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Crochet summer pinwheels

I love the seaside. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said that, both in real life and on this blog!

So when it comes to my making, it’s no wonder I’m a sucker for anything with a seaside theme – I’ve even got a whole Pinterest board dedicated to crafty Seaside ideas here, including crocheted and sewn projects as well as some lovely inspiring photos.

I’ve actually just come back from a lovely week’s holiday in Cornwall, enjoying some glorious sunshine and beautiful beaches, so I thought it was the perfect time to share my love for the seaside with this crochet pinwheels pattern:

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I’ve just put the PDF pattern up for sale on my Etsy shop here and Ravelry here.

It’s been so hot recently that I found it tricky to decide on a craft project to take away on holiday with me – anything big or woolly would not have been practical! I needed something light and small to make with a cool cotton. I’ll tell you more about what that was another time, but this crochet pinwheels pattern would have been perfect.

They’re really easy and fun to crochet, and perfect for making while you’re on holiday, or once you get back. You could even get the kids to help you choose yarn and buttons for a really special make.

The pattern includes instructions in UK and US crochet terms, and they’re a great stashbuster because you can use any yarn you like (with a suitable hook). I used DK cotton yarns and a 4mm (US 6) hook, and I only needed approx 15g of yarn per pinwheel. You also need one button for each pinwheel, and a small stick, such as a barbecue skewer.

There are four different sizes of pinwheel: Large 11cm (4.5in) diameter, Medium 9cm (3.5in) diameter, Small 8cm (3in) diameter and Extra Small 7cm (2.75in) diameter. Plus there are diagrams to help you make up the pinwheels.

If you’re interested in the PDF pattern, head over to my Etsy shop here or Ravelry here, and enjoy the summer!

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Posted by on July 4, 2018 in Crochet

 

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Make: crochet dishcloths

Blogging can sometimes be a lonely business. I quite often feel like I’m talking to myself. Which is fine. I’m happy to listen.

So it’s great when something I’ve made, written about or photographed is noticed and liked by other people. That’s what happened with this image of some simple crochet dishcloths I made:

Crochet dishcloths

Crochet dishcloths

A lot of crocheters like to make dishcloths and these ones are nothing special. But I remember making a special effort to photograph these ones nicely. So it’s great to discover that the image has been re-posted on a few other blogs as well as on Pinterest. It’s very nice.

Anyway, I thought it was about time that I posted the pattern, for anyone interested in making these dishcloths. They’re super-simple and beginner-friendly to make.

Dishcloths

You will need
Any DK-weight yarn (I used Yeoman Soft Cotton DK)
A 3.5mm (US E/4) hook

Measurements
Finished dishcloth measures approx 20cm (8in) square

Notes
Pattern uses UK crochet terminology: UK treble crochet is US double crochet, UK double crochet is US single crochet.

Dishcloth
Using 3.5mm hook, ch42.
Row 1 Tr in fourth ch from hook and each ch to end, turn. [40 tr]
Row 2 Ch3 (counts as tr), tr in each st to end, turn. [40 tr]
Repeat Row 2 until dishcloth is square (approx 20cm/8in).
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Edging
Join a contrasting shade of yarn using a slip stitch in any stitch of final row.
Round 1 Ch1 (does not count as st), *dc in each st to end, work 3dc in corner st, rotate to work into row ends and work approx 2 dc into the side of each treble stitch, work 3dc in corner st; repeat from * around, dc in each st until you reach the first dc, ss to first dc to join round.
Round 2 Ch1 (does not count as st), *dc in each st around working 3dc in each corner st, ss to first dc to join round.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Crochet

 

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Simple sewn mats

You might remember that we redecorated our bedroom in July, and I got busy crafting little extras to make it truly ours. Maybe you even remember this photo of our windowsill:

Bedroom temporary plant mat

Bedroom temporary plant mat

Yes, that was a spare oven mitt being used as a plant mat, to protect the wooden windowsill that I’d very carefully painted. Well, I’m happy to tell you that the oven mitt is back in its kitchen drawer, where it should be, because we’ve made a whole windowsill full of pretty, sewn mats:

Six simply sewn windowsill mats

Six simply sewn windowsill mats

The best thing about this sewing project is that all six mats were made by both me and Jonny (the other/better half). We had chosen the fabric together, I’d cut all the pieces and threaded the sewing machine – I was all ready to get started by myself when (as a joke) I asked him whether he might be interested in learning to sew by doing the first (easiest) sewing stage on the mats. To my surprise, he said: “Yeah, I’ll give it a go.” I was surprised and delighted in equal measure!

