Deramores | Dera-Horse Hettie and Dera-Donkey Dougie

If you just happened to be watching Create and Craft TV this weekend you may have just seen (and possibly shared my squeals) at some brand new patterns that I’ve designed for Deramores. The first two new projects for your hook are amigurumi farm yard pals Hettie the Horse and Dougie the Donkey.

© Deramores

Hettie loves quiet trots in the park, hay on a Sunday and having her long silky mane combed through. Whilst Dougie is an intelligent social animal with a strong need for companionship and a natural curiosity!

It was extremely exciting to see the launch – I mean it’s not everyday that you get to see something you’ve crocheted appear on TV is it!

I really enjoyed creating these two farmyard friends! They are made from Deramores Studio DK, which is a pleasure to work with, and they both came together quite nicely once I started crocheting them up.

I’ve designed this patterns with both beginners and intermediate crocheters in mind. I think they are perfect for beginners as they are not complex shapes or instructions – and there is enough interest that more experienced crocheters can enjoy too.

Excitingly both of these animals come on a single pattern which is available for FREE in my Designer Shop where you can pick up just the pattern, or the yarn kit (including pattern, yarn, stuffing and eyes) to make both animals.

© Deramores

And if you are interested in watching future Deramores episodes on TV you can find them every two weeks on a Sunday (so the next one will be 26 Jan) Create and Craft TV on the following channels and devices:

  • Sky 683
  • Freeview 23
  • Virgin 748
  • Freesat 813
  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire

They also add some of the recent episodes on the Deramores TV page on their website – here.

I hope you like all the new additions to the Dera-animal family! I’m happy to say I’m in development of some more animals, so watch this space! What animals would you love to see appear? More dog breeds? Other creatures?

SAVE THE DERADONKEY AND DERAHORSE TO YOUR FAVOURITES ON RAVELRY HERE

As always if you hook up either the Dera-Horse or Dera-Donkey I hope you’ll tag kcaco.uk and Deramores on Instagram or share your projects in my Facebook group as I love to see your finished work! 

Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Crochet Pattern Release & Discount Code| Reginald the Royal Rat

According to the Chinese Horoscope the year 2020 is the year of the Metal Rat! So I decided my first design for this year would be a little rat made in ‘metal’ grey yarn. Allow me to introduce Reginald the Royal Rat!

Reginald, as befitting someone born in the year of the rat, is an industrious, thrifty, diligent and positive wee fellow. He can accommodate himself to different circumstances quickly and get clear about his surroundings – which makes him perfect as an ornament to have on your shelf or desk at work.

Did you know that the Rat is the first of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. I personally thing Reginald is dressed fit for any occasion he might find himself in – what do you think?

Reginald is made from Scheepjes Catona that I’d got in my stash and some gold Scheepjes Lizzy thread for his crown – my inner magpie is still not ready to put away the sparkle yet after Christmas!

The Year of the Rat is going to bring us creative energy where everyone will show determination regarding their goals, aspirations, and hobbies! So why not harness your amigurumi making abilities to hook up this regal little project.

PURCHASE REGINALD THE ROYAL RAT ON RAVELRY HERE

This would make a fun little gift for anyone born in the year of the rat, or for a rat or royalty lover! The 5 page PDF pattern is available in either UK or US terms and includes explanations of all stitches and abbreviations.

To celebrate the new release I’m offering 40% discount from today until 22 January 2020 on Ravelry. Just use coupon code: RAT40

I hope you’ll tag @kcaco.uk on Instagram or share your projects on my Facebook page as I love to see your finished work! Happy Crocheting!

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Crochet Demos 2020 | Abakhan Fabrics

Attention all crochet beginners! Have you perhaps stumbled upon this blog because you’d like to learn more about crochet? Do you live near Staffordshire? Well I’m pleased to say that I’ve been asked back to Abakhan in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, to do some more crochet demonstrations in 2020.

If you are in the neighbourhood then why not join us in store for a range of crochet demonstrations. You do not need any prior knowledge of crochet to come see what it’s all about just an interest. You could learn tips for a new hobby and find something to be inspired – and should you have any pressing crochet questions then I’ll be there to help anyone that needs it.

