And we’re off!

Today is the start of the Advent CAL 2021 – a flurry of snowflakes! As I look out of the window I see snow – what a coincidence that the first snow of winter came today!

I made my first snowflake using the 2018 Snowflake pattern this morning whilst drinking a large mug of tea. In my excitement and eagerness to photograph it for you I managed to spill my tea on it, so I need to give it a wash before I block it. But here is the pattern photo, so you know what I was aiming for

Don’t forget all the snowflake patterns in the CAL are at a 50% discount when purchased on Ravelry from now until midnight GMT on 7th December, and there are prizes available. Read this post for more information

Until tomorrow

Happy snowflake crocheting xxxx


It’s that time of year again! Advent starts on 28th November and I’m pleased to say I am running an Advent CAL this year which will start on the same day. There is only one new pattern for the CAL this year – my 2021 Snowflake. But this snowflake was the inspiration for the CAL. You all know that I love snowflakes, I love their delicate hexagonal forms and I love that no two are alike. So I decided I would incorporate all my snowflakes into the CAL.

The CAL starts on 28th November and runs until 20th December, and there will be prizes for participants who make and share at least 12 snowflakes on the Ravelry group. These are some of the snowflakes that feature in the CAL

The patterns that can be used in the CAL are

Festive Snowflakes

Quick and Simple Snowflakes and Stars

Advent CAL 2016

Snowflakes 2014

2018 Snowflake

2019 Snowflake

2020 Snowflake

Snowflake 2021 which was published today!

Within these patterns there are over 12 snowflakes to mix and match as you wish.  If you do not already have the patterns, then all patterns are 50% off from now until 7th December (midnight GMT) provided you use coupon code ADVENT on purchase, this discount applies only on purchases from Ravelry. The CAL will run on Ravelry and instructions on the details for this can be found here.

I’m so looking forward to this CAL – I will be making more snowflakes myself and posting my progress, in fact my hook and yarn are ready and waiting!

Happy CALing xx

Coming soon….a flurry!

It is that time of year again – the CAL season is beginning! My first CAL this year is the Advent CAL which will comprise a flurry of snowflakes – you know how I love snowflakes! I will post about it later this weekend, but meanwhile I can provide you with a few tips on working snowflakes in the round

  1. Go slowly, it isn’t a race so work at a speed that your are comfortable with
  2. Stop and count your stitches regularly
  3. All my snowflake patterns include a chart, so if you can use a chart then try just using the charts – they are a pretty close visual aid!
  4. I also include some photos in many of my patterns, showing how your snowflakes look after a round is completed. Use these photos, and if you are looking at the pattern on a screen (tablet, PC, phone) then magnify the photos, you will find they can help you a lot
  5. Sewing the last stitch on the final round gives an excellent finish
  6. Use stitch markers – in fact a set of 6 stitch markers means you can mark all points or particular stitches on each round (did I mention that one of the things I love about snowflakes is their hexagonal shape!)

And whilst mentioning stitch markers I must share some gorgeous handmade stitch markers by a friend of mine – she has knitting and crochet stitch markers in her shop here

I love these green ones – and magically there are 6 in the set! This is a new shop and she has only a few at the moment but will be expanding in due course. They are a perfect gift for a friend or yourself!

Happy crocheting and look out for the CAL! xxx

Cloud CAL part 1

I can’t believe a week has passed since I introduced this CAL.   But here we are ready to start Part 1!   I hope you have selected your yarn and beads.  I have seen a few people considering the colour of beads, so if you are undecided I suggest you wait until you’ve done a bit of Part 1 and then try the beads against the crochet.

I am joining the CAL as well, and this is my yarn choice, plus some beads (I’m undecided on the beads):


The yarn is vintage Natural Dye Studio Cobweb, I have 50g with approx 360m – maybe I have enough for 2.  That would be good as I am so undecided on the beads – it gives me the option to try another colour of beads!

So are you ready?  Well, let’s start 🙂

First weigh your yarn.  Sometimes the ball is a slightly different weight to that expected.  Mine was only 22.95g rather than 25g but it had been lurking in my stash for years, so I may have used a little of it on a project.


You will need to weigh your remaining yarn regularly as you work.  So make a note of the amount you started with and keep those scales handy as you work.  Now do a little maths – first divide by 2 and then add 0.2g.   For me this was:

22.95 divided by 2 equals 11.475, add 0.2 equals 11.675.  I rounded this up to 11.7g

Keep a note of your number because you need to stop crocheting the first part when your remaining yarn weighs this amount!

