Crochet Granny Square Prints

As a full on crochet addict I am always on the look out for fun items that are related to my favourite craft. I’ve got a nice collection of project bags, buttons and pins, even mugs that are clear indicators of my stitchy status but sometimes there’s not a lot of choice out there. Instead, images and ideas often come flitting in and out of my head for ways to come up with my own creations. Most things end up as a bit of a dream, or the project gets pushed back to the bottom of the list. Crochet cross stitch patterns have been on there for a while (I WILL get round to doing these, they’re half made already!). Exploring different crafts, yet staying true to my first love pleases me greatly.

The latest bright spark of an idea are these printed greeting cards. I’ve shocked myself by actually pulling my finger out and sorting them out, ready for release! I did it! There are real life granny square print cards for sale of Etsy!! I LOVE them!! The link will take you to a set of four but they are also available individually.

If you’re a Patron you get a nice discount on the set. Go HERE to Patreon to find out more. x

I’ve had a printing kit for a while and have, over the years, half halfheartedly messed about with the carving tools without getting very good. That isn’t enough to stop me from having a go though. In my kit I have multiple blades for cutting, shaving and gouging pieces of negative space from small lino sheets you can buy online. There’s also printing ink and a roller. The intricate motifs you can achieve from hand cut prints is amazing. I’m pretty bad at it yet I still get results that make me super happy. I like the imperfections and (in my case) rudimentary qualities. It’s not supposed to be perfect, that’s not the point. Have you tried lino cuts/printing before? It’s very satisfying.

Because I couldn’t find anything to buy that fit the bill, over the Christmas holidays I started playing with ways of drawing, painting and printing crochet granny squares. This is when I dug down deep into the craft cupboard to retrieve the printing kit. It’s not easy, I sliced though parts of the lino I didn’t want to slice through, or hacked off chunks that shouldn’t have been hacked off. Also, being a lazy creature, I went for abstract crochet stitches rather than go for precise realism. The idea of hand drawing every single twist of a stitch, getting perfect symmetry throughout? No, thanks, haven’t got the patience.

There have been a few incarnations. The one below is one of my first attempts at a granny print. It’s OK. I like it but it’s a bit rough. I was going to sell those ones as originals but there was a needling feeling that they weren’t quite good enough. I tried again. Second time around and everything is sooooo much better, I’m tremendously pleased with the balance of inky silhouette granny and rainbow colours. I had learned from the first goes to get the paint smoother and pay a bit more attention to carving the print (whilst still being lazy of course). And this time I felt they were good. I’m really proud of them. So much so I took photos of my four favourites and ordered prints! Prints to sell! I added them to my Etsy shop yesterday and I’ve already sold a few. Loads of people have added them to their shopping baskets (come on people, please hit “buy!”). One person has noticed the silliness in the product description too, I was having a funny five minutes at the time…

This probably won’t be a permanent thing, there is actual crochet that needs doing, but it is important to learn new skills and have a go at different things, don’t you think? Is there anything you fancy having a go at? And have you spotted any good crochet merch? If so, please let me know!

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The first print – a bit dodgy.

Sidwell Street Art

Sidwell Street and I go way back. Give it a few months and it will be twenty years ago that I lived and worked there. It’s at the grubby, top end of Exeter High street and even twenty years ago it was grim. But it was home for a couple of years whilst I was in my second and third year of uni. Me and my two flatmates, Tim and Fiona lived above Kent’s, an antique jewelry shop. Mr Kent was our landlord and he ran his dusty old shop down stairs and we had the wonky flat upstairs. The flat wasn’t separate from the shop so if Mr Kent wanted he could just stop in for a chat. Rather kindly, he always hollered up the stairs first. And usually only did it if we hadn’t paid our rent.

Our home was literally falling part. The floor of each room was concave, the windows didn’t fit in their frames and the door of my bedroom once fell off in my hands, I used to lift it into place every night. It was the oldest part of Sidwell Street, I think it used to be a farm building (but I could be making that up, can’t really remember). Kent’s hasn’t been there for a while and I assume Mr Kent is no longer with us as he was pretty musty even then. It now looks like it was knocked down and rebuilt, the brick work is all new and the windows aren’t on the wonk.

It was a few doors down from the Odeon. I worked at the Odeon for about five years. It was my job while I was at uni and a couple more years beyond that as well. It’s a proper original Odeon, built in 1937. There’s some great original features behind the scenes. Sometimes we would go and explore but normally that was frowned upon, especially when we got found out.

I’d wash my clothes at the launderette, go to the pub on the corner, buy my tobacco and cheap wine from Alldays and stuff my face with KFC and Dominoes pizza because they were all on the doorstep. So yeah, Sidwell Street and I know each other well.

