Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Season of Gold: A cowl pattern

I absolutley do not need any more scarves, cowls or wraps.

I have loads, I really do.



But when I found this GORGEOUS yarn in a local yarn shop, I fell in love and knew I wanted to wear it around my neck. 
  

You see, it's baby llama and it truly is the most beautifully soft yarn I have ever squidged in my entire life. 
And it's the most perfect Autumnal gold colour, too.
AND it was on sale....

...So I grabbed the last three skeins and ran out of the shop (after paying, obvs), laughing with glee.


I knew exactly what I wanted and found my crochet hook.

And I'm not taking it off.
Ever.


If you'd like to make one (to add to your 'I-do-not-need-any-more-scarves pile'), then here's the pattern (UK first, US below). 

You can use any yarn in any weight with any hook - just make sure you go up a hook size or two to create a lovely, soft drape; simply adjust the foundation chain to suit, making sure it's an even number and you're good to go ...

Enjoy!

Sarah xx

I used:
3 x 50g / 100m balls of Mirasol Llama Una in Mustard (shade 8204)
5mm hook.

Yarn alternative:
Any dk or aran yarn and hook to match

UK Pattern
ch 88, sl st into 1st ch to join round.
Row 1: 1ch (doesn’t count as a stitch here and throughout), (1htr, 1tr) in next st, sk 1 st, *(1dc, 1tr) in next st, sk 1 st; repeat from * around, 1dc in last st. Sl st into 1ch to join round, turn.
Row 2: 1ch, (1htr , 1tr ) in 3rd st from hook,  sk 1 st, *(1dc, 1tr) in next st, sk 1 st; repeat from*, 1dc in last st. Sl st into 1ch to join round, turn.
Rows 3 – until yarn runs out: Repeat row 2
Fasten off and weave in ends.


US Pattern
ch 88, sl st into 1st ch to join round.
Row 1: 1ch (doesn’t count as a stitch here and throughout), (1hdc, 1dc) in next st, sk 1 st, *(1sc, 1dc) in next st, sk 1 st; repeat from * around, 1sc in last st. Sl st into 1ch to join round, turn.
Row 2: 1ch, (1hdc, 1dc ) in 3rd st from hook,  sk 1 st, *(1sc, 1dc) in next st, sk 1 st; repeat from*, 1sc in last st. Sl st into 1ch to join round, turn.
Rows 3 – until yarn runs out: Repeat row 2
Fasten off and weave in ends.


*******

Thursday, 5 October 2017

*GIVEAWAY CLOSED* WIN The Knitting and Stitching show tickets (London)

Yaaaaayyyy!  The Kniting and Stitching show is nearly upon us. 


Congratulations to Petra Hora, Sarah McFall, Jane Rickeets, Helen Dreir and Steve Matthews.

In fact, it's just a week away.





And there's GOOD NEWS, people! - I've been given 5 pairs of tickets (for the London event) to giveaway to my lovely followers.
All you need to do is enter below and don't worry - there's no jumping through hoops - I just need an email to contact the winners.
You've got until Midnight on Saturday to enter...tickets will be posted early next week.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


I'm going to visit on the Sunday and I am looking forward to seeing aaaaaaaaalllllllllll the gorgeous yarn.....



See you there!

Sarah xx

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

An Autumn giveaway *NOW CLOSED*

***Congratulations to Rebecca Lee***

Autumn is here.


And what could be more fitting at this time of year than this leafy yarn bowl?



Isn't it a beauty?
The lovely people at KnitPro kindly sent me one to try and I must admit, I totally adore it.

It's beautifully handcrafted in wood and is the pefect size for holding a fairly large ball of yarn.
Why use a yarn bowl, you wonder? Well, I find that it helps keep an even tension and (more importantly for me) it prevents the yarn from disappearing under the sofa, or being taken off by the cat / dog / children whilst I work.


It's even got a handy little stopper to stop the yarn escaping.


