Crochet

Crochet A Cool Rainbow Fur Cowl And Give To Charity

Cool Kids Crochet Rainbow Fur Cowl

My daughter has a bit of a thing for rainbows so how could I walk past this ball of multi coloured neon fabulousness when I saw it and resist picking it up?

There are some lovely patterns out for all manner of spaced-dyed cardigans, jumpers, dresses and accessories, but I was looking for something a little different… and I wanted a quick project, and one that’s nice and easy but still a little bit of a challenge for you folks who are new to crochet but want to push it juuuust that little bit further. 

I thought this might be fun.

Rainbow Fur!
What to do with it though?
Texture is HUGE at the moment and this fur effect can be knit or crocheted quite easily.
This great yarn fur could potentially be made up into all sorts of wonderful shapes and styles and perhaps that’s another future project – but for now I’ m sticking with something simple… and quick…. a project that uses only one 100g ball. 
A gorgeous little crocheted rainbow fur cowl….  

My simple cowl, I posted a while ago now is one of my most popular patterns..

…and all the little girls are wearing cowls these days. they’re just so easy, and warm, and stylish.
I made if for my now 6 yr old and it was designed with youngsters in mind, but who’s to say it can’t be for a grown up. We can wear bright colours too yeah?
In fact, it can be made up in any DK yarn in any colour and doesn’t have to be space dyed either. Looks just a good plain. 
Get an eyeful of this gorgeous teal wool
Great for when we’re all fed up of the darks, and neutral tones we’ve seen through the winter months,  and for the onset of Spring with a fleece or hoodie and Autumn when we’re not quite ready to put on a heavier jacket.
Just think of those lovely colour combos you can get your teeth into.

2015 was a tough one –  for people all over the world, and I’m perpetually in awe of those that give up their time and put their own lives at risk to help people in need. I thought I’d try do a little bit from this end and donate this pattern to p/hop (pennies per hour of pleasure)  – a charity knitting project that raises funds for the incredible emergency medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

You can read about the work they do HERE

and HERE is where you can get the crochet pattern.   

Modern Granny Square Blanket

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There’s nothing I like more than a special event or occasion. Weddings, births, house warming, anything that marks the beginning of a new phase of life.
In my humble opinion, special occasions require special pressies. Easier said than done, I hear you say. I agree.
Thankfully, for me, I love an excuse to get out the yarn, cloth, hooks needles, whatever just happens to be the latest making phase I’m going through, and the chance to embark on a new challenge.
What ‘s more special than something handmade – something utterly unique that no-one else has, that you just wouldn’t be able to buy, with out having to commission.  

It was a couple of lovely old friends who were tying the knot. They’d been together a while, long enough to have already established themselves as a family with two gorgeous boys of 7 and 5, and me and my little posse were thrilled to be invited to celebrate with them.

I seem to have rather an awful lot of clever, creative friends and these two are no exception. Means only one thing – they like cool stuff. Instantly the stakes are raised. Don’t get me wrong, these folk totally get ‘handcrafted’, whatever shape or form it may take, but in this case, I felt something a little more was needed. I wanted it to have a modern twist – something for both the Designer and the Artisan.

I’d been wanting to make a chunky blanket for a while. I love ’em.

I’ve been impressed by some of the beautiful patchwork ones I’d seen, spread out  across the internet, and always thought that basic granny squares was something you could do something really quite contemporary with.

1.Feathered Hues – Design seeds. 2. Ellsworth Kelly quilt – spontaneous color.  3. Colour Explosion Quilt – Sew English Rose, Folksy. 4.Bears Rainbow Blanket – The Purl Bee.

Here’s what I Did

In a wool/acrylic mix (wearability combined with washability), knitted with two strands of DK yarn. Chunky would’ve done, but the colour choice of chunky yarns is always so restricting… and for this project I wanted some full-on colour –  

a simple two row granny square.

Hundreds of them.

488 of them to be precise.
My, clever other half came up with the excellent visual effect of colours scattering from the corner – just like a mini explosion. It looks simple and random but had to be planned quite carefully, taking into account the careful mix and concentration of colours and neutrals. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.

