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 Gallery

This week, is going to be a bit different.  I have several almost finished projects that I want to share with you soon, and even more ideas that I have not even started yet, but nothing fully finished.  I was rushing to try and finish one of them, but I won’t be able to do it in time, and I would rather not ruin the project by rushing, so I was looking around the house at ideas to share with you this week.  I have found several toys that I have made in the last few years, most of them free handed with no patterns, so rather than having too much text or patterns this week, I am going to do a gallery of past projects.

Most of the pictures will speak for themselves, so I will just caption them.   There are no patterns for most of these and I’m not sure that I could write down what I did for most of them, so this is mostly a look and enjoy week.  I will as usual link any patterns I have used.   I hope you will enjoy the crochet gallery and I will be back next week with a new design and finished pattern for you all.

See you next week

Vicky x

Knitted Snow Dog
Knitted Snow Dog
Turtle
Turtle
My Little Pony - Unicorn
My Little Pony – Unicorn
Doll's Clothes
Doll’s Clothes – Dress Pattern here
Panda comforter with rattle
Panda comforter with rattle

 

Clown Fish Nemo
Clown Fish Nemo
Christmas Penguin
Christmas Penguin
Small Penguin
Small Penguin
Rag Doll
Rag Doll
Dragon with Rattle
Dragon with Rattle
Penguin with Rattle
Penguin with Rattle
Owl
Owl
Knitted Little Big Planet - Sack Boy
Knitted Little Big Planet – Sack Boy
My Little Pony - Pegasus
My Little Pony – Pegasus

Crochet Toys – Mermaid Doll and Snake

This week I finally got around to working on a couple of smaller crochet toys I had been wanting to make for the children.  Lily loves watching mermaids on TV and I had wanted to make her a proper mermaid.  Earlier on in the year I had noticed a pattern released by Featherby and Friends for a mermaid doll and after taking part in their birthday celebrations I had been given a coupon for money off one of their patterns and so I purchased the mermaid pattern.   I didn’t have access to the wool used for the hair so I asked my sister to bring me some home from America and the pattern was set aside.   This week I finally had time, the wool had arrived and I had the pattern so I started to make the mermaid.   She didn’t take me long at all, even considering I took her apart as I wasn’t happy with the effect using the 8mm hook recommended, her gaps were way to big in the stitches.

She’s larger than I expected although she is made using chunky blanket wool, but she was super easy and quick to make and she is very soft and cuddly.   Her hair took the longest to add on but it was totally worth it.  Her hair is so soft and the colours are perfect for a mermaid.  Since Lily is still young I had tied her hair up so it doesn’t get completely knotted and a mess but when she’s older we can take it out.   Lily loves her and she now lives on her bed when she isn’t being dragged around!   The pattern is a paid one,  but she’s definitely worth paying for.  If you want to make your own mermaid then you can find the pattern at this link.

Mermaid Collage

 

Also this week I was able to make Oliver the snake he has been after for ages.  Whenever we go to a toy shop he loves the super long snakes, and he is always playing with the dog’s toy snake at his grandparents house.  So this week I decided it was time to make one for him.   He choose his colours of blue and green and I set out to make it.   It didn’t really take long, I just increased stitches in a magic circle until I got to 36 stitches in the round and then I tried out some tapestry crochet techniques using the green to create triangle patterns in the snakes skin.   It worked up really nicely, although it did take me a while to find a good rhythm where I wasn’t constantly tangling the two balls of wool up!   I used some left over Caron Simply Soft wool I had from another project and the colours are great.   Its not a super long snake but Oliver wanted it done immediately and he wasn’t patient enough to wait for me to make it any longer.   I stuffed him when I finished the length and that was a nightmare, I should have stuffed as I went along, but I finished with the tail in blue and added a yellow kinder egg filled with beads to give the snake a rattle sound.   So far he is holding up to the beatings of a 3 year old throwing it around!

Snake Collage
Snake Collage

I didn’t really use any kind of pattern to make him, and its not overly worth creating one as it was so simple to make, but if anyone is interested in creating their own snake, then I will add some directions below.  When working 2 colours, carry the colour you are not working with underneath each stitch and change colour on the final yarn over of the previous stitch.  Stuff the snake as you go and if you want to add a rattle, add it in the tail to make a rattle snake!  It only uses a couple of stitches, single crochet (sc), single crochet increase (sc inc), single crochet decrease (sc dec), ch (chain) and slip stitch (sl st) to make the snake and once you have gotten used to the changes of colour is easy to work up.   I am now looking forward to making something more detailed using the tapestry crochet.

Snake Pattern

Tonge in yellow

  • ch 9, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in every ch to end, ch5, sc in 2nd ch from hook and every ch to end, sl st into original st then ch 5 and sc in 2nd ch from hook and every ch to end of ch, sl st into starting st and cast off.  Attach to snake between rounds 10 and 11 in between the eyes underneath the snakes body.

Snake 

  • starting in blue, 6sc in magic circle (do not sl st in any round)
  • sc inc in every st (12)
  • (sc inc, sc) rep to end (18)
  • (sc inc, 2 sc) rep to end (24)
  • (sc inc, 3 sc) rep to end (30)
  • (sc inc, 4 sc) rep to end (36)
  •  for the next 6 rows – sc around (36)
  • insert eyes between rows 10 and 11
  • *(5sc in blue, sc in Green) rep to end
  • 2sc in green (3 sc in blue, 3sc in green) rep 5 times, 1sc in green
  • 3sc in green, 1sc in blue (5sc in green, 1 sc in blue) rep 5 times, 2sc in green
  • sc around in blue
  • 4sc in blue, 1sc in green (5sc in blue, 1sc in green) rep 5 times, 1sc in blue
  • (3 sc in blue, 3 sc in green) rep to end
  • 1 sc in green, 1sc in blue (5sc in green, 1 sc in blue) rep 5 times, 4sc in green
  • sc around in blue*
  • rep from * to * another 12 times
  • (4sc, sc dec ) rep to end (30)
  • sc around (30)
  • (3sc, sc dec) (24)
  • sc around (24)
  • (2sc, sc dec) (18)
  • sc around (18)
  • (sc, sc dec) (12)
  • sc around
  • sc dec around (6)
  • sew end shut and sew in ends.

Thanks for reading this weeks post, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my creations.  I would love to see any pictures of the snake if you decide to make it.  See you next week.

Vicky x