crochet the shell stitch as this makes a pretty and easy border.

The assessment was the same 10 question format. I again encountered two True or False questions where the wording could mean either answer was correct. In particular I think I may get one wrong where the wording was very unclear about what “finishing a stitch” meant in the context of the question. I’ll update when I have the results back.

Happy Hooking!

Liz x

EDIT: I passed this module with a mark of 90%

Crochet Diploma: Module 1

So we have started off the Centre of Excellence’s Crochet Diploma, with Module 1: Materials. This module goes over hooks, yarns and the basics to keep in your crochet kit. I actually learned a few new things such as using WPI (Winds Per Inch) around a pencil to determine the yarn weight of a yarn with an unknown weight. In Australia, while the UK names do appear on some yarn labels, most yarns are labelled in “ply” e.g. DK yarn is 8 ply, Fingering weight is 4 ply.

There is a handy table that compares UK hook names, US hook names and the hook’s metric measurements. I prefer metric measurements when I am explaining or writing a pattern and always had to look it up when a youtuber or blog listed a letter or number hook size such as G size hook or a 7.

The explanation of many common yarns was excellent. I did not know that acrylic yarn was flammable, while wool is flame retardant.

The presenter has a lovely rolled yarn case with many different hooks each with a thick handle. When I first discovered crochet hooks with thick rubber handles, it was a revelation. At my day job I work a lot with a computer and mouse, then come home and crochet for hours. The little silver hooks I started my collection with hurt my hands and I knew I couldn’t use them forever. Every crocheter will have their own ergonomic preferences – knife grip vs. pencil grip, bamboo or rubber grip handles – and it takes time to figure out what works best.

Liz's Crochet Kit
Rubber handle crochet hooks, a darning needle and snips. There are stitch markers, a tiny tape measure and more needles in the outer pocket.

The assessment at the end of the module consisted of ten questions. They were a mix of true/false and short answer. These are marked by a human and you do need to pay attention to the material to be able to answer them well. As I am juggling a 3 month old baby and the school run, I used a trick I picked up at uni – play the video in x1.75 or x2 speed. You still get the information but you get it much faster. Seriously, try it on a TED Talk video.

My assessment is awaiting marking now. I will be sure to update when I have the result.

Happy hooking!

Liz x

EDIT: I passed the assessment with a score of 100%

Beginning the Crochet Diploma

So I was scrolling through Facebook one day, as you do, when I came across someone mention a “Crochet Diploma” on one of the groups I follow.

wtf? A crochet diploma?

Off I went googling my heart out and I landed on two such courses.

The course the poster was talking about seems to be the International Diploma of Crochet run by the legendary Pauline Turner. You can find all the information on her course here on the Crochet Design website.

The other was a “Diploma” on the Centre of Excellence UK website that hosts quick, fun, online courses in lots of different areas.

Diploma header

I came back to wordpress looking for any other crocheters who have done this course and blogged about what they learned or gained from it. I found a few posts on Coastal Crochet‘s blog but not much more, so I thought I would give it a go and blog the journey.

As I was looking for just a bit of fun I opted for the Centre of Excellence’s course. It is listed at £127 however there are two very useful discount codes if this is out of your price range.

Leading up to Mothering Sunday in the UK, use MUMGIFT to get any Centre of Excellence course for £29.

Or, use LEARNUK for a 60% discount.

Obviously, these things aren’t accredited however, the Centre of Excellence can provide a statement of learning outcomes from an accredited educational body if you would like.

I am now all enrolled and ready to get hooking. I have been crocheting for most of my life and crocheting seriously for 7 years but there is always more to learn and I am particularly looking forward to the tunisian crochet and writing your own patterns for publication sections.

There are 17 modules in the course and I hope to complete it by the time I return to my full time job in June 2019.

Come along for the journey and hit the follow button on the right -> to be updated when I publish a new blog post.

Happy hooking,

Liz

 

 

 

New beginnings

It’s been a whirlwind few months. New house, new neighbourhood and new kids activities. With it all came a wake up call and a new perspective.

Working full time is rough sometimes. So many days I wish I was at the school gate or on canteen duty or there to take her to ballet at 3.30 in the afternoon. Life comes in seasons and while we are in this fulltime family season I want to do something for me and for my little one.

I have been putting off pouring my heart into my side projects for so many years I just feel sad when I see them. Not anymore. You only reap what you sow and I have been sowing so many exciting little seeds. I can’t wait to share it all soon.

Liz x

Coffee and Sunshine

So it’s been almost a week since we lost our home to flooding from a hot water system and we’re holding up ok. The in-laws took us in and have been a wonderful source of support through this. But living out of suitcases on the floor is not a long or even short term solution and I’ve started house hunting. I did not expect to fall in love with the second place I inspected but no one ever expects to fall in love with anyone/thing. We’ll see how our application pans out.

Today however is a glorious Saturday to be enjoyed. There’s the most beautiful little cafe just a stone’s throw from here so I’ve got my hipster-mummy-Sydneysider coffee fix for the day.

01 fortybaskets

It’s heading up to 30C but Little Lottie is bundled up in a beautiful yellow hand knitted jumper her grandmother got her. I gave her a floppy straw hat before she went on her walk with her grandparents (she was awfully upset that she couldn’t find the hat with the flowers on it) and she told me, “I am a happy sunshine now! Let’s go to the park!”.

Yes, you are a happy ray of sunshine my dear girl. Never change.

Liz xx

Sick days

After successfully avoiding the wave of Hand, Foot & Mouth that’s swept through Lottie’s daycare service, our friends’ kids and ballet class we’ve all been struck down one by one with a nasty cough and runny noses.

Sick toddlers are not fun, sick husbands are worse. All in all we’ve gotten a decent amount of sleep and kept super warm so we’re on the mend.

The days stuck inside haven’t been wasted. Lottie’s old change table is finally gone and a beautiful open wardrobe we scored for free (thanks gumtree) is now home to tutus, coats, blankets and way too many shoes for a 2 year old. I gave the bathroom a warm and beautiful make over with purple & grey towels, a fluffy mat, candles and apothecary jars adding so much to the ambiance with no paint used at all. And I’m working on my latest obsession – thick, stylish ear warmers. I’ve worked out the kinks in the pattern and can’t wait to post the results.

It’ll be another sick day inside but with tea parties, crochet projects and the Care Bears it won’t be a boring one.

Liz x

My Favourite Crochet site

I’ve been crocheting since I was 7 but have only recently moved onto more complicated projects like cupcakes and dolls. The best place to start for tutorials in beanies, blankets, little toys and baby booties is HappyBerry Crochet UK.

Her name is Laura and she runs my favourite YouTube channel packed full of easy to follow crochet tutorials. Seriously I’ve never made a beanie perfectly until I stumbled across her brilliant video series that covers every size from newborn to large men’s beanies.

matching beanies

Right now I have 9 days until Mother’s Day here in Australia, a mother, a mother-in-law and a grandmother-in-law to think up gifts for and I’m hanging out for her tutorial on how to make the crochet roses she posted on her Instagram last week!

Fingers crossed she makes a video for crochet roses soon!

Liz x