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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The first is Marmalade the Cat who has a big ole grin like a Cheshire cat as he’s pleased as punch to be in the magazine. Ever so dapper in his bow tie and dungarees he’s ready to go on an adventure to Timbuktu (didn’t all adventures go there at some point? They always seemed to when I was little!).
I also designed some Kangaroo Cuties – who I named Karla and Karl. Baby Karl can pop out of mum’s pouch if he wants to roam around a bit in the Australia outback. I tell you what we could do with a bit of the Auzzie summer right now – it’s been so cold here in the UK the last few days, we even had some snow!
There are lots of fab patterns in this month’s edition including an amazing budgie from the fab looking bookCrocheted Birdsby Vanessa Mooncie and I really love the Lampshade Covers by Sarah Shrimpton and the Teeny Tortoises by Hannah Cooper – which you can pick up for free!
And although I can’t knit I really love Little Zebedee the Zebra by Sachiyo Ishii and the Kitty Doorstop by Aine Marriott – if you are a knitter you can pick up the doorstep pattern for free now too!
There are 53 exclusive patterns in this months edition and you get your yarn and 3.75mm hook and 3.75mm knitting needles included with your 68 page magazine.
I’m obviously a big fan of crochet toys and amigurumi and I have a cute little amigurumi mouse called Melissa in this addition. The magazine comes with six sweetie yarns this month, including the special pom pom yarn, and little Mel uses some of them all.
I also designed three patchwork pockets for this latest issue which were lots of fun to make. I love the idea of adding a pocket to refashion an outfit or adding a pocket to your clothing to just show off your passion for crochet.
There are some really great designs in this months edition, I really love the fab fairy house crochet along by Sarah-Jane Hicks and the bunny bandana bibs by Dawn Finney (even though I don’t knit) as they are super cute!
There are 42 exclusive patterns in this months edition and you get your yarn and 3mm hook & 3mm knitting needles included with your 68 page magazine.
Issue 106 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out in shops now and it’s a thoroughly festive affair! I have two Christmas designs in this months issue and I was delighted that my Mrs Christmas is this months cover star! You can also see Figgy and Pudding, my other designs, on the cover on the left hand-side.
I’m a big Christmas fan! It’s definitely my favourite holiday, so when I was asked to design Mrs Christmas I quickly formed an image in my head of how I wanted her to look. Because of this she came together quite quickly and the fluffy yarn, that comes with the kit, was just perfect for a bit of a blue rinse hair style under a traditional mop cap!
I was also asked to design some elves for this months edition – now this was a little bit more tricky because over the years I’ve designed 3 boy elves and 2 girl elves already! So with numbers 6 and 7 I was very conscious that I wanted not to even subconsciously make them look like the other designs. But that’s what I love about making amigurumi there’s always a new way you can create little characters to make them unique – and I was really pleased with how Figgy and Pudding turned out in the end.
I love the styling for this months magazine and if it’s seasonal amigurumi you are looking for then this edition is just full of Christmas toys!
This issue comes with a six wonderland yarns which are lovely pastel Christmas colours;
Issue 104 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out in shops now and I’ve got two exclusive patterns in this issue which is a crafting for Christmas special – I know it’s only September but we crafters gotta start early am I right?!When the red, red robin, comes bob, bob, bobbing along….along!!! Today’s earworm is bought to you courtesy of me (sorry!). Robins are such a familiar site on Christmas cards aren’t they. So often pictured in the snow it’s because Britain’s favourite hardy little bird doesn’t migrate from the UK in the Winter it sticks around like we do (probably also muttering to itself about the weather).
Now you can make your own little crochet versions, Robert and Richard, to perch on your mantel during the festive season.
Made using three simple stitches, these little feathered friends are the perfect project for a crochet newbie – and right now these little birds are available for FREE from topcrochetpatterns.com
Sometimes I get asked to do things that seem rather bizarre – like my second make for this months edition. The brief was for a novelty brussel sprout garland with some party hats, but when I got to thinking about it, you don’t actually get more Christmassy than that do you! Even if you hate the vegetable (and who is it that really likes them?) this garland is so fun (and quick) to make – though you might feel as if someone is watching you whilst you are making it!
The magazine comes with a six blitzen yarns which are lovely and bright and the yellow has sparkly gold running through it too. You also get;
Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a house in the forest. While they were out, a little girl called Goldilocks came through the trees and found their house and their porridge! We all know the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears don’t we, it’s something we just seem to grow up with so I was delighted to have the opportunity to recreate such well known characters is yarn.
