The Adventures of Little Adam | Part 1


I don’t think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a younger brother Adam.  Well one day he jokingly suggested that I ‘make’ him out of crochet sometime.  Challenge accepted!!! I couldn’t resist! So last year for his birthday I surprised him with his own little mini me!

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As my brother has been playing guitar forever and it’s his ultimate passion I knew that anything I made had to have a little instrument. Luckily I found the most fantastic guitar pattern on Ravelry; amieggs guitar by Clara Bayarri. The pattern provided the perfect finishing touch I was looking for.

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Well my brother loved his little crochet doppelganger so much that he took him to work to sit on his desk…and here starts the real tale. You may have heard of the travelling gnome prank (as made famous in the film Amélie) well someone in my brother’s office decided to recreate the prank with Little Adam.  My brother received a ransom note and then the pictures started to appear which he then shared with me.

He started off his travels in Greece…

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Little Adam is becoming one seriously travelled and adventurous amigurumi! I’m completely living vicariously through his globe-trotting. Next he was going off to Dubai I believe – as I get the updates I’ll share his adventures with you.  I’m really enjoying getting new pictures of his exploits. 😄

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

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KCACOUK CAL 2016 | CAL Statistics and Groovyghans YOU’VE made!


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Our groovyghan crochet along journey is over boo hoo! But don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL you can find the full schedule here and I promise to keep all the details on the blog FOREVER x

This week I thought I’d share some groovyghan facts with you and show you some of the amazing groovyghans made by others.  

 So first the statistics – in our CAL we have had;

  • nearly 5,000 people join the KCACO-UK Community Group over on Facebook  – that’s potentially a lot of groovyghans!! & that’s not counting everyone else that has joined in the crochet-along following on the blog.
  • people globally join in the CAL (which has been so exciting) including folks from United Kingdom, Ireland, USA, Canada, Luxembourg, Australia, Sweden, France, Israel, South Africa, Norway, Denmark, Mexico, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Uruguay and Greece (I may have missed some – sorry if I have)!!!
  • worked through 17 new patterns – way to go everyone that had never read a pattern before!
  • learnt to be crochet bi-lingual by following both UK and US crochet terminology – just think how useful that will be in the future!
  • used a crochet chart (even if my drawings were a bit wobbly at times!)
  • used several techniques including granny squares, popcorn stitches & ripples to name a few  – some seriously impressive skills to be proud of!

I’m sending a virtual pat on the back and well done cheer to everyone that finished up their groovyghan – thank you so much for crocheting along with me.

And now I want to share some of the amazing finished Groovyghan’s that I have had the kind permission of the owners to show photos of! All the colourways that were shared with me for this post were so fantastic and pretty but if I added them all it would be a really long blog post so I have selected a few that are different for inspiration purposes. So without further ado here are some unbelievably gorgeous Groovyghans to feast your eyes on! 

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Loving the bright colours of this groovyghan made by Kaffy Packer

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Perfect purples made by Cara Jane Brameld

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Love this neutral pallet made by Holly Volkman

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The addition of the black makes the colours pop! Made by Tracey Ferguson

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Pink to make the girls wink by Tess Jardine Clements

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Wonderful rainbow by Shona Hill

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Pretty Pastels by Sandie Reader

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Such vibrant colours by Susan Hill

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Real stashbusting beauty by Phillipa Shaw

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Crochet me a rainbow by Suzy Davis

Aren’t they just all stunning! Thanks again to everyone that joined in the CAL with me this year and has shared their beautiful work with me! I loved seeing your finished Groovyghans 💕

Look out for details of our next crochet along in December (starting in January 2017).

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

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The KCACO-UK Groovyghan CAL 2016 – BIG REVEAL!!!


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So after weaving in a gazillion ends we have reached the grand finale of the 2016 Keep Calm and Crochet On UK “Everything is Cool and Groovyghan” CAL!!!  

Don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL you can find the full schedule here and I promise to keep all the details on the blog FOREVER x

This project has been most definitely the most challenging thing I have ever designed and I am really pleased how it turned out in the end – and even more appreciative of the fact that so many of you joined in the CAL adding your own groovy vibes!

My groovyghan plan started in 2015 and looked a little something like this – which I don’t think ended up so different from the actual design…perhaps a few tweaks here and there but all to make it better in the end.  

