Crochet Workshops and Yarn Shop Day 2019!


Yarn Shop Day is coming soon folks! This year’s event will take place in participating yarn shops across the UK on Saturday 27th April 2019.

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Now in its sixth year, Yarn Shop Day is a successful, industry supported annual event that celebrates bricks-and-mortar yarn shops and is part of the wider ‘Love Your Yarn Shop’ campaign.

I think it’s such an important thing to try and be the advocate for any small shop owner AND to support local where you can. It’s something that I do in my business and my personal life because I care about my local community and I want my local economy to have a chance to thrive. All these little shops are also usually the place where you find little gems and the expertise of local makers with their own experiences, skills and creativity – that’s something we don’t want to lose do we!

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Each participating store usually hosts their own special event, with all sorts of fun activities taking place. I’m very excited to say that I’ve been invited back to Abakhan Fabrics in Hanley, which is one of my local yarn shops, to join in with all the fun and frolics for this years Yarn Shop Day. 

They have another great day lined up with:

  • 15% off yarn, books, patterns and accessories all day
  • free demos (such as mine!)
  • balloon prizes
  • free cake!
  • free patterns and more!

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It was a great day last year (you can read about it here) and this year I’m going to be around from 10am-4pm. In the morning (10am – 12.30pm) I’m running a crochet surgery where I’ll try and help you with any crochet conundrums you might be having, and also show any beginners that want to learn a few tips on how to crochet. Then in the afternoon (1pm-4pm) we are going to be working on this years Yarn Shop Day mascot and I’ll be sharing some tips on creating amigurumi. The crochet pattern for this years Yarn Shop Day is such a fun one (I’ve seen a sneak peep) but I can’t tell you about it yet as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for the day.

So I hope you’ll mark the 27 April on your calendars with that date to join us at Abakhan in Hanley, if you can, or keep an eye out on the Yarn Shop day page from a digital guide of shops taking part – making it super easy to find your nearest participating shops!

I’m also extremely thrilled to say that I’m going to be running a series of FREE crochet demonstrations in store too this year! 

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The first one is on 6 April and it’s an amigurumi for beginners session from 12pm-3pm where we are going to be working on some fun bunny egg cosies that use amigurumi techniques like working in a spiral, using stitch markers, increasing and decreasing and sewing things together.

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The other FREE crochet demonstrations that I’m facilitating in 2019 at Abakhan Fabrics are listed below:

Learn to Crochet Mandalas – Saturday 15th June: 12pm to 3pm

In this fun and relaxed demonstration we will be looking at the mindfulness meditation that can be achieved when crocheting a mandala. A mandala is a circle made up of different stitches and colours which you can use as a decorative piece, a coaster, or a potholder. We’ll be looking at how different stitches can make a variety of patterns within each round and that there are endless possibilities when you combine any number of crochet stitches and colours to make something truly spiritual and unique!

Ricorumi Animal Amigurumi – Saturday 13th July: 12pm to 3pm

Prepare to get hooked on amigurumi with Rico Ricorumi yarn! Designed specially for creating cute crocheted or knitted amigurumi characters, we are going to be looking at some cute Ricorumi Friends. We’ll be examining amigurumi techniques like working in a spiral, using stitch markers and increasing and decreasing. By the end of the session you will know how to make one of the Ricorumi Friends like the fox, hedgehog, squirrel or duck.

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Ricorumi Baubles – Saturday 26th October: 12pm to 3pm

Get ready for Christmas and make your Christmas tree look gorgeous by crocheting yourself a set of Christmas baubles. We are going to be taking a closer look at amigurumi techniques like working in a spiral, using stitch markers and increasing and decreasing. By the end of the session you will know how to make a bauble and have started a project, to complete at home, using your new skills. 

If you love a crafty workshop then Abakhan always have several classes and workshops available in their stores (in Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Manchester, Liverpool, Altrincham and Shrewsbury) including dress making, sewing machinery, creative sewing, knitting and crochet and patchwork and quilting.

