Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Colour-Blend c2c cushion - The Stylecraft Blog Tour 2018

It's that time of year!


The Stylecraft Blogstars are on tour again, this time showcasing the FABULOUS Bellissima yarn.



Now, some of you might have worked with Stylecraft's Bambino yarns before - a sweet range of pastel colours with a soft, merino-feel. Bellissima is the same yarn texture, but in some seriously vibrant  colours. For the Blogtour, the Stylecraft team created two colour-packs:





Now I cannot take much credit for the idea behind my design - it was one of my fellow Blogstars, Helen Shrimpton (no relation - well actually, we probably are related somewhere along the line, but that's a whole other story ..) who suggested that I work with two strands of yarn held together and tried blending different colours. So thanks to Helen, that's exactly what I did to make the Colour-Blend c2c Cushion:



Want to make one? (Instructions for c2c are below the pattern)

You'll need:
Autumn Leaves Yarn pack (or 5 x 100g balls Bellissima / Bambino)
6mm hook
Pompom maker (optional)
40cm cushion insert

Side One
1. Working with 2 strands of Ash Rose, make four rows of increasing c2c.
2. Working with 1 strand of Ash Rose and 1 strand of Rio Red, make four rows of increasing c2c.
3. Working with 2 strands of Rio Red make four rows of increasing c2c.
4. Working with 1 strand of Rio Red and 1 strand of Single Cream, make four rows of increasing c2c.
5. Working with 2 strands of Single Cream make three rows of increasing c2c.
6. Working with 2 strands of Single Cream make two rows of decreasing c2c.
7. Working with 1 strand of Single Cream and 1 strand of Sugar Snap, make four rows of decreasing c2c.
8. Working with 2 strands of Sugar Snap make four rows of decreasing c2c.
9. Working with 1 strand of Sugar Snap and 1 strand of Mellow Yellow, make four rows of decreasing c2c.
10. Working with 2 strands of Mellow Yellow, make four rows of decreasing c2c.




Side Two
1. Working with 2 strands of Single Cream, make four rows of increasing c2c.
2. Working with 1 strand of Single Cream and 1 strand of Ash Rose, make four rows of increasing c2c.
3. Working with 2 strands of Ash Rose make four rows of increasing c2c.
4. Working with 1 strand of Ash Rose and 1 strand of Mellow Yellow, make four rows of increasing c2c.
5. Working with 2 strands of Mellow Yellow make three rows of increasing c2c.
6. Working with 2 strands of Mellow Yellow make two rows of decreasing c2c.
7.. Working with 1 strand of Mellow Yellow and 1 strand of Sugar Snap, make four rows of decreasing c2c.
8. Working with 2 strands of Sugar Snap make four rows of decreasing c2c.
9. Working with 1 strand of Sugar Snap and 1 strand of Rio Red, make four rows of decreasing c2c.
10. Working with 2 strands of Rio Red, make four rows of decreasing c2c.

To Join
With WS of cushions facing and working with 2 strands of Sugar Snap, make 1dc around the edges, and 1dc, 2ch, 1dc in each corner.
Fasten off.

Make pompoms with your remaining yarn and attach to the corners!

To make the c2c stitch [increasing] (UK terms - tr = dc in US terms):

Row 1: 6ch, 1tr in 4th ch from hook, 1tr in each of next two ch, turn.
Row 2: 6ch, 1tr in 4th ch from hook, 1tr in each of next two ch, sl st into 3ch, 3ch, 3tr in 3ch-sp, turn.
Row 3: 6ch, 1tr in 4th ch from hook, 1tr in each of next two ch, *sl st into 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3tr in 3ch-sp; rep from * across row, turn. 
Rows 4 onwards: Repeat row 3. 


To make the c2c stitch [decreasing] (UK terms - tr = dc in US terms):

At the end of the row, do not 6ch, but sl st across each of the 3tr you have just made.
3ch, 3tr in 3ch of block just completed, *sl st into 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3tr in 3ch-sp; rep from * across row, turn.

For a brilliant YouTube Tutorial see Bella Coco's here.

