Free Pattern: Colour Pop Cowl

Photo Credit: Kirsten Mavric for Tailor Made Publishing

The Colour Pop Cowl appeared in Issue 125 of Inside Crochet magazine and you can now download the pattern for free via  Eden Cottage Yarns. Victoria and her team have also put together colour kits for this design. It may be too early to mention the “C” word – but this would make an ideal gift for crocheting friends and family. The motif cowl is constructed using the “join as you go” technique and is simple enough for a confident beginer to follow. I had great fun designing and making this and I’m thrilled that the pattern is now available from Eden Cottage yarns, who initially provided yarn support. Collaborating with yarn companies, developing a design or collection is one of the joys of my job. Admin, dealing with pattern sales, enquiries and promotion are less fun. But they are essential to the success of my brand. Many of my patterns for Inside Crochet are available by purchasing back copies or digital downloads of the magazine, others are avilable from Love Crafts and designs commissioned by yarn companies are available directly from their website.

If you’re looking for other accessory designs, you might like the Cavendish hat and mittens set – which made the cover of issue 84 of Inside Crochet Magazine.

 

Free Pattern: Wee Mousie

Hello Little Mouse!

one little mouse.jpg

I make no apologies for my current obsession with tiny cute things – making them is a joy – and being able to make something so quickly is definitely a bonus!

These little mice started life as a sample for a Learn to Crochet Class, I quickly realised that others might fall in love with them too. They’re much cuter than the real thing, which we occasionally spy scuttling across the patio!

Of course, I had to make three (in honour of the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice).

Each mouse is made in a different shade of King Cole Baby Alpaca (I had oddments left over from some other projects, which you’ll see in print soon) and is stuffed with wool stuffing. You can use any yarn you like and as mice come in many shapes, sizes and colours, you can dive into your stash and come up with a unique little mouse.

I’ve used beads for the eyes, but you could use embroidery if you prefer. The trickiest part is the whiskers; it was so hard to come up with a colour and texture that looked attractive. In the end I went for a combination of cotton yarn and sewing thread.

I’ve listed this as a free pattern, which means it hasn’t been tech edited. It has been tested by some of my pupils and proof read, but mistakes can still sneak through. If you spot an error please let me know and I can fix it. You’ll find a full list of crochet terms and abbreviations here.

I always like to start working in the round with a crochet ring, if you prefer an adjustable or “magic” ring, feel free to start that way instead. Remember, the only rule in crochet is there are no rules!

To make your mouse you will need:

2.5mm crochet hook, oddments of dk yarn (about 18m) and approximately 6g of toy stuffing or wool scraps. Two beads or black embroidery floss for eyes.

three little mice.jpg

Pattern starts here: (written in UK crochet terms)

Make 2ch.

Round 1: 4dc into 2nd ch from hk. 4dc

Round 2: (1dc, 2dc in next st) twice. 6dc

Round 3: (2dc, 2dc in next st) twice. 8dc

Round 4: (3dc, 2dc in next st) twice. 10dc

Round 5: (4dc, 2dc in next st) twice. 12dc

Round 6: 1dc in each st around.

Round 7: (3dc, 2dc in next st) 3 times. 15dc

Round 8: (4dc, 2dc in next st) 3 times. 18dc.

Rounds 9 – 18: 1dc in each dc around.

Stuff head and body.

Round 19: (4dc, dc2tog) 3 times. 15dc

Round 20: (3dc, dc2tog) 3 times. 12dc

Round 21: (dc2tog) 6 times. 6dc.

Make tail:

Row 1: 1sl st into next dc, ch16, 1sl st in 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across, 1 sl st in same place as first sl st. fasten off yarn.

Add more stuffing to body if required and close hole using long yarn tail.

Ears: (make two)

Make 4ch.

Row 1: 3ch, 4tr in 4th ch from hk, sl st in same ch. Fasten off yarn.

Sew ears to top of head (use photo as a guide).

Finishing:

Sew eyes, nose and whiskers using photo as a guide to placement.

two little mice.jpg

I hope you enjoy making these teeny mice – you can share your makes on my Facebook page, or on Instagram (just tag your photos #grannycoolcrochet). I do love to see your photos.

Happy crocheting!

 

Mistletoe

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.

