Crochet Now Magazine | Tulio the Toucan


Have you picked up the latest issue of Crochet Now magazine? The new colourful issue hit the shelves on 12 April and I’ve got a brand new pattern featured inside. See that cute little toucan on the front cover, well that’s my Tulio.

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Nature is a constant source of inspiration for my designs and, although I’ve been designing for awhile now, a toucan was on my (long) list of creatures I wanted to try and crochet. 

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Birds are such a wonderful subjects to recreate in yarn as they often have such wonderful colouring. They also lend themselves so well to a bit of creative licence; I love rainbows too so the combination of the rainbow beak makes me feel very happy.

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Now you may notice, if you have the magazine, that there is a picture reference to the right side and wrong side of crochet, unfortunately there was a ‘layout error’ and the images were swapped, picture 1 is the wrong side and picture 2 is the right side and it should have been the right way around.

I know a couple of people contacted me asking about it and, don’t worry you haven’t been crocheting wrong, it was just a little mix up and the magazine has passed on their apologies for any confusion. 

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I really enjoyed leafing through my copy of Issue 27 as it’s is such a lovely bright edition! Along with Tulio the Toucan there’s tons of fabulous patterns, inspiration, offers, giveaways and interesting articles to read – and this issue also comes with a super fun fun addition to your crochet kit;  a sparkly unicorn hook gauge.

Crochet Now magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up Tulio the Toucan be sure to share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what your finished projects! 

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

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Allcrochetpatterns.net | Granny Square Design Contest


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The granny square is one of the most iconic designs in crochet and I adore that it can be interpreted in unlimited ways!  If you’ve seen my groovyghan and various other designs then you’ll already know I’m a big fan of all things ‘granny square’ and love creating new fun designs.  So when I saw that Allcrochetpatterns.net was holding a granny square design contest I knew I had to give it a go to design something new. 

I’m really loving Scheepjes Catona Yarn at the moment and am amassing quite a colour selection so I picked out some lovely bright rainbow colours and after a bit of yarn play came up with the Floral Illusion Granny Square. 

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And the story behind the name…well the flower part seemed to develop quite organically as I started playing with the yarn – so I just went with it. The illusion part came as I noticed when I was photographing the square that the centre of the block had a kind of 3-D hologram that was a really cool effect.

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And now the voting to the competition is OPEN! If you happen to like my little designs could you please spare me a few moments I hope you might vote for the Floral Illusions block. Your vote counts, and that’s why there’s a special Voters Prize! By voting you will be entered in the raffle to win 100 Epic yarn balls by Yarn and Colors! 

HOW TO VOTE:

  • Go to the voting page on Allcrochetpatterns.net
  • Click the heart-button of TEN of your granny squares
  • Enter your name and email address in the pop-up screen to submit your vote.
  • Please note: multiple votings by one person will be removed.

Voting will take place from April 16 till April 23 and the three designs with the highest amount of votes will be announced the winners of this contest and a selection of participants will be contacted to contribute to a book project, gathering 100 granny square designs.

There are seriously so many amazing designs from inventive designers and I’ve voted for my favourites – good luck to all designers taking part!

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

 

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Cento the Party Pup and Peaches Wardrobe


Massive congratulations to LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine on their 100th issue that went on sale 5 April! I was honoured to help commemorate issue 100 of by creating the little Party Pup featured as this month’s cover star.

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Let’s Get Crafting held a competition for the dogs name and the end result was Cento? Pronounced ‘chento’, the name means 100 in Italian, I thought it was a great name for the little guy.

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Donning his favourite hat and crocheted balloons, which with a little bit of wire help,  float in the air. This colourful pattern would make a great birthday gift for your friends and loved ones simply by personalising the number you add to the balloons.

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And the most exciting news – Let’s Get Crafting are giving everyone a present by making him available ontopcrochetpatterns.com for free! So quick go get your copy..

