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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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Right Royal Couple

There’s nothing quite like a royal wedding is there. The pomp! The splendour! The feverish anticipation of the dress! And it’s time for a royal wedding in the latest issue of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 113

In the latest edition of the magazine (on sale now) I’ve created a sweet smiling princess and a handsome prince who are ready to celebrate their perfect day with a summer wedding.

Royalty and romance are at the heart of this union, with the groom wearing his best tunic and epaulettes whilst the bride dazzles with her modern pink dress with puffed sleeves and bell skirt.

You’ll need some extra yarn to make both the pair but apart from slight differences in the arms, tunic bottom and skirt both little dolls are worked the same.

SAVE ROYAL WEDDING DOLLS PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

There are lots of other fab things in this month’s edition too –  the patterns I particularly love are Circus Sam by Sarah Louise Read, which is adorable, and I also love the play food Tart Slices by Hannah Cooper. And although I can’t personally knit well enough to make it I love Destiny Dragon by Sachiyo Ishii.

There are 43 exclusive patterns in this months edition along with news, articles and tips in the 74 page magazine. It also comes with an eight ball yarn pack which has two balls of the coral pink so you have enough yarn to make the Princesses dress.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  

If you hook up the Royal Wedding couple 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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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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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Elena Elephant and Circle Bag

I’m delighted to say that if you check out the latest edition of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine then you’ll see my little Elena the Elephant as the cover star! Squeak! 

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 112

In Issue 112 you can find the lovely Elena the Elephant (on page 13) with her lovely bright sparkly outfit and the frilly tutu that all elephants need!

I enjoyed designing Elena; who wouldn’t love the concept of a circus elephant! I may also have been singing Nellie the Elephant song to myself whilst I was making this project too – I think Nellie totally would have rocked a tutu like Elena’s don’t you!

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 112

SAVE ELENA ELEPHANT PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Then on page 56 I’ve got another fun project for you. You can totally step out in style with this colour clash bag!

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 112

The inspiration behind the bag design was those magic eye pictures (if you remember them) or illusions where the image is sort of skewed. I love the contrasting effect the design on the bag creates.

SAVE CIRCLE BAG PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Issue 112 is a lovely bright issue and the other patterns I like in this month are the Jolly Jellyfish by Sarah Louise Reed, which are very cute and the Space Buddies by Hannah Cooper. Both fab patterns for amigurumi fans!

And although I can’t knit I love the Road Trip caravan set by Nicola Valiji’s which I’m sure loads of people are going to love and the little Koala by Sachiyo Ishii. The koala’s are available for FREE in both knit or crochet and are both extremely cute!

There are 50 exclusive patterns in this months edition along with news, articles and tips for stash sorting in the 66 page magazine. It also comes with a Tropical themed yarn pack which has one special ball of sparkly yarn which the magpie in me loved.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  

If you hook up either the Elena the Elephant or the Circle Bag 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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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Bedtime Betsy and Custom Keyrings

It’s that time of the new month when the latest LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out on sale. Issue 111 is out now and it’s a corker and I’ve got a couple of fun patterns in it’s pages.

On page 13 you’ll find Bedtime Betsy. She’s a sweet little doll that would make a great companion to encourage a child to sleep. I’m certainly always ready to try anything where that’s concerned – my toddler still hasn’t got the message that sleep is a good thing!

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 111

I’ve designed her so that she has removable nightie and slippers – I was thinking that your little one’s could then take part in the bedtime routine with Betsy as they get ready for bed. Plus she’s also got her own cuddly bear companion so there’s everything you need when it’s time to snuggle down.

SAVE BEDTIME BETSY PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Then on page 20 you can see my custom key-rings. These were such a fun project and I love the idea of using them with a positive message label!

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 111

Because I’m a bit of a tea-belly I have to say that the tiny tea cup is my favourite and I’ll definitely be making another one of those for sure! I think my daughters favourite is the ice-cream so I’m going to make her another one of those to add to her book bag for school.

SAVE CUSTOM KEYRINGS PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I was also chuffed to be asked this month to contribute to an article, which you can find on pages 50-51) titled ‘Why do we craft’. It really is an inspiring read as many fabulous different designers share the reasons they craft and what fuels their creativity.

