Crochet Now Magazine | Petrok the Puffin

Hi folks! I hope you are all safe, well and happy. We are still in lockdown 3 here in the UK – but as I write this, the use of the first vaccines are being rolled out so we can feel that glimmer of hope and optimism. But in the meantime we can just hope to find some time to settle down with some crochet – and if you are looking for something new then you might want to check out the latest issue of Crochet Now magazine.

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 64

Issue 64 is out now with a range of ‘windswept’ themed projects including blankets, wall hangings and a new little amigurumi from me.

Meet Petrok the Puffin! He’s a short and stocky little fellow with a fondness for herring and playtime. His bright beak and pretty spearmint plumage always turn the heads of his other puffin pals.

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 64

The spearmint plumage was actually made with Paintbox Cotton DK, which is lovely yarn to work with, and a 3.25mm hook. I used six colours of Paintbox Cotton DK in total to create Petrok, but there was a fair bit left of the 50g balls so there would be enough to make a couple of puffins if you wished to.

I love the opportunity to create something new and a puffin was actually a creature that I had on my list that I wanted to make at some point. It’s also a bird I’ve always wanted to see in real life, they just have such a cute appearance.

The beautiful Isles of Scilly is one of only a handful of sites in the UK where you can go puffin spotting. Back in 2005 we had a holiday there which turned into rather a momentous trip as Mr KCACO.UK asked me to marry him.

Whilst we were there we went on a sea safari boat trip, from St Mary’s, to see if we could spot a glimpse of the elusive bird. Unfortunately we didn’t! We saw seals and gannets, but no puffins – so it’s still on the bucket list!

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 64

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Issue 64 of Crochet Now magazine is available to buy from your local supermarket or you can grab a digital version from www.craftstash.co.uk/books-magazines

If you hook up Petrok the Puffin I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! 

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Wonderland Gang

Winter is well and truly here now and it’s the perfect time to snuggle up with a crochet magazine or two! And if you are looking for a wonder-ful project, then I might just have some for you in the latest edition of Crochet Now magazine.

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 63

You have just been able to spy a couple of them on the bottom of the cover of Issue 63! Anyone here a fan of Alice in Wonderland? It was one of my favourite books as a child and I think I wore out our VHS of the Disney movie, so it was such a delight for me to have the opportunity to design The Wonderland Gang!

The Wonderland Gang are made up of four of the classic Alice in Wonderland characters. First we have Alice ready to meet all kinds of curious creatures!  And what would Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland be without the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat!

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 63

Now you can tumble down the rabbit hole with this charming set of Lewis Carroll’s famous characters and create an all-new amigurumi adventure.

For Alice and friends I used some of my favourite Ricorumi DK yarn with a 3.25mm hook which comes in the cutest 25g balls which is perfect for making these little multicoloured amigurumi characters.

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 63

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I couldn’t resist having a little Wonderland photo shoot of my own! And whilst I love all the characters, I have a special place in my heart for The White Rabbit, in fact my eldest daughter has said I need to make her one!

Alice in Wonderland is one of those books that have remained enduringly popular with readers old and young, and these much loved characters are perfect for Wonderland fans and book loving family and friends everywhere.

Issue 63 is packed full of 41 patterns for crocheters of all abilities and it’s all about snuggling up with some frosty-inspired crochet makes such as blankets and wall hangings.

Crochet Now magazine is available to buy from your local supermarket or you can grab a digital version from www.craftstash.co.uk/books-magazines

If you hook up The Wonderland Gang I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! 

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Wreaths, Stockings and Pusheen!

Sometimes when you do work for magazines designs get shuffled round to fit a particular issue and that’s happened to me just recently and has meant I actually have THREE designs in the latest edition of Crochet Now magazine.

Crochet Now magazine cover of Issue 62
© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 62

You might just be able to spy one of them on the bottom of the cover of Issue 62 – it’s Pusheen! If you aren’t familiar with Pusheen she’s a tubby little kitty that was created back in 2010 as a comic strip and has since taken the world by storm in sticker sets on social media platforms.

We are big fans of Pusheen in this house so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to create her in crochet. As it was for a festive issue of the magazine I even got to give her a teeny tiny Christmas hat!

