Posted on

Apples, designs and panic

Good morning

Weather Report

I hope everyone had a good night, we had a very blustery night, the tail end of a tropical storm, we were lucky it was the end of the storm and just had wind making the doors and windows squeal.



I am sorry for the lack of blogs lately, I am in a panic about the show at the NEC in November and have lots of patterns to finish and tons of printing, bagging and pricing to do.

The printer has been working already today from 6am.

Louise and I have tick lists everywhere with jobs to do and jobs worked on and jobs done.

So my days have been pretty full, Crochet forever housework whenever, comes to mind, I need a cleaner, washer and ironer. oh joy!!!

Everyone is jealous of people working from home and don’t realise that it is an all day job, yes I sit down in an afternoon but that is still work, designing new patterns and typing up the instructions. I love my job…. and can’t wait to see everyone at the show.


My Virus shawl is finished










Daffodil is finished

Daffodil Doll PDF Pattern
Daffodil Doll PDF Pattern










New designs being worked on










We have an apple tree in our garden which is grown in a pot it was really laden with large apples this year.


The apples are large and very heavy I don’t know how the tree held so many.

We also have some dahlias which we planted a couple of years ago, the yellow ones are like dinner plates, we were sure we bought dwarf ones I will have to move them from where they are in the border to a bigger space.




Louise is calling round today to get some more work done.

We are going to plan some workshops today and get some pricing and organising done.

She also works most of the day crocheting, blogging, tweeting and putting lots of pictures on Instagram and Facebook and looking after two boys and a husband who also works from home.


Phil has not been working full weeks at work, he has at last gone down to 3 days again and we have also been having days out……

Yesterday we were going to go to Scarborough and were going across the moors, the mist came down and we decided to go to Robin Hoods Bay instead, the mist was rolling in there as well. It was very busy, we thought everywhere would be quiet but there were people, cars and vans filling the narrow street.


Ok printer has finished and I have not had breakfast yet.

I have just read through this post and it really shows how my brain is muddled, so sorry for the ramblings.

See you soon

Ali and Louise xxx

Posted on

Blog, Busman’s Holiday and Charts

Good Morning,


Weather report

It is very cold this morning



I am sorry the blog is a little late this week I have been on a mission to get new designs typed up and ready for testing. I could not think past getting them finished.

new dolls
new dolls


I have had a busy week, I had a new gas fire fitted and a new radiator in the bedroom on Monday unfortunately the men had problems and what should have been an easy job turned into an all day job.

They arrived before 9.00am and did not go until after 5.30pm. We always seem to have extra added to the bill because something else goes wrong, when we have work done.

Is it because the house is over 30 years old or a sign of the times that things are never built to last these days.

We have also had our Grandson George stopping overnight he is no bother as long as we feed him……


Nec Birmingham

I spend most of Monday getting ready for the show in November, printing out new catalogue pictures and laminating them. Nearly caught up with the new patterns there were a lot of designs that needed doing because we missed 2 shows. Not long to go now, Louise and I are looking forward to going.



A day trip going on a busman’s holiday…..

I took Louise to Woolaballoo at Langley Park on Saturday for a workshop making the Virus Shawl and how to follow a chart.

Following a chart is one of my favourite things it shows what you are making should look like.

Most charts now use International symbols and it makes it easier to follow a pattern that is not written in UK or USA or whatever language you use and follow.

We used Stylecraft Head over Heels sock yarn I worked mine on a 4.00 hook and Louise used 3.50 hook

We had a super day we were made very welcome and were working with a lovely group of ladies, thank you Lucy we really enjoyed the day.

I have just finished the first ball of yarn so this is my progress so far.


Virus Shawl
Virus Shawl


This is why when I go on holiday I try to find a shop which sells magazines

In Italy I found one…


Crochet Magazine from Italy
Crochet Magazine from Italy


Charts are very easy to follow why not give it a go yourself.


