Happy International Crochet Day

Today is International Crochet Day, what are you crocheting?

If you have nothing on your hooks then you may wish to join in the 2 CALs on my Ravelry forum (with prizes!) – the August Crochet Scarf:

August Crochet Scarf
August Crochet Scarf

and The Hexagon Project 2014:

The Hexagon Project 2014
The Hexagon Project 2014

Both patterns are available at 50% off their normal price today only (until midnight GMT) on Ravelry if you use coupon code ICD2014 here:

and here:

Happy International Crochet Day xx

Almost a year!

I’ve been blogging for almost a year now, I know because I’ve just paid a renewal fee on my domain name! I can’t believe how quickly this last year has gone. I guess I must be enjoying life because I haven’t stopped to review or consider the year, I’ve just ploughed on and enjoyed!

Today I took another big step – I started a facebook page. Just search for Agrarian Artisan on Facebook and you should find me!

In the next few days I will publish the next hexagon in The Hexagon Project 2014 and self publish the Molly Shawlette. And that will bring me to 101 designs (at least that is what Ravelry tells me!). Wow! I need a drink!

Here’s the prototype of Molly:

Molly Prototype
Molly Prototype

And a glimpse of motif no 4 of The Hexagon Project 2014:

Hexagon Project 2014 no 4
Hexagon Project 2014 no 4

Happy knitting and crochet xxx

At home

I have just completed a very colourful scarf, quite traditionally crocheted using square motifs. It is one of a series of scarves that I am designing this year – one for each month. I am a little behind, almost the end of March and this is the February scarf!

February Scarf
February Scarf

It is unusual for me to design something using a square motif (you know how I love hexagons) and also very colourful when I tend to be a lot more subtle. But it is nice to have a little colour occasionally, isn’t it? I just hope it isn’t going to be a trend for me – lots of colour and lots of squares – feels a bit too traditionally ‘granny’ to me!

I was reminded about traditional crochet very recently. It is a long story that I will not bore you with, but a good friend told me she first thought of crochet being something used for those kitsch toilet roll covers – you must remember them, dolls with huge crochet skirts, frequently in pink. Oh, my how horrendous they were, I can laugh about it now but there was a huge trend for them when I was young!

My thoughts turned to how I use crochet in the home. I love throws and blankets, absolutely love them. Crochet lends itself extremely well to throws and blankets. I have them for the bed, the sofa, the cat bed (yes, a very cosy spoilt cat!), chairs, the garden – they are very useful and versatile.

Throws galore
Throws galore

I have made cushion covers also and I am making some now to match the colour accent in my lounge. Bunting also features – mainly at Christmas but I do have some in my shed, and sometimes drape some in my craft room. Some customised jar covers, which hold a host of hooks needles, pens etc. And finally a small curtain over the tiny window on our front door. And that’s about it – the total of my home use of crochet. For me that’s just enough but I expect some people may say it is too much.

Still thinking about this I picked up a couple of crochet magazines and looked at home crochet ideas (not that I plan to expand my home use!). I was surprised to see there is a huge amount. It didn’t used to be that way. Looking at older magazines I’d say roughly 90% of the patterns were garments and accessories and 10% home. Very recent magazines seem to be the reverse (mmmmmm………… maybe a tiny exaggeration!). Now if the home patterns were mainly throws and blankets I wouldn’t be too concerned, but it isn’t and I am fearful those toilet dolls will be making a comeback soon.

This worries me. Is this a dumbing down of the crochet world? I do hope it is a short lived trend, because there is so much more to crochet than little things for the home. It is a glorious craft and should not be confined to four walls – wear it and be proud!

So tell me – do you do much crochet for the home? And what do you think of magazine trends? I would love to know your views.

Happy crocheting xx


Happy St David’s Day!