A couple of months ago I saw a post on Facebook asking for local artists who were interested in an opportunity to display their work. More and more vacant shops have been appearing up that end of town, so it started to look not just a bit shabby, but really run down. Then along came Adam who could see the potential for something a bit different. He works at Eat the Bird, a restaurant sandwiched between empty shops. From what I understand he contacted the owners of the buildings who agreed to letting people like me display their stuff free of charge. I thought it was a marvellous idea so I got in touch.

Last Saturday I took a crate load of crochet into town and chucked it in the shop window of the old Halfords. Sort of. I actually knew exactly how I wanted it displayed, I even drew a picture. As soon as I heard that I’d been chosen to have my crochet go in a window, I got myself down to Ikea and also did a hasty order on Amazon. (If it had been this weekend, I doubt I’d have been able to do that, Ikea has shut its doors now).

The night before, the boys helped to put together the Ikea bits and we got going with some spray paint (it was so much fun, I think I might become a Grafitti artist next… ). My budget was small, I spent £17 on the Ikea bits and about the same on the paint and tape that was needed.

Then I packed up all my crochet samples and spare blankets. I thought I was taking way too much but actually ended up using it all. Most of it is probably being permanently sacrificed to the Crochet Gods, I don’t think it’ll survive four months in a shop window. It’s unlikely to come out looking exactly like when it went in. It’s a sacrifice worth making, no? I can just crochet it all again if I want to! I just hope people see it now.

Social distancing and the closure of the shops and restaurants that were still thriving means that the foot fall will have dramatically decreased. That’s OK. Even if some people don’t get to see it, at least I can say I have achieved a major thing in my crafting career. I’m dead proud and hopefully those that do see it will be cheered by the sight of lots of colourful woolly bits. I’ve got crochet on the high street, that’s awesome!

It’s there until July. There are also other shop windows with artist’s work on display so if it is at all possible, perhaps on a quiet day, go and check it out.

I’ll post some pics below. First, lots of photos of the space and then the crochet goodness. Let me know what you think! Cheers. x

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Shocked by the power of crochet.

And then the display starts to come together.

I am still recovering from pompom related injuries.
Little helpers
Sharing Halfords with Jo, @rebel_for_life_uk
Sidwell Street art inspo

Waking Winter. New Seasons Crochet Shawl

Better late than never, Waking Winter is here! This is the third crochet shawl pattern in my Seasons Collection. If you fancy a nose, Emergence of Spring is HERE and Harvest Moon is HERE. All of the shawls in this collection are connected by their take on filet crochet, which is essentially crochet with loads of holes!

The pattern is available on Ravelry, it’s HERE. 

Because I also recently added my In a Flap scarf to purchase (and I’ll be adding a couple of other patterns soon) I’ve decided to whack on a 20% discount on all my Ravelry patterns up until the end of Feb. No code is necessary, it’s taken off at the checkout.

Waking Winter will also soon be available on Love Crochet and hopefully The Making Things App.

Can you believe this shawl was supposed to be released on the 21st December? The idea was to have it out in time for the winter solstice. There have been a few snags along the way ranging from genuine Can’t Help It, to my usual lazy apathy (not because I don’t love the shawl, I really really do! Just don’t like writing up the patterns). It’s here now and that’s what counts!

I hope you like it. I’ve really enjoyed creating a proper grown up “collection” so far. I don’t know if I’ll do another one anytime soon but it has been a fantastic challenge to link the designs thematically, yet have them all be different and unique.

Waking Winter comes in both UK and US versions, which I know you love. As well as the written pattern you’ll also find useful stuff, like a proper table for stitch count. I made up a chart for the set up rows and the edging too but all my testers followed the written instructions so I know they’re good on their own.

It has been tested by five fabulous crocheters (thank you!!) and fully tech edited by the lovely Tamara of Crafty Escapism (double thank you!!).

Now to work on the final design: Summer! I have a few ideas but nothing concrete. I know I want it to be a single skeiner and that I want it to be green. That is all so far! I wonder if I’ll manage to  actually release it on time…

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ZZ Block C2C Blanket Pattern

I wasn’t expecting to talk about this corner to corner blanket quite so soon; only one day after releasing my new crochet shawl pattern, Harvest Moon, I’ve just added ZZ Block to Ravelry! Phew, it’s getting a bit crochet crazy here at the minute.

