Hook and a Book | Christmas Box Giveaway


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I know it’s November but let’s face it we are going to have to talk about Christmas sooner or later aren’t we…what is it now something like 40 days to go (eek)? Are you perhaps looking for a unique crafty gift for someone? Or  a present for someone to give to you? Well I might just have an idea of something you’ll like.

Do you remember Hook and a Book which I reviewed back in September? Well I was contacted by the lovely owner Maddy recently as she wanted to tell me all about the special one of a kind Christmas box that they are selling this year. AND she wants to give one of these exciting boxes away to one lucky KCACO.UK reader!!

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The mammoth Hook and a Box Christmas box includes a hard-backed book (a surprise, of course), 3 Christmas patterns, 5 crochet hooks and 7 balls of yarn!! Wow now that’s what I call a great gift!  The most important bit about this box however is that Hook and a Book are donating £5 from each box sale to Beanstalk UK. Beanstalk UK is a fabulous charity which provides one-to-one support for young children who are struggling to read.
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If you want to run off and order yourself a box now here’s the link: hookandabook.co.uk/its_christmas but if you fancy having a go at winning yourself a box then keep reading!
Right my lovelies I’m going to make it incredibly easy for you to enter to win a Christmas box. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this blog post saying why you’d like to win the box.   
To gain some brownie points why not pop over and give a nice ‘like’ to the kind people from Hook and a Book for donating a lovely giveaway prize. The link to their Facebook page is here.

The giveaway begins RIGHT NOW

and is open WORLDWIDE!!

The giveaway closes on Wednesday 22 November at 12.00noon, UK time. At the end of the giveaway I’ll contact the person for their address which I’ll pass on to Hook and a Book so that they can send out the prize. Please keep an eye out for the winners name release as if I can’t get hold of the winner I’ll sadly have to pick out another name. The winners box will be shipped out week commencing 27 November so in plenty of time for Christmas.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Penguin Brothers and Baby Bear


Penguins are, without a doubt, some of the best animals in the world. They have that cute little waddling thing going for them, they live in a place that’s really, really cold and they don’t seem to mind and they are really cute.  If you like penguins then you’re going to love Flipper and Flapper the penguin brothers in Issue 96 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine (out now).  

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I had such great fun designing these guys – penguins in bobble hats, what’s not to love! Perfect to gift or keep for yourself.

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Also featured in this months issue is my stripy Baby Bear.  Cuddle up close with Baby Bear; this friendly bear is perfect for snuggling up at bed time and listening to a story. 

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As always the magazine comes with the pattern, the hook and the yarn to make your project choice.  In this month’s issue you’ll find:

  • Nutcracker yarns…including a special fluffy yarn!
  • 4mm hook & 4mm needles
  • 65 exclusive patterns
  • Plus… a 68 page magazine

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up either Santa or Bruno be sure to share your photos with me on social media(facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make!

Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Poppy Brooch | Free Crochet Pattern


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In 2013 I made a little poppy brooch to commemorate Remembrance Day. I’ve used that photo for the last 4 years as my post on social media on the 11th hour, of the 11th day and over the years I’ve had many people ask about a pattern.  Now at the time I didn’t write down the pattern, I was just playing and made something up, but at the Knitting and Stitching Show you may recall I bought a lovely box filled with Scheepjes Catona Cutie Pies and whilst I was a bit loath to open the box I thought they would be just perfect to try and recreate my poppy brooch.

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This free pattern is to help anyone crocheting poppies to raise money for The Royal British Legion.

Poppy Brooch

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Add the this pattern to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue here.

Yarn

Scheepjes Catona Cutie Pie 10g balls in the following colours:

  • Poppy Rose (Shade 390) 
  • Jet Black (Shade 110)
  • Small Trimmits Black Seed Beads (Optional)
  • Brooch pin (with sieve backing) or normal brooch pin

Hook: 2.75mm hook (US size C)

Difficulty: Easy 

Size:  5cm long x 3cm wide (2″ long x 1.1″ wide)

Gauge: Is not important for this item

Abbreviations: 

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sp = space
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain  
  • dc/sc= UK double / US single crochet
  • htr/hdc= UK half treble / US half double crochet
  • tr/dc= UK treble / US double crochet

Stitch Guidance: 

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • 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 Half Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
  • UK Treble / US Double Crochet (tr/dc): Yarn over, insert hook in next 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.