Goldilocks, to my mind, has golden curls so I knew I was going to have to include that in my design…
And I really enjoyed creating the three bear characters. They were such fun to make and just perfect for little hands to accompany the much loved tale!
Issue 103 comes with a six sundaze yarns which are lovely bright colours. There are also some mini pink pom poms included in the pack as well as;
It’s quite ridiculous how long it’s taken me to get this blog post written up! It’s been one of those posts that I half wrote, then got caught up with the launch of Dear Ewe, the Stitch Story CAL, my best friends wedding, Little Miss’s 2nd birthday, school holidays and unexpected hospital visits that I just didn’t get chance to finish. But today I sat down with the sole purpose of finishing this post as I really do want to tell you all about the very woolly weekend I had in the middle of May. This is a bit of a mammoth post so may go grab yourself a cuppa and then I’ll tell you all about it.
Yarn Shop Day 2018
It all started off with Yarn Shop Day on the 12 May – have you heard about Yarn Shop Day? It’s an annual celebration, facilitated by Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting magazines, which aims to honour Britain’s much-loved independent wool shops. I personally think it’s incredibly important to support any small or local businesses, especially since becoming a small business owner myself, but anyway who am I kidding, I don’t need an excuse to visit a yarn shop!
You may remember that this year’s Yarn Shop day was also a bit special for me as I’d been asked to design the crochet mascot, Milo the Catspecifically for the day.Along with particularly produced knitted and crocheted blanket patterns,Milo and Dixie, the (knitted) Llama, mascot patterns were exclusively available in all participating stores.
This year Yarn Shop Day took place in hundreds of yarn and haberdashery stores across the country and I headed off to Abakhan in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent – which is luckily just a short bus ride away from me.
Abakhan are a group of stores in the Midlands which stock a great range of yarns like Sirdar, King Cole, Stylecraft, James C. Brett, Wendy and Rico and they have also now started stocking some American yarns like Caron.
The Hanley store is pretty big and has a large range of fabrics, haberdashery items and craft items for pretty much every hobby you can think of. I love it in there, I always find some goodies of some variety or other and more often than not I end up in there on a trip to town.
I’d made a brand new Milo to take with me and we arrived just as the day started. In store there were lots of festivities including prizes for purchases made and there were store discounts on all yarn and accessories at different times throughout the day and there was also cake. Cake and yarn….what a winning combination!
Milo felt quite famous…though we won’t talk about the fact that his nose got a bit wonky on the bus trip and I didn’t notice until after I’d taken all the photos…it doesn’t annoy me…much!
The lovely Kim, from Abakhan, was busy giving demonstrations of crocheting Milo (complete with a straight nose) at the front of store so I spent sometime with her and the customers that came to talk about crochet. It was very exciting to see them picking up there free copy of the Milo pattern and I know I was tagged in some people’s Milo makes (see more below).
It was wonderful to be in the middle of the crafting community and meet people with shared passions – and I got to learn something new! We got chatting to too lovely ladies who were double filet crochet enthusiasts. Double Filet crochet is two inter woven layers of filet or net crochet in contrasting colours. It’s not something I’d heard of before but Wendy (far left below) was kind enough to give me a demonstration and even let me keep the little sample she made and it’s something I’m definitely going to investigate further! Never show a designer something new right!
In the afternoon I spent sometime with Debbie who showed me her fabulous Tina Turner-esque creation – that hair is everything isn’t it!
And then Debbie got children of shoppers involved in making Pom Pom monsters – I love the fact there were crafts for the kids! Milo had fun making friends with the monsters too – AND I managed to straighten up his nose for his group photo!
And then it was time for me to go! And what did I buy…well it’s pretty unusual for me not to enter a craft store and not buy anything…and of course I couldn’t make this the exception! I got a cute fabric bundle, I don’t sew but I do line crochet purses and bags with fabric so it’s good to have some in. I also got a extra long tape measure and picked up some cute Ricorumi mini’s which I wanted to try – and yes I also bought a giant peg. I had no specific use for the peg I just fell in love with it!
And I just need to share some of the photos of some of the wonderful Milo makes I’ve seen – if you made a Milo please do share a photo as I’d love to see.
Yarn Shop Day tends to be celebrated either the first or second week in May so keep a look out for the dates for next year. Just one final note about Yarn Shop Day – I just want to say a HUGE thank you to all the Abakhan staff, they made me feel very welcome and looked after me well whilst I was there.
