u3a - Extreme Crochet

Extreme Knitting and Crochet

Are you a crocheter or a knitter looking for a challenge? Maybe you took it up during the past year or maybe you have been crocheting or knitting since you were a child. Whichever, it is, we want to see your most ambitious and unusual creations and those you are most proud of. It might be a giant design, or something tiny. You might have depicted your family members in wool, or used a new stitch you have learnt to create a bouquet of flowers. We are challenging you to have a go at something ambitious and to show us your creations.

 Cherries resize Daffodils resize  Bag2 resize 

 Please submit your photo on this online form: with some ideas or tips as to how people can incorporate some of the elements themselves. A selection of your images will go up regularly on our online gallery and on our social media channels. 

For those of you who are less experienced, we are also holding a series of workshops that will offer you the opportunity to build your confidence with crochet, by making a series of standalone items in real-time. Chris Winner, Trustee for Wales, will be hosting these, they are aimed at members with a bit of experience of crochet, who want to improve their skills in an online group. Chris has produced a series of bespoke videos and will be using these to talk people through how to make the items. Workshops last two hours, at a relaxed pace, with a break in the middle.

Workshop 2, July 12th is how to crochet a flower (as below). If you would like to take part please book your place 

Crochet flowers labelled

We will be making Flower 2. Flower 1 is the first stage in the process. It will for the base for flower 2. The processes can be developed to create Flower 3 and many more variations.

You will need to know how to crochet a:

In UK terms: chain, slip stitch, double crochet and treble.)

(In US terms they are chain, slip stitch, single crochet and double crochet.)

You will need:

  • Double Knitting (DK) yarn in two colours
  • A 4mm, or 4.5mm or 5mm hook
  • Scissors,
  • Yarn needle

Videos will also be available after the session, the links will be given at the end of each workshop, so participants will be able to revisit the ‘make’.

The various crochet items featured in the images are created by Chris Winner, u3a Trustee for Wales.

Find out more in these tutorial notes and video on How to crochet a star How to crochet a star (1.01 MB)

Below are some of the May entries to the Crochet Challenge 

Made by Lynne Bilton of Duns & District u3a

Made by Lynne Bilton of Duns & District u3a

When we revamped our bathroom, I had a vision of black and startling white. I achieved it with the curtains, flooring and walls which are painted in twilight, which sparkles. But it lacked something. Cue a crocheted rug. I searched my stash and came up with these colours, black and white with a bit of purple thrown in for fun. I found some leftover heavy duty antislip resting in a dark place, and handstitched it to the rug back. Voila!

Made by Susan Russell of Worcester u3a

Made by Susan Russell of Worcester u3a

Made by Jean Heeson of Arnold u3a

Made by Jean Heeson of Arnold u3a

I make crochet toys using the Japanese Amigurumi method and ran a u3a group to teach others. I made these for my cousins grand daughter who loves the characters from Disney's Frozen.

Made by Sarah Traynier of Ambleside & District u3a

Made by Sarah Traynier of Ambleside & District u3a

Crocheted from scraps, leaves and flowers stiffened with wire, woven into the stems. Inspired by Wimbledon colours - looking forward to watching the next tournament!

Made by Kathy Clegg of Prudhoe & District u3a

Made by Kathy Clegg of Prudhoe & District u3a

I inherited ends of wool in many shades from my mother and grandmother. This jacket is one of the projects to use it. I invented the pattern. Basically the shape is a circle, knitted radially using part-rows. The armholes are made simply by leaving a gap along an arc of the circle. After knitting the body, I pinned it to an existing jacket and made paper patterns for the sleeves, then knitted them to match the pattern.

Made by Liz Alcock of HGS u3a

Made by Liz Alcock of HGS u3a

A log cabin blanket, made with DK acrylic from my stash. One of six made for our local Age UK daycentre, to keep the chills off. During this pandemic, when allowed, they have cared for clients with social distancing and open doors & windows!

Made by Rosemary Madgett of Braunton u3a

Made by Rosemary Madgett of Braunton u3a

I've relearned how to do crochet through the lockdowns (first taught by my grandmother 65 years ago, taught again by my daughter!) This is a "Carnaby blanket" and is the largest item I've ever made, following patterns provided monthly by a crochet magazine. A real challenge, but great fun, and the crazy colours helped my lockdown mood hugely!