Hope you enjoy making the cushion! Find the complete list of blogstars taking part here and make sure you check out Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats' blog tomorrow for her day of the tour.

And of course, here's the link for the giveaway - it's live from 10am GMT today (9th Oct) until 10am tomorrow!! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!
Sarah xx

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Cutest Crochet Creations - A book review and GIVEAWAY!!

Autumn seems to be book review season for me...

*** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ***

But you won't hear me complaining. This is the second book I've been lucky enough to receive to review - and I must tell you, it's a cracker!!




Alison North is someone I've known for aaaaaages on Instagram, under her name of @KornflakeStew and she is an amazingly talented amigurumi designer. For the last few years, her sweet little creations have been flying off her hook and into her Etsy shop but now, you can find a whole new selection of cute characters in her new book, 'Cutest Crochet Creations'.

I really like the book - not just because the patterns are sooooo sweet, but because it's put together in an easy-to-follow format, which is perfect for new and experienced crocheters alike:




The first section covers everything you'll need - materials, yarn and accessories - and then describes all the basic stitches with illustrations to help. Alison then shares her crochet tips for amigurumi-making; everything from changing colours to fitting safety eyes and assembling the pieces together. Again, helpful photos guide the reader.



And then there are 16 original patterns - all of them equally ADORABLE!!! 
I chose to make Boris the Bear, because he looked like a serious sort-of chap:



I found the pattern easy to follow - the instructions are written in US terms, but this is easy to get used to and it didn't pose a problem at all. I liked how there were close-up photos to show me where parts should be positioned, or how to make certain stitches and I found the instructions for assembly very well-explained.


Congratulations, Alison - it's a fabulous book!

Alison has kindly sent me an extra book to GIVEAWAY!!!
All you have to do is enter below and a winner will be drawn at random on the 29th September 2018. Open worldwide.

Good Luck!

As a part of the Blog Tour with TUVA publishing, I received a copy of Alison North's book to review and a copy to giveaway. 
All views this blog post are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Monday, 20 August 2018

Granny Square Flair: A book review

Shelly Husband is no stranger to the humble granny square. In fact, she's something of a granny-meister (if such a thing were to exist).



Over the last few years, Shelley has taken this most traditional of crochet motifs and designed hundreds of beautiful versions - publishing them for free and in book collections. Her latest book, 'Granny Square Flair' is different in that not only is this her first ever print version, but all the designs are created using neutral, cream yarn. Shelly wanted her readers to be able to add their own colourways to their motifs and create truly personal projects. That said, her love of colour still pervades throughout, as she cleverly asked fellow crocheters to take a square and make it using yarns and colours of their choices. Which is how I became involved - but more on that later.

Shelley's squares in cream

'Granny Square Flair' (written in US and UK terms) features 50 patterns, varying in difficulty and complexity and is intended for a crocheter with basic skills. The beginning of the book includes everything you need to know to get started; information on choosing hooks, yarns and colours, how to read patterns and charts and a brilliant tip for creating seamless crochet!


The next section contains the patterns. Each one has a difficulty rating and a guide to how much yarn it will use. There is a photograph of the square and a chart underneath (very helpful for the visual learners out there). Alongside are the written instructions, which are clearly described and easy to follow. At the bottom of the page are the coloured versions of the squares; either made by Shelley herself or by the  group of crochet friends she asked to help. These include Dedri Uys, Julie Harrison, Mandy O'Sullivan, Marianne Dekkers-Roos, Sandra Eng and many more - oh and me, too!

I chose the 'Bloem' pattern (p.64) to work on and decided straight away that I would supersize mine using Stylecraft Special XL in Cream, Duck Egg, Sage, Petrol and Graphite. And wowsers!! It worked out brilliantly! It would make THE perfect blanket and with squares this big, would be a pretty quick project too. I found the pattern easy to follow and had no difficulty understanding the instructions. It's rather nice, isn't it?!

'Bloem'

After the patterns, you can find the project section, where Shelley has 11 new designs to make with the motifs. There are blankets and wraps, cushions and coasters - a great selection of stylish and modern pieces and there are tips and advice for designing your own projects, including how to choose patterns and layout and how to calculate the amount of yarn you will need.

