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

Oliver’s Dinosaur Hat

It’s funny how some things you work hard on don’t do nearly as well as the spur of the moment projects.  Oliver’s Dinosaur hat is one of those spur of the moment projects.  I’d made the mother and daughter hats for Lily and myself and Oliver obviously didn’t want to feel left out, so he asked me to make him a dinosaur hat in blue and green.   Not having the necessary colours in the right weight in my wool stash, we went to the wool shop a couple of days later.   They actually didn’t have any green and we came out with 2 different blues in Hayfield Bonus Chunky Wool.

A couple of days later I set out to make his hat.  I initially experimented with working it in tapestry crochet,  but I just couldn’t get the dinosaur to look how I wanted it to.  Having a very impatient 4 year old waiting for is hat, meant I didn’t really have all the time in the world to experiment with either.   He seems to think Mummy should be able to produce his hat in a matter of seconds not days!

Blue Dino Hat
Blue Dino Hat

So as a result I worked up a quick and simple beanie style hat with a rib banding of front and back post stitches.  The actual hat, once I worked out the size needed really didn’t take more than an hour.   I then went on to work out a dinosaur motif to attach to the front in the contrast colour.   It took a couple of attempts to get the shape right before I was able to attach it to the hat but the time (even if it was too much according to Oliver) was obvious well spent as he loves his hat.

I scribbled down what I did as I made it, but didn’t really intend to release it as a pattern.  I often scribble down freehanded projects but then think they are not all the great and they are just left there.   However, after requests on social media for the pattern I spent a couple of hours at the weekend filming a tutorial for the hat.  I am so glad I did that.   The pattern for the hat I wrote down was fine, but I have no idea what I meant for the dinosaur at all.  No matter how many attempts, I couldn’t replicate what I wrote down, it made no sense to me at all.   Therefore I reworked and rewrote my dinosaur pattern and then made him a few times to make sure I fully understood what I meant!

Dino Motif
Dino Motif

This pattern hasn’t been tested, I hadn’t really intended to do anything with it, but I have made it a few times now so I’m pretty certain its all good.  However, if you want to try it and run into any problems, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.   I still need to edit the video tutorial I made at the weekend before its ready to be uploaded, but that should be done by next wednesday.  Until then if you want to create your own dino hat, you can find the pattern here.

A little warning about the yarn, the Hayfield seems to be thicker than other chunky yarns I have used and this is the yarn used to design the hat.  If you use a different chunky yarn be sure to work up a swatch and compare it to the gauge in the pattern.  In my video tutorial, I used Paintbox chunky and the hat worked up a size smaller.   This is ok for me as it fits Lily perfectly, but you may need to make some adjustments to your hooks size or work a slightly larger pattern.

Green dino hat
Green dino hat

Anyway, I hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog post, and do let me see your finished Dinosaur hat if you make one.  Join me in 2 weeks for my next blog post releasing the first pattern in my new crochet series.

Vicky x

 

Mother & Daughter Crochet Hats

This week I would like to share with you my Mother & Daughter Crochet Hats.   I didn’t specifically set out to make matching hats for Lily and myself, it just sort of happened.   I was actually trying out different stitches for a hat for myself using the 2 purple balls of chunky wool I had in my stash.   In fact the initial ideas I had are nothing like the finished product but I am very pleased with these hats.

They are mostly worked in single crochet with a ribbed band at the bottom and 2 decorative stitch bands spread across the hat.   I recently learnt puff stitch and thought this would go great in a hat, plus I love the wintery effect the star stitch adds to the hat.   Then to finish it off they have a double layer flower attached, which due to the continuous design of the hat can be changed to the left or right sides depending on what you feel like wearing that day.

Mother & Daughter Hats
Mother & Daughter Hats

The chunky wool makes the hat super warm and having the same design as Lily means she is actually more likely to wear a hat if it is the same as Mummy’s!  Of course, having made us both a hat Oliver decided he needed one too, and set me the challenge of a dinosaur hat, but I shall share that with you another time.

If you want to make your own Mother & Daughter Crochet hats, then you can find the pattern by clicking on the link.   You will need 100g of chunky wool per hat you make and they come in 3 different sizes, adult, child and toddler.   The hats shown are in the adult and toddler sizes.   The link is to the written pattern, however I will be uploading the video tutorial on my You Tube channel next Wednesday so be sure to check that out.

Unfortunately due to the huge amount of rain we have had here, I have been unable to get a good picture of us both wearing our hats outside, however, this one should give you an idea of what it looks like.

Mother and Daughter Hats
Mother and Daughter Hats

I hope you like the Mother & Daughter Crochet Hats as much as I have, see you in 2 weeks for more crochet fun.

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 – Crochet Chocolate Orange Covers

Although it is Christmas very soon, if you are still looking for a quick home made Christmas gift idea, then these Chocolate Orange Covers would be perfect.   They are cheap and quick to make and look fantastic.   I didn’t have to buy anything except the chocolate oranges to make these as they basically used odds that I had left from other projects.   In addition to this they probably took around an hour to make each one and I think they make this tasty chocolate a fun present too!

I started off using this pattern from Crochet with Kate as a basis for my covers, but after making one they came out way too big for the  Chocolate oranges I had made.   Either my gauge was way off or her chocolate oranges were much bigger!!

It wasn’t too difficult to make them smaller, I just one less increase row on each half and only had 3 rows before adding the closing method.   Pretty much everything else I kept the same and just adjusted the patterns to make different characters.   I did end up using the embroidery french knots as eyes rather than safety eyes as I found they dug into the chocolate and didn’t give quite as good a finish.

Chocolate Orange Covers
Chocolate Orange Covers

I ended up making the reindeer, robin and Christmas pudding that was suggested on the blog, but also adapted the robin to make a penguin and a snowman.   Having completed all of them I am not quite sure who is my favourite but I think Rudolf may just be my favourite!

If you have any more last minute presents you want to make for family, friends or even teachers then I would definitely recommend making these!

I hope that everyone has a fantastic Christmas however you are celebrating.  See you next week for the final post of the year!

Vicky x