Gingerbread Man Pattern

I used to love making gingerbread dough when my daughter was little, Rolling it out, cutting the shapes and then best of all we would go to town with sparkly sugar balls, sugar strands and icing. These crochet versions might be a “healthy” option, but they still give you lots of opportunities to decorate and embellish. Raid your button tin, use up all those oddments of ric rac and ribbon. Go wild and fill your house with happy smiling gingerbread families! This is another free pattern, as usual a pdf is available on Love Crochet and Ravelry and I would be thrilled if you share photos of your makes using the hashtag #grannycoolchristmas.

Happy making my crochet friends x

New Free Pattern

UPDATE JANUARY 2020

This pattern is being updated and will be available again in the Spring.

I can never resist a baby in a cute hat – and this is certainly a cutie – and so easy!

baby hat craftseller.jpg

The Parker baby hat was published in Craftseller in 2013 and proved very popular because it was so quick to make! The original design used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which I know lots of knitters and crocheters love because it’s so soft and can be machine washed. I’ve also made versions in 4 ply yarns and you can swap in your own favourite with few problems (just remember to swatch or check your tension). The version below shows the second size (6 – 12 months) and  was made using Debbie Bliss Eco Baby, which is a great alternative if you prefer a non animal fibre. It’s 100% organic cotton and has Fairtrade accreditation, so it is suitable for vegans and ethical makers. Eco Baby has the same meterage and tension as Baby Cashmerino, so it can be substituted for any Baby Cashmerino pattern.

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I love Debbie Bliss, not just her beautiful designs and her gorgeous yarns , but her commitment to promoting knitwear and crochet as wearable and desirable. I have several of her books on my shelf and one of my most exciting yarny memories is meeting her in person. She has a long standing relationship  with Knit For Peace and is involved in several local community projects near her home. She always comes across as a genuinely warm and friendly person, the kind of knitter you would be happy to find yourself sitting next to at knit night!

So, I was very pleased when Love Craft announced that Debbie Bliss yarns would be available on its LoveKnitting and LoveCrochet online stores. Yes, of course I would prefer it to be available in my local yarn store and other outlets. But, when Designer Yarns went into liquidation last year, many of us thought it might mean the end of the Debbie Bliss brand and that would have been a real shame.

Over the years, I have designed several projects using Debbie Bliss yarns and for the next few months they will be made available as free pdf patterns online. The first of these is the Parker Crochet Baby Hat. You can download it from Ravelry or LoveCrochet today.

In other news, 200 More Crochet Stitches is now available for pre – order. Sadly it won’t be available in time for gifting at Christmas, but I do have a special thank you planned for those of you who pre order. Watch out for more details soon.

 

Free Pattern Friday: All Buttoned Up Mittens

UPDATE JANUARY 2020

This pattern is no longer free. It can be purchased via the link from Ravelry. It will make an appearance at some point during 2020 as my “Friday Free Pattern” – look out for that on my Instagram stories, Twitter or my Facebook Page.

This week I wanted to put the spotlight on an old favourite. As we move into Autumn, these simple wrist warmers can be very useful. They can easily be stuffed in a bag or a pocket. Let’s be honest, the buttons are the real heroes of this project. It may take a bit of time to sew them on, but they do add a stunning finishing touch to a project designed for beginners. You can use any 4 ply or fingering yarn (please take the time to check your tension as it can be so disappointing to find your wrist warmers are too tight or too baggy). Each mitten uses about 100m of yarn and you’ll need 14 buttons.

Last autumn, I made myself a new pair using the Fibre Co.’s gorgeous Cumbria Fingering. It’s no secret, the Fibre Co. continue to produce some of my favourite yarns. I love the quality and the continuing commitment to natural fibres. This yarn is a blend of wool and mohair and is very robust, while still soft and comfortable next to the skin.

You can download the pattern from  Ravelry

 

Let’s Celebrate (a free pattern)

garlandWell 2018 has started well, with a new design published in this month’s Inside Crochet and the new book is progressing well (fingers crossed it stays that way). So, I thought I’d share an old favourite of mine, perfect for cheering up those dull days before spring really does bring sunshine and flowers.

These little garlands are so simple and you can easily personalise them with buttons, ribbons and your favourite crochet flowers. I used children’s bangles brought from an accessory shop on the high street, you can also pick up similar ones online. The pattern first appeared in issue 64 of Inside Crochet, to accompany a feature on planning a crochet celebration. You can use any mercerised cotton, embroidery floss or scraps from your stash for this project.

Have fun with this one – I certainly did!