Melbourne Wrap

Blues Sampler Blanket

And so, I would like to congratulate Shelley on a truly fabulous book - her fresh, modern designs will inspire many crocheters to make their own beautiful creations.

You can find 'Granny Square Flair' here (UK) or here (US).
Shelley's website, with details of all her other books is here.

As a thank you for being part of Shelley's Crochet team, I received a copy of her book to review. 
All views this blog post are my own.

Enjoy your week,
Sarah xx



Wednesday, 8 August 2018

A Very Little Llama

Inspired by everything llama at the moment, I realised that one of my previous patterns could be easily adapted to fit the bill...



You may remember The Very Little Giraffe (a random teacher gift my daughter asked me to make)? Well it struck me that the shaping was pretty llama-esque and with a little tinkering around with the ear placement, and the addition of a blanket and tassels, a llama it could be ...



It's the perfect small project for using up all those odds and ends of yarn - hooray!!

A Very Little Llama Pattern (UK)

(For US, dc is the same as sc and dc2tog is the same as sc2tog).

Abbreviations:
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
dc2tog = double crochet 2 together**
sts = stitches
**to make the dc2tog stitch using the invisible decrease method:
Insert hook into the front loop of the first stitch.
Insert hook into the front loop of the second stitch (3 loops on hook).
Yarn over and pull yarn through the first two loops (2 loops on hook).
Yarn over and pull through both loops.


You will need:
Yarn and hook of your choice (any weight yarn and hook to match will work)
I used a 3mm hook and small amounts of Rico Ricorumi in Beige (55), Tangerine (26), Wine Red (29) and Fuchsia (14)
Toy stuffing
Black / brown embroidery thread for nose and eyes
Stitchmarker - mark the first st of each round



Head
Stuff as you go.
In Beige:
Rnd 1: 6dc in magic ring or 2dc, 6dc in 2nd st from hook (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 dc in each st around. (12 sts)
Rnds 3 - 4: 1dc in each st around.
Rnd 5: (1dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (18 sts)
Rnds 6 - 8: 1dc in each st around.
Rnd 9: (1dc, dc2tog) repeat around. (12 sts)

Stitch eyes and nose.

Rnd 10: dc2tog around. (6 sts)

Fasten off and sew closed.

Ears (make 2)
Rnd 1: 6dc in magic ring or 2dc, 6dc in 2nd st from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: (1dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (9 sts)
Fasten off. Sew to head


Neck, body and legs
(Leave long tail at beginning for stitching to head and stuff as you go)
Ch 6, join with sl st to first ch.

Rnd 1: 1ch (doesn't count as st), 1dc in each st. (6 sts) 
Now in continuous rounds
Rnds 2 - 5: 1dc in each st.
Rnd 6: *1dc, 2dc in next st; rep from *, 2dc. (8 sts)
Rnd 7: 2dc, *2dc in next st; rep from * three times, 3dc. (11 sts)
Rnd 8: 3dc, *2dc in next st; rep from * four times, 4dc. (15 sts)
Rnd 9: 4dc, *2dc in next st; rep from * six times, 5dc. (21 sts)
Rnds 10 - 13: 1dc in each st.

Front leg
Rnd 14: 1dc, dc2tog, dc 4, then cross to the other side (see pic) and 4dc back to stitchmarker. (10 sts)


Pictures from Giraffe Pattern






Rnd 15: dc2tog around. (5 sts).
Fasten off and sew closed.

Back leg
Rnd 14a: 1dc in each st around. (10 sts)
Rnd 15a: dc2tog around. (5 sts).

Fasten off and sew closed. 
Stitch between the legs to close the hole.
Stitch head to body.

Tail
Make a knot in the yarn and stitch it into place. Separate the strands to create the tail.

