Three Bears Yarn | The Great British Textile Box Product Review


So recently I was approached by Three Bears Yarns to see if I would like to review their Great British Textile Box.  Review a box full of delicious quality British wool…oh go on then I said…you’ve twisted my arm – if you’d like to send me one over, I said, that would be very kind of you…(cue me dancing with glee).

Not long after a fabulously designed box was delivered by my nice postman (all postman are nice that deliver yarn aren’t they!)…

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But before I get to the unveiling of the inside of the box maybe you want to know who Three Bears Yarns are and what the Great British Textile Box is?

Three Bears Yarns are a company that originates from the heritage of Blackburn Yarn Dyers founded in 1915. I first became aware of Three Bears Yarns earlier this year and have been following them with interest since then. I love the fact that they are passionate about what they are producing and are keen to put Lancashire (British) textiles back on the map.

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I would say Three Bears Yarns are probably best known for their delicious range of 100% cotton yarn on Aran (Worsted), DK (Sport) and 3ply (Fingering) weights which comes in over 70 shades across the weights…

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I’ve used some of their cottons for a few projects now for Dear Ewe (the Lime Crush Baskets and Fat Bottomed Rustic Basket) and really liked it and have some more projects coming up in 2019 (so watch this space). 

Three Bears Yarns also now offer a range of British Blue Faced Leicester Aran wool (available in eleven stunning shades) and are branching out into filling the Great British Textile Box with other yarn spun in Yorkshire and dyed in Lancashire.

The Great British Textile Box is a monthly crochet subscription box filled with 200g of beautiful yarn that comes complete with a crochet pattern available in both UK and US terms. Each month you’ll receive:

  • 200g of quality British Wool
  • A unique crochet design to craft
  • Accessories included

So back to the box…nestled in some turquoise tissue paper were two beautiful skeins of the finest Falkland Merino DK yarn.  

3-Bears-01It’s unfortunate that this blog isn’t equipped with squidge-o-vision because it’s the kind of yarn that begs to be squished a bit! When I got it out I was delighted by how soft it felt.

Aren’t you always a bit worried when you hear wool – and think scratchy? Not a jot with this Falklands Merino, it’s soft as a cloud! The two skeins were cream and taupe coloured and the pattern design that accompanied the yarn was for the Hannah Hat and Gauntlets designed by Jacinta Bowie.

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Now unfortunately I can’t tell you about the pattern booklet as they had run out so I only had an emailed copy of the pattern to work from. But the pattern I had (in UK terminology) was clearly set out and included a chart; there was also a link to a useful video tutorial on how to do the crocodile stitch. However I would say the hat design would perhaps be a bit tricky for a beginner and would be more suitable for an intermediate crocheter. 

I decided to make the hat because I fell in love with it! Crocodile stitch is such a fun stitch to do and it makes an amazing texture! The recommended hook size for the hat is a 4mm (US size G) but I really wanted to make the hat for my 2 year old so after a bit of calculating I went down to a 3.5mm (US size E-4).

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And the finished hat came out beautifully, just the right size for her head, though if you make the pattern as written it will fit an average size adult head.

Now my toddler, even with bribery, didn’t want to play mummy take photos so I had to improvise to show you the finished hat…yes it is just possible that I have a gin glass as large as a toddlers head…

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The pattern does come with instructions on how to make and add twisted cord to add to the bottom of the ear-flaps which I didn’t add just because it was for my little one. 

The yarn is just perfect for the design and is a delight to work with; as it was so easy on the fingers it meant I really enjoyed making up this hat and the texture of the finished hat – augh! Isn’t is just awesome!

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And one final picture because you just have to see the top of the hat…so clever!

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I don’t know if any of the patterns included in the boxes will be available after the subscription boxes at any point (in case you were wondering) but I do have a feeling that all future designs are going to be a match for the yarn so super lovely! 

By the time of this post I believe that the December Great British Textile Box, this time with 200g of a Bluefaced Leicester and Masham blend of yarn, will be sent to subscribers soon with another beautiful pattern (also by Jacinta Bowie) of a stunning cushion. So I think there will be accessories, house decor items and other items, for a bit of variety, to crochet with each box.

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I think it’s obvious that I loved the yarn and enjoyed the pattern but what I also like about the Great British Textile Box, as far as subscription boxes go, is that the contents are very luxurious, the patterns so far seem gorgeous, and it’s all at a very reasonably priced £21.95 (roughly $31.57) per month. It’s also a great way to learn more about wool yarn blends if that’s something you might be interested in.

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For someone who is also a bit unsure of subscription boxes it’s free to cancel any time and Three Bears Yarns also offer free UK postage on all boxes (and also free delivery to other selected countries – see their website for more details

Many thanks to Three Bears Yarns for supplying me with a box free of charge so I could tell you all about it.

