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

Concentrating

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







Thursday, 30 June 2016

Foxgloves & stupid internet

I'm having a bit of a nightmare time with the internet at the moment, as Lynton is miles away from civilisation at the end of a road to no where we struggle with an internet connection.
So I haven't been around much due to the fact that its difficult to get a signal for more than an hour at a time.
I'd like to say things will improve when we get superfast broadband, however our lovely Tory MP who doesn't live on the moor and spends most of his time in London stated that connecting Lynton wasn't worth the money, so we're stuck with stone age bandwidth....sigh.....

Anyway between bouts of severe internet frustration I have been working away on my Foxgloves blankets, there will be 3 in total, all published together in a e-booklet. Its going to be a totally new format as the main focus of the book is colour rather than crochet. I'm aiming to inspire you and give you the confidence to experiment with your own colour schemes, plus there will be a blank layout that you can print out and colour in for yourselves.
Here's a few photo's of 1 and 2 to whet your appetite :-)
Sadly I can't post a photo of number 3 as Dropbox is taking days to sync anything.




I have managed to list my new book on Etsy as a pre-order, I can only ship to the UK, but there is a US version that you can order via US Amazon.
Plus its going to be published in France by a French Publisher.

You can find the Etsy listing HERE


Here is the first glimpse of 2 of the book blankets, the full blankets won't be revealed until the book is published :-)

Knot Garden

Liberty

Hopefully I will be able to post a little bit more in a week or so, just as long as the internet allows me.

Love and Happy Crocheting
Amanda


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Squares & Circles series

Good morning from grey and warm Exmoor

When I start working on a new blanket I start off with a colour collection of yarn and a vague sketch/colour chart.
The blankets evolve as they grow, which means I'm constantly tweaking a design as I make it, adding or taking away colours, changing motifs, etc etc
I also normally come up with several variations in my head. Occasionally I allow myself to crochet a second variation of the same design, such as the two Kissing Circles blankets and my triangle star's blankets.
(If you click on the design name it will take you to its pattern page in my Ravelry store, so you can buy the pattern)


FLORENCE                                    SUPERNOVA

However I normally file all the variations away in my head for another time. I'd like to make more of the variations and to create series of blanket designs, but I need to come up with new designs as you don't want to buy the same blanket pattern over and over again.
Recently I read a comment on Ravelry that said my Circles and Cornucopia blankets were the same design. 
Although the motifs are slightly different, the commenter was right, so I stepped back and looked at all my blanket photo's together and realised that I have been using a square with a circle in it, time and time again over a period of about 8 years.

CIRCLES                                        SABINE

BELLADONNA                             CORNUCOPIA

My most recent 2 blankets are both designed with a square/circle so I think its time for me to give in and indulge myself by making a series of square/circle blankets, it might help me get over square/circles and move onto a new motif shape or I might be stuck on square/circles for a long time to come .... maybe forever...who knows....
These latest two blankets have new layout and colour variations that I'm going to develop further, so watch this space :-)


FOXGLOVES - WIP





Thursday, 26 May 2016

Foxgloves

I've been working on a new blanket and developing new way of working.
My lovely crochet friend came to see me about 10 days ago, we spent a whole day chatting crochet. Some of the discussion was about the way I sell my work.
I've slowly come to realise that since the closure of NDS last year I no longer have to keep my blankets to use on the stand to sell yarn and that I should sell them instead.
You can find them HERE on my website.

My friend is the proud new owner of a couple of my blankets and she pointed out that I don't do anything to promote blanket sales and she's right!
My blankets are expensive, but as I pay myself half the minimum wage I think I've priced them more than reasonably.
I understand they are out of most peoples budgets and so I don't expect to sell many.
But during the past week or so I have come up with some idea's on how to make my work more available.
The idea's have evolved during the making of Foxgloves

Foxgloves are inspired by the flowers on the moor, the wild foxgloves are beginning to come into flower and the colours are based on the flowers and their surroundings.
I've crocheted and frogged and crocheted and frogged over and over again, developing my ideas as I go.
The photo's below are a of photo diary of my process

Foxgloves started off as a pile of yarn and my attempt to use a square that didn't contain a circle.

