Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A BIG Crocheted Christmas tree (Free pattern)

'Could you design us a large, free-standing, crocheted Christmas tree?' the lovely Lesley from Black Sheep Wools asked me.

Sure can.

I used one of my favourite yarns, Rico Creative Cotton Aran, as the colours are bright and it's sturdy stuff.

If you'd like to make yourself a large, free-standing, crocheted Christmas tree, then head on over to Black Sheep Wools, where you'll find the FREE pattern (yes, free- it IS Christmas, after all) AND there's a jolly super 10% discount code to use on Rico Creative Cotton Aran if you use the code 'ABXMAS'. It's valid until the 2nd December, too.

Have fun making and do show me if you make one- I love to see what you've been up to!

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Sarah xx

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Beginner's Guide to Crochet

So here it is.

It's been a long time in the planning and making and now my book is available to pre-order worldwide (from here and lots of other wonderful retailers) and is due for release in April.
Perfect for complete beginners and experienced crocheters alike, it includes twenty new projects to keep your hook busy. 
(And might I add, it's a rather big book, being some 120- odd pages long, so good value for money, too.)

Here's a reminder of some of the projects in progress:

Oooo, something using Moss stitch.

Bertie Bear. What a cutie.

Granny stripes and pompom trim? Could it get any better?

Yes it could. Humungous pompoms.

And a humungous project using mahooooosive yarn.
Traditional Grannies too.

And sweet little hearts.

Here's the official blurb:

You want to learn crochet, but have no idea where to start? You would love to set to work on some gorgeous yarny creations, but find patterns and charts confusing and scary? Then let author Sarah Shrimpton guide you through the basics, with this book you'll learn to crochet and complete your first project in just one day! 

To top this, did you know there are actually only a handful of stitches you need to learn to be competent at this super-yarny craft? It’s what you do with them that can create something as simple as a dishcloth or as complicated as a teddy bear. 

Beginner’s Guide to Crochet comprehensively teaches all the basic crochet techniques, skills and stitches to get you started. Each new technique is explained with accompanying photographs and diagrams and is followed directly with a project utilizing those skills. Later projects combine several techniques and stitches helping you to develop your skill set and tackle more complicated projects.

There are 20 modern projects, plus a section dedicated to 'extreme crochet', using t-shirt yarn to create larger-than-life crocheted creations. The author's chatty, informal style will take you on on your journey from newbie to fully-fledged crocheter in no time. 

Before you know it you'll be crocheting everything from scarves and hats to the obligatory granny blanket with ease, and making fantastic homemade presents for friends and family.

With crochet becoming incredibly popular, newbie crocheters are increasingly looking for entry-level content that contains all the basic stitches alongside attractive, accessible projects.  

The 20 projects include a cafetiere cosy, trellis scarf, teddy bear, a tablet cosy and of course, no crochet book would be complete without the staple granny blanket. Plus a section dedicated to 'extreme crochet', using t-shirt yarn to create larger-than-life crocheted creations. There is a distinctly modern feel to the projects and the author's chatty, informal style takes readers' on their journey from newbie to fully-fledged crocheter with ease. 

It's all rather exciting, really!
I hope you like it.

Happy weekend to you all,
Sarah x

Friday, 17 October 2014

Sneaky peeky

*whispers* would you like to have a quick look at a couple of shots from my upcoming book?

Don't tell ANYONE. 
This is just a little secret shared between you and I ...

Have a fab weekend, everyone

Sarah xxx

Friday, 26 September 2014

Granny stripe cowl

So here's what I was making with that lovely yarn from Black Sheep Wools - a cosy cowl.

Recently, much of what I have made has been posted off in brown boxes, ready for the book, or a magazine commission. 
But not this.
This one's for me.

It can be worn short, or long, too.
Ideal for these chilly mornings we've been having.

Fancy making one?

First of all, grab yourselves the exclusive 10% discount code AB10 (applies to Rico Baby Classic DK and valid until the 9th October 2014) and head on over to Black Sheep Wools to buy your supplies! 

[This pattern is written in UK terms. US equivalents are given below]

UK double crochet = US single crochet
UK treble crochet = US double crochet

ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet
sts = stitches
sk sts = skip stitches

Granny Stripe Cowl

Finished size: 68cm (26 3/4 in) x 25cm (9 3/4 in) approx

You will need:
4 mm (US 6/G) hook
1 x 50g ball each of Rico Baby Classic dk in Smokey Rose (39) [A], Smoke Blue (42) [B], Dusky Pink (40) [C], Steel Grey (44) [D]
Tapestry needle


Foundation chain: using colour A, ch 288. Sl st into first ch to join round.

Round 1: ch 1, dc 288 (beginning in same st as the ch). Sl st to first dc to join round.

Round 2: (ch 3 (counts as tr), 2tr) in same st, ch 1, *sk 3 sts, 3tr in next st, ch 1* repeat around. Sl st into top of ch-3 to join round, sl st to first ch-1 space. Fasten off yarn and attach new colour.

Round 3: using colour C, (ch 3 (counts as tr), 2tr) in first ch-1 space, *ch 1, 3tr in next ch-1 space* repeat around. Sl st into top of ch-3 to join round, sl st to first ch-1 space. Fasten off yarn and attach new colour.

Rounds 4-30: repeat round 3.

I used the colours in the following order: D, C, D, B, D, C, B, A, C, A, C, B, A, B, D, B, C, A, C, D, A, B, D, A, C, B, D

Round 31: ch 1, dc around. Sl st to join round.
Fasten off.
Weave in ends

And that, as they say, is that.
A nice easy project, too.

Enjoy making and don't forget to use that discount code!

Sarah x

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The one with a yarn review

When the lovely peeps at Black Sheep Wools asked me if I would like to review some yarn for them, I just couldn't say no, especially when this lovely lot was posted though my door:

From top left: Smokey Rose (39), Smoke Blue (42), Dusky Pink (40), Steel Grey (44)

(said like one of those aliens in Toy Story)
Isn't it lush?

Squishy and squeezy and soft. So soft. 
And those colours are dreamy. Pink grey and blue are timeless.

So....what is it? I hear you ask.

These are some of the new shades of Rico Baby Classic DK

But what to make with it?
It would be perfect for so many things- blankets, shrugs, gloves, hats, jumpers, cushions... but I decided on something just for me.

And it involves a bit of granny striping.
The perfect pick-up-and-put-down-kinda-project for when you're as busy as a bee.

I like crocheting with this yarn; I'm using a 4mm (US G/6) hook, which is working out perfectly. I reckon you could use a slightly smaller hook, too. The yarn is smooth and clean to work with and doesn't split (hooray!).
And being a mix of acrylic fibres, it will wear and wash well, too.

It's not finished yet, but as soon as it is, I'll show you.
And you'll get the pattern too.

If you'd like some of this gorgeous yarn for yourself, then pop along to Black Sheep Wools and say hi. They've got loads in stock, along with just about everything else you could ever need for your crochet and knitty projects.

Have a great weekend,
Sarah x