Friday, 29 November 2013

Inside Crochet 48 ::

Issue 48 of Inside Crochet goes on sale today and my oh my are there some wonderful projects inside!

Ali Cambell's gorgeous sweater is on my (ever growing) list of things I'd love to make for myself, one day, Helda Panagary's sweet flower bracelets are perfect for using up scraps and will make great little christmas gifts. Having recently ventured into experimenting with beads in crochet, I'm drawn to Heidi McCarthy's beautiful shawl, which incidentally is her first ever published pattern. I also loved Emma Escott of Lulu Loves, first column and sweet flower embellished journal cover.

I have 2 patterns in this issue, rather excitingly is the first instalment of my mystery blanket.  I've been wanting to design a blanket pattern for ages.  My problem being I'm generally very good at starting blankets but not quite so good at finishing them (if you saw my pile of unfinished blankets...) so I decided I needed a much more engaging way to create and actually finish a blanket.  This design therefore uses a different stitch repeat for each colour stripe, giving you opportunity to really stretch those crochet muscles, worked from the centre out, starting as a mandala and growing into a square, meaning you can finish whenever you feel you've reached the size you want.

Part 1 is the mandala, which can be made as a standalone piece in it's own right if you don't fancy taking the next step. The rest of the blanket will be spread out over the next 3 issues. If you do take part in this series I would love to see how your blanket progresses.

The second pattern is my Foxy Cape, I will not lie, I adore this pattern, I think it's possibly my favourite one to date and I'm so pleased to already have the sample back in my hands, well snuggly perched on my shoulders as I type in fact.

Worked in the round, bottom up, this is a very simple piece, worked mostly in treble stitches, with a few rounds of double crochet on the bottom and double crochet used for the foxes.  The trickiest bit is the colourwork, there are times when you are using 3 yarns at once, as long as you keep all the balls apart and work in a methodical way, you should be able to avoid getting in a tangle.  There will be quite a lot of switching between colours and obviously this is time consuming, however there are only at total of 12 rounds of colourwork across the whole piece and the rest I promise is very quick. I purchased a yarn guide, which I found extremely helpful, it took a bit of getting used to, but once I got my tension sorted it was a breeze to use and helped speed up the process.

If you're tempted by any of the patterns inside, you can find the magazine in newsagents from today, plus I've got a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader, just pop a comment on the bottom of this post and I'll draw a winner on Monday.

Inside Crochet 48 is out in the UK today or can be purchased digitally here.
Photos that aren't by myself are by the wonderfully talented Britt Spring.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Black Friday Sales ::

So I know it's only Thursday, but I thought I would let you all in on my sales secrets a little early!

You may or may not know, that before I became a crochet designer I spent the majority of my time making items from polymer clay.  I have a little etsy shop called Lilley and it is solely due to this enterprise that I was able to remain away from work after my maternity leave ended.  Though this side of my business has been a little neglected since I started designing, I still spend at least one day a week working on it and it's only because of this extra business that I am able to remain at home.
I've run Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales over in my Lilley shop for the past few years and with great success and I shall be partaking over there again this year.

So if any of your loved ones are in need of some ninja stitch markers, a pair of loveheart earrings or some festive buttons (to mention just a few of the items I have available there) hop on over and you can receive 30% off any orders over £15 with coupon code BLKFRI13

Or better still if you sign up to my mailing list you will receive an email containing a coupon code with an even higher discount (this is a different mailing list to my pattern list)

Lilley Handmade Mailing List ::

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This year I will also be holding a sale in my pattern store.

photos by Britt Spring

I shall be offering 30% off all patterns in my ravelry store, the prices have already been adjusted so no need for a coupon code, you won't see the discount until you checkout. If you'd rather do your pattern buying on etsy you can use coupon code BLKFRI13 over there for the same discount and it can also be used against finished items I have for sale there.

A very happy thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Design Wars 5 :: the final reveal ::

Woohoo...the final reveal of all of the designs created by the Design Wars 5 challengers has been posted!

  Final Reveal AD

 You can see all the wonderful creations and vote for your favourites over on the Design Wars blog, of course if you fancy voting for my design I won't dissuade  you from doing so ;) So here is my final design ::

  Rainbow Slipper Socks Crochet Pattern

 I'll post more about the slippers themselves tomorrow, but if you can't wait that long, the pattern is up for sale over on my ravelry page now. x