Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Tunisian RIB Washcloth

 

This week I want to share with you the first in a series of patterns which will all work together to create a spa basket.   This would make a excellent mother's day gift (which is coming up soon) or just a lovely present for someone special in your life.   Over the next few weeks I will release a new FREE pattern which will all work together to create this gift and one of the patterns will also include the basket to put it all in.   Of course if you don't want to make the whole thing, then each of these patterns stand alone too.

This week I am starting off with my Tunisian Crochet RIB washcloth.  This wash cloth is made from cotton and as it uses only a small amount of each colour, it is easily something which can be made using up odds and ends of cotton that you may have in your stash, and for me this was definitely true.   In fact everything in the spa basket is created using materials which I already had at home, which means I am definitely working on my goal to use up my stash this year.   This wash cloth uses a new pattern which I hadn't tried before.   With some of my Christmas money I managed to get a couple of Tunisian crochet stitch guides and this stitch came from one of them.  The pattern is just large enough to use as a small washcloth which could work well either in the bathroom, or in the kitchen to do the dishes if preferred, it would also work well for cleaning hands and faces for any children in the house too!

Below is the FREE pattern for this washcloth, I hope that you enjoy making it and will join me the next few weeks to complete the whole spa basket.   See you next week with the pattern for the basket.

Vicky x

 

Tunisian RIB Washcloth

1.  Materials and Resources

Below is a list of everything you will need to make this ---

·        Paintbox Cotton DK – odd amounts in any 2 colours you choose

·        6mm Tunisian crochet hook

·        Tapestry needle

·        Scissors


2.   Stitch List

Below is a list of all the stitches (and their abbreviations) featured in this pattern.  All terms used are American.

·        Ch – chain

·        TSS – Tunisian simple stitch

·        TK – Tunisian Knit Stitch

·        TP – Tunisian Purl Stitch

·        RP return Pass

·        Sl st – slip stitch

·        Sc – single crochet

·        MC – Main colour

·        CC Contrasting colour

 

3.  Pattern

Row

Instruction

Stitches

1

In MC ch 27

27

2

TSS

27

3

RP in CC

27

4

(3 K, 2 P) to end in CC

27

5

RP in MC

27

6

(3 K, 2 P) to end in MC

27

7

RP in CC

27

8-35

Rep rows 4-7

27

36-37

Rep rows 4 & 5

27

38

Tunisian cast off

27

39

Holding both colours together, sc around the edge of the cloth, placing a sc, ch1, sc in each corner.   Sl st and cast off

 

  

© All patterns on this page belong to www.cosycrochet.co.uk You may not sell this pattern. Please feel free to sell the items you make using this pattern, however please acknowledge me in your listing.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Knit Effect Tunisian Crochet Draft Excluder

 

We live in an old Victorian Town House and as such there are often drafty spots in this house and one of these is by the front door.   I have looked at buying a draft excluder for the front door, but honestly the price of them made me think I could make one much cheaper and I would also get much more fun out of it.   This project turned out to be a great stash buster and didn't even require whole balls of yarn to make it.   This was the perfect project for me to start my new year's resolution of using up my stash on.   I emptied out my stash of all Aran Paintbox Yarn and looked through that to see what colours I had that were similar in size.   I quickly found a bunch of rainbow colours that I had similar amounts of and decided they would make a lovely bright project to brighten up the dull January we are having.

I have really been wanting to improve and learn more about Tunisian crochet this year, and so to kick start that off I decided this would be a Tunisian project.   But since I wanted the draft excluder soon rather than later, I decided to stick to a stitch I am familiar with, the Tunisian knit stitch.  This project was quite simple to work up and didn't take much time to complete.  It is basically a rectangle sewn into a sausage shape with circles on the end to seal it.  I stuff it as I would any toy but also added a few sandwich bags of small stones (the kind you put in an indoor plant pot for decoration) which helps weigh it down so it really does stay where you want it too.   I added 3 bags of stones, 1 either end and one in the middle, and it could have possibly done with a couple more in the middle to keep it completely still, although 3 bags do work.

