Marriner Yarns | 100% Mercerised Cotton Review


A few months ago I was approached by Marriner Yarns to see if I would like to review some of their yarn.  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 varigated yarn! Just look at this…

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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 (dating back to 1784) suppliers of knitting yarns and accessories. 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 looking after; 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 a varying amount 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 it means it’s lacking in quality. 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.

Basically 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 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 to supplying the yarn for me to 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.

Pattern Links 🎉

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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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Novelty Garland & Free Robin Pattern


Issue 104 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out in shops now and I’ve got two exclusive patterns in this issue which is a crafting for Christmas special – I know it’s only September but we crafters gotta start early am I right?!latest-issueWhen the red, red robin, comes bob, bob, bobbing along….along!!! Today’s earworm is bought to you courtesy of me (sorry!). Robins are such a familiar site on Christmas cards aren’t they. So often pictured in the snow it’s because Britain’s favourite hardy little bird doesn’t migrate from the UK in the Winter it sticks around like we do (probably also muttering to itself about the weather).

Now you can make your own little crochet versions, Robert and Richard, to perch on your mantel during the festive season.

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Made using three simple stitches, these little feathered friends are the perfect project for a crochet newbie – and right now these little birds are available for FREE from topcrochetpatterns.com

Sometimes I get asked to do things that seem rather bizarre – like my second make for this months edition. The brief was for a novelty brussel sprout garland with some party hats, but when I got to thinking about it, you don’t actually get more Christmassy than that do you!  Even if you hate the vegetable (and who is it that really likes them?) this garland is so fun (and quick) to make – though you might feel as if someone is watching you whilst you are making it!

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The magazine comes with a six blitzen yarns which are lovely and bright and the yellow has sparkly gold running through it too. You also get;

  • 3.5mm hook & 3.5mm knitting needles
  • 50 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 Richard and Robert Robin or make the fun Novelty Garland please 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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Make it Today Magazine | Snails and Unicorns and another Dear Ewe Competition


Crochet Mag ‘n’ Makes, the special edition of Make It Today magazine, is on sale now and I’ve got two new fun designs inside AND (as we wanted to launch with a bang) there’s another feature and crochet related giveaway from Dear Ewe in this issue!

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You can just see on the front cover a couple of my makes – peeking out in the top right hand corner there’s a snail and at the bottom left you might just be able to make out a Stripes the Unicorn!

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I’ve always wanted to design a unicorn so was excited to give one a go for the magazine and he turned out to be really fun to make. And I always think of rainbows when I think of unicorns but I wanted to give this make a little twist, so instead of giving him a stripy rainbow mane (which you always see), I decided to give him a stripy body.

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I had to hide him a little whilst I was making him as my 7 year old is unicorn mad and would have run off with him given the chance!

In this issue I also made a colorful shellection of snails! Just forget about annoying garden pests and make up some gorgeous gastrapods to brighten up your day instead. 

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I nicknamed them Shelly and Sheldon (of course!) and opted for a traditional swirly pattern on their shells. But you could experiment with designs to create something completely unique to you. 

I adore how the magazines have styled them as well with the bulb box and the flowers!

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The mags and makes issue comes with the eight yarns I used for the patterns plus;

  • 3mm hook & 4.5mm crochet hooks
  • 55 exclusive patterns
  • Plus a 66 page magazine

You may also spy on page 6 in their news section that Dear Ewe had a lovely little feature…Little Ewe felt quite famous!

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Dear Ewe have teamed up with Make It Today magazine to offer a fab ultimate crochet bundle! Worth over £129 one winner will receive a crochet chart mug, crochet chart tote bag, crochet chart large project bag, 8 x creative greeting cards, 4 x photo prop card packs and two pattern downloads in either UK or US terminology.

Click here to enter the giveaway

Entries must be received by 6 September 2018.

 Make It Today magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up either Stripes the Unicorn or the Snail Duo please 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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Free Crochet Pattern | Shining Light Wedding Wrap


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This pattern is a special one for me as it’s the wrap I designed for my best friends wedding.  The shawl is named after my friend Helen, whose name means shining light, and also the twinkly Scheepjes Stardust yarn I used to make the wrap. 

You may remember I designed a ring cushion for her (which you can read about here)  but this was something that was a surprise for her just from me – as I know she has a tendency to feel the cold.

I felt very grateful to be able to create something for my best friends special day, we’ve known each other for over 25 years and so much love was put into this shawl with every stitch.

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This pattern is a relatively easy to make, and would suit a beginner that was looking to learn some new crochet techniques. 

