Wednesday 31 August 2022

Lazy Days Socks pattern release

Hello! I had a really good weekend catching up with friends & family and now I feel refreshed and ready for the final week of prep before my CAL starts on the 6th of September! On Saturday we celebrated my Uncle Bruce's 70th birthday with a barbecue by the beach and multiple games of rounders - great fun, you can imagine the friendly rivalry! On Sunday, a much quieter affair, my eldest and his girlfriend were round for tea and board games, a lovely way to end the weekend.

So, I did all the tech stuff yesterday (Monday), with multiple uploadings (a big tick off my list!), and my Lazy Days Socks crochet pattern is now available to download from my website, Ravelry and LoveCrafts!

I've added the option to buy the pattern as a pdf together with the project bag. Please note, this is not the full kit, it's simply the bag, which, I must say, is a lovely, organic & Fairtrade drawstring bag with Katie Gammie's illustration for the CAL printed on the front.

The CAL starts on the, Tuesday 6th of September and you can join in with your kit or with your own choice of sock yarn. I'll be opening up a chat group on Instagram, please send me a DM if you'd like to be part of that. We'll cheer each other on, answer any questions that pop up and share photos there.Tag your posts on social with #lazydayssockcal so I can see them and repost to my stories and share a few of my favourites here. 

You can have 10% off the Lazy Days range with the code LAZYDAYS10 - the same code is valid for the pattern, the project bag & pdf and the full kit, only on my website.

Whichever way you choose to join in (even if it's cheering from the sidelines this time round), I look forward to crocheting socks with you soon, 

Marta xx

Friday 26 August 2022

5 tips for working with dark coloured yarn

Hello! I started a new WiP this week in dark blue, almost black yarn and I suddenly remembered what a strain working with this colour of yarn can be!

Have you ever worked with dark yarn and got yourself in a bit of a muddle too? These yarns can be tricky to work with because the stitches don't show up as clearly as they do for lighter coloured yarn, causing us to put our hook or needle in the wrong place and possibly add or loose stitches.

I'm here today with 5 tips for using dark coloured yarn ...

1. If possible, sit by the window or with really good lighting on your work. Daylight bulbs could be your friend if you need to work in the evenings.

2. Count your stitches at the end of each row/ round. This way if you have made a mistake, you don't have so much to frog!

3. Don't strain your eyes! If you are really stuggling to make out the stitches only work on your dark coloured project for 20 minutes at a time and then switch to something else. 

4. Add a lighter yarn as a contrast. This isn't always possible, but if you think it works with your pattern add in sections of lighter yarn - then you have some rows or rounds where you're working into a lighter coloured stitch.

5.  Go high tech! Lights which hang around your neck and glowing crochet hooks are available - you could give them a try, particularly if in the winter!

I have a bonus tip from a follower too! Place a white cloth on your lap while you're working - the white will shine through the spaces and help you identify them! 

On this occasion, I chose to go with tip no. 4 - the dark yarn was just too much for me! The photo above is a sneak peek of my latest design - stay tuned for more to come on that!

I hope this is helpful if you're ever crocheting with dark yarn. Sign up to my mailing list to receive tips like these, straight to your inbox and to find out what that new project is going to become!

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Tuesday 23 August 2022

It's ok not to be perfect!

Hello! I'm going to share something big with you. Something many of us don't talk about because we feel that everything has to be super perfect. Are you ready?

When I'm crocheting something, my project almost always has a mistake in it.

There, I said it! There will always be something like a little issue on Row 17 where I had one extra stitch and did a decrease to make the stitch count right. Or maybe Round 7 made no sense to me, so I did my own thing. It happens all the time and it's fine. 

Crochet, I find, is really forgiving of an extra stitch or two here and a dc instead of a htr there. What I'm trying to say is - don't stress, nobody is coming to check you made the cardigan perfectly - you'll notice of course - but nobody else will, I promise!

In the Heel video for my Lazy Days Socks, I tell my viewers not to worry if they are a stitch or two out at the end of the section because crochet hides little errors like this so easily, no one will ever know.

If you're new to following a sock pattern, there are likely to be a few small errors. It's far better to let go of perfectionism and accept that there might be tiny wonky bits than to get all stressed out about the flaws. 

So, relax and enjoy the process! 

With realistic expectations in mind, are you interested in buying my Lazy Days Crochet Kit (pictured above withoutthe little surprises) and giving crocheted socks a go? Like I say, there are videos for all the steps, guiding you through the construction.

And if you end up with an extra stitch here or there, who cares, right?

I'll be back on Friday, until then, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. Don't forget your discount of 10% with the code LAZYDAYS10

Friday 19 August 2022

Are you lefty crocheter?

Hello! I'm looking for some feedback today - specifically from left handed crocheters! Before you scroll on ... if you're not a left handed yourself, perhaps you know someone who is that you could share this with? 

The need to answer this question has popped up because I saw a post celebrating International Left Handed Day by one of my followers on Instagram last week and it got me thinking; what can I do as a designer to make life easier for left handed crocheters?

