Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A Chevron Necklace

 


It needs no introduction, really -

All you need is the teeniest bit of t-shirt yarn, a hook and about 5 minutes of your time.

 

Now, most of you who visit my blog, or see my stuff on Instagram will know that I am not one for tricksy, difficult projects.

Nope.

Simple and quick is the way I roll.

In fact, this project is SO easy that I taught a non-crocheter how to make one (which she did, and it was rather brilliant, I must say).

Ok.
You'll need some t-shirt yarn (about 15g / 2 metres - this is the perfect stash-busting project)
A big hook - a 10mm or 12mm will work fine.

  • Chain 14
  • Starting in the 2nd chain from your hook, make 1dc in the first 5 chains, skip 3 chains, make 1dc in each of the last 5 stitches.
To make up, simply pull the yarn end through your final stitch and use this to make the necklace, tying it securely on the other side of the chevron, at the right length to fit.

Now hide your yarn tails by weaving them into the back of your chevron.

And that is that.


 Have fun using up all your t-shirt yarn ends with this super-easy project!

Enjoy your week,

Sarah xxx

Saturday, 27 May 2017

DIY slogan straw bag

The straw bag - a summer staple.

Mine comes out year after year, but to be honest it was a bit of a plain Jane.
Until now, that is...


I've been totally loving the slogan versions I've seen around recently and love the cursive script.

Dolce Vita, Petite Pois, The Future is Female, Take Your Broken Heart

But rather than buy a new one, I hatched a plan to upcycle mine, and all I needed was a long chain of crochet* and a needle and thread.

*don't worry if you're not a crocheter. You could simply find a length of cord or ribbon and stitch that on instead.


Ok. Tis easy peasy. I chose Stylecraft Mystique in Fuxia, because I love the colour, but you could use any yarn from your stash - cotton would work really well, I think. you only need a small amount, so its the perfect stashbuster, too. you'll also need a plain straw bag (mine is an ancient one from Primark), matching thread and a needle.



I decided on Fiesta for my slogan and rather than go freehand**, I printed out a template, using an app on my phone -  Pic Collage and chose 'King Basil' font.


**a little while ago, I tried this crochet-embroidery-type-thing freehand and it was a bit of a disaster. Me and a couple of friends were off to Yarndale and decided to put #Crochet Girl Gang on our denim jackets the night before. The others' looked fab. Mine looked absolutely rubbish. I am still blaming the bucket loads of Prosecco and the fact it was nearly midnight when we started....

See? Disaster. Completely wonky.

Anyhoos, back to the non-disastrous version:


With my fail-safe template to hand, I cut it roughly to shape and then tacked it onto the bag, so that it didn't move when I was working on it. 

I then crocheted a long chain with my yarn (I used a 3.5 mm hook to make a nice, compact chain). Don't worry about whether your chain will be long enough - so long as you begin stitching it on at the knot-end, you can just keep adding as you need it.

Next, I laid the chain on my template and stitched through the bag and template using matching cotton thread. I made short little stitches to keep the slogan secure.

Once that was done, I carefully tore the template away et voila!!




Tis done! 
And I'm very pleased with it, I must say. 



I'm thinking of maybe adding a pompom trim, or some tassels?? 
Or perhaps it's best just plain - let me know what you think!


Sarah xx


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Book review - Colourful Crochet

Would I like the opportunity to review a new crochet book and be a part of its blog tour?
Would I 'eck!!
(Especially when it's been designed by a fellow crochet pal, Marianne Dekkers-Roos)

Marianne and I have 'known' each other through blogging and social media for many years now and I'm very honoured that she has reviewed both my books, so was super-glad of the opportunity to repay the favour - and what a treat it is.

I love Marianne's designs; they're bright, colourful and completely inspiring, and if you follow her on Instagram, or via her blog, you'll know exactly what I mean.

This book does not disappoint.
There are 23 projects listed, but what I really like is that some of them show two or three different items you could make with the motifs - clever, eh?

