LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Melina the Mermaid and Heidi the Hippo


Issue 101 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out in shops now and I think it’s absolutely mer-mazing that my Melina the Mermaid is this months cover-star! 

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When I was little I totally used to pretend I was a mermaid when we went to the swimming baths, swooshing in and out of the waves, swishing my hair in the water and singing.  These days I’m much more of a land-mermaid (I’m sure that’s a thing) and so I had great fun relieving my childhood dreams to design this little lady…

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And when Melina has had enough of swimming about all day she can just whip off her tail and put on a skirt to dance the night away…

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This month I also got to design Heidi the Hippo – she’s not as confident in the water as Melina so she’s donned her water wings and rubber ring to help her along, though they are removable too for when she becomes a natural.

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The magazine comes with a special marine themed yarn kit containing six ombre effect yarns and mini white pom poms as well as;

  • 4mm hook & 4mm knitting needles
  • 51 exclusive patterns
  • Plus… your 68 page magazine

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up either Melina the Mermaid or Heidi the Hippo please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! So why not hop to it and get your copy of the magazine now! 

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

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I Like Crochet Magazine | June 2018 Edition


Summer is in the air and that means a new issue of I Like Crochet Magazine full of creative and playful patterns.  

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If you haven’t heard of I Like Crochet magazine before it’s a US bi-monthly digital magazine which is published by the creators of AllFreeCrochet.com and I’ve got a fun new pattern inside. Inspired by vibrant hues and playful prints, the Tutti Fruity section features fruit-inspired projects – both in shape and colour – that are just what your summer crochet has been asking for.

And what’s my pattern? Well it’s a tutti-fruity cutie teeny tiny pineapple pincushion! Cute right? Okay maybe it’s just me that loves miniaturised or ridiculously large everyday things but this is a super fun and quick pattern to make.

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I love pincushions actually and I think you can really have a bit of fun with a 3-D version and they make great gifts for craft loving (or pineapple loving) friends. This pattern is also a great way to use up small scraps of yarn as it really doesn’t take too much at all! 

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As well as my pineapple pincushion pattern this month’s issue features 25+ patterns. It also contains features, such as how to discover the secret to great grannies, and making nautical knot bracelets. 

SUBSCRIBE TODAY for a copy straight to your desktop or iPad.

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

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Dear Ewe | Behind the Scenes


Squeek! The launch day for  Dear Ewe is getting ever closer…only 16 days and 17 hours to go and probably even less by the time I’ve finished writing this up and posted it! I seriously feel that all of a sudden the days have started speeding forward to the deadline date and just where on earth did April go?! 

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If this is the first time you are hearing about Dear Ewe it’s the online company and shop that I have formed with my friend, and now business partner Becky, that’s launching at the end of this month on Monday 28th May.  The shop will sell a variety of products  including bone china mugs,  bags, crochet patterns, prints and cards that all celebrate creativity and the world of handmade. 

We know that there are shops out there (not including the small handmade product providers) that have products for crafters but it’s often either only a small part of what they do or it’s a cheap import that’s not that great.  So we wanted to change that. Dear Ewe’s sole purpose is to create good quality products inspired by crafts designed exclusively for crafters.

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With launch date growing ever closer I thought it might be nice if I shared a little behind the scenes look at how we’ve been preparing for the big day and a bit more of a peep at some of the products that are going to be on offer – including some of my person favourites!

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As you can imagine we’ve been planning and working incredibly hard behind the scenes to design and source our products.  Sourcing our products close to home and supporting local business owners and our local community was something we were both very keen to do. We’re proud to live in Stoke-on-Trent, which is officially recognised as the World Capital of Ceramics, so it made sense that we should be able to find locally produced fine bone china – and we did with the fabulous and supportive Heraldic Pottery

One of my favourite days so far was when we were invited to go behind the scenes at the factory to see some of our first mugs being created. You can watch a little video that we took here, but I’ll pop a couple of photos below too…

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I can’t quite explain that feeling of having seen something that was 2-D for so long and then how it felt actually seeing it as a real product – it was so exciting! 

