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Hi, I’m Natasha.

Welcome to our creative website, where I will introduce you to all the fun, creative and crazy things we get up to.

I am a wife and a mother to my 3 children and 2 dogs. I am also a freelance crochet and knitting designer and maker, so you can imagine how chaotic it can get in our house.

Check out our About Us page for more information about us and what we do.

I hope this brings you creative joy and inspiration.

Let’s get yarning and creative!

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Tutorials on YouTube I follow frequently and highly recommend

Expression Fibre Arts [US crochet terminology] - Chandi presents her videos in a fun and entertaining way, making it much easier to learn.  She comes across as a warm and inspiring person.  You can tell she has a genuine love for helping others.  If you sign up to Chandi’s newsletter on her website - www.expressionfibrearts.com - she will keep you regularly up to date with new videos, free patterns and new yarns that she has available.  She also has extensive knowledge of yarn types and weights, so if you have questions she is the one to ask!

Naztazia [US crochet terminology] - Donna is great at teaching crochet.  She makes you feel very at ease about learning crochet as a beginner, instantly giving you confidence even when you make your first few mistakes.

BellaCoco [UK crochet terminology with US conversions] - Sarah-Jayne, who runs BellaCoco, is another great crochet teacher.  From discovering a love for this creative art herself, she is passing her knowledge and skills onto others.  She now even owns an online store selling yarn, patterns and crochet accessories.  I haven’t shopped with her yet as she currently only stocks certain selections of Stylecraft yarn but I know from her vlogs that she will be expanding her range.  She is also very competitive on product price as well as UK and international postage charges.  Within the space of just a few months her business has grown dramatically and she really listens to the requests and suggestions of her customers and subscribers.

Websites that are great inspiration for crochet

www.expressionfibrearts.com - Chandi and her team dye yarn themselves and it is absolutely beautiful.  Her patterns and tips are amazing too.

www.allfreecrochet.com - This is a great site with thousands of free crochet patterns along with guides on how to crochet.  They even have free patterns from top brands like Red Heart and Sirdar and have ebooks available to download too.

www.redheart.co.uk and www.redheart.com  - Red Heart’s website has hundreds of free patterns and they list all their yarns.  They also sell their yarns worldwide from the US site but I find the postage charges to be too high being here in the UK.  I wish they would make it as available here as they do in the US because they have colours and types that just aren’t available here and I really do love their yarn.  Loveknitting and lovecrochet sell some but are limited.

My recommendations for particular brands or products I use or have tested

YARN

As a cost effective, soft and easy to work with yarn, James C Brett yarns are currently my absolute favourite.  They have a wide range of types and colours that are excellent quality and quantity at cheap prices.  There is something for everyone's taste and budget.


Red Heart yarn is one I really love.  However, being in the UK, we do not have the same access to all their ranges like in the US.  It is very cost effective in the US and you do get large amounts on a skein.  They also have a massive selection, so you really are spoilt for choice.  I just wish it was more easily available here in the UK.  Loveknitting and lovecrochet sell some but are limited.


Robin yarns are very cost effective and soft once washed.  They are easily available in the UK and have a good range for anyone on a budget.


Stylecraft yarns are a brand I have only recently discovered and I think they are really great.  There are different varieties at great prices.  The colour choice is also amazing.  I am working on some projects at the moment using a few different types and colours and I can’t wait to show how this yarn works up.  I really am loving it and it may even take place as one of my favourites alongside James C Brett yarns.


Poundland and PoundWorld's yarns really are soft and warm.  They are good to work with.  However, not all stores sell yarn and some stores change frequently from selling it to not selling it so you cannot really rely on it.


HOOKS

I find a lot of hook brands great to work with and if you are on a budget the cheapest ones you can find are perfect.  However, if you want to branch out a bit for more comfort and style, I highly recommend KnitPro Symfonie Wood Crochet Hooks.  They work smoothly with many different types of yarn and do not catch or snag as you are pulling through a stitch.  I currently only have them in 3 sizes because I only buy them when I have enough money or have been given money or a voucher for my birthday or Christmas.  This is due to them being quite costly but it is worth it for the frequency in which I use them.  I can’t wait to complete the set but it is going to take a while.


