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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.


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



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!


Shell edge

Happy crocheting xxx

So 1st December is a long way off, and you have plenty  of time to choose your colours for this year’s advent CAL.  But if you a feeling a little impatient and your hook is itching to make something – why not try last year’s CAL?


12 decorations in one pattern 🙂

And until midnight GMT tomorrow (5th November) you can get 50% off the pattern price if you use coupon code IMPATIENT at checkout.  Find the pattern here.

Happy crocheting xxx




Today I am publishing the introductory pattern for the Snowstorm Table Runner (Advent CAL 2017).  The pattern can be found here and, if you purchase before 1st December, using coupon code TABLE will give you a discount of £2.50 off the full price. So you get the pattern plus all updates when they are released for the price of £1.


A reminder of the release dates:

1st December – part 1

7th December – part 2

13th december – part 3

20th December – bonus!

Are you joining in?

Happy crocheting xxxx


Today I am sharing details of the Advent CAL 2017.  Remember last year’s Advent CAL – have a look here if you want a reminder.   This year the CAL is a festive table runner called Snowstorm.  It will be hosted on my Ravelry group and on my Facebook page.

The introductory pattern will be released on Ravelry at the end of this week.  To start with there will be no specific pattern details on it only the requirements (most of which are listed below). But if you buy the pattern before 1st December there will be a discount code (which I will publish here and on Ravelry) which will reduce the price to £1.  As new parts are released the pattern on Ravelry will be updated to include them, so you will receive all the updates.

The CAL patterns will be released in 3 parts:
Part 1 Friday 1st December 2017
Part 2 Thursday 7th December 2017
Part 3 Wednesday 13th December 2017
Bonus Tuesday 19th December 2017

If you work to the CAL timetable you should have your runner complete for the festive season.

Size:  The runner can be made in several sizes from Small which has 19 motifs to Extra-large with 34 motifs.

Colours:  The motifs are designed to be made in 3 colours – the centres in 2 seasonal colours of your choice and the outer in the main colour of white.    I chose to use 4 different shades of blue for my centres, to fit with my colour scheme, but it would fit well with only 2 colours.

Yarn:  I used Scheepjes Catona 4ply cotton yarn and all yarn quantities/sizes are based on this yarn.   I chose it because it comes in several different ball sizes (10g, 25g, 50g and 100g) which means you can buy smaller quantities of the central colours and more exact quantities if you don’t want to waste any yarn.   You could use any yarn provided you use a suitable hook size but be aware that the yarn quantities I quote are just for Scheepjes Catona.

These are my 4 blue colours:


From left to right:  Capri Blue (261), Bluebird (247), Bluebell (173) and Baby Blue (509)

If you fancy some more festive colours how about these lovely shades of red and green shown next to the white:


The red is Hot Red (115), the green is Emerald (515) and the white is Snow White (106)

The pattern will include details of the layout for each runner size, but as this is made of motifs you could vary the layout if you wish.

You will also need a 3mm (US D/3) crochet hook.

Size and yarn quantities are shown below:

Small:  82cm long by 30cm wide.  Yarn –  if using 4 colours then 1x20g of each colour, plus 75g of Snow White.  If using 2 colours then 25g of central colour and 50g of mid colour, plus 75g of Snow White.

Medium:  100cm long by 30cm wide.  Yarn –  if using 4 colours then 1x25g of each colour, plus 100g of Snow White.  If using 2 colours then 30g of central colour and 60g of mid colour, plus 100g of Snow White.

Large:  118cm long by 30cm wide.  Yarn –  if using 4 colours then 1x30g of each colour, plus 125g of Snow White.  If using 2 colours then 35g of central colour and 70g of mid colour, plus 125g of Snow White.

Extra-large:  136cm long by 30cm wide.  Yarn –  if using 4 colours then 1x35g of each colour, plus 150g of Snow White.  If using 2 colours then 40g of central colour and 80g of mid colour, plus 150g of Snow White.

Finally, fancy a sneak peek?  I don’t want to give too much away as I want you to have some surprises………….


If you have any questions, please ask away here, on Ravelry or on my Facebook page.

Happy crocheting xxxx

I love yarn shops – there’s nothing like squishing the yarn and talking to someone who knows all about the  yarn and what to make with it – you can’t get that experience from an online shop!   Sadly, I no longer have a yarn shop that I can say is truly ‘local’ to me but there is one a mere half an hour’s drive away which is my favourite ‘almost-local’ yarn shop – Magnolia Tree Crafts.   The shop is very much like a studio – bright and light and spacious; and the Lucy, the owner, is very helpful and knowledgeable.  It is in Poynton, Cheshire which has a lovely array of local shops and good free parking (I tend to park behind Waitrose, an added bonus 😉 ).

So it is fantastic that my first yarn shop book signing for Cowling Around will be held at Magnolia Tree Crafts.  I’ll be there on Saturday 28th October, signing copies of the book from 10am til 11am. I’m bringing the samples for the book with me so you can see them and try them on, always helpful when deciding which one to make.  And watch this space – there’ll be special discounts on the day on yarn for making any of the cowls!

