Friday, 24 March 2023

4 ways to get help with a crochet pattern.

Hello! This week I'm here to pass on some crochet wisdom to you! It will of course apply to kniting and other crafts, so it will be super useful I hope!

If you find yourself completely stuck with a crochet stitch or pattern I have 4 top tips to help you get out of your tangle.

1. YouTube is a fantastic resource for pretty much every stitch and stitch combo out there! Just be careful to follow videos in UK terms if your pattern is in UK terms/ US terms if your pattern is in US terms or you could find yourself in an even bigger mess!  

2. Ask a crochet friend. Maybe you know someone who crochets, ask them - they'll be happy to help. If you haven't joined a crochet & knitting group, I thoroughly recommend you do! Not only will you have hands on help to any problem, you'll meet like-minded people and gain some awesome new friends!

3. Check for errata. Patterns bought online will be updated by the designer if mistakes are spotted after publication and a new copy of the pdf should be made available. If the pattern is in a magazine there will be an errata section on their website or sometimes in the next issue. 

4. Ask the designer if you're completely stuck with a crochet pattern, the designer might be able to see where you're going wrong or it's possible that there's an issue with the pattern. Always be polite; remember pattern designers are humans too!

I hope these tips are useful for you! If you'd like to receive my weekly wisdom straight to your inbox, sign up to my newsletter here. 

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx 

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

I'm launching this crochet blanket pattern as a CAL in the early summer!

Hello! This week I'm super busy working on my latest crochet blanket design but I wanted to pause and let you have a look at my progress!

These are the final photos I'll be sharing before the blanket pattern launches as a CAL (crochet a-long) in early summer! This will be my most ambitious CAL yet with clues being released on a weekly basis and I can't wait to let you know more about it.

The blanket is going to be available in several different sizes and it's a modular design, meaning you'll work on squares and panels before crocheting (or sewing) them together. There will be lots of options for you, not just the binding method.

So for now, enjoy these photos and start dreaming about what colours you'll use!

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Friday, 17 March 2023

The never-ending quest to learn new crochet skills!

Hands crocheting and balls of wool

Hello! A question I'm asked all the time is "how long did it take you to learn how to do that?". The person is looking at the skill involved in one of my pieces and they think they'll never be able to reach that level.

This often makes me realise just how far I've come on this crochet journey, with thoughts like "two years ago I certainly couldn't have done this" going through my head.

I'm here to tell you that anything is possible if you are 1) willing to learn and 2) put that learning into practice. 

This time last year I was learning how to do mosaic crochet, a completely new skill for me and I remember the charts looked scarily complex! However, I started on row 1 and followed the instructions to create a gorgeous blanket (pictured above) which I'm so proud of! 

Next on my list of things to learn is tapestry crochet! I know it's similar to mosaic crochet but that colour changes happen mid row, maybe even twice mid row (eeek!).

My To The Park Cardigan (released this week and pictured above) is an intermediate level crochet pattern but there are possibly new skills for you to try;

  • A crocheted cable goes down the back and two cables go down either side of the front opening.
  • The ties are crocheted I-cord.
  • There are foundation crochet stitches used when splitting for the sleeves.
If these techniques are new to you, don't worry, the pattern has bonus video tutorials to keep you right! I'm also available for pattern support should you have any questions.

This pattern is available on my website and on Ravelry and there's currently a 10% off early bird offer! Use the code CARDILOVE at the checkout to receive your discount.

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Crochet cardigan pattern release day!

Hello! It's another pattern release day! This time I'm shining the spotlight on my To The Park Cardigan (did you see the cute sneak peek photos I shared in last Friday's post?)

Why not WOW everyone at the baby shower by making the 6 month size of this gorgeous design? It will work up quickly and the cables will look absolutely stunning.

There are in fact 4 sizes to choose from; 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months - perfect if you have a little one in your life to crochet for!

I used King Cole merino blend DK because it's so soft against the skin and it washes really well (important for baby items!) 

What else would you like to know?

Well, it's an intermediate level design with lots of video tutorials to help guide you if you need them. Techniques used are front post stitches, foundation stitches and I-cord, so not one for a beginner but if you're looking to challenge yourself it's a good choice.
The constuction is top-down yoke with the sleeves crocheted in the round later. There are options for short sleeves or long sleeves.
If there's anything else you'd like to know, please leave me a comment and I'll answer your questions ASAP.

