New workshops!

Hi everyone,

I’ve been working really hard over the last couple of months to put together some new and (hopefully!) exciting workshops for you to learn to crochet.  Take a look at my workshop page https://wordpress.com/page/zoepotrac.com/13 to see what’s available.  As well as the workshops I’m running at Crafter’s Companion in Chesterfield and Heritage Re-loved in Wentworth, I’m also available for private bookings; perhaps you have a group of friends who’d like to get together and learn a new skill in a relaxed and fun way?

All of my workshops come with a complete kit so that you can finish making what you started if you don’t during the session, plus a full photographic instruction booklet to remind you of each step.DSCF29632

Traditional granny square workshops are proving really popular, and I’m running these at both venues over the coming months.  You can use this versatile stitch to make all kinds of things, including cushions (see above!), blankets, coasters and cardigans.

Do get in touch if you are interested!

Zoë x

Summer Fun

14_06_17_CN_Stills32135

So, summer is here and my annual boost in energy with the lighter evenings means I’ve been up to all sorts of shenanigans!  Lots of new designs recently in Crochet Now (you can see more pictures if you click the Portfolio link at the top) and I’ve also begun writing a series of articles about getting wool from the sheep to the finished product.  In May, I actually went to  Humble By Nature and sheared a sheep myself! (Everyone who knows me thinks that’s hilarious.  I’m an indoor kind of girl.)

DSCF2905

What a fantastic place and what an experience!  If you live near Monmouthshire (or even far away like me really, it’s very worth the trip) then you should definitely  have a look at the different courses they run.  To read the article I wrote about this, take a look in Issue 17 of Crochet Now, out in supermarkets right now.

To follow up, I’ve also been to Wingham Wool Work, just a ten minute trip from where I live, to learn what to do with my raw fleece and then spin it.  That article will be out next month if you are interested!

DSCF3053

I’ve been forced to stop this last week with a dose  of the flu, but I have so many things coming up that now I’m feeling a bit better I can’t wait to dive back in and get on with it!  I’m running lots of workshops this summer, including monthly ones at the Chesterfield branch of Crafter’s Companion.  The ones I’ve booked in so far are aimed at beginners, I’m hoping in future to run some more in depth ones for people looking for next steps.

If you were coming to a crochet workshop, what kinds of things would you want to learn about?  Let me know in the comments!

Thanks,

Zoë

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:

dscf2847

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:

15803725_1166610816779874_6914757833137324032_n

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

15034621_1802021576707213_787122236677947392_n

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:

20160919_170725.jpg

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/ 

 Picture1