How to repair a broken granny square blanket

I was recently asked by the owner of the Artisan Boutique, where I sometimes do some crochet workshops, if it would be possible to mend a customers granny square blanket for her.

The blanket had been so well loved, and passed through a variety of different children in the family, that some of the squares had unravelled or almost disintegrated entirely!

The blanket was in a very sorry state with nine squares in total needing repair but I thought it could be fixed successfully – and I thought you guys might find it useful to know how to repair a granny square blanket too, just in case you are ever faced with a broken granny situation.

Repairing a granny square does take a bit of time! Depending on the severity of hole and the size of the square you’ll need to fix you’ll firstly want to choose a time where you can concentrate and be uninterrupted, as once you are in the process of repairing you really don’t want to be having to get up and run around somewhere.

To give you an example of time to set aside most of the squares I had to fix were of four rounds – and it took me at least an hour to make the new piece and fix that into place (and I’ve been told I’m not a slow crocheter). You could make a fair few brand new granny squares in that time. But for those blankets steeped in family stories and history that NEED to be kept as a keepsake, this method can be a perfect lifesaver!

This method is for any blanket that has a granny square that has unravelled from the centre but that has salvageable sections on the outer edges of the square.

What you will need:

  • Scrap bits of yarn roughly matching the yarn weight, fibre content (e.g. acrylic) and colours of the square you are going to replace,
  • A crochet hook to match the previous gauge, I do this by eye but roughly you’d probably use a 4mm (US size G) for DK (Light Worsted) or 5mm (US size H) for Aran (Worsted). If you are not sure make up a square with a hook first and see if it will fit the gap. A bit smaller is better, then it won’t be prone to sagging when it’s washed at a later date.
  • Sharp pair of scissors,
  • Lots of stitch markers with enough space on them to hold a cluster of three stitches,
  • A large wool / tapestry needle,
  • Optional: A small crochet hook (such as a 2.75 / US size C) to help pass the loop through stitches.
  • Optional: A table. Whilst you can make repairs with your crochet on your knee you’ll find it infinitely easier to fix broken squares working on a flat surface with you sitting comfortably!

Step 1:

Carefully snip away the damaged square to the point where the original stitches / yarn is strong enough. It’s important to not snip or untwist any of the original crochet stitches that are to be kept and worked on.

Sometimes you can save the centre of a square, you have cut away, to use again on a new square, just unravel where possible and use the yarn to remake your new granny square.

Step 2:

Making sure that your granny square blanket is right side facing add your stitch markers to each of the stitches you have saved; to stop them twisting and unravelling whilst you make your repair.

Step 3:

Make a new granny square to fit the space you have cut away. Snip yarn leaving a 10cm (4 inches) yarn tail. Weave in all ends EXCEPT the yarn tail have just crocheted with.

Step 4:

Unravel the last round you have just made to your first 3ch of the round, this will be exactly the amount of yarn you need to fix your new granny square replacement into the relevant gap. Thread your needle onto the yarn tail.

Step 5:

Line up your granny square in the gap so corners correspond and then thread the yarn tail end through the next bottom set of granny stitches.

Then using the small crochet hook pull through the loop of the top of the three chain through the bottom of the first cluster of granny stitches.

Step 6:

With your gauge sized hook; crochet in the next space as you would crochet a usual set of trebles (US double crochet) to make a granny square cluster.

Remove the stitch marker from the end of the cluster you have just passed your yarn / loop through. Double check that your square is still in the right place – it’s very easy to misalign your squares as you work!

To complete a corner, work the first granny square stitches next to the corner as usual, then thread the yarn / loop, through the bottom of TWO cluster of granny stitches (that form the corner), ch2, and then work the next granny square stitches as normal. Adjust the ch2 so that it fits through the bottom of the two clusters of granny stitches.

Step 7:

Continue to work your way around the square repeating the process from step 5 onwards; paying careful attention when you get to a corner.

And that’s it!

I hope that this tutorial helps your old blankets live on for many more years to come! Let me know if you find this tutorial useful, I’d love to hear the tales of blankets that have been saved!