The patterns themselves are varied and are a mix of projects for your home and accessories to wear. They also range in difficulty from beginner-friendly to something more challenging, too. 
Each project is written clearly, with each step well-explained and there is an accompanying chart too; perfect for those of us who prefer a visual approach to making patterns.


AND, Marianne has a top tip for getting your granny square to stop being squiffy (you know how they kind-of lean?) anyhoos, I cannot reveal the secret - you'll have to read the book.


So, what did I choose to make?
Not an easy decision- there are so many designs I wanted to try, but I settled on the Geometric Triangle Blanket. I was intrigued to see how this pattern came together.


Ok, so I may have lied a teeny bit. 
I have not made a human-sized blanket. I have made a tiddly mouse-blanket.


Here's the first row done. Isn't it clever? I love how the triangles are constructed.


And this is the beginning of the third row. It's a lovely pattern to crochet and not as tricky as I thought it might be - there's a lovely rhythm in its making, with a two row repeat, which I really enjoy. 

If you'd like to join the blog tour and see what other crochet peeps have made (there's some crochet royalty taking part, let me tell you) then take a look here for all the links.

And if you'd like to purchase your very own copy, then see here.

Well done, Marianne - it's a really wonderful book.

Sarah xx

Monday, 1 May 2017

The perfect little bag




It's a bag.

Just a little bag, but so useful. 

The perfect size, in fact for all the essentials*.

What makes it even more perfect is the fact that it takes about an hour to make and it doesn't need lining (what a Godsend - I blimmin' HATE lining bags).

Oh, and it has tassels. 
What's not to love??

Fancy making one?

*There is, in fact a bigger, tote-style bag in my NEW BOOK, Supersize Crochet (and it doesn't need a lining, either - hoorah! Take a quick look over there on the sidebar →



You'll need around 500g/ 71 meters of your favourite t-shirt yarn (I love this shop) and a small amount in a contrasting colour for the tassels, 17cm / 6.5" bag handles (mine are from here) and a 12mm hook.

The finished bag measures around 26 x 19 x 6cm

Pattern notes 

I used the cross-dc variation of the double crochet (US single crochet) stitch - see my post Quest for a Stitch to find out how to do it. If you prefer, you can use the normal dc (sc), the pattern will work just fine.

I also worked from round 2 in continuous rounds without a slip stitch to join or ch1 at the beginning, which was to avoid a seam. If you'd prefer joined rounds, then feel free to do so. Again, the pattern will work.

Don't want tassels? Simply work rnd 5 as regular dc (US sc) stitches and leave off the tassels!

Nope, I'm not crocheting glasses - it's how you work across the bag handles on Round 1


UK Pattern (US Below)

Rnd 1: Make 10dc across the first handle, 5ch, 10dc across the second handle, 5ch. Join with a sl st to the first dc to join. (30 sts)

Rnd 2 - 3: 1ch, 1dc in each st around (do not join - work in continuous rnds from here on).

Rnd 4: (Short row) 5dc (leave 25 stitches unworked).

Rnd 5: 1dc in each st BLO.

Rnds 6 - 12: 1dc in each st around.

Base 

18ch
Row 1: 1tr in each of 12 chains, beginning in the 4th ch from your hook, sk 2 ch, sl st in last ch.

To join base to bag, and with RS facing, sl st through FLO of rnd 12 to stitches around the base piece.

Fasten off.

To make up:
Cut tassels to the desired length and attach to the exposed loops from Rnd 5.
Joining the base to the bag


US Pattern

Rnd 1: Make 10sc across the first handle, 5ch, 10sc across the second handle, 5ch. Join with a sl st to the first sc to join. (30 sts)

Rnd 2 - 3: 1ch, 1sc in each st around (do not join - work in continuous rnds from here on).

Rnd 4: (Short row) 5sc (leave 25 stitches unworked).

Rnd 5: 1sc in each st BLO.

Rnds 6 - 12: 1sc in each st around.

