As a crocheter and knitter I love yarn and hate wasting it, so as well as a significant stash of gorgeous new yarn I have a growing bag of oddments which are far too precious to throw away.   Many of these oddments are remains from projects I made, many were gifts, and each has memories entwined in the yarn.  How many of you have similar bags?   You don’t need to answer me – because I know a true yarn addict will have huge amounts just like me!

So for this year’s blanket CAL I had the idea to design a blanket that could be made from these oddments.   Imagine being wrapped in a blanket with all those memories, it’s just too luscious a thought to ignore!   I started designing using Stylecraft Special DK as I had lots of part balls, but the design needed something to draw it together so I used some new balls in one background/joining colour – in this case cream.  I designed 7 different square motifs and ended up using 13 colours – they were all one-colour motifs except for the thread of cream running through them.  However, the motifs can be made in several colours to use up smaller amounts.

Once my DK blanket was made, I started a blanket using my 4ply scraps. I have a lot more of these and in many different yarns and colours.  Some are traditional sock yarns and multi-coloured, some are single coloured 4 ply yarns and some are semi-solids.  The yarn bases are also a wide range – traditional wool/nylon sock yarns, merino, Bluefaced Leicester, silk, alpaca and even baby camel!  They were also from many different producers – West Yorkshire Spinners, Natural Dye Studio, Nimu, Triskelion, Yarns from the Plain to name a few.   This meant the motifs needed a good blocking before joining as the different yarns were slightly different thicknesses; but that also gave the blanket a lovely texture.    The background colour I chose was a pale grey which was much less of a contrast than cream and helped all the different colours blend together.   As there were many luxury yarns in the blanket I picked Drops Baby Alpaca Silk as the base which is also a touch of luxury!

The beauty of this blanket is that it can produce a different effect depending on how you choose your colours, as is demonstrated in these contrasting sneak peek photos, on the right the DK version and on the left the 4ply version.

If you want to join in the blanket CAL then I suggest you start rummaging in your yarn cupboards now!  The only conditions are that you should choose the same yarn weight throughout and have a background colour that will draw the design together (you may need to buy more yarn for this).  In the pattern I’ve given examples of the size of squares in DK and 4 ply, together with an estimate of how much yarn is needed for a square.   I also include the quantities of background DK and 4ply I used in my blankets but, of course, you may need different quantities depending on your own blanket size.

The CAL starts on Friday 2nd February 2018 when the first square will be published.  A new square will be published each week thereafter and finally the joining instructions together with border instructions will be published on Friday 16th March.

If you want to join in the CAL then you will find the introduction to the pattern here.  It provides basic information on the yarn I used, the stitches that you can expect and the layout of the DK blanket I made in case you prefer to follow a plan rather than choose your yarns and squares randomly.    If you purchase the pattern before 1st February you get it for only £2 (no code needed, discount is automatic).   As squares are added the pattern will be updated for you.

I can’t think of a better way to stashbust those favourite oddments of yarn and tidy your cupboards!

Oh, and the name of the pattern is Wrapped in Memories.

Happy crocheting xxx

As 2017 draws to a close, allow me a little time to reflect on 2017 achievements.  This was the year I wrote my first printed book of patterns – Cowling Around.  This took up more time than I anticipated and meant I didn’t produce quite as many designs as in prevoous years.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much I did publish!

Here’s a summary of the majority of my 2017 designs:

My plans for 2018 are not yet firm, other than planning a blanket CAL which will start towards the end of January.  This is a design using 7 different squares – my double knit blanket prototype is now finished and my sock yarn scraps blanket is well advanced – here’s a sneak peek of the DK version (using Stylecraft Special DK):

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Wishing you a Happy New Year, and I hope it brings you lots of yarny goodness and good health.

Happy crocheting xxx

Have you been following the Christmas Mandala CAL?   There are some lovely photos on the Ravelry group.

For those who haven’t joined in, here’s the finished design:

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The full pattern is available on Ravelry if you want to have a go.

I love doing Mandala CALs over Christmas, it fills the days with gorgeous colour which is just what we need in the northern hemisphere at this time of year!

Happy crocheting  xxx

Now that all the parts of the Advent CAL have been published (and photos of completed projects have started to pop up on Ravelry) I can share details of the next CAL.

The time between Christmas and New Year gives many people the opportunity to take holidays and have an extended break (up to 10 days this year) and others have no choice by having enforced holidays as businesses close for the season.  As a result many people have more leisure time than usual – so I think this is a good time to do a quick CAL, something that takes a little time each day and brightens up the winter days (which are rather grey in the UK right now!).    That means a Christmas Mandala CAL!

I have designed a colourful mandala which I will release in 4 parts, one each day from 27th to 30th December.  The mandala has 15 rounds and each day between 3 and 5 rounds of the pattern will be released.

