Hiya everyone. I’m tagging this as a Midweek Squee despite it only being Monday because it really doesn’t fit any of my other categories.
In my teacher training I’ve been assigned two specialisms, the first being textiles, which I had to demonstrate enough knowledge of prior to gaining my place on the course, and second being Resistant Materials (wood, metal and plastic), which I was to build up by doing projects. My Lucky Tiny Kitty was part of one such project, and then I had a huge project to do too, which is what eventually became The Crochet Club House, which you may have heard me mention on my Facebook page.
So what is The Crochet Club House? Well, it’s this:
For scale, this box stands maybe a foot and half tall by a foot wide and a foot and a half long. I made it from scratch and it contains everything a new crochet group needs for start up. See the innards and let me explain much more clearly after the jump!
The background to this project is that I’m essentially undertaking a GCSE (for non-UK readers, that’s what the 16 year olds take before they leave High School). I had to fulfil this brief:
The market for low-cost craft and hobby kits is rapidly expanding both in supermarkets and specialist retailers. This upturn in sales has been as a result of a big interest in getting a wide range of people interested in creative pastimes. A major hobbies supermarket chain is investigating a new line of products. They would like to produce a range of low priced craft and hobby kits.
You are required to design and prototype one such kit. The kit will need to be appropriately packaged and contain everything the user will need to complete the task including detailed instructions.
So looking at that I decided that my craft kit would be – of course – crochet based and aimed at women wanting to start their own crochet club (a stitch and bitch kinda thing). while that wouldn’t be as low cost as the brief implies, it would allow me to stretch myself more than making a one off ami kit. Plus, it meant Icould make a bigger packaging which in turn meant that I got to play with the circular saw, which, you know, bonus!
I doodled away and eventually came up with the idea to make a storage chest for an in progress yarn stash, which would contain two trays for hooks and patterns etc and some kind of hidden WIP storage area too. This is the end result.
The Crochet Club House is designed to look like a Tudor cottage (link back to crochet being a historical textile form, plus would look nice sat in the corner of your house). It’s all laser etched to my own design (which took for-fecking-ever!) the roof has tiles etched into it that you can’t really see, and I actually added handles after this photo was taken too.
Open the lid and you’re met with:
The trays you can see are removable and one contains equipment, the other patterns and my crochet guide.
The first tray contains a little pot of wire and bead stitch markers, a longer pot of five wooden 3.5mm crochet hooks, all hand made, then a yarn needle and pack of toy stuffing (not hand made, but with my own design for the branding).
The second tray has a self written Guide to Crochet (more on that later) and pattern sheets for five of my ami designs which increase in complexity as a learning aid, starting with the Jellyfish to practise increases and curls, then the Pork Ball Piggy to add in decreases and balls, then the Blue Cat to experiment with different combination of increases and decreases, then a rewrite of the Fat Gnome to bring in colour changing and finally the Jelly Tot Sprite where increases and decreases really come into play and crocheters are encouraged to experiment with colour changing and choosing their own yarn.
The hinged bit you can see in the roof drops open for the WIP storage:
(I have no idea what those black marks are, but they wouldn’t come off!)
And finally in the bottom is room for a small yarn stash:
The idea is that once the group has worked through my patterns they’d be set to start collecting their own yarn and adding more hooks and more patterns and build up The Crochet Club House into a unique kit.
I’m very pleased with how it all turned out – just a shame it’s not something I could mass produce and sell! So if any big craft companies out there are reading get in touch and I can give you all the design files if you want to have a bash lol. Since that’s pretty unlikely to happen, what I want to do instead is make my Guide to Crochet available as a free download.
Now, the Guide to Crochet wouldn’t be here without some checking and proof reading from some fabulous helpers, so huge thanks go to Teeni of Mad Crochet Lab, Yenny Gonzalez (an awesome name dontcha think?) and Lisa Bricault (Yenny and Lisa if you have a blog or Facebook page let me know and I will link share). The version I’m uploading actually doesn’t have their suggestions for improvements included because my tutor told me to uninclude them so that I could use them for the project evaluation, and I don’t want to have a second version floating around until I get my final mark for the project in the summer, just in case, but I’ll release an updated version once everything is back to me and above board. But still, thanks are in order in potentia!
Essentially the Guide to Crochet is exactly what you’d expect – a How To of crochet techniques, in this case specifically related to crocheting in the round to make amigurumi. It’s written for the case so makes reference to The Crochet Club House as if you’ve bought it and are setting up your own group. Again, once my mark has gone through I’ll do a rewrite to make it more Amiguruthi related.
Download here: Amiguruthi Guide to Crochet
The Guide is fully illustrated with all the basic stitches, and includes the five patterns mentioned above.
And to finish on a high, unofficially this project has been marked at 80 out of 100, so I’m really pleased! It’s unlikely to change before the summer deadline because I’d have to resubmit everything, but I’m also probably going to take the exam that will allow me to convert it to a full GCSE, just to see what I’d get if I were a 16 year old, so I’ll let everyone know my final grade in that respect if I do.