Blanket
In Tangerine
Rnd 1: 6dc in magic ring or 2dc, 6dc in 2nd st from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: *2dc in first st, 2dc in next st, 1dc; rep from *.  (10 sts)
Rnd 3: In Fuchsia, 1dc, 2dc in next st, 2dc in next st, 3dc, 2dc in next st, 2dc in next st, 2dc. (14 sts)
Rnd 4: In Red, 2dc, 2dc in next st, 2dc in next st, 5dc, 2dc in next st, 2dc in next st, 3dc. (18 sts)
Fasten off, but leave a long tail for stitching in place

Halter
Make a chain long enough to fit around the muzzle and join with sl st. Make another chain to fit around back of head and join with sl st to other side. Stitch in place.

To finish:
Add tassels of yarn to tips of ears and sides of muzzle. Add pompoms or any other decorations you like.



And that's it!
Enjoy your teeny llama,

Sarah xx



Saturday, 7 July 2018

The (not my idea) t-shirt yarn bag



I cannot take any credit for the idea behind this bag - you see my good friend, Sharna made one and shared it on Instagram and I loved it.

Find Sharna's inspiring Insta feed here and her blog here

A quick search through my stash at home revealed lots of odds and ends of t-shirt yarn and a deeper dig unearthed some wooden bag handles, too.

And so, inspired by her totally marvellous idea, I decided to come up with my own original design pretty much completely copy it.

If you'd also like to be cool like Sharna and strut around with a copy-cat bag like me, then here's what to do:


You'll need around 350g-ish of t-shirt yarn oddments, a 15mm hook and D-shaped wooden handles (approx 17cms width) find similar here. (Some of my t-shirt yarn was a bit thin, so I worked holding two strands together to even things up a bit.) 

Pattern UK terms (US below)

Make Two

Rnd 1: 4ch (counts as 1ch and 1tr), make 7tr in 4th ch from hook. Join with sl st to 3rd ch. (8sts)

Rnd 2: 2ch, 1tr in same st (counts as tr2tog), 1ch, [tr2tog, 1ch] in each st around. Join with sl st to 1st st. (8st, 8ch)

Rnd 3: Beginning in any 1ch-sp, [2ch, 1tr (counts as tr2tog), 1ch, tr2tog] in 1ch-sp, [tr2tog, 1ch, tr2tog] in each 1ch-sp around. Join with sl st to 1st st. (16sts, 8ch)

Rnd 4: Beginning in any 1ch-sp, [3ch, 1tr, 2ch, 2tr] in 1ch-sp, 2tr between the next two sts, 2tr in 1ch-sp, 2tr between next two sts, *[2tr, 2ch, 2tr] in same 1ch-sp, 2tr between the next two sts, 2tr in 1ch-sp, 2tr between next two sts; rep from * around. Join with sl st to 3rd ch. (40 sts, 8ch)

Handle/joining

Rnd 1: (this will vary slightly, depending on your handle). Beginning with one of the squares, in any 2ch-sp, [1ch, 2dc] in 2ch-sp, 1dc BLO in each st over handle, 2dc in 1ch-sp
Now put the other square, with WS facing the WS of the piece you are working on. Make 1dc in the same 2ch-sp and the corresponding 2ch-sp of the square behind, then work your way around the two pieces, joining them by working 1dc BLO of front square to join FLO of back square. Make 3dc in the 2ch-sp space and repeat around, making 1dc in the first 2ch sp where you started.
Now you will just work across the back square. Make 2dc in the same 2ch-sp, 1dc FLO in each st over handle, 2dc in 1ch-sp.

Fasten off, weave in ends.
(Or if you're really lazy like me, tie the ends in a knot on the inside of the bag and snip them.

Job done.
Enjoy your bag - it really is the perfect summer accessory!



Pattern US terms 
Make Two

Rnd 1: 4ch (counts as 1ch and 1dc), make 7dc in 4th ch from hook. Join with sl st to 3rd ch. (8sts)

Rnd 2: 2ch, 1dc in same st (counts as dc2tog), 1ch, [dc2tog, 1ch] in each st around. Join with sl st to 1st st (8st, 8ch)

Rnd 3: Beginning in any 1ch-sp, [2ch, 1dc (counts as dc2tog), 1ch, dc2tog] in 1ch-sp, [dc2tog, 1ch, dc2tog] in each 1ch-sp around. Join with sl st to 1st st. (16sts, 8ch)

