The magazine held a competition to give this little character a name and he’s been given the name Bramble by one of the readers – I love it! He totally looks like a Bramble! And actually it’s a name I’ve used before for one of my own pets (though that wasn’t a dog it was a hamster).
I was most pleased with how Bramble’s ears turned out – it was a bit of a head scratcher to begin with as I played around with stitches but they didn’t seem quite right. Then I tried a loop stitch and it was definitely a winner, it created just the texture and look I was aiming for.
Issue 45 is on sale until 25 July so you’ve got a couple of weeks to go and pick up a copy if you fancy making Bramble.
And don’t forget to pick up your FREE copy of Poppy the Poodle deradog in my Deramores Designer Shop too.
Exciting news! Dear Ewe my little fledgling business has turned ONE!! And we are doing a big ole sale to celebrate it! It’s often said that more than half of new businesses fail during the first year but we’ve made it and that’s another reason to celebrate too I think!
It’s super scary trying something new – fear, uncertainty and self-doubt all the way! And that step into the unknown was a BIG step, especially for me, but I’m proud of the fact that I took a step out of my comfort zone to try something new. And thankfully you all seem to love our mugs, bags, prints, photo prop cards, greetings cards, patterns and kits – for which we are so very thankful and grateful!
So we wanted to say a big thank you for all the support that everyone out there has given Dear Ewe in it’s first year! Which meant we had to line up some treats!
There’s a 30% discount running on all items sitewide – so if you’re thinking of presents for a crafty friend or as a treat for yourself now is the time to grab them – but get them whilst you can, offer ends 21 July 2019.
I’m dead excited about my next designer interview because I had the pleasure of actually meeting her recently at The Crochet Sanctuary – and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my fan girl moment in my stories. It’s the lovely Rosina aka Zeens and Roger !!!
I’ve been following Rosina since I was told about her vlogcasts on Youtube. Her down to earth, say it like it is, podcast episodes are amongst my favourite podcasts to listen to and watch.
You will have also no doubt, if you are a crochet fan, have seen her awesome Instagram feed and come across some of her lovely designs in magazines like Inside Crochet. She has also, more recently, branched out (pun intended) into hook whittling in her new collaboration Kirk and Roger creating some beautiful handmade hooks.
so much going on I wanted to find out a bit more about Rosina, how she does it
all, her inspiration and her designing process. Here’s what we chatted about…
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I grew up in Southampton but I’ve spent half my life in Devon. I moved to Exeter in the late 90’s to study Art History at uni and never left. For the last ten years I’ve lived in an old town just outside of Exeter. It’s sandwiched between the countryside and the coast. I love it! I’ve worked at a cinema (I still love the smell of popcorn), in social housing (I was rubbish at it) and in HR (interesting stuff). I still dream about working at the cinema even though it was nearly twenty years ago.
How did you discover crochet?
Let’s not count the failed attempts as a child. Instead, I think I can really only say that it was a year after I had my first baby, so nearly 9 years ago. It’s probably a familiar story amongst crafters. Something about starting a family kick started the creativity again (after years of not doing anything crafty). My baby boy received handmade blankets from my family and I wanted in on the action! I started to crochet because I wanted my children to have things I’d made for them. I bought a beginners book and found a YouTube video that I liked and began to make a very long and very uneven chain.
How did you become a crochet designer?
I don’t remember a time that didn’t have me going “off pattern”. However, the first thing I properly designed was a little granny owl decoration. It was the first time I’d written out a pattern anyway. That was around four/five years ago. I remember fretting that I’d never get another idea again. But the wondrous thing about being a crochet addict is that you always want more! The more you do it, the more ideas you get.
In the autumn of 2016 I sent out a few emails to magazines offering my ideas. I was thrilled that one of my ideas was accepted by Inside Crochet (my favourite crochet mag). It was such a buzz and a huge confidence booster!
Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?
I honestly don’t have a clue half the time. Colour is a biggy as I expect it is for everyone. I’m inspired by what my peers/friends are doing too, I think we’re all influenced by the same trends and it’s fascinating to see how we all interpret them differently. My favourite ideas are often the ones that pop in my head from nowhere. But it might be a holiday, pretty wrapping paper or a bonkers conversation and all of a sudden you’re presented with an image of a thing that you have to make and you have to make it NOW!
What does your design process look like?Do you sketch things out first, or do you just like to grab a hook and go?
It’s haphazard! I don’t have a particular routine but I do like to make sketches. The starting point might be the pretty wrapping paper but it might also be a crochet stitch I’ve never seen before. If I fall in love with it I have to use it in something. Or I might lust after some special yarn I’ve seen, which has to be turned into a shawl or blanket.