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

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Vanishing Act and Foxes

Hello!!! I’m so sorry for my absence on the blog – in the third week of September I came down with what I thought was a stomach bug and which actually turned out to be a gangrenous appendix complete with abscess and perforation!

After a long hospital stay, where I was pumped full of IV antibiotics, I can thankfully say that I’m now home. I’m still working on my recovery, but I’m beginning to be much better than I was, thank goodness! It’s been rather a scary time!

From being ill it’s probably been over a month in all since I picked up a crochet hook, which is a pretty long time for me, and as I’ve been feeling better I’ve been looking forward to crocheting. It was actually really nice to pick up my yarn and hook – like greeting an old friend!

I wanted to start off with something small and it coincided with my eldest daughter asking me if I would make her a fox hat. So I went looking in my stash and discovered that I’d got some lovely Scheepjes Chunky Monkey anti piling, in a rust colour, that was just the perfect colour for a fox.

If you aren’t familiar with Scheepjes Chunky Monkey anti piling it’s a new aran / worsted weight yarn that compliments the colours in Scheepjes Colour Crafter. Classed as hypoallergenic premium acrylic it’s lovely and thick and squishy! And as it’s anti pilling it’s just perfect for children’s hats which will be in frequent use no doubt this winter.

I let Little G decide which style hat she wanted and she chose the Fox Hat by Sarah Zimmerman which is actually a free hat on Ravelry / or her blog. I just love the little cheek tufts on the side, makes it look very foxy!

© Sarah Zimmerman

After I’d made the one for Little G (with a few modifications for her specific head and comfort) I realised I had enough left to make Little Miss one too so I made a slightly smaller second hat. I do love to see my girls in matching things sometimes (only if they are happy about it of course).

I was really pleased with how they turned out, both girls have been wearing them round the house (pretty much as soon as I made them) – you can’t get a bigger compliment than that can you! The only thing left for me to do is I’m going to make a bow for each hat of their favourite colour as an accessory for ease of knowing who’s hat is who’s in a rush.

It was nice to end up with two finished items, I’m terrible at collecting WIPs, but I’m looking forward now to catching up with a couple of projects that had to be put on the backburner whilst I was poorly.

I hope you have been enjoying good health and a hooky time – what have you been making? I’d love to hear about it.

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

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Bit of a roll with C2C…Cedar River Crochet Blanket

Howdy folks! How are you? And me? Well I’m on a bit of a roll with corner to corner (c2c) blankets actually and I forgot to tell you all about this other blanket I finished!

You may remember that I posted about the fun ZZ Block baby blanket I made (read about that here) which was completely non-traditional – well for my latest c2c project I’ve kept to a more traditional palette. 

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So here’s the finished blanket I made – what do you think? I seriously love how fast c2c blankets work up and this one, although this blanket is made up from smaller motifs, still works up relatively quickly.

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The pattern is the Cedar River blanket by Kat Goldin (of Gartur Stitch Farm) which she originally created as a crochet-along for Deramores in 2015. I missed this design somehow when it was the crochet-along but stumbled upon it when I was looking for C2C blankets ideas and I love the bold geometric shapes the motifs create when put together in a certain way using different colours.

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© deramores.com 2015

For my colour choice I turned to my favourite gender neutral colour combination grey, white and yellow (or grellow as it’s also known). As my friend didn’t know what she was having I thought those colours would be perfect for her little one – and also I know her pram is grey so I thought having a little grey in the colour scheme would work perfectly.

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I may have mentioned that I’m trying to be good, where buying yarn is concerned, as I really do have so much, so I went stash diving again for this blanket and found some StyleCraft Aran yarn so I didn’t have to buy anymore. The pattern is actually written for making in double knit and a 4mm so I knew my blanket would come out a little bit bigger using the Aran (worsted) and a larger hook but that’s the yarn I had enough for so I just went with it! In case you were wondering what colours I used in my version they are;

  • White (1001)
  • Lemon (1020)
  • Grey (1099)

The blanket was obviously bigger in the end but still okay as a baby blanket or a lap blanket I thought.

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It’s always a nice rest for me working on someone else’s pattern because I’m not having to do the brain work, someone has already done all that for me, and I can just hook away without having to stop and make notes and that sort of thing.

