My visit to the Nottingham Yarn Expo 2017


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Oooo I’ve just realised I’ve not told you all about my visit to the Nottingham Yarn Expo yet have I?

So my story starts back in June when Mr. KCACO.UK and I celebrated our 10th Wedding anniversary. The boy did good and along with a beautiful stamped tin heart necklace he surprised me with tickets to the inaugural Nottingham Yarn Expo which this year was held on the 11-12 November.  How he found out about it I don’t know as I hadn’t come across it before so I was super surprised! And it turned out there was a mountain bike trail not far away from the expo too which was handy…

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My family actually herald from Nottinghamshire, though we moved away when I was twelve, and I have fond memories of catching the number 90 bus with my Nana to go to the cinema in the Victoria Centre. Although alot has obviously changed since my childhood when hubby dropped me off to head for the trails I was able to find the expo easily enough.  Held over two floors in the Nottingham Conference Centre at Nottingham Trent University it’s about a 2 minutes walk from the Old Market Square (located in the heart of the City Centre).

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The conference centre is a fabulously big and airy modern venue and on the Sunday when I visited we were greeted by the delicate sounds of a harpist…which is exactly what you want! Nothing like wafting dreamily around yarn stalls eyeing up  wonderful yarn accompanied by the angelic sounds of the harp! Such a great idea! And I heard on the Saturday they had a string quartet entertaining the crowds.

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And oh my! Wasn’t there just a fabulous array of yarn! 

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And the expo, for the most part, was filled with gorgeous artisan and hand-dyed yarn…

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…okay stop drooling! I understand though, the gorgeousness of these yarns was something for the eye to behold!

And amongst the exhibitors I got to meet Caz fromWulla Yarn who was showcasing her wonderful meta yarn at the show. Although we’ve spoken by email, when we collaborated on the Wulla Wreath, we’d never actually met in person so it was great to put a face to the name.

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And she’d made a Wulla Wreath to display on the stall, you can just see it in the background there, I may have squeaked a little to see it, it’s always so fun to see a design you’ve created made by someone else.

Caz was super lovely and kindly gave me an impromptu spinning lesson as she had her spinning wheel with her. I really enjoyed having a go at spinning but found getting my hands and the feet moving in sync akin to trying to pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time. So in my case definitely more practice is required! 

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I also got to meet with designer Marie Wallin (whose book I reviewed here on the blog: Winter Crochet). 

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There are times where I wish knitting were my thing as her beautiful colour-work designs are seriously gorgeous! Even though I don’t knit I could certainly appreciate the mastery behind the designs and I really enjoyed chatting with her.

Over both days at the Expo there were some inspirational lectures from designers and artisans and also some skills workshops. I was so busy looking at everything that I forgot to actually look at my watch so I missed the talk I’d fancied going to and although I did look at the workshops to book before hand they seemed predominately targeted at knitters rather than hookers. I have seen recently though in the Expo Ravelry group that they are investigating suggestions for more crochet and advanced crochet classes for the 2018 Expo.

So what did I think of the Nottingham Yarn Expo? Well if you like luxury yarn then this is definitely the show for you!

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Lots of choice of hand dyed loveliness to choose from but there were only a few other stalls selling other things, there were some stalls for felters, and only one I could see for buttons or beads (which I was looking for on this occasions) so it would might have been nice to see a bit more diversity in craft products.

I actually ended up spending my money not on yarn but stationery! The fab Stationery Geek was exhibiting and all their crochet themed stationery is awesome! It’s so nice to see crochet represented! Sometimes it feels as if crocheters are knitters lesser-known cousin!

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I LOVE their crochet bible, which I have already started using for charted designs as it comes with handy squared graph paper, and I also ordered their Bloggers Bible which arrived yesterday – it’s going to help me be super organised in 2018 and it has stickers too!!

But back to the show. What I also really liked is that they had plenty of places to ‘sit & knit’ (or hook) in break-out areas which was a great idea (and there should be more of this at all yarn shows!). I also loved the inclusion of the live music. One thing that I hope will be included for future years is a floor plan of exhibitors and a little map of where the talks / workshops are being held. 

And what did I get? Well you know me! I find it almost impossible to go to any sort of craft event and not buy something! Well I was fairly restrained (as it wasn’t that long since I’d spent a small fortune at the Knitting and Stitching Show).