Image by Leanne Dixon for Inside Crochet Magazine

Crochet Flower Garland (Pattern in UK crochet terms)

To cover the bangles

Start with a slip knot on your hook, insert the hook through the centre of the bangle, yoh and pull through the loop, slip first loop over the new loop to secure yarn.

Rnd 1: 100dc into centre of bangle, sl st into first dc. Fasten off yarn

(You may need to adjust the number of dc worked to cover your bangle, the exact number of dc is not important).

Flower:

With 3mm hook and dk cotton yarn make 4ch, join with a sl st to make a ring.

Rnd 1: 10dc into ring. (10dc)

Rnd 2: 1dc into first dc, [3ch, miss next dc, dc in next st] 5 times. Do not turn

Rnd 3: 1 sl st, 5tr, 1 sl st in first ch sp [1 sl st, 5tr, 1sl st in next ch sp] 4 times. Fasten off yarn.

For each garland make three flowers. Sew a button to the centre of each flower. Sew flowers to wrapped bangle. Use a small piece of ribbon to make a hanging loop.

 

Free Pattern: Crochet Flowers

mavric flowers 6Today I’m off to teach a crochet flower class at the Ditzy Rose Makery in Tattenhall, Cheshire. I’m sharing the pattern we’re going to use here, so even if you can’t be there in person you can join in the crochet flower fun!

This pattern first appeared in Inside Crochet magazine (issue 89), this simple motif has so many uses, stitch them to brooch backs or hair clips. Sew lots together to make bangles or embellish a favourite sweater.

Have fun and happy crocheting!

mavric flowers 3

Crochet Flowers (UK crochet terms)

For small flowers use 4 ply yarn and 3mm hook. For larger flowers choose thicker yarn and a  larger hook).

Make 6ch, join with a sl st to make a ring.

Rnd 1: 10dc into ring, sl st into first dc.

Rnd 2: 5tr into next dc, (sl st in next dc, 5tr in next dc) four times, finish with a sl st in same place as sl st on rnd 1.

Fasten off yarn. Weave in ends.

Leaf

Make 8ch.

Rnd 1: *1dc in second ch from hk, 1 htr, 1 tr, 2tr in next ch, 1tr, 1htr, 1dc in last ch **, 1ch. Do not turn, work into the underside of foundation ch from * to **, sl st into next st. Fasten off yarn. Weave in ends.

If desired, small running stitches can be added to each leaf to imitate veins (see photos as a guide).

Finishing:

Sew buttons or beads to the centre of your flowers and arrange on your chosen brooch back or hairclip (use photos for inspiration). Stitch in place using a needle and cotton thread.

Photo credit: Mavric Photography for Tailormade Publishing

 

How to Crochet Mistletoe

Crochet Mistletoe free pattern
Photo Credit: Andrea Ellison

It’s five years since I first published this pattern and still I haven’t been able to improve on it. I thought it was too early to start thinking about festive or “Holiday” crochet patterns, but this week “how to crochet mistletoe” is my most popular pin on Pinterest! So, here it is again, complete with the original photos! For those of you who keep asking why I write patterns when you find photo tutorials so much easier, this will make you happy (I hope!!)

How to crochet mistletoe
Photo Credit: Andrea Ellison

If  you have 5 minutes to spare, some green yarn and a crochet hook, you can make this – really – even if you only have the most basic crochet skills. Last year I used these to adorn my home made Christmas cards, this year it has been transformed into a rustic  style garland which will soon be hanging in my kitchen window.

Here’s how: (note – I write in UK crochet terms)

With any weight yarn and a suitable crochet hook to make a firm piece of fabric (I used Rowan Pure Wool  Double Knitting and a 3.5 mm crochet hook for these photos, but it works equally well with an aran weight or chunky yarn you could even try holding your yarn double and see if you prefer the result).

Chain 9, making sure you leave a long tail when you make your slip knot.

Turn, skip the first chain and work a treble into the second chain from the hook. Work a treble into each of the next 5 chains.

Work 1 slip stitch into the last 3 chains.

Using the long tail from the slip knot and yarn, chain 3, fasten off and tie a knot. Cut yarn.

Now make a second in exactly the same way. Sew the two leaves together and stitch 3 small beads in place as berries. Now sit back admire your festive endeavours! I can’t wait to see what you all do with them …

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A New Crochet Pattern

Orkney Angora cowlI am really pleased to be able to share a brand new pattern with you. The Hardknott Cowl is a free crochet pattern available from Tangled Yarn (one of the loveliest online yarn shops – I can highly recommend it!)

