Happy St George’s Day! I’m delighted to announce a brand new baby dragon pattern for you in collaboration with Deramores meet Draco the Dragon, the most adorable baby dragon you will ever see – he’s really fired up to meet you!
Friday 23 April is St George’s Day here in the UK; St George became the Patron Saint of England and his claim to fame came about by him supposedly slaying a dragon. So you can’t have St George’s day without dragons, but this little baby dragon is just after some cuddles!
For my little dragon I used Deramores Studio DK in Peridot, Fir and Ebony with a 3.25mm hook. If you aren’t familiar with Deramores Studio DK it’s lovely soft 100% acrylic anti-piling yarn which is fab for making amigurumi with as it doesn’t get all bobbly over time like some other yarns can.
You can enjoy free P&P on all orders over £10 with Deramores today only if you use code: DRAGON at the checkout,
I’m delighted to announce a brand new puppy pattern for you in collaboration with Deramores and Wood Green, The Animal Charity. Meet the official Wood Green Dera-Dog that’s looking for its fur-ever home!
The partnership has been designed to bring crafting communities together to support animals in need. Wood Green is a pet charity that makes a difference to the lives of pets and people across the UK. As a charity they help rehome pets into loving homes and also educate and supports pet owners, so that they can enjoy a mutually rewarding and happy relationship with their pets.
The charity helps thousands of dogs, cats and small pets, many who have been abandoned and neglected, to have a second chance at happiness – and no animals are ever turned away!
If you are a crafter you can help support this charity by creating the Deramores Wool Green dera-dog digital pattern or kits. The design is available as just the pattern on it’s own, or as a kit with everything you need (yarn, safety eyes, stuffing) to make your own dera-dog.
With every purchase Deramores will donate 50% of the RRP, excluding VAT, from the sale of the crafting pattern and 10% of the RRP from the sale of the crafting kit is paid to Wood Green Enterprises Limited, who covenants all its taxable profits to Wood Green, The Animals Charity – registered charity number 298348.
For my little puppy I used Deramores Studio DK in Ebony, Oatmeal , White and Peridot, with a 3.25mm hook, and the finished result is a lovely cuddly puppy that you can make for yourself or a loved one.
There is less than two weeks to go until Mother’s Day here in the UK and, as many of us haven’t been able to see our mums in recent months, it got me thinking about how nice it would be to pop something handmade in the post this year!
You may or may not remember that back in February 2019 I took part in the Simply Crochet magazine ‘Hook to Hook Challenge.’ This was a fun mini competition between two designers to come up with a unique pattern for a Mother’s Day Card using the same yarn – my design was the ‘Wings of Love’.
The rights of the pattern have now returned to me and I thought I would share the design here on the blog in case you would like to create your own crochet Mother’s Day card this year.
Mother’s Day in the UK this year is Sunday 14 March and in the US it’s Sunday 9 May so hopefully I’m giving you plenty of time to hook up your own cards, but as the butterfly motifs are small they really don’t take long to hook up!
The pattern below is written in UK crochet terminology.
Yarn: Scheepjes Catona (100% Mercerised Cotton) 10g/25m) I used the following colours for my new card:
Rnd 1: Using Yarn A / C, make a magic loop, 6dc into the ring, sl st to the top of the first dc to join. 6sts
Rnd 2: (Ch2, 2htr in the same st, ch2, sl st to the same st) sl st into the next st, repeat ( ) once, sl st into the next 2 sts, ((ch1, 2dc in the same st, ch1, sl st to the same st)) sl st in the next 2sts, repeat (( )) once. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Using Yarn B thread a small section of yarn through the middle loop and tie in a knot between the two larger wings, snip off ends to form antennae.
Medium Butterfly | Make 2.
Rnd 1: Using Yarn B / A, make a magic loop, 6dc into the ring, sl st to the top of the first dc to join. 6sts
Rnd 2: (Ch2, 2htr in the same st, ch2, sl st to the same st) sl st into the next st, repeat ( ) once, sl st into the next 2 sts, ((ch3, 3tr in the same st, ch3, sl st to the same st)) sl st in the next 2sts, repeat (( )) once. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Using Yarn C thread a small section of yarn through the middle loop and tie in a knot between the two larger wings, snip off ends to form antennae.
Large Butterfly | Make 2.
