If you are a fan of Simply Crochet magazine then you are probably familiar with their ‘Hook to Hook Challenges’ where two designers compete to come up with a unique pattern, to a given brief, using the same yarn. I always love seeing these challenges as the results are always so different! So I was super excited to be asked to be one of the challengers for Issue 81. And this is what I came up with…
The theme for this challenge was ‘Mother’s Day Card’ and I was given five 10g mini balls of Scheepjes Catona and some card with which to design some motifs suitable to create a card to give on that special day.
I actually came up with a few different ideas for card designs but in the end I settled on creating some butterfly motifs. I love butterflies, I just think they are wondrous creatures and always delight in seeing them so it was fun to come up with some small designs in keeping with my card idea.
I also decided to add an extra handmade twist of embroidering with the yarn directly onto the card. That was really fun to do and it produced exactly the effect I was looking for with the card.
As it was my mum that taught me how to crochet this Mother’s Day card would just be perfect for her!
I did laugh when I saw that my competitor was none other than Eleonora from Coastal Crochet! You may remember that I’ve met her a couple of times and interviewed her here on the blog too (read that here). It’s so fun to be up against someone I know and I certainly wouldn’t mind if she won. I love Eleonora’s cat and floral motif card – it certainly is purrrfect for Mother’s day too!
One of the fun bits of the Hook to Hook Challenge is that YOU can vote for your favourite of the two designs on theSimply Crochet Instagram page. To vote, simply double tap and comment on the design you prefer, and one lucky reader will win all the yarn that you need to make the project.
A winner will be announced on Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 1pm (GMT) on the Simply Crochet Instagram page,the competition is open to UK entrants only and T&C’s will apply.
So please, go check out the challenge, vote, and then I hope you’ll pop to the shops to pick up your copy ofSimply Crochet Magazinefor both Mother’s Day card patterns so you can have a go at making them yourself!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
So has the title of today’s free amigurumi made you want to break out into song?
Ba-be shark do do doo do do doo doo doo! Ba-be shark do do doo do do doo doo doo!
Sorry about that! It kind of had to be done! You can thank my toddler for today’s earworm! If you have no idea what I’m talking about and the phenomena that is the Pingfong Baby Shark Song has passed you by – lucky you! The baby shark song is now reportedly listed as one of the Top 40 most-viewed videos songs ever on YouTube – and my two year old LOVES it!
You may remember me saying that every year I try to crochet my girls a little something for Christmas; I made my (now eight) year old a giant narwhal (get the free pattern here) and so keeping with the oceanic theme it seemed only appropriate that I make Little Miss a baby shark.
I actually made the whole shark out of what was left of the one ball of Marriners plain Super Chunky (in Silver) that I used for the narwhals tusk – so if you bought the yarn for the giant narwhal then you should have enough left over to make this ami too.
Designed with embroidered features this ami is perfect for little ones under 36 months – for older children or adults you could use safety eyes instead.
The following pattern is free here on the blog but it’s also available in my Ravelry store where there is a nominal fee for a downloadable 3 page PDF pattern free of advertisements if you’d prefer.
EDITED: GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED, congratulations to Leonie! You are the winner!
Five years ago (er…well the day before yesterday) I hit PUBLISH and my life changed! I’ve now been blogging for FIVE whole years! And because of my blog I’ve had some amazing opportunities, got to know some fabulous people and worked with some amazing companies – for which I am so very grateful!
WANT TO SEE WHERE IT ALL BEGAN? CHECK OUT MY FIRST POST!
Each blogiversary is a huge milestone and my 5th birthday is no exception. What started as a complete experiment is a large part of how I evolved into a working crochet designer, but I blog because I enjoy writing, I love to share my passion for all things crochet, and I love to hopefully inspire you.
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do – Rumi
The past five years have been full of highlights and new experiences for me. Here’s just a few (of many!):
And I’m so appreciative to all the awards my little blog has received over the years!
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. ― Octavia E. Butler
I was looking at some stats about blogs in general and was really surprised to learn that almost over 80% of blogs do not make it past the first three months – so I’m going to take a little moment to say go me! I’m still here – as are so many of you!
Just in case I don’t say it enough I want to say a big THANK YOU to you all that read my ramblings! I really appreciate the time you each take to visit my blog and especially when you leave me comments and feedback. I’d also like to thank you to those of you that have shared my blog your friends and family too.
LET’S CELEBRATE MY 5TH BLOGIVERSARY WITH A GIVEAWAY!
