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  • How to Crochet the Perfect Rose - A Step-by-Step Guide

    Whether you're a seasoned crocheter or a newcomer to the world of yarn and hooks, this tutorial is designed just for you. Picture this: a garden of crocheted roses, each petal woven with love and precision. In this step-by-step guide, we'll unravel the secrets behind crafting your very own crochet rose. It's not just a project; it's a floral symphony of stitches, a dance of colors, and a celebration of your crafting prowess. 🧶 Join me as we delve into the art of creating these timeless blooms. Whether you're adorning a hat, enhancing a bag, or simply looking to elevate your crochet repertoire, this crochet rose tutorial promises not just a finished project but a blossoming sense of accomplishment. 🌹😉 Are you ready to crochet your own garden of everlasting roses? Let's get started! This post may contain affiliate links. As both an Amazon & lovecrafts Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support! Materials needed for Your Crochet Rose 1 ball of Paintbox yarns Simply Chunky in Rose Red (Col 313). A 6mm Crochet hook. A darning needle (for sewing up). A pair of embroidery scissors. Abbreviations used ch – chain st(s) – stitches sk - skip sp - space dc – double crochet htr – half treble crochet tr – treble crochet When instructions are given to repeat, it is to repeat the instructions which are in inverted brackets like these: [ ] Please note that I will use UK terminology throughout this tutorial. There is no need to make a swatch for this pattern & Gauge is not crucial. You can use any yarn that you have to hand as long as you use the correct hook for the yarn weight, your rose may end up a different size (ie; a dk yarn will produce a smaller rose and a super chunky yarn will give you a larger one) but will still turn out perfectly. 🥰 Construction The rose is formed very simply, working just two rows. The first row uses skipped stitches and chains to create spaces. Row 2 then works into those spaces, creating shells shapes which will go on to form the petals of the rose. The petals are then rolled in on themselves to form the rose shape and sewn to secure. Pattern begins Leaving a tail of approx 40cm, create a slip knot and ch56. Row 1: Working into the back of the chain, 1htr into the 4th ch from the hook. Ch2, [sk1, 1htr, ch2], repeat to the end of the foundation chain, finishing with 1htr into the last chain. Ch3 and turn. At this point your work will look more like a worry worm than a rose but trust the process. 😊 If you stretch out your work you will be able to clearly see the spaces created by the skipped stitches and chains. Row 2: For this row you will work into the spaces that have been created by the ch2's from row1, rather than working into the tops of the stitches. Into the first sp, work 5tr. 1dc into the next sp, [6tr into the next sp, 1dc into the next sp], repeat four more times (a total of six, 6tr "shells"). [Work 9tr into the next sp, 1dc into the next sp], repeat four more times (a total of five, 9tr "shells"). Work 12tr into the next sp, [1dc into the next sp, 12tr into the next sp], repeat one more time (a total of three, 12tr "shells"). Cut your yarn and fasten off. Making up Thead your beginning tail onto the darning needle. Starting at the slip knot end, begin rolling the petals in on themselves, to form the rose shape. I would recommend doing this without sewing first so that you get an idea of how the shape forms. Then undo & repeat, this time, using the darning needle to sew through the petals to secure them each time you do a full rotation. And there you have it – a radiant crochet rose blooming at the end of your fingertips! As you gaze upon your finished creation, remember that every rose you create is a testament to your crafting journey. Why not experiment with different yarn colors, try various sizes, and mix up your stitches to create a garden as unique as you are. Share your blossoming creations with the world by tagging me on social media [@duffyscraftdays]. I can't wait to see the diverse gardens of roses that will flourish from this tutorial. 😀 Feel the joy of gifting your handmade roses to loved ones. And don't forget to spread the love of crafting by sharing this tutorial with your crochet friends. If you have any questions, thoughts, or just want to share your crochet journey, drop a comment below. The world is waiting to see the beauty you can create with just a hook and some yarn. Happy crocheting! Until next time, keep those hooks dancing and those fingers crafting.🌹💖