I think this simple and pretty bridal wrap is a perfect combination between tradition and stitch-crafts that a perfect element for a handmade wedding!

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This simple yet stunning wedding wrap is perfect for brides (or guests) to add a new dimension to wedding attire and to keep warm too!

If you aren’t familiar with the Scheepjes Stardust I used to make this wrap and would like to learn more then you can read my yarn review here or just scroll straight down to the pattern below.

Shining Light Wedding Wrap

Materials:

Yarn: 8ply / Double Knit / yarn weight #3; Scheepjes Stardust used in photos in the  following amounts and shades:

  • 3 x 100g (1620m) of Capricorn: 653

Hook: 3.5mm (US size E)

You will also need: Yarn needle

Gauge: Obtaining the correct gauge is not critical to this project.

Finished Size: 50.8 cm wide x 167.6cm long (20 inches wide x 66 inches long)

Abbreviations:

  • st(s) = stitch(es)        
  • sl st = slip stitch                            
  • ch(s) = chain
  • dc/sc = UK double crochet / US single  crochet
  • tr/dc = UK Treble Crochet / US Double Crochet

Stitch Guidance:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and draw through all loops.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and draw up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, draw through both 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.

Pattern:

The main pattern is a two row repeat (e.g. rows 2-3)

Row 1: Ch102; 1dc/sc in 2nd ch from hook *ch5, miss 3ch, 1dc/sc in next st* repeat from * to * until end, turn (99 sts / 25 ch loops)

Row 2: Ch5; 1dc/sc in the first loop *7tr/dc in the next loop, 1dc/sc in the next loop, ch5, 1dc/sc in the next loop, * repeat from * to * until the last dc/sc in the last loop; ch2, 1tr/dc in the top of the dc/sc of row 1 to finish end, turn

Row 3: Ch1; 1dc/sc in the first st, *ch5; miss two sts (first sc/dc and the first st of 7tr/dc of previous rnd), 1dc/sc in the next st, ch5, miss 3sts, 1dc/sc in the next st, ch5, 1dc/sc into the next loop * repeat from * to * until the ch5 loop, finish with a dc/sc in the beginning ch5 loop of row 2, turn

Rows 4 to 92: Repeat rows 2-3 ending on a row 2, turn

Rows 93: Ch1; 1dc/sc in the first st *ch3; miss next st (of 7tr/dc of previous rnd), 1dc/sc in the next st, ch3, miss 3sts, 1dc/sc in the next st, ch3, 1dc/sc into the next loop * repeat from * to * to end, finishing with a dc/sc in the beginning ch5 loop. On the last st do not fasten off but continue straight to the edging instructions

Edging:

Ch3, Work * 1tr/dc in each dc/sc st along (or 3tr/dc in each ch3 sp) ; add 5tr/dc in the last st of each edge to turn the corner * then repeat from * to * until end. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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I would greatly appreciate if you add this pattern to your “favourite” on Ravelry (just click the pink heart button on the top right hand side of the listing). 

And if you hook up the Shining Light Wedding Wrap please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! 

And that’s it!

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

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Goldilocks Pattern and Dear Ewe Competition


Issue 103 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out in shops now and I’ve got a new fun design for the heritage toy special edition AND there’s some exciting things from Dear Ewe in this issue!

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Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a house in the forest. While they were out, a little girl called Goldilocks came through the trees and found their house and their porridge! We all know the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears don’t we, it’s something we just seem to grow up with so I was delighted to have the opportunity to recreate such well known characters is yarn.

Goldilocks, to my mind, has golden curls so I knew I was going to have to include that in my design…

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And I really enjoyed creating the three bear characters. They were such fun to make and just perfect for little hands to accompany the much loved tale!

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Issue 103 comes with a six sundaze yarns which are lovely bright colours. There are also some mini pink pom poms included in the pack as well as;

  • 3.75mm hook & 3.75mm knitting needles
  • 45 exclusive patterns
  • Plus a 68 page magazine

If you’ve already picked up the latest edition of  LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine you may also have seen that  Dear Ewe had an exciting little feature in the news section. 

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Dear Ewe have teamed up with Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet Magazine to offer four winners the ultimate crochet bundle! 

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Included in your prize, worth over £70, is a chart mug, a large granny square themed project bag, a full set of Dear Ewe character greeting cards, each of the photo prop cards sets and two adorable crochet pattern downloads in either UK or US terminology. Sounds pretty great, right?

Entries must be received by 31st August 2018.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up Goldilocks and the Three Bears please 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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