Yarn Review | Patons Tahiti


Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this yarn however 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.

Tahiti-Review

Whilst Paton’s Tahiti range isn’t exactly a ‘new’ yarn on the market it was a yarn that was new to me. I have to say that fingering yarn is not something I have worked with very much – mainly because I feel slightly intimidated by tiny hooks! That said I’m always excited to try some new yarn play so I was most excited when I was sent a sample of Tahiti ‘Wildfire (Shade 7623’) by the lovely folks at laughinghens.com.

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I wanted to create something just out of this one ball and so I got out my hook and waited for that inspiration. And you know what, I discovered that actually using a small hook made a refreshing change…but more about that shortly. Let’s check out the yarn’s vital statistics first shall we: 

  • Weight:  3 Ply / Fingering
  • Blend: 99% Cotton, 1% Polyester
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 50g ball
  • Yarn Ball Length: 280m / 306yds
  • Wash instructions: Machine wash 40°
  • Price: £5.50 (at the time of this post)

So now we know a bit more about what we are dealing with I’ll tell you a bit more about the yarn. Paton’s Tahiti comes in eight different shades all inspired by elements and nature. With names like ‘cyclone’, ‘peach beach’ and ‘jungle’ it’s perhaps not surprising that the tonal range is vibrant and the colour transitions are long and smooth. As you know I love working with any style of variegated yarn; I find it such fun to watch the colours reveal themselves turning any project, as if by magic, into something special! As a designer I also love how anything that you crochet with yarns like this will look totally different dependant on the size of your project and stitches used – sooooo many possibilities!

The touch of polyester gives the yarn a slight stretchiness which would work well for lightweight garments as it creates a light, flexible fabric which returns back to shape when worn. This cotton doesn’t have a firmness about it that some cottons have, so it wouldn’t work for something like a hat – unless you were looking for something a little more floppy.

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The recommended hook size for the yarn is a tichy (eek!) 2mm-3mm (US size 2/0 or C/2) however even though, for my design, I was working with a tiny 2mm I found the yarn really nice and easy to work with. 

You know what I decided would be a great design for the hot weather of summer – a lightweight skinny scarf! The scarf pattern will be ready for you next week! But because I love you I’ll let you have a little sneaky peep at it…

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I have to say I really enjoyed working on this design, it was great for hooking on the go – that lady hooking on the bus to work; yes that was me!

I’m also muchly in love with the rich colours of this yarn and the contrast between the purples and orange on the final scarf well I just adore them…but you’ll have to wait till next week for my reveal!

In summary if you are looking to make some lightweight accessories like shawls, baby wear, fine knits, or something I really want to have a go at some point, socks then you should give Paton’s Tahiti a go! If you are interested in owning some of this yarn for your very own then it is currently available for purchase via laughinghens.com

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

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Pattern Release | Pembroke Seascape Shawl


For 2017 year’s edition of Indie June LoveCrochet.com wanted to do something special so they invited a group of designers to create a collection of knitted and crocheted garments featuring The Yarn Collective yarn (which I blogged about here). The result is the Coastal Adventures Anthology – featuring eight beautiful patterns with inspiration from Scandinavian summers on the coast.

I’m really excited to now reveal what I designed with The Yarn Collective’s Pembroke Worsted Yarn.  May I introduce to you my new Pembroke Seascape Shawl!

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The rectangular Pembroke Seascape Shawl, made from the softest hand dyed merino wool, is as light as a sea breeze!

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It’s just perfect for covering up on a chilly summer evening or on an adventurous stroll around a coastal path.

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I always think shawls are fun to crochet when I’m making them (I really should make more!).  I’ve had such fun with this one adding different stitch patterns which beginner and advanced crocheters should enjoy.  The shawl’s sinuous ripples and texture, combined with the cool grey and blue variegated colours, are inspired by marbled ocean waves lapping at a pebbly beach.

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Although the pattern may look complex it is very straightforward and will be readily picked up by beginners.

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Click on the following link to purchase the pattern and add to your 💗 Favourites on lovecrochet.com or Ravelry.

Exclusive Giveaway 🎉

For your chance to win a copy of my new design simply head on over to Ravelry or LoveCrochet and add it to your favourites or show it some love by commenting below this post with your Ravelry username / or email address. 

Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the pins above, copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the comments below. 

Winners will be randomly chosen on Friday 23 June 2017 around 7pm GMT

And…

Enter any coastal inspired projects in the LoveCrochet Community and enter the #IndieJune2017 competition for a chance to win £100 to spend at LoveCrochet!!! So exciting!!! Can’t wait to see your finished projects.

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

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Yarn Review | The Yarn Collective Pembroke Worsted


Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this yarn however 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.

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Luxury yarn – sometimes you just have to splurge and get that hand-dyed loveliness that you’ve got your eye right!? Or does it seem a bit scary?

I like to think of luxury yarn as my ‘special’ occasion yarn…it’s something I’ll use when I want to make something for a ‘special’ someone – especially if it’s anything that is going to worn a lot. Anything that you want to last and perhaps become an heirloom well that’s where luxury yarn comes in. Whether you are making something as a treat for someone else or because you are going to put a lot of work into a beautiful pattern, I’ve learnt that it often pays to choose a luxury yarn.  

I recently had the pleasure of designing with some of The Yarn Collective Pembroke Worsted yarn which just oozes luxuriousness from every fibre!  

