A Beautiful Scarf

ccth_blue-scarf-02Now that Autumn truly has arrived we have the perfect excuse to start wearing “all” the knitwear! For me, that means pairing every outfit with a scarf, shawl or cowl. On my hook right now is this gorgeous Nubbly Scarf designed by Ali Campbell for my last book. Ali chose a chunky alpaca / merino blend from Bergere de France, but I’m making mine in Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell Chunky. I can’t share a photo yet as it might become a festive gift, but I can tell you it’s making up very quickly and I may just keep it for myself!

I just love the quirky edging, such a nice change from a basic fringe. Even a beginner to manage this project. You can find more of Ali’s gorgeous designs over on her website, where you can also book for her classes and buy her ebooks. I’ve said it before, but one of the best bits about writing The Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet (or Crochet. Learn It Love It, if you’re in the USA / Australia) was the chance to collaborate with some of my favourite designers. I loved seeing their ideas and I loved every one of the designs they contributed. This book really was a team effort.

womans-weekly-guide-to-crochetYou can buy a copy from most online retailers, or ask for it in your local bookshop. It makes the perfect gift (shameless plug) for new and beginner crocheters. It’s filled with advice, techniques and photo tutorials, including joining motifs,  foundation crochet and crocodile stitch. At the moment you can buy it from The Book People for the discount price of £10.39!! I have a soft spot for the cute amigurumi fox by Stephanie Lau, which she wrote about on her blog. I could never have come up something that cute!

learn-it-love-itAmerican readers are treated to a photo of Leonie Morgan’s beautiful motif blanket – another triumph! Leonie has always been a bit of a crochet heroine of mine, you can read all about her work on her website, where you can also find the perfect Autumn Cowl pattern. Whatever you’re making this autumn, do let me know. I’ll be back soon with some great ideas for festive gifts for crafty loved ones, so if you have any suggestions for what I should include do let me know.

Happy making x

 

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A Rather Lovely Blanket

unnamedWell, hello there! It’s been a while – sorry – but now I’m back. There’s lots to catch up on, new patterns, new magazine launches and a very exciting new podcast to tell you about . My goodness I disappear to recover from dreadful pneumonia and while I’m gone the world of crochet goes mad!!

Today I’m sharing another guest designer project from my new book. This one is a rather lovely blanket by Leonie Morgan. I must admit to having a bit of a “girl crush” on Leonie, she’s one of those designers you don’t see much on social media, but you’ll probably have at least one of her books on your shelf. I knew from the start that I wanted Leonie to design the motif project for my book. She has such a good eye for colour and can be relied upon to produce a well written design – essential when you’re working on a publication deadline.

I was thrilled with Leonie’s blanket. On photo shoot day we all wanted to keep it, if it had fitted in my overnight bag I may have been tempted to “steal” it! The yarn is DMC Woolly, a 100% merino yarn which comes in fabulous colours. Leonie had great fun putting this one together I think! The motif is simple to make, and the join as you go technique means it works up quickly, it would make a great stash buster for all those “odds and ends” we crafters can’t bring ourselves to throw away.

Thanks so much Leonie for agreeing to be a guest designer in my book – it was great to work with you!

You can find Leonie online here  or check out her designer profile on Ravelry here. Do look out for her books too, if you’re looking for motif inspiration you can’t beat them, and her ripple stitches book sits permanently by my desk for reference.

You can buy The Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet in most bookstores or online.

my book coverLearn It, Love ItIn the USA it’s available as Crochet. Learn It, Love It and Stephanie Lau (who designed the gorgeous Finnley Fox I shared with you, has written a blog post all about her involvement here).

 

 

Meet Finnley Fox

foxI’m thrilled to be able to start sharing projects from my new book with you. First of all, here’s Finnley Fox, designed by the rather lovely and incredible talented Stephanie Lau, who some of you might know from her blog “All About Ami”. I was so pleased when the publishers allowed me to commission other designers to create  projects for the book. I don’t often design amigurumi, so it seemed perfect to choose someone who is as skilled as Stephanie.

I hope you like Finnley as much as I do, he really does steal the show! Thanks so much Stephanie for being part of my lovely book. I’ll be featuring more designers and projects from the book over the next couple of weeks.

 

Book Signing

This Sunday (21st Feb) I shall be at the NEC Birmingham signing copies of my new book “The Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet”. I’ll be on stand J22 (Search Press stand) from 1pm until 2.30pm. So if you’re planning to be at CHSI trade show this Sunday, do stop by and say hello to me or to one of the other fabulous authors.

 

As Seen on TV

Well, not quite TV, but YouTube! I had great fun in the summer filming a couple of videos to accompany my new book with the team from Woman’s Weekly.  We chose Tunisian crochet,  which is a technique I’m often asked about and it’s so easy to get started I knew it would be perfect. You can view the video, which takes you through Tunisian Knit and Tunisian Simple Stitch here.

If you have ever fancied giving Tunisian Crochet a try, I hope this video will help you get started. Like most knitting and crochet skills, there are several ways to hold the hook and work the stitches. There is no single “right” or “wrong” way to work Tunisian crochet, so don’t be intimidated by terms which are unfamiliar to you, just pick up your hook and have a go!

In between giggles, the serious work of planning the script, producing samples and filming was undertaken by a great team. I don’t usually do tutorials or videos, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to work with such a great team could I?After all, Woman’s Weekly is a household name and my Mum would be very impressed! I’m really pleased with the finished video, it’s much better than anything I could have produced in my own studio and the film crew were so lovely to work with, I could get “hooked” on video making!!!

There are loads more instructional videos on the Woman’s Weekly website and do look out for their special Knitting and Crochet magazine editions which are full of lovely patterns and features. And (shameless plug) if you’re keen to try different crochet techniques you’ll find lots more in my new book, which you can pre – order now).

New Book News

51BEIFL0JyL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_Well, here is the news – you can now pre order my new book directly from Search Press or from Amazon. Due for publication in January 2016, I am really excited to be finally able to share the news of this book – a whole year of my life went into writing, researching and making all the projects and swatches you’ll find inside.

I tried to write a book that suits beginners taking their first steps in crochet and those who are feeling more ambitious and want to try new skills and techniques. In fact, the book I always wanted to have on my own shelf.

I’ll be back soon to tell you more – and to give you a sneaky peek of what’s inside. But for now you’ll have to make do with a picture of the UK cover.

Dare I say this would make the perfect gift for the crocheter in your life?

 

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