Learn to Crochet – Saturday 18 January: 1pm to 4pm

Always wanted to learn how to crochet? In this free in store demonstration I will be sharing tips on how to hold your hook and yarn, how to read a pattern, how to make a foundation chain and how to work your first stitches.

Hands crocheting

The other FREE crochet demonstrations that I’m facilitating in 2020 at Abakhan are listed below:

Granny Square Therapy – Saturday 7th March: 1pm to 4pm

Always wanted to know how to make a granny square? In today’s free demonstration I will be sharing how to make a granny square, changing colours and sewing granny squares together.

Learn to Crochet – Saturday 5 July: 1pm to 4pm

If you missed the learn to crochet session in January don’t worry as we are re-running the demonstration just before the summer holiday season begins!

I’m also going to be in Hanley for Yarn Shop Day 2020 which is always a fun yarny sort of day – so make sure you save the date of Saturday 2nd May 2020!

If you’ve not heard about Yarn Shop Day before you might like to take a look at a couple of my previous blog posts about they kind of thing that goes on for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

If you love a crafty workshop then Abakhan always have several classes and workshops available in their stores (in Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Manchester, Liverpool, Altrincham and Shrewsbury) including dress making, sewing machinery, creative sewing, knitting and crochet and patchwork and quilting.

I hope to see some of you at one of the demonstrations soon!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Free Crochet Pattern | Little Christmas Bell Tree Ornament

I think I’ve said before that one of my favourite things to crochet and make are Christmas decorations. I love that they become part of the fabric of your Christmas and bring back memories as they are brought out again year after year. So I decided to make another one this year that I’d like to share with you – it’s for a Little Christmas Bell ornament for your tree.

Now you can add the perfect finishing touch to your Christmas tree this festive season with a little handmade bell decoration that really rings! With easy simple steps this mini bell decoration is a fun and fast gift to make or to keep for your own tree.

Last year you may remember that I made some mini tapestry tree decorations (FREE pattern here) with some Creativa Fino yarn kindly gifted from Anchor Crafts. I really like Creativa Fino to work with, it’s a nice firm mercerised cotton which I think works particularly well for amigurumi and ornaments like this one.

The following Little Christmas Bell Tree Ornament 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.

SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Little Christmas Bell Tree Ornament

MATERIALS

Yarn:
9g / 25m of Anchor Creativa Fino Gold or Silver Coloured 4ply Cotton
0.85g / 2.5m of Anchor Gold or Silver Metallic Thread Small amounts of Anchor Creativa Fino Red and Green 4ply Cotton

Pattern will work in other hooks and yarns though finished size will be different.

Hook: 2.75mm (US size D/3)

You will also need:

  • 1 x 10mm gold or silver jingle bell
  • Stitch Marker
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle

Gauge: 6dc = 2.5cm / 1 inch

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: 8cm / 3.14inches

ABBREVIATIONS:

  • st(s) stitch(es)   
  • st  sl               slip stitch    
  • ch(s) chain
  • dc/sc UK double crochet / US single crochet
  • rev.dc/sc Reverse UK double crochet / US single crochet
  • htr/hdc             UK half treble / US half double crochet
  • tr/dc             UK treble / US double crochet

STITCH GUIDANCE:

  • 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 draw up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, draw 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.

PATTERN NOTES

Using a stitch marker: The bell is worked in the usual amigurumi style worked without joining in continuous rnds – place the stitch marker in the top of the first st to mark start of rnd.

Reverse Single Crochet (rev.dc/sc): A reverse single crochet stitch is worked the same as a regular single crochet — except in reverse. Instead of working from right to left, you work from left to right. Insert hook, from front to back, in the next st to the right and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.

Pattern:

Bell:

Rnd 1: Make a magic ring, work 6dc/sc into ring. 6sts

Rnd 2: [2dc/sc] to end. 12 sts

Rnd 3: [1dc/sc, 2dc/sc] to end. 18 sts

Rnd 4: [1dc/sc in the next 2sts, 2dc/sc] to end. 24sts

Rnd 5: [1dc/sc in the next 3sts, 2dc/sc] to end. 30sts

Rnds 6-13: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnd 14: [1dc/sc in the next 4sts, 2dc/sc] to end. 36sts

Rnd 15: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnd 16: [1dc/sc in the next 5sts, 2dc/sc] to end. 42sts

Rnd 17: 1dc/sc in each st around. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Rnd 18: Attach Metallic Gold, rev.dc/sc in each st around. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Bell Handle:

Ch8, sl st to form a ring; sl st in each ch round until fasten off but leave a yarn tail for attaching to the centre top of the bell..