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

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Amigurumipatterns.net | Prehistoric Times Design Contest


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I do enjoy the Amigurumipatterns.net  design contests – you may remember that I entered their ‘fantasy’ competition last year (read about it here) and weirdly when I saw this years ‘theme’ I was actually making a dinosaur! Call that serendipity or fate – I dunno but I thought it definitely seemed that I should enter my project.

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve probably seen my gradual progress of Stefan the baby Stegosaurus from my initial sketched design…

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I chose some of my favourite yarns; Scheepjes Stonewashed and Scheepjes Catona to make him with and then I posted photos of the progress I made as he developed…

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Until he was all put together and ready for a cuddle!

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And now the voting to the competition is OPEN! If you happen to like Stefan the Baby Stegosaurus could you please spare me a few moments to go vote for him. Your vote counts, and that’s why there’s three special Voters Prizes up for grabs! By voting you take part in the raffle to win 3 x 100 colors Must-Have Minis 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.

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Voting will take place from November 25 until December 2 and the three designs with the highest amount of votes will be announced as the winners.

As always 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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I Like Crochet Magazine |Dachshund Through the Snow Amigurumi


The December 2018 issue of I Like Crochet is full of holiday season and winter classics to crochet including a brand new pattern from yours truly…

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Introducing the Dachshund Through the Snow Amigurumi! I happen to really love this amigurumi because once upon a time I had a daschund (called Cabbage) and this little ami was definitely inspired by him.

Kitted out in a cute hat and scarf he’s ready for a frolic through the snow – o’er the fields he’ll go, barking all the way!  

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For this design I used Scheepjes Catona which I really love for making amigurumi – and it’s really handy that they do the 10g cutie pie balls of yarn which are just perfect for little accessories.

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Make as a fun alternate gift for the holiday season or make just because you love doxies.

As well as my amigurumi pattern the December issue features 38 patterns to enjoy including one-skein projects, cosy winter wearables including hats, mittens, cowls and scarves, and unique projects you haven’t seen anywhere else!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY for a copy straight to your desktop or iPad.

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

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Mrs Christmas and the Little Elves


Issue 106 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out in shops now and it’s a thoroughly festive affair! I have two Christmas designs in this months issue and I was delighted that my Mrs Christmas is this months cover star! You can also see Figgy and Pudding, my other designs, on the cover on the left hand-side.

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I’m a big Christmas fan! It’s definitely my favourite holiday, so when I was asked to design Mrs Christmas I quickly formed an image in my head of how I wanted her to look.  Because of this she came together quite quickly and the fluffy yarn, that comes with the kit, was just perfect for a bit of a blue rinse hair style under a traditional mop cap! 

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I was also asked to design some elves for this months edition – now this was a little bit more tricky because over the years I’ve designed 3 boy elves and 2 girl elves already! So with numbers 6 and 7 I was very conscious that I wanted not to even subconsciously make them look like the other designs.  But that’s what I love about making amigurumi there’s always a new way you can create little characters to make them unique – and I was really pleased with how Figgy and Pudding turned out in the end.

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I love the styling for this months magazine and if it’s seasonal amigurumi you are looking for then this edition is just full of Christmas toys!

This issue comes with a six wonderland yarns which are lovely pastel Christmas colours;

  • 3mm hook & 3mm knitting needles
  • 65 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 Mrs Christmas or the Little Elves please 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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Marriner Yarns | 100% Mercerised Cotton Review


A few months ago I was approached by the company Marriner Yarns to see if I would like to review some of their products.  They weren’t a brand that I was familiar with so I said sure – if you’d like to pop over a sample for me I’ll have a look at it.

I was expecting maybe one or two balls of yarn – what I wasn’t expecting was a huge parcel full of cotton, double knit, chunky, super chunky and variegated yarn! Just look at this lot…

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For this post I did a little research into Marriner Yarns and was surprised to discover that they are one of Britain’s oldest suppliers of knitting yarns and accessories (dating back to 1784). I love the fact that they use British Wool in their wool range and I fell in love reading about their own special flock which they are currently growing; you can read more about that on their blog – those little lambs are just darling!

As well as wool blends they are also big suppliers of different acrylic yarns. Now I know acrylic yarn isn’t everyone’s favourite but I use a lot for my design work, I like it and think there is a definite place for it – and I certainly don’t think it means, as a rule, that just because it’s acrylic that it’s lacking in quality. They are some beautiful acrylic yarns out there which is usually available in an array of different colours. If you are just learning crochet for instance using acrylic yarns can actually be a really cost-effective way to get started and find your favourites.

If you are looking for a large range of different yarn types and weights then Marriner Yarns definitely have the variety – and at prices that won’t break the bank. And they have some very pretty colourways like this Heritage Double Knit…

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And I also like the hues of the Empress Chunky…

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What a lot of stuff to play with! Being a crochet blogger certainly comes with it’s perks!