Rnd 4: Beginning in any 1ch-sp, [3ch, 1dc, 2ch, 2dc] in 1ch-sp, 2dc between the next two sts, 2dc in 1ch-sp, 2dc between next two sts, *[2dc, 2ch, 2dc] in same 1ch-sp, 2dc between the next two sts, 2dc in 1ch-sp, 2dc between next two sts; rep from * around. Join with sl st to 3rd ch. (40 sts, 8ch)

Handle/joining

Rnd 1: (this will vary slightly, depending on your handle). Beginning with one of the squares, in any 2ch-sp, [1ch, 2sc] in 2ch-sp, 1sc BLO in each st over handle, 2sc in 1ch-sp
Now put the other square, with WS facing the WS of the piece you are working on. Make 1sc in the same 2ch-sp and the corresponding 2ch-sp of the square behind, then work your way around the two pieces, joining them by working 1sc BLO of front square to join FLO of back square. Make 3sc in the 2ch-sp space and repeat around, making 1sc in the first 2ch sp where you started.
Now you will just work across the back square. Make 2sc in the same 2ch-sp, 1sc FLO in each st over handle, 2sc in 1ch-sp.

Fasten off, weave in ends.
(Or if you're really lazy like me, tie the ends in a knot on the inside of the bag and snip them.

Job done.
Enjoy your bag - it really is the perfect summer accessory!

Have a great weekend,

Sarah xx

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Summer Bunting

Bunting

The perfect way to brighten up a mantlepiece, hang across the garden or adorn an otherwise plain wall.





And the Mister hates it, of course, but let's not worry about that for now...


Recently, I was sent a beautiful set of these Ricorumi cotton DK yarns to try. At just 25g each, they are designed especially for crocheting small Amigurumi and I thought they'd be brilliant for my bunting.


And so I've created* an easy peasy pattern which uses some of the pretty, summery colours available. You could any yarn you like for this - it would be a great stash-busting project. 

*I say 'created, but really this pattern is based on a traditional Granny Triangle pattern, which you can find everywhere. I just decided to add a dangly-bit. To make it pretty.




To make pom-pom: (US tr3tog = dc3tog)
(3ch, in 3rd ch from hook, tr3tog) twice, sl st at base of first tr3tog to close pompom (see blue arrow)


UK version (US below)
I used:
1 x 25g ball each of Rico Design 'Ricorumi' in Vanilla (5), Salmon (21), Nude (23), Light Blue (33) and Pale Green (45)
3.5 mm hook

4ch (counts as 1ch and 1tr)

Rnd 1: 2tr in 4th ch from hook, 3ch, [3tr, 3ch] twice. Join with sl st to 4th ch. 

Rnd 2: in any 3ch-sp, 3ch (counts as tr throughout) 2tr, 3ch, 3tr, 1ch in same sp, *[3tr, 3ch, 3tr, 1ch] in next 3ch-sp; repeat from * twice. Join with sl st to 3rd ch.

Rnd 3: in any 3ch-sp, [3ch, 2tr, 3ch, 3tr, 1ch] in same sp,  [3tr, 1ch] in next 1ch-sp, *[3tr, 3ch, 3tr, 1ch] in next 3ch-sp, [3tr, 1ch] in next 1ch-sp; repeat from * twice. Join with sl st to 3rd ch.

Rnd 4: in any 3ch-sp, [3ch, 2tr, 3ch, 3tr, 1ch] in same sp,  (3tr, 1ch in next 1ch-sp) twice, [3tr, 2ch, pompom, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch] in next 3ch-sp, (3tr, 1ch in next 1ch-sp) twice, [3tr, 3ch, 3tr] in next 3ch-sp, (3tr, 1ch in next 1ch-sp) twice. Join with sl st to 3rd ch.

Joining

20ch at beginning for hanging loop, then make [3tr, 1ch] in each 1ch-sp. When joining the next triangle, omit the 1ch.

US version

4ch (counts as 1ch and 1dc)

Rnd 1: 2tr in 4th ch from hook, 3ch, [3dc, 3ch] twice. Join with sl st to 4th ch. 

