February 2020 Boxes

February marks a full year of boxes. With it being our Birthday box what is better than cake?

February Crochet Subscription Box
February 2020 Crochet Subscription Box

This month to celebrate subscribers received cakes of 2 Bernat Simply Softee Stripes. I decided on a gorgeously bright colourway called ‘Over The Rainbow’. Each cake is 120g and contains approx 262 metres. It is also machine washable and can be placed in the tumble drier on a low heat, which is kind of essential for babies really.

I chose 4 different patterns for each of the boxes so everyone will get to choose what to make (not that you need to use the supplied patterns!) There is a pattern for a sweet little pullover or if you feel like making something a bit different you could make the hats and booties. I have even included a little fluffy pom pom if anybody wanted to add it. The colours within in the yarn are so lovely I am itching to found out what everybody chooses to make.

Engraved Pen
I Love Yarn Engraved Pen

The yarn this month is American and I chose patterns from the same brand which meant that the crochet patterns used American terms. To help anybody to convert the patterns I popped in a handy little stitch conversion guide.

I chose lovely bright green buttons which I thought would be a little different and help create a unique little outfit along with the usual Crocheted or Knitted With Love tag which can be sewn in.

The feedback from subscribers already this month definitely show that the little treat has gone down amazingly well. I had some beautiful rose gold pens engraved with ‘I Love Yarn’ for everyone. I was over the moon when these arrived as it really is a stunning pen. It has a perfect weight balance to it and will be perfect to pop into a project bag or handbag.

Do you craft? Why?

An ever growing number of the population are now turning to craft. Each year the economic growth of the craft industry increases. This is fantastic news for crafters and artisans but why is it that the UK is becoming a bustling hive of creativity?

XKH145294 Visit of the Angel, from the right wing of the Buxtehude Altar, 1400-10 (tempera on panel) by Master Bertram of Minden (c.1345-c.1415); Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany; German, out of copyright

Is it a resurgence of the arts and crafts movement? Perhaps people want to make sure that historical skills are not forgotten? Maybe its people like Kirstie Allsop showcasing crafts throughout the year on national television?  Or is it the fact that crafting has more benefits than we realise? Crafts such as knitting have been around since, most likely 1000AD starting in Eygpt where it started to spread through the continents.

My own journey through the world of crafts started as a child. My mum taught me how to sew, how to bake, knit and crochet. I loved receiving craft kits full of glitter and glue as presents. Fast forward a few years and this love of crafting fell by the wayside. Life got in the way. I grew up and responsibility beckoned. GCSEs, A Levels passed and university meant working 2 part time jobs and late night essay writing.

I suppose that this is when things started to get tough for me. The constant hamster wheel of adulthood pulled me into a monotonous, boring life. Every day was the same. I began to need something that wasn’t, so I turned to crafts. I tried all sorts. Jewellery making and baking were attempted but I got frustrated and agitated with them. I wasn’t able to put my own stamp on my creations and baking, well…I blamed the fact that my oven was naff!

But then I picked up a pair of knitting needles. It took me 3 weeks to make my first scarf. Three weeks of swearing at the yarn and flinging the damn needles across the room, but I persevered. God know where that scarf is now but I was so proud of myself. By the end I had managed to get a rhythm going, the calming sound of the yarn sliding over the needles allowed my brain to switch off.

But it wasn’t enough; it was too slow for me. So I tried to remember how to crochet. From the moment I mastered the basis stitches I was hooked. Crochet became my release. A way to clear my head. I still have my first ever crochet granny square somewhere. It’s laughable how bad it actually is.

A riot of colour when there was none in my life

Life progressed and got in the way again and I didn’t pick up my crochet again till several years later when I was in a very bad place. My baby boy had passed away at just a day old and my marriage had broken down. A visit from the bereavement midwife came with a warning. She knew all I wanted was to be with my son. She could see that I was heading towards self-harm. She encouraged me to pick up my crochet hook. Just stitch she said, don’t follow a pattern, don’t make anything specific; just focus on the way the yarn twists itself around.