I have two sizes of the KnitPro Aluminium Soft Grip Silver crochet hooks.  They are reasonably priced and very comfortable to hold.  The shape of the grip makes it easier to hold at a decent angle.  These are a good choice if you want a quality brand but at a reasonable price.


I have tried an 8mm Addi Swing crochet hook.  I chose it because of the shape of its grip.  At £7.79 just for one, I thought this was going to be a great purchase but it definitely wasn’t for me.  I found the grip very uncomfortable and awkward for my hand.  Also, when I tried to use a chunky yarn, that specified an 8mm hook, I struggled to work any stitches because the head was far too close to the grip to be able to have a loop on with any yarn overs.  If you were working a stitch that requires three loops on the hook, you just wouldn’t fit it on at all.  This is one that I have in my case that I avoid using and probably wouldn’t buy in any other sizes.  For the price I paid I was really disappointed.  Although, when my daughter has a project that requires an 8mm I might get her to try it because she holds crochet hooks differently to me and might find it comfortable.  I will update you if she tries it out.


MAGAZINES

When I first started out with crochet I purchased a lot of magazines because I was very drawn in by the projects and free gifts that they offer.  My favourites are Inside Crochet, Simply Crochet, Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crocheting, and Woman’s Weekly Knitting and Crochet Special.  If you are one to enjoy a magazine, then these are the ones I highly recommend.

Places I love to buy from and highly recommend

www.loveknitting.com & www.lovecrochet.com - These are run by the same company.  They provide amazing service and products at reasonable prices.  The team endeavour to help other creative people achieve their knitting and crochet goals, right down to their packaging of your order.  It really does make you smile and feel like they really care about you as their customer.  They even provide a large number of free patterns, as well as reasonably priced ones.  You can sell your own patterns on there too.  There is also a community on their websites that you can join, upload your own projects and view other fellow makers projects.  Two things I will say, though, is if you know the name of yarn you want and it’s not in the list, type it in the search bar because I have found they sell other yarns, like Bernat, that do not always appear in the main list.  The other thing is they do not have gift vouchers, which is a shame because I, and my daughter, would love to receive them as birthday and Christmas presents from our family.

www.woolwarehouse.co.uk - In all honestly, I only started shopping here because my daughter bought me a gift voucher for mothers day as loveknitting didn’t do them.  It is a variation of being similar on price on some products and slightly more expensive on others to loveknitting and lovecrochet.  They do provide a caring service.  I have shopped with them more than once and will do again.  They even have a physical shop in Leamington Spa.

www.ebay.co.uk and www.amazon.co.uk - These are my back up places to go when I can’t find what I’m looking for on the other websites.

Yarn Weight Conversion Chart

Yarn weights, like hooks and terms, differ from country to country.  The weight of a yarn refers to its thickness and has different categories.  I cannot find any information for Japan or China and there is some conflicting information about Australia and New Zealand.  The latter two mostly follow UK weights with just a couple of slight differences.

UK/European

US/Canada

AUS/NZ

1ply

0/Lace

2ply

2ply

0/Lace/Light Fingering

3ply

3ply

1/Super Fine//Fingering/Sock/Baby

3ply

4ply

2/Fine/Sport/Baby

5ply

DK

3/DK/Light Worsted

8ply

Aran

4/Medium/Worsted/Afghan/Aran

10ply

Chunky

5/Bulky

12ply

Super Chunky

6/Super Bulky

14ply

Jumbo

7/Jumbo

-

Crochet Terminology Conversion Chart

I fully understand both UK and US terminology for crochet.  This is because I first learnt in US terms from Donna Wolfe at Naztazia.com and didn’t know at the time that there was a difference.  It didn’t take long for me to realise and is an added benefit as it enables me to use a wider variety of patterns.  As I have been learning about the different conversions, I have discovered that Canada follow US terminology and Australia follow UK terminology.  However, I come up against conflicting information when researching New Zealand because some places show UK terms and others show US terms, so I am confused as to which they actually follow.  (If anyone can enlighten me I would greatly appreciate it.)  Japan and China follow US terms and Ireland, Africa and most European countries follow UK terms.  It is quite easy to decipher the differences once you learn a terminology.

