What’s taking shape?

All my WIP have been put on hold the past wee while as I work on my heidibears project. I though I’d give you all an update!


I started using the yarn left over from last years CAL, the photo above shows rows 3 and 4 being completed. I do them in bulk, I’m kinda impatient & want to see how this turns out.

All the pieces are being kept in sandwich bags, mostly to keep them together, but also to keep the dog hair off it! I think the bag was originally for trainers or shoes, I got it for 50p in a charity shop. The fact I can see whats in it, without opening it is a huge bonus.


I’ve still to decide if I’m ‘joining as I go’ in row 5. This is a new technique to me. I tried it in the Stylecraft Carousel CAL but couldn’t get the hang of it, so might end up sewing it together.

Well, that’s about all for today. I figure I’ll be ready to make this guy by the end of the next bank holiday. Which is next Monday! It’s definitely the holiday season here in the UK at the moment 🙂

catch up with everyone soon xxx


Crochet in the world’s words.

If you’ve been over to Instagram lately, you’ll notice there’s dozens of hashtags that crocheters use. Hashtags (#) are how people online distinguish themselves and their makes. It’s one of those ‘languages’ that’s developed in the technological age, along with emojis.  I can sit here in Northumberland & using a hashtag, connect with a fellow crocheter in Norway or even Australia!

Whether you’re a Jack/Jill of all trades or you make only amigurumi, hashtags help you find your tribe.

If you fancy tagging your work with new labels, here’s some to consider:


How to say Crochet or haken or ganchillo or croche or hekle or krose #agentcrochet

Each of these words means crochet!

Croche – french           ganchillo – spanish            Haken – german          virka – swedish  krose – turkish            hækle – danish

These are a few of my favourite hashtags at the moment!


my favourite hashtags for Instagram #agentcrochet

Some for the toymakers 🙂


amigurumi hashtags #agentcrochet

So, next time you’re over on Instagram, give your posts some pazzazz with a new hashtag & don’t forget to come say hi to me

Let me know below what your favourite hashtag is 🙂

5 things no-one tells you about crochet

Crocheting is one of the best skills anyone can learn. It has structure and scope for creativity that rivals anything else labelled ‘handicraft’. I adore it and am incredibly proud to be able to crochet & to show others how to.

Yet, there’s a few things I wish someone had told me. Or even just hinted at, so I could be prepared, you know?

So here are 5 of the things I really wish someone had told me.

  1. It’s addictive. From the first moment when you ch your first sc, you’ll be looking for pockets of time to do your thing. On the bus, in a queue, waiting for the kettle to boil. Anytime, anywhere, have hook, will crochet.
  2. There’s no-one you can’t crochet for. Brothers in law always need a scarf or two. There’s even patterns for beloved pets. The world is so much brighter when you know you can rustle up a tortoise cosy, should the need arise.
  3. You’ll fall in love………………with yarn! Alpaca, silk, bamboo are just a few of the luxurious blends that will slip through your fingers like jewels. The pull of artisan yarn will grab you and soon you’ll be tangled in thoughts of dyeing & fibers. At this point, you are beyond saving 😉
  4. Its good for your health – Crocheting keeps joints mobile, helps with concentration & memory. It also reduces stress, but any crocheter can tell you it can occasionally increase it 🙂
  5. You’ll never stop learning. From Pinterest to the archives of the V&A,  there’s millions of patterns out there & like Pokemon, you’ll want to catch them all!

So there you have it, 5 things you should have been told when you started crocheting. I hope it helps some of  you before you take the plunge. It’s too late for the rest of you, of course, you’re already hooked!


If crocheters ruled the world……

..bus stop seats would be a lot comfier. If the bus came while you were half way through a row, they’d wait.

…everyone would be taught the difference between crochet and knitting at an early age, no-one would ever have to ask again.

…crocheting would be an Olympic sport

…whittling crochet hooks would be more than a post apocalyptic life skill

…kids would leave school knowing how to crochet (obviously), as well as knitting, cooking, sewing, basic mechanics & DIY.

…yarn markets would beheld in every town, Wednesdays & Saturdays. You could ‘meet the sheep’ your yarn was coming from

…everyone would want a hooker as an ancestor

…someone would add a snack dispenser to the beer can hat, so we could eat and drink without putting down our work

…crocheted goods would be bartered. A simple scarf would be worth 1kg carrots & a bag of tatties at least (depending on season and type of tatties) A blanket would be worth 4 hours babysitting or a full MOT on your car, easy peasy.