Instructions:

The poppy brooch is worked in the round placing a stitch marker in the top of the first stitch to mark start of round.

  • Rnd 1: With black; start with either a magic ring or ch2 and work in 2nd ch from hook, work 6dc/sc into the ring. 6sts
  • Rnd 2: 2 dc/sc in each st around. 12sts

Fasten off and weave in ends

  • Rnd 3: Rejoin red yarn to any st, ch1 and work 1dc/sc in same st as beginning ch1, and then working around the poppy *2htr/hdc in the next st, 3tr/dc in the next st,, 2htr/hdc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the next st * repeat from * to * once more, 1dc/sc in the last st. 20sts
  • Rnd 4: 2dc/sc in the next st and working round the poppy; 1htr/hdc in the next st , 2tr/dc in the next st, 1tr/dc in the next st, 3tr/dc in the next st, 1tr/dc in the next st, 2tr/dc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next st, 2dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the next st,  1dc/sc in the next st, 2htr/hdc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 3htr/hdc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 1dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the last st. 28sts
  • Rnd 5: Sl St around the whole of the outside of the flower, fasten off and weave in ends

Finishing:

  • Sew on seed beads to the middle of the brooch (optional)
  • Line the poppy with felt (optional)
  • Add a brooch back onto the back of your brooch

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And that’s it!

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I hope you enjoy this little brooch. I can’t wait to yours! Make sure you link me your finished projects on Ravelry  or your favourite social media  (Facebook Twitter, and Instagram) and if you are featured in my newsletter you could win a pattern of your choice!

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

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CraftStore UK | Stanley the Snowman Crochet Kit Special Offer


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Oooo I’ve got some very exciting news to share with you all! One of my patterns is being turned into a crochet kit which will be available exclusively from CraftStore UK

If you haven’t heard of CraftStore UK before they are an online store that offer supplies for many different crafts across the UK. Categories include yarn kits, pattern downloads, papercrafts, craft boxes, craft magazines and crafting books! And now my Stanley the Snowman is joining the happy band of other knitted and crocheted characters available.

Lovable and huggable Stanley the Snowman is easy to make and fall in love with. With his cute face, complete with carrot nose, bobble hat and gloves this colourful snowman makes a lovely Christmas gift.

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And the great thing about the kit is that you get the pattern and the yarn delivered straight to your door! 

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And guess what else! The most lovely people at CraftStore UK have got a special offer just for you lovely KCACO.UK readers. Just enter code 25ELVES in the shopping cart on this link for Stanley the Snowman and it will deduct 25% off the price! Taking him from £19.99 to £14.99! (This code will expire on the 5th of December).

Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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I Like Crochet Magazine | December 2017 Edition


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, when you make a purchase through these links I do receive a small commission – thank you so much for supporting my blog! 💗


The December 2017 issue of I Like Crochet is officially here and I’m very excited about it because not only is it full of fabulous patterns but there’s a festive little pattern in it from me – you may just spy it on the bottom left hand corner of the front cover.

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I’m a little bit obsessed by all things Christmas, truth be told, and yet I never seem to have acquired a nutcracker decoration of my very own….until now!  Now we can both crack open the festive season with my fun nutcracker amigurumi.

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Make him as a super cute decoration or a enchanting toy! He also makes a fantastic visual prop for the retelling of the Nutcracker story.  I love the fact that according to German folklore, nutcrackers are keepsakes that bring good luck to your family while protecting your home. So this little amigurumi would make a perfect traditional Christmas gift!  

The lovely people at I Like Crochet also gave me the opportunity to view the December issue of the magazine to tell you about the other patterns available. There are so many nice patterns in this edition but I thought I’d share with you my favourite three.

I’m completely in love with the Balsam Fir Waterfall Cardigan by  – isn’t it just gorgeous! I think it’s a really flattering style that would suit most body types. 

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I also really love the cover star Olwen the Snowman by . Olwen, means “white footprint” in Welsh and it’s such a clever idea to include chunky cables on his belly. 

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And I’m simply dotty about the Darling and Dotted Hat by  Everyone loves polka dots right!?

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There are over 25 beautiful patterns in the December edition but if you enjoy crochet magazines you might want to consider a subscription.  1 year membership starts at as little as $19.97 / £15.87 – so if you subscribe you do save! 