What if you have more than a 25g ball?   Well, you work until you have used about 12.3g or the length is half what you want.

Tension/gauge does not matter for this design, but you do need to ensure you keep a loose stitch for a light and airy feel to the scarf.    For this you must allow the hook to decide the stitch size and do not pull the yarn tight when you complete each stitch.

I found 22.95g was sufficient for a scarf approx. 10cm wide by 220cm long (in Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn, 22.95g is about 190m).   So unless you want a very long scarf, and provided you have a full ball of yarn, then you can afford to do a little tension trial to start with.  Try the first 4 rows – this should measure approx. 10cm wide and 5cm long.  It doesn’t matter if you are a bit out.  But if you are a lot out (say more than 20%) try using a different hook – bigger hook if your swatch is too small, smaller hook if you swatch is too big.  Having said that, if you like the look of your tension swatch it really doesn’t matter if it isn’t the correct size!

Now we can start crocheting!

The pattern is written in UK terms only, so here are the abbreviations I use (with US in brackets, if different):
st(s) = stitch(es)
sp(s) = space(s)
ch = chain
ch-sp(s) = chain space(s)
dc = double crochet (US single crochet)
tr = treble (US double crochet)
t2tog = work 2 treble together (US dc2tog, work 2 dc together)

Foundation: make 21ch

Row 1: Turn and work 1dc in 2nd ch from hook, (1dc in next ch, 1ch, miss 1 ch, 1dc in next ch) repeated until last ch, 1dc in last ch, turn.  You should have 6 1ch-sps and 14dc.

Now to make life easy for you when doing the next row, place a stitch marker in every 1ch-sp, like this:


Row 2: 2ch, *(1tr, 1ch, 1tr) in 1ch-sp (where the stitch marker is), missing all the dc inbetween; repeat from * to last 1ch-sp, in this last 1ch-sp you do something slightly different: (1tr, 1ch) in last 1ch-sp, tr2tog placing first part in the same 1ch-sp and second part in last dc on the Row, turn.  You can remove your stitch markers now.

The first 2ch and 1tr together count as a tr2tog – so you start and end the row with a tr2tog which helps give a firm edge.

Row 3: 2ch, *(1tr, 1ch, 1tr) in 1ch-sp; repeat from * to last 1ch-sp, in this last 1ch-sp you do something slightly different: (1tr, 1ch) in last 1ch-sp, now tr2tog placing first part in last 1ch-sp and second part in last st on the Row (this is the top of the 2ch at start of last Row), turn.  You should now see that the pattern is a series of V sts.

Row 3 is the pattern, repeat it until your remaining yarn weighs that magic number you calculated – it must be no less than this number, so you may want to weigh your yarn regularly and estimate when that magic number will be reached.   I did a total of 77 rows.

This is how my stitches look, light and open with a lovely haze:


Do not break yarn when you reach the end – wait until next week when I show you what to do next!

Some tips on working this design:

As I mentioned in tension, let the hook decide the size of your stitch – do not pull the yarn once the hook is through the stitch as this will tighten it too much and you won’t get the open cloud-like effect.

It is very easy to miss the yarn and hook a bit of the fluff instead.  So check that you have placed you stitches correctly at the end of each Row.   It means stopping for a few seconds to look, but it is worth the effort as that check can save some frogging later.

If you do have to frog, go very slowly and use the hook to help break the fibres that somehow manage to blend together in the fluff, don’t use scissors as it is easy to have an accident and cut your yarn!

If you have plenty of yarn and want a wider scarf, then increase your foundation chain in multiples of 3ch, each 3ch extra gives an additional V st to each Row.

Please feel free to ask questions, here or on Ravelry or on Facebook.  And please share progress photos!

Until next week, happy crocheting xxx

I may be showing….

Last year at Yarndale I was fortunate to have 2 of my designs on display at the show, one was the Simple Scarf which was on display at Willow Knits:


The other was Medina Cowl on the Inside Crochet stand:


Yes, they were in similar autumnal colours in luscious silk yarn!

I would love to attend a show as an exhibitor, and maybe one year I will, but not yet.  So I was overjoyed when Nic from Yarns from the Plain asked if she could use some of my designs in kits which she’ll sell at shows.  She is very local to me, and even attends the same knitgroup from time to time, so is a natural partner for me.  Not only that but her yarn is British, which I love.  So I’ve been busily swatching a few of my designs in her yarn bases, estimating quantities and re-writing a the patterns to fit with the yarns.  We even spent a lovely afternoon drooling over a huge rainbow of her yarn, selecting colours for the designs.

