Keep Calm and Crochet On U.K’s 4th Blog Anniversary Celebration | January 2018

Blog-Anniversary

Four years… Keep Calm and Crochet On U.K is 4 years old today! I simply can’t believe it! 

I swear someone has put time on fast forward! I only started blogging last week surely…but I suppose realistically so much has happened in that time, both personally and professionally, that it must be four years (four years!).

My life is a bit of a juggling act with work, a home, a husband, two young girls and my designing but one of the things that helps keep me grounded is that Wednesday is blog post day! I never realised I would enjoy blogging quite as much as I do until I really got into it and I have to say it has opened up opportunities that I’d never imagined. One of the highlights definitely being when I got invited as a ‘guest blogger’ to London for the Knitting and Stitching Show and got my very own press badge!

Blogging for me is a way to connect with like-minded people (I’m not really near any other crocheters that I can talk crochet to all the time – booooo) and it’s a wonderful feeling that I have a space where I can regularly share my experiences or ideas to people that (hopefully) want to  hear about it.

I don’t say it often enough but I just really want to say that I appreciate the time you each take to visit my blog and especially when you leave me comments and feedback. I was so worried that the only person reading would be my mum (hey mum!) when I first started, so it’s so nice to know that there are people out their reading and that you seem to join me in my love for all things crochet! I’d also like to thank you to those of you that have shared my blog your friends and family too.

And because you, my lovely constant readers, are so wonderfully supportive I wanted to run a great series of giveaways for you with some fabulous prizes donated by lots of wonderful companies and people I worked with last year. Soooooooo…

LET’S CELEBRATE MY 4TH BLOG ANNIVERSARY WITH 4 WEEKS OF GIVEAWAYS!

Week 1 is sponsored by two of the wonderful magazine’s I have had the pleasure to work with; one of the prizes will be given away in this blog post today and another one on Saturday (so make sure you pop back then too).

To start the proceedings we have LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine who have generously donated the three most recent copies of the magazine for one lucky reader.

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If you are not not familiar with LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine it’s a magazine that comes with needles, hook and yarn for the knitting and crochet patterns inside of the magazine. They also have great articles, competitions and tips.  In these particular issues, up for grabs, there’s some of my favourite designs; including Bruno the Bear and Santa, Superhero girl and bracelets, and the latest issue featuring Princess Jessica and the love tokens

I know you will love this magazine if you’ve not tried it before and I’m super happy to be able to offer THREE ISSUES as our first giveaway prize! 

Here’s how you can enter:

To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post telling me why you’d like to win the prize – simples!

To gain a sneaky extra entry, head on over to my KCACOUK Facebook page, leave a comment under the post about this contest and ‘like’ the page (if you haven’t already). And to gain another extra entry, why not pop over to @KCACOUK on Instagram, become a follower, and leave a comment under the post about this competition.

The contest is open from RIGHT NOW until midday (UK-time) on Wednesday 7th February 2018. The winner will be selected using a random number generator and I will need to be supplied with a full postal name and address to send out the prize. If efforts to contact the winner remain unsuccessful after a week, an alternative winner will be randomly selected.

This giveaway is open to residents of the United Kingdom only.  However other prizes in this giveaway will be available internationally.

I would like to thank LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine again for their generosity in sponsoring my 4 year Blog Anniversary. 

Don’t forget to pop back on Saturday for another prize giveaway!

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

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2017 in a Nutshell + Giveaway Advanced Notice

I umm’d and ahh’d about doing an end of year review but I decided that I quite like looking back at the year in this way. 

2017 for me was the year I had my tenth wedding anniversary and when I watched my youngest daughter take her first wobbly steps, when she finally said ‘Mama’ for the first time (and then never stopped saying it) and when my eldest daughter won first prize in a talent show that she’d entered herself into – so much pride for my family this year!

08And 2017 has been quite a crochet year for me! Not only did I immortalise myself in crochet when I reviewed the Edwards Doll Emporium book but it’s the year where I made the very scary choice of trying to see how far I could really go on my crochet design journey.  And it turned out to be further than I ever thought it would be! I got to work with some fabulous magazines both in the UK and the US and I’ve had the chance to collaborate with some awesome people and companies. 