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Wulla Super Bulky | Yarn Review and Free Wulla Wreath Crochet Pattern


Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this yarn however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the yarn.


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Well I don’t think Christmas could come any chunkier than with the Wulla Wreath! I’m very excited to share this free pattern with you today for a true statement keepsake wreath just perfect for the holiday season – though I’m tempted to leave mine up all year!

Back at the beginning of October the lovely Caz, an indie spinner and dyer, from Wulla Yarn placed a call out for designers on Instagram to see who fancied experimenting with her amazing giant yarn.

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© WullaYarn

Isn’t it incredible! Well as you can imagine I REALLY wanted to get my hands on some of that lovely stuff to have a play!  So I dropped Caz a message with my idea and, luckily for me, she decided a collaboration would be a great idea. 

If you aren’t familiar with Wulla Yarn it might be because they are relatively new on the yarn scene. Started in April 2017 Wulla was born out of Caz’s desire to make big, bold contemporary yarn to inspire crafters to explore and create. The name ‘Wulla’ is a corruption of the word Wul, the Anglo Saxon for ‘wool’, and combines Caz’s love of history and her drive to do something new! 

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This yarn is serious stuff with a recommended hook size of 12-15mm or bigger! So let’s check out the yarn’s vital statistics we: 

  • Weight:  Super Bulky (7)
  • Blend: Wool
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 400g
  • Yarn Ball Length: 60m
  • Wash instructions: Cool, gentle hand wash only.
  • Price: £28.00 (at the time of this post)

Like many types of hand spun yarn the thickness and texture differs slightly along it’s length but, that to me, lends to it’s undeniable charm. 

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To me this yarn had statement piece written all over it and so I decided I wanted to try and create a giant hunky chunky wreath.  I chose to make my wreath with the un-dyed yarn as I think, although it’s neutral, the light natural cream colour has a lovely elegancy about it.

The wreath works up very quickly and, although a bit fiddly when you start off until you find your flow, it’s suitable for beginners to make as the pattern is essentially just giant UK double crochet / US single crochet stitches.

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Add the Wulla Wreath to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue for a print friendly of this page please scroll to the bottom of this post and click on the Print & PDF button. 

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  • Yarn: Super Bulky Undyed Handspun Giant Yarn / 60m / 400g
  • Hook: I used my 25mm hook – but smaller would work too, you might just need to experiment.
  • Size: 35mm
  • Gauge: Establishing the correct gauge is not critical to this pattern. 

Abbreviations: 

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • dc/sc= UK double crochet / US single crochet

Stitch Guidance:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • 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.

You will also need:

  • 35mm / 1.4 inch Polystyrene Wreath (I got mine from Hobbycraft)
  • D ring (or something similar) for hanging the wreath
  • Cotton Thread / Needle
  • Large Pom Pom Maker (Mine had a 85mm / 0.3 inch diameter)

Pattern:

Rnd 1: Make giant UK double crochet / US single crochet’s all around the wreath – I found the easiest way to do this as follows;

Add the yarn with a slipknot on to your hook.

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Put the wreath in front of your yarn

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Pull up a loop of yarn through the middle of the wreath with your fingers

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And pop it around your hook

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Then bring your yarn over your hook

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And pull the loop through all loop on hook (this includes your slipknot loop for the beginning only). And that’s your first stitch made.

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Continue to work in this way all around the wreath; if you get any twisting of the yarn, straighten it as you go and push your yarn / stitches together so that none of the polystyrene shows.

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On your last stitch to do not join; cut your yarn and pull the tail all the way through the stitch, then thread the tail under the loop of your first stitch.

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Then pull the yarn into the centre of the last stitch to create an invisible join. 

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Finishing:

  1. Make three giant pom poms, I used my Clover Grand Pom Pom Maker just because I think the tool makes fabulous pom’s but you could use cardboard circles with a 88mm (0.3 inch) diameter. All pom’s should be tied leaving a 30 cm / 12 inch piece of yarn for hanging; if using the wulla yarn you should make sure your knot is secure, then trim off one of the pieces of yarn to leave one ‘strand’.
  2. Attach pom poms onto the bottom / back of your wreath 
  3. Attach a ‘D’ ring onto the top / back of your wreath

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And that’s it!

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I’m completely in LOVE with the texture and the look of my Wulla Wreath, I think it’s just delicious – and I have to admit to keep stroking it a bit.  

