Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Friendship Blanket CAL



 I'd like to let you all know about a new CAL (crochet a long) that is starting.. NOW!


The Friendship Blanket CAL is the brainchild of Helen from Sunflower Cottage Crochet. 30 designers have teamed up to bring you 40 squares! Each square will be 9 inches, uses worsted weight yarn, and can be assembled to make a blanket. Pick and Mix which squares you want to make! The running theme is texture - and friendship!

What yarn to use?

The patterns are written for Worsted/Aran Weight yarn- some suggestions are:

Paintbox Simply Aran  100% Acrlyic, 100g/3.5 oz - 60 colours to choose from!

Yarn and Colours Epic - 100% cotton, 50g -101 shades of pure cotton!

How to join in?

I'll be updating this post every few days to update the new square releases, you can also follow Sunflower Cottage- the host of the CAL

Helen's Square kicks things off - you can find the pattern of the first square: the Friendship Square, here on the Sunflower Crochet Blog. 

If you'd like to read Helen's original post, that kick's off the CAL - click here.

All squares will remain free for the duration of the CAL. 

You can use the tag #Friendshipblanket2021 to see what others ar posting on social media.


Of course I jumped at the opportunity to join in, but you'll have to wait to see my square! 


And, for those who just can't wait - there is the option of purchasing the entire CAL right now. You can click this link for the bundle (affiliate link)


Square 1:
 


Square 2:















Happy 2021, 


and Happy Crocheting



Emma


Sunday, January 3, 2021

A Month of Love - Valentine's Blog Hop




 

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might know that my first blog was called 'How to Crochet a Heart' and featured.. well, mostly heart motifs! 

To start off 2021 on a positive note, I'm going back to my Valentine beginnings, and joining in on the 26 Days of Love Blog Hop. Hosted by Anvi's Granny.


Click Here for more details on Anvi's Granny's blog



We're starting in January to give you enough time to get your gifts ready for February, if that's your jam. 


Each day, a PDF will be made free to download - for that day only! You'll have to follow along via Joy's Blog - but I'll be reminding you via Instagram




If you'd like to get hold of all the patterns without waiting, you can get the entire bundle for $17 (US) That's a saving of $68! 

Click this link to access the discount (this is an affilate link, and I get a small percentage of sales) 




For the blog hop, I have re released one of my favourite heart patterns - The Wind Rose Heart. The premium ad free PDF now includes a chart, along with more detailed photos. I have chosen to keep a free version on the pattern on my blog, so it can be your choice to own a PDF copy, or access to blog!





During 2021, I will be tweaking some of my free patterns to make two versions available. 




Here's to an awesome new year! 



Happy Crocheting,


Emma.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

2020 Top 5 - My Best selling patterns



 Before I start this post, I'd like to say thanks you to everyone who bought a pattern, or looked at my blog, clicked an ad, or shared something this year. Every cent keeps me designing and creating more things for you!

I've looked over the numbers, and these have been my best selling patterns from 2020

A couple of things to note: This year my best selling crochet pattern numbers have been influenced by the newsletter audience, and the Pattern of the Month, and none of the patterns were published in 2020! 

If you aren't already subscribed - you can do so here: 

And you'll get access to the Pattern of the Month Discount.

This is the first year that the Starburst Square hasn't topped the charts.. since 2015, so I'll do an honourable mention - and also take the opportunity to say I'm in the middle of giving it a revamp to match the rest of my patterns. 

Starburst Square. (2015)

Ravelry Link

Etsy Link


And, now from 5 to 1, the top 5 best selling patterns of 2020.


Number 5 - the Textured Bag (2018) Pattern of the Month December 2020

I must have been having an off day when I named this guy. But it's such a cute versatile bag. Glad to know it's being made and loved. This is the only pattern from the list that isn't currently on Etsy, which might mean it would have been higher! 


Ravelry link



Number 4- the Fruit Cup Fade (2019)

This one actually hasn't been on sale anywhere, so it's pretty cool to know it's been so popular. It's a breeze to make, and so bright and happy.


Ravelry Link

Etsy Link


Number 3 - Belle Brioche (2018)

This hat was featured in the 'Hat not Hate' anti bullying program this year. It features a beautiful crochet cable and uses the crochet brioche technique. 


Ravelry Link

Etsy Link


Number 2- Lambie Llamie (2019) Pattern of the Month November 2020

This pattern started out as an 'Intro to Ami' class. Make either a Lamb or a Llama with a few minor adjustments (or both) Once you are confident with shapes, you could mix up the ears and create a variety of lovey animals. 


Ravelry Link

Etsy Link



And now...  the best selling pattern of 2020 has been



The Fern Gully Bag (2017) Pattern of the Month October 2020


I'm really proud of this design, and I love that it has been so popular this year- sometimes the 'oldies' don't get as much love as the new releases. Thank you so much for the love. 