Sometimes I have to remind myself (and pinch myself) that it’s only since January this year that I started working with Let’s Get Crafting magazine as I’ve had such fun collaborating with them now for several fun designs.

MagFrontI can’t even try to explain to you the overwhelming joy I felt when my first ever design with them appeared on the front cover – I’d never even contemplated the fact that it was a possibility. And what made it really great was the folks of the magazine saved the surprise so I didn’t know about until issue 88 was released. 

Using set yarns amounts, colours and hooks for each project has really developed the way I look at things as a designer. I would have never thought it but I’ve found that I really quite enjoy the challenge of ‘making it work’ under, what others might see as, these types of constraint.

And I love how bright and colourful all the designs have been. I thought I’d do a little collage of all my makes that have featured in Let’s Get Crafting issues from January to December 2017 (Issues 88 to 97).

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And I also got to work with Simply Crochet Magazine twice this year and, as you will remember from my last post, I got to have the Crochet Edits supplement all to myself – again there really are no words to describe how it felt to see that for the first time.  

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I feel so lucky that both Let’s Get Crafting  and Simply Crochet Magazine have been so supportive and have believed in me enough to publish my work!

And I was feeling the love from across the pond too as I worked with both Happily Hooked magazine…

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and I Like Crochet magazine again. 

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I’ve also had the delight of seeing two of my designs turned into crochet kits with CraftStore UK 

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and I’ve also done a fair bit of yarny visiting with trips to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London, the Scheepjes day at Black Sheep Yarns, the Nottingham Yarn Expo and also some how found the time to visit the first Wool@Jct13 Yarn Festival!

and I also managed to crochet some things from other peoples patterns…

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and designed a few more things…

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And entered a design competition – (and I’m working on getting these patterns tested behind the scenes for folks that asked about them)…

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And in a nutshell, that was 2017! It does makes my heart happy to see all my crochet projects together. But blooming heck! When you add it all together it seems like sooooo much! I’ve just worked out that I completed 68 projects altogether in 2017 which is a bit crazy… I go to work, I have a social life and I enjoy time with my family, I’m not actually sure how I’ve fitted all that in?!

But’s it time to look forward to 2018 – and I AM really looking forward to 2018! I’ve already got some exciting things in store AND in a couple of weeks I’m going to be holding a BIG giveaway to celebrate the fact that I’ve been blogging for FOUR whole years now.

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AND there are going to be some AMAZING prizes in the giveaway kindly donated by lots of the lovely people who I’ve worked with in 2017 including:

It’s going to awesome!!! It’s all starting from 31 January (which is my blog’s birthday) so make sure you are subscribed (if you aren’t already) so you don’t miss any of the details.

Until next time, keep calm and crochet on my friends x

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Winner | Hook and a Book Giveaway

So we need a winner don’t we for the Hook and a Book Christmas Box giveaway. Many thanks to everyone that entered, I loved reading your comments as to why you wanted to win or who you wanted to give / share the box with. Sadly it’s not possible for you all to win and I had to pick someone… To do this I used a really fun wheel of fortune type name picker which Little G had great fun clicking to spin, we spun away and the winner appeared!

AND THE WINNER IS...

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Congratulation Kim Harvey-Nash!!! I’m going to pass your email address on to the lovely people from Hook and a Book so that she can send you your fabulous prize! 

Big thank you to Hook and a Book for donating this prize for KCACO.UK readers and my commiserations to those of you who didn’t win – but there’ll be more giveaways here on this blog in future. 

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

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Hook and a Book | Christmas Box Giveaway

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**GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED**

I know it’s November but let’s face it we are going to have to talk about Christmas sooner or later aren’t we…what is it now something like 40 days to go (eek)? Are you perhaps looking for a unique crafty gift for someone? Or  a present for someone to give to you? Well I might just have an idea of something you’ll like.

Do you remember Hook and a Book which I reviewed back in September? Well I was contacted by the lovely owner Maddy recently as she wanted to tell me all about the special one of a kind Christmas box that they are selling this year. AND she wants to give one of these exciting boxes away to one lucky KCACO.UK reader!!

