Designer Interview | Red Sparrow Crochet

I’m super excited about my next designer interview because I had the pleasure of actually meeting her in October 2021 at The Crochet Sanctuary.

I’ve been following the lovely Esme, aka Red Sparrow Crochet, for awhile, and you will have no doubt have come across her work on social media and in magazines if you are a crochet fan – she’s become kind of synonymous with mosaic crochet.

In fact she has recently written a book titled ‘Mosaic Crochet Workshop’ – which she very kindly signed [my copy] for me when I met her (squee!), and I wanted to find out a bit more about that, about her in general, how she does it all, and her inspiration and designing process.

Here’s what we chatted about…

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, after many years of living all over the place- London, Brighton, Madrid- I’ve settled back in my beloved Suffolk in the east of England with my family: one Other Half, two teenagers and of course the world’s grumpiest cat Hank Deluxe. I love Suffolk, it’s so wild and rural, it suits my introverted nature very well!

© Red Sparrow Crochet / Esme Crick 2022

I work full time as a freelance crochet designer, as an editor for Scheepjes’ YARN Bookazines, and spend any free time hanging out with the kids, playing Scrabble and Risk, walking, cooking lots of exciting vegetarian food, reading…

How did you discover crochet?

Funny story: I actually saw a woman on the beach crocheting and it was one of those wow moments! She was sitting on a deckchair, hooking away, surrounded by loads of kids but so at ease with herself, so calm amidst the sandcastles and tantrums. My kids were very small at that point and I was craving a new skill, having put away my sewing machine due to inquisitive little fingers (my son was one of those danger kids, always found the trouble!). My lovely friend’s mum, Eileen, taught me the basic crochet stitches at playgroup and that was it. I was smitten. Terrible at it but smitten.

© Red Sparrow Crochet / Esme Crick 2022

How did you become a crochet designer? Do you do it full time? And why is your handle Red Sparrow Crochet?

As is probably the path with many designers, I never intended to become a full time designer, it just built and evolved. I was an English teacher by trade first! I started with selling my designs at craft fairs- I’m the co-founder of an artisan-maker craft collective called The March Hare Collective so I had a ‘natural outlet’ for my work. After a few years of selling finished items (mostly throws and cushions, no surprise there!) I mustered up my courage and asked the lovely editor Claire Montgomerie if she might be interested in my work for Inside Crochet magazine. To my utter shock she said yes, and it was the start of many years designing for Inside Crochet, Simply Crochet, Mollie Makes and Scheepjes. I now mainly self publish my patterns but occasionally take on a magazine design commission if there’s time.

Oh, and the Red Sparrow thing is quite obscure, but the publishing house for Charles Bukowski’s work was called Black Sparrow Press. I’m a big Bukowski fan and I loved the publisher’s name. I have always felt like a little bird, pecking around with bits of fabric and yarn, it seemed suitable. And I was going through a real red obsession at the time!

You have kind of become ‘known’ now for mosaic crochet, what is it about that style of crochet that you love?

It totally makes sense to me, I need pattern and geometric order in my life! I saw a design by Red Heart using the inset crochet technique a few years ago and immediately fell in love with the brilliant yet simple way to draw shapes with yarn!

© Red Sparrow Crochet / Esme Crick 2022

Where do generally find your creative inspiration?

Oh everywhere, I love seeing shapes in nature, architecture, pavements, anywhere and everywhere! Sometimes I’ll see a gorgeous pattern in my mind before I go to sleep, and even in my dreams too. I then have to try and memorise it till the next day as I’m not organised enough to have a notepad by my bed. My brain likes thinking about patterns while I’m trying to get some rest I think!

What does your design process look like? Do you sketch things out first, or do you just like to grab a hook and start?

Charts, it’s all about the charts. I use Stitch Fiddle (which is a fantastic online tool) to create them as I can set them to the same gauge as the work will appear and choose colours very specifically too. I like to work in a very limited but very specific palette. I currently have 437 charts on the go, many of them will stay as rough ideas which may or may not lead onto finished designs.

© Red Sparrow Crochet / Esme Crick 2022

Do you have a favourite creation that you’ve designed?

I suppose my first ever mosaic throw design, Diamond Heart, will always be something I’m really proud of. I self-published it, not knowing of course what people would make of it. It’s been a huge seller, unbelievably popular, it blows me away knowing there are countless versions of it around the world. That’s just crazy! But it gave me the confidence to push myself forwards and literally dedicate myself to designing using the inset version of mosaic crochet non-stop. Which leads perfectly onto your next question…!

© Red Sparrow Crochet / Esme Crick 2022

How did you end up writing a book on mosaic crochet?

So, a few years ago, Ame Verso who is Publishing Director at David and Charles Publishers got in touch and basically told me I needed to write a book of mosaic crochet designs! She’d seen my designs online and must have seen some potential! Once I’d got over the surprise of being approached, I talked to her for a bit, it actually took me two years to agree, but finally I DID agree and Mosaic Crochet Workshop came to life.

