Christmas on the Cover

If you had told me 12 months ago that I would end 2012 with my crochet designs featured on the cover of two best selling magazines  I would never have believed you. But here we are with the new issues of Craftseller magazine and Inside Crochet on the supermarket shelves, each featuring my work on their covers. In Craftseller, you can find a very pretty little heart pattern, ideal for wall hangings and Inside Crochet features some very easy Christmas decorations, ideal for beginners (bookmark them for next year!).

Without the encouragement of my friends, readers of this blog (in particular Anne, who told me to “go for it”) and my family this would not have happened. So, thank you to all of you and in particular to the editors of two fabulous magazine who have been great to work with.

This has been an exciting year, the teen has just finished her first term at University, I have qualified as a children’s yoga instructor and Mr T has patiently endured my cooking experiments!

I hope that your year has been as rewarding as mine and that 2013 sees your dreams come true.

Remember, life is what you make it, so start planning now.

Happy Making.

Tracey x

October Published Patterns #1

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These gorgeous scatter cushions include one of my all time favourite yarns. Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze always adds a touch of luxury. These patterns also feature Rowan Lima and Herirage Tweed. You can find the pattern for both cushions in issue 35 of Inside Crochet, in the shops now. Look out also for Emma Varnam’s Leighton Cardigan in the same issue. I am desperate to find time to make it!

Off the Hook…

Cowl, crocheted in the round using Undyed Limari

January has mostly been about knitting. Swatches and samples for magazine submissions, surprise gifts for friends and family and a couple of new designs I’m working on for my crochet book (more of that soon).

With so much “secret stuff” going on that I can’t share, it’s lucky that I’ve been busy with my hook. Crochet is great relaxation – and believe me I need to relax – we’ve had a rocky start to the year here in the Todhunter household. Good times must be headed our way soon (cross fingers).

Cowl, crocheted in the round using Noro Kogorashi (1 hank)

So here is my latest creation. A soft, sumptuous cowl which just seems to go on for ever and is incredibly warm. The second photo shows the same cowl made with half the number of stitches in Noro’s Kogorashi. Not my favourite yarn, but the colours were lovely and it found a grateful home just a couple fo days after it came off the hook! If you want to make one for yourself the pattern is available to purchase  here

Tomorrow I’m off to give my lovely friend Andrea a brush up on her crochet skills. She has been complaining of cold hands, so I’m thinking these might go down well as a little “Happy New Year” gift.

Yarns used: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino with a trim of Louisa Harding Beaded Grace

The Design Process

One of the reasons I like designing is the opportunity to swatch and fiddle about with different stitches and techniques. Crochet is brilliant for the yarn doodler, pick up your hook, play for a while and if you don’t like it, rip it back. Over Christmas  I made quite a lot of bunting, and talking to my friend Lynne a week or two ago, we got on to the subject of how an idea develops from a picture in your head to a finished product – and how easy it is to be influenced by the work of other designers – even when you don’t realise it! This is why I rarely visit Ravelry – it’s just too easy to be influenced, not to mention inspired by all the projects listed there.

I sat in front of the tv with my hook and my yarn and played for a while. My first piece was too stumpy, the second looked quite similar to the fabric bunting hanging in my kitchen, yet I still had an idea which wouldn’t go away. Before I knew it I had begun to make paper chains out of yarn. Feeling quite pleased with myself I made enough to hang across the kitchen cabinets and thought what a great submission it would be for 2012 Christmas magazines.

It was only later I realised I had seen something very similar before. Ah well, back to the drawing board. I’ll be posting my final bunting  pattern here later in the week. Hopefully you’ll like it as much as I do!