I am pleased to announce details of the Anniversary CAL 2015.

It is motif based and mandala inspired – so definitely colourful!

MCAL tiny peek

MCAL tiny peek

The pattern will be released in 3 parts and will be available on Ravelry and on LoveCrochet/LoveKnitting.  Part 1 will be published on 1st August and parts 2 and 3 follow at weekly intervals.

The motifs can be used together in just about any project using whatever yarn you like (stashing busting is very appropriate!).  I am making a cushion with mine, but I would love to see other uses – a blanket, a scarf or whatever you like.   As it is mandala inspired you may even like to make a set of mandalas!

The pattern costs £3.  However, on 1st August I will release a coupon code for those purchasing on Ravelry – the first 10 people using the coupon code will be able to get the pattern free.   Once those coupon codes are used up the pattern will be automatically discounted on Ravelry by £2 for the first week and £1 for the second week.  These discounts will also apply on LoveCrochet/LoveKnitting, which will be handy for those of you purchasing yarn.

There will be a prize draw at the end of September, all finished projects published on the FO thread on Ravelry will be eligible for the prize draw – whatever the FO is!    Multiple entries will be allowed.  Prizes TBA in due course.

If you want to make a cushion then this is the yarn I used (but this isn’t compulsory!):
Drops Alpaca, 100% alpaca, 50g/164m/182yds per ball.  1 ball each of:
Goldenrod (2923), Red (3620), Orange (2915), Lime (7300) and Off White (Main colour) (0100)
3.0mm (US D/3) crochet hook
My cushion had a different front and back, if you want to have them the same you may need 2 balls of the Main Colour.

Any questions?  Join my Ravelry group and ask questions here: Agrarian Artisan 

Happy crocheting xx

I’ve been a little quiet on this blog for a while.  That’s because I’m working hard in the background on my annual MCAL (mystery crochet-a-long).  This is planned to launch on 1st August, and the pattern instalments will be available on Ravelry and LoveCrochet.  It is mandala-themed and quite colourful.   More information coming soon………. meanwhile a tiny little peek (as tiny as I can make it!):

MCAL tiny peek

MCAL tiny peek

Happy crocheting xxx

Do you suffer from spontaneous projects?   You know the sort – you have plenty of projects to finish but an idea erupts in your head and you have to run with it and start a spontaneous project.

That happened to me this week, but it was worse than just a spontaneous project.  You see I tidied my stash cupboard, and I had a bag full of yarn to give away.  First stop was knitgroup on Tuesday, and some yarn was gratefully received but there was plenty left.  Second stop was knitgroup on Friday, more yarn was gratefully received and there was still some left.  The next stop should be the charity shop.   But before I go further I should add that my knitgroup are very charitable and anyone receiving yarn from a de-stash pops a donation into the ‘charity purse’, when the purse reaches £50 that money is donated to a charity chosen by one of the knitgroup.  So every stop along the de-stash route is charitable.

Except I didn’t plan to go to the charity shop until next week and on Friday I just looked at the remaining de-stash and well…..the spontaneous project erupted!   It was all because I’d been inspired by a rucksack I’d seen in a magazine, it was made using the V stitch.  I didn’t want a rucksack but I just loved the idea of a V stitch in a bag.   So I used some of my de-stash; a couple of skeins of Rowan Creative Linen became this:

Dolly Drawstring Bag

Dolly Drawstring Bag

I feel a bit guilty, because the remaining de-stash was destined for the charity shop and I’ve probably deprived them of some much needed funds.   So even though it was my yarn, I ended up popping some money in the charity purse!

I’m not writing up the pattern, but it is pretty straightforward – just make a base the size and shape you like and make the sides using V stitch, finish the top any way you like (I made a few rows of dc and added handles by making some slits in the dc section and threading the handles through like a drawstring or dolly bag).

What sort of spontaneous projects have you done recently?

Happy crocheting xx

I’ve just been shopping, I don’t normally go on a Saturday as I can go any day of the week and prefer to avoid the crowds.  But today I had to go because I was desperate to buy a copy of the latest Mollie Makes, issue number 55.  I should have received a contributor copy but it hasn’t arrived yet and I just wanted to see it to check  it was absolutely true that one of my designs is in it!   And it is:



I have worked as the crochet tech editor for Mollie Makes for a few years now, and it’s a great magazine to work for, not least because all the people I work with there are truly lovely.  However, I have never submitted any designs before; you see I don’t submit designs to any magazine often as I like to work at my own pace and don’t want the stress of deadlines.   In this instance I was partway through making the cowl and just sent a photo of it to the Deputy Editor (yes, partially made with lots of loose ends – in fact the photo didn’t look at all good!).   So I was very happily surprised to find they wanted it!

Pastel Cowl

Pastel Cowl

Having the evidence of the publication before my eyes, I settled down to a cuppa and enjoyed reading it.  I can’t help lingering over my design though – the photography and layout is wonderful, they have done me proud.  The cowl was a dream to make, because the motif is straightforward, quick to learn and easy to join….and the yarn I used was Drops Baby Alpaca Silk which is sooooo soft (and great value for luxury fibres at less than £4 per ball).

I would love to see any cowls made to this design, so if you are tempted to make one please do share a photo with me.

