Thursday, 5 March 2015

Cyril the caterpillar

Meet Cyril the caterpillar.

I've been playing around with some new designs and Cyril is the first new amigurumi to be finished. He started as an idea to make a jointed caterpillar in one piece. My plan was for this to be a child toy so I thought it would be safer made in one piece rather than lots of balls sewn together.

Hes pretty big over 60cm long so  I though he would make a nice pull along toy. I ordered some lovely wooden wheels for him but yesterday when I finished the body the postman still hadn't delivered the wheels. I had a spare afternoon and really wanted to try and get him finished so I made a lot of little legs.

At first I toyed with the idea of mixing up the colour of the legs with the colour of the body part but it just looked a bit busy so I went for matching the colours. I think just by picking out the middle section colours for the antenna make it colourful enough without being too busy now.

I wrote the pattern in my usual way of typing up the pattern before I pick up my hook and get making. This way I'm testing the pattern as I'm making it and am able to make any changes as I go along. It also means I can get the patterns released quickly and brighten up my etsy pattern shop for the spring.

If you'd like to get your hands on the pattern its in my etsy shop which you can find here

I've used the Rico cotton yarn which I get from wool warehouse

More new patterns coming very soon and also quite a lot of my magazine patterns from last year are now free from copywite so keep you eye on my etsy shop where I'll be listing them.

Happy crocheting xxx

Thursday, 26 February 2015


I'd like you to meet my new friend. This is Miranda and she's my new dress form.

I've always wanted a dress form. I've seen a far few I've liked but they have always been out of my price range. Then one day, not so long ago, I was shopping with my mum and we went into a random gift shop. You know the type of place that sells candles and photo frames and other dust collectors. We were just having a look around when half way down the shop we spotted Miranda. She was half price because she has a cracked leg but to me she was perfect.

It was serendipitous as that day I'd had a commission for a crochet top so she was put to work straight away, and since I've had more clothing commissions come in so shes defiantly earning her keep.

I'll share all the clothes I've been making when magazines come out.

In the pic above shes wearing my three row scarf. Its such a simple pattern (UK abbreviation)

use chunky yarn and a 6-8mm hook. chain a length as long as you want the scarf to be.

one the first row  treble stitch in each ch st.

row 2 and 3 - 2treble in each st.

that's it, fasten off, weave in your ends and you have a scarf in an hour or so.

My head is full of interesting patterns to design, make and adorn Miranda in and I'll be adding some new patterns to my etsy shop soon.

This one is a really old make but I wear it so often its almost my signature look :)

Its actually an incomplete jumper design. This is the cowl that's meant to go round a long ribbed jumper but I never got chance to finish it so I just started wearing the cowl.

So many people have commented on it and asked for the pattern I thought it was time I wrote it up. It'll be posting it up soon.

the other new pattern is for this asymmetrical cowl necked poncho. This is another of those ideas I've had rattling around in my head waiting for a chance to give it a go. Yesterday some new yarn had come in to the shop, I loved the colour and knew it was perfect for this design. I had to buy it and start it straight away.

Its a really simple design and it actually doesn't take long to make. I hooked up this in a few hours this morning. The pattern will be in my etsy shop by the weekend.

Thats all from me today. Happy crocheting xxx

Monday, 16 February 2015

Where does the time go?

Its the middle of Feb already and not only have I not finished the end of year round up from last year but I haven't had a spare few minuets to write a new blog post. The reason for this is very simple. I'm busy, very busy, the amount of crochet work I have at the mo leaves little time for anything else. I'm not complaining I'm having great fun but it means I have loads on stuff to catch up on.

I'm just gonna rattle through the past months magazine.

The first of the year was this lovely cover of Craftseller magazine. This chihuahua was a really fun project to work on and it was lovely to see he made it onto the cover.
 Here he is before he when of to be a star. I loved making all the little accessorizes that went with him. He's got a heart cushion, a big bone and a traditional granny square blanket. This project didn't help my current craving to have add a real dog to my pet family and i really got stuck on the idea of how cute it would be to have a dog that's smaller than my cats :)

Next is this little sheep. she when to join the pages of #Crochet magazines third issue. This project was to celebrate the Chinese new year of the sheep so I added a red flower as it a very traditionally lucky colour. I was born in the year for this sheep, i'm not sure i truly believe in any horoscopes but I'm happy to be a sheep :)

This fluffy bear was published in last months lets knit magazine. This was my first attempt at using boucle yarn in crochet. Its a bit of a tricky yarn to use but the results are so great I've been using it lots more recently.

Here he is in the magazine shoot. They called him Franklin. Isn't that a great name :)

 Next up is a brand new magazine called happy crafting. Its a big one and comes with yarn, crochet hook and knitting needles and all the projects you can make with the sample yarn. I was tasked to design a baby bonnet, a rattle and a monster plush.
 This is the bonnet. Now I planned for this to have the green edge framing the face but that's not how they have chosen to photo it. I think it shows the great thing about this simple baby bonnet is that it works either way and is very cute.

Here are the rattle and the monster. The rabbits head is made from the inside of a kinda egg so it has a really good rattle to it and it meant I had to eat chocolate for my job (its a hard life).

This little monster is one of my favorite makes ever. I love him. Hes inspired a whole sketchbook full of mini monsters and there will be lots of patterns coming soon.

Next up it this little traditional teddy for Love crochet magazine.

He made it onto the cover but only just...