Well aside from the stationery and for saying it was a yarn show I actually didn’t buy any yarn at all (I can only say I was sickening for something) but I did get the beads that I needed for projects which I found in a little basket underneath some yarn, a new 2.75mm hook (as the hook monster has eaten my previous one), some new Clover yarn needles (possibly the sofa monster has eaten my others), a notions case, a fun crochet themed card, a cute little stitch marker and a fab new crochet project bag.  

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For me the show was again about the people I got to meet rather than my purchases but I will say if you get the chance to go to the Nottingham Yarn Expo in 2018 I think you’ll have a great day out.

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

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CraftStore UK | Noel & Nutmeg the Elves Crochet Kit Special Offer


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So do you remember me telling you about how I’d had one of my patterns, Stanley the Snowman, turned into a crochet kit. Well guess what! I’ve got another Christmas kit pattern for you which is available exclusively now from CraftStore UK!

Have yours-elf a merry little Christmas with Noel and Nutmeg the colourful Christmas elves

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The kit comes with all the yarn (600g in total) that you need to make these easy to make dolls which are the perfect addition to any home during the festive season. Fun for you or a great gift idea for a craft loving friend.

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If you fancy hooking up Noel and Nutmeg then you can use the special offer that the lovely people over at CraftstoreUK.com have for KCACO.UK readers. Just enter code NUTMEG25 in the shopping cart on this link for Noel and Nutmeg and it will deduct 25% off the price! Taking them from £24.99 to £18.74! (This code will expire on the 31 December).

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

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Amigurumipatterns.net | Design Contest


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The annual design contest at Amigurumipatterns.net is now on and this year’s theme is “Fantasy Creatures”.  Fascinating fairies, unique unicorns, dramatic dragons, mesmerising mermaids and all sorts of weird and wonderful characters from all corners of the imagination are competing to see who’s the most magical of them all!  

I was so inspired by the concept of creating a fantasy creature (or three) that I decided to take part for the first time. So without further ado allow me to introduce to you Gnorman the GnomeWheelan O’Wool the Leprechaun and Gene the Genie.

Meet Gnorman the Gnome. Gnorman is a sweet little fellow with a gentle disposition who lives in a simple hillside dwelling deep in the woods. His favourite pastime is tending to his beloved mushroom garden where he cultivates scarlet capped toadstools loved by his fairy folk friends 🍄. 

There’s something in the constitution of a gnome that enjoys getting their little hands dirty. Gnorman loves nothing more than tramping around in his forest dell collecting little treasures 🍁

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Next we have Wheelan O’Wool the Leprechaun. Whelan is a feisty little fellow and not one to shy away from partaking in a little mischief! He spends his time mending the shoes of the fairy folk and hiding his earnings in a big pot at the end of the rainbow. He’s quick, smart and has magical powers to vanish into thin air – but if he’s caught he will grant you three wishes.

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Whelan is well known for his love of Irish Poitín and his Celi dances that can last for days

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And finally we have Gene the Genie, my third and final entry to the design contest. When his lamp is rubbed he appears in a cloud of smoke with the power to grant all your wildest yarn wishes and dreams.

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Want your ends weaving in, or your hooks to be found? Your wish is his command! When not on duty he can be found whiling away the Arabian Nights sipping Harem Delight cocktails at the Moroccan Desert Oasis bar. Has a fondness for camels 🐫 .

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And now the voting to the competition is OPEN! If you happen to like my little designs could you please spare me a few moments of your time to vote for them.

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HOW TO VOTE:

  • Go to Amigurumipatterns.net
  • Click the heart-button of TEN of your favourite characters; quick link vote for Gnorman the Gnome here, vote for Wheelan O’Wool the Leprechan here and vote for Gene the Genie here.
  • Enter your name and email address in the pop-up screen to submit your vote.
  • Please note: multiple votings by one person will be removed.

Voting is open until 10th December 2017 and the three designs with the highest amount of votes will be announced the winners of this contest.

There are seriously so many amazing designs from inventive and skilled amigurumists taking part from all over the world in this competition! And I’d like to wish all designers taking part the best of luck!

