Designer Interview | Kerry Lord from TOFT / Edward’s Menagerie


I’m thrilled about my next designer interview because I actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person!!  Kerry Lord is the author of the extremely popular Edward’s Menagerie series which feature her designs of extremely cute animals, Birds and, in her new book: Imaginarium, all sorts of fabulous creatures.  She is also a busy working mum and the founder of British luxury yarn brand TOFT which specialises in alpaca yarn.

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Recently I attended TOFTfest, which celebrated the 10th birthday of TOFT yarn (which I blogged about here), where I met Kerry and I thought I would see if she would kindly let me find out more about her designing process – to my delight she said YES!  Here’s what we chatted about…

How did you first discover crocheting and amigurumi?

When very pregnant with my first child Edward I decided to teach myself to crochet in order to distract me from going back to work. As soon as I had mastered the double crochet stitch an elephant flew off my hook and into existence. I think the Edward’s Menagerie shape had been living in my head for a while but my knitting skills didn’t allow me to achieve them.

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How did you become a crocheting designer? Is it your real job?

My real job is running the company TOFT and everything that this involves. Designing crochet animals and clothing patterns is part of this role, but by no means all – I have to source and design the yarns first!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get lots of my inspiration from feedback, both from my family, colleagues and customers.

Tell us a bit about your design process…

I usually just pick up my yarn and start making when designing amigurumi. If designing something to wear it’s a far longer process as I sketch and swatch first before doing calculations to work out the pattern.

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Many of your animals, birds and creatures have names (like Georgina the Hippo), how do you come up with them? Do you get people requesting names?

Some of them are people I know, whereas others are truly fictional characters. This is the most fun part of my job!

Do you have a favourite creation that you’ve designed?

I am very fond of Blake from Edward’s Menagerie, but Kerry the Chameleon from our recent hand-dyed project makes me feel very proud.

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Do you have go to hooks and yarn? I’m guessing TOFT yarn is your favourite; but can you pick a favourite TOFT yarn?

I am lucky enough to design my own yarns and hooks, so of course I choose our own ones. My favourite TOFT yarn to make things for myself to wear is our DK Silver.

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Who gets your creations; you, your family, your friends?

The studio!! Most of my crochet goes on display, but every now and again I find the time to make something for my children.

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Now we’ve had animals, birds and imaginary characters can you tell us what might be next for Edward’s Menagerie?

I can’t let that secret slip just yet, but book four is well underway!

Where do you work? Do you have a studio space or do you work from your living room chair?

I do have my own room of yarny chaos (and lots of cacti), but more often than that I’ll work from the sofa.

Tell us a bit about yourself – what do you do when you’re not crocheting?

When not at work or crocheting I am having fun with my family. We enjoy muddy walks around the farm and plenty of messy crafts.

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Finally finish the sentence … I love crochet because…

It makes other people very happy.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Kerry again for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I’ve really enjoyed getting a better understanding of what’s involved with in her designing process and hope you have too.

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Free Pattern | Easy Cuff Mitts


The weather is just cold enough for a new hand warming crochet project don’t you think! Fingerless gloves are fantastic for keeping you cosy whilst still allowing you the important use of your digits. That’s where my new free pattern comes in…introducing the Easy Cuff Mitts! These mitts are a quick and simple pattern that you can make with less than 1 ball (100g / 295m / 322yds) of Aran (Worsted) weight yarn.

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It’s also super easy to create a custom fit, make as long or as short as you wish just working in multiples of 2.  You can create the mitts in minutes and use up some of your scrap yarn stash at the same time. Beginners…this is a great project for you!

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Make chic looking mitts by using block colours and simple buttons or have some fun using  variegated yarn and contrasting buttons to create something special and unique. The colour combinations are virtually endless – I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Click here to add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue and Favourites.  Why not whip up a pair for you or a friend today!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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The Adventures of Little Adam | Part 2


Time for more endeavours of Little Adam; that travel hungry amigurumi! Last time we joined  Little Adam in Greece and since then he’s country hopped over to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. ✈️

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Although very excited about his next outing Little Adam was a tad miffed that he was travelling via suitcase rather than first class; but sometimes sacrifices must be made in the pursuit of adventure…

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Like any young amigurumi out and about in the big wide world he decided to experiment with a alcohol…

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Unfortunately it didn’t seem to agree with him…

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And much like John Lennon it he crawled off to sleep in the bath…

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The final photo shows Little Adam on the beach in Dubai I like to think perhaps enjoying a moment of quiet reflection…  

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I hope you’ve enjoyed Little Adam’s exploits as much as I have! 😄  Wonder where he’ll turn up next!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Stylecraft Blog Tour 2016 | Pattern Round Up


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So did you all travel along with this years Stylecraft Blog Tour? What amazing crochet and knit patterns there have been!! All I can say is hexagons seem to be the thing to make right now – can’t believe so many of us chose that shape! 😝 

Well in case you missed any of it I thought I would do a round up on the beauty for you with all the links you need to find each pattern. 