Then on the Sunday the 13th of May the whole family went along to Wool@J13, a yarn show set on Lower Drayton farm, in the midlands. We went for the first time last year and had a great day so I’d already planned for the family to go along again this year.
It’s was an absolutely glorious day – blue skies and sunshine and, with things happening inside and outside, it was just the perfect setting for a yarn festival!
This year there were a lot more vendors than last year so there were plenty of stalls to wander around. You can just see my two girls below walking hand in hand totally at ease with the yarn show vibes – such cuties!
Little G had a go at Satori weaving with a lovely lady from SAORIMor, Wales who was incredibly patient and kind to her. Satori weaving is a japanese freestyle approach to hand-weaving which is supposed to encourage people to express themselves intuitively. Little G got really into it! And now wants to visit the studio in Bangor sometime.
And it was really nice to see some friendly faces! Wulla Yarn were there with there fabulous mega yarn. You may remember I teamed up with Kaz (on the left below) to create the free Wulla Wreath pattern so it was lovely to catch up with her. I also treated myself to one of Kaz’s fabulous 15mm string theory jumbo hook (in neon blue) as I’d been eyeing them up for awhile!
I’m also completely in love with her new fades range but I really want to have worked out the perfect project to use it on before I get some of that – so I didn’t get any on this occasion (but it’s on my list!).
I also saw Fay from Knit it, Hook it, Craft it. I met Fay for the first time when I went to the Nottingham Yarn Expo last year and she was so fun to talk to. She was actually the first person to introduce me to the idea of creative podcasts – something I’d not heard of before. Fay does a monthly podcast, The Crochet Circle Podcast, which is available as audio and on Youtube and it was from listening to her, and her suggestions for other podcasters, that I now have a list that I listen to regularly. I find them great to listen to particularly when I’m typing up patterns!
I also got to meet Lynne Rowe, from The Wool Nest, for the first time. It was great to finally meet her, not only do I have several of her crochet books on my own bookshelves, but we’ve worked together, so to speak, for Let’s Get Crafting magazine and we’d talked a bit through comments on Instagram. She was just about to run a workshop for the Crochet Sanctuary (I’m running a workshop in September) so we were chatting a lot about that and just other general crochet things – it so nice to talk to people that share your passion!
I also very much enjoyed talking to Lee aka The Crochet Man who is such a lovely guy. I’d seen him through a feature in Simply Crochet (Issue 70) – so it was great to meet him in person.
He’s not been crocheting for that long but he’s designed a fabulous range of amigurumi patterns that you should really check out! I adore his rainbow sheep!
I was that busy chatting to people that I didn’t actually have much time for buying but I did pick up a few goodies. I fell in LOVE with this colourway from Manchester Tart which is a silky baby DK, 70% baby alpaca and 30% mulberry silk. It’s sooooo soft and I’ve got 200 grams of it…I don’t have a plan for it as yet but I just HAD to have it!
Besides that I bought myself a couple of mini skeins, some hooks from Black Sheep Wools (who I also enjoyed chatting too) and my hook from Wulla yarn. A conservative (for me) but fabulous set of purchases I think you’ll agree!
We had such a great day out and I can see us going again next year. I really love the fact it’s like a mini festival, it’s got quite a laid back vibe about it and it’s a very family friendly show.
Well I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my very woolly weekend as much as I enjoyed attending Yarn Shop Day and Wool@Jct13. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Yarn Shop Day, did you do anything? Or what about yarn shows, been to any good one’s lately?
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Issue 102 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out in shops now and I’ve got two exclusive patterns in this issue. You can just see a couple of them highlighted in the yellow star on the front cover!
The first of the patterns I designed for this issue were a cute pair of Russian dolls. I’ve always loved Russian dolls, my mum had a giant one with smaller dolls stacked within the bigger ones that I was obsessed with when I was little. I think at it’s heart a Matryoshka is truly a doll and a child’s play thing so I was delighted to be given the chance to design a mother and daughter set. I love how they turned out and you could really have fun with the tummy embellishments adding embroidery and maybe even beads to make your doll completely splendid!
This month I also got to design a cactus collection, I’m a little bit obsessed with cacti and succulents and we have a variety dotted all over our house – it was really fun to make these everlasting ones though. My favourite has to be the curly cacti which was a little bit different and for those that which to know is based on an Epiphyllum curly locks.
The magazine comes with a six melody yarns which are lovely bright pastels and contains a two-tone ombre yarn and mini cream buttons as well as;