The Grainbow Shawl. New Crochet Pattern!

This is the Grainbow shawl! If I may I’d like to tell you a bit about it…

Firstly, it is now available to buy on → Ravelry← and Etsy!! As usual I’ll pop a 20% discount as an introductory offer for the first two weeks. The final day to get the discount is  Friday 29th March 2019 (you don’t need a code).

Secondly, I am a little bit proud of the fact that it’s a pattern partnership with one of my favourite independent yarn brands, John Arbon Textiles! They very generously supplied me with some of their Knit By Number double knit to make the first shawl. Knit By Numbers (KBN) is 100% merino and comes in both 100g skeins and 25g minis. You can get it in 4ply too (I used it for Harvest Moon). They also sent some of their gorgeous Exmoor Zwartbles to try. The Zwartbles is earthy and sheepy (oh my, the smell is beautiful!). The KBN is super soft, and saturated in gorgeous colour. Two different wools make two (almost!) different shawls, thus showcasing the awesome ability yarn has to create completely unique looks. I hope to take both shawls up to Edinburgh next weekend for EYF 19.

Knit by Numbers 25g mini skeins

In the pattern there are two options for the shawl edging because I did my usual trick of not wanting to make the choice between two different ones. I don’t see the point in only offering one if two will work equally well, albeit in different ways. The main body of the shawl uses simple stitches, eyelets and touches of colour; creating a modern crochet accessory. You can turn it from contemporary to classic crochet by adding the pretty lacy border.

Another thing I had fun doing was pretending to be a model for half a day. The Grainbow Shawl had to look its absolute best so I asked my friend to take the pics (the modelled ones. The others are mine). It worked well for us both because he got to work with someone who didn’t know how to model (this is a good thing apparently because he’ll learn how to direct others by having bossed me about), and I got to see how a real photographer works! If you’re in the south west of the UK and need a snapper, he’s Paul Courtney Photography.

I couldn’t decide what to call this shawl, no ideas came. Instead of plumping for something half arsed, I put it out to my friends online . Over on Instagram I asked for names and the one that put the biggest smile on my face was “Grainbow”, which was suggested by My Chaotic Bliss (I’ll link as soon as I can but shock, horror! Instagram is down right now!). The name works for both versions, don’t you think? I was delighted when Kat also volunteered to test the shawl too. Maybe I should have called it Chaotic Grainbow?!

Kat wasn’t the only tester. Everyone who volunteered has made or is making some fabulous versions of Grainbow. I have so loved seeing the enthusiasm these guys have shown for what might be my new favourite shawl design (I think I said that about the last design too!). I’ve been a tester on many occasions myself, I know the effort that is put in and I’m forever grateful to those who want to do it for me. Thank you!!

You’ll be able to buy the pattern from the John Arbon website in the near future too. I’m thrilled that  quality yarn companies are embracing crochet design more and more, it’s very exciting to see it being taken seriously. Getting to be a little part of that and see others joining the party makes me very happy indeed!

If you make Grainbow please be sure to let me know. You can tag me on Instagram @zeensandroger and add your project to Ravelry. #grainbowshawl  Cheers! x

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Picture overload below…

  ;p

 

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Holey Smokes!! A Crochet Fade

Holy Smokes!! Holey Smokes is here!!

I have wanted to design a crochet fade shawl for aaaages. It has been in my head for a while. I knew I wanted to make a Fade, I knew it had to have lacy bits and I knew I wanted crazy colours. For a long time I didn’t feel brave enough to sit down and do all the maths but a few weeks ago I made myself do it. There’s no point putting something off just because you’re a little bit worried. The only way to find out how it would go was to dive right in. Back in the spring I made Deanne’s Addydae Designs crochet Blurre Shawl (have a read) and this was another spur onwards (it’s so pretty, it’s so fadey!).

I love that knitting is embracing The Fade but, ehh, come on crochet! We need more! Sooo, Holey Smokes is my contribution. And I’m kind of working on another one too. Keep your eyes peeled. EDIT: (several months later…) The sequel: Smoke on the Water is HERE!!