  • From Chaos to Creativity: A Guide to Tidying Up Your Yarn Stash

    Beginning a new craft project can be so exciting, maybe you know what you want to make next or maybe you're looking for inspiration in your yarn stash. Eeeek! Here is where the euphoria can come to an abrupt halt, why? Are you faced with the chaos of an unorganised yarn stash? Do you have to spend precious minutes searching for the perfect yarn, only to discover it buried beneath a mountain of tangled fibres? It's a familiar frustration for many crafters, and until recently was for me too. I have recently spent some time re-organising my stash and thought I would share the process with you. In this guide to tidying up your yarn stash, I will explore the transformative journey of going "From Chaos to Creativity," emphasising the pivotal role of a well-organised yarn stash. Beyond mere tidiness, a systematically arranged stash can become the spark for creativity, unlocking a domain where inspiration flows effortlessly. Join me as I delve into the tangible benefits that extend beyond neat shelves and labeled boxes, ultimately streamlining your crafting process and infusing your projects with newfound joy. Let's unravel the secrets of a tidy stash and discover how it becomes the cornerstone of a calm crafting experience. The Chaos of an Unorganised Yarn Stash The Quest for the Lost Skein - So my stash has always been kept in containers or on shelves, nice and neat right? Well, not so much, it's not particularly helpful when I'm looking for a particular skein and can't remember which of the many containers it's in the bottom of 🙈 This has often left me either wasting an absolute age trying to find it or just buying more of something that I know I already have - somewhere! It's a time suck and a frustration, leading to a lack of motivation and feeling stressed, not the "zen" feeling I want from my crafting. In short, an unorganised yarn stash can pose numerous challenges, turning the joy of creation into a maze of frustrations. Those challenges could almost read like a cinema listing: The Quest for the Lost Skein: The time-consuming search for a specific skein disrupts project flow and induces stress. Tangled Tales: Entangled yarn, whether in storage or during crafting, becomes a source of irritation and potential damage to precious fibres. The Unintentional Yarn Stash Expansion: Accidental duplicate purchases lead to unnecessary spending and contribute to stash clutter. Mismatched Colours in Finished Projects: Discovering colour discrepancies mid-project results in disappointment and compromises the final crafted item. Project Abandonment: The inability to locate materials leads to project abandonment, causing demotivation and stifling creative expression. The Overwhelm of Choices: An overloaded stash induces decision fatigue, making it difficult to initiate or complete projects. The Benefits of a well organised, Tidy Yarn Stash A well organised stash allows you to quickly locate the required yarn for a project. This not only reduces the amount of time spent/wasted searching for the yarn you need but will also accelerate the actual project completion too. A well organised stash also allows for the grouping of yarn by colour, creating visually appealing arrangements. When you open your storage space to a spectrum of neatly arranged colours, it's not just an organised stash but a palette of possibilities. Beyond colour, your yarn stash can also be grouped by yarn type, allowing you to visually assess and choose yarn based on texture, adding depth and dimension to your projects. A well organised display isn't just about making your stash look pretty, or making it easier to locate specific yarn, clutter can be distracting and overwhelming, inhibiting the creative process. By eliminating visual clutter, you can focus more on the artistic aspects of your projects, fostering a more inspired and imaginative mindset.The visual orderliness can subconsciously translate into a sense of control and focus, providing a calm and inspiring atmosphere. Having some form of inventory for your stash will enable you to plan future projects more easily, knowing exactly what you have on hand to work with. In summary, an aesthetically pleasing and organised stash engages the visual senses in a positive way. The deliberate arrangement of colours, textures, and orderliness transforms the stash into a visually stimulating space, setting the stage for a more inspired and creative crafting experience. The addition of a well documented inventory can also save you money in the long term, knowing what you have on hand will prevent you from buying duplicate yarn. It's a win, win! The Tidying Process Assessment and Sorting - Start by figuring out what you have, try sorting your yarn by colour, weight or fibre type. If your stash is small, you may be able to go through it in an hour or two. On the other hand, if it's more sizeable you may need to do this over a few sessions. As you go, make a list of what you have & where it's kept. This can be on paper, the notes app on your phone, a spreadsheet or another method (if you have any suggestions, why not let me know in the comments below). Storage Solutions - As I've already mentioned, many people use open shelves for their yarn, and this is a great option if you want to be able to see what you have at a glance. On the down side, you will need to keep on top of the dusting and, if you have a cat who loves to play with yarn - like me - this may not be the best option. I've also seen peg boards used in a similar way, with the same pro's and cons. Another option is containers, which can come in many forms such as baskets, (I wouldn't recommend wicker ones unless you like yarn tangles 😬) lidded boxes, bins etc This is my preferred method, I feel that it's tidier and contained (away from the cat), the downside is that you can't see what you have at a glance - this is where the inventory comes in. Documentation - Whichever method you use to store your yarn, it's important to use a clear labelling system. This could be by type, (colour, fibre etc) or, if you plan to use an inventory, perhaps by location. An inventory is your best friend when it comes to avoiding chaos. Your inventory can be a simple written list detailing what each container contains, or a digital version. Make sure to include the brand, range, colour name and code, fibre type, weight and location for each skein as well as how many you have. If you use a spreadsheet for this, you should then be able to filter your inventory for each of these, making it a breeze to find what you're looking for. for an Accurate inventory, I would recommend updating it each time you add to, or remove from, your stash. It's also a good idea to put leftover yarn away once your finished with it, remembering to also add it back into the inventory. Keep your inventory with your yarn stash to make this easier. Conclusion In the world of crafting, the journey "From Chaos to Creativity" is not just about tidying up a yarn stash; it's about unlocking a realm of possibilities. As we've explored the benefits of having a tidy yarn stash, the transformative power of organisation becomes evident in every skein neatly arranged and each colour harmoniously displayed. Summarising the Key Benefits: Time saved searching means more time spent creating 🥳 A visually appealing stash becomes a canvas for innovative ideas. Knowing what's in your stash prevents unnecessary purchases, saving both money and space. Project planning is made easier. From envisioning future projects to the joy of selecting from a well-curated stash, organisation paves the way for seamless planning and execution. As you stand at the threshold of your crafting haven, consider the untapped potential that lies within a well-organised stash. Beyond the practical advantages, there's a joyous harmony that comes from crafting amidst order. It's an experience that goes beyond the tangible materials and connects deeply with the essence of creation. Embark on Your Organisation Journey: I encourage you, my fellow crafters, to take the leap and embark on your own organisation journey. Transform your crafting space into a sanctuary where every skein of yarn tells a story and every color sparks inspiration. Embrace the joy of a tidy stash, and witness how it elevates not just your crafting process but your entire creative experience. (I only wish I had done mine sooner). In the symphony of colours and textures that make up your stash, find the melody that resonates with your own creative spirit. Share your own organisation tips, experiences, and triumphs in the comments below. Why not share your before and after photos on social media using the hashtag #ChaosToCreativity and don't forget to tag me - @duffyscraftdays - so that we can all celebrate the beauty of an organised yarn stash and the limitless creativity it can unlock. May your crafting journey be as fascinating as the projects you bring to life with newfound order and inspiration. Happy crafting! 😀