Every single one of our mugs is hand decorated by skilled lithographers, and when we got the opportunity to watch them, well it’s unbelievable how skillful they are! I love the fact that our mugs have that ‘handmade’ touch because we’re all about celebrating that aren’t we!

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Another of my favourite days so far was a fantastic photo shoot at the stunning venue of The Upper House with Clara Lou Photography. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, there were flowers everywhere, it was just such a lovely place to be – and it provided so many wonderful backdrops for some of our products shoots. 

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You can just see one of our bags in shot there. I LOVE our bags…shall I tell you a little secret…I’ve already bought several for myself (there’s definitely perks to being a business owner). But they are just so nice and handy and sturdy if you know what I mean!! I did a little bit of a yarn stash tidying exercise recently and oh my were the draw string bags great for that. But I digress…as well as (two different sizes) of draw string bags we also have our fabulous tote bags…

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And I think I’m going to leave it there…that’s enough sneaky peeks for now, but I will just quickly mention again that as well as our mugs and bags in store we also have our fantastic photo prop postcards, some beautiful framed print designs for your craft space, greetings cards and of course a couple of exclusive crochet patterns (designed by moi).

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Our official launch is 28 May 2018 but you can stay in the loop with details by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on social media (all links on the website).

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

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Yarn Shop Day 2018 | Milo the Cat


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I have the most exciting news to share with you! Some of you may have already seen me mention it on Instagram but now I can tell you all properly.

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Last year I was approached by the editor of Let’s Knit Magazine to see if I would like to design the mascot for Yarn Shop Day.  Me!?! Design the mascot for Yarn Shop Day! I couldn’t believe it! What an honour to ysd-2018-logodesign the mascot for such a big day celebrated all over the United Kingdom! Of course I said yes and I quickly donned my (crocheted) designers cap and started planning.

If you aren’t familiar with Yarn Shop Day, it’s an annual annual event that celebrates bricks-and-mortar yarn shops. Part of the wider Love Your Yarn Shop campaign, this year’s event takes place on Saturday 12 May 2018. Each participating store will host its own special event, with all sorts of fun activities taking place.

I was asked to come up with a design for a cat and so in my excitement I drew about eleventy billion cat sketches and even tried playing with some designs to see what developed, but we finally settled on developing the cat sketch (below) using the Yarn Shop day colours.

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I made him from bits of double knit yarn I had in my stash, that I had bought from various yarn store visits, and this is how he turned out…Meet Milo the Cat 🐱

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And as I had to send that Milo away to the Let’s Knit Magazine team I’m currently making myself another little Milo in Scheepjes Catona yarn which I bought from Black Sheeps Wool last year – because he has to be made with shop bought yarn naturally.

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Milo the Cat and Dixie the Llama are the crocheted and knitted mascots for 2018 and are exclusively available (for free) in participating stores, along with specially produced knitted and crocheted blanket patterns. If you’re a keen crocheter or knitter, be sure to pop down to your local yarn shop for a day of fibre-tastic fun. Click on the banner below to find participating stores near you.

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I never need an excuse to visit a yarn shop and this year I hope to pop down to Abakhan in Hanley to join in the fun. I hope you will be out too supporting your local yarn shop! I feel it’s so important to be an advocate for any small shop owner, they are often the people who are experts in their field, love what they do and are just trying to live their dream.

And if you hook up Milo the Cat, I hope you will share your project on your favourite social media sites, Facebook page or FacebookgroupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram as I love to see your finished work! Also if you are featured in my newsletter, as the customer spotlight, you could win a pattern of your choice – so don’t forget to tag me when you share.

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

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Crochet Now Magazine | Tulio the Toucan


Have you picked up the latest issue of Crochet Now magazine? The new colourful issue hit the shelves on 12 April and I’ve got a brand new pattern featured inside. See that cute little toucan on the front cover, well that’s my Tulio.

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Nature is a constant source of inspiration for my designs and, although I’ve been designing for awhile now, a toucan was on my (long) list of creatures I wanted to try and crochet. 

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Birds are such a wonderful subjects to recreate in yarn as they often have such wonderful colouring. They also lend themselves so well to a bit of creative licence; I love rainbows too so the combination of the rainbow beak makes me feel very happy.

