Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hearts and Stars

Really chuffed to announce that I am inside "Inside Crochet" again!

This time it is my "Hearts & Stars Wreath".

It is designed with Christmas in mind but is suitable for a few occasions.

And it is designed with the beginner in mind as it is created from almost all dc (US-sc) with a few short rows for shaping.

I used a wire wreath ring for support which you can get from your local florist (or on line) and electrical tape to cover the wire to prevent it rusting.

Light stuffing and some buttons give it a 3D look.

And the bells on the ends of the streamers give it a festive feel.

So go and grab your copy quick!

All images © Inside Crochet and used with permission.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mid Month Guest - Charlotte Stafford

The first of my mid-month guest bloggers!

Charlotte Stafford is a well-educated, enthusiastic freelance writer with a passion for interior design. She is fascinated with combining different materials to create a unique look in the home.

Incorporating crochet into the home

A beloved pastime amongst crafters everywhere, crochet is the perfect way to brighten up your home, injecting colour into tired-looking rooms, or transforming dull furnishings and appliances. Whether you’re moving into a new home, or simply looking to give your current pad a little bit of love, crochet can be the perfect way to add the flash of inspiration you’ve been looking for.

While the most popular crochet patterns include jumpers, blankets, scarves, and shawls, more and more crafters are turning to their hook and yarn to breathe a little life into their homes. In fact, far from being ‘just’ decorative, crochet items are also incredibly practical; think soft furnishings like cushions and pillows, place mats, rugs, lampshades, and even flowerpot covers. The good news is that crochet needn’t be complicated, and patterns can be adapted to suit just about any home; just use your imagination and let the hook lead the way.

Crochet in the home

© Inside Crochet.
Used with permission.

There isn’t a room in the house where crochet is off limits. From mats and toilet roll holders in the bathroom, to tea cosies in the kitchen; decorative placemats in the dining room, to cushions, rugs, and lampshades in the living room, inspiration can be found in every corner of your home. Of course, crochet doesn’t have to think big to be effective; if you ever have trouble finding your keys, consider creating a cute keyring, or a special pouch to keep them in. Even photo frames, candles, mugs and flowerpots can be reinvented with a flick of a crochet hook; it’s amazing what a little light work with some yarn can achieve, and in no time you can rediscover items you may have previously disregarded.

Reviving tired furnishings

Everybody has that item of furniture, be it an old corner sofa, armchair or bed, which has seen better days. Rather than spending money on a brand new item, though, consider cheering it up with a brightly coloured throw, brash cushions, or crochet detail. It’s amazing what a little yarn and some nimble fingers can do. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you creating various items for your home and swapping them with the seasons; it’s certainly less time consuming – and more enjoyable – than redecorating regularly.

Crochet items also look fantastic in guest rooms and areas where you regularly entertain visitors. Crochet bedspreads can keep guest beds looking smart and loved, while wall hangings, chair covers and coasters will brighten your everyday furniture without any expense; perfect for those who love to keep their homes fresh and exciting.

Crochet for all occasions

The good news is that, when it comes to crochet, the possibilities are as boundless as your imagination. Consider the charm of crochet Christmas decorations, hanging from the tree for all to admire, spooky Halloween trinkets to scare and amaze, or charming Easter ornaments to brighten a windowsill. Crochet items make fantastic presents for friends and family, with the added charm of being handmade with love. Perhaps you’d like to crochet a soft best friend for a new baby in the family, a memory blanket for a beloved relative, or even create fashionable jewellery that’ll get tongues wagging; simply use your imagination, and anything is possible.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ally Pally 2013

I had an exhausting day but loved every minute of it. Not so sure today though, aching all over!

Up at 6.00am to pack my lunch, tea and crochet. Because we are back so late, I always take something to eat on the bus on the way home. I can leave it on the bus so it isn't as if I have to carry it around all day.

We arrived rather early for the bus and sat in the van where it was warm and dry waiting for it to turn up. We made good time and got there about 10.15am.

First stop - Tulip. I had to say hello to the friends I made last year. We had a chat then I spoke to Pauline Turner. We chatted a little about James Walters and Sylvia Cosh (my Crochet Heros)and off I toddled to my next stop.

I know the Owner/Designer of the Natural Dye Studio from Ravelry, so really had to pop in and say hello when I found out she was there.

And, my final planned visit before things got too busy, was to the Crochet Chain to see my friend Diana. Some things never change. Just as bouncy and cheerful as ever, even with all that pink! She knows I have a thing about pink so my rude comments about it were just laughed at. We shared forthcoming patterns to be published in Inside Crochet and congratulated each other on our success. It is always fun visiting with Diana.

After that, I went back to the beginning and systematically went up and down the aisles so that I didn'r miss anything out. I was on my feet from 10.15am when we got there to 4.30pm when we left.

Is it any wonder I am aching?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Rainbow Valley is now in German!

Heute ist der große Tag! Willkommen im neuen deutschen Teil von Rainbow Valley!

Charlotte und ich haben den ganzen Sommer trotz Dampfmaschinenrallies und Arbeit hart gearbeitet, um meine Muster auch in Deutsch herauszubringen.

Und das ist noch nicht das Ende! Charlotte wird alle neuen Muster, die ich entwerfe, übersetzen, ebenso einige der älteren Muster nach dem sie überarbeitet und getestet wurden.

Sollten Sie irgend jemanden kennen, der deutsch spricht, senden Sie ihm einen Link!


Today is the Day! Welcome to the new German section of Rainbow Valley!

Charlotte and I have been working hard all summer, despite steam rallies and work, to bring you my patterns in German.

And it doesn't stop there! Charlotte will be translating any anew patterns I produce as well as some older ones after they have undergone editing and improving.

If you know anybody who speaks German, send them a link!


Here are the German patterns. Click on the pictures to go to them.