Simply Crochet Magazine|Amigurumi Schnauzer Pattern

Issue 85 of Simply Crochet Magazine is out now and I’m very pleased to tell you that I’ve got a new pattern inside.

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…

© Deramores Retail Ltd

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!

© Simply Crochet

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.

© Simply Crochet – Issue 85

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).

© Simply Crochet – Issue 85

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!

SAVE THE SCHNAUZER ON RAVELRY HERE

And don’t forget to pick up your FREE copy of Poppy the Poodle deradog in my Deramores Designer Shop whilst you are over on the Deramores site!

© Deramores Retail Ltd

If you hook up the Amigurumi Schnauzer 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, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Bedtime Betsy and Custom Keyrings

It’s that time of the new month when the latest LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out on sale. Issue 111 is out now and it’s a corker and I’ve got a couple of fun patterns in it’s pages.

On page 13 you’ll find Bedtime Betsy. She’s a sweet little doll that would make a great companion to encourage a child to sleep. I’m certainly always ready to try anything where that’s concerned – my toddler still hasn’t got the message that sleep is a good thing!

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 111

I’ve designed her so that she has removable nightie and slippers – I was thinking that your little one’s could then take part in the bedtime routine with Betsy as they get ready for bed. Plus she’s also got her own cuddly bear companion so there’s everything you need when it’s time to snuggle down.

SAVE BEDTIME BETSY PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Then on page 20 you can see my custom key-rings. These were such a fun project and I love the idea of using them with a positive message label!

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 111

Because I’m a bit of a tea-belly I have to say that the tiny tea cup is my favourite and I’ll definitely be making another one of those for sure! I think my daughters favourite is the ice-cream so I’m going to make her another one of those to add to her book bag for school.

SAVE CUSTOM KEYRINGS PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I was also chuffed to be asked this month to contribute to an article, which you can find on pages 50-51) titled ‘Why do we craft’. It really is an inspiring read as many fabulous different designers share the reasons they craft and what fuels their creativity.

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 111

There are lots of other fab things in this month’s edition too;  there’s an exclusive interview with Debbie Bliss (and a bonus pattern) and there’s 10 free Stylecraft patterns free in an additional leaflet.

The patterns I particularly love this month are the Happy Monsters by Hannah Cooper, which are just so darned cute, and I also love the Plant Hanger by Ella M Austin, I’ve been seeing crochet plant hanger patterns a lot lately and I really want to make one!

And although I can’t knit I’m completely in love with Mary Puffins (that name made me laugh probably more than it should!) the pattern of which is by Sachiyo Ishii and I also love the stripy knitted men’s socks pattern by Dawn Finney.

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 111

There are 43 exclusive patterns in this months edition along with news, articles and tips in the 74 page magazine. It also comes with a lavender field themed yarn pack which has one ball of two tone variegated yarn.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  

If you hook up either the Bedtime Betsy or the Custom Keyrings I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter 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

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Deramores | Free Amigurumi Poodle Pattern

Guess what! I’ve got double exciting news to tell you all! The first is that I’ve partnered up with fabbo yarn house Deramores and we’ve got some fun amigurumi patterns coming this way! Today I’d like to introduce you to the first one – here’s Poppy the Poodle!

© Deramores Retail Ltd

If you are a toy knitter then you may have already come across the classic knitted Dera-Dog family by designer Amanda Berry. Deramores asked me if I’d like to have a go at creating a crochet version of the Deradogs for them and of course I jumped at the chance of such an exciting challenge.

It was an interesting challenge as knitted toys are totally different from crocheted toys. Most knitted toys are worked flat and then seamed together which is totally different from working in rounds like you do when you work in the usual amigurumi style. Both crafts create different textures and different shapes which was something I had to consider before I started.

© Deramores Retail Ltd

It was important to me to try and capture the essence of the classic knitted Dera-dog but to also make the crocheted version my own. It also hopefully shows that crochet is just as versatile (if not more so in my opinion) to create great shapes that can become terrific little characters.

For Poppy I used Deramores Studio Anti-Piling DK which is a 100% acrylic yarn that is super soft and has been developed with anti-pilling technology. In a nutshell this just means that any fabric you make with this yarn, whether it’s a garment or a toy, should avoid going bobbly or thinner over time.

