New Pattern Release | Traditional Nutcracker Doll

There is absolutely no question; Christmas is MY favorite time of the year. I pretty much go gaga over all things Chrismassy so when an idea of a new seasonal pattern popped in my head, it was one of those occasions where I just HAD to make it come to life. Allow me to proudly introduce my Traditional Nutcracker Doll – the perfect addition to your handmade Christmas decor.

There’s nothing like mixing new decorations with old ones to give that feeling of seasonal warmth! And this traditionally styled amigurumi will stand smartly to attention as part of a festive shelf arrangement or perhaps displayed on the mantle (which is where mine is currently standing guard).

Did you know that Nutcracker dolls, also known as Christmas nutcrackers, are most commonly made to resemble a toy soldier. This is because in German tradition, the dolls are symbols of good luck designed to defend against and frighten away malevolent spirits.

I made this little guy out of Scheepjes Catona that I’d got in my stash and some golden Scheepjes Lizzy thread – because you have to have a bit of sparkle at Christmas don’t you!

So why not add to your crochet christmas decorations and make the Nutcracker to stand guard over your festivities. I love the idea of these patterns becoming family heirlooms that come out, year after year, for generations to come. I know any Christmas patterns I’ve made previously come out every year – how about yours?

I think he’d also make the perfect addition to a Christmas Eve box for the children with the classic story of the ‘The Nutcracker‘ – which is about a toy soldier that turns into a prince. Or maybe for a ballet fan just before going to see the magical ‘Nutcracker‘ on stage somewhere near you during the holiday season.

BUY NUTCRACKER PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

And if you are looking to create more Christmas decorations then watch this space as I have another Xmas design coming soon! In the meantime you could always check out my Christmas Crochet bundle on Ravelry which contains all my seasonal patterns available for purchase or for free.

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

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New Pattern Release & Giveaway|Seasonal Dachshund Amigurumi

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED: Congratulations to The Crafty Therapist whose name was drawn at random!

Remember my ‘Dachshund thru the Snow’ crochet pup that was in I Like Crochet magazine last year? Well I’ve finally got round to releasing the individual pattern today!

BUY DACHSHUND PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I’m going to do a giveaway for some free copies of the pattern – do you want one?

In the comments below just tell me why you would like a copy or who you would like to make the little doggo for – I’ll then pick a winner next Tuesday on 26 November 2019.

If you are on Facebook and Instagram I’ve giving away copies there too for you AND a friend, go on over and enter for more chances of winning!

I think I said before that I happen to have a great deal of affection for this little amigurumi because once upon a time I had a real life daschund called Cabbage who was my best friend for 15 years.

Actually my (woman) best friend has claimed this ami, she fell in love with him when she saw him! The pattern makes a fun alternate gift for the holiday season or you could make him just because you love dachshunds like me!

Good luck to all those that enter the giveaways!

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

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I Like Crochet Magazine |Cosy Cabin Patterns

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.

© I Like Crochet Magazine – October 2019

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.

SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

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.

SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

As well as my cabin inspired patterns the October issue features over 22 patterns and a range of interesting articles. SUBSCRIBE TODAY for a copy of the magazine straight to your desktop or iPad.

If you hook up the Perfectly Plaid Basket or Birch the Deer please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see it! 

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

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Stefan the Stegosaurus Amigurumi | New Crochet Pattern Release

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.

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AVAILABLE ON RAVELRY HERE. GET 20% OFF UNTIL JANUARY 31ST 2019.

You may remember that I entered him into the prehistoric Amigurumipatterns.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.

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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.

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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!

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Stefan is now available to add to your favourites on Ravelry and 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

 

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Sheep on the Shelf Competition and New Crochet Kits

I just had to pop on here and tell you about a couple of crochet things that are happening with Dear Ewe. Now you may remember that I designed the Little Ewe amigurumi pattern as our mascot for Dear Ewe. She’s proven to be quite popular with lovely crocheters out in the world so this year, for a bit of fun, we decided to hold the inaugural Sheep on the Shelf Competition

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You can read all about the competition rules on the Dear Ewe blog but in a nutshell for anyone that sends in a festive photo of Little Ewe they will be added to a prize draw to win their choice of a Dear Ewe character mug worth £16!

