LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Santa and Bruno the Bear


I mentioned in a previous post that I’d got some more seasonal patterns coming soon and I can now happily reveal a couple of them! I’ve designed two brand new patterns for Issue 95 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine (out now).  

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Skip the store bought decor add a touch of magic to your home this Christmas by making your own holiday toys and gifts. Making your own decor can be such fun and every make will become an adorable little keepsakes to bring out every year.

I was tickled pink (or should that be red) to see my Santa as this issue’s cover star. Made in traditional red and white, with a bit of sparkle, jolly St Nick is ready to add a bit of classic charm to your home – and you can fill his sack with goodies too.

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Also featured in this months issue is my Bruno the Winter Bear. He’s all ready to tackle colder climes in his welly boots, jumper and cute bobble hat. I am completely in LOVE with how the magazine have styled him…just look at him sniffing that pine-cone in the snow! You can easily create a serene scandi inspired festive setting with a contemporary decoration like Bruno.

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As always the magazine comes with the pattern, the hook and the yarn to make your project choice.  In this month’s issue you’ll find:

  • Six Merry yarns…including a special sparkly yarn!
  • 5mm hook & 5mm needles
  • 44 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 Santa or Bruno be sure to share your photos with me on social media(facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make!

 

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

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Out of this World | Mystery Amigurumi Crochet Along


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Who’s ready for a Mystery Amigurumi Crochet Along?

Following a poll,  in the KCACO-UK Community Facebook group about a mini Crochet-Along (CAL) for 2017, it was decided that we should do an amigurumi!!! This is the first time I’ve done a CAL with something other than a blanket and my very first mini mystery CAL (MMCAL) so I’m quite excited about it! And if this isn’t for you don’t worry I’m going to try and work in another mini crochet-along, a little later this year, for the other poll favourite choice of something Christmassy!

This is a great CAL for anyone who’s never tried an amigurumi as we will be taking it slowly – you could even make several different versions during the mystery!

Details of the Mystery…

  • We will begin on Monday 18th September 2017 
  • There is no charge to join the CAL; anyone can join in as long as they have some yarn and a hook.
  • The mystery will run for 5 days; For those that like a deadline I will be adding new details about the mystery each day from the 18th Sept at 7 pm-ish (GMT time) – see below for full schedule. For those that want to hook when they have the time then that’s fine too; no pressure to this CAL it’s all about having fun!

Materials…

  • For this design I used double knit/8 ply/yarn weight #3 and a 3.5mm (US size D/3 or E/4 will be fine). The pattern will also work in worsted /aran/ yarn weight #4 with a larger hook such as a 4mm (US size G) – your finished project will just be bigger!
  • You will need about 60g / 177m / 193 yds of yarn TOTAL; this design could be a great stashbuster for yarn you have lying around; I used three different colours but use as many colours as you want! 
  • You will also need some toy stuffing, 3 x 9mm or 12mm black or green safety eyes, scissors and a yarn needle.

The Basics…

We will be using simple stitches in this crochet-along but you will need to know how to work:

  • Chain (ch)
  • Slip Stitch (Sl St)
  • UK double crochet (dc) / US single crochet (sc)
  • UK double crochet two together (dc2tog) / US single crochet two together (sc2tog)

Many sections of this CAL are also worked without joining in continuous rounds  (rnds) by placing a stitch marker in either the the top of the first st to mark start of rnd.

The Keep Calm Crochet Community…

  • The hashtag for this CAL is #ootwCAL. Make sure you link me your wip’s via your favourite social media sites: RavelryFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram!
  • The ravelry link to add to your queue / favourites is here.
  • Once the final clue is released I would love you to submit a picture so I can feature you on Facebook, the blog and in my Newsletter.
  • You will have until Saturday 30 September to submit a finished photo to used in my galleries.

Schedule…

It’s all very exciting isn’t it!! I can’t wait to see your projects – and hear your guesses on what we are making! 

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

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Happy Elf and Bella The Ballerina


As a crafter I think it’s never too early to talk about Christmas! The holiday season is sneaky, you think you have ages and then bam! It’s here before you realise it. But no worries! Issue 94 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is here to help you avoid those last minute frantic crochet sessions.  

I was thrilled to see that both my new Happy Elf pattern and my Bella the Ballerina Kitty feature on the cover star of the new issue! 