Ravelry Link

Etsy Link



As always, thanks for reading. I know 2020 has been an unusual year (to say the least) and I hope 2021 bring you health and happiness.


Happy Crocheting


Emma.







Thursday, November 26, 2020

Candy Striped Basket - Free Pattern




 Time for a new - and free - pattern!








Introducing the Candy Striped Basket. 


This basket is worked into a wooden base bag, something I've been wanting to try for a while! I am using a 15 x 25 cm size - this pattern can be modified for larger (or smaller) but you will need to do some calculations for your yarn usage. This pattern works on a stitch count multiple of 5. 


It also uses front post double crochets, for a technique that is often referred to as a crochet brioche - or briochet! -as it mimics the brioche technique in knitting. 







The first 4 rows were tough to work into - so I recommend going slow and taking a few breaks. 

You'll also need a 4 mm hook, a stitch marker, scissors,

and 2 colours of Aran or 10ply cotton  

I have used Sheepjes Cahlista (50g/85 m) C1 280 Lemon (2 balls) and C2 519 Freesia (1 ball) 

This pattern is written in US terms



ch- chain
dc - double crochet
FP - front post
sk- skip
st - stitch
sl st - slip stitch
C1 - colour one
C2 - colour two




Join C1 to any hole, sc into every hole around. The side facing you will become the base.





Row 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc) and dc into same st, *dc in next st, 2dc in next st, rep from * to last st, dc in last st, slt st join.



Row 2: Ch 3 (does not count as dc) FPdc around starting chain from Row 1, and next dc, *ch 1, sk 1, 2 FPdc, rep from * around to last st, ch 1, sk 1, sl st to 1st FPdc. Secure C1 with a stitch marker, do not fasten off. 



Row 3:  With C2, make a standing FPdc around first skipped st from Row 1, *ch 2, sk 2 FPdc, FPdc into next skipped dc from Row 1, rep from * around, ch 2, sk 2 FPdc, sl st to standing FPdc. Secure C2 with a stitch marker, do not fasten off. 



Row 4: Ch 3 (does not count as dc) FPdc around 1st FPdc from Row 2, and next FPdc, *ch 1, sk 1, 2 FPdc, rep from * around to last st, ch 1, sk 1, sl st to 1st FPdc. secure C1 with a stitch marker, do not fasten off. 



Row 5: Ch 3 (does not count as dc) FPdc around 1st FPdc from Row 3, *ch 2, sk 2, FPdc, rep from * around to last st, ch 1, sk 1, sl st to 1st FPdc. secure C2 with a stitch marker, do not fasten off. 



Row 6 - 19: Alternate rows 4 and 5.



Row 20: Ch 3, FPdc around 1st st, and every st around.


Fasten off, and weave in ends.






I hope you enjoy your basket. As you can see from photos, I'll be using mine for yarn! 


Happy Crocheting,




Emma





Pattern designed and written by Emma Wilkinson©
No restrictions are placed on finished items made with this pattern, however the pattern may not be resold or copied in any form. Pictures remain the property of Emma Wilkinson Designs





Monday, November 23, 2020

4 Tips for Teaching Kids Crochet and Yarn Crafts



I've taught a few classes, in a few different situations, and today want to give you some tips for teaching crochet, and other yarn crafts to kids.


These are going to depend on the age of the children, class size and how long you have - whether or not it's a one time class or on going. Each of these should be considered to plan a great lesson. 


Tip #1

Stick to chains.

This is a crochet specific tip. If you have a limited time, I'd recommend just learning chains as an introduction to crochet, especially if it's a one off class. It teaches kids to hold to hook and yarn, how to get them to flow together and even a lesson in tension. The finished chain could be made into a bracelet or necklace! 

If you have the time to go one step further and introduce a slip stitch or single crochet - crochet mesh is also a great first project- it grows fast and still uses mostly chains.

These Chain Loop Pom Poms are a great pattern to work with chains


This Loopy Worsted Necklace is a little more advanced, but can be something that is worked up to 


Keep reading to the end for some more chain ideas!

Tip #2

Forget the chains.

OK, yes this is completely contradictory advice, but my next tip is to start off the work. Work a few rows and have them build up from it, either from a granny square or simple rows back and forth. This also works for knitting. I've found the hardest concept in teaching crochet is the foundation row, and how and why we skip chains, and same for knitting and casting on. The actual stitches can be fun to learn, but if you are too bogged down in all the things you need to know to start it can be difficult. I find half double crochets a good first stitch to learn. They have one less action than a double, but still incorporate the yarn over. from there you add or subtract an action to make different stitches. It seems a bit obvious to say, but for knitting - stick to basic knit/garter stitch. 


premake a few squares to get everyone started!
Use my Good Old Granny Squares pattern.