Ame and I were supposed to meet for the contract signing but that was in March 2020 and we all know what happened next. So I signed the contract remotely, and spent lockdowns writing the book, doing the day job and homeschooling my son. It’s a bit of a blur now, but suffice to say I’m incredibly proud of the book, the publishers were astonishing in their support and encouragement. All the photography was done under very difficult lockdown conditions, yet the team did an incredible job- the book is more than I ever dreamt it would be. It’s very beautiful and I’m thrilled it’s been so well received.

How do you fit everything in that you want to? Are you strict with yourself and your time or is it a struggle to juggle?

I’m a bit manic, I’m very very organised and disciplined with my work time. It’s not all swanning around all day having lots of coffee breaks and playing with fluffy yarn! I work very hard, I’m extremely focused. I start at 8 in the morning and during busy times will finish at 9-10pm. All creatives will know this (I am sure you know only too well, Heather!) but you can’t switch creativity on and off like a tap. Once you’re on a roll there’s no stopping you is there? So, yes feed the kids, do the housework etc etc but the design work will be waiting to be tackled even if it’s late into the evening.

© Red Sparrow Crochet / Esme Crick 2022

What advice or top tips would you suggest for anyone new to mosaic crochet?

Oh gosh, just enjoy it and don’t tell yourself it’s too hard to try! I get so many messages from people saying they thought they wouldn’t be able to get to grips with the technique as it looks so complicated… they then try it and are so thrilled they can do it!! If you can make a chain, a dc and a tr (UK terms) then you can follow any of my mosaic patterns! In fact, I give a short step by step tutorial at the start of the book- once you have made the small swatch, you can take on any project. It’s perfect- it looks far more impressive than it actually is! My kind of crochet 🙂

What can we expect from Red Sparrow crochet in 2022?

Oh what a question!! Haha I don’t know is the honest answer! I’ll be editing the Scheepjes’ YARN Bookazines as usual, but am weighing up what to focus on this year. There’ll more than likely be some self-published designs (what with the 437 charts and all that)…  and I am toying with the idea of Mosaic Crochet Workshop: The Sequel too!! Let’s see!

© Red Sparrow Crochet / Esme Crick 2022

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

A sheep (can I have an alpaca too so the sheep doesn’t get lonely??) and a sharp knife. That sounds terrifying for the poor sheep, but don’t worry I’m veggie! I’d like to get into spinning wool, and whittling hooks and knitting needles with the knife. I can’t knit for toffee but can just about cast on, so maybe I can figure it out?? Or I’ll just revert to crochet where I’m more comfortable!

Thanks so much for chatting with me, Heather! It’s a pleasure and an honour to share my crochet ramblings with you.

© Red Sparrow Crochet / Esme Crick 2022

Thank you Esme!

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Esme for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I’ve really enjoyed getting a better understanding of her life and designing process and hope you have too.

Follow Esme everywhere on the web:  BLOG, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK and you can buy her patterns on RAVELRY and ETSY and her fabulous Mosaic Crochet Workshop book on Amazon.

And if there’s any other designers you’d like to maybe see featured here on the blog, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!

Make sure you are signed up to blog (below) and / or my mailing list to get a reminder when new blog posts like this one, discounts or new pattern releases are available.

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

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Happily Hooked Magazine | Chevron Spectrum Wrap

Happy New Year folks!! Hope you got to have a bit of a restmas during the holiday period filled with yarn and crochet! I’m bringing in the Hooky New Year with a brand new pattern, the Chevron Spectrum Wrap, which is available now in Happily Hooked Magazine (Issue 94).

I have to confess to being a bit of a sucker for a rainbow in yarn! I’ve been itching to use the Scheepjes Whirl, called Jumping Jelly (shade 759), for ages because it’s such a such a beautiful rainbow gradient cake!

Whirls are one of my favourite yarns, because the transition on the colours is just awesome, but if you aren’t familiar with them, they are a 60% Cotton, 40% Acrylic 4ply (fingering weight) yarn that comes in a 220g (1000 metres) cake.  

Scheepjes Whirl come in 39 scrumptious colour ways and is made from a beautifully soft cotton-acrylic blend which are perfect for lightweight projects such as shawls. I’ve made about 4 or 5 wraps and shawls using a whirl, in the past, and there will certainly be more in the future!

I’ve found that a 3.25mm hook (US size D/3) works best with this yarn and then the only other thing you might find useful are a couple of stitch markers to add to the start and end of each row to help you keep track of stitches.

I teamed up the Jumping Jelly Whirl with a with a Scheepjes Whirlette in Chewy (shade 865). Whirlette are 100g (455m) solid colour balls designed to compliment Whirl colours, but as they are the same 4ply (fingering weight) yarn, they are perfect for extending Whirl designs, or mixing and matching as I have with the contrast grey.