I was also sent a cute little stitchmarker pouch, which now means I can keep them in one place.
(No more scrabbling around in the bottom of project bags for me!)




AND, I'm so pleased to announce that KnitPro have given me an extra yarn bowl and pouch to giveaway - hooray!

The giveaway is open worldwide and will run until midnight on 3rd October. A winner will be drawn at random and contacted by email on 4th October.

If you'd like to enter, then click below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!!
Sarah xx


Monday, 11 September 2017

Ribbon yarn

Oooooo (more) new yarn.

This time it's big.
Really, really biiiiiiiiiiiiiig.

My good pal, Andrea from Woolly Mahoosive has just stocked some amazing new yarns, including this fabulous giant ribbon tape yarn and she sent me some to try.



For those of you who don't know Woolly Mahoosive, let me fill you in:
Run by Andrea, the shop specialises in big and giant yarns (I used lots of it in Supersize Crochet). The yarns range from high-end, beautifully soft Merinos to affordable and fun acrylic giants, with ribbon tape and natural alpacas in between. In short, if you want to knit or crochet big, Woolly Mahoosive is a great place to go.
Oh and she also sells the big ol' hooks and needles you'll need, too.

So once I had received my yarn, I played around with a few ideas - it would be great for homewares and accessories, I think - and decided on a bag.
The first thing I noticed is that the yarn is very soft and smooth to work with. It has a little stretch to it and glides through the fingers, even when using such a big hook (I used a 25mm). It also frogs really easily, which is an important factor when you're working on a project, I think.



This little bag uses just 33m of the ribbon tape yarn and the project couldn't be easier.
You can find the free pattern here.

Enjoy your week!

Sarah xx

Friday, 25 August 2017

Special Yarn, a shawl and a GIVEAWAY!!!

As a designer, one of the most enjoyable things is being asked to try new yarns; so when the gals from CityKnits asked if I'd like to try their exclusive Marie Curie colourway bundle, I just couldn't say no.

 

What fab colours! 
The yarn is the award-winning West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply, which comes in balls of 100g / 400m, in 75% Wool (35% is Bluefaced Leicester) 25% Nylon. 

The blue, cream and yellow are standard colours, but it's the multicoloured one which is special. You see, the gals at Cityknits commissioned WYS to dye a unique colourway, to raise funds for Marie Curie*. And so, for every ball of this colourway ordered, £2 is donated to the charity.


*For any of my overseas readers, Marie Curie is a UK charity which provides support for families living through terminal illness - you can find out more here



It didn't take me long to decide on a project for this yarn. I'd designed a shawl called the Parallel Bars Shawl a while back, and thought that this might work well in blocks of colour. The Marie Curie colour bundle was perfect!

   


 


This is the original shawl below, in one colour. You can find the pattern here in my Etsy shop.  

To make the Marie Curie Shawl, I used exactly the same pattern, with a 4mm hook. I started with Yellow, then changed to Cream at Row 43, Marie Curie colourway at Row 85, then Blue at Row 128.

The best thing is that with all this yarn, I could make 3 (yes!! 3!!!) shawls (with a bit left over, too). That's very good value for money, in my book.



If you'd like to get your hands on some of this lovely yarn, then it is available exclusively from Cityknits here.

OR, why not enter our joint giveaway on Instagram to be in with a chance of winning the Parallel bars pattern AND the Marie Curie bundle.

The giveaway is running from Friday 25th August and a winner will be chosen at random at 5pm. Tuesday 29th August. Click here to take you to my Instagram.


https://www.instagram.com/annaboos_house/?hl=en

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and good luck in the giveaway!

Sarah xx

Monday, 21 August 2017

Stylecraft Visit 2017 (Part 2)

Yarn... Lovely, new yarn.


All crocheters and knitters love the stuff and it's always exciting when a favourite manufacturer releases additional colours, or a new range. On my recent visit to the Stylecraft Mill as one of their Blogstars (read Part 1 here) it was with great anticipation that we watched the Autumn/Winter presentation to see the new yarns.