© Deramores Retail Ltd

It was my first time using this yarn, and I think the first time I’ve used an anti-piling yarn, and I have to say I LOVE it! It really is just nice to work with; very soft on the fingers and it comes in 48 different shades so there’s a nice variety to choose from – I’m definitely going to be using it in future projects.

And now I’m going to share with you the second bit of exciting news! You can get Poppy the Poodle pattern for FREE right now in my very own Deramores Designer Shop!

© Deramores Retail Ltd

I’m so excited to say that I’ve joined a wonderful group of knit and crochet designers from across the globe who have shared some of there favourite patterns via a Deramores Designer Shop.

The great thing about the designer shops with Deramores is that you can choose whether you just want the pattern, or if you want the pattern + yarn! Cool right? Takes away the chore of sorting out buying stuff as you can just get what you need to get started on your next project.

© Deramores Retail Ltd

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:

If you want to you can also add Poppy to your favourites or save her for later on Ravelry too as they are all linked up.

SAVE POPPY THE POODLE ON RAVELRY HERE

The shop is brand new so will be growing all the time so be sure to check back occasionally to see what’s new – though of course I’ll let you know if I add anything new here on the blog too (so if you haven’t already you might want to subscribe to the blog so you get all the news).

If you hook up Poppy the Poodle 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, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Crochet Now Magazine | Play and Learn Set

I was so busy telling you about Spot the Dog the other day that I didn’t tell you about the other pattern I’ve got in the latest issue of Crochet Now magazine. Now you can help little one’s master shapes and colours with my new fun crochet Play and Learn Set.

© Crochet Now Issue 44

The play and learn set was designed to teach little ones about colours and shapes in a fun soft play set complete with a drawstring storage bag. Not only does it give them the chance to identify and compare colours and shapes, it’s something that they can touch and feel too – which I think is all part of the creative learning process isn’t it.

I was thinking about the Spot the Dog books, which are very much about things like determining shapes and colours, when I was designing this set and also about my two year old. ‘What’s this shape’ and ‘what’s this colour’ are totally the things that we are talking about at the moment and so this was very much inspired by her.

© Crochet Now Issue 44

In the set are a squishy square, circle, oval, rectangle, triangle and star all in bold and bright primary colours. And there is a photo tutorial included to explain how to do surface crochet (which is how I did the word ‘Shapes’ on the front of the bag) if you’ve not tried that before.

I used Rico Design Ricorumi which is 100% DK cotton for both the shapes and the bag as I wanted something that was going to be durable and that could stand up to lots of touching from little hands!

Little Miss loved the shapes and particularly enjoyed getting each shape out and then putting them away again…and then getting them out…and then putting them away again…

This is just a fab little diy busy bag that will keep them engaged and that you can play along with too. I also think this could be a fun set for a nursery or playgroup too as well as for any little ones you know.

As I said at the start, this Play and Learn set pattern is available now in Issue 41 of Crochet Now magazine which is available in all major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Spot the Dog Crochet Exclusive

My heart is brimming over at the moment with childhood nostalgia! Look it’s crocheted Spot the Dog!! I’ve been so excited about this design and I’m so happy to finally share it with you!

Crochet Spot the Dog Amigurumi in Issue 41 of Crochet Now by Heather C Gibbs
© Crochet Now | The Eric and Gillian Hill Family Trust / Salspot Ltd. 2018

I cannot image my childhood without the classic Spot the Dog books, I remember flipping the flaps of Where’s Spot? when I was young, then I reread the various board books to my eldest when she was small, and more recently I’m enjoying rediscovering them with my two year old. 

I was therefore absolutely delighted when Crochet Now magazine asked me if I’d like to have a go at designing the crochet version of Spot.

If you aren’t familiar with Spot, he is a lovable yellow puppy character created by Eric Hill who is a firm favourite with toddlers and pre-schoolers. The children’s books have sold more than 60 million copies and 2020 will be celebration year for Spot’s 40th birthday.

Crochet Spot the Dog Amigurumi next to some classic Spot the Dog books

Of course I said YES and got to planning. It wasn’t until after I’d said yes that I kind of realised what a task I’d taken on! Spot is such a well loved character that I really had to get him just right! It was very important therefore that what ever I did was a faithful representation of Spot the dog and was in keeping with his lovable playfulness.