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Smoke on the Water. Holey Smokes’ sequel

The pattern is now for sale on Ravelry. You can find it HERE.  I’ve put many more details over on Ravelry; you can find out more technical gubbins by jumping across. I also have a tutorial on YouTube for the Crossed Treble stitch. In the meantime, here are some sporadic thoughts about my fancy new crochet shawl…

I love the yarn! It’s Bluefaced Leicester (so hot right now!) and the colours are just amazing! I happened to stumble upon Somerset Yarns (I wish I could remember how). I absolutely knew that I had to get my hands on all those glorious colours. The fact that Tracey is relatively local to me (just over an hour away, in Bristol) is a coincidence. In fact, I’ve had a spate of buying local hand dyed yarn recently and all of it is coincidental.

Working up the pattern is pretty easy once you get to grips with the main stitches. In the pattern I have included written instructions, photographs and a chart. Between all of that you should be able to decipher the “Crossed Treble” stitch without too much trouble. I’ll be honest, It isn’t the easiest of stitches. I saw about 4 different ways of it being written before I decided to offer a fifth. It has been the biggest challenge in writing the pattern (I didn’t attempt it for three weeks after I made the shawl because I knew it’d be a monster). The pattern has been tested by five wonderful, beautiful, helpful (not to mention patient) people and I’ve had really positive feedback. Big, enormous thanks go to them, they spotted my silly mistakes, such as rows numbered the same as each other. Honestly, I don’t know how that happened!

I’m still having trouble photographing bright colours. The camera says “no”. You can get the gist, though. And we are talking bright colours. Really bright! In fact, I couldn’t help vocalising some choice words when I was hooking it up. That is why it’s called Holey Smokes. It’s a slightly tamer version of my initial exclamation. The “e” is there because the shawl has holes…

What do you reckon?  I think it’s ace! I’ve got another one planned but I’m not sure when I’ll get cracking on it. Do you want to make one? Let me know. Cheers! X

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xxx

Speedy Crochet Bracelet. A Free Pattern.

easy-crochet-braceletI was working out the design for my recent crochet wrist warmers pattern; playing with different methods and whatnot, when this one popped up. It’s basically front post and back post stitches, which ended up being too bulky for the mitts but still had something I liked. It is such an easy crochet pattern, it only takes fifteen/twenty minutes from start to finish.

If you’ve not tried Front Post or Back Post stitches before, it’s a great pattern for practising. These stitches are much easier than they sound. They’re the same as normal, it’s just where you put your hook that counts. There are countless You Tube videos out there that demonstrate beautifully.

I’m not sure if this is a crochet cuff, bracelet or other thing but whatever it is, (seeing as it’s Christmas) here’s a lovely little free crochet pattern for them!

bright-and-colourful-crochetNotes: I’ve used Paintbox Aran (I used up loads of my old Stylecraft Special dk this year and allowed myself a restock of something new!!) with a 4.5mm hook.

I’ve used UK terms with US terms in brackets.

In Row 2 I work under the bumps of the foundation chain. This makes a neater finish but it does mean it looks twisty when you come to slip stich together. Ignore the twist and join anyway, it won’t be noticed in the final piece. Just double check that you’ve not got a twist in the stitches you’re going to work into next.

Crochet over the ends as you go to allow for minimal stitching at the end.

super-easy-crochet-cuff-bracelet-free-crochet-patternPattern:

Row 1: Chain 24 (I have wrists like twigs, you may need to go up to 26 or 28 stitches). Join with a slip stitch.

Row 2: Ch1 (does not count as a st), dc (US sc) in each st around. Join with a slip stitch to the first st. Fasten off. [24]

Row 3: Attach new colour to any stitch. Ch3 (counts as a st), 1tr (USdc)in each st around. Join to the top of the inital ch3. [24]

Row 4-6: Ch2 (does not count as a st), FPtr (US FPdc) in st at the base of the ch2, BPtr (US BPdc) in next st, *FPtr in next st, BPtr in next st. Repeat from* to the end. Slip st to the top of the first FPtr. Fasten off after row 6. [24]

Row 7: Attach new colour to any st. Ch1 (does not count as a st). 1dc (US sc) in each st around. Join with a slip stitch the the first st. Fasten off and sew in any ends. [24]

wrists  crochet-cuff-bracelets And there you have it. Easy peasy! Now go and crochet loads of cuffs, bracelets, sweat bands, whatever they are!

Happy Christmas! See you in the New Year. 2017 is going to be amazing!! X

easy-and-speedy-crochet-project crochet-bracelets

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