Monthly Archives: December 2018

Indie Design Gift Along – Beginner Patterns Part 2 – Crochet

crochet pattern from the Indie Design Gift Along 2018

Indie Design Gift Along 2018 Crochet Highlights

I’m sorry I’ve not blogged for a few days, it’s a busy time of year for my day job and I’ve also been helping out with the Gift Along (as I do every year).     I’ll catch up a bit today with two posts crammed with goodies and ideas and a few discounts and offers I saw along the way.    I’ll also show you a super little gift I bought for myself and one for a very good friend and I think is awesome.   I’m not affiliated with the company and I don’t get commission, I just loved the product and wanted to share it.

Today I wanted to focus on some beginner patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along, a pattern where a total newbie can have a go and create a finished item pretty easily or where a more experienced knitter can learn a technique or skill that’s new to them.     Part 1 is Knit and Part 2 is crochet.

Quick and Easy Headband Plus Loop Dee Loop Scrunchie Pattern

Cute and easy little crocht set, you could make quickly to gift or keep for yourself.

Squeeee-easy crochet cowl

a very easy crochet cowl with instructions on how to adapt to different yarns, make longer (wrap twice) or deeper.


A great intro to crochet hexagons and some new techniques.   If you follow the pattern, you’ll learn as you go along and Julie is really helpful

Bouncing Bubbles

a quick to make crochet baby bib, with cute details and full, very clear instructions.

Benedict the Bunny

Lots of step by step instructions and photos to take you through this gorgeous little crochet Bunny pattern.  Give it a go, you’ll love it so much you won’t want to gift it 🙂

Nighty Night Baby Blanket, lapghan or throw adjustable sizing EASY

A nice, relaxing and easy crochet blanket/lapghan pattern to follow with lots of help on sizing to suit you.

Jacqui’s Easy Coasters

It’s rare for me to include one of my own crochet patterns in a round up for the Indie Design Gift Along 2018 but this really is an easy set of coasters, great for using up stash and you have the option of a photo tutorial or line by line written instructions.
Jacqui's Simple Coasters crochet pattern from the Indie Design Gift Along 2018
A quick link to our shop

Indie Design Gift Along – Beginner Patterns Part 1 – Knit

I’m sorry I’ve not blogged for a few days, it’s a busy time of year for my day job and I’ve also been helping out with the Gift Along (as I do every year).     I’ll catch up a bit today with two posts crammed with goodies and ideas and a few discounts and offers I saw along the way.    I’ll also show you a super little gift I bought for myself and one for a very good friend and I think is awesome.   I’m not affiliated with the company and I don’t get commission, I just loved the product and wanted to share it.

Today I wanted to focus on some beginner patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along, a pattern where a total newbie can have a go and create a finished item pretty easily or where a more experienced knitter can learn a technique or skill that’s new to them.     Part 1 is Knit and Part 2 is crochet.

First Up is an offer I saw when browsing beginner patterns in the Giant Bundle of Gift Along Patterns.

If you buy this one and add the Bead Drop Scarf and the Garter Eyes Cowl to your cart at the same time, you’ll only pay for Ma Cherie.     I’m not on commission, I just thought it was a great deal for anyone wanting to try beads on a knitted project and learn a little bit of lace knitting while getting two patterns for free.

Beginners Socks Tutorial Pattern

A good introduction to sock knitting using thicker yarn and larger needles to get you started and give an understanding of sock anatomy and all the common terms used in sock patterns.   Handknit socks are the best and you can learn quickly to customise for fit and comfort.

torto beginner’s cowl

A lovely introduction to cables, working a piece flat and changing to working in the round, it’s soft, warm and super smooshy.     A really great starter pattern if you’ve never worked in the round before.   It’s not scary and it’ll open up a whole new world of knitting to you.

Snowy Evening Boot Cuffs

Worked in the round, a little bit of simple embroidery for the stars but what a gorgeous pair of boot cuffs you’ll have at the end.

Beginner’s Cabled Fingerless Mittens

by Lynette Meek

Easy Ninja Socks

This one encourages you to make the teeny size, ideal for a Christmas decoration or on a key ring, a great intro to socks for everyone.

Easy A

An easy, boxy sweater with some nice finishing touches, so you can learn icord finishing, afterthought pockets – all optional and have a sweater that’s a relaxing, fun knit.

