Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Best Places to Buy Yarn in the UK

Best Places To Buy Yarn in the UK!!!

Hey hookers! 
Contrary to popular belief as designers we don't get Yarn for free! 
😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
So we have to source great value Yarn ourselves
In todays video I'll be showing you some of THE BEST places to source yarn in the UK for all of your crochet needs.

This video features
So watch along for tips of the cheapest yarns, what yarns are the best for quality And price and the gorgeous colour selections each site has in stock.

If you want to see some of the things you can make with these yarns check out my Insta

Or for some fabulous patterns head over to my Etsy shop


Thursday, 9 June 2022

Free Crochet Tutorial - Funky Flower Headband

So it's been some time since I've written a blog post.
The last one here was 2017 I just haven't had the time to dedicate to it. 
But I'm back, fresh new patterns, fresh new image and fresh new motivation.
That said today's pattern is the perfect summer pick. It's fun, funky and so easy to make. Quick to work up and can be made in so many colour options! 
Let's get to it shall we
Pattern is worked in UK crochet terms with the US terms in brackets 

If you prefer to follow along on YouTube you can find the video for this pattern here
Materials
☆ 4mm crochet hook
☆ any DK yarn of your choosing (I used Paintbox Yarns Simply DK) you can use as many colours as you like. I used two colours for my headband.
☆ a tapestry needle for weaving in the ends 
☆ scissors 

Abbreviations UK (US)
☆ DC (SC) - Double crochet (Single crochet)
☆ Ch - Chain
☆ MR - Magic Ring 
☆ Sl St - slip stitch 

1. Pattern begins with 6 DC (SC) in MR.
2. Join to the first DC (SC) with a Sl St. Ch 12, Sl St back into the base on the same chain on the round. 
3. *Sl St into the next DC (SC), Ch 12, Sl St into the base of the Ch on the round* 
4. Repeat from * to * a further 4 times until you have 6 petals.
5. Fasten off and weave in the ends. We will now make a second flower and join the two together.
6. Make the second flower following steps 1-5 above, but DO NOT JOIN THE 6TH PETAL OR FASTEN OFF.
7. Remove the last Ch12 from the hook and place it through a petal on the first flower. Place the chain back onto the hook and sl St to the base of the Ch 12. This will have secured the two petals together. (See minute 6 of the YouTube video for how to do this if you're struggling :))
8. Continue making flowers and joining them as you go until you only have one flower left. At this point you will close the flower ring with the last flower. 
9. Start the last flower in the same way, when you have made the first petal do not join to the round. Remove it from your hook, place it through a petal on one side of the chain of flowers, place the chain back on your hook, Sl St to join to the round. One side of your chain of flowers will now be joined to the last flower. 
10. Work 2 more petals on the last flower (this can be fiddly as you now have a lot of crochet work near your hook) you will have 3 petals in total. 
11. Work the Ch12 of the 4th petal and join this to the second side of your flower chain in the same way as you have been doing throughout. Make the last petal. Fasten off. (If you need visual help with steps 9-11 see minute 8 of the YouTube video) 

And thats your quick and simple flower crown complete! 


What I love about this is you can make it in any combination of colours and it's so versatile. 

You can leave the chain unjoined for bunting. You can make from more robust yarn for a strap, or elongate the chain for a necklace. 

I'd love to see what you make, please tag me on Instagram @crocreate and any comments please leave them below :) 

Happy hooking

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Free crochet pattern: whaling around

Hi lovelies and welcome to my first amigurmi crochet pattern! Ive been wanting to design a pattern for a while now and finally have the time to do so, and to share it with all you lovely people. So i introduce you to Wilf! Wilf is a very friendly whale, he loves the sea, and large bathtubs! And lots and lots of cuddles. I love making sea life, and amigurumi in general, its deffinately my favourite thing to work up, so im super excited to share this with you, and hope you all lobe making him as much as i did 🙂 So without further ado, lets hook up a whale.

  You will need; 100% cotton yarn - i used lily sugar and cream moondance ombre, bought at The Range (they have started to introduce a great range of american brands that previously were difficult to source here in the uk)
A 4.5 mm hook - it is reccommended to use a 5mm hook with this yarn, but as a rule of thumb, when working up amigurumi i always use .5mm or 1mm less to keep the stitches tight so as the stuffing doesnt show through.
Two 9mm safety eyes - i source mine from Etsy in bulk, but you can buy them from any good craft shop.
 Polyester fiberfill stuffing - again this is available at The Range, or from any good craft shop.
 Blunt end sewing needles
 Pink thread - i used friendship bracelet making floss as its what i had in, but any embroidery floss will do
 Stitch marker - i used pony stitch markers, but you can just use a piece of different coloured yarn

 Top tips
Writen in Uk crochet terms
If you are unfamiliar with amigurumi please read through the whole pattern first to ensure you understand.
Fins are made when crocheting the base to the whale to keep a clean finish.
Tail is made in two pieces and sewn onto the whale.
Ensure you get positioning of the safety eyes where you like them before attaching the backs, otherwise you will be unable to remove them.
Worked in the standard amigurumi rounds method, do not join at the end of each round, you may wish to place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.

