Ten Christmas Gifts for Crocheters

What do you buy a crocheter for Christmas? Well I don’t think I’ve ever heard a crocheter say that they don’t want anything to do with crochet – so that should make things pretty easy? No? Still not sure…well I’ve put together a list of ten fabulous treats for my husband to see that I personally would love to receive this Christmas.

1. Yarn

It’s not just a cliché! Crocheters pretty much love all the yarn! So as a gift you could perhaps try and find out if there’s some hand-dyed yarn they’d really like to get their hands on…or if they are a beginner crocheter why not make them up a yarn basket or purchase a yarn pack in a rainbow or their favourite colour! 

If you are looking for inspiration I bought (or had bought for me) some hand dyed loveliness from the following makers this year Montana Crochet, Urchindian, Miss Moffat Yarns and The Manchester Tart

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P.S I also wouldn’t say no to a Hot Cocoa Scheepjes Whirl Colour Pack…I don’t think I need to explain why!

2. Crochet Books

I’m a serious crochet book addict!  I love them! I tend to always get a crochet book at Christmas and this year I really fancy the Animal Friends of Pica Pau (which you can get here as a paperback or as a PDF if you perfect to view patterns on your tablet).

If you don’t fancy a whole book then what about the Scheepjes Yarnazine. I’ve had a couple of these for previous Christmas’s too; they are always a visual treat and contain gorgeous patterns. You can get the latest edition FOLK or the back issues of the other editions from most Scheepjes retailers.

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3. Crochet themed Mug

Coffee, tea and yarn I think just seem to go together! If I get five minutes to sit down with my crochet then I WILL in all likelihood have a cup of tea next to me. Now I’m not going to apologise for this next shameless plug because I actually love our mugs from Dear Ewe and of course I use one everyday.

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If you forced me to pick a favourite well I don’t think you can go wrong with either the yarn silhouette design, the classic granny square chart design, or the Yarny Ewe design for a crocheter.

4. Kits 

I do love a good crochet kit! I like that everything is supplied to me all in neat bundle so I don’t have to order yarn or sort out the pattern I can just start hooking! Last Christmas I did get the beautiful Scheepjes Hygge Shawl By Kirsten Ballering which I’m really hoping I get time to start this Christmas! 

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Another Scheepjes kit I really want to do at some point is The Sophie’s Stool Kit by Dedri Uys because it’s beautiful, fun and practical!

I think also because I like making amigurumi I’m quite drawn to ami kits. For a special gift you can’t go wrong with a kit from TOFT (I especially love the animals and birds) you could also try an extreme amigurumi like Mabel the Bunny from Wool Couture. I’ve made (and half made) ami’s from both of these and thoroughly enjoyed them (and time allowing that half finished one will get finished at Christmas!)

P.S I can’t help doing just another shameless plug for Dear Ewe as you may remember we’ve just released our popular Little Ewe amigurumi in our very first Dear Ewe crochet kit which I blogged about here

5. Magazine Subscription

When I first started crocheting my family often clubbed together to get me a magazine subscription – I love this sort of present as it’s one that keeps going every month!  Before now I’ve enjoyed subscriptions to Mollie Makes, Simply Crochet, Inside Crochet, Crochet Now and Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet Magazine.

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Many of these magazines also now offer electronic subscription if you don’t want the physical magazine – or if you don’t mind US terminology you could try Happily Hooked  or I Like Crochet e-magazines.

6. Crochet Workshop / Retreat

Without a doubt the main thing I ask for these days for gifts, if folks would like to, is a ticket to either an experience or a workshop. As I get older I find that I want to do more experience sort of gifts and try different things and so I personally really enjoy this type of present. For my birthday this year my brother has very kindly offer to pay for me to do a yarn dying workshop which is an activity I’m really looking forward to for 2019. 

