I am very excited to announce the release of my latest pattern: Ana Violeta. This tunisian crochet shawl is perfect to welcome the colder season and it uses beautiful yarn from Eden Cottage Yarns. You can find more information on the Ravelry page here.
There are so many ways a design can come to be, and in this case it was meant as a gift to a special person. I created the first version of this shawl as a present to a wonderful woman that has been part of my life since I was born, to whom I owe much more that I could ever share in a few words.
Some family you don’t choose, and some you do: even though we are not blood relatives, she has always been family to me. She taught me so many things: how to pray, how to set the table, how to make meringue, and most importantly, how to crochet. She showed me how kindness can change people’s lives, that patience is a virtue and that love, true love, can last a lifetime.
Her name is Ana Violeta, and to her I dedicate this shawl.
This design has made me think of the power that our projects have: how much love we put into them and how much love we can give if we present them as a gift. I don’t usually crochet for others, and therefore when I do it is extra special for me. Do you usually knit or crochet for others? Or have you ever dedicated a project to someone special that is no longer with you? Let me know in the comments.
Finally, as a little treat for you I am offering a 50% discount on this pattern until the 13th November, just use the code “TREAT50” when you are checking out on Ravelry.
I know it has been a long time since I have posted. Too long. Anyone still there?
I could say I was too busy or another excuse along those lines, but to be honest I just couldn’t find something to say and I didn’t want to force it.
Despite this dry spell I have kept on creating and designing, and today I am happy to share a sneak peek of a new shawl pattern: Ana Violeta. Because this shawl was originally created as a present to someone very dear to my heart, I felt like finally I had something to share.
I will post about how this shawl came to be soon, it is nice and exciting to share my stories with you again.
Hope you are all well, happy and surrounded by yarn 🙂
Ufff…. it feels like forever since I started this design but it is finally here! You can find it on Ravelry here.
This tunisian crochet shawl is constructed using simple stitches and increases, and you can find a tutorial for all stitches in this space. Below are the pattern details and the tutorials which I think would be useful to check out.
1 100g skein Ginger’s Hand Dyed Yakety-Yak 4ply (100grams/366metres/400yards 60% Merino, 20% Yak, 20% Silk) in Sound and Fury (Col A)
2 100g skein Ginger’s Hand Dyed Yakety-Yak 4ply (100grams/366metres/400yards 60% Merino, 20% Yak, 20% Silk) in Crunchy Leaves (Col B)
4mm/ US size 6 Tunisian hook with extension (min 80 cm)
1 removable stitch marker
22 sts and 25 rows in Tss to 10 cm/ 4in using 4mm/ US size 6 hook (or size needed to achieve gauge)
I have another video tutorial for you guys today, here I am showing how to work another type of tunisian crochet increase. As I have mentioned I wanted to do a couple of tutorials to make sure that everyone that wants to crochet my next pattern can use them as reference.
Tunisian crochet is not very popular and I find it difficult sometimes to search the web looking for stitches and such because everyone calls them or explains them differently, using different terms and symbols. Unlike regular crochet where everything is now standardised with tunisian we still have a bit to go to make sure that we all speak a universal language.
So to make things easier I have worked hard building a library of tunisian crochet resources in this blog which you can access to work my tunisian crochet patterns and to help you get familiarised with the technique.
Without planning for it, my blog has turned into quite an honest, vulnerable place for me this year. Even though I still share all my yarn and crochet pursuits I am also sharing my feelings, fears and struggles around designing and creating, and I now consider it as a big part of my path towards becoming a braver and more authentic person. For this reason I couldn’t not write this post, no matter how hard it has turned out to explain my reasons.
The free vs paid pattern debate has been something that has always been in the background of the designer world, always lurking. Some people believe that more free patterns should be available, some people believe it makes professional designers’ work more difficult and some people believe there is a place for both. I personally consider myself in the latter category: I think free and paid patterns have a different purpose and people are more and more aware of the value of a paid pattern that has been professionally designed and tested versus a free pattern that probably has not. However I must recognise that it has been a long road for designers to get to this point where their work is valued enough for people to be willing to pay a few pounds for it (which is still clearly not enough), so I understand their frustration.
If you follow my blog you will know that so far I have offered all my patterns for free. The main reason for this was time: I did not have the time to get my patterns to a place and quality where I would feel comfortable to sell them. I work a full time job, which means that I can support myself without having to be paid for my “hobby” and therefore I didn’t see the point in investing the time to sell patterns since I really didn’t need the money.
Well, here I am, a few months later, with a new design coming up and setting everything up to make it my first paid pattern. It turns out, that investing the time was not only possible, but necessary for me to start getting used to the idea that I may not be who I always thought I was. That I may be more than the girl that always had top grades at every single subject in school but always performed less than average in any art class.