Rnd 2: in any 3ch-sp, 3ch (counts as dc throughout) 2dc, 3ch, 3dc, 1ch in same sp, *[3dc, 3ch, 3dc, 1ch] in next 3ch-sp; repeat from * twice. Join with sl st to 3rd ch.

Rnd 3: in any 3ch-sp, [3ch, 2dc, 3ch, 3dc, 1ch] in same sp,  [3dc, 1ch] in next 1ch-sp, *[3dc, 3ch, 3dc, 1ch] in next 3ch-sp, [3dc, 1ch] in next 1ch-sp; repeat from * twice. Join with sl st to 3rd ch.

Rnd 4: in any 3ch-sp, [3ch, 2dc, 3ch, 3dc, 1ch] in same sp,  (3dc, 1ch in next 1ch-sp) twice, [3dc, 2ch, pompom, 2ch, 3dc, 1ch] in next 3ch-sp, (3dc, 1ch in next 1ch-sp) twice, [3dc, 3ch, 3dc] in next 3ch-sp, (3dc, 1ch in next 1ch-sp) twice. Join with sl st to 3rd ch.

Joining

20ch at beginning for hanging loop, then make [3dc, 1ch] in each 1ch-sp. When joining the next triangle, omit the 1ch.



And that's it. It goes without saying that you can keep adding triangles until your bunting measures the length you desire. And if, like me, you REALLY want to annoy your other half, just keep making more and more and more to festoon every corner of your home.

Have a great week,
Sarah xx

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

CrochetZine

CrochetZine

It's brand new, shiny, online magazine about all things CROCHET - and I'm super-proud to be part of the creative team behind it. 




So what is this exactly? 
It's a magazine with just 12 pages. In each monthly issue, we plan to feature two free patterns, articles about designers, makers and current topics, some funny stuff and a brilliant giveaway. The idea is that it's just about long enough for you to read in your tea-break. And feedback from our readers so far, has been amazing.


CrochetZine is the brain child of Sharna Moore (one of my crochet besties) and I was thrilled to be asked if I'd like to be part of the team, along with Chrissie Asbridge (my other crochet bestie). Now, you'll need to read the mag to find out how it all got started, but we've discovered that we're a bit of a dream team, which is so important when you're beginning a new venture, isn't it?

Find the pattern for these coasters in Issue One

Here's how it works: 
Sharna is the really arty, crafty one. She's beautifully creative, has a bazillion original ideas in her head and is a throughly nice person.
Chrissie, apart from also being amazingly talented at crochet and embroidery and having a very successful YouTube Channel, has a background as an Editor and is also a thoroughly nice person.
Me? I'm a designer, maker and author and can write and check patterns and, with being a teacher, am quite the organiser.

And so you see, it all works rather well.

If you'd like to have a read, and see what all the fuss is about, then read CrochetZine here.


CrochetZine is the first Instagram crochet magazine; 12 squares of crochet goodness delivered to your IG feed every month.

Join us for the ride as we’ll be featuring patterns you REALLY want to make, features and articles you REALLY want to read and some of the newest and coolest designers and makers on the block you REALLY want to meet.

I hope you enjoy it!!

Sarah xx



Sunday, 1 April 2018

Caught By The Sea Shawl Kit Preview

Just recently, I was asked by Veronika Cromwell of The Blue Star Crochet Company whether I'd like another a shawl for my shawlf (my shawl-shelf).


If you're a regular reader, then you'll know that my shawlf is pretty jam-packed with all the shawls, cowls, wraps and various neck-attire you could possibly imagine because I just love to make them and so obviously, I couldn't say no.



Veronika is the designer behind The Blue Star Crochet Company and a quick peek at her Etsy shop reveals a plethora of beautiful patterns for accessories and garments. Now, the next big thing Veronika is launching is not just a pattern for her gorgeous Caught By The Sea Shawl, but the whole kit - everything you need to make it and a a few little extras, too.

Have eaten biscuit and drunk tea already, obvs

Here's what the kit contains:

  • 1 x 100g hand-dyed skein of 100% Falkland Merino British wool, with two colour ways to choose from, both dyed by Sheena Proudlock of The Mermaid's Purse and exclusive to this kit.

