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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Simply Crochet Magazine | Jewellery Set

I recently had the pleasure of designing a fun jewellery set for Issue 84 of Simply Crochet magazine (which is on sale now). On page 69 you can find the lovely bright set which includes a long necklace, a bracelet and some stud earings.

© Simply Crochet Magazine Issue 84

I have to say I’m quite in love with how they’ve turned out – crochet jewellery just has such a lovely tactile quality to it that I think you can’t fail to love.

These pieces are easy to make even if you have never crocheted jewellery before and especially if you crochet amigurumi as it uses the same technique. The only difference is that it’s working on a much smaller scale, which can take a little getting used to, and there is a bit of a knack to crocheting around beads – but working on this design you do get a lot of practice!

I used Scheepjes Maxi Sugar rush which is 2ply yarn and from a 1mm to 1.25mm hook and different sized wooden beads from 15 to 30mm. It’s the first time I’ve used Maxi Sugar rush but I think it would be great for other projects like adding a crocheted border to a plain outfit. It’s available in 87 shades so there is tons of choice and it’s a 50g ball so you can make LOADs of beads with that much. I wanted colours that were just really bright and kind of clashed when put together but that also worked too (if that makes sense).

Working with such tiny hooks certainly makes a change from what I normal use but actually I got a bit addicted to making the beads! There is something really soothing in the repetitiveness of it all.

Not to help with any yarn enabling (who am I kidding!) but I will just say that Deramores are doing a 10% discount on orders over £20 (with code: DERAS10) until 31 May 2019 if you did want the yarn I used to make the set.

The nice thing about making your own jewellery is that it can be fully customisable and can give an outfit a real blast of colour. I think make great gifts for friends too. Funnily enough my mum saw the set and said she wanted one too so I’m sure I’ll be making more in the future. As she wears a lot of red I might try the set in a block colour too as I think that would also look fab.

SAVE JEWELLERY SET ON RAVELRY HERE

There are actually loads of great patterns in Issue 84. I particularly love the C2C giraffe blanket by Hannah Cross (I can see me making that at some point!) and the cute and fluffy Orangutan by Ilaria Caliri. I’ve also added the amazing Summer Wrap by Ellen Deckers (aka Polevie) to my to do list (sooner rather than later hopefully) because it’s just so awesome!

© Simply Crochet Issue 84

If you hook the jewellery set 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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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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Simply Crochet 81 | Hook to Hook Challenge

If you are a fan of Simply Crochet magazine then you are probably familiar with their ‘Hook to Hook Challenges’ where two designers compete to come up with a unique pattern, to a given brief, using the same yarn.  I always love seeing these challenges as the results are always so different! So I was super excited to be asked to be one of the challengers for Issue 81. And this is what I came up with…

Butterfly-Card

© Intermediate Publishing

The theme for this challenge was ‘Mother’s Day Card’ and I was given five 10g mini balls of Scheepjes Catona and some card with which to design some motifs suitable to create a card to give on that special day.

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I actually came up with a few different ideas for card designs but in the end I settled on creating some butterfly motifs. I love butterflies, I just think they are wondrous creatures and always delight in seeing them so it was fun to come up with some small designs in keeping with my card idea.

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I also decided to add an extra handmade twist of embroidering with the yarn directly onto the card. That was really fun to do and it produced exactly the effect I was looking for with the card.

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As it was my mum that taught me how to crochet this Mother’s Day card would just be perfect for her! 

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I did laugh when I saw that my competitor was none other than Eleonora from Coastal Crochet! You may remember that I’ve met her a couple of times and interviewed her here on the blog too (read that here). It’s so fun to be up against someone I know and I certainly wouldn’t mind if she won.  I love Eleonora’s cat and floral motif card – it certainly is purrrfect for Mother’s day too! 

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One of the fun bits of the Hook to Hook Challenge is that YOU can vote for your favourite of the two designs on the Simply Crochet Instagram page. To vote, simply double tap and comment on the design you prefer, and one lucky reader will win all the yarn that you need to make the project.

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A winner will be announced on Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 1pm (GMT) on the Simply Crochet Instagram page, the competition is open to UK entrants only and T&C’s will apply.

So please, go check out the challenge, vote, and then I hope you’ll pop to the shops to pick up your copy of Simply Crochet Magazine for both Mother’s Day card patterns so you can have a go at making them yourself!

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

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Free Crochet Pattern |Mini Tapestry Christmas Tree Decorations

I love making Christmas decorations so when I got to try some Creativa Fino from Anchor Crafts (review of which you can read here) and as it’s December that’s what I decided to make.