Well I must get on the window cleaner is here.. What a week so far.. busy class tonight and Phil is off tomorrow and Friday, I am teaching another workshop on Friday as well…

Hope you are all keeping warm and well

Ali and Louise xxx


Posted on

Holiday, Cushion and Wool on sale

Good morning,

Weather Report

It looks a bit brighter now, we had a misty start to the day.

Last week 

Sorry we had no blog I was away in Italy. We stayed near San Gimignano, a town in Tuscany southwest of Florence.  It is a lovely hill town with narrow streets and lots of visitors.

Lots of sight seeing and we also went on a bus trip which included a taste of Tuscany lunch and wine.



I tried to make lots of things while we were away, I only managed a few bits and bobs, the problem was fitting all the wool and cotton I wanted to take as well as clothes. The airlines don’t give enough weight for me.

Cushion in progress


Purple doll
Purple doll


Purple Doll
Purple Doll

Yarn Sale

We are having a silly sale on Wool to your door this week trying to clear out all of the older yarn colours so that we can buy lots more.

Please pop over and have a look in the final clearance section….

Stylecraft Merry go round
Stylecraft Merry go round


Thanks for visiting, let me know what you are working on at the moment.

Ali and Louise,


Posted on

Christmas Tree Bunting


Weather Report – Very windy, cold but quite bright.


Today we thought that you might like to start your Christmas Crochet work by adding a tree pattern for you.

There are only 102 days left……..

Christmas Tree Bunting

christmas tree bunting
christmas tree bunting

 Materials Required

Oddments of Double Knitting yarn and a ball of Twilleys Goldfingering.

4.00 hook

  1. 4ch., 2tr. 3ch., 3tr., 3ch., 3tr., all in the in 4th. ch. from hook, 3ch., ss. to join in 3rd ch. at beg.     ( 3 groups of 3tr. and 3 x 3ch. loops)
  2. Ss. into the next 2tr. and into the ch. sp. 3ch., 2tr. 3ch., and 3tr. into same loop this makes a beg. corner group, 3ch., ( 3tr., 3ch., 3tr. in next loop,) this makes a corner group, 3ch., ( 3tr., 3ch., 3tr. in next loop,) 3ch. ss. to join in 1st tr. Fasten off.
  3. Ss. into the next 2tr. and into the ch. sp. 3ch., 2tr. 3ch., and 3tr. into same loop this makes a beg. corner group, 3ch., 3tr. in next sp. between groups, 3ch., ( 3tr., 3ch., 3tr. in next loop,) 3ch., 3tr. in next sp., 3ch., ( 3tr., 3ch., 3tr. in next loop,) 3ch. 3tr. in next sp., 3ch., ss. to join in 1st tr.
  4. Ss. into the next 2tr. and into the ch. sp. 3ch., 2tr. 3ch., and 3tr. into same loop (3ch., 3tr. in next sp. between groups,) twice, 3ch., ( 3tr., 3ch., 3tr. in next loop,) (3ch., 3tr. in next sp.,) twice, 3ch., ( 3tr., 3ch., 3tr. in next loop,) (3ch. 3tr. in next sp.,) twice, 3ch., ss. to join in 1st tr. Fasten off.
  5. Using the 2 strands of goldfingering, work a standing tr. in centre loop on the lower edge, 3tr. 3ch., and 4tr. into same loop (3ch., 4tr. in next sp. between groups,) three times, 3ch., ( 4tr., 3ch., 4tr. in next loop,) (3ch., 4tr. in next sp.,) three times, 3ch., ( 4tr., 3ch., 4tr. in next loop,) (3ch. 4tr. in next sp.,) three times, 3ch., ss. to join in 1st tr. now make the trunk, 3ch., 1tr. in same place, 1tr. in 2tr., 2tr. in last tr., turn 3ch., 1tr. in same place, 1tr. in 4tr., 2tr. in last tr. Fasten off.


beg. beginning
ch. chain
dc. double crochet
htr. half treble
rep. repeat
sp. space
ss. slip stitch
st. stitches
tr. treble

Standing dc.   =   place a slip knot on the hook place in stitch  work dc. as normal

Standing tr.  =  place a slip knot on the hook wrap yarn round the hook and place in stitch work treble as normal

Here is a PDF version if you prefer, Christmas Bunting 2016

Emma Shawl Progress

This week I have been busy crocheting Emma shawl again.  l am almost ready to publish this pattern it should be available next week all being well. I have made this version using oddments from my very large leftover bag.  The colours are looking very autumnal a bit like the weather.


