Friday 29 July 2022

Pre-orders for my super-special crochet kits are now open!


Hello! Launch day is here at last and I'm so glad I can finally share these super-special kits with you! They are now open for pre-order on my website and they will be shipped to you at the end of August, ready to start the CAL on the 6th September!

Each kit includes - 

  • Fairtrade, organic cotton drawstring bag with the CAL image printed on the front
  • 100g skein of exclusive hand dyed yarn from The Wool Shed (75% superwash merino/ 25%nylon, 4ply, 400m/ 100g)
  • 4mm crochet hook
  • 2 metal stitch markers
  • printed copy of the Lazy Days Sock pattern
  • 3 surprise extras!
NOTE: This kit is only available for shipping within the UK
You can save 10% off the kit price when you use the code LAZYDAYS10). The kits are available from my website at the pre-order price of £55 and with your 10% discount they are only £49.50!

HURRY though, I'm only producing 100 of these special kits - when they are gone, they're gone!

The pre-order news went to my mailing list first thing this morning and they've been selling fast which is brilliant!

These kits are a collaboration between illustrator Katie Gammie (Katie Birdie) and hand dyed yarn business owner Liv Spencer (The Wool Shed). Recently I've brought Ruth Pedlow (Labours of Love Crochet) on board too, asking Ruth to produce all the stitch markers for me. You can read more about this collaboration in this previous blog post.

I'd like to thank Katie, Liv, Ruth, all my testers (Angela, Carina, Clare, Sara, Sarah & Ulrika), my tech editor Catherine and to Alexander for the model photography. Thanks to you to for all your encouragement on this journey - leaving comments on my blog, sending me emails, comments and DMs on Instagram (and now TikTok too!), it's helped me so much. 

© The Wool Shed

If you have any questions about the kits, please ask! 

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Crochet sock terms demystified!


Hello! I remember when I first started crocheting socks, I used to get in a right tangle about what all the different parts of the sock were called. Also, toe-up, cuff-down, after-thought heel? What were they all about? I'm here today to help demystify some of these terms for you and also to encourage you to give crochteted socks a go if you haven't already!

The diagram above has arrows pointing to all the different parts of a sock. Most of them you'll be familiar with, the less well known ones are the heel flap & turn, gusset and instep.

The heel flap is worked in rows of crochet and can be on the sole of the sock in some cases.

The heel turn is where the crochet fabric is manipulated to go around the heel - often decreases are used to join the heel flap to the body of the sock (this part is where my degree in Scuplture comes in super handy, I can visualise and design exactly the shape I want!).

The gusset is a series of increases (in a toe-up sock) or decreases (in a cuff-down sock) to allow more room in the heel section.

The instep is the bit which covers the arched upper part of the foot. It's often referred to in a pattern because these stitches are unworked while the heel flap is under construction.

An after-thought heel is used when a sock is crocheted as a tube, without any gusset or heel shaping and a slit is created for the heel. Once the sock is completed the stitches are worked into and then decreased to create the heel.

toe-up sock begins at the toe section and works up to the cuff.

cuff-down sock begins at the cuff section and works up to the toe.

Well, I hope this has helped to demystify crocheted socks for you! They really are a dream to crochet - especially because they work up so fast.

My Lazy Days Sock CAL starts in September with the exclusive kits open for pre-order this Friday! I hope you'll consider joining the fun! All the info you need was in my last blog post. Sign up to my mailing list to be notified of the release and to have tips like this delivered to your inbox. 

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Monday 25 July 2022

Pre-launch orders open this Friday


Hello! Pre-launch orders open this Friday for my Lazy Days CAL kits and I'm having to pinch myself to make sure this is all really happening! It's been an absolute dream to collaborate with illustrator Katie (Katie Birdie) and indie yarn dyer Liv (The Wool Shed) to create this crochet kit for you!

Pre-orders start on Friday 29th July and orders will be sent at the end of August ready to start the CAL on Tuesday 6th September. Like I said in a previous email, I am choosing to keep this UK delivery only, just to keep things really simple for my first kit.

