Book News

draft amazon coverMy new book “200 More Crochet Stitches” will be published in the UK on January 15th.  I will be selling signed copies via my Etsy shop, if you would like me to let you know when these re available, just send me an email or contact me on Instagram. This book is also available in America with the title “The Step by Step Guide to 200 Crochet Stitches” and you can read a fabulous introduction to the content here.

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Also available now is the reprinted edition of “Crochet: Learn It. Love It”, which was previously published as “The Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet”, it’s the same great content, but now the cover matches the USA and Australian editions!. Signed copies will also be available via my Etsy shop, and you can buy signed copies of the original Woman’s Weekly version at a discount in my Etsy shop. The listed price includes UK first class postage. Please contact me directly for overseas postage rates.

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I am thrilled that both books will also be available in your local library, so do look out for it there (did you know that most libraries now offer an online ordering service? Here in Cheshire we can order any book held by a Cheshire library for just £1 and collect it from our local library).

I hope you enjoy these new books and that you will continue to drop by for news, free patterns and to share your makes in 2019.

Happy crocheting

Tracey x

Books, Books, Books

Hello there! well, it’s been a while since I dropped by. But, I have been very busy and have lots of news, patterns and “secrets” to share.

Womans Weekly Guide to Crochet

First of all, I still have a few copies of the “Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet” for sale via Etsy. You can order a signed copy, with a personalised message here (just let me know the message you’d like me to write on the “Message to seller” option. Otherwise your book will be signed “Happy crocheting! Best wishes, Tracey Todhunter”. Sorry, this offer is only available for UK delivery. Order by 10th November for guaranteed delivery before Christmas as I will be closing the shop after that date.

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Pre order my new book on Amazon (or your favourite bookseller)! Due for publication in January, “200 More Crochet Stitches” will take you though texture, lace, cables and more! I will be taking orders for signed copies in January and there will be a few events to promote the book confirmed soon (including a top secret” TV appearance … watch this space!) Each stitch has a close up photo, chart and step by step written instructions and I wrote it with newbie crocheters in mind, so there is something for everyone. Every month through 2019 I shall be giving you ideas of projects you can make using the stitches in this book.

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Some of you will also know that “Crochet. Learn It, Love It” will be available in the UK from the end of December (this is the same content as the Woman’s Weekly edition, but with a new name and a new cover). I shall also have copies of this available in January.

Finally, I have something special planned for December. Every day I shall be adding a new crochet decoration to my crochet advent garland and I’ll be posting the patterns here (some free, but one or two paid for patterns). I know some of you get very nervous about following written instructions, so there will be a few photos, tips and friendly advice to help you. You’ll be able to find the latest pattern here on the blog, with photos on Instagram and Facebook – share your makes with the hashtag #grannycoolcrochet – and my favourites will win a small prize!

Oh – and I almost forgot – I have just confirmed my first workshop dates for January at Ditzy Rose Makery in Tattenhall, Cheshire. We’ll be running a three week crochet for complete beginners starting on the last Friday in January. I’ll be posting more details soon.

Happy (festive) making!

Tracey x

Learn to Crochet in a Day

crochet foundation ring 2Do you know someone who wants to learn to crochet? I am teaching my “Learn to crochet in a Day” class at the Ditzy Rose Makery in Cheshire on Saturday 10th Feb. The cost is £45 including materials and you’ll be treated to delicious cake and a sandwich lunch. I’ll supply all the materials you’ll need on the day and we’ll cover all the basic skills you’ll need to start your journey into crochet.

You can book via Nikki at Ditzy Rose.

Or, if yo can’t make it to a class,  you can always get hold of a copy of my book from your local library or bookseller (shameless plug!)

Womans Weekly Guide to Crochet

I’ll be back soon with lots of new  free patterns for you (I’m slowly working through my back catalogue of published designs and I promise to share some of my favourites here), news of new published designs and an updated version of my recommended resources for knitting and crochet. So, if you haven’t subscribed to the blog, or signed up for my newsletter, do it now. I promise there will be lots of treats in store for subscribers this year, including competitions, give aways and exclusive free patterns. My small way of saying thank you for all your support and enthusiasm for my work!

Happy Making x

 

Granny Squares Rock!

The Rambler’s Granny Square Scarf

Yesterday was “International Granny Square Day”, you didn’t know granny squares had their own “day”? Well everything has it’s own day in the spot light  these days and so it’s no surprise someone decided to celebrate the humble granny. (Check Suregal27 ‘s Instagram feed for more background and pictures). Even though I learned to crochet as a young child, I didn’t make my first granny square until well into my 40’s. I always thought they were garish, just for blankets and not really my thing at all. Now I love my grannies and wear this tank top “all” the time!

I could easily fill a book (several books) with some of my favourite granny square projects. Luckily I don’t need to write a book, because Sarah London, Susan Pinner and Laura Strutt (among others) have beaten me to it, revealing the multitude of projects you can make using this basic technique. Over the years I’ve been asked to design lots of projects for books and magazine using the granny motif and it’s still the most popular of my workshops. There have been cushions, blankets and stool covers. I’ve tried to show that granny squares can be more than just a way to use up all those garish, clashing scraps in your stash!

