Monday, 26 November 2012

knitting stitch markers and a cyber monday special ::

Good morning, I just wanted to show off some new stitch markers I added to my shop over the weekend.   I've been meaning to make these for such a long time, I've been using my own personal set of ninja stitch markers for well over a year now.  I finally added them to the shop a couple of weeks ago and they've proven very popular, so I thought I'd make up some different variations.

 You can now get yourself a set of ninjas in any colour you like!  The options are on the listing page, if you can't see the colour you want, shoot me a message, I'm sure it's possible, as are any mixed combinations of colours.  Such as the rainbow set I have available.

If you've got a sweet tooth, I now also have loveheart and jelly baby markers available too!

You can choose any 6 slogans from my long list for the lovehearts.

Great gift ideas for knitting friends or family, or more importantly yourself ;)

Plus until midnight tonight I have 30% off with the coupon code BLACKFRI12

Happy 'Cyber' Monday.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

how to steek in crochet work ::

Recently I was designing a sweater that was going to be crocheted in the round, but required a opening.  I thought long and hard about how to achieve this without working the rows of the part of the opening as rows, rather than rounds.  I didn't want a noticeable difference in stitch patterns which would occur from working part of the sweater in rows and part in rounds.  I did think about working the sweater in rounds but joining and working back and forth on each round, but I really prefer the way double crochet looks in the round vs rows.  So I did a bit of research on steeking.  I've heard this term a lot in knitting and though I've never tried it, I'm keen to give it a go some day, for the pure thrill of cutting through my knitting! Yes I know it will be terrifying, but terribly gratifying if all goes to plan.  There's a wiki entry on it here and Kate Davies has a great series on steeking on her blog starting here.

In all my research I couldn't see anywhere any reference to steeking crochet work itself, though it sometimes plays a part in knitted steeking.  I'm sure I'm not the first person to want to do this in crochet and I'm sure I won't be the last.  So after a bit of playing around, and a few disastrous attempts, I came up with a technique that worked.  I have no doubt that others have used steeked crochet work before and I'm sure there are other ways of doing this, some possibly more successful than my own, and I would love to hear of any you've come across.  But for now this is what I did, I've set up the tutorial in a PDF to download if fancy having a go.  Have a test run first, the most important thing about doing it this way is to make sure you only work through the front loop of the stitches either side of the steek section, as this is what will ensure your end will catch when it is cut.

I've written the tutorial in double crochet (single crochet if you're using US terms) but it will work in half treble and treble too.  I've written it so that the opening is at the beginning of you your work, but you can just easily add it in half way through, close it up again (perfect for thumbholes) or leave it open to create an opening at the end of your work.

I hope to work on a pattern using this technique to self publish in next week or so.  Enjoy and if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email, or you can find me on ravelry, facebook or twitter.

download now

Monday, 12 November 2012

Crochet Today Jan/Feb 2013 ::

The new issue of Crochet Today comes out tomorrow, across the atlantic anyways, I'm not sure when it will arrive in UK shops, but I expect it will be downloadable from tomorrow.

It's the Jan/Feb 2013 issue and I have 2 patterns within it's pages.  This is the first time my patterns have been published in a US magazine, but it won't the last ;)

Both my patterns are colourwork sweaters for women, worked in the round bottom up.  As seems to be my current favourite way of doing things.
The Minnie Sweater is possibly my favourite of all the sweaters I've designed so far.

The Express Yourself Sweater is a sweet short sleeve sweater with a heart motif worked into the yoke.

There are some really cute patterns in this issue on a music theme.  I'll post some of my favourites later in the week.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

WIP Wednesday :: Woolly Wormhead's Mystery KAL ::

Last week saw the start of Woolly Wormhead's mystery knit along.

I've never taken part in a KAL before, let alone a mystery KAL and although I've admired them from afar, I've also never knitted a Woolly Wormhead hat.  On top of all these other firsts, this will also be the first hat I've knit for myself.  I've knitted plenty of hats, for babes and toddlers and grown ups alike, but never one for me.  Which makes this project all the more exciting.

Of course I could have knitted from my stash, I almost certainly should have done, but well, I didn't want to, nothing was catching my eye, so I headed to my local yarn store for some inspiration.  I came home with this delicious alpaca yarn, in a heathery purple.

In case you're taking part, or thinking of doing so, pictures of my progress so far are below the break.

If you want to take part the pattern is available here.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Festive Crochet Decorations ::

It's all been getting a bit festive over here at the moment, I appreciate it's still a little early, and I apologise to anyone who prefers to keep Christmas firmly in December, but you know, us crafters and retailers, we need to get a head start on these things.

First up in my Christmas crafting are these crochet decorations, inspired by the kind of festive colour work found on Norwegian Christmas Jumpers. Though in all honesty the inspiration orginally struck from this manicure discovered via pinterest.

Fairly quick and easy to make up these will make a lovely addition to your Christmas tree or fabulous gifts for friends and family.  These are a brilliant way to practice your crochet colourwork, or even have a first attempt at it, as there are only 2 colours and short rows, you're less likely to get yourself in a tangled mess.
Each decoration is made up of two circles and crocheted together, before stuffing, add cloves or a few drops of festive scent to your stuffing, to make them extra Christmassy!
These are a great stash buster, using small amounts of any double knit weight yarn. In fact any yarn weight would work, just adjust your hook size accordingly and note the size of your decoration will of course reflect the yarn weight used. I suggest using a hook size 1 or 2 sizes smaller than your yarn ball recommends, to achieve a tight fabric.

This pattern includes instructions on making the decorations and 8 colour charts, it's availble in all the usual places, ravelry, etsy and craftsy.
This pattern is available in both UK and US terms, if you purchase from Ravelry you'll get 2 PDF's to download, just choose your preferred terminology, if you purchase from etsy, just let me know in notes to seller your preference and I'll email it over for you, unfortunately on craftsy there isn't the option to upload 2 PDF's, so it is available in UK terms only there, but just email me if you have any problems or questions.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Inside Crochet 35 ::

Inside Crochet 35, was released a couple of weeks ago now, but I'm a bit slow on the blogging front at the moment, so apologies for that.

However it's a great issue, there are 3 cardigans alone I want to knit for myself, plus Amy Depew's amazing tunisian crochet sweater.

I've never really progressed from swatching with tunisian crochet, so it's certainly something I'd like to have a go at.

I'm also pretty keen on this gorgeous skirt by Christine Harvey.

Each month I find myself more and more impressed with this magazine, I'm so grateful it was saved and pleased to see it go from strength to strength.

Photography by Britt Spring.
Styling by, the magazine editor, Claire Montgomery.

Friday, 2 November 2012

'Crochet Today' Jan/Feb 13 preview video ::

I stumbled across this, this morning.  Love the idea of a preview video!

I have 2 patterns in this issue, it's my first American publication.
Can you guess which are mine?

Happy Friday.