Cosy Crochet – End of year 1!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic new year.   We had a quiet new year, put the kids to bed as normal and then watched a couple of films before heading up to bed shortly after the new year began.   This week also marks the end of the first year of Cosy Crochet’s blog and I am very excited to have reached here and to have started to build up a regular following.   In this post I want to take some time to review the past year, in particular what has been most successful, as well as to share with your my goals and hopes as I enter my second year blogging.

I have taken some time to review all my blog and social media and I have come up with my top 9 most successful crochet items; toy hammocks, toddler rainbow granny dress, dinosaur comforter, my crochet dinosaurs and playmats, animal ponchos (not my design), toddler lacey jacket and toddler gloves.

2017 top 9

I am very excited that 8 out of 9 of these items are my own designs and I feel like this therefore confirms that I can design my own crochet patterns  and is therefore something I am going to continue to develop this coming year.   I also notice they are all child/toddler related too and therefore this is the area I am going to concentrate on too, which brings me to my goals for Cosy Crochet in 2018.

I really enjoyed making the playmats and toys and this is definitely something I have plans to continue to develop this year.   In fact I have 3 ideas for different toy series I want to do this year, I won’t spoil the surprises, but I am very excited to share them with you when they are finished.  I also plan to make some more children’s clothing, and possibly some adult clothing too, but my main focus this year is defiantly going to be on the toys.

Another goal I have decided for this year focuses around my own patterns.   I have, after much thinking, decided that ALL of my patterns will be available for FREE on my blog.   They will of course, not be suitable for printing and will have advertising on them, so if you prefer to have a downloadable ad free, version you can print, then they will be available in my etsy store for a small fee.   By offering everything for free I am hoping to direct more traffic to my blog, so be sure to share with your friends so they can also share these patterns.   I hope to have all my existing patterns on my blog by the end of January.

I have had a few requests over the last year from people who struggle to read a pattern and would like a video option.   I therefore plan to try and make as many videos as I can for my patterns this year.  I will work on improving the quality of my videos (I am aware my last was hard to  view at times) and will be upload these to my youtube channel.  To enable me the time to work on these videos and patterns, I have decided to reduce the amount of blog posts from weekly to biweekly.  I hope by doing this to be able to provide you with a free written pattern and a video tutorial every 2 weeks.

Finally as a part of my designing process, I would also like to have a bank of crochet testers available to help when I have finished my designs.  If you are a confident crocheter, who has access to mostly worsted/aran weight wool and can confidently read American crochet terms I would be interested in hearing from you.   Ideally I would like you to be able to test each item within a maximum of 2 weeks, so you would need to be able to work fairly quickly and not have a ton of other commitments.   You would need to be contactable (preferably via Facebook messenger) and understand that as I am based in the UK timezone may mean you will not get an instant reply to questions.   If this sounds like something you would like to do then I am looking for around 10-15 people to go on a list to help throughout the year.  In return you will obviously get to keep the completed patterns you test.

Above are my 2018 goals for Cosy Crochet and I hope that you will agree with them.   As with all my usual posts I would appreciate any feedback you have.   If there is something you would like to see, or prefer I did not do, then please let me know either by email or via facebook messenger and I will do my best to try and incorporate it into my plan for this year.

All that remains for this final post of my first year as a crochet blogger is to thank everyone for supporting me on my journey, through reading my blog, trying out my patterns and liking or sharing my content on my social media channels.   Thank you so much for everything and please continue with me on my journey into my second year and don’t forget to get in touch if you have any ideas or would love to be on my testing bank.

See you next week for my first post of year 2, using up my scrap wool from the past year.

Vicky x

Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress

This week I want to share with you my Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress.   An idea came to me a while ago for this dress and for the first time in a long time, this dress ended up exactly as I saw it in my mind.   I think I was browsing Pinterest on day and looking at all the granny squares and I have seen this pattern for many blankets, cardigans, jackets, bags and even some skirts and dresses, but they are almost always as squares put together and meant to be worn in the winter.   The weather is lovely in the UK at the moment and I had some amazing 4ply (sport weight) wool lying around in my stash that I wanted to use to create this dress.

