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.   Remember for this week only it will be FREE (until 17/10/2017).   After this time, if you wish to get the pattern or any other pattern from the Crochet Dinosaur Series then they will be available to purchase in the ‘Crochet Dinosaur eBook’ which will also contain bonus patterns too.

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

Crochet Dinosaur Series – Volcano

Now you have made the playmat and all the dinosaurs, you will be needing some accessories to make the environment even better.   This week we will be adding a volcano to the Crochet Dinosaur Series.

Crochet Dinosaur Series

The volcano is made from the top down, and creates the inside as you go.  It is worked in double strands, one light and one dark brown to make it more sturdy.  The volcano gets its texture from using front and back post stitches and you need to keep an eye out to make sure you don’t miss any when decreasing.

Playmat Volcano
Playmat Volcano

The lava is added on at the end and uses chain’s attached at both ends to give a wavy effect of lava coming down the volcano.   Chains are also used to suggest lava is coming out of the top of the volcano by sewing loops into the centre.

To get your FREE Volcano Pattern for one week only (until 03/10/2017) then click on the link.    As usual if you have missed the rest of the series, then you can get all the Crochet Dinosaur Series patterns in the eBook available for purchase here.

I hope you enjoy adding the volcano to your collection.   Join me next week when we add the trees to the playmat (so the dinosaurs can eat!)

Vicky x

 

Crochet Dinosaur Series – Trees

We finish off the accessories to enhance your playmats environment this week, by adding some trees from the Crochet Dinosaur Series. 

Crochet Dinosaur Series

The trees are worked in three separate parts, small leaves in light green, large leaves in dark green and trucks worked in either dark or light brown.   The trunks, like the volcano, make use of post stitches to create the bark like texture.  Whilst both the leaves are worked in one continuous round in both sides of a chain.   The leaves are then sewn on to the trunk at the end, starting with the larger leaves and then the smaller ones in between the larger leaves.

I made 4 Trees, mostly because that was all the brown yarn I had, and also as I didn’t want to use more than 1 ball of each colour in the playmat.  However, I think given the size of the playmat, any more trees would have made it just too crowded.   If you want however, you can vary the amount of trees you make.

You can find the FREE Playmat Trees by clicking on the link, available until 3/10/2017.  After this time it will be available in the ‘Crochet Dinosaur eBook’ which you can purchase here.

I hope you enjoy finishing off the playmat with tree this week.   Next week finishes the Crochet Dinosaur Series by making a storage bag for you to keep everything in.

Vicky x

Crochet Dinosaur Series – Dinosaur Playmat

Having finished all of the dinosaurs in the Crochet Dinosaur Series, you will need a place for them all to play and this week we will make the playmat for them.

Crochet Dinosaur Series

The playmat is made in entirely in wave stitch in alternating colours to represent the deep sea up to the waves on the beach.   It also has mud, bushes, grass and finishes with snow capped mountains.  Although it might be shown in an abstract way, children should have no trouble figuring out which section is perfect for the dinosaur they are playing with.

Dinosaur Playmat

Dinosaur PlaymatWe will make the accessories for the playmat (trees and moutains) over the next two weeks, but for this week we will just focus on the playmat itself.   I made it 24″ square, but you could easily increase the size by adding more rows to increase the length, or adding multiples of 4 to the starting chain to increase the width.

To get your FREE pattern for this week only, click on the Dinosaur Playmat link.  It will be available until 26/09/2017.   If you miss it or any of the patterns in this series, then you can purchase the ‘Crochet Dinosaur eBook’ here.

I hope you enjoy making the playmat for the dinosaurs to play on.  Join me next week when we will be adding a volcano.

Vicky x