Squee! Guess what! I’m on the front cover of the new August issue of I Like Crochet! Well not me per say, but a very lovely model is on the front cover modelling my new Chevron Flair Cowl!
Chevron patterns are a bit of a classic, crochet staple aren’t they – I always think chevron crochet designs are not only fun to make but it produces such a great effect which even a beginner crocheter can achieve.
This design was actually designed with a beginner in mind, though I’m sure a more accomplished crocheter would enjoy a project of some lovely mindful rhythmic stitching – I know I did when making up the cowl.
I designed Chevron Flair Cowl using a fresh modern colour palette of Scheepjes Merino Soft DK yarn in Michelangelo: 603, Renior: 624, Ernst: 653 and Waterhouse: 649. I totally love these colours together!
If you’re not familiar with Scheepjes Merino Soft DK yarn it’s made up from 50% Wool Superwash Merino, 25% Microfiber and 25% Acrylic and is just SO squishy and lovely to work with. It was my first time using it, but I really enjoyed putting this cowl together using this yarn, and would definitely use it again for a future project.
The cowl is light enough to wear on summer nights and warm enough for the first chilly days of autumn – the perfect accessory addition to your wardrobe in my opinion.
I sort of echoed the palette of the cowl with another design I have in this particular edition. As well as the Chevron Flair Cowl you can also find my Coffee Bean Stitch Mug Cozy.
This is a great stash busting pattern for bits of cotton yarn you might have in your stash. In this instance I used Garnstudio DROPS Paris in Light Old Pink: 59, Sage Green (62), Plum (66) and Rust (65).
Be the envy of all your friends, colleagues and fellow commuters with this cup cozy that will protect your hands from the heat of a piping hot cup of joe!
And what better stitch to use for a coffee mug cozy than the bean stitch? Soft, puffy and complete with a buttoned closure, I think this mug cosy puts the “fun” in functional.
As well as my chevron inspired patterns the August edition features over 19 summer / fall patterns and a range of interesting articles.SUBSCRIBE TODAYfor a copy of the magazine straight to your desktop or iPad.
Issue 56 of Crochet Now magazine is out now and nestled amongst lots of lovely designs is a new pattern from me which is quite possibly one of my favourite shawl designs I’ve ever made! Allow me to introduce the Pelagia Shawl!
My inspiration for the shawl pattern was a bloom of jellyfish moving through shimmering water. Last year our family went on holiday to Anglesey and there was a beach there where the sea was just filled with jellyfish – I’ve never seen so many!
It was a design that, in my opinion, truly came to life when taken from the page and was crocheted up in the gorgeous Scheepjes Stardust yarn.
I’m already a fan of Scheepjes Stardust yarn, you may remember I used it for the Shining Light Wedding Wrap (get the free pattern here). It’s a soft and gentle blended yarn of mohair, wool, acrylic and polyester metallic thread. The yarn does have a halo around it, but it’s not super fluffy, and it feels nice and luxurious without it being too costly.
You can’t really see it on the photos but the yarn contains fine sparkling fibers that add an elegant shimmer when they catch the light – my inner magpie is in love with them. Aside from the sparkle and the light airy feel of the yarn I love the fact that it’s also soft without being scratchy like some sparkle yarns can be. I don’t think it will be the last time I use Scheepjes Stardust yarn!
It’s classed as a DK weight (Light Worsted / Sport Weight) and I’d say it’s definitely on the finer side of that spectrum, but I’ve found a 3.5mm (US size E/4) hook works perfectly to create the stitches and drape I was looking for.
For this design I chose Virgo (Shade 664), which is a gradient yarn with ranges from darkish almost maroon colour, through to white, with all blended pink shades in between. I wouldn’t normally class myself as a ‘pink’ person but this is a really pretty colourway and was just spot on for what I had envisaged.
Everytime I look at this shawl I just fall in love with it again! I hope you all will like it too. It’s such a light and airy shawl, with that lovely subtle hint of sparkle, which I think would integrate perfectly with any modern wardrobe.
Ever have those times where you just need a little bit of yarn for a project, or perhaps some small amounts of double knit yarn in certain colours? Or maybe you just LOVE making pom poms or want to make pom poms with the kids but don’t want to have loads of yarn hanging around your house?
