Saturday, 12 April 2014

It's a ...

...book!

A book is my new project.
No, I can't believe it either.
(A book about crochet, obviously- not a 50 Shades or Harry Potter type-thing)

So, pull up a chair (yes, the squishy one over there) pour yourself a cuppa (teapot's on the table) and let me tell you a story about a book....




...For anyone who doesn't know, I haven't been crocheting long. I taught myself a few years back when I felt the grey matter ebbing away after I'd left teaching to be a full-time mummy;
I needed to learn something new.

And so I tinkered about a bit.
And crocheted.

I made some stuff. Some bad... Some really bad.
But some good.
Then I started selling the things I made. And people liked them.
I sold my crocheted wares at local events, rented a little shelf in a little shop in Arundel and online, too.

And then I thought I could design my own stuff.

So I did.
I started writing down my designs and putting them in my Etsy shop.
And people liked to buy those too.

And all along, I had this little blog. 
Where I catalogued my crochet journey (honestly, go back to the beginning and you'll find all the really bad stuff) where I tried new things and where a lovely publisher found me.

And their crafty commisioning Editor wrote to me and told me all about a book she wanted to make. 
And asked me if I would like to write it.

And I said 'Yes'.

So after much talking and discussing (and scribbling of ideas in the dead of night) I went to New York Newton Abbot in Devon for a planning meeting.
I met the fabulous gals from F&W Media and we planned the book. 
From cover to cover.
Seriously. It was a lengthy meeting. And definitely the most enjoyable meeting I've ever attended. We worked all day, without a break (none was needed- we were unstoppable).

There is a now a detailed plan about everything I need to write and design and I am raring to go.
The deadlines are ready..
My pen (laptop, actually) is poised..

I'm ready for the off. (Look! I have already made a terrible mess of my front room)

Can't wait to tell you what happens next.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sarah x

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Beginning and the End.

As with everything, nothing stays the same. Life is a continuous journey and no two days are ever the same. And so new opportunities present themselves and it becomes time to bid a reluctant farewell to many things.




I have always been very happy with my lot; I enjoy designing crochet patterns and selling a few hooky pieces in my real-life Ye Olde (shelf-in-a) Shoppe in Arundel and at a few local events too.
I am easily pleased by my family and friends and my crochet.

And then I decided I'd like to do a little more, but I didn't really know what...

Until I was asked to design for Let's Get Crafting Magazine.
Yay
This presented a new challenge and much excitement and definitely a new direction I wanted to explore.
So I took to work..




...I read the brief, did the research and got designing. In fact, I've just posted off my little crocheted pieces and have emailed patterns to the editor. Fingers crossed, I might be featured in the June edition (I'll keep you posted here, of course).

Add to this a big (secret) project. A really BIG project. A project of such enormitude and scale I should feel completely overwhelmed. But actually, I don't. I am in my element.
I will tell you more as soon I can, but for the moment, shhhhhhhh! It's a secret....

And so the beginning of new projects brings excitement, pressure and challenge, all of which will take up huge amounts of my time. That, and a busy family life containing a Mister who works away a lot and a pre-schooler who is not in full time education. 

The inevitable outcome is having to bid farewell to selling in Arundel. I cannot work the shifts and I have no time to make stock. Today was my last day and I felt a touch of sadness. It has been a great part of my journey and I have learnt so much.  But more importantly, it's been fun. 





I do hope you'll join me on my new journey. I look forward to telling you all about it.

Onwards I march. Hook in one hand, yarn in the other.

Sarah x 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A doll named Astrid

I realised the other day that I hadn't shown you the newest addition to my Etsy shop:


The pattern for my Astrid doll.


She really is very easy to make 



and would make the perfect gift for a perfect little girl.


The pattern's just over there in my Etsy Shop sidebar. Click on a picture to take you to the shop.


Enjoy making.
Sarah



Friday, 21 February 2014

The one where she Crochets things on a hairband...

The little'un asked if I could make her pink cat ears on a hairband.


So I did.

And then I made bear ears on a hairband.


And then I made bows on a hairband.




And then I made bows as brooches.




Not really rocket science, but they'd make cute party bag fillers. Make the bear ears in a different colour and they could be mouse ears, too.
The cotton yarns I used stand up quite well, but you may need to insert some card or wire to stop your ears flopping. I also used hairbands with teeth along the inside edge. If yours don't have teeth, then a spot of PVA glue on the underside should help secure your stitches.




Here's what to do:

I use US crochet terms, so Single Crochet (sc) here is the same as UK double crochet

Pink Cat Ears
I used:
Rico Creative Cotton in Fuchia (13) and a 4mm hook.
Hairband
Stitch marker
Wire or card to add strength if needed.
Tapestry needle for sewing in ends.

