The most wonderful time of the year…Christmas at The Crochet Sanctuary

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 my Dear 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 design which 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

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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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Win tickets for Stitching Show at Ally Pally!

It’s been AGGEESSS since my last giveaway hasn’t it – so I’m quickly going to rectify that now! How would you like to win FREE tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace?

You’d love the chance – well awesome! Just keep on reading…

If you’ve not heard about the The Knitting & Stitching Shows before, and are wondering if you want to enter or not, they are the UK’s biggest textile art, craft and design events. Events are run in various locations usually four times per year and there are LOADS of exciting features for crochet fans!

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

But if you dabble in other crafts, alongside crochet, there are things for needle felting to embroidery to dressmaking –  in fact pretty much covering every textile craft imaginable. And the show is great for complete beginners, experts or folks somewhere in between, as there are demo’s and workshops to try, or you can just fill your boots looking at all the crafty and yarny goodness!

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

In fact for this show, in The Creative Living Theatre, there are going to be free, 30-minute demonstrations to inspire future crochet projects including Tapestry Crochet: Fair Isle Techniques with Diana Bensted.

And for those visitors wanting to learn new skills, The Knitting & Stitching Show’s Learning Curve workshop programme is extensive! Offering over 250 workshops with top tutors where crocheters could have the opportunity to learn how to make seasonal snowflakes, Christmas baubles and mini amigurumi monsters or baskets, owls, scarves and fingerless mitts.

And there are over 350 specialist retailers who will be selling yarn, crochet equipment and craft supplies…swoon right!

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

I’ve attended different shows, and really enjoyed each visit, so I feel that I can tell you about them with experience, but if you want to read my FULL experience of the shows (you may want to get a cuppa before hand) then you can check out when I visited London Olympia earlier this year here or the time I went to the show at the Ally Pally here.

I was excited to see that Italian textile artist and contemporary crochet designer Luisa De Santi, will be showcasing her amazing work again at the Ally Pally.

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

I was amazed by her extraordinary exhibition when I saw it earlier this year. Magical Crochet Spells features colourful three-dimensional artworks, soft sculptures and jewellery that is just amazing and inspiring! Her work really is something to see – I also got the pleasure of meeting her in person too and she was lovely!

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to make the show on this occasion, as I already had family plans on this date, but just because I can’t go doesn’t mean that you have to miss out because I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets to giveaway hurray!!!

Giveaway

The tickets are for redeemable any day except Saturday 12th October  for the Knitting and Stitching show at the Alexandra Palace which runs from 10th – 13th October 2019.

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 Wednesday 18 September at 7pm (GMT). Winners will be contacted via the email supplied from their comment.

Special Discount

But if you want your ticket’s RIGHT NOW I’ve also got a special discount for you! Just quote KEEPCALM19 and you can save £2.50 on advance adult ticket price (£13.50 instead of £16.00 adult advance/£13.00 instead of £14.50 concessions), plus £1.95 fulfilment fee per transaction (£2.50 for posted tickets). 

This discount is for advanced bookings only and can be redeemed before 23:59pm (GMT) on Wednesday 9 October. Tickets can be booked online here  or by calling 0844 873 7343 and quoting the discount code. Full Terms and Conditions are available on the show website.  Information is correct at the time of writing.

I’d like to say a big thank you again to the shows organisers for offering this special deal to my lovely KCACO.UK readers! 

Good Luck everyone! Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Designer Interview | Zeens and Roger

I’m dead excited about my next designer interview because I had the pleasure of actually meeting her recently at The Crochet Sanctuary – and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my fan girl moment in my stories. It’s the lovely Rosina aka Zeens and Roger !!!

© zeensandroger.com

I’ve been following Rosina since I was told about her vlogcasts on Youtube. Her down to earth, say it like it is, podcast episodes are amongst my favourite podcasts to listen to and watch.