I did, and I can honestly and truthfully say that without crochet I would more than likely not be here today. It was a release, my mind focused on counting each row. After a while the tension I was holding in my body disappeared, my hands and arms no longer felt alien.

‘Uglyghan’

I am still making that blanket. I call it my ‘uglyghan’ I produced a riot of colour when there was none in my life. There is no method to it, I just grab a ball of yarn and crochet the whole thing into it. I always reach for this when I am feeling particularly low. These kinds of days are getting fewer and fewer and the blanket doesn’t grow as quick now.

Even my own subscribers have said the same. Crafting helps them to cope with chronic pain, depression, mind-set, self-esteem and insomnia. I have heard that doctors and nurses are prescribing activities such as knitting and crocheting too.

If you ask around, at the crafters that undoubtedly surround us all, you will find that many of them started as a form of therapy. A way to help alleviate the darkness of depression and anxiety.

So what do you think? Is the increasing demand of crafting here to stay?

January 2020 Boxes

Did you know that this is our 12th box? I cannot believe that HIY has been operational for 12 months now!

January 2020 Knit Box
January 2020 Knit Box

This is quite a special box as the profits from the boxes sent this month will be donated to a charity very close to my heart. I will let you know the exact amount when I have finished totalling it all up, but it will all go to SANDs, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support. As you know, the reason behind HIY was my little boy who passed away at just a day old. I was supported, and still am, by SANDs, with local support meetings and with a lovely lady who came to visit me often at home during those very dark first few months. Without their support I wouldn’t be here now and you wouldn’t be receiving your lovely boxes. I also ordered extra yarn which will be used to make up items for the Manchester St Marys NICU where my little Theo was looked after.

The January boxes contain 3 balls of King Cole Bin Ends (Don’t be put off by the name of these). These balls of yarn are made with charity knitting and crochet in mind. They are acrylic which means the garments made with them are all machine washable and can even go in the tumble drier on a low setting. I chose lemon for this box. I thought it would be nice and bright and would add a little sunshine into the dark days we are having right now.  

There is also matching ‘smartie’ buttons and little Knitted or Crocheted With Love tags that can be sewn in too.

It started out as a harmless hobby!

The little treat this month is a wooden spinning yarn and thread holder. I have had one for a number of years and love using it. I did have to take them apart to get them in the boxes, but the top part just slides over the base, pop you ball of yarn on (they hold a 100g ball of yarn beautifully) and away you go! I love it as it stops the yarn from bobbing about and potentially rolling around on the floor.

As normal, I have tried to make sure that everything in the box could be re used. Many subscribers like gifting the items made and use the tissue paper and ribbon to carefully wrap the garment and place it in the box!

Don’t forget there is an exclusive Facebook Group just for subscribers of the Hook It Yourself Box. Here you can show your box makes, ask for advice and just talk and natter about anything crochet related. Just search for Hook It Yourself VIP and enter the code you see in your newsletter.

Welcome

Welcome to Hook It Yourself. I can’t quite believe that after years of dreaming and months of planning that my monthly subscription service is up and running. I thought I would take a little time to introduce myself and explain a bit more about Hook It Yourself.

I’m Sarah, a 30 something crochetholic, yarn hoarder and chronic WIP accumulator! I’m also a mummy to 2 beautiful little children, my eldest, Theo who lives in heaven and my pint-sized mini-me, Olivia, a complete whirlwind of a toddler. My life here in little old Wigan is pretty much perfect. The crochet subscription idea came about when I was on maternity leave after having Theo. I was in a bad place after he passed away and crochet became my escape, my therapy, but I felt unable to go out and purchase what I needed. I wasn’t ready to face the world. It was my mum who brought me patterns and yarns to work with and she was able to choose some beautiful things for me. Yarns in colours that I would never normally use, patterns that could be used for either gender, buttons and embellishments that completed the item perfectly. It became an absolute pleasure to open the carrier bag she brought.

I slowly got better and the dream began to take shape. A box delivered every month containing everything a keen crocheter needs to create an item. Everything would be a mystery, a complete surprise!

Fast forward 3 years and here we are! Hook It Yourself has launched and my dream becomes a reality. I honestly cannot wait till the first boxes are shipped.

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