Until the 17th of November it has 20% off. That’s the date the C2C CAL 2018 ends!! It’s only a couple of quid anyway, so you’re getting two fab charts for not very much at all. Yes, two! I have included a secret bonus chart too!! It’s called Ziggy, so you might be able to guess what that looks like…

RAVELRY IS THIS WAY… →

Yesterday, I posted a pic of this graphgan blanket on Instagram and instantly loads of phone friends said I should release it as a pattern.  There was also mass agreement that it’d be OK to just release the charts. So, let me be clear, this is a chart only pattern. No written instructions for the C2C stitch are included (but you can find those in loads of places, can’t you?). This means confident crocheters can get their mitts on it straight away without having to wait for me to make up a new sample. There is, however, a full page of notes and advice on measurements and yarn.

I made it super fast. There was lots of car crochet going on last weekend and it was mostly made en route to see my family. Because I made it so quickly and because I was in a car with loads of tangled balls upon my person, I made the error of “rectangling” it about 4 rows too soon. I also rushed the initial design and it doesn’t  please me 100%. The bungling, therefore, means that I can’t produce a whole pattern without a perfect sample. But I don’t want to stop others from starting now. Give me some time and a full-on pattern will be released but for now, I think this is a good alternative.

The inspiration is this bolt of rainbow lightning in my boys bedroom. We*  painted it around Easter and ever since then I’ve known it would some day become a blanket. I’ve just about manage to squeeze it in for the current CAL.

*by “we” I mean, I told the husband to paint it.

I do hope you like it.

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A Crochet Podcast. Episode 32.

Hola! It feels like it’s been ages but really it has been the usual amount of time, it’s just that I’ve been on holiday! For someone with a lack of crochet on the go I seem to have an awful lot to talk about. It’s all relative so don’t worry about any nonsense. See below for links to all things discussed in this episode, plus a few pics too. As ever, please click on the pic above to go to the episode or HERE to my YouTube channel. Thank you very much.

Holey Smokes! Version 1 is on Ravelry HERE. Version 2 is on the way at sometime in the future…

My original pompom edging tutorial. I plan on filming a version of this soon.

Granny and her rainbow edge. A free pattern.

Off the Chart. A c2c blanket, which is now available on Ravelry.

My C2C Pinterest board. Just in case you were interested!

Check out Crochetzine over on Instagram. I love that these things are happening for crochet at the minute.

Little Burrow Designs. A friend of mine and an amazing artist.

The Contemporary Craft Festival, Bovey Tracey, Devon.

A list of CALs: The KCACY calkal, Bad Boys/Bad girls summer romance cal,  The Cherry Heart mal, Summer top cal from the Crochet Circle podcast, Love Yourself cal from Hannah over at Cosy Cottage Crochet.

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  xxx

 

Hotchpotch Granny Purse.

I’ve decided that this will be called the Hotchpotch Granny purse, it fits the bill quite nicely. A hotchpotch of leftover scraps makes the perfect crochet stashbuster, don’t you think?!

I’ve filmed this as a video tutorial over on YouTube rather than write up a pattern [pop over to watch HERE]. I cover the magic knot, making up the granny stripes and then lining it too. All in eighteen minutes! I also recommend you visit my zip video too [it’s HERE]. If you’ve never put a zip in your crochet before it might well prove useful.

You can use any yarn, along with your favourite corresponding hook size but there pretty much are no rules to this. Ok, there’s one rule: you need multiples of 3 plus 1 for the starting chain. Even if you’re a stitch or two out then I’m sure you can fudge it. Crochet is very forgiving.

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Episode 24!! Zeens & Roger Crochet Vlogcast

As I type, it has been about eight hours since I recorded and I’m still doolally! I’m having a really good day! I will most likely crash tomorrow but for now I’ll enjoy the happy feelings. So, I hope you’re up for this episode of my crochet podcast / crochet vlog, it’s an hour long (I have a lot to talk about and there are a few strange moments). Comment here or over on my YouTube channel. I’d love to hear from you! Click on the image above for the episode. Cheers. x

Here are some of the things I talk about in this episode (and don’t forget the pics below):

Granny CAL 2018. Find out all the details about the Granny crochet along HERE! The Ravelry threads are HERE.

Fancy a quick granny project? Here’s my chevron cowl free pattern. I still haven’t dug out the yarn info. Give me a kick up the bum if you’re curious and I’ll go and find a band.

How to Become A Crochet Designer – My blog post about how I started. Mandy from RedAgape has a fascinating blog post about what you can realistically expect from working as a crochet designer. Please check it out!

My friend at Coastal Crochet is running a CAL too. Pop over to her blog for more info.

Melody Crochet Podcast. Thank you for my new things Melody!

I’m wearing the Blurre

Here’s the tutorial I plan on using for the Russian Join. Let’s do an experiment!

