The first one is a Monster Rucksack that I think your little monsters will love as much as I do! It was such a fun design to create and is a great stash busting project!
The thing with monsters is that there is no right or wrong way for them to look! You could get really creative with buttons, zips, poppers or ribbon and create something truly unique for your kids to carry their essentials. I have to say that the two models did an amazing job of showing the rucksack off too!
Instead of crocheting some backpack straps I decided to investigate using some pre-made straps. The ones I used were these ‘Backpack Replacements Straps‘ from Amazon, which I was really impressed with – I would definitely use them again in future projects. They worked really well, especially as the rucksack was a large one, they gave the back a bit more support, and the straps also won’t stretch overtime.
I also had fun creating Kathie flamingo for this edition. I had a play with some colour-work to create something a little different and not your average looking flamingo.
Using fun different coloured stripes for interest, but still keeping some of the traditional pink, I think I’ve created something fun and new whilst still making sure it intrinsically keeps the look of a flamingo.
There are lots of other fab things in this month’s edition some of the patterns I particularly love are Bath-olomew the Elephant by Sarah Louise Read, his little rubber ducky is just so cute, and the cover star this month, the Land Girl by Sachiyo Ishii, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the VE day landing, is just wonderful!
I’m also quite excited about the pattern for Winnie the Pooh that appears in this issue from the fab looking Winnie the Pooh Crochet Book by Megan Kreiner, he’s a bit of a favourite of mine so I think I’m going to have to make him!
There are 35 patterns in this months edition along with news, articles and tips. It also comes with a six yarn pack a hook and knitting needles.
LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK or if you’re not able to get to the shops right now you can get a digital version of the mag from Pocketmags (the free cover gifts are not available via this digital subscription).
Issue 55 of Crochet Now magazine is out now and I’ve got a brand new pattern inside that I’m quite in love with! Allow me to introduce the Pomtastic Tassel Basket! It’s a fabulously large basket, complete with pompoms and tassels for a fun finish, that’s perfect for storing lots of yarn in!
One of my favourite things to make is a basket; as a person who just seems to accumulate a lot of ‘stuff’ I just find it so satisfactory to be able to make storage solutions! I wanted this design to be a nice large basket so it’s got a circumference of 107cm and a height of 29cm – which means there’s more than enough room to hold all of your yarn for a big project.
I used Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK in four different colours (Wheat, Shrimp, Apricot and Fuchsia) combined with Ecru Stylecraft Craft Cotton (DK) worked doubled with a 5.5mm hook. It may seem that a 5.5mm hook is quite small for working two lots of double knit, but I was aiming for a nice tight fabric.
It was my first time working with Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK but I really like it, I think there’s about 30 odd different shades, so lots of choices to come up with some fun and modern colour combinations.
The large pom poms and tassels on the sides worked really well in the cotton too – I think it was my first time making either tassels or pom poms in cotton rather than acrylic!
With this design I also tried to overcome the challenge of having the basket become too floppy – which can happen when you are trying to make a larger basket. The key to a good basket, I’ve found, is having a sturdy base. This foundation is then and it’s supported by working in double stranded cotton with a nice tight stitch pattern which helps the sides stand up on their own.
Crochet Now is available in supermarkets and online from CraftStash and you can also read Crochet Now digitally at www.pocketmags.com and it comes with a pom pom and tassel maker – perfect for if you want to get making the basket!
If you are reading this in real time then if you’ve received a parcel recently then you’ve probably had to put it in quarantine due to Covid-19. It’s a very strange (but needed) thing to do, and it actually led to exciting ‘opening’ anticipation – because I signed up for my very first fibre swap experience.
I’ve never tried a yarn swap before so thought I’d try one as an experiment; the one I chose to go with for my first time is called WoolSwap. I’d heard about WoolSwap through Dear Ewe (as we’d signed up to give a discount for woolswappers) and thought it looked really fun.
If you are unfamiliar with yarn-swapping programmes in a nutshell you pay a fee to be part of a swap, you are paired with someone, and then you swap your yarn. The fee part is there to help cover anyone that doesn’t end up getting a present for whatever reason, so I didn’t mind paying that, plus it’s all organised for you. Through the swap you get the opportunity to meet someone new, and get a fun yarny present in return.