Did you know I'm available if you need me for pattern support throughout your cardigan journey from yarn choices to finishing touches? You can either email me or send me a DM on Instagram and I'll happily get back to you.
There's an early bird offer on this crochet pattern! 10% off for one week only with the code CARDILOVE - valid on my website and on Ravelry. 

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. Don't forget to tag me on social media if you make one!

PPS. Fancy a 20% discount code for this and future patterns? Hop on my mailing list!

Friday, 10 March 2023

Sneak peek of my latest photo shoot pics!

Hello! Last week my lovely friend Dawn took lots of photos for me of her son Mata (gaelic for Matthew) wearing my To The Park Cardigan! He looks so cute in the cardi and I am over the moon with the results! 

If you've been following me for a while you'll know that this design has been a work in progress since 2017 when my niece Agnes was born! It's a design I've really wrestled with - in particular the shaping of the neckline was real pain point for me. In the process I've made at least a dozen versions of this cardigan!


Don't let my frustrations put you off this pattern! I've been through the process to bring you an easy to follow pattern which will look stunning! The pattern has been tech edited by Lorriane Catterall and I can reasure you that Lorraine has an amazing eye for detail. It was the first time I've used her as a tech editor and I was super impressed! 
I've had a wonderful team of testers behind the scenes too - Ruth, Amy, Manuella, Jackie, Clare, Debbie and Julie! Each of the sizes has now been tested in both UK and US terms.
What do I need to do next? Well, these beautiful photos need to be inserted into the pdfs. I also need to pop all the links in for the video tutorials, check they're functioning properly and set up discount codes (look out for yours!). Then there's the listing to do on my website, Ravelry and LoveCrafts. All these little things add up and do need to be done properly to avoid disappointments at your end.

All things going well, I hope to launch on Tuesday! Sign up to my mailing list to be first to know and receive my biggest discount code!! As a bonus I'm choosing 5 lucky subscribers to win a free copy of the pattern!!

Until launch day, happy crocheting!

Marta xx

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

This pattern started life whilst waiting in the queue at the supermarket!

Hello! It's pattern release day for my Fields of Wheat Beanie and I'm promoting it straight away to Pattern of the Month, giving you 10% off this crochet design throughout the month of March.

I love this crochet pattern, it's definitely one of my favourites! Did you know it began one day when I was waiting in the queue at the supermarket? The lady in front of me had a leather bag with strips of leather looped through each other in such a beautiful way I just had to recreate the effect in crochet! 

This design was first published in British Fibre Art Magazine, issue 23 and in November last year I included it in my Winter Coorie Collection, however this is the first time it has been released as a stand alone pattern.

The intricate wheat stalk motifs are more complex looking than you might think, they're definitely not as tricky to achieve as they appear to be! 

Juniper Moon Farm’s baby alpaca wool was chosen for this design because it’s so soft & delicate against the skin. I've tried working it up in wool from UK Alpaca and it makes a good substitute.

There are 6 size variations created with different hooks in conjunction with different numbers of repeats. It's an intermediate level pattern and it's written in UK terms. 

For 10% off this pattern use the code MAR23 on either my website or Ravelry.

Don't forget to tag me if you make one so I can share on social media and there's a £10 voucher too for every photo I share here in my newsletter!

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. If you'd like to receive my blog posts straight to your inbox and find my biggest discount codes, hop on my mailing list here.

Thursday, 2 March 2023

PRESS DEBUT - featured in Woman's Weekly!

Hello! This week I had an article all about me and my crochet design biz in Woman's Weekly! I'm featured alongside two other ladies who use wool in their businesses and the article highlights how passionate we all are about wool.

The interview was conducted via a video call back in January and it's good to now see how Michelle Rowley has put the article together, sharing the three quite different ways the three of us use wool.

There's a knitter of course, Jeanette Sloan, who's bold use of colour I love! There's a needle felter, Helen Winter, and we're actually online friends - we're in the same business coaching group run by Jenny Lane, so it's lovely to be featured on the same page.