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You can scroll down to the written patterns and the charts for the Christmas Wreath and Christmas Tree mini tapestry pillow tree decorations below, but if you are new to tapestry crochet you might want have a look at my mini tapestry crochet tutorial first.

Mini Tapestry Crochet Christmas Tree Decorations:

Materials:

Yarn: 4ply / yarn weight #2

1 x 10g Anchor Creativa

  • Blue (Shade 00269)
  • Green (Shade 00418)
  • Brown (Shade 00257)

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

Hook: 2.5mm (US size C/2)

You will also need:

  • 1 x Anchor Grey Stranded Cotton (232)
  • A yarn needle
  • 1 x Small red bow
  • 8 x Small Red / 8 x Small Silver Beads
  • 1 x Small Star or Snowflake button
  • Small amount of polyester toy filler

Gauge: 5dc = 2cm (0.78inches)

Finished Size:  7 x 7cm (2.75 x 2.75 inches)

Abbreviations:

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain
  • dc/sc = UK double crochet / US single crochet
  • cc = change colour (see guidance for details)

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.

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.

Tapestry Crochet:

When changing to and from a colour carry the  unused coloured yarn along with you and crochet over the unused colour as they are carried along, when turning carry your yarn up the side of your work to use on the next row.

Surface Crochet:

Start by attaching a slip knot to the back of the crochet area then from the front of the work,  insert your hook into the stitch nearby and start working chain stitches on the surface of your crocheted area, continue to work in this way  according to the design.

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Christmas Wreath (Make 2):

Row 1: With Blue; ch14; 1dc in the second ch from hook and in st along until end, turn. 13sts

Row 2: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 5sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 4sts, turn

Row 3: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 2sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 7sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 3sts, turn

Row 4: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next st, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 2sts, turn

Row 5: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the  beginning ch1, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the next 5sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining st, turn

Rowd 6-8: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 2sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the next 7sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 2sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining st, turn

Row 9: Repeat row 5

Row 10: Repeat row 4

Row 11: Repeat row 3

Row 12: Repeat row 2 – cut green yarn at the end of this row

Row 13: Ch1; 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the second ch from hook and in st along until end, turn. 13sts

  • Fasten off and weave in ends.
  • With Green surface crochet around the outside of the wreath shape.
  • On one side of the wreath shape sew a small red bow and eight red beads around the wreath – see photo above for more details.

Anchor-Tapestry-Xmas-04

Christmas Tree (Make 2):

Row 1: With Blue; ch14; 1dc in the second ch from hook and in st along until end, turn. 13sts

Rows 2-3: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 4sts, cc to Brown, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 5sts, turn

Row 4: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Brown, 1dc in the next 5sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 4sts, turn

Row 5: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 5sts, cc to Brown, 1dc in the next st, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 6sts, turn

Row 6: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next st, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 9sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 2sts, turn

Rows 7 – 8: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 2sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 7sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 3sts, turn

Rows 9 – 10: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 5sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 4sts, turn

Row 11: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 4sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next 3sts, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 5sts, turn

Row 11: Ch1, 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the next 5sts, cc to Green, 1dc in the next st, cc to Blue, 1dc in the remaining 6sts, turn – cut green yarn at the end of this row

Row 13: Ch1; 1dc in the same st as the beginning ch1, 1dc in the second ch from hook and in st along until end, turn. 13sts. Fasten off and weave in ends.

  • With Green / Brown surface crochet around the outside of the tree shape.
  • On one side of the tree shape sew small star or snowflake button at the top and eight silver beads for baubles on the tree – see photo for more details.

Finishing:

  1. Place both wreaths / Christmas tree pieces  together, attach blue yarn through both pieces and neatly work 1dc/sc along each edge with 5dc/sc in each corner. Stuff as you go. Fasten off and weave in ends
  2. With Anchor Grey Stranded Cotton Ch30, fasten off but leave long yarn tail.
  3. Attach to the top centre of each pillow decoration as the hanging loop.

Charts:

Christmas-Wreath-Chart

Christmas-Tree-Chart

I hope you will join me in hooking up some little pillow decorations, they are really fun to make! I hope you’ll tag me on social media or link any projects to Ravelry so I can see – I love to see what you make.

Many thanks to Anchor Crafts for supplying the yarn so I could make this pattern for you.

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

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Tapestry Crochet: Step-by-step mini tutorial

So yesterday if you were here on the blog you will have seen my review of Anchor Creativa Fino yarn that Anchor crafts kindly sent me to try.  I also shared with you a little sneeky peep of the free patterns I’m sharing with you today.