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If you are not familiar with LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine it’s readily available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  This months magazine comes with the following gifts:

  • Six Candy Cane yarns – including a eyelash wool
  • 3mm hook and 3mm knitting needles
  • 42 exclusive patterns in a 68 page magazine

The latest edition also comes with a fascinating article about knitting codes during the First and Second World Wars which I really enjoyed learning about.

What a happy little chappy my elf turned out to be! I love how he turned out.  I think he’s sure to capture the hearts and imagination of all ages and bring some crochet magic to Christmas don’t you think?  

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And with her pink tutu and faux satin pointe shoes Bella the Ballerina kitty dances along behind the elf to the music-box melody of The Sugar Plum fairy! Adorned with fluffy eyelash yarn this little kitty will make playtime utterly PURRfect.

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I can’t wait to see your Christmas makes! Be sure to share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) as I do so love to see your finished projects.

And you never know…if you are looking for more Christmas patterns I might have some new ones coming up, so be sure to watch this space!

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Happily Hooked Magazine | Back to School Bear


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, when you make a purchase through these links I do receive a small commission – thank you so much for supporting my blog! 💗

The summer holidays will be over before we know it and then it’s back to school time! Why not make the start of the new school year even more exciting for your little ones by hooking up some of the projects from issue 41 of Happily Hooked Magazine (out now).

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The new edition of the online US magazine is filled with patterns, articles and interviews and I’m very excited to tell you that I’ve got an exclusive pattern for this Back to School issue! I’m just tickled pink that my Back to School Bear (who I nicknamed Bernard) made the front cover; he’s dressed and ready to go and start learning!

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The back pack is completely detachable and opens and closes with a simple button fastening. Don’t you think his little back pack would be a great place to add a little note or a joke for your little one to find! 

As well as my Back to School Bear pattern in this months edition you will find projects for kids of all ages; from tote bags to pencil cases, cardigans and scarfs and cute alphabet baby blocks. There are also some great articles including one on how to teach your children to crochet and another about the healing properties of crochet. I also especially enjoyed the one by the Yarnpreneur Society about grouping tasks!

Check out the Happily Hooked Magazine website for more details about the magazine and how you can subscribe and I do hope you’ll add the Back to School Bear pattern to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue here.

I hope you will share your finished Back to School Bears on your favourite social media sites: RavelryLoveCrochet.comFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram as I love to see your finished work! And if you are featured in my newsletter, as the customer spotlight, you could win a pattern of your choice!

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

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Peaches Keepsake Doll


Issue 93 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out now with TWO brand new patterns in it from me! I’m so thrilled about them both that I’m going to have to do TWO separate blog posts again so I can tell you all about them…

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If you are not familiar with LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine it’s readily available in major supermarkets and stores across the UK.  

This months magazine comes with:

  • Six Aloha yarns – including a special glittery wool
  • 4.5mm hook and 4.5mm needles
  • 45 exclusive patterns in a 68 page magazine

I was super excited to see that my little Peaches Keepsake Doll is the cover star of the new issue! 

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She’s such a fun little dolly to make with enough to make two little outfits with the free Aloha pack which comes with the magazine.

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You know sometimes when you make an amigurumi that the character just appears before you as you are hooking them – well that was certainly the case with Peaches. She turned out to be a sweet looking little thing.  And if you are looking for some tips on creating the personality of your own amigurumi’s I did write a post about it a couple of years ago which you can read here.

I can’t wait to see how you personalise your little dolls! Be sure to share your photos with me on social media (facebook, twitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make!

Stay tuned for my next unicorn themed pattern release update coming NEXT!

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Designer Interview | Irene Strange


It’s time for my first Designer Showcase of 2017! Even before I started creating my own patterns I was curious about the process of designing crochet patterns and in previous posts I’ve really enjoyed getting to know some other fabulous fibre artists!

Today I’m excited to be speaking to Irina aka Irene Strange.

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Irina is a bit of a amigurumi expert whose fabulous designs have featured in the popular Zoomigurumi books (1, 4, 5 and 6!) and in popular publications like Let’s Get Crafting: Knitting and Crochet, Inside Crochet and Crochet Now magazines.