Then there's my story which outlines the very brief way I came from learning crochet in 2009 to where I am today. It's 20 minutes of chatting condensed into a few short paragraphs! Of course I've shared my story on here very recently - if you missed it you can find it here on my blog.

The 7th March issue of Woman's Weekly is on sale now if you want to read the full article (there's a lovely knitted scarf pattern in it too).

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx


Monday, 27 February 2023

Have I told you how much I love cake?

Hello! Have I told you how much I love cake? I mean, I'm pretty crazy about cake. Especially in a nice café. With freshly brewed coffee on the side.

Yesterday I was out for a cycle with my hubby and we stopped for a refuel in one of our favourite cafés (Sweet Pea Café in Broughty Ferry if you're local!). I ordered a piece of their Turkish delight slice and a hot chocoloate (made with coconut milk, vegan cream and marshmallows of course!).

I found myself looking at the pink rose petals on the cake, the dark chocolate topping, the pale pink of the creamy Turkish delight layer and the milky chocolate colour of my hot choc. Even the saucer and tea plate matched up! I might save this image for a future colour combo. It always surprises me that I find colour inspiration in the strangest of places!

In the bonus video which comes with my Colour Pop Bundle I let you in on a few of my colour choice secrets and share a few tips on how to choose colours.

The other contents of the bundle are the 5 crochet patterns pictured below, carefully chosen because of their burst of colour - I shared all the details in my blog post last Friday.

You'll find the Colour Pop Bundle on my website via the link below and as a subscriber you can save an additional £2.50 with the code SUPERSUBSCRIBER

A big thank you to everyone who has supported me already by purchasing my bundle. Don't forget to tag me on social media or email your photos so I can see!

Still thinking about it? Hurry, this bundle is only going to be available until the end of the day on Friday! 

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx


Friday, 24 February 2023

My colour pop bundle launches today!

It's here at last and I hope you didn't mind me teasing out the exact details of this launch! I've popped together 5 of my most popular colourful crochet patterns that I think will bring a smile to your face as you work on them and, if you're gifting them, an even bigger smile on your recipient's face!

So, what's included?

  • Sedimentary Beanie Pattern
  • Calunna Hills Cowl
  • Mavis Mitts
  • Tweed With A Twist Scarf
  • Sea Urchin Bag
PLUS an exclusive bonus video which I've created especially for this bundle all about colour choices.

All these patterns, plus the bonus video tutorial are valued at over £30.00. But you can grab the Colour Pop Bundle for half price at just £15.00 here!!
Ready to dive in? Better be quick because this bundle is only going to be available for 1 week, cart closes on Friday 3rd March at 23:59! 
Don't hang around, download your bundle today and start crocheting!

Until next time,
Marta xx

Monday, 20 February 2023

My crocheted sock pattern in Cosy Life Boxes!!

 Photo credit: Cosy Life Boxes

Hello! This week I'm feeling extremely happy because a collaboration I've been working on since last November has finally come together and I can share it with the world!

The latest box from Cosy Life Boxes features one of my crocheted sock patterns!! 

I can't tell you how giddy I felt with excitement when I read the message from Amanda from Cosy Life Boxes, inviting me to design for her! I think I may have caused my husband permanent ear damage with the amount of squealing I did!

For this box, Amanda chose Juniper Moon Farm Herriot Extra Fine (3ply weight, 75% baby alpaca/ 25% nylon) in two of their natural colourways; Wolf and Travertine. She also invited knitting designer Helen Birch to write a pattern for knitted socks, giving people the choice of crochet or knitting.

When I received the yarn it spoke to me immediately and I could envision the finished sock - I love it when this happens! I quickly set to work and the pattern did come together smoothly, just as I hoped it would.

Then there was the waiting. It's always so hard to keep things like this quiet - although I did mention it in passing as "an excinting project I can't talk about just now"!

As you can tell from the photo above, it's a toe-up design, worked in the round with a heavily textured upper foot. There are gusset increases before the heel turn and heel flap are created, allowing for plenty room across the instep.

I loved creating these socks, my 10th crocheted sock pattern, and I hope you enjoy them too!

To order your own kit, with all the expertly curated extra goodies, click here.