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 111

There are lots of other fab things in this month’s edition too;  there’s an exclusive interview with Debbie Bliss (and a bonus pattern) and there’s 10 free Stylecraft patterns free in an additional leaflet.

The patterns I particularly love this month are the Happy Monsters by Hannah Cooper, which are just so darned cute, and I also love the Plant Hanger by Ella M Austin, I’ve been seeing crochet plant hanger patterns a lot lately and I really want to make one!

And although I can’t knit I’m completely in love with Mary Puffins (that name made me laugh probably more than it should!) the pattern of which is by Sachiyo Ishii and I also love the stripy knitted men’s socks pattern by Dawn Finney.

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 111

There are 43 exclusive patterns in this months edition along with news, articles and tips in the 74 page magazine. It also comes with a lavender field themed yarn pack which has one ball of two tone variegated yarn.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  

If you hook up either the Bedtime Betsy or the Custom Keyrings 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 Shop Day 2019

Yesterday Yarn Shop Day returned for it’s sixth year in the UK with over 200 shops sharing lots of fibre fun, discounts, free patterns and (probably) cake!

I was back at Abakhan Fabrics in Hanley (where I spent Yarn Shop Day last year), this time for the full day, where there was both cake and yarn galore!

I had a little table at the back of the shop where, in the morning, I held a bit of a crochet surgery so that anyone who wanted to come and ask crochet questions, or who perhaps wanted to learn how to crochet, could come and ask / or have a go.

Yarn shops are usually such a great place to get crafty tips as owners usually have such a wealth of knowledge. They often also run demos or classes where you can learn a new hobby too – just like the ones I’m doing this year (read more about those here and here).

And despite the really awful weather we had (that I thought might put people off venturing out), it proved quite popular so I actually ended up having a table full of people nearly all day asking questions and learning different techniques.

It was so lovely to meet the people who had popped into the store or who had found out about the workshop because of my blog (it’s very encouraging to know that there ARE actual people reading this out there!).

The people I met were folks who had always wanted to try crochet or others that wanted help with a particular crochet problem – and I’m also secretly a bit gleeful that there were some knitters that were giving crochet a go too!

By the end of the day there were two completed granny squares by people that had never crocheted before which is just so awesome! And will hopefully show anyone thinking of giving crochet a go that it’s not so scary – you can do it!

Luckily I wasn’t presented with something that I didn’t know (that could have been embarrassing!). The main things that we covered were how to make granny squares, how to join motifs, how to weave in ends, how to keep seams straight when working in the round, how to keep tension when crocheting, how to do the magic ring, and increasing and decreasing in the round.

The latter being all helpful tips for anyone that wants to try crocheting amigurumi…which brings me neatly onto the mascots for this year ‘s Yarn Shop Day.

They were a cute amigurumi whale by Sarah-Jane Hicks called Bubbles and a family of knitted turtles by Sachiyo Ishii – both of which were patterns exclusively designed for Yarn Shop Day and were available free in stores.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the crochet pattern before hand so I could make up my own whale to take along with me.

I used Ricorumi yarn and I think he came out looking really cute! My eight year old has now claimed him as hers.

As well as Yarn Shop Day being super fun for customers it’s also important for yarn shop retailers who say that the increased footfall and boosted sales of Yarn Shop Day really can help with keeping them going.

I never need an excuse to visit a yarn shop and I think it’s great to support local yarn shops all throughout the year. Yarn Shop Day is just a great reminder of just how much these shops have to offer – and that’s why I personally feel it’s important to support them in any way I can. I want to help keep these yarn shops on the high street so we don’t lose them altogether.

Did you get out for Yarn Shop Day? Or I’d love to hear what your Local Yarn Shop means to you? Let me know below!

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

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Free Crochet Pattern | Little Kooky Bird Amigurumi

Have you heard about the wonderful international makers project ‘Every Bird sings it’s own Song’? It’s a wonderful crafters connection project to try and create the longest line of hand crafted birds at the Textiel Festival Weerribben (in The Netherlands) in June. 

The theme of the festival is Strange Birds, and the idea is to embrace core values of the crafting community of cooperation, diversity and connections.

