I'm Fiona, one of Baa's regular crochet tutors. At Baa! we know how much our community loves to crochet and we figured it was time to give it a bit more blog space. Over the next few months I hope to share some of my makes, give you some hints and tips, and generally extol how crochet is good for the mind, body and soul!
Some of you may know me already, but for those who don't, today's post will be a little introduction.
I'm originally from Ireland, where I come from a really crafty family. My mum is an amazing crocheter and painter, my aunt is a stained glass artist and my granny owned a handcrafts shop! I learned to crochet as a child and I've always free-styled a bit, designing things as I went.
Fun Fact: I actually trained as a geologist, and I earned a PhD studying the ancient volcanoes of Scotland and Ireland! I worked as a lecturer when I first came to Scotland in 2008. I moved to Aberdeen in 2012 and I still do a little geology work on the side.
All the algebra and geometry I used as a scientist is now really useful for when I'm designing patterns. There's a lot of similarities between a geological map and a crochet chart! While most of my work is now crochet-related, I still love rocks, and I come home with my pockets full of pebbles every time I visit the beach!
What am I making right now? I don't have a huge amount of work space or yarn storage, so I love elaborate projects where I can still get in the crochet hours, but don't end up with huge volumes of finished items. My current slow-burner is the Havana Shawl by Tinna Þórudóttir Þorvaldar, an Icelandic mosaic crochet designer. I'm making it for my sister's birthday... which was last February! I took a little bit of a hiatus from working on it during lockdown, but I'm nearly finished now... she should have it by her next birthday...
If you're looking for something with a really impressive finish in basic stitches, mosaic crochet is a great place to start. It just uses UK double and treble stitches, but by alternating the colour with every row the motif just magically builds. It's not technically challenging to crochet, the really hard work has been done by the designer - and Tinna's patterns are particularly fabulous!
I'm using a Scheepjes Woolly Whirl in "Melting Mint Centre" and 2 Woolly Whirlettes in "Spearmint" for my Havana shawl. I'm doing extra repeats to make it really big! These yarns are a cotton/wool blend, but you can equally use the regular cotton/acrylic Whirl and Whirlettes. I'm using a 3.5mm hook with the whirls - Clover Amour are my favourite! Alternatively use all your odds and ends for brilliant stash buster. The pattern gives instructions for DK or aran yarn too.
I can't wait to hear from the Baa! crochet family, and especially those of you who are learning to crochet. I desperately miss our classes, so I'm really looking forwards to keeping in touch via this blog. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see featured! You can also check out my crochet adventures on my Website, via Instagram or on Facebook.