Crocheted version of Pusheen the cat in a festive scene wearing a tiny Santa hat
© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 62

For Pusheen I used some of my favourite Ricorumi DK yarn with a 3mm hook which, as it has lots of colours to choose from, had the perfect ‘Pusheen’ type shades I was looking for.

I have to say I’ve seen some of the Pusheen’s you have been making from the magazine, from tags on social media, and it’s been an absolute delight! They have all turned out so cute! I hope you have enjoyed making her as much as I enjoyed designing her.

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Issue 62 is all about getting your crochet hook moving and working on those last-minute gifts for friends and loved ones. There’s lots of quick gifts including a chunky stocking from me.

Chunky crocheted textured lilac Christmas stocking on a pink background
© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 62

As it’s made with really thick yarn you can whip up this fabulously chunky stocking in no time. I used King Cole Timeless Super Chunky with a both a 8mm hook and a 9mm hook. The finished stocking works up at about 50cm long x 21cm wide so plenty of room to fit in presents!

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Last but not least I have a wreath pattern in Issue 62. Have you ever crocheted around wire? Well for the Frosted Flowers Wreath that’s what I did to create a delicate wreath which you could have to suit your own home decor this Christmas.

To create the flowers I used DMC Natura Just Cotton with a 3mm hook and some florist (or it’s also used with sugarcrafts) green wire. There are some guidance photos on how to incorporate the wire with your crochet in the magazine, it can be a bit fiddly but once you get into the rhythm of joining them together it get’s easier.

Delicate crocheted floral wreath
© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 62

I then used my glue gun to attach all my flowers to a large white 30cm wire craft hoop, I then finished it off with a big bow made with a mixture of different widths of ribbon.

I was really pleased with how it turned out and I think I’ll definitely but using wire in future designs, it opens up lots of opportunities!

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Issue 62 is available to buy from your local supermarket or you can grab a digital version from www.craftstash.co.uk/books-magazines

If you hook up Pusheen, the Sugarplum Stocking or The Frosted Flowers Wreath I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! 

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Sweet Sighs Shawl

I think 2020 is definitely going to be the year of the shawl for me! Today I’ve got my third shawl release of this year to share with you – and it’s a design that was definitely born from the current pandemic situation we find ourselves facing together.

The Sweet Sighs Shawl, which is out now in Issue 60 of Crochet Now magazine, is a lovely easy shawl that includes elements of repetition and texture to help you exhale from the stresses of the day!

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 60

I think I mentioned before that lately I’ve really enjoyed working on patterns that I can easily memorise, where I can just get lost in the stitches, and I can just make. That’s totally what this shawl allows you to do, it’s perfect for a bit of mindful stitching, while watching TV or listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks – just simply hook away, relax and unwind!

To make things as easy as possible I’ve designed the Sweet Sighs Shawl to work with any of those beautiful yarn cakes that lots of different yarn companies produce. I do so love a yarn cake, there’s something so satisfying about them don’t you think, and this shawl, including the fun tassels, just takes up one 150g / 435m ball.

For my shawl I used one ball of King Cole Curiosity which was actually a new yarn for me. It’s 100% Premium Acrylic yarn that comes in a varied range of different shades. I used Ocean which, as you can probably imagine from the name, was a stripy cake of variegated marled blues and whites.

The days are definitely starting to get cooler now, and shawls are such a great thing to have as an autumn accessory as they are so versatile. I like to wear mine looped around my neck like a scarf, but depending on the vibe you are going for you could style it in a few different ways – and I love to see the blue of this shawl teamed up with jeans!

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 60

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Crochet Now issue 60 is available in supermarkets and online from CraftStash and you can also read Crochet Now digitally at www.pocketmags.com.

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 60

If you hook up the Sweet Sighs Shawl I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! 

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Summer Wrapsody

You may have noticed I’ve been on a bit of a shawl and wrap designing kick recently, they are one of my favourite things, aside amigurumi, to make! I just love how many different combinations you can come up with to make something new – the possibilities are endless!

