Stashtober 21. Stash Busting Crochet!

Bust that stash with a cosy cardi

Stashtober 21

Do you know what will never not be popular? Stash busting! The art of using up yarn scraps and leftovers so nothing is wasted. We all have stash hidden somewhere in the house and rather than keeping it tucked away, how about getting the whole lot out and using it!?

Busting your stash can be a real feel good experience. It can also lead to an absolute dog’s dinner of a disaster but let’s just say that we all learn from those situations and move on. Using up every last scrap is hugely satisfying and there are a number of crochet patterns out there to aid you in your exciting mission.

I was watching Claudia Carpenter’s crochet vlogcast on You Tube the other day (I’m sure you know Crochet Luna). I am pretty sure she said “No CALs”. It made me laugh when, just a couple of days later, she got in touch with a handful of designer friends to ask, how about a stash busting Crochet Along? We’ll call it Stashtober!

C2C bag

Crochet Along

For a general overview on what a CAL is go HERE .

Crochet Alongs are extremely popular these days, in fact, I’m taking part in another one right now. Have you seen the Mixtape Medley? It’s a crochet blanket I designed with Knitcraft and I see it as the ultimate stash buster. We’re currently on Week 2 and I’m mentioning it as it fits in perfectly with Stashtober 21.

But I’m not going to talk about that CAL because this post is about Stashtober 21! So, should you wish to partake, Claudia’s idea is for crocheters to choose a pattern or many patterns from the selection of designers she has invited to take part. One of them is me! To make life a bit easier I’ve put together a bundle on Ravelry especially for this event. You can find it HERE. I added patterns (both free and paid) that I thought would be great for using up lots of lovely stash. Especially for Stashtober, during the month of October, you can get 25% off any of my patterns on either Ravelry or Etsy. At the checkout please use the code: STASH21

If you don’t fancy making one of my designs, there are other contributing designers with the perfect pattern waiting for you.

Mixtape Medley, a blanket perfect for stash busting

The CAL Designers

Other crochet designers taking part are some of my absolute favourite people in the crochet community. A lot of us have known each other for a long time and are firm friends.

Claudia is the brains behind it all and has a couple of designs that would work brilliantly for Stashtober. I really enjoyed making Encanto, a scarf with lots of lovely twiddly stitches. Pop over to her Etsy shop to peruse the good things.

Fay of the Crochet Circle Podcast is a champion of artisanal crochet design. I wouldn’t mind working up Loft in a collection of colourful yarn. Crochet and stripes are a brilliant match.

Hannah from the Cozy Cottage Crochet is so lovely. Lovely Hannah! Pop over to the Cozy Cottage crochet for a Ravelry chatter thread for the CAL. And check out her designs while you’re at it.

Caleisha of the Quirky Monday Craftcast designed my favourite scarf of last year (or was it the year before?), the Just Feel Festive shawl. I used loads of DK acrylic scraps. It was totally worth all the ends.

Clarisabeth from Crochet Cakes has fab designs to choose from. If I have the time, I absolutely have to make some of Clarisa’s Vintage Wave socks. Check them out.

Michelle aka Dora Explored/Dora Does, has garment making savvy by the bucketful. I might find myself making her latest design dedicated to busting stash, the Waste Not, Want Not sweater. There a couple of other designs that are perfect for stash busting too.

Heather from HG Designs is all about the granny square. The granny square is the most famous stash buster of all time and Heather has some awesome granny designs out there. Making Revival was an absolute joy!

We are an eclectic bunch, it’s guaranteed that you will find a huge variety of crochet styles between us and therefore, you are bound to find the perfect pattern.

Stash Bust Rules

Fear not, there aren’t really any rules other than the projects you make must be made from yarn you already have. Do not buy new yarn! That is it! Also please ensure that your project is not already over 50% complete before the 1st October. So WIPs do count as long as it’s not close to being finished. And don’t forget to choose designs from the crochet champs above.

On the 23rd of October Claudia is also hosting a live Zoom chat. It’s 8pm BST. I have something else in my diary that day but I would love to be there so I’m going to see if I can pull some strings!

Double whammy. My Dreckly mittens with Heather’s Revival jumper.

Crochet Community

There are no prizes for this CAL, that’s not the point. But there are loads of other great reasons to dive right in.

