2018 Review

2018 is drawing to a close.  This is my opportunity to reflect on my design achievements for 2018 and start planning for 2019.  When I looked at what I had designed in 2018 I was astonished to find 26 new designs, ranging from small brooches to large blankets – how did I fit it all in?  Here are some of my 2018 designs:

I am a little late in planning 2019 but perhaps that is because I have started slowing my pace already.  I am trying to free up some time for  ‘me’ in 2019, so I can do some spinning, sewing and weaving.   So I plan to organise myself better and clear some space in my cupboards so I can select my crafts more easily.   As for designing, maybe I’ll slow a little but I do have a blanket CAL planned for early 2019 and I have a new shawl design on my hook, so it doesn’t feel any slower than normal!

I hope you enjoy your New Year celebrations and that 2019 brings you all you wish for.

Happy crafting xxx


Christmas Mandala 2018

The period between Christmas and New Year gives many people the opportunity to take holidays and have an extended break and others have no choice by having enforced holidays as businesses close for the season.  So this is a great time for a little CAL fun and it has become a tradition for me to hold a mandala CAL over this period.

Once again I have designed a colourful mandala and this year I will release it in 6 parts – one per day from 26th to 31st December 2018.   The mandala has 16 rounds and each day between 2 and 6 rounds of the pattern will be released.  So the mandala CAL will take a little time to work up each day and playing with colours in your mandala at this time of year helps brighten up your day (which is rather grey in the UK at this time of year!).

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 75% discount by using the coupon code CHRISTMAS

I  used pastel colours this year – here’s a peek:

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Of course, you could use any colours you like, so don’t be afraid to experiment!  It will be lovely to see what colours everyone chooses 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

Advent CAL part 4

Today the final Advent CAL patterns have been published, there are now 12 patterns in the ebook.

I always like to make snowflakes at Christmas and this is the one I designed for the CAL:


As well as the snowflake, there are some mini decorations – circles and triangles each in 2 styles.  These are super quick to make and can be used as decorations, bunting, gift tags or whatever your imagination tells you!


Finally a tiny flower brooch, perfect as a last minute thank you gift.


There’s still more than a week to Christmas, so time to hook up some final presents.  Don’t forget if you join the CAL in my Ravelry group you could be in for a prize!

Happy crocheting xxx

Advent CAL part 3

It’s Saturday – that means part 3 of the Advent CAL: The 12 Gifts of Christmas is live! This week it is pretty and personal – which means 3 very pretty gifts for personal use.


A little pin cushion called Iced Fancy because it was inspired by Iced Fancy cakes.   This is a perfect little stashbuster using up lots of little leftover dk yarn.  It has 2 different edges to choose from for the base.  Why not make one as a present and box up with some cakes?


Precious Gift Bag – using texture and beads to make a lovely little bag/pouch.  This could be used to package a small present or as a jewellery pouch.  Finished size is approx. 15cm (6″) high.


The Linen Mitt is a design for using natural products in the shower.   I have trialled so many shower mitts this year in search of the most practical and plastic free.  This works well for me, creating just enough lather whilst also being open enough to dry quickly and naturally – and being linen there are none of those nasty microfibres making their way into the drains.  Wrapped up with some pure soap this would make a perfect gift for the eco conscious.

It is difficult to decide which is my favourite this week, but based on use the Linen Mitt must win as I use mine everyday and  am so thankful that I no longer use plastic shower puffs.

The 3 patterns have been added to the ebook here:  The 12 Gifts of Christmas.  There are now 9 patterns in the ebook and the last 3 will be added next week.

Please do join in the Advent CAL on Ravelry here.

Happy crocheting xxx




Just over 2 weeks ago I was pleased as punch when the Friends Around the World 3rd Anniversary Blanket CAL started and one of my squares was published first.   When I was asked to design the squares (there are 2), I was given a brief for something with texture that could be done in one colour.   At the time I was finalising the Wrapped in Memories Blanket CAL and I was using a favourite join which gave a lovely textured effect, so it seemed natural to incorporate it into the 2 squares for the Friends Around the World CAL.

Those who know my work will know that I like simple and elegant designs, some may even say I practice simple rhythmic (even mindful) crochet design but for me it’s a combination of wanting something gentle and pleasing to the eye with crochet that is equally gentle and relaxing.  This means I use techniques which are fairly straightforward but every so often I throw in something a little more complex because the finished effect is just so lovely.  And the join I used falls into this category.

I don’t know if I invented this join, I do know that I haven’t seen it used anywhere before, but, as always with a craft that has been around for so long, it is highly likely that it has been used before.  Maybe I stumbled upon a re-invention!   I choose to call it the zigzag join because that is the effect – you can see it running through the middle here in Wrapped in Memories:


A number of people working on the Friends Around the World CAL have struggled with this join, so I’m adding information on the join technique to this blog to help (this information is extracted from Wrapped in Memories).  This should be read in conjunction with the pattern – either Noughts or Crosses, both of which are free downloads from Ravelry.

The theory behind the technique is simple, the last round of each square has chain spaces, with one or more stitches inbetween, and you join by slip stitching into the chain spaces.  This example has 1 chain spaces, with 1 double crochet (or single crochet in US terms) inbetween.  Hold you squares side by side, the square you are crocheting is on the left, the square you are joining to is on the right.   Your joining starts at a corner by a slip stitch into the right square’s corner chain space:


You then work a double crochet into the square on the left (this is the first one so it sits in the corner):


Now work a slip stitch into the right square:


Carry on in this way (double crochet into square on left, slip stitch into chain space on square on right) all along:


The final join is by slip stitch into the top corner on the right and double crochet into the top corner on the left.

And that is my zigzag join!

I hope this helps those of you who have struggled with the join.

Happy crocheting xxx

PS – don’t forget all words and photos in this blog are copyright!


Advent CAL part 2

The 3 patterns for the Advent CAL part 2 have been added to the ebook on Ravelry.  If you have bought the ebook then you should have received an email notification from Ravelry that the ebook has been updated, so pop onto Ravelry to find it in your library.

If you haven’t yet joined the CAL then you need to buy the ebook here.   The full price is £12 and it will eventually include all 12 patterns from the CAL (right now it has 6).  Until midnight GMT tonight it is on sale at the bargain price of £5 (no coupon code necessary).

So what are the 3 new patterns?  Well this week it is items for the home:

On the left is the ColourBull Cushion made from chunky yarn on a 6mm crochet hook.  I used Find Me knitting Ada in a variety of colours (exact quantities given in the pattern) but the joy of this design is you can choose as many or as few colours as you like.

To the top right is Lemon and Lime, a design for a coaster which can also be joined to make a table mat.  Full instructions for the join, mat layout and a chart are included.  It uses double knit cotton yarn and a 4mm crochet hook.  I used 4 colours of Stylecraft Classique DK cotton.

On the bottom right is Jug and Bowl Covers, which can be used as coasters also.  The pattern includes instructions for a 10cm jug cover and details of how to adjust the sizing.  Once you have grasped the technique for this you will be able to adapt to make covers and coasters to any size.  I used Stylecraft Classique DK cotton and a 4mm crochet hook, and some large beads.

All patterns are written in both UK and US crochet terms.

Since last week when the first 3 patterns were published I have seen a number of completed scarves and cowls; the cowl seems to be a favourite which pleases me because it is my favourite too!

Please join the Ravelry group and post updates on your progress in the Advent CAL.  Don’t forget there are prizes!

Until next week

Happy crocheting xxx