The resulting Chevron Spectrum Wrap is a lovely bold and bright wrap that will cheer you up in the gloomiest weather! This delightful chevron wrap is perfect for combining solid and gradient yarn for an overall fun zig zag ombre effect. The finished wrap is definitely one of my favourite recent makes – and I’m excited to see what colour combinations you come up with!

🌈 SAVE CHEVRON SPECTRUM WRAP ON RAVELRY 🌈

Rather excitingly you can see Chilly Billy on the front cover of issue 94 (Bold and Bright). Happily Hooked & Pattern Pack Pro Are TWO monthly US digital magazine assembled by makers for makers and you can find out more details about it on the Happily Hooked Magazine website.

With it being a US publication patterns are written using US crochet terminology – if you are not sure how that differs you may find my post British vs. American Crochet Terms: What’s the difference? of use.

I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! And finally you may wish to make sure you are signed up to blog (below) and / or my mailing list to get a reminder when new blog posts, discounts or new pattern releases are available.

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

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Happily Hooked Magazine | Chilly Billy Bear

Wow time is moving fast it seems and I’ve not even had chance to tell you about the December 2021 issue of Happily Hooked Magazine (Issue 93) yet! As you may have gathered, it’s out now with lots of winter themed crochet projects for you to enjoy – and I’ve got a brand new design in this issue, allow me to introduce the Chilly Billy Bear!

There are lots of things that inspire my designs usually and Billy Bear actually came about from when I was buying some more amigurumi eyes from Etsy (CelloExpressBags). I happened to see they sold some little amigurumi / doll glasses . I obviously needed them in my life, even though I didn’t have a particular project to use them for at the time, but they were so cute I just couldn’t resist!

Then when I saw that Happily Hooked Magazine were putting together a winter themed issue the idea for Chilly Billy Bear came about – and he seemed the perfect character to be wearing my little glasses.

Chilly Billy is the paw-fect companion for any winter adventures! Dressed up warm with his cute bobble hat and his detachable scarf and coat – he’s easily customisable to match any winter pals.

I used some of my favourite Ricorumi DK (100% Cotton); [57.5 meters] / 25 grams); in Nougat (2 x 056), Red (2 x 028), Blue (1 x 032), White (1 x 001) and Saffron (1 x 063). I love Ricorumi DK for amigurumi as it comes in the cute little balls in loads of different colours so I can usually find the shades that I’m looking for.

🐻 SAVE CHILLY BILLY BEAR ON RAVELRY 🐻

Rather excitingly you can see Chilly Billy on the front cover of issue 93 (It’s Cold Outside). Happily Hooked & Pattern Pack Pro Are TWO monthly US digital magazine assembled by makers for makers and you can find out more details about it on the Happily Hooked Magazine website.

© Happily Hooked Magazine – December 2021

With it being a US publication patterns are written using US crochet terminology – if you are not sure how that differs you may find my post British vs. American Crochet Terms: What’s the difference? of use.

I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! And finally you may wish to make sure you are signed up to blog (below) and / or my mailing list to get a reminder when new blog posts, discounts or new pattern releases are available.

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

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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 affectedYou can read more about my affiliate links here.

The HOLIDAY Crochet Pattern BUNDLE- Limited Offer!

 

Hey folks, how are you? Now I don’t know about you but as the days are getting colder I just want to snuggle up somewhere cosy and crochet ALL the things!

If you were on the look out for some new patterns to work on then the Holiday Crochet Pattern Bundle has just opened!

Hang on, I hear you say, what IS the Holiday Crochet Pattern Bundle? Well you’ve probably seen times where a group of crocheters get together to offer a limited time bundle of patterns, at a heavily subsidised price? Maybe you’ve even bought one? I know I have! Well it’s just that, and this time I’m joining in with one of my designs.

And I’m not the only one, the Holiday Crochet Pattern Bundle features over 40+ designer crochet patterns hand picked for your holiday / Christmas season. Best part of all you can get them all for 90% off – sounds too good to be true? It’s not, it only works when we designers club together to make a limited offer. Loads of cool crochet patterns for you + supporting indie designers = win, win, right?!

The pattern I’ve included in the bundle is the Sugar Plum Christmas Stocking which you may remember featured in Crochet Now magazine last December. It’s a perfect pattern for this time of the year as it’s fast and quick to make. As it’s made with really thick yarn you can whip up this fabulously chunky stocking in no time. I used King Cole Timeless Super Chunky with a both a 8mm hook and a 9mm hook. The finished stocking works up at about 50cm long x 21cm wide so plenty of room to fit in presents!

There’s some really fab designs on offer in this bundle! All the designs have been carefully selected to provide you with a good range of crochet patterns from amazing designers.