Rainbow Granny Dress
Rainbow Granny Dress

The dress worked up quickly, although I always find that the granny stitch does and having Lily around meant I could occasionally try it on her to check it was fitting (even if she acted like I was torturing her!)   The body and skirt part were the easy part, and I was really pleased that the number of rows I picked for each stripe worked out being the perfect length for both sections.   I love the finishing neck and hem lines in the white shells, it reminds me of fluffy clouds around a rainbow in the sky.    It was actually the straps that I spent most of the time playing around with trying to get them how I wanted them to be, but I am now really pleased with them even if they do fall down a bit on Lily.   (I purposely made it slightly too big so that it would last all summer for her, she seems to be growing all the time at the moment.)   Although there are a lot of strands of the straps  did show through the shell decorative edge, I knew I wanted a button or something to mark the front of the straps and the white flower with the red button really works well.   I did try other colour buttons but the red definitely looked the best.

I have written up the pattern for this dress and it is really simple.   In  fact this pattern is so simple and fun to make that I might well make more in different colour combinations and I love the idea of making it adult sized, although that would require a lot more wool!  f you would like to try this pattern then please follow this link to find it here.   I would love, as always, to see any pictures you make of this dress, but for now here is one of Lily enjoying it (she calls it pretty!).

Rainbow Granny Dress
Rainbow Granny Dress

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress as much as I enjoyed making it.  See you next week.

Vicky x

Spring Strawberry Crochet

My children love strawberries, they are one of their favourite fruits and now the weather is warming up we have been enjoying eating them.  I decided a while ago that I wanted to make Lily a strawberry based cardigan but I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to do it.  This week I finally sat down and came up with an idea and worked on it, however, it ended up nothing like I originally imagined, but I love it.

I originally wanted it to be long sleeved and button up the whole way down.   I was going to do strawberry rows for the entire cardigan and make it mostly white.   I didn’t have enough white at home to make anything with so looking at the colours I did have enough of it has become mostly purple with green edging plus, of course, the strawberries.

After having worked a couple of rows I realised this had to be worked from the bottom up to make the strawberries the right way up.  After having worked 3 rows of strawberries my design idea began to change, I felt that anymore strawberry rows might end up being too many and so I stopped and ended up making 4 pieces.   Having the top and bottom in different stitches it made sense to only have it half buttoned up.  Once I had gotten to putting the parts together I loved the look of the short sleeves and just decided to give them a simple edge.

Its a little bit smaller than I would have liked it to be for Lily, it fits but won’t last her long, but the pattern is easy to adjust to make it larger so I might make her another one if she outgrows it before the end of summer.  Overall I am pleased with how it came out and she seems to like it too.

Strawberry Cardigan Collage
Strawberry Cardigan Collage

To continue the strawberry fun this week, I made Oliver the cuddly strawberry he’s been asking for.   He knows where I keep my wool and so he has been pulling out the red wool and asking for me to make it into a cuddly strawberry for him.

The strawberry is a fairly simple pattern with arms and legs that are made first and attached as you go along.   The complicated part is, like the strawberry cardigan, working with multiple colours as you go.   I have found the easiest way to do this is to trap the wool under every other stitch as you go so you don’t see the wool at the front.   Since the spots are only used every couple of rows it doesn’t need to be carried too much and is not too difficult to use.

I couldn’t find a way to attach as you go the eyes or top leaves (made with crocodile stitch) so there is some sewing involved but it’s not too much since I really hate that part of crochet!   I finished the strawberry late one evening so Oliver didn’t get it until the following morning, but he has been carrying it around with him everywhere and strawberry has to do everything he does.  He named his strawberry Stella (after the spaceship in Miles from Tomorrow Kids TV program) and really seems to love her.