I hope to see some of you at a workshop soon!

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

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Crochet Club Magazine |Raccoon Pals and FREE miniature crochet fruit pattern


Oops I’ve just realised I haven’t told you about my latest patterns in Crochet Club. magazine so I’ll thought I’d fill you in quickly as I’ve got a pattern in Issue 41.

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On page 14 you will find my Rocky and Rita the Raccoons who are just perfect if you want to make yourself a quick little friend – or two. 

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© Make It Today: Crochet Club

You can make both raccoon with the yarns from the kit or with only 32g of beige yarn and some scraps of pink, yellow and white – so they are great little stash busters. 

SAVE RACCOONS PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I also have another pattern to tell you about and it’s available for FREE on TopCrochetPatterns.com. 

Crochet Club. magazine are celebrating the fact that the Top Crochet Patterns website has had a makeover and there are now over 650 patterns you can pick up from over there (including several of mine see all of them HERE).

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© Top Crochet Patterns

SAVE FRUIT PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I had great fun creating these miniature fruit well because they are miniature fruit and what’s not to love about that! In the fruit bowl you will find peaches, an apple, a banana and a pear, and so you can get an idea of the scale of these mini fruit here’s a photo with me holding some of them…

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You can pick up your free copy of the pattern HERE.

Crochet Club is full of cool patterns for all skills levels and in this issue you get;

💙 Exclusive 8-ball bundle & 3.5mm hook
💚 68-page mag 
💛 Tips & tricks from the UK’s top crochet designers
❤️ Crochet-along blanket pattern (part 2)
💜 Stories from other crochet fans

I know that the new issue of Crochet Club. magazine  is on its way soon… So if you haven’t bought the current issue yet you might want to go visit the shops quick! 

If you hook up either the Raccoons or the Fruit bowl please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – 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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The Crochet Sanctuary | February 2019


Howdy folks, how are you all? I’ve been in crochet heaven as last week I went to join in the fun and frolics in a weekend stay at The Crochet Sanctuary.

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©  The Crochet Sanctuary 

Unbelievably it was their 1st birthday (the mind boggles at the fact that my first visit was a whole year ago). This time I was there for the whole weekend and we were well and truly spoilt as always.

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© theweehouseofcrochet.com

The theme for the weekend was birthdays and unicorns so as you can imagine there was lots of cake, of the crochet kind and the edible kind! There was also a pinata and pass the parcel and bubbles in party bags and just so much yarny fun and laughter!

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On the Friday we were given Stitch and Story Miffy slippers to try… I didn’t finish mine. I’ll be honest and say that I fell out a bit with the pattern whilst I was there, it isn’t written in what I would class as a standard format, but the yarn is gorgeous so I may give it another go when I’ve got a bit more time to concentrate!

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Then on the Saturday morning we made the fab crochet cupcakes and as Amanda, from the Little Box of Crochet was also attending the weekend, I also got to see the brand new Learn to Crochet Beginners box by Little Box of Crochet. I was very excited to see this box as it’s rather special! It includes one of our Dear Ewe project bags (you can read more about the box on the Dear Ewe blog here). 

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© The Little Box of Crochet

I’m not just saying it, because it contains a product from Dear Ewe, but it really is a gorgeous box that I wish had been around when I first started crocheting! A full set of lovely ergonomic crochet hooks, gorgeous yarn, scissors and more – what’s not to love!

Then on Saturday afternoon we had a wonderful crochet workshop with the lovely Lindsay from Lottie and Albert.

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If you love crochet then I don’t think you can have failed to see (or be inspired by) the rainbow blanket CAL that Lindsay is currently hosting. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I’m joining in with a lemon sorbet version…

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And for our workshop we were given the choice to create the rainbow blanket or a chunky love heart belly basket.

