Review of NEW book – Colorful Crochet by Marianne & the Ursula Shawl 💕

When Marianne (@marretjeroos) first mentioned that she was busy writing a book, i immediately got excited & made room on my shelf for what i knew would be one of the most incredible crochet books & patterns.  Marianne has been a huge inspiration to me as a crocheter, & if anyone should write a book full of creative makes, it would be Marianne, truly a magician with her crochet hook.

So imagine my excitement when the postman rang my bell with my own copy of Marianne’s new book, Colorful Crochet, hot off the Tuva Publishing‘s desk! Well, let me just say, this book is just as incredible, if not more, than what i imagined it would be.

I decided to make the Ursula Shawl first.  Simply because when i first peeled back the packaging wrapping the book, the photo of the Ursula Shawl on corner of the front cover, was the first thing i saw, & i instantly fell in love.  Love at first sight, ahh.  Its delicate, pretty, feminine, & Marianne had made it in pink.. so i HAD to make it.

I also decided to make my shawl in pink (i love pink) & am using Scheepjes Stone Washed from Wool Warehouse in 820 Rose Quartz & i am about half way through my shawl & have used 3 x 50g balls with a 6mm hook.  Scheepjes Stone Washed is a cotton yarn with a slight acrylic blend, that feels & looks like wool.  I think this shawl would be beautiful in any fiber, especially wool or cotton.  Wool will give it a fluffy, softer more feminine feel, & cotton a lovely light drape for spring.  Any colour would work too, i was day dreaming of making another one in black earlier.  i rarely make anything in solid black, but i think it would work beautifully with this pattern.

Let me start by saying this is honestly the most prettiest crochet i think i have ever made.  It is so delicate, i cannot wait to wear it, i know its going to make me feel pretty.  I had no problem following Marianne’s detailed pattern.  It is one of those patterns that once you have made a few hexagons, it transfers to memory & you can continue making while watching tv.

The shawl is made with hexagon motifs joined together.  Marianne uses the pull through join method, i have never used this before, & i did hesitate at first, a little bit daunted with learning a new join method.  BUT i just love how Marianne’s finished shawl in the book looks like it is one continuous piece, you can hardly tell they are joined motifs, & i was wanting mine to have the same look, so i jumped in.  Marianne has included instructions on how to do this join, & with a little bit of practice i found it quite easy! Yay! Now i am loving this new join method, thanks Marianne 🙂 i will be using it for other projects.  I love that it creates a seamless join!  Never fear though, any join would work too – you can make all the motifs & sew them together at the end with a tapestry needle, if preferred, or use the join as you go method too.

Marianne has not only included a written pattern, but also a clear chart for the hexagon motif, & ALSO a diagram of the layout, so you know in which order the hexagons need to be attached.  This is wonderful, it gives you a visual reference for where you are up & which motif goes next, & in what order.  Also, if you grab a sticky note (gasp at the thought of marking my beautiful book with a pencil) you could use the diagram as a little indicator so you know how many motifs you have left to make! Brilliant 🙂

The motifs work up quickly.  I was hoping to finish my shawl in time to write this, but unfortunately i have 2 poorly babies needing mummy.  But, i will make sure to write another post, & of course keep posting updates on my Instagram so you can see my progress & the beautiful shawl.

I have plans to make a lot more of the patterns from Colorful Crochet!  The Ursula Shawl will definitely not be my only make.  I love the boho cushion, & the cobblestone blanket, to name a couple.  There is not one pattern in the book that i cannot see myself making, they are all timeless, tasteful & creative makes.

You can see the amount of work & attention to detail that Marianne has put into her book also.  There are lots of photos for reference, & some gorgeous photos of the beautiful author showing off her work too.  I love that Marianne has given a skill level for each pattern, as well as hook size, dimensions, yarn, quantities.  You can start a project well stocked with what you will need, lots of photos, diagrams, charts, clear instructions.  And this is for EVERY pattern in the book.  So much work & care, & you can feel that this book is written by someone who has a true passion for her craft, & someone who wants to share that with us too. And i am so happy that you did Marianne 🙂

Marianne & Tuva Publishing were so generous, they have also provided me with an extra copy of Colorful Crochet to giveaway! If you head over to my Instagram page, you will find the details on how to enter.  Goodluck!