UK/Europe/AUS

US/Canada/China/Japan

dc - double crochet

sc - single crochet

htr - half treble crochet

hdc - half double crochet

tr - treble crochet

dc - double crochet

dtr - double treble crochet

tr - treble crochet

ttr - triple treble crochet

dtr - double treble crochet

Crochet Hook Conversion Chart

Crochet hook size types are different in each country.  There are standard sizes and steel/thread hook sizes.  The latter are used for fine crochet work.  There are UK and US size types, as well as the metric sizes working in millimetres (mm), which are actually universal across countries.  In the UK/Europe there are two types - before metric, which are imperial/numbered sizes, and after metric, which are sizes in millimetres.  In the US, there are three types - lettered sizes, imperial/numbered sizes and metric in mm.  Canada, Australia and New Zealand follow the UK and metric sizes.  Japan appear to follow a combination of imperial and metric, but in different sizes to other countries, and I think China work with metric.  Personally, I prefer metric because it is understood worldwide.

Below is the conversion for standard hook sizes only.

Metric/Millimetres (mm)

UK/European/Canada/AUS/NZ/China

(Imperial)

US

(Imperial)

Japan

(Metric(mm) / Imperial [in square brackets])

2

14

-

2mm / [2/0]

2.25

13

B/1

 2.3mm / [3/0] or 2.5mm / [4/0]

2.5

12

-

-

2.75

-

C/2

2.5mm / [4/0] or 3mm / [5/0]

3

11

-

-

3.25

10

D/3

-

3.5

9

E/4

3.5mm / [6/0]

3.75

-

F/5

-

4

8

G/6

4mm / [7/0]

4.5

7

7

4.5mm / [7.5/0]

5

6

H/8

5mm / [8/0]

5.5

5

I/9

-

6

4

J/10

6mm / [10/0]

6.5

3

K/10.5

7mm / [7]

7

2

-

-

8

0

L/11

8mm / [8]

9

00

M/13

9mm / [9]

10

000

N/15

10mm / [10]

Getting started tips

All you need is one crochet hook, one ball of yarn, a learning aid, some scissors, some patience and my helpful tips below.  My suggestions are based on my usage in the UK but can be applied to the US/AUS and other countries because I know some websites, yarns and accessories are accessible worldwide.  Below, I have also included terms, hook size and yarn weight Conversion Charts for UK, Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan. You can also see what accessories I keep to hand when crocheting by checking out “What’s in my Craft Bag” blog post.


Yarn Weight & Type

Yarn weight is whether the yarn is Lace, Super Fine, Fine, Light, Medium, Bulky/Chunky, Super Bulky/Chunky or Jumbo.  Yarn type is whether it is fingering, sock, 2-ply, 3-ply, sport, double knit, aran, worsted, etc.  PLEASE NOTE: weights and types are different from country to country and not all charts list by country, so make sure you find one for your country - you can also use my Conversion Charts below.


To get started, I would pick a Double Knit (or DK)/Light yarn because it is really easy to use when starting out.  Some suggest Chunky yarn because it works up quicker but I find it can be a bit tough to get through the stitches and would be best to use later.  Therefore, I would select a cheap 100g ball of DK because it is just for practising with.


Yarn Colour - IMPORTANT TIP

The colour of the yarn is also important for beginners.  Avoid white and black because it is hard to see individual stitches.  Dark or bright colours are not advisable either, so use a light colour like the pink, lavender, green or spearmint colours I have used in some of my projects.  Also, some beige colours are usable.  This will enable you to identify the individual stitches and chains that you will be working.