Granny square pot holders for Homemaker magazine

Yesterday reminded me that it’s time we celebrated the granny again (after all, grannies are cool!) and so I want to start sharing some ideas that go beyond the usual blankets, cushions, hot water bottle covers and tea cosies that you can find online.

I’m going to give you permission to get playful and creative. Think about your favourite colour schemes and design aesthetic (are you boho, Scandi, vintage or just a magpie like me). We’re going to free our  scraps and make lovely things for ourselves and our homes. The gorgeous baby blanket (pictured left) was made using a palette of pale grey, blue and cream. The result is a modern, stylish and practical baby gift.

You can already find some of my designs online and in my books (shameless plug: “Crochet: Learn it, Love It” * has a whole section of step by step photos and instructions for making granny squares, hexagons and triangles). There are some fabulous tutorials and videos showing you how to make a granny square online, or find a local class. I’ll be running a few granny square classes in the autumn, here in Cheshire.

Find the instructions for this super bright cushion here on Granny Cool

Right, let’s get started. Dive into your stash, find some pretty colours. The next few weeks are going to be all about the grannies! To get you started, I’ve put together a Pinterest board, called Granny Squares Rock. It’s full of photos and links to some amazing granny square projects, and you can also find some of my patterns on Ravelry and Love Knitting.

let’s start with the  instructions for making a basic granny square cushion . You’ll need to be able to crochet a granny square, so if you don’t know how to make one and don’t have access to a book or magazine with instructions, you might want to look at this step by step guide to crocheting a granny square on Helen Free’s blog. The instructions are for a cushion made using chunky wool. You can use any weight of yarn and an appropriate size hook – you’ll just need to work more rounds to fit your cushion pad. Once you’ve made a cushion, you can make a blanket, just by working more rounds. Next week I’ll show you how to make smaller motifs and join them as you work to make a snuggly scarf, a wrap or a blanket.

Happy crafting x

 

  • Also published in the UK with the title “The Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet”).

 

 

Tunisian Crochet Tips

Tunisian Crochet Cushion. Issue 52 Inside Crochet

Tunisian crochet is having a “bit of a moment” on social media. Sometimes called “Afghan” or “knitted” crochet it’s a simple technique to master with a variety of stitches you can learn once you’ve got the basics under your belt.

I included an introduction to the simpler stitches in my last book, and you can watch my video showing how to work Tunisian Simple Stitch on the Woman’s Weekly website.

You can find lots of great Tunisian Crochet projects online (and there is a simple sunglasses case project in the Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet)*.  This book is now also available in Dutch, with a very colourful cover!

I have created a  Tunisian Crochet board on Pinterest with lots of simple and stylish makes and you  can also find a how to guide on the Inside Crochet website. I’ll keep adding to the Pinterest board, so if you’re a Pinterest user, be sure to follow me there for plenty of crochet inspiration

If you would like to try Tunisian Crochet, it helps if you already have an understanding of basic crochet terminology, but even an absolute beginner can quickly pick up the basic simple stitch. Have you tried Tunisian? Do you have a crochet technique you would love to try but don’t know where to start? Let me know and I’ll pull together a post of helpful places to get you started.

Happy hooking x

*Published in Australia and North America as Crochet: Learn It, Love It.

 

 

Five Crochet Blogs You Should Be Reading

OK, so we’ll agree I’m not the world’s most frequent crochet blogger (although you can read me over at Baking and Making). I’ve put together a list of some of my top crochet reads. I’m sure you have your own favourites to add. Check them out and enjoy some crochet inspiration.

In no particular order:

Emma Potter’s Potter and Bloom blog and podcast. Funny, helpful and full of crochet tips with a bit of knitting thrown in for good measure.

Stephanie Lau. Many of you will be familiar with the name. I chose Stephanie to design the Amigurumi project for Crochet. Learn It, Love It (Published in the UK as the Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet). She also designs accessories, reviews yarns and share snapshots of her creative life. Well worth finding her on Instagram too.

Leonie Morgan. Another contributor to my last book, Leonie has also written several books and releases single crochet patterns in gorgeous colours.

If you haven’t already signed up for the Crochet Project newsletter, go do it now! The website is full of tips and useful blog posts. You can also buy Joanne and Kat’s patterns and books directly from the site. If I had a pound for every pupil who has produced one of their patterns with the words “Can you help me make this…” I would be keeping Mr T in bike spares for years to come! Thoroughly nice and very talented ladies, I love their uncomplicated but stylish designs.

Sandra Paul’s Cherry Heart blog and podcast should also be on your “watch list”. A creative all rounder, Sandra produces designs in bright modern colours. Her podcast is a favourite among lots of my crochet pupils.

Finally, not a specific knitting or crochet blog, but two online yarn shopkeepers that I regularly visit. Tangled Yarn and Brityarn. Both run by women with a passion for yarn and crafting. You’ll find pattern inspiration, news about new yarns and special offers.

Hope that list of recommendations keeps you busy until I’m back with more new patterns, workshop updates for the autumn and a special item for Yarndale.

Happy making x

 

 

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).

 

 

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).