When all the squares were made.


they then had to be joined together,

and all the ends had to be woven in.

I can honestly say it’s probably the biggest project I’ve ever done. At times I thought I’d never finish. Anything like this is always going to be labour intensive – that’s what makes it so special. 

Three months and 2,200g of yarn later, tadahh, and what a great sense of satisfaction.

Finished off with a simple row of charcoal single crochet, thankfully I think it works.
When my young daughter saw it she said “Mum, it looks like it’s going ‘Boom”
I think that was the effect I was after…. so I called it my ‘Boom blanket’.

Here’s to Chris and Lucy.
Hope they like it 
Wishing them many more happy, cozy years.
Cheers!

Graduated Stripe Buggy Blanket

Another new baby in the ‘hood….a boy.  
Seems that there are lots of boys being born round here at the moment. 
Means only one thing….
…yep, another blanket.  

This time I had hardily any time to whip one up. 
Wait…. I really shouldn’t say that – handmade items are NEVER ‘just whipped up’. 
So a nice simple stitch in an easy to do and contemporary graduated stripe. This can be made in any DK yarn. I used Stylecraft Life DK in classic, but not traditional baby colours. It is one of my favourite wool mix yarns and has a real quality soft feel. What’s more it washes and wears well and doesn’t break the bank. 
 Cream, Fern and Blue Haze – Perfect for a boy ….or a girl.

This is a great project for beginners.
I’ve made an easy to follow pattern with a chart for those more visually inclined, plus a guide to the graduated stripe pattern.
You can get it HERE

US Version
UK Version

Here Comes Christmas…… Fluoro Flakes

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Did anyone just mention Christmas?….. Yes it’s nearly here….. and, believe it or not,  I’m pretty organised this year, for a change…. At least i think I am.
Just one little thing though – my tree’s looking a bit bare… still. Every year i try to make new ornaments for it, but this year I’ve been too busy getting organised.
 I needed to give it a quick boost.
 Here’s what I came up with….

Funky crochet Christmas decorations, make your own 'Conran Shop' style tree decorations
… a slightly different twist on the crochet snowflake that, let’s face it, is everywhere these days. 
This one is has a more modern, slightly ‘Scandi meets Conran Shop” inspired twist and instead of traditional white is, yes, you guessed it…..fluoro. 
It still has that handmade quality and sits nice and quirkily on a real tree but also works with something more contemporary.  
Nice and simple, and those colours are fab. Crochets up in just two rounds. You can make a good few of them in one evening, easy peasy – and it’s still not too late. As a special Christmas treat I’ve included a free pattern.
 HERE’s how to make them.
Happy decorating.

Baby Brights….Buggy Blanket

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I’m hoping that those of you who have downloaded the pattern of the Buggy Blanket featured in my last post are enjoying making it as much as I did. In fact I enjoyed working with that particular stitch so much, I wanted to do another one straight away. It’s rather addictive, and it just so happened that one of the mums in my neighbourhood was having a baby. Another perfect excuse.
So…..as a follow on from my last post I thought I’d provide you with a new update of my latest buggy blanket to show how versatile the pattern is. I can’t believe how popular it’s been – it seems we’re well and truly ready for the new, Mid-Century-look pastels – I thought as much. 
Having said that, let’s face it – not everyone likes the softer, paler shades….so how about a different, bolder colourway? 

I am equally fond of brights and was curious to see how it would look, so I thought I’d experiment with another variation of the pattern in brighter colours.
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Here I chose some real tropical zingers. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Saffron, Aspen and Silver and King Cole Comfort Baby DK in Sorbet. They are good quality acrylic yarns, which are soft, and which wear and wash well – so important with a newborn.  This time I left out the black accent which I thought may have been a little too much in this case. I just continued with the same colour of the stripe. Works just as well. Great summer colours.


We’re midway through a heatwave in sunny London at the moment. Right now, blankets are out of the question, but heatwaves here are few and far-between and don’t last for long. The warmth of the orange yellow and turquoise-blue shades will carry nicely on through to the autumn, and beyond. 

