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

New Design: Kid’s Cardigan

merienda cardigan front view.jpg

Well, just look at this little cutie! I am so thrilled with the photography and styling of my latest project for Inside Crochet magazine – as always Claire Montgomerie  really knows how to show off a simple design. The Merienda cardigan pattern comes in sizes 54cm – 72cm and is suitable for beginners who have mastered basic stitches, increasing and decreasing. The vibrant colours are from the King Cole 100% Merino range, which is a joy to work with and washes well. The buttons were an impulse buy last year, but they go perfectly with the yarn (another reason to always have a well stocked button tin!).

Issue 98 is still on sale – but be quick – issue 99 is due to hit the stores very soon. If you prefer, you can always purchase a digital copy here. As always there are lots of projects I want to make, Anne farmer’s cute little make up bag would be the perfect weekend project and Helda Pangary’s motif scarf is so beautiful.

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Credit: Lucy Williams for Tailormade Publishing

I am really excited to share my next design for Inside Crochet – it’s a real corker – probably my best yet – but you’ll have to wait for issue 100 to see it (or check out Inside Crochet’s Instagram stories for a sneaky peek and see if you can spot it!

Merienda cardigan

Credits:

Photography by Shutterhouse for Tailormade Publishing

Styling by Claire Montgomerie

Yarn supplied by King Cole ltd

Introducing Three Bears Yarn

(Sponsored Post).

Earlier this month, Lancashire based company Three Bears Yarn launched a new collection of cotton yarns to the public. When the company invited me to take a look at their yarn I agreed of course – great cotton yarns are always appealing to crocheters – and these didn’t disappoint.

I was sent two yarns to test, the DK “Affection” which comes in a range of  12 twelve colours (mostly pastel)  and I really enjoyed using it. I was also sent a selection of Chenille, also listed as a double knit. I have to admit, this was my favourite! Chenille yarn fell out of favour with designers, I’m not sure why and it definitely deserves a place in the crocheter’s toolkit.

20151014_092958Partly to test the yarn, and partly because I had a hankering for  a new scarf I set to work creating a ruffle scarf – a bit like chenille, the once common crochet ruffle scarf is set for a new lease of life and this simple pattern is a great introduction to both. I’ve posted the pattern below (you’ll need about 450m to make the scarf as written).

Three Bears cotton yarns are available in 4 ply, dk,  aran and chenille via their website and are already proving popular with toy makers and bloggers. They currently offer a “hibernation pack” at a special price of £29.99 which is great value, You can find Three Bears Yarn on facebook and instagram, where they often share sneaky peeks of new designs and behind the scenes  at the mill. In addition, they have been a thoroughly nice company to work with and I’m delighted that at least one of my designs in their cotton yarn will appear in print soon.

Do check them out by visiting their website.

Edit: 29th October 2015

The pattern for my ruffle scarf will be available soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer break

Well hello there! While the British summer may have been a bit of a washout so far, I have had a lovely break (cue photo of French sunflowers!) and now it’s back to work.

sunflowersWork in “the book” continues, with some exciting stuff this week, which involved a trip to Tunbridge Wells – I can’t wait to tell you more and reveal a new departure for me – you’ll have to wait until all is revealed, but I can tell you it was very exciting (for me at least) and involved some fabulous people and a rather amazing publication which I’ve been reading since childhood!!

In between designing some rather cute Christmas commissions (yes, magazine commissions work on a different “time zone” to ordinary mortals!) I have been swatching motifs, I have a blanket in mind, but I’m not sure what form it will take yet, much playing with yarn will follow until I feel I’ve got it “just right”. This swatch two beautiful shades of Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell DK, a yarn I’ve been using a lot recently.

WHMEalpaca swatch

Meantime, I’ve been teaching myself how to design amigurumi figures. Apparently it’s “all in the proportions”, so many part finished dolls and critters swamp my desk as I write!