 Crochet terms abbreviations
 Dc - double crochet
 Inc - increase
Inv dec - invisible decrease
Htr - half treble
 Tr - treble
Dtr - double treble
 () the number in between the brackets is how many stitches you should have at the end of the round Lets crack on then

Head
Round 1: 6dc in a magic ring (6) place marker now, and dont forget to move it up as you go.
Round 2: increase in each stitch (12)
Round 3: *1dc, increase in the next stitch* repeat around (18)
Round 4: *1dc in each of the next 2 stitches, inc in the next* repeat around (24)
Round 5: *1dc in each of the next 3 stitches, inc in the next* repeat around (30)
Round 6: *1dc in each of the next 4 stitches, inc in the next* repeat around (36)
Round 7: *1dc in each of the next 5 stitches, inc in the next* repeat around (42)
Round 8: *1dc in each of the next 6 stitches, inc in the next* repeat around (48)
Round 9: *1dc in each of the next 7 stutches, inc in the next* repeat around (54)
Rounds 10 - 16: 1dc in each stitch around (54)
Round 17: *1dc in each of the next 7, invisible decrease* repeat around (48)
Round 18: 1dc in each stitch around, fasten off (48)
Tummy / base
 Work the same as the body for rounds 1-8, do not fasten off. You will now connect the base to the head. To do so you will work both through the stitches on the base, and the stitches of the last round on the head. Insert your hook through both stitches, yarn over, draw up the yarn, yarn over a second time and complete the stitch. Your base will now be connected to your head with 1 stitch. Work a further 11 stitches. In the 12th stitch work the following; 1dc, 1htr, 1tr, 3dtr, 1tr, 1htr, 1dc (this makes a fin on one side)  Dc a further 23 stitches Work the second fin in the next stitch as before (1dc, 1htr, 1tr, 3dtr, 1tr, 1htr, 1dc) Stuff the head, and attach your safety eyes to a position you are happy with.  1dc in the remaining stitches to the end. Stuff the head further before you close if you wish.  You will now have a whale with two fins 

Tail - make 2
Round 1: 4dc in a magic ring (4)
Round 2: 1dc in each stitch (4)
Round 3: 1dc, inc in the next twice (6)
Round 4: 1dc in the next 2, inc, twice (8)
Round 5: 1dc in the next 3, inc, twice (10)
Round 6: 1dc in next 4, inc, twice (12)
Round 7 & 8: 1dc in each stitch (12)
Round 9: 1dc in next 4, inv dec, twice (10)
Round 10: 1dc in next 3, inv dec, twice (8)
Round 11: 1dc in next 2, inv dec, twice (6)
Fasten off.
Press the pieces flat and attach your tail pieces to the back of the whale, do not stuff.
Embroider a mouth just under your whales eyes. Voila one chunky whale 🙂🐳

I hope you love it, and please do tag me on Instagram (@woollypop) if you make one id love to see your happy whales! Happy hooking from down the rabbit hole X      

Friday, 18 August 2017

Pom poms!