Maybe you want to teach someone to knit or crochet – but don’t want to scare them with loads of yarn? Well that’s where my new Etsy store ‘Yarny Bobs’ comes in.
Yarnybobs is a new place to pick up yarn oddment sets which are ideal for all sorts of mini projects such as creating pom pom garlands and wreaths, learning to knit and crochet or french knitting projects.
They are also perfect for little ones school and craft projects, or other little mixed media art projects where you just need small amounts of yarn. Just let your creativity run wild!
I’m actually a big pom pom fan, I find it very therapeutic making pompoms, just winding the wool round and round, it’s a really mindful sort of project. In fact pom poms are probably one of the first yarn related crafts I ever did as a child!
I remember making loads of them, and then french knitting a short strip and adding a pom pom on the end for a bookmark that everyone had for Christmas!
Pom poms are such a great way to get kids involved in crafts, they don’t take long so offer a nice quick crafty reward! But it’s a craft that all age groups seem to be attracted to because it’s just fun to make a pom pom – and it doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone just wants to have a bit of fun in their lives don’t they!
If you like looking at pretty pom poms or are looking for a bit of yarn oddment inspiration you should check out the Yarny Bobs Pinterest board, I’ve been busy pinning lots of lovely fluffy things!
As well as yarn oddments in the Yarny Bobs Etsy store I’m also selling full pom pom kits. These DIY kits come with yarn, 2 x large Knitpro Nirvana pom pom makers, and a pair of sharp scissors (with a protective sheath) which are perfect for snipping those pom pom’s into the perfect shape!
And I’d like to offer my lovely blog followers a special 10% off their first order from the Yarny Bobs Etsy Store. Until 30 June 2020 just add code: KCACOUK
So fluff up your creativity with some yarn oddments from Yarny Bobs today! I can’t wait to see what you get up to!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Issue 55 of Crochet Now magazine is out now and I’ve got a brand new pattern inside that I’m quite in love with! Allow me to introduce the Pomtastic Tassel Basket! It’s a fabulously large basket, complete with pompoms and tassels for a fun finish, that’s perfect for storing lots of yarn in!
One of my favourite things to make is a basket; as a person who just seems to accumulate a lot of ‘stuff’ I just find it so satisfactory to be able to make storage solutions! I wanted this design to be a nice large basket so it’s got a circumference of 107cm and a height of 29cm – which means there’s more than enough room to hold all of your yarn for a big project.
I used Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK in four different colours (Wheat, Shrimp, Apricot and Fuchsia) combined with Ecru Stylecraft Craft Cotton (DK) worked doubled with a 5.5mm hook. It may seem that a 5.5mm hook is quite small for working two lots of double knit, but I was aiming for a nice tight fabric.
It was my first time working with Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK but I really like it, I think there’s about 30 odd different shades, so lots of choices to come up with some fun and modern colour combinations.
The large pom poms and tassels on the sides worked really well in the cotton too – I think it was my first time making either tassels or pom poms in cotton rather than acrylic!
With this design I also tried to overcome the challenge of having the basket become too floppy – which can happen when you are trying to make a larger basket. The key to a good basket, I’ve found, is having a sturdy base. This foundation is then and it’s supported by working in double stranded cotton with a nice tight stitch pattern which helps the sides stand up on their own.
Crochet Now is available in supermarkets and online from CraftStash and you can also read Crochet Now digitally at www.pocketmags.com and it comes with a pom pom and tassel maker – perfect for if you want to get making the basket!
If you are reading this in real time then if you’ve received a parcel recently then you’ve probably had to put it in quarantine due to Covid-19. It’s a very strange (but needed) thing to do, and it actually led to exciting ‘opening’ anticipation – because I signed up for my very first fibre swap experience.
I’ve never tried a yarn swap before so thought I’d try one as an experiment; the one I chose to go with for my first time is called WoolSwap. I’d heard about WoolSwap through Dear Ewe (as we’d signed up to give a discount for woolswappers) and thought it looked really fun.