Yarn Brand

Cheap quality yarns to pick from include James C Brett, Red Heart, Stylecraft, Robin and pound shop yarns.  Any of these are perfect for starting out with.  My favourite place to buy any yarn from is www.loveknitting.com or www.lovecrochet.com.  I recommend these because they are the same company and give brilliant customer service.  They also give help and advice when you need it.  On top of that, they give a lot of discount deals regularly.  With every order I have placed, I have had a 10% discount code on the receipt that has to be used by a specific date.


Crochet Hook Choices

Most Double Knit (DK) yarns require between a 4mm and 5mm crochet hook.  The label will state which size should be used.  All DK yarns I have used have suggested a 4mm hook.  There are many cost effective brands around.  My first hook came free with a magazine, along with some 25g balls of yarn.  This was perfect to get started with.


I now have a range of crochet hooks.  After the free one, I started with a Pony Aluminium 4.5mm hook.  I moved onto a full cased unbranded set of aluminium hooks, which I purchased from www.ebay.co.uk for about £4.50 (for the whole set).  These ranged from 0.5mm up to 6.5mm.  Along with these, I purchased a set of plastic hooks that ranged from 4mm up to 12mm, which cost about £2.90 for 7 hooks.  Although, I did snap the 4mm, so I only have 5mm and up now.  Either of these are great to work with as a beginner but be aware that the smaller plastic hooks might snap if you are a tight tension crocheter.  I find some of the smaller size hooks hard to hold at times, so my daughter made me some grips out of loom bands.


I have now started using KnitPro Symfonie Wood Crochet Hooks.  I first saw these on the Create and Craft TV channel and they rated them very highly.  I started with just one, which I purchased from www.loveknitting.com.  They start at £4.45 and increase in price with the increase in size of the hook.  You can also purchase these in sets for about £25.  I highly recommend these if you can afford them.  They are the easiest I have worked with so far and I am very slowly building my collection of them.  I am even hoping to start purchasing the knitting needle versions at some point, I like them that much.


Start learning

Once you have your ball of yarn and crochet hook, the next thing you need is a way to learn HOW to crochet.  My starting point was two children's books - “Stitch by Stitch” by Jane Bull & “Crochet for Children” by Claire Montgomerie.  I got these from my local library - which makes them free (very cost effective).  These particular books include photo images to support the description of how to get started with crochet.  They are very easy to follow but if you are like me and are very particular in getting things accurate you may benefit from also watching online tutorials.  I recommend Naztazia, Expression Fibre Arts or BellaCoco on YouTube.  The first two are in US terms and BellaCoco is in the UK but does provide US conversions.  They explain and show very simply how to achieve the start up stitches.


The first thing you will learn will be how to hold the hook and yarn.  It can take a while to get comfortable with this as you are having to get both hands doing two separate jobs.  You have to keep trying until you get comfortable but it may take a few weeks and you may very well drop the yarn a lot, as well as get tangled.  This is where you need to be persistent and patient, which, as you have probably realised, is something I am not very good at.  I find that taking a break and coming back to it helps.  Along with this first step, you will learn how to make a foundation chain.  This will be the basis of all projects when you are working in rows.  Once you have mastered this, which shouldn't take very long, you will move on to learning the UK Double Crochet/dc [US Single Crochet/sc] stitch.  My suggestion for this is, once you are familiar with it, chain 21 and work in dc [sc] for 50 rows or more.  This continuity will help you get to grips with this stitch, what it looks like and how it is worked.  You could also turn the finished piece into a purse or dolls blanket so that the yarn isn’t wasted.


From the dc [sc] stitch, you will move on to UK Half Treble Crochet/htr [US Half Double Crochet/hdc] and then UK Treble/tr [US Double Crochet/dc].  These three stitches are the basis for all other stitches and patterns.  So once you have mastered them you will be able to easily move on to other stitches and stitch patterns.  You can even get started on projects with just the first three stitches and achieve some beautiful things, from blankets to bags.  Maybe even some of my projects will inspire you.



I hope this brings you creative joy and inspires you to start your own yarn-tastic journey.

Please share and connect with us on social media.  I would love to hear from you.

Let’s get yarning!

Bobble and Knit - Crochet Hints & Tips