Stella Strawberry Collage
Oliver and Stella and Stella Strawberry

If you would like to make your own Strawberry Cardigan or Stella the Cuddly Strawberry then click on the links to find the patterns.  As with all my patterns I would love to see pictures of anything you decide to make and you can post them in the comments or on any of my social media profiles.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks Strawberry post and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Vicky X

Lacey Wedding Clothes

If you follow Cosy Crochet on Facebook you may have noticed the WIP I posted at the end of last week.   I was working on a silver lacey shawl.   We have a family wedding in a couple of months and I knew both Lily and I would need something in case it’s cold in the evening.   Knowing the UK weather that’s likely even in May!   I have been wanting to try to crochet some lace patterns for a whole and after a few hours searching pintrest I came across the following pattern which I loved.    I had some spare silver wool I bought a while back when aldi had one of their special weeks and it had been sitting around waiting for a project and this was it.

The project worked up quickly and although I increased the length by an additional 20 rows than the pattern initially suggests it was very quick and easy to do.   This is the first piece that I have actually gotten around to blocking and it definitely benefited from it.   To block I used my kids old foam puzzle tiles that have been in a cupboard for ages.   With a couple of towels on top to absorb the moisture from getting it wet and some seriously bent pins I was very pleased with the result.  It has definitely bought out the lacey design and I will definitely be blocking more projects in the future (as well as buying some more pins).

Top left to right: creating the shawl, the pattern after blocking. Bottom: the finished shawl

I had 2 of the silver 50g balls of Wool left and decided to make something inspired by the above shawl pattern for Lily to wear.    I decided on a half length, short sleeved jacket.  The main is HDC (half double crochet with a lacey edge at the bottom and a simplified version of the lace for the sides, neck and sleeve edges.   I finished it off with a silver rose on one side.   I was going to add a button to close at the top but I couldn’t find any in my supply I liked and I didn’t feel when I had finished that it needed one enough to go out and buy one!

I am very pleased with the result even if Lily wasn’t too thrilled with trying it on and modeling it for me – the picture below was the best I could get after giving her bribery!  Hopefully she will like it for the actual day!   If you would like to try making your own then the lacey jacket pattern is here. 

The Lacy jacket and Lily wearing it

I hope you have enjoyed the lacey wedding clothing post as much as I enjoyed making them and I will try and get some pictures uploaded after the wedding of Lily and I wearing them!

See you all next week

Vicky x

Animal Ponchos

Last year I decided to make Lily a poncho.    I was searching through various different types patterns and pictures to find something I liked the look of for her.   I eventually came across this pattern for a hooded fox poncho.    It’s a paid pattern, although I generally use the free ones I love this so much I bought it.  I could also see that the pattern could be adapted for other animals and so I decided to make Oliver one  as well as both my niece’s one each for Christmas.

I actually made one in grey with a white trim and bunny ears initially as I happened to have this wool already.   The pattern originally calls for super chunky wool, but I ended up using 3 strands of aran to give the same thickness.    My niece Holly really loves her bunny and so this one was for her.

I then went shopping for wool to make the remaining 3 ponchos and could only find chunky wool in the colours I wanted.  I had to adapt the stitch count and hook size to get the ponchos to come out in the size I wanted.   After a bit if work adapting one I just copied them for the others.    In the end I had created 4 great looking animal ponchos.   Oliver has a green dinosaur, Lily the fox, Holly the bunny and my other niece Layla has the panda.

Top left to right: Fox poncho, Dinosaur poncho, Bottom left to right: Bunny poncho, Panda Poncho

I deliberately made them a little big to give them room to grow into them so they would last longer.   As a result I think they will do better for next winter than this one so I haven’t really got photos of them all in them.   I have bribed my two kids with sweets to model them for this blog post though!  I really love how they turned out and actually wouldn’t mind an adult sized one for me!   Maybe when I have some spare time I will make one for me for next winter!

Oliver in his dinosaur poncho and Lily in her fox poncho

Hope you have enjoyed this week’s blog post.   See you again next week.

Vicky x