Old and new mini-crochet challenges


12-Squares-Collage-2014

If you’ve been following my blog then you will know that I set myself a mini challenge last year to design a new 6 inch Afghan square for each month…now I may have accidentally missed out May, July & September but I did finally finish off 3 more designs at the end of 2014 to bring my total up to 12 blocks – phew!  

This was a super fun and challenging process and it has brought to life some of my personal favourite square designs.  So to recap each design…

  • January Midnight Eagle Owl Afghan Square
  • FebruaryShy Violet Afghan Square
  • March – Solomon’s Cross Afghan Square
  • April – Mini Filet Cross Afghan Square
  • May – Humming Bird /Dove Afghan Square (really finished in December!)
  • June – ‘Jolly Clown’ Afghan Square
  • July – Blooming Flower Afghan Square (also finished in December!)
  • August – Octagon Garden Afghan Square
  • September – Gingerbread Man Afghan Square (finished in November!)
  • October – Jack O Lantern / Pumpkin Afghan Square
  • November – Thanksgiving / Xmas Turkey Afghan Square
  • December – Christmas Bauble Afghan Square

And my mini challenge to myself this year…well it’s all about the amigurumis!  After creating Doodle Duck my testers suggested I should make some other animals and so the idea for ‘Doodle Zoo’ was born.  Through out the year I’m planning to design 12 free little animals for you all. Look out for the next Doodle Animal just in time for Easter – Rowan Rabbit coming soon! 

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August in a nutshell


Well August has been a bit of a strange month where unfortunately not a lot of crochet happened after the first two weeks as I broke two fingers on my left hand.  The doctors have said 6 weeks to heal and 3 weeks on I feel that they are beginning to – but I have yet to really pick up a hook! I hold my yarn tension between my little finger and ring finger on my left hand (do you?) and those just happen to be the ones I have broken – and because my methodology is so ingrained I can’t seem to adapt, so I am resting up for awhile instead! 

Luckily to take my mind off things we had a family holiday to look forward to (I know I am lucky to have another one!) this time in the beautiful New Forest.  We were blessed with good weather and thoroughly enjoyed our week there; though it was strange to have cows, donkey’s and ponies just wandering around the camp-site right next to us – like right next to us!

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Crochet wise I did manage to release one pattern; a new crochet square for August for my personal mini challenge to design a new afghan square each month.  Introducing Octagon Garden which is available now on Ravelry and Craftsy

Octogan Garden Afghan Square

I’ve had some lovely feedback from people saying how much they liked this square which is always fabulous to receive. 

The perfect square for the 8th month the Octagon Garden Afghan Square is a great stash buster! I had some fun using different colours to create different looks but the colour combinations are virtually endless!  The ‘Octagon Garden Afghan Square’ pattern is not only the perfect square to add to a multi square themed Afghan or for a cushion. but it could be used for scarves, bags or pot-holders too!

I know squares for June and July are still missing…I’m working on it!  Just need my fingers to heal!  But I do have a pattern release and a pattern with testers at the moment so it’s not all quiet on the crochet front!  So watch this space…

Have a month of happy hooking!

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Pattern Release: Jolly Clown Afghan Square


I was inspired this this month for my own challenge of designing a new afghan square each month in 2014.  As a family we recently went on a trip to the circus; I’d never been to the circus before and thought it would be fun to take Little G.  It turned out to be slightly cheesy, as the one we went to see was just a small touring circus full of over the top theatricals rather than Cirque du Soleil, but we all had a fun afternoon out nevertheless.  Little G had her face painted like a clown which I think started an inkling of an idea in my head…When I got home I couldn’t get the idea of a clown granny square out of my head and so got out my yarn and hooks and the ‘Jolly Clown’ afghan square was born.

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I was really happy with how this square came out.  I aimed to make the clown look as friendly as possible (because let’s face it clowns can be creepy – ever read IT by Stephen King or seen the movie with Tim Curry! Eeekk Pennywise! *shudder!*).  One of my testers commented that this square made her smile when ever she saw it so I took that to be ‘jolly clown’ success!

This square would look great in a multi-square afghan or worked up in different colours sewn together as a blanket – the possibilities are endless!  

The square is 6 x 6 inches / 15.4 x 15.4 cm and a great stash buster for all those little scraps you might have lying around and, as with all my patterns, the pattern features both UK and US crochet stitch terminology. You can download the pattern from either Ravelry or Craftsy:

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Happy Hooking!

Free Pattern – Mini Filet Cross Afghan Square


I love filet crochet and one of the first things I ever crocheted as an adult was a filet crochet bunny blanket for Little G when I was pregnant with her.  In fact one of my first crochet designs, the bordered heart baby blanket, was also filet crochet.  But ‘filet’  seems to be something that people are a little scared of or think of it specifically made with teeny tiny hooks (eek!) and proper crochet thread (yikes!).  