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Yarn review: Holst Garn Highland sock yarn

Hello! A few weeks ago I finished a pair of socks for my middle son using Holst Garn Highland sock yarn and I thought a yarn review might be useful for you because when I shared photos of my project I was frequently asked what this yarn was like to use.

Although this was a knitting project, I've also crocheted with the yarn to give you feedback on what it's like to crochet with. I should quickly add that this is not an affiliate post and that all opinions are my own.

For my son, Jamie, I knitted a pair of toe-up socks using 2 hanks of Holst Garn Highland sock yarn and following a variety of different patterns, taking elements to suit my goals. It had to be a toe up sock because Jamie has UK14 feet and I wanted to be sure I had enough of the main colour; a shorter leg was ok, but a shorter foot was not!

Holst Garn are based in Denmark and run by Helle Holst. They have a store in Aabybro in Denmark or you can order from them online, like I did.

I used two differnt colourways; Charcoal (a solid black) and Purple Touch (a hand painted, marled purple), they came exactly as I'd pictured them.

I'm delighted to report that this yarn was a joy to use! First up, it wound easily into a ball without tangles or fuss - always a bonus! Secondly, it felt super soft on my hands and didn't split on the needles. It has a higher twist than usual on commercial sock wool giving it excellent stitch definition.

When I worked up my crochet samples I found it really lovely to crochet with too! I have some leftover of the purple colour so I'm using that to make squares for my Battenberg Blanket and I swatched a square of double crochet stitches (UK terms/ single crochet in US terms).

My only negative feedback would be the colour pooling on the hand painted yarn. There wasn't an issue with the socks or the granny square, but I found it a slight problem on the double crochet sample because it was worked in straight rows. 


Composition: 80% Superwash Highland Wool/ 20% nylon, 2ply yarn

Wool origin: Peru

Weight: 4py/ fingering/ sock weight

Colour range: 10 hand painted, 8 solid colours, 2 two-coloured

Meterage: 210m/ 50g skein

Wash: machine washable, cool cycle



Overall ease of use: 10/10

Softness: 10/10

Stitch definition: 10/10

Quality: 10/10

Eco friendliness: 5/10

Range of colours: 7/10

Colours true to screen: 10/10

Colour pooling: 8/10

Drape: 10/10

Ease of washing: 9/10 



A good score and it could possibly have been even higher if I was able to find out more on their eco poloicies. However, for me the fact the wool has been shipped from Peru to Denmark and then to me in the UK does have to be taken into account.

Do I recommend Holst Garn Highland sock yarn? Absolutely! It was truly lovely to work with and I'm so happy with the results.

I've also made a YouTube video reviewing this yarn, so if you'd like to check that out you'll find it here.

Well, that's it for this post! Did you find it useful? Have you tried Holst Garn Highland sock yarn? What did you think? You can always leave me a comment, I love hearing from you!

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx 

Monday, 13 February 2023

How I became a crochet designer, part 3

Hello! I'm back with part 3 of my 'how I became a crochet designer' story! In this blog post, I'm jumping forward to the time when I learnt to crochet! If you missed the previous parts in this series, you can find them on my blog here.

It was 2010 and I was beginning to be drawn towards wool and the infinite creative possibilities held within a ball of yarn. I went through a phase when I was really into weaving - just simple pieces worked on a strong piece of card with nothches cut into it. I used to turn the finished woven pieces into purses with a button closure and I found the whole making process very satisfying.

It was around this time that my best friend Gwen took up crochet and I immediately became interested in what she was up to! After a few lessons from Gwen, together with additional help from books and a bit of guidance from my mum, I was hooked (as the saying goes!).

That's Gwen on the left in the pic above, taken in 2015 and if you look closely at me, I'm actually knitting. Catching up whilst stitching away is such a fun way to pass the time. It's really special to have someone to share my yarn journey with and I'm so grateful to Gwen for getting me into it in the first place!

I didn't keep any of my early crochet attempts and I don't have any photos to share of these titems either. Back when I learnt I didn't have a smart phone and Instagram was in the very early stages (yes, there was a time when we didn't photograph everything!).
So, I practiced and practiced, slowly improving with each piece I made. I started with headbands, moved on to hats, then later blankets and baby cardigans.
In 2014, a small online yarn company put out a call for pattern submissions which I responded to and that was the start of my crochet design journey! You may remember I shared that particular part of my story back in October, if not you can read it in my blog post here.

