Three Bears Yarn | The Great British Textile Box Product Review

So recently I was approached by Three Bears Yarns to see if I would like to review their Great British Textile Box.  Review a box full of delicious quality British wool…oh go on then I said…you’ve twisted my arm – if you’d like to send me one over, I said, that would be very kind of you…(cue me dancing with glee).

Not long after a fabulously designed box was delivered by my nice postman (all postman are nice that deliver yarn aren’t they!)…

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But before I get to the unveiling of the inside of the box maybe you want to know who Three Bears Yarns are and what the Great British Textile Box is?

Three Bears Yarns are a company that originates from the heritage of Blackburn Yarn Dyers founded in 1915. I first became aware of Three Bears Yarns earlier this year and have been following them with interest since then. I love the fact that they are passionate about what they are producing and are keen to put Lancashire (British) textiles back on the map.

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I would say Three Bears Yarns are probably best known for their delicious range of 100% cotton yarn on Aran (Worsted), DK (Sport) and 3ply (Fingering) weights which comes in over 70 shades across the weights…

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I’ve used some of their cottons for a few projects now for Dear Ewe (the Lime Crush Baskets and Fat Bottomed Rustic Basket) and really liked it and have some more projects coming up in 2019 (so watch this space). 

Three Bears Yarns also now offer a range of British Blue Faced Leicester Aran wool (available in eleven stunning shades) and are branching out into filling the Great British Textile Box with other yarn spun in Yorkshire and dyed in Lancashire.

The Great British Textile Box is a monthly crochet subscription box filled with 200g of beautiful yarn that comes complete with a crochet pattern available in both UK and US terms. Each month you’ll receive:

  • 200g of quality British Wool
  • A unique crochet design to craft
  • Accessories included

So back to the box…nestled in some turquoise tissue paper were two beautiful skeins of the finest Falkland Merino DK yarn.  

3-Bears-01It’s unfortunate that this blog isn’t equipped with squidge-o-vision because it’s the kind of yarn that begs to be squished a bit! When I got it out I was delighted by how soft it felt.

Aren’t you always a bit worried when you hear wool – and think scratchy? Not a jot with this Falklands Merino, it’s soft as a cloud! The two skeins were cream and taupe coloured and the pattern design that accompanied the yarn was for the Hannah Hat and Gauntlets designed by Jacinta Bowie.

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Now unfortunately I can’t tell you about the pattern booklet as they had run out so I only had an emailed copy of the pattern to work from. But the pattern I had (in UK terminology) was clearly set out and included a chart; there was also a link to a useful video tutorial on how to do the crocodile stitch. However I would say the hat design would perhaps be a bit tricky for a beginner and would be more suitable for an intermediate crocheter. 

I decided to make the hat because I fell in love with it! Crocodile stitch is such a fun stitch to do and it makes an amazing texture! The recommended hook size for the hat is a 4mm (US size G) but I really wanted to make the hat for my 2 year old so after a bit of calculating I went down to a 3.5mm (US size E-4).

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And the finished hat came out beautifully, just the right size for her head, though if you make the pattern as written it will fit an average size adult head.

Now my toddler, even with bribery, didn’t want to play mummy take photos so I had to improvise to show you the finished hat…yes it is just possible that I have a gin glass as large as a toddlers head…

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The pattern does come with instructions on how to make and add twisted cord to add to the bottom of the ear-flaps which I didn’t add just because it was for my little one. 

The yarn is just perfect for the design and is a delight to work with; as it was so easy on the fingers it meant I really enjoyed making up this hat and the texture of the finished hat – augh! Isn’t is just awesome!

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And one final picture because you just have to see the top of the hat…so clever!

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I don’t know if any of the patterns included in the boxes will be available after the subscription boxes at any point (in case you were wondering) but I do have a feeling that all future designs are going to be a match for the yarn so super lovely! 

By the time of this post I believe that the December Great British Textile Box, this time with 200g of a Bluefaced Leicester and Masham blend of yarn, will be sent to subscribers soon with another beautiful pattern (also by Jacinta Bowie) of a stunning cushion. So I think there will be accessories, house decor items and other items, for a bit of variety, to crochet with each box.

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I think it’s obvious that I loved the yarn and enjoyed the pattern but what I also like about the Great British Textile Box, as far as subscription boxes go, is that the contents are very luxurious, the patterns so far seem gorgeous, and it’s all at a very reasonably priced £21.95 (roughly $31.57) per month. It’s also a great way to learn more about wool yarn blends if that’s something you might be interested in.

