New Year, New Project

I’m embarking on a new project, something using the traditional granny square.

New granny
New granny

I am using some cotton 4 ply/fingering weight yarn which I haven’t used before – Scheepjes Cotton 8.  It is lovely to work with and when I started to use it I got carried away with just making some grannies, they fly off my hook!  So I have a little production line going:

Grannies growing
Grannies growing

What am I making?  You’ll just have to wait and see!

Happy crocheting xx

Christmas CAL

I’ve done all my shopping and only have a few pre-Christmas chores to do before I can relax……..well almost, maybe total relaxation will arrive after the dinner is cooked tomorrow!

When your chores are done, pull up a chair, get yourself a glass of something good (with or without alcohol), have a few nibbles in a dish handy for when you feel peckish and ….put your feet up.

Did I forget something?  Ah, yes – grab your crochet hook and a basket of yarn because I’d love you to join me in this Christmas CAL.  It should be an easy relaxing project, perfectly manageable for this season.

I’m making a lap blanket and here are the details to get you started:


The lap blanket I am making will be 7 motifs square – a total of 49 motifs.  The blanket will be about 1m/42in square without border, because I haven’t designed a border yet, and I may have to find some more yarn for that!


I am using Stylecraft Cotton Classique DK yarn, 100g/184m per ball.  I estimate I’ll need about 10 balls.


I am using a 4mm crochet hook (US G/6)


The motifs are square and each motif is approx. 15cm/6in square.


You can use any yarn you like, as long as you use a suitable hook size.  And you can make it to any size you like.  It is a perfect stash buster.


I am using 5 colours, and each motif is one colour.  But you could use as many colours as you like and change colour each round if you like.

These are my colours.

Christmas CAL colours
Christmas CAL colours

So here we go:


The pattern is written in English crochet terms.

St = stitch

Ch = chain

Tr = treble (US dc)

Ss = slip stitch

Sp = space

Ch-sp =chain space

The first motif is based on the standard granny square, so you should be able to tackle this easily.

GRANNY 5 MOTIF (I am making 9, 2 in each in 4 of my chosen colours and 1 in the last colour)


Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss

Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, 2tr into the ring, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into each of the next three 2ch-sps, 2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 3: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp,  *(3tr, 1ch) into the next 1ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into the next 1ch-sp, 2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp,  *(3tr, 1ch) into each of the next two 1ch-sps, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into each of the next two 1ch-sps, 2tr in the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 5: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp,  *(3tr, 1ch) into each of the next three 1ch-sps, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into each of the next three 1ch-sps, 2tr into the 1st 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 6: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each tr and 1ch-sp along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into each 2ch-sp on the corners, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss.

Break yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail of about 3m for sewing or crocheting together later.

You should have 23tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

I have a discussion thread on my Ravelry Group here.   Please join in and share your progress or, if you prefer, add comments on this blog.

Stay tuned for the next motif pattern, which I aim to publish on Friday…..or is that too soon?

Merry Christmas xx


Now for the legal stuff – I designed this, 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!

Christmas is almost here……

…..and I haven’t written a full blog in almost 2 weeks!   So first I must apologise to my readers for being so quiet.

As well as being busy preparing for Christmas, I have also been thinking hard about my designs and how I sell them from next year.  This is all due to a change in legislation relating to EU VAT.  Aimed at making large tax-avoiding companies  pay VAT, it has hit also a huge number of small businesses who sell digital downloads, whether crochet patterns, music or a multitude of other digital downloads or PDFs.  The legislation has been in the wind for 6 years but hasn’t been widely marketed because the legislators did not realise just how many micro businesses there are that operate in the digital world.  And yes, that includes me!   I will not bore you with the details, but from 1st January 2015 I will be limiting my pattern sales to a few websites – definitely Ravelry and also Loveknitting.