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  ;p

Blooming Marvellous – A Knit & Crochet Garden.

I love the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, it’s always welcoming and they have a really eclectic mix of exhibitions. A couple of years ago I went and saw a collection of Matisse paper cut-outs, which was great for a small town gallery (the Thelma Hulbert is in Honiton, East Devon). Sometimes we go just to use their fully stocked art and craft room. The kids love grabbing glue and making collages, or drawing the biggest pictures they can on massive sheets of paper.

I left it really late to visit their latest exhibition, the last day is this coming Saturday (24th June). I can’t believe I didn’t see that it was on until now.

Blooming Marvellous is right up my street because it is a knitting and crochet exhibition! It’s a garden of all things yarn. People from all ages, from all walks of life, hand stitched every item on display. I wasn’t sure if it’d be a bit cutesy but I was delighted to see it all! We also contributed by adding a few rows to some knitting that was there. Can you believe that there weren’t any crochet hooks?! I forgot to take crochet flowers with me. Annoyingly, I have some at home that would have been perfect to donate.

I went with my friend and our two youngest children. The boys had a great time finding things on a list they were given. A mole in a hole, tick! A ladybird wearing a lace collar, tick! A plate of prawns, tick! (The boys were also really pleased to find plug sockets hidden in the floor. But they are only four years old). After the exhibition one of the people working there told us to go and explore the gardens. There were plenty of strawberries to find and eat, she told us. It’s little things like that, that make me like the place so much.

Blooming Marvellous has been touring the UK for the past six years and I wish I could tell you where it’ll be next so that you might get to go. Sadly, I have no idea. Hopefully it’ll be on somewhere else soon. I did take pictures though…

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Crafty Crochet Catch Up for Spring.

giant-crochet-granny-squareHello!! How is everyone today? I feel a bit funny. I think I’m slightly overwhelmed. Thank you soo much for being so very kind about my first foray into vlogging. It was absolutely awesome to hear from all of you. I go from being all casual about it, to feeling extreme nervousness. I think it mostly went well. I’m looking forward to filming another one next week and I am wavering ever so slightly about filming a crochet tutorial this afternoon [edit: I tried, ugh, it was bad: tech issues, focus issues, brain issues. I will try again]. If you didn’t see my last post, please check out the crochet vlog here. Anyway, this is a crafty catch up so let’s get moving…

mini-crochet-circlesI still had lots of  Stylecraft Special dk left from my Crazy Chevron blanket so, on Sunday I made 48 little circles. I was thinking baby blanket. I was also thinking of doing a continuous-join-as-you-go. I can’t do one of those though. My guess is that I’d need a minimum of 4 balls of the same colour for that. This is part of an on-going stash busting  endeavour and I’m trying to avoid bringing in more yarn. I kind of did buy two extra balls for this already and I’m going to run out of the blue (lobelia) soon. Oh, it’s an instant fail.

colourful-crochet-circlesAll 48 circles now have three rounds. I could square them up to join-as-I-go and use different colours but would it be more interesting to try something new? Eeh, I don’t know, there’s no rush is there? I think I’m going to go for more too. Apart from the lobelia there looks like there’s enough for another 48 circles. Any joining suggestions?

rowan-stone-washedAt the beginning of last week I got a lovely surprise when Posty brought a parcel to my door. I wasn’t expecting it but I knew instantly who it was from because of the massive label greeting me on the box. This Rowan Stonewashed yarn was a gift from my friends (I can call them that now can’t I?) at Wool and The Gang. I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent their yarns before. If you fancy checking them out you can read about my mohair experience here. And my gargantuan (yet super warm) scarf here.

rowan-stonewashIf I’m being totally honest, the stonewashed is not what I’d normally go for. But they asked me to play with it and that’s what I’ve done. I like it and I’ve enjoyed being coaxed out of my comfort zone.  I’m always up for a yarny challenge!

The yarn is a collaboration with Rowan Yarns, which I class as high-end yarn. There are free patterns on the Rowan website for garments and shawls using this yarn.  I couldn’t put my finger on what it reminded me of for ages. It’s marble! It reminds me of marble! There’s kind of an Art Deco quality to it, whether or not that was what was intended!

mini-crochet-purseI’ve made three little purses out of the two balls they sent me and I’ve made some snazzy tassels too. I’ve not put the zips on yet so I’ll come back with pictures when they’re done.

