Wednesday 29 March 2023

How To Measure Feet For Crocheting (Or Knitting) Socks

 


Hello! Did you know a question I'm frequently asked is "how do I measure feet for socks?" - I'm here in this blog post to answer that question!

When you're getting ready to crochet or knit a pair of socks there are two key pieces of information you need to know; the length of the feet and the circumference of the feet.

The easiest and most accurate way to measure foot length is to place a piece of paper flush up against the wall and then step on it with the heel touching the wall. Draw a line on the paper to mark where the big toe comes to and then measure the distance between the mark and the heel end of the paper to give you you're length.

For foot width; use a tape meaure and measure around the widest part of the foot.This is usually across the ball of the foot. If you don't have a tape measure handy you could use a piece of non-stretchy yarn, such as cotton, wrap it around the widest part of the foot, lay it flat and measure it. 

If you want to be thorough, you could repeat the process for the other foot to see if there are any differences (go with the larger numbers if there is a discrepancy).

My dad kindly stepped in (no pun intended!) and helped me film a video to demonstrate. We had fun making the footage (another pun, ha!) and drank lots of freshly brewed coffee in the process! I left my parents' fueled with caffeine, ready to edit and release this YouTube short. Check out the video if you've ever wondered how to measure feet for crocheting or knitting socks!

Did you also know that I've published 10 crochet sock patterns? Now you've learnt how to measure feet you'll be able to confidently choose which size to follow!
 
You'll find most of my sock patterns on my website, a few are still exclusive to magazines/ subscription boxes but they will be added later in the year.

Until next time, happy crocheting,

Marta xx

PS. If you'd like to receive my blog straight to your inbox every time, sign up to my mailing list here


Friday 24 March 2023

4 Ways To Get Help With A Crochet Pattern

Text: 4 ways to get help when you're stuck with crochet, read more on my ad-free blog. Image: man with yarn wound and tangled round his fingers, balls of yarn to his right.

4 Ways To Get Help With A Crochet Pattern

Hello! This week I'm here to pass on some crochet wisdom to you: my 4 ways to get help with a crochet pattern when you get stuck! It will of course apply to kniting and other crafts, so it will be super useful I hope!

If you find yourself in a pickle 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:

YouTube is your friend 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 women are sitting, holding their crochet or knitting and chatting together

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!

If you're more of a beginner, it will be super helpful for you to read my 'How To Read & Understand A Crochet Pattern' blog post which you'll find here.

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



 

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...