Mount Rainier Hat

A simple and classic hat, with ribbing, an easy introduction to shaping a hat and one that both you and your super fussy MAN will wear.

Easy Crescent Shaped Shawl

There is a youtube video tutorial to go along with this beginner shawl pattern, absolutely brilliant for someone starting to knit and who wants to make a pretty shawl for themselves or a gift.

Easy Looped Scarf

A great beginner pattern suitable for a range of yarn weights/thicknesses.

Star Garland

The star starts as a pentagon worked in the round for the center. Then each of the five points is worked individually back and forth.

Easy Tweedy Cowl

This simple cowl pattern can be knitted at virtually any gauge, with any yarn. The stitch pattern is an easy mix of knits and purls, nearly identical on right and wrong sides, which produces a textured fabric that is suitable for both men and women.      It is knitted in the round, in one piece with no seaming.

Faberge Mittens

A cute slip stitch pattern creates a fabulous and complex looking mitten with beads, when actually it’s all simple techniques, well explained with a photo tutorial and you get to take all the credit for it 🙂

Easy Two-Color Purse Pouch

Great little stash buster using tiny amounts of yarn and makes a great gift or stocking filler for kids.

Checkerboard Scarflet

Simple knit and purl combination creates a great checkboard effect suitable for men and women.  A very easy knit and the chance to add some buttons from your vintage stash is an added bonus.
Last of all, I wanted to show you this product, from Fobbles, it’s called Stash n’ Store and I’ve been sticking my scissors, tapestry needles, cable needles, crochet hooks and stitch markers in mine since it arrived.   I’ve never been so organised.    Bev is closed until the New Year, so this’d be an ideal New Year treat for yourself.
Part 2 will be along later today with Beginner and New to You Crochet Patterns.




Indie Design Gift Along 2018 Blanket Favourites

Today, I thought we’d have a look at some of the awesome Slipper Patterns available in the Indie Design Gift Along this year.    I’ve picked designs that caught my eye, had interesting stitch patterns, techniques, were quick or just simply too cute that I had to include them.

Fisherman’s Fabric by 10 hours or less

I’m actually making these for myself, I’m using some Stylecraft Special Aran in silver grey and cloud blue for the sole/trim.     They are super warm and I’m half way through the right slipper, having made the left one.

Shape Your Booties

I’ve made an exception with this pair of adorable slippers to show you two photos, why?  Well, the bottom image shows a tiny version made with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and it makes a perfect baby size bootie OR the most adorable Christmas Decoration!

Colorblock Slippers

Bulky yarn and a super quick knit, go for it, your feet will thank you.

Fair Isle Oslo Boots

Time for some crochet and crochet fair isle so you can play with colour and have toasty warm feet.


I’ve made these, originally for myself but within hours of being finished, my Mum had tried them on, claimed they fit her better than me and disappeared into the sunset with my new slippers.   They’re made with super bulky yarn and very quick, I think the smallest size took me around 45 mins a slipper.

Jumbo no bother boot slippers

Another super bulky knit, quick, warm and a good stash buster if you strand yarns together to make a one-off super bulky yarn.

Yeti Slipper Socks

Yeti Slipper Socks are a quick knit in super bulky yarn. The colour pattern is achieved with a simple slipped stitch technique so that only one colour is used at a time.   Great for using up odds and ends of stash.

Funfetti Sloots – Adult

Awesome slipper boots, or Sloots, with pom poms and super warm

Toe Bean Slippers

I have this pattern and I can tell you it’s a super quick knit, very easy and looks both elegant and cute all at the same time.

No Place Like Home

What girl doesn’t want a pair of Ruby Slippers?   A quick and easy knit, great or using up small amounts of yarn or those variegated skeins you have kicking about.

Bosnian Slippers

Knitted in one piece, top down in either Aran or Worsted weight yarn.  I have some Rios in my stash that’d be perfect for these.


I couldn’t resist adding this cute pair of knitted slippers, partly because I love the name Betty and also because the cable and garter pattern on these will be a) cozy and b) stylish.   They’ll make an awesome gift.


Indie Gift Along 2018 –

Today, I thought we’d have a look at some of the amazing Poncho patterns available in the Indie Design Gift Along this year.

