Part 4 has just been published – you can find the pattern here.  This is an easy square, so will give you a bit of a break if you struggled with the last one!   It is also very good with variegated yarn or using different colours – so another good little precious stash-buster.

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I can’t believe we are now at the hallway point in the CAL!    Only 3 squares to go and then joining/border.

If you haven’t joined in yet, there is still plenty of time – the pace of this CAL isn’t overwhelming 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

Many of you will know that I have been truly inspired by Lynne Rowe’s ‘Use it or Lose it’ campaign.  If you haven’t heard about Lynne’s campaign-you can read all about it here.

I have been tidying my cupboards and recycling anything I know I will not use – local community projects, charity shops and my friends at knitgroup have benefited from my tidying.  It is also very ‘cleansing’ – I feel so refreshed and have space to see things in my yarn cupboards (yes, I have to admit my yarn cupboards were embarassingly full and I couldn’t find anything before!).  But I do have a problem – I LOVE YARN!  So I still have plenty of yarn and do need to use it.

I have started some large stash-busting projects; my Wrapped in Memories CAL was the first blanket but also I found 11 skeins of single-spun double knit merino in my tidy up, so I am doing another blanket.  It is a simple granny style blanket, with just a little interest in it occasionally so that I don’t get bored.   The yarn is superb to work with as it glides off the hook smoothly and that speeds up the crocheting, so it won’t be long before I have a photo to share 🙂

I am doing lots of other smaller projects as well.  On Sunday I grabbed a few balls of cotton DK and whistled off some simple dishcloths whilst binge-watching Requiem on the TV!  This is the result:

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I just improvised the patterns – two of them were 8 round granny squares with simple edging:

They were each about 20 to 25cm square and used around 25g of dk cotton.   When making dishcloths I recommend cotton or linen yarn, both of which wear well and are good for the environment.  I pop my cloths in the wash after a day and, unlike microfibre cloths, washing them releases only organic fibres into the system.

I didn’t waste the ends of the balls either – I made a few cosmetic pads which you can see on the first photo above.   I have a free pattern for these here.  I have been using these pads for about 8 years now, making a few more every so often and recycling the oldest.   I used to use a packet of cosmetic cotton wool pads every month – so that’s a lot of cotton wool and plastic wrapping that I’ve saved!

The dishcloths ended up as little gifts for some of my cousins, but I am running a bit short of them in my kitchen so I plan to make some more for myself (yes, I still have plenty of cotton left!).   I’ll share photos of what I make with you, and the odd pattern for them as well.

Do you make dishcloths?   If so please share your ideas and makes – I’d love to see them.

Happy crocheting xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

I think you enjoyed Part 2 last week!  I have seen some lovely completed squares in photos and ‘in the yarn’.  Several people have used more than 1 colour and the design works well in multi-colours.

Part 3 has just been published, it reminds me of volcanoes!  OK, maybe I do have quite a vivid imagination, but it was the triangular peaks and the shells emerging from the top that gave me the thought.   These would show up better in multi-colour so I’m hoping some will take up the challenge 🙂

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Are you joining the CAL?  You can find the pattern here and the Ravelry discussion here.

Happy crocheting xxx

Last week I gave you an easy start on the CAL, so you could get to grips with the tension and sizing. I have seen some lovely photos of progress so it looks like you enjoyed the start 🙂

Part 2 is now published and it is a pretty square, one of my favourites.

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I can’t wait to see progress on this one!

You can find the pattern here.

Happy crocheting xxx

It’s Friday February 2nd 2018 and that means………… part 1 is released!  The pattern has been updated and you should have had a notification from Ravelry, if not just pop over there and check your library – and updated version should be available.

Here is square number 1:

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It is the simplest square of the CAL, and one which is based on the traditional and much loved granny square.  I thought you would appreciate an easy start, but also you probably all know how to make a granny square so using this as the basis for the first start at the scrap blanket gives you the opportunity to test out your tension on different yarns.  It is even possible that you’ll find some yarns will need different hook sizes – so if you use this to start with you will have a good idea of what size or sizes of hooks to use for the next square.

I love this one, and have plans to make a cushion cover using just this square!

I’ve included some more information in part 1 to give you an idea on how many squares you may want to make depending on size of blanket and weight of yarn – I hope you find this helpful.

The pattern is here.

Please share progress here, on Ravelry  or Facebook.

Happy crocheting xx

 

 

 

 

It is only a few days to the publication of part 1 of the 2018 Blanket CAL – I have been re-reading the pattern and tweaking a few bits today, so it is ready for publishing.

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Part 1 includes the first motif and some suggestions on how many motifs you will need for typical blanket sizes, in ether DK or 4ply yarn.  This will help you decide on how many motif 1 you want to make.

I aim to publish by 2pm on Friday 2nd February (UK time), but it may be a bit earlier.

Are you joining in the CAL?  If so, don’t forget that the early bird price of £2 is available only until midnight GMT tomorrow 31st January.  After that it reverts to full price of £4.50.

The pattern can be found here and there is a discussion forum on Ravelry here.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

 

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

 

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