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Now you may notice, if you have the magazine, that there is a picture reference to the right side and wrong side of crochet, unfortunately there was a ‘layout error’ and the images were swapped, picture 1 is the wrong side and picture 2 is the right side and it should have been the right way around.

I know a couple of people contacted me asking about it and, don’t worry you haven’t been crocheting wrong, it was just a little mix up and the magazine has passed on their apologies for any confusion. 

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I really enjoyed leafing through my copy of Issue 27 as it’s is such a lovely bright edition! Along with Tulio the Toucan there’s tons of fabulous patterns, inspiration, offers, giveaways and interesting articles to read – and this issue also comes with a super fun fun addition to your crochet kit;  a sparkly unicorn hook gauge.

Crochet Now magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up Tulio the Toucan be sure to share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what your finished projects! 

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

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Cento the Party Pup and Peaches Wardrobe


Massive congratulations to LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine on their 100th issue that went on sale 5 April! I was honoured to help commemorate issue 100 of by creating the little Party Pup featured as this month’s cover star.

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Let’s Get Crafting held a competition for the dogs name and the end result was Cento? Pronounced ‘chento’, the name means 100 in Italian, I thought it was a great name for the little guy.

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Donning his favourite hat and crocheted balloons, which with a little bit of wire help,  float in the air. This colourful pattern would make a great birthday gift for your friends and loved ones simply by personalising the number you add to the balloons.

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And the most exciting news – Let’s Get Crafting are giving everyone a present by making him available ontopcrochetpatterns.com for free! So quick go get your copy..

This month I also got to visit with an old friend, Peaches the doll, who came to me on a shopping trip for some new clothes…

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She picked up shoes, a handbag, a dress, a skirt, two tops and some dungarees! Boy can that girl shop! 

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I really had great fun designing a new wardrobe full of clothes for her. As well as these two patterns the magazine is filled with competitions, articles and an awesome knitted chameleon pattern (I need to learn to knit shapes!).

The magazine also comes with a free special yarn kit with eight lovely bright party colours and;

  • 3mm hook & 3mm needles
  • 47 exclusive patterns
  • Plus… your 68 page magazine

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up either Cento the Party Dog or Peaches Wardrobe be sure to share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! So why not hop to it and get your copy of the magazine now! 

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

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Designer Interview | Eleonora from Coastal Crochet


I’m really chuffed about my next designer interview because I actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person on my recent visit to The Crochet Sanctuary.

Eleonora Tully is the designer behind the lovely blog Coastal Crochet. You may have seen some of her lovely designs in Simply Crochet magazine or you may already follow her popular Instagram feed. And if you haven’t seen her slow Seaside Stash Busting Blanket crochet-along then you should check it out! There’s still plenty of time to take part and it’s going to be amazing when it’s all finished!

When I met Eleonora I thought I would see if she would kindly let me find out more about her designing process, because I always find the stories behind the projects so interesting, and to my delight she said YES!  Here’s what we chatted about…

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Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I was born in The Netherlands 40 years ago – my mother is Dutch and my father is English but I grew up in England and currently live by the sea on the South East Coast with my husband, three children and our dog, a Miniature Schnauzer called Salty. I’m a registered nurse and at the moment I work part-time as a School Nurse.

Life is busy! There’s always something that needs doing being a working mother but I do make sure that I find time for crochet! I get so much pleasure from being creative…it’s a part of me. I also love being with my family and spending time outdoors… one of my favourite things to do apart from crochet, is to go on long walks in nature with my family and I love a challenge! Give me a trail to walk or a mountain to climb and I’m there!

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How did you first discover crocheting?

Crochet has always been a part of me, it really has! My mother crocheted her own wedding dress in 1974 and I was wrapped in crocheted blankets soon after I was born! I really did grow up in a ‘handmade home’ with little crocheted curtains above the windows made by my mother and grandmother (very popular in The Netherlands in the 1970’s), there were crocheted pot holders in the kitchen, my cardigans and jumpers were knitted, school dresses sewn and toys crocheted!