University Poncho

I love the smooshy cables and ribbed pattern on this poncho, knitted in Aran weight yarn it’s a very quick and simple knit.

Sort Of Silent

I know the designer of this marvellous and mad-as-a-box-frogs pattern, it’s edgy, urban and modern.  All words suited for someone younger than I, but I do love it.   it’s a quick knit, thick, warm cables and several ways to wear it, your Teen or Twenty Somethings will love it.


A bit of crochet, circles and a lacy effect create a beautiful, modern design that I would wear a lot.

Seacliff Beach Poncho

Great for using up sock or 3ply yarns and showing off a kettle dyed or semi solid with it’s pretty lace details and edging.

Painted Desert

Awesome example of playing with colour, some Fair Isle stranding and a texture collar, this really is a stunner.  Kits are available in a variety of colour options.

Girdle of Melian Poncho

Stunning lace, two colours and an awesome shape to this poncho make it a must-have on my list


I love Linda’s cables and this poncho really does make the most of cables, textures and warm wool

My Cup of Tea Shawl

A simple but stylish crochet poncho with lots of opportunities to add stripes, play with colour or just make it in a single colour to contrast with your winter coat.

Arya’s Poncho

I can imagine Arya wearing this simple poncho while practicing her sword skills.  No fussy details or frills for warrior women.

Amaliya Capelet

Beautiful textures and you could knit yourself the whole set, after all, a girl needs a hat and mitts to go with her poncho.


Last one for today and it’s another modern, edgy and urban piece with an awesome shape and texture.   I can see my Teen Ogre nieces loving this and wanting one in every colour.

Gift A-long 2018 Interview with Laura Goodman – Dragon Wing Arts

Hi Laura, thanks for taking time to chat to me today, I really appreciate it.

What made you start designing and how long have you been doing it?

I started designing in 2010 with my Spring’s Beginning scarf.   I got a hank from a local dyer and I wanted a leafy pattern. There was nothing on Ravelry at the time that quite fit what I wanted, so I decided to come up with my own idea. It is still one of my favorite designs.

What’s inspiring you at the moment and can you share that with us?

I’m addicted to the look of drop stitches.  Again, I had a thought that I could use drop stitches with garter stitch for texture but there wasn’t quite a pattern for it. I had the yarn for the Bias Drop Stitch scarf around for AGES and I just needed something simple to work with it. Now I’ve gotten hooked on drop stitch patterns and I have three more in the works!

Any tips to aspiring designers, or things you wish you’d known before you started?

People will criticize, but you will also see beautiful work come of your ideas. Don’t let them discourage you. It takes time to get your patterns out there – there are so many patterns to choose from. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of and eventually it will work out!

Which pattern from your range is your favourite and why?

Other than my first pattern, probably my Crescent Trinity shawl –  it looks so much more complex than it is.  The body of the shawl is a two row repeat, and the edging is only four rows, but it came together to look great. It works in varigated yarns and gives great texture!

Do you have a favourite cast on and why?

Cable cast on – it always gives a clean edge. It’s most commonly what I use.

Tell us a little about you

I’m a history nut who does tech support for a living – a bit of an odd combination. I just became a mom three months ago and I couldn’t be happier!  I can’t wait to make all the cute baby things!  It’s so hard to pick what to make – I’ve picked out a sweater to start with during the Gift-a-Long.

Have you any new releases on the horizon we need to look out for?

I’ve got one pattern I just need to get photographed and it’s ready for release- a scarf using more drop stitches and a thicker yarn. WIP pictures are on my project page .  I’m also working on a lighter pattern with a chevron or V shape and one with zig zags – all with drop stitches.     I think they will be called Obsession, Fixation and Addiction – since I’m so completely hooked on drop stitch ideas right now!  I’ve got the sample done for the triangle and I’m working hard on the chevron and zig zags so I can get them out there!

How can people contact you and see your designs?

I’m on Ravelry under DragonWing Arts.    – I’m also starting to use instagram and will work on sharing some more pictures of my new ideas!

Indie Design Gift Along 2018 – Toys, Softies etc

I’m not really a maker of toys, but I have made them in the past, usually as a gift for a new family member or just for fun, but this year’s Gift A-long has really opened my eyes to some incredible designs and I thought I’d share them with you.