This bundle has every holiday worthy patterns and gift-appropriate patterns you could ever need; from home décor to garments, to accessories to amigurumi to so much more! As I said, you can get your hands on 40 different patterns at 90% off, but the catch is it’s only available for FIVE days! Click here to get your hands on the bundle before it’s gone forever!!

What’s in it for you? Well not only can you pick up loads of great discounted patterns, you also get to support some indie crochet designers, like myself, who potentially get a little bit of commission money if you click on and buy the bundle from their link (pick mine ‘hint, hint’ – but only if you want to xx). It’s how many of us are able to continue creating crochet patterns for you to enjoy.

So go and grab your copy, I don’t want you to miss out! Go get my Sugar Plum Stocking in the Holiday Crochet Pattern Bundle – there’s no time to waste as this bundle will no longer be available for purchase after Friday 12 November 2021.

So main bits again in a nutshell, fabbo bundle, sale only lasts for FIVE days, after that the Holiday Crochet Pattern Bundle won’t exist anymore – so what are you waiting for, go grab your copy at the link below.

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

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I Like Crochet Magazine | Evie Pom Hat & Cherie Plaid Wrap

Although we’ve been enjoying some sunny days, we all know that sweater weather and the time of woolly goodness is not far away (yay!). The October 2021 issue of I Like Crochet magazine is out now to help you prepare, get inspired and enjoy everything the autumn weather has to offer (and to look good while doing it).

And I’ve got TWO brand new designs in this issue, allow me first to to introduce the Evie Pom Hat!

© I Like Crochet – October 2021

Spice up your autumn-winter wardrobe with an ultra cosy cabled hat topped with a playful pom pom! The Evie Pom Hat is a super fun design that places with texture to create something that keeps your ears nice and toasty as the days turn cooler.

Now hats aren’t a norm for me, but sometimes I really want to make something quick and satisfying and a hat project definitely ticks those boxes – combine it with a heavier yarn weight and some texture and it’s a project made in heaven!

© I Like Crochet – October 2021

I used Stylecraft Special Aran in Pale Rose (shade 1080), which is a 100% acrylic yarn ( 214 yards [196
meters]/100 grams), and a 5mm hook (US H/8) hook for my hat and 1 ball was more than enough for the hat, with some left over.

I used some interchangeable pom poms to make the hat really customisable, to link with project I chose a baby pink colour and a beige husky faux fur. I can defiantly recommend this Etsy shop here (called Cowling Country Crafts) – the pom poms are really lovely, well made, and come with a big press stud on so you can change the pom pom colour on your hat to update the look!

💕 SAVE EVIE POM HAT ON RAVELRY 💕

The second design in this issue is called the Cherie Plaid Wrap which is a shawl for when granny squares meet plaid! It’s a lovely modern oversized wrap that’s as cosy as if you are snuggling in a blanket.

The pattern is designed for advanced beginners who want to take their granny square skills further with a bit of colour changing. The plaid design, which screams cosy, winter-y vibes, is created with strategically placed motifs, joined together with a fringe on either end to finish it off.

© I Like Crochet – October 2021

The pink and grey colour palette was created with more Stylecraft Special Aran in five different shades (Pale Rose: shade 1080), Graphite: shade 1063, Silver: shade 1203, White: shade 1001 and Mushroom: shade1832) again using a 5mm hook (US H/8) hook.

Lovely and versatile the Cheri Wrap is great for getting cosy on a chilly day, just throw it over yourself like a blanket, letting it cover your shoulders and arms, you have a eye-catching look that’s a winter winner!

© I Like Crochet – October 2021

💕 SAVE CHERIE PLAID WRAP ON RAVELRY 💕

If you haven’t heard of  I Like Crochet magazine before it’s a US bi-monthly digital magazine which is published by the creators of AllFreeCrochet.com. With it being a US publication patterns are written using US crochet terminology – if you are not sure how that differs you may find my post British vs. American Crochet Terms: What’s the difference? of use.

© I Like Crochet – October 2021

As well as my hat and wrap the October 2021 edition features loads of lovely seasonal patterns (I might have bookmarked the Coletta Cardigan by Nazanin Fard!) and a range of interesting articles. If you SUBSCRIBE you can get the magazine straight to your desktop or iPad as well as access to lots of other extra crochet bonus material.

If the magazine is something that interests you I Like Crochet currently have a special introductory charter membership where you will receive a full year of the digital I Like Crochet Magazine, instant access to their pattern collections (that includes never-before-seen patterns!), and get FREE access to their pattern library that includes every single issue that they have ever published! (That’s 7 years of crochet with more than 45 issues and 700+ designer patterns… for free!) Plus, subscribers who join now will also receive two FREE streaming crochet videos: Back to Basics: 11 Essential Techniques and Stitches for Every Crocheter and Crochet Secrets Revealed: 12 Tutorials by Michael Sellick.