I hope you've enjoyed this series on my journey so far. Perhaps, if you've been crocheting for a few years and are thinking about turning to designing, this has inspired you?
Did you know I have a course dedicated to writing up your first crochet pattern? It takes you through each of the steps via a mix of written and video tutorials, giving you the confidence to send your pattern out into the world!
Crochet designing can be a fantastic wee side hustle, especially nowadays with the cost of living crisis. Learn how to write up and publish crochet patterns to earn a little extra money for you and your family.
If this is something you've been dreaming about doing, but aren't quite sure the best way to go about it, take a look at my course here. Remember, I'm here for you should you have any questions - now, throughout the course and beyond!

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Friday, 10 February 2023

Which pattern is best? Cast your vote!

Hello! This week I thought it might be fun to let you vote on your favourite pattern! I'm going to highlight two of my most popular patterns below and then give you the chance to vote for which one you like best.

First up, one of my more recent releases - Scrappy Blanket III. This is a brilliant stash buster of a blanket, so if you have a bunch of oddments and scraps of yarn, this is the blanket for you!

The instructions are included for 5 different sizes (pram, cot, small throw, large throw, single bed) AND the pattern is written for your choice of yarn thickness (4ply, DK, aran weight, chunky); it's a very versatile pattern!

Alternatively, you might prefer my Fiddle Socks pattern. This one's a DK weight pattern which I know many of you prefer because it's a thicker yarn weight and works up faster.
It's a cuff-down design written for 4 adult sizes. The heel is shaped with a fully turned heel and gusset, which together with the V-stitches gives excellent stretch and fit over the foot.


So, which do you prefer? Snuggling up with a long term project which will in turn keep you lovely and warm or would you choose a quick project with the satisfaction of creating something you can wear?
Voting is super easy, it's only ONE multiple choice question - simply click on the link to my Google form here!

I'll let you know the feedback next week so check back OR sign up to my mailing list to receive all my blog posts and more straight to your inbox!

Happy crocheting,

Marta xx


Monday, 6 February 2023

Video tutorial - how I sew in my ends on a granny square!

Hello! I'm here to let you know there's new video from me up on YouTube which is all to do with sewing in ends! 

As you may know, I'm crocheting a Battenberg Blanket at the moment. It's a super simple, free pattern from Sandra Paul which I thoroughly recommend if you like getting stuck in to long term modular blanket projects.

There's currently a MAL (Make A-Long) run by Mariette (@dieboervrou) and Leanie (@independence_yarn_crafts) on Instagram with a buzzing chat group!

One of the questions someone asked last week was "how is everyone sewing in their ends?", so I offered to make a video tutorial - this project sure does produce a lot of them!

The video is now up on YouTube and if you're interested in seeing how I sew in my ends when I'm making granny squares, go check it out!

This year I'm concentrating on growing my YouTube channel so I'd really appreciate any likes, comments, subscribes and most importantly FEEDBACK from YOU!

What would you like to see more of on my channel? Please let me know in the comments and if I can make it happen, I will!

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Introducing my crochet pattern of the month for February


Hello! Here we are at the start of February and I have news for you of my crochet pattern of the month! First up though, I'd like to share a tip I have for saving up for a yarn advent calender.

You see, I've never bought a yarn advent calender because when they're released for pre-order around mid-summer I usually gaze longingly at them but simply don't have the money to buy one.

Note: I'm not for a minute suggesting that indie dyers should put their prices down, I'm certain these little doors of delight are worth every penny!

Last December I have to admit I had a big case of FOMO as I saw everyone's yarn advent calender photos and projects.

So, this year I have a plan! I'm saving every £2 coin that comes into my hand by popping it in a jar. At the time of typing I've collected 6 of them, which is £12 towards an advent calander, not bad! 

I think a lot of people collect these coins too, there aren't too many of them in circulation. There's also the fact I use card more than cash to pay a lot of the time, but I am slowly getting there, especially as my dad often gives me one as pocket money - "thanks Dad!"