Base 

18ch
Row 1: 1dc in each of 12 chains, beginning in the 4th ch from your hook, sk 2 ch, sl st in last ch.

To join base to bag, and with RS facing, sl st through FLO of rnd 12 to stitches around the base piece.

Fasten off.

To make up:
Cut tassels to the desired length and attach to the exposed loops from Rnd 5. 




Taaa daaaaah!
See? Quick and easy !!

Enjoy crocheting and don't forget to tag me so I can see what you've been making!

Have a fab week,
Sarah xxx


Saturday, 22 April 2017

The One with a SUPERSIZE blog hop



Yep, not any old-sized blog hop - a SUPERSIZED one, of course.

And so, to celebrate the launch of my new book, Supersize Crochet (eeeeeeek!!! totally excited!!!), there's an amazing blog hop taking place from the 1st - 19th May.


It features the most AWESOME crochet bloggers from across the entire blimmin' planet, who will be taking a look at the book and trying out some of the projects, too.


Want to know more?
Here's what's happening:

Monday 1st May - watch out! I'll be taking over the Sew and So Instagram Account
Tuesday 2nd May - read my guest blog over at Sew and So

Wednesday 3rd May - the first of the guest bloggers is Maria from Dinki Dots
Thursday 4th May - then it's Shelley from Spincushions
Friday 5th May - next up, Ashley from Lazy Daisy Jones

Monday 8th May - another great week begins with Tamara from Moogly
Tuesday 9th May - next it's Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch
Wednesday 10th May - happy hump day with Sara from Crochet Me
Friday 12th May - a lot of FriYAY love with Marianne from MaRRose
Sunday 14th May - enjoy the weekend with Ruby and Kim from Frank & Olive
 
Monday 15th May -start a new week with Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence
Tuesday 16th May - then it's Twinkie from Twinkie Chan
Wednesday 17th May - everything is HUGE with Andrea from Woolly Mahoosive
Thursday 18th May - the penultimate post from Kerry at Interweave
Friday 19th May - ah, it's all over. Read the Blog Hop Round Up



Wow! It's a line-up of Mega stars!! I can't wait to see what they all get up to. Join us for the blog hop and don't forget to take part across social media with the hashtags #supersizecrochet and #annabooshousetakeover .

 

Have a great week,
Sarah xx

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A whole load of new yarn

Lucky me!
The postman has been a busy bee, delivering lots of new yarny goodness.

Watch the Youtube tutorial below (or click here )to see close-ups of the yarn and find the show notes with details below.


Have a great week,
Sarah x


Episode 5: The one with all the new yarn. 
Show notes

Yarn: 
Stylecraft Special Dk in Vintage Peach, Buttermilk and Mushroom - 100g / 100% Acrylic
Stylecraft Classique Cotton 4-ply 50g / 100% Cotton
Stylecraft Mystique 50g / 70% Polyester/ 30% Viscose
Stylecraft Head Over Heels Sock Yarn  in Sugarloaf and Etna 100g / 75% Superwash wool / 25% Nylon
Stylecraft Wondersoft Merry-go-round DK in Pastel Rainbow and Dark Rainbow 100g / 100% Acrylic 
Stylecraft Candy Swirl DK in Apple Sour 150g / 100% Acrylic

Bilum PukPuk yarn
Scheepjes Whirl in Slice 'O Cherry Pie 225g / 60% Cotton /40% Acrylic

Blog post with shawl started in Head Over Heels here

Ombre Shawl from Inside Crochet Issue 87
Sheep from Inside Crochet Issue 88





 

Monday, 13 March 2017

The one with the skulls

Spring is in the air.
Think sunshine, daffodils, baby chicks and ...

SKULLS.

Oh yes. We like to mix up the seasons in my house.

When I bought some of this amazing glow in the dark yarn from Unique Yarns Co recently, I wanted to make little stars, or hearts.
But my children had other ideas.


These cute skulls would be perfect for bunting, or a mobile (they would probaly need blocking with spray starch beforehand, perhaps?) but I decided to decorate the kids' lampshades (which are decidedly manky and have definiely seen better days).


