Tag Archives: designs

shawl 1 hand dyed by Kate

Happy New Year

Hello everyone,

So after the Christmas Market at Lee Valley, and for the past 6 months or so I have been very busy designing.  However it was time to decide how to publish this set of patterns and to give myself a deadline.  Initially I had thought of just publishing a book.  That would mean that I would have to have all the shawls made and photographed, , tested, tech edited, and laid out before I could publish.

Now one of the stitch groups that I belong to had just finished a Mystery KAL (knitalong) set of 6 shawls, they had got very excited when each one came along, and loved the finding of  yarns that were suitable after being given clues, either new purchases or from stash diving, and enjoyed the challenge of completing each in the month so that they were ready for the next one!

Shawl 1 commercial yarn

Shawl 1 – Commercial yarn

Claire and Jess really encouraged me to think about my shawls, so I have decided to to a similar thing.  I will be releasing 1 shawl each month on the first Thursday of the month starting in February.  They will be release as digital downloads via Ravelry.  for various techy reasons Ravelry works best for this.  This will be completed with the final shawl being released on 1st July, and the final (physical) book to be published on the 1st August.

Stephen West shawl

Stephen west shawl from Ravelry

The whole process has been really exciting, I have been inspired by knitted shawls, particularly Stephen Wests’, and the fade types, which seem really popular at the moment,  indeed I started with 6 basic shapes and ideas, and that has changed significantly over the time I have been designing them!

The shawls vary from 1 skein to 3 skein, use basic stitches, treble crochet, double crochet, slst, etc, with some little tweaks.  They start easier and become more challenging further along the journey.

I will be with you all the way. I will be publishing some technique videos – exclusive to subscribers (once I have worked out how to!) I will be visiting Ravelry daily to answer any queries on the discussion boards, there will be wonderful prizes too from my collaborators!

Some of my subscribers shawls will be pictured in the final book, because I would like everyone to see how different colour choices can really effect the final shawl.

My testers have been very enthusiasitc about the designs, and my hope is that you love them too.  To subscribe head over to Ravelry following  this linky  or click on this button to

I have had great fun designing these and purchasing yarns/collaborating with some fabulous hand dyers, I have used variously – Hand dyed by Kate, EasyKnits, Gamercrafting, Baby Long Legs, Skein Queen, as well as commercial yarns

Shawl 1 Caron Cake in pink

Shawl 1 – Caron Cake

The first shawl will require 1 x 100g skein of 4ply weight – sock, fingering, hand dyed or commercial all will produce a lovely shawlette. This pattern has also been written for and tested on Aran weight specifically using a Caron cake, 200g, which gives you a lovely chunky feel.  I now have a sale on Caron Cakes and a free shipping code if you sign up to the MCAL.

Further clues will be released soon wink

Christmas Baubles

10 Christmas Baubles Booklet

I have just finished writing a book(let), there is a sense of relief and panic, when you finally click that order now button! I have decided not to look again at my pdf, one; because I do not want to see if there are any errors and two; because there is nothing I can do now  if I do find an error!

I have been writing and editing madly over the last week and crocheting loads of Christmas baubles – The booklet will be available after Friday, and the first peeps to get a look will be at the Tapestry Crochet Christmas Bauble course on Saturday at Crates of Wool.

Christmas Bauble of a tree

Christmas Tree Bauble

This is the first time I have published a proper book – or booklet…  I typed into Google when does a booklet become a book (When it grows up – was one of the genuine answers!) hmm I think I will call it a book… it has 22 pages, 10 charted patterns, and various tutorials including how to make a magic ring, how to change colours and the invisible decrease.

