Bavarian Beauty | Nuts About Squares CAL


You may remember me telling you about the Nuts About Squares CAL which started on 31 March.  Don’t worry though if you missed it there’s still plenty of time to catch up – the Information Post for the CAL can be found HERE

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I’m very excited to announce that my Bavarian Beauty Block is Part 6 of the CAL.  You may remember I designed this pattern for my 2015 CAL. I did add some photo tutorials to the pattern originally, to help make up the block, but Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell has now also created a fabulous instructional video (in US terms) to accompany the block. 

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Along with the video for my block you can find a playlist of all the video tutorials for the CAL as they are released HERE.

I’m just in LOVE with how the block looks in different Earth, Sea and Sky colourways! Esther and her helpers have done such beautiful work…

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I’m also very excited that I have now been translated into Dutch for the first time (Goedenavond alle Nederlandse haaksters!), the update for this translation is now available in my Ravelry store.

I hope those of you that are making the block for the first time enjoy this square as much as I enjoyed designing it.  If you are joining in with the CAL please share your squares on social media using #NutsAboutSquares and #kcacouk  #bavarianbeauty too – can’t wait to see your projects.

Until next time! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Nuts About Squares CAL by It’s All in A Nutshell


Oooo you know me! I’m a sucker for a good blanket and there is nothing like a crochet-along for being able to make something bigger than perhaps you would usually make for you or someone special. That’s why I’m really excited to tell you about the new crochet-along, Nuts about Squares, by Esther from It’s all in a Nutshell to make the beautiful afghan (pictured below).  

Photo: Hans Mossel

If you are not familiar with It’s All in A Nutshell you NEED to go and check out her blog and her Youtube channel. Not only does she have many free patterns of her own (available in English and Dutch) but she has also has made several videos,with permission, of well known crochet-along patterns like Sophie’s Universe by Dedri Uys or Mandala Madness by Helen Shrimpton.

So back to the CAL! Myself and eleven other crochet designers have contributed block designs to Esther’s very first CAL. I was very excited to be part of something with so many other fabulous designers – so big thanks to Esther for thinking of me! ❤︎  Contributing designers include Dedri Uys, Helen Shrimpton, Polly Plum, Sigrun Hugoey, Melissa GreenJulie Yeager, Margaret MacInnis, Susan Stevens/Mellie Blossom, Aurora Suominen, and Tatsiana Kupryianchyk.

For this crochet-along Esther has collaborated with Scheepjes Yarn to create three stunning colourway packs, with the theme of either Earth, Sea and Sky, which are available from Wool Warehouse, Deramores and Caro’s Atelier (NL).

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The CAL will last 15 weeks and starts March 31, 2017 so make sure you hop on over and subscribe to the It’s All in a Nutshell blog so you don’t miss any of the details. 

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

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2016 in a Nutshell


I thought I’d do a little review of my hooky year in pictures…

January saw the release of the biggest thing I worked on all year. It’s also the item and design which I am ultimately most proud of. The Everything Is Cool and Groovyghan 2016 Crochet-A-Long is definitely the most challenging thing I have designed and shared so far and the finished groovyghans made by other crafters have just blown me away (you lot are amazing!). Although the crochet-a-long has now finished you can still make a groovyghan of your very own by checking out the details on the blog here.

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February and March I was busy growing a human which turned out to be quite hard work! So, aside from the groovyghan, there wasn’t a whole lot of crocheting going on…

Then in April my new shawl pattern, The Spring Blossom Wrap, was released in iLikeCrochet Magazine. Worked in a smooth 4ply cotton yarn and a 3.5mm hook I was really pleased with the floral look I eventually achieved on this shawl which I based on cherry blossoms.

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In May and June baby had finally arrived so I got back to a little hooking by working up some quick little hats and a headband for my new arrival. I just chose some patterns on Ravelry that I liked the look of and they actually turned out to be all free patterns. The hats and tie back I made include the Sedge Stitch Newborn Beanie, the Bonnie Bell Bonnet, the TopKnot Baby Hat and the 15 Minute Tieback.  The Bonnie Bell Bonnet was one of the first hats I hooked up. It’s such a cute design and as its worked in Aran (Worsted) weight yarn it’s very quick to work up.

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In July I hooked up a little Amineko cat for Little G’s summer fayre, such a fun design and super cute!

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In August and September I was working on some exciting patterns for October (more on that later) but I still found time to hook up a little Pumpkin hat for the baby and Baabara for this years Yarndale charity project

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and I finally finished a work in progress which had been started a year previously! The Corner to Corner Granny Stitch Throw  was a great pattern to use up loads of odds and ends of double knit in my stash…

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So October was a busy and exciting month; my RainBOW Clip Organiser was released in Issue 31 of Happily Hooked Magazine…and I was completely delighted to be asked to take part in the Stylecraft Blog Tour for 2016 for which I designed the Harmonious Hexagon Blanket (free pattern here).

