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When I first joined Annie’s Hook & Needle club I never imagined I would still be posting reviews on them six years later. However this past April I received my 60th kit. Wow, time flies! At the beginning of this year I stopped receiving kits every month. I am being skipped on the months where a previous kit that I have already got is sent. However, I still occasionally receive a new project.

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April’s kit for me was Pocket Place Mats. The kit contained one skein each of jute and tangerine fine sport yarn. Enough to either crochet or knit two place mats with a little twist. They each have a pocket added to hold your silver ware and a napkin. The cotton/acrylic yarn was easy to crochet and I thought the color combination was very eye pleasing.

I decided to crochet the foundation row using a Japanese foundation. I believe it helped to crocheted the edging more evenly. The foundation row kept puckering up on me, which is unusual, so I finally crocheted the initial chain with a larger hook and then went back to the smaller one to crochet with that the project calls for. This seemed to fix the problem.

I would also like to suggest that you make sure you take the time to gauge. Although the pattern required a G hook, I had to go up to a 7 to obtain the correct gauge.

The place mat pattern created the always popular ripple -using the stitches of the chain, half double, and half double decrease. On the pocket you will need to have mastered the puff stitch, which helps to add a little texture.

When the place mats lay completed before me, I had to admit I was really happy with this kit and could see myself pulling the pattern out for a repeat. If it was not for the fact that the yarn came with unmarked labels (which will make it impossible for me to repurchase this yarn) I would have given it a perfect 10. The pattern was very easy to follow and being at an easy skill level made it a perfect project for relaxing and just enjoying crocheting. So all of this being said, I am rating this kit a 9.

For those of you who have never worked a puff stitch, I have added a small tutorial.

Puff Stitch Tutorial

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Step 1: Yarn over and insert the hook into the stitch in indicated stitch.

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Yarn over again and draw through. There will be three loops on the hook.

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Step 2: Repeat two more times. Each time adds 2 more loops to the hook. There will be 7 loops on the hook.

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Step 3: Yarn over and pull through all loops on the hook.

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Congratulations, you just made your first puff stitch.

If you are also enrolled in Annie’s Hook & Needle club, I would love to hear your feedback. I cannot state that I have enjoyed every kit, but I must say I am glad have joined. The kits have helped push me to new areas and on to projects I more than likely would not have tried. I am for any avenue that a crocheter can use to help them push themselves to new levels and more confidence in their abilities. What are some of the things you have tried to improve your crochet skills?

Until next next time, keep those hooks flying.