This is an opportunity to create the satisfying feeling of putting old yarn to good use. It’s about community. And also, perhaps it’s introducing you to a designer who you were previously unfamiliar with. There are so many good reasons to take part that prizes aren’t needed! These aspects are rewarding enough, don’t you think? What’s usually used as a CAL prize? It’s new yarn! That’s the total opposite of stash busting!! Not gonna happen for Stashtober!!

I love that Crochet Alongs are community led, it’s better than any other prize I know. You can be as active or as quiet as you choose. Perhaps you’re happy to just loiter and see what others are making. Or, you might fancy chatting on Ravelry or Instagram, or wherever else! It’s entirely up to you. This should be the ultimate No Pressure CAL.

Hopefully we will see you and your makes throughout October! Let us know what you’re making, what stash you’re using etc. We would all love to hear from you. #Stashtober21

Cheers. x

Mixtape Medley CAL. A New Crochet Blanket Pattern

Mixtape Medley Crochet Along

Hallooooo! Happy autumn!! What better way to celebrate a new season than to crochet yourself a new cosy blanket? Fancy it?! The Mixtape Medley blanket is ideal for mixing up classic stitches that you probably already have in your crochet repertoire. The only thing that’s really different is that they’re all brought together as one, with a jazzy, stash busting colour palette.

When I was asked by Knitcraft back in April to come up with ideas for an 8 week Crochet Along I knew exactly what I wanted to do. The brief was to create a design that would introduce beginners to new stitch combinations with a palette that used a variety of different shades (not too rainbow bright, not too autumnal). Much like the rest of my design work, I wanted this to be a bit different!

When you think of classic crochet, what stitches do you come up with? Granny is there, isn’t it? Bobbles too? And I bet those who know me will immediately say Corner to Corner!! It’s all in the Mixtape Medley! And recent favourites such bold colour blocking and plaid feature as well (I’ve been calling it plaid but perhaps it’s gingham?). I desperately wanted a ripple stitch in it but that wasn’t to be. The inevitable concertina effect would have been a nightmare. Instead, I invented a new puff wave stitch. The undulating waves are most welcome, plus there’s the added bonus of delightful texture with some plump puffs!

How to find the Blanket Pattern

You’re probably here to find out more than just the back story so let me tell you what’s what. Aaaages a go I wrote a blog post to explain what a CAL actually is, it’s HERE if you’d like to find out more about crochet alongs (bear in mind it is an ancient blog post though).

This Mixtape Medley Crochet Along is hosted by Knitcraft on the Hobbycraft website in their Ideas section. Knitcraft is the yarny arm of Hobbycraft. Over the next few weeks the written pattern will be released bit by bit so that you can enjoy a few hours of crochet each week. And the best bit is that this is a free crochet pattern!! FREE! Fully tech edited and tested as well, which I love. Everything has been extremely well thought out.

OMG there’s a competition too!! If you share your progress on social media you could win £100 worth of yarn and accessories. So don’t forget to share your makes on Instagram with the hashtags #MixtapeMedleyCAL and #MixtapeMedleyComp

How to find it easily: Go HERE, scroll down a bit, you’ll see a “Go to” section, hit the “Helpful docs & software” link to download the pdfs each week they’re released.

Crochet video tutorials

At the beginning of August I travelled along the coast to a studio in Southampton to record video tutorials. We recorded videos for each stitch and included other helpful bits of information too. It was a really interesting and exciting day! Not something I’ve done before. A few weeks later, once the videos had been put together, I watched them through so I could write a script. Then, it was back to the studio to record the sound.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying the video tutorials are HERE! You might notice that I look a bit like deer in headlights and that’s OK. I may seem super chilled out in my podcasts (usually amateurishly filmed at home in me jammies) but that’s a completely different kettle of fish. No hot studio lights, clapper boards or people you’ve never met wiring you up with a mic n stuff. The experience of working in a studio was awesome and nerves should never stop anyone from doing something new.

In the studio!

Crocheting Together

Seeing everyone getting their boxes of yarn is so exciting! As well as being able to buy the yarn kits from Hobbycraft in super special Mixtape Medley boxes (OMG they are totally gorgeous!), you could also bust your stash and go your own way with colours. This isn’t the kind of blanket where rules apply….well some rules do (count your stitches folks!)

Multiples are given so you could easily make adjustments to make it smaller, or bigger if this isn’t big enough (it’s a single bed sized blanket). I fancy a scarf version myself and hope to make one during the CAL. Hey, you could even get your nails done to match if you wanted to!