This month I also got to visit with an old friend, Peaches the doll, who came to me on a shopping trip for some new clothes…

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She picked up shoes, a handbag, a dress, a skirt, two tops and some dungarees! Boy can that girl shop! 

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I really had great fun designing a new wardrobe full of clothes for her. As well as these two patterns the magazine is filled with competitions, articles and an awesome knitted chameleon pattern (I need to learn to knit shapes!).

The magazine also comes with a free special yarn kit with eight lovely bright party colours and;

  • 3mm hook & 3mm needles
  • 47 exclusive patterns
  • Plus… your 68 page magazine

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up either Cento the Party Dog or Peaches Wardrobe be sure to share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! So why not hop to it and get your copy of the magazine now! 

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

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Leafy Boughs Shawl CAL| All Finished!


All good things come to an end at some point and so it happens that with the arrival of April that the March Happily Hooked Magazine crochet-along, with my Leafy Boughs Shawl, is now OVER.  I have been left completely flabbergasted all the shawls that have been made, the amazing colourways, the fact that people made more than one in the time frame – just amazing!

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So we couldn’t come to the end of an amazing CAL without having a little showcase of some of the amazing shawls that have been made – get ready for a feast of inspiration for your eyeballs!

All of them were amazing but I did have a couple of favourites; this one by Corrie really drew my eye because it’s just so gorgeous. She used Scheepjes Whirl in Tasty Nom Nom, a colourway which I adore, and I think the pattern works so well in the mixture of rich pinks and purples.

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This one by Laura, using some indie dyed yarn from Etsy, also came out beautifully – move over pastels! I love these rich spring colours.

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This version of the Leafy Bough’s shawl by HHM editor Emily is so lovely, I love the variegated blues and greens and I also love that the staff of HHM join in the crochet-alongs with their members – how wonderful is that!

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And this one by Lee, Assistant Editor of HHM, is just stunning too isn’t it!! Lee used Katia Spring rainbow which is a yarn I’ve never tried before but one I’m certainly going to look out for.

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And finally how amazing is this backdrop! Spring in the Yucatan apparently and wow what a place to be crocheting! And Lynne’s shawl is a perfect compliment to the backdrop, her shawl in variegated blues and purples is just stunning too.

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And here is a little collage of some more of the wonderful shawls people have made, thanks so much to; Amy, Ann, Anne-Mary, Carole, Charlene, Christena, Coco-Lee, Corrie, Debra, Emily, Geneva, Jackie, Karen, Kim, Laura, Linda, Lynne, Missy, Naomi, Nicki, Nora, Pamela, Patrice and Sara for sharing your  finished works with me.

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Happily Hooked magazine run a new CAL every new issue of the magazine. If that’s something you think you might be interested in you can SAVE over 50% on your first year when you start a digital subscription through my link:yearly subscription. Or if you aren’t quite ready for a yearly subscription why not try the monthly subscription.

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

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Dear Ewe | Inspired Products for Crafty People


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Hey lovelies, I have some extremely exciting news! I’m thrilled to announce my new business venture, Dear Ewe, a online shop full of craft inspired products for creative folks.

I founded Dear Ewe, with my good friend Becky (of Keepsakes by Rebecca) because we felt there was a gap in the market for high quality, contemporary and functional gifts for crafters. We’ve been working hard in stealth for many months to combine our passions of stitching and graphics to develop a range of products that we think creative folks will really like. 

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Although the range of our products are for various crafts it made sense, as I’m a crochet addict, that some of our first ranges were exclusively for all the lovely crocheters in the world. 

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I love these mugs!! There’s 3 wonderful mug ranges to choose from: the beautiful crochet chart range (as shown), the gorgeous character range featuring our own lovable Ewe, and the fantastic crafts pattern range ➰ And the fabulous thing is that each of these mugs are hand decorated on English made fine bone china mugs – crafted by crafters for crafters!

