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 Baby Gifts

A while a go I found out one of my good friends is expecting her third boy and knowing she doesn’t need anything (she has it all from her previous two) I decided I wanted to make something unique that she wouldn’t already have.   I started thinking about the things that my children used the most and blankets, comforters and rattles were among my top ideas.  I also have children that are mad on dinosaurs and I decided it was a good starting point.   I found myself in hobbycraft (as I often do) in the wool section and fell in love with the bright blue and green from the new Caron Simply Soft range.  They were on 3 for 2 at the time and so I also got one in white.  It was at this point I realised the comforter was what I was going to make.

I sat down to create my dinosaur comforter and being a fan of no sewing all the parts are attached as you go and the whole comforter is created in one long pieces, so only ends need weaving in.   He was surprisingly quick to create, completing him in a day I also had a go at using short row shaping for the first time without following a pattern.  I was really pleased with my dinosaur comforter, he has bright colours and is really soft and I am hoping is something that the new baby will enjoy playing with.  He didn’t really use much of the wool I had bought though and so I decided to try and have a go at a c2c (corner to corner) graph blanket using the same colours (so they match) again with a dinosaur theme.

Crochet Dinosaur Collage
Crochet Dinosaur Baby Gifts, Blanket and Comforter

So I got the graph paper out and sat and drew an outline of a dinosaur and egg on the paper as a guide to follow.  After a few attempts I found a design I was happy with and started to create my blanket.  It is not as hard to work a graph design in c2c as I was anticipating, however, I very quickly learnt the value of bobbins as constantly cutting the wool every colour change resulted in a lot of weaving in of ends, not something I enjoy at all!   About 1/3 of the way in, I started to separate the wool in to various smaller balls so I didn’t have so much cutting and the result is definitly a lot better.  Not only are there many less ends to weave in, but I think the design looks better, and in the long run will also make it far less likely to fall apart.   Next time, I think I will mentally run through a design and figure out what I need and separate the wool before I even start!

I was very pleased with the finished blanket, although it will slightly annoy me that the picture is not completely centered.   I finished it off with a simple border consisting of a sc and ch2 in between every block, followed by 3sc across each ch2, then a row of dc, a row of sc and finally a crab stitch finish.  Using each of the colours in the blanket really finishes it off in a simple and easy way.   I have added the graph of the dinosaur blanket below incase you want to try and make it yourself, although the dinosaur is a little more centered in it than in my blanket.   The dinosaur comforter pattern can be found here.

c2c Dinosaur Blanket Graph
c2c Dinosaur Blanket Graph

I hope you have enjoyed my crochet dinosaur baby gifts as much as I enjoyed creating them, and my friend and her baby will enjoy using them.   See you all next week.

Vicky x