Wednesday, 14 September 2016

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Crochet Mermaid Tail Blanket Pattern information and Q&A

Any of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen my mermaid tails. I have been busy making them over the summer and selling them at Croyde Craft Market




Every time I would post a photo, I would get lots of requests for the pattern. I have been so busy over the summer that all I could do was try to help people as best I could with encouraging them to make their own version and apologising for only having the pattern in my head.



As I was reaching the end of my run of summer markets, I was chatting to some lovely ladies who were on holiday about the tails. One of them (I forget their names sorry!) ran a yarn shop and also taught crochet. We were talking about how people were requesting the pattern and they pointed out that I can only make so many tails … it wasn’t physically possible for me to make tails for all the people who were asking!

They also talked about how it was only a matter of time before my design would be inevitably ripped off and how others would profit from my hard work. They mentioned how one of the ladies had made a cocoon blanket and within weeks, someone else had made one based from her pictures and was now selling the pattern.


Encouraged by their words and heeding their advice, I decided to make the leap and sort out the pattern!



It is available for sale as a digital download on Etsy, Ravelry and my website in either USA terms or UK stitch terms.


I have been receiving wonderful feedback about my pattern and I’m now starting to see photographs of tails made from my pattern trickling out – it is SO exciting! I can’t tell you how much I love seeing the tails made from my pattern!



I also thought I would answer some of the recurring questions I have been getting about the pattern:



Is this a full sleeping bag blanket?

No! It is a snuggly pouch for your feet then splits at the back to be a traditional lap blanket. It is open at the back which means you can get in and out of it very easily!



Do you have a child sized version of the pattern?

No, there is no need! The blanket pattern is super flexible, if you require a smaller tail you can simply omit the last rows – once the shaping is done for the foot pouch, you only need complete the rows that take your blanket to the desired length. It is worked from the bottom up so is easy to tweak to suit your needs.


Do you have a larger adult sized version of the pattern?

Again, no need! The foot pouch section of the pattern is a one size fits all – the blanket section is easy to make longer, wider or both!


Do I have to use the recommended yarn weights?

No! The pattern calls for one strand of chunky yarn (the USA equivalent of UK chunky is Bulky) and two strands of double knit yarn to be held at the same time. These recommended yarn weights make for a nice, dense heavy textured blanket.

The pattern is not gauge specific so if you don’t want such a thick fabric, use less strands or substitute the yarn weights. You can mix it up however you want! 

The only important thing is the hook size. If you use less strands or finer yarns, you will have a lighter blanket.

My advice to everybody is grab whatever yarn you fancy, have a play with the first couple of rows and see how the blanket works up.


What yarn do you use?

All sorts! I raid my embarrassingly large stash of yarn and play with colour. I spend more time concentrating on my colour choices than I do the yarn brands. Mix and match to suit your taste!

The mermaid tail I made for the pattern itself uses one strand of James Brett Chunky and 2 strands of Stylecraft DK.



I do recommend however that you use 100% acrylic yarn so your tails are fully machine washable.


Can I sell the mermaid tail I make from your pattern?

Yes of course!

A little credit to me the designer is always appreciated but not obligatory.


I think that covers everything – if you have any other questions just shout and I will do my best to answer :D

Happy crocheting!

Robin xx
Continue reading Crochet Mermaid Tail Blanket Pattern information and Q&A

Sunday, 10 April 2016

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Happy Jellyfish Keyring Pattern

Eek! An exciting (and somewhat nerve-wracking) step forward has happened to me today – I have put my first crochet pattern up for sale!



My happy little jellyfish keyrings have been super popular and so I decided, after months of talking about it, to actually publish the pattern for them so you can make your own!

The pattern comes with permission to sell your items as I have found there is nothing more frustrating than finding a pattern you love, only to see it has got strict guidelines about NOT selling your finished items.



The pattern is for sale either on my website (here) Etsy (here) or Ravelry (here) and I have published both UK and USA terminology versions so hopefully everyone is covered.

If you have any questions or need additional help, feel free to drop me a message – the fastest way to get me is probably via my Facebook Page.

I’d love to see any happy jellies you make :D



Happy Crocheting!


Robin xx
Continue reading Happy Jellyfish Keyring Pattern

Saturday, 12 March 2016

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Crochet Happy Poop FREE PATTERN

My friend asked me to make her daughter a “friendly happy poo that could be cuddled and carried about” as she has issues with deliberately holding it in herself, and as she is so young, the doctor recommended she “make friends with her poo” … as much as we chuckled about this, it can be a serious problem especially as children get older so we are hoping having a poo buddy will help her!



When I made this, I uploaded it to my Instagram as a lot of people there share my same sense of humour but I am happy to admit, I did hesitate before sharing it on my Facebook page. Would people get it? Needless to say, the post exploded and got a ridiculous amount of likes, shares and comments – most from people asking for the pattern!

I certainly was never expecting people to a/ get it and b/ want the pattern! The whole concept of my poo receiving so much attention coupled with my toilet humour, naturally makes the whole thing both hilarious and crazy at the same time!