As it was a trial run for me I signed up to the small package deal which was $8.00 / £6.45 with a minimum of 100g yarn to swap. Then you wait for your match with the person you are sending to being the person you will also receive from.
My match could have been anyone in the UK (though I chose to keep just to the UK this time rather than worldwide) and I had to laugh as I was paired with the lovely Jane who lives about 13 miles away from me.
I got a little bio about her from the Woolswap team, with her details, which gave me some details of the sorts of things she liked. She said that she was a crocheter (which was good for me!), that she liked greens and purples and she’d love some heavier weight yarns as she had a lot of sock yarns already in her stash.
Although the minimum was to send 100g you could decide on an amount to send each other, and we chatted a bit over Instagram before we made the initial swap. That was the only thing I found tricky, not the talking to Jane (who seems lovely), but I would have loved for things to have been a bit more specific, only because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, and I was a bit unsure how things were supposed to be with it being my first swap.
What I sent
I totally forgot to take a photo of what I sent Jane, as I wanted to get things sent off, but I decided to go with ‘green’ as my theme (as I do so love a theme). I sent 500g in total in all DK and Aran weights including: 2 x West Yorkshire Spinners Aran – Aire Valley in Mojito and one of the same brand in a corresponding solid green called Emerald. I thought 300g would be enough to make a good shawl or small lap blanket.
I also sent a 100g skein of Cascade 220 Superwash DK called Heather’s just because it’s called ‘Heathers’! I chose a gorgeous green called Forest Heather (and I may have treated myself to some Heather yarn for myself too -ooopss!) and a 100g skein of hand dyed DK yarn by the fabulous indie dyer Siobhan Crafts which I want to say was called OOAK mermaid (but I could be wrong).
And as little gifts I sent her some Dear Ewe goodies including a WIP project bag, as I thought it would be a handy place to put her new yarn, some WIP project cards, for all her new projects with her new yarn, and some of the yarn lovers prop cards, for photo opportunities once she has made some lovely things from her new yarn.
What I received
When my box came out of quarantine I was super excited to finally open it, I even did an unboxing on IGTV filmed by my lovely 9 year old. Yarnwise I received 2 x 50g of Hobbycraft ‘Catch a Wave’ yarn which I’ve never tried before, I got 2 x little 10g yarn and colors mini’s to try (green & purple), which again I’ve never used before and a 25g ball of White Ricorumi which I use a lot so that will come in handy.
I was also gifted 2 hand dyed mini skeins which I think were both from Mothy and the Squid; one is a 20g which is variegated reds with black flecks called ‘Red Octopus’ and the other looks to be 10g mini that is orange with black flecks (this one I couldn’t see a label, though I might have thrown it away by accident in my opening frenzy). I’ve always wanted to make an amigurumi in hand dyed yarn and these might be fun to use for that with them just being little amounts – maybe I should take inspiration from the yarn name and make an octopus!
Then the pièce de résistance in terms of yarn was an absolutely gorgeous 100g skein of RiverKnits hand-dyed yarn called ‘Mermaid’ which is a Superwashed Blue Faced Leicester yarn. I recently purchased from Provence Crafts the Positivity Spiral Cowl as part of #OperationSJW and because it’s gorgeous. It uses 100g so I think I’ll use that to make the cowl, and it seems highly appropriate as if you’ve ever watched Faye’s Crochet Circle Podcast you will know she’s a big fan of RiverKnits yarn.
The rest of the parcel was filled with fun little knick knacks including; a little crochet cactus amigurumi, Clipper organic sleep easy tea bags, a grey faux fur pom, some Easter Caramel Shortcake bits, a little cactus print mini project bag, some mini Little Box of Crochet pattern books and goodies, some stitch markers, some crochet hooks, mini notebooks and pen and a thriller book.
All the gifts were beautifully wrapped, with little handmade messages on, so it felt like Christmas! Jane also sent a gorgeous handmade felted scene card which was beautiful.
