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

Crochet Dinosaur Series – Dinosaur Storage Bag

This week is the final week in the Crochet Dinosaur Series, and to finish we will be making a dinosaur bag to put your playmat and dinosaurs into when they are not being played with.   Handy also for taking out with you.

Crochet Dinosaur Series

The bag is made primarily of double crochet stripes, in four colours, yellow, sea green, red and white.   I also added two bands of dinosaurs, so you know what is in this particular bag.  The dinosaur bands are made in Tunisian crochet, something I have wanted to explore a bit more.   I definitively enjoyed working out how to make these bands.

If you don’t know how to Tunisian crochet I have included instructions and a useful video to get you started.  If you don’t have the hooks or are not sure about it however, you could always make the band using normal single crochet in a tapestry crochet style.

Dinosaur Bag
Dinosaur Bag

One thing I did learn was that Tunisian crochet is tighter than my double crochet and I probably could have gone up a hook size to make the bag more even.   Since it is at the top and bottom however, it doesn’t really affect the bags use.

To get the Dinosaur Bag, click on the link provided.

I hope you have enjoyed making everything in the Crochet Dinosaur Series, I know I definitely have and my children love playing with them.  Thank you for joining me every week and I look forward to seeing you all next week for something new and different.

Vicky x

Toy Hammocks

I remember when I was around 8 or so going to a friends house and seeing all her stuffed animals in a toy hammock.   I remember thinking how cool that was and I wished I had one.    Mine instead lived on the end of my bed.   Time passed and I didn’t think anything more of it until now.

My children both have a growing collection of stuffed toys, some which they have inherited from their Father and I, but they take up so much room on the end of their toddler beds.    It’s a pain to have to take them all off and on when changing or making them and they can never find the ones they want!

I’d been thinking about ways to store them for a while and remembered the hammock I used to love when I was a kid.  I looked around for patterns but didn’t see anything I liked quite enough to make it – so I decided to experiment and make my own.    I have some chunky blanket wool I bought a while back when aldi had it on offer.   I had no plans for it and this seemed a good use for it.

I started to create the first hammock in pink sparkly wool for Lily since it bothers her the most having her toys on her bed and very quickly Oliver announced he wanted one too in blue.    I had some blue left from the blanket I made on the sofa but not enough for the whole toy hammock so he agreed to half of it being in silver.

They work up very quickly in a couple of hours and I am pleased by the results.  I create the whole toy hammock without any sewing (am part from the ends) which should great as I don’t enjoy sewing particularly.   The loops allow it to be hung in two ways – so Lily has hers hung with both loops on one hook and Oliver’s has it more open.   They both love them and the access to their toys they have without them being in their way.

Oliver’s Hammock
Lily’s Hammock

You can find the pattern for the toy hammock here.   I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.   See you next week

Vicky x