Hang on ... perhaps you've only just stumbled across me and are wondering what this is all about? It's probably best you go and check out this previous blog post for all the information, but in a nutshell I asked Katie for an illustration, took the drawing to Liv who hand dyed sock yarn inspired by its colours. I then designed a pair of crocheted socks taking inspiration from the illustration and the yarn. From there I've put together a kit for you with the pattern, yarn, hook, stitch markers and little extras you will LOVE, all contained in a project bag with Katie's original illustration printed on it. Sound good?

© The Wool Shed

The image above was sent to me by Liv of the sock yarn soaking up the gorgeous colours! It's 75% superwash merino/ 25% nylon, my favourite yarn base for crocheting socks.

I'll be releasing the pattern on it's own at the end of August and you are very welcome to join in using your own sock yarn, especially if you're outside the UK - the more the merrier!

If you're wondering what a CAL is, it's short for Crochet A-Long; when a bunch of people work on a project at the same time, encouraging one another by sharing photos and commenting on each others photos. I always find them great fun! I'll be opening a chat group on Instagram for the CAL, which I've done before with pattern releases and found to be a super supportive community experience.

Pre-launch day for my exclusive kits is this Friday. I'm only making 100 of them - when they're gone, they're gone! I suggest you sign up to my mailing list so you don't miss their release and also the biggest discount code will be going to subscribers!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please ask - I'm here for you now and throughout the CAL.

Marta xx

Thursday 21 July 2022

Crochet tip for you!

Hello! I'd like to share a useful little crochet tip with you today! It's a small change which can make a big difference. Tightness in the starting chain and first row was something I used to struggle with so I began to deliberately crochet my chains more loosely. But then I found this tip which works even better!

The secret is to go up a hook size for your starting chain! In the top swatch I used a 3.5mm hook throughout, causing the tightness along the starting edge. In the bottom swatch I used a 4mm hook for my starting chain and switched to a 3.5mm hook to begin row 1. Can you see the difference?

I hope this is a useful tip for you. Do let me know if you try it out and it works for you. 

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. There's a new podcast episode up on YouTube if you fancy watching. I share all my crochet and knitting WiPs and other yarny stuff! 


Friday 15 July 2022

How To Write Up a Crochet Pattern course


Hello! Today is launch day! I'm really chuffed to be able to offer you my How To Write Up a Crochet Pattern course! This course is packed with top tips & advice on how best to start writing up your own crochet patterns.

What's included in this course? 

  • A crochet pattern template for you to use every time you write a pattern (please do not purchase this seperately!)
  • Written tutorials walking you through all the steps you need to know to start writing up your own patterns 
  • Video tutorials talking you through best practice

All the tutorials and the pattern template are yours to keep and will be there for you to refer to as often as you need.

Since it's a new course and I'm looking for feedback, it's at the early bird price of just £12! I'm also giving you a discount of 15%, bringing it down to just over £10! Not only that (I must be feeling the heat), I'm making this discount valid on both my crochet courses! How's that for good news on a Friday? The discount will be automatically applied on my website no need to enter any codes. Early bird discount ends 23:59, 31st July 2022, BST.

So, if you've ever thought about starting to write up your own crochet patterns, now is the time to start! Maybe you'd like to begin publishing patterns to bring in extra income? Perhaps you simply want to be able to write a pattern up so friends can follow it?

Whatever the reason, this affordable course is just what you need!

Well, I'm off to work on the second sock for my Lazy Days CAL, making video tutorials as I go!

Catch you next week,

Marta xx

Thursday 14 July 2022

Too hot to work!


Hello! I'm posting this much later than usual this week because it's been so HOT! I know some of you will laugh, but the temperature here on the east coast of Scotland was around 25°C which for me was too hot to get much work done! The pic above was from the weekend when the hubby and I went for a cycle - I really was boiling!

Today is much more pleasant, we have a breeze and it's about 19°C, phew! I need to get my head down and add the finishing touches to my How To Write Up a Crochet Pattern Course which launches tomorrow! It's pretty much done, I'm tinkering with it now and I'm really pleased with how it's come together. Look out for tomorrow's blog post with the early bird discount code!