If you hook up the Evie Pom Hat or the Cherie Plaid Wrap I hope you’ll share your projects with me by linking your projects on your favourite social media sites: Instagram,  Ravelry, my Facebook page or Facebook group and Pinterest.

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

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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 affectedYou can read more about my affiliate links here.

Filet Fantastic CAL: Made by You!

Although our recent crochet along journey is at an end I really wanted to do a post showcasing some of the wonderful Filet Fantastic blankets that YOU have made! It’s been such a privilege to have had the opportunity to watch your blankets grow every week – it has been really special to see.

Don’t if you are new to the blog and this is the first you are hearing about this CAL; you can find a list with all the links about the CAL here and I promise to keep all the details on the blog FOREVER.

This pattern will be free here on the blog but it will also be available in an e-book on Ravelry. Now that the CAL is over the full e-booklet with all the pattern details has been uploaded to Ravelry (and will be added to my other pattern stores if you don’t use Ravelry). This booklet is available in either UK or US terms and contains the full pattern descriptions, charts and information all in one place.

❤️🧡💛 Purchase the CAL e-Book on Ravelry  💚💙💜

It’s amazing how many countries this blanket has been made in including; UK, US, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Czech Republic, Italy, France and Ireland!

There have been many beautiful blankets put together with the exclusive kits from Black Sheep Wools , there were two rainbow colourway options, one in Scheepjes Colour Crafter (DK) and another in Scheepjes Riverwashed (4ply) – both are yarns which I’ve personally used many times and love.

Doesn’t that collection of beautiful happy rainbow blankets just make your heart sing! They are all just so pretty!

If you were looking to purchase a kit from Black Sheep Wools although the kits are showing out of stock at the moment, Black Sheep are in the process of getting the yarn together to restock (it’s just been held up a little by the new Brexit procedures). If you click on the button ‘notify me when available’ on their website, then you will get an email when the kits are available to order again.

There are also some stash buster, own colourways or single colour blankets photos that have been shared. I’d love to share all the blankets that have been made, as they are all so fantastic – but that would be an extremely lost post, so I have just selected a few different ones for inspiration purposes.

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 have really loved seeing your finished blankets 💕

Although the our current CAL is now over please keep sharing your photos on Ravelry, in the Facebook group and Instagram – they are such a wonderful source of inspiration for us all.

I need at this point to say some quick thank you’s! There’s actually more people than me that helped to make this CAL happen! Many thanks to Scheepjes for supplying the yarn support for the Colour Crafter blanket so I could offer an alternative option of yarn for you. I need to thank Sara and Lucy from Black Sheep Wools for their time in putting together the kits, big thanks to Mrs G Makes and Simply Shade Cards for their stitch marker and shade card contributions.

I also need to say a MAHOOSIVE thank you to all the testers that helped with the colossal task of turning my scribbles into something legible and who helped with the moderation of the Facebook Group during CAL. So big shout outs to Kimberlie, Steff, Kim, Tracey L, Tracey P, Amanda, Leanne, Paula, Dulcy, Jan, Jacki and Leanne – this wouldn’t have been possible without your help!

Thanks as always to my family for bearing with me while I worked on the CAL; especially my husband for driving round to find that perfect spot for a photo, and to my wonderful mum who crocheted up the second colour crafter version of the blanket 💕

Now it’s time for me to fold up my Filet Fantastic Blanket!

But our community crafting endeavours are not yet over for this year, we’ve got our summer make-along starting on 5 July (read more about Whispers of the Sea here).

You might also wish to mark on your calendar a BRAND NEW four part FREE mini make along, sponsored by Anchor Yarns, starting on 1 August – though I’ll tell you more about that later, though you could always sign up to the KCACOUK newsletter to be kept up to date with any new plans.

And of course there is always 2022…you’ll be pleased to hear that planning for the next big CAL is already underway! 

I hope you will continue to join me with these projects, it’s so wonderful to watch my designs grow with you!

Until next time thank you for hooking along with me!

Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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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.

I Like Crochet Magazine | Caicos Raffia Purse

The June 2021 issue of I Like Crochet magazine is out now to help you prepare, get inspired and enjoy everything the summer weather has to offer (and to look good while doing it).

I’ve got two patterns in this latest edition; I spoke about the first pattern, called the Anchor Cove Shawl, in a previous post (read that here), and now it’s time for pattern number two – may I present the Caicos Raffia Purse.

© I Like Crochet – June 2021

Named after the Caicos Islands, where turquoise waters and white sand beaches are considered one of the Caribbean’s best kept secret, this is a bag designed especially for summer!

The easily crafted raffia purse features popcorn stitches for added texture and a metal closure to keep your valuables safe and secure – team it with a summer dress and sandals for that perfect beach chic look!

