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!

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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.

 

New Crochet Pattern

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I am very pleased to say that I have just added one of my favourite cowl designs to Love Crochet and Ravelry online stores. The Linoleum Cowl first appeared in issue 73 of Inside Crochet and uses two of my favourite yarns from Eden Cottage Yarns. Askham and Milburn both have a silk content in combination with natural fibres (Askham has baby Alpaca and Milburn has Blue Faced Leicester), so they both have beautiful sheen and drape. The colours (and hence the name) were inspired by a photograph on Instagram of an old linoleum floor. The colours just looked so great I had to try and reproduce them in a design.

Over on Love Crochet I have suggested a few yarn alternatives as they don’t stock Eden Cottage Yarns, but you can always buy the pattern from them and then head over to Victoria’s website to buy the yarn – feel free to use the same colours I have or choose three balls from the same range – Milburn has some excellent colours to choose from – and the Blue Faced Leicester is British, so I have a particular soft spot for it. Askham’s blend of Baby Alpaca and silk makes it feel very luxurious and it is gorgeous to work with. If you’re looking for a different colour combination, I’d be tempted to choose Blossom and Air from the Askham range and Natural from Milburn to make a really feminine version. This is quite a speedy make, so if you’re looking for handmade gift ideas, this would be great.

I might also suggest that if you’re looking for a gift for a crocheter, then this pattern combined with three balls of Eden Cottage Yarns and a crochet hook, packaged together in one of Victoria’s beautiful project bags would be the perfect gift. (hint hint Todhunters – I’ve already mentioned a beautiful colour combo above).

Priced at £3.60 (inc VAT), the pattern is written in UK crochet terms and includes a chart for the motif used.

Happy Browsing x

Photo credit: Leanne Dixon for Inside Crochet

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New Pattern: Ramblers Scarf

20151012_102844Here’s my latest accessory. Knitted in fabulous Ramsdale from Wendy. I fell in love with this wool for several reasons, first of all the colours are beautiful, it has a soft haze that you lose with superwash wools and it’s incredibly soft. The yarn is British – “born, bred and made in Yorkshire” – so it appeals to my preference for British wool. Finally, the price –  it retails around £3.69 a ball – which makes it exceptionally good value.

Each shade is named after a Yorkshire village or town, most of which Mr T and I have visited on our annual trips to North Yorkshire. Settle, Malham and  Richmond all feature in the collection, but my favourite is Malton, a rich plum which I adore.

At first, I thought about making a striped blanket. But knowing how quickly my enthusiasm for crochet blankets wanes, I decided on a simple scarf and granny square motifs seemed to fit the bill. Each motif is made from two rounds, following the traditional granny square, then joined “as you go” using a simple slip stitch.

20151012_114727Nine balls may seem a little excessive, but there are plenty of “leftovers”,  allowing you to make a hat or wrist warmers to match. To be honest, at just under £30 (I used a discount voucher) I think it’s great value. My scarf goes with everything and will last for years. This is going to be my “wear it every day” accessory this winter! Wendy Ramsdale is widely available, so do look out for it, plenty of online stores stock it and I have seen it several “bricks and mortar” yarn stores too.

If you can make a granny square, you’ll find this pattern very easy. And, if you’re new to “joining as you go” I have included a few photos to illustrate the method – not a full tutorial – that would take far too long and ultimately affect the price. Like many granny square projects, this would also make a great “stashbuster”, simply choose a selection of colours from your stash and follow the instructions. The circles embellishments are a bit of whimsy, you could easily add a traditional fringe if you prefer. Or, why not live dangerously and sew the two short ends together to make an “eternity” cowl instead!

With so many good things in its favour what are you waiting for – at the bargain price of £1.50 there is no excuse!  You can buy the pattern for this simple scarf from my Love Knitting designer page  or from Ravelry If you have tried Wendy Ramsdale I would love to know what you think.

Happy crochet x

 

 

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.

 

New Pattern: Picnic Hamper

Image (c) Immediate media
Image (c) Immediate media

The May / June issue of Love Crochet goes on sale this week and I’m thrilled to see  a couple of my designs on the cover. My favourite has to be this picnic hamper, which was a challenge for me as it has a sewn lining (I’m no sewer!). The hamper is made in flat pieces and seamed to fit a cardboard box frame. The stitches used are very simple, making this ideal for someone new to crochet. The yarn I used is new for this summer, DMC Natura XL has all the features I love about the Natura Pure Cotton (great stitch definition, amazing colour selection), but in a chunkier weight, making it ideal for accessories, toys and home wares such as this hamper.

The leather straps were kindly supplied by Bag Clasps, a great online supplier of all manner of handbag making supplies (I am a big fan of her metal purse frames, which I used for my collection with Eden Cottage Yarns). The leather straps come in several colours, and I love the flash of red against the green yarn.

You can find Love Crochet in the shops now (or order online). For details of DMC yarns click here, and visit the Bag Clasps website, click here.

FInally, if you want to know what I’ve been up to when I’m not crocheting and designing, all non yarn related blog posts can be read here.

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