So I really enjoyed creating a new wrap for Issue 58 of Crochet Now magazine which incorporates four different stitches – allow me to introduce Summer Wrapsody

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 58

This shawl was designed with sunny days in mind! It’s perfect to wrap around your shoulders to shelter from a cool sea breeze or to see you through a summer wedding or garden party pinned up with a sparkly brooch (though sadly the latter option might have to wait for a while). I’m loving the combination of yellows teamed with the blue in the magazine styling – so summery!

Summer Wrapsody is a classically shaped rectangular wrap that combines lace panels with solid sections to create a shawl that is lightweight yet cosy when it needs to be. It’s the perfect project to be worked on in summer in gradient yarn for a fun ombre effect, and is a nice mindful project mingled with different stitches for interest.

I do so love a Scheepjes Whirl! And that’s what I used for Summer Wrapsody in the lovely yellow shades of Daffodil Dolally (Shade 551) combined with a Scheepjes Whirlette in Ice (Shade 860) – but there are so many different combinations you could make this wrap in.

And this would make a super holiday project as you only need to take 2 balls of yarn with you to get a complete wrap – perfect for a bit of crochet project packing!

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 58

I do so love this wrap and I hope you will like it too. I think it’s a super easy way to ‘wrap’ up a chic summer look!

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Crochet Now issue 58 is available in supermarkets and online from CraftStash and you can also read Crochet Now digitally at www.pocketmags.com.

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 58

If you hook up Summer Wrapsody I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! 

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Pelagia Shawl

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!

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 56

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!

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 56

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.

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 56

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.

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Crochet Now issue 56 is available in supermarkets and online from CraftStash and you can also read Crochet Now digitally at www.pocketmags.com.

© Crochet NOW magazine – Issue 56

If you hook up the Pelagia Shawl I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! 

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Pomtastic Tassel Basket

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!

© Crochet Now – Issue 55

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 – Issue 55

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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 hook up the Pomtastic Tassel Basket I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! 

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Top of the Knots Headband

Issue 43 of Crochet Now magazine is out now and I’ve got a brand new pattern inside. This month’s issue is themed around day tripping, staycations in the country or trips to the seaside – anywhere where you can take your crochet with you. So I came up with a fun little portable project that you can wear when you get there!

© Crochet Now – Issue 43

Allow me to introduce the Top of the Knot’s Headband – the perfect way to stay ahead of the trend! A headband is a great understated accessory that can top off any outfit – and as a bonus also keeps the wind from blowing your hair in your face.

It was nice to make something a little different, as I’ve been making a lot of amigurumi’s lately, and this intermediate design worked back and forth in rows was a nice change from working in the round!

I used Scheepjes Linen Soft to make the headband which is a gorgeous blend of cotton, linen and acrylic which makes it a great choice for crocheting in the summer. It’s a lovely light yarn too which means you won’t get hot wearing it in the sunshine and it works up quick too.

There are loads of different colours (33 in total) of Scheepjes Linen Soft so you can totally make an accessory to match your outfit! Teamed up with a large pair of sunglasses you’ll look fabulous darling! Nobody should look plain whilst tanning on the beach! Though I love how the magazine have styled it too with the denim jacket and simple tee-shirt.

© Crochet Now – Issue 43

There are some gorgeous designs in this month’s issue which you can read more about on the Crochet Now blog. I particularly love the Cabana Cardigan by Tony Lipsey and the Sunrise Beach Picnic Blanket by Zoe Potrac – and who could resist Shaun the Sheep and the Naughty Pigs by Alison Holloway!

© Crochet Now – Issue 43

To find your nearest stockist, visit www.seymour.co.uk – or you can order online from www.moremags.com/crocheting (US and Australia readers can also order online at MoreMags – copies will be in shops in the US and Australia around 6 weeks after UK release).

If you hook up my Top of the Knots Headband I hope you’ll share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) or as a project on Ravelry – I love to see what you make! 

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Play and Learn Set

I was so busy telling you about Spot the Dog the other day that I didn’t tell you about the other pattern I’ve got in the latest issue of Crochet Now magazine. Now you can help little one’s master shapes and colours with my new fun crochet Play and Learn Set.

