Sunday, 18 March 2018

March so far

 Time to sit down and write a catch up post. Its been a busy March so far.

First up I have released the Black Panther amigurumi pattern set. Don't these look fab :)
Pattern is available now from my Etsy pattern shop (click the link )
This has been such a fun set to create. I get more confident with these designs the more I do and its all gearing up to the big one Avengers Infinity war. The films out in April and my massive pattern set to go along with it will be release soon after.
I know a lot of people have been making these patterns and really enjoying them. One lady - Kelly send me this photo on Etsy to show me all the ones she's made. Isn't this just amazing, I think she made everyone I've released. Thank you Kelly for sending me this xxx
There will be other pattern sets coming soon.
I've had a few crochet commissions for magazines and books on this month that have been taking up a lot of time but I've been trying to fit in a bit more knitting.

 We've had weeks of snow and cold weather here in York and so I decided to make myself a pair of glove. This is a free pattern on Ravelry and its really good. I used some Drops Lima that I had in my knitting stash.

I didn't have enough yarn to finish the pair but I'd memorized the cable pattern repeat so I didn't want to start a new project and risk forgetting it. Instead I used the same cable pattern and made a dog coat for the adorable George at The York Makery.

Keighley for The York Maker and Alice of Alice yarns have started a lovely yarn podcast called String Theory Link to youtube 
Go have a listen. George makes an appearance in the podcast and they asked for knitters to send in things for George to wear.
 Doesn't he look fab. I'll be tweaking this pattern and then it will be available. I'll probably upload it to Ravelery just to keep my knitting and crochet pattern separate.

 This is my little yarn hoard from my visit. This is all going to be for knitting projects.
Its lovely to have knitting as a hobby again. I love crochet but sometimes it does feel like work. Its also very nice to be able to buy yummy yarns that are just for me.

 Little fun picture of Cal in a Wool warehouse bag :)

Next up is a bit of a diversion for me. As a treat I bought myself a yarn dyeing kit. I have become a bit addicted to watching knitting podcasts and yarn dyeing videos on Youtube. I really wanted to have a go myself so I got a nice starter kit of Etsy.

The kit came with 200g of mini skeins so I had lots to play with.

 This is the first pot I dyed. My plan was that it was going to be a yellow base and the I'd add red and create patches or fire colours. As you can probably see I failed and it all turned orange. Its still very lovely.
 The next pot looked like it was going to be more successful. However I didn't keep it on the heat for long enough and most of the colour came out.

 These are the results of the first two pots.
I decided to try a different way of dyeing and hand-painted the yarns, wrapped them in clingfilm and steamed them. This worked much better. I got a lovely rainbow and a blue mix.

 This is a pic of me knitting up the rainbow skein. There were times when I had a perfect rainbow of stitches on my needle. Its was lovely. Yes, that is both my cats on my knee in the background.
 Look how lovely this knits up. I've made this into a little bag for me. It feels very special to have something made thats from a yarn I dyed.

 I've done a bit more dyeing since. I tried a self stripping, it didn't go to plan but I still love it.

 This is it knitted up. I'm making a sock but I have since found out I don't have enough dyed yarn to make a pair. I can either make just one or a pair with a really long contrasting toe. I haven't decided yet.
Cal makes a great yarn holder :)
 This was my other dyeing session. Thats the self stripping from above. I also made another rainbow and a blue based speckle. I decided to stop here until I've made these into something.

 I can't really share any of the crochet work I've been doing. This is just a tiny sneaky peek.
You may have noticed that there is a advert on the telly for a new crochet magazine called Big and little crochet. Thats what I've been working on so soon I'll do a post and show off the projects that I've contributed to this love set of books.

 Another pic of Cassi and Cal. Cassi was sat on my knee and the Cal came and sat on top of her. She wasn't very happy about it. My knee ends up being a bit of a war zone in my house.

 Some finished knitting projects now. This is the sirdar colour wheel ball band shawl. I showed one off in my last post and I enjoyed making it so much I knit another. Its very tempting to make some more of these but I think I need a new knitting challenge next.

 These are the finished gloves. Made just in time for more snow this weekend. I'm using this same cable pattern on a hat I'm making at the mo. I still can't believe I can actually do cables so its very exciting.

It seems impossible for me to take any work in progress photos without getting a cat in it. Hers another picture of Cal. She looks like shes about to get her hair cut in this photo.

Last up just a quick note on the Infinity gauntlet kits. The first lot of these sets has sold out. I've been able to get the bits together to and have listed another five kits in my etsy shop
I'm going to try and keep these in my shop for as long as I can, but I'll only every be listing them in small numbers as I don't want my house to turn into a factory.
If you want one and you see they are sold out, send me a message and I will add you to the list of pre-orders.

Thanks again to everyone who's been buying and enjoying my patterns. Your support means everything to me xxx

If you want more regular updated follow me on Instagram @lizwardcrochet

There will be another blog post before the end of March because its my birthday on the 28th and I'll be posting a free crochet pattern to celebrate.

Till then...
Happy crocheting
Liz xxx

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Calm before the storm

This year started of busy and there is more busy to come very soon, but at the moment I'm in this little oasis of calm.

I have plenty of projects that I want to work on but as I'm not sure how long I have before the busy starts again. I haven't really wanted to take on anything too big.

I guess I've been pottering but there is still lots to share.

 First up I started working on some of my Groot dolls. These are available to buy in my Etsy shop for people who don't want to make their own. They sell slowly but steadily and its always good to have most of the bits made so I can make them up to ship quickly.

 I also played around with the pattern because I'll be releasing a teenage Groot pattern before Avengers infinity war comes out. No pics yet but he's looking great.

You can find the pattern for the original here. The new version will be out mid March.

I've also been watching a lot of knitting and crochet podcasts and decided to challenge myself to some new knitting projects.
First up was Brioche knitting. Not something I've ever attempted before and I'm not very comfortable with it. I did a bit of flat work, made a head band, then progressed to using cables. I'm just single colour at this stage.

 This is Cal being a very good holder for my cable needle. There was only minimal crying as I fiddled around with the first few rows of cables but I soon got into the swing of things.
I even started to enjoy it towards the end.

This is the finished cowl. I would have liked to continue and make this into something longer that I would wear but I stopped here. It'll still make a lovely gift for someone.

Next was an idea that turned into a project, that turned into a new pattern set.
Power Rangers. I get a lot of people saying I should make this or that. I love getting new ideas and most of the time they go on the long "maybe" list. When someone suggested power rangers, I didn't really think I'd be interested. However I have two little nephews who I thought would love them.

All in all, it was about a three day project to create the dolls and the pattern set.
 I think they are great fun. I loved working with such bright colours. My nephews love them.
You can find the pattern here

Next up I went on a little shopping trip to The York Makery where I bought the yarn for my brioche knitting. While I was there I was tempted by some beautiful Opal sock yarn.

For those who don't know knitting socks was my big addiction before I learned to crochet. I knit lots of single socks and bought far too much sock yarn, but I didn't ever finish an actual pair.

Part of my knitting challenge is I can't start a project without finishing it and that meant I had to get over the dreaded second sock syndrome.

 I cast on a pair of the Hermione every days socks (pattern free on ravelery). I wanted a sock with a bit of pattern but not too much, this would be my first sock knit in nearly 8 years.

There are cats in pretty much every one of these photos as the socks grow the cat on my knee changes every hour or so. See if you can spot the difference.

 These two picture are pretty much all I did one Sunday. It was a lovely relaxing Sunday :) This is also the second sock in this photo. There was a bit of mental resistance when I started the second and working the cuff was very slow but as I got near the heel they joy of having a finished pair of socks made the rest of the project fly by.

Look I did it. My first ever pair of finished hand knit socks. I love them. I will be making more.

 The next project is another crochet one. This started of when I saw a lady with a crochet cowl that was kind of a lace, but not. It gave me the idea to develop a pattern. I went for a design that reminded me of golf socks (I know, my addiction is creeping in, tell me to shut up if I just talk about sock from now on).

 You can see the pattern here. Its very simple but it has enough interest about it to keep you going to make a long scarf. The yarn is red with twist of black so I decided to add black tassels. Cal helped.

 This is the finished scarf. It needs a proper photo shoot and the pattern typing up but then I'll be releasing it to my etsy shop
 Last up I when to see the latest Marvel movie Black Panther. The film was amazing, love, love , love it.
Oh course I am going to do a doll pattern set for it.

 I have most of the dolls made. I'm a bit stuck on who to put in the set as there are lots of characters I love and I can only put eight of them in the set. To bypass this slightly I done a pack that is just the suited versions of Black Panther.

 Its so adorable. This set is already available and you can grab yours now here

The only other doll that is finished is Okoye. Isn't she prefect :)
I want these to be perfect so I'm not rushing them. The full set of Black panther pattern will be out by the 11th of March so there isn't that long to wait.

 I did get slightly distracted but another small knitting project. Another thing I want to master is lace knitting. This pattern doesn't have much lace work but it was enough to get me started.  Its a lovely pattern to knit and I've gone and wooshed through it and finished it in a weekend.

 The cats still aren't used to knitting needles they much prefer crochet hooks.
This is the finished project. Look at the amazing colours. Its just a joy. I have made this for me and I'm hoping I can keep it,
but if my Mum or Aunt does steal it I think I'd be quite happy to knit another one.

Finally I few post ago I talked about the infinity gauntlet. I have a few updates on this.

 The pattern can be used to make a right or left hand version. You can find the pattern here

 You can also buy a made version if you don't want to make your own. Also available in left or right handed versions find it here
If you do want to make your own but don't want to hunt around for the yarn and gemstones you can buy a kit. At the mo these are pretty limited in stock. Grab yours here
I will do my best to get these back as soon as possible when they sell out.

So thats all for this post. I know its been a bit of a mixed bag but I hope you enjoyed it.
Thank you to everyone who reads this blog and supports me buy buying and making my patterns.

Happy crocheting
Liz xxx

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Valentines heart bunting

Happy valentines day

I have a heart bunting pattern that I've been working on  for a while.
 I've decided to release it as a free pattern today to share a bit of love.
Please note it is written with UK standard abbreviation which are different to US Abbreviation so I've adding a pic of this conversion chart that might help.

Heart bunting
By Liz Ward – Amigurumi barmy

Skill level: easy
Time:  2-3 hours
Size: 16x15cm
Tension: Tension is not critical for this.

You will need
4mm crochet hook
dk weight yarn in cream, red, blue and pink
(yarn in photo Drops cotton light)
wool and sewing needle

Sl st –slip stitch
dc – double crochet
htr – half treble crochet
tr – treble st
hdtr – half double treble crochet
dtr – double treble crochet
st/sts – stitch/stitches

Popcorn stitch To work popcorn stitch first work 5 treble crochet stitches into the same stitch. Next take the working loop off the nook. Thread the hook through the top of the first treble stitch in the group. Pick up the working loop and draw back through the first treble stitch. This pulls the tops of the stitches together and give a more textured finish than a traditional bobble stitch.
Crab st – Work this stitch exactly like a double crochet, except that you are working into the stitch to the RIGHT of your hook (not the left). To start the row, chain one and insert hook into the next full stitch to the right. Pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through both loops on hook

Heart flags
Make six

Starting with first colour
Rnd 1: Ch 3, work 11 tr in 3rd ch from hook, sl st to join rnd. 12sts *Change to next colour
Rnd 2: starting in any stitch. Ch 2, tr in first st, ch 1, (2tr, ch 1) in each stitch around, sl st to join round. 24sts, 12 ch spaces *Change to next colour
Rnd 3: Starting in any ch space. Ch 3, (popcorn stitch, ch3) in every ch space around, sl st to join round. 12 popcorns, 12 ch spaces *change to cream yarn
Rnd 4: starting in any ch sp, (dc, ch2) in first ch sp, (3dtr, ch2, 3dtr) in next ch sp, (ch1, 3hdtr) in next ch sp , (ch1 3tr) in next three ch sps, (ch1, hdtr, 2dt, ch2, 2dtr, hdtr) in next ch sp, (ch1 3tr) in next three ch sps, (ch1, 3hdtr) in next ch sp, (ch1, 3dtr, ch2, 3dtr) in next ch sp, ch1 sl st to join.
Rnd 5: sl st to next 2ch sp, (ch2, 2tr, ch2, 3tr) in next ch sp, 5tr in next ch sp, (ch1 3tr) in next four ch sps, (ch1, 3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in next ch space, (ch1 3tr) in next four ch sps, 5tr in next ch sp, (ch1, 3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in next ch sp, ch1 dc in next 2ch sps, ch1 sl st to join
Rnd6: dc in next st, 2dc in next ch st, dc in next three sts, (dc in next 1ch st, dc in each st) repeat to next 2ch sp, (dc, ch1, dc) in next 2ch st, dc in next three sts, (dc in next ch st, dc in each st) in next 2ch sps, 2dc in next ch sp, dc in next 3 sts, sl st in next st.
Rnd 7: crab st in each st around.

Fasten off. Weave in any loose end. Sew a loop of cream yarn to the top of each flat.
Sew flags onto a ribbon to hang.

Enjoyed this pattern – Tag #lizwardcrochet and share your pictures on Instagram or twitter

Hope you enjoy that pattern
Lots of love 
Liz xxx

© Liz Ward 2018