I also now have the financial backing to put everything in place for my Lazy Days CAL. Woohoo! This CAL is coming your way late summer and there will be an option to purchase the kit which will come in a bag printed with the gorgeous illustration by Katie Birdie Designs. Included in the bag will be the printed pattern, hand dyed yarn from The Wool Shed, crochet hook, stitch markers and little extras which I am off to go and finalise this afternoon!

If you're new to following me or missed my previous blog posts, you can find out more about my CAL in this blog post.

That's all my news for now, catch up with you tomorrow,

Marta xx

Sunday 10 July 2022

New crochet course, coming soon!

Hello! This week I have more crochet news that I'm bursting to tell you about! I've been really busy over the last couple of weeks creating another new course!

Have you ever tried something new out in crochet, scribbled notes as you've gone along and then wondered about writing up the pattern but not had a clue where to start?

Perhaps you've dipped your toe into pattern writing but you're slightly lost about what to include or need more clarity on certain aspects?

This is where I'm here to help you! 

Over the last few weeks I've had my head down working on a brand new course called How To Write Up A Crochet Pattern! I've finished typing up the written tutorials for it, all I need to do now is film the video tutorials. I've also created a super useful pattern template so you can easily start to create your own crochet patterns. Does this sound like something you'd be interested in?

If you want to be first to know when this course is released, sign up to my mailing list here! I hope to have everything in place to release it next week, so you'll be able to check your inbox for the biggest discount code!

Happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Monday 4 July 2022

Pattern of the month for July!

Hello! A quick blog post from me to announce my pattern of the month offer for July! It's my Tweed with a Twist Scarf and it's my latest pattern release and I'm really chuffed with it!

Here are the details of this super squishy design ...

  • A textured scarf in aran weight (10ply) yarn.
  • It’s worked up in crossed double trebles to create texture & squishiness!
  • The pattern repeat is really easy to remember which makes it a good choice for a mindful crochet project.
  • I used 3x 50g balls of debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran.
  • It's an INTERMEDIATE level pattern, written in UK & US terms.
  • I’ve made a captioned YouTube video, showing you exactly how to work these crossed stitches.
  • There is no right and wrong side to this scarf, simply throw it on and wear it!
  • The pattern is available on LoveCrafts, Ravelry and on my website.

Use the code JULY22 for 15% off this pattern throughout July! Did you know that by signing up to my mailing list you'll receive the 20% off code each month? You can sign up here.

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Saturday 2 July 2022

I have a finished sock for the Lazy Days Sock CAL!

Hello! Would you believe that I designed the sock for my Lazy Days CAL and wrote it up (in all 4 sizes) in just 6 days?! Last Friday afternoon I tidied and did the housework so there were no distractions and so I had a clean, fresh environment to create in. Once that was out the way I sat down, looked at the beautiful illustration by
 Katie Gammie, the yarn from Liv at The Wool Shed and began to crochet! The design simply flowed off my hook, it was the most natural thing. Usually, I have a clear idea in my head or even on paper before I start, but not this time! 

The sloping lines around the cuff are is influenced by the long grasses and the detail around the ankle is inspired by the individual foxglove flowers. The speckles which Liv created as her response to Katie's drawing are carried throughout the sock and I love them - they're as scattered as the wild flowers themselves.

If you've missed my previous posts about this project, you can catch up here. 

The pattern will be released in the usual places (my website, Ravelry & LoveCrafts), there are going to be 100 limited edition kits! The kit will include the exclusive handyed sock yarn from The Wool Shed, a crochet hook, stitch markers & a few surprise extras and it will all come in a project bag with Katie's illustration printed on it. How amazing does that sound?

Next steps ... the sock pattern is going to my tech editor today and as soon as it's edited I'll send it to my lovely testing team. I'll be sharing photos of their projects to let you see how they get on with it.  After that I need to finalise the extras and begin ordering them in. I will be opening up for pre-orders towards the end of July - sign up to my mailing list to make sure you don't miss out! You can sign up here on my website.

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

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