The thing is, it has never and it may never be about needing the money for me. I am not saying I am rich and money will never be an issue, I am saying that the value of selling patterns for me is a lot more than the income that comes from them, which let’s face it: it will be very small. It will however, always be about taking myself and my craft (not hobby) seriously. It will always be about challenging and proving to myself that I can do this. That this is not a pastime, a hobby, something on the side that I happen to do, but instead that creating through my designs is a part of me, part of who I am, and my stubborn engineer-you-must-always-be-efficient brain should finally embrace it.
We all grow up with an idea of who we should be, who people around us expect us to be. This craft and the path that is taking me is my way to come to terms with who I am and who I want to be, and learning that it is enough. Learning that it is OK to do something even though it makes you lose money, it is OK to be “arty” as well as logical and brainy, it is OK to be myself. It is about one day finally thinking of myself as creative without choking up.
So here I go. Stay tuned for my upcoming pattern “Ocaso”, a tunisian crochet shawl. It has taken months and months to get to this point, but I couldn’t be more proud to have gotten here.
Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. Mine has been quite busy on the crochet front as I have been getting my pattern ready for release as well as planning for my next designs of the year, all very exciting!
My latest pattern uses two types of tunisian crochet increases so wanted to share tutorials for them to make sure everyone knows how to work them. The first one I am sharing today is the yarn over (YO) increase, it is very easy and it is useful as both an increase and to create lace patterns in tunisian crochet.
I have decided to do a few video tutorials since they take less time than the photo ones, I would really like your feedback to know if this works for you as well so just let me know in the comments.
I will be back soon with another tutorial and of course my new pattern!
We all need to recharge every now and then. As I get older, that every now and then becomes more frequent and even more necessary. Sometimes, I simply recharge by spending an afternoon in my couch, watching movies and crocheting, but other times a deeper recharging experience is required and what better option than traveling to somewhere new and sunny.
A couple of friends and I spent five days in Lisbon during the bank holiday weekend and it was bliss. Walking through those narrow streets, stopping for tea and knitting, a gelato every day and sun shining on our faces. Oh how I need it!
It is very easy to go down a path where being busy is valued over our wellbeing. Where we get trapped in a consumerism rabbit hole that makes us work harder and longer. Where we forget how to listen to our bodies and look for the signs that tell us that we should stop. Stop and take walk, stop and listen to music, stop and knit, stop and read a book. Anything that feels good and gets you to unwind and feel comfortable in your own skin again.
The one advice I would give (and I have to continue to give to myself) is to stop apologising and justifying the little or big things you need to do to get yourself back in alignment. If you needed to spend the whole weekend in bed but it felt great, so what? If you are the only one in your office getting away from the desk at lunch because you need it, don’t feel bad for one minute. If you need a friend rather than being alone, trust me: a true friend doesn’t need you to justify or explain why you called out of the blue asking for company.
So take a minute to think: what does your body and your mind really need right now to feel in balance again? Then grab your courage and just do it: no excuses, no apologies, no thinking of what others may think. And I say “courage” because being brave is not only about the big decisions in life, is about the smaller ones as well. Be you, who you need to be right now and stop apologising to others for trying to be at peace with yourself. That is true courage to me.
I know I am not there yet myself, these words are as much for you as they are for me. I am a work in progress and realising that is what really counts.
It’s been a while since I have shared a tutorial with you guys, they take quite a bit of time but I have noticed that a lot of the traffic to the blog is to check out tutorials and patterns so I am sharing another one today and there are a couple more on the way.
When teaching tunisian crochet I find that the tunisian purl stitch is a stitch some people struggle with while others find it just fine, so don’t get discouraged if it is a bit awkward at first, it may take some getting used to but it is a very good stitch to learn since it gives lovely texture to your fabric and also counteracts curling (if you don’t want your edges to curl start and finish your project with a few rows of tunisian purl stitch).
March has come and gone and with it I bring you another monthly favourites post. This month has been very busy on all fronts, with a bit of sunshine among all the cloudy and rainy days, which is always welcomed. I am finishing my new design at the moment and already thinking of the next one of course.
As predicted, lately I am knitting more than crocheting. There are not many crochet patterns that attract my attention lately, and when they do it is usually for shawls and accessories but and my garment mood has still not left me. So I am taking it as it comes, making sure that it doesn’t go too long without crocheting something. I think my next project will be the Riveret top from the latest Pom Pom magazine (you can check out this post where I mentioned it), I have a short holiday coming up and it seems like the perfect project for sunnier days.
So, as usual I will begin with a few stats for the month:
WIPs: My main WIP this month has been the Rosemont Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I am so anxious to see how it will turn out, I have high expectations for this cardigan and I am a bit scared I will end up disappointed (I have always been a “glass half empty” kind of gal). I am using a 100% BFL yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners and it is so fluffy and soft it is like knitting with butter. Fingers crossed it will turn out alright!
I am also very proud to say that I picked up one of my dormant projects and it is almost finished, my Red Robin shawl by Helen Stewart. This was one of my first knitted shawls and had been abandoned after I made a mistake and needed to do a bit of unknitting. I don’t have any pictures yet but will share these soon.
