Saturday, 1 August 2015

A cotton project

Cottons are one of my favourite yarns to work with; they have that lovely feel through the hands and are smooth on my hook.
Usually, I stick to my old favourites. Rico Creative Cotton Aran, or Drops Paris Cotton - both come in a huge array of colours, are inexpensive and have a wonderful, matte finish.

But I had an idea to make something else - something for me. Something for me to wear.
(Did you know that I have never made myself an actual, crocheted garment before. This is new territory for me.)

And so for that, I needed a different yarn. I still wanted cotton, but I wanted something finely spun, that would produce a nice drape....

And so I am trying this:

Patons 100% Cotton DK. It's mercerised, too (which has always scared me a bit). But is basically a manufacturing process which strengthens the yarn and produces a lustrous sheen. 

And so this is what I've managed so far:

Admittedly, it's not much, but I'm making it up as I go.
I like the stitch definition and I think the sheen is rather lovely. The label recommends a 4mm hook, but I'm using a slightly larger 5mm to give a better (I hope) drape.

My plan is for it to be a summer cardigan.... this rate it might be finished by next summer. 

I'll keep you posted!

And if you'd like to purchase some of this yarn, then you could try the very lovely folk at Stitch Craft Create, who will be only too happy to help.

Have a great weekend,
Sarah x

Sunday, 26 July 2015

And the WINNER is...

.... Sue Bellwood

Well done to you!

I used a random number generator-thingy and yours was the lucky number! 

You have won a signed copy of my book, along with a hook and some fab yarn to get you started.

Please leave me a comment below with your email address (it won't be published) and I'll be in contact  to arrange who you'd like the book dedicated to and where you'd like your goodies to be sent!


Have a fab week,

Sarah xxxx

Monday, 13 July 2015

Beginner's Guide To Crochet GIVEAWAY

Well I know how much you all love a giveaway, so here's one I hope you'll like:

You could win this little lot:

A signed copy of my book, Beginner's Guide to Crochet*
3 balls of Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Green, Pink and Turquoise
and a 4mm hook

*aimed at the complete beginner, but perfect for experienced crocheters too, with 20 projects to keep you busy...

So to enter, you just need to do the following:

- Be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post. 

That's it, no jumping through of hoops necessary...

... however, for additional chances to win, then mention (and link to) this giveaway post in one of your blog posts (let me know if you do) and I'll stick your name in again. For every new blog post you mention the giveaway in, you get another entry.

And as if that's not enough, I am also running an identical giveaway on Instagram, so head over for yet another chance to win..

The boring rules:
The winner will be drawn at random on Monday 27th July (closing date will be Sunday 26th July 12pm GMT).
Open worldwide.
One copy of the book/yarn/hook to be won through this blog giveaway and another book/yarn/hook to be won through my Instagram giveaway.
The winner of the blog giveaway must follow this blog.
The winner of the Instagram giveaway must follow my Instagram account.
Any entrant who mentions the giveaway on their blog must link to this post and let me know before the close of the draw on Sunday 26th July 12pm GMT.
The winner of the blog giveaway will be identified in a blog post published on Monday 27th July and must contact me with 2 weeks, or the draw will be made again.
The winner of the Instagram giveaway will be tagged in an Instagram post on Monday 27th July and must contact me with 2 weeks, or the draw will be made again.

Good luck to you all, I can't wait to draw the winners!!

Sarah xx

Thursday, 25 June 2015

The one with a bobble stitch cushion

I've been meaning to get this pattern out for months, I tell you. It's one of those which has been lingering in my design book, waiting for me to take some photos and make a YouTube tutorial to accompany it.
And I've finally done it.

It's not at all difficult and involves a hook, yarn, some double crochet and some bobble stitches. 
And a few buttons.
And a cushion that measures 45cms*

* ok, that's a teeny lie. I used a 45 cm cushion, but this pattern can be easily adjusted for any size- see under the pattern for how to do it.