This was also a very different experience for me as it wasn’t going to be my design per-say as it’s a character that already exists and I was very grateful for the supportive guidance from Crochet Now magazine and Penguin books who publish the Spot the Dog books

Crochet Spot the Dog Amigurumi designing in progress

My Spot went through lots of different phases of sketches before I got my crochet hooks out and then I tried out different shaping techniques to get the look of the 2-D character into a 3-D form. Picking the perfect ‘Spot’ yellow and brown was also very crucial to the process!

The finished Spot is about 15.5cm tall and I designed him with embroidered features which makes him perfect for little ones under 36 months – for older children or adults you could use safety eyes instead.

Crochet Spot the Dog Amigurumi in a cute book scene in Issue 41 of Crochet Now by Heather C Gibbs
© Crochet Now | The Eric and Gillian Hill Family Trust / Salspot Ltd. 2018

I love how he turned out in the end, and I love how the magazine have styled him so he looks JUST like he’s stepped out of one of his own books!

Do you love Spot? You can get the exclusive pattern and kit to make him now in Crochet Now magazine Issue 41! Just so you know, due to the branding guidelines, this pattern will never be released by me independently, you will only be able to get him through the magazine – so if you want him you need to go get him quick!

Spot the Dog amigurumi with his paw on a Spot the Dog book.

Crochet Now is available in all major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK and there is a subscription available to overseas customers which you can find out more about on their website.

I’ve also got another design out in this months issue that’s kind of related to Spot but I’ll talk about that a bit more soon!

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

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Yarn Shop Day 2019

Yesterday Yarn Shop Day returned for it’s sixth year in the UK with over 200 shops sharing lots of fibre fun, discounts, free patterns and (probably) cake!

I was back at Abakhan Fabrics in Hanley (where I spent Yarn Shop Day last year), this time for the full day, where there was both cake and yarn galore!

I had a little table at the back of the shop where, in the morning, I held a bit of a crochet surgery so that anyone who wanted to come and ask crochet questions, or who perhaps wanted to learn how to crochet, could come and ask / or have a go.

Yarn shops are usually such a great place to get crafty tips as owners usually have such a wealth of knowledge. They often also run demos or classes where you can learn a new hobby too – just like the ones I’m doing this year (read more about those here and here).

And despite the really awful weather we had (that I thought might put people off venturing out), it proved quite popular so I actually ended up having a table full of people nearly all day asking questions and learning different techniques.

It was so lovely to meet the people who had popped into the store or who had found out about the workshop because of my blog (it’s very encouraging to know that there ARE actual people reading this out there!).

The people I met were folks who had always wanted to try crochet or others that wanted help with a particular crochet problem – and I’m also secretly a bit gleeful that there were some knitters that were giving crochet a go too!

By the end of the day there were two completed granny squares by people that had never crocheted before which is just so awesome! And will hopefully show anyone thinking of giving crochet a go that it’s not so scary – you can do it!

Luckily I wasn’t presented with something that I didn’t know (that could have been embarrassing!). The main things that we covered were how to make granny squares, how to join motifs, how to weave in ends, how to keep seams straight when working in the round, how to keep tension when crocheting, how to do the magic ring, and increasing and decreasing in the round.

The latter being all helpful tips for anyone that wants to try crocheting amigurumi…which brings me neatly onto the mascots for this year ‘s Yarn Shop Day.

They were a cute amigurumi whale by Sarah-Jane Hicks called Bubbles and a family of knitted turtles by Sachiyo Ishii – both of which were patterns exclusively designed for Yarn Shop Day and were available free in stores.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the crochet pattern before hand so I could make up my own whale to take along with me.

I used Ricorumi yarn and I think he came out looking really cute! My eight year old has now claimed him as hers.

As well as Yarn Shop Day being super fun for customers it’s also important for yarn shop retailers who say that the increased footfall and boosted sales of Yarn Shop Day really can help with keeping them going.

I never need an excuse to visit a yarn shop and I think it’s great to support local yarn shops all throughout the year. Yarn Shop Day is just a great reminder of just how much these shops have to offer – and that’s why I personally feel it’s important to support them in any way I can. I want to help keep these yarn shops on the high street so we don’t lose them altogether.

Did you get out for Yarn Shop Day? Or I’d love to hear what your Local Yarn Shop means to you? Let me know below!