Final thoughts on Woolswap
I really enjoyed the whole WoolSwap experience. I had great fun putting together a parcel for my swap partner, and have a little more ideas of things I could include in future swaps. It’s been a great way to get to know new people as Jane and I chatted about other things other than the swap including kids in lockdown. And aside from the fun of just receiving a gift / parcel just for me, it’s been really fun to receive yarn that I’ve never tried before.
All in all it’s been a very positive experience and a fibre swap is something I will definitely consider doing again in the future. Have you done fibre swaps before? How was your experience? Would you recommend any particular one you’ve tried? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Hey folks, hope you are all okay out there in the strange world in which we find ourselves at the moment! But ‘don’t worry, be hoppy!’ – I’ve got a brand new FREE pattern to share with you all today.
You can tell it’s nearly Easter when I’m making all things bunny themed! This is my third bunny themed pattern I’ve released so far this year!
What I love about this Bunny Rabbit, though you can’t really tell from the photograph, is that the dungarees are removable, there is even a little hole in the bottom for his tail to poke through. His pockets are totally functional too – perfect for stashing away a little carrot or two.
The pattern includes details on how you can make some of the Bunny Rabbit‘s favourite snacks!
For my little bunny I used Deramores Studio Baby Soft DK which I’d not used before but it’s sooooo nice! It’s lovely and soft, and has anti-piling technology too which I love. I’ll definitely be thinking of using it again in another project, it would make such a soft blanket for instance.
Deramores Studio Baby Soft DK comes in 19 different colours at the moment, and it’s not just all ‘baby’ pastels as the name ‘Baby Soft’ suggests either. There are a couple of bright colours in the mix – and I hope they’ll add some different colours in the future (it would be nice to see a red!)
Hey folks, how you all doing out there? Today has felt like a looooonnnggg day! So in an aim to focus on more positive things, I’ve got a brand new pattern release for you today! Meet the Batternburg Bunny, she’s as sweet as marzipan and some’bunny’ you should really get to know better!
Do you like Battenburg cake? It’s one of my eldest girls favourites, but I think marzipan in a bit like marmite isn’t it, you either love it or loathe it!
This is one of those designs that I had around at least a year ago which popped up into my head again, and then I couldn’t shake it, I really wanted to try and combine some tapestry crochet and amigurumi to make something new!
She’s a fun project to make, and really not too tricky once you get into the flow of things.
I was actually going to call this bunny the Patchwork bunny until one of my friends suggested it looked like a Battenburg cake and then it just had to be the name!
My bunny is made from Scheepjes Catona that I’d got in my stash (I have a lot of Catona in my stash! You may have noticed it’s one of my favourite yarns to use for amigurumi), but the pattern will work with other yarns.
The 6 page Battenburg Bunny pattern is now on sale over on Ravelry (available in UK and US terms).
In fact if you are looking for something to do I’ve put ALL my patterns on sale in my Ravelry store until 3 April 2020. Just enter code: LOCKDOWN for a discount off all patterns you add to your basket.
I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, but it’s because I’ve been frantically working on some fun projects behind the scenes that have just taken up my time. That does mean lots to show you soon though!
However I’ve got a couple of new patterns that have just been released in the latest issue of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine. And if you are longing for sunshine and Spring, like I am, then these might just be the ticket!
How about a little pocket sized sheep! This little lamb is such a cute little project and is a quick and fun springtime project. If you decorate for Easter or for the changing of the seasons Mandy the Lamb would look great sitting on a shelf or your mantlepiece.
I also had fun creating a sweet little bunny bonnet which was modelled amazingly by baby Dylan, that gummy smile!! I used felt that I cut out and sewed onto a crochet ear shape, it seemed to work really well and helped give the ears a little more structure.
There are lots of other fab things in this month’s edition too – the patterns I particularly love are the Decorative Eggs by Sarah Shrimpton, because eggs are always and ‘eggsellent’ idea to hook up for Easter, and I also love the Root Veg by Sarah Louise Read!