Meanwhile the good things that have happened in the last few weeks:

I published my last crochet scarf design of 2014 on 1st December, the culmination of a year of scarf designs.  I called this one The Starflower Scarf for obvious reasons:

Starflower Crochet Scarf
Starflower Crochet Scarf

I used lots of oddments of gorgeous silk yarns from Willow Knits.

Also, I compiled all 12 designs from my monthly challenge into one ebook – My Year of Scarves.

My Year of Scarves
My Year of Scarves

I can’t express just how good it felt when I pushed the button to publish this.  I never expected I would last the whole year on this personal challenge but I did!

Remember the beaded crochet pouch that featured at the Buxton Knitaway? Well that has been published also.

Crochet pouch
Crochet pouch

So I am ready for a relaxing Christmas season, but if course it will always feature some making.   I have a design I need to finish but it requires concentration, which may not be readily available during the holiday season! So I have decided to make a straightforward lap blanket, something that will flow quickly and easily off the hook, and doesn’t need too much concentration.   This is designed (in my head) and will be started soon… you fancy joining me in a seasonal CAL?    Some easy quick crochet, perfectly suitable for the holidaytime, great as a stash buster…….if you are up for it, then I will publish the pattern in parts on this blog over the festive season, starting on Christmas Eve.  The pattern will be written as the design comes out of my head, so you will be crocheting along with me.  It should be fun 🙂

With all good wishes for the Christmas season xxx

Colour and collaboration

What an exciting week it has been for me! First the MCAL on my Ravelry forum is going better than I had expected. I confess I was really worried about this MCAL, I wanted to make it easy enough for anyone to try but interesting enough for the mystery element. So I planned it in small chunks, and actually those small chunks really help to keep the mystery going. None of them are complicated themselves, but as you add them together it becomes more interesting. Best of all for me, everyone seems to like it and they are sharing progress on the Ravelry forum, even speeding away each time I publish a new clue! I do hope they like the final design… but in case they don’t I do have several options available …… ooooo, mustn’t give the game away!
The last clue of the MCAL is out later this week. Meanwhile, here’s some progress photos by kind permission of some of the MCALers – Sigrun, Elaine and Kerry:


I am so pleased that everyone has chosen lots of colour, the colours vary from bright to subtle, but are all very beautiful and I think will look excellent in the final design.
And here’s another photo I have to share from (another) Kerry, she hates sewing ends (I guess we all do) but by issuing this in chunks she has the opportunity to do sewing in between clue. Here is her Sunday morning production line:

Also I have been busy on another major collaboration with Amanda Perkins of The Natural Dye Studio. Those who know Amanda know that she does the most beautiful crochet designs and recently has concentrated on some very special, unique blanket designs. This year she designed the Kaleidoscope mystery crochet blanket club, which you will have seen on this blog. Here is my August instalment, with apologies for the photo quality (it is very dull here today, difficult to get good light for photos):

August Kaleidoscope
August Kaleidoscope

For next year she is planning the Zodiac blanket club. Check out the club details here:—crochet-blanket-club-2015-428-c.asp

Although Amanda designs crochet she is very aware that many of her customers knit. And she decided she would like to give them the opportunity to join the Zodiac club. Yes, this means she wanted to have a knit design as well, so she asked me if I could help. Of course, I jumped at the chance and several weeks later (and many swatches ranging from very easy to extremely complex!) we have found a knit design that fits well, or rather a component of the design because the overall design is the same whether knit or crochet but the components are different (naturally). I can’t give too much away but I am extremely excited about this! Very soon you will be able to find more details on The Natural Dye Studio’s website. I will post a link when it is available.

I did a lot of swatching to get this design right, and I really didn’t think I would enjoy knitting motifs as much as I do crochet (I think I am addicted to crochet motifs!), but I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this. So much that when I hit on the final design I wanted to make more ……….. and more. I sense a new addiction taking hold.

Naturally one collaboration leads to another, and there is something else we are working on which is very exciting. I can’t reveal more at the moment, but it will be just as exciting!