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The mammoth Hook and a Box Christmas box includes a hard-backed book (a surprise, of course), 3 Christmas patterns, 5 crochet hooks and 7 balls of yarn!! Wow now that’s what I call a great gift!  The most important bit about this box however is that Hook and a Book are donating £5 from each box sale to Beanstalk UK. Beanstalk UK is a fabulous charity which provides one-to-one support for young children who are struggling to read.
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If you want to run off and order yourself a box now here’s the link: hookandabook.co.uk/its_christmas but if you fancy having a go at winning yourself a box then keep reading!
Right my lovelies I’m going to make it incredibly easy for you to enter to win a Christmas box. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this blog post saying why you’d like to win the box.   
To gain some brownie points why not pop over and give a nice ‘like’ to the kind people from Hook and a Book for donating a lovely giveaway prize. The link to their Facebook page is here.

The giveaway begins RIGHT NOW

and is open WORLDWIDE!!

The giveaway closes on Wednesday 22 November at 12.00noon, UK time. At the end of the giveaway I’ll contact the person for their address which I’ll pass on to Hook and a Book so that they can send out the prize. Please keep an eye out for the winners name release as if I can’t get hold of the winner I’ll sadly have to pick out another name. The winners box will be shipped out week commencing 27 November so in plenty of time for Christmas.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

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

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And the winners are…The Knitting & Stitching Show 2017

Winners

Is everyone ready! We have have ourselves some winners…but first I’d like to say thank you to everyone that submitted an entry, I really enjoyed reading your reasons why you’d like to attend and / or who you’d like to go to the show with.  And we also have to say a big THANK YOU to lovely people from the Knitting and Stitching Show for providing the ticket prizes. 

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So without further ado the winners, picked via this random name picker tool, are…

  1. Elisabeth (Isis) Plutt
  2. Miranda Shelley
  3. Helen Robinson
  4. Martina Kocourkova

and the ticket winner from Instagram is…

  1. Nannabess14

Congratulations my lovelies! I’ll be in touch today to request your contact details so that the tickets can be posted out to you. 

And to everyone else sorry if you didn’t win this time but there’ll be more giveaways and special offers for you coming soon.  And don’t forget the special discount for tickets still applies. Just quote KEEPCALM17 and you can save £2.50 on advance adult ticket price (or £1 for concessions)  which makes the tickets £12 instead of £14.50/£13).  You can buy tickets here or call 0844 581 1319.

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

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Win tickets to The Knitting & Stitching Show 2017

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In just under two week’s time, the Knitting & Stitching Show opens in London and I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets, kindly donated by the lovely organisers of the show, to giveaway to KCACO.UK readers!!! I’m giving away FOUR tickets here on the blog and for those of you on Instagram I’m giving away ONE ticket over there. 

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

I’m extremely excited about this show as it’s going to be my first time going to the Ally Pally (otherwise known as the iconic Alexandra Palace). And the Autumn show is set to be the biggest textile event in the UK! With hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, interactive features, professionally curated galleries, as well as 300 exhibitors selling specialist craft supplies. As a veritable celebration of textile crafts it’s a paradise for makers! I can’t wait!!! 

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This, ladies and gents, is a huge huge show! You can spend a day re-stocking your yarn stash, learning to knit, getting help in the crochet clinics, having a go at a sewing demos, mastering the art of tailoring and so much more. There has never been a better excuse to get involved in craft!  Seriously just take a look at the full list of workshops here. I want to do them all!

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

The Knitting & Stitching Show London takes place from 11th-15th October and the tickets are redeemable any day except Saturday.  

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

Giveaway

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment on the bottom of blog post about why you’d like to go to the show.  The competition closes this Wednesday 4 October 5pm (GMT) with the winner being announced Wednesday 4 October that evening here on the blog. And make sure to check out my Instagram feed for the chance to another pair of tickets. Good Luck Everyone!

Special Discount

But if you want your ticket’s RIGHT NOW I’ve also got a special discount for you! Just quote KEEPCALM17 and you can save £2.50 on advance adult ticket price (or £1 for concessions)  which makes the tickets £12 instead of £14.50/£13).  You can buy tickets here or call 0844 581 1319.

I’d like to say a big thank you again to the shows organisers for offering this special deal to my lovely KCACO.UK readers! 