First up

Leisurely Llama

I couldn’t resist this cute Llama, look at that adorable little face.    This one is crocheted and uses simple stitches, it looks like a quick make and you could customize the colours to suit the recipient.

Hartley the Fox

I love this cute little fox and the designer has an amazing range of toy patterns to choose from, it was hard to single out Hartley the Fox, but as I’ve seen so many Fox cushions and mugs this Autumn/Winter season, it had to be him.  All the stitches are explained in a very comprehensive pattern, with plenty of help.

Cinnamon the little Deer

As well as making a very sweet toy, I can see this one being a favourited Christmas Decoration in our house and being pride of place every year.    I love the little antlers and the sweet expression on his/her face.

Giraffe Zoo Kids

My niece, Meghan, loves giraffes and she would go ga-ga over this pattern.  I love the outfits and the felted mane, really pretty details and a comprehensive pattern to take you through every stage of the process.


It’s been a long time since I made dolls clothes but this little ensemble did catch my eye with pretty cable details that any little girl would love.

Hobgoblin Amigurumi

I love this little Hobgoblin, his fearsome teeth and beady eyes, great fun.


this sweet little doll has two heads, one awake and one asleep featuring pretty embroidery and a lace dress.  Ideal for keeping little ones quiet or for cuddling to sleep.

Family Purr

Cute, cuddly and quick to make, this is a nice easy knit and who wouldn’t want a house full of kitties?

Sweet dog Charlie

I love this sweet little pup with his cute outfit, bag, jacket and floppy ears.   This looks like a quick and interesting knit.

December Mice

More crochet and with it being so close to Christmas I had to include them.    The little tree lights and decorations are the perfect finishing touches.

Dashing Dachshund

This is alwas popular in the gift along and I love seeing the colours chosen for both the dog and the colourwork pattern.

Dancing Owl

This one might take a little extra effort with it’s overlay crochet details but look at the wonderful colours and textures?  It’s worth every minute you spend on it.

Gingerbread Boy and Girl

I couldn’t resist this cute pair of Gingerbread boy and girl, lovely details and pretty outfits, they’ll make fabulous gifts or a decoration you’ll want to use every year.


And finally, for this selection, I had to include some Minions, they’re just so cute!

A Magnus for Maxwell

I’m working on Magnus by Jenny Wiebe, using some James C Brett Marble Chunky in grey.   I’ve picked a machine wash yarn as both my cousin and her husband work full time and what parent has time to hand wish little clothes?

Magnus is a cute hooded cardigan and sized from newborn to 8 years.   I’m making the 2 yr size with longer arms and body because both of Max’s parents are tall, his Dad especially.

It features ribbing, a textured pattern and is worked top down, starting with the hood and so far, it’s been a really enjoyable and quick knit.   The texture pattern is charted and written and she explains how to incorporate that pattern and keep it correct as you increase for the raglans.

I’m just about at the end of the raglan increases and ready to separate sleeves from the body.   I’ll probably work the sleeves flat, because that’s faster for me and will add an extra couple of stitches for the seam.     I haven’t had a mooch through the button stash yet to find the perfect buttons or toggles but I’ll post photos when I choose.

This’ll be a Christmas gift and it’s good having a deadline to work to.   Edited to show finished item with some bright teal buttons.


Indie Design Gift Along 2018 – Sensational Sock Patterns

Hi everyone, I’ve been browsing the giant pattern bundle at the Indie Design Gift Along and looking through the Participating Designers list for 2018.   So much talent and incredible patterns for both knitting and crochet.

There are 349 designers, 263 knit designers, 51 crochet designers and 33 who offer both knit and crochet.

Today I wanted to highlight some of my favourite sock patterns.   I don’t usually knit socks but I do love to wear hand knit socks and love to play with colour.   This selection has inspired me to try harder this year and make more socks for ME.

I only found one pair of super bulky weight socks with a nice short row heel, these would be a quick knit and toasty warm.

TV Time Socks

A few bulky or chunky weight socks for you, also very quick to knit and very warm.

Happy Feet

Another quick knit, this time bulky yarn rather than super bulky.  I’ve made these, super quick and easy to adapt for size, think my second pair I used 4 less sts for a slimmer fit, but they really are my go-to cold day socks and are great for wearing with my wellies on a dog walk.

