Archives for posts with tag: Publishing

The last few posts on this blog have been about the Anniversary CAL, but I have been doing a lot more than just finalising the pattern for the CAL.  Patterns are generally written well ahead of publication, then tested and refined – the publication hasn’t taken much of my time at all.

So today I will share a round-up of activity from the last few weeks.

First I was happy to have 2 designs published in different magazines both of which were released on the same day!  What a very happy co-incidence!   Again these were prepared and written months ago, but the excitement of receiving the magazines and seeing the designs in print (and beautifully styled) is immense.  And, of course, I give myself plenty of time to read the magazines over a cup or 2 of coffee!

The first item is the Lariat Belt I designed for Inside Crochet, issue 68. 

Lariat Belt

Lariat Belt

This one is a flexible design – it can be a skinny scarf, a lariat necklace or a belt – the perfect item to pack for holiday.   It is made in some of my favourite yarn, WillowKnits handdyed worsted silk, and it is relatively quick to make, so even if you are off on holiday next week I am sure you can make this in time.

The second design is a retro Boho Top for Mollie Makes, issue 56.

Boho Top

Boho Top

I had such fun making this!  It comes in 2 sizes and I designed it so it is made in one piece and requires very little sewing up.  I know that finishing a crocheted or knitted garment is generally one of the most disliked tasks, and I know of many pieces that languish in cupboards and drawers awaiting sewing up.   For the boho top the motifs are joined as you go and the bodice is made upwards from the motif section, the edging is incorporated into the bodice as you make it and there are probably less than a dozen sewing stitches required to  join the shoulders.    So once you finish hooking it takes minutes to finish the garment!

You may recall I mentioned a while ago that I treated myself on the spur of the moment to a set of Hamanaka crochet hooks from Janie Crow.   I had my eye on these for a while, they looked small and neat, and being double ended meant that I could carry a large range of hooks in a small bag.  They haven’t disappointed me at all.   I haven’t used anything else since I bought them!

I bought a set of 5 regular sizes, a set of 3 small sizes and a small case for them.   The hooks are lovely to handle and, for my small hands, a perfect size.   I added a small pair of scissors, some tapestry needles and stitch markers to the front pocket in the case and I now have a perfect little crochet kit.

Hamanaka - heaven in a hook!

Hamanaka – heaven in a hook!

I have been working on a simple granny square cushion in lovely handdyed 4 ply silk, and you can tell from this photo that I have used the hook a lot (evidenced by the dye accumulating on the handle near the hook shank – don’t worry, I know from experience that this will wash off easily).

Another thing I like about these hooks is that the 3mm and 4mm sizes are on the same hook, and these are the sizes I use the most – so if I want to travel light with crochet, that is the only hook I need carry.

I’ve also been indulging in some more mandala designing, this is a special mandala which is just in the pattern writing stage:

The special

The special

And I have been making some ‘mini bunting’ from a pattern by Emma Lamb published in Mollie Makes Crochet, another great selection of crochet patterns.  This now adorns the headboard of the spare bed.  Previously my Anniversary Crochet Flower mini bunting adorned the bedhead but I felt it was in need of a refresh and a narrower colour palette – 2 of Emma’s flowers from the book were perfect for this.

Mini flower bunting

Mini flower bunting

So what has been keeping you busy this last month?

Happy crocheting xx

I wanted to brighten up a corner and I decided there was no better way than with a little crochet.   However, I wanted something small not as big as a blanket or cushion.  After some thought I decided to try a mandala. I have never made a mandala before let alone designed one but it is only a large round motif and I have lost count of the number of motifs I have designed……..

So here is my bright sunshine mandala:

Sunshine Mandala

Sunshine Mandala

I enjoyed making it, which came as a surprise to me because I hadn’t even imagined that mandalas had a use, nor that I would design or like one!    But I did enjoy it, and now I am thinking about making another……….

Oh, and when I dropped it I discovered that yarnaddictcat also liked it – well, I’m not surprised really!

Yarnaddictcat

Yarnaddictcat

The pattern can be found here.

Happy crocheting  xxx

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…..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…..do 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

Happy Sunday to my readers!

How is your summer going? Here in the UK it is warm, probably the warmest summer we have had for a few years. So evenings have been balmy, wine has been quaffed and a gentle calm fills the air (inbetween the hayfever sneezes!).

My knitting and crochet normally slows in warm weather, warm hands and wool do not mix well. But this July has been different, maybe because one of my long term projects has been in cotton – the Jane Crowfoot mystery blanket CAL. The last clue for this was published a few days ago – I had one large flower motif to make, then a lot of joining and edging. The flower motif is blocking and I have a plan to slowly sew the pieces together rather than get bogged down in too much sewing – I will share the finished project in due course..

