Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose


Thursday, 13 December 2018

♥  Oh my goodness - it's Christmas time again !  


How can it be that we're here again - and that a whole year has passed since my last post ?
Time has indeed flown !

Without a doubt this has to have been my busiest crochet year to date, 
obviously something which has been completely fine by me !
But the fact that the day job has had to continue throughout and 
that, since the Spring, we have had a huge building project going on at home 
 has certainly added to the fun and kept me firmly on my toes.

 

I think we all shivered our way through the first few months of 2018, didn't we,
 and with the arrival of the Beast from the East keeping warm
 was the first thing on everyone's minds. 

Crochet star mittens were the perfect, cosy answer to this !




I made these in the most delicious yarn from Willow and Lark 
and they certainly deliver on the snuggly front ! 
(You can find my free pattern for these either by clicking on the link under the photo 
or looking in the right hand side-bar of this page.)

With Spring taking a little time to appear this year my next project 
was designing my Spring Sampler Shawl which was a Crochet-A-Long
 Project on lovecrochet.com
Again I used Willow and Lark yarn, 
but lots of those joining in the CAL used different yarn types and 
all sorts of different colourways which was lovely to see.




To finish off the Crochet-A-Long I designed a small blanket in the same pattern. 
Mine was cot sized but details are included in the pattern on the stitch multiples
 so that the pattern can be adjusted to whichever size you prefer.




With the warmer months arriving things suddenly got extremely busy
 as CICO books contacted me to ask if I would like to write a crochet book !!! 
I know !!! 
Huuuuuuge excitement followed !!!

Once I'd calmed myself down I set to and starting the amazing task
 of designing 35 crochet wreaths and garlands. 

I can honestly say that I absolutely loved every minute of putting this book together.
From choosing the yarns, to coming up with the ideas, to sitting down and 
working out the designs, making each item and finally packaging all of the 
wreaths and garlands up and sending them off to the publisher to be photographed, 
every part of the process was totally absorbing.
For three solid months I was hidden under a big pile of yarny loveliness!

The total icing on the cake was seeing all the photographs as they came back 
from the photographer - I literally cried. 
They could not have been more perfect. 
They were exactly as I had hoped they would be, 
with the most perfect styling and backgrounds.

And here's the front cover - squueeeaaallll !



The book will be out at the beginning of March 2019 and
 I cannot wait to share it with you all.
I have even pre-ordered my copy on Amazon because I just couldn't resist !


                  Come June and with the book all safely sent off I was beginning to think about getting started on a new project when I had a call from Simply Crochet Magazine to see if I would be interested in putting together some designs for their annual Calendar.
Well, how could I say no ! And guess what the brief was ....to design four seasonal wreaths !


 This was the most wonderful project to be asked to do and whilst I did wonder
 if I'd still have enough ideas left to come up with four new designs, the ideas did
 indeed flow and you can see the results below. 
The calendar went out free with Issue 78 of Simply Crochet Magazine
 and is still available through their website. 

The Calendar not only contains photo's of the four completed wreaths 
but also gives you all the patterns that you need to make each one. 


 

 

As we headed in to the hottest Summer that we have had for several years 
my next project took me straight to December in one fell swoop, 
as I had been asked to design the very first Little Box of Crochet Advent Box.
This project had been ticking away at the back of my head for some time
 so it was lovely to finally be able to sit down and start the designing process.
With it being the middle of December now the Boxes have all been sent
 to their new homes and I am thoroughly enjoying following everyone's
 progress on Instagram as they each make a new, small Christmas decoration everyday.

The boxes were a sell out and as the response has been so good Amanda,
 from The Little Box of Crochet, has decided to release the book of patterns
 before Christmas next year for anyone who missed out this year.


 

To end the year I have recently finished making, and writing up the pattern for, 
my Christmas Blanket. Again, this project has been at the back of my mind
 since last December so it has been lovely to finally see it all come to fruition.