Do you have a favourite creation that you’ve designed?
I often end up hating the designs I’ve come up with and can’t wait to see the back of them! (I probably spend way too much time with the frog/rework process to have any love left). It’s not always true though, I do have pieces I’m very proud of. My C2C projects make me happy. All the yarn tangling of Havana Nights was worth it in the end! At the moment my favourites are two shawls, Release the Hounds and Hinterland, mostly for their simplicity. Sometimes simple is best!
How and why did you start making your own hooks?
I’d seen other crocheters explore the idea and fancied having a hook for myself. I asked my friend, Paul to make one for me as his hobby is woodwork. He showed me how to make them and also suggested selling them. It’s quite addictive but I break a lot of sticks trying to make the perfect hook (and I get blisters!). I really should leave the hook making to him and I’ll stick to crochet! Kirk & Roger is a small sideline for us both, it’s fun and no pressure. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed working with someone else. We’re a good team!
What made you decide to start your own podcast?
The number one reason was because my friends in real life reeaalllly weren’t interested in hearing me blather on about crochet all the time. I get way too excited about yarn, patterns, design work etc and you can see eyes begin to glaze over. I thought it’d be a nice outlet for me to find like-minded people to engage with. For me it’s easier than blogging; I just sit down and hit record. I’m more of a talker than a writer.
How do you fit everything in that you want to? Are you strict with yourself and your time or is it a struggle to juggle?
I don’t fit everything in. Not by a long shot. I’m a world class procrastinator and am not strict on myself at all. I reckon I could double my output if I only learned how to be more disciplined. It can be very tricky to stay motivated when you work from home. I force myself to sit at the computer and write those patterns! It’s much easier when working to a deadline for a magazine, there’s an end goal… But I’ll still leave it to the last minute.
What advice would you have for any budding crochet designer, small business owner or podcaster who might like to follow in your footsteps?
Just do it. Start today. If you want to do it, just give it a go! I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I can confirm that there is never a right time. None of what I do ever looks as good as the next person’s, there is always someone out there who does it way better. But I love it, so I do it anyway. I’ve definitely improved since I hit publish on that first episode, but I am always working towards getting better.
Tomorrow you step outside and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning £100 million. What would you do?
Buy a house big enough to have a craft room. Pay someone to write up my patterns and pay another person to sew in ends. I’d also like to have a yarn and craft shop, supporting local makers and creatives. Oh, and it would be amazing to go to all the yarn shops, all over the world. I want to see what’s out there.
I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Rosina again for taking time to answer these questions. I’ve really enjoyed getting a better understanding of what’s involved with in her designing process and hope you have too!
Are you ready to head to the beach with the second project of the Make it Today: Crochet Club magazine 3-part crochet-along? For the latest issue of the magazine I’ve designed a loveable and vibrant trio of sea-creatures including a sweet jellyfish and a couple of types of crab.
Following on from the fun crocheted beach hut we made for Part 1 of the crochet along may I introduce to you my fun take on a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, an Edible Crab and a Hermit Crab – all species that you’d find along our UK shoreline.
I’m completely fascinated with sea creatures, well any animals really, and love nothing more than winding down by watching a natural history documentary (usually featuring David Attenborough) on TV with a bit of crochet at the end of the day.
The sea is such an interesting and varied place and the natural world is just a constant source of inspiration. I had fun making these projects, and I think they would work as a fun keyring for your keys if you were to add a ring and clip to the top of them.
I’m extremely excited to announce that there’s some brand new patterns in my Deramores Designer Shop! May I present to you the feline trio which are the Deracats!
With the choice of a Siamese Cat, a Black Cat and a ginger Tabby Cat, these cute crocheted cats are made from the same wonderfully soft Deramores Studio DK which I used for the Deradogs (really love that yarn!).
When I was younger I really wanted either a grey tabby cat or a black cat pretty much because characters in a couple of my favourite books had them in (The Worst Witch and Gobbolino the Witches Cat – yes I had a thing about witches too when I was 8 or 9 years old!).
But the sad fact is that my Dad is allergic to cats (or so he says…) and so we always had dogs when we were growing up. But living vicariously through crochet I’ve been able to create both a black cat (who we shall call Gobbolino, though he also kind of looks like a Jess to me) and a Tabby cat (who we shall, appropriately enough, call Tabby) and of course a Siamese too (who we shall call Zeus – because I think it’s a cool name for a cat!).