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

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Free Crochet Pattern | Little Kooky Bird Amigurumi

Have you heard about the wonderful international makers project ‘Every Bird sings it’s own Song’? It’s a wonderful crafters connection project to try and create the longest line of hand crafted birds at the Textiel Festival Weerribben (in The Netherlands) in June. 

The theme of the festival is Strange Birds, and the idea is to embrace core values of the crafting community of cooperation, diversity and connections.

I was contacted by Esmeralda, a facilitator of the project, to see if I could maybe share the information about the project which I said of course I would; as soon as I heard about this project I knew it was something I wanted to get involved in!

As well as sharing the information about the project here on the blog I decided to also have a go at designing my own little ‘strange bird’ – and the Little Kooky Bird was the result.

Small crocheted amigurumi bird

I used some Scheepjes Catona from my stash and some scraps of felt to create the little jellybean shaped hanging bird ornament.

Scroll down for the free Little Kooky Bird pattern but before then if you want to join in with the project too, maybe with a Little Kooky Bird you have made yourself, then please send them to: Creazy Ladies: de Hare 10, 8375 GC Oldemarkt, The Netherlands.

Birds don’t have to be crocheted, they can be from various materials: knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery, felting, drawn or dyed will all be accepted as long as it is made of textile, wool or yarn. The maximum size of any bird is 25 cm high and 15 cm wide.

The deadline for all birds to be in The Netherlands is 31 May 2019 and you can find out more, or follow the progress of the project of GGDW, on facebook, twitter and instagram with the hashtag of #evc2019

The following 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.

SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Little Kooky Bird Amigurumi

skill3

Materials:

Yarn: 4ply / Fingering Yarn Scheepjes Catona used in photos;

  • 1 x 15g / 37.5m x Shocking Pink (Shade 114)
  • 1 x 10g / 25m x Ultra Violet (Shade 282)

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

Hook: 2.75mm hook (US size C)

You will also need:

  • Polyester toy stuffing
  • 2 x 9mm Black Safety Eyes
  • Small scraps of white and yellow felt
  • Yellow sewing thread and needle
  • Small piece of silver thread (optional)
  • Stitch Markers
  • Yarn Needle

Gauge: 4dc/sc = 2.5cm (1 inch)

Obtaining the correct gauge is not critical to this project but finished size may differ if your gauge is different to the one specified.

Finished Size: 7.5cm (2.95 inches) high

Abbreviations:

  • st(s) = stitch(es)        
  • sl st = slip stitch                            
  • ch(s) = chain
  • dc/sc = UK double crochet / US single  crochet
  • dc/sc2tog = UK double crochet 2 together / US double crochet 2 together
  • htr/hdc = UK half treble / US half double crochet
  • tr/dc = UK treble / US double crochet
  • […] = Repeat the sequence between the square brackets by the number indicated.
  • (.. sts) = The number in round brackets at the end of the instruction indicates the number of stitches after working the row.

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 Double Crochet 2 together / US Single Crochet 2 together (dc/sc2tog): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), Insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook.
  • UK Half Treble Crochet / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), Insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull through 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:

Magic ring: is also known as a Drawstring Ring or Magic Loop and is often used as a start for working amigurumi. If you are not familiar with this technique you could substitute with a ch2 and then work in the second ch from the hook.

Working in the round: Most of the sections of this pattern are worked in the amigurumi style without joining in continuous rounds. Place the stitch marker in the top of the first st to mark the start of each round.

Invisible double crochet decrease: Invisible decreasing is a method of removing stitches to shape your fabric without gaps. Insert hook in the FRONT LOOP ONLY of the first stitch indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), insert hook in the FRONT LOOP ONLY of the next st, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook; decrease made. 

Pattern:

Head / Body:

Rnd 1: With Shocking Pink make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

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 two sts, 2dc/sc] to end. (24 sts)

Rnd 5 – 9: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnd 10: 1dc/sc in 11 sts, 2dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 11 sts (26 sts)

Rnd 11: 1dc/sc in 12 sts, 2dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 12 sts (28 sts)

Rnd 12: 1dc/sc in 13 sts, 2dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 13 sts (30 sts)

Rnd 13: 1dc/sc in 14 sts, 2dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 14 sts (32 sts)

Rnd 14: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnds 15: dc/sc2tog, 1dc/sc in 13 sts, 1dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 13 sts, dc/sc2tog (30 sts)

Rnds 16—17: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnd 18: [1dc/sc in the next three sts, dc/sc2tog] to end. (24 sts)

Rnd 19: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnd 20: [1dc/sc in the next two sts, dc/sc2tog] to end. (18 sts)

Rnd 21: 1dc/sc in each st around

Cut two small flowers roughly 2.8cm (1.1in) high, cut a small hole in the centre of the flower and thread the safety eye stalk through the hole. Then add the safety eye between rnds 5 – 6 approximately 10 sts apart.