So I have had a very exciting week, I hope yours has been equally exciting and enjoyable.

Happy knitting and crochet xxx

A long weekend

This weekend is one of those long weekends in the UK which result from having a Bank Holiday – yay! I have had a lovely quiet weekend because my husband has been away partaking of his hobby on a racetrack at Castle Donington. So what do I do when he is away – well this weekend I planned absolutely nothing!

It is glorious to be able to wake up and do just what you like with no-one getting under your feet. Apart from the cat, that is. So we (the cat and I) have done just as we like. Naturally this involves a little crafting (crochet) but it also includes a little gardening (pruning), rather a lot of tidying (I have moved my craft room around for the 3rd time in a year – I think I need a bigger room), an unusual amount of cleaning (I cleaned all my kitchen cupboards and threw out lots of items that were chipped, cracked or just plain useless) and plenty of RnR.

Ok, I confess the crochet wasn’t exactly ‘little’. The May instalment of the Kaleidoscope mystery blanket came out this weekend, so I spent Saturday evening in front of the television watching all 6 episodes of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice back to back, with crochet hook in hand and cat cuddling next to me (except on several occasions when said cat decided the yarn was the best play thing in the world, even the decoy ball of acrylic I always have handy wasn’t good enough for her!). Sunday night wasn’t quite so intense but did involve crochet, as did Monday (a bit in the morning and another bit in the afternoon) – so I have finished May.

May Kaleidoscope - just getting a little big to photograph on the table
May Kaleidoscope – just getting a little big to photograph on the table

Part of this drive to finish May was because I was expecting the Janie Crow mystery blanket instalment on 5th May (why oh why did I challenge myself to do 2 mystery blankets?) and had to finish Kaleidoscope before it came out. Except I made a mistake – the next Janie Crow instalment comes out on 8th May – so I have 3 days yet. Ah well, maybe I should do some knitting………!

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx

March Progress

I was hoping to show photographs today of both the monthly blanket clubs I am in. But I have only managed to complete one of them, so I can show only half.

Here is the Kaleidoscope Blanket for March:

March Kaleidoscope
March Kaleidoscope

I love this, it is a very satisfying make and flows off the hook. Each month the blanket takes on a new life. I can’t wait for April.

The Jane Crowfoot Blanket is taking a little longer. I have done more than half of March, but it doesn’t flow off the hook quite as quickly. I think the main reason for this is that I don’t like crocheting in cotton in large quantities, I find it hard work and not soft and gentle like wool and silk. So I am resigned to slower progress on this. I will share photos when I have finished March.

Meanwhile I have found time to publish a quick scarf design which I am calling the January Crochet Scarf.

January Crochet Scarf
January Crochet Scarf

I also have a February Scarf which I have swatched and a March Scarf in my head – this may turn into a regular theme!

Happy Crocheting xx


Last year I had an adventure in colour when I made Bohemian Rhapsody

This year I have embarked on another adventure in colour – Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope is a mystery crochet blanket club by Amanda Perkins of The Natural Dye Studio – you receive yarn at the start of each quarter and the pattern is released in instalments – one per month. If you are really quick you may be able to join the club for this year –—crochet-blanket-club-2014-391-c.asp

On 14th January this arrived:

Kaleidoscope - Godiva yarn quarter 1
Kaleidoscope – Godiva yarn quarter 1

It is Godiva – a pure merino 4 ply, it is luscious and perfect for blankets.

Within no time it was wound into little cakes and given its own home – a perfect little basket.

Kaleidoscope - a basket of cakes quarter 1
Kaleidoscope – a basket of cakes quarter 1

On 18th January it had become this:

Kaleidoscope - January
Kaleidoscope – January

Those little triangles are addictive, you want to begin a new one as soon as you finish the last one. You are itching to see what the colours will be and how it will sit in the design! Roll on 1st February when I can start the next instalment.

2014 will be a colourful year!

Happy crocheting x