I have also completed the July clue of Amanda Perkins’ Kaleidoscope mystery blanket CAL – I’ve told you before that I love this pattern and the yarn, it seems to flow off the hook easily. Here is July:
JULY
My plans for my own mystery CAL are well advanced. I have made a sample and started pattern writing. Just as well, because the first clue will be released on 24th July. The CAL will be hosted on my Ravelry forum here: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/agrarian-artisan-designs/2967692/26-50#33

MCAL
Anyone joining the forum and signing up for the MCAL before 1st August will receive all clues free. It is motif based, and can be a scarf, wide scarf/wrap or even a blanket. Suggestions for yarn quantities for 4 ply/fingering and double knit will be provided. It is all about colour, which I am sure everyone will love, and the motif basis is slightly different to normal, which I love but I await response to the final design!

Also I have published my July Scarf which is made in silk. Following the June theme, this scarf is a row of granny squares made in one long piece:
July Crochet Scarf

Pattern can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/july-crochet-scarf-continuous-grannies
It is on sale at half price until the end of July using the coupon code JULY

Happy summer knitting and crochet xxxxx

These last few days I have been trying to catch up with myself. Why? Well I had a few days away in Malaga, unplanned but very good!

Many people pass through Malaga airport on the way to holidaying in southern Spain, but fewer people visit Malaga itself. This is a shame for those who don’t visit, but great for those of us who do because it means less crowds. Malaga really is worth visiting – it has some beautiful architecture and there is plenty to keep you occupied for a few days. It is also easy to get around and very clean.

I visited the Picasso Museum (he spent his early years in Malaga), saw most of the sights from the top of a lovely sightseeing bus, had a guided tour on a ‘modern’ rickshaw, and wandered through the streets quite happily enjoying it all. The food was excellent. And I can recommend the café in the Picasso Museum, a beautiful relaxing quiet oasis in the city – perfect for a post museum/pre-shopping coffee.

We staying in an old residential area of Malaga – called Huelin. A taxi ride from the centre (or an hour’s walk if, like us, you couldn’t find the taxi rank on the first morning!) but a stone’s throw from a long beach. As it was off the tourist track, the food and drink prices were excellent – the drinks on the first night were at 1980s prices!

The house we stayed in:

Cool corner

Cool corner

The cathedral:

Cathedral

Cathedral

The Alcazaba above the Roman amphitheatre:

Alcazaba/Roman

Alcazaba/Roman

Some old tiles found in a back street (I like the shapes in these):

Spanish tiles?

Spanish tiles?

So I have spent the last few days catching up. I finished the shawl I started in Blackpool, completed the June instalment of Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope June

Kaleidoscope June

and published the pattern for the Molly Shawlette.

Molly Shawlette

Molly Shawlette

which you can find here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/molly-shawlette-2

I still have a few things to tick off my ‘to do’ list, but I’m in no hurry. In fact having spent a lovely break in Malaga, my thoughts have turned to longer holidays…….!

Happy knitting and crochet xxx

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

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

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

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

This has been a good week for me, lots of really lovely things have happened and it had made me very cheery! So I thought I would share a couple of them with you.

First the lovely Amanda Perkins wrote a blog about me – yes all about me! It was a huge surprise and she said some lovely things, which left me blushing. If you don’t already know about Amanda you should find out now. She, her husband Phil and daughter Daisy are the family team behind The Natural Dye Studio. They hand dye the most gorgeous luxury yarns in North Devon using historical dyes and environmentally friendly methods. Find the website here: http://www.thenaturaldyestudio.com/
Amanda is also a very talented crochet designer and I have had the privilege to work with her for a few years now – she is a joy to work with. She crochets like the wind and produces the most exquisite blankets in next to no time (ok maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but she certainly crochets them a lot faster than anyone else I know). You can find her pattern and books on the website or on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/amanda-perkins
And her blog here: http://amandascrochetblog.blogspot.co.uk/

The second good thing I want to share is a publication I received yesterday. It is my ‘contributor’ copy of a new bookazine by Tailor Made Publications (the publishing house of Inside Crochet). It is called ’The Knitting Collection’ and comprises 47 different designs, from small home projects to beautiful fashion items. My contribution is a one-skein shawlette, yes a new knitting design from me:

Molly Shawlette

Molly Shawlette

Co-incidentally (or maybe not) it is made with a skein of The Natural Dye Studio’s Angelus 4 ply yarn, which fabulous to work with and so soft.

I really enjoyed reading The Knitting Collection yesterday evening. It has a lovely array of designs in it, the layout and photography is good and there are very few adverts. Altogether, in my opinion, a quality publication and well worth the £9.99 cover price. I don’t submit my designs to magazines often, as I prefer to work to my own timetable, but I am proud to part of this one.

The Knitting Collection, vol 1

The Knitting Collection, vol 1

Finally, today I am starting block 16 of my Bohemian Rhapsody wrap. It has 18 blocks, so I am getting close to finishing…. my excitement level is growing, so much that I am thinking of bringing the completion deadline forward. I’ll just see how the hooking goes this weekend……………………

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody

Happy Knitting and Crocheting xxx

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