Irina has a wonderful eye for amigurumi and creates wonderfully cute characters – I recently completed her little ‘Blossom Bunny’  for Little Miss and I’m seriously in love with her Clara The Unicorn pattern and her free Gracey the hippo ballerina

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It was great to get to speak to her and here’s what we chatted about…

Why are you called Irene Strange?

I used this name when signing up for my first email address all the way back in 2000,
my step-dad’s family name is Strange (what a cool name, right?) and Irene is an English version of Irina – we just moved to England and at the time it felt like a fresh start in a new millennium and a new land. I guess it just stuck! 

How did you first discover crocheting and amigurumi?

My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet when I was little, I picked it up again
when studying for my degree. I was writing a paper on how brands use mascots and characters and came across some crochet toys on Flickr. People kept referring to them as ‘amigurumi’ so naturally I had to find out more about that! I tried making my own, a funny little mouse, and discovered I really enjoyed crocheting toys – from then on I was hooked.

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

To start with I released a few patterns on Etsy just to see what happens, then an editor from a crochet magazine approached me and asked to feature some of my work. Then another editor asked if I’d be interested in writing some patterns to which I said yes, of course! At the time there wasn’t as many amigurumi designers in UK, at least not on-line, so one commission followed another quite fast. For a good few years I was writing as a hobby alongside a day job. After having kids I wanted to focus on crochet more, so now I write patterns in between playing with Lego and watching cartoons.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

It’s quite hard to pinpoint what inspires me most; I collect all sorts of objects, prints and photographs of animals or dolls – anything curious. I have to say seeing what other designers and artists share on Instagram across different crafts is also very inspiring, it is amazing how many creative people are out there.

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Tell us a bit about your design process…

When designing something for my pattern shop I might get an idea seemingly out of nowhere, which I will then sketch and mull over for days or even months. I will sketch the design many times, thinking about best way to make it. Then I make prototypes and sometimes get it right on first or second try.

Often a particular project will stay in my head for weeks, almost like an obsession – where I’ll keep coming back to it in-between different makes, trying something out and abandoning it, until I get it right.

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Many of your creations are animal themed amigurumis – are they your favourite things to make?

Oh yes, I adore all animals! Growing up in a big city not many people we knew had pets, so encounters with animals became very special. I love watching documentaries about the Earth, it’s simply amazing how many different creatures call it home!

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

I’m still exploring different styles and ways to make an amigurumi, looking for a balance of an object that’s interesting to look at but not too complicated for others to make. I think Hopscotch Bunny is the closest to what I like making.   

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Do you have go to hooks and yarn?

I have a strong preference for natural fibres, especially alpaca and cotton. Cotton is so durable and versatile, but alpaca gives the make a much more natural and soft look. As for hooks, I always use Clover Soft Touch.

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

At the moment my daughter is very quick to claim anything I make, often even before it’s finished. The rest gets given away to friends and family. If a visitor likes a particular toy most of the time they take it home with them.

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

I’m a bit of a messy creative (just ask my husband!) so things end up scattered all over the house. We share a room as a studio where I have a wall of yarn to inspire me, and a desk for pattern writing and research. Curling up on a sofa with a cup of tea, a sketchbook and a film in the background is my favourite way to work.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’m planning to make many more cute and unusual animals, but also some home accessories and decorations – there’s a book full of ideas just waiting to be made into new patterns.

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

When I’m not crocheting… I love going riding my bicycle, foraging around local woods for berries, visiting museums and fairs or just spending the day holed up out of the way somewhere reading a good book.

Finally finish the sentence … I love crochet because…

I can make anything that comes into my head with just a thread and hook – it’s a bit like magic!

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Irina 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. I hope you will pop along to her website and ravelry page to see all of her great designs!

 

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Retro Milkshakes


Issue 92 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out now just full to bursting with bright summery yarn and super fun crochet and knitting patterns. 

If you are not familiar with LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine it’s readily available in major supermarkets and stores across the UK.  The magazine is complete with six balls of yarn, a pair of needles and a hook so that you can get started straight away! 

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And I’m really excited to tell you that I’ve got a new pattern in this month’s edition! Why not head on down to the diner to make my retro strawberry and banana milkshakes!

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This summer you can whip up your own milkshakes with my easy recipe! All you need to do is blend yarn with a pinch of hooking and add a dollop of crochet!

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I hope you enjoy my new designs – I know I had great fun designing these little milkshakes!

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

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