And of course, if you can, you should definitely try out my favourite retreat The Crochet Sanctuary – I’m actually going four times in 2019! I can speak from experience about how fun these visit are (in fact I have here and here if you want a read).

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They are so much fun and I’m not the only person who is now addicted and greatly anticipates these retreats.  At the time of writing this all the weekends for 2019 were already fully booked – but don’t despair there are several day ticket workshop that have just been released – so grab one quick, they go fast! And if you happen to be going in February, June, August and November – I’ll see you there (did I mention they are addictive!).

7. Yarn Show Tickets

Mr. KCACOUK is a good’un; over the years he’s bought me various yarn show tickets or come with me to yarn shows and it’s always a fun gift to receive.  I certainly would never say no to this sort of thing as I usually have a fun day out even if I’m on my own! You can read about my visits to Yarndale, the Knitting and Stitching Show, the Nottingham Yarn Expo and Wool@Jct13 (here and here) for inspiration – but there are loads of shows around, though it might just take a quick search of interweb to find your nearest ones.

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8. Hooks 

Now I have my favourite hooks but I  think you can never have too many! For beginners I don’t think you can go wrong with an aluminium crochet hook set, that’s what I learnt with and I know many crocheters still prefer these types of hooks. If you are looking for an ergonomic set of hooks then you could try RITO hooks (which I blogged about here) or Clover Amour hooks which I also love to use.

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For chunky yarns I love the hooks from Wulla (see that neon blue chunky hook in the jar) and I really want one of her new ‘burnt’ hooks because they are just beautiful!

I have also heard so many good things about Furls Crochet Hooks over the years and so of course I’d love to try one; and I’d probably have the Olivewood (4mm) – just in case anyone (eh hem husband mine) would like to get me one.

9. Subscriptions

If you saw my last post I’ve just been talking about subscription boxes and I would recommend the Great British Textile Box by Three Bears Yarns as the yarn and pattern were so lovely.

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And whilst I haven’t personally subscribed  to the Little Box of Crochet (only because I know my own time constraints) I have had a lucky dip box of theirs and have had bought for me a Not so Little Box of Crochet so I feel I can vouch for how lovely the contents in those boxes were. 

10. Project Bags

And finally, where would any crocheter be without project bags a plenty…if you could see by the side of my work armchair then you would see a big pile of my current works in progress. But it’s a pile I can call tidy as every project I’m working on is in a neat project bag.

Now they do happen to be Dear Ewe project bags (sorry for the plug again – but I just happened to start a company filled with stuff I actually use or would buy if it wasn’t me!). I personally prefer drawstring project bags as there is no zip to snag your yarn on and would always look for that kind for my WIPs. 

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And I like ours as they come in two different sizes; medium and large (note to self we should really do some smaller ones too!)

So that’s what I want think are ten great gifts for crocheters this Christmas, what do you recon? Have I missed anything that I should know about? Let me know!

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

 

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Keep Calm and Crochet On UK Newsletter

icon-1798272_960_720It seems to me that all the cool blogs have a newsletter and so, after several requests, I’m starting one….issue #01 in fact. What will it be about? Well if you like crochet…then you just might like it 😉  

Each month you can expect to see a round up of my blog posts, special offers (that you don’t get on the blog or through social media), customer and pattern spotlights and other bits of news and secrets!

I’m thinking in my head that the newsletter will go out on the last weekend of every month so, with the end of the month fast approaching, I thought I’d see if any of you lovely lot would like to subscribe…go on…there’ll be cyber treats in it for you! 🍬

You can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking on the blue button below (or the menu on the right handside). 

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And that’s it – all you have to do now is sit back and wait till the end of the month for the first edition! 

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

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2016 in a Nutshell

I thought I’d do a little review of my hooky year in pictures…

January saw the release of the biggest thing I worked on all year. It’s also the item and design which I am ultimately most proud of. The Everything Is Cool and Groovyghan 2016 Crochet-A-Long is definitely the most challenging thing I have designed and shared so far and the finished groovyghans made by other crafters have just blown me away (you lot are amazing!). Although the crochet-a-long has now finished you can still make a groovyghan of your very own by checking out the details on the blog here.