To purchase your own copy of Marianne’s book – Colorful Crochet, click here or visit Marianne’s Instagram page here for details.

Thank you so much dear Marianne for sharing your gorgeous makes & creative patterns with us.  I am so honoured to be writing this review & making this beautiful shawl! You are an inspiration & an absolute beautiful soul.  Well done!  Now i will be patiently waiting for Volume 2… 😉


That is it from me, please do check back on here & my IG page to see my progress on Ursula.  Tomorrow lovely Makenzie from BQueen Collection will be writing her review, so keep an eye out for her, without a doubt, gorgeous make.

Love Nat xx

@littlecosythings

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Autumn Jewel – c2c blanket

To purchase this blanket click here 👍

It’s FINISHED!!!! *insert happy dance* 💃 woooo! I started this blanket back in October, & even though i’ve loved every one of those squishy stitches, it was starting to feel like the never ending blanket.

This blanket isn’t made using a pattern, just the c2c (corner to corner) crochet stitch. It ended up being 132cm (51″) square. Perfect lap or throw size blanket!

The yarn is from Bendigo Woollen Mills, in their Bloom range, & the colour i used is Rust. I used approx 6 x 200g balls. So that’s 1.2kg of yarn. It’s 100% pure Australian wool, & its lovely to work with.

i love the colours & how they subtly blend into each other, no harsh sudden changes. It just beautifully transitions from one colour to the next.

i chose the name “Autumn Jewel” because of these gorgeous colours. Perfect, as it’s Autumn here in Australia! 🍂 

Just a simple sc (single crochet) border all around twice. I was going to do a more detailed border, but it became too messy & confusing with the already busy colours & texture.

The sc border just gives it a nice finish & frame 😊

Linen floor cushion from The Dusty Poppy

And my two beautiful babies, Layla & Wolf spent many hours snuggled under each side of the blanket while i worked! It’s baby & snuggle approved 👌❤

And that’s it! I had a lot of fun making this blanket, i hope you love it as much as i do!

Love Nat xx

@littlecosythings

Autumn Jewel is available to purchase in the LCT Shop.

a little (cosy) mermaid…

Time to dust off the cobwebs off my long neglected blog, starting with an introduction to this little mermaid…

Well it’s THE little mermaid (inspired) Ariel ❤️

As you would know if you follow me on Instagram (@littlecosythings) we welcomed our beautiful twins – Layla & Wolf, into the world in September. Because they were born so tiny they needed to spend some time in the Special Care Nursery.

During their stay they were looked after by the most beautiful ladies i have ever met. And one of these amazing midwives asked me to make Ariel! Such a pleasure to be able to give something (albeit small in comparison) back to Clare who took such great care of my bubbas!

Apart from being a wonderful midwife, Clare is also Melbourne’s most talented photographer, especially baby photography (of course!). Her photos are just breath takinly gorgeous. I urge you to please go have a look at her profile & her website, even if you don’t live in Melbourne. i cannot wait to book in a session for Layla & Wolf!

So here we have her, my first mermaid, THE little mermaid – Ariel.


Now ideas of more mermaids dance in my head. As they always do. But atlas i have 2 litt munchkins keeping me away from my hook. For which i’m very grateful. So no mermaids will be available to purchase until sometime in 2017.

However, if you can’t wait, & you would love your own little mermaid, i can wholeheartedly recommend my friend Willow from Big T & Little L who makes gorgeous mermaids also. Willow is magical with her hook, & you won’t be disappointed!

Pattern is by Kelly from The Merino Mermaid, a wonderful pattern! Well written & very easy to follow. Only adjustment i made was adding a little “bra” to her outfit (details at the end).

