Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Crop Circles - story of a crochet blanket

In January 2014 I started working on my new book Rainbow Crochet Blankets (also called Rainbow Crocheted Afghans for the US market).
You can find the UK version HERE in my Etsy shop.

The first blanket was Crop Circles, as the book was based on the rainbow I thought I'd start with yellow, which was not a colour I use very often. I made the blanket out of NDS yarn, dyed with Fustic and Cutch which created a lovely corn field yellow.
NDS yarn is discontinued, but Drops Alpaca do an almost perfect colour match called Goldenrod.
As the yellow was corn field yellow I didn't need to search very hard for inspiration, I've always been fascinated crop circles, I love the fact that someone has created interesting and complex designs on such a large scale in the landscape, but I doubt that farmers feel the same way.

The photo's below tell the story of my Crop Circles blanket progress.

I started off trying to master making a crochet circle, you would not believe how difficult I found making a crochet circle that laid flat, I searched the internet for circle patterns and tutorials. I swatched and swatched and swatched, my circles were either curled at the edge or had corners and flat sides, eventually I tweaked the basic pattern to come up with a perfect circle.
And so my circle/square obsession began :-)

For some reason I decided to make a king sized blanket, I quickly realised that it was a stupid idea as I'd never get 10 large blankets finished within my deadline, but as I'd already started crocheting I decided to carry on and make Crop Circles to its intended size.

It took me 3 months, but I loved the result, so much so that I decided Crop Circles was going to be my blanket and to put it on my bed when all the photographs had been taken.

Its impossible photographing such a massive blanket, its just too big to be able to see the design.

But even though my publishers Search Press focused on artistic photos rather than photo's on the entire blanket, they have done an amazing job and I think they've done it justice.

Thank you Search Press :-)

Monday, 17 October 2016

Giveaway prize draw

I've decided to do a Give away prize draw :-)

Entry is very simple, all need you to do to enter is own a copy of my book, it doesn't matter which version it is, either the UK Rainbow Crocheted Blankets or the US Rainbow Crocheted Afghans and leave an honest review on Amazon.

If you don't own a copy yet, you can buy from one of the links below, you can also find signed copies of the UK terms version in my Etsy shop - HERE

Once you have left your review, comment on this post or let me know on any of my social networking sites, Instagram, twitter or Facebook, or even send my an e-mail HERE

You can find Rainbow Crocheted Blankets here on AMAZON UK
And Rainbow Crocheted Afghans here on AMAZON US

The prize is a copy of my Foxgloves blanket booklet, a skein of yummy Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 ply and a pack of postcards.

Entries close on the 1st of November 2016.

Happy reviewing
Love Amanda

Monday, 10 October 2016


I've had a website in some form or another since the early days of the internet in 1999.
All of them self built, I'm very proud of the fact that my new years resolution for 2000 was to build my own site and I achieved my goal 3 months early :-)
A lot has changed since 1999, I've used 4 different site providers, which have developed and become far more sophisticated since 1999, I remember having to contact the first site provider every time I edited, as they were the ones who published the pages.

My latest site was built in a hurry, due to the fact I had a big article written about me in Landscape magazine. The article was due to come out in April 2016, but was actually published a couple of months earlier. I wasn't informed of this until 2 weeks before the due date and so ended up panic building.
Ever since then I have been far too busy to find the time to finish it and tidy it up.
But now Yarndale is over, my book is published and I'm in a lull between finishing and writing blanket patterns. I finally have the time, which is a good thing because the site is the only one mentioned on all my marketing material.
The site still isn't completely finished, I still need to add the blankets, samples and Fybespates yarn to my Etsy shop, which is my main storefront at the moment.
When I have a bit more time I'll add a website shop to the site and move everything over to it, but for the time being its ok and I'm fairly happy with the way it works and looks.

What do you think?
(click on the photo below to take you to the site)

Monday, 3 October 2016

Rainbow Crocheted Blankets & Yarndale

After two years, nine months I can finally announce my book Rainbow Crocheted Blankets has been published - YAY!!!!!

You can find the signed copies HERE in my Etsy shop or on Amazon.
Regardless of where you buy your copy please could you review it on Amazon as it keeps all the reviews in the same place and helps keep the book in the "best sellers" section

Its been a very long two years, so much has changed in my life, most of the time the book didn't feel real, but its here and I can finally share photo's with you. I hate keeping secrets so struggled not to post photo's, so now that I can you can expect a flood of blanket photo's.

So here are a few to start with...