Yes, 1st March is St David’s Day and for me signifies a key date in the seasonal calendar – because I always think of daffodils on St David’s Day and that means spring is just around the corner. This week we have had some sunny weather here in the UK and I have managed to spend a good number of hours in the garden, which raises my spirits at this time of year. The snowdrops are well advanced, the hellebores are in full flower and many of the crocus are also flowering, and yes a few daffodils are starting to fill out their buds. So spring is in the air.
The met office say spring starts on 1st March, but I prefer to use the vernal equinox, usually around 21st March (but I googled it, of course, and found that this year the vernal equinox is 20th March at 12.57pm EDT – don’t ask – just google if you want to know why!).

1st March is also the official release date of the second hexagon in The Hexagon Project 2014. Unofficially I released it yesterday afternoon – because it was already 1st March in some parts of the world! Oh my, I’m not sticking to any firm dates this year am I?
Here’s a glimpse of it:

Hexagon no 2
Hexagon no 2

It’s available on Ravelry if you like it. Some of my testers found this hexagon a little challenging and their comments and queries made me work hard at ensuring the pattern read well. It is fabulous having such good testers, it helps me improve my pattern writing, so I can’t thank them enough.

I’m looking forward to seeing some colourful versions of this hexagon, and maybe someone will choose sunny spring colours!

Happy crocheting xx

Colour in crochet

I‘ve been thinking a lot about colour recently. Perhaps because I’ve been making colourful hexagons for a few weeks ahead of the launch of The Hexagon Project 2014 which I blogged about yesterday here: https://agrarianartisan.com/2014/01/31/the-hexagon-project-2014/

I like to think I use a subtle colour palette in what I do. If you saw my home youwould see it is fairly modern with plenty of oak and neutral shades everywhere – just odd splashes of colour for accent. But I do love colour in many things, just as long as it isn’t glaring out at me from every corner. So I am not afraid to use colour provided it fits in my world.

You won’t find much multi colours in anything I make or design – just look at my Ravelry project and design pages to see how I use colour!

However, my thoughts have made me reflect on the blankets I have made over the years.

The first blanket I ever made was a granny in shades of blue, mainly pale blue. It served me well at uni. It was thrown out years ago – so I don’t have a photo of it. Believe me when I say it was subtle, not glaring.

The second blanket I made was a small knitted hap blanket – beige with red highlights.

Hap blanket
Hap blanket

Then came Starry Night by Amanda Perkins, I made it in grey, silver and 2 shades of dark blue.

Starry Night
Starry Night

The fourth blanket I made was another design by Amanda Perkins called Lily. This time I started to use more colour – I wanted lots of red – and that is what I got!


The next blanket (knitted) was back to my neutral shades.

Heike's afghan KAL
Heike’s afghan KAL

Then no 6 was a baby blanket in ice cream colours

Baby blanket
Baby blanket

And then a small lap blanket in soft blue, green, cream.

Little Hearts
Little Hearts

Then I made a granny style blanket in lots of colour – quite a change for me! It is confined to the spare bed and is very practical. But I do quite like the colour pick-me-up as I walk in that room.

Poppet's Blanket
Poppet’s Blanket

The first blanket for this year is very colourful, it is another Amanda Perkins’ design and I blogged about it here: https://agrarianartisan.com/2014/01/25/kaleidoscope/

I have also made 2 other blankets recently, I’m not going to tell you about them yet, other than to say one is ‘nicely’ colourful and the other is back to my more subtle colour palette.

Now all of this has made me think about the world of crochet. There are so many fields of crochet in the world from the delicate old Irish crochet used frequently in crisp white doillies to the bright colourful world of simple but effective granny squares, with a myriad of styles, taste and colour inbetween. The recent growth in the crochet world has been predominantly in the colourful granny area – after all it is easy to see the impact of colour and grannies are quite quick and easy to make when you are just getting going.

Just recently I have started to sense a slow change in that colourful granny world, maybe, just maybe, it is growing closer to my preferences of subtlety. I think it is about time it should.

Personally, in the world of colourful crochet my preference is always in the direction of Amanda Perkins, her use of colour is exceptional. It is so much more sophisticated than the granny world. If we are to use colour in the world of crochet it is much better to do with sophistication don’t you think?

Yes, I would dearly love to know what you think, so please share your thoughts with me.