You will have also no doubt, if you are a crochet fan, have seen her awesome Instagram feed and come across some of her lovely designs in magazines like Inside Crochet. She has also, more recently, branched out (pun intended) into hook whittling in her new collaboration Kirk and Roger creating some beautiful handmade hooks.

Kirk and Roger Handmade Hooks
© zeensandroger.com

With so much going on I wanted to find out a bit more about Rosina, how she does it all, her inspiration and her designing process. Here’s what we chatted about…

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I grew up in Southampton but I’ve spent half my life in Devon. I moved to Exeter in the late 90’s to study Art History at uni and never left. For the last ten years I’ve lived in an old town just outside of Exeter. It’s sandwiched between the countryside and the coast. I love it!  I’ve worked at a cinema (I still love the smell of popcorn), in social housing (I was rubbish at it) and in HR (interesting stuff). I still dream about working at the cinema even though it was nearly twenty years ago.

How did you discover crochet?

Let’s not count the failed attempts as a child. Instead, I think I can really only say that it was a year after I had my first baby, so nearly 9 years ago. It’s probably a familiar story amongst crafters. Something about starting a family kick started the creativity again (after years of not doing anything crafty). My baby boy received handmade blankets from my family and I wanted in on the action! I started to crochet because I wanted my children to have things I’d made for them.  I bought a beginners book and found a YouTube video that I liked and began to make a very long and very uneven chain. 

© zeensandroger.com

How did you become a crochet designer?

I don’t remember a time that didn’t have me going “off pattern”. However, the first thing I properly designed was a little granny owl decoration. It was the first time I’d written out a pattern anyway. That was around four/five years ago. I remember fretting that I’d never get another idea again. But the wondrous thing about being a crochet addict is that you always want more! The more you do it, the more ideas you get.

In the autumn of 2016 I sent out a few emails to magazines offering my ideas. I was thrilled that one of my ideas was accepted by Inside Crochet (my favourite crochet mag). It was such a buzz and a huge confidence booster!

One Way or Another Shawl
© zeensandroger.com

Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

I honestly don’t have a clue half the time. Colour is a biggy as I expect it is for everyone. I’m inspired by what my peers/friends are doing too, I think we’re all influenced by the same trends and it’s fascinating to see how we all interpret them differently. My favourite ideas are often the ones that pop in my head from nowhere. But it might be a holiday, pretty wrapping paper or a bonkers conversation and all of a sudden you’re presented with an image of a thing that you have to make and you have to make it NOW!

© zeensandroger.com

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

It’s haphazard! I don’t have a particular routine but I do like to make sketches. The starting point might be the pretty wrapping paper but it might also be a crochet stitch I’ve never seen before. If I fall in love with it I have to use it in something. Or I might lust after some special yarn I’ve seen, which has to be turned into a shawl or blanket.

Release the Hounds Shawl
© zeensandroger.com

Do you have a favourite creation that you’ve designed?

I often end up hating the designs I’ve come up with and can’t wait to see the back of them! (I probably spend way too much time with the frog/rework process to have any love left). It’s not always true though, I do have pieces I’m very proud of. My C2C projects make me happy. All the yarn tangling of Havana Nights was worth it in the end! At the moment my favourites are two shawls, Release the Hounds and Hinterland, mostly for their simplicity. Sometimes simple is best! 

Havana Nights Blanket
© zeensandroger.com

How and why did you start making your own hooks?

I’d seen other crocheters explore the idea and fancied having a hook for myself. I asked my friend, Paul to make one for me as his hobby is woodwork. He showed me how to make them and also suggested selling them. It’s quite addictive but I break a lot of sticks trying to make the perfect hook (and I get blisters!). I really should leave the hook making to him and I’ll stick to crochet! Kirk & Roger is a small sideline for us both, it’s fun and no pressure. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed working with someone else. We’re a good team!

What made you decide to start your own podcast?