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In November and December I hooked up several Christmassy items for my girls including some cute Elfin baby boots and some fabulous elf hats. I also hooked up a fab little mouse baby hat for a Micky fan – unfortunately this particular pattern is no longer available, there are plenty of alternatives out there though if you are looking for this style.  

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I also hooked up my special animals from my TOFT yarn and some awesome little Princesses for some gorgeous little girls; but I’m going to blog about those later so I’ll save those ta-dah moments for 2017!

Wow, I enjoyed that stroll down memory lane! I find when it’s all written down like this that I have accomplished more than I realised! Crochet is such a big part of my life that sometimes I forget what I have been up to in the year as I’m concentrating on the next design or project.  The most fantastic thing about crochet is that it continually brings me happiness, fun challenges, surprises, satisfaction at a job completed and most of all relaxation. 

So what can you look forward to in 2017 from me?

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I have so many plans for 2017! I’m extremely excited to be working with several crochet magazines this year on new designs, I’ve also got various exciting collaborations coming up, I’m going to be catching up with patterns that I didn’t finish due to being pregnant (and ill) and then having a newborn (for those waiting for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – this is at the top of the list!) AND we’ve got a brand new crochet-a-long to look forward to (starting in March) which is also in development behind the scenes as we speak.

Finally I’d like to say a mahoosive thank you to everyone who has followed me on the blog or on social media in 2016…

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My thanks is to everyone who may have brought and/or made any of my patterns, who have read my musings following me here on the blog and for those who have offered / or continued to offer their hands in friendship. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support, enthusiasm and your camaraderie and how much I love to see your finished work!

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

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Free Pattern | Superbly Simple Baby Blanket


What’s a crochet designer to do when they are having a baby – design a new blanket pattern of course! So without further ado I’d like to introduce my new free pattern to you; the Superbly Simple Baby Blanket. The great thing about this blanket is that it works up quickly and looks more complicated than it actually is!  This baby blanket is a great for beginning crocheters to use for their very first crocheted afghans.

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Worked in double knit this lightweight blanket is easy to memorise making it a perfect pattern for relaxing hooky time! However you may use any yarn type and hook size of your choice with this pattern (it’s that simple) so no need to worry about meeting a specific gauge.

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Make it a baby sized blanket, as shown, or go as big as you like by simply adding more rounds! The addition of a simple border finishes off the blanket nicely.  

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For my blanket I used Stylecraft Special DK from my stash, which is lovely and soft, in white, lemon and grey – great unisex colours when you aren’t sure if it’s a boy or girl (which we didn’t). There are so many options for how you could arrange colours on this blanket and it would also make a fab stash buster for using up odds and ends. 

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This pattern is definitely my new favourite go-to blanket for new babies or a last minute baby shower gift. 

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Little Miss certainly loves her blanket.

Click the following link to add the Superbly Simple Baby Blanket to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue or keep scrolling for the pattern.  For a print friendly version of this page please scroll to the bottom of this post and click on  the Print & PDF button.

Pattern:

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Yarn: Weight #3; 4 x 100 g / 1200 m / 1300 yards 

Hook: 4 mm / US size G

Gauge:  6 tr/dc sts or 2 clusters = 1.5 inches / 3.8 cm

Establishing the correct gauge is not critical to this pattern. Pattern will work in other yarns though gauge/size will be different.

Size: 36 x 36 inches / 91.4 x 91.4 cm

Make it a baby  sized blanket, as shown, or go as big as you like by simply adding more rounds!

Abbreviations:

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sp = space
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain  
  • dc/sc = UK double crochet / US single            crochet
  • tr/dc = UK treble / US double crochet
  • Cl = 3 tr/dc
  • V-St= 1 tr/dc, ch 1, 1 tr/dc
  • [ ] = work pattern in brackets into 1 st

Stitch Guidance:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and draw through all loops.
  • Double Crochet/Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and draw up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, draw through both 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.