Needless to say, I duly sat down and tried to decipher my freestyled poop pattern and here it is!



For my large cuddly poo, I used chunky Cygnet yarn and a 4mm hook. My poo worked up to be roughly 10 inches tall but if you’d like a smaller poop, using any dk yarn and a 3mm hook will shrink the size.




Happy Poop Pattern

(USA Stitch Terms)

Materials needed:

·        Chunky Yarn (I used brown Cygnet Chunky in Chocolate from Sconch Yarn Shop) – you will get 2 turds from one ball
·        A scrap of white dk yarn for the eyes
·        4mm hook
·        12mm safety eyes
·        Stuffing

Stitches used:

Magic ring / circle
Sc (single crochet) (UK dc)
Inc (increase = 2sc in same stitch)
Dec (decrease = work 1 sc over 2 stitches)
Slip Stitch (ss)

** Repeat the pattern between the asterisks “*  *” until end of round

Work in spirals, do not join at the end of your rounds.



Eyes: use white dk yarn and make first!

1.      Magic ring, 6sc (6)  - do not pull the magic ring completely closed just yet!
2.     2sc into each stitch around (12)

Fasten off yarn leaving long tail for sewing to the face.

Insert the post of your safety eye into the middle of the magic ring, pull tight to close around post. Set to one side ready for attaching later.




Poop body

Stuff as you go to shape.

1.      Magic ring, 6 sc (6)
2.     2sc into each stitch around (12)
3.     *1sc, inc*  (18)
4.     *2sc, inc* (24)
5.     *3sc, inc* (30)
6.     *3sc, dec* (24)
7.     *2sc, dec* (18)
8.     *2sc, inc* (24)
9.     *3sc, inc* (30)
10. *4sc, inc* (36)

11.   – 19. Sc in each stitch around (36)

20. *4sc, dec* (30)

21. – 22. Sc in each stitch around (30)

23. *3sc, dec* (24)
24. *2sc, dec* (18)

25.   sc in each stitch around (18)

26. *2sc, inc* (24)
27. *3sc, inc* (30)
28. *4sc, inc* (36)

29. – 37. Sc in each stitch around (36)

38. *4sc, dec* (30)
39.   sc in each stitch around (30)

40. *3sc, dec* (24)
41.   sc in each stitch around (24)

Insert safety eyes (complete with crochet white attached) in-between rows 34 & 35 a few stitches apart. Push the back of the safety eyes FIRMLY into position making sure they click into place.

If you find your eye whites are too thick and making the safety eyes tricky to close properly, remove the eye posts from the center of the whites and push them in between the stitches just to the side of your magic ring center instead.

Sew the eye whites into place.

Continue with body

42. *2sc, dec* (18)
43.   sc in each stitch around (18)

44. *sc, dec* (12)
45.   sc in each stitch around (12)

Finish stuffing the body.

46. *2sc, dec* (9)

Chain 5, slip stitch to base of chain

47. *1sc, dec* (6)

Fasten off.

Sew yarn end around the front loops of the 6 stitches, draw tight to close.


Embroider your happy face however you wish, I added felt blushy cheeks and a bow which I sewed firmly into place.


Now cuddle your happy poop!




If you spot any errors in the pattern or are stuck at any point, feel free to leave a message here on the blog or ask on my Facebook page and I will be happy to help!

Happy turd making!

Robin x



Continue reading Crochet Happy Poop FREE PATTERN

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

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Crochet jellyfish FREE PATTERN

Last August, Tonia from The Periwinkle Knitting Cafe asked me to design a couple of crochet patterns for her Sea Life Bunting Project.  She wanted a simple beginner’s pattern and a slightly more advanced one so of course; I opted for the simplest of all creatures for my beginner’s pattern: the jellyfish!  (I also wrote a Starfish pattern which I will upload at some point soon!)



The patterns were sold in her shop until October as little packs and then all the completed sea creatures were donated back to Tonia who duly strung them into bunting which she in turn donated back to the town. The bunting is now in the hands of the local council and will be used for local events in Ilfracombe!




Since the project is now over, and because I have been utterly crap at posting this sooner, I thought I would grab a moment to post the jellyfish pattern here for free!

Your jellyfish can be made from any scraps of yarn you have lying about and, as it is made using  double crochets (or if you speak in uk terms= treble crochets) it works up very quickly indeed.

I used dk yarn and a 4mm hook and my jellyfish worked up to be approximately 6 inches wide at the dome when folded flat and the tendrils were approx. 9 – 10 inches long … ISH haha jellyfish are tricky to measure!



Right –  ON TO THE PATTERN!