Stuff body.

Rnd 22: [1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog] to end. (12 sts)

Rnd 23: [dc/sc2tog] to end. (6 sts)

Fasten off with a sl st to the next st and using the yarn tail sew up the remaining six sts, weave in ends

Wings:

Make 2. Wings are not stuffed;

Rnd 1: With Ultra Violet 7ch, sl st in second ch from hook, 1dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 8tr/dc in the last st, then working on the other side of your beginning ch; 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 1dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 sl st in the last st.

Fasten off but leave long yarn tail for attaching to body.

Breast:

Make 1.

Rnd 1: With Ultra Violet make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

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 two sts, 2dc/sc] to end. (24 sts)

Fasten off but leave long yarn tail for attaching to body.

Tail Feather:

Make 1.

Rnd 1: With Ultra Violet make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

Fasten off but leave long yarn tail for attaching to body.

Making Up:

  • Cut a small diamond shape out of yellow felt approximately 2cm (0.78in) long.
  • Attach beak to the front of the head (in-between eyes) on rnd 6 with yellow sewing thread.
  • Attach the breast onto the front of the body over rnds 13 – 19.
  • Attach wings over rnds 13-18 on each side of the bird.
  • Attach the tail feather to the back of the body on rnd 16.
  • Add your silver thread (or use some Ultra Violet) in a loop to the back of the birds head on rnd 6 so your bird can be hung up.

And that’s it!

If you hook up my Little Kooky Bird 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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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Rainbow Chameleon and Lulu Lobster

Ooo it’s very exciting! LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine Issue 110 is on sale now and my Rainbow Chameleon is the cover star!!

I love chameleons, I know they look sort of weird but I think that’s exactly what I like about them.

As soon as I saw the yarn’s for this issue I knew he had to be made in a rainbow – not exactly great camouflage but I do so love a rainbow! 

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 110

SAVE CHAMELEON PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I also made another pattern for issue 110 which was Lulu the Lobster. I’ve always wanted to have a go at making a lobster amigurumi, but the obvious challenge to that is making the lobster look cute, because let’s face it lobster aren’t really known for their appealing looks!

What do you think? Did I succeed? 

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 110

SAVE LOBSTER PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

This month I’ve also contributed to an article called Crafting the Best Toys where, along with other toy makers, we share some top tips with you on crafting both crochet and knitted amigurumis.

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 110

There are lots of fab things in this month’s edition;  I really love the sweet little Granny Square eco friendly pattern of the Beeswax envelopes by Corinee Bradd and I also love Flora and Fleur the flowers pattern by Sarah Louise Reed – my daughter wants them for her bedroom!

And although I can’t knit I really love the Acrobatic areoplanes pattern by Nicola Valiji (which are available for FREE) and the gorgeous knitted pattern Jessica flamingo by Sachiyo Ishii.

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 110

There are 43 exclusive patterns in this months edition and you get your yarn and 3.5mm hook and 3.5mm knitting needles included with your 68 page magazine.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  

If you hook up either the Chameleon or the Lobster I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter 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

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Rico Design | Heartbreakers Booklet Review

Spring is here at last! It certainly feels that way here in the UK doesn’t it?!  There’s a lovely fresh smell to the air in the morning (which always makes me think of camping) and I’m loving that the days are getting warmer.

And with the Spring comes Easter, and Easter themed crochet!  I’ve recently been enjoying making some fun Easter decor projects from the ‘Heartbreakers’ booklet by Rico Designs

KCACOUK-Blog-Crochet-Easter_01

I was going to make a sample of one of the designs in the booklet for when I did my first crochet demo at Abakhan Fabrics, but I enjoyed making them so much that I actually made a couple of the different designs. 

The Heartbreaker booklet is actually from a series of booklets by Rico Designs which feature projects made from Ricorumi DK (Sports weight) cotton yarn. Ricorumi are handy 25g / 58m balls available in a colour pallet of 60 colours.