I think his willingness was, in part, due to a television programme that we’d watched the night before. The BBC do a show called The Great British Sewing Bee, which I really enjoy. Well, they did a series of three charity specials recently, for Children in Need, with celebrities – some of whom were men (some of whom were pretty good). We watched it together and I think seeing other men sewing had made it acceptable for him to do the same.

So I pinned two pieces right sides together and showed him the basics of using the machine, backstitching, sewing in a straight line, turning a corner and leaving a turning gap. And he was really good. He’s not too fond of any task that is “tedious and repetitive”, so his attention span only stretched to doing three mats before he had to have a break. But he came back and sewed the other three. He also helped me turn them all through to the right side and then I just added the wadding and did the topstitching to finish them off. Here’s one a little closer:

Side 1: beige flower fabric

Side 1: beige flower fabric

We made them so that they have a different fabric on each side and each one has a different feel. Sometimes I’m in the mood for the beige side with its delicate little white and blue flowers. Other times, I crave the visual stimulation of the blue side with its geometric patterns:

Side 2: Blue fabric

Side 2: Blue fabric

So far, we’ve got the best of both by having some of the mats on one side and some on the other side. It’s really lovely to have a few different handmade items decorating our new bedroom, but what’s makes these mats even more special is knowing that we made them together. They’re the product of a crafty romance 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Sewing

 

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Crochet guides

So I’m finally ready for the big reveal – here’s what I’ve been working on (off and on) for the last errr 10 months…

Crochet covers

Beginner’s & Pro Crochet Guides covers

These are two huge bookazines (designed like a book, but the size of a magazine), packed with 164 pages each. They’re on sale today and I feel like a proud (but nervous) mum!

The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet is perfect if you want to learn how to crochet, or rediscover the craft, or just brush up your basic skills (even I learnt things I didn’t know that I didn’t know!). My favourite bit is the chapter about amigurumi toys, and the little piggy toy pattern is just so cute.

The Pro Guide to Crochet is for crocheters who already know the basics and are hungry for more! This one really is packed full of know-how, from foundation rows to broomstick crochet, colourwork to designing your own pieces, and loads more in between.

Both are designed like workbooks, so you learn some new skills and then make something fab to practise those skills. Most of the patterns have been previously published in Simply Crochet magazine (so they’re gorgeous, of course). Some of the tutorials have also come from Simply Crochet but most of the tutorials in the Pro Guide are brand new (and many written by yours truly!).

So much of my time, energy, blood, sweat and tears have gone into these two publications, it feels a bit like these are my children going out into the world on their own… so if you spot a mistake, please don’t tell me! No parent is perfect 🙂

They’re £9.99 each for a paper copy, available from newsagents or direct from www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk.
Or they’re £7.99 each for a digital copy, available via the Simply Crochet magazine app – see here for more.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Crochet

 

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Foxes or knitting?

It’s been a whopping 7 weeks since my last blog post. That’s long enough to do all manner of things… learn to drive, lose a stone of weight or even gestate a fox.

As much as I like foxes, I’ve been busy doing something else…

I’ve been working on two knitting books, well, book-azines because they’re magazine-sized and sold with magazines in the shops. At 164 pages a piece, there was a lot to do in a short space of time. So the blog got put on the back burner – in fact, almost everything else got put on the back burner!

The first bookazine is called The Beginner’s Guide to Knitting, which covers all the basics of learning to knit. The second bookazine is called The Pro Guide to Knitting, which follows on from the Beginner’s Guide by covering more advanced knitting techniques, such as Fair Isle, beading and short-row shaping.

Beginner and Pro Knit BZs © Future Publishing

Beginner and Pro Knit BZs © Future Publishing

They’re both on sale 31st October 2013 in the UK, or as digital editions wherever you are in the world. Go to http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk to find out more, or visit http://www.theknitter.co.uk/digital to download the free app, within which you can purchase these special editions.

For the Beginner’s Guide, I wrote a lot of it myself and really enjoyed the challenge of trying to think through and explain knitting techniques (that are now automatic for me) in a simple way. I also made a couple of really easy projects for it, along with some colleagues.

Knit projects

Knit projects

It was a whole other challenge to make items using just one stitch type and no shaping! I think my garter stitch bow is my favourite, because it’s so cute and simple, and it works well on my colleague Becca’s ribbed hairband. Although, maybe my bright pink flower is my favourite… It’s just a strip of stocking stitch gathered up and finished with a button. It’s unusual and looks more tricky than it really is, and it was great for decorating my colleague Lizzie’s moss stitch scarf.

So now these two bookazines are on their way to the shops, I can get back to some of the craft projects I’ve started but not finished…

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Knitting

 

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