Bell Clanger:

Ch17, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in each st along until end. Use one yarn tail to attach the bell to the end of the strip just made, thread the other yarn tail through the centre of the strip and use it to attach to the inner bell centre.

Holly (make 2):

Ch7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, * 1dc/sc in next st, 1tr/dc in the next, ch2, sl st to post of tr/dc * sl st in the next st, repeat from * to * once, sl st into first ch, ch2, sl st to first ch again, then working on other side of beginning ch; ch3, sl st to 2nd ch from hook, sl st to next st, 1dc/sc in next st, 1tr/dc in the next, fasten off but leave long yarn tail

Berries (make 2):

Ch6, 1dc/sc in 2nd ch from hook, htr/hdc in the next st, 1tr/dc in next, 1htr/hdc in the next, 1dc/sc in the next st, sl st to the first st to join, leave long yarn tail to attach.

To finish: Make a short hanging loop with metallic yarn around the bell handle.

And that’s it!

If you hook up a Little Christmas Bell Tree ornament I hope you’ll maybe give it a ‘love’ on Ravelry by saving to your favourites, tag @kcaco.uk on Instagram or share your projects in my Facebook group as I love to see your finished work! 

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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New Pattern Release & FREE 24hr coupon code| Gino the Gingerbread Baker

Here’s the next Christmas pattern as promised! Allow me to introduce Gino the Gingerbread Baker!

I have a notebook where I jot and doodle down any ideas I might get for a pattern. Sometimes they sit there for awhile and then get made (my Nordic Twist gnome for instance I thought of last year) other times the idea just won’t leave me. I’ll keep thinking about it and I just have to get it made – that was the case with Gino the Gingerbread Baker; he really wanted to come to life!

“Stir a bowl of gingerbread, Smooth and spicy brown. Roll it with a rolling pin, Up and up and down. With a cookie cutter, Make some little men. Put them in the oven, Till half past ten.”

With a removable hat and apron Gino is a fun ornament for your christmas kitchen – or remove the holly from the hat and he’s a fun gift for anyone who loves baking at anytime of the year!

Did you know that gingerbread men date from around the 16th century and the first documented figure-shaped “gyngerbrede” biscuits were baked at the court of Elizabeth 1 of England.

Fascinatingly, in history, Gingerbread men were taken up by witches who used them like voodoo dolls. They would bake effigies of their enemies and eat them!  I’m now a bit concerned about my 3 year old who finds it especially funny to the legs bite off gingerbread men and cry ‘help, help, my legs!!’ Joking aside people took the witchcraft voodoo gingerbread men so seriously that in 1607 the magistrates of Delft in the Netherlands made it illegal to either bake or eat the biscuits!

BUY GINO THE GINGERBREAD MAN BAKER PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

My gingerbread man is made from Scheepjes Catona that I’d got in my stash and the mini gingerbread men props were from the seasonal section of my local COOP and were delicious!

My two girls both love to eat gingerbread men and we often decorate gingerbread men together this time of year. This pattern would be a great reminder of a family cooking session or as a fun prop for the Gingerbread Man fairy tale.

24 hour coupon code: 🎉

As a little festive treat for the next 24 hours only (until midnight GMT on Tuesday 17 December) pick up your FREE copy of Gino with the code: GINGER when you apply it at the checkout on Ravelry.

And as there’s still a few days until Christmas and you are looking for more seasonal patterns to hook up then check out my Christmas Crochet bundle on Ravelry. It contains all my seasonal patterns available for purchase or for free.

I’ve just got just one more Christmas patterns left that I’m releasing this year then I promise I’m all Xmas patterned out so keep a look out for those coming to this blog real soon!

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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New Pattern Release | Nordic Twist Gnome

So I promised another couple of Christmas patterns didn’t I and here is the next! Allow me to introduce the Nordic Twist Gnome!

I know that you will have seen these sort of Scandinavian Gnomes before, they are everywhere in the Christmas shops, and I LOVE them with their pulled down hats over their big noses. I love them so much that it just made me want to come up with my OWN version and so that’s what I’ve done!