Well blow me down! Look at these nails from @the_squirrel_collective

I think that’s it for now. If you have any questions then ask away. I’ll try and get to them as soon as I can but the idea is that you can find all the info you need on the Hobbycraft website so do go there first as details about yarn and sizing etc is all there.

Right, I’m off to work on some crochet. And maybe do my nails. Cheers. x

Drape it over your legs as you work. That’s what this pic is!

Z&R Crochet Podcast 91. Finished Objects

Hallooooo! Welcome to the Zeens and Roger crochet podcast. This is episode 91. Hopefully all the good stuff is here but I did have recording issues. I lost some video but most of it was safe. I think I will need to find an alternative method because the camera I bought especially for podcasting is not good enough!! Bah.

Aaaaanyway, it’s lovely to have you here,I hope you’re well? To watch this fabulous crochet podcast, please click on the picture above, or go here to my YouTube channel.

Links to the crochet latest:

Moorit magazine. I will talk about the name next time. It’s a fun story! How excited are you for Moorit magazine!!!?

The Granny Go Round jumper is finally complete and I LOVE it!!! It’s a pattern by Claudine of Iron Lamb.

The Decked Out shawl is in the latest issue of Inside Crochet mag. Issue 138. I used a really nice sport weight merino from Milla Mia. I have used this before in Seven Summits and One Way or Another.

The Perfect Cardigan! I am super proud of my very first garment release. It was A LOT of hard work and even more learning new skills!! You can read about it HERE. I’ve written up the Ravelry notes HERE for my crazy mohair version, which to be honest, is my new favourite thing! I have added the notes because I made adjustments. I could probably have just made a size smaller than in the pattern and it would have been fine.

I used MYPZ chunky mohair to make the floofy mohair version of the Perfect Cardigan. Super nice yarn and I want more! Not sure if I can justify the stash build but I’m sure I will find a reason.

The cobalt mohair is Drops Kid Silk, a budget lace weight yarn. This brand is perfect if you’re on a budget. I bought mine from Wool Warehouse.

Another yarn discussed are Kingcole Cottonsoft It’s pretty much the only cotton (so far) that I like using!

What I didn’t talk about and wanted to bring up was Patreon. If you would like to support my crochet adventures and join a really fun community, check it out. I am sporadic with my postings but I share behind the scenes stuff and the different tiers all have different treats n stuff.

FYI there are a couple of affiliate links used in this post. It’s no extra cost to you, it just means I get a small percentage of the cost of any yarn you buy through the links.

How to Choose Colour in Crochet!

Bright cakes of colourful
 yarn

Colourful Crochet

Playing with colourful cakes or balls of wool is up there as one of the most satisfying things about yarn crafts. I’m sure you’d agree that colourful crochet can put a smile on anyone’s face! But having to decide which shades to add to a new crochet project can be mega stressful too. How on earth do you choose the best hues to have?! It can be a bit of a head scratcher, especially if the doubt creeps in. But, please! Don’t be afraid of the big beautiful wool, learn how to play with it instead!!

I wrote a fairly decent blog post about how to choose colour in crochet back in 2016 and I’ve just read it. It still stands and I’m pretty pleased about that. However, since 2016 my palette has definitely evolved. In that post I mention about going for random selections of colour and yep, you can definitely see that that was what I was doing. I was clearly going through an Ugly Granny phase too. Not a bad thing.

I have learned an enormous amount from playing with random colour palettes, which has been, hands down, the best part of my crochet adventure!

So how has it evolved from there? The short answer is I dunno, it just happened! Hmm, what about a longer answer that might actually be helpful?

striped crochet mittens

Colour Evolution

My crochet adventures started in 2010 without much of a clue. Colour consideration wasn’t top of the list. I was too busy darting into yarn shops; grabbing balls in a panic! I didn’t belong and didn’t want to outstay my welcome. What a way to start a mindful hobby! It’s obviously absolute nonsense but I know others feel the same. That’s just anxiety talking, stamp that sucker down and be proud.

[OMG! Side moment: the penny has just dropped about why I was making Ugly Grannies! It was all the panic bought yarn being used up! Not quite the same mentality as my Nanna’s make do & mend approach, but kind of similar… Aaannyway…]

After a lot of years mucking about with different yarns I realized that I have two very definite colour personalities and I am so happy about that. My ultimate goal is to tinker and play to see where a mash up of both might lead. I love modern brights, love em! They are great in smooth merinos and fluffy mohair, and let’s not forget; perfect for top quality acrylics but I am also head over heels for natural tones and yarns too. I need toothy wool with bits of straw, and it’s exciting to use yarn when I know it has been spun just up the road from me. Just because I love crazy brights doesn’t mean I can’t also love an undyed alpaca. Natural, earthy colours aren’t boring, they are classics to be revered. They are the cool kids; the brights are kawaii cute.

What I will say is don’t expect to have it down pat right from the start. Using colour in your craft means having a certain amount an expressive freedom and you need to explore that to discover what works for you. I have always been guided by my mood, by the seasons and by what everyone else is up to. Who isn’t?! Trends have a role to play in this whether you like it or not. We absorb fashions like osmosis, we’re all influenced whether we know it, or not.

Essentially, it’s about getting knee deep in a lifelong experiment of matching colour with crochet. If you want.

a crochet shawl
The Grainbow Shawl

The Basic Principles of Colour in Crochet

The nutshell version: it’s all about balance.

You want to know more? Um, I’m not sure how to expand on the original blog post where I say balance warm with cool, and light with dark. Balance out your brights with a neutral, plop in a navy amongst your pastels. If you don’t want to bung them anywhere, think about their placement, even distribution is a safe bet.

If you use these principles as a basic starting point you won’t go far wrong. In 2016 I hadn’t refined the colour palettes I was using, instead, I just chucked all the balls in the air to see what landed where. Sometimes literally. Now I like to think my choices are more deliberate.

Whilst (arguably) using more polished palettes in 2021 I am not a fan of too many rules. Therefore, please don’t feel like you have to dutifully follow some strict formula. Ultimately, go with your gut. If it works for you and it makes you happy, then that’s a winner!

And just to contradict myself with another side note, I do have one rule when working with colour for crochet. The stitches of crochet don’t always look their best in colour-pooling yarns. Where this might create brilliant stripes in knitting, it creates a blocky pixel in crochet and I’m not keen. I will always bear that in mind if purchasing a non solid colour base.

colourful crochet blanket
Havana Nights C2C blanket.

Put it into Practice

I like big stripes of crazy colour combos but also a whole hotchpotch of them fighting each other too. If in doubt, try this: use your go to shades but swap out just one samey ball of colour for one that you’d not normally go for. Nothing bad will happen, honest! If you’re feeling queasy about diving straight in make a swatch first. Then perhaps make a smaller project like a bag or hat. Big blankets and garments can follow later.

This is part of a process, a journey if you like (ugh, I hate that word!). It’s not an overnight change.

Obviously Instagram is a great source of inspiration and I love to mindlessly scroll through Pinterest too but you’ll find it in nature, architecture and places you hadn’t even thought of.

Teh Perfect Crochet Cardigan
The Perfect Cardigan

As long as you remember that it’s all about balance then you won’t go far wrong. Also, use of colour in crochet is totally subjective! What I think looks awesome isn’t going to work for everyone. There are times when I’m not fussed about that thing other people say is the bees knees. It really doesn’t matter. Conversely, someone else will put together a crochet colour palette that will blow my mind! I wish that I’d come up with it! Wistful envy pops up to say hello but I try to remind myself that others feel that way about my dodgy choices sometimes too! A full circle of different ideas.

Each time you put a load of shades together you’ve learned more about what works and what doesn’t. And if nothing else it’s a very good excuse to buy more yarn. Keep going.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Revival, a jumper design by HGDC. All the crazy colours in lots of neutral grey.
The best crochet cardigan. A JW Anderson inspired crochet cardigan.
A cardigan inspired by the Harry Styles / JW Anderson number
A colourful crochet purse
https://zeensandroger.com/2018/08/20/hotchpotch-c2c-crochet-bag/
Colourful crochet.
The Making of ZZ Block. My C2C baby blanket
How to Choose Colour in Crochet

Crochet Bucket Hat – A Free Pattern & Tutorial

How to Crochet a Bucket Hat: click the pic for the YouTube tutorial

A Crochet Bucket Hat

The promise of summer is here! To celebrate, how about a crochet hat pattern!? Using just one roll of raffia, you can make a straw hat that’s perfect for protecting yourself from summer sun.

An impulse purchase has led to me having a roll of Wool and the Gang’s Ra Ra Raffia sat in my stash for about two years. I thought that one day inspiration might strike for it to become a cute clutch or little tote. Nope, it was a hat that won out in the end. This was due to some fine weather that was forecast for last weekend. A beachy time in Cornwall beckoned and I needed a hat! Alas, the hat wasn’t finished in time for Cornwall; such a shame because photos against a backdrop of sandy beaches would have looked awesome (although I did get some fab photos of my Perfect Cardigan)! Actually one version of the hat did get finished in time but I ended up frogging it half way down the A30. It was too big.

The tangled ball of papery yarn did not look quite so fancy anymore. Thankfully, it worked just as well after being ripped back. With some tweaks and adjustments, the second hat was completed yesterday and it fits like a dream!

Frogging on the A30

Seeing as I’m off work this week I have found some time to film a crochet hat tutorial and write up the crochet pattern. It’s called the Bucket hat because that is exactly what it is! Other name suggestions were “Kick the Bucket” and “Bargain Bucket.” Not sure either of those are the best names though…. What about the Blossom Bucket? Did you watch Blossom on telly back in the 90’s?! That’s a blast from the past!

Yesterday was a beautifully sunny day so me and the boys took a stroll down to the river for a few snap shots. The eldest was paid a few quid to be a photographer for me. Unfortunately, there aren’t many river pics included here because the river’s beaches were busy with loads of people. There was lots of joyous laughter and cheerful frolics going on. Those guys were definitely making the most of the first day of June.

The boy did a great job as chief photographer; he didn’t seem to mind when more shots and more angles were demanded. But I guess you don’t want a massively long story and to be honest, it doesn’t need one. So here follows the pattern….

Next book on the reading list. Haven’t started it yet.

To make a bucket hat, you need:

  • 1 roll of Ra Ra Raffia in Desert Palm (affiliate link).
  • 4mm hook
  • Stitch marker or 2.

Notes & tips

  • The pattern is written in UK terms but, honestly, it’s dead easy to convert: UK htr stitch = US hdc. UK dc = US sc.
  • My head measures 57cm – about average I guess…
  • Every two stitches measures approx 1cm.
  • You can make a hat smaller by missing out the last increase round, this will reduce the size by 4 sts.
  • You can make your hat bigger by working an extra (4 st) increase round.
  • Raffia has a bit of stretch to it. If it feels slightly tight at first, worry not, it will give after wear.
  • Made top down, the hat is worked as a spiral, increasing as you go.
  • Use the stitch marker to note the first st of each round, move after each round.
  • Watch the YouTube tutorial HERE.
Channeling the 90’s with a Blossom style hat!

Crochet Bucket Hat Pattern

  • Rnd 1: 8htr into a magic ring.
  • Rnd 2: inc around – 16 sts.
  • Rnd 3: *1 inc, 1htr; work from * 8 times – 24 sts.
  • Rnd 4: *1 inc, 2htr; work from * 8 times – 32 sts.
  • Rnd 5: *1 inc, 3htr; work from * 8 times – 40 sts.
  • Rnd 6: *1 inc, 4htr; work from * 8 times – 48 sts.
  • Rnd 7: *1 inc, 5htr; work from * 8 times – 56 sts.
  • Rnd 8: *1 inc, 6htr; work from * 8 times – 64 sts.
  • Rnd 9: *1 inc, 15htr; work from * 4 times – 68 sts.
  • Rnd 10: *1 inc, 16htr; work from * 4 times – 72 sts.
  • Rnd 11: *1 inc, 17htr; work from * 4 times – 76 sts.
  • Rnd 12: *1 inc, 18htr; work from * 4 times – 80 sts.
  • Rnd 13 – 22: htr around with no increases.
  • Rnd 23: Repeat rnd 3 – 120 sts.
  • Rnd 24- 27: htr around with no increases. (Any more rounds than this and the brim will curl in on itself).
  • Finish by making 3dc stitches followed by 3 slip stitches. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Half way hat. Before the brim was started. Finger indicates last increase round.
Crochet Bucket Hat
Side view of a crochet bucket hat.

And That’s it!

Such a quick and easy hat to crochet! You can wear it with the brim turned up or turned down. I added four rounds to the brim in the end. However, it did look good with just three rounds. Try playing around with different rounds to see which you prefer. This sort of hat is very forgiving (I am a big fan of forgiving crochet, it hides a multitude of sins!).

OK, I think that’s it for now. I will let the photographs below do the talking. But before you scroll on, if you enjoyed this fabulous pattern, please support my crochet work by buying me a Ko-fi or, join the Patreon community. You would be very welcome! Thanks ever so much! x

Don’t forget to share your makes on Instagram #zeensandroger

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Crochet a hat for summer
Not quite Blossom
Crochet Bucket Hat
Tiny dot of a buzzard
Making hay whilst the sun shines
A crochet hat ready for summer sun
Zeens and Roger crochet bucket hat

Made it this far? Haha, well done!! But also, thank you. xxx

Quayside: A Crochet Shawl Pattern

This is Quayside, a modern, contemporary crochet shawl that I designed last year.

Back in the summer there was a Call for Submissions from Wool on the Exe, a yarn shop in Exeter. Crocheters and knitters were asked to come up with designs that would be collated and turned into a book. The brief was to come up with concepts relating to all things Devon. I loved this, it immediately sparked lots of ideas and crochet inspiration!

My design was inspired by Exeter Quay. It’s a popular meeting place for noisy nights out, or a quiet stroll on a sunny Sunday morning. The solid striped sections of the shawl/wrap represent the paths alongside the grey waters of the river Exe. I added houndstooth stitches to reflect the movement of the water. When I was at uni I hung out at the Quay quite a lot. Mostly getting drunk and staggering around on a Saturday night (cobbles don’t make it easy to walk. Neither does knocking back too many beers). But then later it was more about strolling on a Sunday with a teeny baby in a pram. I don’t live in Exeter itself anymore but I’m still not that far away.

The book was released last year and is full of crochet, knitting and other yarn related projects. Proceeds went to Knit for Peace and local community projects.

Chosen Charities

Quayside is now available to purchase as an individual pattern on Ravelry and Etsy. It will also be on Lovecrafts in a day or two as well. As it was initially for a charity enterprise, it’s only fitting that it continues to raise money for causes that need support. Therefore, I have chosen two charities and will donate £2.00 to each, per sale of Quayside. I hadn’t worked out precise platform fees when I posted on Instagram this morning so originally stated £1.50. I needed to make sure I could cover those fees. Thankfully, I still can!

The two charities I’ve chosen are for very good reasons. The first charity is CALM (the campaign against living miserably). Last year my step sister’s son, Adam died by suicide. Very sadly, my step sister is not the only mother I know who lost a son to suicide last year. If we can help another young man, any man, any person from feeling like that that’s their only escape, well, that’s good! It is Mental Health Week this week, which feels like appropriate timing for the pattern’s release.

The second charity is the Disasters Emergency Committee. Covid 19 is devasting India right now and help is desperately needed. The decision for this choice was cemented when someone told me the other day that “they had brought it upon themsleves” Um, what?! I’m still stuck for words on this.

You can also donate directly to either charity. If you’ve got a few extra quid, I urge you to do so, please. Ta very much!

Let’s see how it goes. Certainly, I will stick to this plan throughout the summer and then see how it goes from there. Hope that sounds OK? Let me know what you think!

Let’s do a Crochet Along!

Also to continue across the summer, how about a CAL?! It has been a while since I ran a crochet along and this seems like a good reason! The Quayside CAL! If you would like to take part, all you need to do is purchase the pattern and get cracking!

The idea is that you’re making a fab crochet shawl at the same time as lots of other makers. You are helping to raise money, for not one, but two charities! There are no real CAL rules, just choose your favourite yarn and a matching hook. Use the hashtag #QuaysideCAL and I will share your crochet progress and projects whenever I can. I’ll definitely want to write a follow up post here, and I’ll post on Insta over the next few months. I’ll say a provisional end date of September 1st but flexibilty is fine by me. Crochet is supposed to be mindful, it actually helps with mental health, it’d be silly to have tight deadlines.

You can use pretty much any yarn but perhaps nothing heavier than a DK or it’ll be huuuge! My version is made using Gwlan Cambrain wool, a woolly 4 ply. You can also buy it from Wool on the Exe (I’d better mention that as they’re the team who chose the yarn for the project!).

Right, I think that’s it for now. If you have any questions, add them in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks ever so much. x

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Snapshot. I didn’t have time for proper photos yesterday – sorry!

Z&R Crochet Podcast 88. I’d Never Do That!

Halloooo! How are you? I hope you are very well indeed. I’m a bit achey on my arm as I had my second Pfizer jab yesterday. Luckily I don’t feel too grotty today. Aaannnyway, let’s talk about crochet! Fancy a crochet catch up!?

For Episode 88 of the Zeens and Roger Crochet Podcast, please hit the pic above or go to my YouTube channel to find all the podcasts and tutorials.

A link to episode 87 is here (in case you wanted to do a comparison of pre and post blocking of my green jumper). I’ve linked to the notes as there are suggestions for similar patterns – none of which, I’ve made. But they might be up your street.

Fun Crochet Things:

Paintbox Worsted superwash wool. This is an affiliate link that, with no extra cost to you, can get me a small percentage of the cost. It’s the usual fabulous colour palette that I really enjoy playing around with.

I briefly mentioned Moorit. If you caught that and wondered what I was on about then go HERE.

I made Granny square printed cards!! I love them so much. Please pop to Etsy to have a closer look. Or have a read of the post I wrote about them.

I am making not one, but two Granny Go Round jumpers!! I’ve enjoyed making them so far. They are winners! Although I’d forgotten I’d actually talked about them a little bit last episode, oops!

Fancy supporting the podcast?! Then feel free to buy me a Ko-fi. Or become a member of the Patreon Gang. This Saturday is our second Zoom chat. Our first meet up was ace, come and join us!!

If you would like to have a look at my other work, there’s a Free Patterns page here on the blog. You can also go to Ravelry, Etsy, Lovecrafts and / or Ribblr.

Other places you can find me: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter. These last two, hmm, I read tweets but rarely tweet myself. I use FB to share the latest videos and blog posts. I also share any interesting articles I’ve found online.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Granny Square Prints – Pretty Art Cards

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!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The first print – a bit dodgy.

Moorit: More than just a Crochet Magazine

@cardinecaffery.design

Moorit:: Of Shetland sheep or their wool: of a mid-brown colour, between fawn and dark brown. Of a garment, etc: made of moorit wool.

The Crochet Community has spoken, Moorit magazine is happening! We are getting a crochet magazine for crocheters, like no other that has been seen before.

Yarn lovers have chatted dreamily over the years about what it’d be like to have a high end crochet publication. Imagine, if you will, a cool crochet magazine that is collectible, beautiful, and features artisanal designs that you just have to make. It shouts from the rooftops that crochet is second to none! But here’s the thing, there are whispers about crochet, assumptions and rumours. …ugly stitches, they whisper at yarn shows….. gasp, squeaky acrylic!…. Shh, old ladies!… Pah! It is a reputation that us dreamers fight with fervour to shake. Modern crocheters understand that there’s more to the hook and yarn than the humble Granny square (and I’m saying this as a champion of the Granny). We love it for it’s rhythmic stitches and limitless twists and turns. In recent years, more and more designers are coming through who brilliantly showcase the very best that contemporary crochet has to offer. This is an exciting time.

Many of us have often wondered if a magazine would ever happen. Sadly, we didn’t really think “when,” it was more a wistful “if”. Alyson Chu is going to make sure it happens though. Did you see the huge success of Alyson’s Kickstarter campaign?! That’s how much we need Moorit! The first goal was smashed within two days. After two weeks, it has been totally obliterated. That speaks volumes! If you haven’t already, please go and read about Alyson’s vision on the Kickstarter page, you’ll learn about the detailed plans she’s working hard to bring to life, the designers who’ll be featured in Issue 1, and get a feel for the gorgeous aesthetic.

With a Masters degree in publishing and a passion for crochet, Alyson realised she had the skills and experience to make it a reality. Not just a dreamer but a full on innovator! It’s the right time and the right place. Yessss!

I was listening to her chat with Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast the other day (you can watch the interview HERE), and it was awesome how she said [paraphrasing a bit] “If not me, then who?” She wasn’t going to sit back and wait for some else to do it. It might never happen. She told herself the same when she approached knitwear designer Jeanette Sloan about Bipoc in Fiber too, a website that highlights the creative work of Black, Indigenous & People of Colour within the yarn world. Alyson’s ambition and enthusiasm is gloriously contagious. Love it!

As well as the interview with Fay, do also check out the interview from Knitsonik. I really enjoyed reading this chat about crochet history and Moorit’s connection to Scotland. And I’ve just started reading the 1847 book, Miss Lambert’s “My Crochet Sampler” because of this interview! (you can find it online as a free digital download).

Moorit designers for Issue 1. I wish I’d given Alyson a better headshot…

I am so excited about Moorit. What an amazing opportunity to show crochet design at its very best. I can’t deny that it’s also about absolute privilege to be a part of issue 1 with one of my designs. I am chuffed to bits…. and waiting to get dragged back from my front row seat. Gulp! On a personal level I want to push myself and my skills as a designer for Moorit. For others, I want to challenge how they see crochet. This is crochet enrichment.

Just in time for autumn, Moorit will be here in September. It will focus on crochet garments and accessories for everyone, using beautiful fibres to do it. Issue 1 focuses on women’s wear but there will be designs in there that aren’t exclusively female. Come September we’ll have this plush publication in our hands. I literally cannot wait to leaf through its pages. Crochet is beautiful, it is time to celebrate! Don’t you think?! Yesss!!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@cardinecaffery.design

Crochet Cowls, The Ultimate Winter Accessories

I was at the very cold and windy beach yesterday when I realised how much I LOVED the crochet cowl I was wearing! Sat securely & snuggly around my neck, it wasn’t going anywhere. The best thing about a cowl is that there are no flappy scarf ends, breeze whipping them about my face! Neither will it slowly work itself free and slide to the ground. A crocheter can also hook up a handmade cowl pretty quickly.

I started counting up how many there were in my crochet collection. A LOT!! And they all get worn at this time of year. The ice cold weather this week isn’t set to rise above 3 degrees. A warm cowl is the first choice crochet accessory that I’m going to reach for.

Whether fancy 4ply or super chunky, there are all sorts of styles you can try. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner crocheter as there are loads of easy cowl patterns to try. It doesn’t have to be fancy stitches or anything, you could smoosh together four largish granny squares (5 inches would do it) and that’s a cowl. When I say smoosh, I mean sew them together in a row and then join ends to create a circle. Voila, a cowl has been made.

This blog post is also a blatant excuse to share loads of my designs to tempt you into getting the yarn and hooks out. Of course it is….

My renewed enthusiasm for keeping warm in the winter means I am about to go rummaging to find yarn to make a new cowl. It will be released as a free pattern when it’s done. Keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, I will share my latest design. It’s called Companions, which is a cowl and wrist warmers pattern set. There are still a few days where you can get 25% off on Ravelry and Etsy. Last day of the discount is the 13th Feb. I am so so pleased with this stripey set. Ridiculously pleased. Every aspect works: the yarn, the pattern, the style. It’s exactly what I had imagined. This is the cowl I was wearing yesterday at the beach (the wrist warmers were left at home as I didn’t want them getting mucky whilst rooting through pebbles, looking for seashells!).

With that plug out of the way, there are plenty of free crochet patterns and tutorials you can try. I’d say that they were suitable for beginners who fancy a quick project that’s simple yet effective. A corner to corner chevron? It’s all in the colour work. Here’s the YouTube tutorial to show you how. The same pattern can easily be turned into a hat too. It’s good to have options!

I got the idea for a C2C chevron from the granny chevron I designed which, in turn came from a big floofy version I did. (I am currently obsessed and delighted with how ideas beget ideas – it’s fascinating).

https://zeensandroger.com/2018/09/27/c2c-cowl-hat-a-free-crochet-pattern/

Have you made any? They don’t have to be small and simple. You can make elegant, double looping infinity scarves, or massive super chunky things that envelope your entire top half. There are loads of variants in between.

A couple of years ago I was asked to design a cowl that looked like a shawl for the front cover of Mollie Makes magazine (yep, still proud of that moment). I wanted it to be a bit different to my other designs so added the triangle shaping. A shawl that’s not a shawl! It turned out to be one of my most popular designs ever. It’s for sale on Ravelry, Etsy and LoveCrafts.

I see triangle cowls popping up more and more in the knitting and crochet community. I’ve got more than one design now too and another one due in a future magazine. That one is cute, perfect for early spring!

Right, rather than a overly detailed breakdown of each and every one I will just add some more pictures and let you peruse at your leisure. There’s also a scarf and cowl bundle on Ravelry which is worth looking at. Yes, I know they’re all mine. It’s a starting point.

Do have a favourite crochet cowl out there? Which one? Hopefully there’s something here to inspire you to get crocheting. Let me know how you get on.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

https://zeensandroger.com/2019/06/22/asymmetric-granny-cowl-free-crochet-pattern-and-tutorial/

xxx