I was contacted by Esmeralda, a facilitator of the project, to see if I could maybe share the information about the project which I said of course I would; as soon as I heard about this project I knew it was something I wanted to get involved in!

As well as sharing the information about the project here on the blog I decided to also have a go at designing my own little ‘strange bird’ – and the Little Kooky Bird was the result.

Small crocheted amigurumi bird

I used some Scheepjes Catona from my stash and some scraps of felt to create the little jellybean shaped hanging bird ornament.

Scroll down for the free Little Kooky Bird pattern but before then if you want to join in with the project too, maybe with a Little Kooky Bird you have made yourself, then please send them to: Creazy Ladies: de Hare 10, 8375 GC Oldemarkt, The Netherlands.

Birds don’t have to be crocheted, they can be from various materials: knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery, felting, drawn or dyed will all be accepted as long as it is made of textile, wool or yarn. The maximum size of any bird is 25 cm high and 15 cm wide.

The deadline for all birds to be in The Netherlands is 31 May 2019 and you can find out more, or follow the progress of the project of GGDW, on facebook, twitter and instagram with the hashtag of #evc2019

The following pattern is free here on the blog but it’s also available in my Ravelry store where there is a nominal fee for a downloadable 3 page PDF pattern free of advertisements if you’d prefer.

SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Little Kooky Bird Amigurumi

skill3

Materials:

Yarn: 4ply / Fingering Yarn Scheepjes Catona used in photos;

  • 1 x 15g / 37.5m x Shocking Pink (Shade 114)
  • 1 x 10g / 25m x Ultra Violet (Shade 282)

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

Hook: 2.75mm hook (US size C)

You will also need:

  • Polyester toy stuffing
  • 2 x 9mm Black Safety Eyes
  • Small scraps of white and yellow felt
  • Yellow sewing thread and needle
  • Small piece of silver thread (optional)
  • Stitch Markers
  • Yarn Needle

Gauge: 4dc/sc = 2.5cm (1 inch)

Obtaining the correct gauge is not critical to this project but finished size may differ if your gauge is different to the one specified.

Finished Size: 7.5cm (2.95 inches) high

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 / US half double crochet
  • tr/dc = UK treble / US double crochet
  • […] = Repeat the sequence between the square brackets by the number indicated.
  • (.. sts) = The number in round brackets at the end of the instruction indicates the number of stitches after working the row.

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.
  • UK Double Crochet 2 together / US Single Crochet 2 together (dc/sc2tog): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), Insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook.
  • UK Half Treble Crochet / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), Insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull through 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.

Pattern Notes:

Magic ring: is also known as a Drawstring Ring or Magic Loop and is often used as a start for working amigurumi. If you are not familiar with this technique you could substitute with a ch2 and then work in the second ch from the hook.

Working in the round: Most of the sections of this pattern are worked in the amigurumi style without joining in continuous rounds. Place the stitch marker in the top of the first st to mark the start of each round.

Invisible double crochet decrease: Invisible decreasing is a method of removing stitches to shape your fabric without gaps. Insert hook in the FRONT LOOP ONLY of the first stitch indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), insert hook in the FRONT LOOP ONLY of the next st, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook; decrease made. 

Pattern:

Head / Body:

Rnd 1: With Shocking Pink make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

Rnd 2: [2dc/sc] to end. (12 sts)

Rnd 3: [1dc/sc, 2dc/sc] to end. (18 sts)

Rnd 4: [1dc/sc in the next two sts, 2dc/sc] to end. (24 sts)

Rnd 5 – 9: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnd 10: 1dc/sc in 11 sts, 2dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 11 sts (26 sts)

Rnd 11: 1dc/sc in 12 sts, 2dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 12 sts (28 sts)

Rnd 12: 1dc/sc in 13 sts, 2dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 13 sts (30 sts)

Rnd 13: 1dc/sc in 14 sts, 2dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 14 sts (32 sts)

Rnd 14: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnds 15: dc/sc2tog, 1dc/sc in 13 sts, 1dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 dc/sc in 13 sts, dc/sc2tog (30 sts)

Rnds 16—17: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnd 18: [1dc/sc in the next three sts, dc/sc2tog] to end. (24 sts)

Rnd 19: 1dc/sc in each st around

Rnd 20: [1dc/sc in the next two sts, dc/sc2tog] to end. (18 sts)

Rnd 21: 1dc/sc in each st around

Cut two small flowers roughly 2.8cm (1.1in) high, cut a small hole in the centre of the flower and thread the safety eye stalk through the hole. Then add the safety eye between rnds 5 – 6 approximately 10 sts apart.