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This is where I say a huge, huge thank you to my lovely testers (Kimberlie, Jenn, Angela, Anita & Peggy x) who helped make it possible for this diagram to became the pattern we all crocheted!   I also want to thank the fabulous admins (Kimberlie, Michelle, Jenn & Kat x) of the Facebook group for their continued support throughout the CAL.

And now… the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the BIG REVEAL!

Tah-Dah!!!  My finished blue lagoon Groovyghan (made for my wonderful husband who supports me with my hooks and yarn always x).

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Just loving the cool blue / teals of my finished blanket! 

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All done!!

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Trying to get the full blanket shot – never easy!

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A little person wanted to be part of my photo shoot!

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Nothing better than seeing your blanket in use!

It seems like such a short time ago that we started this groovy journey and I’m a little sad that it’s at an end – but looking forward to new CAL plans for 2017 so watch this space for details.  There’s also some exciting patterns coming up that you won’t want to miss out on!

Thank you all again, for crocheting-a-long with me this year! I can’t wait to see your fabulous finished groovyghans; some of which, with kind permission, I’ll be sharing next week.

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

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Birthday Sale Celebrations 🎂


Today, September 5th, is my birthday 🎂 and I wanted to celebrate with all you lovely people soooo I’m having a sale all this week to celebrate! Buy 5 of my patterns (or more) on Ravelry and get a 50% discount – no coupon required. 

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I’ll also be selecting some people that comment on this post OR on the post over on my Facebook page to win a free pattern (of your choice)! Please include your pattern choice and either your email address or Ravelry id to your comment to be in with a chance to win.

5 winners will be selected at random at some point during the sale week.  Winners will receive their pattern choice via their preferred method (email or Ravelry) on 13th September.

Sale ends Monday Sept 12th at midnight, GMT

Happy Hooking my friends x

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Yarndale: woolly and wonderful!


Soooo Yarndale 2015…I know it was last year but I decided you still need to know about it because it was such an incredible experience.  If you like yarn and crafts then this is defiantly the festival for you.  yarndale20poster202015

Why are we only just hearing about last years event now I hear you ask…well when I visited Yarndale last year I was actually suffering from terrible morning sickness.  As that then developed into a challenging pregnancy where, as I mentioned before, I ended up hardly doing anything unless I had to it has become this very tardy blog post!

Anyway back onto Yarndale.  If you haven’t heard of Yarndale before it’s described as a “creative festival celebrating all things woolly and wonderful”. Held over two days in the quaint market town of Skipton, North Yorkshire, Yarndale brings together hundreds of talented exhibitors with a passion for all things woollen.

It was a gorgeous sunny Saturday morning in September when I went to Yarndale and once I arrived I just couldn’t believe my eyes – this festival is seriously HUGE! 

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So much to see at Yarndale!

The festival is held in Skipton Auction Mart with exhibitor stalls set up in the pens where rams, sheep and cows would be held pre-sale. Everywhere you look there is lovely yarny goodness!

Many of the stalls were just amazing! 

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Wonderful stall photo taken with kind permission and no filtering of the colours has been made! It was this amazingly colourful!

Everywhere you looked there were little treasures.  Like the main entrance for instance which was bedecked with beautiful crochet bunting...

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The bunting, contributed by lots of people from all around the world, was made for the first year of Yarndale (which is now in its 4th year).

This sort of collective crochet has fast become a symbol of Yarndale with new projects collated (to raise money for different charities) each year.  In 2014 hundreds of mandalas were donated…aren’t they glorious!

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The 2015 project was called Flowers for Memories and it involved people making flowers to raise money for Alzheimer’s…the finished display was just amazing! Just check this out…

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I’ll talk a bit about the 2016 crochet project in a moment…

As well as the stalls there are several crafty workshops that you can book. As I really wanted to immerce myself in the spirit of the whole festival I signed myself up for Making a Project Journal by Messengers Cottage Workshops which was great fun, working with paper and leather which we then hand stitched to make a little journal at the end.  

I also signed myself up for an Advanced Crochet workshop; I’ve never been to any sort of crochet class so I was quite looking forward to what this would be like. The project was to make the Yarndale Sundial Purse, designed by Maureen Mcilwraith, with Drops Nepal yarn which is a lovely, chunky and luxurious yarn (65% Wool and 35% Alpaca) that I had never used before.  As you can see the final lined purse was a  fun make…

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I was so busy at Yarndale with workshops and looking at all the stalls that I forgot to take loads of photos and by 5 pm my feet were seriously tired from all the walking round – my mind was also in a bit of a whirl from all the creativity congregated into one place. I really did enjoy my day at Yarndale and definitely hope to go again in the future.  And of course I couldn’t leave without picking up some wonderful goodies for myself!  

