I have mentioned before that I am following Lynne Rowe’s Use it or Lose it campaign.  It has been very much like a spring clean of my yarn stash – I have been through all of it thoroughly and if I could see no use for it then it was given to a worthy cause.  I have also refrained from buying new yarn, which has proved extremely difficult and I have to confess to a couple of lapses.  The first was to buy some red yarn to make poppies for our knitgroup’s annual poppy display (which increases every year) and the other to buy some double knit sock yarn (most of which has been used).

One of the joys of reviewing all my stash is finding yarn I haven’t looked at or used for a long time.  I have found some fabulous yarn bases and glorious colours, and it has made me want to find good uses for it.   So I decided to log it all, and that is what I have been doing this last weekend.

I have 7 tubs of yarn now (much reduced from before) and my logging has resulted in some interesting statistics.  Of course, I could just keep these to myself as I do find the amount of yarn I still have rather embarassing,  But if I confess then maybe it will inspire me (or embarass me) into making sure I use it!  So here goes:

My 7 tubs hold 153 skeins/balls of yarn, a total of almost 12kg in weight and almost 50km in length.  My logic told me I should use the aran and chunky yarn first, as it is thicker and will make up quickly – but I have less than 1km of that and it really is too warm here right now to knit or crochet heavy items.   So I have decided to look at the laceweight, which does amount to over 21km!   Amongst this is some kidsilk yarn – and that is what I have been playing with.   Here’s a small selection from my stash:

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I have some lovely colours and I really enjoy working with it but it is like marmite – some people hate it and some people love it.  I love the cloud-like quality that I achieve when crocheting it, it is so light that it is perfect from summer wear (but not next to my sensitive skin!).  If you love it then maybe I can entice you to join in a CAL here on the blog.  This is a one ball CAL, meaning 1 x 25g or about 200m of yarn.  There are lots of brands you could use – such as Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Debbie Bliss Angel and Willow & Lark Plume, so if you don’t have any in your stash you have plenty of choice if you want to buy some.   The CAL is for a skinny scarf and is very simple, and it could be used with any yarn so if you don’t like or have any kidsilk yarn then you could join in using something else.

I will publish more details in a few days, so watch this space.   Oh, and if you like a bit of sparkle then you could add a simple beaded edge 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

Ada’s Stripes is the name of a new crochet cowl design.   The name derives from the yarn – it is made in Find Me Knitting Ada yarn, a chunky single spun pure Peruvian highland wool.  This yarn is a dream to work with, it slips off the hook smoothly and quickly.

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Ada’s Stripes uses 6 x 30g mini-cakes of Ada yarn which are available from Find Me Knitting here.   You will also find these at Wonderwool Wales this weekend, along with copies of the pattern.  Whilst I used  specific colours, you could use any combination of the 10 available colours to suit your own style.   It is a close fitting cowl approx 15cm deep by 60cm around but it could be made bigger, although you may need more yarn.  It’s a lovely quick make, and would be great as a present.

The pattern is also available from my Ravelry shop and LoveCrochet.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

I have just returned from my annual trip to Buxton on a knitaway holiday with my knitgroup friends.  We had a fabulous time, which is more or less guaranteed; plenty of laughs, knitting, crocheting, drinking, eating and a very welcoming hotel that makes us feel like we are guests in our own country home.  We’ve pencilled in dates for next year’s knitaway already!

I arrived home to a lovely surprise on my doormat – issue 101 of Inside Crochet which is packed full of inspirational makes for May.   I was delighted  to see my latest design included in this issue – the Queen of May Wrap.   This is the secret I couldn’t tell you about in my last blog post.

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This is a lovely silk wrap made with Willow Knits silk worsted yarn in spring fresh colours of Lemon and Peridot.  As you may know, I love luxury yarn and Anne dyes the most beautiful colours on her pure silk yarn, it is luscious!  If you are visiting Wonderwool Wales  this weekend (28th and 29th April) then you will find special packs of yarn to make this wrap on Willow Knits (Stall no. C2) in the Lemon/Peridot colourway.

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This design would work well in many colour combos, so if you prefer other colours do look at the beautiful selection that Anne has – she will help you choose if you get stuck.

I’m not at Wonderwool this year – so if you go please let me know how you enjoy it.

Happy crocheting xxxx

 

 

 

Wonderwool Wales is next weekend, it is a fabulous yarn festival with plenty of space to move around, a wide variety of vendors, lovely exhibitions, wool schools and so much more (did I mention the food?).  Unfortunately I won’t be there ……. but some of my designs will!

I’m please to say that there will be copies of my book Cowling Around available to purchase on Find Me Knitting with Luxury Yarns in Stall S12. If you haven’t visited these 2 vendors before I can recommend them, they stock luscious yarn……… and I am drooling as I type this! Find me Knitting has 2 own brand yarns – Mary and Ada, and these feature in the book, so you can buy the yarn as well as the book at the festival.  These yarns are lovely to work with, knitting and crocheting smoothly and, therefore, speedily and they are both natural fibres.   Deb has been crocheting away and will have several samples on display. 

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Also at the festival is Willow Knits, supplier of luxury silk yarns, in Stall C2. I designed a simple crochet scarf a few years ago specifically for the worsted weight silk yarn and Anne will have this on display. I have used this yarn several times in designs (did you know I love luxury yarn?) and the latest is a one skein scarf designed especially for the Ruby Anniversary of the Knitting and Crochet Guild – it is called the Ruby Lace Scarf.