© I Like Crochet – June 2021

You might have seen raffia yarn before, it’s a fine paper like yarn made from wood pulp and it’s really interesting to crochet with, it makes great bags and hats and is lovely and lightweight. As a yarn it gives off a very beachy vibe which makes it perfect for summer projects.

I used just one ball of Wool and the Gang Ra Ra Raffia (100% Paper); [250 meters] / 100 grams) for this project; in Desert Palm. The great thing about this yarn, that makes it perfect for a beach bag, is that it’s water-repellent so it dries fast if it gets splashed.

I used a 4.5mm hook (US size 7) with the raffia yarn, and for the bag closures I used a Prym Tuck Lock, which is a great DIY bag accessory as you just sew it onto the crocheted fabric (I’ve used one before for my Bramble Saddle Bag), and then I used some D rings and a brown detachable bag strap that I picked up from Amazon.

© I Like Crochet – June 2021

The Caicos Raffia Purse is a great pattern for beginners as it only uses simply stitches, it might feel a bit unusual to crochet with raffia yarn at first, but if you just treat it as you would normal yarn you will soon be on your way!

You could line the bag, for a professional looking finish, but I used a smaller hook on purpose so that the end result would be a closely woven fabric that wouldn’t need lining.

🏖️ SAVE CAICOS RAFFIA PURSE ON RAVELRY 🏖️

If you haven’t heard of  I Like Crochet magazine before it’s a US bi-monthly digital magazine which is published by the creators of AllFreeCrochet.com. With it being a US publication patterns are written using US crochet terminology – if you are not sure how that differs you may find my post British vs. American Crochet Terms: What’s the difference? of use.

© I Like Crochet – June 2021

As well as my shawl and bag the June 2021 edition features loads of seasonal patterns and a range of interesting articles. If you SUBSCRIBE you can get the magazine straight to your desktop or iPad as well as access to lots of other extra crochet bonus material.

If the magazine is something that interests you I Like Crochet currently have a special offer available to new members of the all-access Gold Club.

You can get 75% off the regular price of a one-year membership and receive a full year of the digital I Like Crochet  Magazine, instant access to their pattern collections (that includes never-before-seen patterns!), and get FREE access to their pattern library that includes every single issue that they have ever published! (That’s 7 years of crochet with more than 45 issues and 700+ designer patterns… for free!) Plus, subscribers who join now will also receive two FREE streaming crochet videos: Back to Basics: 11 Essential Techniques and Stitches for Every Crocheter and Crochet Secrets Revealed: 12 Tutorials by Michael Sellick.

If you hook up the Cacios Raffia Purse I hope you’ll share your projects with me by linking your projects on your favourite social media sites: Instagram,  Ravelry, my Facebook page or Facebook group and Pinterest.

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

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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 affectedYou can read more about my affiliate links here.

I Like Crochet Magazine | Anchor Cove Shawl

The June 2021 issue of I Like Crochet magazine is out now and it’s a lovely collection of patterns to help prepare you for (hopefully coming soon) sunnier weather!

I’ve got two patterns in this latest edition and I’m super excited to share with you the first one, a wrap type of shawl, called the Anchor Cove Shawl.

© I Like Crochet – June 2021

If I haven’t completely ‘filet crocheted’ you out then you might enjoy this design as it has a fun central motif of a filet anchor, flanked by wavy white and blue striped panels. The combination is a positively nautical design ready for walks on the beach or taking on the high seas.

I used two Scheepjes Whirlettes (40% Acrylic / 60% Cotton); [455 meters] / 100 grams) for this project; one in Bilberry (Shade 868) and one in Ice (Shade 860). Unlike the bigger sister Whirls, which you might be familiar with, Whirlettes are balls of solid colour, fabulous for mixing with a Whirl to extend a Whirl cake project or perfect for using on their own.

© I Like Crochet – June 2021

Just like a Whirl a Whirlette is 2ply (Fingering Weight) yarn composed of two strands of yarn twisted together. For this particular project I used a 3.25mm (US size E/4) hook to produce a lovely drape to the finished wrap.

I would suggest that the Anchor Cove is an intermediate pattern, designed for those who have mastered the basics of crochet and are looking for a new challenge. If you are new to filet crochet you might find my ‘Top Tips for Filet Crochet’ useful where I’ve listed some specific tips on the technique.

© I Like Crochet – June 2021

 SAVE ANCHOR COVE WRAP ON RAVELRY ⚓

If you haven’t heard of  I Like Crochet magazine before it’s a US bi-monthly digital magazine which is published by the creators of AllFreeCrochet.com. With it being a US publication patterns are written using US crochet terminology – if you are not sure how that differs you may find my post British vs. American Crochet Terms: What’s the difference? of use.

As well as my scarf the June 2021 edition features loads of seasonal patterns and a range of interesting articles. If you SUBSCRIBE you can get the magazine straight to your desktop or iPad as well as access to lots of other extra crochet bonus material.