Stuff body.

Rnd 22: [1dc/sc, dc/sc2tog] to end. (12 sts)

Rnd 23: [dc/sc2tog] to end. (6 sts)

Fasten off with a sl st to the next st and using the yarn tail sew up the remaining six sts, weave in ends

Wings:

Make 2. Wings are not stuffed;

Rnd 1: With Ultra Violet 7ch, sl st in second ch from hook, 1dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 8tr/dc in the last st, then working on the other side of your beginning ch; 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 1dc/sc in the next 2sts, 1 sl st in the last st.

Fasten off but leave long yarn tail for attaching to body.

Breast:

Make 1.

Rnd 1: With Ultra Violet make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

Rnd 2: [2dc/sc] to end. (12 sts)

Rnd 3: [1dc/sc, 2dc/sc] to end. (18 sts)

Rnd 4: [1dc/sc in the next two sts, 2dc/sc] to end. (24 sts)

Fasten off but leave long yarn tail for attaching to body.

Tail Feather:

Make 1.

Rnd 1: With Ultra Violet make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

Fasten off but leave long yarn tail for attaching to body.

Making Up:

  • Cut a small diamond shape out of yellow felt approximately 2cm (0.78in) long.
  • Attach beak to the front of the head (in-between eyes) on rnd 6 with yellow sewing thread.
  • Attach the breast onto the front of the body over rnds 13 – 19.
  • Attach wings over rnds 13-18 on each side of the bird.
  • Attach the tail feather to the back of the body on rnd 16.
  • Add your silver thread (or use some Ultra Violet) in a loop to the back of the birds head on rnd 6 so your bird can be hung up.

And that’s it!

If you hook up my Little Kooky Bird 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 and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Rainbow Chameleon and Lulu Lobster

Ooo it’s very exciting! LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine Issue 110 is on sale now and my Rainbow Chameleon is the cover star!!

I love chameleons, I know they look sort of weird but I think that’s exactly what I like about them.

As soon as I saw the yarn’s for this issue I knew he had to be made in a rainbow – not exactly great camouflage but I do so love a rainbow! 

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 110

SAVE CHAMELEON PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I also made another pattern for issue 110 which was Lulu the Lobster. I’ve always wanted to have a go at making a lobster amigurumi, but the obvious challenge to that is making the lobster look cute, because let’s face it lobster aren’t really known for their appealing looks!

What do you think? Did I succeed? 

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 110

SAVE LOBSTER PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

This month I’ve also contributed to an article called Crafting the Best Toys where, along with other toy makers, we share some top tips with you on crafting both crochet and knitted amigurumis.

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 110

There are lots of fab things in this month’s edition;  I really love the sweet little Granny Square eco friendly pattern of the Beeswax envelopes by Corinee Bradd and I also love Flora and Fleur the flowers pattern by Sarah Louise Reed – my daughter wants them for her bedroom!

And although I can’t knit I really love the Acrobatic areoplanes pattern by Nicola Valiji (which are available for FREE) and the gorgeous knitted pattern Jessica flamingo by Sachiyo Ishii.

© Let’s Get Crafting Issue 110

There are 43 exclusive patterns in this months edition and you get your yarn and 3.5mm hook and 3.5mm knitting needles included with your 68 page magazine.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  

If you hook up either the Chameleon or the Lobster 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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Free Crochet Pattern | Bluebird of Happiness Amigurumi

So a while back an idea popped into my brain to make a little bluebird amigurumi. I think I’d read somewhere that they had something to do with being happy, so I did a little Google research and discovered that yes, bluebirds are seen as a symbol of happiness in many cultures which dates back thousands of years. How cool is that!