1. With a slip knot on your hook and working from right to left, make 12 scs onto the hairband.





2. Ch 1, turn. Sc 12 across the Front Loops Only. Turn. Sc 12 across the Front Loops Only (24)

(working in rounds- use your stitch marker to mark the first stitch of each round)

3. Sc 24
4. Sc2tog, sc 8, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc 8, sc2tog (20)

5. Sc2tog, sc 7, sc2tog, sc 9, (18)
6. Sc2tog, sc 6, sc2tog, sc 8, (16)

7. Sc2tog, sc 5, sc2tog, sc 7, (14)
8. Sc2tog, sc 4, sc2tog, sc 6, (12)
9. Sc2tog, sc 3, sc2tog, sc 5, (10)

10. Sc2tog around (5)
Sew closed

Repeat for other ear, working from right to left again.

Bear Ears
I used:
Rico Creative Cotton in Nougat (56) and a 4mm hook.
Hairband
Stitch marker
Wire or card to add strength if needed.
Tapestry needle for sewing in ends.

1. With a slip knot on your hook and working from right to left, make 8 scs onto the hairband (see photos above)
2. Ch 1, turn. Sc 8 across the Front Loops Only. Turn. Sc 8 across the Front Loops Only (16)

(working in rounds- use your stitch marker to mark the first stitch of each round)

3. 2scs in first sc, sc 6, 2scs in sc, 2scs in sc, sc 6, 2scs in last sc. (20)
4. Sc 20
5. 2scs in first sc, sc 8, 2scs in sc, 2scs in sc, sc 8, 2scs in last sc. (24)

6-8. Sc 24

9.  Sc2tog, sc2tog, sc 7, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc 9 (20)

10. Sc2tog, sc 6, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc 6, sc2tog (16)
11. Sc2tog, sc 4, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc 4, sc2tog (12)
12. Sc2tog, sc 3, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc 1, sc2tog (8)
Sew closed

Repeat for other ear, working from right to left again.

Bow
I used:
Various shades of Rico Creative Cotton and a 4mm hook, or Drops Paris Cotton and a 4.5mm hook
Tapestry needle for sewing in ends.

There are plenty of fabulous free patterns for crochet bows on the interweb. Mine is an amalgamated version of a few I found:

Working in rows
1. Chain 16
2. Beginning in 2nd stitch from hook, sc 15 (15)
3- 9 Turn, ch 1, sc15
10. Do not turn, but sc around the 3 edges (you don't need to sc across row 9)
Fasten off

Pinch the rectangle of crochet in the middle and wind your yarn tightly around. You can continue to wind the yarn around a hairband (and secure with a couple of blobs of glue) or sew it to a brooch back instead.

That's it really!


Enjoy making.
Sarah x



Friday, 14 February 2014

Grey Mouse



A little while back now, I was asked by the lovely Emma at Lemonade Yarns if I could design a little pattern for her yarn shop.

I'd love to, I said.
How about a mouse? I said.



Yes, she said.



So here he is. (Inspired by Beatrix Potter's wonderful illustrations)

If you'd like to make him then just follow the link here to Emma's wonderful online yarn and craft emporium. 
And why not pick up all the supplies you need, too?
And some extra yarn.
And a few crafty things.
And a book.

Or is just me who shops like that?



Anyhoos, enjoy making!

Sarah x

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The one where she starts a blanket ...

Yes, I know.
A blanket is so not me. They take too long and I am something of a crochet butterfly, flitting between quick projects with the greatest of ease.
Or so I thought..



Then I came across lots of people talking about their #crochetmoodblanket2014 on IG, started by Stacey at FroFunky.

The idea is simple, yet genius;

Choose a motif. You make 1 motif a day, choosing your colours as your mood takes you.
T'is all.
By the end of the year you will have a huuuuuuuge blanket. 


Even I can manage this in amongst all my other projects.
I decided on the African Flower Hexagons, following instructions from Yvestown's blog. Aren't they great?



Needless to say, I am a little behind- I have been working on a new pattern for the shop - but still, I am enjoying seeing this grow immensely.

I will keep you posted on my (hopefully impressive) progress throughout the project.

Here's a teaser: Fancy making a little mouse?

Coming up in my next post will be the link to another free pattern! Yay!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Sarah x





Friday, 24 January 2014

Meow!

Where has the time gone?
I know not.



Last thing I knew it was Christmas. All of a sudden it's like the end of January, or something.

Anyhoos, I've had a fair few crochet projects on the go and I thought I'd share one.

Kitty-cat cushion.



Very simple to make. Pretty quick, too. 
You make two identical pieces, crocheted back and forth in single crochet rows and then you add some stuffing and single crochet them together.


Could not be easier, I assure you.

Look, Kitty even gets on well with Scottie dog.
The patterns are available in my Etsy shop just over there on the left toolbar.



Hope your January has been enjoyable and hasn't flown by too quickly.

I'll be back soon with news of a blanket I'm making (Shock. Horror. Yes, a blanket. I am surprising myself with this one)

Sarah x