I share this because maybe you're in the same boat? Or perhaps there's another yarn related purchase that you feel is out of your price range that you could save for? Something to consider!

That's why I've chosen the Printer Ink Scarf as my crochet pattern of the month for February!
This project uses 12x 10g minis - I used Printer Ink Shades from The Knitting Goddess (4ply/ fingering weight, 480m per 120g, 40% BFL/ 20% British Wensleydale/ 20 British Alpaca/ 20% nylon).
Of course, if you're satsh busting, this project will work up a treat! Pull out those minis and see what combinations you can come up with!
You can enjoy 10% off my Printer Ink Scarf pattern on my website and on Ravelry throughout February with the code FEB23 

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. Would you like 20% off the pattern? Sign up to my mailing list - all my subscribers get 20% off each month!

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

How I became a crochet designer, part 2


Hello! This is part 2 in my 'How I became a crochet designer' series and in this email I'm actually going further back in time, to when my Nana tried to teach me to knit! If you missed part 1 you can find it in this blog post.

My nana, pictured above with my middle sister and me (right), always had something on the needles and I would sit and watch as she knitted clothes for my dolls or socks for my dad, fascinated by the process of creating something so intricate from a simple ball of wool.
She was a prize winning knitter, winning first prize at local and national level for her Shetland lace shawls - they were stunningly beautiful.
My nana tried to teach me of course. I remember, aged 10, knitting a brown and yellow mitt to wear with my Brownie uniform. Second Mitt Syndrome struck and its partner never made an appearance!
I didn't really take to knitting back then, possibly because she made it look so slick and fast and I felt so clunky and slow. There were other cast ons as well as the mitts, but never any cast offs!
I wish she could see me now! As far as knitting goes, I'm still slow but I am FINISHING things!! And this early introduction to playing with yarn defineltely led to my later love of crochet. Sure, my nana crocheted too, everyone did back then - I possibly even saw her doing it, but to my untrained eye everything was classed as knitting.
The lesson in this for me was don't give up! I could clearly see the potential of creating with wool and although it was knitting which had initially attracted me, it was later that crochet sealed the deal!
I'll share the later part of my story next week and if you'd like to read more about my childhood knitting journey in the meantime, the blog post titled 'Why I was banished from knitting in Primary School' might interest you!

My nana with my eldest son

Can I give you a quick reminder that today is the last day to buy my Bandwagon Mitts at the special price of just £3.60! This crochet design is my current pattern of the month - simply add the code JAN23 at the checkout on Ravelry and on my website!

Until next time, happy crocheting,
Marta xx

Thursday, 26 January 2023

How wool saved the day!

Hello! Last Friday we had a guy round to fit us up with a smart meter for our gas and electric. Our existing electric meter was actually broken, so even though we'd heard lots of stories from other people about issues arising from the process, we had to go with it.

To cut a long story short, the engineer suspected our boiler to be faulty and cut off our gas supply. At lunch time. ON A FRIDAY!

Could we get hold of a plumber on a Friday afternoon? No.

Did we have a cold weekend? YES!

Things were actually ok over the weekend because I had craft group on Sturday morning, church on Sunday morning and I went for long walks both afternoons. We also had a few electric heaters (we did did still have electricity, phew!). 

But, Monday morning after nearly 3 days of no heating the house was COLD. It was a dark and miserable morning outside too.
Hubby was off to work and our youngest was off to college and I was alone in the house waiting for the plumber who MIGHT have time to pop in and check the problem (but it was likely to be Tuesday they said).
Well, hooray for the tribe of ladies in the small biz community that I'm in because they cheered me up with silly GIFs and suggested I go put on all my woolly layers and make a reel!

This is exactly what I did! I was already wearing lots of crocheted and knitted items but I went OTT and put on 2 hats, a cowl, a scarf and a shawl! 
Not only did making the video give me purpose and give me a giggle, it also went on to gain over 16K views on Instagram! Crazy for me!

The little snippet above shows only the end of the video. If you missed it and want to watch the whole thing, click the link to Instagram here.

No doubt about it, wool definitely does keep you warm, which is why I choose it for my designs. If you're interested in my crochet patterns, you can find them on my website, on Ravelry and on LoveCrafts. Below is a pic of one of my most popular hat patterns, my Elsie Beanie, which is crocheted in merino wool.

