Medieval Colours Yarn Review


A few weeks ago I received a fabulous email from the owner of Medieval Colours to see if I’d like to have a play with some of their yarn (I know! I LOVE my crochet job!).

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Medieval Colours are a unique sort of yarn shop inspired by heritage and history – especially Medieval history. Just imagine gloves in the same colour as a Viking tunic or maybe a scarf made from yarn dyed from a plant which was used by monks to make ink. As a bit of a history fan I was very excited and intrigued by the concept!

They dye 100% cheviot sheep wool from plants that have been traditionally used for dying for centuries.  It’s an ecology friendly way of dying as yarn, with no added chemicals, as the only dyes that are used are from plants and minerals  bought from gardeners or hand picked in the meadows and forests of the United Kingdom.  

Do not adjust your filters!! The dyed colours of this yarn really pops! I got some of the gorgeous orangy red madder dyed yarn in Aran (Worsted Weight) to play with – but more about that in a moment…

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This yarn is a strong durable yarn ideal for outerwear or for home accessories.  If crocheted with small stitches it produces a nice firm fabric, almost like a woven cloth, which holds its shape really well. As the yarn is 100% wool it could also be used for felting (have you tried my free mini felted heart pattern yet?).  

I got a lovely catalogue with my yarn which contained shade details. I couldn’t believe how vibrant all the colours were!

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The beautiful range of natural colours available are:

  • Blue (Woad)
  • Bright Red (Madder)
  • Bright Yellow (Weld)
  • Dark Red (Madder)
  • Green (Woad and Weld)
  • Intense Red (Madder)
  • Light Brown (Oak Bark)
  • Olive (Weld)
  • Orange (Madder)
  • Pale Yellow (Weld)
  • Pinky Brown (Madder)
  • Yellow (Tansy)

You can see all the colours on the Medieval Colours website.

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Medieval Colours yarn is available directly via order on the website and comes in 50g or 100g balls. As well as yarn for knitting and crocheting Medieval Colours also supply embroidery threads and offer a dyeing for order service.

So what did I make…do you want a sneak peep… 

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Make sure you check back next week for your copy of the FREE Renaissance Pouch Bag pattern!

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

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Disclaimer:  I received a sample of yarn to write this review. 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.

Felting Crochet Tutorial | FREE Felted Heart Pattern


Felted crochet – have you tried it? I’ve always wanted to give it a go and as I was playing with some yarn the other day I came up with a little pattern that I thought could be a perfect first timer if it worked out right – and it’s just the right pattern with valentines day just round the corner!

If you are not familiar with what felting your crocheted work means, well it’s a process that transforms a piece of crochet into a kind of thick, solid, yet flexible fabric with no holes between the stitches.

So what yarn is best for felting?

You need to use 100% animal fibre yarns for best results e.g. sheep wool, alpaca or llama. Yarns such as acrylic, polyester and cotton with only a percentage of wool will not felt – and it’s useful to know that wool’s labelled  ‘superwash’ have been treated to prevent felting.

What patterns are best for felting?

You can pretty much felt anything you can crochet. The only things that you need to consider are the felting process shrinks your finished product by quite a bit and crochet tends to shrink along the width of the product instead of the height.

There are loads of patterns out there if you do a search – but the lovely Moogly rounded up 10 free felted crochet patterns to get you started here or keep scrolling for my free mini heart pattern below.

So how do I felt crochet?

The process for felting crochet is pretty simple; all you need is heat, water and agitation. It’s easiest to felt your crocheted work in the washing machine, but you can also felt crochet by hand. The Lion Brand blog has a good piece on how to hand felt with a little help from your kitchen which you can read here.

I used a washing machine as follows:

  1. I put my crochet into a mesh lingerie bag (or you can use a zippered cushion case) this was so small items or loose fibres wouldn’t escape and break my washing machine (definitely don’t want that!)
  2. I added that bag into a washing machine with some sturdy non run clothing (like jeans).
  3. I put the washing machine on it’s longest warm (30°C or 40°C) or hot wash (60°C or 90°C)
  4. After that had finished I had a look at it – you can wash as many times as needed to achieve your desired affect
  5. Place it somewhere where you can leave it to completely dry out. Like a normal crochet item it’s best not to twist or wring out the item as it will stretch out of shape.

And that’s it, you’re done! So how about a little pattern to try it out? These little hearts are quick and very easy to make; they are perfect for embellishing anything from cards, bags, hats, cushions, hair-clips – well the possibilities are endless. It’s also a great little applique for left over yarn from your stash!

Little Felted Hearts

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Click the following link to add the Little Felted Hearts 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: Scraps of Aran (Worsted) Weight Yarn / Weight #4 in 100% animal fibre
  • Hook: 5 mm / US size H

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

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
  • tr/dc picot = UK treble / US double crochet with a picot stitch at the end

Stitch Guidance: 

  • 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 Double 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 indicated 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.
  • tr/dc picot: Work as a normal tr/dc, then ch 2, sl st into the top of the tr/dc just made – continue onto next st as normal.
  • [ ] = work everything in brackets in one st

Pattern:

Rnd 1: Start with either a magic ring or ch 3 with a sl st to form a ring, ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc), then work 16 tr/dc into the ring, sl st to the top of the beginning ch 3 to join (17 sts)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, 1 tr/dc into the same st as the first ch 3, 1 tr/dc in the next 2 sts, 3 tr/dc in the next st, 1 tr/dc in the next st, 1 htr/hdc in the next 2 sts, 1 dc/sc in the next, then work [1 tr/dc, 1 tr/dc picot, 1 tr/dc in the next st], 1 dc/sc in the next st, 1 htr/hdc in the next 2 sts, 1 tr/dc in the next st, 3 tr/dc in the next st, 1 tr/dc in the next 3 sts, ch 3, sl st in the same st as the last tr/dc worked. Finish off and weave in ends.

My end verdict…well it’s so easy to felt wool, you simply must try it! I’d love to hear about / see what you have felted / tried to felt.

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

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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.

 

Toy Hammock | Pattern Special Offer


If your house is anything like mine after Christmas well it was a bit of a jumble…the culprits – a vast influx of more toys! Now with stuffies for two girls  pretty much taking over our house I decided it was high time to remake one of my old designs, a toy hammock. 

The one that I originally made for Little G was still fine (and that’s after 3 years and several washes!) so I moved that into the nursery ready for the emerging soft toy collection of Little Miss…

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and then I made a supersized hammock for Little G – because SO many toys!

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Are toys taking over your little one’s room? Then a sturdy toy hammock is just what you need to keep all those teddies off the floor or the bed. This pattern really is ideal for the bedroom or nursery to display and keep collections of soft toys tidy. You could also use the hammock for organising lots of other things around the house such as gloves & scarves or sports equipment.

And now the special offer! To help in your tidying endeavours from now until 31 January 2017 you can get my toy hammock pattern for just £1 / $1.21 over in my Ravelry store. No coupon code needed – just add the basket to your cart and you should see the discount appear. After the sale the pattern will go back up to full price so get your copy now and don’t forget to share this deal with your friends!

Until next time, happy hooking and 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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