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February and March I was busy growing a human which turned out to be quite hard work! So, aside from the groovyghan, there wasn’t a whole lot of crocheting going on…

Then in April my new shawl pattern, The Spring Blossom Wrap, was released in iLikeCrochet Magazine. Worked in a smooth 4ply cotton yarn and a 3.5mm hook I was really pleased with the floral look I eventually achieved on this shawl which I based on cherry blossoms.

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In May and June baby had finally arrived so I got back to a little hooking by working up some quick little hats and a headband for my new arrival. I just chose some patterns on Ravelry that I liked the look of and they actually turned out to be all free patterns. The hats and tie back I made include the Sedge Stitch Newborn Beanie, the Bonnie Bell Bonnet, the TopKnot Baby Hat and the 15 Minute Tieback.  The Bonnie Bell Bonnet was one of the first hats I hooked up. It’s such a cute design and as its worked in Aran (Worsted) weight yarn it’s very quick to work up.

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In July I hooked up a little Amineko cat for Little G’s summer fayre, such a fun design and super cute!

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In August and September I was working on some exciting patterns for October (more on that later) but I still found time to hook up a little Pumpkin hat for the baby and Baabara for this years Yarndale charity project

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and I finally finished a work in progress which had been started a year previously! The Corner to Corner Granny Stitch Throw  was a great pattern to use up loads of odds and ends of double knit in my stash…

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So October was a busy and exciting month; my RainBOW Clip Organiser was released in Issue 31 of Happily Hooked Magazine…and I was completely delighted to be asked to take part in the Stylecraft Blog Tour for 2016 for which I designed the Harmonious Hexagon Blanket (free pattern here).

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In November and December I hooked up several Christmassy items for my girls including some cute Elfin baby boots and some fabulous elf hats. I also hooked up a fab little mouse baby hat for a Micky fan – unfortunately this particular pattern is no longer available, there are plenty of alternatives out there though if you are looking for this style.  

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I also hooked up my special animals from my TOFT yarn and some awesome little Princesses for some gorgeous little girls; but I’m going to blog about those later so I’ll save those ta-dah moments for 2017!

Wow, I enjoyed that stroll down memory lane! I find when it’s all written down like this that I have accomplished more than I realised! Crochet is such a big part of my life that sometimes I forget what I have been up to in the year as I’m concentrating on the next design or project.  The most fantastic thing about crochet is that it continually brings me happiness, fun challenges, surprises, satisfaction at a job completed and most of all relaxation. 

So what can you look forward to in 2017 from me?

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I have so many plans for 2017! I’m extremely excited to be working with several crochet magazines this year on new designs, I’ve also got various exciting collaborations coming up, I’m going to be catching up with patterns that I didn’t finish due to being pregnant (and ill) and then having a newborn (for those waiting for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – this is at the top of the list!) AND we’ve got a brand new crochet-a-long to look forward to (starting in March) which is also in development behind the scenes as we speak.

Finally I’d like to say a mahoosive thank you to everyone who has followed me on the blog or on social media in 2016…

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My thanks is to everyone who may have brought and/or made any of my patterns, who have read my musings following me here on the blog and for those who have offered / or continued to offer their hands in friendship. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support, enthusiasm and your camaraderie and how much I love to see your finished work!

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

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Stylecraft Blog Tour 2016 | Pattern Round Up

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So did you all travel along with this years Stylecraft Blog Tour? What amazing crochet and knit patterns there have been!! All I can say is hexagons seem to be the thing to make right now – can’t believe so many of us chose that shape! 😝 

Well in case you missed any of it I thought I would do a round up on the beauty for you with all the links you need to find each pattern. 