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

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Pattern Release | Pembroke Seascape Shawl

For 2017 year’s edition of Indie June LoveCrochet.com wanted to do something special so they invited a group of designers to create a collection of knitted and crocheted garments featuring The Yarn Collective yarn (which I blogged about here). The result is the Coastal Adventures Anthology – featuring eight beautiful patterns with inspiration from Scandinavian summers on the coast.

I’m really excited to now reveal what I designed with The Yarn Collective’s Pembroke Worsted Yarn.  May I introduce to you my new Pembroke Seascape Shawl!

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The rectangular Pembroke Seascape Shawl, made from the softest hand dyed merino wool, is as light as a sea breeze!

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It’s just perfect for covering up on a chilly summer evening or on an adventurous stroll around a coastal path.

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I always think shawls are fun to crochet when I’m making them (I really should make more!).  I’ve had such fun with this one adding different stitch patterns which beginner and advanced crocheters should enjoy.  The shawl’s sinuous ripples and texture, combined with the cool grey and blue variegated colours, are inspired by marbled ocean waves lapping at a pebbly beach.

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Although the pattern may look complex it is very straightforward and will be readily picked up by beginners.

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Click on the following link to purchase the pattern and add to your 💗 Favourites on lovecrochet.com or Ravelry.

Exclusive Giveaway 🎉

For your chance to win a copy of my new design simply head on over to Ravelry or LoveCrochet and add it to your favourites or show it some love by commenting below this post with your Ravelry username / or email address. 

Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the pins above, copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the comments below. 

Winners will be randomly chosen on Friday 23 June 2017 around 7pm GMT

And…

Enter any coastal inspired projects in the LoveCrochet Community and enter the #IndieJune2017 competition for a chance to win £100 to spend at LoveCrochet!!! So exciting!!! Can’t wait to see your finished projects.

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

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Pattern Release & Giveaway | The Breton Bag

Stripes are all the rage this season! Whether its horizontal or vertical you will undoubtedly start to see stripes feature in a range of accessories. Now you can line up with this years stripe trend with my new Breton Bag

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Big enough to stow all your essentials in you can now complement your own look using your own colour palette. The Breton Bag cross-body design also allows you to go hands free making it a practical style essential.

Inspired by a holiday I had in Brittany (France) and a homage to the the crisp Breton stripes which I think effortlessly express a classic Parisian style; clean and stylish in its graphic simplicity.  

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Make your bag with in the traditional white and blue sailor-like stripes for a touch of *Riviera Chic* or go wild with different colour variations; either way will result in an aesthetically appealing bag.

Included with the pattern is written guidance on how to add a lining and a magnetic bag clasp to your bag and two options for attaching the bag handle.

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Exclusive Giveaway 🎉

The Breton Bag is now available and on sale on Ravelry (until 10 May 2017) but for your chance to win a copy keep reading! 

Simply head on over to Ravelry and add the pattern to your favourites or show it some love by commenting below this post with your Ravelry username / or email address. 

Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the pictures on this post and copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the comments below. 

Winners will be randomly chosen on 10 May 2017 evening around 7pm GMT

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

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Spring, Spring, Spring! And Giveaway winners!

Welcome-Spring

Any fans of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers will be completely forgiven for breaking out into uproarious song after reading the title of my post. It’s my lovely mum’s most favourite movie so the show tunes have become ingrained from childhood! 

This weekend we definitely enjoyed ‘Ma Nature’s yearly miracle’ as we went on a visit to Tatton Park, an historic estate in Cheshire. And OH but the sun was glorious and the sky was so blue, the birds were a-twitterin’ and blossoms…well they were just so blossomy!!! 

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I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it was to get outside and enjoy some good weather after quite a grey March – and to walk about with no coat on either; just delightful!

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It was an absolute pleasure slowly walking round the gardens with all my family (as my mum and Dad came too), talking and taking in and appreciating the scenery.

I even spotted a bit of crochet in one of the farmers huts…though I might question the realism of the colour palette of the bottom blanket for the olden days – hot pink yarn?!!

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Then whilst hubby played with the girls on the play-park my parents and I wandered over to look at the house. Inside, amongst lots of other things, they had what seemed to be a little embroidery showcase. There was no denying the talent of the artists that had created some of the pieces – they were just stunning! I took a picture of my favourite work because I just thought it was so beautiful (silly me though I forgot to look for the name of the artist) I just love the colours, the composition of the piece…just everything about it!