Ariel is made using  yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills & a 3mm hook:

  • Hair – Luxury Wool, 10ply in Sunrise
  • Body – Cotton yarn, 8 ply in Parchment
  • Bra – Cotton yarn, 8ply in Wild Lavender
  • Tail – Cotton yarn, 8ply in Light Teal

Love Nat xxx

The Super HEROes are coming… #LCTsuperheroes!!

I’ve been busy making SUPERHEROES!! And getting ready to launch a new collection in my shop! Hopefully they will be ready to order this weekend, so excited!!

It all started with Batman… one of my favorite superheroes. And a wonderful free pattern by Twisted Fibers.

I have used cotton yarn from my favorite yarn mill too – Bendigo Woollen Mills.

 NANANANANA BATMAN!!

 
   

I then altered the pattern, to make Superman! With his little curl and all 🙂

   

 

And they fast became SUPER friends!! So I was hooked, and decided to keep making more.

Next up, came the INCREDIBLE Hulk…

   
   
He’s a bit of a show off with those muscles!!

And my latest installment to the LCT SUPER HERO crew is… nanananana BATGIRL!! Because after all, girls can be super heroes too!! 😉

   
    
   
Batman and Batgirl feel in love 🙂 sneaking kisses in between photos. I love my super heroes. 

I cannot wait to launch them in my store, plus some more super friends next weekend!! I’m also planning on making some unique super heroes too.. you will have to stay tuned!!

Love Nat xxx

Little Cosy Things – Toy Shop
I also couldn’t resist making videos on my little friends for Instagram, just for fun 🙂 I hope they make you laugh:

Batman!!

Hulk.. SMASH!!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s 

Craft as Therapy – my week as moderator for a wonderful community…

Craft as Therapy - Little Cosy Things week as moderator

The past week i had the pleasure of being a moderator on Instagram for Craft as Therapy.

Craft as Therapy is a warm, friendly and wonderful community of crafters from all the around the world.  Everyone is welcome to join! It’s mainly crafters who use their craft, as therapy for either an illness, an injury or just as a therapeutic way to relieve stress.  Founded by the beautiful Mandy @redagape_styleanddesign who created the tag #craftastherapy for crafters to use when they post photos of their creations.  Quickly it became a sensation on Instagram, and Mandy founded the community for everyone to join and share, support each other, and chat about their stories.  Mandy is a beautiful and dear friend, and I was so honoured to be asked to be one of the 12 moderators who now alternate a week, providing a different view and sharing our own craft as therapy stories.

You can find Mandy’s blog here, where she shares more about the Craft as Therapy community, her crafts, amazing patterns, and photos of her gorgeous house (which i have a massive crush on!!).

So here is an overview on my amazing week.  A week I started petrified that by sharing my story, that I would have people running and hiding under the nearest rock.  But instead, i was welcomed so warmly, and even encouraged others to share their own story of infertility.  I will keep talking about my story, till i am blue in the face, in a hope to raise more awareness, and let others know they are not alone.

DAY ONE:

Introducing Natalie from Little Cosy Things

I began my week by introducing myself to the community and sharing a little bit about my infertility journey, my diagnosis of PCOS and endometrosis, and how crochet has become my therapy with coping with the loss and emotional stress.  I was flooded with support, well wishes, and stories from other crafters who not only are on their own journey of infertility, but who have also overcome their struggle and welcomed little miracles of their own.  Truly inspirational, and such courage to share too.

You can read more about my story as I share on my blog:

Part One – I want to be a Mum

Part Two – It hurts because it mattered

DAY 2:

Craft as Therapy - Feature 1

The first feature i shared from the #craftastherapy gallery, and its a collection of beautiful stars.  Just as beautiful as the super stars who made them:

Top Left – @kikdekuk Top Right – @gultence79 Bottom Left – @neverjillian Bottom Right – @oifoikoi

That night, I shared the story of Teddy the Turtle and how there are NO mistakes with crafting, just unique creations!  You can find my free pattern to make your own Teddy the Turtle here.