To finish the blanket off lovecrochet.com asked me to make a matching cushion
 and you can find the free pattern for this by clicking on the wording under
 the photo or by looking in the right hand sidebar of this page.



If you fancy giving the blanket a go you can find this pattern, 
along with the patterns for my polar Bear and Penguin,
 in the pattern section of lovecrochet.com 
or by clicking on the wording underneath each photo.





And so, at the end of a fabulously fun and busy crochet year,
 I'm going to sit and enjoy a good cuppa and a Mince Pie 
and take the opportunity to wish you all the Happiest of Christmas'
and I hope you too have many happy hours of crocheting in 2019.


 



Wednesday, 6 December 2017

♥ December already ? 

Oh my goodness ! How did that happen ?
Just like that we are already in to the first week of December !


At home the decorations are up and there is Christmas Crochet everywhere,
  and at work glitter is twinkling wherever you look and 
we are full steam ahead for our Nursery Nativity next week !


This year I have loved all the neutral coloured decorations that are around 
and they were definitely my inspiration for my Trio of Sparkly Star Christmas accessories
 that I recently designed for lovecrochet.com



You can find the free patterns for these here at blog.lovecrochet.com


I have also been having a lot of fun putting together a design 
for some Christmassy Polar Bears.
Over the past few months I have really enjoyed making lots of small
 amigurumi animals from patterns that I have bought online
 and last month I finally plucked up the courage to have a go myself !
And here they are .......


Each bear stands approx. 13 cm tall and the pattern includes all the
 instructions you need to make the bears, the scarf, the balloon, 
the holly sprig and the gold star.

  

You can find the pattern here lovecrochet.com


I enjoyed making the bears so much that last night I spent a lovely couple of hours 
working on a completely unnecessary project that just had to be done .....

...... and here it is .... One bear in a Christmas Pudding Suit !


If you fancy having a go at the Bears and decide, like me, that you absolutely have to have one dressed as a Pudd here is the bonus pattern for you !


For the pudding: Using brown DK yarn and a 3mm hook chain 20. work 24 rows of DC, 
chaining 1 and turning at the end of each row.
To make the first armhole: In the next row DC 3, Chain 6, 
skip 6 stitches and rejoin back to the row. DC 10.
Work 18 more rows of DC. Finish off.
To join the seam and make the second armhole: Place the 2 short edges together 
and Sl St 10 DC together. Finish off. 
Leave a gap of 6 stitches. Rejoin your yarn and Sl St the last 3 stitches together. Finish off.
Turn inside out and place on the bear. 
Run a gathering thread around the top and bottom and pull up. 
Before finishing off add the stuffing to make the shape of the pudding.

For the topping: Using white DK yarn and a 3mm hook chain 26.
Row 1: *DC 3, increase in the next stitch.* Repeat from * to * to the end of the row, finishing with 1 DC.
Rows 2 and 3: DC 31.
Row 4: *Increase in the first stitch, DC 4* Repeat from * to * to the end of the row.
Row 5: To make the drip effect around the bottom of the topping I worked a random combination of the following cluster stitches to the end of the row. 
Begin by DC 4, then skip a stitch and work all of the following in to the next stitch: Drip 1: HTR + TR + TR + HTR, skip a stitch and Sl St back in to the next stitch. The two differnet sized drips are worked in exactly the same way by skipping a stitch then working all of the stitches in the next stitch, skipping a stitch and then a Sl St back in the next stitch.
Drip 2: TR + TR + DTR + TR + TR
Drip 3: DTR + DTR + TTR + DTR + DTR
Finish off.
Run a gathering thread around the top and place the topping around the bears neck and stitch at the back.
I worked two extra holly leaves from the pattern and stitched these in to place.


Sadly, there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to get to my little blog space
 as much as I would like these days but I am now going to spend
 the rest of the morning updating all my designs in the right hand side bar of this page,
 and if you fancy having a go at any of them, 
just click on the photo and it will take you straight to the free pattern !