More often that not I have these sorts of projects as the ones I take out and about with me too as it’s more difficult to be designing on the go – do you have projects like that? This one was great for taking out and about with it being motifs and I remember a lot of it being completed on various train journeys! 

The clever design of this blanket produces such a pleasing effect that I just love and mum to be loved it too. If you like this blanket it’s available for free from Deramores – where you can also buy the yarn for the blanket too if you are inclined to do so.

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I’m now looking for my next c2c blanket project – do you have any suggestions of ones you have enjoyed? I’d love to hear them.

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

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So I finished a thing…ZZ Block Crochet Blanket

Hey folks! I’m celebrating today as I’ve finished a thing!!! I’ve completed a whole baby blanket for one of my lovely friends who is expecting a second baby boy later this month.

I do like to make my friends a baby blanket if I can, and I adore seeing their little ones wrapped up in something I’ve made them – it’s a guaranteed way to make me smile. But then I love to see children either wrapped in or dressed in handmade things full stop don’t you? 

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So here’s the finished blanket I made – what do you think? I love how this blanket turned out, my husband calls it the superhero blanket because it’s got that cool zig zag flash design running through it!

The pattern is the ZZ Block blanket by fellow blogger Rosina (aka Zeens and Roger) and when she posted this design on Instagram back in October last year it was a serendipitous moment – I knew it was going to be the perfect blanket to make for my colour loving friend!

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My friend comes from Zimbabwe and she’s an avid lover of all bright colours and the bold graphic c2c design by Rosina just seemed to fit what she’d like perfectly.

I don’t know if you’ve seen Rosina’s original blanket but it features the zig zag in yellow, turquoise, blue, magenta and pink on a grey background. 

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© Zeens and Roger 2018

I really loved the colours she used and the grey contrast but I personally really wanted to see what that zig zag looked like in a rainbow! Plus I’d found the perfect set of bright little baby tops that I knew would fit perfectly with my rainbow theme – especially if I could colour match!

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As I’m trying to be good, where buying yarn is concerned, I went stash diving and found some of the Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran yarn I had left over from making my zig zag zing cushion (free pattern from LoveCrochet available here) and I had enough Paintbox yarn to complete the rainbow colours. I did have to buy a bit more grey – but I figured as I was using up some of my stash then it was still good to do that! The Paintbox  colours I finally ended up using (in case you want to know were):

  • Granite Grey (206)
  • Rose Red (213)
  • Mandarin Orange (217)
  • Buttercup Yellow (222)
  • Neon Green (210)
  • Marine Blue (233)

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In the pattern notes it suggests that if using a 4.5mm hook and aran (worsted) weight yarn (which I planned to) that the blanket would be 80 x 110cm / 32 x 43 inches. This was going to be a bit big for the amount of yarn I had so I fiddled a bit with the initial pattern a bit to reduce it slightly. It’s still the pattern in a nutshell, just smaller as I was careful to keep the integrity of the design feature that I loved. I didn’t actually measure the finished blanket (I forgot!) before I gifted it but it ended up what I would say was just the right size for a baby blanket / lap blanket.

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I was so pleased with the end result of this blanket and mum to be loved it too – especially because of all the bright colours which I knew she would!

If you like this blanket the chart (it’s not a written pattern) is available for purchase from the Zeens and Roger Ravelry store where there’s also a link to a video with extra C2C help if you need it.

Sometimes it’s nice to go non-traditional for a baby blanket isn’t it as the end results can be really fun! Do you like to go non traditional or would you usually make something for a baby in more traditional pastels perhaps? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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

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KCACOUK CAL 2018 | Stitch Story CAL Inspiration

Our stitch story crochet along journey is at an end! But don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL you can find the full schedule here and I promise to keep all the details on the blog FOREVER.

Now it’s time to fold up my blanket because I’m going to share some of the amazing finished Stitch Story Crochet blankets made by YOU!

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But first I need to share Esther’s, from It’s All in A Nutshell, finished blanket! I know many of you really enjoyed Esther’s accompanying videos to the CAL and the link to her tutorials on her blog here (I’ve also added the link on the main CAL page). It’s so pretty in that colourway isn’t it (Scheepjes Riverwashed Shade Wheaton)! 