Around 12 months ago (maybe more i loose track of time soooo easily!) i bought the fabulous Pompomania book by Christine Leech (get it here). The book is filled with great pom pom designs and projects, and i have to say it got me hooked on the good old pom pom.  I love that pom poms can be customised, colour mixed, and made into just about everything (earrings, shoes, blankets, the list is endless!) In spirit of this i thought i would curate a list of my favourite pom pom projects for my lovely readers. Not only is there something theraputic about crafting a gorgeous yarny pom pom, but its a craft for all ages and one that can be done as a family ☺️ So without further ado lets begin    1. Pom pom fairies from RaisingUpRubies
This craft is super cute. I love all things magical so i have to add this to the list. Its also something the kids can do, and is very unique. Use them at christmas, string them onto a set of fairy lights for added sparkle, and if you have a tinkerbell fan, you can make one for each of the fairies. A lovely craft for kiddos and parents alike, and also a great gift for a little girl.   2. Pom pom bouquet from Camille Styles 
These are gorgeous, and so simple. I love that natural materials have been used here too, it makes the bouquet much more authentic and unique, the fact that you can make any colour bouquet you like i a plus, and you could even mix it up having large and small blooms in the same bouquet. A simple yet effective craft with the ever versatile pom pom, and no special tools required, these pom poms are made using just your hands!   3. Pom pom headband from a subtle revelry 
Pom pom headbands are the must have seasonal accessory, from festivals, to party in the park, it seems everyone is wearing them. So why not create your own with this fab tutorial. Consisting of cheap and easy to come by materials this is sure to be a staple accessory, and only cost a couple of quid, win win!   4. Pikachu pom pom by Flying Mio 
This youtube video shows you how to create your own super cute little pom pom pikachu! I just had to include this, its adorable and gets the kids involved, and possibly the boys too, in my experience boys arent really into crafts, however this pokemon inspired craft may just tempt them!    5. Pom pom wreath from Wool and the Gang  
Who doesnt love a pom pom wreath? I know i do, and this little baby from WATG doesnt dissapoint. Whats more, its so easy to make, doesnt require a glue gun (yes you heard correctly) and can be made bit by bit adding more pom poms for a fuller look with whatever takes your fancy. Another great ones for the kids too as like i said, no hot glue gun required.   6. Pom pom solar system from we are scout
This is ingenious. A great craft for the kids, a science project you can get on board with, and quite frankly brilliant. This great tutorial complete with fab images shows you how to make the planets from yarn. Planet pom poms. A great craft, and educational project too.   7. Pom pom paperclips from Raising up Rubies
Another great tutorial from Raising up Rubies. Planners and accessories are hot right now and these would make a great planner clip. Super easy, customisable and made in any colour and size you like, simple yet perfect!   8. The cutest bunny from pom maker
For those of you who havent heard yet pom maker blog is the next big thing in the pom pom world. Their doghnut shaped pom makers are especially cute, and their tutorials are ingenious and one of a kind. With both video and clear picture tutorials their pom poms are not only awesome, but achievable too.   9. Pom pom pillow from A Kailo Chic Life
Another bright inviting home accessory that screams 'cuddle me im so soft and scrumptious and colourful'! Ok so enough of my being weird, on a serious note does this not make you smile?! Its a super easy tutorial, glue gun, pillow case, pom poms, ta dah! You can upcycle some old pillows, or buy second hand cases, and if you're not fussy on colour or pattern its a great way to use up any leftover yarns.   10. Pom pom rug from sayyes
A pom pom roundup wouldn't be complete without a pom pom rug. All of the tutorials out there are very similar, pom poms, non stick mat backing et voila. Super easy, simple and cheap, without being cheap looking. I chose this particular tutorial because i love the colour combination, and there isn't a pom pom maker in sight, proving that just about anyone can make a pom pom, simply, with very little tools needed.    Lastly if you dont have any fancy dancy pom pom makers, dont despair, this wonderful post from heart hook home, shows you a veriety of ways you can make pom poms using forks, loo roll tubes and just your hands. A great post again confirming you dont need to spend a lot to get fantastic results. 
To see all of these projects and more, check out my pom poms board over on pinterest   Id love to see your pom pom projects please do tag me over on Instagram, or use #woollypops.   Comment below for how you use your pom poms.   Happy hooking from down the rabbit hole x