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I thought I’d do a bit of a double post today, in this post I’m going to first talk about how I do tapestry crochet working in rows to make it easier, for folks that haven’t tried it before, to go onto the patterns for both decorations next.

Tapestry crochet is one of those that might seem a little intimidating because it can involve a lot of different yarn colour changes, but I’m going to show you below how easy it is – and how to weave most of your ends as you go!

The main thing you need to know is that you will be working normal UK double crochet (US single crochet) stitches. The only difference is that you will carry additional yarn along with you and working over it as you crochet the row. 

Step 1:

Work your rows and stitches as the pattern indicates as normal…

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Step 2:

Then on the next row where you have to change colour, lay your second colour along your row and work over the top of it until it’s time for you to actually change colour…

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Step 3:

When changing to a different colour, pull the new colour through the last two loops of the previous stitch to complete that stitch…

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Step 4:

Continue in the new colour, following the pattern. Change colours in this manner, whenever indicated on the pattern…

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Step 5:

When you get to the end of the row carry your yarn up the side of your work…

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Step 6:

Then carry the unused coloured yarn along and crochet over the unused colour to work the next row…

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And that’s pretty much it! Keep working the steps above until you have finished the tapestry part of your work as indicated in the pattern.

There are often  two types of instructions available for tapestry crochet patterns; a written pattern and a pictorial chart. For a pictorial chart you usually work one UK double crochet (US single crochet) per square indicated.

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In the pattern coming shortly I’ve included both the written pattern and a pictorial  chart for both the Christmas tree and the Christmas wreath crochet decoration so you can decided which you prefer.

Many thanks to Anchor Crafts for supplying the yarn so I could make this pattern for you.

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

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Anchor | Creativa Fino Yarn Review

I had a lovely email recently from Anchor Yarns to see if I would like to review some of their yarn. I’d heard of Anchor crafts through their embroidery threads but I must confess that I hadn’t realised that they also had a range of cottons suitable for crochet.

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I enjoy doing the research into yarn companies because they often come from such a rich heritage! And Anchor crafts are no different; the brand can trace back it’s history all the way to 1866 originating in Scotland. As years passed the manufacture of Anchor threads moved from Scotland then to Germany and today, the Anchor brand in Europe is manufactured by Mezcrafts in Hungary.

As well as supply yarn they also seem to have a great ethos as a company; they mention on their website that they are continuously building and improving their ecological footprint by looking to reduce CO2 emissions, have minimal textile waste and through low water consumption. All good stuff! 

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Anchor offer a wide variety of yarns of different thicknesses and compositions suitable for many craft techniques but for crochet they sent me some of their Anchor Creativa to play with.

So let’s check out the yarn’s vital statistics we: 

  • Weight:  4ply / Fingering Weight (2)
  • Blend: 100% Cotton
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 50g
  • Yarn Ball Length: 125m
  • Wash instructions: Machine Wash 40°C
  • Price: £1.90 (at the time of this post)

It’s available in a whopping 72 solid shades in 4ply (and in 8ply) but I was sent a nice selection of six different colours to play with.

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It’s really nice yarn to use, it’s very smooth, not rough to work with and as a cotton is great for home decor items and wearables as it’s machine washable – ideal for easy care! The recommended hook size is 2.5mm (US size C/2) which I found to be spot on for me, and I had fun trying out a couple of ideas, but I’ll share a little sneaky peek of the first idea I came up with now…

As it’s Christmas and I love making Christmas decorations I had the idea to make some little Christmas pillow decorations for the tree.  They are a great beginners project to tapestry crochet (of which I’ll share a bit of a photo tutorial), they are quick to make (easily finished in an evening) and so make a fabulous little project for either you or as a seasonal gift for a friend.

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Check back tomorrow for the pattern and tapestry charts for both the Christmas tree and the wreath Christmas crochet decorations.

Many thanks to Anchor Crafts for supplying the yarn so I could make this pattern for you.

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

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Amigurumipatterns.net | Prehistoric Times Design Contest

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I do enjoy the Amigurumipatterns.net  design contests – you may remember that I entered their ‘fantasy’ competition last year (read about it here) and weirdly when I saw this years ‘theme’ I was actually making a dinosaur! Call that serendipity or fate – I dunno but I thought it definitely seemed that I should enter my project.