Although I suppose I shouldn’t have a favourite out of the cats – I kind of do! I love the colours of the tabby cat! And even with all the stripes the Tabby Cat (and all the cat patterns) are easy to make. I’d say they are the perfect patterns to start with if you are a beginner looking to try an amigurumi for the first time. Though they are still a fun and enjoyable project for a more accomplished crocheter too.
In fact I’m not sure you’ll be able to stop at one kitty! Which is why it’s a good thing that the Deracats are sold as a set of all three patterns available directly from Deramores. And the great thing about getting them from Deramores is that you can either just get the pattern, for just the cats, or there is an option to pick up the yarn you need to make all three cats too! To make the cats you will also require from your craft stash a 3.5mm Crochet Hook, Toy Stuffing, Darning Needle and 6 x 12mm Toy Safety Cat Eyes.
Deramores have shops for the US and Australia as well as the UK which you can check out and add to your favourites at the links below:
Issue 43 of Crochet Now magazine is out now and I’ve got a brand new pattern inside. This month’s issue is themed around day tripping, staycations in the country or trips to the seaside – anywhere where you can take your crochet with you. So I came up with a fun little portable project that you can wear when you get there!
Allow me to introduce the Top of the Knot’s Headband – the perfect way to stay ahead of the trend! A headband is a great understated accessory that can top off any outfit – and as a bonus also keeps the wind from blowing your hair in your face.
It was nice to make something a little different, as I’ve been making a lot of amigurumi’s lately, and this intermediate design worked back and forth in rows was a nice change from working in the round!
I used Scheepjes Linen Soft to make the headband which is a gorgeous blend of cotton, linen and acrylic which makes it a great choice for crocheting in the summer. It’s a lovely light yarn too which means you won’t get hot wearing it in the sunshine and it works up quick too.
There are loads of different colours (33 in total) of Scheepjes Linen Soft so you can totally make an accessory to match your outfit! Teamed up with a large pair of sunglasses you’ll look fabulous darling! Nobody should look plain whilst tanning on the beach! Though I love how the magazine have styled it too with the denim jacket and simple tee-shirt.
There are some gorgeous designs in this month’s issue which you can read more about on the Crochet Now blog. I particularly love the Cabana Cardigan by Tony Lipsey and the Sunrise Beach Picnic Blanket by Zoe Potrac – and who could resist Shaun the Sheep and the Naughty Pigs by Alison Holloway!
To find your nearest stockist, visit www.seymour.co.uk – or you can order online from www.moremags.com/crocheting (US and Australia readers can also order online at MoreMags – copies will be in shops in the US and Australia around 6 weeks after UK release).
If you hook up my Top of the Knots Headband I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebook, twitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
I’m delighted to say that if you check out the latest edition of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine then you’ll see my little Elena the Elephant as the cover star! Squeak!
In Issue 112 you can find the lovely Elena the Elephant (on page 13) with her lovely bright sparkly outfit and the frilly tutu that all elephants need!
I enjoyed designing Elena; who wouldn’t love the concept of a circus elephant! I may also have been singing Nellie the Elephant song to myself whilst I was making this project too – I think Nellie totally would have rocked a tutu like Elena’s don’t you!
Issue 112 is a lovely bright issue and the other patterns I like in this month are the Jolly Jellyfish by Sarah Louise Reed, which are very cute and the Space Buddies by Hannah Cooper. Both fab patterns for amigurumi fans!
And although I can’t knit I love the Road Trip caravan set by Nicola Valiji’s which I’m sure loads of people are going to love and the little Koala by Sachiyo Ishii. The koala’s are available for FREE in both knit or crochet and are both extremely cute!
There are 50 exclusive patterns in this months edition along with news, articles and tips for stash sorting in the 66 page magazine. It also comes with a Tropical themed yarn pack which has one special ball of sparkly yarn which the magpie in me loved.
You may remember me saying a few posts ago that I’d been busy designing some new fun amigurumi’s for Deramores well today I get to introduce you to another of the Deradog pack that’s appearing in the magazine – and this one is a bit of a favourite of mine…
It’s a little Schnauzer pupper! I love how this little doggo turned out and if you haven’t seen the cute little video that Simply Crochet have made of him (on Facebook) then you really need to check it out! I squealed when I saw it!
And I squealed again when I saw that Simply Crochet had added him on the header of their website!! Look he’s just perched on the top there! Squeek!
This little Schnauzer turned out just how I wanted him to – and I seem to know a lot of people who have Schnauzers so I was conscious that I had to do them justice.
The pattern is an exclusive to Issue 85 of Simply Crochet magazine, so only available there for now, and Deramores have put together a kit for everything you need to make him – which you can get directly from the website here.