 Wishing you all lots of fun in the run up to Christmas 
and may you have lots of time to crochet !




Friday, 15 September 2017

Adoring Autumn

♥ Adoring Autumn 

Without a doubt, Autumn is my most favourite season of the year 
- I love them all, but I love Autumn just that little bit more !

From the colours outside, to the cosiness inside, to the kitchen treats that lie ahead,
 there's not one bit of it that I don't like.

I even like the rain.


One of the things I look forward to the most is the prospect of snuggling down
 and getting the house looking as Autumnal as possible.


From huge cuddly blankets on the sofa's, to Autumn wreaths and Garlands on doors 
and mantle pieces, there's not one bit of my house that doesn't get the Autumn treatment !


Over the years I have built up a bit of a collection of Autumn garlands - 
the one above was the first one I made and you can find all the details here .
This one still comes out each year, and this year it's hanging in my kitchen.


Autumn garland on the LoveCrochet blog

The second one I made was a pattern for lovecrochet.com and you can find
 the full pattern for it here. This one is quite a simple, rustic looking design.


The lovely thing about putting together a garland is that you can
 just add as little or as much as you want.

   

                              

With an Autumn Garland the choice is huge ,,, from oak leaves and acorns, 
to pumpkins and berries, to mice and hedgehogs ... 
you can totally let your imagination run wild.

If you fancy giving it a go here are a couple of quick and easy patterns
 for my pumpkins and mice.


To make a pumpkin:

Make a chain to the length that you want your pumpkin height to be.
Work rows of DC ( UK terms) in to the back loop only.
Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Make a rectangle, the finished length will be the diameter of your pumpkin.
Fold in half, short edges together, join in DC.
Sew a gathering thread around the bottom, pull up, sew in place.
Turn the pumpkin the right way out, stuff, gather up and sew the top , leaving a small hole for the stalk.
Make a small green rectangle for the stalk. 
Roll up and sew in place, attach to the top of the pumpkin.


To make a mouse:


R 1: Make a Magic Ring and work 4 DC in to the ring.
R 2: *2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in next stitch*.  Repeat from * to * 1 more time. 6 sts.
R 3: *2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in each of the next 2 stitches *. Repeat from * to * 1 more time. 8 sts.
R 4: *2 DC in the next stitch, 1 DC in each of the next 3 sts*. Repeat from * to * 1 more time. 10 sts.
R 5: DC 10.
R 6: *2 DC in the next stitch, 1 DC in each of the next 4 sts* Repeat from * to * 1 more time. 12 sts.
R 7: You will be working the two ears in to this round. DC 6, working in to the front loop only of the next stitch, ss, Ch 2, 4 TR, Ch 2, ss. Work 2 DC. Work a second ear. DC 2 . 12 sts.
R 8: DC 12 , making sure that you pick up the back loop behind each ear. 12 sts.
R 9: *2 DC in the next stitch, DC in the next stitch*. Repeat from * to * 2 more times, DC 6. 15 sts.
R 10: * 2 DC in the next stitch, 1 DC in each of the next 4 stitches*. Repeat from * to * 2 more times. 18 sts.
R 11 to 15: DC 18.
R 16: * DC 2 together, 1 DC in each of the next 4 stitches*. Repeat from * to * 2 more times. 15 sts.
R 17: You will be working the tail in to the centre back of this round. * DC 2 together, 1 DC in each of the next 3 sts*. Repeat from * to * 2 more times, and when at the central back point of the mouse work the tail as follows: Chain 18 and starting in the second chain from the hook Sl St back to the start of the chain and Sl St in to the original stitch.
R 18: DC 2 together 6 times. Finish off , leaving a long tail of yarn.
Stuff the mouse and using the tail of yarn run a gathering thread around the bottom of the mouse and pull to close.

Using a small amount of black wool or embroidery thread sew on two eyes.Using white cotton , sew a few loops of cotton through the mouse’s nose, and then snip to make the whiskers.



Happy Autumn !