However I didn't like the squares, so the circles crept back. At this point in time it was going to be a scarf, with stripes of squares fading into the background green.

And then it morphed into a blanket and I decided to work the stripes corner to corner instead.

Even though I loved the original colour scheme, the stripes faded into the background and so I used an alternative colour scheme and turned the stripes into zig zags.

Which left me with a discard pile of swatches. I had a brainwave and decided I could mount or frame and sell the swatches as small pieces of wall art.

So I decided to make 2 blankets at the same time, one with the original colours and second more muted colour scheme, the layout would be identical, so I would need to make both blankets and publish them at the same time in the same pattern.

However this morning I've decided to just make the muted version, which means I'm left with a big discard pile of swatches to frame or mount and sell.

I still love the first colour way so I'll photograph it and include it in the pattern.
As I've had so much fun playing with the different colour schemes I've decided that it might be nice for you to have the chance to experiment with your own. So I've decided to include a couple of colouring sheets for you to play with.

I've coloured in bits of the layout so you can see the structure, if you use the same yarn you have a starting place to work out your colour scheme around. 
Obviously I need to do some development of the colouring pages, so its a work in progress, but the photo above gives you an idea of what I mean.

If you can't wait for the pattern and want to start collecting colours, you will need to buy 1 skein of  Fyberspates - Vivacious 4 ply Sea Green (the green circles)
And 1 skein of  Fyberspates - Scrumptious 4 Ply - Teal (blue circles)
I've also used 1 skein of Fyberspates - Vivacious 4 ply - Mixed Magentas as a background colour, so if you want to do the same colour way as the original you will need to use it as a core colour to base your collection around.
You can find the list of Fyberspates stockists HERE
You can use any 4 ply yarn, just as long as its a similar metreage (360 - 400 metre's per 100 gs)
My sample blanket includes some Skein Queen, Easy Knits, The Little Grey Sheep and John Arbon Exmoor Sock.

The pattern will be available as soon as I've finished crocheting the sample and the swatches will be available on Etsy as soon as I've worked out how to frame or mount them.

Love Amanda - off to colour in some charts :-)


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Exmoor Stars, Catalina & Geminds

Good morning from slightly sunny Exmoor

I've finally published my Exmoor Stars blanket pattern booklet, its taken me longer than I thought because I've been dithering about how many patterns to include, originally I had planned 3 blankets & 2 scarves, but I struggle to make any else but blankets, so the scarves have been a problem. I've only designed one.
So rather than wait until inspiration strikes I decided to just include the blankets and publish the scarf separately.

So here is Exmoor Stars.......


Exmoor Stars contains patterns for my Stargazer Zodiac blanket, Sagittarius A Black Hole blanket and Catalina Comet blanket. The blankets are all inspired by the stars seen over the moor on dark nights.
You can find it HERE on Ravelry.


The blankets are also available as single patterns, just follow the links below to take you to the individual blanket's page.

Catalina Comet - HERE

Sagittarius A Black Hole - HERE

Stargazer Zodiac - HERE

 All the patterns contain ....
Detailed yarn and colour recommendations
Written and charted motif patterns, in both UK and US terms.
A colour chart and layout key.
And step by step charts, which hopefully make it easier to construct the blanket.

And this is the Geminids Meteor scarf, beautifully modelled by my son on Woolacombe beach.


Geminids is inspired by a meteor shower that can be seen over the moor every December.
It was designed to be a unisex scarf, I have made it using EASYKNITS Smoke and Big Boy wool heavy 4 ply yarn (300 metres per 100 gms)  
As I intended the scarf to be unisex I thought it was appropriate to use Jon's yarns as he is my only male dyer friend, his colours are heavily saturated, big and bold, perfect for such a structured design.
However if you prefer you can make it in softer girly colours or in a lighter weight 4 ply (400 metres per 100 gms)
You can find Geminids Meteor scarf - HERE
The pattern also contains the same list of instructions/information, as the blanket patterns above.

Happy crocheting 
Amanda