Portuguese designing……..

I bought some Rosarios 4 Bijou yarn in Portugal (from Ovelha Negra a wonderful shop). It is super bulky with a varied thickness and absolutely lovely to use. As soon as it was on my hook it flowed! So I wasted no time in making something with it which reminded me of our holiday in Northern Portugal.

Probably the best evening we had was the first night, it was pouring down with rain but we had the most spectacular view of the Luis I Bridge over the River Douro. It is known as the Eiffel Tower of Portugal, and is constructed from lots of grey steel.

The Bijou yarn I bought is a pale grey and as I looked at this photo of the bridge:

Luis I Bridge
Luis I Bridge

my mind started to think – simple steel structure, simple crochet stitches. This cowl is the result:

Luis Cowl
Luis Cowl
Showing the yarn beautifully
Showing the yarn beautifully

The stitch is simple and shows off the yarn beautifully, it is so simple it took only a few hours to make. It is also adaptable, I made it using Bijou but you can make it in any yarn as long as you use the correct hook size and start with a chain which is a multiple of 4.

The pattern is now properly written in English and US terms and is available here on Ravelry:


Simple., beautiful and very useful. Thank you Portugal!

Happy crocheting xxxx

A personal challenge or craftidextrous heaven?

Perhaps I shouldn’t post this. The subject is something that is (or maybe now, was) destined as a Christmas present. A beaded crochet pouch that I designed, lined with felt and is now perfect for keeping jewellery safe, clean and comforted. It was fun to make.
Here it is:

Beaded crochet pouch
Beaded crochet pouch

And then someone suggested maybe we should have a beaded knitting workshop at the knitaway we are planning in Buxton. So I thought, how about doing knitting and crochet? What if I designed a beaded knit pouch that would be similar to the crochet one and then I could host a dual workshop – beaded pouch for knitters and crocheters?
I am craftidextrous – I love doing both crochet and knitting, although I confess crochet is my favourite (slightly).

So a spare afternoon yielded this:

Beaded knitted pouch
Beaded knitted pouch

What do you think?

Are they similar? Would you like to make them? Or one of them?


To me this was a personal challenge, and it feels fantabulous to have completed it! I think, at least on my own personal level, that I have proved crochet and knitting are both brilliant and can produce similar beautiful results. What do you think?

This is one topic where I am aching to hear your views.

Happy craftidextrous crafting xxxxx

Little beaded crochet pot

A few days ago I posted a photo of the little crochet beaded pot that I made with some leftovers. Here it is:

Beaded pot
Beaded pot

I thought you might just like the pattern. It’s a lovely quick project, and great for using up little bits of leftover yarn and beads. So here’s the pattern:

You will need:
Rowan Cotton Glace, 100% cotton, 50g/114m per ball (approx. 10g/25m used)
30 size 6 beads
3.0mm (US D/3) crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Sewing needle and thread

Tension is not important for this design, just ensure you have a nice tight finish..

Finished size will vary depending on your tension. My pot is 4.5cm in diameter and 4cm high (that’s about 1.75″ by 1.5″)

Note – these are all English crochet terms but the only stitch in this pattern that is different in US terms is the dc – so just swap dc for sc if you want US terms
st = stitch
ch = chain stitch
ss = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
Magic ring = make a magic ring, hold thread in your hand and wrap working yarn around forefinger twice to create ring, slip ring off your finger and insert hook to pick up first st, 1ch, then work the necessary sts for round 1 and close the ring tightly by pulling the loose end.
bdc = beaded double crochet – insert hook into st, yarn round hook and draw loop through st, push bead close to hook, yarn round hook and pull yarn through both loops on hook making sure bead is trapped in the st.
BLO = work sts in back loop only
RS = right side
WS = wrong side

Thread beads onto yarn (see tip below pattern)

Start with a magic ring
Round 1 (RS)
1ch (does not count as st), 6dc in ring, pull ring tight, ss to 1st dc (6 sts)

Round 2
1ch (does not count as st), 2dc into st at base of ch, 2dc in each st to end, ss to 1st dc (12sts)

Round 3
1ch (does not count as st), 1dc into st at base of ch, 2dc into next st, (1dc into next st, 2dc in next st) 5 times, ss to 1st dc (18 sts)

Round 4
1ch (does not count as st), 1dc into base of ch, 1dc into next st, 2dc into next st, (1dc into each of next 2 sts, 2dc in next st) 5 times, ss to 1st dc (24 sts)

Round 5
1ch (does not count as st), 1dc into st at base of ch, 1dc into each of next 2 sts, 2dc into next st, (1dc into each of next 3 sts, 2dc in next st) 5 times, ss to 1st dc (30 sts)

Round 6
Work this round in BLO, 1ch (does not count as st), 1dc into st at base of ch, 1dc into each st around, ss to 1st dc (30 sts)

Round 7
1ch (does not count as st), 1dc into st at base of ch, 1dc into each st around, ss to 1st dc (30 sts)

Round 8
Turn to work with WS (inside of pot) facing you, 1ch (does not count as st), 1dc into st at base of ch, 1bdc into next st, (1dc into next st, 1bdc into next st) 14 times, ss to 1st dc (30 sts)

Round 9
Turn to work again with RS facing, 1ch (does not count as st), 1dc into st at base of ch, 1dc into each st around, ss to 1st dc (30 sts)

Rounds 10 to 15
As round 7

Round 16
As round 8

Round 17
As Round 9.