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Crochet Book Club

Ooooh its that time again! Crochet book club time! Now for all of you that follow me on social media (if you dont come on over 😊), you'll know i love amigurumi. When im making, its 99% likely im making an amigurumi mouse, or cat, or bear, or rabbit etc etc. So, it was only fair (to myself 😂) that this months book club was amigurumi related.  Without further ado, this months book is Drum roll please................ (the suspense is killing you right?!) 
My crochet animals by Isabelle Kessedjian
And what a wonderful book it is. For those of you not familiar with Isabelles works, she is a wonderful French artist. Also the author of my crochet doll, and very talented crochet designer and artist. Check her out here. She even has her own app on itunes! The book begins with a gorgeous array of superb photographs of Isabelles animals, there are 9 in total not all pictured, including, a koala bear, a wolf, a pig, a bear, a bunny, a moose, a panda, a fox and a racoon. 
I have to admit, i did flick through at first thinking, 'have i bought a picture book and not read the description properly?!' Of course i hadn't, but im so used to pattern books having the image on one page, pattern on the other of a double page spread, it threw me a little! Another thing that makes this book unique. The animals are oh so cutely laid out in their appropriate settings, donning their gorgeous clothing which there are also patterns for in the book.
In fact everything in the book that is photographed, can be hooked, even the piggy butchers meat!
  Towards the end of the book are the patterns. Each in chronological order to match the pics.  The instructions are really well detailed, with more great images, and each pattern has the corresponding page number of where the picture for the animal can be found. Its very organised and well laid out. The animals themselves are so cute, and there is a 'basic elements' structure as it were to each animal (standard pattern for the arms and legs for each animal, for example), which is great because once youve got the hang of it the possibilities are endless.
One of the main reasons i bought this book was for the clothes. I love hooking amigurumi but find very little by way of crochet clothing out there too, so for me this is a delight, and again once youve got the hang of that mini rabbit bonnet, it can be a bonnet with a bow, or with beads on the tails. The book gives you a foundation, along with inspiration for your own ideas, its deffinitley not a 'set in stone' pattern book, and deffinitley one i can gurantee you'll pick up time and time again. Im currently working up a little baby boy bunny from the book (its taking longer than id like due to custom orders i have going on, and the garden project!) but its a delight, i have to say, easy to follow, works up quickly, and a lot of the stitches are great for beginners as theyre very simple (the bunny has so far been single crochets, increases and decreases).
Id so recommend this book to any avid amigurumi hooker beginner or otherwise, just the pictures alone are a delight 😊 I bought my book on Amazon as this was the best price at the time, and you get free delivery on book orders over £10. Hopefully you'll give it a look and be working up cute critters in no time. Happy hooking from down the rabbit hole x  

Monday, 31 July 2017

Free Crochet Pattern - Amigurumi hat and bow

 
Materials
Any yarn and hook you desire. I used a 4mm metal hook and stylecraft DK acrylic yarn to achieve a hat measuring 5.5 cm or 2.5 inches in height and 4cm or 1.5 inches wide. 
Bare in mind smaller hook and yarn smaller hat, likewise bigger hook and yarn, bigger hat 😉
If you wish to make the hat larger add more increasing rounds at the top BEFORE crocheting in the back loops. This will give the hat a wider circumference. 
Pattern Notes
Written in UK terms
It is recommended that a stitch marker is used to mark the beginning of each new round. Hat is made in the traditional amigurumi method, do not join after each round.
Dc - double crochet
Sl st - slip stitch
(1) - number of stitches you should have at the end of each round
** - repeat the instruction in between the stars around
Blo - crochet in the back loops only
Flo - crochet in the front loops only
Inc - increase
Any problems please do leave me a comment, or contact me on social media.
Okay let's hook and roll!
  1. 6 dc in a magic ring, pull the ring closed (6)
  2. Increase around 2dc in every stitch (12)
  3. *1 dc, inc* around (18)
  4. Blo - 1 dc in each stitch (18)
  5. In both loops - 1 dc in each stitch (18)
 6-15. Repeat round 5 (18)
  1. Flo - 1 dc in each stitch (18)
  2. In both loops - 1 dc around (18)
  3. *2 dc, inc* around (24)
  4. 1 dc in each stitch (24) fasten off.
Et voila your hat is complete.
I stuffed mine to attach it to my kitty, but it's really up to you how you style it out.

   
For kitty's bow I simply did the following;
Chain 7 turn
1 dc in second chain from the hook to the end, chain 1, turn (6)
1 dc in each stitch, chain 1, turn (6)
Repeat once more. Fasten off
Tie a long piece of yarn around the middle of the length of crochet to make a bow shape and sew in place.
My daughter says he looks like a circus cat 🤔 not the look I was going for but I'll take it 🤣 she thought he was very cute.

I hope you enjoy styling up your amigurumis. The kitty pattern i used is from the super talented Sarah Sloyer at Critterbeans you can visit her on Ravelry here. Happy hooking from down the rabbit hole x  

