Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Braided Little Squares Scarf - today is the day!

Hello to blog readers old and new! I'm so happy to tell you my design was voted to be shown eighth (out of a total of 26 submitted) by the readers of CAL - Crochet A Long Facebook Group CLICK HERE to visit, and today is the day I get to show it off to you!

As promised - for a short time - the pattern is available to be downloaded for free. This link to it will expire on 23 November so click HERE to download my Braided Little Squares Scarf pattern without delay!

It's written in UK terms, uses the overlay mosaic crochet technique and has photos showing how to construct the special stitches needed and the fringe. A chart is provided for those who prefer to crochet from them.

The pattern has been thoroughly tested by a super group of volunteers. I was particularly pleased that three of my testers Susan, Mum and Shazia had never worked on an overlay mosaic crochet pattern before so it was great that they all managed to produce beautiful scarves as you can see below.

I've used Stylecraft Highland Heathers for mine, this is a Double Knitting weight yarn but my testers used lots of different yarns (detailed below). 

After the 23 November, the pattern will be available for a modest fee in my Etsy shop click HERE in UK terms. At that time, a US version will also be available. 

The design works well with solid colours as well as self-striping yarns with longer lengths. Variegated yarns (like those used for fair isle effect or having short colour changes) should be avoided for this design. 

Extra special thanks to Laurene Leeseberg Bluder and Silke Karp who were always available with help on the administration and overall organisation of the whole event. This design wouldn't exist without them. They work awfully hard in the background.

I leave you with photographs from my wonderful testers in no particular order other than how they arrived in my inbox. They said some lovely things about the pattern, which modesty forbids me to repeat here, but you can read what they had to say about the design on the CAL - Crochet A Long blog posting, click HERE.

Susan Powell

Used Crafty DK in Deep Lake and Cream purchased from Aldi. Strong contrasts work so well in Susan's gorgeous scarf.

Elaine Tuttle Shrock

Used 6 oz of Premier Anti Pilling DK in Meadow, 4.5 oz of Loops & Threads Joy DK in Snow. What an elegant scarf Elaine has created! 

Karen Dixon 

Used Cygnet DK, a truly gorgeous combination of Candyfloss and Chiffon. I just love pink and grey together! 

Tammy Alexander, unfortunately unable to finish her scarf due to circumstances outside her control but she made some fantastic observations on the pattern which will benefit everyone using the pattern in the future so she deserves big thanks and credit for her contribution.

Jamie Storer

Used Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Bedazzles and part of a Mega Ball DK from Hobbii in black. I think this yarn was made for this design, Jamie's scarf is so striking.

Anya Roche 

Used Nani’s Yarns 4 ply Mulberry Silk in colourways Peach to soft green, and 3-ply Merino silk in Black. As these yarns are thinner than DK recommended in the pattern, she went down to a 3.25mm hook.

Anya had her friend, Aleashia, model her creation. Very cleverly, she used fewer repeats and joined it in the round to make this wonderful cowl. 

It was a little bit big for Barry, the dog :-) Awwww, isn't he beautful though? 

Malathi Seshandra

Used Premier Luna and Cascade yarn. Another self-striping yarn used to great effect in Malathi's scarf.

Mum Taylor

Used Stylecraft Special DK in Teal and White, great contrast here again with bold colour blocks

Shazia Suhail

Sunshine colours will cheer up the greyest of winter days, a bright and fun combination.

Thanks again to all my testers for taking part in this, and the administrators behind the Facebook Group, it was a wonderful experience working with you all! The whole experience has been an utter joy.

Monday, 17 October 2022

Voting has opened on the Design-a-Scarf 2022 Challenge!

Voting has opened, for the Design-a-Scarf 2022 Challenge!

There is a blog post from the organisers CLICK HERE where the background to the Crochet A Long is outlined and all the scarf designs are featured. Each design has got a number, make a note of your favourites!

There are two ways to vote for which designs you want to see published first.

In the CAL - Crochet A Long album CLICK HERE, you can click "Like" against each of the scarves, there's no upper to limit to the ones you can click Like against, you can vote for them all if you want to! 

In the CAL - Crochet A Long Poll CLICK HERE, you vote for only one - your top favourite.

I'm not allowed to tell you which one is mine. Shortly after voting ends (on Sunday 23rd October), a schedule for the release of the patterns - and the names of the designers - will be issued. Most votes gets released first. My understanding is a few will be released each week. The designs will be free to download for the duration of the Crochet A Long so make a note of the ones you like, not all of them will be free when the CAL ends. 

It's a design challenge, not a competition - everyone is a winner, they are all lovely - so do please go take a look and join in on the voting. 

I feel honoured to be amongst such a great selection of scarves. 

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Scarves galore!


This week, I have been perfecting this scarf, the stitch is a kind of hybrid between crocheting with two strands of yarn on your hook and 2-cord chaining. I've been working hard on a tutorial on how to do it along with a few variations. 

The pattern and tutorial will be coming (free!) to a blog near here very soon. Print-ready versions will be available in my Etsy shop for my usual modest fee.  

Last week, (and for the three weeks before that actually!) I was working very, very hard on a Facebook Design a Scarf 2022 challenge.  Along with several other designers, we were challenged to come up with a new design in a very short period of time! Mine has been accepted and tested and is now ready for the exciting unveiling. 

When the challenge goes live, I will need your help ... there will be a vote, if you like my design and want to see it sooner than everyone else's, you can help the unveiling along by voting for it. To get a head start, you need to first join the Facebook Group CAL - Crochet A Long (CLICK THESE WORDS TO VISIT IT). The scarves will be unveiled there and voting will begin.

I can't show you my design or say any more about it at the moment but I will be back in a few days with more details!

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Have a Cool Yule pattern - time to crochet Christmas blankets - Oh Yes It Is!


I know it's not Christmas yet but bear with me, us crocheters take weeks to make a blanket and so I'm getting in a bit early.

The pattern for my "Have a Cool Yule" Christmas blanket is available in my Etsy shop now. It uses the mosaic overlay technique. I've used Stylecraft Special DK to make the one photographed. If you want to make one exactly the same you will need:

  • 3 x 100g 1123 Claret
  • 3 x 100g 1001 White
  • 2 x 100g 1725 Sage
  • 2 x 100g 1009 Bottle
  • 1 x 100g 1807 Hint of Silver

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Blast from the past!

We first owned her 26 years ago. Purchased brand new when both MTM and I were working at proper jobs rather than mucking about trying to be an artisan. It was the aquisitive, tail-end of Thatcher 1990s, you were what you bought.
The personalised number plate a birthday gift. The VVC stands for Variable Valve Control, a feature of the model which makes it go faster. I drove VVC for several years but also had the series of accidents in her that led to me not driving for over a decade.

In the intervening time, we created many happier memories .... adventures, holidays and weekends away. She drove me to and from Lincoln College for two years when I retrained for one of my many occupational reinventions.

One stand out evening was driving home from a Del Amitri concert, top down at midnight, singing Here and Now - loudly - to a summer's moon. Through a chance remark and one extraordinary coincidence, the stars bizarrely aligned to make her ours once again. The one car neither of us will ever forget.

We will love and cherish you forever, we curse the fate that kept us apart for so long. None of the other cars since we let you go have meant a thing. You have comfortable, fabric seats, balm to even the most aggravating haemorrhoids.

Welcome home A15 VVC.