To celebrate the occasion, I have designed a special cowl based on Chameleon from the book – I’m calling it the Magnolia Tree Cowl.  It uses one skein of West Yorkshire Spinners’ The Croft Shetland Aran.  The yarn makes a beautifully cosy cowl which is perfect for autumn and the design is fairly straightforward to make, except you may need a bit of help with the border.  If you want to try this design, then why not join a short workshop at 11am – I will show you how to make a mini version of the cowl (which you can put to good use as a jar cosy!) including that not so simple but very pretty border.  The workshop includes the pattern, tuition and yarn for the mini cowl, it also entitles you to a 25% discount from a skein of The Croft.    Interested? – then book here.

Later that day I am tutoring another workshop at Magnolia Tree Crafts – the popular and colourful Crocheted Mandalas workshop.


Magical Mandalas

At this workshop you’ll learn the history of crocheted mandalas, hints and tips on how to make them plus 2 patterns you can work through.  All yarn is supplied.  More information and booking here – but be quick, there aren’t many places left!

I’m looking forward to spending a lovely day at Magnolia Tree Crafts – I hope to see you there.

Happy crocheting xxx


I love buttons!   I have a huge collection of all sorts of colours and shapes and sizes, yet I don’t use them often.  I think buttons look lovely in jars – like sweets!   And that’s how I store them, colour coded and looking (to my eyes) gorgeous!

But, as I said, I don’t use them often and sometimes I feel guilty that I haven’t got  a use for them all.

Last weekend I heard about an amazing initiative by a school in the lake district – their aim is to collect 6m buttons to represent the holocaust victims.

So tonight I have been rummaging in my button collection and put together this:


2 jars of buttons. I don’t know how many there are in each but tomorrow I will find out because I plan to count them before I parcel them up and send them to the school.  Hopefully my buttons will add to their collection and help them raise the 6m they want.

Can you help?  Please send any buttons to:

The Lakes School
LA23 1HW

Together we can make a difference and a memorial.

A great day was had yesterday – some lovely productive workshops and all sorts of goodies to buy.  Here’s a summary in pictures:

Happy knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving and needle-felting! xxx

It is Cheshire Fibre Festival on Sunday 1st October and I am running 2 workshops on crocheted Christmas baubles (still a couple of places left in the afternoon if you want to join in!).  Between the workshops (at lunchtime) I have a mini-market stall selling a few crochet goodies and copies of my new book Cowling Around.

Whilst preparing for the mini-market stall I found a skein of yarn exactly the same as the one I used for Thistle – Cascade 220 in Shrimp.  So I’ve decided to run a prize draw on Sunday – anyone who buys a copy of my book then will be entered in the draw to win this skein of yarn – with which you could make your own Thistle:

I’ll be around selling copies of the book (and signing them) from noon til 1pm, and the draw will take place just before 1pm.

Come along and see the samples from the book, buy the book, browse and shop the other mini-market stalls and grab a coffee and cake.  You don’t have to come to a workshop to visit and shop at lunchtime 🙂

I look forward to seeing you then.

Happy crocheting xxxxx



This weekend is Yarndale, one of the best events in my yarn year!  I will be visiting on Saturday and I’m just thinking about my preparation.

Are you going to Yarndale?  If so here are my top tips.

The first part of my prep is a review of the exhibitor list and floor plan, both can be found on the website here.  I check the exhibitors then print out a floor plan and highlight the ones that I really want to visit, sometimes I end up with a long list of exhibitors and have to prioritise them (maybe using 2 colours of highlighter pen!).   This then helps me decide which route I should take through the auction mart.

Next is what to wear.  It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast, but even in hot weather the venue can be cold – it has open sides and concrete floor and is built on a slope which helps the air flow – so it can be chilly even on a warm day.  The floor means comfy shoes are needed, and nice warm handknitted socks.  I find trousers are best and ones with a secret security pocket, then lots of layers.  Also, some fingerless mitts are useful and something for around the neck (for me that means a cowl).

Normally, I would take a large canvas bag to fling over my shoulder, but this year there are bag searches and it will be quicker all round if I don’t take a large bag.   So I’m opting for a small cross body handbag for money, phone, lippy, comb, small packet of tissues, keys etc.   It has some good little zipped pockets which are great for security.

For food I will take some lunch items, I’ll have some before I leave the coach (did I say I was on a coach?) and leave anything else on the coach (you can do this also if you have a car). I’ll also slip a couple of energy bars in my pockets for if I get peckish.

Also in my pockets will be some lightweight but strong shopping bags, these will be full by the end of the day!    If I find they get full early, then I’ll just leave them n the bag crèche until later.  And if I need another bag, well I can always buy a supply of the Yarndale bags!

Some, but not all, stallholders have mobile visa machines but the signal isn’t always good, so it’s much better to have cash (and possibly a cheque book).  I don’t keep cash all in one place which is why those little security pockets in trousers and bag are handy.  And it’s good to have small denomination notes and a good supply of pound coins, stallholders love them!

One mention of security – it is heightened this year, and we should all be alert, not just for additional risks but also for normal risks, be careful of where you keep your money and phone and hang onto your shopping (this is the worrying risk – don’t leave any of your precious purchases anywhere!).

Finally, the night before I have an early night and I put the mobile on charge.

If you’re at Yarndale on Saturday, look out for me – I’ll be wearing my Ravelry badge.    And if you have any tips for Yarndale, please share them!

Happy knitting and crocheting xxxx


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