Happy crocheting xx

Edit: just after pushing the ‘publish’ button, I read the latest blog by Lucy of Attic 24 which only served to confirm my sense of colour shift! http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/2014/02/colour-play.html

The postman rarely knocks twice……..

This week I received 2 parcels, one expected but bigger than I thought and one totally unexpected.

I’ll start with the unexpected………..
I had rather a large pile of mail waiting when I returned from my long weekend knitting retreat, but I chose to ignore it for a while. I needed to unpack (mainly to dig out the yarn and other goodies I received on my knitting retreat!) and wanted to catch up on emails. It was quite some time before I tackled the post.

My husband had left it in a neat pile (he’s good at neat and tidy!) with smallest mail on top, largest underneath. So it was bank statement, bill, magazine, junk….and right at the bottom a large envelope marked ‘do not bend’. At first I thought it was this month’s instalment of pure silk mini skeins from Willow Knits (http://www.willowknits.com/), after all most large envelopes and parcels entering this house contain some sort of yarn ……… but no, bending would do no harm to yarn. Intrigued I pulled it open as quickly as I could and found a lovely letter from Ann, a lady who I met at one of my crochet workshops earlier this year and I now count as one of my yarny friends. She spins and knits, and claims to be a crochet novice but is very accomplished. She had joined in The Hexagon Project 2013 (http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/agrarian-artisan-designs/2521297/1-25) and made a beautiful blanket. Her letter explained that I had ‘won’ a prize for the mostly hexagon project but this was code words for the enclosure – a set of 7 handmade cards, one for each hexagon design I gave to everyone who had joined in. They had (mostly!) a hexagon theme with a short description on the back. They are beautifully made and cherished – it will be hard to give them away as their usual purpose commands! I was so touched and can’t thank Ann enough for such a lovely present.

Mostly hexagons
Mostly hexagons

The second parcel came from the USA. I had won a ball of yarn in a blog contest this summer and Laura had sent the parcel through with what she described as ‘a few little extras’. So I was expecting a small package that would fit through the letterbox. But the postman rang the bell carrying a larger parcel than I expected………. a few little extras is quite a lot to me – 3 more balls of yarn and an ergonomic crochet hook. Is that little? I think not!

So I now have 4 balls of yarn from the USA, none of which is available here in the UK, so is quite a treat for me. Mohair, alpaca, super bulky wool and some ‘fur’ yan, quite a lovely mix which I think Laura spent some time putting together. Thank you so much, Laura.

US mail
US mail

So far I have a few little gems of ideas of what I will make with it, some of the yarns remind me of Christmas……… so watch this space!

Laura is a lovely and talented designer, you can find her blog here:

Happy knitting and crocheting xx

Curvy Star Hexagon

I talked about my hexagon project yesterday and I’ve been pondering ever since.  Maybe you won’t understand my love of hexagons…or will you?  So I thought I would share another small hexagon design with you just to see if it whet’s your appetite!  Please do tell me what you think of it.

As I made it I was thinking of a star but, as so often happens when I get a hook in my hand, it took on a life of its own – and this little curvy star was born.


Do you like it?  Subconsciously I must have thought of the blanket I want to make, which I want to be ‘open’ but snug, because I think it is perfect for what I want in that blanket and that’s what I will make with it. It is 3 rounds and really not too difficult to make if you can crochet in the round.  Here’s the pattern:

This is written in English crochet terms and uses standard abbreviations.

 st = stitch

ss = slip stitch

sp = space

dc = double crochet

tr = treble

htr = half treble

dtr = double treble.

I used a 5mm hook (US H/8) and some aran weight yarn, but you can use any yarn as long as you use a suitable hook.

