Thursday, 17 September 2015

Jolene Shawl ::

Another pattern to add to my rereleases this week. Time for the Jolene Shawl, as I pulled it out of the box of shawls this week to keep me warm now the weather has started cool off, I thought is was high time I got it listed up for sale.

I love this shawl so much, originally published in Inside Crochet Magazine, when I took it off the blocking board I was so reluctant to post it on to the magazine for photography, I just adored it so so much.

The yarn (Faery Wings by Fyberspates) is especially delicious and the drape is wonderful, it's so light and airy, yet warm and comforting.

Made up of motifs which are joined in a hexagonally tessellation, like honeycomb. The motifs are joined as you make them up.

Pattern is available in both UK and US terms and you can get an automatic 50% discount over on ravelry until the end of the weekend.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

To Space or Not to Space?

To space or not to space? I'm talking about crochet pattern writing style of course. Last week I asked over on facebook and instagram if when reading a crochet a pattern you prefer to have a space between the number and the stitch or no space.
For example :
Row 1: Ch3, 3dc, 2dc in next st, 1dc in each st to end, turn.
Row 1: Ch 3, 3 dc, 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in each st to end, turn.

One thing I've definitely learnt in my last few years of pattern writing is that every publication seems to have their own way of writing patterns. For the most part they're pretty similar, but I find myself having to check and recheck a publication's style sheets numerous times whilst I'm pattern writing and almost always have to rewrite my notes to meet their criteria.

One thing I'm never sure of is whether or not to put that space between the stitch and the number. In my experience so far I tend to find UK magazines will omit the space, whilst US magazines like the space. Having taught myself from UK books, I think I'm probably more used to the lack of space, but I'm really undecided which I actually prefer.

The overriding answer on facebook and instagram was definitely no space, although there was a third option offered up; a space unless the stitches go in the same st. I think I really like this option, but wonder if it's too extravagant!
For example:
Row 1: Ch3, 3 dc, 2dc in next st, 1dc in each st to end, turn.
Plus in writing it out I realise there are more questions to be added to this style, do you space between the chains, do you space between the '1dc in each st to end'?

As I'm getting my crochet sock collection together and ready for publishing and looking in to taking on a lot more self publishing in the future, I've been constantly thinking about these (seemingly) minor issues the last few weeks! Time to write myself a really strict style sheet I think!

So what do you think? Space or no space?

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Design Wars :: Boutique Midnight ::

I'm back competing in the Design Wars Challenge again this week. I'm up against the lovely Alessandra of Just Be Happy Crochet and we're using Red Heart Yarns, Boutique Midnight.

I really really loved using this yarn, it's so thick and chunky and yet lightweight so it's easy to use and not too heavy to work with especially if you're making something big.

I designed the Minerva Wrap for this challenge, it's warm and snug, versatile and so much fun to whip up. The wrap is worked almost entirely using treble (double) crochet, with a little bit of double (single) crochet, worked from the centre out it grows quickly to form a large accessory perfect for cool autumn days (not unlike today in fact!).

It can be worn in a variety of ways, as simple wrap, thrown over your shoulders or pinned in place on especially blustery days, as a super chunky scarf, hung open at the front like an open fronted cardigan, or my favourite is to put the points at the front and back, so it looks like a double sided shawl! However you choose to wear it it certainly serves it's purpose at keeping off the chill.

Competition is stiff as always this week, here's Alessandra's beautiful Pineapple Knot Vest ::

The patterns themselves will go on sale on Thursday in the meantime you can go cast your vote for your favourite on the Design Wars blog and if you leave a comment over there you also get a chance to win a 30 day subscription to their Love it Membership.
You can find the listing for my shawl over on ravelry if you fancy adding it to your favourites.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Leonie Cardigan ::

One of my (September) new year resolutions (September always feels like the real new year, fresh start to me), is to finally get all my crochet patterns up online for sale. I have so many this may take a while, but my aim is to get one pattern republished every fortnight.

So this weeks new addition is my Leonie Cardigan, originally published in Inside Crochet 2 years ago. I love this cardigan, it came out exactly as I had hoped when I first designed it.

The Catherine Wheel stitch is gorgeously drapey yet full of interest and texture, it's cosy but not too warm and versatile too. Perfect for autumn, which most definitely seems to be making an appearance around these parts.
The pattern is worked from side to side, you work the front panel, make a space for the sleeve, work the back panel, make another sleeve space, before working the final front panel, you then join at the sleeve gaps and work up the sleeves. It's simple yet so much fun.

The yarn is Rowan Pure Wool 4ply in Gerbera, but any 4ply wool content yarn would work in it's place. Block this piece hard on completion for a really drapey finish (make sure to block your swatch too before taking the measurements).

The pattern is available in both US and UK terms and comes in 4 sizes to fit bust sizes : 32-34", 36-38", 40-42", 44-46"

If you fancy making one of these for yourself I'm offering an automatic 50% discount until the end of this weekend, so hop on over to Ravelry to grab yourself a copy.

Photos by the oh so talented Britt Spring

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

How to :: Foundation Double Crochet (fdc) ::

How to make a foundation double crochet stitch (fdc) or if you're using US terminology, foundation single crochet (fsc) ::

I love using this stitch and it's counterparts (fhtr and ftr) because it creates a much more flexible foundation row for your crochet stitches than the traditional row of chains, it's also a really good way of starting a project if you want to turn and work into the underside of the stitches as it creates really clear loops in which to work into on the underneath. It's also really easy and in my opinion much quicker than the chaining option.

I've put together a little video showing you how to construct the the stitch ::

Patterns of mine that use this stitch can be seen below (click on the picture to be taken to the pattern details) ::

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Book Review :: What the Ladybird Heard Next ::

We're huge fans of the original 'What the Ladybird Heard' book, so we were thrilled when asked to review the follow up, 'What the Ladybird Heard Next'.

In a lot of ways I would have assumed that Milo was too old for this book already, but in reality he really isn't. Despite the fact we've moved on to 'chapter' books for most of our bedtime reading, this book has reminded me that he's really still interested in picture books and he absolutely loved this story. He still likes hunting out the ladybird on each page and loved the pictures too.

Effie has also been enjoying this book a lot. It's really only the last couple of weeks that she's shown much interest in books at all, but now that she has she really really loves sitting on your knee leafing through a book. She adores this book especially and will point to it on the shelf declaring 'dat', which I think means 'that book please' (we keep the paper books out of her reach but she has an easily accessible array of board books in both her bedroom and the living room). Effie especially loves the texture of the glitter on the pages. But her favourite thing of all is when Milo reads it to her, which is also my favourite thing of all.

Just like the original, the rhyming structure of this story is lovely (as is to be expected from Julia Donaldson) the illustrations are fun and bright with plenty to look at, making multiple readings a must and a pleasure and each page has both glittery elements and a little ladybird to find. It's fun and funny and bright and thoroughly enjoyable for everyone.

Milo made a little stop motion video of the book ::

The book is out on the 10th September but you can preorder here.

**We were sent a copy of the book to review but all thoughts are completely our own.
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