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I love that people have chosen to make blankets all in one colour like mine or multicoloured like my mums. All the colourways that were shared with me were fantastic and pretty but I have just selected a few different for inspiration purposes. So without further ado here are some unbelievably gorgeous blankets to feast your eyes on – and I’ve also added some of the stories the blanket owners have shared!

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Made by Gerda for her daughter 💕

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Made by Barbara and for her son who likes to steal this blanket to snuggle under! 💕

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Ruby took joy in the creating of her beautiful blue blanket 💕

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Made by Linda for her daughter who loved the gift 💕

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Made in different tonal blues by Sara 💕

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Lynn hooked 3 of each of the large blocks for her pretty blanket 💕

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Elizabeth made only the little blocks and chose a lovely grouped arrangement 💕

Aren’t they just all stunning! Thanks again to everyone that joined in the CAL with me this year and that shared their beautiful work with me! I loved seeing your finished blankets 💕

I need at this point to say some quick thank you’s! I’ll try not to turn it into too much of an Oscar speech but I feel it’s important to acknowledge all the people behind the scenes that helped make this CAL happen!

Many thanks to Scheepjes for supplying the yarn for both blankets and so I could make this pattern for you. I need to thank Esther (It’s All in A Nutshell) for making the wonderful CAL video tutorials and to Iris who wonderfully translated the CAL from English to Dutch (which you can find on her blog Een Mooi Gebaar links to all the posts are here).

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I need to say a MAHOOSIVE thank you to all the testers that helped with the colossal task of turning my scribbles into something legible for you all to make! Big shout outs to Jean, Steff, Dianne, Peggy, Kim, Leanne, Olwyn, Kimberlie, Jenn, Dulcy and Marie! 

Thanks as always to my eldest daughter for posing in photos for me (even without marshmallow bribes!) and to my husband for driving round to find that perfect spot for a photo!

And I can’t write this post without thanking the lady without whom I just wouldn’t have ever finished two blankets in time. My lovely mum! I love the fact that we did this together and thank you for helping me with my crochet story, for your weaving in ends prowess and for rolling up your sleeves to just help me get it done! 💕

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To be the first to find out about the crochet along for 2019 (later this year) you might like to subscribe to the blog here (if you haven’t already), sign up to my newsletter and / or join the KCACOUK Community Facebook group.

Until next time thank you for hooking along with me!

Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Skimming Stones MCAL | Finally Finished!

So today I’m going to celebrate the fact that I’ve finally finished off a WIP (work in progress) that’s been sitting by my chair for the last four months…which isn’t TOO bad I suppose. I’m sure I’ve got other WIPs that are gathering cobwebs in dusty recesses of hidden boxes and bags…but we won’t mention those. 

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Today it’s all about the WIP that is no longer in a state of incompleteness. Cue triumphant fanfare…my Skimming Stones Shawl is finally finished!

I don’t know if you remember but I joined the Crochet-Along (CAL) by designers Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace (aka The Crochet Project) for their Skimming Stones Mystery Crochet A-Long that ran over June and July this year. You can  read about my start here but, as with most things that are for myself, it got put to one side whilst I had to work on other commissions and things. 

But I recently had a little bit of time to get it finished off, blocked and ready to wear. And actually as the weather is turning colder in this part of the UK it couldn’t have come at a better time!

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I did a complete wet block for this shawl as it had been scrunched up in a WIP bag for ages. I left it pinned out over night on foam mats on the floor, which my family was really pleased to have to walk around, and the next day I did the fun unpinning part to see it in it’s new shape!

It turned out so pretty – I love this colour combination of Scheepjes Stonewashed together and I love the texture and the edging…

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I was very lucky to get a bit of winter sunshine to take some photos – I hate this time of year when there’s very little natural light around (or it’s so grey outside it still seems like night time!) but Mr Sun was very obliging on this occasion…

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We have a lovely wall of ivy in the back garden that stays green all year round, it’s one of my favourite places to use as a backdrop, and I think it really helps show you how the colours really appear!