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The competition runs from 1st until 12th December so you have plenty of time to hook up a Little Ewe if you want to join in. Entry’s will then be put up for a public vote with a winner drawn on Sunday 16th December. The winner gets to pick their choice from one of our Dear Ewe character mugs featuring Crafty Ewe.

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You can also pick up a free Little Ewe accessory pattern on the blog get EWE in an elvish mood! I think it also makes a cute little ornament even if you didn’t make Little Ewe.

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The other very exciting news is that Little Ewe is now available in a complete crochet kit! The kits include everything EWE need for your project, from gorgeously soft Scheepjes yarn, a premium Addi bamboo hook (optional if you’d prefer to use your own tools) all in a handy drawstring cotton project bag.

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I hope that some of you will join in the Sheep on the Shelf fun – can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

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

 

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Amigurumipatterns.net | Prehistoric Times Design Contest

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I do enjoy the Amigurumipatterns.net  design contests – you may remember that I entered their ‘fantasy’ competition last year (read about it here) and weirdly when I saw this years ‘theme’ I was actually making a dinosaur! Call that serendipity or fate – I dunno but I thought it definitely seemed that I should enter my project.

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve probably seen my gradual progress of Stefan the baby Stegosaurus from my initial sketched design…

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I chose some of my favourite yarns; Scheepjes Stonewashed and Scheepjes Catona to make him with and then I posted photos of the progress I made as he developed…

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Until he was all put together and ready for a cuddle!

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And now the voting to the competition is OPEN! If you happen to like Stefan the Baby Stegosaurus could you please spare me a few moments to go vote for him. Your vote counts, and that’s why there’s three special Voters Prizes up for grabs! By voting you take part in the raffle to win 3 x 100 colors Must-Have Minis by Yarn and Colors!

HOW TO VOTE:

  • Go to the voting page on Allcrochetpatterns.net
  • Click the heart-button of TEN of your granny squares
  • Enter your name and email address in the pop-up screen to submit your vote.
  • Please note: multiple votings by one person will be removed.

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Voting will take place from November 25 until December 2 and the three designs with the highest amount of votes will be announced as the winners.

As always there are seriously so many amazing designs from inventive designers and I’ve voted for my favourites – good luck to all designers taking part!

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

 

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I Like Crochet Magazine |Dachshund Through the Snow Amigurumi

The December 2018 issue of I Like Crochet is full of holiday season and winter classics to crochet including a brand new pattern from yours truly…

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Introducing the Dachshund Through the Snow Amigurumi! I happen to really love this amigurumi because once upon a time I had a daschund (called Cabbage) and this little ami was definitely inspired by him.

Kitted out in a cute hat and scarf he’s ready for a frolic through the snow – o’er the fields he’ll go, barking all the way!  

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For this design I used Scheepjes Catona which I really love for making amigurumi – and it’s really handy that they do the 10g cutie pie balls of yarn which are just perfect for little accessories.

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Make as a fun alternate gift for the holiday season or make just because you love doxies.

As well as my amigurumi pattern the December issue features 38 patterns to enjoy including one-skein projects, cosy winter wearables including hats, mittens, cowls and scarves, and unique projects you haven’t seen anywhere else!

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

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

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Free Crochet Pattern | Rascal the Raccoon

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So you already for the free pattern I mentioned yesterday? Rascal the Raccoon is a fun loving curious little fellow that occasionally get’s into mischief! From sneaking through the forest to exploring your shelves he’s always looking for new places to investigate.

This pattern will be free here on the blog but it’s also available on Ravelry where there is a nominal fee for a downloadable 6 page PDF pattern free of advertisements.

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I used Marriners DK Cotton for this pattern, if you’d like to learn more about that yarn then you can more  read my yarn review here or just scroll straight down to the pattern below.

Rascal the Raccoon Amigurumi

Materials:

Yarn:

Marriner Mercerised DK Cotton (100g / 201m) used in photos :

  • 1 x 65g (130m) Cyclamen
  • 1 x 5g (10m) Violet
  • 1 x 5g (10m) White

Pattern will work in other hooks and yarns though finished size will be different.