Yarn purchased: The only yarn I bought this month was the one I bought at EYF, you can see my complete haul here.
So, the favourites for the month of March are:
I don’t have a favourite pattern that I have worked on this month, my Rosemont cardigan has been OK but nothing special really. In terms of patterns I have been browsing this month I have been dreaming with casting on every single pattern by Carrie Bostick Hoge, particularly her Sibella Pullover (for which I already have the yarn, thank you EYF!). There has not been much crochet that has appealed to me this month except for the Yoga Top by Elena Fedotova, I think this is definitely going to my queue.
Simply because I am proud to be finishing it at last, my Red Robin shawl wins for favourite WIP this month. It is a simple and small pattern (compared to my cardi which is huge at the moment) and therefore it has been my social/train project this month.
Even though I love the WYS yarn I am using for the Rosemont cardigan, I had forgotten how much I loved the Hedgehog Fibres yarn I was using for my Red Robin shawl. This is my first big project using variegated yarn and it was so nice to see how the colour changed through the stitches, never knowing what was coming next. The different tones of pink, fucsia and copper are just stunning. The base is their Sock yarn in the Pheasant colour way.
Favourite New Technique
I have a new section this month since I learned a new knitting technique and have been loving it: German short rows. Since most patterns call for wrap and turn short rows I had learned this but thought it was a bit easy to forget a step or miss a wrap. I had purchased a Craftsy class for short rows so decided to take a look and discovered the German short rows, now I am never going back to wrap and turn! There are loads of tutorials on Youtube and a free class on Craftsy so if you are not familiar with this technique I recommend you check it out.
My friend Sariann from Chopped Ginger made a beautiful project bag using some fabric I purchased when I went on a Highlands road trip last year. I love the size and have been using it for my Rosemont cardi all month. Sariann also sells beautiful yarn through her Wool Project, which focuses on sourcing from local farms, make sure to check it out. I love having such talented friends!
I also ordered the cutest stitch markers from Of Blithe Spirit, I just had to get them! They came in such a lovely package, there was even a green tea teabag in there 🙂
Other things I enjoyed this month:
Decaf Peach tea: This is my go-to tea for the evenings, the peach flavour makes me think of warmer days.
Sunbites Crackers: Have your tried these crackers? I keep buying them to take as a snack to work, they are soooo tasty.
That is if for last month’s favourites, let me know what you enjoyed during March in the comments section!
Happy bank holiday weekend! Hope you all have a relaxing time, crochet and knitting included 🙂 I am currently working on a new cardigan myself: Rosemont by Hannah Fettig from her book Home and Away. I love all the patterns in this book and it is so beautifully presented it is just nice to flip through it, recommend you guys check it out.
I am back today to share my EYF haul with you guys, I am very happy with my purchases and also very proud that I didn’t buy much yarn this time which is a very good idea considering the size of my stash at the moment. I’ll start with my favourite purchases of the festival: I think I stopped by Pink Hazel‘s stall about a dozen times during the festival and managed to buy two of Annette’s stunning creations.
The first is an interchangeable needle organiser in this awesome sheep fabric. She also sold these really cool rings for you to sew to your organiser and mark the sizes of the needles, so smart! This is SO WELL MADE. The quality of the fabric and the stitching, the details, it is just the perfect needle roll and I had to get it. She also sells a small travel version that I think I may have to buy from her online now!
My other purchase from Pink Hazel was one of her wristband project bags, again this is such a smart idea to have a bag you can hang from your wrist for those projects on the go. I got this cool stag fabric, love it! Again, really good quality, I am sure this bag will last for a long, long time. Thank you so much to Annette, it was great chatting with her and hope she is back next year 🙂 Oh, and check her website to buy online if you can’t wait until then.
Continuing the project bag and notions theme, I stopped by Little Grey Girl’s stall and got myself a sheep project bag and some tea-themed stitch markers (tea is my other obsession apart from yarn). I also stopped by Ginger Twist and Chopped Ginger’s stall and got a cute little notions pouch that I couldn’t resist, it s now the home of my stitch markers and they are loving their new place.
Moving on to yarn, I only got two sweater’s worth this time: three skeins of Ysolda’s Blend Nº1 and four skeins of Baa Ram Ewe’s Dovestone in the colour Aire. Both incredibly soft and my hands are itching to cast on with them, but I shouldn’t…!
Finally, I bought this beautiful wool blanket from Knockando Mill’s stall (I just saw that it is still available online if you are interested), they were having a EYF special and it simply called out to me. It is funny but I have recently bought quite a few home stuff that I put away the minute I get home because I want to use them in my “future-not-rented” home, and this one will definitely go on the back of a future couch 🙂
And that is it! I am so happy with all my buys, please go check out some of the websites if you are interested in anything, we must support great small businesses like these.