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

 

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P.S. And for those of you that have asked about the patterns for Gnorman, Whelan and Gene I’ll be releasing them after the competition has finished xx

Beaded Bauble | Pattern Pack Pro


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! 💗

Have you heard of the Pattern Pack Pro (PPP)? Well the lovely people behind Happily Hooked magazine created the PPP, back in 2014, as a collation of themed patterns for crochet enthusiasts. 

The December issue of PPP is all about ornaments. You know I have a plan to one day just have a Christmas tree full of crocheted ornaments and there’s some real beauties in this round up.

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And I’ve got a brand new pattern as part of the collection! Christmas is definitely my favourite time of the year and I love setting up my tree. I wanted to create a bauble which would really set off any Christmas tree and with it’s beaded detail I think these baubles certainly do.

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Why not let these strikingly Christmas baubles transform your decorations this season with a bit of bling (because who doesn’t like a bit of sparkle right?!).

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You could create lots of them for a truly eye catching look!

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I love how they look when hung up on the tree – with twinkly lights the beads really sparkle!

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Each bauble is made from 15g of Scheepjes Catona using a 2.75mm (US size C) crochet hook so if you were using the larger 50g balls then you could make two! And the pattern comes will full instructions on how to crochet using beads.

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I’m a little obsessed with making these little beaded baubles – no guessing what everyone is getting from me for Christmas! And although I’ve stuck with the traditional green and red there are so many different variations that you can come up with – my next one is going to be gold with gold beads! 

As well as my new pattern the Ornament Issue also features the following patterns:

If you fancy subscribing to the Pattern Pack Pro then just hop on over to the Happily Hooked Magazine website where you can also  get the current issue of the Pattern Pack Pro for December 2017! You can also add the PPP to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue here or my bauble here.

As always I hope you will share your finished robot’s on your favourite social media sites: RavelryLoveCrochet.comFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram as I love to see your finished work! And if you are featured in my newsletter, as the customer spotlight, you could win a pattern of your choice!

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

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Happily Hooked Magazine | Little Red Robot


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! 💗


Beep, boop, get your daily dose of cute with my new simple robot pattern out now in the latest issue of Happily Hooked magazine (out now). 

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The little red robot can’t wait to make friends, he is a loving little fellow with a big heart!

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The new edition of the online US magazine is filled with patterns, articles and interviews in this ‘For the Guys’ issue. So chuffed to see my little amigurumi Robot on the the front cover too!

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From the smallest to the tallest there’s so many patterns in this issue that guys will love, and let’s face it, they aren’t always the easiest to crochet for.  It’s great therefore that Happily Hooked magazine have compiled this wonderful collection for stylish, classy patterns that guys will want to wear. 

Check out the Happily Hooked Magazine website for more details about the magazine and how you can subscribe and I do hope you’ll add the robot pattern to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue here.

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As always I hope you will share your finished robot’s on your favourite social media sites: RavelryLoveCrochet.comFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram as I love to see your finished work! And if you are featured in my newsletter, as the customer spotlight, you could win a pattern of your choice!

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

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A pretty amazing weekend actually…


Although I’m currently a bit under the weather and feel like I have been like that for months (I blame little people and their germs) I need to tell you about the weekend before last as it was pretty fan-dabby-dozy and I shall tell you why in a rather longer than usual post.

Back in October, when I was down at the Knitting and Stitching show in London, I got chatting with the lovely Sara from Black Sheep Wools who told me about a special open day they were holding in November.  

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To celebrate becoming Scheepjes stockists they had arranged for Haak Maar Raak blogger Kirsten (think the Hygge Shawl) and Look at What I Made blogger Dedri Uys (think Sophie’s Universe) to come along and chat to people, sign books and run mini workshops.  Well after discovering that Black Sheep Wool are only about 50 minutes up the motorway from me I marked the date in my calendar to go along because yarn plus chance to meet amazing designers equals no brainer right?!

If you’ve never been to Black Sheep Wools  it’s a big yarn shop (with it’s own coffee shop) in Warrington who regularly hold yarny events and workshops in their craft barn. For me it was a little bit like stepping into a sweet shop – and I do so find it hard to resist squishy goodness…but more on that in a bit.