Hook: 3mm (US size 5/0)

You will also need:

  • Stitch markers
  • A yarn needle
  • Polyester toy filler
  • 2 x 6mm black safety eyes
  • 1 x black cat nose

Gauge: 4dc/sc = 2.5cm (1inch). Obtaining the correct gauge is not critical to this project.

Finished Size:

  • 18cm high (7inches) x 20cm (8inches) from feet to tail

Abbreviations:

  • st(s) = stitch(es)        
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain
  • dc/sc = UK double crochet / US single crochet
  • dc/sc2tog = UK double crochet 2 together / US double crochet 2 together
  • htr/hdc = UK half treble crochet / US half double crochet
  • tr/dc = UK treble crochet / US double crochet
  • P = Picot Stitch
  • BLO = working through the back loop only
  • ( ) = Work any sts in brackets into one st

Stitch Guidance:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and draw through all loops.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and draw up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, draw through both loops on hook.
  • Invisible UK Double Crochet 2 together / US Double Crochet 2 together (dc/sc2tog): Insert hook in the front loops only of the sts indicated and draw up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, insert hook in the front loop of the next st, draw up a loop (three loops on hook) draw through all loops on hook.
  • UK Half Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
  • UK Treble / US Double Crochet (tr/dc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops on hook.
  • Picot (P): Ch-3, insert hook back into the center of the base st you’ve just worked, yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.
  • Back loop only (BLO): Insert your crochet hook underneath the back loop of your stitch then continue as indicated in your pattern.

Pattern Notes:

Using a stitch marker: Most of the sections of this pattern are worked without joining in   continuous rnds. Place the stitch marker in the top of the first st to mark start of rnd.

Pattern:

Head:

Rnd 1: With Cyclamen either make a magic ring (adjustable ring) to start or 2ch, work 6dc/sc into the ring / 2nd ch from hook, use tail yarn to tighten centre ring closed if necessary (6sts).

Rnd 2: * 2dc/sc in each st * rep from * to *  until the end of the rnd. (12sts).

Rnd 3: * 1dc/sc, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (18sts).

Rnd 4: * 1dc/sc in next two sts, 2dc/sc in next st rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (24sts).

Rnd 5: * 1dc/sc in next three sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (30sts).

Rnd 6: * 1dc/sc in next four sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (36sts).

Rnd 7: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 8: * 1dc/sc in the next 17sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (38sts).

Rnd 9: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 10: * 1dc/sc in the next 18sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (40sts).

Rnd 11: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 12: * 1dc/sc in the next 19sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (42sts).

Rnd 13: * 1dc/sc in the next 19sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (40sts).

Rnd 14: * 1dc/sc in the next 18sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (38sts).

Rnd 15: * 1dc/sc in the next 17sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (36sts).

Rnd 16: * 1dc/sc in the next 4sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (30sts).

Rnd 17: * 1dc/sc in the next 3sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (24sts).

Rnd 18: * 1dc/sc in the next 2sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (18sts).

Rnd 19: * 1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd. Fasten off with a sl st to the next st but leave a long yarn tail for sewing onto the body. (12sts).

Eye Patches (Make 2):

Rnd 1: With White either make a magic ring (adjustable ring) OR ch-4 then sl st to join to form a ring to start. Work 6dc/sc into the ring, do not tighten middle ring as you will later thread the stalk of your safety eye through the centre of this ring (6sts).

Rnd 2: * 2dc/sc in each st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd. Fasten off white. (12sts).

Rnd 3: Attach Violet with a sl st to BLO of any st; * 1dc/sc, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * four times, 1htr/hdc in the next st, 2tr/dc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next st,  2dc/sc in the last st (18sts).

Rnd 4: * 1dc/sc in next two sts, 2dc/sc in next st rep from * to * four times, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 2tr/dc in the next, P, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 2dc/sc in the last st. Fasten off with a sl st to the next st, but leave a long yarn tail to attach eye patches to the head (24sts).

Eye Stripe: 

Row 1: With Violet ch7; sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in the next 2sts, 1dc/sc in the next 3sts. Fasten off but leave a long yarn tail for attaching to the head. (6sts)

Ears (Make 2):

Ears should not be stuffed.

