The Adventures of Little Adam | Part 3


So I thought it was about time that we caught up with that lovable travelling amigurumi – Little Adam to see where he’s been lately.  Previously his adventures took him to Greece (B) and Dubai (C)!  This post finds him jetting off to Rhodes (D), the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands with a pit stop in Lanzarote (E), one of the Canary islands off the coast of West Africa!

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Just look at that map! He’s becoming a proper globe trotting doll! 

First off we were treated to the obligatory holiday ‘this is the view from my balcony shot’…

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And then…well you’ll never guess who Little Adam met on his holiday in Rhodes?! Little Dad! What are the chances of that happening 😀 

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It seems whilst on holiday the pair befriended a local donkey and enjoyed the sunset on the beach…

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It was not long after this the pair parted and Little Adam flew off to his next destination of Lanzarote…where he climbed a volcano!

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

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

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Colourful Koalas


Oooh guess what folks! I’m thrilled to tell you that for 2017 I have been working on some designs for the lovely people at LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine.  Issue 88 is out today and those little koala’s on the front cover…well that’s a little pattern by yours truly! So exciting!

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Let’s Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet magazine can be found in major supermarkets and stores across the UK…and of course I had to take the family on an outing just to have a little peep at them – it’s not everyday you feature on the cover of a magazine!

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I may have squealed just a little bit seeing the magazines all in a row!

I had such fun designing these little guys! I thoroughly enjoyed creating something fun and bright and not in standard ‘koala’ colours. 

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The magazine comes with an exclusive pack containing six balls of yarn, a pair of needles and a hook so that you can get started straight away. Aimed at both beginners and experienced crafters, each issue is packed with projects, tips, inspiration and shopping guides, plus all the latest news.

This month’s features:

  • Six Orchid yarns
  • 4mm hook & bamboo needles
  • 32 exclusive patterns including Mummy and baby koala, some knit colour-block mittens, a retro camper-van and more!
  • All in a fab 68 page magazine

So pop down the shop and get your copy now or you can find out about more about the magazine over on their website here.

Well until next time, happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Crochet Book Reviews | AmiguruMe by Allison Hoffman


Before I get onto the review I need to tell you a bit of the background as to why I personally was so interested in this book in the first place. If you are a follower of my little ole blog then you may well have seen my posts about how I created an amigurumi likeness of my brother and that dolls subsequent adventures (of Little Adam). Well what started off as a family joke quickly escalated and now all my friends and family want their own custom doll! That is definitely going to take awhile…but I plan on springing them on people when they least expect it so as to make a better surprise!

My basic Little Adam design was a simplified version of my elf pattern and a fab little guitar pattern I found on Ravelry. It wasn’t until after I’d given him to my brother that I realised I’d forgotten to give him ears! 

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My real brother does have ears! Just missed them off the doll – oopss!

I knew there must be a way to make any future dolls have an even closer resemblance to their ‘owner’ and that’s where the book AmigurumMe by Allison Hoffman comes in…

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How clever is that title right!?

AmigurumMe is basically a fantastic resource book for making your own customised crocheted characters. Each pattern is written in American Crochet terminology with clear and easy to follow instructions including detailed explanations and photos of the different stitches used.

The book is cleverly divided into sections for each component:

  • Making faces and heads
  • Upper body
  • Lower body
  • Feet and shoes
  • Hair
  • Accessories and more

I love the fact that a cat and a dog have also been included for pet loving mini-versions of friends and family.

Since the patterns show you how to make each different elements of a doll there’s literally endless possibilities that you can create. The book even includes step-by-step instructions of how to make some celebrities such as Mr.T, Tina Turner (as shown on the front cover) or even Michael Jackson, Madonna or Hulk Hogan.

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The customised doll I wanted to try this time round was one of my lovely dad… 

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Photo of me and my lovely Dad taken a few years ago…

I didn’t use all elements of the book, as I wanted Little Dad to be similar to Little Adam, so I concentrated on the face and hair to begin with.  Oh my goodness I cannot even say how long I spent trying to get his hair and eyebrows right!  Rather than make a wig cap (which I did with Little Adam) I embroidered the hair directly onto the head. I eventually got to a place where I was pleased with how it looked – and believe me any dreams of being a hairdresser were well and truly quashed!

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I used the details from the book to make a cap sleeved top, better hands, ears (didn’t forget those this time) and a cute pocket detail to his top.

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To make it even more personalised I added a fishing rod (as that’s my Dad’s hobby) and embroidered some tattoos onto my dad’s arms – these elements weren’t included in the book so I winged it, but I was pleased with the end results. After these tweaks Little Dad was finally finished and handed over to my Dad on his birthday. And in case you were wondering my Dad loved him (yay)!

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If you fancy having a go at making your own customised doll I would definitely recommend this book (I bought my copy of the book from Amazon) – I know I will certainly be using it again in the future.

Well until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Disclaimer: This book / pattern is one I have purchased (or used) for my own benefit.  I have not been financially compensated by the 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.

 

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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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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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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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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