Teddy the Turtle - by Little Cosy Things Story of Teddy the Turtle - Little Cosy Things

DAY THREE:

Craft as Therapy - Feature 2

The next feature from the #craftastherapy gallery, showcased some beautiful creations!! Including some jewellery made from guitar strings!! How clever!

Top Left – @tranquilltreasures Top Right – @bqueencollection Bottom Left – @lynne_ee Bottom Right – @vampyr1764

Next was a story about how i altered by hubby’s shirt (proud moment!) and sharing with the world you CAN do!!

Show the world what you CAN do by Little Cosy Things You CAN DO IT by Little Cosy Things

DAY FOUR:

Craft as Therapy - Feature 3

A bright and colourful feature from the #craftastherapy gallery!! I love how the colours popped off the screen, so much creativity.

Top Left – @carter_and_brown Top Right – @asplashofcolour_georgi Bottom Left – @yardagedesign Bottom Right – @kellykellykellygreen

Then we celebrated how friendship is born.. by one person saying to another person “What? You too?!” and celebrated over 2,600 new friends in the Craft as Therapy community!

How friendship is born by Little Cosy Things

DAY FIVE:

Today’s features from the #craftastherapy gallery, were some enchanting dolls, made by some beautiful crafters.

Craft as Therapy - Feature 4

Top Left – @maritparit Top Right – @alittlevintagedoll Bottom Left – @vanessakind Bottom Middle – @_riaparamita_ Bottom Left – @offdhookcreations

And then we met Barnabee the Bumble Bee!!!  And read his little story of how he bee-lieved in himself.  You can find a free pattern to make a baby bumble bee here by Dream Girl Crafty Creations.

Barnabee the Bee by Little Cosy Things The Story of Barnabee the Bee by Little Cosy Things

DAY SIX:

The feature from the #craftastherapy gallery was bursting with creativity!! i fell in love with the little knitted Prince William, so much detail! And those Scottie Dogs, are made from old woollen blankets.

Craft as Therapy - Feature 5

Top Left – @poppyandbliss Top Right – @suzannemartin Bottom Left – @colouredbuttons Bottom Right – @esthersunday1

I then shared something very special to me, my friends.  And how even though we have met on the internet, it doesn’t mean our friendships are any less meaningful.  My thoughts were echoed by so many in the community, and it was so touching to read everyone’s thoughts on how they have made such wonderful friends.

Internet Friends for Craft as Therapy by Little Cosy Things Internet Friends by Little Cosy Things

DAY SEVEN:

My final feature from the #craftastherapy gallery, and i shared how i loved my mornings wondering through the gallery with a cup of coffee and admiring everyones creations.  Something I will definitely continue to do!

Craft as Therapy - Feature 6

Top Right – @knitpurlhook Top Left – @ponytales_ Bottom Right – @asterisquebysassi Bottom Left – @flossiecottage

And i said my farewells and thank you’s to a wonderful community that night.  I was quite emotional saying goodbye and ending my week.  A week that personally was hard, but the community wrapped me up in so much love and comfort.

Farewell from Little Cosy Things to Craft as Therapy Little Cosy Things, farwell to my week

Lastly, this morning i had the pleasure of introducing my dear friend, a wonderful and inspiring woman with a heart of gold to the community as the next moderator – the beautiful Marianne from @marretjeroos and her blog here.  I know Marianne’s week will be so inspiring and welcoming, and i wish her an absolute wonderful week!!

Introducing Marianne as the new moderator for Craft as Therapy Introducing Marianne to Craft as Therapy

And that was my week, shared with friends, with a community that has touched my heart.  I cannot wait until next time.

Love Nat xx

Uh-Oh.. Crojo? Tips for getting your crochet mojo back!!

  
Dun dun dunnnnnn.. uh oh… have you lost your crojo? 😢

CROJO (CROchet + moJO) is a term crocheters use for the magical little power that keeps your hands and hooks twitching with creativity.