It is a long run time before anything emerges, the samples have to be made, and Nic is doing most of that herself as it will help her to understand the patterns when she puts them on her stand, new photographs taken and the packs developed.  I have started to see the results of the first sample and I can promise you they will be colourful and beautiful!  I really can’t wait…..but I have to be patient.   So if you want to see my designs at the shows this year, just follow Nic and see where Yarns from the Plain is showing!

Happy crocheting xxxx


Give me a push….

The newspaper didn’t arrive this morning, which threw my normal routine out. Early morning chores complete, tea and cereal on the table but no paper to read!   As soon as I polished off the cereal I went into my ‘yarn’ room to find something to occupy myself whilst drinking the tea.  The early morning light was shining on a basket that I haven’t touched for a long time.   So I pulled it down and put it on the breakfast table.


In it is a partially made ‘scrappy’ blanket. I started before I even thought of the Winter Blanket CAL, and it has languished unloved in the basket since then.

So I decided I must finish it, I even designed the border whilst drinking my tea. But there’s a lot of crocheting to do before I get to the border and I need a huge push to make me do it.  I realised the only way I will finish this quickly is if I share it with you, because I’ll feel so guilty once you know about it, I’ll just have to crack on with it!

Happy crocheting xxx

Seamless long cowl

I love cowls, it’s no secret and I’ve told you many times before.  A cowl is circular (normally) so the best way to make them in the world of crochet is ‘in the round’.  Of course, you can make them lengthways and join them like I did on this one:


But there is one thing that really annoys me….. people who make cowls lengthways and join them with an ugly seam!  I can’t think of anything worse; beautifully made stitches the whole length of the cowl then….shudder……an ugly, untidy seam.

Why do people do this?   It isn’t necessary at all, crochet is so incredibly versatile that you can join without the need for a seam.  Want to see how?  Have a look at this join:


OK, I made it a bit tricky by adding a double crochet border to cover any ends.  But you can’t see it can you?  The join is just below the stitch marker on this photo:


So follow me and find out how I did it, and how you can do it also…..

I’m going to make a cowl lengthways using the V stitch.  The V stitch is easy, you work the stitch into a chain space which is easy to spot and work into.  But you need to add an edge stitch like the treble (this post is all in English crochet terms, so a treble is a double crochet if you crochet US-style).

Here’s my example using 100g of aran weight yarn.  I used Stylecraft Malabar a cotton/silk blend which is soft to the touch.  It is also a ever so slightly uneven in the spin, giving the finished item a slightly irregular but lovely look.   I used a 5mm crochet hook and one stitch marker.

STEP 1: First I take some scrap aran yarn and crochet a foundation chain, at least as long as the pattern requires.  It is best to use a slightly larger hook, I used 5.5mm.   I made mine  32 chain long.  I don’t fasten off, I just put a stitch marker in the last stitch to lock the chain,  this is because I will undo the chain when I join.

Now I work into the foundation chain just as I would with the pattern.  But I turn the chain over and work the stitches into the BACK LOOP of the foundation chain.  The back loops are the bumps on the back, this is a loop here:


STEP 2: Using your cowl yarn, start with a standing treble into the first back loop (I like a standing treble but if you don’t know how to do this, just slip stitch into the back loop and work 3 chain). *Miss 2 stitches and work (1 treble, 1 chain, 1 treble) in the next stitch (remember to do this in the back loop), repeat this (from *) across your foundation chain until you have done it a total of 9 times.  Now miss 1 stitch and work the final stitch – a treble – in (the back loop) of the next stitch (you will have one or two stitches left on the foundation chain, but that doesn’t matter).   This is my first row:


Now turn and start the pattern.

STEP 3: Pattern Row:  3 chain (counts as your first treble), (1 treble, 1 chain, 1 treble) in each 1 chain space along, finish with  1 treble in the top of the 3 chain you started with on the previous row.  Turn.

This pattern row is repeated as many times as you like until you have the cowl the length you want.  I worked until my cowl was just under 90cm long, but make sure you finish with you hook at the same edge of the crochet piece as the stitch marker (if you don’t, you’ll have a moebius cowl!).  Bring the end of the last row of your crochet up to the beginning, ready to do the joining row.  Now this is the tricky bit, but it is worth the effort.

STEP 4:  First undo the stitch marker at the end of your foundation chain and pull the first chain out – you will find that your first stitch of Row 1 now sits on a strand of yarn, that’s the 2 loops shown below (it’ll look a little different if you started Row 1 with 3 chain, but it is just the base of your first stitch):


Work the first 2 chain of the next row of your cowl, then take your hook off your working crochet and insert it in the 2 loops from left to right:


Now put the loop from your working crochet back onto the hook and pull it through the 2 loops:


Yes, all the way through:


What you’ve done is put the first stitch from Row 1 of the cowl onto the 3rd chain at the start of your final row.  Make the final chain to secure it.