Flower Power

Flying Geese

Arabian Nights

Don't worry there are lots more to come :-)

I took the book to Yarndale for its first outing and was astounded at the sucess, I'd sold out of books in the first 4 hours of the show and spent the rest of the time being nagged by Daisy because I should of taken more - I will know better next time.
The show was as brilliant as ever, its the only UK show with a crochet bias, so if you are a crocheter and you haven't been make sure you add it to your diary's.
I have to thank the lovely Lucy of Attic 24 fame and her fantastic team for all their hard work.
Sadly I didn't have much time to take many photo's as we were so busy, but here are a few taken late sunday afternoon when the show was almost over.

These two are Mirage and Rose Window, plus my little helper and "mini me" Daisy.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Foxgloves published

Good morning lovely sunny world.

I've finally published the Foxgloves pattern, as a e-book and also 3 separate patterns.
You can find the Foxglove pattern collection e-book HERE on Ravelry

The cover is a little bit brash, but I really like it, so I've decided to use it anyway.

The Foxglove collection was inspired by one of my favourite dog walks on the top of Countisbury Hill, Exmoor.
In early summer the hill is covered with wild foxgloves,  It changes colour with the seasons and time of day, especially at sunset when viewed from Lynmouth when it turns golden orange, I can see the hill from my bedroom window, so watch it every day, it really is a magical place.
I was lucky enough to be given a skein of Scrumptious 4 ply magenta and Vivacious 4 ply - mixed magentas from one of my favourite yarn suppliers Jeni at Fyberspates, the colours were perfect foxglove colour, so I have used them as a starting point for all three designs.
You can find all the Fyberspates stockists HERE
I've also used yarn from my other 3 favourite suppliers Skein Queen, John Arbon Textiles and The Little Grey Sheep, plus some Drops Alpaca, Cascade 220 fingering, King Cole Merino Blend 4 ply and Artesano Alpaca/Silk 4 ply

The collection contains three blanket patterns and focuses on colour rather then crochet techniques.
The blankets are all made with the same 2 motif designs and the same layout, but 3 different colour techniques, random, watercolour and a rainbow watercolour.
The patterns contain detailed colour instructions and swatch photographs to help you match colours, I have also added lists of yarns used were I can.
All the sample blankets are made using 4 ply, but I have include weights and measurements for a DK version, so you can either make a 4 ply lap blanket or a DK bed sized blanket or both :-)
The motif patterns are all written in UK and US crochet terms, so hopefully I have covered all bases.
Each blanket has a set of step by step construction charts, plus 2 extra colour variations.
The book contains a uncoloured layout chart for you to print out and colour some new variations of your own.
Hopefully I have included enough information to help everyone who is anxious about choosing colours for themselves.

So without further ado here are the 3 blankets.....

Foxgloves - semi random colour placement
You can find the single pattern HERE on Ravelry

Countisbury Hill - watercolour technique
You can find the single pattern HERE on Ravelry.

Rainbow over the Foreland
You can find the single pattern HERE on Ravelry.

You can also find all the patterns in my Craftsy, Etsy and Love Knitting pattern shops.

I hope you enjoy the patterns an I'd love to here what you think.
Happy crocheting 
love Amanda

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


I'm sorry I haven't been around much recently.
I'm busily working away in the background working on my 3 new Foxglove blankets, the blankets are all finished and I'm now working on the patterns.
I'm completely obsessed as I'm trying to produce something completely different to the normal crochet pattern, it focuses on colour rather than crochet, even though it contains 3 blanket patterns.
Trying to work out how to make it easy for you to understand is taking up all  nearly all my time and mind space.

I hope to get the patterns published in a pdf booklet in the next couple of weeks, in the meantime here are a few wip photo's to tempt you :-)

Monday, 4 July 2016

Where to pre-order Rainbow Crocheted Blankets

Since my last blog post about pre-ordering my new book Rainbow Crocheted Blankets in my Etsy shop I have had a lot of messages and e-mails from international crocheters asking where they can pre order a copy.

Originally the Etsy listing was only for UK customers.
However on request I have added some extra shipping destinations to my Etsy pre-order listing.
If you buy from me rather than Amazon you will receive a signed copy of the book.

There are 2 versions of the book - UK and US crochet terms, you can find both of them in the following places

The UK crochet terms version of the book is available myself on Etsy HERE
or on Amazon.co.uk - HERE
Estimated publishing date - 31st of October 2016

The US crochet terms version of the book is on Amazon.com - HERE
Estimated publishing date - 8th of November 2016

You can also order in Australia, but you will need to e-mail the publishers to find out more details, the e-mail address is sales@searchpress.com.au