This year I want to experiment with my blog layout and so I have decided to try out adding my patterns directly into the body of the blog post.   I will be starting this from now so you can find the pattern for the Knit Effect Tunisian Crochet Draft Excluder here;

 

Knit Effect Tunisian Crochet Draft Excluder Pattern

 

1.  Materials and Resources

Below is a list of everything you will need to make this ---

·        Paintbox Simply Aran – odd amounts of any colours you like.   I used 8 colours I had from my scraps box.

·        6mm Tunisian crochet hook

·        Stuffing

·        Plant Pot decoration stones (or something similar to add weight)

·        Sandwich bags (or similar to contain stones)

·        Tapestry needle

·        Scissors

 

2.   Stitch List

Below is a list of all the stitches (and their abbreviations) featured in this pattern.  All terms used are American.

·        Ch – chain

·        TK – Tunisian knit stitch

·        Sl st – slip stitch

  

3.  Notes

Here are a few handy tips to help you with the pattern.

·        There is no specific gauge for this project, just work as tightly as possible.  

·        This was made to fit a door approximately a meter long.   If you need it shorter or longer then add or remove starting chains.

·        When stuffing I added a few sandwich bags of the stones evenly along the width to weigh down the draught excluder.    You can use as many as you like or none if you prefer, it just helps it from moving away from the door

 

 

© All patterns on this page belong to www.cosycrochet.co.uk You may not sell this pattern. Please feel free to sell the items you make using this pattern, however please acknowledge me in your listing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Pattern

Main body – Start with any colour, I started with Red

Row

Instruction

Stitches

1

Ch 100, start with a basic Tunisian forward and return pass

100

2-5

TK and return pass

100

 

Change colour

 

6-40

Tk and return pass, change colour every 5 rows, or more often if required

100

41

Tunisian cast off

 

 

Sl st both long sides together

 

 

Ends – work 2 in Red

Row

Instruction

Stitches

1

6 sc in m/c

6

2

(sc inc) x 6

12

3

(sc, sc inc) x 6

18

4

(2 sc, sc inc) x 6

24

5

(3 sc, sc inc) x 6

30

6

(4 sc, sc inc) x 6

36

7

(5 sc, sc inc) x 6

42

8

(6 sc, sc inc) x 6

48

9

(7 sc, sc inc) x 6

54

10

(8 sc, sc inc) x 6

60

 

 

 

 

 

To finish:

 

·        Sl st the circle to one end of the sausage created above.

·        Stuff and add stones evenly

·        Sl st the other circle to the main body to close it shut.

·        Sew in all ends

·        Place by any door

 

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Crochet Planned Pooling Snowman Dress

 

This week I would like to share with you my Crochet Planned Pooling Snowman Dress.   This was my Christmas Project that I slowly worked at in between having fun with the kids playing with their new toys and catching up with all the family.   I didn't really intend to make a dress as such, I was just experimenting with the Aldi Rainbow Snowflake yarn to see if it would actually pool.   If you follow my blog regularly, you may have seen my Snowflake Cardigan I knitted last year, which started to show signs of pooling in places, which gave me the idea to try it.

As it happens this yarn is the easiest I have ever worked with the pool.   There's only two colours which helps and the colour changing is fairly even, for the most part it changed every 5 single crochet's (at least for me using a 4mm hook) and when there was an occasionally shorter piece it wasn't too hard to stretch it out to make it work.   I had a few patches where it went wrong and had to be ripped out, but on the whole it worked really well.  Even changing to a different skein didn't seem to stop the pattern flowing nicely, and although it took me a few days to get the length I finally settled on, it was definitely an easy process (compared to the nightmare I had when working on this planned pooling bag!)

I had initially thought I might turn this into a scarf as the yarn is really soft, but after working up a little, it just seemed a bit to thick to use for that purpose, but I had, unintentionally made it the perfect width to make the top part of a dress for Lily.   after settling on that plan I found the correct length to fit around her and then slip stitched it together to for a round.   The sleeves, were made in a similar manner, I just made smaller planned pooling strips and finished off the outer edge with a row of shell stitch, before sewing them to the top.   This actually took me a couple of attempts to get them in the right place so that they didn't fall off and were not too tight.