Sometimes we loose it, we don’t know where it goes.. but here are some tips I’ve used to get that crojo flowing again:

– Go for a nice wonder through a craft or yarn shop.. grab a cup of coffee, take the afternoon off and just take your time looking at all the different goodies you can play with and take inspiration from them. I even look at stuff from different craft departments.. inspiration can come from anywhere!!

– Buy some new supplies! You don’t need an excuse or a project in mind, treat yourself to some new yarn! Even some buttons or fabric. Something that caught your eye, it looks pretty or you have always wanted to try it. Sometimes inspiration is born from the material itself. I always feel refreshed when I feel I have more yarn, and deflated when I’ve only got bits and bobs left.. well that’s my excuse to buy more yarn anyways 😉

– Pinterest!!! do you have Pinterest? I have Pinterest 😉 Come find me here. There is also link on my blog to go to my page, as well as a link to share my posts to your Pinterest too. It’s HOURS of fun and inspiration. Patterns, tutorials, DIY projects.. I’ve designed my house, found more crochet projects then I’ll EVER make in a lifetime, as well as found 691 other crafts I want to try too.

– Look at some different and new patterns there’s lots of databases to search through, I looove Etsy it’s like a virtual craft shop. There’s Ravelry for knitters and crocheters too. Is there another database site you recommend? 

– Go back to your comfort zone.. most crocheters have a project that is there “go to” comfort zone pattern.. for me it’s granny stripes. Sometimes it can help get your creativity flowing again when you go back to something you know you can do and you don’t have to think about

– Clean out your craft room/crochet corner/craft cupboard or yarn stash.. having a refreshed space might make you want to get back in there and mess it all up again! And you might find yarn you forgot you had to! Don’t save it for a “special” project, use it! Every project is special 🙂

– Dug out the long forgotten and neglected WIP (work in progress projects) and finish them off. It will feel so good to get them done, and might spark your mojo to start something else.

Do you have any ideas/advice to get that crojo back that you can share?
Happy hooking!!
Love Nat xxx

A turtle named Teddy… free amigurumi crochet pattern

IMG_1046

This is Teddy, he is a turtle!  Teddy wasn’t meant to be a turtle, he was meant to be a … bear!!  That is why he is now named Teddy.  You see, I was wanting to make one of the dolls i crocheted a little stuffed teddy bear.  It was late at night, and I didn’t want to bother with a pattern, and I couldn’t find one small enough for the doll, so I thought I would just make one up my myself.  Well, it didn’t work.  The shape was just wrong, and I wasn’t happy with him.  So poor Teddy nearly ended up in the bin!!

Just as I went to toss him in, i looked at him again and thought.. he kind of looks like a turtle… what about if i made him a shell? So i did!! And i am so happy i did, because that was when Teddy the Turtle was born!!

There are no mistakes in crafting…

Just unique creations!

Here is a quick pattern on how i made Teddy the Turtle, he was just something I whipped up late at night, so I hope the pattern makes sense!! Please let me know if you see any mistakes, or need help.  And I would love to see your finished Teddy Turtles!! You can share them on Instagram with the hashtag #aturtlenamedteddy, and feel free to tag @littlecosythings as well 🙂

Click here for the PDF download, if you prefer – Teddy the Turtle by Little Cosy Things

Teddy the Turtle Pattern

What you will need:

  • Scrap yarn in brown and green (you can use whatever yarn you have on hand, i have used 8ply cotton yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills
  • Safety eyes, or you can use black yarn or thread if Teddy will be for a baby
  • 3mm hook (or the smallest size you can use with your yarn, so its nice and tight)
  • A little bit of toy stuffing
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch marker or scrap of yarn, I use a bobby pin 🙂

Abbreviations (US terms):

  • Single crochet – sc
  • Slip stitch – sl st
  • Stitch – st
  • Increase – inc (2 single crochet stitches in the same stitch)
  • Decrease – dec (2 single crochet decrease together)

Legs (make 2)

Round 1 – 6 sc into magic ring (6)
Round 2 – Inc in each st around (12)
Round 3 to 12 – 1 sc in each st around (12)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Now we will join the legs together. How to join Amigurumi legs together – I have put a little mini tutorial here on how to do this with photos, if you need help.

