Scandi Baubles

Years ago, when I designed these decorations for Craftseller, hardly anyone had heard of Hygge, and the Scandi phenomenon was still  a twinkle in Instagram’s eye! But, I loved the simple colours and decoration and was very happy that they re-appeared the next year in a different magazine (same publisher) where they were declared “on trend” – probably the first – and only time I’ve been ahead of the curve! This pattern is currently available for free on Ravelry. You’ll find instructions for the tree and the heart. You can use any yarn. Cotton has a lovely sheen, 4 ply will make them smaller, DK or Aran will be bigger. I used pre – cut felt shapes from the high street and a little bit of surface crochet to decorate mine.

Their beauty lies in their simplicity, easy stitches, quick to make an so many options for decoration. Buttons, beads, embroidery, change the colours. Go to town with ribbons and make wreaths and garland. Believe me, I’ve tried them all over the years. I hope you enjoy them and that you’re enjoying the festive spirit that seems to be everywhere at the moment. I for one am starting to feel very festive – especially as Mr T hauled the decorations down from the attic today and finally have some fairy lights hanging in the kitchen! Now, back to those crochet sprouts …



Here’s another little free pattern for you. These Mistletoe leaves look lovely hung in bunches or used to decorate a wreath. You can even sew them onto brooch pins and wear them all through the festive season. Here’s the link to my 2016 post, where I showed readers how to crochet mistletoe.

Etsy Shop Open for Business!

Breton Baby Sweater.jpgI’m very pleased to let you all know that my Etsy shop is now open again and I’m starting to add new pdf downloads of my baby and toddler patterns. Most of these have been previously published in UK crochet magazines and this is the first time they’ve been available as individual downloads.

The first two patterns are now live and they’re both perfect for those of you who have mastered the basic stitches. I deliberately designed them to be customisable, so you can alter the length of sleeves and body to suit your babies! Baby garments are a great way to practise your skills, they’re quick to make and you can always find a home for the results (Knit for Peace are always happy to accept donations of baby clothes if you don’t have friends or family to pass them on to).

The Sandpiper Breton Sweater (Pictured above), first appeared in Crochet Gifts and has minimal shaping. It’s crocheted in double crochet and if you don’t feel confident enough to work the stripes, you can make it in a single colour. It uses double knitting yarn, so you can substitute your favourite if you wish (do make sure your check your tension first). This pattern costs £4.00 (plus VAT) and is available as an instant digital download.  The second pattern is the Merienda Cardigan (Pictured below), which uses a combination of half treble and double crochet. It is crocheted in one piece from the top down and then the yarn is rejoined to crochet the sleeves, so no pesky seams to sew. If you do click through to take a peek at these patterns, do consider “favouriting” my shop if you’re an Etsy customer and this will ensure you’ll get updates of new patterns.

Child's crochet cardigan in blue and yellow stripes
Merienda cardigan photo credit Shutterhouse (c) Tailor Made Publishing

It’s been a while since I sold my designs on Etsy, but I’ve noticed it’s an online shop I often find myself browsing because it has such a great collection of talented makers, so I thought it was about time I fell back in love with it as a way of selling my designs! I won’t be running any workshops this autumn, but rest assured I’ll be posting regular updates here and also sharing some tips and tricks to help out those of you who have been to my beginner classes this year.

If you prefer not to shop on Etsy, you can also buy these patterns on Ravelry and Love Crochet

Want to stay in touch? Sign up for my newsletter by clicking this link and hitting the “susbscribe” button in the top left hand corner. This list is maintained by Mailchimp and you will only receive updates from me on an occasional basis, you can also unsubscribe at any time via the link in every newsletter.



Felting Feature in Inside Crochet

mavric purseIn addition to some great patterns, the new issue of Inside Crochet also features my article  on felting crochet. You’ll find lots of helpful hints and tips for beginners. I also designed three special projects to accompany the feature. My favourite is this pretty clip purse. The yarn was supplied by Lily Warne, a Dorset based, family company who source their wool from their own flock. I just love the colour palette. As many readers know, I am passionate about British wool and love to support British farmers and shepherds.  Lily Warne also sell a range of ready made items including festival blankets and hats. My favourite product in their range (apart from the wool – obviously) is this amazing pom pom – I have mine clipped to my keyring and it has been much admired. Come the winter, I might be tempted to sew it on to a big woolly hat!


Do take a minute to go and visit the Lily Warne website, drool over their wool and read all about the other parts of their family business and in particular  the Dartmoor Shepherd.


I’ll admit  I do have a bit of a soft spot for a freshly sheared sheep!