Foundation – make 6 ch and join into a ring with a ss

Round 1 – 3 ch (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr, 1 ch, (2 tr, 1 ch) 5 times, join to 3rd ch from start of round with a ss

Round 2 – ss into gap between first 2 tr from last round (if you are changing colour join your new colour here), into this gap crochet (3 ch (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr, 1 ch, 2 tr, [into next 1 ch-sp, crochet 1 dc, into the gap between next 2 tr from last round crochet (2 tr, 1 ch, 2 tr)] five times, into next 1 ch-sp, crochet 1 dc, join to 3rd ch from start of round with a ss

Round 3 – ss into top of 3 ch from start of last round (if you are changing colour join your new colour here), [(1 htr, 1 tr, 2 dtr, 1, tr, 1 htr) in 1 ch-sp, ss into 2nd tr along, ss into next tr along] five times, (1 htr, 1 tr, 2 dtr, 1, tr, 1 htr) all in 1 ch-sp, ss into 2nd tr along, ss to first ss to complete the round.  Break yarn and fasten off.

If you want to join the motifs together, join between the 2 dtr at the tip of each curve on the last round.

For those who like charts, here’s one for you (this uses standard symbols)But please note this is copyright – do not repost/pin this or you will be in breach of that copyright:


Now for the legal stuff – I designed this today, it’s all my own work and is copyright.  Please feel free to make as many as you like, but not for commercial purposes, and please credit me with the design.  Thank you!

I am human (yes, I am!) so I am perfectly capable of making mistakes!  So if you spot any errors in the pattern please just tell me and I’ll correct it. 

Happy knitting and crocheting


PS For those who are interested, I use Stitchworks software to chart.

The Hexagon Project 2013

Hot news – I have just published Motif no 4 from the Hexagon Project 2013

Do you want to know more about it?  Well here goes………

What is the hexagon project? A collection of 7 hexagon motif designs (afghan designs)published from April to October. On 1st April the first design was published, the other 6 are published at monthly intervals.  So today design number 4 was published.

Why hexagons? I have a thing about hexagons, there is something more organic about them compared to squares and I love the way they sit together.

Where are the patterns?  They are published on Ravelry.com   So look under my designs there.  Here’s a link http://www.ravelry.com/designers/agrarian-artisan

Are they free?  Only to ‘hexagon club’ members.  The first design was free for the month of April and people were invited to join the club to receive the next designs free.

How do you become a member? All it takes is a few simple steps. 

1. Join my forum on Ravelry, Agrarian Artisan Designs.  Here’s a link: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/agrarian-artisan-designs

2. Establish a project on Ravelry for your hexagons

3. Tag the project 2013hexagon

4. Link the project to one of the The Hexagon Project 2013 designs.

If you are a member on the day I publish each design, then you will receive that design.

Are they easy to make?  The motifs are suitable for those fairly new to crochet who can crochet in the round, there are no complex stitches used.

Can I get help?  Of course!   There is a discussion group on my forum on Ravelry and everyone in the club shares progress and questions there.  And of course you can always ask me!

There’ll be more on the project as I publish the next designs, meanwhile here’s some photos of the first 4 hexagons.


Happy knitting and crocheting



A crafty weekend!

I’ve had a productive crafting weekend so far.   I drafted 2 patterns, published one pattern and prepared one for publishing tomorrow.   What are they I hear you ask?

The one I published is a bow brooch.  Sometimes I set myself a challenge and this was one – a bow made in a continuous piece.   It is not at all difficult to make if you are used to working in the round and it is a great stash buster.  Here’s a photograph.


It has been published on Ravelry and Craftsy.  And the first 20 people who purchase it on Ravelry will get it free if they use coupon code BOW – be quick, it is already selling!  Here’s a link:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bow-beautiful

The 2 patterns I drafted are now in testing.  I have some lovely friends on Ravelry who test my patterns, and I count myself lucky to have them.   The patterns are for a scarf and a cowl and are the first 2 in a series of patterns that I am working on.  You may have spotted parts of them in the photo in my last blog!

The pattern I have prepared for publishing is the fourth in my series of hexagons.  I started The Hexagon Project 2013 in April and I am publishing 1 pattern each month for 7 months.   You can read all about it here:  http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/agrarian-artisan-designs/2521297/1-25

Here is a sneak preview of no 4.


Happy knitting and crocheting