This has to be my favourite image from the presentation - just look at this stunning crocheted blanket and cushion, designed by the clever Annelies Baes. It's made with some of the new colours in the Life DK range and is just a beauty.

Here's some of my new faves:


First up, it's a new yarn called Tweedy. (100g / 260m) This is a really bright and cheery double-knit yarn, made from 74% premium acrylic and 26% cotton. Just four shades available at the mo - love the subtle mix of colours.



Next, there's colour additions to the already super-popular Head over Heels sock yarn, as well as a variation called Boho, which includes funky stripes of black and white.


The Batik yarns (my current yarn-crush - see below) have also enjoyed some colour additions, and also a whole new range:


The Batik Elements - a variagated blend of colours in the same 50g /138m 80% Acrylic /20% Wool blend as the solids.
Here's a little peek of something I'm working on with this amazing green 'Kryptonite'..


 

AND in super-exciting news, my latest CAL (crochet-a-long) design for Inside Crochet magazine uses the Batik solids, too. I chose four complemetary shades to create a gorgeously cosy shawl, which will be perfect for the Autumn. 
The Batik yarn was such a good choice for this project - it's soft and bouncy and the stitch definition is superb. I think it would work in any combination of colours you fancied.

Photo Credits to Mavric Photography / Inside Crochet Issue 92

Find the pattern for the first part of the mystery shawl in Issue 92. Sections 2 and 3 will be in the following issues of the magazine.

I'm tempted to make another version using some of the Batik Elements, or perhaps the Tweedy, but I really must get on with all my other projects, first... (more on those in my next post)


Find out more about the Stylecraft Yarns Blogstars here.

Wishing you a great week,

Sarah xx

Friday, 18 August 2017

Stylecraft Visit 2017 (Part 1)

It is my absolute pleasure to be one of the Stylecraft Blogstars and to be able to work with such an iconic brand. 


My most favourite thing about the partnership is the twice-yearly get-together at the Mill, where we get to meet the team, preview new collections, try out products and learn a new skill in the workshops.

Apart from the fabulous overnight stay in a local hotel (with THE most scary morning drive to the Mill along one of the narrowest and twisty-turny hills in Yorkshire), we also have an activity organised for the Friday afternoon.

This year, it was a trip to the Hockney exhibition at Salts Mill.




What a treat - we had a wonderful tour guide, who showed us the collection and talked about Hockney's work and life.



I loved the ipad/iphone pictures above and the images below from 'The Arrival of Spring' were astonishing; the colours were bright and luminous. 


After a marvellous dinner and a jolly good night's sleep, it was off to the Mill for our meeting (including a heart-stopping encounter with a white van on that hill...).


We got to see some of the new patterns in the upcoming Autumn / Winter collections.


And obviously there was lots and lots of yarn to ooooooh and aaaaaaah over (there was much squishing and touching going on). I'll show you some of the new yarns in the second part of this blogpost very soon.


And as if that wasn't enough, we had a member of the Ring of Tatters visit us. She spoke to us about the art of tatting and gave us a demonstration, too .

Ever heard of tatting?
It's an amazing, delicate craft of making teeny, tiny knots, which can create such beauties as this:


This is my rather feeble attempt.
I don't think the Ring of Tatters will be calling me anytime soon...



And here are some of us at dinner - see how we all have a kntting or crochet project with us?


It was a wonderful weekend and I was lucky enough to come home with a rather large bag of yarn to try.

But, most importantly, as somebody whose closest friends (although amazeballs) are not the crafty sort, these meetings give me the opportunity to talk about all things yarn and blog related with my fellow blogstars and the Stylecraft team; it's like being with my tribe - with people who 'get' me.
(And I can utter the phrase 'Oooo, this DK isnt the least bit splitty' without having to explain what on earth I am talking about...)

Want to find out more about the Blogstars? Read about them all here.