LITTLE CUTIE PIE

Also this week, the lovely team at Rooster Yarns sent me some of their gorgeous Almerino – now here’s a yarn I’ll use again. It’s so soft and the colours are stunning. A practical blend of baby alpaca and merino, it comes in dk and aran weight. I used 2 balls of dk to make this pretty cowl. It started life as a Friday night swatch, but soon turned into this little beauty – which I will admit to wearing already – like I said – summer has been a bit of a washout.

rooster cowlFinally, I am slowly editing all my patterns ready to re -release my single downloads in the autumn and post some brand new free patterns in preparation for your seasonal gift knitting and crochet (you see, I can’t even mention the “C” word in August – even though I’m been humming Christmas carols and knitting baubles since July!)

Whatever you’re up to this summer, I hope you find some time to put down your hooks and needles and spend some time outdoors in the sunshine.

Thanks for dropping by

Tracey x

 

Buntings and Garlands (free patterns)

crochet paper chains 2I do love the summer, a chance to spend time in the garden with friends and families. I often decorate the garden with crochet bunting, especially for celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and christenings. I counted up, over the years I’ve published over a dozen patterns for garlands, wall hangings and bunting and I’m sharing two of my favourites with you today. You’re welcome to make and sell items from these patterns, but as always a credit is nice – and don’t forget – I love to see photos of your makes. You can share them on facebook, instagram or twitter or link to the ravelry listing for these patterns here.

bunting triangles 1Both are suitable for beginners (in fact the “Paper Chains” pattern used to be standard in my learn to crochet class). The triangle bunting is made using simple decreases and is great fun to embellish. It’s shown here with cute little felt balls, but you can add buttons, pom poms or even embroidery to make yours really special.

For some reason, July always makes me think of red, white and blue, probably reminiscent of 4th July parades or visits to French towns in the run up to 14th July. Whatever the occasion, these simple patterns look great in any colour and any yarn.  My preference is always for wool or cotton, raid your stash and make pretty multi coloured bunting or chose several tones of the same colour for an ombre style.  You can find the patterns below.

Happy crafting!

Paper Chains

crochet paper chainsThese also look great at Christmas or in shades of pink for a little girl’s room. No tension is given, make the first chain and if you prefer a tighter or looser fabric, adjust your hook size accordingly. The yarn used here is Rowan wool dk and I used a 3.5mm hook. Pattern is written in standard UK crochet terms. 1 ch at beginning of rows does not count as a stitch.

Make the first chain link:

Make 25 ch

Row 1: 1 dc in second ch from hook, 1 dc in each ch to end, turn. (24 dc)

Row 2: 1 ch, 1 dc in each dc to end, turn.

Rows 3 – 6: As Row 2.

Fold chain link in half and join side seam using dc (or if you prefer, fasten off yarn and sew side seam). Turn chain link “inside out” so seam is on the inside.

Second and following chain links:

Follow pattern above until the end of Row 6, slip the fabric around the previous chain link and join the side seam as before.

joinng paper chains first Fasten off yarn. Continue to make and join more chain links in the same way.

joining paper chains 1

joining paper chains 2Basic triangle bunting

This is just about the simplest crochet triangle you can make. No tension is given, make the first triangle, and if you prefer a tighter or looser fabric, adjust your hook size accordingly. The yarn used here is Rowan wool dk and I used a 3.5mm hook. Pattern is written in standard UK crochet terms. 1 ch at beginning of rows does not count as a stitch. bunting triangles 5

Make 16 ch

Row 1: 1 dc in second ch from hk, 1 dc in each ch to end, turn. (15 dc)

Row 2: 1 ch, dc2tog, dc to end, turn. (14 dc)

Rows 3 – 14: As Row 2

Row 15: 1ch, dc2tog.

Fasten off yarn weave in ends.

Edging:

You can edge each triangle in the same or a contrasting colour. Join yarn to top right edge  of triangle, 1 dc in each dc to end of row, 1 ch to turn, 1 dc in each row end to base, 1 ch to turn, 1 dc in each row end to start. fasten off yarn.

Joining:

Make 20 ch in chosen colour, pick up first triangle, 1 dc in each dc along top edge, 15 ch, pick up second triangle, 1 dc in each dc along top edge. Continue until all triangles have been joined. Work second and subsequent rows in dc or trebles as you wish. Decorate hanging loop with ribbons or surface crochet (pictured here in blue).