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve probably seen my gradual progress of Stefan the baby Stegosaurus from my initial sketched design…

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I chose some of my favourite yarns; Scheepjes Stonewashed and Scheepjes Catona to make him with and then I posted photos of the progress I made as he developed…

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Until he was all put together and ready for a cuddle!

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And now the voting to the competition is OPEN! If you happen to like Stefan the Baby Stegosaurus could you please spare me a few moments to go vote for him. Your vote counts, and that’s why there’s three special Voters Prizes up for grabs! By voting you take part in the raffle to win 3 x 100 colors Must-Have Minis by Yarn and Colors!

HOW TO VOTE:

  • Go to the voting page on Allcrochetpatterns.net
  • Click the heart-button of TEN of your granny squares
  • Enter your name and email address in the pop-up screen to submit your vote.
  • Please note: multiple votings by one person will be removed.

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Voting will take place from November 25 until December 2 and the three designs with the highest amount of votes will be announced as the winners.

As always there are seriously so many amazing designs from inventive designers and I’ve voted for my favourites – good luck to all designers taking part!

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

 

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Another fabulous weekend at The Crochet Sanctuary…

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What an amazing weekend I’ve just had at The Crochet Sanctuary!! It’s going to be hard to try and explain what a refreshing, relaxing and just downright fun time I had, but I’ll give it a go! 

You may remember that in February Mr. KCACO-UK bought me a day pass to The Crochet Sanctuary at the beautiful Cranage Hall in Crewe (which you can read about here). It was whilst I was there that the lovely Lisa and Lynda-Rose did me the very great honour of asking me if I’d like to host a workshop. I was delighted to be asked and of course I said YES please!

I think I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really have many crocheting friends that live close to me – or they are more dabblers in crochet rather than a self proclaimed addict like me. The majority of my crochet buddies I’ve only met virtually via social media so the opportunity to meet up with other creative folks that share my passion for crochet – and love to talk about it as much as I do is absolutely wonderful!

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I would describe myself as a bit of an introverted extrovert if there is such a thing. There are times where I feel a little awkward in social situations, but I also really love to chat once I get to know people. I love how the crochet sanctuary always makes me feel so welcome and straight away they seem to put everyone at there ease. 

On this occasion we were a nice cosy group of about 15 people and our room was a circle of comfy chairs covered in crochet blankets and cushions where we could make ourselves at home. There was also a spinning wheel of sweets (yes really!), prosecco, water, tea/coffee or locally produced cordial to drink, snacks galore and of course lots and lots of lovely yarn!

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We started off with a really fun ice-breaker to get to know each other which included being sorted by a talking Harry Potteresque sorting hat (I was Ravenclaw!).  And waiting for us on our seats was a giant goodie bag full of our first project.

We were given a complete Mabel the giant amigurumi Bunny by Wool Couture which I was very excited about. This was my first time making an mega large ami and the pure merino yarn was just soooooo squishy! The colour chosen for us was ‘mink’ which is what the original Mabel was made of and away we started hooking…

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We hooked until 7pm then it was time for a three course meal down in the restaurant (which was delicious) and then we went back up to the room for more crochet and chatting…and I may have just stayed up until 1am!! Time seriously just flew by! But everyone could have a lie in the next day until 9am (which when you think I usually get up at 6am – or earlier with my two early-bird girls was heavenly).

After a scrummy buffet style breakfast it was back up to the room for our next project and we were joined by some more people that had a day pass. This time our Lisa and Lynda had designed hot-water bottle covers for us to make. There were two different applique designs to choose from, either butterflies or stars, and we were also given a hot-water bottle and all the yarn we would need. I was pleased to see the Scheepjes Softfun Denim (which you may remember I used for the Stitch Story CAL) and some Scheepjes Catona (which is some of my favourite yarn to use) and by lunchtime I’d hooked up one completed panel of my hot-water bottle. Then it was off for another delicious two course lunch (we were so well fed the whole weekend!)

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Then it was time to get ready for my workshop…squeak!!! I was rather nervous but I’d taken along some of my favourite designs to talk about including the Leafy Boughs Shawl (on top) some crochet blankets I’d made for Simply Crochet magazine, the Stitch Story CAL blankets and various amigurumi…

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I also chatted a bit about Dear Ewe and our products which had it’s up close and personal debut that weekend with folks attending the sanctuary…

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And then I introduced the design we were going to be working on for the rest of the afternoon. Lisa and Lynda let me decide what I was going to do for my workshop, though they did suggest they’d maybe like to see an amigurumi. I thought long and hard about what I was going to do when I happened upon this photo…it was a serendipitous moment where the photo  just seemed to encapsulate perfectly what I wanted for The Crochet Sanctuary. Something fun and something to convey how the sanctuary made me feel – just completely relaxed!