The top of my gnomes hat is completely poseable for you to twist it or put it in all sorts of different shapes, all by the way of a carefully hidden pipe cleaner, that makes it a rather fun ornament to have on your shelf!

Did you know that these sorts of gnomes are a common Scandinavian Christmas decoration that have been adopted wholeheartedly by the rest of the world. The traditional word for gnomes in the Scandinavian culture is ‘Tomte’ which was apparently coined by Saint Birgitta of Sweden in the 1300s. These little guys are typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season and traditionally usually don a bright red conical knitted hat.

I wanted my gnome to be a little different so I made him in a modern colour pallet of turquoises and silver. He’s made from Scheepjes Catona that I’d got in my stash, some roving for his beard and some silver Scheepjes Lizzy thread just to add a bit of sparkle. And as Christmas to me is totally all about jingle bells I added some of those too!

My two girls love this little guy and I already know my gnome is going to come out every year for the holiday season with the rest of my Christmas makes. I love that my family will start to think of them as a part of their holidays.

BUY NORDIC TWIST GNOME PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I hope you enjoy making this little guy as much as I enjoyed designing him. And if you are looking for more seasonal patterns to hook up if you are in a festive kind of mood then check out my Christmas Crochet bundle on Ravelry which contains all my seasonal patterns available for purchase or for free.

I’ve just got two more Christmas patterns left that I’m releasing this year then I promise I’m all Xmas patterned out so keep a look out for those next week.

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Free Crochet Pattern | Poppin’ Spades Afghan Block

You may remember back in June that I had fun creating a new free 12″ (30cm) crocheted block called Encompass Me. I do love to create these afghan components as they have potential to be so many things! I’m now going to raise my own stakes by introducing a brand NEW free block for you.

Allow me to introduce to you the Poppin’ Spades Afghan Square! Inspired by a poker game the Poppin’ Square Afghan Square combines a fun combination of stitches to create a pleasing textured effect that I ‘wager’ any card player will love!

This is a great block to have up one’s sleeve to add as a component block to create a multi-square afghan or used as a pretty pot holder or cushion cover.

You could either follow suit and use colours similar to mine, which I felt fitted my theme, or you could shuffle your colours and see what top trumps you can come up with!

The following Poppin’ Spades 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.

SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Poppin Spades 12″ Afghan Block

MATERIALS

Yarn: 10ply / yarn weight #4 (Worsted)

Pattern works best with four colors – referred to in this pattern as:

YARN A Dark Grey 45g / 68m
YARN B Yellow 15g / 23m
YARN C Light Grey 20g / 30m
YARN D White 15g / 23m

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:

  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle

Gauge: 8dc= 2 inches (5.08cm)

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)

ABBREVIATIONS:

  • st(s) stitch(es)   
  • st  sl               slip stitch    
  • ch(s) chain
  • tr/dc             UK treble / US double crochet
  • FPtr/FPdc        UK Front Post treble / US Front Post Double Crochet
  • dtr/tr                UK double treble / US treble
  • PC Popcorn Stitch

STITCH GUIDANCE:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and draw through all loops.
  • 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.
  • UK Front 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.
  • Popcorn Stitch (PC): Work 5dc in indicated st, remove hook completely, insert hook in 1st dc (1st dc of the 5), insert hook in loop that you just removed your hook from (5th dc of the 5), yarn over and pull through both loops on hook.

PATTERN NOTES

Changing Colour: When changing to a different colour, pull the new colour through the last two loops of the previous st to complete that st. Continue in the new colour, following the pattern. Change colours in this manner, whenever indicated on the pattern.

When changing to and from a colour carry the unused coloured yarn along the wrong side of the work loosely so that the work does not gather. Crochet over the unused colour as they are  carried along; this will hide the strands of yarn invisibly and eliminate long unused strands carried across the back of the work.

Pattern:

· Ch3 at the start of any rnd counts as a st.

· All ch’s are included in the st count.

Rnd 1: With A, ch5, sl st to form a ring, [ch3, 3tr/dc, ch3, sl st to ring] repeat three times. Fasten off A and weave in ends. 4 petals

Rnd 2: With B, sl st in-between any of the petals from rnd 1.  Ch6 (counts as 1tr/dc + 3ch), 1tr/dc in-between the same petal, then work [ch3, 1tr/dc, ch3, 1tr/dc, in-between the next petal] repeat three times, sl st to the 3rd ch of the beginning ch6 to join. 8sts + 4 x ch-3sps

Push the petals forward from behind the ch3-sps.