I simply glued them in place, using PVA glue.

Lights on

Lights off - spooooooooky

Tricky to photograph, but the green definitely glows a little brighter than the pink - both are amazing, though and I haven't seen anything like it before. Have you?



And here's a mega-skull, using the same pattern and made in Squiggly yarn from Woolly Mahoosive and a 25mm hook!


I'm so pleased wtih how they've turned out - aren't they fab? 

If you fancy making one, or two or a billion, then the pattern's next and scroll further down for a stitch-by-stitch YouTube tutorial.

Skull Pattern:

You will need
Glow in the dark yarn
3.5mm hook
or any yarn and hook to match 

Chain 6 (counts as 5ch and turning ch)
Row 1: 1dc in each st, turn.
Row 2: 2ch (counts as tr) 1tr in each st, turn.
Row 3: 3ch (counts as 2ch and turning ch), 1dc in each st, turn. (7sts)
Row 4: 3ch (counts as 2ch and turning ch), 4dc, sk st, 4ch, 4dc, turn.
Row 5: 1ch, 4dc, 5dc in ch4-sp, 4dc, turn.
Row 6: 7ch, 1dc in stitch at middle of nose, 7ch, 1sl st in last st, turn.
Row 7: 1ch, (3dc, 1htr, 4tr) in ch7-sp, 1dtr in stitch between eyes, (4tr, 1htr, 3dc) in ch7-sp.

Fasten off

(With the orange skull, I made 1dc around the edge of the skull)

YouTube Stitch-by-Stitch Tutorial 


Have a great week,
Sarah xx


Episode 4 Show Notes: The one with the skulls

Watch here:




Glow in the dark yarn in Pink and Green from Unique Yarns Co

For Star Pattern try here:

Approx 230g Squiggly yarn in Orange from Woolly Mahoosive

Mini skeins of Mineral Dyed Yarns from Unique Yarns Co
Unique Yarns Co  - Glow in the dark yarn 
The Gymnastics Shawl (no pattern yet) Whimzy yarns - Sokkusu O Max in 'Man of Rock'
Knitted jumper (pattern to follow) in The Women's Institute Soft and Chunky yarn in Grey - from here
Yarn and Colors Must-Have Minis

Monday, 6 March 2017

The one with a chunky yarn rug-let

Rug-let?
Yep, I made it up.


Well there are piglets (small pigs) and capelets (small capes) and now there are ruglets (small...er...rugs).

I know - I am a semantic genius.


This all came about when I received some gorgeous super-chunky yarn from my good friend Andrea at Woolly Mahoosive (excellent name for a shop selling mega-yarn, eh?).
Andrea has kindly supplied me with lots of her fab yarn for my new book, Supersize crochet (available for pre-order here). 

This yarn is called Squiggly in Peach. It's 100% acrylic and comes in gigantic skeins of 300g (ish) and it is SOOOOOOOO soft. And I mean really, really soft.

I wanted to create a project which would use as much of a skein as possible and so decided something in the round might be the way forward. And so the ruglet was born.



I just love how it turned out.


And here it is, in situ next to my roaring fire*
You can see what I mean by 'Ruglet' - it's quite petite. My plan is to make several and lie them next to another on the floor, OR, I'd like to put them on the wall. I'm sure the Mister would be thrilled by that idea.

*kindly made by my 7 year old, using black card and torn strips of fiery coloured paper, should you want to recreate your own.
To see more about the chunky yarns, then take a look at my latest YouTube video here, or over in my sidebar ----->>>

If you'd like to make a ruglet (or many ruglets), then here's the pattern:

Have a great week,
Sarah xx

A Chunky Ruglet (Uk first, US below)

size = approx 50cms

You'll need:
Approx 300g Squiggly Yarn in Peach
20mm hook

To make a picot, 3ch, then sl st in 3rd ch.

To tr2tog, *yarn over hook, hook into stitch, yoh, pull yarn through st, yoh, pull yarn through 2 loops. repeat from * (3 loops on hook), yoh, pull yarn through all loops.