Day 1: Emma Varnam – Blencathra Blanket (Oct 24)

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Find all the details about the Blencathra Blanket pattern here.

Day 2: Janie Crow – Diego’s Flowers Crochet Hexagon Motif (Oct 25)

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Find all the details about the Diego’s Flower pattern here.

Day 3: ME!! – Harmonious Hexagon Quilt (Oct 26)

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Find all the details about the Harmonious Hexagon Quilt here.

Day 4: Stylecraft – Tablet Cover (Oct 27)

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Find all the details about the Tablet cover here.

Day 5: Le Monde de Sucrette – Chunky Stool Cover (Oct 28)

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Find all the details about the Chunky Stool Cover here.

Day 6: Cherry Heart – Bobbing Along Ripple Blanket (Oct 29)

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Find all the details about the Bobbing Along Ripple Blanket here.

Day 7: Susan Pinner – Spinning Top Blanket (Oct 30)

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Find all the details about the Spinning Top Blanket pattern here.

Day 8:  The Twisted Yarn – Scarf (Oct 31)

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Find all the details about the scarf pattern here.

Day 9: Annaboos House – Granny Wrap (Nov 1)

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Find all the details about the Granny Wrap pattern here.

Day 10: Craftnoon Treats – Blandala (Nov 2)

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Find all details about the Blandala here.

Day 11: Hand Knitted Things – Special Stripy Blanket (Nov 3)

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Find all details about the Special Stripy Blanket here.

Day 12: The Patchwork Heart – Chunky Cowl (Nov 4)

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Find all details about the Chunky Cowl here.

Soooo much gorgeousness am I right!! 

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Autumn Days


I love this time of year! I like the fact that it’s time to get out the hats, scarves and gloves. It’s time for comfort food, bonfires, conkers,  Halloween and the red, orange, greens and golds of autumn leaves. 

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I know some people find Halloween offensive but I have always viewed it as a bit of harmless fun where children can dress up, play games and enjoy themselves.  It’s believed that Halloween actually comes from the Celtic pagan festival of Samhain, which was a celebration of the end of the harvest season, and as we slip and trip into the misery, coldness and ice that is winter (you might guess I’m not a fan!) why shouldn’t we have a bit of fun I say!

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Little G absolutely loves Halloween it’s probably her most favourite day (after her birthday) and she pretty much talks about it all year round asking how many days until the next one is (this usually starts the day after the last one has ended).  For her Halloween is totally about dressing up and playing jokes. As it’s been half term week here the children have been off school so there have been plenty of places to visit which offer Halloween / Autumn activities.

We took a trip to Moseley Old Hall with my mum and dad to do some pumpkin carving which was good and messy. The excellent thing about pumpkin carving is the innards being transformed into warming pumpkin soup served with crusty garlic bread (yummmm).  

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Children were encouraged to dress up and the house and woods were great fun for exploring.  They have a really awesome tree house in the woods and Little G enjoyed building some dens out of logs, rope and stones with her grandparents.

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It was the best sort of Autumn day, a bit chilly but dry with a bright blue sky and crunchy leaves underfoot.   I think we all enjoyed a walk in the crisp air to blow the cobwebs away!

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Another day we went with some family friends to a trick or treat village where Little G was a cute cat and Little Miss an adorable pumpkin.

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The hat pattern is the Pumpkin-Top Earflap Hat by Kimberlie Goodnough. I’ve made it a few times now, it’s such a fun hat to make, quick to hook up and just perfect for Halloween / Autumn.  I did change the pattern slightly; I didn’t add the ear-flaps on this occasion and just added a scalloped trim to finish it off. 

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The yarn I used was Stylecraft Special Aran in Spice and Meadow which are just perfect pumpkin colours. 