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Anne will have the scarf on display and will also be selling the pattern and the ruby coloured silk yarn – proceeds from the sale of the pattern and the yarn will go to support the Knitting and Crochet Guild. If you are a member of the Knitting and Crochet Guild you will find this pattern available soon in the members’ area of the KCG website.

If you visit Anne’s stall at Wonderwool you may also get a sneak preview of a new design (shhhh… my lips are sealed!)

If you visit Wonderwool, please let me know how you enjoy the show and share photos.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

Inside Crochet is my favourite crochet magazine, always on trend and providing a lovely selection of quality patterns each month.  This month the 100th issue is published and it’s celebrations all round with a fabulous selection of party inspired patterns and a stupendous free gift!

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Subscriber copies are landing on doormats as I type and the issue goes on general sale on Thursday, but be quick as I’m sure this one will sell out soon!

I am delighted that my Summer Garden Throw features in an article on favourite designs over the 100 issues, and a readers’ choice no less!

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This dates back to issue 52 and was a joy to make, and perfect as a throw or wrap in summer gardens!   If you don’t have issue 52 it is available as an individual pattern here.

Happy 100th issue Inside Crochet 🙂

 

Today the last part of the Wrapped in Memories Blanket CAL was published.  This shows you how to join the squares and how to finish with a border.  You can find the pattern on Ravelry  here.

The squares are all joined-as-you-go by a final round in the background colour. Join-as-you-go is my favourite method of joining motifs as I find it quicker and neater than many other joining methods. So it is no surprise that I am always trying new ways of working the last round to give a quick and simple join-as-you-go. This particular one joins on every alternate stitch which gives quite a close and firm join but also provides an interesting zig-zag effect along the joins.

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The border is a simple linen stitch effect which echoes the edges of the squares.

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I can’t believe the 8 weeks of the CAL are now reaching a finale!   It seems like only yesterday when I published the first square.   I’ve seen some lovely colourful squares being made, and I can’t wait to see some finished blankets.  For now, here’s a reminder of the last few weeks:

The final pattern is now also available in US crochet terms and runs to 19 pages.

Happy crocheting xxx

Here in the UK we’ve had another short snowy weather snap.   Two weeks ago I thought the winter snow had finished and things started to look a little more like spring.   Daffodils had poked their little flowers up and then almost immediately they were covered by several inches of the white stuff.

If I am honest, I do quite like the look of daffodils in the snow, something about the crisp white background to the brave yellow trumpets lifts my heart.   But surely spring is just around the corner?  It’s Easter in just over a week – things must start to perk up now!

I am looking forward to more sunshine and evenings spent in the garden.  So I decided that this week’s special offer (for International Crochet Month) should be for something that we can all use in the garden once the weather warms up – a lovely floral tablecloth.   This is the one:

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It was originally published in Inside Crochet issue 76 as part of a triple design called ‘Three Ways with Motifs’ but it is also available as a single pattern on Ravelry here.  Normally it costs £4 but until midnight GMT on 28th March you can buy it at the discounted price of £1 if you use coupon code MARCH at checkout.

The pattern is designed for 4ply cotton yarn.  I used 8 different colours to give 2 colourways for the flowers but it could be a great stashbuster and would be lovely in multi-colours.  The flowers form the edges of the tablecloth, so the motifs aren’t squared off along those edges.  The motifs use an easy join-as-you-go method which speeds up the making.    If you have time over the Easter holidays you could make a really good start to your summer garden tablecloth 🙂

Happy International Crochet Month xx

 

Today the last motif was added to the pattern – this is motif number 7:

It is a solid motif with raised lines giving texture, which works best in one colour (but don’t be afraid to experiment!).

You can find the pattern here, it now runs to 17 pages.

Next week is the final part: joining and border.  I have seen lots of beautiful motifs, but I am impatient to see them being made into blankets!

Happy crocheting xx

We are now just about to enter the second week of March, the International Crochet Month.   This afternoon the sun was shining and it feels like spring is on the way, already I’m dreaming of summer evenings in the garden.  So my choice for this week’s special offer during International Crochet Month is the July Scarf.  Here it is on a sunny day:

July is a challenge I set myself, I wanted to design some continuous granny squares and this is the result.  At a glance it may look like granny squares joined, but it is really one large motif with only 4 rounds.  I made it in 2 different colours of luscious silk DK yarn, but any DK yarn would work, as long as it has a good drape, and you could use up to 4 colours.  It is 10cm wide by 150cm deep in the yarn I used.

You can find the pattern here.  It normally sells at £4 but until midnight 21st March 2018 (GMT) you can buy it for only £1 if you use coupon code MARCH at checkout.

Last week’s offer is still available until midnight 14th March.

Happy crocheting xxx

Happy Friday!  Part 6 of the Wrapped in Memories Blanket CAL has just been published here in time for a weekend of happy hooking!

This is lacy circle in a square and I’ve made it in one colour, 2 colours, variegated yarn and multi-coloured sock yarn, and they all look good.

We don’t often need an excuse to crochet at the weekend, but in March it is compulsory to crochet every day to celebrate International Crochet Month.  I’m certain part 6 won’t be enough to keep you hooking until next Friday – so look out for another offer on my blog before then.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

 

 

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