Rachel: I first saw Anzen when it appeared in the Winter 2013 edition of Pom Pom Magazine and was immediately inspired to learn to crochet! I love the simple styling, but had never crocheted before so I thought I should definitely try. It's actually easier than I thought and the pattern is really well written and fairly straight forward which helps a lot. As a beginner myself, I would confidently say that it's ideal as a pattern to start with, but I would also recommend Youtube as great place to see any stitches or techniques that you aren't sure of - it's always helpful to see somebody else demonstrating.
The Winter 2013 edition of Pom Pom is available in print and as a digital download
I was so pleased to see that the yarn used for Anzen was MillaMia Naturally Soft Merino as I’d been admiring it for a while. There isn't a stockist locally and so I decided to stock it. I've been very happy with it so far - it's beautiful for both knitting and crochet and is absolutely ideal for this project. I think that MillaMia is a good yarn to start crocheting with because it's far easier to use than cotton (a yarn that is more typically recommended for crochet) it doesn't split quite as much and the stitches are incredibly neat and well defined.
I love MillaMia for its colour palette, all the colours work so well together when you combine two or three in a project like this. For my Anzen, I chose putty grey as the main shade with storm and berry as the accents which complement each other really well. So much of the worry about choosing colours that 'go' with each other is taken away with the colour palette - the guys at MillaMia have done all the work for you!
So far, I'm happy with this first ever crochet project. I’m really enjoying the process and have to confess that I look forward to the end of my day when I can just sit with it on my knee and hook away!
You can find Rachel at her online store Tangled Yarn where she has curated an incredible collection of beautiful yarn, patterns and notions, on her blog, Ravelry, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.