I then worked on the skirt portion of the dress.  I did this in a very similar manner to the Jingle Belle Dress, although I made four double width panels instead of 8 as I only had

4 pieces of fabric which worked together.  This dress ended up being the perfect place to use my snowman fat quarters which I had picked up from Hobbycraft last year and had sitting on my shelf.   My kids don't really know the program 'The Snowman' but it was one of my favorites as a kid and I love to watch it every Christmas.  I didn't want to use the silver ribbon for this dress, as I didn't want it to detract from the planned pooling top.   However, I did have some glittery tulle that my Dad had given me (they bought it as a table cloth and didn't end up using it) and this seemed the perfect use for it.   I made the tulle section exactly as I made the snowman skirt and then simply sewed it over the top of the skirt.   It ended up see-through enough to see the fabric underneath, but the sparkle kind of adds a snow effect to the fabric which I really like, as well as making the dress a little bit more special.

Having decided not to finish the dress of with ribbon, I still felt it needed a little something extra, and so I decided to make a planned pooling bow to go on the dress.   I basically made a long rectangle and then sewed it together, before wrapping a long length of yarn around the middle to pull the centre in tight to make the bow shape.  I then added two curly tails under the bow to finish it off before sewing it to the front of the dress.   Although I have put the bow on the front, it could just as easily be the back, depending on how you wanted to wear it, as the dress can really be worn either way round without any issues.

To finish it off, I decided to make a couple of little hair bows in the same yarn to match the dress.   (I will be uploading a load of bow patterns on the blog later this year, so I will have the pattern for them then).   I really love how adding these bows has really finished this outfit off.

I haven't really written out a pattern for this dress, partly because it involves crochet planned pooling, which varies a great deal depending on the batch of yarn, the hook size and the individual crocheter's tension.     However, if you wanted to create your own dress, then you can use all the measurements from the Jingle Belle Dress to create your dress.  The Top is a long rectangle and can be created to the same measurements as detailed in the Jingle Belle Dress, before it is joined to form a tube.    The skirt portion is made exactly the same (although with 4 pieces of fabric, rather than 8, but either option works well) and the skirt overlay is made exactly the same as the skirt portion.   The only real difference is the sleeves, and these are essentially double the width of the straps in the Jingle Belle Dress, with a shell edging to one side.  The length with vary depending on the age of the child, but you can make them as long or as short as you need (just measure the child from top of the shoulder blade to the front top of the chest to get the length (for the 4-5 size its 18cm long and 6cm wide before the shell border).   To make the bow, just make a large rectangle (mine was 40cm long and 7cm wide, although you can change dimensions as you see fit) then wrap yarn around the middle, once the rectangle is joined together, before sewing on.  The tassels are made by chaining a length and then putting 2 double crochet's into each ch to the end and then sewing them to the bow.

In total to create the dress for a 4 - 5 year old I used a little under 300g of this yarn.

I hope the brief instructions help you create your own dress, in conjunction with the Jingle Belle Dress pattern, and if you want any further help with this then please feel free to get in touch and I will try my best to help you out.  I really love this dress and especially the fact that I managed to only use materials that I already had at home to complete it!  Join me next week for some home decor crochet projects which will help you to start working through your yarn stash.

Vicky x

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

2018 Top 9 & 2019 Crochet Goals

 

2018 Blog Review

As of today I have officially started my third year as a crochet blogger and I can't quite believe I have been blogging for this long!   It has been a crazy road of ups and downs as I have tried to figure out the direction to take this blog in and last year I definitely settled into a good routine of mostly amigurumi for kids.   I thought I had learnt a lot about blogging in 2017, but I learnt far more this year than I was expecting too.   I have made friends within the crochet business, learnt how to improve my photos, and although I know I still have a load left to learn in that department, I can see a real improvement over what I was doing.   I have overhauled the way I write my patterns, to give a clearer format which I hope you have found easier to read and follow.   I have learnt a ton about Pinterest and definitely improved how I use that tool.   I also featured as a guest blogger in the 30 days of Cozy program over on the Crochetpreneur blog and this is something I am extremely proud of.   2018 also saw the launch of my Adventure Bag designs and this is something I am going to expand on over the next year.   I also expanded my crochet skills and learnt new ones too!