Pattern:

Rnd 1: With YARN A, Ch 4, sl st to form a ring, sl st into the ring, ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc), 2 tr/dc into the ring, ch 3, * 3 tr/dc into the ring, ch 3*, repeat from * to * twice more, sl st to top of ch 3 to join, then sl st to the nearest ch 3 corner (12 sts + 4 x 3 ch sps)

Rnd 2:  [1 dc/sc in to the ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc/sc into the same sp], * ch 3, [1dc/sc, ch 3, 1 dc/sc] into the next ch 3 sp * repeat from * to * twice, ch 3, sl st to top of beginning dc/sc to join, sl st to the next ch 3 sp (8 sts, + 8 x 3 ch sps)

Rnd 3: [Ch 4 (counts as first tr/dc + ch), 1 tr/dc ch 3, 1 V-St into the ch 3 sp], * 1 V-St, in the next ch 3 sp [1 V-St, ch 3, 1 V St] into the next ch 3 sp * repeat from * to * twice, 1 V-St in the last ch sp, sl st to the 3rd ch of the beginning ch 4 to join, sl st to the next ch 3 sp  (12 V-Sts + 4 x 3 ch sps)

Rnd 4: [Ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc), 2 tr/dc , ch 3, 1 Cl into the ch 3 sp], * 1 Cl between each of the 2 V-Sts of row 3 (there should be TWO Cl in-between each corner), [1 Cl, ch 3, 1 Cl] on the next ch 3 sp * repeat from * to * twice, 1 Cl between each of the 2 V-Sts of row 3, sl st to top of ch 3 to join, then sl st to the nearest ch 3 corner (16 Cls + 4 x 3 ch sps)

Rnd 5: [1 dc/sc in to the ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc/sc into the same sp], * ch 3, 1 dc/sc between each of the 2 Cl’s of row 4 (there should be THREE ch 3 + dc/sc in-between each corner), [1 dc/sc, ch 3, 1 dc/sc] on the next ch 3 sp * repeat from * to * twice, 1 dc/sc between each of the 2 Cl’s of row 4, sl st to top of the first dc/sc to join, then sl st into the ch 3 sp (20 dc/sc + 20 x 3 ch sps)

Note: Rnds 3 – 5 make up the repeats of this  pattern. You will just increase either the number of V-Sts (rnd 3) or Cl (rnd 4), chs (rnd 5) in-between each corner.

Continue working rows until you have worked 47 rows in total.

For the blanket shown in the photos I worked the following colour change repeats; YARN A: 9 rows, YARN B: 9 rows, YARN C: 6 rows

Edging:

Begin edging in any sp between Cls; * [dc/sc, ch 3, 2 tr/dc] into same sp * repeat from * to * in each sp around the edge and in each corner.

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.  

          HARMONIOUS HEXAGON QUILT           ♥ 

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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WIP Wednesday | My Rainbow Throw


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I’m feeling pleased with myself this week; I’ve finally finished one of my WIPs (work in progress) that I mentioned here that I have had hanging around for ages!

Back in December 2014 I was going through a tough time personally and decided I wanted to hook myself a rainbow to try to help cheer myself up.  I think there is nothing quite like a crochet hook, a repetitive pattern and immersing yourself in colour as a type of therapy!  

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I decided to make a scrap blanket using bits of double-knit (8ply) that I’d got lying around which would work with a particular pattern I’d had my eye on for a while.  The pattern in question is the lovely Corner-to-Corner Granny Stitch Throw by Kimberlie Goodnough. It’s a fun variation of granny stitch and C2C (corner to corner) styles that works great with bits and pieces of left over yarn.  The pattern contains details on how to create a throw in any size you like. You can also use any yarn and any hook you want for bigger / smaller blankets.  

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I wanted something big enough for me and Little G (and now Little Miss) to snuggle under and so decided to make it quite large.  My end blanket ended up roughly about 1.4 x 1.3 metres (4 ft 5″ x 4 ft 2″) so big enough to wrap us all in.

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So without further ado let me show you it in all its finished loveliness!!

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I lost track of how many colours I actually used up in the project but I have to say it’s been so pleasing hooking up a rainbow.  After a lot of deliberation with border colour I finally decided to go with white (which I hadn’t included in the main rainbow) and which I think finished off the blanket really well. My husband has been ecstatic about the fact that I’ve used up some of my oddments of yarn that I’ve had lying around. 

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As I had hooked it over time with different tensions I did have to amend the border slightly from the one in the pattern (though not much) and I added crab stitch (reverse crochet) all around to finish it off because it’s just my most favourite ever edging and because this blanket is all mine!!  

The worse bit about the project for me was my own fault…it was the weaving in of the billion ends! I tried to do it as I went but sometimes forgot so there was still a lot to weave in the end – someone seriously needs to invent a weaving in machine. 

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It now sits on the back of my chair ready for me to pull over us whilst watching TV of an evening or anytime my girls want to snuggle with me.

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This was always going to be a long-term project but I must confess I didn’t think it would take me nearly 2 years to complete! I think it was worth the wait though, I’m so pleased with how it turned out in the end and I know it will get lots of use.

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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