Can you think of anything to add to the world?


Share it in the comments below x

Are craft magazines done?

While talking to my hubby yesterday, I made the mistake of mentioning that I wanted to pop into the newsagents for a crochet magazine.

“Do people still buy magazines?” He asked

I assured him, that yes, I’d seen several people buying magazines in our local WH Smiths but it got me thinking. Will there be a time when we don’t need craft magazines?

If we buy them purely for patterns, Pinterest has that covered. For inspiration, there’s Instagram. Magazines themselves are going digital and my daughter now read her Kerrang on her phone.

To my mind, there’s something almost comforting about having a physical product in your hand. You can make notes on it (admit it, I’m not the only one!) and you can go back to it again &again & again. No ploughing through the internet for ‘that’ pattern, whose name you can’t quite remember.

Sharing a computer printout doesn’t have the same feel as gathering around a colourful double page spread.

The crochet community has exploded in the last decade or so. Where previously we may have learned about an up and coming designer or the new brand of yarn coming out, now we read blogs and watch online for trends and hashtags.

The first ever craft magazine I bought was Cross Stitcher. On the cover it had an autumnal scene, complete with cheeky fox and a wandering badger. I still have it, nearly 20 years later. The best thing is, now that I’m getting into corner to corner crochet, I have a use for those charts again. A computer file from the same time doesn’t invoke the same smile.

Over the years there’s been lots of crafts that led me to the hobby section of the newsagents. Jewellery making, tapestry, baking, sewing, paper crafts, knitting, beading and most recently colouring. The fact that there’s now several magazines purely for crochet is a joy, although choosing can be a trial.

There may be people out there that claim that print is dying, but there’ll always be a place for a magazine or two on my bookcase.

What about you, readers?

What was the first Craft magazine you ever bought? Do you subscribe to any or have you gone digital already.

Let me know in the comments below x


Crufts and crochet.

I’ve been catching up on Crufts today. I can’t believe that I forgot it was on. Between that and the Edinburgh yarn fest, my Instagram and facebook feeds are full of awesome photos!

The Tunisian CAL is getting there, out of sheer stubbornness I’m persevering with it. It’s a long time since I’ve cursed my crochet quite this much. The image of using up so much of my stash keeps me going, but it may be one of those things that I finish and give away immediately – so I’m not reminded of how annoyingly wrong I kept getting it 😦

I’ve always wondered what the dog groomers at Crufts do with all that hair. Seriously, some of those dogs are mega hairy. If it was me, I’d be putting it in a wee bag and giving it to some spinners. I’ll not sure though if I’d wear a sweater (or anything!) made of dog hair, would it smell like pooch to other dogs? My poor Labrador would go in a huff 😉

We bought my gran a book once, I think it was called knitting with dog hair. She & granda had a Yorkie called Bonny and a Border Collie called Ben, it was meant as a joke but she really liked it. For ages afterwards we dreaded getting a scarf made of yorkie hair 😌

When it comes to yarn, I seem to be working a lot with acrylic recently. It’s ideal for amigurumi and big blankets. The sirdar crofter was a gorgeous wool mix, it felt soft & string at the same time. I can’t wait for bad weather so I’ve got an excuse to wear my crofter scarf!
I’m looking forward to getting something fancy at St Abbs yarn fest in April. Perhaps something with alpaca (my secret yarn crush!). It the kind of fibre that makes me want to bury my face in it and purr 😆
As long as its not Alsatian, I’ll use it.

What’s your favour yarn is?

Do you have a secret yarn crush?

Let me know in the comments below.

The value of vintage.

Have you ever noticed the massive pile of vintage patterns sitting gathering dust? No? I don’t blame you.

Miles away from the shiny, glossy magazines that we are all buy and love, there’s old, battered prints. You can find them in charity/thrift shops & second hand book shops. Whether they are wilting in a cardboard box, shoved in a corner or organised in a big pile that no one dare touch for fear of it falling, they’re waiting, waiting to be read.

I love rummaging through old patterns. Of course, there’s the giggle factor. I mean, seriously, did people really wear that stuff! But the range is incredible. Every now and then you get one that has scribbles on it, or a row of numbers scored through. It’s like the past saying to you “this patterns good, go ahead and get making!”