As I work a lot with cotton I decided to give some of that a try first. I love cotton for amigurumi though it’s also great for garments (as the natural fibres mean it’s breathable) or for house decor items.

The cotton I selected from my package was mercerised, which means that the cotton fibre has been treated in a way to make it stronger, it reduces fabric shrinkage (which you obviously want for garments) and the process gives the yarn a silky shiny lustre – which I quite like for ami’s.

Marriners 100% mercerised cotton range is classed as a double knit (8ply) comes in 9 different colours: Berry,  Cream, Oatmeal, Violet, White, Azure, Cyclamen, Asparagus and Poppy and it’s suitable to be used with any DK pattern.  

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So let’s check out the yarn’s vital statistics we: 

  • Weight:  Double Knit (3)
  • Blend: 100% Mercerised Cotton
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 50g
  • Yarn Ball Length: 201m
  • Wash instructions: Machine Wash / Wool Wash 30°C
  • Price: £2.95 (at the time of this post)

I actually had a little amigurumi project in mind that I wanted to work out so I chose the Violet and the Cyclamen which I planned to mix with some of the White. Incidentally the recommended hook and needle size for this yarn is 3.25mm – 4mm (US size D/3 – G) but I chose my trusty favourite 3mm (C/2) for a tighter amigurumi stitch.

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I was very pleased with the vibrancy of the colours and I really like the hues of the purples. When crocheting the mercerised-ness of the cotton (I’m claiming that as a word!) allows the yarn to slide through your fingers which means I also found it very easy on the hands to work with.

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I can’t comment on any of the other yarn I received yet, as I’ve not had time to play with them, but I will say that the Marriner cotton is comparable to other mercerised cottons I’ve used and good value for money.  I’d use it again for another project – though I’d love to see more colours made available! 

So do you want to see a little sneaky peek of the pattern I came up with? 

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He’s not quite ready to meet you quite yet but pop back tomorrow for the FREE pattern release of Rascal the Raccoon!

Many thanks to Marriner Yarns for supplying the yarn so I could make this pattern for you.

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

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I Like Crochet Magazine | October 2018 Edition


The October 2018 issue of I Like Crochet is officially here and it’s jam packed full of exciting new crochet patterns – including a brand new scarf pattern from me.

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Scarves might just be my favourite accessory and a scarf, of course, is an essential for the autumn / winter months. Whether it’s style or just warmth you’re after I think the Shades of Grey scarf ticks all the boxes. 

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For this design I decided to combine filet crochet with a Lion Brand mandala yarn cake, which was really nice to work with, to create a lovely long versatile accessory which I just love. 

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Thanks to its easy-to-remember stitch pattern, this charming scarf practically makes itself! It’s a great beginner project, you can express your creativity by using a yarn cake or use that special yarn you’ve been saving in the back of your yarn stash — no matter what, the end result will be the perfect addition to your wardrobe

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As well as my scarf pattern the October issue features 24+ patterns that are just perfect for the change in seasons as we fall into Autumn.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY for a copy straight to your desktop or iPad.

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

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Pattern Release & Giveway| Relaxing Ralph Cat Amigurumi


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Woo hooooo! I’m really excited to say that my Relaxing Ralph pattern, that I designed for the Crochet Sanctuary (read about that here), is now finally LIVE!

I’m chuffed to bits be able to finally release him into the wild because I really love how he turned out! I seriously just want to climb into his hammock with him and have a little snooze – don’t you?

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If you have ever watched a cat sleeping you’ll know that they sleep like they don’t have a care in the world. Now you can take a leaf out of the life of a cat and relax like Ralph! 

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The pattern is 5 pages long and it’s written, as usual, in both UK and US terms.  It was nice to see the  folks at the crochet sanctuary who were both intermediate and beginners to amigurumi enjoying the pattern. Though if you are a beginner and would like to give this pattern a go you might want to familiarise yourself with working in rounds in the amigurumi style before you start.

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The Relaxing Ralph pattern is now available in my pattern stores on both Ravelry and on Lovecrochet.com – however if you’d like to be in with a chance to win a copy then keep reading…

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Exclusive Giveaway 🎉

🚫 GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED – CONGRATULATIONS TO

Catsmom6 & CrochetRoxx 🚫

If you’d like to be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of Relaxing Ralph simply head on over to Ravelry and/or LoveCrochet.com and add it to your favourites. Please then comment below this post with either your Ravelry username or email address for your chance to win a copy.

Your Ravelry username and email address will only be used to send you your prize, if you enter the information onto a comment it is understood that you are granting me your permission for me to use your information as advised.

Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the images above. Copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the blog comments below. 

TWO winners will be randomly chosen on Tuesday 2 October 2018 evening around 7pm GMT

Finally I hope you will share any Relaxing Ralph project’s,  on social media or as a Ravelry or LoveCrochet.com project, to be in with a chance to win a different pattern of mine if you are featured in my monthly newsletter.

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

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