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My new shawl is going to keep me lovely and cosy! But I’ve still got shawl fever and want to make another one!

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So I’ve been thinking about what other WIP projects I might start to work on in between other things. I’m not going to do another CAL right now but  I’ve got my eye on the stunning Grinda Shawl by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk aka Lilla Bjorn which was released as a MCAL by Scheepjes

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That MCAL has finished now but I think the pattern is absolutely smashing and I have a Scheepjes Whirl (Black Forest Zinger) in my stash which I think has this shawls written all over it! Watch this space!

Have you made the Grinda Shawl? I’d love to hear about it and your top tips before I start.

Until next time! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Skimming Stones MCAL | Parts 1 and 2 done!

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It’s work in progress Wednesday! If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen that over June and July my WIP is the Skimming Stones Mystery Crochet A-Long by designers Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace (aka The Crochet Project). It’s a paid for pattern CAL that started on 20 June with a new section released each week for a total of 4 weeks.

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There’s always so many amazing CALs out there but unless it’s my own CAL I’m usually a bit rubbish at not letting other things get in the way. However the Skimming Stones CAL seemed manageable (for me) as it’s four parts released on a weekly basis. So not too long a CAL to start impeding on my other commitments and the right kind of project to make me feel like I’ve really accomplished something as I get a nice new shawl just for me at the end.

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And I was extremely good and didn’t buy any new yarn for this project (I’m not ill I promise!) I just really need to start using some of my own yarn stash before we all become buried alive in it. And I have some lovely stuff in my stash, so I’m beginning to try and get more of a use it up attitude – so it was stash shopping I went!

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I picked out some of my favourite yarn, Scheepjes Stonewashed, from my stash in the following colours and amounts:

Col A = 2 x 50g / 260 metres of Smokey Quartz (802) 
Col B = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Corundum Ruby (808) 
Col C = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Lilac Quartz (818) 
Col D = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Amazonite (813) 
Col E = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Crystal Quartz (814)

And I’m pretty much in love with how these colours are working together! With the Stonewashed I’ve used a 3.5mm (US size E) hook and of course keeping all my WIP together in a handy Dear Ewe project bag 😉

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I’m really enjoyed a mini break from designing and found it so refreshing to just follow a pattern were someone else had done all the working out for me! 

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It’s such a fun design too and I basically followed all the helpful tips by Lynn Rowe (from the Woolnest); starting with a 2ch and carrying my yarn up the side of my work too, I also made sure to weave in my ends as I went (anyone else usually leave that till the end – or never if they get the chance?!).  

I’ve made it up to clue 2 and I’m a little behind as I stopped to crochet a platypus (more about that in another post)…but I’m very pleased with myself for keeping up as a reason I don’t usually join in the CALs is because I know I will get caught up in other projects and not finished! But not this time (I said to myself)…

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By the time this post is published I’ll hopefully be off to download parts 3 and 4 of the pattern and finish it all off! 

Have you been working on the Skimming Stones CAL too? I’d love to hear how you are getting on with it too if you are?

Until next time folks! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

 

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Apple for Teacher Amigurumi |Free Crochet Pattern

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It’s mid July, which can only mean one thing for parents of children in school; the school year is almost over (eek!) and it’s time to start thinking about a little teacher thank you gift. Why not say thank you to a hard-working teacher at the end of this school year with a quick and easy handmade gift.

I know an apple for teacher is rather cliche but there is no denying that it’s a well know association and I find the history behind it really interesting. Apparently the stereotype for giving an apple to an educator started in the early 1700s, when poor families in Scandinavia, gave teachers baskets of apples as payment for their children’s educations.

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I love the idea of barter one skill for another and I recon giving a teacher an apple is still a kind way to them your appreciation!

An Apple for Teacher Amigurumi

Add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue and Favourites

Yarn: (8ply / yarn weight #3 / double knit)

22 g of yarn in the following colour:

  • YARN A – Red (or green)

Scraps of the following colours:

  • YARN B – Brown
  • YARN C – Green 
  • YARN D – Pink

Materials

3.75mm hook, stitch markers, yarn needle, polyester toy stuffing, 2 x 9mm black safety eyes, black embroidery thread 

Difficulty: Easy 

Size: Circumference of 29cm (11.4inches)

Gauge: 4dc = 2.5cm (1 inch)

Stitch Guide: 

  • ch(s) = chain
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet 2 sts together (dc2tog/sc2tog): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook.
  • UK Half Double Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in next st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
  • UK Treble / US Double Crochet (tr/dc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops on hook.