Place both legs together, side by side and so the openings are up the top.  Insert your hook through one stitch on right leg and one stitch on left leg, pull through yarn, chain one.  Sc into the same stitch, and sc all the way around (24) continue now with the body.

Body

Round 4 – 1 sc in the next 11 st, inc, 1 sc in the next 12 st (25)
Round 5 to 7 – 1 sc in each st around (25)
Round 8 – *1 sc in the next 5 st, dec* 3 times, 1 sc in the next 4 st (22)
Round 9 – *1 sc in the next 4 st, dec* 3 times, 1 sc in the next 4 st (19)

Stuff the body, not too firmly that you make the stitches pop.  Teddy is only little, so he doesn’t need that much stuffing 🙂 continue to stuff him from now on as you go.

Round 10 – *1 sc in the next 3 st, dec* 3 times, 1 sc in the next 2 st, dec (15)
Round 11 – *1 sc in the next 2 st, dec* 3 times, 1 sc, dec (11)
Round 12 – dec, 1 sc in the next 9 st (10)

Fasten off and weave in ends, make sure he’s stuffed

Head

Round 1 – 6 sc into ring (6)
Round 2 – inc in each st around (12)
Round 3 – *1 sc, inc* (18)
Round 4 – *1 sc in the next 2 st, inc* (24)
Round 5 – *1 sc in the next 3 st, inc* (30)
Round 6 – *1 sc in the next 4 st, inc* (36)
Round 7 to 9 – 1 sc in each st around (36)
Round 10 – *1 sc in the next 4 st, dec* (30)
Round 11 – *1 sc in the next 3 st, dec* (24)
Round 12 – *1 sc in the next 2 st, dec* (18)

Stuff head firmly, and insert safety eyes.  If hand sewing eyes, you can do this now or after you have finished the head.

Round 13 – *1 sc in the next st, dec* (12)
Round 14 – dec, 1 sc in next 4 st, dec, 1 sc in next 4 st (9)

Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing the head.  Thread tapestry needle with the tail, and sew the head to the body.  I stuff a little more stuffing in between the head and the neck as i go using a chopstick so the head isn’t floppy.

Arms (make 2)

Round 1 – 6 sc into magic ring (6)
Round 2 – *1 sc in the next st, inc* (9)
Round 3 to 8 – 1 sc in each st around (9)

Fasten off and sew opening closed.  I left the arms unstuffed, but you can lightly stuff them in you wish!  Sew the arms to the body.

Tummy Plate

Round 1 – 6 sc into ring (6)
Round 2 – inc in each st around (12)
Round 3 – *1 sc, inc* (18)
Round 4 – *1 sc in the next 2 st, inc* (24)
Round 5 – *1 sc in the next 3 st, inc* (30)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail.  Thread tapestry needle with tail and sew the tummy plate onto the Teddy’s belly.

Shell

Round 1 – 6 sc into ring (6)
Round 2 – inc in each st around (12)
Round 3 – *1 sc, inc* (18)
Round 4 – *1 sc in the next 2 st, inc* (24)
Round 5 – *1 sc in the next 3 st, inc* (30)
Round 6 – *1 sc in the next 4 st, inc* (36)
Round 7 to 9 – 1 sc in each st around (36)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail.  Put a little tuft of stuffing in the shell and sew to Teddy’s back.  Stuff a little bit more as you sew it around, till the shell is nice and firm.  I sewed the shell onto the back of Teddy’s neck a little as well.  If you find the shell too big for Teddy’s back, skip round 6.

And TA DA!! You now have your own Teddy the Turtle (not a bear, hopefully haha!).  I hoped you enjoyed making your new little friend 🙂

IMG_1044 IMG_1045

Love Nat xx