I Like Crochet Magazine | December 2017 Edition


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! 💗


The December 2017 issue of I Like Crochet is officially here and I’m very excited about it because not only is it full of fabulous patterns but there’s a festive little pattern in it from me – you may just spy it on the bottom left hand corner of the front cover.

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I’m a little bit obsessed by all things Christmas, truth be told, and yet I never seem to have acquired a nutcracker decoration of my very own….until now!  Now we can both crack open the festive season with my fun nutcracker amigurumi.

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Make him as a super cute decoration or a enchanting toy! He also makes a fantastic visual prop for the retelling of the Nutcracker story.  I love the fact that according to German folklore, nutcrackers are keepsakes that bring good luck to your family while protecting your home. So this little amigurumi would make a perfect traditional Christmas gift!  

The lovely people at I Like Crochet also gave me the opportunity to view the December issue of the magazine to tell you about the other patterns available. There are so many nice patterns in this edition but I thought I’d share with you my favourite three.

I’m completely in love with the Balsam Fir Waterfall Cardigan by  – isn’t it just gorgeous! I think it’s a really flattering style that would suit most body types. 

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I also really love the cover star Olwen the Snowman by . Olwen, means “white footprint” in Welsh and it’s such a clever idea to include chunky cables on his belly. 

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And I’m simply dotty about the Darling and Dotted Hat by  Everyone loves polka dots right!?

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There are over 25 beautiful patterns in the December edition but if you enjoy crochet magazines you might want to consider a subscription.  1 year membership starts at as little as $19.97 / £15.87 – so if you subscribe you do save! 

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

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I Like Crochet Magazine | October 2017 Edition


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! 💗


The October 2017 issue of I Like Crochet is officially here and it’s jam packed full of exciting new crochet patterns – including a little Halloween themed pattern from your’s truly!

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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.

So let me tell you about my new pattern. You can now keep baby clean this Halloween with a fun pumpkin bib.

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Designed for easy make-ability this jack-o’-lantern baby bib is just perfect for any little pumpkin’s first Halloween. My little one will definitely sporting this bib and enjoying Halloween in style!  If you’d like to add this pattern to your queue / favourites on Ravelry you can do here.

The lovely people at I Like Crochet also gave me the opportunity to view the October issue of the magazine to tell you about the other patterns available. Some of my favourites include the Frightfully Adorable Bat Set by Amanda Saladin which is just CUTE it almost hurts the eyes with how ridiculously adorable it is! 

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And there’s plenty of patterns for grown ups too! The issues takes a cue from fall’s changing foliage with gorgeous variegated colourways featuring in scarves and shawls and another of my favourite patterns for this edition – socks! Aren’t these Caramel Corn Slipper Socks by Kristi Simpson just good enough to eat!

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I’m also completely in love with the Herbal Tea Cardi by Kristen TenDyke, it completely fulfil’s my current love affair for mustard coloured yarn, and it would make a great piece for layering as the days turn chillier!

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I advise you to stock up on rustic and autumnal colours, pick up a copy of the magazine and get hooking! 

There are over 27 beautiful patterns in the October edition but if you enjoy crochet magazines you might want to consider a subscription.  1 year membership starts at as little as $19.97 / £15.87 – so if you subscribe you do save! 

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

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Crochet Book Review | 9 Months to Crochet by Maaike van Koert


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.


As you know the KCACOUK household celebrated a new addition to our household last year and as a result I became a little obsessed for awhile with  crochet for babies.  The book I’m reviewing today, 9 months to Crochet by Maaike Van Koert, came out a little late for me to use whilst actually pregnant (as first published in 2017) but it’s many gorgeous designs really appealed to me. 

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What a great concept for a book! I actually got back into crochet when I was pregnant with Little G in 2010 as I was overcome with the urge to make something for her – I wish this book had been around then as it would have been perfect.  

Before I get onto the crochet patterns inside I just want to talk a little about the design of the actual book.  I just love the arrangement of these patterns! The corners of the front cover and all the pages have been creatively rounded which suggests a softness to the book before you even open it. Then once inside beautiful little nursery animal illustrations accompany the text and photos throughout which is a nice touch.

