Monday, 20 February 2017

A trip to Stylecraft Yarns

Right back at the beginning of this month, I was invited back up to the Stylecraft Mill in Yorkshire with my fellow blogstars.


Here we all are, looking very happy indeed.
From left: Jane from Janie Crow, Phil from The Twisted Yarn, Me, Heather from The Patchwork Heart, Julia from Hand Knitted Things, Lucy from Attic 24, Helen from The Woolly Adventures of a Knitting Kitty, Emma from Emma Varnham, Sandra from Cherry Heart, Lucia from Lucia's Fig Tree and Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats

In fact, we are not all here - two of the gang joined us via Skype from the other side of the globe and so couldn't be in the pic.

Can you see them? They're right at the end of the table in laptop form, Skyping us from afar: Angela from Get Knotted Yarn Craft and Zelna from Zooty Owl

The trip involved an amazing visit to the Guild of Knitting and Crochet, where we were shown the most beautiful samples from the Guild's archives (a blog post for another day, methinks).

We were also shown the new ranges of Stylecraft yarns, and talked about all things knitting, crochet and blogging, too.

Check out my YouTube video for a closer look at some of the yarns:

We even had a Tunisian Crochet workshop - have you tried it before?
Here's my little attempt - it's a really intersting technique - something I'd like to try again. 

And beautiful blankets made by Lucia and Heather were shared and much admired.

Heather's Blanket - Pattern details here

Lucia's Blanket  - Pattern details here

The Stylecraft sheep looking very dapper

It was the most brilliant weekend - a great opportunity to chat and share ideas with like-minded souls.

I'm already looking forward to my next visit in July. 

Wishing you all a great week,

Sarah xx

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Supersize Crochet - a new book

Oh yes, it's very nearly here...
My new book is currently at the printers, ready to be released in May 2017 .
*supresses squeals of excitement*

There are 20 projects to choose from ranging from larger-than-life rugs and blankets to an oversized colour block cowl and hat for super-sized accessorising. The projects are simple enough to be tackled by beginner crocheters and you’ll be amazed by how quickly they work up.
All you need to get started is a big hook and some yarn and you’re good to go!

So why tell you about it now?
Well, I thought it would be jolly nice to offer this free BONUS pattern for anyone who decides to pre-order a copy.

Here's what you need to do:

Want a FREE copy of my “Gelato Snood” pattern?
(Offer valid until 25/05/17)
If you pre-order my book on Amazon, it’s yours with my thanks! Here’s how to get it:
1) Preorder Supersize Crochet on Amazon by clicking here:

2) After you have placed your order, click here to visit the link to receive your free bonus project (you’ll need to input your order number, so have that handy).

3) Enjoy your free pattern right now!

I hope you all like the new book - it's been a real pleasure to design the projects for you.

And if you fancy a quick peek at all 20 projects, then check out the Ravelry page here.

Happy crocheting,
Sarah xx

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A little crochet storage bowl

I'm always in need of storage - you?

I have big baskets for yarn and boxes for projects, tins for hooks and pots for needles.  
But I hadn't got anything for all those little bits.

You know - the  tiny gubbins which find their way down the sides of the sofa - those little stitchmarkers, yarn needles, tape measure...

And then I had a simple idea for a simple bowl.
So I made it.
And I made a video, too.

Want to make one for all your bits and pieces?

Here's the YouTube video, or see below for the written pattern:

 *This pattern is written in UK terms, for US, substitute double crochet for single crochet*  

You will need: 85g  / 17m (approx) tshirt yarn
12mm hook
Yarn needle
Stitch marker

Stitches used:
dc = double crochet
cdc = centre double crochet (to make a cdc, insert your hook into the 'legs' of the stitch  - see pic)

Row 1: 6dc in magic ring
Row 2: 2cdc in each st around. (12 sts)
Row 3: (1cdc, 2cdc in next st) repeat around. (18 sts)
Rows 4 - 5: 1cdc in each st around.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Easy peasy!

Enjoy your week,

Sarah xx

Monday, 23 January 2017

Crochet a cosy draught excluder (and stay warm this winter)

I live in a new-ish house.
But still, the draught which sneaks in from under the front door can be arctic.

So I had a draught excluder - I say HAD, because it is retired from service, having most definitely seen better days; it's lost all stuffing from being dragged around by the kids, in fact, child 1 used to regularly take the dirty, fluff-covered thing to bed with him *sigh*. 

The Mister has been suggesting for ages that I should make a new one. And I have:

Now, my two prerequisites for any project are this; it must be
a) quick and b) easy.

So I decided on tshirt yarn as the perfect stuff - it's big, works up quickly and is also heavy enough to give weight to the draught excluder and keep the cold air out when laid by the front door.

I chose a simple design, which uses the centre double crochet stitch, as it's great for creating a dense and non-gappy stitch (I don't want the stuffing falling out, or the dog will eat it *big sigh*).

So the best thing about a draught excluder is that it's a great way to keep your toes warm and save energy too. And why not keep track of the energy used in your home by having a smart meter installed?  It's easy, free and means you only pay for the energy you use. Visit Smart Energy GB to find out lots more.

If you fancy keeping cosy this winter, then first is my YouTube tutorial, or scroll down for the written pattern.
It goes without saying that you can change the width and length of your draught excluder to fit the doors in your house.

(Patterns are in UK terminology- for US, change 'dc' to 'sc')

You'll need:
approx. 1280g / 256m of tshirt yarn (about a third of this is colour A, two-thirds, colour B)
12mm hook
approx. 500g cushion stuffing 

From Rnd 1, the draught excluder is made in a continuous round of stitches, but you don't need to bother with a stitch-marker.

Stuff as you go.

In colour A, chain 20, join with a sl st to first ch. 
Round 1: 1ch (doesn't count as a st), 1dc in each st around.
Rnds 2 - 18: 1cdc in each st around.

Flatten the beginning end and slip stitch the two sides closed.

Rnds 19 - 20: change to yarn B, 1cdc in each st around.
Rnds 21: change to yarn A, 1cdc in each st around.
Rnds 22 - 67*: change to yarn B, 1cdc in each st around. 
*or until desired length reached - mine needed to be 90 cms . 

To make up.
Finish stuffing and slip stitch the other end closed.
Fasten off and push the ends inside.

Do share pictures of your projects - you can find me at all my favourite places - I love to see what you've been making!

How will you stay warm and save energy this winter?

Have a great week, and stay cosy,

Sarah xx

(This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Smart Energy GB)  

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Stylecraft Giveaway WINNERS!!


Yes, its time!

I've counted the votes and employed one of those random-number-generator-thingies to choose me some WINNERS!


If you're a winner, then please leave a comment below (it won't be published) with full details of your postal address.

The UK winner is: Faerie - well done, lovely gal. You've won £25 in vouchers to spend in a yarn shop on squidgey balls of Stylecraft.

UK 2nd place is Ros Burrage. Well done, Ros - it's £15 for you. 

UK 3rd pace is Anna Ridley - hooray, Anna. £10 is all yours.

And not forgetting my wonderful overseas readers - a package of Stylecraft goodies will be flying across the seas to Zen in Australia!

A big THANKYOU to everyone who entered and 'hello' to any new followers!

Don't forget to subscribe via email to receive all my posts straight to your inbox. I've got lots of new patterns to launch and there'll be more giveaways, too.

Have a fab week,
Sarah xx