I've created a simple Google form with a few questions which shouldn't take more than 3 minutes to complete. If you are left handed and you'd like to help me with this research, please take the time to fill it out.Your answers should help me improve my patterns for you!

Thank you in advance for your help with this. Happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. If you're not signed up already, please sign up to my mailing list to be kept in the loop about all my crochet news and receive the biggest discount codes for my website!

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Are you ready for a crochet sock challenge?

Hello! Last week I cycled 123 miles, which, if you'd asked me if this was possible at the start of the summer, the answer would definitely have been NO! No way! On days 1 and 2, I did two short cycles (about 6 miles) then did 28 miles on day 3! The rest of the week was a mix of shorter ones and longer ones, finishing with 33.5 miles on the final day - my longest cycle ever! I did it all with my husband David, who had the week off work, and we had a fantastic time exploring the area we live in! 

Now, I wouldn't consider myself a super fit person and whilst I do go out on my bike every couple of weeks, it's certainly not for anything like 30+ miles! At the start of last week when we'd seen the weather was perfect for cycling (I do not like cycling in the wind!), we challenged ourselves to cycle 100km.

David uses the Strava app which tracks your journey and gives you stats including distance, elevation, speed etc - this is what we used to keep a note of our distances. However, pretty soon we realised we were going to beat the target of 100km and set our sights on 100 miles instead - which we also smashed!

I'm so glad we challenged ourselves likes this; we spent a lot of time together, breathed in much needed fresh air, met hundreds of lovely people, got fitter (our stats on the last day were amazing!) and we had so much fun in the process! I'm so chuffed with myself for achieving my goal!

When was the last time you pushed yourself to do something? Why not take on the challenge of crocheting socks? If you've never done it before it may feel a little daunting, but like me on my bike journey, as you go throught he process, you'll feel more confident and you'll be so pleased with your results at the end.

I've written several blog posts all about crocheted socks (they're a bit of an obsession of mine!), they might help persuade you to give them a go!

If you're still sitting on the fence, I've put together a kit with everything you need to crochet a pair of socks (plus a few surprise extras!). It's available for pre-order now and will be ready to ship at the end of the month. Take a look at the kits on my website and consider challenging yourself!

There's 10% off the kit with the code LAZYDAYS10

The Lazy Days Sock pattern comes with links to over half an hour of video tutorials to keep you right because I'm passionate about helping you succeed with socks! You can do it and I'll be there to help - you can get in touch if you come across any issues.

Got any burning questions? Leave me a comment and I'll happily get back to you.

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. If you want a bigger discount on these kits, sign up to my mailing list here.


Friday 12 August 2022

Last day to grab this popular crochet collection!

Hello! I know I've been blogging a lot this week but I want to make sure you don't miss out on this amazing deal! This bundle, curated by Nicki's Homemade Crafts, will be gone forever when midnight strikes (that's midnight Pacific Time!).

I've been crocheting small projects over the summer - amigurumi, and hats mostly because they are small and don't add an extra layer to my (already roasting!) body in the same way blankets, sweaters and other large projects do. If you're feeling the same at the moment, you'll love this bundle for it's small, quick projects that won't over heat you!

When you purchase the collection, not only will you make a massive saving on all the patterns, there are so many bonuses too!
  • The bundle is sponsored by Clover USA, so if you're in the States there are huge prizes to be won!
  • I've added my own Striation Cowl as a free pattern!
  • 2 bonus pdfs from Nicki's Homemade Crafts - a crochet cheat sheet and Love Laundry Tags
  • There's an exclusive Facebook group for peer-supported pattern support where you can cheer each other on!

Although it's aimed at crochet sellers, if you love crochet there's nothing to stop you from jumping on this offer and scoring all these cool patterns! I'm loving the look of those crocheted pumpkins down at the bottom of the image above! The pattern is called Popcorn Pumpkin by Chanel Beauchamp and I'll definitely be whipping up a few this autumn!

Don't miss out on 41 designer gift making patterns at 90% off PLUS all the bonuses above! Buy the bundle TODAY!

Any questions about the collection, please ask, I'm happy to help,

Marta xx

Thursday 11 August 2022

Did you pick up your copy of the crochet bundle yet?

Hello! Did you pick up your copy of the crochet bundle yet? Have you decided which pattern to make first? And did you spot the pattern I contributed to the collection?

It was my Air Balloon beanie! It's one of my most popular gift patterns, it's quick to crochet, can be made in 1 colour, 2 colours or multiple colours (great for using oddments of yarn), it's available in 4 sizes and once you've made one you'll be able to produce the hat quickly without needing to refer to the pattern.

Do you want to know my favourite pattern in the bundle? It's the Blodyn Bucket Hat by Lorraine Catterall - it looks fun to make and great for using up scraps of cotton too! The photo below shows Lorraine and her daughter in Mummy and Me hats - isn't it cute?