And right now over on Facebook Simply Crochet are holding a mini competition to give this little pup a name! Just pop on over to the SCtreblemakers Facebook group where you can leave your suggested name in the comments section of the competition post.
The magazine will be picking two winning names at random who will each win the yarn pack to make the Deradog – how cool is that AND the winners will also get a £20 Deramores voucher! Names will be put up for public vote to decide the winner and the deadline for entries is 17 June 2019 (UK entrants only I’m afraid).
What do you think he / or she should be called? As well as entering the competition I hope you’ll let me know in the comments below as I’d love to hear your suggestions!
When I first started out crocheting one of the things I loved to make most were crocheted blocks or squares. My love of motifs like that later helped shape my first crochet along which, you may recall, was a big multi-square afghan.
Although there have been a few blocks in between that time none of them have been the 12inch (30cm) size type blocks that I first fell in love with all those years ago. So I decided it was high time for me to design another!
Allow me to introduce to you the Encompass Me Afghan Block.
The Encompass Me 12” Afghan Block combines simple stitches with interesting post stitch construction to create a pleasing textured effect.
There are so many options for how you can arrange your colours on this square – I can’t wait to see what combinations you come up with!
And what can you do with blocks like these when you’ve finished them? Well you could add it as a component block to create a multi-square afghan or use it as a pretty pot holder or even develop it in to a cushion cover by adding a few more rounds to the edge.
The following Encompass Me Afghan Block pattern is free here on the blog but it’s also available in my Ravelry store where there is a nominal fee for a downloadable 3 page PDF pattern free of advertisements if you’d prefer.
The pattern is available in both UK and US crochet terminology on Ravelry though the pattern below is written with both terminology combined for ease.
Pattern will work in other hooks and yarns though finished size will be different.
Hook: US size H/8 (5 mm )
You will also need:
Gauge: 9dc = 2.5inch / 6.35cm
Obtaining the correct gauge is not critical to this project but if your gauge does not match then your finished item will be a different size.
Finished Size: 12 x 12 inches (30 x 30 cm)
st sl slip stitch
dc/sc UK double crochet / US single crochet
htr/hdc UK half treble / US half double crochet
tr/dc UK treble / US double crochet
BPtr/BPdc UK Back Post treble / US Back Post Double Crochet
FPtr/FPdc UK Front Post treble / US Front Post Double Crochet
dtr/tr UK double treble / US treble
Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and draw through all loops.
UK double crochet / US single crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
UK half treble / US half double crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
UK treble / US double crochet (tr/dc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops on hook.
USDouble Crochet 3 together / USDouble Crochet 3 together (tr3tog/dc3tog): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated stitch, pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over insert in next st, pull up a loop, (four loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, (three loops on hook), yarn over insert in next st, yarn over pull up a loop, (five loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, (four loops on hook), yarn over pull through all four loops left on hook.
UKBack Post treble / US Back Post Double Crochet (BPtr/BPdc): Yarn over, insert hook from back to front to back around post of indicated stitch below (your hook should now be positioned horizontally behind of the st that you’re working around), yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over pull through two loops on hook (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through remaining loops on hook.
UKFront Post treble /Front Post Double Crochet (FPtr/FPdc): Yarn over, insert hook from back to front to back around post of indicated stitch below (your hook should now be positioned horizontally in front of the st that you’re working around), yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over pull through two loops on hook (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through remaining loops on hook.
UK Double Treble / US Treble (dtr/tr): Yarn over hook (twice), insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (four loops on hook), Yarn over, pull yarn through two loops on hook (three loops remain on hook). Yarn over, pull yarn through two loops on hook (two loops remain on hook). Yarn over, pull through remaining two loops on hook.
Special Increase: To make a special increase of two sts on rnd 6: work 1tr/dc in the st, then work a htr/hdc into the bottom post of the st just made.
The ch3 at the start of a rnd counts as the first UK treble / US double crochet st.
Rnd 1: With Moon Stone ch4 and sl st to form a ring, Ch3, work 11tr/dc into the ring, sl st to the top of first st to join (12sts).
Rnd 2: Ch3, [1FPtr/FPdc, 1tr/dc] in each st around, finishing with 1FPtr/FPdc, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (24 sts)
Rnd 3: Each FPtr/FPdc on this rnd should be around the FPtr/FPdc of rnd 2; ch3, 1tr/dc in the same st [ 1FPtr/FPdc , 2tr/dc in the next st] in each st around. finishing with 1FPtr/FPdc in the last st, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (36 sts)
Rnd 4: Each tr3tog/dc3tog on this rnd should be around the FPtr/FPdc of rnd 3; ch3, 2tr/dc in the next st,[tr3tog/dc3tog, 1tr/dc in the next st, 2tr/dc in the next st] in each st around. finishing with 1FPtr/FPdc in the last st, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (48 sts)
Rnd 5: Ch3, 1tr/dc in the next st, 2tr/dc in the next [1tr/dc in 3sts, 2tr/dc ] in each st around, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (60 sts)
Fasten off Moon Stone and weave in ends.