So with my lovely mum in tow (and my dad – but he read his book in the car) we set off early last Saturday morning to Warrington.  When we first got there the bloggers hadn’t arrived yet which was actually handy as I got time to squish and browse. I feel I must just bring your attention to the Christmas tree in the store foyer because I’m sure like me you will feel that you need it in your life! It had been decorated, amongst other things, with all the little Scheepjes Catona Cutie Pies and looked fantastic!

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But it wasn’t long before I got to have a complete fan girl moment and meet the lovely Dedri and Kirsten. Now you may recall that Dedri was my first ever designer interview  (which you can read it herebut we had never actually met in person.

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When Heather met Dedri!

It’s so nice to finally meet someone that you have only met virtually and I’m going to add quickly, in case any of you have done it too, that all this time I’d not realised that I’d been saying her name wrong! In case you were wondering Uys isn’t pronounced ‘yus’ as I’d been saying it but should be pronounced more like ‘ace’. And whilst we are talking about pronunciations Scheepjes I also learnt should be said like ‘Shape-yuz’ not ‘Sheepes’! 

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When Heather met Kirsten…

Both bloggers were so nice, open and helpful, answering all my many questions and offering really good advice on ways of looking at colours, designs and blogging! They also kindly signed a couple of my books that I took along (Amamani Puzzle Balls by Dedri and Bold Baby Crochet: 30 Modern & Colorful Projects for Baby collated by Dedri and features Kirsten).

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Next mum and I took part in a mini workshop by Kirsten to make her fab Scandinavian Heart (get the free pattern here) with some yummy Scheepjes Catona. 

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Mum and I both decided to go for Christmassy sort of colours and had great fun making little yarn jellyfish to weave together to form the heart. It was really nice sitting crocheting and chatting about crochet in a little group. 

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But conscious that Dad was still sitting in the car (he was still happily reading) and we’d already been there for over three hours we decided it was probably time to leave. But of course as there there was soooooo much lovely yarn to squish and as it was a Scheepjes open day I thought it would be really rude of me not to purchase maybe a little something…

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I know! I know! I have a yarn addiction! I must hasten to say at this point that although it may seem that all I do is buy nothing but yarn I promise that everything I purchased was / is all for specific projects! 

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And some of it was a lovely gift! Because I was one of the first 50 customers in store I also got an exciting Schjeepes goody bag in which I got the purple Schjeepes Catona (this is fast becoming one of my favourite yarns to use for my ami’s), the really inspirational Schjeepes YARN Bookazine Tropical Edition (which I LOVE by the way), two mini Schjeepes YARN pattern books, the big Schjeepes window sticker and two great Schjeepes wooden buttons.

The next day mum and Dad came back round to my house to look after the girls as Mr. KCACO.UK and myself were off for a spa day! I know! Sooooo exciting! You may remember that this year we had celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary and as I gift I bought us a spar day. We usually aren’t so extravagant as this with gifts but ten years – it’s an achievement well worthy of a bit of a special gift. 

We ended up going to Mottram Hall in Cheshire which has an outside sort of spa bit with a hot tub and steam rooms. It was so strange to be sitting outside in a swimming cozzie in November but it was really fun, they’d decorated ready for Christmas and I have to say their tree’s were pretty amazing ranging from Harry Potter themed to Alice in Wonderland (which was my favourite).

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We also had fantastic back massages and enjoyed a most delicious afternoon tea.

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All too soon the weekend was over and it was back to reality with a Monday-ish bump.  But cake, back massages, crochet and yarn – it doesn’t get any better than that really does it! 

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

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Winner | Hook and a Book Giveaway


So we need a winner don’t we for the Hook and a Book Christmas Box giveaway. Many thanks to everyone that entered, I loved reading your comments as to why you wanted to win or who you wanted to give / share the box with. Sadly it’s not possible for you all to win and I had to pick someone… To do this I used a really fun wheel of fortune type name picker which Little G had great fun clicking to spin, we spun away and the winner appeared!

AND THE WINNER IS...

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Congratulation Kim Harvey-Nash!!! I’m going to pass your email address on to the lovely people from Hook and a Book so that she can send you your fabulous prize! 

Big thank you to Hook and a Book for donating this prize for KCACO.UK readers and my commiserations to those of you who didn’t win – but there’ll be more giveaways here on this blog in future. 

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

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