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From that inspiration I came up with the design for Relaxing Ralph (pattern release coming soon), complete with optional hammock (and stand made by my lovely Dad).

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My chosen yarn for Ralph was Scheepjes Stonewashed XL combined with normal Stonewashed DK and some trusty Catona. It was super fun to watch everyone begin their cats – and a relatively new experience for me to be present when someone actually makes one of my patterns.

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The rest of the afternoon until 6pm-ish (when the day people left us_ was taken up with making our kitties, then we all had a little rest before meeting for another scrumptious three course meal in the restaurant at 7pm.

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Then for those that wanted to we all went back up to the room to do some more crocheting, and there was wine and gin (and soft drinks) shared around and oh my word just such belly laughter! Such a fabulous evening where something will just never be referred to in the same way ever again! Then before I knew it, it was 11.30pm and I really needed to sleep! 

Sunday until 3pm (when the Sanctuary finishes) was given over for time to finished off our projects (and of course another delicious breakfast and lunch). It was wonderful that nearly everyone wanted to finish off their cats and before I knew it Ralph was joined by Regina Phalangi, Hilda, Jasper, Cinnamon, Heather, Reba, Gary, Julian and Gordon! We couldn’t resist a little photo shoot with all the cats…

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Everyone did such an AMAZING job with their cats! And before I knew it the cats were getting up to all sorts of mischief! Sliding down banisters…

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and checking out the cat local population!

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And then there was just time for a fabulous group photo on the steps before packing up our belongs to go home (with some many goodies in our bags!).

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All in all a thoroughly wonderful weekend which I was lucky enough to share with the most wonderful group of people!

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 to that the dates for 2018 are all now sold out and the dates for 2019 are selling out fast – but you can book on the remaining dates here.

I have to say I’m totally getting addicted to these weekends and may have just booked on a few more myself for this year – I’m looking forward to my next day visit in November.

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

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Yarn Review and New Project | Scheepjes Stardust

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I love it when I find a new yarn to play with! Stardust yarn was released by the Dutch company Scheepjes at the end of 2016 but it was a new yarn to me. I came across it when I was searching the web for a particular yarn to make a wedding shawl (more on that later) and when I saw this yarn I just KNEW it had been what I was searching for. 

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I really wanted something a little special for this project and Stardust contains really fine sparkling fibres that add a gorgeous shimmer when they catch the light. I must confess I was a bit worried about the scratchy element,  like some sparkle yarns can be, but I need not have worried, when this yarn turned up it was super soft without being scratchy.

So let’s check out the yarn’s vital statistics we: 

  • Weight:  Double Knit (3)
  • Blend: 11% mohair, 11% wool, 75% premium acrylic, 3% metallic polyester
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 100g
  • Yarn Ball Length: 540m
  • Wash instructions: Cool, gentle hand wash only.
  • Price: £5.80 (at the time of this post)

Stardust is available in 9 solid and 5 long variegated shades, each named after a star constellation – which I love! Who doesn’t want to hook up the stars!

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I chose Capricorn (Shade 653) for my particular project but it just might be that I have since purchased some more Stardust since then…

I may just have bought some Pisces (Shade 654), because I fell in love with the gorgeousness of the blue, and maybe some Virgo (Shade 664) also fell into my basket because I was born in September so I had to! What can I say…I know I’m a yarn addict!

I’m not usually much of a pink person but the Virgo is such a delightful variegated combination…and you can just make out the hint of shine I was talking about. 

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It’s hard to catch the lovely sparkle in a photo, this yarn is much better in real life and when it’s made into a garment it’s best – it needs movement to make it really shine! 

Stardust comes in large 100g / 540m balls which means you could easily make a project out of one ball. The particular blend of different yarns creates a lovely lightweight fabric when worked up with a lovely drape –  just perfect for a shawl or wrap. For my wrap I ended up using 3 balls which still isn’t going to break the bank – especially for a luxe handmade shawl.  

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I so enjoyed the effect this yarn creates when worked up, seriously can’t say enough about the sparkle, so decided to stick with a fairly simple design to let the yarn do the talking. Like most fluffy yarns it’s not the easiest to frog if you go wrong which was another reason I kept the pattern simple.  I’ll let you have a little peep at the design I came up with…

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The free crochet pattern for the Shining Light Wedding Wrap will be coming to the blog soon!

Have you worked with Stardust yarn – what did you think?

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

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