Enjoy your weekend, lovely peeps,

Part two of this blog post will be out very soon.
Sarah xxx

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Starfish and The Squid

Theres something fishy going on here today ...
Awwww, how sweet. Two little sea creatures having fun together.
As it's the summer time here in the UK, I fancied a new project. and as I haven't made any amigurumi for a while, I decided on some little ocean characters. 

They're the perfect stash-busting project, as each only uses about 20g of yarn - cotton DK is my preference, but you can use whatever you have to hand.

Patterns are in UK terms first, US below.
Enjoy!

Squid Pattern UK terms

Did you know that we squids have ten appendages? We have eight arms and two longer tentacles.


You will need:
Approx 20g of dk yarn and hook to match - I used leftovers of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK and a 4mm hook
Toy stuffing
2 x 6mm eyes
Black embroidery thread and needle

Pattern
Work in continuous rounds for the body and rows for the arms and tentacles. 
Stuff as you go.

Rnd 1: 5dc in magic ring OR ch2, make 5dc in 2nd ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnd 2: 1dc in each st around.  

Rnd 3: (1dc, 2dc in next st) twice, 1dc in last st. (7)
Rnd 4: (2dc, 2dc in next st) twice, 1dc in last st. (9)
Rnd 5: 1dc in each st around.

Rnd 6: (2dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (12)
Rnd 7: (3dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (15)
Rnd 8: (4dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (18)
Rnd 9: (5dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (21)
Rnd 10: (6dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (24)
Rnd 11: 1dc in each st around.

Rnd 12: (5dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (28)
Rnds 13 - 16: 1dc in each st around.

Rnd 17: (5dc, dc2tog) repeat around. (24) 
Rnds 18 - 20: 1dc in each st around.
Rnd 21: (4dc, dc2tog) repeat around. (20) 
Rnd 22: (3dc, dc2tog) repeat around. (16) 
Rnd 23: 1dc in each st around.

Insert eyes and stitch mouth, using pictures as a guide.

Rnd 24: dc2tog x 3, 4dc, dc2tog x 3 (10)

The arms and tentacles are made into the front loops only (FLO) of the stitches from rnd 24. Make sure that the longer tentacles are at the front of your squid.

Rnd 25: (shorter arms x 8) sl st into FLO of next st. *11ch, (now work into chain stitches, beginning in 2nd ch from hook) 2dc, 8htr, sl st into FLO of next st; repeat from *

(longer tentacles x 2) sl st into FLO of next st. *16ch, (now work into chain stitches, beginning in 2nd ch from hook) 3dc, 12htr, sl st into FLO of next st; repeat from *

Rnd 26: sl st into unused back loops from rnd 24, dc2tog around in BLO. (5)

Sew closed and fasten off.

Starfish Pattern UK Terms
 
Did you know that we starfish are found in oceans all over the world, from tropical to polar waters.


The starfish is made of two pieces which are crocheted together. I made the front and back in two different colours because I only had small amounts of yarn.

You will need:
Approx 20g of dk yarn and hook to match - I used leftovers of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK and a 4mm hook
Toy stuffing
2 x 6mm eyes
Black embroidery thread and needle

Pattern
Work in continuous rounds for the body, then in rows to make the arms. 
Stuff just before closing.

Body
Rnd 1: 5dc in magic ring OR ch2, make 5dc in 2nd ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnds 2 - 3: 2dc in each st around (20)
Rnd 4: 1dc in each st around.
Rnd 5: (3dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (25)

Arms
Row 6: 1dc in next 5 sts, turn. (5)
Rows 7 - 8: 1ch, 1dc in each st, turn.
Row 9: 1ch, dc2tog, 1dc, dc2tog, turn. (3)
Rows 10 - 11: 1ch, 1dc in each st, turn.
Row 12: 1ch, dc2tog, 1dc, turn (2)
Row 13: 1ch, 1dc in each st.
Fasten off

Repeat rows 6 - 13 around rnd 5 to make 5 arms in total


To make up

Insert eyes and stitch mouth onto front piece, using pictures as a guide.
With both pieces together WS facing, use yarn of your choice and dc the edges closed, stuffing firmly before finishing.
Fasten off.

