Polar Playmat Series – Penny the Polar Bear

I am very excited to launch my Polar Playmat Series this week.   I came up with this concept over Christmas and have been working hard since then to bring it to you.   The Polar Playmat fits in perfectly with all the wintery weather we have had recently, but without any of the actual cold!

Polar Playmat
Polar Playmat

The playmat features 4 toys; a Narwhal, Rockhopper Penguin, Seal and a Polar Bear, 4 of my favourite polar living animals.   Whilst they don’t all strictly live in the same place in the wild, I decided to bring them together for this series.   Also as part of the series is the small igloo toy to complete the winter look which you can place on the icy area of the playmat.   Plus there are plenty of fish to eat in the sea for all these creatures.   Finally I made a colour coordinating bag to store all of the playmat pieces in.

Over the course of the next 5 blog posts, I am going to be releasing each of the written patterns to you for FREE, and on the alternating weeks you will also get a video tutorial available on my youtube channel.   This week I will be beginning with Penny the Polar Bear.

Penny Polar Bear
Penny Polar Bear

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while will know I prefer to sew as little as possible in  my patterns and Penny is no exception.   See features join as you go limbs and therefore only requires the final end to be sewn into her.   I have actually worked up 2 versions of Penny.   Firstly, the smaller version who matches the playmat perfectly is worked in aran yarn on a 3mm hook, but also the more cuddly sized Penny who was worked up using blanket yarn (aldi baby yarn) and a 6mm hook, who can be made on her own or with her more cuddly friends.

Cuddly Penny Polar Bear
Cuddly Penny Polar Bear

You can find the FREE pattern for Penny the Polar Bear by clicking on the link.   If you are not familiar with join as you go limbs, then I have a video tutorial which maybe helpful to you here.  You can also purchase the ad free, printable version of this pattern in my Etsy store for a small amount if you prefer.

I hope that you enjoy making Penny over the next couple of weeks, and do look out for her video tutorial coming next Wednesday.   As always I would love to see pictures of your finished toys, so please feel free to share them on my social media platforms.

See you in 2 weeks with another of Penny’s friends from the Polar Playmat Series.

Vicky x

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

A Very Crochet Christmas – Nativity Scene

This week in Cosy Crochet’s Christmas I would like to show you all the Nativity scene I made last year.

We have always had a nativity scene under the Christmas Tree (since it is the reason for Christmas!) and most of the child friendly displays avaliable are not toddler friendly.  Last year Lily was just about 1 and didn’t really know not to eat the small figures, so when I saw the nativity pattern in a magazine, I knew this was the solution.   There would be nothing dangerous about a crocheted nativity.   They wouldn’t be ruined and it would also provide the kids with a distraction, rather than playing with the Christmas Tree decorations.

Last year the kids just played with it, but this year I hope we can use it to act out the nativity story.   You can find the pattern for the nativity figures part 1 here for FREE  and Part 2 here also for FREE.   The pattern includes all the figures; Mary, Joseph, Jesus (and manger), 2 Shepherds and a lamb, 3 wise men and an angel.   I added my own donkey and a stable with a star on top.  To hold the stable in its shape I put cardboard between crochet panels and sewed them together.   It seems to be holding ok, even after being in storage for a year!  I also added my own mat for the whole nativity to sit on.

Crochet Nativity
Crochet Nativity

I hope you enjoyed my  crochet nativity scene, and if you get a chance the pattern took me less than a week to make and is definitely worth it if you have little ones in the house.   I’ll get a photo of it under my tree this year and put it on my social media sites.

See you next week for more Christmas patterns.

Vicky x

A Very Crochet Christmas – Christmas Elves

Christmas has come to Cosy Crochet (a bit early I know, but I couldn’t wait any longer!)   This week is the first of the Christmas items I have been working on for you – Jingle the Elf.

Now my children are ages 4 and 2 they definitely seem ready to properly buy into all the Christmas traditions and one I have really wanted to start is the Elf of the Shelf.  However, rather than just buying any old elf, I decided to make one.   Although making one elf very quickly turned in to 2 elves!

So this week I would like to introduce to you Jingle and Candy the Christmas Elves.   The kids have already seen me making them and know they will be coming out closer to Christmas to report to Santa how well they are behaving.   What they don’t know however, is that elves can get themselves into all sorts of mischief!   I definitely look forward to seeing the kids reactions to what the elves get up to throughout the lead up to Christmas.   I am really hoping they will build up their excitement to Christmas day.

Jingle and Candy Elves
Jingle and Candy Elves

We usually put our decorations up as close to the beginning of December as we can so the elves will probably come out then.  The elves only took me a day to make each and so if you wanted to make 1 or 2 or several of these elves, there is still plenty of time.   They use mostly single crochets (plus increases and decreases) and loop stitch to create their hair.  I used the paintbox simple aran yarns to make them, but any aran yarn would work.

You can purchase the patterns for Jingle and Candy separately for £2.99 each, or get both patterns for £5.   As usual you can find them for sale on both my etsy and ravelry stores.

I hope you love my elves as much as I do, and I look forward to seeing any of the elves you make.   Keep an eye on my social media platforms to find out more about the mischief that Candy and Jingle get up to in our house over the Christmas period.

See you next week,

Vicky x

Crochet Hooded Blanket – Unicorn

Last week I showed you the dinosaur Hooded Crochet Blanket I made for Oliver.   This week I want to show you the unicorn version I have made for Lily.

Lily really loves horses and riding and well anything along that lines, but more recently she is happy with coloured ponies and also unicorns.   The chunky platinum coloured wool that Aldi released recently paired perfectly with their raspberry colour and just looked like the perfect combinations for a unicorn.  So a unicorn hooded blanket and toy were created from them.   I used about 3 balls of the platinum and one of the pink to create the blanket and the toy.

The blanket was created from a platinum rectangle in shell stitch and a shell stitch border in pink.   I also added pink triangle hand pockets and a platinum hood which was created from a shell stitch rectangle and attached before the border was added.   To finish off the unicorn blanket I added the pink horn and also a pink mane.

The unicorn cuddly toy was created in a similar way, with a platinum body and pink highlighting features.   I adapted this unicorn toy pattern, although I made the arms and legs attach as you go rather than having so much sewing to do at the end.

Crochet Hooded Blanket - Unicorn collage
Crochet Hooded Blanket – Unicorn collage

I’m not 100% happy with the shape of either the head or the body of this pattern and I am not sure if its is because of the actual pattern or how I adapted it.   I will probably have another go at making another unicorn (although it will not be of the same wool) next year to see if I can improve on the shape at all.   However, Lily loves her unicorn and that is really all that matters!

I hope you have enjoyed looking at the hooded blankets and toys I have made over the last couple of weeks.   Join me next week for something completely different.

Vicky x