Cold Hands, Warm Heart

It’s funny how those oft repeated saying from our childhood stay with us. I was reminded of after my swim this morning, struggling to fasten straps and pull jeans over hips in a chilly wind!

It’s the time of year when my hats, scarves and gloves sit in higgledy piggledy mountains by the door, ready to be pulled on every time I leave the house. This year I’m trying extra hard to add a little bit of style on my trips outdoors, maybe it’s the months of shielding and lack of socialising that have made every trip something of an “outing”! So, I have arranged my accessories in groups, picking out a particular colour in a hat to complement a scarf of a pair of wrist warmers, so at least it looks as if I’m trying to make an effort!

Wrist warmers are a great way to keep warm at this time of year, on their own they keep your pulse points warm while still allowng you to access your phone or keys. They are very useful to pull on over gloves when the wind is biting. Most of mine are in a single, solid colour and the All Buttoned Up Wrist Warmers have always been a favourite. It’s the buttons that realy make this project special. In reality they’re just two squares of double crochet, with a thumb slit and a shell buttonhole trim. But, add beautiful buttons and they’re transformed into something you could easily give as a gift. Why not make a few pairsfor friends and family this year? Or, put together a kit for those crafty friends? A ball of yarn in their favourite colour, a hook and of course beautiful buttons are easy to wrap and post. You can find the original pattern in issue 38 of Inside Crochet, or read all the pattern details and buy a single pdf here.

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

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Free pattern: Variable cowl

2013-11-28 14.03.47This autumn the Variable cowl is having a make over – I can’t wait to show you my new version. Meanwhile, here’s the original for you – just in case you’re starting to feel autumnal and need something you can slip on when the weather turns chilly.

You can easily substitute a different yarn (just use the appropriate hook) and alter the length or width by working a longer foundation chain or more rows. Like I said it’s “variable”, which means you can make it your own!

Yarn and Hook requirements:

8mm crochet hook

1 hank Debbie Bliss Paloma or equivalent.

4 buttons (two for the front and two for the back).

Tapestry needle to weave in ends

Needle and cotton to sew on buttons

Pattern: (In UK crochet terms)

Finished measurements: Length 95cm, width 13cm

dc: double crochet

ch: chain

dcblo: double crochet into the back loop only

Make 51 ch.

Row 1: dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc in each ch to end, turn (50 dc)

Row 2: 1ch, 1dc in first dc, 1dcblo in each dc to last st, 1dc in last dc, turn.

repeat row 2 another  eight times.

Fasten off yarn.

Weave in ends. Sew buttons to one end, with front facing buttons lined up with “back ” buttons. I found it helps if the back buttons have a shank as this makes fastening easier.

To fasten your cowl, pop the back buttons through the fabric as desired and wear with a smile.

Ravelry Pattern Sale

Over the summer I shall be redesigning and re branding all my knitting and crochet patterns, some will be “retired” for ever and some are being made with new yarns in new colours. Before I remove them all from sale here’s your chance to grab a bargain. Most patterns are now reduced to just £1 (plus VAT), so head over to Ravelry and choose your favourites. They’ll only be available until 1st July.

 

 

Free Crochet Patterns

Just “popping in” to let readers know that you can now find lots of my crochet patterns for free here. All previously appeared in let’s Get Crafting magazine and mostly they are homewares and accessories – but do check out the patterns by other designers. There’s a super collection here.  Take a look – you might find something you like here!

All images are (c) Aceville publications and originally appeared in Let’s Get Crafting.

 

 

Free Crochet Patterns (& More to Come)

Button_mitts_medium2Slowly, very slowly I am adding all my free patterns to Granny Cool. It’s a slow process. The new book is at the editing stage (still lots of samples to make). We’ve done a couple of shoots and I’m desperate to share some images with you and tell you about the amazing collaborators who are designing and working with me. Meanwhile, if you click on the images in the right hand sidebar you can find the first of my free patterns. More will be added as and when I can.

Of course I’ve chosen a few of my favourites to start with. I’ve always loved this photo (taken by Britt Spring for Inside Crochet). She makes a simple design look so elegant don’t you think?). I was thrilled when they agreed to let me use this photo to accompany the release of these stylish wrist warmers.

Don’t forget, in between blog posts, you can follow me on twitter and instagram, I’d love it if you came and said hello.

 

New Patterns for Sale

bobble wreathI have uploaded some new patterns to my Ravelry store. They are suitable for beginners. Most of the patterns are “bundles”, in other words, you get more than one pattern included (for example, the desk set has patterns for pencil pot, ipad cover, iphone cosy, flower garland and coasters). here are a few pics to show you what’s on offer this month: I know this brightly coloured bauble wreath will be popular as it’s so simple and makes a great portable project (the baubles are  made individually and then glued on).

This kitchen set has the pattern for chilli string, egg cosies and pot holders

The Rainbow Desk Set would make an ideal pattern for a teenager

A Vintage Style Bedroom Set

All the patterns will be for sale in my Etsy shop by the end of the week. Also for sale:

Crochet Doily Rug pattern