I am also looking forward to the course on Saturday (10am) – there are a couple of places left,and you only need to know how to make a chain, and double crochet, it helps if you are fairly confident with holding the yarn, as you will have to hold two different colours at the same time!  All the materials will be supplied, you will need to bring a 3.5mm crochet hook, although I can lend you one if you need it!

holding yarn for christmas baubles

Holding 2 colours of yarn

There are a couple of places left, its only £18 and you get mince pies too! so contact Brigid at Crates of Wool either by email brigid@cratesofwool.co.uk or call her on 01920 463436 to confirm your place.

See you soon!



Rainbow Project Bag CAL

Had to get on the Blog today as I am really excited about a design I created for Women’s Weekly, the Rainbow Project Bag, being featured as a Mini CAL (Crochet along) on Facebook!

You can follow the link here Rainbow Project Bag CAL. It is a closed group, but I am an admin on the page so can add peeps, I will also be keeping up with the questions.

I didn’t manage to take many photos of this project, but I have dug out my original samples, and the yarn that was used, and will be making the square again.

The Rainbow bag is a cube shape, with 4 sides made from the motif square and a double crochet square base, which are all crocheted together.  Then a border is made around the top of the bag, and the handle grows from the border.

The motif square looks tricky but isn’t really as it  is essentially a 5 row repeat.  there is a twist, in that the bobble row is worked from the wrong side so that they pop out and look – well bobbly!

I am also really excited to see other peoples take on this bag.  At the moment it is only available as a pack from the knitting network – please note I am not receiving any credit for the affiliate links!

*Updated to say that the pattern is available on its own, from the knitting network here

Sneak peek!

So today I was completing the beginners crochet project, and as I want to write this up, I thought you might like a sneak peek – do you like the colours?  There were one of two that I wasn’t sure about, but now I see them altogether, especially in the ripple, I am loving it!

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More details in a future post…


squeeeeee! Woman’s Weekly

I really felt like squealing today – In the post was a copy of Woman’s Weekly, The WEEKLY one!  I have had several patterns published in the Knitting and Crochet Monthly but this is the first weekly one, and it is the only knitting/crochet pattern in the issue.

I did get notified by tweet earlier in the week, but in my naivety, I didn’t realise it was the weekly one!

See in the bottom left hand corner…  That’s my pattern!

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And here it is on my mannequin,

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With a close up of the ripple pattern – which I designed from scratchmain body of ripple - bottom edge

So today is a good day!  Thank you Woman’s Weekly.

Knitting and Crochet with Woman’s Weekly cover!!!!!

I am soooooo excited, when I received a copy in the post of the July copy of Knitting and Crochet with Women’s Weekly, and I am on the cover……….well not me personally but my design – it’s a remake of a Vintage crochet pattern, and really is quite easy!  I literally squealed when I saw it!

This is a link to the Women’s weekly page with the details for downloading too.  The magazine is in most retailers now, so go grab a copy and see what you think!

Flight of Fancy04

Close up of the stitch pattern lovely clusters

It is an interesting challenge to re-design a vintage crochet pattern.  I have used the stitch pattern given, which is quick to work as you make the clusters into spaces, but the gauge and stretch of the fabric created were completely different to the original which was in 2ply and much, much finer.  Although in 4ply this pattern does not take very long to make, as the bottom half is created in one piece, and then the first front, back and second front. Sew up the shoulders and all that is left after that is the borders around the arms, and the long border around the bottom, fronts, and neckline which is worked continuously around.

Flight of Fancy05

Close up of neckline border

I would really love to know what you think about this pattern.  Please leave comments below or on my Facebook page.

Crochet Colour combinations

So after being really quite obsessive,  I have one mini crochet square for every colour of DMC Woolly, labelled and the ends sewn in!  The next part of the the design process, and the really fun part – deciding on colour combinations.

I have made similar types of blankets with both 15 and 12 colours.  so looking for combinations with that many different colours.

