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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CraftStore UK | Noel & Nutmeg the Elves Crochet Kit Special Offer


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So do you remember me telling you about how I’d had one of my patterns, Stanley the Snowman, turned into a crochet kit. Well guess what! I’ve got another Christmas kit pattern for you which is available exclusively now from CraftStore UK!

Have yours-elf a merry little Christmas with Noel and Nutmeg the colourful Christmas elves

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The kit comes with all the yarn (600g in total) that you need to make these easy to make dolls which are the perfect addition to any home during the festive season. Fun for you or a great gift idea for a craft loving friend.

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If you fancy hooking up Noel and Nutmeg then you can use the special offer that the lovely people over at CraftstoreUK.com have for KCACO.UK readers. Just enter code NUTMEG25 in the shopping cart on this link for Noel and Nutmeg and it will deduct 25% off the price! Taking them from £24.99 to £18.74! (This code will expire on the 31 December).

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

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Amigurumipatterns.net | Design Contest


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The annual design contest at Amigurumipatterns.net is now on and this year’s theme is “Fantasy Creatures”.  Fascinating fairies, unique unicorns, dramatic dragons, mesmerising mermaids and all sorts of weird and wonderful characters from all corners of the imagination are competing to see who’s the most magical of them all!  

I was so inspired by the concept of creating a fantasy creature (or three) that I decided to take part for the first time. So without further ado allow me to introduce to you Gnorman the GnomeWheelan O’Wool the Leprechaun and Gene the Genie.

Meet Gnorman the Gnome. Gnorman is a sweet little fellow with a gentle disposition who lives in a simple hillside dwelling deep in the woods. His favourite pastime is tending to his beloved mushroom garden where he cultivates scarlet capped toadstools loved by his fairy folk friends 🍄. 

There’s something in the constitution of a gnome that enjoys getting their little hands dirty. Gnorman loves nothing more than tramping around in his forest dell collecting little treasures 🍁

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Next we have Wheelan O’Wool the Leprechaun. Whelan is a feisty little fellow and not one to shy away from partaking in a little mischief! He spends his time mending the shoes of the fairy folk and hiding his earnings in a big pot at the end of the rainbow. He’s quick, smart and has magical powers to vanish into thin air – but if he’s caught he will grant you three wishes.

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Whelan is well known for his love of Irish Poitín and his Celi dances that can last for days

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And finally we have Gene the Genie, my third and final entry to the design contest. When his lamp is rubbed he appears in a cloud of smoke with the power to grant all your wildest yarn wishes and dreams.

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Want your ends weaving in, or your hooks to be found? Your wish is his command! When not on duty he can be found whiling away the Arabian Nights sipping Harem Delight cocktails at the Moroccan Desert Oasis bar. Has a fondness for camels 🐫 .

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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 of your time to vote for them.

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HOW TO VOTE:

  • Go to Amigurumipatterns.net
  • Click the heart-button of TEN of your favourite characters; quick link vote for Gnorman the Gnome here, vote for Wheelan O’Wool the Leprechan here and vote for Gene the Genie here.
  • 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 is open until 10th December 2017 and the three designs with the highest amount of votes will be announced the winners of this contest.

There are seriously so many amazing designs from inventive and skilled amigurumists taking part from all over the world in this competition! And I’d like to wish all designers taking part the best of luck!

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

 

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P.S. And for those of you that have asked about the patterns for Gnorman, Whelan and Gene I’ll be releasing them after the competition has finished xx

Out of this World MCAL | Made by YOU 💚


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Well all good things come to an end eventually and this is true of the Out of This World mini mystery crochet-along. However if you missed the the CAL and want to catch up with the pattern you can find all the links on the 2017 CAL page.

But now, as promised, I want to share with you a little photo gallery of images collected from the KCACO-UK Facebook group and page and Instagram of wonderful aliens made by YOU! Do you see yours?

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Oh my word I have adored seeing all your little aliens from the #ootwcal!! And I love the variety of colours that you all chose.  It’s so nice seeing a design that was in my head come to life! Thanks again to everyone that joined in the CAL with me. 💕

Until next time! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Out of this World MCAL | Joining and Tah-dah moment!


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Right all that’s left then is to put all these bits that we’ve got together! Have you guessed what it is yet?

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If you missed the announcement about the CAL and want to check out the general CAL info and material details you can find it all here and you can catch up with Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.  You still have time to make up your little amigurumi though, if you want to be featured in the finished project galleries you have until Saturday 30 September to submit a finished photo!

Making Up:

  • Add each part of section E to section A over rnds 8-12 and using a yarn needle and the tail ends attach securely. Insert a safety eye into the middle of each circle. Stuff section A firmly.

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  • Pin both parts of section G to the top of section A roughly 3.5cm / 1.5 inches apart; then using a yarn needle and the tail ends attach securely.
  • Using black embroidery thread embroider on a black mouth over rnds 14-16

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  • Insert the circle of section D into the loop of section D and the secure to middle of section B

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  • Sew the whole of that joined section (B & D) to the centre of section F
  • Sew section H to each side of section F on rnd 25

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  • Attach section C to either side of the bottom of section F

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  • Finally attach section A to the top of section F – and you are finished!

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And you’ve made a little alien buddy!

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I hope you had as much fun making him as I had designing him. I’m super excited to see your finished projects! The hashtag for this CAL is #ootwCAL. Make sure you link me your finished projects on your favourite social media sites so I can see them: RavelryFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram! And don’t forget if you want to be featured in the finished project galleries you have until Saturday 30 September to submit a finished photo!