I’ve actually got double cause to celebrate at the moment because as well as blogging for five years my Facebook page recently hit the mahoosive milestone of 15 thousand followers! Just amazing! So I’m going to do a giveaway here on the blog, a different one on Facebook and another little one on Instagram because I like hanging out there! So that’s THREE different prizes up for grabs starting with this one!
So what do I have on offer as prize here on the blog for my blogiversary? Well one winner will receive the following:
To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post telling me which 5 patterns you’d pick as part of the prize – to gain an extra entry maybe you might like to sign up to my newsletter.
The contest is open from RIGHT NOW until 8pm (GMT) on Wednesday 20th February 2019. The winner will be selected using a random number generator and I will need to be supplied with a full postal name and address to send out the prize. If efforts to contact the winner remain unsuccessful after a week, an alternative winner will be randomly selected.
This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE!
Thank you my loyal friends and followers for your everlasting support and encouragement! Without you, I would serve no purpose!
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
The first is Marmalade the Cat who has a big ole grin like a Cheshire cat as he’s pleased as punch to be in the magazine. Ever so dapper in his bow tie and dungarees he’s ready to go on an adventure to Timbuktu (didn’t all adventures go there at some point? They always seemed to when I was little!).
I also designed some Kangaroo Cuties – who I named Karla and Karl. Baby Karl can pop out of mum’s pouch if he wants to roam around a bit in the Australia outback. I tell you what we could do with a bit of the Auzzie summer right now – it’s been so cold here in the UK the last few days, we even had some snow!
There are lots of fab patterns in this month’s edition including an amazing budgie from the fab looking bookCrocheted Birdsby Vanessa Mooncie and I really love the Lampshade Covers by Sarah Shrimpton and the Teeny Tortoises by Hannah Cooper – which you can pick up for free!
And although I can’t knit I really love Little Zebedee the Zebra by Sachiyo Ishii and the Kitty Doorstop by Aine Marriott – if you are a knitter you can pick up the doorstep pattern for free now too!
There are 53 exclusive patterns in this months edition and you get your yarn and 3.75mm hook and 3.75mm knitting needles included with your 68 page magazine.
Hello, how you doing? How’s your week been? How am I you say? Well I’ve just been finishing off the last few touches to a free pattern for you!
How do you fancy a pattern for a giant narwhal?! I’m hoping you’ve said yes…because over Christmas that’s what I made for my daughter. She loves it and so I thought you might do too.
Every year I try to crochet my girls a little something, they always love these makes and it’s lovely to see the enjoyment they get out of them. This year I’m not quite sure how the conversation came about but it ended up some how with me agreeing to make my seven year old a narwhal, and not just a small narwhal, a GIANT one!
Narwhals are just such interesting creatures aren’t they! There are none in captivity (apparently any attempts to keep them have been unsuccessful) and this obviously lends to the mythical intrigue about the animal I’m sure!
Did you know they are dubbed as the unicorn of the sea as apparently in medieval times their tusks (which is actually a tooth) were passed off as actual unicorn horns – maybe this is why they seem kind of magical! They are just so fascinating and mysterious that I thought who wouldn’t want to crochet a cuddly plushie one!
I have actually always wanted to have a go at making a giant amigurumi but giant things usually take lots of time and use giant amounts of yarn. So what I needed was big yarn and a big hook!
You may remember that Marriner Yarns kindly sent me some yarn to try out last year (read about that here). In the pack was some variegated Mermaid Super Chunky which I thought might work out nicely.
They’d sent me one ball of Marshmallow in the pack but one ball wasn’t going to make anything giant so I bought some more off their website (it came pretty quickly too) and combined it with a ball of their Marriners plain Super Chunky in Silver (for the tusk).
Watch this space for another ocean creature, that I made for my youngest, that I made with the left over Silver Marriners Super Chunky – coming soon!
Mermaid Chunky really is lovely and soft and works well for chunky amigurumi and as it’s only £1.50 per ball it won’t cost you a fortune to make an amigurumi this big. Whalema (as my daughter has called hers) measures a whopping 99cm (39 inches) from horn tip to tail so she’s not small!
The recommended hook size for the yarn is a 10mm (US N/13) but I used a 6.5mm (US size K) for a tighter amigurumi stitch. That said I’ve recently discovered that I’m a loose crocheter so you may find a larger hook size works for you just as well.
The following pattern is free here on the blog but it’s also available on Ravelry where there is a nominal fee for a downloadable 4 page PDF pattern free of advertisements if you’d prefer.