I chose the colour 'Dolphin Shore' 

  • Pattern leaflet, with code for Ravelry download, too (also exclusive to the kit and which also contains further support codes and charts)
  • 5mm crochet hook
Gah, I'm a sucker for a cute stitch-marker

  • 2 x stitch markers
  • Sweet treat and tea
  • further discount codes for 15% off Blue Star Crochet Company patterns and The Mermaid's Purse Yarns
The kit is available to pre-order from the 1st April 2018 (and all for just £21.99, plus postage).
AND I have a discount code for you - just use the code ANNABOO1418 to receive 10% when you order your kit!

This yarn is DREAMY soft and gorgeous


And so I'd like to say a big well done to Veronika - I think the kit is really superb and great quality and the pattern looks just lovely- it would make the perfect present for someone else, or special gift to yourself.

*If you'd like to see the unboxing of this shawl kit, then check out my stories on Instagram*

I cannot wait to make a start on mine - that yarn is HEAVENLY.

Wishing you all Happy Easter weekend,
Sarah xx

Sunday, 25 March 2018

The one with the tadpoles

Yes, you did read that correctly.

TADPOLES



You see, a couple of weeks ago, we (not me, I hasten to add - this was something the Mister and kids are responsible for) picked up a teeny little bit of frogspawn from a muddy puddle in a field.

And now we have tadpoles.



Eleventy-billion of them, to be precise.

(For anyone who hasn't seen tadpoles before, they are the aquatic lavae of amphibians - in this case, frogs. Find out more about them here.)

We are feeding them all sorts of stuff (so far, raw minced meat has been their favourite) and are enjoying watching them change and grow. And grow.. And grow...

I'm even documenting their daily progress on my Instagram Stories (it's Day 28 of #frogwatch, if you're interested) which is proving very popular with my followers and I receive lots of comments from people telling me how much they enjoy tuning in each day to see how the tadpoles are getting on.

And so it seemed appropriate to crochet one. In fact, I'd like to make a whole set for every stage of their development, but we'll see.



If you fancy making a crocheted tadpole (I cannot think of a single reason why you wouldn't) then here's the pattern in UK terms (US below):

Tadpole Pattern (UK)

Pattern notes:
The tadpole is crocheted in continuous rounds. Use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of every round. Stuff as you go.

You will need:
A small amount of yarn in black and grey and a hook to match. 
I used Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Black and Mouse Grey and a 3.5mm hook 
Toy Stuffing
2 x 9mm safety eyes

Head and tail
Rnd 1: using Black, 6dc in magic ring, or 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch from hook (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 1dc in each st around.
Rnd 3: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)
Rnd 4: 1dc in each st around.
Rnd 5: (1dc, 2dc in next st) around. (18 sts)
Rnds 6 - 9: 1dc in each st around.
Insert eyes between rnds 4 - 5; 6 sts apart.
Rnd 10: (1dc, dc2tog) around. (12 sts)
Rnd 11: 1dc in each st around.
Rnd 12: dc2tog around (6 sts)
Rnds 13 - 25: 1dc in each st around.
Rnd 26: dc2tog around (3 sts)
Rnd 27: 2dc, leaving 1st unworked.
Fasten off, weave in ends.

Tail Fins (make 2)

Using Grey, 15ch.
Along the length of the chain, make one of each st in each of the chain stitches:
1sl st, 2dc, 2htr, 5tr, 2htr, 2dc, 1sl st.
Fasten off, leave long tail for sewing to tail.
Using the yarn ends, stitch the tail fins in place.

Tadpole Pattern (US)

Pattern notes:
The tadpole is crocheted in continuous rounds. Use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of every round. Stuff as you go.