  • Hooked on crochet: A Beginner's Guide to Essential Tools & Notions

    Have you decided that you're ready to dive into the wonderful world of crochet? Great, then you're in the right place! When I first learned to crochet, I remember buying multiple books, all the yarn, hooks & tools I could think of - the whole nine yards & it turned out that I really only needed a few basic things to get started (& some of those things I bought way back when, have never seen the light of day 🫢). So, to avoid you making the same mistake - I thought I would put together a shortlist of the basic tools & notions that you really need, to have you crocheting like a pro in no time. This post may contain affiliate links. As both a lovecrafts Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support! Patterns, Books & Tutorials So, before we get to our shortlist, first you're going to want to give some thought to what you want to make, after all you wouldn't attempt a new, complicated recipe without a recipe book would you? The same goes for crochet. It might be an idea to invest in either a good beginner's guide, crochet magazine or if you find it easier to work along with someone, then think about following some online tutorials (my YouTube channel contains a number of tutorials for beginners), looking for a local class or crochet group that you could join, (if you are in the UK then is a great place to start) or if you know someone who crochet's already, you could ask if they could show you the basics. Trust me, you'll thank yourself when you're not unraveling hours of hard work because you misread a pattern 😵‍💫 So, to the shortlist ... The Crochet Hook - Your First Essential tool First up has obviously got to be the crochet hook. This is your conductor of creativity, the tool that transforms a simple ball of yarn into a work of art. Crochet hooks come in various materials, sizes, & styles to suit different preferences and project requirements. Some common types of crochet hooks are: Aluminum Crochet Hooks: These are lightweight & have a smooth, comfortable grip. Available in various sizes & colors. Ideal for a wide range of yarn types. Steel Crochet Hooks: Typically smaller in size than aluminum hooks. Used for fine crochet work & thread crochet projects. Suitable for creating delicate lace and intricate patterns. Plastic Crochet Hooks: Lightweight & affordable. Great for beginners as they are gentle on the hands. Come in a variety of colors & sizes. Wooden Crochet Hooks: Offer a warm, natural feel in the hands. Smooth & lightweight. Good for people with hand pain or arthritis due to their ergonomic design. Bamboo Crochet Hooks: Similar to wooden hooks but made from bamboo, which is a sustainable material. Lightweight & comfortable to use. Provide a natural feel & are often favored for working with delicate fibers. Ergonomic Crochet Hooks: Designed with comfort in mind, often featuring soft grips or handles. Reduce hand fatigue during extended crocheting sessions. Available in various materials, including metal & plastic. Interchangeable Crochet Hooks: Sets of crochet hooks with interchangeable tips & cables. Allow crocheters to customize the length of their hooks. Useful for projects with changing stitch counts or different sections. Don't get overwhelmed with the variety of sizes & materials available. For beginners, a simple ergonomic hook made of aluminum or plastic is your best friend. It's like finding the perfect dance partner – comfortable, easy to handle, & ready to waltz through your stitches 😉 When choosing your crochet hook, consider the type of yarn you'll be using, the size of the project, & your personal comfort preferences. Trying out different types (Is that a local craft store I hear calling..) can help you find the one that works best for you & your specific needs. Yarn, Yarn, Yarn! Let's talk yarn. It's the heart & soul of crochet. For beginners, it's best to start with a medium-weight yarn, (DK or Aran weights are perfect) in a light color. Why light? Because you'll want to see those stitches as your masterpiece comes to life & it's much harder to se your stitches when you use a dark coloured yarn. As for the type of yarn, go for something smooth, easy to work with & practical. Fancy textures & fuzzy fibers might be tempting, but save those for a later project. My favourite ranges are either Paintbox yarns simply aran or Stylecraft special DK both of which are 100% acrylic making them easy to care for whiilst still feeling lovely as you work with them, (or wear them) & importantly, they are both reasonably priced. For a more in depth look at the various types of yarn available, check out my "Let's talk about yarn" blog post. Tapestry Needle The humble tapestry needle, also known as yarn needles or darning needles, are essential tools for weaving in yarn ends, seaming, & finishing your crochet project. These needles come in various shapes & sizes, each serving a specific purpose. Straight Tapestry Needles: These are the most common type of tapestry needles. Have a straight, elongated body with a blunt tip. Ideal for weaving in yarn ends & seaming. Bent Tapestry Needles: Similar to straight needles but have a slight bend near the eye. The bent design makes it easier to navigate through stitches without splitting the yarn. Useful for seaming & weaving in ends. Blunt-Tip Tapestry Needles: Feature a rounded, blunt tip to prevent splitting yarn fibers. Suitable for working with loosely spun or delicate yarns. Pointed-Tip Tapestry Needles: Have a sharper, pointed tip. Useful for working with tightly spun or thicker yarns. Allow for easier insertion through dense or tight stitches. Jumbo Tapestry Needles: Larger-sized needles designed for use with chunky or super chunky yarns. Ideal for projects with thicker fibers where a standard-sized needle may be too small. Tapestry Needles with Large Eyes: Feature a larger eye, making them suitable for working with thicker yarns or multiple strands. Helpful for those who struggle with threading standard-sized needles. Chenille Needles: Have a large eye & a sharp point. Suitable for working with yarns of varying thickness, including chenille and bouclé. Tapestry Needle Sets: Sets often include a variety of needle sizes & types. Useful for different projects & yarn weights. When choosing a tapestry needle, consider the yarn weight, project type, & your personal preference. Having a variety of tapestry needles in your tool kit allows you to select the most appropriate needle for each specific task, ensuring a neat & polished finish to your projects. Scissors Now, don't go grabbing those rusty old scissors from your junk drawer. Invest in a decent pair of sharp, dedicated craft scissors. These don't have to break the bank, all you need is a simple pair of embroidery or craft scissors or even very basic snips. Tape Measure When it comes to crochet, size does matter. A tape measure is your secret weapon for ensuring your creation turns out just the way you envisioned it. As a beginner, you might not need it for every project, but you will need it to check your gauge swatch - yes, I do recommend always making a gauge swatch - it will also come in handy when measuring your final pieces. There are lots of cute novelty tape measure's available online but a basic flexible tape measure is all you really need, just remember to check & replace them every so often as they do tend to stretch over time. Stitch Markers Imagine trying to navigate a new city without a map – sounds pretty chaotic does'nt it? Well, think of stitch markers as your crochet map. These little guys are a game-changer, helping you keep track of your stitches. Whilst you msay not think they're absolutely essential as a beginner, stitch markers are like having a Sat Nav for your crochet journey – optional, but highly recommended 🙂 As you can see, stitch markers come in many forms, each serving different purposes. Here are some common types: Split Ring Stitch Markers: Circled in the first image above, these are small, closed rings that can be easily placed on the stitches. They can be opened & closed, making them versatile & reusable. Useful for marking individual stitches or a specific point in the pattern. Locking Stitch Markers: Circled in the second & third images, these are also known as safety pin markers, they have a small clasp that allows them to be easily attached to the stitches. They are handy for marking the beginning of a round, decreases, or increases. Come in various colors & materials, making it easy to differentiate between different markers. Clip-On Stitch Markers: Also known as lobster claw stitch markers (circled in image four), these markers have a small clip that can be attached to the stitch. They are easy to move & remove and are great for marking stitches or sections. Bobby Pin Stitch Markers: Simple bobby pins can be used as makeshift stitch markers. They are readily available & can be a quick & easy solution in a pinch. When choosing a stitch marker, consider the type of project you're working on, the size of your yarn & hook, & the specific purpose of the marker in the pattern. Having a variety of stitch markers in your toolkit can be helpful for different projects & techniques but as a beginner, just buy (or borrow) what you need for the pattern you have in mind.. Row Counter This nifty gadget is going to help you keep tabs on your rows - I know, the clue is in the name 😂 but seriously, there is nothing more frustrating than working your way through a pattern & suddenly wondering whether that was row 11 or 12 you just finished! Think of the row counter as your crochet memory, helping you complete your masterpiece without any "oops" moments. This is a tool that can be kept really simple, from a pen & paper to a digital counter. Storage Picture this: you're on a creative roll, & suddenly you can't find your crochet hook. Nightmare, right? You need to keep your tools organised - it's just practical, but as a beginner something like a simple pencil case is all you need for now. Save those cute little crochet bag's & case's until you're sure that crochet is for you - your lovely craochet friends may even start gifting them to you once they hear that you have taken up crochet too! Comfy Chair & Good Lighting Last but not least, create a cosy corner for your crochet adventures. A comfortable chair & good lighting are your stage, & you are the star. Trust me, you'll probably be spending hours here, so make it a space you love. It's about setting the mood for your crochet masterpiece & making sure you can enjoy the process. This is where I do most of my crochet, as you can see I have had to invest in a flexible light (the joy of living in the northern hemisphere), you may find that the lighting you already have is adequate for you though. 😊 So, there you have it – your beginner's toolkit for crochet success! Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, & neither are those gorgeous crochet creations. Take it one stitch at a time, enjoy the process, & soon you'll be crocheting up a storm. Happy hooking, my fellow yarnys!