Rnd 1: Using Yarn C / B, make a magic loop, 6dc into the ring, sl st to the top of the first dc to join. 6sts
Rnd 2: (Ch3, 2tr in the same st, ch3, sl st to the same st) sl st into the next st, repeat ( ) once, sl st into the next 2sts, ((ch4, 3dtr in the same st, ch4, sl st to the same st,)) sl st into the next 2sts, repeat (( )) once. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Using Yarn A thread a small section of yarn through the middle loop and tie in a knot between the two larger wings, snip off ends to form antennae.
Embroidering on Card
Your blank greeting card should be made of a fairly heavy, sturdy cardstock. You’ll be handling this card a great deal as you stitch, so you need something that will withstand bending without tearing.
Sketch your design, of grass and heart, onto the card lightly with a pencil.
Then using a sharp needle punch the holes (about 0.4cm / 0.157 inch apart) along the lines.
Rub out your pencil marks before you start stitching
Using Yarn D embroider the grass onto the card, then repeat with Yarn E for the heart, use a bit of washi tape or sellotape to secure into place
Leaving a space at the top of the card for any message with PVA glue add the butterfly motifs around the card.
Thank you for crocheting along with me – I can’t wait to see the cards you make. Please tag me @KCACO.UK onInstagram (or use hashtag #kcacouk) as I always love to see your makes. You can also share your projects photos by linking them on your favourite social media sites: Ravelry, Facebook page or Facebook group and Pinterest if you aren’t on Instagram.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Please note that some of the links in my blog are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you purchase via these links, but the price you pay is not affected. You can read more about my affiliate links here.
This year Deramores have partnered with the Royal British Legion to bring crochet and knitting communities together to raise money for the poppy appeal – and I felt quite honoured to be asked to design a crochet poppy pattern for them.
The red poppy is a symbol of both remembrance and hope for a peaceful future.
Poppies are usually worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces community and for this project I wanted to create a simple design where you could easily produce a whole field of poppies in no time at all.
If you are a crafter you can help support The Royal British Legion this year by creating any one of the endorsed Deramores poppy digital patterns or kits.
With every purchase of a poppy kit, Deramores will donate 10% of the RRP to the Royal British Legion to support the Armed Forces community, and for the purchase of any digital poppy patterns, they will donate 50% of the RRP.
Did you know there’s actually no wrong way to wear a poppy, you could glue gun them to a headband, wreath, blanket or cushion, or just add a brooch pin, to honour and remember the service and the sacrifice of those within the Armed Forces.
For my poppies I used Deramores Studio DK in Ebony, Ruby and Peridot, with a 3mm hook, and with 1 ball of Ruby you can easily make about 20 poppies.
I’m very excited to say that I’m going to be back at one of my local craft shops this year to run some more weekend workshops.
The Artisan Boutique in Stone, Staffordshire is a veritable treasure trove of gorgeous handmade and artisan products, and provides a fabulous backdrop to a lovely hooky morning or afternoon! The workshops that I’m hosting in 2020 are listed below:
This class is ideal for beginners or for anyone that wants to refresh their skills. In this class you will be shown / reminded of some of the basics of crochet such as holding the hook and yarn and some basic stitches. By the end of the session you will have started a fun facecloth or dishcloth to finish off or take home with you.
Intermediate Crochet:Let’s Make a Llama! Sunday 1st March: 12.30pm -3pm,£35pp
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make their fun llama together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
In this fun and relaxed class we will build on your existing crochet abilities to create a crocheted mandala. De-stress from life’s difficulties by working on a pattern that requires focus, stillness, and attention to the present moment – key components of mindfulness meditation. Take home a beautiful mandala by the end of the session.
This class is ideal for beginners or for anyone wanting to refresh their skills. Through the morning we will be looking at all things granny square! This will including treble crochets and change colours, as well as reading a crochet pattern. By the end of the session you will have started a ‘granny square’ themed project, to complete at home, using your new skills.
Intermediate Class: Let’s Make a Shaped Scarf! Sunday 5th July: 12.30 – 3pm, £35pp
This is the perfect workshop for those looking to advance their crochet skills or try new stitch techniques. This scarf will include elements of filet crochet and combine a fun series of stitches using just 100g of lovely yarn. We will cover how to read a pattern, and look at different shaping to start making a beautiful scarf that everyone is sure to admire.
Intermediate Class: Let’s Make a Sloth! Sunday 20th September: 12.30 – 3pm, £35pp
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make their fun sloth together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
This class a great class for someone who knows the basics of crochet and would love to learn a new technique of corner to corner crochet. Through the morning we will be looking at how you do corner to corner crochet. This will including the ‘box stitch’ and how you can change colours, as well as reading a crochet pattern. By the end of the session you will have started a ‘corner to corner’ themed project, to complete at home, using your new skills.