I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets, most generously donated by the shows organisers, for all you lovely readers – plus they’ve also set up a nice discount on ticket prices for anyone that doesn’t win (more about that in a moment).
If you love a good craft show, which of course I do, and you aren’t familiar with the Knitting and Stitching Show then you are really missing something. These shows are the UK’s biggest textile art, craft and design events and the Spring show will open its doors to thousands of crafters for FIVE whole days at London Olympia on Thursday 28 February until Sunday 1 March 2019.
You may remember I went to one of the shows back in 2017 with my lovely mum and we had a blast (you can read about that visit here). So we are going back down to the show together again this year for more crafty fun!
Any hoo, if you want to go straight to the details on how to win tickets scroll to the bottom of this page, if you’ve got a few more minutes I just want to tell you about another couple of things that’s happening at this years Spring show…
I for one am extremely excited to see the amazing work by Italian textile artist and designer Luisa De Santi who is bringing her extraordinary knit, crochet and embroidery work to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show. Her exhibition called Magical Crochet Spells sounds like something not to be missed out on! I’ve seen some of the photos of her work and it’s just so intriguing!
I’m also looking forward to seeing The Fashion and Textile Museum who are hosting a 50 Years of Fabulous. They are doing a showcase with a collection of garments from its forthcoming exhibition celebrating iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes’ 50th anniversary. Although I don’t sew I do admire those that can (and I LOVE The Great British Sewing Bee) so I bet that’s going to be a whole lot of fabulous fun to see!
Ooo the more I’m writing about it, the more excited I’m getting! As well as all these exhibits there’s going to be over 150 exhibitors selling specialist craft supplies (including yummy yarn that needs to come home with me), and there’s going to be hundreds of workshops and demonstrations too. I’m still looking at the full workshop list deciding what to do as there are so many I just want to do!
Spend a day re-stocking your yarn stash, learning to knit, mastering the art of tailoring and just so much more. There has never been a better excuse to go to a show – it’s been designed for us to enjoy to the max!
Right enough enthusing from me, I think you get that I’m quite excited about going, let’s get on to how YOU can win tickets to the show…
I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets to giveaway and the tickets are for redeemable any day except Saturday 2nd March. These tickets are only for the Spring Knitting and Stitching show at the Olympia London which runs from 28th February until 3rd March 2018.
All you need to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post about why you’d like to go to the show. The competition closes on Thursday January 31st 2019 at 7pm (GMT) with the winners being announced later that evening here on the blog. Good Luck Everyone!
But if you want your ticket’s RIGHT NOW I’ve also got a special discount for you! Just quote KCACO19 and get £2 off any advance adult ticket or £1 off any advance concessionary ticket. This means that tickets will be £12 instead of £14/£13 (please not there is a £1.75 fulfilment fee per transaction).
I’m so excited to say that I’ve got a new pattern out in issue 37 of Crochet Now magazine. I’ve actually been waiting for this design to come out so I could tell you about it as it’s definitely one of my favourite makes that I’ve made to date!
Meet Angelica Mouse! This wee gal is all ready for a winter walk into town in her cute dress, hat and muff. I think she’s going yarn shopping…yes she’s got that look of a dedicated yarn shopper don’t you think.
And she’s dressed perfectly for the weather here in the UK at the moment. It started snowing here tonight and I keep thinking I could do with a muff! It looks fab on a mouse – but do people still wear hand muffs? Anyway I digress…back to the crochet…
When I started designing her I think I might have been subconsciously channelling a bit ofMiss Bianca from Disney’s The Rescuersas that’s who my Dad said she looked like. But in the end I think she’s turned out to have her own look and I really do love how she turned out. She came together really well when I was designing her – sometimes a pattern just flows off your hook and I think they often end up as my favourites for that reason.
For this design I used Scheepjes Stonewashed yarn, which if you follow along here on the blog, you will know is some of my favourite yarn to crochet with. I think the stonewashed aged look of the yarn suited the design and the look I was trying to create perfectly.
As well as my crochet mouse pattern issue 37 features loads of great patterns including some really fun C2C projects and some really cute birds by Irene Strange (who you may remember I interviewed a couple years ago).
I’ve got a new design out in the February 2019 issue of I Like Crochet and it’s one I really love! The Stonewashed bag is my new favourite thing! It’s such a classic shape, it’s got a fun retro / vintage feel about it, and it’s easy to make!
This large shoulder bag was inspired and pieced together like a denim patchwork and I added some faux leather handles to feel a bit like a belt. It’s really spacious inside and has a popper closure making it a great carryall bag.