It was super fun to get a master class from the creator!  The first thing I learnt was how much easier it is to wind six balls of DK yarn together standing up rather than sitting down like I did with my yarn ball at home! I would never even thought of it – but sooooo much easier!

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We were all given a really pretty pastel pallet of Scheepjes Colour Crafter  to work with and I started making the basket…which is nearly finished, I just need to add some pom poms to the front, I love the clever way that Lindsay has created these – which you can find out at the bottom of this post here.

Sunday was spent finishing off our projects and enjoying some good hook and chatter time. I love just watching everyone and seeing how enthused they are with crochet and yarn – definitely my kind of people!

Before I knew it the weekend had flown by and it was time to go home with loads of goodies, including a gorgeous wooden 20mm hook, and an extra special treat of Amanda Bloom’s The story so far book – and as Amanda was there attending the sanctuary I even got my edition signed!

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The book is gorgeous, with a lovely tactic cover, and features 15 of the best loved designs from the Little Box of Crochet. I’m seriously going to have to find sometime to make The Woodland Wreath by Kate Eastwood  because it’s such a beautiful nod to autumn which I just adore! 

So in a nutshell another fabulous visit at The Crochet Sanctuary.! I think you’ll know by know how much I love my visits by the fact I can’t stay away! I can’t recommend how great it is! The atmosphere of the weekend is lovely and we are spoilt rotten by our hosts Lisa and Lynda! Just a wonderful abundance of food, drink, yarn, laughter and of course crochet! I can’t wait to go back again in June!

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

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Crochet Club Magazine |Amigurumi Owls and Pony


You might’ve heard that there’s a brand new crochet magazine out now in the UK called Crochet Club. Made by the same people that bought you Crochet and Pom Pom Mags ‘n’ Makes it’s your fast-track to crochet yarn success! 

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I’m really excited to say that I’ve got two brand new designs featured in the first edition! First up are two sweet little owls, if you’re a newbie to the wonderful world of amigurumi, then these little guys are a great place to start.

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I’ve also designed a pretty pony for all those equestrian lovers out there! I love how he turned out, definitely one of my favourite makes of 2018.

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Like the look of it so far? Then you might also like to read the fun Crochet Club: Meet the Designers to give you an idea of some of the designs and designers that are going to feature in the new magazine.

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Crochet Club is fantastic for beginners, as it features patterns for a whole range of skill levels, so you can work your way up with just one issue. In the first issue you get;

💙 Exclusive 8-ball bundle & 4mm hook
💚 68-page mag 
💛 Fantastic teddy bear kit
❤️ Crochet-along blanket pattern
💜 Stories from other crochet fans

Awesome right! You can subscribe (with a fab discount) to the magazine at topcrochetpatterns.com/subscribe but it’s also available in many major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK. 

If you hook up either the Owls or the Pony please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – 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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RITO Hobby UK | Product Review and Discount Code


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Disclaimer: I was kindly sent free samples of the products listed in this review, and this post does contain links to various products from the relevant company, however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier in anyway to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the products. 


A month or so ago I was approached by the company Ritohobby.co.uk (RITO) to see if I‘d like to review some of their products. RITO are a Danish yarn and hobby craft supplier, with over 15,000 products, and they‘ve recently set up to supply their wares in the UK.

I’d actually been thinking of writing a blog post for awhile now about tools for crocheters soooo, in a bid to kill two birds with one stone, I mentioned my idea to RITO and they said they’d love to have their products featured in such a post. Not long after I was sent an express parcel full of things that I for one use regularly as a crocheter!

I took a few weeks to try each of the products and this is what I discovered…

C is for Crochet Hook

The first thing I lifted out of my parcel was a set of nine Infinity Heart crochet hooks.  

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Now they pretty much had me with the rainbow-ness of these hooks! I’m a bit of a rainbow magpie and I love that the hook sizes are all in different colours…

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And of course if you are going to crochet then you need a crochet hook of some sort. This would make a perfect starter pack as it contains sizes 2mm to 6mm (US sizes 0 to H/8).