Rnd 1: 3ch (counts as tr here and throughout), 9tr in magic ring, or 4ch, 9tr in 4th ch fom hook. Sl st to 3rd ch to join.
Rnd 2: 2ch, 1tr in same st (counts as tr2tog), 2ch, then (tr2tog, 2ch) in each st around. Sl st to 1st tr to join, then sl st into 2ch-sp.
Rnd 3: 3ch, 2tr in 2ch-sp, 2ch, then (3tr, 2ch) in each 2ch-sp around. Sl st to 3rd ch to join.
Rnd 4: 2ch (counts as htr), 1tr, picot, 1htr, 1dc in ch1-sp. *1htr, 1tr, picot, 1htr, 1dc in ch1-sp. Repeat from * around.

Fasten off

US version

size = approx 50cms

You'll need:
Approx 300g Squiggly Yarn in Peach
20mm hook

To make a picot, 3ch, then sl st in 3rd ch.

To dc2tog, *yarn over hook, hook into stitch, yoh, pull yarn through st, yoh, pull yarn through 2 loops. repeat from * (3 loops on hook), yoh, pull yarn through all loops.

Rnd 1: 3ch (counts as dc here and throughout), 9dc in magic ring, or 4ch, 9dc in 4th ch fom hook. Sl st to 3rd ch to join.
Rnd 2: 2ch, 1dc in same st (counts as dc2tog), 2ch, then (dc2tog, 2ch) in each st around. Sl st to 1st dc to join, then sl st into 2ch-sp.
Rnd 3: 3ch, 2dc in 2ch-sp, 2ch, then (3dc, 2ch) in each 2ch-sp around. Sl st to 3rd ch to join.
Rnd 4: 2ch (counts as hdc), 1dc, picot, 1hdc, 1sc in ch1-sp. *1hdc, 1dc, picot, 1hdc, 1sc in ch1-sp. Repeat from * around.

Fasten off

Episode 3: Chunky Yarn Show Notes

Drops Polaris 100% Wool in Grey

Tshirt Yarn available from Tshirt Yarn Shop

Stylecraft Special XL in Plum

Woolly Mahoosive Mammoth Yarn in Turquoise
Woolly Mahoosive Superfine Giant Merino in Navy
Woolly Mahoosive Wiggly (not available at present)
Woolly Mahoosive Squiggly in Peach, Orange and Cream
New Woolly Mahoosive Yarns in Navy and Purple available soon.

Supersize hooks

Glow in the Dark Yarn from Unique Yarns Co

Yarn and Colors Must-Have Minis

Inside Crochet Magazine

Bilum PukPuk (shawl yarn)

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Yarn Festivals

I've gone and done it again - Yep, another YouTube video.

This time, grab your glow sticks, 'cos I'm talking about Festivals !!
(Yarn Festivals, that is)

Watch the video here. (Show notes and links below)



Episode 2: Yarn Festivals Show Notes

To find a Yarn festival near you, see here:

Yarns:

Manos Del Uruguay Silk blend DK - website
Unique Yarns Co  - Glow in the dark yarn 
Whimzy yarns - Sokkusu O Max in 'Man of Rock' and 'Medallica'
Sparkleduck  - Lucy in 'Purple Pigeon' / Pulsar in 'Enchantment'
Rosie's Moments  - Lace Weight in 'Autumn Floor'
The Knitting Shed - Ainsworth & Prin Alpaca Silk Lace
Eden Cottage Yarns - Oakworth 4ply
Bilum Yarns - Pukpuk
The Women's Institute Soft and Chunky yarn in Grey - from here

Doodlestop Yarn Buddy

Pattern
The Little Mitts in Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend DK

Inside Crochet magazine

YouTubers
Chrissie Crafts

Hope you enjoyed it!

Have a great week,
Sarah xx




Monday, 20 February 2017

A trip to Stylecraft Yarns

Right back at the beginning of this month, I was invited back up to the Stylecraft Mill in Yorkshire with my fellow blogstars.