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I don’t think you can ever have TOO much felicity in your life and I liked the idea of making a wee bit for myself and of course sharing some joyousness with you!

Oh I apologise in advance for all the synonyms for happiness I use in this post – the thesaurus was my friend ladies and gentlemen! 

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Hopefully this free pattern will bring YOU a bit of good cheer and maybe you can pass on a bit of jocularity and glee if you make a little bluebird for someone else (or just make two and double the happy!) 

My eldest daughter has said that the bluebirds name is ‘Blue’ which isn’t incredibly original, bless her, but it certainly is very fitting! I made him in Scheepjes Catona Cyan Blue (Shade 397) which was exactly the colour I’d envisioned him to be.

And here is Blue enjoying some lovely Spring sunshine – as was I when I was taking these photos. I so do love Spring with it’s promise of warmer days, lighter evenings and blossoming flowers don’t you? We are waiting in anticipation here for the annual cherry tree blossom flowering of the trees that line our street – it’s always a joy to see.

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Worked in the round in amigurumi style this little bluebird is a quick project to make up and you can easily whip a couple up in an evening.

The fiddly (or fun bit depending on how you look at it) is making some wire feet, the wire I used was floral wire doubled together which I just twisted with my hands until they looked right. Alternatively one of my testers created a bird without legs so it looked like it was sitting (would look perfect with a little nest of yarn) and another tester used pipe cleaners for the feet, which I thought was a really good idea, and which might be easier to manipulate.

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The following pattern is free here on the blog but it’s also available in my Ravelry store where there is a nominal fee for a downloadable 3 page PDF pattern free of advertisements if you’d prefer.

SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

Blue Bird of Happiness Amigurumi

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Materials:

Yarn: 4ply / Fingering Yarn Scheepjes Catona used in photos;

  • 1 x 25g / 62m x Cyan Blue (Shade 397)
  • 1 x 10g / 25m x Lemon (Shade 280)

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

Hook: 2.5mm hook (US size C/2)

You will also need:

  • Polyester toy stuffing
  • Florist or jewellery wire for feet
  • Black embroidery thread
  • Stitch Markers
  • Yarn Needle
  • PVC glue (optional)

Gauge: 5dc/sc = 2.5cm (1 inch)

Obtaining the correct gauge is not critical to this project but yarn amounts and finished size of projecy may differ if your gauge is different from mine.

Finished Size: 25cm (9.8 inches) from nose 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
  • […] = Repeat the sequence between the square brackets by the number indicated.
  • (.. sts) = The number in round brackets at the end of the instruction indicates the number of stitches after working the row.

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.
  • UK Double Crochet 2 together / US Single Crochet 2 together (dc/sc2tog):
  • Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), Insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook.

Pattern Notes:

Magic ring: is also known as a Drawstring Ring or Magic Loop and is often used as a start for working amigurumi. If you are not familiar with this technique you could substitute with a ch2 and then work in the second ch from the hook.

Working in the round: Most of the sections of this pattern are worked in the amigurumi style without joining in continuous rounds. Place the stitch marker in the top of the first st to mark the start of each round.

Invisible double crochet decrease: Invisible decreasing is a method of removing stitches to shape your fabric without gaps. Insert hook in the FRONT LOOP ONLY of the first stitch indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), insert hook in the FRONT LOOP ONLY of the next st, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook; decrease made. 

Pattern:

Head:

Rnd 1: With Cyan Blue make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

Rnd 2: [2dc] to end. (12 sts)

Rnd 3: [1dc, 2dc] to end. (18 sts)

Rnd 4: [1dc in the next two sts, 2dc] to end. (24 sts)

Rnd 5: [1dc in the next three sts, 2dc] to end. (30 sts)

Rnds 6 – 10: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 11: [1dc in the next three sts, dc2tog] to end. (24 sts)

Rnd 12: [1dc in the next two sts, dc2tog] to end. (18 sts)

Begin to stuff head; continuing to stuff as you go.