You can’t really tell on the photos in the magazine but I lined it with a cute floral fabric which I picked up at my local yarn shop – and I love the pop of colour in the middle.
This is a simple-to-make crochet bag, great for beginners and would be a quick make for more accomplished crocheters.
For this design I used Wool and the Gang Billie Jean yarn which I’d wanted to try because it’s made using upcycled pre-consumer denim waste which I thought was really cool – and it just suited my design idea perfectly!
Ten days into the New Year and I’m releasing my first pattern of 2019! In my bid to get more organised I’m trying to tick off anything outstanding for 2018 so there might be a slew of new patterns coming this way including some from magazine’s whose rights have now reverted back to me – so watch this space!
So my first pattern release of 2019 is Stefan the Baby Stegosaurus! HURRAY! I know I’ve been asked by a few people when he was going to be available so I thought I’d sort him out first.
You may remember that I entered him into the prehistoricAmigurumipatterns.net design contest (read about it here) and I’d like to say a big thanks to 375 people that voted for him – we didn’t win but it was fun taking part.
This cuddle sized prehistoric softie is looking for an owner to snuggle with and care for him. Stefan is the perfect addition to any dinosaur lovers soft toy collection.
With crochet eyes, rather than safety eyes, Stefan also makes a great gift for babies and toddlers.
The PDF file is 6 pages long, it’s written in both UK and US terms and includes explanations of all stitches and abbreviations. There’s also a mini photo tutorial on how to add the claws.
I made mine in Scheepjes Stone Washed Crystal Quartz and Larimar, because I adore the aged washed out look to that yarn, but my testers used some great colours – I especially love the variegated version of Stefan!
Stefan is now available to add to your favourites on Ravelryand you can get 20% discount off (no coupon required) until 31 January 2019. After that time the pattern will revert to full price.
Remember to share any Stefan project’s to be in with a chance to win a free pattern if you are featured in my monthly newsletter.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Our stitch story crochet along journey is at an end! But don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL you can find the full schedule here and I promise to keep all the details on the blog FOREVER.
Now it’s time to fold up my blanket becauseI’m going to share some of the amazing finished Stitch Story Crochet blankets made by YOU!
But first I need to share Esther’s, from It’s All in A Nutshell, finished blanket! I know many of you really enjoyed Esther’s accompanying videos to the CAL and the link to her tutorials on her blog here (I’ve also added the link on the main CAL page). It’s so pretty in that colourway isn’t it (Scheepjes Riverwashed Shade Wheaton)!
I love that people have chosen to make blankets all in one colour like mine or multicoloured like my mums. All the colourways that were shared with me were fantastic and pretty but I have just selected a few different for inspiration purposes. So without further ado here are some unbelievably gorgeous blankets to feast your eyes on – and I’ve also added some of the stories the blanket owners have shared!
Made by Gerda for her daughter 💕
Made by Barbara and for her son who likes to steal this blanket to snuggle under! 💕
Ruby took joy in the creating of her beautiful blue blanket 💕
Made by Linda for her daughter who loved the gift 💕
Made in different tonal blues by Sara 💕
Lynn hooked 3 of each of the large blocks for her pretty blanket 💕
Elizabeth made only the little blocks and chose a lovely grouped arrangement 💕
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 loved seeing your finished blankets 💕
I need at this point to say some quick thank you’s! I’ll try not to turn it into too much of an Oscar speech but I feel it’s important to acknowledge all the people behind the scenes that helped make this CAL happen!
Many thanks to Scheepjes for supplying the yarn for both blankets and so I could make this pattern for you. I need to thank Esther (It’s All in A Nutshell) for making the wonderful CAL video tutorials and to Iris who wonderfully translated the CAL from English to Dutch (which you can find on her blog Een Mooi Gebaar links to all the posts are here).
I need to say a MAHOOSIVE thank you to all the testers that helped with the colossal task of turning my scribbles into something legible for you all to make! Big shout outs to Jean, Steff, Dianne, Peggy, Kim, Leanne, Olwyn, Kimberlie, Jenn, Dulcy and Marie!
Thanks as always to my eldest daughter for posing in photos for me (even without marshmallow bribes!) and to my husband for driving round to find that perfect spot for a photo!
And I can’t write this post without thanking the lady without whom I just wouldn’t have ever finished two blankets in time. My lovely mum! I love the fact that we did this together and thank you for helping me with my crochet story, for your weaving in ends prowess and for rolling up your sleeves to just help me get it done! 💕