Monday, 30 January 2017

Katniss cowl

Last week I shared a picture of another project I'm working on for my friend and cosplayer Ashley-Rae. Little wolf cosplay
This was the first finished part of the cowl/shield worn by Katniss Everdeen in The Huger games Catching fire.
The cowl is made by weaving and plaiting yarn to create a really dense fabric.

 These screen shots are from the film. You can see the part I have made above it the top part of the neck.

I then crocheted into this neck piece to widen it. I had made lots of plaits in different widths and intended to sew these together to form the main body of the piece. As I started to crochet the top I came up with a better idea. I created a full base of crochet with open parts in which I could sew in the plaits.

 This was the base. Its just pinned to Miranda in this. I had made the pieces out of paper first to get the right shape and size, and then crocheted them to fit Ashley-Rae. I then sewed all the plaits onto this base.

 This is the nearly finished cowl. Pinned into place on Ashley-Rae.

 The back.
The finished back.
So this is the finished piece. Its fits perfectly which is good. I am very happy with it and I love how intricate it has turned out. I really enjoyed making it, so much that I was crocheting so fast to get the base pieces finished. I did make this completely free hand but I was thinking about writing a pattern as I made it.

I decided to re make it and simplify it slightly and write a pattern.

So far I have the top part re-done and I've taken step by step photos. I have also recreated all the base pieces and so I just have the plaits to re-make and to sew together. I think the pattern should be ready by the end of the week.

In other news this week I have completed three magazine commissions a have continued to work on my larger commissions of the blanket and rug.

The blanket is now big enough that one of the cats can fit under it. Its a bit of a battle which one get to though. I don't think either of them are happy in this photo.

I haven't updated any patterns this week. I been quite busy. I have added a few new patterns to my etsy shop.

These I had in mind for Chinese new year.
My lucky cats. Pattern has instruction for a large and small cat, plus a pot of gold and is available here £4 (not including VAT)

 Also for Chinese new year, as its the year of the rooster I have added my pot holder pattern. you can find it here and it is only £2.50

Finally this week I have added my Babushka tea cosy pattern to my pattern shop. I plan to release a tea cosy pattern every month this year. you can find the first one here just £3

 Again, thank you to everyone who has bought patterns and left such lovely feedback this week. My holiday fund is growing slowly and its all thanks to you. Love Liz xxx

Monday, 23 January 2017

Niffler on tour

 This week commission work has started to come in, so the work I've been doing updating the patterns has slowed a bit. I did get some done, I'll list them at the end.

The first commission was a re-make of a really old design of mine. An Easter bunny and chick. This was really nice as I go to go shopping at The York Makery  to get the yarn and fabric I needed for the re-make. This shop is so full of goodies I was in there ages picking the bits for this project.

 Luckily I'd brought along Niffler  to show Kayleigh and so he got lots of cuddles while I was able to look at all the goodies.

Niffler has been quite a hit this week. Hes been with me most of the week and has had a lot of attention. well, he is the perfect size for cuddles and he lots of fingers and toes which are very cute to play with.

I asked me cosplaying friend Ashely-Rae of Little wolf cosplay  if she could bring along one of her Harry potter wands, so we could get a photo of niffler and the wand. As it happens she has wavy hair that day and so we got these amazing shots of her looking like Hermione.

Aren't they fab :) I also really want a wand now. I got to play with that one for a bit and it was amazing. Its weighted just right and it feel so cool. Although I did find out that I hold my wand like a dark wizard so maybe its a good thing I don't have one of my own.

 Most of the week though has just been variations on this of this photo. I have a blanket project on and while I am still the cats are making the most of it and using me as a cushion. As I write this one of them is under that laptop tray and the other is by my side. They are very clingy at the mo.

 The blanket it growing slowly.
Cass thinks its for her. It is not, its for a magazine.

Taking a break from blanket and working on an amigurumi. The cats have no moved. I am just a cushion.

I got loads done but by Sunday afternoon my hand was really tired so I decided to stop crocheting and do some work on a project for Ashley-Rae my cosplaying friend.

This cowl from The Hunger games Catching fire is something I wanted to have a go making for a while and so when Ashley-rae said she wanted one I decided to make it for her.

I thought it would be a pretty easy crochet make, but its not crochet its all woven and plaited.
I have decided to combine crochet and hand weaving to create mine. So far yesterday I got the top part done and I'm going to spend the rest of today making lots of plaits.

I'm not sure yet weather it will be possible to write a pattern for this but if I can I will.

The only pattern I've updated this week is my Red riding hood, wolf and trees and toadstools. You can find it here 

The only other patterns I have uploaded this week are some simple Easter patterns. These are all in the new format and are available in UK or US abbreviation.

You can find them in my etsy shop

Finally this week. I have found an easy way to make my patterns available in both UK and US abbreviation. I will be uploading any new pattern in this way. As I update all the patterns I will be adding this aswell. Until then if there is a pattern of mine you would like to be available in US abs message me and I'll add it to the priority list.

Thank you for everyone who has bought my patterns this week. I hope you are all enjoying the new format, (I know it makes me happy) and are making lots of cute things. Please continue to buy my pattern and support this page. Its only with your support that I can continue creating new designs and doing what I love.
Thanks again
Liz xxx

Sunday, 15 January 2017


People always give me suggestions for what to make. Most of them are good and I file them away as ideas for later. Some however I have to make straight away.

That is exactly what happened when my Cosplaying friend Ashley-Rae suggested I make a niffler from the new Harry Potter film, Fantastic beasts and where to find them.

If you haven't seen the film or read the books, these are creatures hunt for buried treasure. Very cheeky little beasts they are too. They look like a combination of a mole, a beaver and a duck.

I knew I wanted to make mine about life-sized (can you have a life-size for something that fictional?). There is something wonderful about an amigurumi that is large and cuddly just fits in your arms. 

I needed some chunky yarn and I found the sirdar hayfield bonus for just £1.99 a ball at Wool warehouse  I order two of the chocolate and one of the light natural.

I wasn't 100% sure how I would go about creating the pattern. I knew I wanted it to be life-like rather than changed into a more amigurumi style. The one thing I did know, was there was no getting around creating all sixteen of the fingers and toes. I could have made hands and feet that make the fingers as they were worked but I wanted this to be a very simple pattern and combining can get over fiddly. So I made the fingers and toes first. They are a little bit fiddly but the chunky yarn helps. Once they were done they would show me how big my finished design was going to be.

From there I worked on the legs and arms. These couldn't be straight forward ether and I had to leave them half made and work on the head and body so I knew they would be the right length.

We had a bit of a distraction at this point as Cal (who was in a goes inside and goes under mood, she currently under my laptop, under a blanket at the mo) decided to try and get inside the niffler body.

It wasn't big enough but she did run around with it on her head for a bit before I got it back. Silly cat.

Finally I manage to get all the piece finished but about mid-afternoon yesterday. I had just about judged the length of the legs right and the arms needed a bit more. Sixteen fingers and toes, two legs, two arms, body, tail, pouch, snout and two eye patches, not a bad mornings work.

I have put detailed instructions on how to put it together into the pattern but I won't go into it here.

I did manage to finish it that day but I'd lost the light for a good photo.

 This one at least shows his size and all those fingers and toes.

This morning I typed up the pattern. Made him some coins to go in his pouch and took some brighter photos.

The pattern is available here - Niffler crochet pattern

Not a bad weekends work.

I've also updated some more patterns

 Georgina the giraffe has been updated. she is £3.50 (excluding VAT) and can be found here - Georgina the giraffe crochet pattern
 Rusty the dog (named after my sisters dog Rusty) has been updated. This is an intermediate pattern so if your looking for something interesting to try, give this one a go. Its only £3 excluding VAT you can get it here  Rusty dog and bone crochet pattern

 My nativity. I know Christmas has passed but this pattern is still selling well. Maybe we are all being super organized. This is a long project so it is a nice one to start well before the holidays. Its just £5 for the full set and is available here - Nativity crochet pattern
I have also committed to doing an extension pack to this set with angels, camels, donkeys and more.

Thats it for today.

happy crocheting
Liz x

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A new Twist

I'm starting as I mean to go on this year and being super productive. I'm secretly hoping that if I do lots and lots of work and sell lots of lots and patterns, I can get a holiday this year. I haven't had a true break away for the past 7 years, so I'm going all out to get my goal.

I starting out by doing some of the things that were on the to do list for 2016 but I just never got around to doing.

I've updated lots of patterns so far in my Etsy shop

Now I'm starting on some new patterns.

Or some old ones...

When I started this blog is was mainly to show off my first cute creations the Omnipoms. I had never planned on writing patterns for these, but then a couple of years ago I created the Halloween Omnipoms pattern for a giveaway with suncatcher eyes.

After writing that set of patterns  I decided to write more Omnipom patterns but 2 years later I haven't, until now.

I decided to recreate some of my old designs but make them completely crochet patterns with just a bit of embroidery work.

 I've started with Twist as she is my favorite.

I've changed the blanket to a granny square with a bobble trim and updated the bunny booties to a full crochet version. The pattern has already been released into my etsy shop at only £3.50 (excludingVAT)
Its on the new simple, beautiful and easy to understand, printer friendly format and as an instant download it can be yours in moments.

I am also going to be selling sets of accessorizes of these patterns. They will include the hand painted eyes, felt, fabric, beads and the tiny buttons - all things that make an Omnipom an Omnipom. I'll have them in the etsy shop soon (I'm just sourcing some more of the fabric) if you are wanting one of these packs comment below or message me on Etsy and I'll be in touch when I have them ready.

I have another omnipom on the hook at the moment so there will be more patterns like this coming soon. I have got a holiday fund to build after all :)

Happy crocheting
Liz x

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Playing with patterns

high on my list of goals for this year is re-formatting my patterns.

I have a standard way of writing patterns which is much the same as I would write this blog. I start at the top of the page and keep writing. This has worked out fine. Most of my patterns go off to a magazine before I get them back. each magazine has their one template so I keep my patterns as simply laid out a possible and then the magazine can put them into their own format.

What the copyright of a pattern is returned to me I tend to just take off any copy that refers to the magazine, turn the file into a PDF and pop it snugly into my etsy pattern shop

I knew my patterns had a simple layout but I am very proud of the patterns themselves and was quite happy to leave it there.

Last year I had a few different projects starting with a collection of designs I did for James C Brett yarns.

 For these designs I had to present the pattern in the James Brett pattern format. It took a bit of doing but I was really happy with the way they looked when I'd finished.

It got me thinking maybe I was doing my own patterns a bit of a dis-service leaving them in such a simple layout. I have over a 150 patterns in my etsy shop and another 100 or so that I need to add so the though of changing them all wasn't that much of a fun idea. It was a nice idea maybe but not very do-able when I'm snowed under with other crochet work.

Later in the year I started to teach amigurumi at the wonderful York Makery  
For this I printed out my patterns to take to the classes. I realized they used a awful lot of paper and I was quickly running out of ink. I decided to reformat the patterns so that they fit better on a sheet of paper print easier.

From then on it I knew that I was going to have to start the process of reformatting all my patterns.

turning them form this ...

To this ...

Please note they are just screenshots and don't show the whole patterns.

I am so in love with my new template.

I managed to get this one down from 17 pages to just 8.
That not bad for 15 patterns. you can find my fruit collection here it £5 for all 15 at the mo (not including VAT)

It going to be slow going changing them all. I'm announcing the updated patterns on facebook and Instagram @lizwardcrochet but I'll try and keep a list of links on here too.

So far I've done

my most popular pattern the hedgehog family still only £3 (not including VAT)

The rainbow caterpillar also £3 (not including vat)

The fat friends which is £10 for a set of all 10 or £2.50 each. These will all be on instant download too.

Also note there will be another set of these coming this year. Defiantly another 5 but I'm hoping it'll be 10 in the end.

My lovely party chihuahua is also £5 for him and all his accessory's 

Finally for this weekend at least my alley cats just £3.50 for the whole collection. (I'll add a link when I've set up the listing, I need to take some better photos of these first)

 I hope you enjoy my new patterns. I have really put a lot of work in getting them looking as good as they deserve. I'll try and update the rest as fast as I can, but for the rest of today I want to get my hands off a keyboard and back on my crochet hook.

lots of love