  • Tiny Treasures: Quick Crochet Patterns for Adorable Baby Items

    When we are looking to gift something special or in the whirlwind of becoming a new parent, time becomes an invaluable commodity. Amidst the joyful chaos of welcoming a new addition to the family, the desire to create something handmade & meaningful often competes with the constraints of time. This is where the beauty of quick-to-make baby crochet patterns shines through, offering a delightful solution in the face of limited time. I recently found myself scouring the net when I was in this position & settled on a cute pair of booties (shown In the photo below) which took less than half an hour to work up. I thought I would share some of the patterns that I found with you here, to save you the hassle of scouring through multiple sites. These patterns encompass a variety of adorable designs without compromising on simplicity. So, get your hook & baby yarn ready & join me on this journey as we explore these quick-to-make baby crochet patterns. In this post you will find Thirty Quick crochet patterns for adorable baby items Cute patterns for all skill levels A mix of free patterns, YouTube tutorials & Premium paid for patterns With so many crochet patterns for baby items available online, it can feel overwhelming when trying to decide on which one to choose. My hope is that by curating this short pattern roundup for you, it will take away the overwhelm for you & you can get down to the business of making 😊 You may not have a baby to crochet for right now, but the chances are, you will at some point, So why not bookmark this page so you can easily find it when you need it, or better still why not use your crochet skills to help out a charity such as Bliss, a charity for babies born sick or premature or Bonnie, who send premature baby outfits & blankets to special care baby units around the UK & to parents who need support. I will do my best to update with more designs now and then too, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter to be notified when I add new links too. Here is a list of some types of baby items that you can hook up quickly.. Hats - Baby hats are relatively small compared to other crochet projects like blankets or sweaters. Their smaller size means they can be completed relatively quickly compared to larger items. Baby hats are also undeniably cute! Adding little embellishments like pom-poms, animal ears, or colorful designs can make them even more adorable. Their cuteness factor makes them a delightful & charming gift for both the baby & the parents. Baby hats are not only adorable but also practical. Babies need to keep their heads warm, especially in colder months, making a handmade hat both a thoughtful & useful gift Booties - Baby booties, like baby hats, are a popular choice for a quick & cute handmade crochet gift for several reasons. Just like baby hats, baby booties are small in size, making them quicker to crochet compared to larger items like blankets or garments. Their small scale allows for a speedy completion time - a big advantage for those looking to make a handmade gift in a short period. Baby booties, like baby hats, serve a practical purpose. They help keep the baby's feet warm & protected. During the first few months, babies spend a lot of time kicking their legs, so a cute pair of booties can keep their tiny feet cosy. There are patterns available for beginners as well as more complex designs for advanced crocheters. This flexibility allows you to choose a pattern that matches your skill level & comfort. Bibs - Baby bibs are another item that is small & relatively simple to crochet compared to larger items, meaning they can also be completed relatively quickly, Baby bibs are highly practical & essential for parents! They help keep a baby clean during feeding times, protecting their clothes from spills & messes, meaning (hopefully) fewer changes through the day. A handmade, crocheted bib not only serves this purpose but also adds a touch of warmth & care. Security blankets or loveys - You may see the word blanket & wonder how that could possibly be a quick make, but these are small, soft blankets (usually around 30cm x 30cm), that babies often become attached to for comfort & security. Security blankets serve a specific purpose in providing comfort & a sense of security for babies. A handmade, crocheted security blanket not only offers this comfort but also represents a lovingly crafted item that can become a cherished keepsake. Clicking on each image below will take you to the pattern website, YouTube video or shop page. Ten Free & Quick Crochet Patterns for Adorable Baby Items Ten YouTube tutorials for Quick Crochet baby Patterns Ten Premium patterns which you can download & print So there we have it, 30 quick crochet patterns for adorable baby items! Tips & reminders when crocheting for babies When crocheting for babies, focusing on safety, comfort, practicality, & quality materials will not only result in charming handmade items but also ensure the well-being of the little ones who will use them. So, before you start, here are a couple of things to remember when crocheting for babies. Opt for baby-friendly yarns that are soft, hypoallergenic, & easy to wash. Avoid using small buttons or any choking hazards. Ensure all elements are securely attached to prevent accidental ingestion. Keep in mind the size & comfort of the baby. Choose patterns that offer flexibility in size or consider adjusting patterns to avoid anything too loose or restrictive for the baby's movement. Babies can be messy, so select yarn that is easy to care for & can withstand frequent washing. Choose patterns that are practical for everyday use and can endure regular cleaning without losing their charm Opt for breathable yarn & consider the climate. Soft, lightweight yarns & open stitch patterns can ensure comfort for the baby & allow the skin to breathe. Ensure that the finished items don't have loops or loose ends that can catch tiny fingers or toes. Smooth finishes are essential to prevent any discomfort for the baby. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope you've found your next project. Why not leave a comment below & let me know which of these patterns is your favourite. Don't forget to check out the free patterns that I also have available.

  • Unraveling Threads of Passion & Resilience: My Knit & crochet Journey

    Hey there, lovely readers! Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I'm thrilled to share a little bit about myself & the journey that led me to where I am today. Passion Unraveled: Crochet & Knitting If you ever find me with a hook or needles in hand, you've stumbled upon my happy place. My passion lies in turning a skein of yarn into a beautiful, tangible creation. The colors, textures, & endless possibilities fuel my creativity & bring me joy. Resilience Woven into Every Stitch: A Health Journey Life has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs, & mine came in the form of a chronic health condition. This diagnosis reshaped so many areas of my life, posing new challenges for me. Faced with the limitations it imposed, I made the decision to take back control. Embracing the spirit of resilience, I chose to start a new adventure, crafting a haven where I could work from home on "good days" & not have to worry about letting anyone else down on the "not so good days". Crocheting & Knitting for Well-being Amidst the chaos & unpredictability of life, I discovered a therapeutic escape in the gentle rhythm of crochet & knitting. Beyond the creation of beautiful pieces, these crafts became my sanctuary—mentally and physically. The repetitive motions, the feel of yarn between my fingers, & the mindfulness required in each stitch became a way of soothing both my mind & my body. In every yarn-over or knit stitch, I found not only a way to express myself artisticly but also a medicine for the challenges I faced. It's incredible how a simple skein of yarn can hold so much more than just fibers—it holds stories of resilience, passion, & the unwavering determination to create beauty even in the face of adversity. Join Me on This Creative Expedition! Whether you're a fellow yarn enthusiast or just curious about the world of crochet & knitting, I invite you to join me on this creative expedition. Together, let's explore the world of colors, textures & joy that unfold with every stitch. Thank you for stopping by, and here's to the beautiful journey ahead! Warmly, Lucy

