Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Thursday, 6 June 2013

1000th Sale Countdown

I've had 970 sales on etsy, getting near to a thousand. When I first started selling my crochet patterns on ebay about 7 years ago, it was just for a bit of extra pocket money, and I never thought it would become my 'proper' job. The craft world has changed so much since then, especially online. I'm still selling patterns on ebay but I've opened two etsy shops and a Ravelry store, and I get to be a full-time mummy too. As a thank you to all of my lovely customers on etsy, I'm offering 10% off all patterns until Monday, (just use the coupon code THOUSANDTHSALE when ordering) and whoever gets the 1000th sale will receive a $20 voucher to spend in either of my etsy shops. Thank you!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Father's Day Socks

crochet socks by tree_bridge
crochet socks, a photo by tree_bridge on Flickr.
Looking for a project to make for Father's Day? These crocheted socks work up quickly using 100g of sock yarn, and fit sizes 6-12.
Crochet pattern available in my etsy shop.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Seafoam Cotton Crochet Shawl

A simple crochet shawl in cool cotton 4ply, using my 'Blackberry Jam' shawl pattern. The pattern uses 4ply sock yarn, but here I've used some cotton yarn in a seafoam green colour. You can use any weight of yarn really, and just keep adding rows until you get to the size you want.
Pattern available at etsy.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Toddler Apron Pattern

Toddler Apron by tree_bridge
Toddler Apron, a photo by tree_bridge on Flickr.
I wrote a new pattern for a little apron for H. He's always busy helping (or trying to help!) with baking, gardening, and even dusting. One of his favourite things to do is to 'paint' the cake tins with oil using a pastry brush before I put the cake mixture in. Also he really, really likes raking soil. It's a busy time, being a two-year-old, so he needs a little apron to protect his clothes.

I chose double knit cotton because it's washable and durable. Also it's a nice project for summer because cotton is cool and comfortable to work with. There's a handy little pocket and choice of apple or cherries applique, but you could add your own motif. The pattern is in two sizes, 2-4 and 4-6 years but I find small children vary so much in size its best to use the measurements included rather than ages. Available in my etsy shop!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

10% off all patterns in my etsy shop.

To celebrate the May Bank Holiday weekend, here's 10% off all purchases in my etsy shop. Just enter the code MAYTHE4TH when you checkout. Offer ends on Tuesday. Happy long weekend!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Instant Downloads

Good news - Etsy have made a huge improvement to their site for buyers and sellers of digital goods (such as crochet & knitting patterns or digital artwork). They've introduced 'instant download' so once you have paid for your digital item, you can immediately download it. This means that now you can receive crochet patterns from my etsy shop straight away and I no longer need to email you them as an attachment. It's great because now you won't have to wait for the email, search your spam folder, and it doesnt matter if its the middle of the night here in the UK if you are in a different time zone. It's what Ravelry have been doing for a while now.

All crochet patterns in my shop are now available as PDF instant download. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

Make do and mend...

The plan was that I'd look after the boys during the day, and then after they had gone to bed, I'd write some new crochet patterns. It hasn't turned out that way at all, P started out as quite a good sleeper but the last few months he's been waking up maybe 3 or 4 times a night. So once he's in bed, I'm exhausted and the last thing I feel like doing is switching on my laptop and typing up patterns, my brain switches off after 7pm! So I've been doing some easy crochet or hand-sewing in the evenings, (because my sewing machine is too noisy and would wake them up).  

I found all their old bath towels from when they were tiny babies and I didn't want to throw them away, so I edged them with polka-dot bias binding, and turned them into hand towels. It's an easy project because the towels are already edged, you don't need to cut anything. I added a band of ditsy polycotton along one edge.

Then I got addicted to bias-binding everything, and made some easy quilts. These are cotton cot sheets from Ikea, one has funny vegetable characters on (they remind me of those Garden Gang childrens books from the 80's), and the other is cats and dogs.

I quilted around the characters by hand, then I backed them with some soft blue jersey, and edged them with bias.  

Lovely and snuggly for nap time!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Easter Bunny Crochet Kits...

New for Spring!


Make your own sweet crocheted bunny...

Yarn, stuffing, safety eyes and printed pattern, all in a brown paper bag.
The perfect springtime gift for a crocheter.

 Available in my etsy shop

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Yes, my name is Iggle Piggle...

I crocheted these 'In the Night Garden' toys for H & P for Christmas. I'm not very good at embroidering faces on toys, luckily Iggle Piggle and Makka Pakka are meant to have slightly daft expressions! Makka Pakka is my favourite, he is a quirky stone-age type character who lives in a cave and collects rocks. 

The Pattern was from Ravelry, by Magdalena Svartlok, easy to follow and fun to make.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Crochet Hook Conversion Chart

UK hook size     USA hook size

2.25mm                B/1
2.75mm                C/2
3.25mm                D/3
3.5mm                  E/4
3.75mm                F/5
4mm                     G/6
5mm                     H/8
5.5mm                  I/9
6mm                     J/10
6.5mm                  K/10.5
8mm                     L/11
9mm                     M/13
10mm                   N/15
15mm                   P/19
16mm                   Q
19mm                   S/35

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Yarn Weight Conversion Chart

UK USA Suggested Typical uses
2ply Baby 2.25 to 3.5mm Baby clothes
3ply Fingering 3 to 4mm Baby clothes, 
Sock shawls, socks
4ply Sport 3.5 to 4.5mm Baby clothes, 
shawls, socks, 
lightweight sweaters
Double Knitting Double Knitting 4 to 5mm Children's clothes,
Light Worsted toys, adult sweaters
Aran Fisherman,  5.5 to 6.5mm Adult Sweaters

Chunky Bulky 6.5 to 9mm Adult Sweaters, 
Extra Chunky Super Bulky9mm-12mmBags, Rugs

Yarn comes in a wide variety of thicknesses, and it can be quite daunting when you first start crocheting to know which yarn to use. Most patterns will specify a yarn, and give an approximate gauge / tension size, usually how many stitches and rows over a 4 x 4 inch square. (Tension is the traditional term used in knitting in the UK, but the US term is gauge).

It's important to check your gauge / tension before starting a project, to make sure you have the correct yarn and hook size, especially when making something that needs to fit, like clothing. Once you've been crocheting for a while, you'll be able to play around with different weight yarns and not just stick to the yarn weight specified in a pattern.

The names for different weight yarns vary between the UK and USA. Bear in mind that even yarns in the same weight can vary a great deal, eg Paton's Diploma Gold DK is much thinner than say, a budget acrylic DK like Paton's Fab. 

I've included the recommended hook sizes for each yarn, although again, this varies depending on what you are making. For a bag you would use a smaller hook to create a dense, tight stitch, but for something drapey like a shawl or scarf you would use a larger hook. A crochet pattern will always tell you which hook size to use.

Happy crocheting!

Happy New Year! And Thank You!

I'd just like to say thank you so much to all of my lovely customers who've supported me this year. I love being a work-at-home mum, difficult as it is sometimes! I get to spend time with my two boys at home, and I also get to have fun making things and writing patterns when they are in bed. So thank you to everyone who has ordered something from my shop, bought a pattern, posted a picture of a finished item on Ravelry, or just commented, it really means a lot to me and my little family. 

2012 has been a bit rough for a lot of people, I hope that 2013 can be a happier year for everyone. So happy new year, happy crafting, and most of all, be kind to yourself and to those around you.