Day 1: Emma Varnam – Blencathra Blanket (Oct 24)

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Find all the details about the Blencathra Blanket pattern here.

Day 2: Janie Crow – Diego’s Flowers Crochet Hexagon Motif (Oct 25)

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Find all the details about the Diego’s Flower pattern here.

Day 3: ME!! – Harmonious Hexagon Quilt (Oct 26)

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Find all the details about the Harmonious Hexagon Quilt here.

Day 4: Stylecraft – Tablet Cover (Oct 27)

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Find all the details about the Tablet cover here.

Day 5: Le Monde de Sucrette – Chunky Stool Cover (Oct 28)

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Find all the details about the Chunky Stool Cover here.

Day 6: Cherry Heart – Bobbing Along Ripple Blanket (Oct 29)

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Find all the details about the Bobbing Along Ripple Blanket here.

Day 7: Susan Pinner – Spinning Top Blanket (Oct 30)

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Find all the details about the Spinning Top Blanket pattern here.

Day 8:  The Twisted Yarn – Scarf (Oct 31)

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Find all the details about the scarf pattern here.

Day 9: Annaboos House – Granny Wrap (Nov 1)

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Find all the details about the Granny Wrap pattern here.

Day 10: Craftnoon Treats – Blandala (Nov 2)

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Find all details about the Blandala here.

Day 11: Hand Knitted Things – Special Stripy Blanket (Nov 3)

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Find all details about the Special Stripy Blanket here.

Day 12: The Patchwork Heart – Chunky Cowl (Nov 4)

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Find all details about the Chunky Cowl here.

Soooo much gorgeousness am I right!! 

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

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Little Yellow Duck Project (Part 1)

So in December I was searching the web looking for something to make and I came across The Little Yellow Duck Project .  I started to read about the project, which is to spread a bit of happiness and to raise awareness of donating blood, bone marrow, organ or tissue donation, and thought it was just a fabulous idea and something I would really like to be involved in.  

So I decided to pledge ten little ducks that I would hook up and hide as part of the project – you can see the little ducks I made below along with a round up of the patterns I used. 

I also got in touch with The Little Yellow Duck Project to offer my services to create a brand new free duck crochet pattern which they could use and I was very excited when they said yes!  But more about that tomorrow…

So here are the ducks I made up.  I made two of each pattern and Little G had great fun playing with all the ducks.  Most of the patterns are extremely quick and easy to make – great little afternoon projects.  

The duck patterns I used came either from patterns that have been created by designers especially for the Little Yellow Duck Project (click here) or from the other patterns suggested for use as part of the Little Yellow Duck Ravelry Group (click here).  

Just Duckie Lovey by Lisa van Klaveren / Holland Designs

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Lil’ Duck by Karla Fitch

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Cheep cheep the crochet chick by Janette Williams

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Yellow Duckling by Justyna Kacprzak

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Now I’ve just got to give them some names and hide them all.  If you have some good duck name suggestions (besides the obvious Daffy and Donald let me know, I need 10 names!) …and if you find one of my ducks I hope you will add it to The Little Yellow Duck Project  map and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t forget to pop back for tomorrows post which will have the pattern instructions for my little duckling.

Pancake Day! Free Pattern Round Up!

So I’ve not done a free pattern round up for awhile so I thought I would share with you six fab free pancake day themed patterns that I’ve found.  Great for anyone who is dieting but still wants to enjoy pancake day!

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Pancakes amigurumi by Amigurumi food

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This crochet pancake is just too cute!  I love how the butter and syrup look like a little hat!

“Oranges” Crochet Citrus Coasters by Christine Longe

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So do you like to have a squeeze of orange or lemon on your pancakes?  I love these orange themed coasters; they would really bring a brightness to any living room.

Pancake Dishcloth by Amelia Beebe

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Isn’t this just the perfect cotton dishcloth for pancake day! A must for any kitchen on Shrove Tuesday! 

