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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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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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.

Free Pattern | Easy Cuff Mitts


The weather is just cold enough for a new hand warming crochet project don’t you think! Fingerless gloves are fantastic for keeping you cosy whilst still allowing you the important use of your digits. That’s where my new free pattern comes in…introducing the Easy Cuff Mitts! These mitts are a quick and simple pattern that you can make with less than 1 ball (100g / 295m / 322yds) of Aran (Worsted) weight yarn.

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It’s also super easy to create a custom fit, make as long or as short as you wish just working in multiples of 2.  You can create the mitts in minutes and use up some of your scrap yarn stash at the same time. Beginners…this is a great project for you!

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Make chic looking mitts by using block colours and simple buttons or have some fun using  variegated yarn and contrasting buttons to create something special and unique. The colour combinations are virtually endless – I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Click here to add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue and Favourites.  Why not whip up a pair for you or a friend today!

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

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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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RainBOW holder | Happily Hooked Magazine Exclusive


Issue 31 of Happily Hooked Magazine (HHM) has now hit the e-newstands and I am really thrilled to be part of the magazine again with my new RainBOW holder design. 

My new RainBOW hair accessory organiser makes a beautiful addition to any girls bedroom as a fun way to tidy hair clips and bows away. Or you could just make it as a fun wall ornament to bring a little rainbow into your life. 

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The October issue of HHM is jam packed full of beautiful designs for children. Each issue of the magazine contains over 10 patterns with exclusive designs, projects for all skills and interests, tips, tricks and skill-building secrets from designers, and the thing that I love, you can now even store your favourite issues to your Ravelry account for free.

If you are new to Happily Hooked magazine you can find out all about it over on their website.  Patterns are written in US terminology but HHM have a conversion chart on their website.

Finally if you are on Facebook make be sure to give the HHM page a like as they always include offers for the magazine and sales from designers on their Facebook page.

I hope you enjoy my new design. 

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

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