Jellyfish crochet pattern

USA terminology

Ss = slip stitch
Ch = chain
Sc = single crochet (insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull through, 2 loops on hook, yarn over and pull through)
Dc = double crochet (yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull through, 3 loops on hook, yarn over pull through 2, 2 loops on hook, yarn over pull through final 2 loops)


** Repeat the pattern between the asterisks “*  *” until end of round
Body

Magic ring to start (or ch4, ss to join)

1.       Ch2 (counts as first dc) 11dc into ring, ss to join.  (12)

2.      Ch2 (counts as first dc) 1dc in same stitch. *2dc in each stitch* ss to join (24)

3.      Ch2 (counts as first dc) 2dc in next stitch. *1dc in next stitch, 2dc in next stitch* ss to join (36)

4.      Ch2 (counts as first dc) 1dc in next stitch, 2dc in next stitch. *1dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in next stitch* ss to join. (48)

5.      Ch2 (counts as first dc) 1dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in next stitch. *1dc in next 3stitches, 2dc in next stitch* ss to join (60)

6-10. Ch2 (counts as first dc) 1dc in each stitch around, ss to join (60) Cut yarn and weave in ends.

11. Attach new yarn to any stitch, 1sc in each stitch around, ss to join (60) 

Cut yarn and weave in ends.



Curly Tendrils (make 3)

1.       Ch75 (approximately)

2.      In second chain from hook, 2sc. *2sc in each ch* Cut yarn and leave long tail for sewing.



Thin tendrils (make 5)

1.       Ch55 (approximately) Cut yarn and leave long tail for sewing.


Sew tendrils to the middle center underside of round 1 of the jellyfish body.



:)
Continue reading Crochet jellyfish FREE PATTERN

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

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Vintage Crochet Granny Square Repair Tutorial


A word of warning before I begin. Repairing crochet is time consuming! I'm talking super sloooooow. You could probably crochet a new blanket faster than some take to repair but then you wouldn’t have the stories, history, sentimentality, fuzzy well-loved texture and downright awesomeness that a vintage crochet blanket brings. 

Someone took a lot of time, effort, love and, if they were anything like me, several colourful swear words to make that blanket once, so repair is the way forward.

I always feel a little sad when I see a lonely threadbare crochet blanket in the window of a charity shop so if you see one, rescue that poor thing, bring with home and give it some attention!



For this tutorial I am using a granny square. This method will work just as well for granny stripes and pretty much any other crochet pattern.

Supplies needed:

  • A sad blanket.


  • Yarn. Remember that stash of brightly coloured (probably cheap) acrylic yarn that you bought when you first learnt to crochet and don’t use anymore but don’t have the heart to get rid of? IT JUST FOUND ITS PURPOSE PEOPLE! Most of the old blankets I have seen / fixed are acrylic as any pure wool will have been long since destroyed by moths or are still kept as family heirlooms and won't pop up in a charity shop. Drag out those yarns that you now, as a total yarn snob, are embarrassed by and give them a cuddle. You missed them really. Don’t deny it.


  • A crochet hook. I tend to roughly gauge the size that was used by eye (generally a 4 or 5mm) and go down a size. It’ll stretch over time and you don’t want your repair sections to be baggier than the original after a few washes!


  • A large eye needle. Cheapy plastic ones tend to be the easiest for a job like this.


  • Small sharp scissors.




Carefully clean the wound. 

Slow and gentle is the way forward here.  You may find the old yarn is felted around itself or knotted into a total mess and you don’t want to make it any worse! Carefully snip away any of the damaged areas. More often than not you will need to cut away more than you think so don’t panic! It will look worse before it gets better.  Work your way back to a level where the original yarn is strong enough to hold. Be careful not to un-twist the loops of the original crochet you wish to keep.



Thread your yarn through your needle and then take the needle through the loops you wish to keep WORKING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION to which you would normally crochet.

If you are right handed, thread the yarn from left to right. If you are left handed, thread the yarn from right to left.

This yarn will be your working yarn from which you will crochet your new stitches.

You want to make sure you have carefully picked up all the loops from the old crochet stitches and that you have threaded your new yarn through them all.




If you are repairing a larger section, such as in this case, complete the rounds of your new section.



Attaching the new to the old:

Pick up the end of the yarn you threaded through the original loops. Make a slip knot and attach to your new square. Crochet your first 3dc cluster (UK trebles!).



Remove your hook and thread your working loop through the needle. You may wish to pull your loop up a bit longer for this.



Pass your needle back through the original stitches above, be careful not to push too hard or you may split your working yarn and get in a tangle!



Pull the needle, loop and any excess yarn through (a bit of brute force may be required!), reinsert your hook and pull your yarn tight again.





Complete your next 3dc cluster.



Remove the hook, thread the loop through your needle, pass back through the original loops, and repeat all the way round. (Don’t forget your ch3’s in the corner clusters!)



Done!



It is fiddly and time consuming so don’t rush yourself.

It is also VERY easy to misalign your clusters and not notice until the corners that your square isn’t square! I totally didn’t do that when taking these pictures for this tutorial … honest! HA HA FAIL.



This blanket lives with my friend Leila in a gorgeous little yurt in Devon. If you wish you visit it in all its repaired glory, you can! The yurt is available to rent here ;) 
Continue reading Vintage Crochet Granny Square Repair Tutorial