Break yarn, fasten off and sew in ends.

TIP: Threading beads onto yarn
To thread beads onto yarn, first thread a sewing needle with sewing thread and tie in a knot. Loop the yarn through the sewing thread. Thread beads onto needle, along thread then onto yarn. Always thread more beads on than you need, as you may decide to adjust the size or you may make a mistake. It’s better to have unused beads left on the yarn rather than run out and have to cut and re-join the yarn if you do need to add beads.

Threading beads onto yarn
Threading beads onto yarn

Please note this pattern is my design and the pattern and photos are copyright.

I hope you like the pattern. And please share photos of any little beaded pots you make.

Happy crocheting xxx

PS I am human and can make mistakes, so if you spot a mistake in the pattern please let me know and I’ll correct it.

On a roll…..

Somehow I set myself a challenge, I don’t know how or why I did it – it was one of those happy accidents. The challenge is to design one crochet scarf a month and it is very much a personal challenge. But whatever the how or why, it is rolling along nicely. At the end of last week I published my May crochet scarf and I am already well advanced with June.

So here is my roll call:

January Crochet Scarf
January Crochet Scarf
February Crochet Scarf
February Crochet Scarf
March Crochet Scarf
March Crochet Scarf
April Crochet Scarf
April Crochet Scarf
May Crochet Scarf
May Crochet Scarf

All different, and all fun to make! I’m on a roll now but will I keep it up to the end of the year? Let’s see.

Happy crocheting xx

Sunshine on a rainy day…………

I’ve been waiting for sunshine. All we have had in the UK this last week is haze and pollution. But I wanted sunshine because I wanted to share a photo with you – a photo of my Summer Garden Throw.
The forecast is for rain tomorrow, and Sunday and maybe Monday. And I can’t wait anymore………

So here it is:

Summer Garden Throw
Summer Garden Throw

For me this is a throw not a blanket, because it is airy and not warm enough for real winter snuggling. It is for summer in the garden.

Actually, I am pretty pleased with this photo. I thought I needed full sun but these rainy clouds didn’t hinder the beauty of the throw. I think the summer flowers have their own inner sunshine.

Throw again!
Throw again!

Ooops, couldn’t resist another photo! The yarn is by The Natural Dye Studio – their glorious Dazzle HT. You can see their yarns here: http://www.thenaturaldyestudio.com/

The Summer Garden Throw is my first magazine published throw/blanket. As you know, I don’t often submit to magazines, so this was quite an event for me. And I have to say Inside Crochet did me proud – I am a cover girl! Well, at least my throw is! And they have produced a beautiful spread in the magazine. If you can, please buy one – if you can’t then have a look here : http://www.insidecrochet.co.uk/blog/revealed-issue-52-s-cover

I was also very pleasantly surprised to see that Lucy at Attic24 is starting a new blanket here: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/2014/04/jollying-to-the-sea.html, with lovely sea inspired colours. This is quite a change for her – she usually does very bright colourful blankets. But as I mentioned before, I am starting to see a subtle change in the crochet world – less bright and (in my eyes) more beautiful

Happy crocheting xxxxx

Start as I mean to go on…….

Wow!   Almost 2 weeks into 2014 already.  

I resolved to do more knitting this year and I think I have started well. 

I have been knitting cowls.  Why?  Well I am organising a coach trip to Wonderwool Wales in April and I thought it would be nice to design something to help occupy the time during the 3 hour journey.  For some reason I decided on a cowl, but it has to be something that you can knit without having to refer to the pattern too much (not recommended whilst the coach is in motion, it could induce travel sickness in some, me included!).  

It took me 3 attempts before I came up with a design I thought would suit.   The first 2 cowls were lovely but just did not fit the ‘coach’ criteria.  The third is perfect but I need to test it further.  So I have knitted 3 cowls already and I am halfway into my fourth.

These are the two I ‘rejected’:

Fields of Green Cowl
Fields of Green Cowl
Ridge and Spine Cowl
Ridge and Spine Cowl

They may be rejects for the coach but I love them, and I have published them.  You can find them on Ravelry.

I have also spent a bit of my time teaching myself to spin yarn…….but it will be quite a while before I share my spinning adventures!

Happy knitting xx

A happy accident

I have been asked many times if I blog and, until now, the answer has been ‘no’.  Today I took a huge leap into the world of blogging.  I recognise that those who appreciate my designs want to read a little more than discussions on Ravelry, they want a deeper insight into the whys and wherefores of what I do.

So today it begins.   And it begins with a promise – that I will write this blog at least twice a month.  I aim to keep that promise, but please bear with me, it may take a while for me to get into the swing of the blog!

Happy knitting and crocheting