The number one reason was because my friends in real life reeaalllly weren’t interested in hearing me blather on about crochet all the time. I get way too excited about yarn, patterns, design work etc and you can see eyes begin to glaze over. I thought it’d be a nice outlet for me to find like-minded people to engage with. For me it’s easier than blogging; I just sit down and hit record. I’m more of a talker than a writer. 

How do you fit everything in that you want to? Are you strict with yourself and your time or is it a struggle to juggle?

I don’t fit everything in. Not by a long shot. I’m a world class procrastinator and am not strict on myself at all. I reckon I could double my output if I only learned how to be more disciplined. It can be very tricky to stay motivated when you work from home. I force myself to sit at the computer and write those patterns! It’s much easier when working to a deadline for a magazine, there’s an end goal… But I’ll still leave it to the last minute.

© zeensandroger.com

What advice would you have for any budding crochet designer, small business owner or podcaster who might like to follow in your footsteps?

Just do it. Start today. If you want to do it, just give it a go!  I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I can confirm that there is never a right time. None of what I do ever looks as good as the next person’s, there is always someone out there who does it way better. But I love it, so I do it anyway. I’ve definitely improved since I hit publish on that first episode, but I am always working towards getting better.

Tomorrow you step outside and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning £100 million. What would you do?

Buy a house big enough to have a craft room. Pay someone to write up my patterns and pay another person to sew in ends. I’d also like to have a yarn and craft shop, supporting local makers and creatives. Oh, and it would be amazing to go to all the yarn shops, all over the world. I want to see what’s out there.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Rosina 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!

You can follow Rosina everywhere on the web:  BLOG, YOUTUBE, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK and you can buy her patterns on RAVELRY and ETSY

Until next time – 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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Yarn Shows 2019 | Wool@Jct13

Wool@J13 is the most local yarn show to me so I’ve started to mark it on the calendar each year. This year was the third time the show has run and subsequently my third visit to Lower Drayton farm where the show is held in May each year. 

For an avid crocheter a day out to a yarn festival is great for your sense of well-being and feelings of harmony with like minded souls. If you’ve not been to a yarn show before you probably need to prepare yourself for so much yarn (all of which you will probably want) and lots of people talking about yarn and knitting and crochet!

As yarn shows go Wool@Jct13 runs over two days (a Saturday and a Sunday) but it isn’t massive, and this year it was smaller than the year before. The stalls for the event are all held in a big structured tent with rows of stalls at each edge and along the centre which you get to walk around in a big sort of loop.

The last two previous years have been blessed with tremendous weather for the shows. This year it was a grey and cloudy so it was great to see lots of people still turn out for the show. Luckily the weather was still warm enough to sit outside and listen to the outdoor music by various artists.

Food-wise there are picnic tables available but most people seemed to just be buying lunch as there were quite a few food stalls at reasonable prices – we all enjoyed sampling pizza and tea and cake over the course of the afternoon.

My girls loved the bands and we were able to sit around and chill as they danced along to each track which was nice. That’s one thing I really love about Wool@Jct13, it’s extremely family friendly – you can just see my two girls (below) walking hand in hand through the stalls and even my husband was quite taken with the colours of the yarns available and by the artistry of some of the felt pictures we saw.

My girls also loved all the animals and the play-park that they have on site. In fact my husband played with them on the play-park whilst I got to have a first leisurely look at stalls then we all went round the stalls again together later. The kids also loved the fact that they got a tractor-trailer ride (there and back) to the show! My three year old was very impressed by the big wheels!

On offer at the show was mainly hand dyed yarn, things for spinners and needle felters, and products celebrating ‘wool’. Actually it is a very WOOLLY show, which based on a farm I think it was bound to be, there are sheep around and also fleece shearing demonstrations which are really interesting to watch. You certainly get a sense of where the yarn is coming from!

In the main tent there was just so much yarn prettiness to drool over that if I had all the money in the world I could have gone crazy – because I pretty much wanted everything I saw!