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The book is split into each trimester with twenty-five projects in total. And the projects are grouped into three levels; beginner, intermediate and experienced – but all of the patterns are very doable!

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From baskets, shawls, blankets, toys and lovely cushions the book is filled with charming nursery designs for boys or girls and new mums to be.

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The patterns are written in UK crochet terminology but the book also includes some excellent instructions (in the back of the book) with accompanying photos for basic stitches and techniques used.

I decided I wanted to make the cute ball rattle in bright rainbow hues for Little Miss.  I used Drops Cotton Paris which is one of my favourite cottons. It’s a 10 ply / aran / worsted 100% Cotton which is machine washable (so perfect for baby) and comes in a varied range of colours including some great brights for rainbow making! 

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The pentagon motif, that makes up the ball, is quick and straightforward to hook up and nicely repetitive so easy to remember – great for hooking whilst watching your favourite TV show.  

I was really pleased with how my final ball turned out; just perfect for little hands…

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and Little Miss has certainly enjoyed playing with her new rattly ball.

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My verdict is that this is a wonderful little book for expectant  mums, new mothers or anyone that wants to hook something up for a newborn babe.

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

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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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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…


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Only 4 more sleeps until Chrisssstttttmmaaassss!!!! I’m totally writing this post listening to Christmas carols, eating turkey, wrapping presents, baking mince-pies, sipping Baileys, trimming a tree all with a Santa hat on – well the carols are playing at least.  I do so love, love, love Christmas -it’s definitely my most favourite time of year. I love how decorations appear everywhere and twinkly lights adorn everything, (my inner magpie is totally satisfied), and as always I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends.

So as far as Christmas and crochet goes I’ve been busy making some presents, which I can’t share details of yet, and I found the most amazing wrapping paper to wrap my gifts in…

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Love this fabulous knitted Santa wrapping paper!   

I have also hooked up a few seasonal items for my gorgeous girls. I had in my head that I wanted to do a photo shoot with the girls for family Christmas cards; plus they were a couple of Christmas parties scheduled where I knew they would need dressing up outfits.

Little G chose the theme of Santa and his elf; she was to be a lady Santa and Little Miss was to be her helper.  We found some costumes but they needed some accessories – cue Mummy with her magic hook 😉

First off I made the Elfin Baby Booties by DIY Maven for Little Miss. The booties are a super cute free pattern for sizes 0-6 month made in Aran (worsted) weight yarn which are really quick to hook up.  As Little Miss is a beautiful big baby I did go up from a 4mm to a 5.5mm hook size to accommodate her tootsies, which meant the booties then fit perfectly, other than that the pattern is very easy to follow and the result is a fab set of booties perfect for any pixie babe.  

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The yarn I used for the booties was the new Paintbox Yarn which, if you are a yarn addict like myself, you have probably seen photos and reviews of floating about on the web and social media. 

The yarns come in acrylic DK, aran, chunky and cotton yarns and are exclusive to LoveKnitting.com and LoveCrochet.com and comes in 60 fabulous colours. 

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I have been waiting for the right project to give this yarn a try and I have to say it’s super lovely yarn to work with. The ‘Grass Green’ was the perfect shade, I thought, for my little elfin booties.

Next they both needed hats; a Santa hat for Little G and an elf hat for Little Miss. I’d had the free Crochet Elf Hat by Repeat Crafter Me saved for ages as I thought they were really cute and oh my goodness they were so awesome when they were finished and looked fabulous – just how I wanted the hats to look with a nice long tail and chunky pom pom! I used the Aran (Worsted Weight) Paintbox Yarn again (in ‘Paper White’ and ‘Pillar Red’ along with the ‘Grass Green’)

And the finished result…well after many outtakes we managed to get the most lovely photo, I was so pleased with how they turned out.

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Well I think all that’s left for me to do is wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

I’ve got lots planned for 2017, including a new exciting crochet-along to start Feb/Mar 2017, but I’ve still got one more post next week before the New Year kicks in.  You can read it in your pyjamas if you want – I’m hoping I’ll be writing the post in mine!  

Until next time; 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.