© Crochet Now Issue 44

The play and learn set was designed to teach little ones about colours and shapes in a fun soft play set complete with a drawstring storage bag. Not only does it give them the chance to identify and compare colours and shapes, it’s something that they can touch and feel too – which I think is all part of the creative learning process isn’t it.

I was thinking about the Spot the Dog books, which are very much about things like determining shapes and colours, when I was designing this set and also about my two year old. ‘What’s this shape’ and ‘what’s this colour’ are totally the things that we are talking about at the moment and so this was very much inspired by her.

© Crochet Now Issue 44

In the set are a squishy square, circle, oval, rectangle, triangle and star all in bold and bright primary colours. And there is a photo tutorial included to explain how to do surface crochet (which is how I did the word ‘Shapes’ on the front of the bag) if you’ve not tried that before.

I used Rico Design Ricorumi which is 100% DK cotton for both the shapes and the bag as I wanted something that was going to be durable and that could stand up to lots of touching from little hands!

Little Miss loved the shapes and particularly enjoyed getting each shape out and then putting them away again…and then getting them out…and then putting them away again…

This is just a fab little diy busy bag that will keep them engaged and that you can play along with too. I also think this could be a fun set for a nursery or playgroup too as well as for any little ones you know.

As I said at the start, this Play and Learn set pattern is available now in Issue 41 of Crochet Now magazine which is available in all major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Spot the Dog Crochet Exclusive

My heart is brimming over at the moment with childhood nostalgia! Look it’s crocheted Spot the Dog!! I’ve been so excited about this design and I’m so happy to finally share it with you!

Crochet Spot the Dog Amigurumi in Issue 41 of Crochet Now by Heather C Gibbs
© Crochet Now | The Eric and Gillian Hill Family Trust / Salspot Ltd. 2018

I cannot image my childhood without the classic Spot the Dog books, I remember flipping the flaps of Where’s Spot? when I was young, then I reread the various board books to my eldest when she was small, and more recently I’m enjoying rediscovering them with my two year old. 

I was therefore absolutely delighted when Crochet Now magazine asked me if I’d like to have a go at designing the crochet version of Spot.

If you aren’t familiar with Spot, he is a lovable yellow puppy character created by Eric Hill who is a firm favourite with toddlers and pre-schoolers. The children’s books have sold more than 60 million copies and 2020 will be celebration year for Spot’s 40th birthday.

Crochet Spot the Dog Amigurumi next to some classic Spot the Dog books

Of course I said YES and got to planning. It wasn’t until after I’d said yes that I kind of realised what a task I’d taken on! Spot is such a well loved character that I really had to get him just right! It was very important therefore that what ever I did was a faithful representation of Spot the dog and was in keeping with his lovable playfulness.

This was also a very different experience for me as it wasn’t going to be my design per-say as it’s a character that already exists and I was very grateful for the supportive guidance from Crochet Now magazine and Penguin books who publish the Spot the Dog books

Crochet Spot the Dog Amigurumi designing in progress

My Spot went through lots of different phases of sketches before I got my crochet hooks out and then I tried out different shaping techniques to get the look of the 2-D character into a 3-D form. Picking the perfect ‘Spot’ yellow and brown was also very crucial to the process!

The finished Spot is about 15.5cm tall and I designed him with embroidered features which makes him perfect for little ones under 36 months – for older children or adults you could use safety eyes instead.

Crochet Spot the Dog Amigurumi in a cute book scene in Issue 41 of Crochet Now by Heather C Gibbs
© Crochet Now | The Eric and Gillian Hill Family Trust / Salspot Ltd. 2018

I love how he turned out in the end, and I love how the magazine have styled him so he looks JUST like he’s stepped out of one of his own books!

Do you love Spot? You can get the exclusive pattern and kit to make him now in Crochet Now magazine Issue 41! Just so you know, due to the branding guidelines, this pattern will never be released by me independently, you will only be able to get him through the magazine – so if you want him you need to go get him quick!

Spot the Dog amigurumi with his paw on a Spot the Dog book.

Crochet Now is available in all major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK and there is a subscription available to overseas customers which you can find out more about on their website.

I’ve also got another design out in this months issue that’s kind of related to Spot but I’ll talk about that a bit more soon!

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

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