And I did buy yarn, I can’t lie, I felt it would be rude not to when at a yarn show! I just fell in love with the colourways of five skeins of yarn that had to come home with me. The first two are from Siobhan Crafts and the last three are from Bellica Yarns.

I just loved the speckles and flecks on the first two which are 75% SW Merino and 25% Nylon Double Knit. Together they make 200g and the colourways are OOAK – Prism and Mermaid Scales which I think will go beautifully together in an, as yet unknown, future project.

The gorgeous yellow toned yarns I had to have because I just envisioned them in a summer shawl. I’m going on holiday next week so I’m thinking of caking it up and taking it with me. The vivid block yellow is 100g and the smaller two lovely speckled variegated yarn are 50g each so I have 200g in total which should make a fair sized shawl. There were no colourway names on the labels but both are 4ply 75% SW Merino and 25% Nylon – perfect for a light and airy design I was thinking!

So all in all we enjoyed our visit to this years show and I’m sure you will find us back at Wool@J13 next year! If you are in The Midlands you might want to check it out. But actually if you love yarn then I hope you’ll go along and support any local yarn show, they’ll only be able to keep going if we help keep them running – if that’s not a good excuse for having to buy yarn I don’t know what is!

If you are looking for a yarn show near you I’ve found this comprehensive blog post, by the Travel Knitter, which seems to list all Yarn Shows for 2019 which is just fab (thanks to her for doing that!).

Are you visiting any yarn shows this year? I’d love to hear which ones you are going to and why you’ve chosen that particular one… feel free to drop a comment below.

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

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Simply Crochet Magazine | Jewellery Set

I recently had the pleasure of designing a fun jewellery set for Issue 84 of Simply Crochet magazine (which is on sale now). On page 69 you can find the lovely bright set which includes a long necklace, a bracelet and some stud earings.

© Simply Crochet Magazine Issue 84

I have to say I’m quite in love with how they’ve turned out – crochet jewellery just has such a lovely tactile quality to it that I think you can’t fail to love.

These pieces are easy to make even if you have never crocheted jewellery before and especially if you crochet amigurumi as it uses the same technique. The only difference is that it’s working on a much smaller scale, which can take a little getting used to, and there is a bit of a knack to crocheting around beads – but working on this design you do get a lot of practice!

I used Scheepjes Maxi Sugar rush which is 2ply yarn and from a 1mm to 1.25mm hook and different sized wooden beads from 15 to 30mm. It’s the first time I’ve used Maxi Sugar rush but I think it would be great for other projects like adding a crocheted border to a plain outfit. It’s available in 87 shades so there is tons of choice and it’s a 50g ball so you can make LOADs of beads with that much. I wanted colours that were just really bright and kind of clashed when put together but that also worked too (if that makes sense).

Working with such tiny hooks certainly makes a change from what I normal use but actually I got a bit addicted to making the beads! There is something really soothing in the repetitiveness of it all.

Not to help with any yarn enabling (who am I kidding!) but I will just say that Deramores are doing a 10% discount on orders over £20 (with code: DERAS10) until 31 May 2019 if you did want the yarn I used to make the set.

The nice thing about making your own jewellery is that it can be fully customisable and can give an outfit a real blast of colour. I think make great gifts for friends too. Funnily enough my mum saw the set and said she wanted one too so I’m sure I’ll be making more in the future. As she wears a lot of red I might try the set in a block colour too as I think that would also look fab.

SAVE JEWELLERY SET ON RAVELRY HERE

There are actually loads of great patterns in Issue 84. I particularly love the C2C giraffe blanket by Hannah Cross (I can see me making that at some point!) and the cute and fluffy Orangutan by Ilaria Caliri. I’ve also added the amazing Summer Wrap by Ellen Deckers (aka Polevie) to my to do list (sooner rather than later hopefully) because it’s just so awesome!

© Simply Crochet Issue 84

If you hook the jewellery set I hope you’ll tag kcaco.uk on Instagram or share your projects in my Facebook group as I love to see your finished work! 

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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