He got lost in the post. The horror. I had to remake him and had bear mark 2 finished just in time but then the original one turned up. So now I have a spare bear but I've an idea I'm going to turn him into a her and make a lovely red dress and hat for her and there will be another new pattern to share.

I do love this little bear. I designed a whole new face shape for him and its worked out nicely so I'll be using that to bring some more creations to life.

Right I think I'm getting up to date. I may have missed a few things but I'll post about them another time if I remember.

The last one this month is my lovely giraffe Georgina made for Craftseller magazine.

 I was very excited when this commission came in. Its one of those animals I've been waiting ages to get a good excuse to make. I knew just how I wanted her to look. I knew I wanted to do lidded eyes. I haven't had a chance to do lidded eyes for a while. A lot of the projects I've done just didn't suit them but they were perfect for this project.

  I had a crazy idea to use fake eyelashes. I didn't know if it would work and I really had to persuade my editor to trust me to give it a go.

Oh my what a result.

There comes a point when I'm about to complete a project when the designing stage ends and the creatures come to life and get their own personality. Georgina decided she wanted to be adorable and who was I to stop her.

She is also filled with rice so she feels lovely and stands up with her head held high all by herself.

Ok one last thing.

Last year I did a project for Craftseller that was for amigurumi food.

When the worked models came home I saved them to gift to my nephews for |Christmas. Well the boys love them and play with them a lot. I thought it might be a nice idea to add to the set as their birthdays are coming up so I'd make some more foods.

Now I couldn't pick what food to do so I started with fruit and whenever I got a bit of spare time I'd make something new.

I started out well and got all the basics in there.

But me being me I couldn't stop there though and had to create all the fruit.

So here it is, my cornucopia of fruit. Patterns for these will be in my etsy shop very soon.

I'll leave you there for now. I'll try and write more often but I have a grocers shop of vegetables to create and many magazine deadlines looming :)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014 year end review part one

So 2014 is over and boy was it a busy old year. This is my now traditional look back over the year and as its been such a busy one I'm gonna split this into two posts.

Lets start with January

January saw my set of humanoid amigurumi cats on the cover of Craftseller magazine

Work was starting to come in thick and fast and I had this bundle of cuteness to play with.
Cals third and probably last litter of kittens a were a joy to raise and all found wonderful forever homes.

February was a bit of a big month. I had my first commission project for Love crochet magazine and got the lovely surprise of it being the cover project.

 Two projects for February Craftseller magazine, this very sweet daffodil brooch

 and a piggy cup warmer.

 I had a photo of my omnipoms shown on the telly on Sunday brunch.
 Finally the first book projects I worked on were released my dot the dragon fly pattern was published in the American book Crochet critters and bugs.
 I was also involved in this wonderful crochet book and did many of the toy and amigurumi patterns for it.

In march my project for Craftseller magazine made it onto the cover. These lovely Easter chicks are ever so simple to make but very cute and effective.
 I had another crochet project in this months craftseller magzine aswell as the chick my pattern for this useful string shopping bag.
Sticking with chicks I had another Easter project in march's Lets knit magazine.

I also started to relaunch some of my patterns in my etsy pattern shop and jain the snail got a bit of a make over.

By April the amount of work I had coming in gave me little time to do anything else. My whole work life balance got very unbalanced but the reward was see in my work in more and more publications.

Craftseller this month was one of my favourate things to make this very retro but pretty cushion

Inside crochet published my Lucy bunny pattern and my simple crochet ball earring. (Lots more crochet jewelry coming this year so stay tuned)

 I became an Aunty again when we welcomed little Hector into the world this month. I can't believe how small he is in this pic hes huge now and crawling all over the place :)

I released two new patterns into my etsy pattern shop my blossom fairy and my bride doll. I am slightly ashamed that this was the last of the new patterns I had time to do for my own shop for the rest of the year, my brides groom is still legless at the bottom of my work bag waiting to get put together. I'll be putting lots of work into my etsy shop this year and there will be lots and lots of new patterns and my bride will have her groom very soon.

Finally this month my Scottie dog pattern I'd done for Craftseller magazine last year was repuplished in this months Love crochet magazine.

May was my take over of the crochet section of most newagents not only was my lovely mermaid on the cover of Craftseller magazine..

I had my hedgehog pattern republished in this handmade toys magazine.

 I had one of my most popular patterns of Eric the elephant on the cover of Love crochet

 along with his pals Archie and blossom the panda inside the mag.

 Love Crochet magazine published my floral needlework set and my delicious ice creams.

 I had lulu the rag doll and these wierd animal masks published in a magazine called cute characters to make.
 Finally this month my bunny and chick from last years Lets knit magazine was re published in this creative crochet magazine.
It was a bit of a crazy month with so many of my patterns being published in one month and it was all a bit overwhelming but the lovely knock on effect was even more offers of work coming in.

 At this time I dropped some hours in my day job so I could concentrate on doing more crochet more. I think this was also the month that my yarn stash became bigger than a mountain.


I tried my first attempt at a full crochet garment pattern and the results were this sunny lacy cardie that was published in this months Craftseller.

Along with the Cardigan they also commissioned this boy tourist doll.

I also released some free patterns in connection with Craftseller online including this pretty bunting design.

My geisha girls also got reprinted this month and appeared on the cover of Love knitting and crochet magazine.

well that's it for the first half of the year, I'll type up the rest of the year soon xxx