  • How to make your own knitted zipper pouch

    It's been a while since I added a new knitting pattern to the blog but I know you're going to love this one! The Moss stitch is one of my favourite stitch patterns when knitting. It's such a simple pattern repeat, yet gives a really elegant look to any project. So when I was thinking about what to make for my next project it had to be something that incorporated this stitch pattern which is a perfect for beginners, young & old. Also, a knitted zipper pouch can be used for so many things - a pencil case, notions pouch, make up pouch - you get the idea. This post will take you through making your pouch, from casting on, right through to adding the zip. So, let's get started! Menu Construction About the yarn Supplies Abbreviations Gauge Making a swatch Swatch pattern Pattern begins Seaming the sides Adding the zip Lining the pouch This post may contain affiliate links. As both an Amazon & lovecrafts Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support! Construction The pouch is worked flat & then seamed up the sides, using the mattress stitch to create the pouch shape. The zip is added next & the pouch can then be lined (which is optional). About the yarn Paintbox yarns Simply chunky is available in 56 shades & is a 100% Acrylic yarn making it easy to care for. Each 100gm ball is approx. 136 metres (149 yards) long. Good substitutes for this yarn would be Hayfield bonus chunky or Stylecraft special for babies chunky. Both of these yarns are also 100% acrylic & also come in 100gm balls. Supplies needed to make your own knitted zipper pouch Paintbox yarns Simply chunky in Jewel (Col SC72) or a similar chunky weight yarn. Approx 56 grams per pouch. 6mm knitting needles Embroidery scissors Darning needle (for sewing up & weaving in ends) 25cm zip Sewing clips or small bulldog clips (for holding the zip in place) Sewing thread in matching colour Sewing needle Co-ordinating cotton fabric for lining (optional) Fat quarters are perfect for this as are old shirts, bed sheets or similar that you no longer need. Abbreviations: K - Knit stitch P - Purl stitch Rep - Repeat St(s) - Stitch(es) Co - Cast on Bo - Bind off Gauge 14 stitches X 25 rows over 10 cm (4”) in moss stitch. The finished size of your pouch should be approx. 23cmx12cm. Making a swatch It’s important to make a gauge swatch as, if you cannot match the gauge given, your pouch may not be the size intended & the zip may not fit correctly. Making a swatch will also help you to get used to the pattern repeat before starting the full pattern. Top tip – don’t cut or fasten off your yarn after you finish the swatch. Simply pop a stitch marker in, check your measurements are correct & then you can undo your swatch & use the same yarn to start your pouch. Swatch pattern Cast on 19 St’s using the cable cast on method (If, you are unfamiliar with this method, you can find a YouTube tutorial here). Row 1 – K1, *P1, K1, rep from *to end. (19 St’s) Rep this row until you have 28 rows. Measure across & down the centre of your swatch to see if it matches the measurements given for gauge above. If your swatch measures smaller, try increasing your needle size. If it’s too big, try going down a needle size. Pattern begins Co 31 st’s, using the cable cast on method (Video tutorial available) & leaving a long tail (approx. 30cm) for seaming up the side afterwards. Row 1 – k1, *p1, k1. Rep from * to end. (31 st’s) Rep this row until you have 61 rows. Bo using the cable cast off method (Video Tutorial available). Seaming the sides Seam the sides together using the mattress stitch (Watch this video tutorial if you are unfamiliar with this method). Weave in ends using the darning needle. Adding the zip Open up the zip & line up the stopper end (where the zip pull should now be sitting) with one of the side seams, use a sewing clip or bulldog clip to hold it in place. Without stretching the fabric, use clips to hold the zip to the pouch (make sure that the zip itself lines up with the top of the pouch) at approx. 4cm intervals on both sides. Any excess length can be dealt with once the zip is secured in place. Turn the pouch inside out. Starting at the side seam & using matching sewing thread, use backstitch to sew the zip in place along the zipper tape, approx. 0.5cm from the zip teeth. Tip – don’t sew all the way through the fabric of the pouch, you only need to catch a little of the yarn. Once the zip has been sewn in, cut off any excess zipper tape. This video tutorial may help if you’ve never sewn a zip to a knitted fabric before. Lining your zipper pouch Attaching a lining is optional as the pouches look great either way, however, if you know that the pouch is going to get heavy use then I would recommend lining it, as it will give the pouch a bit more structure & make it more hard-wearing. The below instructions are for adding a simple lining. There are alternative ways to add a lining (Many available on YouTube), but if you have never added a lining before, then this would be my recommended method. Using your chosen fabric, cut a rectangle that is 25cm x 24cm, (30cm x 31cm, 34cm x 25cm). This will allow for a 1cm seam allowance all the way around. Fold over the top & bottom of the fabric by 1cm, wrong side to wrong side & iron to fix in place. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, right side to right side. Sew a 1cm seam along both of the side (short) edges & then Iron them open. You can now sew the lining into the bag, along the zipper tape & as close to the top edge of the bag as possible. A final note! I really hope you've enjoyed using this free pattern & would love to see your versions. Don't forget to tag me if you post your version on social media. You can comment below to let me know how you found it. A PDF version of this pattern is also available & includes instructions for three different sizes. You can purchase the PDF pattern for a small fee from my Ravelry, Etsy or Ribblr shops & you can also find it on 😊

  • Making your own tassels - A beginners guide

    Hello my fellow yarnies! If you use social media then you may have noticed that tassels appear to be trending right now (did they really ever go away?). In response to the explosion of tassels appearing on all sorts of things, & the fact that many of you may never have made them before, I thought it would be fun to explore what tassels are, uncover their intriguing history, discover how they can add personality to your knit or crochet creations, & I'm even going to walk you through making your own tassels. This post may contain affiliate links. As a lovecrafts Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support! So, grab your yarn, & let's get started on this tassel journey! What are tassels? A glimpse into the history of tassels Tassels in your creations Making your own tassels - step by step Conclusion Beginner friendly patterns What are tassels? So, what exactly are tassels? Well, tassels are those delightful, dangling ornaments often seen at the corners of scarves, blankets, hats, bags & yes, even curtains. Imagine tiny little bundles of yarn, suspended from a string, adding a touch of quirkiness to your handmade masterpieces. Tassels are like the cherries on top of a sundae – they can be that finishing touch that makes your creations stand out. A brief glimpse into tassel history Believe it or not, tassels have been adorning textiles for centuries. They have a rich history that spans both time periods, & cultures. Ancient Egyptians were among the first to embrace tassels, adorning their garments & home textiles with these alluring additions. These tufted treasures held significance beyond their decorative charm. They were symbols of power & status, denoting rank & authority in the grand tapestry of society. Fast-forward to the opulent era of the Renaissance. Think extravagant courts, shimmering gowns, & tapestries that told tales in threads. Tassels, were at the heart of this artistic indulgence. They swung from the drapery of castles, decorated the robes of kings & queens, & cascaded down sumptuous textiles. Each tassel was a stroke of artistry, a proclamation of luxury. Asia too, adopted the use of tassels. In China, intricate silk tassels adorned beautiful garments, carrying blessings and protection. In the bustling bazaars of the Middle East, tassels swung from textiles, evoking the spirit of the nomadic tribes. As the world evolved, so did the role of tassels. No longer confined to royal robes & palace drapery, they found their way into our everyday lives. The 20th century saw tassels dancing on lampshades, parasols, earrings, & even graduation caps. The once-symbolic adornment transformed into a playful embellishment, adding a touch of playful charm to the ordinary. From the Pharaohs to the present day, tassels have spun tales of power, artistry, & personal expression. With every tassel that adorns our creations, we weave our own stories into the intricate tapestry of time, ensuring that these dangling delights continue to sway with grace & elegance for generations to come. Tassels in your creations Now that we've uncovered the essence of tassels, let's explore how these delightful adornments can enhance your knit & crochet projects, even if you're just starting out. 1. Expressive edge: Tassels provide a fun & creative way to add a touch of your own personality to your projects. Whether you're knitting a cosy scarf or crocheting a chic handbag, tassels can be customized to match your unique style. Play with colour, length, & texture to create a look that's distinctly yours. 2. Simple elegance: Tassels might seem intricate, but they're surprisingly easy to make, making them a perfect addition for beginners. You only need a few basic materials – yarn, scissors, & a tassel maker (or small piece of cardboard) – to create these charming accents. It's a wonderful opportunity to practice your crafting skills & see immediate results. 3. Balance & finesse: Tassels can provide a visual balance to your projects. If you're working on a scarf, for instance, & feel like something is missing, a pair of tassels at the ends can provide that much-needed symmetry & style. They can easily turn an ordinary piece into an extraordinary one. Making your own tassels: Step-by-Step guide So, now that you know all there is to know about tassels, let me walk you through creating your very own. You can find a video tutorial on my Youtube channel or follow these simple steps: 1. Gather materials: Collect your chosen yarn, a pair of scissors, & a tassel maker, piece of cardboard or your fingers. 2. Measure: Decide how long you want your tassel to be. Choose a tassel maker that stretches to that length or cut a piece of cardboard about that length. Next, cut a piece of yarn, roughly double the length that you want your tassel to be. This will become the "dangling" part of your tassel. Cut another strand of yarn about half that length. This will be used to create the knotted "top" of your tassel. 3. Wrap yarn: If you're using a tassel maker, open it out to the length you require & secure your working yarn into the left hand "join". Then, take your tassel maker, cardboard (or even your fingers) & start wrapping your yarn around the length of it. The more you wrap, the fuller your tassel will be. Aim for around 20-30 wraps for a nice, fluffy tassel. 4. Secure: If you're using a tassel maker, hook the end of your working yarn into the right "join" & then cut your working yarn. Then, use the first piece of yarn that you cut earlier to wrap around the middle of the yarn on the tassel maker & tie a knot to secure the yarn (scroll through the images below to see each step). This will become the "dangling" part of your tassel. If you have used cardboard (or your fingers), gently slide the wrapped yarn off the cardboard or your fingers, & cut your working yarn. Then, carefully insert the first piece of yarn you cut earlier through one end. Tie a tight knot at the top to secure the loops. This will become the "dangling" part of your tassel. 5. Cut: If you have used a tassel maker, slide your scissors along the grooves at the top & bottom & cut the yarn. This will create the fringed bottom of your tassel. If you have used cardboard or your fingers, slide your scissors through the loops at the opposite end to the knot & cut them. This will create the fringed bottom of your tassel. 6. Create the knotted top of your tassel: Now take the second piece of yarn that you cut earlier & tie this securely around the "top" of your tassel, I tied mine about 1cm down for a 7cm tassel, you can place yours at whatever position you prefer. This knotted part will become the rounded "top" of your tassel. 7. Shape: Use your scissors to give it a little trim, taking off small pieces at a time. For a classic looking tassel, cut straight across to create a flat bottom & for a pompom style tassel, give the bottom a more rounded shape. That's it, you've got yourself a tassel! Conclusion: Tassel, your way As we wrap up our tassel adventure, remember that these little yarn wonders are like the sprinkles on a cupcake – they add that extra touch that turns the ordinary into something extraordinary. Tassels offer a fantastic opportunity for beginners to experiment & create, adding personality to their knit & crochet projects without getting tangled in technicalities. To help you embrace your inner fibre artist, I have linked to some of my favourite beginner friendly patterns that also include tassels below. Patterns The Lotus Flower Clutch by Veronika Cromwell You will find a free version of this cute crocheted bag on Veronika's blog, or you can download the PDF version here. The Tea house wrap by Alexandra Tavel A free version of this crocheted wrap can be found on Alexandra's blog here, or if you prefer a downloadable PDF, you will find that here. So, all that's left to do is gather your supplies, & let the tassels sway as you proudly showcase your one-of-a-kind creations to the world! Happy crafting! A final note! I really hope you've enjoyed this tutorial & little history lesson! I would love to see your finished tassels. Don't forget to tag me @duffyscraftdays if you post your version's on social media so I can see them too 😊