Rnd 1: With Cyclamen either make a magic ring (adjustable ring) to start or 2ch, work 3dc/sc into the ring / 2nd ch from hook, use tail yarn to tighten centre ring closed if necessary (3sts).

Rnd 2: * 2dc/sc in each st * rep from * to *  until the end of the rnd (6sts).

Rnd 3: * 1dc/sc, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (9sts).

Rnds 4-5: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 6: * 1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd. Fasten off with a sl st to the next st but leave a long yarn tail for attaching to the head. (6sts).

Nose:

Rnd 1: With White either make a magic ring (adjustable ring) to start or 2ch, work 6dc/sc into the ring / 2nd ch from hook, use tail yarn to tighten centre ring closed if necessary (6sts).

Rnd 2: * 2dc/sc in each st * rep from * to *  until the end of the rnd. (12sts).

Rnd 3: * 1dc/sc, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (18sts).

Rnd 4: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Add safety nose to the middle of rnd 1, stuff nose.

Body:

Rnds 1-6: With Cyclamen work as as head (36sts).

Rnd 7: * 1dc/sc in next five sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (42sts).

Rnd 8: * 1dc/sc in next six sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (48sts).

Rnds 9-11: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 12: * 1dc/sc in next six sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (42sts).

Rnds 13-14: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 15: * 1dc/sc in next five sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (36sts).

Rnds 16-17: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 18: * 1dc/sc in next four sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (30sts).

Rnds 19-20: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 21: * 1dc/sc in next three sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (24sts).

Rnd 22: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 23: * 1dc/sc in next two sts, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (18sts).

Start to stuff; then continue to stuff as you go.

Rnd 24: * 1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (12sts).

Rnd 25: * dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (6sts).

Fasten off and sew up the remaining six stitches

Neatly dc/sc around whole outer edge of the  tummy patch.

Fasten off with a sl st to the first st but leave a long yarn tail for attaching to the body.

Arms (Make 2):
Stuff the hand only as you work, the main arms should not be stuffed.Rnd 1: With Cyclamen either make a magic ring (adjustable ring) to start or 2ch, work 6dc/sc into the ring / 2nd ch from hook, use tail yarn to tighten centre ring closed if necessary (6sts).
Rnd 2: * 2dc/sc in each st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd. (12sts).
Rnds 3-6: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.
Rnd 7: * 1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (8sts).
Rnds 8-14: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd. On the last rnd fasten off with a sl st to the next st but leave a long yarn tail for attaching to the body.

Feet and Legs (Make 2):

Rnd 1: With Cyclamen either make a magic ring (adjustable ring) to start or 2ch, work 6dc/sc into the ring / 2nd ch from hook, use tail yarn to tighten centre ring closed if necessary (6sts)

Rnd 2: * 2dc/sc in each st * rep from * to *  until the end of the rnd. (12sts)

Rnd 7: * 1dc/sc, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (18sts)

Rnds 4-5: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 6: * 1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (12sts)

Rnds 7-11: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd. On the last rnd fasten off with a sl st to the next st but leave a long yarn tail for attaching to the body.

Stuff legs

Tail:

Rnd 1: With Cyclamen either make a magic ring (adjustable ring) to start or 2ch, work 6dc/sc into the ring / 2nd ch from hook, use tail yarn to tighten centre ring closed if necessary (6sts)

Rnd 2: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd.

Rnd 3: * 1dc/sc in two sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (8sts)

Rnd 4: * 1dc/sc in three sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (10sts)

Rnd 5: * 1dc/sc in four sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd. (12sts)

Rnds 6: * 1dc/sc in two sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd. (16sts)

Rnd 7: * 1dc/sc in three sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd. (20sts)

Rnd 8: * 1dc/sc in four sts, 2dc/sc in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd. On the last rnd fasten off with as sl st to the next st and weave in ends  (24sts).

Rnd 9: Attach Violet to the top of any st, 1dc/sc in each st around until end.

Rnds 10-11: 1dc/sc in each st until the end of the rnd. Fasten off with as sl st to the next st and weave in ends.