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make one of bauble designs together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
With each class you get the yarn and hooks, and anything else you need along with a drink and cake – which is always delicious! The minimum age for the workshops is 13 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
So if you are in located in or around Staffordshire and fancy taking part in a crochet class why not pop along toThe Artisan Boutique. Susan also has another lady running ‘learn to crochet’ workshops, if you are a complete beginner, where you can learn how to hold your hook and yarn and get a feel for the craft before booking onto one of my classes.
It’s such a nice relaxed atmosphere and such a sociable and friendly way to pass the time when you work on a project together! Bookings should please be made directly to The Artisan Boutique.
I hope to see some of you at a workshop soon!
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Attention all crochet beginners! Have you perhaps stumbled upon this blog because you’d like to learn more about crochet? Do you live near Staffordshire? Well I’m pleased to say that I’ve been asked back to Abakhan in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, to do some more crochet demonstrations in 2020.
If you are in the neighbourhood then why not join us in store for a range of crochet demonstrations. You do not need any prior knowledge of crochet to come see what it’s all about just an interest. You could learn tips for a new hobby and find something to be inspired – and should you have any pressing crochet questions then I’ll be there to help anyone that needs it.
Learn to Crochet – Saturday 18 January: 1pm to 4pm
Always wanted to learn how to crochet? In this free in store demonstration I will be sharing tips on how to hold your hook and yarn, how to read a pattern, how to make a foundation chain and how to work your first stitches.
The other FREE crochet demonstrations that I’m facilitating in 2020 at Abakhan are listed below:
Granny Square Therapy – Saturday 7th March: 1pm to 4pm
Always wanted to know how to make a granny square? In today’s free demonstration I will be sharing how to make a granny square, changing colours and sewing granny squares together.
Learn to Crochet – Saturday 5 July: 1pm to 4pm
If you missed the learn to crochet session in January don’t worry as we are re-running the demonstration just before the summer holiday season begins!
I’m also going to be in Hanley for Yarn Shop Day 2020 which is always a fun yarny sort of day – so make sure you save the date of Saturday 2nd May 2020!
If you’ve not heard about Yarn Shop Day before you might like to take a look at a couple of my previous blog posts about they kind of thing that goes on for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
If you love a crafty workshop then Abakhan always have several classes and workshops available in their stores (in Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Manchester, Liverpool, Altrincham and Shrewsbury) including dress making, sewing machinery, creative sewing, knitting and crochet and patchwork and quilting.
I hope to see some of you at one of the demonstrations soon!
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a complete yarn addict but what you may not know about me is that I also love stationery. Like a brand new ball of yarn I find there is something quite special about a new notebook that makes me feel that almost anything can be achieved.
So when I was thinking about what products to develop next for Dear Ewe I knew I needed to combine my two loves together to create some fun stationery that everyone could enjoy.
I do enjoy thinking of things that could come next for Dear Ewe that I think people will like and of course I make sure that I like them too! I knew without doubt that there had to be a notebook in the new products.
When I’m designing patterns I write everything I do, in pencil, in a notebook, and I personally like notebooks that have a fastening or elastic around them as I sometimes stick in bits of paper or other notes that I don’t want to lose.
Each Yarn Whisperer notebook is made from soft touch PVC covered recycled cardboard and has a ribbon page marker and elastic closure. It’s A7 size means it fits easily into a handbag (for yarn shopping notes) or your project bag.
Keeping with the yarny theme there’s also a range of Yarn Lovers Die Cut Vinyl stickers which will allow you to add your own personal woolly touch to almost anything! As a kid I loved stickers and I realised I never grew out of that love!
Give people a little idea of who you are and what you love by sticking these yarny vinyl stickers to your notebooks, your laptop, your luggage or anything that you like! Available as a pack of four stickers or individually – I’m going to be sticking them everywhere!!
And finally the perfect stationery addition to help organise all of your yarny projects! The Work in Progress (WIP) Crochet / Knit Project Cards are here to help you organise your WIP projects, because I’m assuming like me that you might find something like this a handy tool?!
Invented partly because I have a personal issue with so many WIPs scattered in various places in the house, (15 or so – that’s not bad right?), and I thought I can’t be the only one that would find the postcard size memo’s a handy thing to have around.