Notes:

Using a stitch marker: Sections are worked without joining in continuous rnds (unless specified) – place the stitch marker in the top of the first st to mark start of rnd

Instructions:

Cheeks (Make 2):

Rnd 1: Using 3.75mm hook and YARN D make a magic ring; work 8dc/sc into ring. 8sts

Fasten off but leave a long tail

Stalk:

Using 3.75mm hook and YARN B ch8, sl st into the 2nd ch from the hook; sl st in each st along until end.

Fasten off but leave a long tail

Leaf:

Using 3.75mm hook and YARN C ch7, sl st into the 2nd ch from the hook. Then work the following in the ch; 1dc/sc, 1htr/hdc, 3tr/dc, 1htr/hdc, 1dc/sc, sl st, ch1, then working along the other side of your beginning ch, sl st, 1dc/sc, 1htr/hdc, 3tr/dc, 1htr/hdc, 1dc/sc, sl st to the top of the beginning st

Fasten off but leave a long tail

Apple:

Rnd 1: Using 3.75mm hook and YARN A make a magic ring; work 6dc/sc into ring. 6sts

Rnd 2: (2dc/sc) to end. 12sts

Rnd 3: (1dc/sc, 2dc/sc) to end. 18sts

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

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

Rnd 6: (1dc/sc in the next 4sts, 2dc/sc) to end. 36sts

Rnds 7-13: 1dc/sc in each st

Rnd 14: (1dc/sc in the next 5 sts, 2dc/sc) to end. 42sts

Rnds 15-20: 1dc/sc in each st

Rnd 21: (1dc in the next 5sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 36sts

Rnd 22: (1dc in the next 4sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 30sts

  • Add eyes between rnds 16-17 approximately 5sts apart
  • Using black embroidery thread embroider a mouth over rnds 13-14
  • Sew on cheeks either side of the mouth

Rnd 23: (1dc in the next 3sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 24sts

  • Start to stuff; continuing to stuff as you go

Rnd 24: (1dc in the next 2sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 18sts

Rnd 25: (1dc, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 12sts

Rnd 26: (dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 6sts

  • Fasten off but leave a long tail
  • Sew up remaining 6sts, then using the yarn tail thread it through the centre of the apple and pull up to create a indent in the bottom for the apple bottom.
  • Repeat this process pulling back through the centre of the apple from the top to create the indent for the apple stalk and leaf to sit in. Secure and fasten off.

Making up:

  • Using YARN B sew a star shape into the bottom indent for the apple bottom
  • Attach the stalk and the leaf in the indent at the top of the apple

And that’s it!

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If you hook up the Apple for Teacher Ami please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! 

Until next time folks! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

 

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Yarn Shop Day 2018 | Milo the Cat

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I have the most exciting news to share with you! Some of you may have already seen me mention it on Instagram but now I can tell you all properly.

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Last year I was approached by the editor of Let’s Knit Magazine to see if I would like to design the mascot for Yarn Shop Day.  Me!?! Design the mascot for Yarn Shop Day! I couldn’t believe it! What an honour to ysd-2018-logodesign the mascot for such a big day celebrated all over the United Kingdom! Of course I said yes and I quickly donned my (crocheted) designers cap and started planning.

If you aren’t familiar with Yarn Shop Day, it’s an annual annual event that celebrates bricks-and-mortar yarn shops. Part of the wider Love Your Yarn Shop campaign, this year’s event takes place on Saturday 12 May 2018. Each participating store will host its own special event, with all sorts of fun activities taking place.

I was asked to come up with a design for a cat and so in my excitement I drew about eleventy billion cat sketches and even tried playing with some designs to see what developed, but we finally settled on developing the cat sketch (below) using the Yarn Shop day colours.