Rnds 12-14: With Cyclamen repeat rnds 9-11

Rnd 15: With Violet repeat rnd 9

Rnd 16: * 1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (18sts).

Rnd 17: * 1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog in next st * rep from * to * until the end of the rnd (12sts).

Rnd 18: Attach Cyclamen to the top of any st, 1dc/sc in each st around until end.

Rnds 19-21: 1dc/sc in each st around until end. On the last rnd fasten off with a sl st to the next st but leave a long yarn tail for attaching to the body. Stuff tail.

Making up:

  • Pin eye patches into place on head starting on rnd 7. Eye patches should be touching each other.
  • Push the safety eyes through the middle of the eye patches and the head and secure.
  • Sew eye patches into place
  • Sew centre head stripe into place next to eye patches
  • Attach nose to head just below eyes
  • Attach ears to either side of head on rnds 4-6 at least 6 sts apart
  • Attach tummy panel to front of body
  • Attach head to top of body
  • Attach arms on either side of the body
  • Attach legs to the front of the body on rnds 11-15 at least 6sts apart
  • Pin tail to back of raccoon to check balance, then sew into place.

If you like this pattern and you are on Ravelry I’d really appreciate a “favourite” (just click the pink heart button on the top right hand side of the listing). 

And if you hook up Rascal the Raccoon please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! 

And that’s it!

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

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Designer Interview | Eleonora from Coastal Crochet

I’m really chuffed about my next designer interview because I actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person on my recent visit to The Crochet Sanctuary.

Eleonora Tully is the designer behind the lovely blog Coastal Crochet. You may have seen some of her lovely designs in Simply Crochet magazine or you may already follow her popular Instagram feed. And if you haven’t seen her slow Seaside Stash Busting Blanket crochet-along then you should check it out! There’s still plenty of time to take part and it’s going to be amazing when it’s all finished!

When I met Eleonora I thought I would see if she would kindly let me find out more about her designing process, because I always find the stories behind the projects so interesting, and to my delight she said YES!  Here’s what we chatted about…

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Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I was born in The Netherlands 40 years ago – my mother is Dutch and my father is English but I grew up in England and currently live by the sea on the South East Coast with my husband, three children and our dog, a Miniature Schnauzer called Salty. I’m a registered nurse and at the moment I work part-time as a School Nurse.

Life is busy! There’s always something that needs doing being a working mother but I do make sure that I find time for crochet! I get so much pleasure from being creative…it’s a part of me. I also love being with my family and spending time outdoors… one of my favourite things to do apart from crochet, is to go on long walks in nature with my family and I love a challenge! Give me a trail to walk or a mountain to climb and I’m there!

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How did you first discover crocheting?

Crochet has always been a part of me, it really has! My mother crocheted her own wedding dress in 1974 and I was wrapped in crocheted blankets soon after I was born! I really did grow up in a ‘handmade home’ with little crocheted curtains above the windows made by my mother and grandmother (very popular in The Netherlands in the 1970’s), there were crocheted pot holders in the kitchen, my cardigans and jumpers were knitted, school dresses sewn and toys crocheted!

As for my own crochet, I can’t pinpoint the exact time or place when I first held a hook but it was as a teenager, helped by my mother and a good book! I knitted first but crochet soon followed. I made my own wedding dress but this was sewn. It wasn’t until 2014 when I decided to crochet a dress for my daughter that crochet really took over my life! I loved crocheting that dress. It was from a pattern by Lisa Naskrent which I found on Ravelry I enjoyed every single stitch and it looked so beautiful when it was finished. It really was a labour of love and from that moment I fell completely and utterly in love with crochet.

How did you become a crocheting designer? 

After crocheting the dress for my daughter I knew I wanted to take my crochet skills to another level and start to design and write my own patterns. I discovered the International Diploma in Crochet which is a correspondence course run by Pauline Turner. Working through the course has taught me so much and given me the confidence and skills I needed to go out and design my own crochet and to write patterns.

Having an online presence through my Blog and Instagram has also helped me to grow as a Crochet Designer. Writing regular Blog Posts and posting pictures to my Instagram is a huge motivator for me to keep designing. It has also enabled me to share my work and make connections with others which have in turn helped me to get my designs published.