Rnd 3: Sl st to the nearest ch3-sp.  Ch3, 1tr/dc in the same sp, [3tr/dc in the next ch3-sp, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the next ch3-sp], repeat three times, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. Fasten off B and weave in ends. 36sts / 9sts each side

Rnd 4: With C, sl st in any ch2 corner sp; Ch3, 1tr/dc in the same sp, [1tr/dc in the next 7sts, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the ch2-sp] repeat three times, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. 52sts / 13sts each side

Rnd 5: Ch3, [cc to A, 1FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to C, 1tr in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr into the top of the central tr/dc of the petal of rnd 1, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1FPdtr/FPtr in next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next st, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the ch-2 sp, 1tr/dc in the next st] repeat twice, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr into the top of the central tr of the petal of rnd 1, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next st, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the ch-2 sp, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. Fasten off A / C and weave in ends. 68sts / 17sts each side

Rnd 6: With D, sl st in any ch2 corner sp; ch3, 1tr/dc in the same sp, [1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to D, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to D, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in next st, cc to D, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the ch-2 sp, 1tr/dc in the next 4sts] repeat twice, [cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to D, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to D, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to A, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in next st, cc to D, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, (2tr/dc, ch2) in the ch-2 sp, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. Fasten off A / D and weave in ends. 84sts / 21sts each side

Rnd 7: With A, sl st in any ch2 corner sp; ch3, 1tr/dc in the same sp, [1tr/dc in the next st, cc to B, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to A, 1tr/dc in the next 7sts, cc to A, 1 PC in the next st, cc to A, 1tr/dc in the next 7sts, cc to B, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in next st, cc to A, 1tr/dc in the next st, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the ch-2 sp, 1tr/dc in the next st] repeat twice, cc to B, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to A, 1tr/dc in the next 7sts, cc to A, 1 PC in the next st, cc to A, 1tr/dc in the next 7sts, cc to B, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in next st, cc to A, 1tr/dc in the next st, (2tr/dc, ch2) in the ch-2 sp, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. Fasten off A / B and weave in ends. 100sts / 25sts each side

Rnd 8: With C, sl st in any ch2 corner sp; ch3, 1tr/dc in the same sp, [1tr/dc in the next 3sts, cc to B, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 15sts, cc to B, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the ch-2 sp, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts] repeat twice, cc to B, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in the next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 15sts, cc to B, 1 FPdtr/FPtr in next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 3sts, (2tr/dc, ch2,) in the ch-2 sp, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. Fasten off C / B and weave in ends. 116sts

Rnd 9: Ch3, 1tr/dc in the same st, 1tr/dc in the next 5sts, [cc to D, PC in the next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 15sts, cc to D, PC in next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 5sts, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the ch-2 sp, 1tr/dc in the next 5sts]  repeat twice, cc to D, PC in the next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 15sts, cc to D, PC in next st, cc to C, 1tr/dc in the next 5sts, (2tr/dc, ch2, 2tr/dc) in the ch-2 sp, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. Fasten off C / D and weave in ends. 132sts / 33 sts each side

Rnd 10: With A, sl st in any ch2 corner sp; ch3, 1tr/dc in the same sp, [1 tr/dc in the next 31sts, 2tr/dc , ch2, 2tr/dc ) in the ch-2 sp] repeat three times, sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. 148sts / 37sts each side

Rnd 11: Ch3, 1tr/dc in the next 34sts, [(2tr/dc , ch2, 2tr/dc ), 1tr/dc in the next 35sts] repeat three times, (2tr/dc , ch2, 2tr/dc ), sl st to the top of the beginning ch3 to join. Fasten off and weave in ends. 164sts / 41sts each side

Fasten off and weave in all ends.

And that’s it!

If you hook up the Poppin Spades Block I hope you’ll tag @kcaco.uk on Instagram or share your projects in my Facebook group as I love to see your finished work! 