As well as lovely mugs, we also have a range of fab textiles, patterns, art and cards – all celebrating creativity and the world of handmade.  I know I am biased, as this is my new business, but I love everything we’ve got! You won’t find anything in Dear Ewe that we don’t want to own ourselves and everything has been inspired by you (or ewe) that love  handicrafts. 

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More details about Dear Ewe will be following soon. Our official launch is 28 May 2018 but you can stay in the loop with details by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on social media (or go crazy sign up and follow us on them all!)

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

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Designer Interview | Eleonora from Coastal Crochet


I’m really chuffed about my next designer interview because I actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person on my recent visit to The Crochet Sanctuary.

Eleonora Tully is the designer behind the lovely blog Coastal Crochet. You may have seen some of her lovely designs in Simply Crochet magazine or you may already follow her popular Instagram feed. And if you haven’t seen her slow Seaside Stash Busting Blanket crochet-along then you should check it out! There’s still plenty of time to take part and it’s going to be amazing when it’s all finished!

When I met Eleonora I thought I would see if she would kindly let me find out more about her designing process, because I always find the stories behind the projects so interesting, and to my delight she said YES!  Here’s what we chatted about…

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Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I was born in The Netherlands 40 years ago – my mother is Dutch and my father is English but I grew up in England and currently live by the sea on the South East Coast with my husband, three children and our dog, a Miniature Schnauzer called Salty. I’m a registered nurse and at the moment I work part-time as a School Nurse.

Life is busy! There’s always something that needs doing being a working mother but I do make sure that I find time for crochet! I get so much pleasure from being creative…it’s a part of me. I also love being with my family and spending time outdoors… one of my favourite things to do apart from crochet, is to go on long walks in nature with my family and I love a challenge! Give me a trail to walk or a mountain to climb and I’m there!

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How did you first discover crocheting?

Crochet has always been a part of me, it really has! My mother crocheted her own wedding dress in 1974 and I was wrapped in crocheted blankets soon after I was born! I really did grow up in a ‘handmade home’ with little crocheted curtains above the windows made by my mother and grandmother (very popular in The Netherlands in the 1970’s), there were crocheted pot holders in the kitchen, my cardigans and jumpers were knitted, school dresses sewn and toys crocheted!

As for my own crochet, I can’t pinpoint the exact time or place when I first held a hook but it was as a teenager, helped by my mother and a good book! I knitted first but crochet soon followed. I made my own wedding dress but this was sewn. It wasn’t until 2014 when I decided to crochet a dress for my daughter that crochet really took over my life! I loved crocheting that dress. It was from a pattern by Lisa Naskrent which I found on Ravelry I enjoyed every single stitch and it looked so beautiful when it was finished. It really was a labour of love and from that moment I fell completely and utterly in love with crochet.

How did you become a crocheting designer? 

After crocheting the dress for my daughter I knew I wanted to take my crochet skills to another level and start to design and write my own patterns. I discovered the International Diploma in Crochet which is a correspondence course run by Pauline Turner. Working through the course has taught me so much and given me the confidence and skills I needed to go out and design my own crochet and to write patterns.

Having an online presence through my Blog and Instagram has also helped me to grow as a Crochet Designer. Writing regular Blog Posts and posting pictures to my Instagram is a huge motivator for me to keep designing. It has also enabled me to share my work and make connections with others which have in turn helped me to get my designs published.

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Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

For me it’s nature and being outdoors. My blog is called ‘Coastal Crochet’ because I live so close to the sea and really do draw so much inspiration from my coastal surroundings. It’s not only the colours, the textures and the themes of the seaside that inspire me, but actually walking along the beach leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired. It helps to clear my mind which in turn allows the inspiration to flow.

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What does your design process look like? Do you sketch things out first, or do you just like to grab a hook and start?

I’m a grab a hook and go person! Sometimes I wish I could be a little more structured in my design approach but it’s just not the way I work! I can get an idea in my head at any time (sometimes I get lots of ideas at the same time) and I can visualise them clearly. I’ll then just pick up a hook and some yarn and get crocheting. It’s exciting to see if my ideas take shape.