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I made him from bits of double knit yarn I had in my stash, that I had bought from various yarn store visits, and this is how he turned out…Meet Milo the Cat 🐱

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And as I had to send that Milo away to the Let’s Knit Magazine team I’m currently making myself another little Milo in Scheepjes Catona yarn which I bought from Black Sheeps Wool last year – because he has to be made with shop bought yarn naturally.

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Milo the Cat and Dixie the Llama are the crocheted and knitted mascots for 2018 and are exclusively available (for free) in participating stores, along with specially produced knitted and crocheted blanket patterns. If you’re a keen crocheter or knitter, be sure to pop down to your local yarn shop for a day of fibre-tastic fun. Click on the banner below to find participating stores near you.

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I never need an excuse to visit a yarn shop and this year I hope to pop down to Abakhan in Hanley to join in the fun. I hope you will be out too supporting your local yarn shop! I feel it’s so important to be an advocate for any small shop owner, they are often the people who are experts in their field, love what they do and are just trying to live their dream.

And if you hook up Milo the Cat, I hope you will share your project on your favourite social media sites, Facebook page or FacebookgroupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram as I love to see your finished work! Also if you are featured in my newsletter, as the customer spotlight, you could win a pattern of your choice – so don’t forget to tag me when you share.

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

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Sponsors

Poppy Brooch | Free Crochet Pattern

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In 2013 I made a little poppy brooch to commemorate Remembrance Day. I’ve used that photo for the last 4 years as my post on social media on the 11th hour, of the 11th day and over the years I’ve had many people ask about a pattern.  Now at the time I didn’t write down the pattern, I was just playing and made something up, but at the Knitting and Stitching Show you may recall I bought a lovely box filled with Scheepjes Catona Cutie Pies and whilst I was a bit loath to open the box I thought they would be just perfect to try and recreate my poppy brooch.

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This free pattern is to help anyone crocheting poppies to raise money for The Royal British Legion.

Poppy Brooch

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Add the this pattern to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue here.

Yarn

Scheepjes Catona Cutie Pie 10g balls in the following colours:

  • Poppy Rose (Shade 390) 
  • Jet Black (Shade 110)
  • Small Trimmits Black Seed Beads (Optional)
  • Brooch pin (with sieve backing) or normal brooch pin

Hook: 2.75mm hook (US size C)

Difficulty: Easy 

Size:  5cm long x 3cm wide (2″ long x 1.1″ wide)

Gauge: Is not important for this item

Abbreviations: 

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

Stitch Guidance: 

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
  • UK Half Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
  • UK Treble / US Double Crochet (tr/dc): Yarn over, insert hook in next 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.

Instructions:

The poppy brooch is worked in the round placing a stitch marker in the top of the first stitch to mark start of round.

  • Rnd 1: With black; start with either a magic ring or ch2 and work in 2nd ch from hook, work 6dc/sc into the ring. 6sts
  • Rnd 2: 2 dc/sc in each st around. 12sts

Fasten off and weave in ends

  • Rnd 3: Rejoin red yarn to any st, ch1 and work 1dc/sc in same st as beginning ch1, and then working around the poppy *2htr/hdc in the next st, 3tr/dc in the next st,, 2htr/hdc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the next st * repeat from * to * once more, 1dc/sc in the last st. 20sts
  • Rnd 4: 2dc/sc in the next st and working round the poppy; 1htr/hdc in the next st , 2tr/dc in the next st, 1tr/dc in the next st, 3tr/dc in the next st, 1tr/dc in the next st, 2tr/dc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next st, 2dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the next st,  1dc/sc in the next st, 2htr/hdc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 3htr/hdc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 1dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the last st. 28sts
  • Rnd 5: Sl St around the whole of the outside of the flower, fasten off and weave in ends

Finishing:

  • Sew on seed beads to the middle of the brooch (optional)
  • Line the poppy with felt (optional)
  • Add a brooch back onto the back of your brooch

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And that’s it!

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I hope you enjoy this little brooch. I can’t wait to yours! Make sure you link me your finished projects on Ravelry  or your favourite social media  (Facebook Twitter, and Instagram) and if you are featured in my newsletter you could win a pattern of your choice!

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

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