© Lorraine Catterall

If you missed yesterday's email, this crochet collection has over 41 cute and gorgeous patterns ranging from amigurumi to home decor, clothing to accessories, PLUS 4 printables which are ideal if you're a craft fair seller! One of the printables actually has 12 printables within it - even better!

Hurry! Buy now because this offer ends tomorrow! Any questions, give me a shout,

Marta xx

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Amazing craft fair bundle!


*** This post contains affiliate links. ***

Hello! This summer has been one of the best I can remember in a long time. The weather has been beautifully sunny, I've been out on my bike a lot or simply crocheting in the garden, we've enjoyed family barbecues, picnics and walks - it's generally been a chiled out time.

Autumn is around the corner and if you're anything like me, you're looking forward to crocheting up hats, scarves, gloves, bags - all the quick winter woolies! Or perhaps you crochet for craft fairs and you're coming up to your busiest season?

Well, today I have some exciting news about a new crochet collection - the Craft Fair Crochet Pattern Bundle! It's a hand picked, carefully selected bunch of patterns chosen by Nicki of Nicki's Homemade Crafts, who I've mentioned here in my emails a few times.As an added bonus, if you buy the collection, I'm giving you a free copy of my Striation Cowl! Details of how to claim your free pattern will be sent to you once you've ordered the bundle.

This carefully selected collection is perfect for those of you who sell finished crocheted items at craft fairs and markets. These patterns all come with permission from the designers to make and sell as many as you like. 

I've looked through all the patterns and whether you're a crochet seller or not it's a fab selection of simple and quick crochet patterns that can be made in small or large quantities. 

The bundle features 41 crochet patterns and 4 craft fair printables. You can get this 90% off the retail value, AMAZING! 

Like all Nicki's bundles, this one is a grab-it-while-you-can deal, it's available for 5 days only! The link below is my affiliate link - as one of the featured designers, I get a percentage of each bundle sale. By purchasing the collection you help my business to grow!

This bundle is sponsored by Clover and they have donated prizes for buying the bundle too - but only for delivery in the USA.

Because of this, I've added my own bonus when you purchase the collection - a free copy of my Striation Cowl (pictured above)! Details of how to claim your free pattern will be sent to you once you've ordered the bundle.

If you have any queries about this bundle, please ask - I'm happy to answer all your questions!

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Thursday 4 August 2022

Crochet hook size guide

Hello! Dropping in with some useful info for you about crochet hook sizes! You may have noticed in crochet patterns that sometimes hook sizes are referred to in metric terms, sometimes with a number and sometimes with a letter & number! This can all be a bit confusing, so I've put together a table with the most popular sizes for you to help keep you right.

The photo above is my collection of hooks, which I like to refer to in millimetres. Most patterns do state the hook size in metric terms (or a mix) so you shouldn't get in too much of a tangle over it!

I hope my table comes in useful for you - why not print it out and keep it to refer to! 

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. Sign up to my mailing list to get crochet posts like this one delivered straight to your inbox! 

Wednesday 3 August 2022

3 special offers for August!

Hello! It's the start of August and instead of 1 special offer this month, I'm going to be running 3! 

First up is the pre-order for my Lazy Days Sock CAL kits. These are still available to you at the pre-order price of £49.50 with the code LAZYDAYS10. I've had lots of orders come in for these already - thank you!

The next offer is 10% off both my crochet courses. I've produced 2 courses so far (more are planned!) - How to Write up a Crochet Pattern and Colour & Crochet. The pattern writing course has only been out for a few weeks and it's at the early bird price so I can gather feedback for making it even better! Catch it at this price while you can and any updates will be sent to you! 

10% off with the code COURSE10

Here's some feedback I've had on my design course - 

I have just finished going through your course, and it was great! It's an excellent confidence builder for aspiring pattern designers, and also contains some great information for new designers like me too.

Carly White

My final offer this month is half price on all my amigurumi patterns! I've been having a good look through my crochet pattern inventory and it seems these patterns stick out a little and don't fit in with the rest of my collection. So, I've made the harsh decision to discontinue these patterns at the end of the month. 

This is good news for you if you've had your eye on any of them! I've gone in and updated the prices on Ravelry and LoveCrafts, so no discount codes required this time.

My doll collection, which features instructions for 3 dolls and 6 items of clothing, is now only £3.75! Find it on Ravelry and LoveCrafts.

Agnes the Bunny and Iris the Wolf are now only £2.50! Go grab yourself a bargain - these patterns produce wonderful gifts for children (or adults!). Find them on Ravelry and LoveCrafts.

I hope there's an offer there to tempt you! I haven't gone into any of the items in detail, if you'd like more info please click the links or reply to this email and I'll get back to you! Also, for bigger discount codes (the offers above are at the higher value of 15%), sign up to my mailing list!

Right, I'm off to go and stalk the postie - 100 skeins of yarn are arriving today for the crochet kits! Happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Lazy Days CAL Kit Launch!

Hello! I'm so, so pleased with how this year's Lazy Days CAL kits have come together! It has been a real pleasure to collaborate wit...