Stress Less

Bulky/chunky yarn, bit of garter, but of stocking st and enough interest to keep you going to the end, this has options for 4ply/fingering weight and bulky/chunky yarn.   I’ll be making a pair with chunk yarn for lolling on the sofa over the holidays.

don’t care

Chunky/bulky yarn, stripes and an edgy, pop of colour.   What’s not to love?    These are a great stash buster, you could use a self striping yarn and a plain yarn, or change colour every stripe, it’s all good.    This pattern is part of a larger ebook collection entitled ‘It’s not me, it’s you’ and that really makes me laugh.   Hand’s up anyone who ever had a break up and wanted to say that?   Me, me, me, lol.

Kari Slipper Socks

I’m planning a pair of these for myself and some for my son (who until his feet became as big as canoes) used to steal my hand knit socks and wear them.    Chunky/bulky yarn, nice little bit of pattern for interest and so cozy.

Marked Trail

I couldn’t miss this one off the list with it’s bright colourwork and the chance to use up leftover balls of yarn from other projects.     Bulky/chunky yarn and colourwork, really quick to make, that’s a win-win for me.

Fern Socks

At last, some crochet socks, in Aran weight yarn and the chance to stripe with colours and bust a bit more of that stash.    Pretty lace and simple stitches make a really warm, quick to make sock.

Amour Fou Socks

Aran weight yarn and great textures, this design is part of an ebook called Hubby Needs Socks, the other five patterns are all using 4ply/fingering weight yarn and are all sized for men.    This pair is a quick knit but if you fancy a slower knit with cables, texture and man friendly sizing, do check out the ebook.

Red Moss Socks

Aran knit, I love the photo and the texture pattern really pops in this rich, red.

Cam’s Camping Socks

Aran yarn so it’s a quick knit, cables and textures, suitable for both men and women, this’d be fab in a core neutral colour or in an accent colour to add a bit of fun to your outfit.

Lazy Weekend Socks

This cute pair of worsted weight socks is another fast knit, I have two colours of WOTA Worsted Superwash in my stash, Avocado and Amethyst Heather which are going to be perfect for these.

Comfy Cuff Socks

Crochet worsted socks this time, fun colour and textures for a warm and quick make.

Breakfast Waffles Socks

Waffle texture and warm, worsted weight yarn, easy to adapt for foot length for those with larger feet.


I couldn’t resist the cables on this one, great fun, worsted yarn so it’s still a quick knit and they’ll be so warm.

Aiden Reversible Socks

I know a few people who have made these and really rave about how great the pattern is, easy to adapt and it make use of those difficult hand dyed skeins you have no clue how to use.   Worsted weight yarn, Rios by Malabrigo would be my choice.

Winter Storm Socks

These cute and pretty cabled socks use dk weight yarn and are perfect for the fashionable speckled skeins you’ve acquired with no real idea of what you might make, the designer comments that her daughter has pinched them already, I’ll take that as a win.


I love colourwork and couldn’t resist this cute combination of greens to brighten even the coldest of days.

Vanilla is the New Black (Sport & DK)

Dk yarn/sport yarn, looks great plain or striped and I love the detail on the heels.


Sport weight yarn, dk might work well but a beautiful, warm sock for sitting by the fire and watching the dancing flames.

Cuddle Toes


I have been called a dragon in my time and these socks are perfect for the days I want to show my scales and breathe fire.

Happy Hoops

the first of our fingering weight/4ply socks and a great example of colourwork from Helen Gipson, a well written and clear pattern with a beautiful design.

A Song of Knits and Purls

Textured squares and a good neutral would make the perfect for the men in my family, who are often a little bit fussy about their socks.   It has texture so I’d enjoy the knitting but not such an obvious pattern that they’ll notice.

Arctic Blizzard

Wowsa colourwork and a great chance to use kettle dyed or hand dyed yarns for a stunning contrast.

Slip Slide Splash Socks

Slipped stitches and only one colour per row, mean this is the easiest colourwork you’ll find and the chance to make an odd ‘pair’ really appeals to me.  Awesome stash busting potential and even if they don’t match, my son would wear them.

Argyle Check Socks

I’m not sure where to start, I love the slipped stitch sole and heel, the garter stitch colourwork and travelling stitches, awesome!