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For someone who is also a bit unsure of subscription boxes it’s free to cancel any time and Three Bears Yarns also offer free UK postage on all boxes (and also free delivery to other selected countries – see their website for more details

Many thanks to Three Bears Yarns for supplying me with a box free of charge so I could tell you all about it.

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

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Bluestar Crochet | Autumn Accessories Kit Review

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this kit however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the yarn and kit.


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I have to say I really love a good crochet kit, over the years I’ve had several bought for me and I’ve even had the pleasure of designing a couple myself. I love the fact that it’s a whole project that you can just get on with as soon as you like – no fuss, no bother, just away you go! Personally working from a kit is an enjoyable escape for me from crochet designing. I’m following someone else’s pattern, the decisions have all been made for me, it’s all extremely relaxing! So I was delighted to be asked to review the new crochet kit by The Blue Star Crochet Company, by the lovely Veronika.

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You maybe familiar with Veronika’s work; as the designer behind the The Blue Star Crochet Company she’s had many designs feature in different UK magazines. In March this year she teamed up with The Mermaid Purse Yarns and released the Sea Shawl Crochet Kit, and now they’ve teamed up again with yarn and patterns for a an Autumn Accessories collection. Instead of offering just one pattern Veronika has teamed up with two other designers this time round to offer three different accessories. There’s a pattern by the lovely Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet (who you may remember I interviewed – check it out here) and Alison Holloway from Petals Crafts and Me – but more about all the designs in a moment, let’s first have a look at the kit…

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The kit contains everything you will need to complete the project aside from the tools, so you will need your own crochet hooks, scissors and yarn needle etc. Each kit comes with:
  • 100g hank of hand dyed yarn
  • pattern leaflet containing three designs
  • teabag and sweet treat
  • 2 x wooden buttons
  • exclusive discount code for Dear Ewe online store 

You will get all 3 patterns and one skein of yarn inside each kit and there is an upgrade option available to choose additional skeins of yarn to be able to make all 3 patterns as a set if you want to.

So what are the designs? Well I’m glad you asked! 

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The first is a fabulous Fall in Line hat designed by Veronika. The hat is worked in short rows and is customisable to get the perfect fit. Then there’s a pair of gorgeous shell stitch Autumn Seas wrist warmers by Eleonora and finally the showstopping Fleur Amore flower motif bandana scarf by Alison. I loved all the designs but I settled on making myself the pair of wrist warmers because I really wanted the them for me! But first I need to mention the yarn…can you say OOoooooo!

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The hand-dyed yarn by in the kit is 100% super-wash fine merino in a double knit weight (225m / 100g) and is such a unique colourway! It’s hard to describe all the subtle colour variants that have been included in the autumnal mix but I could recognise hints of grape, aubergine, lilac and flashes of dusky pink and a pop of russet! So gorgeous, and as I worked my wrist warmers the colours pooled beautifully. So without further ado let’s say hello to my lovely new wrist warmers…

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These wrist warmers were an ABSOLUTE joy to make! They were a great quick project, which I loved and found extremely satisfying – my pair was easily completed in a day. An awesome design for last minute gifts or craft fairs – I’m sure I’ll make some more! I also only used 54g of yarn in total for both wrist warmers so I’ve got a little bit of yarn left to use for something else.

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I was really pleased with how they turned out so I had a mini hand photo shoot – quickly learning it’s incredibly hard to take photos of your own hands! Luckily Mr. KCACOUK came to the rescue and helped me out and luckily I just happened to be drinking a cuppa in a Dear Ewe mug which made a very handy photo prop 😘 

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I very much enjoyed this kit and I’m sure you might to! The pre-order for these fabulous kits is open NOW, but it’s only open for 3 weeks! Use coupon BSCCBLOG10 for 10% off your pre-order from the from Blue Star Crochet Company Etsy shop. All kits will be dispatched from 24th September 2018. 

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

 

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Pattern Release & Sale | Bright Bonny Bunny Ami-Egg

If you follow me over on Instagram then you may have seen a sneak peep of my next pattern release…peekaboo!

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Snowy and rather grey winter weather has had me longing for Spring flowers…

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and then of course I needed someone to wear the pretty flower garland! So I came up with a fun bunny egg shaped amigurumi. Bunnies seem to be one of my favourite ami’s to make, I think this is about my six rabbit design – but who doesn’t love a bunny at Easter!

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So without further ado I’d like you to meet Belinda the Bright Bonny Bunny Ami-Egg. Inspired by vibrant Easter eggs this fun shaped bunny, with her pretty flower garland, will be the belle of any Easter egg hunt.

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So why not hop to it and make your Easter celebrations unforgettable with this lovely bright decorative toy.