Hooray!!!

Here we all are, looking very happy indeed.
From left: Jane from Janie Crow, Phil from The Twisted Yarn, Me, Heather from The Patchwork Heart, Julia from Hand Knitted Things, Lucy from Attic 24, Helen from The Woolly Adventures of a Knitting Kitty, Emma from Emma Varnham, Sandra from Cherry Heart, Lucia from Lucia's Fig Tree and Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats

In fact, we are not all here - two of the gang joined us via Skype from the other side of the globe and so couldn't be in the pic.

Can you see them? They're right at the end of the table in laptop form, Skyping us from afar: Angela from Get Knotted Yarn Craft and Zelna from Zooty Owl

The trip involved an amazing visit to the Guild of Knitting and Crochet, where we were shown the most beautiful samples from the Guild's archives (a blog post for another day, methinks).

We were also shown the new ranges of Stylecraft yarns, and talked about all things knitting, crochet and blogging, too.

Check out my YouTube video for a closer look at some of the yarns:




We even had a Tunisian Crochet workshop - have you tried it before?
Here's my little attempt - it's a really intersting technique - something I'd like to try again. 



And beautiful blankets made by Lucia and Heather were shared and much admired.

Heather's Blanket - Pattern details here

Lucia's Blanket  - Pattern details here

The Stylecraft sheep looking very dapper

It was the most brilliant weekend - a great opportunity to chat and share ideas with like-minded souls.


I'm already looking forward to my next visit in July. 

Wishing you all a great week,

Sarah xx

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Supersize Crochet - a new book

Oh yes, it's very nearly here...
My new book is currently at the printers, ready to be released in May 2017 .
*supresses squeals of excitement*



There are 20 projects to choose from ranging from larger-than-life rugs and blankets to an oversized colour block cowl and hat for super-sized accessorising. The projects are simple enough to be tackled by beginner crocheters and you’ll be amazed by how quickly they work up.
All you need to get started is a big hook and some yarn and you’re good to go!

So why tell you about it now?
Well, I thought it would be jolly nice to offer this free BONUS pattern for anyone who decides to pre-order a copy.



Here's what you need to do:

Want a FREE copy of my “Gelato Snood” pattern?
(Offer valid until 25/05/17)
If you pre-order my book on Amazon, it’s yours with my thanks! Here’s how to get it:
1) Preorder Supersize Crochet on Amazon by clicking here:

2) After you have placed your order, click here to visit the link to receive your free bonus project (you’ll need to input your order number, so have that handy).

3) Enjoy your free pattern right now!

I hope you all like the new book - it's been a real pleasure to design the projects for you.

And if you fancy a quick peek at all 20 projects, then check out the Ravelry page here.

Happy crocheting,
Sarah xx

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A little crochet storage bowl

I'm always in need of storage - you?

I have big baskets for yarn and boxes for projects, tins for hooks and pots for needles.  
But I hadn't got anything for all those little bits.

You know - the  tiny gubbins which find their way down the sides of the sofa - those little stitchmarkers, yarn needles, tape measure...


And then I had a simple idea for a simple bowl.
So I made it.
And I made a video, too.


Want to make one for all your bits and pieces?

Here's the YouTube video, or see below for the written pattern:



 *This pattern is written in UK terms, for US, substitute double crochet for single crochet*  

Pattern:
You will need: 85g  / 17m (approx) tshirt yarn
12mm hook
Yarn needle
Stitch marker

Stitches used:
dc = double crochet
cdc = centre double crochet (to make a cdc, insert your hook into the 'legs' of the stitch  - see pic)


Row 1: 6dc in magic ring
Row 2: 2cdc in each st around. (12 sts)
Row 3: (1cdc, 2cdc in next st) repeat around. (18 sts)
Rows 4 - 5: 1cdc in each st around.

Fasten off and weave in ends.


Easy peasy!

Enjoy your week,

Sarah xx