It’s no secret that I’m a crochet addict and that I crochet ALOT – like every spare second I have, so I do have a lot of hooks. My preference, after a lot of experimentation, seems to lean towards the ergonomic style of hooks. What’s an ergonomic hook? Well it’s a hook that’s been designed to alleviate any pain that can occur while crocheting. Most ergonomic styles have some sort of enlarged handle which makes the crochet hook more comfortable to hold and they can come in all shapes and sizes.

Whether you pencil hold (like me), knife hold or hold your hook in your own special way the Infinity Heart hooks come with a soft silicone non-slip handle for the users benefit and I can confirm that they are extremely comfortable to use! 

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I tested them out with a few different projects and liked them.

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As the rainbow colours are for different sizes it makes the hooks quite distinctive (once you learn which colour means which size hook) – though the size of the hook is also written on the bottom of each handle

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I found that the aluminium hook end was also nice and smooth so I didn’t get any snags on the yarn I was using. I was suitably impressed with these hooks and they are now getting use on a regular basis.

F is for Fluff

Now as I make a lot of amigurumi I use a lot of toy filler, so I was delighted to receive 250g of white Infinity Hearts filling for toys, dolls and pillows in my parcel. 

I was very excited by how it was packaged – sad I know but look! It was all vacuumed packed so it made it really thin, which I thought was really cool! 

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But don’t let that put you off – when the bag was opened it all fluffed up nicely and the 250g I got seemed to go a long way. The filling is able to be machine washed at 40° – which is especially great for children’s toys and has been prior tested for allergies and carcinogens. 

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I can’t really say much more about the filling except it’s great for amigurumi and that I’m sure it would work really well for other knitted and crochet items. I’m sure I’ll be getting more in the future when I’ve run out.

S is for Stitch Markers

I think stitch markers are such an essential tool for crochet – I don’t know how people do without them! Whether you are using them to mark your place when crocheting in the round or if you are using them to mark the end of a row, I would suggest to any newbie crocheter that they should try a few.

RITO kindly sent me a whole Knitting Accessory Set with 88 different pieces in to try.

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Some of the contents were definitely more geared to knitting, it had stitch stoppers for the end of needles and needle row counters. It also had these odd little plastic circles in the box which I had no idea what they might be for. Thanks to Google I found out they are for knitters to mark increases and decreases; sliding them onto knitting needles as you work. 

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But the ones that I would (and did) use the most were the variety of locking stitch markers and split ring markers. I really love the little antique-y metal bulb pins! 

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Each of these were easy to attach and it’s great that they come in the useful little box to keep them in – I swear someone eats my stitch markers! 

They are also very light so they don’t cause any pulls or distortion to your stitches and the bright colours mean they are easy to find against most backgrounds. 

I think stitch markers are a bit like stationery – you can never have to many and these will get lots of use from me.

S is also for Scissors

I happen to be a little bit addicted to pretty scissors! So when I saw that there were some Embroidery scissors in my package from RITO I got very excited!

Every crocheter needs a good pair of scissors by their side. Or if you are anything like me, who puts hers down somewhere then can’t find them again, several pairs of good scissors.

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These scissors are solid and well made and very good value for money I think. They fit in my hands comfortably when I used them and they are also very sharp! The cutting action is nice and smooth and they cut yarn easily without snagging or fraying it. 

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If you want a pair of really good scissors without breaking the bank, this is a great choice!

DISCOUNT CODE:

And now I have something special to share with you! The lovely people at RITO have set up a product code for 10% discount off all products for all KCACO-UK followers from now (17. October) until 31. October. At the checkout just enter the code: KeepCalm

I hope you’ve enjoyed this product review, I’d love to hear what you think – or if there are any other things you’d love me to try and review in future.

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

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