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Pattern Links 🎉

Belinda the Bright Bonny Bunny Ami-Egg is now available and on sale on Ravelry (with coupon code: FUNBUN) until 23 February 2018 after that time the pattern will revert to full price. The pattern is also available on Lovecrochet.com.

Remember to share your bunny project’s to be in with a chance to win a free pattern if you are featured in my monthly newsletter.

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

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Small Rainbow Applique | Free Crochet Pattern

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I swear that today’s free pattern was meant to be born! I was playing around with some yarn and the play developed into a little rainbow applique….then when I went to pick up my girls from nursery / school would you believe what appeared…if that’s not a sign for me to share it with you guys then I don’t know what is!

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Applique’s are great little embellishment’s to have in your crochet toolkit as they can be added to cushions, blankets, bags, hats or dresses! Or why not add to a badge or a key chain, or make into a magnet – so many options! Top tip: If you’re attaching a crocheted applique to something use sewing thread for a neater join-ability!

Small Rainbow Applique

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

Yarn

Scraps of yarn in each of the following colours:

  • YARN A – Blue
  • YARN B – Green
  • YARN D – Yellow
  • YARN C – Orange
  • YARN E – Red

Hook: 4mm hook (US size G)

Difficulty: Easy / Intermediate

Size: 7cm (2.8in) long x 4.5cm (1.8in) high

Gauge: 5dc/sc = 2.5cm (1in)

Establishing the correct gauge is not critical to this pattern. Pattern will work in other yarns though gauge/size will be different.

Abbreviations: 

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sp = space
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain  
  • dc/sc= UK double / US single crochet
  • BLO – Back Loop Only

Stitch Guidance:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • Double Crochet/Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
  • Back Loop Only (BLO): Insert your hook underneath the back loop and the 3rd loop of the stitch to make the stitch as indicated (see picture below) – this is to ensure there are no unsightly gaps.

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Instructions:

Notes: The ch1 at the beginning of each row does not count as a st

  • Row 1: (RS) With YARN A ch8, 1dc/sc in second ch from hook, 1dc/sc in each st to end, turn. 7sts. Fasten off and weave in ends
  • Row 2: Attach YARN B in the BLO of the first st of the previous row, 1ch, 1dc/sc in same st as beg. ch, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next st, 3dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next st, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the last st. 11sts. Fasten off and weave in ends
  • Row 3: Attach YARN C in the BLO of the first st of the previous row, 1ch, 1dc/sc in same st as beg. ch, 1dc/sc in the next st, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next 2 sts, 3dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next 2 sts, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the last 2 sts. 15sts. Fasten off and weave in ends
  • Row 4: Attach YARN D in the BLO of the first st of the previous row, 1ch, 1dc/sc in same st as beg. ch, 1dc/sc in the next 2 sts, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next 3 sts, 3dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next 3 sts, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the last 3 sts. 19sts. Fasten off and weave in ends
  • Row 5: Attach YARN E in the BLO of the first st of the previous row, 1ch, 1dc/sc in same st as beg. ch, 1dc/sc in the next 3 sts, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next 2 sts, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next st, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next st, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next 2 sts, 2dc/sc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the last 4 sts. 24sts. Fasten off and weave in ends

And that’s it!

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

And if you are now looking for another fun applique with Halloween coming up you might like to try next my Quick ‘n’ Easy Skull Applique.

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

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I Like Crochet Magazine | June 2017 Edition

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, when you make a purchase through these links I do receive a small commission – thank you so much for supporting my blog! 💗

Get ready for the summer season with the new issue of I Like Crochet Magazine. In it you will find a collection of projects carefully selected for all summertime occasions. From sunset walks on the beach to midday brunch with the family start your summer crochet adventures with light airy projects from scarves, shawls and tees.

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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 and excitingly this month’s Pattern Spotlight is a new design from me; the Signature Striped Skinny Tie.

Looking for a way to break out of the man gift rut? Personal and useful, my trendy skinny tie will be just right for all his days at the office, formal events, and luncheons. Make it in his favourite colours or copy my classic combination of grey and red, and every special man in your life will be eagerly putting in his own order!

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No matter what the event (wedding, family gathering, baby shower), the June issue has a design to fit the occasion.

This month’s issue features 30+ patterns, including 10 super cute patterns for kids, and one of my favourite sections is the magazine’s first wedding collection.  Four beautiful designs just perfect for the big day whether you are the bride-to-be, a flower girl, or wedding guest. 

SUBSCRIBE TODAY for a copy straight to your desktop or iPad.