  • Free shell stitch baby blanket pattern

    It's finally released!! The Peaches & cream baby blanket is my first published baby blanket pattern & I know that not everyone is in a position to purchase PDF crochet patterns. So for the first time I decided to launch the free version of this gorgeous shell stitch baby blanket here on the blog, at the same time as the PDF version is released so that no one misses out or has to wait 😊 You can find the downloadable PDF in my Ravelry, Etsy, or Ribblr stores. This post may contain affiliate links. As a lovecrafts Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support! So I shall get straight to it ..... Construction About the yarn You will also need Gauge Making a swatch Swatch pattern Pattern begins Border Construction The main blanket is worked flat using mainly treble crochet shell stitches. The Shell stitches are created by working 5 treble crochet stitches into 1 stitch from the row below, with 1 double crochet worked either side of it. (You can find a video tutorial here). The blanket border is created with a row of half treble crochets followed by a row of half treble puff stitches with 2 chain stitches either side. The puff stitch is created by working a half treble crochet & then working a half treble crochet 3tog around the post of the stitch just made (you can find a video tutorial here). About the yarn for this shell stitch crochet baby blanket Knit & Purl baby yarn is a chunky (#5 weight) chenille yarn sold by Aldi here in the UK. Each 100gm ball is approx. 95metres (104 yards) long. This lovely soft yarn creates a gorgeously squishable blanket for baby. Good substitutes for this yarn would be Bernat baby blanket yarn or Hobbii yarn's baby snuggle solid. You will also need: an 8 mm (US size L) crochet hook A pair of embroidery scissors a darning/yarn needle for weaving in ends Abbreviations: ch – chain st(s) – stitches dc – double crochet htr – half treble crochet tr – treble crochet htr3tog – half treble 3 together Please note that this pattern uses UK terminology throughout. The PDF version version which includes both UK & US terminology is available to purchase for a small fee here. Gauge: 3 complete shell stitches tall X 2 shell stitches wide over 10 cm (4”). The finished size of your blanket should be approx 80cm (31.5”) x 54cm (21.25”). Making a Swatch: It’s important to make a gauge swatch as, if you cannot match the gauge given, your blanket may not be the size intended. Making a swatch will also help you to get used to the pattern repeat before starting the full blanket. Top tip – don’t cut or fasten off your yarn after you finish the swatch. Simply pop a stitch marker in, check your measurements are correct & then you can undo your swatch & use the same yarn to start your blanket. Swatch Pattern: Row 1: Chain 17. Turn. 1dc in 2nd chain from hook & in each st across. Turn. (16 st’s) Row 2: ch3 (counts as 1st st here & throughout pattern). 2tr in the same st. skip two. 1dc, *Skip two, 5tr in next st, skip 2, 1dc. Repeat from * across. Turn (16 st’s). Repeat row 2 Five times. Remove your hook, insert a stitch marker & measure the centre of your swatch to see if it matches the measurements given. If your swatch measures smaller, try increasing your hook size. If it’s too big, try going down a size. Pattern begins: Row 1: Chain 50. Turn. 1dc in 2nd chain from hook & in each st across. Turn. (49 st’s) Row 2: ch3 (counts as 1st st here & throughout pattern). 2tr in the same st. skip two. 1dc, *Skip two, 5tr in next st, skip 2, 1dc. Repeat from * across to the last 3 st’s, skip two, 3tr in last st. Turn (49 st’s). Row 3: ch1 (does not count as a stitch here or throughout pattern), 1dc in same st, *skip two, 5tr in next st, skip two, 1dc. Repeat from * to end. (49 st’s). You can find a video tutorial for this pattern here. Repeat row’s 2 & 3 until you have 42 rows (ending with a Row 2) then continue to border. Border: You can find a video tutorial for this border here. Round 1: Begin by turning your work & working back along the last row of the pain pattern as follows: Ch1, 1dc in the same st & in each of the next two st’s, *1htr in each of the next three st’s, 1dc in each of the next three st’s. Repeat from * until you reach the last st of the row. Into the last st of the row, work 1dc, 1ch & 1dc. (49 st’s – the second dc in the last st will count as the first st down the side). Now work down the side of the blanket as follows: Into each ch3 space, work 2dc’s. Into each dc space, work 1dc. In the final dc (from row 1) work 1dc, 1ch, 1dc. (64 st’s) Work 1dc into each ch1 space along the bottom, working 1dc, 1ch & 1dc into the last st. (49st’s) Work back up the side of the blanket as you did for the first side. In the final ch3 space, work 2dc’s, 1ch & 1dc. Ss to the first dc of this round. (64 st’s) 226 st’s in total for round 1. Round 2: ch2, 1htr in same st. Skip the next st. *1htr in next st. htr3tog around the st just created. Skip the next st. Repeat from * around, adding in 2ch st’s at each corner. Ss to the top of the first htr of the round. Finish by htr3tog around the same htr. (76 “bobbles” in total for this round). Fasten off, weave in ends & finally block your work to ensure nice straight edges & good definition of your stitches. A final note! I really hope you've enjoyed using this free pattern & would love to see your versions. Don't forget to tag me if you post your version on social media. You can comment below to let me know how you found it.