So for my own challenge of designing a new afghan square each month in 2014 I thought I would design something filet-ish.  The ‘Mini Filet Cross Afghan Square’ is a cute little square which incorporates an element of simple ‘filet’ crochet that would look great in a multi-square afghan or worked up in different colours sewn together as a blanket – the possibilities are endless!  

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You can download the pattern from Ravelry or Craftsy to save for later or continue down to the pattern below:

Yarn:

  • 5g of any double knit yarn; 8ply / yarn weight #3 or #4
  • The square can be worked in either single colours of using up scraps of different colours

Hook: 4 mm (US size G)

You will also need: Yarn needle

Gauge:

  • 4 tr/dc sts = 1 inch / 2.5 cm
  • 5.5 x 5.5 inches / 14 x 14 cm

These measurements are approximated, and actual subjects may vary. Pattern will work in other yarns though gauge/size will be  different.

Abbreviations: 

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain  
  • dc/sc = UK double / US single crochet
  • tr/dc = UK treble / US double crochet

Pattern:

Rnd 1: Ch 4, join with a sl st to form a ring. Ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc) and work 15 tr/dc into ring, sl st to the top of beginning 3 ch to join (16 sts)

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc), 1 tr/dc into same st, ch 3, 2 tr/dc into same st, * ch 1, miss 1 st, 1 tr/dc into next st, ch 1 miss st, 2 tr/dc into next st, ch 3, 2 tr/dc into same st * repeat from * to * until end, sl st to the top of the beginning ch 3 to join (40 sts)

Rnd 3: Ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc), 1 tr/dc into the next st, * [2 tr/dc, ch 3, 2 tr/dc] into the 3 ch sp, 1 tr/dc into the top of the next 2 sts, ch 1, miss st, 1 tr/dc into next st, ch 1, miss st, 1 tr/dc into the top of the next 2 sts * repeat from * to * until end, sl st to the top of the beginning ch 3 to join (56 sts) – if changing to a different colour  finish off and weave in ends.

Rnd 4: If using new yarn attach to any 3 ch sp / or ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc),  1 tr/dc into same st, ch 3, 2 tr/dc into same ch sp, 1 tr/dc in each of the next 11 sts, * [2 tr/dc, ch 3, 2 tr/dc] in the 3 ch sp, 1 tr/dc in each of the next 11 sts, * repeat from * to * until end, sl st to the top of the beginning ch 3 to join (72 sts)

Rnd 5: Ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc), 1 tr/dc into next st, *[1 tr/dc, ch 3, 1 tr/dc] in the 3 ch sp, 1 tr/dc in each of the next 15 sts, * repeat from * to * until last row 1 tr/dc into remaining 13 st, sl st to the top of the beginning ch 3 to join (80 sts)

Rnd 6: Ch 1 (counts as first dc/sc), 1 dc/sc into next 2 sts, * 3 dc/sc in the 3 ch sp, 1 dc/sc in each of the next 17 sts, * repeat from * to * until last row 1 dc/sc into remaining 15 st, sl st to the top of the beginning ch 1 to join, finish with an invisible join and weave in ends (80 sts)

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March in a Nutshell aka Super Busy!!!


So it’s been a bit of a manic month!  Lots of changes in my day job has meant that I have been very busy at work this month…and then I’ve come home I’ve had lots of things to do there too!  I seem to have organised things as such that I have had lots of things to complete (tests and orders), get released (lots of new patterns this month) and pass over to my wonderful testers (to help turn my scribbles into sense).

This month  I released 4 new patterns (which I think is a record for me!) and a new FREE pattern into the world…

Getting ready for Easter (and adding to my ‘On the Shelf’ amigurumi’s) I released my ‘Bunny on the Shelf‘ pattern at the beginning of March.  I had such a time trying to get the feet just how I’d pictured them in my head but they came together in the end!  I’ve have had such positive feedback about him; mainly how people love his cheeks! This pattern has kept me busy with orders I’ve had for Easter; I’ve got three to finish up this weekend and I am excited about making two in different colours.

Bunny-Master

Next release was Nanuk the Polar Bear lovey which was my first ever lovey design; I blogged about him already so you can read all about his creation here.  I was super excited when he made number 9 for a short time  on the ‘Hot Right Now list’  (for purchased crochet patterns) over on Ravelry (I’m still aiming for that no.1 slot at least once!).

HRN

I also finished off an order / new pattern for my first ever baby cocoon -it’s definitely been a month of firsts!  This caterpillar set was so fun to work on and is super squiggly soft and snuggly.  Unfortunately for me the baby it was ordered for isn’t even born yet so I’m going to have to wait awhile for cute customer photos!