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

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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Only 4 more sleeps until Chrisssstttttmmaaassss!!!! I’m totally writing this post listening to Christmas carols, eating turkey, wrapping presents, baking mince-pies, sipping Baileys, trimming a tree all with a Santa hat on – well the carols are playing at least.  I do so love, love, love Christmas -it’s definitely my most favourite time of year. I love how decorations appear everywhere and twinkly lights adorn everything, (my inner magpie is totally satisfied), and as always I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends.

So as far as Christmas and crochet goes I’ve been busy making some presents, which I can’t share details of yet, and I found the most amazing wrapping paper to wrap my gifts in…

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Love this fabulous knitted Santa wrapping paper!   

I have also hooked up a few seasonal items for my gorgeous girls. I had in my head that I wanted to do a photo shoot with the girls for family Christmas cards; plus they were a couple of Christmas parties scheduled where I knew they would need dressing up outfits.

Little G chose the theme of Santa and his elf; she was to be a lady Santa and Little Miss was to be her helper.  We found some costumes but they needed some accessories – cue Mummy with her magic hook 😉

First off I made the Elfin Baby Booties by DIY Maven for Little Miss. The booties are a super cute free pattern for sizes 0-6 month made in Aran (worsted) weight yarn which are really quick to hook up.  As Little Miss is a beautiful big baby I did go up from a 4mm to a 5.5mm hook size to accommodate her tootsies, which meant the booties then fit perfectly, other than that the pattern is very easy to follow and the result is a fab set of booties perfect for any pixie babe.  

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The yarn I used for the booties was the new Paintbox Yarn which, if you are a yarn addict like myself, you have probably seen photos and reviews of floating about on the web and social media. 

The yarns come in acrylic DK, aran, chunky and cotton yarns and are exclusive to LoveKnitting.com and LoveCrochet.com and comes in 60 fabulous colours. 

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I have been waiting for the right project to give this yarn a try and I have to say it’s super lovely yarn to work with. The ‘Grass Green’ was the perfect shade, I thought, for my little elfin booties.

Next they both needed hats; a Santa hat for Little G and an elf hat for Little Miss. I’d had the free Crochet Elf Hat by Repeat Crafter Me saved for ages as I thought they were really cute and oh my goodness they were so awesome when they were finished and looked fabulous – just how I wanted the hats to look with a nice long tail and chunky pom pom! I used the Aran (Worsted Weight) Paintbox Yarn again (in ‘Paper White’ and ‘Pillar Red’ along with the ‘Grass Green’)

And the finished result…well after many outtakes we managed to get the most lovely photo, I was so pleased with how they turned out.

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Well I think all that’s left for me to do is wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

I’ve got lots planned for 2017, including a new exciting crochet-along to start Feb/Mar 2017, but I’ve still got one more post next week before the New Year kicks in.  You can read it in your pyjamas if you want – I’m hoping I’ll be writing the post in mine!  

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

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Amineko Crocheted Cat 🐱 | Pattern Review

Disclaimer: This pattern is one I have purchased (or used) for my own benefit.  I have not been financially compensated by the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.

If you like crochet and amigurumi then chances are that you have come across this pattern at some point and may even have made one of these fabulous little kitties! 

I have a lovely Japanese sister-in-law so I did know that ‘neko‘ means cat in Japanese and an Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small cute stuffed animals… so ‘Amineko’ is a shortened version for amigurumi cat and they don’t come much cuter than this little fellow I think.

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I’ve had this pattern saved for ages! But it wasn’t until my daughters school sent out the request for tombola items for their summer fete that I finally decided I had to give it a go.

So without further ado here is my finished kitty…

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He can sit, kneel, and just chill out…

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I love how pose-able these little cats are…

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And then it was time for him to go off to the tombola…

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The pattern for Amineko is a free on Ravelry: Amineko Crocheted Cat by Nekoyama.

I used the diagram on the linked website to create my kitty and found that it was simple enough to follow though the mouth section gave me pause – until I realised it’s worked as a solid flattened oval that you turn on it’s side.

I would say that it’s an easy enough pattern for beginners to have a go at as you only use one stitch; UK double crochet / US single crochet. For this reason it doesn’t take too long to make up a cat, I think I had mine finished within a few evenings.

I made my kitty using Stylecraft Special Double Knit (8ply yarn) in Denim and White rather than fingering (4ply yarn) using a 3.75mm / US size F hook. I was still surprised that my cat seemed to come out quite large in the end – I would say at least 8 inches (20.3cm) sitting down. That said you can easily make up a kitty with one ball of yarn or I think a cat would look equally fun with different colour head, body, arms and legs which makes the pattern a great little stash buster for oddments.

Such a fun pattern to make and I loved how my Amineko turned out in the end – I’m sure I will make more of these cats in the future.

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

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