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Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

For me it’s nature and being outdoors. My blog is called ‘Coastal Crochet’ because I live so close to the sea and really do draw so much inspiration from my coastal surroundings. It’s not only the colours, the textures and the themes of the seaside that inspire me, but actually walking along the beach leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired. It helps to clear my mind which in turn allows the inspiration to flow.

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

I’m a grab a hook and go person! Sometimes I wish I could be a little more structured in my design approach but it’s just not the way I work! I can get an idea in my head at any time (sometimes I get lots of ideas at the same time) and I can visualise them clearly. I’ll then just pick up a hook and some yarn and get crocheting. It’s exciting to see if my ideas take shape.

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Do you have a favourite creation you’ve designed?

If you’d asked me this a couple of months ago I would have answered differently but at the moment my absolute favourite creation has to be the ‘Seaside Stash Busting Blanket’ which I’m designing as part of the Crochet-Along I’m hosting.

I’m designing it as we go so even I don’t know what the blanket will look like at the end but I love it so much already! Not because it’s going to be a gorgeous blanket but because of the community aspect and seeing everyone’s different colour combinations. I’m publishing just 4 rows per week and as it’s a stash busting project people are choosing all kinds of colours. Some are random combinations, others are so well thought out – it’s truly amazing to see! And the connections being made between crocheters from all over the world is just wonderful. There are people taking part from over 20 countries and friendships are being made across the globe as people share their progress. It really is so special and the response to my design has genuinely blown me away!

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Do you have a ‘go to’ for hooks and yarn?

I was given a set of ‘Tulip Etimo Rose’ hooks for my 40th birthday last year and I adore them. I’ve also tried Clover Amour hooks which are fantastic. Both these Brands are made in Japan so there’s definitely something about Japanese crochet hooks!

As for yarn, I’ll use anything depending on what it is I’m crocheting. From chunky to thin and from cheap acrylic to more luxurious wools. I love using cotton too. I have a soft spot for the brand ‘Scheepjes’ as it’s a genuine Dutch company and their yarns are just so gorgeous. I use ‘Scheepjes Catona’ a lot. It’s a beautiful cotton to work with and the colours are amazing!

Who gets your creations; you, your family, your friends?

All the above! I’ve crocheted for family and friends and of course I keep a lot of my own crochet work too. Crochet is not a quick art form and each crocheted item will have taken precious time to make, sometimes many many hours! So I like to give my crochet to people who will appreciate that.

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Where do you work? Do you have a studio space or do you work from your living room chair?

I would love to have a studio space but that’s a far off dream at the moment. There are five of us living in our house and the children are getting big- they are now almost all taller than me! I have a corner on the sofa that I call ‘my corner’ only because it’s next to a light which helps when I’m crocheting in the evenings. But one of the reasons I love crochet so much is because it’s so portable. I can crochet anywhere and it really does come everywhere with me.

Finally finish the sentence … I love crochet because…

It’s a wonderful craft that can be done anywhere and by anyone and such beautiful things are created with just one hook and some yarn!

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I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Eleonora again for taking time to answer these questions. I’ve really enjoyed getting a better understanding of what’s involved with in her designing process and hope you have too.

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

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CraftStore UK | Noel & Nutmeg the Elves Crochet Kit Special Offer

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So do you remember me telling you about how I’d had one of my patterns, Stanley the Snowman, turned into a crochet kit. Well guess what! I’ve got another Christmas kit pattern for you which is available exclusively now from CraftStore UK!

Have yours-elf a merry little Christmas with Noel and Nutmeg the colourful Christmas elves

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The kit comes with all the yarn (600g in total) that you need to make these easy to make dolls which are the perfect addition to any home during the festive season. Fun for you or a great gift idea for a craft loving friend.

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If you fancy hooking up Noel and Nutmeg then you can use the special offer that the lovely people over at CraftstoreUK.com have for KCACO.UK readers. Just enter code NUTMEG25 in the shopping cart on this link for Noel and Nutmeg and it will deduct 25% off the price! Taking them from £24.99 to £18.74! (This code will expire on the 31 December).

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

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