I hope this post has inspired you to layer up in wool too! If you'd like to receive my blog posts straight to your inbox, please sign up to my newsletter here. 

Until next time, happy crocheting

Marta xx


Monday, 23 January 2023

How I became a crochet designer, part 1

Hello! I don't think I've shared my full story in a blog post before and thought it might be interesting for you to know a bit about my background. 

From a young age my mum encouraged me to be creative. She can knit, sew, upholster & restore furniture, decorate, cook, bake and look after the garden - she can even crochet a little! Growing up we were always dressed in handmade clothes and later she drafted and sewed my wedding dress which was absolutely stunning!

The wedding day photo above shows me with my dad who was giving me away and in the background my 2 younger sisters and my flower girl in dresses my mum made for them.  We had a ceilidh in the evening and boy, did that dress twirl well on the dance floor - I'm so proud of my mum for making it so beautifully! The pic below depicts me and my husband during one of my favourite dances, Strip the Willow (no clothing is removed for those of you unfamiliar with scottish ceilidh dancing!).

Back to my story! Growing up I was surrounded by all my mum's pursuits and I was definitely inspired by them. I used to love visits to the haberdashery, in particular a small, family owned one we used to visit which was an Aladdin's cave of goodies and treasures! The sights, smells and things to touch and feel (when no-one was looking of course!) were such an inspiration for me. One of my favourite things was also the sound of the big scissors cutting through metres of fabric on the counter (if you know, you know!).

So, in my late twenties when I properly began crocheting (and knitting) it was fantastic to have my mum nearby to ask for help and advice. She was also fun to go to the local yarn shop with and steer me clear of tricky-to-work-with fuzzier yarns and gave me the fond love of real wool that I have today.

My mum has also pushed me to try new techniques, to broaden my skills and to really go for it! In turn, I've also encouraged her. At one point she was in a bit of a knitting slump and I showed her some brioche patterns - a technique she hadn't come across before - and suddenly her passion was reignited!

Right now, she is busy knitting me a pair of socks designed by Stephen West, the Painted Bricks Socks and they are working up a charm!
I realise that my mum is only one of the people I have to thank for where I am today and as this is already a fairly lengthy email, I think I'll share more in part 2 next week!

Until then, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. This is your last week to take advantage of 10% off my Bandwagon Mitts! Simply use the code JAN23 on Ravelry or on my website to claim your discount.


Have you taken my Colour & Crochet Course?

Looking back over the 4 years I spent at art college, my favourite part of the course was a 2 week block in first year with a focus on colour!

I absolutely loved that short course and threw myself in it head first, spending all my time and energy on it! One of the exercises was to take paint swatch cards and pair them up, firstly in twos, then threes, then fours as our knowledge of colour theory expanded.

This is one of the many techniques I share with you in my Colour & Crochet Course. The course is a mix of theory and practical steps which you can take at your own pace to gain confidence in choosing colours for your crochet projects and any other creative endeavours!

The course includes 4 of my crochet patterns which use multiple colours to for you to have fun and put your new knowledge of colour to use.

I'm here if you have any questions about the course - now and throughout your colour journey!

You can find my Colour & Crochet Course on my website here.

Until next time,

Happy crocheting,

Marta xx


Friday, 13 January 2023

Warm hands, warm heart!


Hello! Do you suffer from cold hands? I certainly do, that's why I've chosen my Bandwagon Mitts as January's pattern of the month offer! There's sure to be another cold spell coming our way here, we're not out of Winter yet and I think I'll whip up another pair of these myself!

Whether they're for yourself or for gifting, these mitts will work up in a matter of hours - why not buy the pattern today and make them this weekend, ready for the next period of cold weather?

Are you ready to throw that snowball? Here are all the pattern details ...

  • It begins with a stretchy rib worked as a long strip, next it's joined to make a round and then crocheted up to the fingertips in a continous spiral. A gap is made for the thumb and the thumb is crocheted in at the end.
  • I've rated it as intermediate level.
  • The pattern is available in 6 sizes ranging from child to adult XL.
  • Yarn requirements range between 50g of DK weight yarn for the smallest size up to 150g of DK weight yarn for the largest.
  • There is a video tutorial for closing the fingertips and thumbs.
  • It's written in UK and US terms.
  • As with all my designs, this one has been tech edited and tested.
  • I used West Yorkshire Spinners Aire DK which is sadly discontinued in solid colours but is still available in variegated colourways.
  • On Ravelry one of the download options is for a full photo tutorial accompanying the pattern, (ideal if you are fairly new to crochet).
Use the code JAN23 for 10% off the pattern this month only. Code is valid on my website and on Ravelry.

Have fun crocheting, whatever you choose to make this weekend,
Marta xx

Monday, 9 January 2023

Looking after your hands: 5 top tips every crocheter should know!

Hello! Today I'd like to focus on the important topic of looking after our hands. It's something we all know we should be doing but in reality it's something we often overlook - myself included!

When we crochet our hands and wrists are doing a lot of work and we do need to take care of them to avoid stress or injury to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones that we use. Prevention is always better than cure, so I have 5 top tips for you which I'll share with you below.

1. Take frequent breaks

I know, I know! You're really enjoying sitting comfy on the sofa, the stitches are flying off your hook and you want to do one more row! BUT, taking breaks is really important. Even if it's just 5 minutes, get up, move around, go empty the dishwasher (shudders!), anything that means you're not crocheting for long periods at a time. 30-60 minutes is the max you should do in 1 session.


2. Change where you're sitting

Switch things up! If you were sitting on the sofa, move to the dining table. You could try standing at a counter top or a standing desk if you have one. This will change your whole body's alignement and help relieve strain on certain areas.


3. Do some stretches

A few simple stretches before a crochet session will help to prepare your hands and wrists for the actions to follow. At the end of your session you can repeat the exercises to help relieve any tension which has built up too. I've uploaded a short YouTube video sharing a few simple exercises - go check it out here!


4. Have different projects on the go

YES! I am hereby giving you permission to have multiple WiPs! By switching from an amigurumi project with a 3mm hook to a chunky jumper with an 8mm hook you will be using completely different muscle groups, meaning you can crochet for longer periods!


5. Give your hands and wrists a massage

Apply some handcream and gently rub it in, feeling out for any niggles and easing them away as you go. I really enjoy this little ritual and my hands feel softer and less likely to catch on the yarn too!

Friday, 6 January 2023

My commitment to you!

Hello and Happy New Year to you! Here's a selfie I took out on my first longer walk of 2023 - the light was just beautiful! My topic for this post is words for the year.

Do you like to choose a word for the year ahead? I began choosing one as my focus for the year 5 or 6 years ago and this year I've chosen the word commitment

This means

  • a commitment to you on my mailing list. I will continue to send my Crochet Chit Chat on a Friday morning with one or two emails in between.
  • a commitment to those who buy my patterns & courses. I will be there for you throughout your Marta Mitchell Designs pattern/ course journey; you can come to me with all your questions and I will get back to you promptly.
  • a commitment to showing up and recording podcast episodes over on YouTube. I currently record every 2 weeks which I think is a good schedule.
  • a commitment on Instagram. Showing up, replying to comments on my posts, encouraging others on their posts. Building up the supportive community that I have around me on Instagram.
  • a commitment to producing new and exciting patterns & courses and a commitment to making them the best they can be.
  • a commitment to creating interesting and useful crochet blog content. Did you know I wrote 75 ad-free blog posts in 2022? Link at the bottom of this email if you want to check that out!
I want the word commitment to spread to all the other areas of my life too. Basically, if I'm doing something I want to be doing it whole heartedly and to the best of my abilities.
Obviously, I accept that I am human and there are times when I am going to mess up. Please give me a gentle nudge if you think I need it and forgive me for the times when I don't live up to expectations.
What about YOU? Have you picked a word as your focus for 2023? Let me know by leaving me a comment, I'd love to encourage you on your journey.

That's all for this week, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. If you'd like to receive these blog posts straight to your inbox so you you don't miss a post, sign up to my mailing list here.


4 ways to get help with a crochet pattern.

Hello! This week I'm here to pass on some crochet wisdom to you! It will of course apply to kniting and other crafts, so it will be supe...