Chunky Newborn Caterpillar Cocoon Set / Sleep-Sack / Photo Prop Set

My new Afghan square pattern this month (for my self set mini challenge to create a new Afghan Square every month for 2014) was my Solomon’s Cross pattern which I blogged about here.  I was really pleased with this square and I’m just waiting for someone to make a blanket out of the pattern and send me the photo (hint, hint!)

Solomon's Knot Afghan Square

The free pattern which I shared this month was little Betty Prickles; if you’ve not got your copy of Betty yet then why not pick up one now and have someone keep your pins safe.  Finally I also managed to fit in two pattern tests this month…one that I can’t share yet and the other was the fabulous Exterminator Hat I blogged about here.  Busy, busy, busy month…wonder what April’s got in store for me!

 

 

Pattern Release: Solomon’s Cross Afghan Square


So can you remember me telling you about how much I loved the ‘Solomon’s Knot’ stitch, well I decided to go looking for some other patterns that used this stitch and do you know what I found…or didn’t find as the case maybe…that there is NO afghan square that has a Solomon’s Knot in it – though if I’m wrong I’d love a link to other squares that use this stitch. 

This was an issue I thought had to be rectified as soon as possible and so the ‘Solomon’s Cross’ Afghan Square was born!

Solomon's Knot Afghan Square

A uniform little square that would look great in a multi-square afghan or worked up in different colours sewn together as  a blanket – the possibilities are endless!  

And for anyone that is not familiar with the stitch I have included a full photo tutorial in the pattern on how to do a single and double Solomon’s Knot.

Courtesy of GrammyJo Lids

 

So I now have a square for March all finished up and ready to join my Midnight Eagle Owl square and the Shy Violet square in my self set mini challenge to create a new Afghan Square each month this year…now I need to get thinking about my square for April!  But in the meantime this pattern is now available for you to download (or favourite for later) from Ravelry or Craftsy.

If you do make up this square I hope you will send me a photo either by email or share on my Facebook page as I’d love to see!

 

Pattern Release: Shy Violet Afghan Square


So a little later than scheduled let me introduce the ‘Shy Violet’ Afghan Square. As it was designed in February I am counting this as my ‘February’ afghan square which will I will add to January’s Midnight Eagle Owl Square in my own personal challenge to design a new crochet square each month.

Shy Violet Afghan Square

The February Birth Flower is the Violet; the Violet symbolizes faithfulness, humility, and chastity. This afghan square pattern is perfect to add to a multi square themed afghan or cushion. You could also use the violet motif on a blanket or as an accessory on a hat or brooch.

Get your copy of the pattern directly from the following links:

January In A Nutshell


So on a personal level January is a busy month for me as I have my husband and my daughter’s birthday so there is usually a fair bit of eating out and cake to contend with – not so good when I’ve just started my annual January diet migration!  My gorgeous amazing daughter turned 3 this time and we had great fun making her birthday cake together with all the colours and toppings that she chose herself (I think it says something about me that I would have topped off the cake with pink candles!).

Cake

And in crochet world this month I finished up with a number of  projects, did a pattern test for another designer and released two new patterns into the world…

The first pattern I released was the Inca-Trail Men’s hat.  I was so pleased with how that hat turned out in the end; I actually like colour changing in crochet (it’s not everyone’s cup of tea I know ) but this hat just seemed to flow together.   I can’t remember how I decided I was going to make something like this but I know I was inspired by the textiles, colours and patterns of the Inca’s .  If you are looking for some inspiration just  Google Inca Patterns there’s tons of patterns there that will keep you going!

The next pattern I released was the ‘Midnight Eagle Owl’ Afghan square.  This year I have set my self several yarny-type resolutions and one of them was to design a new Afghan square each month.  I was pushing it a bit with a new square for January but I got there in the end.  And I was super excited that the square reached 29th on the ‘What’s Hot’ list on Ravelry (one day I will get to number 1 on that list!).

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Also in January I finished off a customer order for a ribbon shawl which I really enjoyed making.  I’d never worked with ribbon yarn before but it’s really opened my eyes at how many different types and colours there are out there.  The customer choose Crystal Palace: Fall Herbs which is just stunningly shiny and gorgeous, the photo really doesn’t do the colours justice.  I can just picture the shawl teamed with a simple little black dress at a party can’t you!

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Then I had a fun customer order for a couple of baby guinea pigs; I love these little guys!  The perfect pet and super cute – and quick to make.  You can get your free copy of the baby guinea pigs pattern at the following link: free pattern.

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Finally I finished off this month with the hat test  for Inspired by Ainsley which has now been named the ‘Aspen’ hat which I posted about the other day.   It’s been a busy ole month…but I have got a lot of plans for February including a free pattern that’s close to my heart which I will post about soon so watch this space!