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Roving, Knit blockers, giant crochet hook and Bert the Sheep pin and bag! Such awesome goodies to play with and use!!!

And finally I must tell you about this years collective crochet project.  I was too late in the game to join in with the previous years projects and I can’t make it to Yarndale this year but I really wanted to take part in adding to whatever this years collective. For Yarndale 2016 the theme is little Woolly Sheep in honour of the auction market where the festival is held. “Little Woolly Sheep” is a crochet pattern designed by Lucy of Attic24.

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You can find a full picture tutorial as well as a PDF pattern to download on Lucy’s blog HERE and more details on the Yarndale site HERE.  Closing date for sheep to arrive is FRIDAY 9th SEPTEMBER.  

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May I introduce to you my little Baa-bara (see what I did there…)

My little amigurumi sheep, made up from scraps of double knit I had in my stash, is winging its way over to the Yarndale peeps now. There is just something so fun in adding to something on a grand scale and I can’t wait to see some finished pictures of the finished flock.  I’m sure it will be an awesome sight!

Hope you have enjoyed hearing about my adventure at Yarndale. Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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KCACO-UK Groovyghan CAL 2016 | Part 17


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WOW, we’ve made it!! Can you believe we are now on the border?! 

If this is the first you are hearing about this CAL the full schedule can be found here, to link the groovyghan project on Ravelry click here.  There is a Facebook support group for this CAL which can be found here and you can use the hashtag #kcacoukcal2016 for FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Instagram if you want to link in photos and such like on social media.

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Part 17: The border

Before you can start your border all previous sections of the groovyghan must be joined together (please refer to the CAL schematic below for details).  The border is worked directly onto the edges of your joined pieces, working all the way around all edges, to finish off your groovyghan.

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Pattern:

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Notes:

  • Hook: UK 4 mm / US Size G
  • Yarn: Double Knit / 8 ply / Weight #3

Pattern uses English (UK) and American (US) crochet terms for a conversion chart click here.

Abbreviations: 

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sp(s) = space(s)
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain(s)
  • dc/sc = UK double crochet / US single crochet
  • tr/dc  = UK treble / US double crochet
  • P = picot
  • [ ] = work anything in brackets into one space or stitch as specified

Stitch Guidance: 

  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc):  Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
  • UK Treble / US Double Crochet (tr/dc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops on hook.
  • Picot (P): Not all picot stitches are created the same, for this border; create three chain stitches from the point in your row where you want to add the picot stitch, yarn over and draw the yarn through the top of the previous tr/dc, this is one picot stitch.
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Picot Stitch Diagram

Pattern Guidance:

Rnd 1: To set the blanket up for the border you need to be working in a multiple of 3 sts. For my first round I evened up my sides by joining YARN A to the corner sp and working 1 tr/dc in the back loop of each st around.

If you have too many stitches this is the perfect time to decrease/increase where needed. In the corners I worked [3 tr/dc, ch 3, 3 tr/dc].

Pattern:

Rnd 2: With YARN B, join to any corner ch 3 sp with a dc/sc, ch 3, dc/sc in the same sp, ch 3 * miss 3 sts, work 1 dc/sc in-between the sts of the previous rnd, ch 3 * repeat from * to * in each st around working [dc/sc, ch 3, dc/sc] in each corner), sl st to top of first dc/sc to join, finish off and weave in ends.

Rnd 3: Join YARN A in any corner ch 3 sp, ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc) then work [2 tr/dc, ch 3, 3 tr/dc] in same sp,* in next ch 3 sp and in each ch 3 sp along make 3 tr/dc, *in the next corner ch 3 sp work  [3 tr/dc, ch 3, 3 tr/dc] * repeat from * to * until end, sl st to top of first ch 3 to join, fasten off and weave in ends.

Rnd 4: Repeat rnd 2

Rnd 5: Repeat rnd 3

Rnd 6: Repeat rnd 2, but do not finish off, sl st to the nearest corner; continue to work the final edging in the same colour.