Tip #3

Be patient.

This goes for kids and adult alike - crochet and knit are supposed to be very relaxing, but for a beginner it can be the exact opposite. Take it slow, think of several ways to explain a concept and one might stick. Some people need to know why they are doing something, and others will just need to know how. 



Tip #4

Complete an item.

I've found most students like to work to an end goal. A scarf for a toy or a washcloth are good uses for little swatches, or even add them as an embellishment to something bigger makes the end goal more impressive.









Thanks for reading,


Happy Crocheting (and knitting!)


Emma

LoveCrafts

Friday, November 20, 2020

Trillian Crochet Earrings


 


Trillian Earrings are inspired by the Trillium Gradiflorum - a three petalled flower- however my tiny earrings aren't limited to white blossoms - so I've gone with the 'Hitchhiker's Guide' character Trillian! 







I've used a 2.5 mm hook and a fingering weight yarn - Yarn and Colours 'Must Have' in Fuchsia, a mercerised cotton (they come in cute 10 g balls)  but I think they would look amazing with a thread and tiny hook! You'll also need a needle, scissors, 2 x earring hooks and optional 2 x jump rings and pliers. 



It's so easy - just two rounds - so you can make one for all your friends!


US terms are used

There are a couple of special stitches/techniques you'll need to use. 


magic ring - tutorial here.


starting cluster (st-cl) - ch 2, yo, insert hook in sp, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, [yo, insert hook in same sp, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook] yo, pull through remaining loops on hook.


3 dc cluster (3dc-cl) Yo, insert hook in sp, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, [yo, insert hook in same sp, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook]x2 , yo, pull up loop all 4 lps on hook


picot (pt) - ch 3, sl st through 1st chain.


other abbreviations

ch - chain

sc - single crochet

dc - double crochet

sl st - slip stitch

sp - space

yo - yarn over 

[ ] indicate section to be repeated.



Let's get started


Make a magic ring 

Round 1: St-cl (counts as 3dc-cl), [5 ch, 3dc-cl] twice, 5 ch, sl st to st-cl. (15ch, 3 3dc-cl)


Round 2: [3sc in next 5-ch sp, pt, 3sc in same ch sp] 3 times, sl st to 1st sc. (18sc, 3 pt)


Fasten off, weave in the middle end, but leave the end of round 2 for now. 

Now is the time to block, or even stiffen if you think it's needed.




Attaching earring hooks: I like to thread a jump ring onto the end before sewing it in tightly (pictured below) - if you don't have jump rings, you can attach the hook this same way. Make sure the end in sewn in tight. 

Then, using the pliers, open the ring wide enough to put the hook ring in, and then close



I hope you enjoy this super quick pattern!


Happy Crocheting,


Emma



Copyright © 2020 Emma Wilkinson Designs All Rights Reserved

No restrictions are placed on finished items made with this pattern, however the pattern may not be resold or copied in any form. Pictures remain the property of Emma Wilkinson Designs






 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Christmas Round Up!

 It's time for my selection of CHRISTMAS CROCHET PATTERNS! - no messing around, let's get straight into it! 



First up - the 12 Days of Christmas - the CAL I was involved in last year has had a little re-vamp. Two patterns have been swapped out since last year. You can buy each individually on Ravelry - or save when you get the full set of 12. Included is my Christmas Star. There will be a new Yarnish CAL this year, and I'll post when I know more about it. EDIT: scroll to the end of the post to see their 2020 Christmas PAL


The advent CAL I was involved in the year before that is still around and kicking - this one was a bit of a different concept - add a motif to a table runner each day of the Advent, and by Christmas morning you have a finished table decoration to use. You can find the free blog posts here, or find everything packaged in a single e book here


While we're on sets - Jen from Crochet to Play has the loveliest Nativity set I've seen




She also has some cute ornament sets, like Santa and his friends.


Back to me for a second :) And here we have a set of mine - St Niklaas Star and Bauble available as a set on Etsy or as individual patterns on Ravelry




For the table, some cute coasters - Peppermint Candy Coasters they are free on Ambassador Crochet's blog 



Now, we can't forget Christmas Stockings, and these mini stockings from Handmade by Raine caught my eye



I hope I got those creative juices following, and that you enjoy a handmade Christmas!


Happy Crocheting,


Emma. 


EDIT: Yarnish have announced their Christmas CAL for 2020, in this case it's a Christmas PAL - P stands for photo a long. It's a bit different as the pattern is out, but there will be a photo challenge you can join in on via Instagram...are you ready to see the pattern...


Sheep on the Shelf!




They are so cute! Designed by Renee Ettia of Shinygurumi


pattern linked here