You can pick up the Root Veg patterns for FREE right now over on topcrochetpatterns.com. And whilst you are there you might want to pick up some patterns of mine for FREE here.
And although I can’t personally knit I absolutely Eloise Doll the (on the front cover) by Sachiyo Ishii because she’s just so darned cute!
There are 61 Spring patterns in this months edition along with news, articles and tips. It also comes with a six yarn pack a hook and knitting needles.
Using five different shades of Freccia yarn I’ve put together a fun fashion scarf which is perfect for spring and summer accessorising. Allow me to introduce the Freccia Flor Scarf which is available for FREE from the Anchor website (see link below).
Freccia yarn is a high quality twisted mercerised cotton which is a structured yet flexible yarn that’s available in a range of bright colours. It comes in 6 different thread thicknesses, the thinnest thickness is Nº 20 and the thickest is Nº 6, but it was the 3ply (No. 6) that I got to play with in the 50g balls.
The yarn is ideal for fashion wear because it’s fine but strong, it can be washed with hot water in the washing machine up to 95ºC and you can potentially iron it at a high temperature.
I used a 3mm hook ( roughly equivalent to a US size D3) to create this scarf which measures 160cm long x 15cm wide (63 inches long x 6 inches wide). The perfect length for a carefree look wrapped around your neck with the loose beaded flowery ends hanging down in front.
I wanted to create something that was pretty and feminine and with it’s simple crochet pattern, for the main body of the scarf, it’s a very mindful project which I enjoyed making.
Finally I encorporated beads onto the fringe to add weight to each end of the scarf. The scarf really benefits from having the extra substance to the fringe to allow gravity to help keep it in perfect shape and drape – and who can resist an extra bit of bling (not me)!
I’m not going to lie it does take a while to add the beads, but it’s so worth it in the end, it adds a wonderfully tactile finish; it’s so lovely to run your fingers through the fringing when you’re wearing the scarf!
Scarves, like the Freccia Flor, are the perfect way to introduce colour to an otherwise plain outfit and you could repeat the pattern in a variety of different colours – I think a grey main colour and an ombre effect of pink flowers would look particularly nice for instance.
The Freccia Flor Scarf is a free download available directly from the Anchor Crafts website here where you can just download the pattern or register for an account. It doesn’t cost anything for an account, but by signing up you’ll gain access to loads of other free patterns by other talented designers too.
This pattern is perfect for beginners, as it only uses simple stitches, or for anyone that just wants a fancy scarf to add to their accessories.
If you hook up the Freccia Flor Scarf I hope you’ll tag @kcaco.uk on Instagram using the hashtags #kcacouk or #frecciaflor and #proud2craft or #anchoryarns (so the folks at Anchor Yarns can see) 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
I’m very excited to say that I’m going to be back at one of my local craft shops this year to run some more weekend workshops.
The Artisan Boutique in Stone, Staffordshire is a veritable treasure trove of gorgeous handmade and artisan products, and provides a fabulous backdrop to a lovely hooky morning or afternoon! The workshops that I’m hosting in 2020 are listed below:
This class is ideal for beginners or for anyone that wants to refresh their skills. In this class you will be shown / reminded of some of the basics of crochet such as holding the hook and yarn and some basic stitches. By the end of the session you will have started a fun facecloth or dishcloth to finish off or take home with you.
Intermediate Crochet:Let’s Make a Llama! Sunday 1st March: 12.30pm -3pm,£35pp
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make their fun llama together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
In this fun and relaxed class we will build on your existing crochet abilities to create a crocheted mandala. De-stress from life’s difficulties by working on a pattern that requires focus, stillness, and attention to the present moment – key components of mindfulness meditation. Take home a beautiful mandala by the end of the session.
This class is ideal for beginners or for anyone wanting to refresh their skills. Through the morning we will be looking at all things granny square! This will including treble crochets and change colours, as well as reading a crochet pattern. By the end of the session you will have started a ‘granny square’ themed project, to complete at home, using your new skills.