Friday, 28 July 2017

Back To School Pattern Roundup

I know, i know, theyve only just finished school for the holidays, and already im on back to school kit, but there is a very good reason, you only have 6, yes, 6 weeks to ensure theyve got everything they need for the new term.   Back to school essentials can be really expensive, the average UK household will spend a mega £330 on back to school essentials, and those of you in the US will top us by nearly double with the average household spending almost $800. So why go money mad, when chances are you have spare yarn lying around screaming at you 'use me save money'! Now all of the patterns below arent necessarily essentials, but they are things youre most likely (bar uniforms) to spend the most money on. So save a few quid (to spend on holiday perhaps 😁) and hook up a storm this summer. Lets get to it shall we 1. Back to school rucksack from Yarnplaza 
This is soooo cute. I love the design and colourway, and how it looks super suave, but actually its lots of granny squares very well constructed to make a fab rucksack. Simple enough, and with a well writen pattern to boot. This bag can be made in any colour you like, and is great for little munchkins and trendy teens alike. Get the kids involved picking their own colour and they're much more likely to love it. The average backpack costs around £20 if you hooked this from Paintbox cotton yarn currently on offer at just £1.92 per ball, and used the amount the pattern requires youd save £10.40 win win to me 👍🏻   2. Mini bow hairclips from hello yellow yarn
Now i know hair accessories arent going to be at the top of the list, in fact if youre anything like me youll send them with any old clips in! But this year we had a set of uniform rules, and i quote "hair fashions are not encouraged in school" (bye bye jojo bows!) "hair accessories in school colours are permitted for functional usage" in lamens terms for our school, blue and yellow clips are ok. Hence why making your own is a money saver, and you know youll always be able to replicate them should they go astray, get misplaced etc, during the year. 3. Rainbow Lanyard from the Moogly blog
This ones more for the older kids. Not sure if youve noticed but at college or uni nowadays everyone needs id. Great, it keeps our kids safe, and also its more functional (id card opens 100 doors type functional!). Saying this the plain black lanyards they get issued are booooring, and this is where Moogly comes in. Functional, stylish, customisable, super easy. What more can you want in a pattern. 4. Crocodile pencil case from lets knit
Isnt this just the cutest?! Okay its more for younger kids, but youre sure to be a hit if you work up this for your kiddo. You do have to register with the site to get this pattern, however you wont be dissapointed, the site has huge amounts of free knitting and crochet patterns, all of different skill levels and tastes. This pattern does require a bit of skill to complete, but is worth mastering as its super cute, and can be worked i a variety of colours, im thinking purple and pink 😁👍🏻  5. Octopus pencil topper from topcrochetpatterns.com
Ok so not at the top of the list again, (and probably doesnt feature on many lists!) but this is one of those cute things you can use to jazz up otherwise boring pencils, and then be able to get away with buying a pack of 10 for 50p from b and m as opposed to a £2 pack that look pretty! Again you have to register with the site to download this pattern, but this is another site its totally worth doing for. Made in traditional amigurumi method, the pattern also includes an angelfish and whale in the download too.  6. Rainbow pencil case from the diaper mum
A schoolbag staple, and extremely easy to whip up. This pencil case has very basic instructions, easy to put together and easy to customise. The pattern also shows you how to line the bag and add a zipper. Personally i wouldnt line the case as its only for school, but i suppose that all depends on the maker. Use any stitch or colour you like for this case with loads of possibilities.  7. Chic rucksack from Kate Eastwood
Now, i know ive included 2 backpack patterns, my intentions here were that this pattern is perhaps more suited to an older girl than a younger one, and i didnt like to leave out those of you with older kits. This backpack is super stylish, comes with comprehensive, well detailed instructions and pictures in the tutorial, and appears simple enough to make, with a simple method of construction. Again for those of you with a few skills up your sleeve you could omit the edging, or even add a pattern or colourwork into the design. I have to say i just love the style of the backpack. Its very cute. 8. Rillakuma phone sleeve from sweetorials 
Again this is more for the teens in your life, a great way to keep their phone safe. This is soooo easy. The tutorial is on youtube and the video is only 6 minutes long so you can imagine how quickly this will work up. The video has good writen instructions alongside the video and is good quality and easy to follow. A super simple but very cute way to keep those phones safe, and kawaii is very on trend right now. 9. Coin purse / pouch from zipitzippers.com
Ok so this has a multitude of uses. This is great for the smaller kids to take into school with money for trips, dinners, or a morning snack in. Some schools here in the uk let you take in a purse for the week with money in and leave it in school, this is perfect for that. For the older kids its a cool purse, great for keeping headphones, usb drives etc in. For the girlies its a great way to conceal those products they may only use once a month if you get my drift! 10.  Mini granny square tech case by sugarbeans
Oh i do love granny squares. Theyre so versatile, and can be made in all the colours of the rainbow. I love this pattern for many reasons, its super cute, useful, and mixes the kitsch granny with girly detailing in the shell stitch border. Its practical and can be adapted for laptops, phones, ipods, ipads you name it 😁. A super easy make, with great pictures detailing the construction of the case. Great for beginners too and can be styled to suit.   There you have it. 10 super patterns for all the family members that could save you a few quid if nothing else. If youd like to see more im constantly adding to my pinterest boards here. Happy hooking from down the rabbit hole x