Rnd 7: Ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc) then work [1 tr/dc,  P, 1 tr/dc, ch 3, 2 tr/dc, P, 1 tr/dc] in same sp,* in next ch 3 sp work 2 tr/dc, P, 1 tr/dc and in each ch 3 sp along * in the next corner ch 3 sp work  [2 tr/dc,  P, 1 tr/dc, ch 3, 2 tr/dc, P, 1 tr/dc]  * repeat from * to * until end, sl st to top of first ch 3 to join, fasten off and weave in ends.

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And that’s it!

Congratulations your Groovyghan is finished! 

Look out for the big reveal of my groovyghan on 7 September! Don’t forget to link me photos of your finished groovyghans I’d love to see them!

TOFTfest 2016


So flicking through my latest copy of Inside Crochet magazine I saw that yarn company TOFT were celebrating their 10th Birthday and to mark the occasion they were to host TOFTfest.  The day was billed as fun for all the family and as they are based in Warwickshire, which is a couple of hours away from me in Staffordshire, I thought I’d take the KCACO.UK clan along to find out about all things TOFT.

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I’ve got a golden ticket! (Okay peachy coloured ticket…)

If you haven’t heard of TOFT yarn before they manufacture high quality alpaca and wool yarn and knitwear here in the UK from British sourced luxury fibres.  And even if you aren’t familiar with TOFT yarn as a crocheter you may very well recognise the name of the founder of TOFT, Kerry Lord, who designs (almost other things) the fabulously cute amigurumi book series Edward’s Menagerie.

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So back to TOFTfest…There were alpaca themed craft activities for adults and children, a NEW book launch and talk by Kerry Lord and alpaca walking for those that fancied it (which Little G certainly did!). Unfortunately my camera broke on holiday (sad times) so the only photos my husband and I were able to get were on our phones so not of the best quality…

We were really lucky with the weather on the day we went, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, the alpacas were doing alpaca type things and looking cute and everyone seemed to be in a good mood (that’s the British weather for you!).

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TOFT Alpaca Farm, Warwickshire

I just loved the TOFT farm studio.  It’s pretty much a heavenly place filled with yarn and little amigurumi hanging from the ceiling…

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Blake the Orangutan says hello!

I say little amigurumi; one of the most amazing items we saw was a gianormous flamingo (called Sophia) which is used as a show piece. In her talk Kerry explained that Sophia had been completed in only 72 hours (by several crocheters) and that they were literally sewing up the head before their stall opened – just an amazing piece of work. Below you can see Little G, for scale, sorting out Sophia’s feet which had been scrunched up and she thought she should put them right again! 

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Sophia the Great getting a pedicure by Little G

My highlights of the day were listening to the talk from Kerry about her new book..

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Avid listeners! I’m somewhere in the middle…

and having the pleasure of meeting her where she was lovely enough to sign a copy of her new book. 

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The lovely Kerry kindly signing her (my) new book for me.

The alpaca walking was definitely a highlight of the day for Little G.  She made friends with Tornado.  Alpaca’s always look as though they are smiling to me they are just so cute and fluffy! 

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Little G and the most fluffily cute Tornado

I obviously couldn’t leave TOFT without buying some goodies – that would have just been rude!  

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Oooo look at all my lovely goodies!!

My lovely husband treated me to some of TOFT’s pure wool range which is scrumptiously lush. For those that like the look of this yarn it’s definitely a luxury item; perfect for a special gift for someone (or you!).  With it being wool yarn, rather than say acrylic, it’s not cheap but it is so nice for crochet as it has great stitch definition.

The wool yarn comes in 17 different colours, 10 naturals and 7 colours.  I chose the coloured palette initially (though I have purchased more hues since!) as I have decided I want to make a special amigurumi each for my girls for Christmas.

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DK Colour Bundle from TOFT Alpaca Shop

Little G loves parrots so Jack the Macaw from Edwards Menagerie: Birds will be project 1, and I think I’m going to make Georgina the Hippo for Little Miss as project 2 (as I already have the Edwards Menagerie book) – but more on that once I’ve hooked them up.  

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Seriously how cute is Georgina the Hippo!!

Plus I need to have a go at making up something from the Imaginarium…always so much to crochet and so little time!

We all had a great day out at TOFT and as you can probably tell I can’t wait to have a go at making up some of the menagerie – in fact I may go and start something now!

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

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