KCACOUK-Blog-Crochet-Easter_02.jpg

I’ve used Ricorumi before (in fact I’ve got a design coming soon made with it) and I find it lovely to work with and it gives amigurumi’s such great stitch definition. 

The Heartbreaker booklet features an adorable collection of designs in sweet pastel shades and includes patterns for a cute amigurumi bunny and lamb, a cherry blossom branch, floral wreath, an Easter garland, bunny egg warmers and a couple of different Easter egg designs.

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I made the bunny egg warmers first and I did a little test – you can pretty much make two of the bunny egg warmers (without facial features) with just one ball of ricorumi (though the ears on one of the bunnies might be a tad shorter than the other).

I thought that was really good though especially as Ricorumi usually retails around the the £1.10ish mark ($1.40ish) so it would cost next to nothing to make a couple of these as a little Easter gift for someone or to add to your Spring stall.

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Next I made one of the embroidered eggs which is done around a polystyrene egg to help keep it’s shape. I really enjoyed the embroidery part of the egg more than I thought I would actually and it’s kind of made me want to start embellishing more crochet things in that way.

I really enjoyed the little projects from the Rico design booklet and I think they are great value for money (usually about £3.60 / $4.69) which is about the price of a coffee and cookie – though it lasts for a lot longer!

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I’m actually going to have a go at one of the designs in the Lovely World of Ricorumi ‘Puppies’ booklet next to take along with me to one of future crochet demos at Abakhan Fabrics – I’ll let you know how I get on with him.

Have you tried Ricorumi yarn, or made something from one of the booklets? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

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

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Free Crochet Pattern | Bluebird of Happiness Amigurumi

So a while back an idea popped into my brain to make a little bluebird amigurumi. I think I’d read somewhere that they had something to do with being happy, so I did a little Google research and discovered that yes, bluebirds are seen as a symbol of happiness in many cultures which dates back thousands of years. How cool is that!

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I don’t think you can ever have TOO much felicity in your life and I liked the idea of making a wee bit for myself and of course sharing some joyousness with you!

Oh I apologise in advance for all the synonyms for happiness I use in this post – the thesaurus was my friend ladies and gentlemen! 

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Hopefully this free pattern will bring YOU a bit of good cheer and maybe you can pass on a bit of jocularity and glee if you make a little bluebird for someone else (or just make two and double the happy!) 

My eldest daughter has said that the bluebirds name is ‘Blue’ which isn’t incredibly original, bless her, but it certainly is very fitting! I made him in Scheepjes Catona Cyan Blue (Shade 397) which was exactly the colour I’d envisioned him to be.

And here is Blue enjoying some lovely Spring sunshine – as was I when I was taking these photos. I so do love Spring with it’s promise of warmer days, lighter evenings and blossoming flowers don’t you? We are waiting in anticipation here for the annual cherry tree blossom flowering of the trees that line our street – it’s always a joy to see.

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Worked in the round in amigurumi style this little bluebird is a quick project to make up and you can easily whip a couple up in an evening.

The fiddly (or fun bit depending on how you look at it) is making some wire feet, the wire I used was floral wire doubled together which I just twisted with my hands until they looked right. Alternatively one of my testers created a bird without legs so it looked like it was sitting (would look perfect with a little nest of yarn) and another tester used pipe cleaners for the feet, which I thought was a really good idea, and which might be easier to manipulate.

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The following 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.

SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Blue Bird of Happiness Amigurumi

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Materials:

Yarn: 4ply / Fingering Yarn Scheepjes Catona used in photos;

  • 1 x 25g / 62m x Cyan Blue (Shade 397)
  • 1 x 10g / 25m x Lemon (Shade 280)

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

Hook: 2.5mm hook (US size C/2)

You will also need:

  • Polyester toy stuffing
  • Florist or jewellery wire for feet
  • Black embroidery thread
  • Stitch Markers
  • Yarn Needle
  • PVC glue (optional)

Gauge: 5dc/sc = 2.5cm (1 inch)

Obtaining the correct gauge is not critical to this project but yarn amounts and finished size of projecy may differ if your gauge is different from mine.