So now Halloween has passed it’s on wards to bonfire night! I need to finish off some new winter hat designs for my girls before the weekend so I’d better get on with it as hats unfortunately (as much as it would be amazing if they did) don’t crochet themselves!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Stylecraft Blog Tour 2016 | Harmonious Hexagons Quilt Free Pattern Release


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So following on from my last post about this I must say again how chuffed to bits I am to be one of the bloggers for this years Stylecraft Blog Tour to celebrate the winning colours, from the recent poll they conducted, for their Special Aran and Special Chunky yarns. 

Monday the tour visited Emma Varnam’s blog and we got to see her beautiful Blencathra Blanket, yesterday we popped round to Janie Crow’s blog and drooled over her gorgeous Diego’s Flowers motif (make sure you check them out if you haven’t already) and today the tour is with me!

First off if you are new to my blog WELCOME one and all! So pleased you could join me, I have a brand new pattern, using Stylecraft Special Chunky, to share with you and later there will also be a chance to win your very OWN Stylecraft colour pack so stay tuned for that.

Right lets quickly recap about the colours which I reviewed here.  The wonderful public chose 6 colours…

Pale Rose  Empire  Storm Blue  Sage Pistachio  Saffron 

but for my new pattern a couple more colours have been added for a nice balanced palette.

Parchment Pomegranate  Spice  Gold

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Although I played around with different shapes and designs on paper and in my head the thing I was certain about was that I wanted to use all ten colours in my pattern. Shape wise I’ve worked with so many squares / rectangles recently that I also knew that I wanted to do a different shape. But what to make…that was the quandary! In the end I decided I wanted to make a nice thick lapghan to keep me warm as our British nights grow ever cooler.  

I have always had a fascination with patchwork and, as someone that can’t sew for toffee, love to see this medium re-created in crochet.  There are some fabulous patterns out in the crochet-verse already inspired by quilts (like the gorgeous Sunny Log Cabin blanket by Attic24 or the Jewelled Star Blanket by Janie Crow) and this definitely motivated me to try and create my own patchwork inspired design.

 I have to confess when I got my yarn to play with I kept on returning to the idea of a rainbow with chunks of solid colour (because who doesn’t love a rainbow) and there is just something so satisfyingly delicious I’ve discovered about pure colour chunky hexagons!  

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My finished pattern embraces a contemporary look that allows bold pops of rainbow colours to illuminate a classic patchwork design. So without further ado let me introduce you to the Harmonious Hexagon Quilt…

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I had so much fun making these hexagons and playing with the colours that I didn’t want it to stop!

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As the yarn is super nice and chunky the pattern works up quickly, and as it’s made in pieces it’s a great project to take out and about with you if you want to hook on the go.

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The finished blanket measures 118 cm x 98cm (46.5 x 38.5 inches) so the perfect size to throw over your lap to ward off a chill. 

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The hexagon motifs do not require advanced skills to execute and, as always with my patterns, terminology is written in both UK and US terms. I have included explanations of all stitches and abbreviations and also added some photos in the pattern to hopefully help with any tricky parts!

Click the link below to add the Harmonious Hexagon Quilt to your Favourites and Ravelry Queue.  

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If you’re not on Ravelry and you’d like a copy of the pattern, you can get in touch with me via email at kcacouk at gmail dot com and I’ll send you a pdf version.

If you would like to win a pack of Stylecraft Special Chunky in the colour pack I have used follow the link below to enter the competition. 

  COMPETITION now closed, congratulations to Beverley Lotz    

And the exciting news is that the Stylecraft blogtour has only just begun! Make sure you check out Stylecraft’s Facebook page for details over the next couple of weeks to find out the blogger of the day, get their fabulous free pattern and to be in with a chance to win a yarn pack!  Still to come at some point are the following bloggers:  

  1. Crafternoon Treats
  2. The Twisted Yarn
  3. Patchwork Heart
  4. Le Monde de Sucrette
  5. Hand Knitted Things
  6. Cherry Heart
  7. Sue Pinner
  8. Annaboo’s House

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Stylecraft Blog Tour 2016 | Part 2


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Just so you don’t miss it I thought I’d do a quick post to remind you that the Stylecraft Blog Tour starts TODAY!! 12 crochet and knitting bloggers are taking part this year and they have been busy creating designs in their own style in Special Aran and Chunky featuring the six new shades

It’s a closely guarded secret as to where the tour is going to each day so make sure you check out Stylecraft’s Facebook page for details. 

Each blogger (including me) are also going to be giving away a FREE pack of the different yarns each day of the blog tour.

You can read all about the tour and the new colours in my previous post here. I can’t wait to share my brand new pattern with you this week so watch this space!!!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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