Embellish your bunting as you wish and most importantly have fun.

These triangles are great fun for kids of all ages – minor imperfections are easily disguised and decorating  to suit your own taste is half the fun!

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.

 

 

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.

Love to Knit, Love to Crochet

Knitting Loves Crochet by Candi Jensen

I’ve always been “bistitchual”. I’m just as happy with needles and yarn as I am with a hook. I learnt both skills early on and sometimes I’ll even combine the two in a single project. (My knitted baby blanket for Craftseller for instance had a pretty crochet trim).  It always surprises me that other yarn enthusiasts think that combining both crafts is unusual or even a little bit “edgy”. For years knitters have been learning to crochet just so they can add a pretty trim to a baby cardigan or join knitted squares together. Both crafts have their strengths and like many yarn lovers I’ll choose the most appropriate tools for the job, stranded colourwork and fairisle just beg to be knitted (tapestry and jaquard crochet can never quite match the details, drape and finish) while amigurumi whips up fabulous toys, which are robust enough to withstand a toddler’s love and attention.

I’ve often wondered why there is such a fierce “rivalry” between knitters and crocheters? Just a couple of years ago a knitting magazine received sackloads of mail complaining there were “too many” crochet patterns in it’s latest issue and it’s rare to find a magazine that gives equal weight to both skills. I picked up a copy of Candi Jensen’s book “Knitting Loves Crochet” a few years ago, it’s now well thumbed and I still pick it up when I’m looking for inspiration or ideas. There are other books available which combine both skills, but this is my favourite.

So, how can you combine both skills in one project? Here’s my top three “bistitchual tricks” to entice knitters into the world of crochet:*

1. The crochet cast off.

This simple technique gives a firm edge You can find a video tutorial for the knitted cast off over on New Stitch A Day.

2. The provisional cast on.

A provisional cast on is used when you need to a “live” row of stitches, perhaps to graft the beginning and end of a project to make a cowl, or if you’re working a scarf and want both ends to be identical. You can find a really helpful guide to the crochet provisional cast on over at the Purl Bee blog.

3. A simple crochet trim.

A simple shell trim (or scalloped edge)  can enhance any knitters repetoire. Use it to edge a knitted blanket or to give a feminine touch to a plain baby cardigan. You’ll need some basic crochet skills for this one, ask a crocheting friend to show you how or take a look  Very Pink Knits  brilliant video explaining the technique( aimed at knitters), you can find it on Youtube. I’ve embedded her introduction to crochet for knitters above. If you haven’t come across Staci’s  tutorials before, check out her website. I recommend them a lot to my pupils (why make my own when someone else has done such a great job?)

I’d love to know, are you “bistitchual”, do you have  a favourite way to combine both skills in one project?

*I’ll look at knitting for crocheters in another post)

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.

 

Time to Celebrate

Issue 64 of Inside Crochet is now on sale, as always I cannot choose my favourite project from this issue, Claire Montgomerie’s Aster Wrap is beautiful (I’m loving the colour).

Aster Wrap, photo credit; Lucy Williams for Tailormade Publishing

Can’t you just imagine a summer evening, watching the sun go down with this elegant wrap covering your shoulders?

I’m also thrilled to say that I have a feature in this issue on the subject of crochet celebrations. The set has been beautifully photographed by Leanne Dixon and Claire (the editor) has styled it beautifully.  Along with the patterns for garland, bunting and little heart shaped “cake pops”, you’ll find lots of advice for hosting your own crochet party and tips for getting everyone involved in making a truly handmade celebration. Here’s a few images to get your creative juices going. Look out for Issue 64 in the shops now.

Photo credit: Leanne Dixon for Tailormade Publishing
Photo credit: Leanne Dixon for Tailormade Publishing
Photo credit: Leanne Dixon for Tailormade Publishing
Photo credit: Leanne Dixon for Tailormade Publishing
Photo Credit: Leanne Dixon for Tailormade Publishing
Photo Credit: Leanne Dixon for Tailormade Publishing