If you are unfamiliar with yarn-swapping programmes in a nutshell you pay a fee to be part of a swap, you are paired with someone, and then you swap your yarn. The fee part is there to help cover anyone that doesn’t end up getting a present for whatever reason, so I didn’t mind paying that, plus it’s all organised for you. Through the swap you get the opportunity to meet someone new, and get a fun yarny present in return.
As it was a trial run for me I signed up to the small package deal which was $8.00 / £6.45 with a minimum of 100g yarn to swap. Then you wait for your match with the person you are sending to being the person you will also receive from.
My match could have been anyone in the UK (though I chose to keep just to the UK this time rather than worldwide) and I had to laugh as I was paired with the lovely Jane who lives about 13 miles away from me.
I got a little bio about her from the Woolswap team, with her details, which gave me some details of the sorts of things she liked. She said that she was a crocheter (which was good for me!), that she liked greens and purples and she’d love some heavier weight yarns as she had a lot of sock yarns already in her stash.
Although the minimum was to send 100g you could decide on an amount to send each other, and we chatted a bit over Instagram before we made the initial swap. That was the only thing I found tricky, not the talking to Jane (who seems lovely), but I would have loved for things to have been a bit more specific, only because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, and I was a bit unsure how things were supposed to be with it being my first swap.
What I sent
I totally forgot to take a photo of what I sent Jane, as I wanted to get things sent off, but I decided to go with ‘green’ as my theme (as I do so love a theme). I sent 500g in total in all DK and Aran weights including: 2 x West Yorkshire Spinners Aran – Aire Valley in Mojito and one of the same brand in a corresponding solid green called Emerald. I thought 300g would be enough to make a good shawl or small lap blanket.
I also sent a 100g skein of Cascade 220 Superwash DK called Heather’s just because it’s called ‘Heathers’! I chose a gorgeous green called Forest Heather (and I may have treated myself to some Heather yarn for myself too -ooopss!) and a 100g skein of hand dyed DK yarn by the fabulous indie dyer Siobhan Crafts which I want to say was called OOAK mermaid (but I could be wrong).
And as little gifts I sent her some Dear Ewe goodies including a WIP project bag, as I thought it would be a handy place to put her new yarn, some WIP project cards, for all her new projects with her new yarn, and some of the yarn lovers prop cards, for photo opportunities once she has made some lovely things from her new yarn.
What I received
When my box came out of quarantine I was super excited to finally open it, I even did an unboxing on IGTV filmed by my lovely 9 year old. Yarnwise I received 2 x 50g of Hobbycraft ‘Catch a Wave’ yarn which I’ve never tried before, I got 2 x little 10g yarn and colors mini’s to try (green & purple), which again I’ve never used before and a 25g ball of White Ricorumi which I use a lot so that will come in handy.
I was also gifted 2 hand dyed mini skeins which I think were both from Mothy and the Squid; one is a 20g which is variegated reds with black flecks called ‘Red Octopus’ and the other looks to be 10g mini that is orange with black flecks (this one I couldn’t see a label, though I might have thrown it away by accident in my opening frenzy). I’ve always wanted to make an amigurumi in hand dyed yarn and these might be fun to use for that with them just being little amounts – maybe I should take inspiration from the yarn name and make an octopus!
Then the pièce de résistance in terms of yarn was an absolutely gorgeous 100g skein of RiverKnits hand-dyed yarn called ‘Mermaid’ which is a Superwashed Blue Faced Leicester yarn. I recently purchased from Provence Crafts the Positivity Spiral Cowl as part of #OperationSJW and because it’s gorgeous. It uses 100g so I think I’ll use that to make the cowl, and it seems highly appropriate as if you’ve ever watched Faye’s Crochet Circle Podcast you will know she’s a big fan of RiverKnits yarn.
The rest of the parcel was filled with fun little knick knacks including; a little crochet cactus amigurumi, Clipper organic sleep easy tea bags, a grey faux fur pom, some Easter Caramel Shortcake bits, a little cactus print mini project bag, some mini Little Box of Crochet pattern books and goodies, some stitch markers, some crochet hooks, mini notebooks and pen and a thriller book.
All the gifts were beautifully wrapped, with little handmade messages on, so it felt like Christmas! Jane also sent a gorgeous handmade felted scene card which was beautiful.