You will need:
A small amount of yarn in black and grey and a hook to match. 
I used Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Black and Mouse Grey and a 3.5mm hook 
Toy Stuffing
2 x 9mm safety eyes

Head and tail
Rnd 1: using Black, 6sc in magic ring, or 2ch, 6sc in 2nd ch from hook (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 1sc in each st around.
Rnd 3: 2sc in each st around. (12 sts)
Rnd 4: 1sc in each st around.
Rnd 5: (1sc, 2sc in next st) around. (18 sts)
Rnds 6 - 9: 1sc in each st around.
Insert eyes between rnds 4 - 5; 6 sts apart.
Rnd 10: (1sc, sc2tog) around. (12 sts)
Rnd 11: 1sc in each st around.
Rnd 12: sc2tog around (6 sts)
Rnds 13 - 25: 1sc in each st around.
Rnd 26: sc2tog around (3 sts)
Rnd 27: 2sc, leaving 1st unworked.
Fasten off, weave in ends.

Tail Fins (make 2)

Using Grey, 15ch.
Along the length of the chain, make one of each st in each of the chain stitches:
1sl st, 2sc, 2hdc, 5dc, 2hdc, 2sc, 1sl st.
Fasten off, leave long tail for sewing to tail.
Using the yarn ends, stitch the tail fins in place.



The plan, of course is to watch them grow into froglets and release them back where they were found ... (before they take over the house like a Biblical plague).

Enjoy!

Sarah xx


Friday, 23 February 2018

The Last Cowl

Ok. So I know I have been a BIT obsessed with cowls and scarves and wraps and all things shawl-y recently, but I PROMISE this is the last scarf pattern for a while, especially as Spring is supposedly just around the corner.

But as we are due some verrrry cold weather here in the UK, I couldn't resist making a gorgeously soft and cosy cowl with some super-chunky and super-gorgeous yarn. And it will be my last one for now. 

I promise.




This is the stuff:



Isn't is lush?
Bet you wish you had squish-o-vision ...

It's called Naturalia by Borgo de Pazzi and you can find it at Woolly Mahoosive. (AND you can receive 10% off this yarn with the code Annaboos)



And so I made a loooooong cowl. The sort you can wrap around twice for extra-cosiness.

The pattern is extremely difficult * very easy and very quick.

*I'd love to actually write that on one of my patterns, but no. Simple all the way

You need 1 x 200g / 120m hank of Naturalia by Borgo De Pazzi (or similar)
and a 15mm hook

UK Pattern: (US below)

ch 13
Row 1: 1tr in 4th ch from hook and each st, turn. (11 sts)
Rows 2 - 3: 3ch (counts as tr throughout), 1tr in each st, turn.
Row 4: 3ch, 4tr, 1ch, sk st, 5tr, turn.
Row 5: 3ch, 2tr, 1ch, sk st, 1tr, 1tr in 1ch-sp, 1tr, 1ch, sk st, 3tr, turn.
Row 6: 4ch (counts as 1tr + 1ch), sk st, 1tr, 1tr in 1ch-sp, 3tr, 1tr in 1ch-sp, 1tr, 1ch, sk st, 1tr, turn.
Row 7: Repeat row 5
Rows 8 - 36: repeat rows 4-7
Rows 37 - 38: Repeat rows 2-3
Do not fasten off - slip stitch the top and bottom edges together.

Fasten off and weave in ends.


US Pattern:

ch 13
Row 1: 1dc in 4th ch from hook and each st, turn. (11 sts)
Rows 2 - 3: 3ch (counts as dc throughout), 1dc in each st, turn.
Row 4: 3ch, 4dc, 1ch, sk st, 5dc, turn.
Row 5: 3ch, 2dc, 1ch, sk st, 1dc, 1dc in 1ch-sp, 1dc, 1ch, sk st, 3dc, turn.
Row 6: 4ch (counts as 1dc + 1ch), sk st, 1dc, 1dc in 1ch-sp, 3dc, 1dc in 1ch-sp, 1dc, 1ch, sk st, 1dc, turn.
Row 7: Repeat row 5
Rows 8 - 36: repeat rows 4-7
Rows 37 - 38: Repeat rows 2-3
Do not fasten off - slip stitch the top and bottom edges together.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

So there you are.
I intend to wear this for the entirety of next week, whilst the Siberian winter takes it grip.



Keep cosy!

Sarah xxxx