© I Like Crochet – June 2021

If you hook up the Anchor Cove Shawl I hope you’ll share your projects with me by linking your projects on your favourite social media sites: Instagram,  Ravelry, my Facebook page or Facebook group and Pinterest.

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

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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 affectedYou can read more about my affiliate links here.

I Like Crochet Magazine | Sweeping Swirls Scarf

Here in the UK it’s definitely the time of year for wrapping up warmly and if you are looking for a bright way to start the new year then you might want to check out the latest issue of I Like Crochet magazine.

© I Like Crochet – February 2021

I’m excited to share with you my first design of 2021! The Sweeping Swirls scarf is out now in the February 2021 edition of I Like Crochet and what better way to wrap up is there than with a warm and woollen scarf. It’s inspired by the comeback of swirling tie dye patterns which have seen a resurgence during the pandemic.

To wanted to try and pull in the mixture of colours you can find in tie dye patterns so I used a Lion Brand Mandala yarn cake, (100% Acrylic); [540 meters] / 150 grams) in Chimera (Shade 204, 1 ball), which is made of blended colours which change as you crochet. The shade I used (Chimera) is actually a range of muted jewel tones which I love; though Lion Brand Mandala‘s are available in a wide range of ‘enchanting’ colours.

Lion Brand Mandala is a double knit yarn which I used previously on my Shades of Grey Scarf. It’s actually really nice and soft to work with and I do like to create patterns that just use a single yarn cake, which this one does. I decided to edge the scarf with a cute turquoise bobble trim, picking up on one of the shades in the yarn cake, and I love the final look.

© I Like Crochet – February 2021

This scarf utilises filet crochet to create swirls on a backdrop of colour; if you are new to crochet then a filet scarf might seem a bit far out of the range of your talent, but filet crochet is made up of two simple stitches: the chain and treble (US double crochet). This is also a great beginner project as once you get started you will just work back and forth in rows.

This scarf was actually designed with a beginner in mind, though I’m sure a more accomplished crocheter would enjoy it as an enjoyable project too. The pattern is very easy and repetitive, perfect for crocheting on the go or in front of the TV.

© I Like Crochet – February 2021

❤️ SAVE SWEEPING SWIRLS ON RAVELRY ❤️

As well as my scarf the February 2021 October edition features loads of seasonal patterns and a range of interesting articles. If you SUBSCRIBE you can get the magazine straight to your desktop or iPad as well as access to lots of other extra crochet bonus material.

© I Like Crochet – February 2021

If you hook up the Sweeping Swirls scarf I hope you’ll share your projects with me on social media as I’d I love to see them.

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

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Looking back at 2020 | Hooky Mahoosive!

Hooky New Year everyone! I’m going to start of with a positive greeting to everyone – and I do hope you are all well. 2020 for me and my family has been rather a horror, but I’m not going to dwell on that here, I’m going to talk about what you are all here for – the crochet!

Somehow amidst home-schooling and lockdowns I managed to do ALOT of crochet in 2020. But like so many of you I’m sure, crocheting was just one of those things that helped to calm me, kept me sane and helped me to get through the year.

So let’s have a quick look back at this amass of crochet shall we…you might want to grab a cuppa first, it’s rather a long post.

January 2020

I can’t believe how long ago last January seems now (what a long year 2020 has been!). I created eight patterns in January, which is quite a lot! There were unicorns and a fairy with a toadstool and a pool that I designed for Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine, and donkeys, horses, and dogs galore for my Deramores Designer Shop.

There was also little Reginald Rat to celebrate 2020 as the Year of the Rat. I’d actually set myself a mini challenge to try to release 12 new independent designs in 2020, I only managed 9, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it, I can always try again this year…

February 2020

February started off quite exciting with the Waverly Kisses scarf shortlisted in the Unravel a Festival of Yarn 2020 design competition! I still love how the design and the hand dyed yarn work together on this scarf – I really want to make myself another one of these one day in a different hand dyed colourway to see how it comes out.

There were bunny bonnets and lambs for Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine and another new release from me the Bramble Saddle Bag, I still love how that one turned out, it just worked out just how I envisioned – I love it when designs work like that.

© keepcalmandcrochetonuk.com 2020

March & April 2020

March and April’s colour scheme seemed to be filled with oranges, reds, yellows and pinks. It was filled with bunnies, which are actually one of my favourite animals to make, such as my Battenburg Bunny and my Deramores Bunny which I think is my first creature to sport a snazzy pair of dungarees.

© keepcalmandcrochetonuk.com 2020

There were also monster bags and flamingos for Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine and another of my favourite designs of 2020 which was my Pomtastic Tassel Basket which appeared inside issue 55 of Crochet Now magazine.

There was also the Nessa Cowl and a blanket called Don’t Box Me In (which is available for free) that I designed especially for Dear Ewe as sometimes I sneak in some new crochet designs over there too!