Intermediate Class: Let’s Make a Shaped Scarf! Sunday 5th July: 12.30 – 3pm, £35pp
This is the perfect workshop for those looking to advance their crochet skills or try new stitch techniques. This scarf will include elements of filet crochet and combine a fun series of stitches using just 100g of lovely yarn. We will cover how to read a pattern, and look at different shaping to start making a beautiful scarf that everyone is sure to admire.
Intermediate Class: Let’s Make a Sloth! Sunday 20th September: 12.30 – 3pm, £35pp
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make their fun sloth together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
This class a great class for someone who knows the basics of crochet and would love to learn a new technique of corner to corner crochet. Through the morning we will be looking at how you do corner to corner crochet. This will including the ‘box stitch’ and how you can change colours, as well as reading a crochet pattern. By the end of the session you will have started a ‘corner to corner’ themed project, to complete at home, using your new skills.
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make one of bauble designs together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
With each class you get the yarn and hooks, and anything else you need along with a drink and cake – which is always delicious! The minimum age for the workshops is 13 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
So if you are in located in or around Staffordshire and fancy taking part in a crochet class why not pop along toThe Artisan Boutique. Susan also has another lady running ‘learn to crochet’ workshops, if you are a complete beginner, where you can learn how to hold your hook and yarn and get a feel for the craft before booking onto one of my classes.
It’s such a nice relaxed atmosphere and such a sociable and friendly way to pass the time when you work on a project together! Bookings should please be made directly to The Artisan Boutique.
I hope to see some of you at a workshop soon!
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Hettie loves quiet trots in the park, hay on a Sunday and having her long silky mane combed through. Whilst Dougie is an intelligent social animal with a strong need for companionship and a natural curiosity!
It was extremely exciting to see the launch – I mean it’s not everyday that you get to see something you’ve crocheted appear on TV is it!
I really enjoyed creating these two farmyard friends! They are made from Deramores Studio DK, which is a pleasure to work with, and they both came together quite nicely once I started crocheting them up.
I’ve designed this patterns with both beginners and intermediate crocheters in mind. I think they are perfect for beginners as they are not complex shapes or instructions – and there is enough interest that more experienced crocheters can enjoy too.
Excitingly both of these animals come on a single pattern which is available for FREE in my Designer Shop where you can pick up just the pattern, or the yarn kit (including pattern, yarn, stuffing and eyes) to make both animals.
And if you are interested in watching future Deramores episodes on TV you can find them every two weeks on a Sunday (so the next one will be 26 Jan) Create and Craft TV on the following channels and devices:
They also add some of the recent episodes on the Deramores TV page on their website – here.
I hope you like all the new additions to the Dera-animal family! I’m happy to say I’m in development of some more animals, so watch this space! What animals would you love to see appear? More dog breeds? Other creatures?
According to the Chinese Horoscope the year 2020 is the year of the Metal Rat! So I decided my first design for this year would be a little rat made in ‘metal’ grey yarn. Allow me to introduce Reginald the Royal Rat!
Reginald, as befitting someone born in the year of the rat, is an industrious, thrifty, diligent and positive wee fellow. He can accommodate himself to different circumstances quickly and get clear about his surroundings – which makes him perfect as an ornament to have on your shelf or desk at work.
Did you know that the Rat is the first of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. I personally thing Reginald is dressed fit for any occasion he might find himself in – what do you think?
Reginald is made from Scheepjes Catona that I’d got in my stash and some gold Scheepjes Lizzy thread for his crown – my inner magpie is still not ready to put away the sparkle yet after Christmas!
The Year of the Rat is going to bring us creative energy where everyone will show determination regarding their goals, aspirations, and hobbies! So why not harness your amigurumi making abilities to hook up this regal little project.
This would make a fun little gift for anyone born in the year of the rat, or for a rat or royalty lover! The 5 page PDF pattern is available in either UK or US terms and includes explanations of all stitches and abbreviations.
To celebrate the new release I’m offering 40% discount from today until 22 January 2020 on Ravelry. Just use coupon code: RAT40
I hope you’ll tag @kcaco.uk on Instagram or share your projects on my Facebook page as I love to see your finished work! Happy Crocheting!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx