Crochet Christmas Sweater. Festive C2C!

Oh Christmas sweater, oh Christmas sweater, how lovely are your pixels!

Sweater? Jumper? Either way, here we have a free crochet pattern (borderline recipe) to satisfy your festive corner to corner compulsions.

I have finally managed to put together a video for you so that you can make your very own crochet Christmas sweater / Christmas jumper using the C2C crochet stitch. It’s super easy to make if you’re familiar with the corner to corner stitch. I would argue that this is an intermediate project and suitable for beginners who are patient and keen to learn a few new techniques.

Below, I have broken down all the essential info you need to make your own crochet jumper but please beware, I haven’t written this as a traditional pattern. It’s a guide, similar to the JW Anderson cardigan that I worked up last year. Actually, tell a lie, this one has waaaay more detail. The video tutorial is HERE. I have also created an ad-free PDF you can download including charts for 9 sizes. You can find that HERE on Ravelry and HERE on Etsy.

I am just over 5.7 and a UK size 12

Yarn, Hooks and other Things you Need

To make a jumper of your own, you will need Paintbox Woolmix Aran [this is an affiliate link so if you buy via the link I receive a minimum of 5% of the cost]. I bought 10 balls of the main colour for size 3, Vanilla Cream, and used nearly all of it! The numbers below are estimates based on the weight of the sample size.

Size123456789
Est. yarn weight in grams749883985100511671230136915401606
Balls needed8910111213141617

Also required are a few metres of each of the five contrasting colours for the motif section. You could always use just one colour for the motif if you don’t want to buy whole balls of each colour just for a few metres.

I used a 3.75mm hook. I have average tension. This hook, with this particular yarn, creates a closed fabric that is not so tight that it feels stiff.

Oh, and stitch markers are helpful. I use them to pin pieces together.

Ideally you want to print out the C2C colour chart. Grab a pencil for crossing off each row as you go.

A decent needle for sewing everything together is also required.

Grading & Sizing your own Crochet Christmas Jumper

It is pretty important to make sure your Christmas sweater is going to fit before picking up a hook and buying loads of yarn. Let me try and provide you with as many tools as possible to work out a size that will fit you.

The sample I made is nearest to a UK 12 but after a bit of wear I suspect it may stretch to a 14. I broke the rules and didn’t block! If you are in between sizes you may wish to make the smaller size.

First things first, it is a very good idea to work up a swatch. You can use this swatch to determine how many C2C blocks you’ll need to work. Bear in mind that every 6.5 blocks is a measurement of 10 cm (4 inches). This will help you work out how many C2C blocks across you need your jumper to be. Work up a C2C square that’s 12×12 blocks to ensure you have a decent amount of fabric to get an accurate measurement. To be fair, you might get away with 11×11 if you’re feeling lazy!

A useful trick is to find a favourite jumper and measure it. How many blocks will you need to get the same width and length?

Size123456789
To fit Bust (inches)28 – 3032 – 3436 – 3840 – 4244 – 4648 – 5052 – 5456 – 5860 – 62
To fit Bust (cm)71 – 7681 – 8691.5 – 96.5101.5 – 106.5111.5 – 117122 – 127132 – 137142 – 147152 – 158
Width (back)  in cm414753596571778389
Length in cm505256525454545656
Body Blocks across293335373941434547
Body Blocks down272729292931313131

Corner to Corner Chart

Stitchfiddle is such a good tool for creating crochet C2C charts. If you’re making a different size to mine you can find the charts in the ad-free PDF on either Ravelry or Etsy. Or try creating your own design chart. Be careful, chopping and changing design ideas is addictive and before you know it, you’ll have lost hours by fiddling about!

Corner to Corner Chart

Working the Corner to Corner Stitch

If you’re an absolute beginner, then this actually isn’t too bad of a C2C project. However, I do assume you have the crochet basics under your belt. I don’t plan on writing specific corner to corner instructions, instead, I demonstrate how to work a swatch in the video.

The basics of of corner to corner are that you build up each row one block at a time. When it’s time to stop building your blocks, you decrease until you reach the opposite corner. However, none of the pieces are exactly square. After building enough blocks to reach the first corner, you then work even by only increasing on one side to create the rectangle shape. Decreasing is my fave bit as it’s the race to the finish line!

Crochet Sweater Pieces

The pieces of your Crochet Sweater are made separately and sewn together.

Main body

The front and back are the same except for the colourful motif on the front. As you know from diligently watching all of the video, I made my front panel upside down to get the colour work done & dusted before the easy stuff could commence. This is why the charts are upside down.

Once you have the corner to cornering done, you can work a Join As You Go rib. I love this bit! Check out the video for the demo on how it’s done. I’ll try and remember to add the timestamps on YouTube for all these useful sections.

For the front piece I snipped the yarn from the main body piece and reattached to the right top corner. Work 3 sc in each vertical block and 2 sc in the bar of the stitch that lays horizontally. When working the back you can just turn, you don’t need to cut the yarn.

Snip again (both front & back) to reattach to the top right side. I think I decided on 11 stitches for the ribbing, so chain 12 to begin. All hdc (UK htr) sts are worked into the front 3rd loop of the st below.

Row 1: 1hdc in 2nd ch from hook and the rest of the chains to end, slip stitch in next 3 stitches of main body, turn to work back up the ribbing.

Row 2: Miss 3 sl sts, 11hdc in front 3rd loop of sts, turn.

Row 3: 1ch, 11hdc in front 3rd loop of sts, sl st in next 3 sts of main body, turn.

Rep Rows 2 & 3 across. You might end on Row 2 or Row 3 depending on how many stitches your foundation row is. It doesn’t matter which!

Sleeves

My sleeves (size 3) are 23×28 blocks. Look at the chart below and you’ll see how many blocks wide to make your sleeves. Don’t worry too much about sleeve length for different sizes. I often make the sleeves the same length across several sizes because our arms aren’t drastically different in length. If you know you have shorter arms, or they’re longer than average, then allow for that, add or remove a row. However, you will want wider sleeves if you’re after a bigger jumper.

Size123456789
Sleeve Length (from under arm to wrist) in cm484848484848484848
Sleeve depth at underarm in cm18.521.521.521.525.525.529.533.533.5
No. of Blocks for sleeve length (cuff not inc)232323232323232323
No. of sleeve blocks across (total)262828283232384242

Cuffs

Make 2, obvs. I worked a foundationless chain of 25 stitches and worked 22 rows in hdc (UK htr) in the front third loop. It’s in the vid but you can also find the foundationless start HERE as a separate video tutorial.

My wrists are a skinnyish 14cm circumference. Add 2 rows for every centimeter.

Sew the cuff ends together to get them ready to ease into the sleeve.

Waistband

Whatever your size jumper, make the waist band approx 10cm (4 inches) smaller than the circumference of the main body of the jumper. Reducing the circumference here brings the jumper in to create a bit more shaping. I worked 11 stitches for 120 rows of ribbing for my size 3, hold it up against the main body to check you’re happy with the length of yours. This was very much an eyeballing task.

Work the ribbing in one length to go around the circumference of the jumper, then sew the ends together.

Corner to Corner Christmas sweater

Jumper Construction

All your pieces are finished, now it’s time to put it all together. So near yet so far! Exciting stuff!

Make sure all sewing is done on the wrong side of your jumper. Pay attention. Double check. Triple check that right sides are facing each other. It is guaranteed I will get this wrong at least once in any garment I make! Unpicking is par for the course for me but please try and do better than my efforts!

Below is a visual image of the steps of construction. Basically, sew the shoulders together first. I went for 10cm at each shoulder tab and I’m happy with that. More or fewer stitches will be required depending on what size you make.

Then sew the open sleeves to the shoulders. I don’t need to spell it out to make this evenly, equally spaced and at the centre of the shoulder. Fold the whole lot over, right sides facing, so you can sew the arms and body together. Voila!

Next up is to attach the ribbing on the sleeves and waistband.

For the sleeves, gather them at the wrist by creating a foundation round of sc stitches (UK dc) around the opening. Work 1 sc over each bar of the horizontal dc (UK tr) stitches and 2 sc into each of the vertical blocks. This brings in the sleeves a bit to make it easier to attach the ribbing. Then use plenty of stitch markers to hold the cuff in place whilst you sew it on. You will probably find the video useful for this bit.

Easing in the waistband is far easier. Use stitch markers to hold it in place here too.

I forgot to draw the neck ribbing on the top two pics. It’s supposed to be there. Sorry!

Overview: How to Crochet a C2C Sweater

Much like the GB Bake Off final, I have taken away some of the instructions. Please refer to the charts to determine how many blocks across & down you need to work to make your size. And watch the video to see how to make everything! Purchase the ad-free version on Ravelry or Etsy.

Step 1: Make a gauge swatch! 12×12 blocks should do it.

Step 2: Make your C2C pieces – 1 back, 1 front (both the same number of blocks), sleeves x2.

Step 3: Add join as you go ribbing to the tops of the main body – see video tutorial.

Step 4: Make ribbing for cuffs and waistband. Work the waistband so that it’s roughly 10cm (4 inches) shorter than the main body of your jumper.

Step 5: Sew shoulders together.

Step 6: Sew sleeves to shoulders.

Step 7: Fold in half, right sides facing, sew along sleeves and down body, both sides.

Step 8: Add the foundation to the sleeves and ease in the cuffs.

Step 9: Ease in waistband. There’s no need for a foundation round here.

Step 10: Blocking? You can if you want. A light steam block is my recommendation but I’m going to let the wearing of it do the job.

The End

How did you get on with your C2C Christmas sweater!?

Alright me Ansome?

Ansome, a crochet hat

Well, hello and good day! Or, if you’re from the West Country, alright me ‘ansome?!

There are unsubstantiated rumours that the Ottery St Mary born poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge would often greet people with “Alright, me ‘ansome” as a way of saying hello. Whether he actually addressed people with this local greeting is a mystery; it’s fun to think that he might have but my money says it’s a made up lie!

Ansome is a crochet hat pattern that is essentially two hats in one. Having made a hat with my new obsession, the puff stitch, I had plenty of yarn left to make a second hat. Both hats start with the same pattern but end up as two different styles.

The written pattern for Ansome is available on Ravelry HERE and Etsy HERE. There is 25% off until the last day of November.

Crochet Puff stitches

Ansome is now available on Ravelry & Etsy but it has been a couple of months in the making. For a while I have been sketching lots of designs using different sorts of crochet puff stitches. The first idea came to me at the beginning of the year. That one turned into the Wheatfields shawl, which is now a fully fledged pattern in its own right. You can find it HERE and HERE. It’s a fabulous combo of hand dyed 4 ply merino and lace weight mohair.

Working up puff stitches is really calming and rhythmic and they are awesome in all kinds of projects. They look fancy but are relatively fun and easy to do. However, do make sure you have a good crochet hook. I used a Knitpro hook, which is not normally my first choice as my hands are too big for the short handle, but it does have a good hooky bit! It helps when pulling through all the loops so try some out before you begin your project.

Potentially there are more puff stitch designs waiting in the wings for me but I think I will revisit those next year. For now I’m happy to focus on these crochet hats, which have come together in a way that felt like a breeze. They’re just meant to be!

The Wheatfields shawl also uses the crochet puff stitch

Devonia Yarn

We’re in November now and headed towards chillier weather in the northern hemisphere. When is a better time to release a hat pattern!? It has worked out quite nicely; I don’t think I had any intention of coming up a hat design. It wasn’t on my list of things to do but sometimes things just work out that way.

The catalyst was a single picture shared on Instagram. I saw a collection of Devonia mini skeins from John Arbon Textiles and fell a little bit in love with the colours. Instantly I knew they should be a crochet hat. So I made one!

Devonia is what I call a proper woolly wool. Warm, comforting and with the essential sheepy smell that I could breathe in all day. It’s a combination of Bluefaced Leicester (an all time fave) and Blueface Exmoor (from Devon, proper job). It also has Wendsleydale & Romney lustre breeds, which, if I’m right, add the shiney sheen that I always think looks super pretty and works really well with crochet.

I am very lucky in that, when I left a comment on the IG pic, to say it was a stunning combo of shades, the super smashin team from JAT asked if I would like to try them. This doesn’t happen everyday. I have no idea why they are willing to support my crochet adventures, I just know that I am very grateful to get the yarn support. Thanks Sonja!!

Maybe it is because it isn’t the first time. Remember the Grainbow shawl from a couple of years ago? And the infamous Dreckly mittens? That’s a triple whammy of JAT yarns: Knit By Numbers, Yarnadelic, and now Devonia! How about Harvest Hues next!?

Devonia comes in DK and 4 ply weights, and 25g minis and 100g skeins. That is one of the best things about JAT yarns, lots of options and versatility. For Ansome, you need 100g of DK for the main colour plus your colourful minis for the contrasts. Oh and I almost forgot! One of the reasons that the guys were sharing Devonia pics is because there are news shades that have just been released. I used Wood Smoke as my main colour, which is one of the new ones.

Dreckly mittens
The Grainbow Shawl

Crochet Hats

Having that much yarn meant there was too much left over to do my usual trick (hide it in the cupboard and struggle for stashbusting ideas). There was only one thing for it, if JAT can have all the options, so can I! Ansome mainly refers to the star of the show, which is the puff stitch hat but the remaining yarn was calling out too. It wanted to be striped up as a “plain” crochet hat. So there are two patterns here and you can make both!

The pattern has three size options and there’s freedom to add more rows if you want extra slouch. I made the medium size for both hats and the puff hat has just a little bit of slouch as there are more rows. A few subtle changes like that and you have two different styles of crochet hat! How good is that?!

The puff stitch hat was blocked too, and that added to the drape. Unsure about blocking crochet hats? I certainly was. So I did what I normally do and guessed. I blew up a balloon inside Ansome to what seemed like my head size and then gave the hat a light spray of water. Once it had dried, boom, perfect hat!

Crochet Hats

The End

And that is pretty much all you need to know about these new crochet hat designs! Can you think of anything you’d like to know? If so, please do get in touch. In the meantime check them out of Ravelry HERE and Etsy HERE.

Ta very much. I would end by using a Devon way of saying goodbye but I can’t remember any phrases.

The striped crochet hat
Ansome ‘at

Z&R Crochet Podcast 87. Unmistakably Green

Hey! I’m back already, surpriiise!! For Episode 87 of the Zeens and Roger crochet podcast please click on the pic above to go directly to the episode, or go to my YouTube channel HERE.

Thanks to everyone who left comments on the last episode. It was very heartening to know that so many are keen on a monthly newsletter. I’m going to whirr it round in my brain for a while to work out the best way to get this to you.

Links to Crochet Good Stuff:

Paintbox Yarns can be found HERE. It’s an affiliate link so if you buy via the link I will get at least 5% of the sale. The cardi I made and the new cardigan I will make next are both going to be made in Paintbox yarns. One is the aran wool mix, which I absolutely love and the other I’ve not used before. It’s worsted weight 100% wool superwash. I have had a squidge and it seems nice so far! The cardies evolved from the JW Anderson cardigan that I made last year.

The granny square mug is from Made By Love on Etsy.

I used Cascade 2020 superwash in Tree Top to make my green jumper. Here are a couple of turtle neck crochet sweater patterns if you fancy: The Chainette Turtleneck was one I first spotted. Then I saw the Millennial Jumper, which is a pretty close match. Or there’s the Elsa Polo neck, which I’m sure I spotted made with mohair too. That would look amazing!

Heather’s Grading Work Book is HERE. Once again, it’s an affiliate link and I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale. As you may know Heather is the garment designer behind HGDC. I’m sure you know the Revival jumper, a modern granny masterpiece! Pre-orders are open until the 1st of April. Check it out asap cos there are early bird discounts! There are two different levels, which I think is pretty neat. One has more of a personal touch from Heather but there are limited spaces so grab a space while you can!!

Ribblr, a new platform for crochet, knitting and sewing patterns. I joined and am learning slowly. I’ll let you know the things I learn. Probably at my usual snails pace!

Join the Patreon community! There are now tiers: Moss, Linen and Granite (they’re all the same crochet stitch but with the different names! I thought it was funny…). There is lots of extra content on Patreon, pop over and have a look. The first Zoom meet up for those in the Granite tier is this Saturday the 27th at 11:00am GMT.

If Patreon doesn’t float your boat then you can always buy me a ko-fi! Or buy one of my patterns… You can find me in all the usual please: Ravelry, Etsy, LoveCrafts. Thank you so much.

A new WIP that I am working on. Not one, but two Granny Go Round Jumpers by Iron Lamb! Ok, technically I’ve only started one but there will be two eventually.

Feel free to follow me here: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook.

Sorry, not many photos to share this week as I haven’t taken pics of my new jumper, the little;e cotton bag or my new WIP!

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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!!

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@cardinecaffery.design

Z&R Crochet Podcast 60! Bravely Soldiering On

Hello, how are you?! I’m fine. Just squeezing it all and getting in a flap as usual. Episode 60! Sixty episodes of my daft crochet podcast! Who would have thought it?! I am still loving every minute of it though and I hope you enjoy it too! Thank you so much for hanging out with me.

All my vids (both podcasts and tutorials) are HERE on YouTube. Links and pics to things I chat about in this episode are below.

Links:

My designs in Ravelry

Your support on Patreon would be awesome. The link is HERE.

Make some crochet owls with my tutorial on YouTube and the written pattern HERE.

The Mya shawl by Helda Panagary

Must. Make. The. Betty. Boyfriend. Sweater!! It is right up my street! Find the pattern by Talia’s Crochet Creations HERE.

Stitchfest Southwest. A Totnes yarn festival

The Encanto wrap by Crochet Luna

My spider tute is HERE

The Kinesis Sweater by We Are Knitters is coming along nicely!

The Lorax scarf is now only on Ravelry and Lovecrafts. I will work out the Etsy fail soon.

Thanks to  The Secret Yarnery for the Saturday shoutout! x

Don’t forget to find me on Insta

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Mya by Helda Panagary

Owl decorations

Blocking Mya

Knitting!

Encanto by Crochet Luna

Betty Boyfriend sweater by Talia’s Crochet Creations

Sad because of FOMO

x

Z&R Crochet Podcast 58. Crochet Crime

Episode 58 of my crochet podcast is here! I hope you enjoy it… Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway too…!

Please click on the pic above to go directly to the episode or find the whole YouTube channel Here.

Links:

The Lorax Scarf on Ravelry is HERE. There is a 20% discount until the 15th September. You can read a bit more about it HERE.

If you fancy it, you can support me on Patreon HERE. Ta very much.

HERE is my review of the Dear Ewe products. I forgot to mention in the episode that until next Sunday the 8th September you can get a discount. The code is in the blog post.

The blanket join is from the Redagape casual granny blanket. It’s HERE.

The Kinesis Sweater. Wish me luck!

Yippee Yarn Yay’s Star Cluster Tee.

See below for some pictures of what is in the episode!!

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x

 

 

The Lorax Scarf. A Crochet Chevron Pattern & Tutorial

This is the Lorax Scarf. Made as an experiment for some soft merino yarn that the yarn company, Rico sent me a few months ago. The project evolved into something else. There wasn’t going to be enough yarn to make the kind of scarf I like (proper warm and snuggly) so I prepared for a major stash dive. There is a mix of all sorts in this but still only eight colours. Scrutinise it and you’ll see they’re all slightly different shades and different yarn weights. You know what? No one ever looks that closely!

As there were so many lovely comments about this scarf over on Instagram and YouTube, I thought it would be nice to make it into a proper pattern to release. There is a download available to buy on Ravelry in both UK and US terms and I’ll do the usual 20 % discount for the next couple of weeks (let’s say until mid September). The pattern has all the info you need: written pattern, chart (hand drawn this time – speedier than software), pics, table to show colour rows etc. I also included a couple of other suggestions as to how you could use this pretty eyelet chevron stitch.

The pattern is available on Ravelry HERE.

I also recorded a video tutorial for the Eyelet Chevron stitch. It shows a swatch being worked up in the stitch which should be good for the more visual learners out there. It’s HERE.

If you would like to support me via Patreon, you can do that to HERE.

Thank you very much.

I can’t claim to have come up with the name myself. One rather splendid podcast viewer said it reminded them of Dr Seuss’s The Lorax and I have to say, I agree!! So it couldn’t really be called anything else, the colours were just too similar and before I knew it, it was The Lorax!

I do hope you like it. And don’t forget to let me know if you make it. Cheers. x

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xx

A Dear Ewe Review!

I have a new mug and it’s crochet related!! Huzzah! I also have some other new goodies too. I do hope you want to hear about them because I’m going to tell you how I got them! (yep, I have been gifted them for freeeeee in exchange for this totally open, sincere review… And good vibes).

In June I met Heather from Keep Calm and Carry On UK, a UK based crochet blogger. We were both attending The Crochet Sanctuary and it was fabulous to get to chat to another crochet designer for a whole weekend! (that’s another story, involving ghosts and balloons, if I ever get to writing it down). Not too long ago Heather set up Dear Ewe, an online shop dedicated to the sort of bits and bobs that are perfect gifts for craft enthusiasts. I’d been lusting after a crochet chart mug since Christmas but Father Christmas didn’t bring me one, booo. However, it seems Christmas has come early this year because just before Granny Square Day, I got a message from Heather to say a parcel was in the post with lots of goodies in it! Whaaat?!! I saw the email in the evening and the following morning the postman knocked at my door.

 

The first thing I did was tear open the box to get to my new granny mug but that wasn’t all that was in the box! I had no idea I was going to get such a treat! I also got lots of quality postcards with beautifully designed quotes written upon them (I got two packs of those so I’m putting one aside as part of a giveaway that I’ll probably do on my next Crochet Podcast.) I also got the best bag! It’s a huuuuge canvas tote with crochet charts printed on it. It’s proper sturdy too and I’ve already been lugging my wips about in it over the last few days. How lucky am I?!?

Let me say more about the mug. Oh, how wonderful it is! Perfectly timed too as within a day or so of it arriving I broke my favourite Pendle witch mug (this might be karma at work, I’m not sure)… I don’t think this one will break quite so easily, Heather sources her mugs from the World Capital of Ceramics!! (that’s Stoke on Trent). And the print is not going to go anywhere either, that chart is not going to come off in the wash. I’m sat here at my desk with my lush new mug, filled to the brim with hot tea. I am a happy woman.

Bezza would call this cake “healthy”. It’s courgette and walnut. :p

Of course, I popped over to the shop to see what was new and there’s loads of stuff there. There are a couple of smaller project bags that I have my eye on, lovely greetings cards and lots of other mug designs too, all of which go beyond crochet. If you’re a different sort of crafter there is something for you too, so whether you’re a knitter or an embroiderer you are catered for. And the crochet patterns are pretty cute as well.

Buying from a small business means the world to the person that created it. Until Sunday the 8th of September I have a super secret code offering you a 10% discount over on Dear Ewe. The code: ZEENS10. You’ve got just over a week, so you’d better get moving!

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I am stuffed to the brim with cake, this bag is stuffed with all the yarn.

xxx

Z&R Crochet Podcast 56. Bag Lady

This one does not bode well. If I can almost fall asleep whilst editing then I really ought to be worried about your ability to keep your eyes open when you watch. Must buck my ideas up for next time!

As always, please click on the pic above to go directly to the episode or go HERE to my YouTube channel. Cheers!

Links:

The blog post about handmade crochet hooks is HERE.

The info, links and videos for the Granny Bag etc is HERE.

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Handmade Crochet Hooks

I was at a NYE party, playing ping pong in the garden of some friends (we also played table football and darts but it wasn’t a weird, sport based party and it’s not that relevant to the hook story at all). When it wasn’t my turn to badly flail a bat about, I wandered into the workshop/garage that’s in the garden. Spying tools, bits of wood and things made out of the wood, I dared to ask if I might have help to create a handmade crochet hook. Don’t you just love the idea of making a tool by hand, that is in turn, used to create handmade things?! I’d seen lots of beautiful wooden hooks on Instagram so I knew it could be done. You can look for hashtags like #woodencrochethooks or #crochethooks and they pop up.

It was just a fleeting request rather than a full on conversation, nevertheless, a couple of weeks after New Year, the first hook turned up.  Several weeks later, after lots of going back and forth with design ideas we felt confident that we had cracked it. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe how many different shapes, lengths, angles, types of wood we went through to learn what came out best! During this process, I got to learn about woodwork, and Paul (whose hobby is woodwork) learned a bit about crochet. I think we’ve both learned where our strengths are. This is what we’ve worked out: I’ll stick to crochet and he’ll stick to woodwork.

However, it’s quite addictive and I do like to try new things. I break a lot of sticks trying to make the perfect hook, I’ve broken myself too (blisters! ouch! knife cuts! ouch!).  I really should leave the hook making to Paul though. I’ll play with wool.

handmade crochet hooks waiting to be finished off

And so, that is how we became Kirk & Roger, a little side line for us both. It’s really good fun!

It has been a while since I’ve worked with someone else. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it. It’s good to discuss ideas and see how new ventures come out of those discussions. It hadn’t occurred to me that we could sell the hooks we made, that was Paul’s idea. I was just thinking of myself and my own hook collection, which to be honest, isn’t much of a surprise!!

Turned crochet hooks

We both have different favourites when it comes to the hook designs. I like whittled ones and Paul likes them turned. This is good because it means there are lots to choose from. I don’t see why we need to restrict it to one or the other. They’re completely handmade so it is impossible to make the same hook twice. Whether it’s whittled, turned or a bit of both, each and every one is unique.

We’re learning that smaller sizes are the most popular but they’re trickier and more time consuming to make.

This is apple wood being turned on a lathe.

The wood we use is locally sourced. Sometimes directly from our own gardens here in Devon. The very first whittled hook was made from the quince bush that grows in my garden.  Apparently quince is a good choice as it’s very hard. An Insta friend called Sarah saw this and we arranged a meet up for tea and cake (we might not have had cake actually, but perhaps we ought to have done). She very generously brought along a car boot full of quince for us [your hook is being made, Sarah!]. I believe it’s the same for most fruit trees, so it’s a good job we also had a bag of apple tree branches donated.

These things take time, you can’t use green wood so we’ve been waiting for everything to dry out a bit. Now that this is happening we’re working on a new batch of hooks that we hope to have in the Etsy shop in a couple of weeks or so.

The turned ones can be made from reclaimed bits of furniture and such. Where possible we will recycle materials to give them a new life.

Each hook is made by Paul into a mostly finished hook, it is then passed to me to crochet with. I’ll decide what needs to be done to make it the best it can be, I then pass it back for tweaking, sanding etc. This process happens at least twice because we want each hook to be perfect. Once that’s done, there are a minimum of three coats of stuff called tung oil that get applied. The oil makes the hook smooth and it also adds strength. Phew! It’s quite a process!

What do you think? Like them? I love em!

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More pics below…

A secret advance peek at a photo shoot the hooks were sent on… more on that another day.

They didn’t make the cut.

Some early versions

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