simple-t_shirt-yarn-bag cute-little-bag-using-t-shirt-yarnNext up is this cute little bag I put together. In half term the boys and I went on the bus to Exeter to visit the dentist (living the high life) and happened to fall into Tiger (I didn’t realise until yesterday that it’s actually called Flying Tiger!). I came out with two balls of t-shirt yarn and I won’t mention the bagful of other random stuff. I’ve briefly shown on Instagram and the vlog the spiral I started. The spiral turned into a bag and the bag has turned into a written pattern! Just like that! Well, not just like that. At this point I say a massive Thank You to my IG friends (including my fellow WordPress pals Eleonora of Coastal Crochet and Teresa of Shirley Rainbow) who tested the pattern for me. Majorly helpful, without you, the pattern would have been a mess , so thank you very much indeed!! Please go to Ravelry where the pattern is now live!! Wahoo!

stashbusting-crochet-granny-blanketI’m now going to bombared you with pictures of a giant granny blanket….

simple-granny-borderThis has been another stashbuster. I’m so happy to have finished it. I didn’t know it at the time but it was destined to become a birthday present for someone in the family. Stylecraft Spesh again. All the colours that had nowhere else to be but with each other. I rather like it. A proper Granny blanket, don’t you reckon?!

granny-blanket giant-granny-square crochet-in-the-homeSuch is my commitment to getting this to its destination, I managed to drag myself to the post office even after I’d fallen over and torn a hole in Brand New Jeans!! A week later and Youngest boy is still asking why I fell over. Because I did. It was slippery, it was down a steep slope and I was wearing New Clothes. That’s why! There’s nothing quite like holding back your own tears whilst a boy of nearly four cries for cuddles with Daddy… because Mummy fell over.

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Crochet Triangle Infinity Scarf

self-striping-yarn-rainbow-crochet-infinity-scarfMy thing for triangles all started when I was playing around with geometric patterns for crochet. It became a conscious thing last summer when I made my  C2C cushion. Since then, I’ve seen triangles all over the place. I now absolutely love geometric patterns in crochet!

crochet-triangles-cowl-infinity-scarfI’m on a mission to make the perfect cowl (or scarf). I know exactly what sort of design I want but I’ve struggled with translating it into crochet. Basically, if you take a look at my pattern Pinterest board, you’ll get  the idea. I want to intersperse different colours amongst the triangles. So far I’ve resisted just doing colour changes for random single triangles. I thought that it might compromise the stuctural integrity. I might have to try it next just to find out how safe and secure it would be. Hmm anyway, I’m glad to say that I’ve found the ideal scarf pattern to play with.

crochet-cowl-monochrome-triangle-infinity-scarfIt’s called the Triangle Crocheted Infinity Scarf from Friendly Nettle. I totally love this pattern, it’s utterly fabulous and I know lots of other people feel the same way because my Instagram mates have gone nuts for it too!

paintbox-yarns-simply-aran cosy-monochrome-crochet-cowl-triangle-infinity-scarf rainbow-bright-crochet-triangle-infinity-scarfThe pattern is very simple and Rasa, the designer has made things super helpful by providing loads of pictures, a video tutorial and pattern diagrams. As I’m me and can’t help myself, I did change a few elements. My first two cowls were made with Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran, so I didn’t need as many triangles in my start row. I think the tri-colour one has thirty triangles and the monochrome one was 26. I did 15 rows for each.

monochrome-crochet-triangle-cowlWhen making my triangles, I made 1dc (UK), 1htrb), 1tr and 1doubletrb. This sequence is different to the original pattern (I did a few experiments to see what would happen to the shape of the triangles). You’ll need to see the original pattern to work out where these stitches go cos I ain’t telling ya! My edging was also added to, but nowt fancy.

rainbow-trianglesThe final cowl I made was this crazy rainbow job. It’s a double knit so the amount of triangles in the starter row was increased by a couple more. I pretty much used the whole skein. I was on the look out for something that had both colourful brights and a plain base.  In my imagination, there was more grey and less colour. I didn’t really think about how the colours would be laid out on the skein. I blame my lack of education regarding skein dying rather than anything else. Still, I think the effect is pretty good. Just not what I’m after in this case.

rainbow-yarn rhapsodye-yarnsI bought it from a UK Etsy seller, Rhapsodye Yarns. It’s  a superwash merino and it’s just lovely!

winding-yarnSee the running rainbow? I’d like only two, maybe three colours, each long enough to make a triangle, with grey in between each shade. Do you think I need to take up yarn dying as a hobby next?! I’m tempted to contact the dyer and make a special request instead. Seriously, I do not need any more hobbies right now.

I’ve come to the decision that nobody needs this many scarfy type accessories in their life, so I’ve popped them on Etsy. Please pop over and take a look and buy buy buy!

 

 

 

 

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