When Rachel, who owns Tangled Yarn got in touch and asked me to design a new cowl to celebrate the arrival of new colours of the Gorgeous Orkney Angora St Magnus, I leapt at the chance. Firstly because I’ve been a customer for ages and I’ve always wanted to work with her, and secondly because this is such a gorgeous yarn. it really is soft as a cloud and the colours are beautiful. A blend of 50% lambswool and 50% Angora and with a yardage of almost 200m, this is a great value yarn. You can download the pattern from Ravelry, and you can read Rachel’s blog post here. If you do visit the Ravelry page, it would be great if you could click the “heart” button while you’re there.

 

 

Free pattern: crochet slippers

Simple toe up slippers in Myboshi yarn
Simple toe up slippers in Myboshi yarn

It’s time to start thinking about cosy crochet. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked by UK crochet magazines to design a new take on the simple toe up crochet slipper. It’s hard to come up with something original as it is something of a “design classic” and the only way to add a twist is by embellishment or by adding visual interest with bright colours.

The Myboshi version (pictured above) is my all time favourite. The chunky yarn (a blend of wool and acrylic) is hard wearing, yet soft next to the skin. The pair photographed were made using 2 balls of Myboshi (one in each colour) and I used a 6mm crochet hook.

To make a pair of your own you’ll need 2 balls of Myboshi yarn (I used 1 ball each in 195 “Anthracite” and 131 “Orange”).

If you can’t find Myboshi, then Drops Eskimo is a good alternative. You’ll need about 50m in each colour for pattern as written, so  feel free to substitute any chunky yarn. Made as written below, these slippers should fit a ladies size 3 -4. They will stretch, so always make slightly shorter than you think you’ll need.

There is no need to make a tension swatch for this project. Instead, work the first  4 rounds and take a look at your slipper, if you think you would prefer a firmer fabric, start again with a smaller hook. If  your work is loose and “floppy”, you need to go down a hook size.

You’ll also need a 6mm hook.

Pattern (written using standard UK crochet terms).

Notes: Each slipper is made “amigurumi style, that is without joining each round). Use a stitch marker to indicate the last stitch of each round and move it up each time you work the last stitch of the round. You’ll need to make 2 the same, left and right feet are interchangeable.

With orange yarn, make 5 ch, join with a slip stitch to make a ring.

Round 1: 6 dc into ring. 6 dc

Round 2: (2 dc in each dc ) 6 times. 12 dc

Round 3: (1 dc in next st, 2 dc in next) 6 times. 18 dc

Round 4: (1 dc in each of  next 2 sts, 2 dc in next) 6 times. 24 dc

Rounds 5 – 12: 1 dc in each dc around.

Fasten off Orange and join grey to any dc. Make 1 ch, 1 dc in each of next 20 dc, turn. Pattern now continues in rows, working with 20 dc (4 stitches remain unworked at the front of the slipper).

Rows 1 –  18: 1ch,  1 dc in each dc, turn. 20 dc (You can adjust the length of your slipper here by working more or fewer straight rows).

Fasten off yarn and fold slipper in half to sew back seam. Rejoin grey to top of heel seam, 1 ch.

Round 1: 1 dc in last stitch of each row along first side, 4 dc along unworked sts, 1 dc in last stitch of each row along second side, sl st into first dc.

Round 2: (optional) 1 sl st in each dc around. fasten off yarn. Weave in ends.

I’ve got another cute slipper pattern for you which should be ready to share in a day or two. meanwhile, if you are looking for more of my patterns, you can find a selection of single patterns to download on Love Knitting, or click on the photos on the right hand side to discover more free patterns.

Oh – by the way – if you use instagram, consider following me there as I post photos and tips there which never make it to the blog!

Below are some of the toe up slippers I’ve designed for UK craft magazines – you might recognise some of them:

Toe up slippers, with Mary Jane detailing (photo credit: Immediate Media)
Toe up slippers, with Mary Jane detailing (photo credit: Immediate Media)

Craftseller magazine
Craftseller magazine

Ballet pump style! Love crochet magazine
Ballet pump style! Love crochet magazine

I love seeing readers make their own, such as these, inspired by the Craftseller pattern.

So there you are, plenty of crochet slipper inspiration for you. I’ve no doubt this simple style will make its appearance the autumn issues of several crochet magazines. I’m looking forward to seeing how this year’s designers interpret this classic.

 

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.