Squid Pattern US Terms

 
Did you know that we squids have ten appendages? We have eight arms and two longer tentacles.

You will need:
Approx 20g of dk or sportweight yarn and hook to match - I used leftovers of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK and a 4mm hook
Toy stuffing
2 x 6mm eyes
Black embroidery thread and needle

Pattern
Work in continuous rounds for the body and rows for the arms and tentacles. 
Stuff as you go.

Rnd 1: 5sc in magic ring OR ch2, make 5sc in 2nd ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnd 2: 1sc in each st around.  

Rnd 3: (1sc, 2sc in next st) twice, 1sc in last st. (7)
Rnd 4: (2sc, 2sc in next st) twice, 1sc in last st. (9)
Rnd 5: 1sc in each st around.

Rnd 6: (2sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around. (12)
Rnd 7: (3sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around. (15)
Rnd 8: (4sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around. (18)
Rnd 9: (5sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around. (21)
Rnd 10: (6sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around. (24)
Rnd 11: 1sc in each st around.

Rnd 12: (5sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around. (28)
Rnds 13 - 16: 1sc in each st around.

Rnd 17: (5sc, sc2tog) repeat around. (24) 
Rnds 18 - 20: 1sc in each st around.
Rnd 21: (4sc, sc2tog) repeat around. (20) 
Rnd 22: (3sc, sc2tog) repeat around. (16) 
Rnd 23: 1sc in each st around.

Insert eyes and stitch mouth, using pictures as a guide.

Rnd 24: sc2tog x 3, 4sc, sc2tog x 3 (10)

The arms and tentacles are made into the front loops only (FLO) of the stitches from rnd 24. Make sure that the longer tentacles are at the front of your squid.

Rnd 25: (shorter arms x 8) sl st into FLO of next st. *11ch, (now work into chain stitches, beginning in 2nd ch from hook) 2sc, 8hdc, sl st into FLO of next st; repeat from *

(longer tentacles x 2) sl st into FLO of next st. *16ch, (now work into chain stitches, beginning in 2nd ch from hook) 3sc, 12hdc, sl st into FLO of next st; repeat from *

Rnd 26: sl st into unused back loops from rnd 24, sc2tog around in BLO. (5)

Sew closed and fasten off.



 Starfish Pattern US Terms



Did you know that we starfish are found in oceans all over the world, from tropical to polar waters.

The starfish is made of two pieces which are crocheted together. I made the front and back in two different colours because I only had small amounts of yarn.

You will need:
Approx 20g of dk or sportweight yarn and hook to match - I used leftovers of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK and a 4mm hook
Toy stuffing
2 x 6mm eyes
Black embroidery thread and needle

Pattern
Work in continuous rounds for the body, then in rows to make the arms. 
Stuff just before closing.

Body
Rnd 1: 5sc in magic ring OR ch2, make 5sc in 2nd ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnds 2 - 3: 2sc in each st around (20)
Rnd 4: 1sc in each st around.
Rnd 5: (3sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around. (25)

Arms
Row 6: 1sc in next 5 sts, turn. (5)
Rows 7 - 8: 1ch, 1sc in each st, turn.
Row 9: 1ch, sc2tog, 1sc, sc2tog, turn. (3)
Rows 10 - 11: 1ch, 1sc in each st, turn.
Row 12: 1ch, sc2tog, 1sc, turn (2)
Row 13: 1ch, 1sc in each st.
Fasten off

Repeat rows 6 - 13 around rnd 5 to make 5 arms in total


To make up

Insert eyes and stitch mouth onto front piece, using pictures as a guide.
With both pieces together WS facing, use yarn of your choice and sc the edges closed, stuffing firmly before finishing.
Fasten off.


Enjoy!

Sarah xx