We have been busy today adding workshops to Ali Crafts Designs website where you can prebook and pay online

Learn to crochet Brighton Blanket – book online


Brighton Blanket
Brighton Blanket

Learn to Crochet Christmas Decorations – book online

Christmas Workshop
Christmas Workshop


Alison and Louise x

Posted on

Skipton, Sheep and barges

Hi Everyone

Sorry for the late blog today.


Weather report

Wet wet wet


Update on Mini Boy and Girl

After seeing Anne’s versions of my dolls I have made some in red and green as well, I think they look good.

New Printer

Busy week this week printing and bagging patterns for the show at the NEC Birmingham in November. Lots of new patterns to show this time because we have not been to the last 2 shows.

I have worn out the old one and bought another lets hope that keeps going.

Louise and I are looking forward to coming, I don’t think she realises yet how hard and tiring it can be, shhh don’t tell her. She might change her mind.


I saw this sheep teapot cover I thought it is a bit of fun, sorry I dont know who made it or where the pattern came from.


Day out

On Monday Phil and I went to Skipton, lucky me it was market day, I love looking at the stalls there.

The canal boats are so bright and cheerful I like to see them as well.

well must get on

Hope to see you soon

Ali and Louise






Posted on

Wool, Dye and Hooks

Well hello its Tuesday again already,


Weather Report

Horrid, dull and raining this morning, its early though so I hope that it might change.


Where do you keep your crochet hooks?

I have most of my new ones in a large craft bag, some in a pencil case, the tunisian ones are in a box with the knitting needles which are the same make ( have I told you before I am not a happy knitter, I do keep trying though)  and the rest in a bigger zip up bag, I am afraid that my first hooks that I loved to use have now been relegated to the zip up  bag they were Aero made in the UK, and were just right for me, unfortunately Aero stopped making them in the UK and starting making them in other countries, sadly they were not the same. My favourite ones now are the modern ones with the bigger colourful handles.

Hooks really do need to be a certain length from the thumb hold to the end of the hook if they are too long or too short for my fingers I can’t used them.

I find it hard to use hooks without a thumb hold as well, because they spin round as I am working. So I guess I am a collector of hooks, not always for use sometimes just because I like them.


Some of my decorative hooks and ones that are not suitable for my hands


Favourite stitch

One of my favourite stitches is crossed treble, I think that it gives a nice texture to a crochet fabric.

I have used it in many projects I used it in Flora Bag, for blankets and squares. If you have not tried this one yet watch the video on my youtube channel to help you start.


This weeks exciting day

Exciting but very tiring, my friend Sarah and I worked in our garage all day

I set it up the day before and started some of the mordants, we have had the best dyeing day, we managed to get lots of different colours using natural dried flowers and grasses as well as onion skins and frozen berries.

We also used different yarns to dye, lace weight, 4ply, double knitting and a lovely hank of merino wool that Sarah brought and some strange yarn from Russia or somewhere that we didn’t know what it was.

I have only had one go before and achieved a pale lemon  colour, but our results on Thursday were super.

All I need to do now is to try it out to see if the colour comes off on my hands.


This was hard work it involves soaking the yarn, adding to the mordant then adding to the dye, rinsing and drying then washing and drying again.

Finally winding into balls ready to use….. can’t wait to have the time to try some.


Well this has taken some time I guess I better go and get ready


Phil is off work today and I started this just after 6.00am and now it is 8.14am it takes me so long to do, I knew that it took a while but I don’t normally check how long, note to self stop waffling..


Bye for now

Ali xxx


Posted on

Rubbish weather and Penguins

Good Morning

I hope everyone is ok this week and getting lots of crochet time.


Weather Report

Miserable this morning again. We were going to take our Grandson out today but it does not look too good at the moment, although it is still early.



I have had another very productive week, I managed to get some patterns typed up and think that I am doing well then I get a new idea and lo and behold I still have more patterns to type up and I still have lots in the pipeline.


Penguin Pattern

I have just made some penguins which hold a Lindt Chocolate ready for the NEC, in November

Pattern available

New Design

This little doll is finished and ready for the pattern to be typed up, then she will go to be tested.



New Blanket 

I have also worked on a new blanket, it is still waiting for a name, my blankets usually have a place name of where we have been or where I made it but nothing seems to be suitable yet.

Wool to your door news

We now have the 3 new colours of Stylecraft Special Double Knitting yarn in stock. Blush, Lapis and Lincoln.


Well I better get going I have not had my shower yet and Phil is up and waiting for breakfast

Talk again next week.

Ali xx

Posted on

Flowers, bags and blanket


Weather Report

It is a fine start to the morning, we are supposed to have showers though later in the day.

Free Pattern

I thought today that I would share with you a new pattern that I designed when we bought the Caron Cake yarns for the shop, they are lovely balls of Aran weight yarn in lovely colours available on Wool to your door.

Caron  Scarf

Find the Caron Scarf pattern here Caron Scarf

Days off

I am having a couple of days off, not from crochet just designing, I have been working on some more of the Art of Crochet squares. These squares are small and quick to make. I have about another 20 to do to catch up with the issues that have been delivered to Louise.

This is just a short blog today because I am going to the hairdressers, that really does take ages and then I am busy for the rest of the day.

Last Fridays workshop

We had another lovely day last Friday continuing with works in progress and working on some patterns from my new Flower Frenzy 3 design it will be available soon in the shop.

Carol has finished 2 Bridesmaid Posy bags

Anne made 3 flowers from Flower Frenzy 3

Carol also made some flowers


Carlton Blanket

Carlton Blanket
Carlton Blanket

Last years CAL pattern is not going to be available for free any more it has been out for over a year and is now available as a PDF download on Ali Crafts Designs or as a printed pattern from Wool to your door. This design took many months to make and many hours typing up and testing.

I don’t know how so many people are able to give away their designs for free, perhaps they also have a full time job. This is my only job and I am sorry to have to charge for designs, but in order to buy a stands at shows and stock loads of yarn I need to sell the designs as well. I hate being made to feel a miser because I sell patterns. I really do try to keep the costs down but how many people do you know that will work for £0.00 an hour….. This is also the same when you try to sell made items, people think that because you enjoy making something you will do it for free…..

So sorry rant over I have got it out of my system now…..:-)

Next Crochet workshop will be on Friday 1st September from 10am till 3pm

please email me if you want any more details

I hope you are all having a lovely day. Enjoy the pattern.

Ali xxx

Posted on

Flower Frenzy 3 and Butterflies

Hi everyone

I am sorry this blog is late today, I forgot that it was Tuesday…..


Weather report

Wet, cold and miserable, I can’t make that sound good at all.


Last weeks jobs update

Fill in forms for Birmingham – done

Send them back – done

Blog for this week – doing – done

Washing in – done

Pay Stylecraft bill – done

Ironing –  finally finished on Sunday

Type up some patterns – some done, lots more to do

Find a home for the yarn that arrived last week – I almost managed that, we really do not have a spare inch of space at all.

Crochet more squares – still ongoing

Make a start on tidying the house loft – ongoing or should I say never-ending, I did manage to take out 4 boxes and throw things out, so that is a good job started again.

I do find it so hard to part with things I have made and craft materials to make more, alas I don’t have the time anymore for anything other than crochet and a little bit of knitting. I have just had to grit my teeth and say goodbye.


Beningbrough Hall and Nunnington Hall

We had a day out again on Saturday, the weather was fair.

We took lots of pictures of flowers and even found a butterfly or two

I took my scarf to finish but did not get any done, although we managed to take some pictures of it in Beningbrough Halls garden. I had finished it the night before and found I had made a mistake!!!!!!!! ~~~~~This is something I am often asked when a mistake has been made.

Do you pull it out or not? the answer should always be yes…..

Many years ago I had a saying when its wrong pull it out. This was a thing in one of my classes, one of my students said I was cruel because I always made people pull out their work, it was not because I like doing it but because you can’t continue with a pattern without altering the rest of the instructions.

Flower Frenzy 3

This long awaited pattern will be ready soon.

Today I forgot it was Tuesday because I was so busy trying to get the instructions written for this one and the pattern for the scarf ready for printing… so much to do.


My daughter Louise and her Husband and grandson George popped in at lunchtime, they had planned a picnic today and the weather being like it is they brought it here to get them out of the house for a while.


Flower Frenzy 3 sneaky peak


Well must get on I have a new shawl to finish and the flowers to finish as well,

happy days they fly by so quickly.

Ali xx

Posted on

NEC, news and jobs

Good morning

I can’t believe that it is Tuesday again already, the days and weeks are flying by so quickly, is that a sign of growing old, I don’t know. It just feels that I have lots to do and not time to fit it all in.


The Weather report 

It does not look to good again today so I will just say sunshine and showers….. rubbish when I have lots of washing to dry.



We have decided to book a stand at the NEC in Birmingham for the November, Hobbycrafts show, stand details will follow later. Louise and I are going to try by ourselves for the first time, leaving Phil at home. I know that we have lots of followers who were disappointed that we were going to miss a few shows because Phil was asked to work full-time for another year. I am looking forward to seeing our friends and customers again.

I have lots of new designs ready that you won’t have seen at Birmingham and many more in the pipeline.


Todays Jobs

Fill in forms for Birmingham – done

Send them back – done

Blog for this week – doing – done

Washing in – done

Pay Stylecraft bill – to do

Ironing –  to do

Type up some patterns – to do

Find a home for the yarn that arrived yesterday – to do

Crochet more squares – ongoing

Make a start on tidying the house loft – ongoing or should I say never-ending



We were away last week, staying at a lovely house in the village of Welburn in Yorkshire. Welburn is a small village near Castle Howard, the village has a bakery, called Leaf and Loaf. I think that we were all a few pounds heavier because of the wonderful pastries and breads that they made there. We can recommend that you try the date loaf and the vegetarian rolls. It was lovely to just have a short walk there to collect the freshly made bread.

Our daughters and their husbands and our grandchildren were with us as well. The boys made themselves at home straight away, choosing their rooms before Louise and I arrived. The weather was mixed but we still managed to get sunburnt in the garden. We took so many balls and games for in the garden, it looked like a sports ground.


I made a start on an new long project, working squares while I was away, I need to make 42 different ones and have not reached halfway yet.


I had a super day yesterday my friend Joanne came for the day and we sat and put the world to rights while crocheting, chatting and eating.

Joanne was finishing a baby blanket and guess what, I was making squares.

Joannes blanket


New Colours  Head over Heels

We are now stocking 2 more colours of Stylecraft Head over Heels, in Wool to your door

We have the 3 new colours and Eiger and Sugar Loaf

It is a beautiful sock yarn with 75% wool and 25% nylon – 100grams for £6.40


New Design

New Pattern will be available soon for Hazel the Witch

She has gone to be tested and I hope she will be ready soon


Crochet Workshop in Stockton on Tees

I am having a crochet workshop on Friday 4th August 2017

I can help with any problem pattern or teach some new stitches or designs, I have lots of my patterns and books to browse through.

I charge £12 for the day from 10am till 3pm you are welcome to come and join us.

Please email: for details or ring 07854932288

Louise's Blanket
Louise’s Blanket


I suppose I better get on with the list of jobs there are still lots to do, I don’t really want to start any of them today, but I must….. sigh…..

Talk to you all again next week

Ali xxx