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Do you have a favourite creation you’ve designed?

If you’d asked me this a couple of months ago I would have answered differently but at the moment my absolute favourite creation has to be the ‘Seaside Stash Busting Blanket’ which I’m designing as part of the Crochet-Along I’m hosting.

I’m designing it as we go so even I don’t know what the blanket will look like at the end but I love it so much already! Not because it’s going to be a gorgeous blanket but because of the community aspect and seeing everyone’s different colour combinations. I’m publishing just 4 rows per week and as it’s a stash busting project people are choosing all kinds of colours. Some are random combinations, others are so well thought out – it’s truly amazing to see! And the connections being made between crocheters from all over the world is just wonderful. There are people taking part from over 20 countries and friendships are being made across the globe as people share their progress. It really is so special and the response to my design has genuinely blown me away!

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Do you have a ‘go to’ for hooks and yarn?

I was given a set of ‘Tulip Etimo Rose’ hooks for my 40th birthday last year and I adore them. I’ve also tried Clover Amour hooks which are fantastic. Both these Brands are made in Japan so there’s definitely something about Japanese crochet hooks!

As for yarn, I’ll use anything depending on what it is I’m crocheting. From chunky to thin and from cheap acrylic to more luxurious wools. I love using cotton too. I have a soft spot for the brand ‘Scheepjes’ as it’s a genuine Dutch company and their yarns are just so gorgeous. I use ‘Scheepjes Catona’ a lot. It’s a beautiful cotton to work with and the colours are amazing!

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

All the above! I’ve crocheted for family and friends and of course I keep a lot of my own crochet work too. Crochet is not a quick art form and each crocheted item will have taken precious time to make, sometimes many many hours! So I like to give my crochet to people who will appreciate that.

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

I would love to have a studio space but that’s a far off dream at the moment. There are five of us living in our house and the children are getting big- they are now almost all taller than me! I have a corner on the sofa that I call ‘my corner’ only because it’s next to a light which helps when I’m crocheting in the evenings. But one of the reasons I love crochet so much is because it’s so portable. I can crochet anywhere and it really does come everywhere with me.

Finally finish the sentence … I love crochet because…

It’s a wonderful craft that can be done anywhere and by anyone and such beautiful things are created with just one hook and some yarn!

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I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Eleonora again for taking time 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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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Isabella Bunny and Bow Tie


Anyone else just longing for Spring? It’s been so cold here recently that it’s been distinctly unpleasant to even go outside! Now it’s March I’m beginning to feel that we are heading out of winter and onto warmer days filled with Spring lambs, chicks, Easter eggs and bunnies! So I was super exited to see the lovely and bright new LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine (on sale now) with my sweet and stripy Isabella Bunny as the cover star! 

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The fun amigurumi pattern will help you to create a wonderful crochet bunny with interesting striped details.  She has a removable fluffy dress and of course is wearing underwear to preserve some of her modesty! And you can use the length of free pink ribbon tied around her ear to finish off the project,

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As well as Isabella Bunny I worked on the most fun pattern imaginable! Who in their lifetime gets to say that they’ve designed a bow tie for a rabbit! Well I can now claim that moniker and I couldn’t be more pleased! I adore how Reeces the rabbit looks in his smart formal wear – all dressed up ready for Spring. Of course humans could wear the bow tie too but you’ve got to admit it looks awesome on the bunny!

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The free yarn kit with issue 99 includes six lovely bright colours:

  • Six hoppy yarns…including a special yellow fluffy yarn and pink ribbon!
  • 4.5 mm hook & 4.5 mm knitting needles
  • 47 exclusive patterns
  • Plus… a 68 page magazine

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up either Isabella Bunny or the Bow Tie be sure to share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! So why not hop to it and get your copy of the magazine now! 

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

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