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Oh so lovely and squishy!

From that first squish when I got it out the packaging I just knew it was going to be a pleasure to crochet with…and it really was! But more about that in a moment, the first thing we need to establish, to be all proper and yarn reviewy, are the vital statistics of the yarn which are: 

  • Weight:  Worsted | 10ply
  • Blend: 100% Merino Wool
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 3.5 oz/100 g
  • Yarn Ball Length: 200m / 219yds
  • Wash instructions: Hand-wash
  • Price: £16.90 (at the time of this post)

Pembroke Worsted yarn comes in 10 different shades designed by Bristol Ivy, an influential American knitwear designer, all inspired by the rich, pure tones of gems and minerals.  It’s hand painted in small batches using a combination of solid shades and close tonal colours to create perfectly blended varicoloured skeins.

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Honestly this yarn was a dream to work with! It’s a lighter worsted yarn with a recommended hook size of 4.50mm (US size 7) – though I found it’s very adaptable dependent on the design.

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I have designed a brand new pattern with the stunning icy grey-greens of ‘Tellurium’ (shade 308). I love working with variegated yarns – it really keeps things interesting as you work and the colour changes in the Pembroke Worsted are pleasingly regular and add a lovely dimension to a pattern. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for my big reveal but I can give you a little sneaky peep…

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So if you are looking for a versatile worsted weight luxury yarn that will create beautifully soft, yet durable projects then I would definitely recommend The Yarn Collective Pembroke Worsted yarn.

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If you are interested in having some of this beautiful yarn for your very own it is currently available for purchase via loveknitting.com 

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

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Yarn Shop Day | 6 May 2017



Yarn-Shop-DayHave you heard about Yarn Shop Day? It’s an annual celebration supported by Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting magazines which aims to celebrate Britain’s much-loved independent wool shops.  This year Yarn Shop Day took place today, on the 6th of May, in hundreds of yarn and haberdashery stores across the country. 

I don’t know how I’d missed that this day existed previously (!?!) but as soon as I learnt of it’s existence I thought I really should pay a visit to one of my local participating shops on the day.  I personally think it’s incredibly important to support any local businesses and shops – but I don’t need an excuse to visit a yarn shop… So anyway earlier today I headed off to The Little Shop of Crafts which is luckily just down the road from me.

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The Little Shop of Crafts is a lovely little shop which stocks a great range of yarns from Sirdar, James C. Brett and other Designer Yarns, it also has proper crochet cotton from Coats. As well as yarn they cater for cross-stitchers and have a range of haberdashery items and fabrics. 

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Today the shop celebrated Yarn Shop Day with a charity raffle, 10% off all yarn purchases and a crafternoon group session full of lovely ladies.  

Little G, who wanted to come with me to the shop, held court with the ladies telling them all about the birthday party she had been to (hence the streamers on her top)…and pretty much everything else that was happening in her life – which allowed me plenty of time to shop!

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The crafternooners were busy hooking up some of the special freebies which were designed especially for this years event. Debbie Bliss designed an exclusive (Knitalong) blanket pattern that was given away free, along with Rainbow the Unicorn (knit by Sachiyo Ishii) and Coral the Mermaid (crochet by Sarah Shrimpton) amigurumi patterns.

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Little G loved the ones that had already been made and was delighted to be given the opportunity to name them (and in case you were wondering she named the unicorn Sparkle and the mermaid Lorelai!)

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And the fantastic thing is that even if you missed Yarn Shop Day the patterns will be available throughout the year so if your local store doesn’t have them, you can get them from a different store later if you’re visiting another town or city.

And what did I buy…well I just had to get myself one of the new Sidar colourwheel yarn cakes (Shade 201: Colourama) because I drooled on it a bit, kidding, but it is most delicious isn’t it – and so squishy! I may have hugged it a bit on the way home…just need to decide on what to make with it.  I also got some other little bits and bobs I needed and the most amazing unicorn fabric which I’m hoping I can transform into a dress similar to the one I made Little G when she was younger (this one).

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Both Karen and Tracy, the proprietors of the shop were lovely and helpful and I want to say a HUGE thank you to all the crafternoon ladies who chatted to Little G – she had a great time. Unfortunately though she doesn’t quite understand that they are not going to be there every day – she’s already asked when she can go back and see everyone!

lyys_300x300Well we both thoroughly enjoyed our first Yarn Shop Day! I think it’s now going to be an annual event in my calendar. Craftiness always deserves to be celebrated so whether you love crochet or the two stick-ed thing Yarn Shop Day is a must for your diary.  So if you can next year please do go along and support your local yarn shop.

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

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Spring Blossom Wrap | Pattern Release!


I designed the Spring Blossom wrap last year for the April 2016 edition of I Like Crochet magazine. And now I get to offer it for sale all on it’s own!

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Photo courtesy of I Like Crochet Magazine

I used Drops Safran to make this shawl which is a lovely soft light Egyptian combed cotton which has a subtle sheen. It’s available in a gorgeous range of colours though if you were looking for alternatives you could try Catania by Schachenmayr, Grace by Patons or Miami by Red Heart.

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Sign up for my newsletter (coming out later today) for an exclusive special offer on this pattern! Or click on the following link to purchase the pattern and add to your 💗 Favourites on Ravelry

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

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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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