New Year, new designs!

Hello there!  It’s been a while again as my day job keeps getting busy.  I’m thankful for the work, but trying hard to carve out time now to do more crochet and designing, hooray!  I’ve actually been pretty busy making these last few weeks.

Here is a cosmetic bag I made:

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Made in cotton DK with a cotton lining, and look at that nifty little wooden tag!  I bought a set of laser cut tags from https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JSLaserCraft and I’m in love with being able to sew my name on everything.  Makes me feel like a real designer.  It’s the little things 😛

I’ve got my hands on yarn to make lots more of these bags; I’m trying to decide whether I have time to make and list them over on my long neglected etsy shop, along with some earrings:

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Or, would it be better to write up and list the patterns?  Can’t figure it out right now.

Check out  my portfolio page for recent commissions for Crochet Now, including these lovelies:

I’m working up swatches for possible future designs today so I’m in my element playing with yarn and sketching and colouring in.  Just the remedy when adulting in January becomes too much!

Zoë x

 

 

Gratitude

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Scrumptious jewel colours from Stylecraft for an upcoming commission.

 

 

This last week has developed a theme for me.  Everywhere I look, people are talking about gratitude.  At the beginning of every new year, many of us look forward and make resolutions for the coming year, things we want to achieve, places we want to go on our journey in life.

What we often forget, though, is to say thank you for all the wonderful things we have experienced in the last year.  Perhaps our friends over the pond in the States are better at this; Thanksgiving was yesterday, a whole day dedicated to being thankful for the good things in life.  Christina, a friend of mine over on http://www.positively-psyched.com/ has been running a gratitude game this week (in which, admittedly, I have shown woefully little participation!) .  The idea of the game is to thank a different person in a different way each day for a week.

I love this idea, and there are lots of people and things I am thankful to this year.  When I sit down and think for a few minutes, the list of blessings I have received is so long that I would bore you all to death with it here.

The relevant ones for this blog I suppose are the yarny ones; this year has seen my first published patterns in Crochet Now.  I’m incredibly grateful to Hugh Metcalf for giving me the chance to share my creations, and all the lovely photographers and tech editors who have made my work look so amazing on the page, and the yarn companies as well who have given generous yarn support.

I’m also really thankful to all the people who have read my patterns, offered encouragement and even shared pictures of their creations from what I have written.  It is such an enormous thrill to see what other people have made from something that started out as an image in my brain!

I was also lucky enough to have a chance to run crochet workshops for the brilliant Summer Boarding Courses in Oxford.  I had the most fantastic time, and gained lots of useful experience and ideas for courses I hope to run in the future.

I’m a very lucky lady, thank you all so much!

Glimpses of autumn

It’s a funny week here in Yorkshire.  One minute, it’s glorious late summer sun; the next it’s mist and autumn drizzle.  I’m a sunshine person, so I’m always a little sad when the nights draw in, but I do find myself looking forward to the cool mornings, and that particular scent that autumn brings when I step out of the door.

This weekend we went to Thornes Park in Wakefield to see if the conkers were ready.20160917_132941.jpg

We were a little early, so we’ll be back to get our share of spider-scaring nuts next week.  I did enjoy the cool air and some time outside in nature though.  I spend too much time indoors, despite how close I live to things like the Peak District National Park and the Transpennine Trail.  I can feel a resolution coming on…

With the cooler weather, my designs are turning more autumnal too.  I’ve got two coming up in the next issue of Crochet Now, and there was a sneak peak at the back of issue 6 of my new scarf, out 6th October:

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I’m nice and busy with my designs at the minute, and I’m really excited to see them come to life.  I’d like to try and fit in some things for myself and for Christmas presents soon as well.  I’ve got a gorgeous little niece very much in need of some crochet fancy dress…(mermaid tail anyone?)

Take care x

Wooden buttons and tapestry crochet!

Today is one of those glorious days where I can crochet all day!  Hooray!  So, I’m getting on with my next commission, which obviously I can’t tell you masses about until it’s published, but it uses tapestry crochet techniques and a gorgeous autumnal palette using Cascade yarns.

See those fun, twisty looking shapes of wool?  I decided they made the yarn look quite “posh” when they arrived.  But how to crochet from them?  A spot  of googling later tells me I need to wind these “hanks” into either balls or cakes.  So, out comes my trusty wool winder, but it turns out I need to have three hands (or a friend) to wind these.  Or, a new gadget.  I’m very tempted to get myself a yarn swift now.  They look like little umbrellas without the canvas, and you lay your yarn on them, then as you wind the wool winder, it magically spins and dispenses the yarn from the hank.  Nifty.  Now everywhere I look the most delicious yarn appears to be in hanks, so I might have to get one…  I can put it through as a business expense, surely?

The lovely postman has just brought my new stash of patterned wooden buttons.  Ostensibly, these are for the workshops I’m teaching over the summer, but a few might just find their way into some of my other projects.  I’m in love with the intricate prints on the natural wood base, and now I feel like everything I own needs new buttons!  They were an absolute bargain on Ebay, so I feel like I can splash out and order millions!

Have you seen my most recent patterns in Crochet Now?  My Happy Hexie tote featured in Issue 3, and my Serenity Doily is in Issue 4.  You can buy hard copies or digital copies of the magazine at http://www.moremags.com/ 

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Warning: overly smug half term post :P

Aaaahhh….Half term at last.  The week I can pretend I don’t have a day job and let my crafting alter ego take over.  The husband is working this week so I got up early with him and I’m glad I did.  It’s only lunch time and I already feel like I’ve had a whole day.  Bliss!

Spent some time pursuing a very exciting lead for possible workshops over the summer, and putting some thought into my June WI workshop.  Really excited that things seem to be getting off the ground a little bit; can’t wait till the summer when I have more freedom to get my craft on!

The other plus of holiday time is I can spend more time doing nice cooking.  I’m no masterchef, but everything tastes better when I have more than half an hour to get it ready!  Took a nice walk to the local butcher earlier and picked up some delicious smelling garlic sausages that I’m going to turn into meatballs for dinner.  Yum!

Got the rest of the afternoon to work on crocheting a strap for my gorgeous new hexie handbag:

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As you can no doubt tell from the god-awful lighting in that photograph, it’s one of those gloomy, rainy days here, but at least the handbag is summery 🙂

Zoë x

 

What I’m up to in 2016

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog.  There’s not a lot here right now but I’m hoping to add more updates soon.

I’ve got a couple of exciting projects for magazine commissions going on (my very first!) and I can’t wait to share pictures as soon as the first one is published.

I’m working on two new baby blanket designs for a friend- one in star stitch and one a simple ripple.  I wish I knew boy or girl so I could pick colours easier!

As for classes, I’ve had to put them on the back burner for a little while as I’ve got a lot on with my day job for a few months, but once that’s sorted I’m really hoping to get some workshops going for people who want to learn beginner crochet or perhaps try out a new technique or stitch.  I’m looking at a few venues around Barnsley and Sheffield.  If you’re interested please get in touch and I’ll add you to my mailing list.

 

That’s all for now!

 

Zoe