Final thoughts on Woolswap
I really enjoyed the whole WoolSwap experience. I had great fun putting together a parcel for my swap partner, and have a little more ideas of things I could include in future swaps. It’s been a great way to get to know new people as Jane and I chatted about other things other than the swap including kids in lockdown. And aside from the fun of just receiving a gift / parcel just for me, it’s been really fun to receive yarn that I’ve never tried before.
All in all it’s been a very positive experience and a fibre swap is something I will definitely consider doing again in the future. Have you done fibre swaps before? How was your experience? Would you recommend any particular one you’ve tried? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Well what a time we are having folks! Covid 19 or coronavirus has many of us feeling anxious I’m sure. It has already impacted on every aspect of our lives and we’re left feeling worried about loved ones. Although crafting isn’t the answer to everything it can provide us with something positive and practical to focus on can’t it!
So in the hope that I can momentarily distract you or keep you occupied during lock down I was going to tell you that I’ve had my Waverley Kisses Scarf back from the Unravel Festival.
It’s now available for purchase on Ravelry but I thought I’d spread a little cheer by having a giveaway! So I’m giving away a couple copies of the Waverley Kisses Scarf pattern here on the blog, a couple on Facebook and a couple on my Instagram (so if you don’t have one method of entering you might have another).
This lovely and organically shaped wave scarf includes a fun crossed stitch in the design which creates a lovely subtle texture that you just want to run your hands over. Combine that with some beautiful yarn to make a winning combination scarf!
🎉 GIVEAWAY 🎉
How to enter simply tell me what colour you’d make your scarf in and be sure to let your friends know about this giveaway too!
Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the pictures on this post and copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the comments below.
Winners will be randomly chosen on Friday 27 March 2020
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends x
Did the title get your attention? Want to know what it’s all about – well I shall tell you, because I’m looked for help from my lovely blog readers! Excitingly I’ve had got a brand new pattern that’s been shortlisted in the Unravel 2020 design competition called The Waverley Kisses Scarf…
There’s nine designs now up for a public vote to pick a winner which will be launched at Unravel as part of their show guide during the festival on 21-23 February 2020.
Unravel is a three day yarn show in Farnham Maltings in Surrey. There’s over 80 exhibitors, craft shops and workshops and all the other lovely things you’d expect at a woolly festival! I’ve never actually had the opportunity to attend yet but I’ve heard only good things about Unravel!
You know me, I do love a bit of a crochet challenge, so when I saw the call for designers to enter their design competition on Instagram I thought I’d give it a bash!
My idea for the scarf comes from my own, and I’m guessing many other’s experience, of yarn shows. You know the times where you see some gorgeous yarn that you fall completely in love with so you have to take it home with you. But you didn’t have a plan when you bought it and now you don’t know what to make with just one skein!
Such as this gorgeous handyed skein that I had of Devon Sun Yarns … That’s where the Waverly Kisses Scarf comes in!
This lovely and organically shaped wave scarf includes a fun crossed stitch in the design which creates a lovely subtle texture that you just want to run your hands over. Combine that with some beautiful yarn to make a winning combination scarf that everyone is sure to admire whenever you wear it.
When I was asked if I might like to do another workshop at The Crochet Sanctuary, and this time the Christmas one, I may have squealed a little bit in my head! Christmas is my MOSTEST favourite time of the year and I was delighted to be given the opportunity to come up with a fun festive design.
If you’ve not heard about The Crochet Sanctuary before it’s a crochet retreat set in the beautiful Cranage Hall in Crewe. The hosts of the sanctuary, Lisa and Lynda-Rose, always plan an amazing weekend for their guests and it’s usually extra special at Christmas – and this time it was no different!
On this occasion we were a nice cosy group of about 20 weekenders (to be joined by roughly 5 more day guests on the Saturday). The room we were in, as always, was arranged with a circle of comfy chairs covered in crochet blankets and cushions to make ourselves at home.
Excitingly this weekend myself, with myDear Ewe hat on, and fellow small business owner Mrs G Makes had a pop up shop in the room, and Amanda from Craftopia had a pop up shop in her van!