Happy crocheting xxx


As you know, I have a new addiction to mandalas.   And I may have mentioned that I am a constant crochet ‘doodler’, never far from my hook and yarn and playing with all sorts of designs all the time.   I have found that mandalas and doodling go very well together and this weekend I ‘doodled’ a new design.

Latest doodle

Latest doodle

It needs more work because it doesn’t fulfil all I need from a mandala.  So the next stage in the design process is to write the pattern as I made it, but adjusting where I think it needs improving.  And then I will make another one – using only the pattern.  A few people will be invited to test the pattern.   Eventually it will become a full fledged design and the pattern will become available.   For now it is just one of my latest favourite ‘doodles’.

Happy crocheting xx



My rainbow stashbuster cowl has been published here and here.

Luscious rainbow colours

Luscious rainbow colours

Whilst designed as a cowl, the motif can be used in anything and would be great in a blanket.  It is a little addictive and very easy to join as you go.  I used my leftover stash to make this – lots of colours of DK.  But it would be perfect in any yarn.



Pop over to my Ravelry forum for a little offer for the first 10 purchasers ;-)

Happy crocheting xx




I have been working on a new design, a stash busting cowl.  Or rather an all round stash buster :-)

I had a lot of double knit in a variety of rainbow colours so I designed a square motif which I put into a lovely colourful cowl.  I love the motif and I think it is a little addictive.  It would be perfect in a blanket.

The pattern is currently in test but should be published by the end of the week, meanwhile here’s a sneaky peek:

Stash buster

Stash buster

Do you have any ideas to share for stash busting?

Happy crocheting xxx

I made a decision last week that I really should share with you.

First, let me show you what I published last weekend:

Julie's mini mandala

Julie’s mini mandala

It is a simple design, a great stash buster, quick and easy to make.  It’s a gift tag, an ornament, or even a string of bunting, but most of all it’s a fun make.

I was just about to push the ‘free’ button when I halted…….this just isn’t fair to other designers.    And so my decision was to not publish it as a free pattern, nor will I publish any future new patterns as free patterns.

The reason I started selling my patterns many years ago was to be fair to all designers and operate on what I call ‘a level playing field’.  You see I recognised that there are a lot of designers who work extremely hard to make a living out of designing and selling patterns; if I made my patterns free then human nature is such that, even if my patterns were only half as good as some of the paid-for patterns, people would take my free patterns rather than buy those paid-for patterns.   Indirectly, I would be stealing the income of those designers if all my patterns were free.  But I couldn’t do that, I believe the designing world works best with lots of designers sharing their ideas and publishing their patterns.  The discerning knitters and crocheters deserve variety and quality, and the hard working designers deserve rewarding for all their efforts.

Even though that was my reason for starting to sell patterns, I was guilty of publishing some patterns free, because they were simple or small or used techniques that are very common.   But I have had this constant guilty feeling about it, it just isn’t fair to others.  Also, I do put a lot of work into my pattern writing, after all I am a tech editor and strive for high quality, and giving those free patterns is totally undervaluing my own work. And really ANY free pattern is undervaluing the work of all designers.

So I will not be publishing free patterns again, no matter how simple or small they are.  But from time to time I will offer discounts.   If you are a regular reader you will know that I have a forum on Ravelry.  Members of that forum (or people who like to read the forum) will find any discount codes there.   There’s a discount code lurking in there right now for the pattern I published last week, but it expires soon ;-)

So what are your views – have I made a good decision?

Happy knitting and crocheting xxxx

I think it is fair to say that the 4 lovely crocheters who came to my mandala workshop this afternoon had already fallen under the spell of magical mandalas.   I hope they went away having learned more about the maths and the ways to make them easier and neater.   And I know they went away having already made mandalas to their own designs.

Yummy yarn

Yummy yarn

There was plenty of yarn to choose from (22 shades of Stylecraft Cotton Classique DK), copious notes and patterns (I do like to write notes!) and a whole host of mandalas that I have made (some to my own design, some not) which I hope provided the right inspiration.

Mandala inspiration

Mandala inspiration

The four mandalas they made were all different, not just in colour but also in the techniques they chose to practice – definition, petals and maths were all being practiced.

I hope they don’t mind me sharing their designs with you:

014 013 012 011

Between them, they used almost all 22 shades of yarn!

It was a happy crochet afternoon, and I’m looking forward to the next one!

Happy crocheting xxx



I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog recently.   I didn’t mean to neglect it, I’ve just been a little busy doing some tech editing and a few commissions for some of my favourite magazines – all secret but all enjoyable.

Did I ever mention how I love tech editing?   Sometimes it is frustrating when designers do not follow the style guides of the magazines and I end up styling as well as editing, but most of the time it is very enjoyable.  I get to see some beautiful designs and make new acquaintances whilst querying the technicalities of the designs.  I find everything that is new is also very inspiring.

Also, I’ve been preparing for my ‘Magic of mandalas’ workshop next weekend – a 3 hour workshop on crochet mandalas; how to make them, the maths, tips and tricks and how to design your own!    Still a few places left…….

And this new mandala design (the second ‘born in Buxton’ design) will feature:

Mary's Mandala

Mary’s Mandala

And, as always, I have been busy making things – so here’s something I made last week as a present.



This is gorgeous bunting which I found on this blog.   A joy to make and very pretty.

What have you been up to these last few weeks?  Please share your crochet journeys :-)

Happy crocheting xxx

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