Baby blanket in bright colours, alternative colour baby blanket pattern
The beauty is that you can use any DK, or if you have a stash of 4ply you can use a double strand. For the more creative among you, the options for different stripe and colour combinations are many. What would you do? – would love to hear your ideas.
As mentioned in my previous post, I have donated this pattern to charity.

P/hop is a charity knitting/crochet project that raises funds for the emergency aid organisation Medicins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders.




Designers donate their patterns to P/hop, which are then available for you to download. The idea is that you decide the amount you wish to pay based on the amount of pleasure you get from knitting or crocheting your P/hop pattern. There is no fixed amount – it’s up to you what you pay. You can get more details HERE 

The pattern comes as a downloadable PDF with clear instructions and easy to follow charts for those of you who prefer something more visual.

Make special gift to give to a Newborn and, at the same time, turn your enjoyment of crochet into vaccines, midwives and malaria treatments . 

 Get the pattern HERE via P/HOP and adapt.

Retro Baby….Buggy Blanket

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I was recently very excited to hear that a couple of good friends of mine, old college pals, were expecting a baby. As well as being absolutely thrilled to bits for them, I’d been wanting an excuse to do a baby blanket.
These are discerning friends… and certainly no slaves to fashion or fads. This one had to be special.
I chose crochet, because, let’s face it, there’s nothing cooler at the moment than wrapping your precious little bundle in something blatantly unique and handmade. I wasn’t sure ‘Homespun’ would be their style so I decided to go for luxury, as in good quality artisan.
Most important of all – colour.  We’ve seen lot’s of lovely things done for babies in ‘brights’ over the last couple of decades, and they are still fab,…. but this time I fancied a change…..

I’m liking the growing resurgence in pastel colours, not the sugary style that instantly springs to mind  –  this time the more subtle, subdued shades including, grey, stone and all manner of creams. It coincides nicely with the rediscovery of our love of 50s and 60s vintage, and when well combined can look gorgeous.

New pastels, retro pastels, mid-century pastels,

Finding the right colours can be tricky. Yarn companies, have never been known for being at the cutting edge of fashion – although they are slowly catching up, so you have to be canny and mix ‘inter-brand’ with those of a similar weight and composition. For a yarn that’s very washable and quick to dry but which wears well and holds it’s shape nicely, a wool/acrylic mix is ideal. I used Stylecraft Life. Beautiful and soft, good quality, it comes in a nice selection of shades and is pretty reasonably priced. I chose Mint and Silver. The ice-cream yellow I wanted was a little more hard to find so I used Wendy Jubilee in Vanilla, a beautiful soft dk yarn which is the same weight and composition as the other.

Marc Jacobs A/W 2012-1013
The pattern is a bold stripe, bordered by finer bands of the same colour. with a fine black accent to give it that quirky mid-century feel. Crocheted in one of my favourite stitch styles, and similar to that used by the fabulous Marc jacobs in his Autumn/winter 2012- 13 collection. A small pompom on each corner gives a nice luxury finish. Check out this fabulous simple tutorial from ‘I Like Big Bows‘ on how to make mini pompoms
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Measuring approx 78cm x 76cm it’s the perfect portable size cover for the buggy, and for carrying around. 
Its lace-like construction makes it a light cover in the summer months, but thick enough to slip inside the foot-muff for extra warmth when the weather gets colder.
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I don’t get the chance, very often, these days, to give to charity, but I do try to as often as I can. In these times of austerity our charities are struggling more than ever to raise much needed funds, and so I have decide to donate this pattern to a worthy cause.

P/hop is a charity knitting/crochet project that raises funds for the emergency aid organisation Medicins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders.




Designers donate their patterns to P/hop, which are then available for you to download. The idea is that you decide the amount you wish to pay based on the amount of pleasure you get from knitting or crocheting your P/hop pattern. There is no fixed amount – it’s up to you what you pay. You can get more details HERE 

The pattern comes as a downloadable PDF with clear instructions and easy to follow charts for those of you who prefer something more visual.

Make special gift to give to a Newborn and, at the same time, turn your enjoyment of crochet into vaccines, midwives and malaria treatments . 

 Get the pattern HERE via P/HOP



For the fabulous origami bow pictured above, you can find the instructions at :-
http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-bow.html