Lemon Pillow by Made by leen

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I personally like a bit of squeezed lemon on my pancakes and I think this squidgy lemon bolster type cushion is just brilliant.  This pattern is available in Dutch and, if you scroll down the page, English. 

Yummy Pancakes and Eggs Amigurumi by Charlotte W.

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I love this little pancake and fried egg combo don’t you. One day I’m going to have to try the sweet pancake and savoury side option in real life! 

Pig and Her Pancake by Jessica Spencer

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This little ami is just adorable, loving the sweater!  I really need to find this book too, I’m intrigued by the title!

VALENTINE ROUNDUP!

VALENTINE ROUND-UP!
Look who has done a most fabulous pattern (free and paid) round up for Valentines day – Hodge Podge Crochet has that’s who! Featuring some gorgeous patterns from some awesome designers and my free little twine heart is in there too ❤

HodgePodge Crochet

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com

Just in time for the month of love comes a plethora of patterns ripe for the crocheting!!

Wrapped In Love Slouch Pattern by From Home

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wrapped-in-love-slouch

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: From Home

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by MumblesMummy

http://mumbles-mummy.co.uk/crazy-little-thing-called-love/

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Mumbles Mummy

Lovey Dovey Valentine Hat Crochet Pattern by Illumikniti Designs

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lovey-dovey-valentine-hat-crochet-pattern

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: illumikniti designs

Mom Tattoo Hat Pattern by Whimsical Warmth

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mom-tattoo-hat-2

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Whimsical Warmth

Shabby Chic Twine Heart Pattern by Keep Calm and Crochet On UK

https://keepcalmandcrochetonuk.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/free-pattern-shabby-chic-rustic-heart/

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Keep Calm and Crochet On UK

Monkey Lovey Pattern pattern by Blankies by Jackie

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/monkey-lovey-pattern

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Blankets by Jackie

Chasing Hearts Ear Warmer Pattern by Crazy Hookers Crochet Creations

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chasing-hearts-ear-warmer

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Crazy Hookers Crochet Creations

Little Love Bear Pattern by Gramma Beans

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-love-bear-2

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Gramma Beans

Valentines Day Buttoned Love Headband by Simply Knots

https://www.etsy.com/listing/216387158/crochet-child-adult-girls-womens

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Simply Knots

Valentines Day Buttoned Heart Boot Cuff Pattern by Simply Knots

https://www.etsy.com/listing/216388298/crochet-child-adult-girls-womens

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Simply Knots

Valentines Day Buttoned Heart Headband Pattern by Simply Knots

https://www.etsy.com/listing/216386956/crochet-child-adult-girls-womens

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Simply Knots

Valentine Hug Buddies pattern by Daughterofanace

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/valentine-hug-buddies

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Daughterofanace Craft and Crochet

Black Dahlia Cloche by KrissysWonders

https://www.etsy.com/listing/115301530/crochet-hat-patterns-womans-crochet-hat

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: KrissysWonders

Miss Momma Cat Pattern by Silverdragon Crafts & Critters

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/miss-momma-cat

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com :: Valentine Roundup :: Silverdragon Crafts & Critters

My Valentine Beanie Pattern…

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International Cow Appreciation Day! Free Pattern Round Up!

I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw that it’s International Cow Appreciation Day today! So I thought I would join the world and take a moment to appreciate the awesomeness of cows in my own way – with a round up of some really fab free crochet cow patterns that I’ve found!  P.S. I offer no apologies for the gratuitous use of cow puns in this post!

https://keepcalmandcrochetonuk.wordpress.com/

Monty Moo by Anna Beckett

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Mooo’ve over, Monty is here!  Isn’t he just adorable!!!  He has definitely been added to my to do list!

Udderly Silly Scarf by Betsy Dey

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Brrrr, I’m Friesian!  Wrap up in this most amoosing cow-print scarf with “udders” on the ends! Such a fun pattern!  Please note you must subscribe to Free-Crochet.com to view this pattern –  but it is free.