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And if you want to have a go at making your own wreath the lovely Caz from Wulla Yarns has a special offer for all you lovely KCACO.UK readers. For the whole of November her fabulous meta yarn has a 15% discount in her Etsy shop if you use the coupon code: KCACO1

If you have a go at making a Wulla Wreath don’t forget to share your finished projects with me on your favourite social media sites: RavelryLoveCrochet.comFacebook page or Facebook group, Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram and if you are featured in my newsletter you could win a pattern of your choice!

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

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Crochet Book Review | Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium


Disclaimer:  I received a sample copy of the book to write this review however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier, book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.

When the lovely folks at Pavilion books asked me if I’d like to review Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium I didn’t need asking twice! I’d already got the book on my wish list, as I’m a big fan of Kerry Lord’s, and have all of the other ‘Edwards crochet’ books so was extremely eager to have a peep at the new book.

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Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord is published by Pavilion. Photographs by Kristy Noble

Ed’s dolls is a wonderfully innovative book where you can design your own doll using mix-and-match crochet patterns. Cleverly each pattern is contained within flippable pages which means, like a child’s flip book, that you can make hundreds of different doll combinations each with amazing wardrobes! 

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Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord is published by Pavilion. Photographs by Kristy Noble

The book is split into sections with instructions on how to make the main doll, then there are two flip sections:

  • First you choose a ‘head’ – there are beginner and advanced heads to choose depending on the hair style (or facial hair).
  • Next you choose what they are going to ‘be’ with the bottom ‘outfit’ flip – with costumes for an astronaut and a princess, a ballerina and a footballer, a mermaid and a pirate, a surgeon, a punk and more.

You can make so many different variations of doll! As always I like to make something from a book before I review it and I was inspired by the doll Kerry made of herself – so I thought that it might be really fun to try and create a mini me.

I used TOFT DK yarn to make my doll (as I already had some in my stash from last years TOFTfest and my recent visit to The Knitting & Stitching Show). TOFT DK yarn is pure wool, seriously soft and gentle on the hands – lovely to crochet with. It also has a really great colour range to represent skin tones. I went for ‘Oatmeal’ skin and ‘Chestnut’ for my hair.

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All the patterns are in UK terminology and come with detailed instructions and accompanying photos for stitches. In addition the book includes step by step instructions for stuffing, sewing together and adding the dolls features. The patterns are also arranged in order of difficulty so their’s something for beginners and for people with more ‘advanced’ crochet skills. 

The body for my doll worked up easily and I chose to give my little doll pants and a boob tube (instructions included in the book for the advanced dolls) so I would be suitably attired underneath my clothes…it seems more than a little weird to be sharing a photo of me in my underwear with the world – but here I am…

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I had great fun styling my hair using a spare hair clip and just a normal hair band to tie it back as I usually would my own hair.

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The hands are some of the cutest things I have ever made! Like ever! There are options for beginner or advanced hands (these are the advanced) and whilst any doll would look cute with either I do love the little digits.

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Next came the clothes….I used the C:1 flip dress option which I made in blue upon which I embroidered yellow and grey flowers (to symbolise the pattern on my dress). I then teamed up my dress with a slightly smaller and longer C:2 yellow scarf and some C:10 black boots.

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There weren’t any real accompaniments for a crocheter doll so I improvised and made a little work basket, complete with mini balls of yarn and a WIP. I also cut to size an old 3mm hook I had to fit the dolls hands.

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TOFT have started to make some amazing little accessories for the dolls; aside from a range of different coloured dolls eyes (I used the brown) they have the cutest little glasses! However these have proven so popular that they sold out quickly so I wasn’t able to get some – until then a bit of floral wire had to suffice for my specs.

I finished off my doll with a bit of blusher on the cheeks (this isn’t something suggested in the book but something I added as I pretty much always have rosy cheeks!) and with that voilà I was finished…want to see me?

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I think there is a definite likeness between me and my mini doppelganger!  What do you think?

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I had great fun making this doll! And I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys making dolls or amigurumi, or to anyone that fancies making a mini-me. The only problem I envisage is that everyone will want one! 

Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord (Pavilion Books) is priced at £16.99 and  is available to buy now from the TOFT website and via many brick and online bookstores.

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If you enjoyed this crochet book review you may wish to check out some of my other crochet book reviews.

Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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