Hello Hexie! A book review

Hello! How are you doing? Everything ok?

This is the book I mentioned reserving at the library, in my July Taking Stock post. I saw a photo of it on Instagram and felt really excited about having a look.

Published in June ‘Hello Hexie!’ by Sarah Shrimpton, published by David and Charles, has 10 sweet hexagon designs and 20 patterns. Patterns include a mix of accessories, garments, homewares and a few toys. There are also four small makes which would be fast and portable projects: a coaster, pin cushion, Christmas decoration and earrings.

I use my crocheted pot-holders all the time, so I’d be tempted to use one of the hexie designs to create my own in thickish cotton. Once you start to think what you could make from hexagons the list grows. I loved making my Baby Hexagon Blanket back in 2016. Look out soon for pics of my new one, which is already in progress.

Most of the Hello Hexie! designs instantly appealed. I particularly like the Bohemian scarf, the Linen Lace Tee and the Patchwork Wrist warmers. The Bobble cushion would be a sweet make to gift someone. I keep picturing it in a caravan or in a beach hut. The Striped Rug is basically a huge Hexie using chunky yarn, it’s eye-catching. Might be a fun lap or baby blanket?

I love the fact these nails look like mine! Natural, unadorned. #offtopic

As with any pattern book some designs are instant personal no-nos; Cosy Poncho and African Flower Skirt I’m looking at you! But this is of course completely personal taste.

I picked my favourite six hexies and hooked them just for fun…

All crocheted with Stylecraft Special DK parchment, leftover from my Patchwork blanket, and a 4mm Clover Amour hook. Unblocked so looking a little wiggly, but they’re practice pieces.

As you see, the hexagons differ widely in size. It would be pretty straightforward to increase them by crocheting more rounds, or adding an edging. This would probably work well if you wanted to mix and match hexies, to create your own blanket or cushion cover design.

What I like is that Sarah has pointed out that all of the hexagons are interchangeable for use in her patterns; if one isn’t to your taste you can swap it with another design. The varied sizes would need to be accounted for, but this wouldn’t be too tricky unless it’s a garment.

A nice variety of textures aren’t they?
The Solid Hexie. I really like this one.
The Bobble Hexie
The Sunburst Hexie

Pretty isn’t it? I think the Sunburst is one of my favourites. It would use lots of yarn, but you’d have a heavyweight blanket to snuggle under in cold weather.

The Granny Hexie

Sort of a Granny, as it’s made up of 2 groups of trebles. This was Someone’s favourite.

The Lacy Hexie

I usually tend to gravitate towards less lacy crochet, but I do like this design.

The Textured Hexie – one of the more unusual designs. Great isn’t it?

Sarah recommends lots of affordable yarns for the projects; a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres. As yarn weights are given it would be easy to change these for your preferred yarn.

The hexagon patterns are written in standard form using UK terms (with a guide for US alternatives at the back) and there’s also a graphic pattern for quick reference, or for those who simply prefer a chart. I swap between the two formats and really appreciate both in a book. The overall design of Hello Hexie! is clean and clear, easy to follow.

I found myself looking at the back pages often to check how particular stitches should be completed. The demo photos for this section could have been enlarged for clarity, but it’s a useful section if a stitch is new, or if like me you’re rusty.

The techniques section also includes a guide to blocking motifs, joining methods, including two join as you go. These are all written and illustrated for right handers, but this is sadly so common. (If you’re a lefty and struggle with any aspect of crochet, please see my left-handed tips section at the top of the blog, or ask me!)

In summary I really like Hello Hexie! Definitely 4/5 STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is a completely independent review, written for the fun of it. I have no association with either the author or the publishers. (Though if they would like to send me a free copy of hello Hexie! Feel free!)

The Hitchhiker & a house full of flowers

Finally it’s finished. Finally. No more Hitchhiking. After noticing that freaky extra row of stitches heading up for the light on Christmas Eve, when I thought all it needed was darning, it’s taken a while to knit the two thirds I unravelled. Repeating the same thing can be so disheartening can’t it, even when it’s very easy plain knitting. Still, it’s done. I wrapped it in Christmas paper and gave it to Mum yesterday. The yarn is Tosca Light by Lang and sapphire shade. Here’s the pattern on Ravelry.

What’s with all the flowers? Are you opening a florists Rachel? Well no, I am not, although I always had the idea I’d enjoy that job. My image of the work was having lots of cups of tea and coffee, listening to the radio all day and singing along as I arranged pretty bouquets, chatting to smiley people. The reality is probably very, very early starts, drafty cold rooms which suit the blooms, lots of standing so legs covered with varicose veins and grumpy customers who don’t want to chat, hear the music blaring, or my singing!

We had family here for Sunday lunch last weekend and they brought that lovely bunch of narcissi, which have made the whole kitchen smell beautiful all week, and two bunches of irises. I tend to sit next to the table with the vase of irises and have often found myself staring at them, the blue is stunning isn’t it? The huge Spring bouquet was delivered on Wednesday as a Valentines Day surprise. That’s very fragrant too, hyacinth is one of my favourite scents this time of year. The ice bucket is the best size for the size and height of the bunch! It’s unconventional, but kind of cool. There were still so many flowers that I took some out to place around other rooms. The plumber came on Thursday and apparently he visibly clocked all the vases. I wonder if he had bought any for his wife? It would be funny if he was feeling bad for forgetting, or being nagged to death for not bothering, and then came to this home filled with them.

The Spring flowers have really opened out over the last few days, which is why I’ve included the gin photo, taken for a few friends last night. Nine friends actually, but that story doesn’t show my will-power in such a great light. Though my friends are stars…So, we will skirt over that shall we?

As I was about to come to write here I just heard a loud knock on the door and the tulips were delivered! Oh, aren’t they lovely? I’m wondering about giving them to someone special, as vase availability is now reaching a critical level and I’m almost overwhelmed with beauty right now.

Now I have my crochet moss stitch patchwork blanket to work on, the garter stitch blanket (long term pub knit night knitting) and ‘that’ sock which I must either unravel, or complete. I could do with a friend to sit with and knit alongside as it’s my first. It would probably gee me up and give me some sock knitting confidence. I’m lazy too, I have to admit that ploughing my way through the book or online tutorial isn’t as appealing as someone nice instructing me. Also, I saw a cowl in Loop, Islington in London last year which is still haunting me. I fancy trying something new and exciting. This stomps all over my recent assertion that I prefer to only have one knit and one crochet project on the go. We’re allowed to be inconsistent, aren’t we?

Have you just finished something? Struggling with lack of know-how and/or laziness with something?

Hey, thank you to those of you who answered my: making, listening, reading, watching, cooking questions last week. I love that, there’s nothing better than a two-way street.

Hello to my latest new readers too, I’m waving a tulip at you!