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Release and Giveway| Starlight Christmas Stocking

Edited: Giveaway now closed. Congratulations to the two winners are cksteffen and fierenza

Woo hooooo! I’m really excited to say that my Starlight Stocking pattern, that I designed for the Crochet Sanctuary is now finally LIVE!

Christmas stockings are a staple of Christmas and a little something handmade on the mantelpiece can go a long way – especially if it’s a bit sparkly! You’ve got to have a bit of twinkle at Christmas right!?

The great thing about this stocking is that you can personalise colours to match your own decor or make it in that special someone’s favourite colour to make Christmas morning even more magical.

The pattern is 4 pages long and it’s written, as usual, in both UK and US terms. 

Pattern Links 🎉

The Starlight Stocking pattern is now available in my pattern stores on  Ravelry (and I’ll be adding it to my other stores shortly)…

SAVE STOCKING PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

however if you’d like to be in with a chance to win a copy then keep reading…

Exclusive Giveaway 🎉

If you’d like to be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of the Starlight Stocking simply head on over to Ravelry and add it to your favourites. Please then comment below this post with either your Ravelry username or email address for your chance to win a copy.

Your Ravelry username and email address will only be used to send you your prize, if you enter the information onto a comment it is understood that you are granting me your permission for me to use your information as advised.

Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the images above. Copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the blog comments below. 

TWO winners will be randomly chosen on Wednesday 11 December evening around 7pm GMT

Finally I hope you will share any Starlight Stocking project’s on social media or as a Ravelry project as I always love to see the versions and variations you come up with.

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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The most wonderful time of the year…Christmas at The Crochet Sanctuary

When I was asked if I might like to do another workshop at The Crochet Sanctuary, and this time the Christmas one, I may have squealed a little bit in my head! Christmas is my MOSTEST favourite time of the year and I was delighted to be given the opportunity to come up with a fun festive design.

If you’ve not heard about The Crochet Sanctuary before it’s a crochet retreat set in the beautiful Cranage Hall in Crewe. The hosts of the sanctuary, Lisa and Lynda-Rose, always plan an amazing weekend for their guests and it’s usually extra special at Christmas – and this time it was no different!

On this occasion we were a nice cosy group of about 20 weekenders (to be joined by roughly 5 more day guests on the Saturday). The room we were in, as always, was arranged with a circle of comfy chairs covered in crochet blankets and cushions to make ourselves at home.

Excitingly this weekend myself, with my Dear Ewe hat on, and fellow small business owner Mrs G Makes had a pop up shop in the room, and Amanda from Craftopia had a pop up shop in her van!

It was really nice for me to let people see the Dear Ewe products up close as I think it’s a totally different experience from seeing them just on your computer screen. And it gave me a chance to try out my new stall display format as Dear Ewe is hopefully going on the road in 2020 to some yarn shows near you….

We started off the afternoon with a really fun ice-breaker to get to know each other with us having to confess a time when we’d been naughty. Santa presided over us and checked his list to see if he agreed that we’d been naughty or nice! Apparently I was naughty – I’m sure that can’t be right!? And then we were all given a present…if you are Instagram you need to check out this video to see our reactions!

Inside the parcel was our very own Scheepjes Whirligig which was just unbelievable! I’ve been drooling (like so many others I’m sure) over these since they were released earlier this year. These decadent gigantic yarn cakes (1000m / 450g) are a super soft blend of alpaca and virgin wool and have gorgeous long repeats. Mine is the pink to plum version which is a pale pink that transitions to rich plums and deep purples. It was definitely love at first sight!

We were given two patterns to choose from, either the Scheepjes Valyria Shawl by Johanna Lindahl or the new Nolkag Wrap pattern designed especially for the weekend. I chose the Nolkag Wrap which is just a deliciously mindful pattern with a pretty cabled texture. I enjoyed working on the pattern, and with the yarn which just glides through your fingers, so much that I found it really hard to put it down the whole weekend!

But a gal’s got to eat so we hooked until 7pm then it was time for a three course meal in the restaurant (which was delicious) and then we went back up to the room for more crochet and chatting.

I was a bit more sensible this time and was in bed for 11pm (not the usual wee hours of the morning) and before I knew it it was time for a buffet style breakfast then back up to the room for our next project which was completely awesome! We were given everything we needed to make giant baubles! I still need to finish mine so I’ll have to share a photo when I’m finished.