It was really nice for me to let people see the Dear Ewe products up close as I think it’s a totally different experience from seeing them just on your computer screen. And it gave me a chance to try out my new stall display format as Dear Ewe is hopefully going on the road in 2020 to some yarn shows near you….
We started off the afternoon with a really fun ice-breaker to get to know each other with us having to confess a time when we’d been naughty. Santa presided over us and checked his list to see if he agreed that we’d been naughty or nice! Apparently I was naughty – I’m sure that can’t be right!? And then we were all given a present…if you are Instagram you need to check out this video to see our reactions!
Inside the parcel was our very own Scheepjes Whirligig which was just unbelievable! I’ve been drooling (like so many others I’m sure) over these since they were released earlier this year. These decadent gigantic yarn cakes (1000m / 450g) are a super soft blend of alpaca and virgin wool and have gorgeous long repeats. Mine is the pink to plum version which is a pale pink that transitions to rich plums and deep purples. It was definitely love at first sight!
We were given two patterns to choose from, either the Scheepjes Valyria Shawl by Johanna Lindahl or the new Nolkag Wrap pattern designed especially for the weekend. I chose the Nolkag Wrap which is just a deliciously mindful pattern with a pretty cabled texture. I enjoyed working on the pattern, and with the yarn which just glides through your fingers, so much that I found it really hard to put it down the whole weekend!
But a gal’s got to eat so we hooked until 7pm then it was time for a three course meal in the restaurant (which was delicious) and then we went back up to the room for more crochet and chatting.
I was a bit more sensible this time and was in bed for 11pm (not the usual wee hours of the morning) and before I knew it it was time for a buffet style breakfast then back up to the room for our next project which was completely awesome! We were given everything we needed to make giant baubles! I still need to finish mine so I’ll have to share a photo when I’m finished.
Next it was Christmas dinner for lunch and with all of us feeling full and maybe a tad sleepy it was time for me to do my workshop! Lisa and Lynda had let me decide what I was going to do for my workshop, and when I’d suggested a stocking design they thought that was great – I think everyone was thinking it was going to be another amigurumi!
I came up with the Starlight Stocking designwhich I think would make a great addition to those handmade decorations you bring out year after year.
My chosen yarn for the stocking was the new Scheepjes Chunky Monkey yarn, which is becoming a fast new favourite of mine, so soft, combined with Scheepjes Catona and Scheepjes Lizzy (for a bit of bling). You can just see them hanging in situ below on one of the gorgeous Cranage Estate fireplaces!
As always it was great fun watching everyone get stuck into making the stockings (I don’t usually get to see that part!), we had a break for the evening meal until 7pm-ish (when the day people left us) for another scrumptious three course meal in the restaurant, then it was back up to the room again to continue with the stockings.
As always much belly laughter was had (you pinocchio nose people know who you are!)…then it was time for bed again, the weekend really does seem to just fly by so quickly!
Sunday until 3pm (when the Sanctuary finishes) is normally when we have time to finished off our projects but Lynda and Lisa had another fun project in store! We got to have a go at making our own custom shawl kilt pin and I got to use a glue gun for the first time. I now kind of want to glue aallll the things because I REALLY enjoyed using the gun. I chose some festive felt balls and bells to adorn my kilt pin to match my Nolkag Wrap.
After that it was wonderful to see that nearly everyone wanted to finish off their stockings…and some did get them finished or nearly finished over the weekend. Everyone did such an amazing job with them!
And some more stockings modelled with the gorgeously decorated fireplace!
I’m a bit addicted to attending The Crochet Sanctuary days / weekends they have throughout the year. It’s always such fun and I get to just talk crochet till I’m fit to burst which is especially refreshing because no one’s eyes start to glaze over – they are just as enthused as me!
It was a thoroughly wonderful weekend, which I knew it would be, that I was lucky enough to share with the most wonderful group of people! Just a lovely occasion to catch up with old friends and make some new ones!
If you are looking for a weekend of yarn, crochet, relaxation and just pure wonderfulness then the The Crochet Sanctuary is definitely the place for you. As testament the weekend dates for 2020 have already completely sold out – but you can still book the remaining few day dates that are left here.
I’m going back for a day visit again in February as a guest which I’m already looking forward to! How many more sleeps is that….