  • A portable, mini washing machine!

    So.... recently I spotted an online ad for a portable, mini washing machine. It was electric & folded flat(ish) for storage - by folded I mean squished 😂 Straight away I thought "ooh this could change the way I wet block forever!" I know this might sound extravagant to some but it was actually very reasonably priced - by "reasonable" I mean less than £10!! Including postage! (Sadly it is now a fair bit more than that). I'm not usually an impulse buyer, but as I have issues with my back & hip, standing for any length of time can be a struggle for me, as can the bending & repetitive motion of handwashing. So what could I do but hit the buy it now button 🤷‍♀️ In this post I will review the mini washing machine. You can use the following menu to navigate. First impressions of the mini washing machine The first use The correct instructions for the mini washing machine My overall opinion of the mini washing machine This post may contain affiliate links. As a lovecrafts associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from any of those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support! Less than a week later, our lovely postie arrived with my parcel & I couldn't wait to get it open. I dashed straight upstairs to my "office" (also known as the spare room 😂) & ripped off the packaging. First impressions of the mini washing machine I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the washing machine, when folded it measures just 10cm/4" tall & 30cm/12" wide. When opened out the machine measures 28cm/11" tall (about the size of a standard bucket) & can hold up to 8 litres of water. The washing machine also comes with a "drain basket", & power lead which don't fit into the machine once its folded so would need to be stored separately. The washing machine has a port at the back to connect the power lead, a drain at the side with a rubber plug, a control panel on the front & four suction feet on the bottom to help stabilise it when it's in use. My excitement waned though, when I picked up the instructions that came with the washing machine. Not only were they VERY basic, they were clearly written by someone with a limited knowledge of written English. I realised that my first use of the machine was not going to be as easy as I'd hoped but I was determined to give it a go. The first use The washing machine was simple enough to set up, I simply made sure that the plug was in the drain, filled it from the tap whilst adding a small amount of a gentle detergent & then plugged it in. Then the fun started! The first button on the control panel says "10 min standard washing" & displays a t-shirt, that's straight forward enough. The next button says "15 min soft washing" & displays underwear, OK, I assumed that represents a "gentle wash." Now, the third button says "2 min semi dehydration" & displays another t-shirt 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️ OK, now I was confused & my head was starting to hurt. Should I press this to start the draining? The instructions indicate that the machine drains automatically so I'm guessing not. It's fair to say that first wash didn't go particularly well. All of those buttons got pressed! Thankfully I was only washing a baby dress, but I was so exasperated that I decided to rinse it by hand. I then had to dry the machine thoroughly before I could store it! All in all, at that point I wasn't feeling very positive about the washing machine. I felt that the experience wasn't really any less physical & was definitely more stressful, than just handwashing. I created a review on Youtube after that first half failed attempt & I was definitely sitting on the fence about the washing machine, feeling that there were just as many cons as pros. However, having now used the machine a couple of times, I have worked out that the third button is used after emptying the machine as a "spin" cycle 💡this "revelation" made all the difference. The Correct instructions for the mini washing machine So, as I said, I've now used the washing machine a few times & now understand the controls, even if I don't understand the instructions. The washing machine is actually straightforward to use, as follows: Fill the washing machine with water from your tap, adding detergent as you do. For a cool wash, use mainly cold water, adding just a little hot. I fill mine to the top of the dark purple section. Don't add the basket at this point. Add the item/s that you want to wash. Choose either the 10 min or 15 min cycle depending on what you are washing. At the end of the cycle, the washing machine will drain automatically - You'll want to make sure you have it positioned near a sink (I place mine on the draining board) & you'll need to remove the rubber plug from the drain located on the side. As the water empties, remove the washing & place it into the drain basket & pop it back into the machine. After the machine has completely emptied completely, ensure that the basket is correctly inserted & fixed on the locating arms, now press the semi dehydration button & the machine will run a 2 minute spin cycle. Next, replace the rubber plug. Remove the basket from the washing machine & replace the washing. Fill the washing machine with cold water only. Repeat steps 3 - 6 to "rinse" your items. My overall opinion of the mini washing machine With a couple of uses under my belt I have been "swayed" in favour of the machine. Now that I understand how to use it properly, I feel comfortable to leave it during the cycle (setting a timer on my watch a couple of minutes before the cycle ends), which means I'm not standing for a long period of time. It's also quick to fill & drain due to it's compact size & most importantly, now that I understand how to use the "spin" function, I no longer have to stand over the sink & squeeze the water out of my smaller makes. In the youtube review that I did, I said that I probably wouldn't purchase the washing machine again at full price, but now I know that I would, simply because it's better for my back! A final note! I hope you've enjoyed this review & would love to hear your thoughts. Why not let me know in the comments below. You can also let me know if you would like to see more product reviews like this.

  • The crochet Shell stitch

    Lets look deeper into the beauty of crochet shell stitches. If you've ever wondered how to add texture and elegance to your projects, shell stitches may be your answer. In this blog post, I'll walk you through what crochet shell stitches are, the diverse range of projects they can be used in & the exciting variations you can explore to create stunning crochet masterpieces. For a step by step guide to working crochet shell stitches, check out my YouTube tutorial. Understanding crochet shell stitches Projects Perfect for Shell Stitches Exploring variations & customisation In conclusion Understanding crochet shell stitches Crochet shell stitches are a group of stitches worked together to create a fan or shell-like shape. They consist of multiple treble crochets, double treble crochets, or other combinations of stitches worked into the same stitch or space. Shell stitches create a striking & textured effect that can elevate the simplest of projects to new heights. By varying the number of stitches within each shell, the spacing between them or even the yarn weight, you can achieve different levels of density & drape. The versatility of shell stitches allows you to adapt them to suit a wide range of crochet projects. Projects Perfect for Shell Stitches Shell stitches can be used in a multitude of crochet projects. From cosy blankets & scarves to delicate shawls & baby garments, the possibilities are endless. The open, airy nature of shell stitches makes them perfect for lightweight summer tops and wraps, providing a breathable & elegant touch. You can also incorporate shell stitches into home décor items such as table runners & cushion covers, filling your living space with a touch of handmade charm. When it comes to accessories, hats, bags & even fingerless gloves adorned with shell stitch motifs are transformed into eye-catching fashion statements. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced crocheter, incorporating shell stitches into your projects will undoubtedly add a touch of sophistication. If you have yet to try shell stitches, why not check out my video tutorial here. Exploring variations & customisation One of the greatest aspects of crochet shell stitches is their versatility & potential for customisation. By varying the height of the stitches within each shell, you can create different effects. Try experimenting with combining different stitch heights within the same row to add visual interest & dimension. Playing with the number of stitches within each shell, from two to six or even more, will achieve different levels of density. Also, altering the spacing between shells can create unique patterns, ranging from tightly packed rows to more open, lacy designs. In addition, altering the yarn weight, combining shell stitches with other stitch patterns, such as the ever popular granny square, can result in stunning combinations that showcase your own creativity. Don't be afraid to experiment & create your own variations to make your crochet projects truly one-of-a-kind. In conclusion Crochet shell stitches quite literally open up a treasure trove of possibilities, adding texture, beauty, & elegance to your projects. Embracing the versatility & endless variations of these timeless stitches will help you up your crochet game!