Rnd 6: With Green Jade and working around the back post of each st of rnd 5. Increases on this rnd should be the special increase (see notes on page 2); ch3, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, 2tr/dc in the next [1tr/dc in 4sts, 2tr/dc ] in each st around, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (72 sts)
Rnd 7: Ch3, [1dtr/tr in the next st, 1tr/dc in the next 4sts, 1htr/hdc in the next 7sts, 1dc/sc in the next 4sts, 1dtr/tr in the next st, (1dtr/tr, ch1, 1dtr/tr) in the next st] repeat […] twice, 1dtr/tr in the next st, 1tr/dc in the next 4sts, 1htr/dc in the next 7sts, 1tr/dc in the next 4sts, 1dtr/tr in the next st, ch1, sl st to the top of beginning ch3 to join (76sts + 4 x 1ch-sp)
Rnd 8: Ch3, 1tr/dc in the next 2sts, [1htr/hdc in the next 3sts, 1dc/sc in the next 7sts, 1htr/hdc in the next 3sts, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, (1dtr/tr, ch1, 1dtr/tr) in the ch1-sp 1tr/dc in the next 3sts] repeat […] twice, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, 1htr/hdc in the next 3sts, 1dc/sc in the next 7sts, 1htr/hdc in the next 3sts, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, (1dtr/tr, ch1, 1dtr/tr) 1tr/dc in the next st, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (84 sts + 4 x ch1-sps)
Fasten off Green Jade and weave in ends.
Rnd 9: With Moon Stone join yarn in any ch1-sp; ch3. (1tr/dc, ch1, 2tr/dc) in same sp, then work [1BPtr/BPdc in next 21sts, 2tr/dc, ch1, 2tr/dc) in next ch-sp] repeat [..] twice, 1BPtr/BPdc in next 21sts, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (100 sts + 4 x ch1-sps)
Rnd 10: Ch3. 1tr/dc in next st, [ (2tr/dc, ch1, 2tr/dc) in ch-sp, 1tr/dc in next 2 sts, 1FPtr/FPdc in next, (1tr/dc in next 3, 1FPtr/FPdc in next) repeat four times, 1tr/dc in next 2sts} repeat [..] twice, 1tr/dc in next 2 sts, 1FPtr/FPdc in next, (1tr/dc in next 3, 1FPtr/FPdc in next) repeat four times, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (116 sts + 4 x ch1-sps).
Fasten off Moon Stone and weave in ends.
Rnd 11: With Yellow Jasper join yarn in any ch1-sp, ch3. (1tr/dc, ch1, 2tr/dc) in same sp, then work 1BPtr/BPdc in next 4sts, 1FPtr/FPdc in next st [ (1BPtr/BPdc in next 3sts, 1FPtr/FPdc in next st) repeat four times, 1BPtr/BPdc in next 4sts, (2tr/dc, ch1, 2tr/dc) ] repeat from […] twice, 1BPtr/BPdc in next 4sts, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (132 sts + 4 x ch1-sps)
Rnd 12: Ch3. 1tr/dc in the next 32sts st, [ (1tr/dc, ch2, 1tr/dc) in same sp, 1tr/dc in the next 33sts ] repeat from […] twice more, 1tr/dc in the next 33sts, (1tr/dc, ch2, 1tr/dc) in same sp, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (140 sts + 4 x ch2-sps)
Rnd 13: Ch3. 1tr/dc in the next 33sts st, [ (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in same sp, 1tr/dc in the next 35sts ] repeat from […] twice more, 1tr/dc in the next 35sts (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in same sp, 1tr/dc in the next st, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join (156 sts + 4 x ch2-sps)
Part 1 of the beachy-themed project is out now in Issue 44 and it’s just perfect for this time of year! It’s a little amigurumi beach hut!
The theme of the whole crochet-along is ‘beach’ and with each magazine release (Issues 44 to 46) we will be making several amigurumi patterns together that make a fun summer scene!
The patterns from the crochet-along would make a great summer play set for the kids or I also think, this particular project, would make a great bit of decor for an actual beach hut. Or if you were to add some beans to the bottom you could make it into a doorstop for a nautical themed room.