If you want to join in you can find the pattern here.  It’s just the introduction part for now, but it does include the materials required and the stitches used.   And there is a discussion group on Ravelry here.    And if you buy the pattern before midnight (GMT) on 26th December, you can get 50% discount by using the coupon code XMAS

Want a sneaky peek?

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Ok – this doesn’t give much of a clue, but it shows how colourful it is!

Happy crocheting xxx

 

The bonus pattern for the Snowstorm Table runner advent CAL has just been published a little bit earlier than planned – I hope this hasn’t surprised you too much!.  You can find the pattern here.  This completes the pattern and you should be able to make your table very snowy and festive!

What is the bonus?  Well, you all know I love snowflakes so what better way to complete the table decoration than a flurry of snowflake table confetti?   The bonus includes 2 small patterns for teeny and tiny snowflakes, you can use up your remaining yarn and scatter them on your table.  Or why not make tree or window decorations with them?

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Happy crocheting xxxx

 

Part 3 of the Snowstorm Table Runner was published today – you can find the pattern here.

Part 3 completes the table runner pattern but there is a part 4 due out next week as a bonus!  Some people have already started to post photos of progress on the Ravelry discussion thread here.   But I have now opened up a new Ravelry thread (no chatting) for photos of finished Snowstorms.    If you post a photo of your finished table runner on this thread by the end of 31st December you will be eligible for the prize draw.  The draw takes place on 1st January by random number generator and the prize is an ebook copy of Cowling Around, my book of 9 crochet cowl designs.

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I’m looking forward to seeing a flurry of Snowstorms!

Happy crocheting xx

 

Part 1 of the Advent CAL has just been published.  Everyone who has purchased the pattern should now have an email advising of the update and you should be able to find it in your Ravelry library.

Part 1 is the main motif centres.   These are made in the central colours and you can have fun playing around with your colour combinations.  Here’s what mine look like:

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I’m doing the medium size, which needs 24 motif centres – so using my 4 colours I made 2 of each possible colour combination.

If you haven’t joined the CAL yet, you can find part 1 here.

Part 2 will be released on Thursday 7th December.  Until then……

Happy crocheting xx

 

 

 

It’s been quiet here recently, because I haven’t been here much!  I really must remind you about the CAL starting in a few days but I have to let you know where I have been.

Last week I had a fabulous time with my knitterly friends on holiday in Skipton.  We manage to fit 2 knitaway holidays in each year, the spring one is in Buxton where we have found a lovely hotel with great food and hospitality, so we visit them each April.  The autumn one has varied; we have been to Ludlow and Harrogate.  This year we decided to try Skipton.  We do have quite a requirement list – hotel amenities are important (location, rooms, food, lounge for knitting/crocheting/crafting) but so is the town.  We want to have plenty to see, lots of choice for lunch and coffee and a good yarn shop.  Skipton did not disappoint!  We found 5 shops selling yarn – FIVE!!!!!   My next trip to Yarndale will be very interesting, if not a tad hectic………….!  And before you ask – yes I met Lucy 🙂

So I will share more of our trip soon, but time is passing so quickly and in a few days part one of the Advent CAL will be released.    This is the festive table runner called Snowstorm – you can find details of the CAL and the discount code (available only for a few more days) here and here.

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I finished the pattern writing today – or rather the ‘polishing’ because the pattern was written a while ago.   It will be released in UK and US terms (with charts), you will just need to choose your preferred crochet terms when you download from Ravelry.  So roll on Friday 1st December!

Did I mention prizes?  There will be prizes – to be announced in due course – but you have to be in to win!

I hope you join in the fun!

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

Now I don’t want to encourage too many to visit Skipton for a knitaway, afterall I want to be able to visit againThe Wooleys is a good-sized yarn shop featuring samples of some lovely crochet blankeA couple are larger storesthat happen to hav eyarn

have to be what w

So it is two weeks until part 1 of the Advent CAL is revealed and published, are you as excited as me?

To reward you with your patience I’m offering you another discount.  This is my Christmas Bauble, otherwise known as the Christmas SBB Bauble.  What a strange name you say?  Well it’s because it uses 3 techniques – Spike st, Beads and Bobbles.

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The pattern, normally £2, can be purchased at half price if you use coupon code CHRISTMAS at check-out on Ravelry – available until midnight GMT on Sunday 19th November 2017.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

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Are you are still feeling a little impatient awaiting the Advent CAL?.  Well maybe I can soothe you!

Until midnight GMT on Sunday, the Soothing Mandala is available on Ravelry at a 50% discount if you use coupon code IMPATIENT at checkout.  Playing with some colour and creating a beautiful mandala could be just what you need!

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Shell edge

Happy crocheting xxx

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