As for my own crochet, I can’t pinpoint the exact time or place when I first held a hook but it was as a teenager, helped by my mother and a good book! I knitted first but crochet soon followed. I made my own wedding dress but this was sewn. It wasn’t until 2014 when I decided to crochet a dress for my daughter that crochet really took over my life! I loved crocheting that dress. It was from a pattern by Lisa Naskrent which I found on Ravelry I enjoyed every single stitch and it looked so beautiful when it was finished. It really was a labour of love and from that moment I fell completely and utterly in love with crochet.

How did you become a crocheting designer? 

After crocheting the dress for my daughter I knew I wanted to take my crochet skills to another level and start to design and write my own patterns. I discovered the International Diploma in Crochet which is a correspondence course run by Pauline Turner. Working through the course has taught me so much and given me the confidence and skills I needed to go out and design my own crochet and to write patterns.

Having an online presence through my Blog and Instagram has also helped me to grow as a Crochet Designer. Writing regular Blog Posts and posting pictures to my Instagram is a huge motivator for me to keep designing. It has also enabled me to share my work and make connections with others which have in turn helped me to get my designs published.

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Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

For me it’s nature and being outdoors. My blog is called ‘Coastal Crochet’ because I live so close to the sea and really do draw so much inspiration from my coastal surroundings. It’s not only the colours, the textures and the themes of the seaside that inspire me, but actually walking along the beach leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired. It helps to clear my mind which in turn allows the inspiration to flow.

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What does your design process look like? Do you sketch things out first, or do you just like to grab a hook and start?

I’m a grab a hook and go person! Sometimes I wish I could be a little more structured in my design approach but it’s just not the way I work! I can get an idea in my head at any time (sometimes I get lots of ideas at the same time) and I can visualise them clearly. I’ll then just pick up a hook and some yarn and get crocheting. It’s exciting to see if my ideas take shape.

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Do you have a favourite creation you’ve designed?

If you’d asked me this a couple of months ago I would have answered differently but at the moment my absolute favourite creation has to be the ‘Seaside Stash Busting Blanket’ which I’m designing as part of the Crochet-Along I’m hosting.

I’m designing it as we go so even I don’t know what the blanket will look like at the end but I love it so much already! Not because it’s going to be a gorgeous blanket but because of the community aspect and seeing everyone’s different colour combinations. I’m publishing just 4 rows per week and as it’s a stash busting project people are choosing all kinds of colours. Some are random combinations, others are so well thought out – it’s truly amazing to see! And the connections being made between crocheters from all over the world is just wonderful. There are people taking part from over 20 countries and friendships are being made across the globe as people share their progress. It really is so special and the response to my design has genuinely blown me away!

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Do you have a ‘go to’ for hooks and yarn?

I was given a set of ‘Tulip Etimo Rose’ hooks for my 40th birthday last year and I adore them. I’ve also tried Clover Amour hooks which are fantastic. Both these Brands are made in Japan so there’s definitely something about Japanese crochet hooks!

As for yarn, I’ll use anything depending on what it is I’m crocheting. From chunky to thin and from cheap acrylic to more luxurious wools. I love using cotton too. I have a soft spot for the brand ‘Scheepjes’ as it’s a genuine Dutch company and their yarns are just so gorgeous. I use ‘Scheepjes Catona’ a lot. It’s a beautiful cotton to work with and the colours are amazing!

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

All the above! I’ve crocheted for family and friends and of course I keep a lot of my own crochet work too. Crochet is not a quick art form and each crocheted item will have taken precious time to make, sometimes many many hours! So I like to give my crochet to people who will appreciate that.

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

I would love to have a studio space but that’s a far off dream at the moment. There are five of us living in our house and the children are getting big- they are now almost all taller than me! I have a corner on the sofa that I call ‘my corner’ only because it’s next to a light which helps when I’m crocheting in the evenings. But one of the reasons I love crochet so much is because it’s so portable. I can crochet anywhere and it really does come everywhere with me.

Finally finish the sentence … I love crochet because…

It’s a wonderful craft that can be done anywhere and by anyone and such beautiful things are created with just one hook and some yarn!

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I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Eleonora again for taking time 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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