Cow hat and Diaper Cover by Made by Miki

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How now brown cow! I’m loving this free hat and diaper cover; the addition of the none crochet eye patch I just love!

Cow Dishcloth by Lily / Sugar’n Cream

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Cow dishcloth; doesn’t come more awesome than that right!  The pink trim that looks a bit like little udders – udderly inspired!!!

Cow Hotplate Chart  shared by Crochetpedia

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Chart only pattern for this cute cow hotplate; just mooovellous!

Cow Applique/Square from Joyful Yarns Crochet

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I know you’ve ‘herd’ it all before but I do love a good afghan square – look how cute this cow one is!  

Cow Hat by Simple Crochet and Crafts

Moo7Deja Moo? No it’s a cute girlie earflap cow hat this time and I love the little yellow bow!

Heiferetta Moolove by Crafty Begonia’s Funmigurumi and kids stuff

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And finally I’m going to ‘steer’ you towards this last pattern as it’s a great scrap buster and cute to boot! And I’m loving the name Heiferetta Moolove!

Football Fever! Free Pattern Round-Up

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As the FIFA World Cup 2014 has started I thought I would celebrate crochet style with a free pattern round up of 7 free patterns I’ve found.  England’s first match is tomorrow evening – Good luck England!!!

Sport Ball Appliques By Rachel Choi

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This cute little set includes 4 different crochet patterns: baseball, basketball, football, and soccer ball – great for adding to garments for sports fans!

DC Cluster Granny Hexagon by Monet Bedard

Check out this awesome football bedspread / blanket what budding footballer wouldn’t want to sleep under that!

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‘Go Team’ Throw by Moogly

This one is for the team!  The perfect baby blanket for sports fans; just work one up in your teams favourite colours!

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Team Cheer Baby Sweater by Kim Guzman

Got to have someone cheering on the team right?  I love this cute little jumper!

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Team Captain Fingerless Mittens by Alison Ervin

This ones for the all the mum’s that watch all their son’s football matches.   If your hands are cold – you need fingerless mittens especially in England most of the time! 

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Double Crochet Sport Hat / Soccer by Donna Casella

Not only a fab football hat pattern but the pattern page actually has hats for many different sports, baseball, basketball etc

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Easy Crochet Soccer Ball by Sarita Kumar

Great soft football that can be played with in the house.

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Happy St. George’s Day! Free Pattern Round-Up

Here be dragons! Well and knights too – as today is St George’s Day (and I’m English) I thought I would celebrate crochet style with 7 free patterns to round up all things knights and dragons.

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Knights Hood by lorajean’s Magazine

All dragon slayers need armour and I think this knights hood is just fabulous. Great for dress up fun but also practical keeping heads toasty in cooler weather.

Trusty Old Dobbin by Lion Brand

Every knight needs a trusty steed to take them on their quest and you don’t get more trusty than Dobbin.   I think he should be made in white for the classic St George look.

Fairy tale finger puppets by Melissa Mall

Have a miniature battle with these gorgeous finger puppets , great pattern for beginners and for using up bits and pieces in your yarn stash.

Dragon Slayer scarf by Julia Swartz

I love the look of this scarf – it looks so thick and cosy plus it’s got the perfect name in case you get a bit chilly when you go to fight your dragon!

Dragon Egg by  Susan Gater

I love Game of Thrones and think that this dragon egg inspired bag is just awesome! This is sooooo on my to do list!

Fierce Little Dragon by Lucy Ravanscar

im a big fan of lucy’s work and this little dragon is just awesome, you might want to check out on her brilliant cork & crochet  knights on her blog too which are just too adorable!

Charizard by Mia Atelier

While I was looking for dragons I came across this pattern which any Pokemon fan would love and it’s so dragony I couldn’t not share.  Love that flaming tail!

Happy St George’s Day Everyone!