STEP 5: Now continue your final row by working the first treble of your first V stitch into the first 1 chain space, make one chain.   Pull the foundation yarn a little more so the next 2 stitches from Row 1 sit on a single thread:


You want to put your working loop through these 2 stitches.  So remove your hook, place it through the 4 loops forming the base of these 2 stitches, and replace your working loop on the hook:


Pull the loop through and lock it with a chain, then complete the 2nd treble of the V stitch.

Repeat STEP 5 until you have done all your V stitches on your last row.

STEP 6: Now work the final treble.  Pull your foundation chain again until the last stitch of Row 1 sits on a single strand.


Remove your hook from the work, and slip it into the these 2 loops on the strand from left to right.  Put you working loop back on the hook:


And pull it all the way through the 2 loops, and work your final treble into the top of the 3 chain.  Your join will look like this:


You can see exactly where the foundation yarn sits along the ‘join’.

All you have to do now is pull the foundation yarn out and finish your cowl.  I finished mine with a row of double crochet along each edge (2 in each row end).

I think this is the neatest way to join a lengthways cowl, and there is no ugly seam.   The process can be adapted to just about any crochet stitch, all you are doing is working the top of your last row through the base of your first row.  Yes, it’s fiddly to start with, but the end result is worth the effort 🙂

Have a go and let me know how you get on.

If you have any questions about this technique, please feel free to ask on the blog, or on my facebook page or in my Ravelry group.

ETA:  there is an even neater way to do the join on this, which involves crocheting the final row, cutting the working yarn and then ripping the final row back and threading the working yarn through the base of some of the stitches from Row 1 as well…….but that would have been a much longer blog post!

Happy crocheting xx

Legal note: the photos and instructions are copyright and for your personal use only. Please don’t copy them, but feel free to direct people to my blog to help them with this joining technique.




Yummy Yarn

I bought some yarn in January, several balls/skeins in some lovely yarn bases.   At the time I had a project in mind for each of them, and I used 3 of the balls within the last month.  But I was a bit disorganised and didn’t write down just what I intended to use all the yarn for!

So today I looked at the remaining yarn.  It is rather luscious.  I have 6 balls, 2 each of 3 colours, of Rooster Almerino DK.  I used Rooster Almerino Aran to remake the Lace and Texture Cowl, it is a lovely yarn base, soft and fabulous to work with.  So  I will have had a good use for it…..but I can’t remember!

The 3 colours are lovely together, a touch autumnal:


The colours are Starfish (top), Sandcastle (bottom left) and Hazelnut (bottom right), I like the combination.  So whether I can remember the original purpose or not, I know I will enjoy hooking some magic with these 🙂

The other 2 skeins are Cascade 220.  These are in a colour called Shrimp and, for me, these are very pink!   I don’t use pink normally, so I would have something unusual in mind.


This is a worsted/aran weight, so will hook up quickly.

What do you think?  Are they luscious or yummy?  And what would you make with these yarns?

Happy crocheting xx

Another revamp

Earlier this year I resolved to update some of my older patterns but after a couple of remakes I’m afraid I slowed down.

This week I decided I must catch up, so I chose another cowl which is a very quick make.  It uses one ball of super bulky yarn and you could make it in one evening.   The original also used some fun fur yarn to give it a fancy edge, but I decided against doing this for the second version.

So here it is:  Christmas Cowl version 2


It uses one ball of Debbie Bliss Roma, a lovely soft wool/alpaca blend.  I chose the colour Teal because I like blues (have you noticed?!).

It is slightly longer, narrower and, because of the lack of fun fur, somewhat plainer than the original

You can find the pattern here and it includes the pattern for the original design and version 2. As usual it is written in English and US crochet terms and has a chart.

I’ve now revamped 3 patterns, and they are all similar in some ways.  So the next revamp will be different – just wait and see 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

Ta dah!

The final part of the Winter Blanket CAL is the border:


A simple beautiful frame to the blanket, which is shown in glorious sunshine (funny how the sun came out just in time!):


So now you have it – 8 different designs, 6 different colours, 49 squares  – all in a simple border.

I hope you enjoyed this CAL.

The full pattern is available on Ravelry here (all 16 pages of it!) , and now includes a US terms version as well.

Did you use all the 8 designs?  What colours did you choose?

Happy crocheting xxx