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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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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Designer Interview | Kerry Lord from TOFT / Edward’s Menagerie


I’m thrilled about my next designer interview because I actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person!!  Kerry Lord is the author of the extremely popular Edward’s Menagerie series which feature her designs of extremely cute animals, Birds and, in her new book: Imaginarium, all sorts of fabulous creatures.  She is also a busy working mum and the founder of British luxury yarn brand TOFT which specialises in alpaca yarn.

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Recently I attended TOFTfest, which celebrated the 10th birthday of TOFT yarn (which I blogged about here), where I met Kerry and I thought I would see if she would kindly let me find out more about her designing process – to my delight she said YES!  Here’s what we chatted about…

How did you first discover crocheting and amigurumi?

When very pregnant with my first child Edward I decided to teach myself to crochet in order to distract me from going back to work. As soon as I had mastered the double crochet stitch an elephant flew off my hook and into existence. I think the Edward’s Menagerie shape had been living in my head for a while but my knitting skills didn’t allow me to achieve them.

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How did you become a crocheting designer? Is it your real job?

My real job is running the company TOFT and everything that this involves. Designing crochet animals and clothing patterns is part of this role, but by no means all – I have to source and design the yarns first!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get lots of my inspiration from feedback, both from my family, colleagues and customers.

Tell us a bit about your design process…

I usually just pick up my yarn and start making when designing amigurumi. If designing something to wear it’s a far longer process as I sketch and swatch first before doing calculations to work out the pattern.

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Many of your animals, birds and creatures have names (like Georgina the Hippo), how do you come up with them? Do you get people requesting names?

Some of them are people I know, whereas others are truly fictional characters. This is the most fun part of my job!

Do you have a favourite creation that you’ve designed?

I am very fond of Blake from Edward’s Menagerie, but Kerry the Chameleon from our recent hand-dyed project makes me feel very proud.

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Do you have go to hooks and yarn? I’m guessing TOFT yarn is your favourite; but can you pick a favourite TOFT yarn?

I am lucky enough to design my own yarns and hooks, so of course I choose our own ones. My favourite TOFT yarn to make things for myself to wear is our DK Silver.

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Who gets your creations; you, your family, your friends?

The studio!! Most of my crochet goes on display, but every now and again I find the time to make something for my children.

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Now we’ve had animals, birds and imaginary characters can you tell us what might be next for Edward’s Menagerie?

I can’t let that secret slip just yet, but book four is well underway!

Where do you work? Do you have a studio space or do you work from your living room chair?

I do have my own room of yarny chaos (and lots of cacti), but more often than that I’ll work from the sofa.

Tell us a bit about yourself – what do you do when you’re not crocheting?

When not at work or crocheting I am having fun with my family. We enjoy muddy walks around the farm and plenty of messy crafts.

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Finally finish the sentence … I love crochet because…

It makes other people very happy.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Kerry again for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I’ve really enjoyed getting a better understanding of what’s involved with in her designing process and hope you have too.

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

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Stylecraft Blog Tour 2016 | Pattern Round Up


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So did you all travel along with this years Stylecraft Blog Tour? What amazing crochet and knit patterns there have been!! All I can say is hexagons seem to be the thing to make right now – can’t believe so many of us chose that shape! 😝 

Well in case you missed any of it I thought I would do a round up on the beauty for you with all the links you need to find each pattern. 

Day 1: Emma Varnam – Blencathra Blanket (Oct 24)

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Find all the details about the Blencathra Blanket pattern here.

Day 2: Janie Crow – Diego’s Flowers Crochet Hexagon Motif (Oct 25)

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Find all the details about the Diego’s Flower pattern here.

Day 3: ME!! – Harmonious Hexagon Quilt (Oct 26)

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Find all the details about the Harmonious Hexagon Quilt here.

Day 4: Stylecraft – Tablet Cover (Oct 27)

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Find all the details about the Tablet cover here.

Day 5: Le Monde de Sucrette – Chunky Stool Cover (Oct 28)

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Find all the details about the Chunky Stool Cover here.

Day 6: Cherry Heart – Bobbing Along Ripple Blanket (Oct 29)

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Find all the details about the Bobbing Along Ripple Blanket here.

Day 7: Susan Pinner – Spinning Top Blanket (Oct 30)

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Find all the details about the Spinning Top Blanket pattern here.

Day 8:  The Twisted Yarn – Scarf (Oct 31)

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Find all the details about the scarf pattern here.

Day 9: Annaboos House – Granny Wrap (Nov 1)

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Find all the details about the Granny Wrap pattern here.

Day 10: Craftnoon Treats – Blandala (Nov 2)

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Find all details about the Blandala here.

Day 11: Hand Knitted Things – Special Stripy Blanket (Nov 3)

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Find all details about the Special Stripy Blanket here.

Day 12: The Patchwork Heart – Chunky Cowl (Nov 4)

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Find all details about the Chunky Cowl here.

Soooo much gorgeousness am I right!! 

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

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Stylecraft Blog Tour 2016 | Part 2


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Just so you don’t miss it I thought I’d do a quick post to remind you that the Stylecraft Blog Tour starts TODAY!! 12 crochet and knitting bloggers are taking part this year and they have been busy creating designs in their own style in Special Aran and Chunky featuring the six new shades

It’s a closely guarded secret as to where the tour is going to each day so make sure you check out Stylecraft’s Facebook page for details. 

Each blogger (including me) are also going to be giving away a FREE pack of the different yarns each day of the blog tour.

You can read all about the tour and the new colours in my previous post here. I can’t wait to share my brand new pattern with you this week so watch this space!!!

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

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