Bobble Stitch Cushion

Pattern written in UK terms
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
yoh = yarn over hook

To make the bobble stitch:
1) Yoh, hook into stitch, yoh, draw yarn through stitch.
    Yoh, draw yarn through first 2 loops (2 loops on hook)
2) repeat (3 loops on hook)
3) repeat (4 loops on hook)
4) repeat (5 loops on hook)
5) repeat (6 loops on hook) 
6) Yoh, draw yarn through all loops.

You need:
Hook and yarn (what ever you fancy here. I used 4 x balls of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Glacier (shade 105) and a 12 mm hook.
Buttons (I used 4 x 2.5cm)

Both sides of the cushion are crocheted in rows. At the beginning of each row, turn your work and ch1.

Front of cushion (make 1)

Foundation chain: ch31
Row 1: dc in each st across row (31 sts)
Row 2: dc 3, *bobble in next st, dc 3* repeat from * to * across row
Rows 3-5: dc in each st across row (31 sts)
Row 6: dc 5, *bobble in next st, dc 3* repeat from * to * across row, until you have 5 sts left, then dc 5.
Rows 7-9: repeat row 1
Rows 10-37: repeat the pattern: row 2, then x3 rows of dc, then row 6, followed by x3 rows of dc 

Back of cushion (make 1)
Foundation chain: ch31
Rows 1-37: dc in each st across row (31 sts)

To make up:
Align the front and back pieces with wrong sides together with the bobble side facing you, right-way-up. Beginning at the top left corner and working in a clockwise direction, dc three of the sides together. You will need to put 3 dcs in the corner stitches. Stitch a few buttons along the top of the cushion, on the wrong side of the bobble edge. Use the spaces between the stitches on the back piece as button holes.

To adjust this pattern to fit any cushion, you need to alter the width and height of the front and back panels. To adjust the width, make sure your foundation chain is a multiple of 4 and add 3 more. To change the height, simply add or subtract the total number of rows. 

Enjoy all your crafty endeavours this week,
Sarah xx

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Croobs

So when your good friend, who is a lactation consultant asks if you can make some Croobs (crochet boobs), what do you say?

Obvious, really.

The perfect gift for a midwife, breastfeeding councillor, health visitor or any other in-need-of-a-boob-type-person. 

Here's the pattern, written in UK terms:
By varying it slightly you can create a normal, inverted and flat Croob (explanations below). 
Each Croob measures approx 10cms in diameter.

You need:
Hook and yarn (any dk or Aran weight will do it)
Toy stuffing

I used a 4.5mm hook and Drops Paris Cotton in Dark Beige (26) for the nipple and Powder Pink (58) for the flesh. You'll probably need 2 balls of the pink to make all three Croobs.

Normal Croob
In beige
Rnd 1: 6dc in magic ring or ch2, 6dc in 2nd ch from hook.
Rnds 2 and 3: 1dc in each st around 
Rnd 4: 2dc in each st around (12 sts)
Rnd 5: (1dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (18)
Rnd 6: (2dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (24)
Rnd 7: (3dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (30)

Change to pink
Rnd 8: (4dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (36)
Rnd 9: (5dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (42)
Rnd 10: 1dc in each st around
Rnd 11: (6dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (48)
Rnd 12: (7dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (54)

Rnds 13-17: 1dc in each st around.

Rnd 18: (7dc, dc2tog) repeat around (48)
Rnd 19: (6dc, dc2tog) repeat around (42)
Rnd 20: 1dc in each st around
Rnd 21: (5dc, dc2tog) repeat around (36)
Rnd 22: (4dc, dc2tog) repeat around (30)
Rnd 23: (3dc, dc2tog) repeat around (24)
Rnd 24: (2dc, dc2tog) repeat around (18)

Stuff firmly

Rnd 25: (1dc, dc2tog) repeat around (12)
Rnd 26: dc2tog around (6)

Finish stuffing and sew closed.

Flat Croob
Make as normal, but miss out rounds 2 and 3.

Inverted Croob
Make as normal, but leave a long tail of the beige when you begin. Once you get to round 24, pull the tail to invert the nipple. Stuff as usual and complete the pattern. Tie the beige tail to the pink to prevent the nipple from un-inverting and sew closed.

Happy days!

Enjoy your crochet,
Sarah xx