Monday, 27 January 2014

Stitches and design

Its hard to crochet when you have something this adorable and sitting on your work. Underneath this trouble some pair is my latest project for craftseller magazine (we won't tell them most of the yarn was chewed by a kitten before I could work with it).

Looks cute doesn't he, sleeping on my yarn, but oh no, he's not sleeping. Its a game, every time I think hes gone to sleep and can start crocheting again he attacks me, my yarn and my look. If it wasn't one of the cutest things I've ever seem it would be driving me up the wall.

On to crochet.This week I've had two projects for an upcoming craftseller magazine, one an Easter themed amigurumi and one for a crochet bag. Now I'm not gonna give the game away on how these turned out, you'll have to wait will the magazine comes out for that, but i though it might be nice to share how I start a design.

First of I get a brief from the magazine. This is usually a description of what they want and a couple of photos for inspiration.

My first step is usually to start a mood board for inspiration. I do this using pinterst as its makes the process very simple. Its also really good to see what other patterns are out there as I don't want to copy anyone elses design.
You can follow me on pinterest here if you like and see if you can guess what my next projects are going to be.

Next comes sketching. You can see with this sketch I did of the amigurumi dolls that most of the dolls stayed true to the sketch but for the one on the end who changed as I was making him as the colours of the yarn didn't work together.

Speaking of yarn, that is usually what comes next. I have found a few ranges of cotton yarn that have all or most the colours I like to use. Rico design essentals cotton dk and dmc natura just cotton 4ply are my favourites as they come in the biggest range of colours. I am looking at some new ranges to try but its quite an expense when you pretty much need all the colours in a range to be able to design with it.

The next step is writing the pattern. I've been writing amigurumi patterns for a while now and they come easily but the bag project required a bit of thinking and I got to use one for my favourite crochet books.

This book by Betty Barnden is the best I have found for covering all of the different crochet stitches. It is well written and give clear instructions in English terminology.

For the bag I was planning to make I needed a net stitch. I could have used the one I'd used on the shawl I'd done for craftseller magazine a few months ago but I wanted to try something different and this book has dozens of different stitches to try so i was spoiled for choice.

I'm happy with the stitch I went with and the bag turned out well. I'll post pictures as soon as the magazine has been released :)

I spent so much time playing with stitches for the bag I found a new stitch I really like. I'll leave more about that for another blog post but I'll leave this as a taster:)

 The kitten are asleep so its time for me to crack on typing u my patterns but first I think i'll head over to check out handmade monday :)


  1. I love your coasters,, they are really pretty.

  2. Really interesting reading how the process goes - have seen the end result in craftseller a few times! The crochet at the top looks like a big colourful blanket of trebles!!

  3. Very cute little kitties but not so good if they stop you crocheting; but what fun! I really enjoyed reading about the course of action you take in order to present your articles, thank you for sharing and all the best with it! Joy

  4. It's interesting to hear how other people set about their crafty work, and I'm amazed you get anything done with your cute distractions!