I started by making a colour circle with the closest colours to the following red/blue/yellow first – primary colours, then orange, green and purple – secondary colours being made from the primary colours, then tertiary colours, red/orange, yellow/orange, red/purple, blue/purple, and yellow/green, blue/green.colour wheel 1I love, love, love these bright colours, for a start!  I then put all the colours out within the colour wheel, don’t they look gorgeous!  a great range of colours…all as spectrumthen put the bright colours together…bright comboand make sure that I know which colours are which – bearing in mind that photos are notoriously inaccurate!  bright with tagsI then tried a vintage look…vintage comboand some pastels…pastel comboAlso labelled!

vintage with tags pastel with tagsBut… I haven’t finished playing yet!  I want to do a lot more colour combinations before making the final decisions, including neutrals and some other colour combos like strong pastels, and complimentary colours – that is from opposite sides of the colour wheel, reds/pinks and greens or blues/oranges… watch this space!

And as for putting the colours away… the spectrum thing is a wee bit of a compulsion!all coloursWhat about your colour combinations – anything you like? Let me know about it below.

On my hook – what I am crocheting now!

After showing how inspiring it is to see crafters in other fields, I thought you might like to know a little about the process that I use to create my crochet.  One of My ‘things’ is experimenting by using different techniques, which means that I have to learn those techniques first, then use what I have learned to create a design, or a course.

I learned how to make crochet cables quite a while ago, I experimented a bit using a book 63 Crochet Cables (Anne’s blanket in this post was made using this book) I designed a workshop (part of my next steps course) where I also designed a scarf to be made during this session.  I have now been given the opportunity to run a workshop at Ally Pally (The knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace) for which I bid a Crochet Cable cushion.   So now I need to design the cushion and decide what we will be doing in the 1 hour that we have.

My first step is to learn more about Crochet  Cables, so I signed on for a Craftsy course, which is by a new to me crochet designer Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby (I found by accident the Shibaguyz website, and I looooove what they do!) I am part way through, and have made a sample with a variety of cables, I really enjoy making the cables, and very please with the result as the cables lie lovely and flat.  I have started the next pattern which is woven cables.  I am making these samples in a Double knit, wool mix yarn.

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In contrast, I also have on my hook a design that I have started for an independent dyer.  The yarn is amazing, and a real challenge, as you can see from the pics below, it is the finest of yarn, cobweb, for comparison I have put ordinary double knit yarn next to it!

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Lace is always interesting, it starts off looking very rag like, but hen it is opened up you can see the beauty.  I am using a 3mm hook which seems large, but give the right amount of laciness.

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What do you have on your hook?  Do you have lost of Crochet or Knit WIP’s (Work In Progress) or do you work on one project at a time?  I would love to see what you have on your hook (or needles!)

Loving Life, Crochet and Yarn!


Three things that make me happy…

St Pauls Hammersmith st Pauls interiorLife – last Saturday I was at a worship conference, what’s that I hear you ask?  For those that don’t know me very well, I take my faith very seriously, no, that’s not quite right, my faith is not church on Sunday, but a daily walk, sometimes a struggle , sometimes a meander, with God.  So on Saturday I found myself at St Pauls, Hammersmith, with many other people, spending time with lots of sung worship, seminars, lots of coffee… started about 10am, and went on to 9pm.  My favourite moment was when, during one of the talks, we sung Come Holy Spirit, in Latin – Veni, Sancte Spiritus … completely different to the rest of the conference, sung very simply on two notes, but then with all of us singing on the pentatonic scale, in a beautiful church, was a truly happy, harmonious, holy moment…

Crochet Cutie from Womens Weekly  Womens Weekly Knitting and Crochet May  Womens weekly workshops

Crochet – this made me squeeee with delight when I saw it… My very first published design in Women’s weekly.  It combines fabric – a beautiful fine silk, with crochet.  I was really happy when they said that they loved it!  I have since designed another combo which they are also really pleased with – so that ‘O’ level in needlework is finally being put to use!  I also had a picture on the Workshop page, along with others that I respect hugely – Jane Crowfoot who opened the first Waltham Abbey Wool Show, Cara Ackermann with whom I have had some interesting crochet discussions with at trade shows, Natalee Warner who I met last year at Excel, and of course Freddie Patmore who organises the whole thing!  We were altogether on Friday for the first in a series of workshops, and had great fun teaching together, in the lovely headquarters of Women’s weekly near Tate Modern!

