Workshops are Back

Well, it’s been quite a year – and it isn’t over yet – but I have started to make plans for 2021 and I’m very pleased that Learn to Crochet Workshops are back! All the workshops listed here will run in Cumbria, in a beautiful venue close to the M6 (transport can also be arranged from Penrith and Carlisle railway stations if necessary). In addition to day long workshops, next year I’ll also be running a two day “Crochet Weekender”, a chance to really immerse yourself in learning a new skill free from all the distractions of home. I may even save you all some of my hedgerow gin so we can toast the end of day one in style!

I have listed all these workshops as beginners, and the content has been designed for the complete novice. But, if you’re self taught or struggle with following a written pattern or feel you’re in need of a refresh then you’ll be very welcome to join us. Everything you need is included in the price, just bring a smile and a positive attitude. Our hosts Lucy and Liam will make sure we’re well fed and supply endless tea and coffee. They also have a gorgeous self catering house attached to the workshop venue, so you can stay on site if necessary.

Of course, there are bound to be some limitations to how workshops run at the moment, and I wanted to reassure everyone that as a “Post shielder” myself I’m well aware of the need for caution and careful planning. Classes will be smaller than usual to allow plenty of physical space between participants, which of course means extra opportunities for one to one support.  Depending on the weather, we may run parts of the sessions outdoors (in beautiful Cumbrian sunshine – we do get some occasionally) and we’ll make sure all Government guidelines are met.  I always complete a risk assessment for each class, and this will now include reference to Government guidelines on Covid – 19.

Times are changing, and the way I run my classes is bound to alter too, there will still be lots of laughter, encouragement and of course, cake for anyone who is willing to indulge!

You can find details of all the classes under the learn to Crochet Tab or click here for details. All classes can be booked directly with Lakes and Fells, but if you have any questions or special requests, then do get in touch with me. I have spent the last couple fo months reviewing all my course content. There will still be some “old favourites” like the flower corsages and storgae baskets that have always been so popular and there will be lots of new patterns and projects for you all to enjoy.

If you have a birthday coming up – or dare I mention the “C” word? These workshops would make an ideal gift (hint to my family – they run sewing classes too).

Now that I’m back at my desk and slowly getting back into my design work I’ll be back here regularly with patterns to share, a few helpful hints and tips and a special series of projects for those of you looking for gift knitting and crochet inspiration (there it is again – there’s no getting away form the fact that Christmas planning is almost upon us).

THanks so much for all your kind messages and for the likes and comments on my Instagram page. I am grateful to all of you and  the supportive community of crafters.

Happy Making

Tracey x

New Books Now Here!

search press cover download.jpgI’m very happy to share the news that 200 More Crochet Stitches and Crochet: Learn It, Love It are finally here and I can send out signed copies to those of you who requested them.

Both books are available in your local book store or online. Also, several libraries (Including my own, here in Cheshire) are stocking it. I have been selling copies at workshops and local knit groups –  so if you see me – do ask for a copy!

search press cover learn it love it

If you would like to order a signed copy of either book (written in UK terminology), do get in touch and I can arrange to have a book sent out to you with a personal message. I am also happy to gift wrap and send books direct to your friends and family (they make great gifts for crocheters (Mother’s Day hint). Signed copies of 200 More Crochet Stitches cost £15 including UK postage and copies of Crochet: Learn It, Love It can be sent out for £13.* I was hoping to sell copies via Etsy, but my shop is so neglected I am considering closing it completely!

On Sunday, I visited CHSI Stitches Trade Show at the NEC Birmingham. It was so exciting to see my books displayed on the Search Press stand – I still have to pinch myself when I see copies “out in the wild”!

*Small Print:  I’m sorry, but I can only organise to post within the UK. I am happy to accept payments by Paypal or Bank Transfer. Books will be posted when payment has been authorised. To order a copy, use the contact form below or DM me on Instagram or twitter.

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.

search press cover learn it love it.jpg

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.

draft amazon cover

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.

cropped-learn-it-love-it.jpg

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

 

New Workshop Dates: Crochet Pumpkins

20150924_084322The first date for my autumn workshop season is now booked for Saturday 21st October. Come along to Ditzy Rose Makery in Tattenhall and have a lovely day crocheting, enjoying like minded company and there is even lunch included! The Ditzy Rose Makery is a brand new workshop space in Tattenhall, a beautiful Cheshire village with plenty to explore nearby. Full details are below, if you are interested in booking, please contact Nikki at the Makery directly. If you have any questions, just ask and look out for more dates coming soon.

Crochet Pumpkins:

For absolute beginners or anyone just looking to brush up their crochet skills. learn to crochet “in the round” to make a pumpkin. You can make as many as you can in the day. Ideal Mother and Daughter Workshop suitable for over 10 years old. Includes a light lunch/drinks throughout the day. All tools and materials provided. £35 per person.

Ditzy Rose Makery
Century House
High Street
Tattenhall
Chester
CH3 9PX

07917 799147

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.

 

 

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).

 

 

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?