Next it was Christmas dinner for lunch and with all of us feeling full and maybe a tad sleepy it was time for me to do my workshop! Lisa and Lynda had let me decide what I was going to do for my workshop, and when I’d suggested a stocking design they thought that was great – I think everyone was thinking it was going to be another amigurumi!

I came up with the Starlight Stocking design which I think would make a great addition to those handmade decorations you bring out year after year.

My chosen yarn for the stocking was the new Scheepjes Chunky Monkey yarn, which is becoming a fast new favourite of mine, so soft, combined with Scheepjes Catona and Scheepjes Lizzy (for a bit of bling). You can just see them hanging in situ below on one of the gorgeous Cranage Estate fireplaces!

As always it was great fun watching everyone get stuck into making the stockings (I don’t usually get to see that part!), we had a break for the evening meal until 7pm-ish (when the day people left us) for another scrumptious three course meal in the restaurant, then it was back up to the room again to continue with the stockings.

As always much belly laughter was had (you pinocchio nose people know who you are!)…then it was time for bed again, the weekend really does seem to just fly by so quickly!

Sunday until 3pm (when the Sanctuary finishes) is normally when we have time to finished off our projects but Lynda and Lisa had another fun project in store! We got to have a go at making our own custom shawl kilt pin and I got to use a glue gun for the first time. I now kind of want to glue aallll the things because I REALLY enjoyed using the gun. I chose some festive felt balls and bells to adorn my kilt pin to match my Nolkag Wrap.

After that it was wonderful to see that nearly everyone wanted to finish off their stockings…and some did get them finished or nearly finished over the weekend. Everyone did such an amazing job with them!

And some more stockings modelled with the gorgeously decorated fireplace!

I’m a bit addicted to attending The Crochet Sanctuary days / weekends they have throughout the year. It’s always such fun and I get to just talk crochet till I’m fit to burst which is especially refreshing because no one’s eyes start to glaze over – they are just as enthused as me!

It was a thoroughly wonderful weekend, which I knew it would be, that I was lucky enough to share with the most wonderful group of people! Just a lovely occasion to catch up with old friends and make some new ones!

If you are looking for a weekend of yarn, crochet, relaxation and just pure wonderfulness then the The Crochet Sanctuary is definitely the place for you. As testament the weekend dates for 2020 have already completely sold out – but you can still book the remaining few day dates that are left here.

I’m going back for a day visit again in February as a guest which I’m already looking forward to! How many more sleeps is that….

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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New Pattern Release | Traditional Nutcracker Doll

There is absolutely no question; Christmas is MY favorite time of the year. I pretty much go gaga over all things Chrismassy so when an idea of a new seasonal pattern popped in my head, it was one of those occasions where I just HAD to make it come to life. Allow me to proudly introduce my Traditional Nutcracker Doll – the perfect addition to your handmade Christmas decor.

There’s nothing like mixing new decorations with old ones to give that feeling of seasonal warmth! And this traditionally styled amigurumi will stand smartly to attention as part of a festive shelf arrangement or perhaps displayed on the mantle (which is where mine is currently standing guard).

Did you know that Nutcracker dolls, also known as Christmas nutcrackers, are most commonly made to resemble a toy soldier. This is because in German tradition, the dolls are symbols of good luck designed to defend against and frighten away malevolent spirits.

I made this little guy out of Scheepjes Catona that I’d got in my stash and some golden Scheepjes Lizzy thread – because you have to have a bit of sparkle at Christmas don’t you!

So why not add to your crochet christmas decorations and make the Nutcracker to stand guard over your festivities. I love the idea of these patterns becoming family heirlooms that come out, year after year, for generations to come. I know any Christmas patterns I’ve made previously come out every year – how about yours?

I think he’d also make the perfect addition to a Christmas Eve box for the children with the classic story of the ‘The Nutcracker‘ – which is about a toy soldier that turns into a prince. Or maybe for a ballet fan just before going to see the magical ‘Nutcracker‘ on stage somewhere near you during the holiday season.

BUY NUTCRACKER PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

And if you are looking to create more Christmas decorations then watch this space as I have another Xmas design coming soon! In the meantime you could always check out my Christmas Crochet bundle on Ravelry which contains all my seasonal patterns available for purchase or for free.

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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