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a complete yarn addict but what you may not know about me is that I also love stationery. Like a brand new ball of yarn I find there is something quite special about a new notebook that makes me feel that almost anything can be achieved.
So when I was thinking about what products to develop next for Dear Ewe I knew I needed to combine my two loves together to create some fun stationery that everyone could enjoy.
I do enjoy thinking of things that could come next for Dear Ewe that I think people will like and of course I make sure that I like them too! I knew without doubt that there had to be a notebook in the new products.
When I’m designing patterns I write everything I do, in pencil, in a notebook, and I personally like notebooks that have a fastening or elastic around them as I sometimes stick in bits of paper or other notes that I don’t want to lose.
Each Yarn Whisperer notebook is made from soft touch PVC covered recycled cardboard and has a ribbon page marker and elastic closure. It’s A7 size means it fits easily into a handbag (for yarn shopping notes) or your project bag.
Keeping with the yarny theme there’s also a range of Yarn Lovers Die Cut Vinyl stickers which will allow you to add your own personal woolly touch to almost anything! As a kid I loved stickers and I realised I never grew out of that love!
Give people a little idea of who you are and what you love by sticking these yarny vinyl stickers to your notebooks, your laptop, your luggage or anything that you like! Available as a pack of four stickers or individually – I’m going to be sticking them everywhere!!
And finally the perfect stationery addition to help organise all of your yarny projects! The Work in Progress (WIP) Crochet / Knit Project Cards are here to help you organise your WIP projects, because I’m assuming like me that you might find something like this a handy tool?!
Invented partly because I have a personal issue with so many WIPs scattered in various places in the house, (15 or so – that’s not bad right?), and I thought I can’t be the only one that would find the postcard size memo’s a handy thing to have around.
Each pack contains eight (8) individual WIP cards for your different projects and they will mean no more forgetting what that project was all about or what yarn you were using! You just write down the necessary details on the card, pop it in your project bag, (you can even add a yarn sample in the holes provided), then when you next go to that project (in few days, weeks, months or years) you’ll have everything you need, to know what to do next.
It’s getting to that time of year now when folks are starting to think about Christmas and all the stationery range are priced to make excellent stocking fillers for yarn lovers, crochet addicts, knitting fanatics and fiber artists. So if you’re thinking of presents for a crafty friend or as a treat for yourself I hope you’ll take a look at the new range of Dear Ewe stationery.
So what do you think? Like them? Love em? Already bought some? I’d love to know.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
I’m just catching up with patterns that have been released whilst I was ill and I think there’s still enough time to tell you about the October issue of I Like Crochet. You might just be able to spy one of my new designs peeping out on the front cover…
Imagine yourself in a log cabin in the woods and you’ve got this issue in a nutshell and I came up with two designs to fit in with the theme.
Plaid seems to be quite synonymous with the outdoors and cabins doesn’t it – does it stem from lumberjacks maybe? I’m not sure? But when I started thinking about the topic that’s what came to me and I kind of knew that I wanted to make a basket…well because I just love crocheting baskets.
However I wanted to play around with the traditional buffalo plaid ‘squares’ design. I still wanted it to be recognisable as ‘plaid’ but I wanted the design to by more inspired by than directly copied. So I decided to go with repeating rectangles that I would create by colour changing as I worked.
The basket is worked holding two strands of Rico Design Creative Cotton Aran yarn together at a time which makes it a nice sturdy basket and is worked in continuous rounds. The only fiddly bit is working with so many different colours at a time but once you find your own rhythm it all comes together easily.
I think the Perfectly Plaid Basket would be perfect for storing washcloths on your bathroom counter, or yarn in by your crafting chair, or even pine-cones as decor.
The next design I created for the magazine was an amigurumi inspired by a woodland creature. Meet Birch – this usually secretive woodland dweller who will come out of hiding for cuddle by the fireplace.
Worked in the traditional amigurumi style using Deramores Studio DK he stands about 29cm (11.4in) high when he’s all finished. He’s quite fond of his baby antlers and hopes to grow up to be a big strong buck one day.
This sweet little deer might be my favourite pattern I’ve made this year, and he seems like the perfect make for autumnal crafting.