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The highlight of the day for everyone though was Tatton Park’s lambing week…

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By some sort of wizardry they had synchronised their ewes to lamb within a 10 day period and there were so many of the little cuties bouncing about ‘waggin’ tails, rubbin’ noses’. Although we didn’t see any lambs actually being born, we saw some that had just been born! Little G asked lots of interesting questions…and was thoroughly intrigued by the whole thing.  

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By the end of the day we’d walked over 8.4km  (about 5.5 miles) round the gardens and house, enjoyed some eating alfesco with the first picnic of the year and all went home with happy hearts! So glad that Spring is finally here!

And before I forget there are some giveaway winners to announce aren’t there! Just to remind you, I set a little competition so some lovely people could win some pattern prizes (details in this post). Was the winner you? Did you get the answer right?  

Well the answer to my clue was my Daisy Chain Flourish blanket

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but some of you answered that it was my Daisy Chain afghan square  which was kind of right too – so I’ve tumbled you all into a random.org and the winners of a pattern of their choice are:

  1. Patricia Giles  
  2. Trisha Smith
  3. Nicola
  4. Yolande Timkoe 
  5. Kirsty

Congratulations folks! Please can you get in touch with me so you can claim your prize!

Well until next time, happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Keep Calm & Crochet on with LoveCrochet.com + Pattern Giveaway

downloadSo one of my New Year resolutions for 2017 (shhh I know it’s April) was to update my pattern collection on LoveCrochet.comIf you haven’t heard of LoveCrochet.com it’s the sister site to LoveKnitting.com and is the world’s first dedicated crochet site, supplying crocheters across the globe with everything they need to get crafty.

I confess I hadn’t heard about the site until a year or so ago and the EU VAT digital pattern sale changes (VATMoss) reared it’s ugly head. Basically the changes meant, from Jan 2015, if you sold any digital products, including patterns and e-books, to a consumer in the EU, that YOU had to collect VAT for that sale at the rate of their resident country, and then report and pay the VAT to that country – sounds complicated and convoluted doesn’t it…

It was actually a rather horrid time – I’d not been designer long and didn’t actually sell that many patterns yet but there were some really talented and established designers who just stopping trading altogether because of the changes. Then like superheros Ravelry and LoveKnitting.com banded together to help out Indie designers!

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Between them they worked out a system that left the complication of handling EU VAT to LoveKnitting.com (though this has since changed and Ravelry ALSO now collect VAT on sales on the behalf of designers).

So anyway I digress! I tentatively started listing, both my free and paid, patterns over on what is now LoveCrochet.com – BUT, I’ll be the first to confess, I wasn’t as faithful as updating the site as I am Ravelry so that brings us back to my News Years Resolution…  

New Year’s Resolutions are fun to make but they can be frustrating if they are too challenging to keep up with. As a designer I have to say THANK GOODNESS that LoveCrochet.com have an import tool from Ravelry which made the job a lot less daunting! I still had to go in and edit each pattern but as the majority of information was already there it was pretty simple (& it would be a piece of cake doing one pattern at a time).

Anyway…

All my patterns are now listed on LoveCrochet.com and you can find them here.

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So, how about a little game to celebrate?

Below is a picture clue to one of the patterns I’ve updated…all you have to do is comment with what pattern you think it is and FIVE random winners will be chosen and announced on 12 April 2017 to win one pattern of their choice!

Clue

RULES:

  • Patterns can be found at LoveCrochet.com
  • One blog post comment will count as one entry.
  • Sharing of this blog post / sharing on social media is appreciated but not required for entry.
  • Pattern will be sent via email or Ravelry account of the winner’s choosing – make sure you sign up for notifications (to the blog) to see when the winners’ names are posted so you can claim your prize if you win and so you can send me details so I can contact you to send you your prize.

Intrigued, I hope so! Make sure you follow on the blog for the grand announcement of who has won!

And finally I hope you do check out LoveCrochet.com even if you don’t fancy playing the game. It is a really good site if you like crochet! There are LOADs of patterns on there, I also really enjoy reading their blog and because the site also sells yarn (and I just bought some) for anyone who hasn’t bought from them before I have this 15% discount voucher to share with you 🙂

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

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