Rnd 13: [1dc, dc2tog] to end. (12 sts)

Rnd 14: [dc2tog] to end. (6 sts)

Fasten off with a sl st to the next st and using the yarn tail sew up the remaining six sts, weave in ends

Body:

Rnds 1—5: With Cyan Blue work as Head. (30sts)

Rnds 6 – 7: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 8: [1dc in the next three sts, dc2tog] to end. (24 sts)

Rnds 9 – 11: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 12: [1dc in the next two sts, dc2tog] to end. (18 sts)

Rnds 13 – 14: 1dc in each st around

Fasten off with a sl st to the next st, leave a long yarn tail for sewing head to the body. Stuff body.

Beak:

Beak is not stuffed;

Rnd 1: With Lemon make a magic ring, work 4dc into ring. (4 sts)

Rnd 2: 2dc in the first st, 1dc in the next 3sts (5 sts)

Rnd 3: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 4: 2dc in the first st, 1dc in the next 4sts (6sts)

Rnd 5: 1dc in each st around

Fasten off with a sl st to the next st, leave a long yarn tail for sewing beak to the head.

Wings:

Make 2. Wings are not stuffed;

Rnd 1: With Cyan Blue make a magic ring, work 5dc into ring. (5 sts)

Rnd 2: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 3: [2dc] to end. (10 sts)

Rnds 4-7: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 8: [1dc in the next three sts, dc2tog] to end. (8 sts)

Tail Feathers:

Make 3. Tail feathers are not stuffed;

Rnd 1: With Cyan Blue make a magic ring, work 6dc into ring. (6 sts)

Rnd 2: [1dc in the next two sts, 2dc] to end. (8 sts)

Rnds 3-8: 1dc in each st around

Rnd 9: [1dc in the next three sts, dc2tog] to end. (6 sts)

Making Up:

  • Attach the head to the body
  • Using black embroidery thread add an eye on either side of the head over rnds 5-7 approx 8 sts apart
  • Attach beak to the front of the head (in-between eyes) over rnds 6-8
  • Attach wings over rnds 10-11 on each side of the bird.
  • Attach the three tail feathers to the back of the body; two on rnd 6 and one above on rnd 7
  • Using the floral / jewellery wire fashion push the length through the bottom of the body of your bird (testing as you go to check the balance.
  • Fashion some bird feet at the end of each end of wire making sure your bird can stand without toppling over.
  • Wrap some lengths of Cyan yarn around the top of the leg and secure with a few stitches with your yarn needle to the body of your bird. You may wish to coat the yarn in a little PVC glue to stop it from slipping (optional).

And that’s it!

If you hook up my Blue Bird of Happiness 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 and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Bathroom Baskets and Easter Dress up

Now I’ve got a bit of a thing for crocheted baskets! I love them! I love having them around my house and I love making them. 

I was delighted therefore to have the recent opportunity to design some little bathroom baskets for Issue 109 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine (on sale now) and I came up with these little bubble baskets. 

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© Let’s Get Crafting – Issue 109

Use them in the bathroom, bedroom – anywhere really to store little bits and bobs. You can make them in any colour to match your own home decor with a little pop of contrasting colour – really love the versatility of these.

SAVE BASKET PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

I also made another design for Issue 109 which is just super fun – though I’m not anything will quite beat last years Easter project of the Bunny Bow tie (still love that!). 

For this years issue I made some Mummy and Me bunny headbands! Cute right?!

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My two girls just loved these! Hopping around everywhere pretending to be rabbits!

They would be great for dressing up on Easter Sunday (or just as a fancy dress accessory) and if you add some craft pipe cleaners to the inner ears you could make them position-able!

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© Let’s Get Crafting – Issue 109

SAVE BUNNY HEADBAND PATTERNS ON RAVELRY HERE

There are lots of fab patterns in this month’s edition;  I really love Madonna the Cow by Sarah-Jane Hicks (it’s a cow…called Madonna!!) and the Baby Bear Comforter by Sarah Louise Read is just so cute!

And although I can’t knit I really love the Little knitted Chicks by Nicola Valiji (which are available for FREE) and the Table Mandala by Ella Austin.

There are 43 exclusive patterns in this months edition and you get your yarn and 3.5mm hook and 3.5mm knitting needles included with your 68 page magazine.

 

latest-issue

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  

If you hook up either the Bathroom Baskets or the Easter Dress up headbands 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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