Made by Anne Gates of Sarum Salisbury u3a

Made by Anne Gates of Sarum Salisbury u3a

Crochet is my main hobby. I make things for the family and always because someone asked me to make it! During the covid lockdown I made cardigans, slipper socks, amigurumi toy animals, cushion covers and blankets.

Made by Tracey Knight of Alton u3a

Made by Tracey Knight of Alton u3a

I've been crocheting since I was eleven, but didn't know how to read a pattern. Luckily pre lockdown I joined a crochet group who quickly taught me how to follow patterns. This shawl was the most complicated pattern I had ever followed. I loved the 3D design. In fact I got rather carried away making the flowers and ended up with far too many. I used some of the excess flowers to decorate a hat.

Made by Rosemary Madgett of Braunton u3a

Made by Rosemary Madgett of Braunton u3a

I enjoy loom knitting - not well known in the UK, but popular in the States. The looms are a bit like giant French knitting spools - some have hundreds of pegs! I was especially pleased with this wrap - my first attempt at a lacy pattern. You can buy looms fairly cheaply at Hobbycraft and there are loads of Youtube videos to help you learn the basics - my favourite is Loomahat. Give it a go!

Made by Lynne Bilton of Duns & District u3a

Made by Lynne Bilton of Duns & District u3a

My 3rd Lockdown Crochet. Phased with the Fishermans' Gansey which I was knitting I thought a bit of relaxing crochet would be just the ticket. This was a lot more tricky than expected, and the suggested colours were awful. As was the border. So a total redesigning happened. Despite the angst, I am rather pleased with it. Might just keep this one. 

Made by Juliet Morley of Lichfield u3a

Made by Juliet Morley of Lichfield u3a

A large knitted cushion cover, very supportive and cosy to lounge on, I made for my daughter. It is knitted with 2 strands of d/k yarn, I found this a little hard on the fingers, so I had another smaller project on the go at the same time, to rest those old fingers.I then bought a cushion to put inside, she loves it.

Made by Susan Russell of Worcester u3a

Made by Susan Russell of Worcester u3a

Made by Chris Winner of Flintshire u3a

Made by Chris Winner of Flintshire u3a

My Cro Che Guevara. My crocheted graphgan of Che Guevara, made for a friend. I modified cross stitch pattern and created the pattern in Excel. It was worked in double knitting yarn with a 3.5mm hook. The piece measures 56cm by 71cms approximately.

Made by Jean Windsor of New Mills and District u3a

Made by Jean Windsor of New Mills and District u3a

My trio of Highland cows, mum Morag, dad 'prize winning' bull Angus and calf 'Wee Lass'. I used chunky yarn and worked to a pattern that I purchased online so can't share the design. 

Made by Elaine Withers of Slough u3a

Made by Elaine Withers of Slough u3a

I did follow a pattern and had only ever done granny squares before so I practiced first. I made all squares that were the same first so I got faster as I went along. 

Made by Liz Alcock of HGS u3a

Made by Liz Alcock of HGS u3a

A knitted ripple pattern lap blanket and crochet rainbow - two lockdown projects to give away! Chunky yarn from Black Sheep Wools Which were bought for a zigzag pattern (abandoned after two attempts). This is my reminder of how the pandemic affected my mood because I was unable to hold our Craft group.

Made by Lynne Bilton of Duns & District u3a

Made by Lynne Bilton of Duns & District u3a

My Easter Bonnet. Rather than buying artificial flowers, I crocheted them all, including the busy bee! Top tip, stiffen the flowers before placing them on the hat or just like the real thing, they'll wilt! I did cheat with the leaves though. 

Made by Alison Horncastle of Chichester u3a

Made by Alison Horncastle of Chichester u3a

During lockdown I could only get hold of three colours in chunky yarn, so for all the others I had to use 3 strands of DK for each square.

The free downloadable pattern was a bit short on some details so I had to adapt some measurements to make it work. Luckily, my granddaughter, for whom I made it, is delighted with it!

See previous entries below:

Extreme Crochet April 2021