Sirdar Kasha yarn

Yarn – I have had some really lovely new yarn to play with, it is a new yarn from Sirdar – Kasha.  It is a big ball (300g) of fluff!  Mostly manmade fibres but with 10% mohair, it is interesting for it’s texture, soft, fluffy and slubby too.  I was going to make a Loren Jumper with it, but I loved it sooo much that I decided to design a companion to the Loren – The Sophia Cardigan!  Based on the Loren Jumper it’s not quite ready yet, I have made the whole thing, but it needs some tweaks, the collar needs to be longer, and I’m thinking of taking it apart to increase the length, so that I can wear it!


What makes you happy?  I have found that delighting in the little things every day, thanking God that we are so blessed, makes me very happy.

New Yarn…

On Tuesday I got up really early, really, really early, to get on a train to Birmingham for Stitches (as its known in the trade) or the Craft, Hobby + Stitch International Spring Show.  I was really excited this year as I had been invited to the launch of a new yarn from DMC, Natura XL.

I wandered around the exhibition for a while then went to see the fashion show, this year the focus was much more on sewn garments than knitted, but here are some photos, the first are from Lion Brand, and the others are from Creative World of Crafts.stitches lion brand

I also noticed that the American yarns are now becoming more available, Lion Brand has been to a couple of shows, and this year Creative World of Crafts were here showing of Bernat, Caron, and Lily and cream which I have been waiting for, for a long time!  It is great to have a good squoosh of the yarns that I have seen in patterns for the last couple of years and had to try and substitute!stitches creative

Back to the DMC workshop, we were given a brilliant goodie bag, with a set of bamboo needles, with ceramic ends, a bamboo crochet hook with a painted end with sweet flowers, and some of the new yarn, along with a shade card and press release!
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We were introduced to the yarn and then the best bit we were able to play and chat!  I started with a lovely soft green, and while we had been given a couple of patterns to look at, I decided to make some wrist warmers.  I completed them at the next Chain ‘n’ chatter on Friday, and have taken some piccys to help.  Any comments on the pattern would be most appreciated.2015-02-20 14.43.02

This is the pattern I created, my hands are 19cm at the widest part of my hand and 17cm around the wrist.  There is no shaping, they are slightly on the large side after a few uses, so I would recommend 1 row shorter for the same size that I made, and adjust amount of rows as necessary for smaller or larger sizes.  It is an easy pattern, made with one ball of DMC Natura XL and a 7mm crochet hook.

Make 18 chains.

Foundation Row:  Double crochet in the 4th chain from hook, *treble crochet in next chain, double crochet in next chain , repeat from * to end.

Row 1:  chain 2 (counts as first tr), *double crochet in next stitch, treble in next stitch, repeat from * to end, make last dc in the top of the turning ch (each treble will be made in a double crochet and each double in a treble crochet)

Repeat Row 2, until you have completed 13 more rows – 15 in total.  (you can make these smaller or larger depending on your hand size)

Fasten off with a long end, which will be used to sew up.2015-02-20 11.03.00

Working with an over sewing stitch, fold sides together so that the chains are visible (like picture)2015-02-20 11.07.28

Working from the right side, over-sew in first stitch, and into next 7 stitches, over-sew in 8th stitch (you may want to pass the thread through the stitch to secure it) .2015-02-20 11.12.12

Then weave the end through the next 3 stitches on one side (thumb hole made) over sew the next three stitches, and fasten off, sew in both ends.2015-02-20 11.33.18

Please enjoy this free pattern, and let me know in the comments what you think.