Whilst researching this post, I came across a bunch of statistics I thought I would share which demonstrate how well Cosy Crochet has done this year and demonstrates its growth;

  • I launched a total of 52 patterns, some small and some larger, some for free and some paid, some successful and others less so.
  • I also made 28 videos last year, some technique tutorials, some patterns tutorials and a couple of demonstration videos.
  • My You Tube subscriber rate has jumped from around 10 to a lovely 84!
  • I also sold 48 patterns in my Etsy store, which is a massive jump from the handful sold in 2017.
  • I also had a massive 39,352 website views throughout the year across my whole blog up almost 20,000 views from 2018!
  • I also had my most successful month, in terms of page views, this year with a massive 5,116 views in August this year, which is significantly above my average at around 3000!
  • My Facebook subscribers grew to 1839 from 1500
  • My instagram subscribers grew from around 100 to 296
  • My pinterest has grown to 661 followers

I hope you agree that this has been a successful year for Cosy Crochet and I want to just take the time to thank all of you who read this blog and support my designs by either purchasing them on Etsy, watching them on You Tube or reading on this blog.   Without you I wouldn't be able to continue doing this into the third year!


Before I move on to my 2019 goals I just want to share the top 9 patterns of 2018.   Some of these surprised me a little and I wasn't expecting them to do so well and others I was fairly certain would be up there.   Take a look at this top 9 and then see if your favourite designs were up there or not?   What would you change?  I was pleased that my Adventure Bags all made it on there, and I definitely wasn't surprised to see the Mercorn & Unicorn as they are very current at the moment.   The seashell bag however, really surprised me.   I wasn't expecting that to make the top 9 when I designed it, let alone get a place in the top spot for 2018!

In fact after working out 2018's top 9 I decided to have a look and see what the top patterns for Cosy Crochet's entire blogging life were and the Seashell Bag came in the second top pattern, with the hammock coming only slightly ahead.   I find this amazing since the Hammock pattern has had well over a year longer on the blog and has been my top pattern pretty much since I launched it!   Anyway for those curious here is the top 9 patterns of Cosy Crochet so far;

2019 Goals

So now that I have shared my successes of 2018 I want to take a bit of time to talk about what 2019 will hold and my goals for this year.   Below is a list of the Goals that I really want to achieve next year;

  • Adventure Bags:  This year I want to continue working on my Adventure Bags, and I have some lovely ideas that I want to develop for you guys.   These are the concept that I was most excited about last year and I want to continue that this year.   However, as they take quite a bit of time to develop and work on I will be making them sporadically throughout the year, and these will continue to be paid patterns, although don't forget to look out for any promotions I may have on them.
  • Quick & Simple:  I also want to develop a lot more quicker and simpler patterns this year.   Ones which you can use up your stash on and don't require hours and hours.   As part of that I will be incorporating some gift patterns and girls accessories.
  • Stash busting: This year I have decided not to purchase any new yarn until I have used up everything I already have.   I currently have an ikea unit which has overflowed full of the stuff and I need to start using it.   I know many of you have this too and so the theme for 2019 will be using up what I have.   All my patterns will work for either using up those scraps you have lying around or they will be from what I already have.   I will only purchase yarn this year when it has all gone, or for a paying customer (if I don't already have what they require)
  • Experimentation: Whilst I really love doing amigurumi (and I will definitely continue doing this) I want to experiment a little.   I have some ideas for some accessory, clothing and home decor projects.  They will still primarily focus around kids (or big kids!) but they will expand my patterns a little and may also incorporate some other crafts too, especially fabric, as my love of mixed media items grows.   I will also try and learn new techniques in crochet to expand my skills.   As I do I will try and share these with you too.
  • Customer Focus:  I want to work hard at including you in as much as possible in the coming year.   If there is a project you want help with, or designed, an idea you want to share, or simply a finished project you want to share then I want to hear from you and try my best to help.   I really want to make Cosy Crochet Blog something that everyone wants to read and a useful resource so please do get in touch!
  • More Tutorials: I know I have slightly abandoned my You Tube Channel in the last half of last year, but I want to try and continue to expand on the tutorial section of this, perhaps alongside a written tutorial section of the blog.   It's an idea I have had for a while, having a stitch tutorial from the beginning section to the blog.   It might not be able to happen until the second half of the year (once both kids are finally settled into school full time) but I absolutely want to try and make this happen by the end of 2019.
  • Growth:  Finally I want to increase growth over the year on all my social media platforms and on the website.   I'd like to get my Youtube Channel to at least 200, my Facebook to 2000, my instagram to 500, my pinterest to 750 and my total website views to 75,000 within 2019.

Before I sign off and go start on those 2019 goals, let me once again say Thank you to everyone who follows me and I would absolutly appreciate your support in 2019 with the goals outlined above.   As a thank you for all your support, please enjoy this coupon code 'THANKYOU' for my Etsy Store which will get you 25% off of any pattern until 13th January 2019.  So if there is a pdf pattern you would like please do use the code get it slightly cheaper!

See you next week,

Vicky x

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Prehistoric Adventure Bag

 

This week is the final week of my second year as a crochet blogger and I can't believe how quickly that two years has gone.   So to celebrate I want to release what is probably my favourite design I have ever made, the Prehistoric Adventure Bag.   This design is special to me in so many ways as Prehistory is something I absolutely love.   In fact, when I was still in school I wanted to be an archaeologist specialising in prehistory, and whilst this never actually happened, I still love to learn more about this period and have on occasion participated as an amateur in archaeological digs.   So when amigurumi.net had a competition with the subject of prehistory I just had to enter.

I had been toying for a while of using historic subjects as a basis for my adventure bags and this seemed like the perfect time.   I actually started making my mammoth, which is by far my favourite creature to have ever walked to earth.   I initially made him in James C Brett's new Chinchilla yarn, which, whilst it is extremely soft and looks amazing, is not to easiest to work up amigurumi on.   Stitch counts were all over the place and I had to end up making it up as I went.   Turns out when I made another mammoth, my initial pattern didn't really work with normal yarn and needed a lot of editing.   However, I am very happy with the finished mammoth and I think he represents everything this great species should.

Next I created the cave bag, and this was by far the easiest shape bag I have ever created.   It was whilst researching stitches on Pinterest for this

[caption id="attachment_1724" align="alignright" width="300"]Prehistoric Adventure Bag Prehistoric Adventure Bag[/caption]

cave that I came across the Tunisian Weave Stitch for the first time and thought it would create an excellent cave.   I chose white and grey for the outside to represent snow on the outside of the cave in the ice age.   The inside has the same stitch, but the grey combined with black creates a dark and gloomy effect that the inside of the cave must have had!   To the outside I attached a small amount of greenery that might have just peeped through all that ice and snow.

Next I made the cave people and I was excited to find some fluffy yarn which made the perfect fur clothing for this prehistoric family.   I actually played around with some different techniques for the cave people, the legs are neither sewn on, nor use join as you go in the traditional sense, but my new technique, I think makes them fall better.   In addition I experimented with using pipecleaners inside the limbs to allow them to be a bit more bendable allowing them to sit or stand as required.   It is definitely worth taking the time to get pipecleaners that match the yarn as closely in colour so they don't show through the stitches.

Finally, I created the accessories I felt the cave family would need; a fire, some meat to eat and a spear to catch their food with.  These little accessories really add some special details, and if you are making the bag for yourself, you can feel free to add additional meat, spears, people or even mammoths if you require.  As with all my adventure bags, everything fits nicely inside the bag and closes up to take around with you for portable play anywhere.

The pattern for my Prehistoric Adventure Bag is now available in my Etsy Store and to celebrate the end of my second year blogging, it will be available for 50% off for the next week with code SECONDYEAR.

Join me next week as I review my 2 years blogging and discuss what I have planned for my third year.   Thankyou to everyone who has supported me in my journey this far.

Vicky x