  • Crochet post stitch Tutorial.

    Have you ever tried crochet post stitches? If not, then this free Basketweave washcloth pattern is the perfect introduction for you. This post contains the free version of my Basketweave Crochet washcloth pattern which uses front & back crochet post stitches to create a gorgeous, textured fabric. This pattern is written using UK Terms. You can also purchase a printable PDF version of this pattern which contains both UK & US Terminology for a small fee in my ravelry, Etsy or Ribblr stores. This post may contain affiliate links. As a lovecrafts Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support! Do you need to be an advanced crocheter for this pattern? You will need to know how to work treble crochet stitches for this pattern but you do not need to know how to work post stitches as I will explain it in this post. You can also find a video tutorial here. Basketweave Crochet washcloth pattern details The pattern has a 4 row pattern repeat which is used 6 times in total to create the washcloth. The washcloth hasn't been designed with a border but you could easily add a double crochet border. You can find a video tutorial detailing how to do this here. Which yarn should you choose? I used Paintbox Yarns Wool mix Aran in the shade Banana Cream -1 ball will make 2 washcloths. This is a 50% wool/50% Acrylic yarn & is available in 48 different shades. A wool mix yarn isn't necessarily the obvious choice for a washcloth but it works - I was trying to be frugal & use yarn that I had left over from another project. You can also use you're preferred Aran weight cotton yarn such as Paintbox yarns cotton Aran which is available in a whopping 63 shades - including banana cream 😊 Just make sure you check the yarn lengths for comparison as a ball of the wool mix Aran is 180m long compared to the cotton which is only 80m long. Terms used in this pattern ch – chain st(s) – stitch(es) tr – treble crochet fpdc– front post treble crochet bpdc – back post treble crochet Materials Paintbox Yarns Wool mix Aran in the shade Banana Cream -1 ball 5mm Crochet hook Yarn needle (for weaving in ends) Gauge 15 stitches & 9 rows over 10 cm. Finished dimensions Approx 23.5cm x 23.5cm. How do to work Crochet Post stitches Post stitches are worked around the post of the stitch, instead of through the top of the stitch. Once your hook is around the post, work the treble crochet stitch as normal. ie; yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook, yarn over, pull through two remaining loops on hook. You can also find a video tutorial for this stitch on my Youtube channel. Pattern begins Begin by creating a foundation chain of 36 st’s. Row 1: 1tc in 4th chain from hook. 1tc in each st across. Turn. (32 st’s) Row 2: ch3 (does not count as a st here or throughout pattern). 1fptr around each of the first 4 st’s from Row 1. *1bptr around the next 4 st’s from Row 1. 1fptr around each of the next 4 st’s from Row 1, Repeat from * 2 more times, 1bptr around the last 4 st’s from Row 1. (32 st’s). Row 3: ch3. 1fptr around each of the first 4 st’s from Row 2. *1bptr around the next 4 st’s from Row 2. 1fptr around each of the next 4 st’s from Row 2, Repeat from * 2 more times, 1bptr around the last 4 st’s from Row 2. (32 st’s). Row 4: ch3. 1bptr around each of the first 4 st’s from Row 3. *1fptr around the next 4 st’s from Row 3. 1bptr around each of the next 4 st’s from Row 3, Repeat from * 2 more times, 1fptr around the last 4 st’s from Row 3. (32 st’s). Row 5: ch3. 1bptr around each of the first 4 st’s from Row 4. *1fptr around the next 4 st’s from Row 4. 1bptr around each of the next 4 st’s from Row 4, Repeat from * 2 more times, 1fptr around the last 4 st’s from Row 4. (32 st’s). Repeat row’s 2-5 four more times. Fasten off. Finishing off Weave in all ends & block your work to ensure nice straight edges. You can read more about blocking in this blog post. A final note! I really hope you've enjoyed using this free pattern & would love to see your versions. You can comment below to let me know how you found it & if you use social media, you can tag me @duffyscraftdays. 😊

  • Easy crochet coasters - Free pattern

    In line with the crochet video tutorials that I share on youtube & here in the video tutorials section of the website I thought it was high time to add a really easy, beginner crochet pattern that you can access for free. So, here it is - the Oatmeal Crochet Coasters! The perfect pattern, even if you are right at the beginning of your crochet journey & looking for a simple, quick to complete, project that will soon have you wanting more. This post may contain affiliate links. As a lovecrafts Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you make a purchase from those links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support! These coasters will be more than just be practical, they'll look so good that they'll take pride of place in your home! You could make them in any colour to co-ordinate with your decor. Before you know it, you'll be making multiple sets for friends & family - in fact I would encourage it as they'll be great practice for the fundamental skills you'll need to set you on the road of becoming a master crocheter! As you grow in confidence you could easily add a few extra stitches & rows to turn them into co-ordinating place mats, you'll soon be wondering why you didn't learn to crochet sooner! Easy crochet coaster pattern details This post contains the free version of my 'Oatmeal Coasters' pattern which uses only double crochet stitches throughout making it super easy even if you've never crocheted before! You can also purchase a printable PDF version for a small fee in my ravelry, Etsy or Ribblr stores. The pattern is written in UK terms & is a simple, 1 row repeat (in other words after creating your foundation chain, you do the exact same thing for each & every row). Which yarn should you choose? I used Paintbox Yarns Wool mix Aran in the shade Banana Cream -1 ball will make 4 coasters. This is a 50% wool/50% Acrylic yarn (I wouldn't recommend using anything with more than 50% Acrylic due to it not being as heat tolerant) & comes in an impressive 48 different colours.. You can also use you're preferred Aran weight yarn but do bare in mind that as these are coasters, a yarn made from natural fibres such as wool or cotton is your best option as it is more heat tolerant than acrylic - I know you'd hate to put in all that effort to create something beautiful only to have it melt the first time you put a hot mug on it. Terms used in the pattern ch – chain dc – double crochet st(s) – stitch(es) sl st – slip stitch You can find a video tutorial showing how to work each of these stitches on my Youtube channel. Materials Paintbox Yarns Wool mix Aran in the shade Banana Cream -1 ball will make 4 coasters. 5mm Crochet hook Darning needle (For weaving in ends). Tension 15 stitches & 16 rows over 10 cm. Finished size Approximately 10cm x 10cm after blocking. Pattern Row 1: ch16, 1dc into back of 2nd ch from hook, 1dc in back of each ch across. ch1, turn. 15st’s. (Watch this video tutorial for help with this) Row 2 – 1dc in each st across ( make sure to work through both loops of each st). ch1, turn. (15 st’s). Row’s 3–16 – Repeat row 2. (15 st’s). Row 17 – 1dc in each st across. Fasten off & weave in ends. Repeat 3 more times to get 4 coasters in total. Cut yarn, leaving approx. 10cm tail. Pull up your remaining stitch to make a larger loop & thread your yarn tail through. Pull gently to secure. Block your coasters to ensure nice straight edges. Repeat these simple steps to create as many coasters as you need. Finishing off Weave in all ends & block so that all edges are even & all four (or however many you make) are uniform. A final note! I really hope you've enjoyed using this free pattern & would love to see your versions. You can comment below to let me know how you found it & if you use social media, you can tag me @duffyscraftdays.

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