© Dear Ewe Designs (2020)

May & June 2020

It’s hard to make a designer choose a favourite design but if you twisted my arm some of my favourite designs of 2020 were created in May and June; including Timmy the Tribal Cactus, and possibly one of my most favourite shawl designs ever, the Pelagia Shawl which was inside issue 56 of Crochet Now magazine

© Crochet Now Issue 56 (2020)

The rest of the month was filled with amigurumi’s like the caterpillar for Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine and a Teddy Bear for Deramores, and blankets like the Boxing Rainbows (which is free here on the blog) and the XOXO Anchor baby blanket (that one’s free on the Anchor website).

July / August 2020

There was a mammoth twelve new designs released in July and August – sometimes I find that things you are working on do come together all at once!

There was an amigurumi surfer girl, a unicorn, a bag and a bottle holder for Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine, there was the Chevron Flair Cowl (which I really LOVE) and a mug cozy in the U.S I Like Crochet Magazine and the Summer Wrapsody Shawl in issue 58 of Crochet Now magazine.

There were also three crochet square motifs for the 100th Issue of Simply Crochet Magazine, a giant amgiurumi pencil in issue 77 of U.S Happily Hooked magazine, and finally the Perfect Puff Pillow which is free over on the Anchor Yarn website – phew!

September / October 2020

As the the weather turned cooler and our thoughts perhaps turned towards Christmas there were some more autumnal makes for September and October – another twelve designs in total, and one for Dear Ewe for luck!

The one that I was really honoured to be part of was creating the pattern for the Remembrance Day poppy for The Royal British Legion and Deramores.

Then there was the Granny Squared brimmed hat for U.S I Like Crochet Magazine, the Come Bye Cowl for Dear Ewe, and another cowl, the Flourite Filet cowl, which is a great quick and easy stash buster. Then there were the Pastel Pandas and the start of the free Festive Skittles crochet along for Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine in which an angel and a solider also appeared.

Then there were parrots and pumpkins for my Deramores Designer Shop and the Sweet Sighs Shawl and mini hanging Haus decorations in Issues 60 and 61 of Crochet Now magazine.

November / December 2020

And that brings us nearly up to date with some more recent pattern releases (in fact I’m sure some of the later magazines designs are still available in the shops). There was actually 17 patterns that came out in November and December – though I’ll hasten to add that they were spread out a bit through the year when I was actually making them!

There was the end of the free Festive Skittles crochet along for Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine along with a sweet camel and a kitten. Another cat, one of my favourite designs of 2020, it’s Pusheen! Then there were also stockings, wreaths and the whole Wonderland Gang also in issues of Crochet Now magazine.

Then there was the fabulous collaboration with the wonderful Yarn Whisperer for the Solstice Garden MAL! It was so wonderful to see the projects you crafted along with us for that. Then there was the Iska Mitts in the Wool on the Exe book (available here), the free Anchor Angel amigurumi, a Polar Bear and two types of Christmas tree designs for my Deramores Designer Shop and finally my free Christmas Mushroom tree decoration.

As well as that lot I also managed to some how squeeze in hooking up some patterns by some other designers including a Faberge Egg, the Positivity Spiral Cowl, Disney Princesses Aurora and Belle, a Forest Valley Shawl, a Ricorumi Lion and a It’s Not Knitted Beanie.

Woah when you look at it like that, that seems like a crazy amount of crocheting! Who knows how many items I’ve actually crocheted this year but counting multiples of things both large and small I’d have to say my output much be reaching the over 100 mark, what do you recon?

It’s been a busy ole year! I’m not sure I’ve ever had a year where I’ve crocheted so much! But I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you, my design work goes to support my family, so when you buy a pattern or a magazine, no matter how big or small, it really does mean the world to us.

What’s in store for 2021?

Well I’m delighted to say that I’ve got some new patterns coming to you soon from some of my favourite crochet magazines, there are a couple of new designs planned for my Deramores Designer Shop, a new exciting summer collaboration with the wonderful Yarn Whisperer, more collaborations with the lovely folks at Anchor Yarn and of course (finally) a BRAND NEW Crochet Along!!! More on that soon soon!! I can’t wait to share it all with you!

I’m not going to set any resolutions specifically for 2021, but what I want to work on is to try and making sure my patterns are more accessible. This will including updating old patterns, releasing patterns that once appeared only in magazines, and making sure that my patterns are available on different platforms like Ravelry, LoveCrafts and Etsy to give people the choice of where to purchase from. As you can imagine it’s quite a feat to get all my patterns in order – and it won’t be quick, as if I’m honest they do get pushed to the bottom of the list more often than not, but it is on the list!

I’m also looking forward to bringing you some new free patterns here on the blog for you to enjoy too, I’d love to hear what you’d like to see, more amigurumi? Blankets? Things for the home? Let me know below!

Here’s to a thoroughly hooky 2021!

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

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