Each pack contains eight (8) individual WIP cards for your different projects and they will mean no more forgetting what that project was all about or what yarn you were using! You just write down the necessary details on the card, pop it in your project bag, (you can even add a yarn sample in the holes provided), then when you next go to that project (in few days, weeks, months or years) you’ll have everything you need, to know what to do next.
It’s getting to that time of year now when folks are starting to think about Christmas and all the stationery range are priced to make excellent stocking fillers for yarn lovers, crochet addicts, knitting fanatics and fiber artists. So if you’re thinking of presents for a crafty friend or as a treat for yourself I hope you’ll take a look at the new range of Dear Ewe stationery.
So what do you think? Like them? Love em? Already bought some? I’d love to know.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
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!
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
Wool@J13 is the most local yarn show to me so I’ve started to mark it on the calendar each year. This year was the third time the show has run and subsequently my third visit to Lower Drayton farm where the show is held in May each year.
For an avid crocheter a day out to a yarn festival is great for your sense of well-being and feelings of harmony with like minded souls. If you’ve not been to a yarn show before you probably need to prepare yourself for so much yarn (all of which you will probably want) and lots of people talking about yarn and knitting and crochet!
As yarn shows go Wool@Jct13 runs over two days (a Saturday and a Sunday) but it isn’t massive, and this year it was smaller than the year before. The stalls for the event are all held in a big structured tent with rows of stalls at each edge and along the centre which you get to walk around in a big sort of loop.
The last two previous years have been blessed with tremendous weather for the shows. This year it was a grey and cloudy so it was great to see lots of people still turn out for the show. Luckily the weather was still warm enough to sit outside and listen to the outdoor music by various artists.
Food-wise there are picnic tables available but most people seemed to just be buying lunch as there were quite a few food stalls at reasonable prices – we all enjoyed sampling pizza and tea and cake over the course of the afternoon.
My girls loved the bands and we were able to sit around and chill as they danced along to each track which was nice. That’s one thing I really love about Wool@Jct13, it’s extremely family friendly – you can just see my two girls (below) walking hand in hand through the stalls and even my husband was quite taken with the colours of the yarns available and by the artistry of some of the felt pictures we saw.
My girls also loved all the animals and the play-park that they have on site. In fact my husband played with them on the play-park whilst I got to have a first leisurely look at stalls then we all went round the stalls again together later. The kids also loved the fact that they got a tractor-trailer ride (there and back) to the show! My three year old was very impressed by the big wheels!
On offer at the show was mainly hand dyed yarn, things for spinners and needle felters, and products celebrating ‘wool’. Actually it is a very WOOLLY show, which based on a farm I think it was bound to be, there are sheep around and also fleece shearing demonstrations which are really interesting to watch. You certainly get a sense of where the yarn is coming from!
In the main tent there was just so much yarn prettiness to drool over that if I had all the money in the world I could have gone crazy – because I pretty much wanted everything I saw!
And I did buy yarn, I can’t lie, I felt it would be rude not to when at a yarn show! I just fell in love with the colourways of five skeins of yarn that had to come home with me. The first two are from Siobhan Crafts and the last three are from Bellica Yarns.
I just loved the speckles and flecks on the first two which are 75% SW Merino and 25% Nylon Double Knit. Together they make 200g and the colourways are OOAK – Prism and Mermaid Scales which I think will go beautifully together in an, as yet unknown, future project.
The gorgeous yellow toned yarns I had to have because I just envisioned them in a summer shawl. I’m going on holiday next week so I’m thinking of caking it up and taking it with me. The vivid block yellow is 100g and the smaller two lovely speckled variegated yarn are 50g each so I have 200g in total which should make a fair sized shawl. There were no colourway names on the labels but both are 4ply 75% SW Merino and 25% Nylon – perfect for a light and airy design I was thinking!
So all in all we enjoyed our visit to this years show and I’m sure you will find us back at Wool@J13 next year! If you are in The Midlands you might want to check it out. But actually if you love yarn then I hope you’ll go along and support any local yarn show, they’ll only be able to keep going if we help keep them running – if that’s not a good excuse for having to buy yarn I don’t know what is!
If you are looking for a yarn show near you I’ve found this comprehensive blog post, by the Travel Knitter, which seems to list all Yarn Shows for 2019 which is just fab (thanks to her for doing that!).
Are you visiting any yarn shows this year? I’d love to hear which ones you are going to and why you’ve chosen that particular one… feel free to drop a comment below.
Until next time – keep calm and crochet on my friends xx