Styling: Claire Montgomerie

Photography: Mavric Photography

Copyright: Tailor Made Publishing

Lily Warne Pom Pom and Dartmoor shepherd photos courtesy of Lily Warne

Thanks also to Julie at Bag Clasps, who supplied the perfect size clip frame for this project.




New Design: Floribunda Cowl

096Emily-high-resI am so thrilled to see this design finally published in the new issue of Inside Crochet Magazine. This pretty cowl is made from one simple motif, joined together using the “as you go” method, so no bothersome sewing up at the end. It uses just one ball of West Yorkshire Spinners sock yarn and gets softer and softer every time you wash it. I just love the colours of West Yorkshire Spinners and it’s 100% British wool, which is a bonus! Look out for Issue 89 of Inside Crochet – I have lots more designs in this issue to share with you – and the whole magazine is full of gorgeous, inspiring makes for summer.


Photography: Leanne Dixon

Styling: Claire Montgomerie

Copyright: Tailor Made Publishing


100 Days of Wool: Cumbria

​Today I’m enjoying some early spring sunshine here in Cockermouth. I’ve declared the next 4 days a “work free zone” and I’m indulging in some projects just for fun. I found these two beauties in my stash, left over from some design work last year. It’s a gorgeous blend of wool and mohair. It washes beautifully (gentle hand wash please – it’s also a perfect felter!) I’m posting regular photos of my 100 days journey on Instagram, so don’t forget to follow me there or check back here for occasional highlights. 

Fyne Skinny Scarf

IMG_7011Today I wanted to talk about inspiration. Sometimes my design “mojo” disappears completely and I just sit and make granny squares or reach for a knitting project in garter stitch until inspiration returns. I know it will, but it’s frustrating not to be able to come up something new in time for a submission deadline.

This simple, but very elegant scarf pattern was published in the Christmas Gift Issue of Inside Crochet magazine last year. I fell in love with a single skein of naturally dyed Indigo yarn at  Woolfest last June and just has to make something special.  Often inspiration comes in the strangest of places and this design was formed as I sat on the beach in Scotland last summer. There were tiny  blue flowers growing on the rocks and I began to think about how a simple embellishment could be used instead of a fringe (I can never cut fringing neatly).  The main scarf is knitted in a simple repeating textured bobble, chosen because it was easy to memorise. This meant I could work on it  as we drove around the Scottish borders.

The yarn is 100% merino, not a British wool, but it was dyed in Scotland. You could substitute any 100g skein of 4 ply yarn. Choose a natural fibre with a beautiful sheen and the making will be as enjoyable as the wearing. You can buy the pattern on Ravelry. You can also find more of my single patterns for sale in the sidebar if you’re looking for some knitting and crochet inspiration. You can find the Border Tart online here or look out for her at various yarn shows throughout the year.

100 Days of Wool

Herdwick wool
Herdwick Wool, reared and spun in Cumbria, the colours inspired a hard wearing messenger bag. Often Herdwick is considered a “carpet wool”, too rough for garments. These are the qualities a functional bag needs so it was the perfect choice. And those colours? Well they sum up the Cumbrian landscape perfectly for me.

For a long time I’ve been visiting the 100 Days project website and love it’s invitation to be creative every day. The concept is to do something quick and creative every day. It’s been interpreted in many different ways, especially over on Instagram where lots of people are using it as a prompt to post images on a particular subject. This year I’ve decided to join in and use it as an excuse to share my love of all things wool and how working with natural fibres influences my design work.

So, for the next 100 days (give or take – I’m giving myself permission right at the beginning to falter, forget – or  simply lack inspiration) I’ll be writing here and on Instagram a series of posts and photos that celebrate all things wool, hopefully they’ll give you an insight to my design process.

I’ve cut and pasted some guidelines from the 100 Days project website here to give you an idea of what it’s all about.

Rules for doing a 100DayProject:
There are none other than doing something hands-on with your project everyday during the 100 days – even if it’s just 5 minutes on some days.

Guidelines…if some structure or an assignment are desired, here are some guidelines:

  • Center your project on one theme – it can be a broad as you like.
  • Commit to doing something hands-on each day for 100 days.
  • Keep it fresh, let it go where it takes you.
  • Flow is the key word here.
  • Don’t get caught up in quality.
  • Consider this a first draft in the creative process.
  • Relax your standards and expectations.
  • Find a buddy or start a group to share your experience with.

Would you like to join me? If you’re already pursuing your own 100 days project I’d love to hear about it. Or, if you know a creative who inspires you leave a link below.



%d bloggers like this: