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.

 

Designs

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

Hello

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

info@alicraftsdesigns.co.uk

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

Ali xxx

Posted on

Stylecraft visit

Good Morning

and it is a good morning the sun is shining   (for now that is because rain has been forecast for later today)

What a Week

I hate to say it but it has been a busy week, I had classes Wednesday and Thursday, a workshop on Friday, our youngest grandson stayed the night, Saturday was all the family for lunch and Sunday and Monday trips out.

Workshops

Anne was knitting socks  using the new colour Stylecraft Head over Heels yarn Ben Nevis it is really beautiful knitted.

Sunday trip out

Louise and I were invited to go to a Stylecraft show at their Mill in Slathwaite, near Huddersfield.

What a super morning we had there, first we were taken on a tour of the packing department I thought I had died and gone to heaven, it was floor to ceiling boxes of yarn.

Then we met the lady who designs the collections for the next new yarns and Seasons, we loved her design room with all her mood boards, I wish we had wall space in our work room to add some to our walls for inspiration. We did not realise how much work goes into the process of selling yarns before it arrives on our shelves, it is rigorously tested, knitted up and washed many times before being sold to the retailers.

We were treated to a special viewing of new designs and colours for the Winter season and then had lunch. What a super day..

Monday trip out

Phil and I went out for a ride on Monday morning we went to Rievaulx Abbey where Phil took lots of photographs, while I sat and worked on crochet. We drove back home a different way via Osmotherly, Phil stopped to take photos of bog weed or something !!!! Guess what I stopped in the car to crochet.

Rievaulx
Rievaulx

Now to sort out all the yarn and stocktake again…

 

Talk to to again next week

Ali xxx

 

Posted on

British Wool Show and Scarecrows

Weather Report

Sunshine and rain this morning it is supposed to get out this afternoon, if you believe the weather reports…

 

British Wool Show

What a lovely weekend we had at Thirsk.

It did not start too well we were given a long and narrow stand. I could not work out how to set it up, and had to stand looking at it for some time, we normally stand behind a table but this time we opened it out so that everyone could come inside and touch everything, it worked but we had nowhere to leave the money tin, so spent the weekend using plastic bags to hold the change not very professional you would think we had never done a show before.

Our stand always looks like a jumble sale I think I need help in designing a stand. I may have too much stuff…

Its is not far to go for us from Stockton but we decided to stop at The Carpenters Arms at Felixkirk, this was a nice little village just outside of Thirsk. Lovely puddings.

My pudding A taste of Strawberries

 

Some of the lovely cottages had scarecrows in their gardens.

Outside The Carpenters Arms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We would like to say thank you to all of our customers, we were very busy both days, lots of chatting and selling. It was great to talk to you all, I am sorry if I had to break off from a conversation with anyone to serve someone else.

It gives me such a boost to know that people like my designs and I have arrived back home full of enthusiasm for making lots of new patterns.

I woke up yesterday at 4.30 and got up because my head was so full of stitches…. Phil would say wool….

I seem to have a brain that only thinks about one thing — crochet!!!!

I just wish that I could work them faster, I have more ideas than I could possibly have time to make.

We tried to do a quick stock count yesterday but I don’t think that my system has worked very well, so we will have to do a full stocktake next week oh joy.

It needs to be done though I would hate to think that anyone ordered lots of wool and our count was wrong.

 

 

Phil liked the tree outside our room, it was a single tree standing tall on a hill.

 

 

 

 

Thank you everyone for making our weekend great.

Alison, Phil and Louise

xxx

Posted on

Meet Emily

Good Morning

Lovely start to the day, I hope that I can get the washing outside when it is done.

We had a busy weekend, I had asked an electrician to come and put a new light outside our back door and some sockets in the garage, unfortunately that meant that he had to go up in the garage loft…. the biggest nightmare ever, it took 2 carloads of stuff removing to the tip just to make a small space to get him a path through. Next job on my list which seems to get longer by the hour is to get it cleared, I think it has everything up there including a kitchen sink which was my fathers.

 

Whitby

Yesterday we had a lovely trip out to Whitby and Falling Foss

We like to park up at the Abbey and walk down into Whitby, I went to find a post office while Phil and our son in law Mark went to take photographs, this can be a long process so I found something else to do, shopping !!!!!

We picked Mark up at 7am and were hungry by 10am  so we had brunch in Harrys bar, lovely bacon and eggs…..

They went to take more pictures while I shopped again and then went back to the car to crochet unfortunately they found me asleep, oops.

After more picture taking, a trip to the beach further along the coast and a walk to Falling Foss we were ready for a drink and cake at Midge Hall.

A fitting end to a trip out.

 

Emily

My new doll pattern is ready for sale, Emily is a sitting doll with floppy legs, she is approx, 28cms tall. I have used Stylecraft Special dk yarn in 5 colours

Emily crochet pattern

 

 

 

 

 

Sophie’s Universe

I have been working a few more rows my Sophies Universe blanket, I downloaded and printed lots of the instructions a couple of years ago, but I could not resist buying the book.

I love this book by Dedri Uys it is such a lovely quality book.

It is a challenging blanket and one I have to concentrate on, I have just finished round 50 I think it will take many more years for me to get it finished.

 

Stylecraft new CAL

Stylecraft’s new crochet along starts in July

Ross Blanket designed by Catherine Bligh

She has used beautiful colours which she has taken from the series Poldark from the costumes worn by the cast.

We have a pack available on Wool to your door

Ross Blanket Yarn Pack

 

Yet another busy day ahead

Off to have my hair trimmed this morning, shorten some trousers, put the washing out, iron a few that I washed the other day, pick my Grandson up from school, still have more book keeping to finish and last but not least I have some wool to sort out.

Happy days

Ali xxx

Posted on

Rain, Parcels and Progress

Hi

Weather report

Miserable again, it is raining and very dull, not too warm either……

I have been in the garage this morning trying to make some space for an electrician to come and put up a light and add some new plugs. It really is a mess, it looks like the local charity shops will be having lots of new stock this week….

 

New yarn supplier

I am very excited today.

I have just received a large box with 2 huge files and 5 balls of yarn from a new supplier. We have been looking for some different yarns for a while and this is the first one to send us some samples. We will take a look tomorrow, make a choice and let you know in a few weeks when we have received the new stock.

 

 

This weeks progress report

I have had a good week this week, finishing off a few things and starting some more, will I ever get all the WIPs finished!!!!

Noooo I don’t think so because I love starting new things.. in the pipeline a new doll not too sure about her yet, there may need to be a few tweaks, a new Flower Frenzy book, some stash buster shapes and finally almost finished another new doll.

I have also finished another panel from Louises Art of Crochet monthly squares blanket. I don’t know how much longer it is going to go on for because I never seem to catch up with the deliveries.

 

New Dolls

 

 

 

My design of Higgledy Piggledy Blanket seems to be very popular, don’t forget we have the pattern on sale here, as well as the yarn packs over on Wool to Your Door.

We also have a printed pattern for it as well on Wool to your door

It also looks lovely in these colours chosen by Carol

 

 

We have not been too busy here this week, so I have managed to get a bit of paperwork done I need to finish the books for last year, I am nearly there. I really must do them each month to make it easier ~

 

I was wondering if it would be useful to add a hint or tip to this blog, so this weeks is going to be a guide to hook sizes and stitch variations between USA and UK

 

Crochet Notes

Ok all done now with the link working I hope, I accidentally closed everything down instead of just going back and had to start all over again.

 

Happy days

Carry on crocheting

Ali xxx

Posted on

Washing, weather and WIPs

Hello

Super day for crochet ; )

Weather Report

What a beautiful start to the day today, the sun was shining early, I have managed to get a full line of washing out for the first time.

I have had a busy morning, popped down to the doctors early for a blood test, came back home, popped out again to the post office to send a letter and a parcel of yarn away, then on to the Halifax and to Barclays and finally food shopping…

 

And now for the blog

This week I am afraid to say I am still trying to catch up with the knitted squares, they seem to be taking a bit longer because there have not been many plain squares, I don’t know how I have managed to get so far behind I was being really good and doing the 4 each month when they arrived. Somehow I had 12 to do..

Business cards

Our new business cards have arrived from Moo this week along with bags and bags of Stylecraft Special DK, I have still not found a home for it all, I really don’t think that I will, there is not an inch of space left in the wardrobes. We are stocking more because the sales on Wool to your door have been picking up over the last few weeks, I think that this is because my daughter Louise has been going on Instagram and Facebook.

Moo cards
Moo cards

 

Harris Holiday

Here is one of pictures that we took while we were away I am going to use them for colour inspiration I can now see where all the colours come from for the Harris tweed. It is very easy to do choose your picture and select the most prominent colours. You can also add a contrast to this as well.

I have chosen white, graphite, silver, stone, duck egg and vintage peach as colours from this picture.

 

Patterns

There are lots of crochet patterns here on Ali Crafts Designs these are PDF for you to print out yourself, I am in the process of adding printed versions on Wool to your door for anyone who is unable to print out their own at home. If you have seen one here on Ali Crafts Designs and you would like a printed version and it is not there yet, please email me on  info@wooltoyourdoor.com then I can add it as soon as I am able to get it done.

We now have a box on the right hand side panel on both sites for you to sign up for blog updates if you want to be notified when we have written any blogs on both sites. You will need to sign up on both, because unfortunately we can’t join the 2 sites at the moment.

 

WIP

This week I have been experimenting with stash buster ideas and have enjoyed not making a whole blanket or project, I don’t know about you but we always seem to have 2 large bags of wool left over from designing new patterns, this is because I like to be able to tell you how much yarn is needed for each project and I start with new balls most times.

This simple little flower only takes approx. 5 metres. as you can see it is still a work in progress, I have not darned the ends in yet. Sorry Anne I promise I will darn them in before Wednesdays class.

No name yet

Stash buster number 4

  1. 5ch., ss. to join in 1st ch.
  2. 1ch., 8dc. into circle, ss. to join in 1st dc.
  3. Pull up a loop about 1cm ( half an inch )  yarn round hook, pull another loop up through same stitch, rep. from * yarn over hook and pull through all loops on hook, 3ch., rep from * working in next st.  ( 8 petals )

I have joined them together when working the 2nd round instead of working  3ch. between petals, work 1 ch., ss. into loop on the other flower, 1ch., work next petal on 2nd flower. I joined each flower to 2 of the 3ch. spaces on the last flower.

You are going to be testers again I am afraid, I hope that you enjoy this one. If you can think of a name please email me, many thanks.

 

Busy day

Must add more patterns to Wool to your door now

Oh and I nearly forgot I have a trip to the dentists this afternoon and a pile of ironing to do, I don’t like ironing, that may need to wait until tomorrow.

 

Happy days

Alison xxx

 

 

 

Posted on

Holidays, blankets and patterns

Good Morning,

 

Weather Report

Not too bad a start today, sunny for once I hope that it stays for a while. Snow was forecast but it looks pretty good out there.

 

Update on blankets

The Caron Cakes blanket is finished, pattern still in progress and the Stylecraft new colours one, is almost done.

Lockton Squares
Lockton Squares

I thought that I had not done a free pattern for some time so here are the instructions for the square that I used for the Lockton blanket. There are not instructions for borders or the blanket just how to make the squares.  I hope you like this one..

If you would like to use the same colours for this one I will be making a pack available on Wool to your Door.

It has not been tested so you will all be my testers,

Pdf download from here Lockton Squares if you have any problems please message me and I will try to help.

 

Holiday

We had a week away last week staying in a cottage in Lockton, a village not far from Whitby. We had an eventful week, our son in law broke his arm on Easter Monday and we had a terrible journey to take him to hospital in Scarborough. Then we needed to bring his car home and our second car back so that we could get everyone home on the Friday. We all still had a nice time and our grandsons managed to fit in trips on the miniature railway and the Sea Life centre in Scarborough. We also visited some gardens at a house near Pickering. As you can see Louise and I planned to crochet while we were away.

 

Wool to your Door

I am starting to add printed patterns to the shop, which I will send out in the post, this is because I just realised that not everyone has a printer. I am afraid that they will cost more than the PDF downloads. Printed pattern are here.

The PDF downloads will still be available here on Ali Crafts Designs as well.

 

Naming Patterns

I have great difficulty in naming my designs sometimes it can take a while  for something to pop into my head and for others the name can come first even before I have worked a stitch.

As you will see from the latest pattern name I usually name blankets from some of the places that I have visited. Dolls and scarves have girls names unfortunately there are not many boy names that I have used, apart from Fred Bear and his family of bears and Milo with his sister Millie. Even the groom does not have a name he is just Groom !!!! :}  Crochet is not really a medium that is suited to boys and men apart from scarves, baby jackets  and some toys. Although when I was looking online the other day I found a pair of mens shorts……… noooooo……… that should not be done in my crochet world.

 

Thank you for reading my blog,

Talk again next week

p.s. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to keep updated on all new products offers… https://www.facebook.com/alicraftsdesigns/

Ali xxx

Posted on

America, Flowers and Blankets

Hello again hello,

For those of you of a certain age you will probably remember the song those words are from. I have just been watching the Jazz Singer staring Neil Diamond, there are a few lovely songs in the film. It is really dated now, the hairstyles were awful in the 80s. I do like the song America though, so it was worth watching. I am playing it now while doing this blog. Good job that I am on my own, singing along and I can’t sing.


I have had a productive week this week making a baby jacket for my daughter’s friend’s baby and remaking the flowers from my design ‘ To Felt or not to Felt ‘ this pattern was a follow up book from Flower Frenzy, giving the maker a choice in wether to work them in double knitting yarn or in a  double knitting wool. When choosing the wool you are able to put them in the washing machine to felt the fibres and make the flowers a more solid fabric. I am just adding the finishing touches to the pattern and it will be available in the shop when it is ready. There are 12 flowers in the pattern which you can put together as layers or leave to stand alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am nearing the completion of a blanket called

Higgledy Piggledy Blanket the pattern is all typed up and ready for testing.

This was a fun one to make because I really didn’t know how big it was going the be or what I was going to do, I have made 6 different panels using different squares and patterns. I have used 16 colours which will be available as a pack with the pattern in  Wool to Your Door soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought that this week I would talk about one of the books I got for Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochetterie by Molla Mills

At first flick through I thought that it was a little too funky for me, but in really studying the book it has some lovely useful patterns to make for yourself or to give as gifts. The instructions come with super charts to follow for geometric patterns, there are bags, jumpers, mittens and rugs and lots more inside.

I really found the making of a crochet hook interesting as well.


 

Today I am finishing the last one of the knitted squares from last month before the next packet arrives. I am enjoying the challenges that knitting throws at me, todays square has crossed stitches and bobbles. This one may need a lot of concentration so that I don’t have to pull it out and start again. I am all fingers and thumbs balancing 2 needles and a cable needle at the same time. I am getting better at knitting, I will never be as good as my Mother, she was always knitting, I find it slow progress for me because I can crochet so fast and things are made much quicker in crochet.

Then I need to catch up with the Scheepjes CAL 2017 I am 3 weeks behind, oops…..

Maybe not today, I might have to leave it for a project while we are away sometime.

Have a good week

Ali xxxx

 

Posted on

Is it Spring?

Good Morning,

Is it Spring? my Grandson asked last weekend, I had to say not quite but it won’t be long.

Its only 8.30 here and the ironing is done, the next jobs are blog and some serious typing to catch up with pattern instructions. My youngest daughter is a slave driver, “lets do this Mam” and “you need to get this done” more emphasis on the latter comment…


I have been up early this morning because Phil and Mark our son in law have been away on a photography trip.

I went to stay with our eldest daughter. She gets up for work at 6.00 so I did as well and I came home before she left for work. As she only lives about 10 minutes away, I think I may have been home before the birds woke this morning.

It is another bright start to the day which always makes me feel like getting on with things, on miserable days I just want to sit and crochet…

I love the designing bit of my work but really have to push myself to type up the instructions.

Seasons Blankets
Seasons Blankets

I think that because it looks like Spring outside I should talk about the designs I have that relate to Spring.

The blankets shown above are my Seasons blanket collection, Spring is the top blanket, I chose the colours to represent bright blue skies and crocus flowers. All the colour ways shown and 2 sizes of blanket measurements are included in the instructions.

Anna
Anna

This is Anna, the doll I made for Spring, the instructions include her little bag and a slightly bigger one to put her in to carry round.

 

Finally Springtime in Paris

The colours were chosen from a photograph I took in Paris.

Paris
Paris

Choosing the colours from the picture, I don’t know how you feel, I love choosing the colours for a new project, but don’t enjoy finishing.. For me its the typing up of the instructions, if only I had a magic wand……

Springtime in Paris
Springtime in Paris

 


Finally upcoming news

If you are worried about trying to make a doll, I am going to be working on a new CAL which will be how to make a doll… I always try to make the patterns easy to understand and not too difficult to follow.

I will also be doing videos to help beginners through the process of this CAL.

I am not sure just yet which one I will do or if I should design a new one, Watch this space…….


I used to find it hard to write this blog but now I find it difficult to stop, I hope that its not too boring, I seem to blather on like I do when I talk but I must go, the typing up of instructions awaits, so I must finish here,

I hope you are all well

Ali xxx