Finished Size: 25cm (9.8 inches) from nose to tail

Abbreviations:

  • st(s) = stitch(es)        
  • sl st = slip stitch                            
  • ch(s) = chain
  • dc/sc = UK double crochet / US single  crochet
  • dc/sc2tog = UK double crochet 2 together / US double crochet 2 together
  • […] = Repeat the sequence between the square brackets by the number indicated.
  • (.. sts) = The number in round brackets at the end of the instruction indicates the number of stitches after working the row.

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 Double Crochet 2 together / US Single Crochet 2 together (dc/sc2tog):
  • Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), Insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook.

Pattern Notes:

Magic ring: is also known as a Drawstring Ring or Magic Loop and is often used as a start for working amigurumi. If you are not familiar with this technique you could substitute with a ch2 and then work in the second ch from the hook.

Working in the round: Most of the sections of this pattern are worked in the amigurumi style without joining in continuous rounds. Place the stitch marker in the top of the first st to mark the start of each round.

Invisible double crochet decrease: Invisible decreasing is a method of removing stitches to shape your fabric without gaps. Insert hook in the FRONT LOOP ONLY of the first stitch indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), insert hook in the FRONT LOOP ONLY of the next st, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook; decrease made. 

Pattern:

Head:

Rnd 1: With Cyan Blue make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

Rnd 2: [2dc] to end. (12 sts)

Rnd 3: [1dc, 2dc] to end. (18 sts)

Rnd 4: [1dc in the next two sts, 2dc] to end. (24 sts)

Rnd 5: [1dc in the next three sts, 2dc] to end. (30 sts)

Rnds 6 – 10: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 11: [1dc in the next three sts, dc2tog] to end. (24 sts)

Rnd 12: [1dc in the next two sts, dc2tog] to end. (18 sts)

Begin to stuff head; continuing to stuff as you go.

Rnd 13: [1dc, dc2tog] to end. (12 sts)

Rnd 14: [dc2tog] to end. (6 sts)

Fasten off with a sl st to the next st and using the yarn tail sew up the remaining six sts, weave in ends

Body:

Rnds 1—5: With Cyan Blue work as Head. (30sts)

Rnds 6 – 7: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 8: [1dc in the next three sts, dc2tog] to end. (24 sts)

Rnds 9 – 11: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 12: [1dc in the next two sts, dc2tog] to end. (18 sts)

Rnds 13 – 14: 1dc in each st around

Fasten off with a sl st to the next st, leave a long yarn tail for sewing head to the body. Stuff body.

Beak:

Beak is not stuffed;

Rnd 1: With Lemon make a magic ring, work 4dc into ring. (4 sts)

Rnd 2: 2dc in the first st, 1dc in the next 3sts (5 sts)

Rnd 3: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 4: 2dc in the first st, 1dc in the next 4sts (6sts)

Rnd 5: 1dc in each st around

Fasten off with a sl st to the next st, leave a long yarn tail for sewing beak to the head.

Wings:

Make 2. Wings are not stuffed;

Rnd 1: With Cyan Blue make a magic ring, work 5dc into ring. (5 sts)

Rnd 2: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 3: [2dc] to end. (10 sts)

Rnds 4-7: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 8: [1dc in the next three sts, dc2tog] to end. (8 sts)

Tail Feathers:

Make 3. Tail feathers are not stuffed;

Rnd 1: With Cyan Blue make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

Rnd 2: [1dc in the next two sts, 2dc] to end. (8 sts)

Rnds 3-8: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 9: [1dc in the next three sts, dc2tog] to end. (6 sts)

Making Up:

  • Attach the head to the body
  • Using black embroidery thread add an eye on either side of the head over rnds 5-7 approx 8 sts apart
  • Attach beak to the front of the head (in-between eyes) over rnds 6-8
  • Attach wings over rnds 10-11 on each side of the bird.
  • Attach the three tail feathers to the back of the body; two on rnd 6 and one above on rnd 7
  • Using the floral / jewellery wire fashion push the length through the bottom of the body of your bird (testing as you go to check the balance.
  • Fashion some bird feet at the end of each end of wire making sure your bird can stand without toppling over.
  • Wrap some lengths of Cyan yarn around the top of the leg and secure with a few stitches with your yarn needle to the body of your bird. You may wish to coat the yarn in a little PVC glue to stop it from slipping (optional).

And that’s it!

If you hook up my Blue Bird of Happiness 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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