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

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Out of this World MCAL | Part 4


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Oooo we are up to the last parts!!! If you missed the announcement about the CAL and want to check out the general CAL info and material details you can find it all here and you can catch up with Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

Yarn: 

I have used three different colours in this pattern but you can use any colour you wish though I do suggest that sections in YARN B are best made in white. Yarn suggested colours for each particular piece will be referred in this pattern as:

  • YARN A – Any colour you wish
  • YARN B e.g. White
  • YARN C – Any colour you wish

For this design I used double knit/8 ply/yarn weight #3 however 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!

Abbreviations: 

  • rnd = rounds
  • beg. = beginning
  • rem. = remaining
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sp = space
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain  
  • dc/sc= UK double crochet / US single crochet
  • dc2tog/sc2tog= UK double crochet two stitches together / US single crochet two stitches together
  • BLO – Back Loop Only

Pattern Notes:

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

Stitch Guidance:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • Double Crochet/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 Double Crochet/US Single Crochet 2 sts together (dc2tog/sc2tog): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook.
  • Back Loop Only (BLO): Insert your hook underneath the back loop of the stitch only and make the stitch as indicated.

Pattern – Part 4:

SECTION G (Make 2):

Rnd 1: With YARN C; either make a magic ring or ch2 to start then work 8dc/sc into ring or 8dc/sc in the 2nd ch from hook. 8sts

Rnd 2: (2dc/sc) to last st. 16sts

Rnd 3-5: 1dc/sc to last st

Rnd 6: (dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 8sts

Begin to stuff; continuing to stuff as you go making sure they are stuffed firmly

Rnd 7: (1 dc/sc in next 2sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 6sts

Rnd 8-11: 1dc/sc to last st

Fasten off but leave yarn tail

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SECTION H (Make 2):

Rnd 1: With YARN A; either make a magic ring or ch2 to start then work 6dc/sc into ring or 6dc/sc in the 2nd ch from hook. 6sts

Rnd 2: (2dc/sc) to last st. 12sts

Rnd 3-7: 1dc/sc to last st

Rnd 8: (1 dc/sc, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 8sts

Stuff rnds 1-8 only

Rnd 9-16: 1dc/sc to last st

Fasten off but leave yarn tail

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And that’s part 4 done! Ready for the make up instructions tomorrow and then the big reveal….not long to wait!!

The hashtag for this CAL is #ootwCAL. Make sure you link me your finished projects on your favourite social media sites so I can see them: RavelryFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram!

Until tomorrow; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Out of this World MCAL | Part 3


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Wow we are on Part 3 already! If you missed the announcement about the CAL and want to check out the general CAL info and material details you can find it all here and you can catch up with Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Yarn: 

I have used three different colours in this pattern but you can use any colour you wish though I do suggest that sections in YARN B are best made in white. Yarn suggested colours for each particular piece will be referred in this pattern as:

  • YARN A – Any colour you wish
  • YARN B e.g. White
  • YARN C – Any colour you wish

For this design I used double knit/8 ply/yarn weight #3 however 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!

Abbreviations: 

  • rnd = rounds
  • beg. = beginning
  • rem. = remaining
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sp = space
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain  
  • dc/sc= UK double crochet / US single crochet
  • dc2tog/sc2tog= UK double crochet two stitches together / US single crochet two stitches together
  • BLO – Back Loop Only

Pattern Notes:

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

Stitch Guidance:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • Double Crochet/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 Double Crochet/US Single Crochet 2 sts together (dc2tog/sc2tog): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook.
  • Back Loop Only (BLO): Insert your hook underneath the back loop of the stitch only and make the stitch as indicated.

Pattern – Part 3:

SECTION E (Make 3):

Rnd 1: With YARN B; either make a magic ring or ch2 to start then work 8dc/sc into ring or 8dc/sc in the 2nd ch from hook. 8sts

Rnd 2: (2dc/sc) to last st. 16sts

Fasten off with a sl sl the the next st but leave yarn tail

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SECTION F:

Rnd 1: With YARN A; either make a magic ring or ch2 to start then work 6dc/sc into ring or 6dc/sc in the 2nd ch from hook. 6sts

Rnd 2: (2dc/sc) to last st. 12sts

Rnd 3: (1dc/sc, 2dc/sc) to last st. 18sts

Rnd 4: (1dc/sc in next 2sts, 2dc/sc) to last st. 24sts

Rnd 5: (1dc/sc in next 3sts, 2dc/sc) to last st. 30sts

Rnd 6: (1dc/sc in next 4sts, 2dc/sc) to last st. 36sts

Rnd 7: (1dc/sc in next 5sts, 2dc/sc) to last st. 42sts

Rnd 8: (1dc/sc in next 6sts, 2dc/sc) to last st. 48sts

Rnd 9-13: 1dc/sc to last st

Rnd 14: (1dc/sc in next 6sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 42sts

Rnd 15: 1dc/sc to last st

Rnd 16: (1dc/sc in next 5sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 36sts

Rnd 17-18: 1dc/sc to last st

Rnd 19: (1dc/sc in next 4sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 30sts

Rnd 20-24: 1dc/sc to last st

Rnd 25: (1dc/sc in next 3sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 24sts

Begin to stuff; and continue stuffing as you go

Rnd 26: (1dc/sc in next 2sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 18sts

Rnd 27: (1dc/sc, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 12sts

Rnd 28: (dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 6sts

Fasten off and using yarn tail sew up the last 6sts; weave in any ends remaining

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And that’s part 3 done! The hashtag for this CAL is #ootwCAL. Make sure you link me your finished projects on your favourite social media sites so I can see them: RavelryFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram!

Until tomorrow; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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