I inherited a lot of patterns when my gran passed away. Among the hand & machine knitting there were a some crochet. It seems to be the fortune of the craft, to be in the shadow of knitting. Forever the bridesmaid, never the bride, as my gran would say.

I started knitting before I took to crochet. Once I had a hook in my hand, I never looked back.

Maybe it’s something to do with being left handed, knitting never seemed natural to me,  simply ‘mirroring’ doesn’t work for all us south paws! Some of us knit back to front and backwards (just to be awkward).

But crochet came as easily as breathing. These days it’s just as instinctive. As the years have passed, I’ve found that reading patterns is quite easy for me. I can see the shape forming as I read,  reading charts took a while to master but I’m so glad now that I can!

I hate the idea of a pattern being lost and for quite a while I would bring home ‘strays’. When we got Jax, I quickly realised that bookcases and puppy dogs don’t mix. So once again the patterns were passed to others, perhaps never finding their forever homes.

I know that its unlikely that there’s a pattern in print that’s not online already, but don’t you just sometimes want a ‘hardcopy’ in your hand. To feel the paper, the folds and to perhaps make a few scribbles of your own? Logically, I know we can print off any pattern we have on our computers, but older patterns feel different. I love the feel of the old paper, it’s almost like linen. As for the old books of patterns, I’m forever coming across some wonderful now treasure nestling in the pages.

Perhaps one day, I’ll manage to get all the patterns together for a ‘family’ photo but for now, here’s a pic of my favourite 2.



The book covers loads of different crafts, but has an excellent crochet section, including Irish Crochet, which is high on my TO DO list. The Tunisian pattern was my grans. It’s been laminated, which means she really, really liked it. I made these waistcoats for my girls when they were 4 and 5. They were super cute!

Work in progress (2)


I feel like I’ve been making this blanket for ages. I keep picking it up & putting it back down again.  I made most of the squares while travelling in 2016.
It didn’t matter whether it was bus, car, plane or train, I had a ball of wool and 4mm hook ready to do business.
There’s only one problem, as I see it. The coloured parts are Hayfield bonus DK, while the grey is stylecraft. When I was blocking the squares it wasn’t much of a problem. I got sick of blocking about a hundred squares or so ago (I’ve never been known for my patience) I just hope now it doesn’t become an issue.  Fingers crossed that it worked out ok!
The pattern itself came from Pinterest, a perler pattern. Its one of a set (the others being Captain America, Hulk and Thor) It shows how diverse charted patterns can be. One graph can cover hamma beads, cross stitch, c2c & pixel crochet, beading, mosaic making.  That’s what I love about being a crafter, there’s no true boundary.
I crochet because that’s where my passion lies, but it could just as easily be ChainMaille, beading, Quilling. All these pull at my attention from time to time.
But now, my attention is on Iron man, although I doubt he’ll ever be joined by the rest of the avenger hunks 😉


Amigurumi – gotta hug them all!

There’s something really cute about a crochet critter. Throw in a huge pair of eyes and perhaps tiny arms and legs and you’re onto a winner.

The first toy I ever crocheted was a wee teddy called snuggles. I made one, then another, and another then low and behold I was hooked (pardon the pun!) My daughters both had a few, their friends had some, we chose speckled yarn for one and it looked like it had chicken pox. I must have made loads that summer. I know at one point I simply refused to make more, I was so scunnered with it all.

Jump forward a decade or so and now I’m infatuated with Lalylala and Heidibears. I’ve been down the Totoro path and got my hands on a few Pokemon. There’s a posse of Melvin the misunderstood monsters living somewhere in the house. At night, I’m sure I can hear them singing 🙂


Out of all the things we crocheters can make, there’s nothing that beats amigurumi. Suitable for all ages, easily modified, great stash busters, and terribly, terribly cute (even the ugly ones) They make folk want to hug them.

Perhaps that’s why we like them so much. They remind us of our earliest friends, our childhood toys, the one’s who got hugged tightly and told secrets. The ones who listened to stories and came on adventures, the ones who watched over us while we slept. Even as I type this there’s the face of a long lost bear in my mind, I bet there’s one in yours too.

We get to bring them back, not in person, but in memory, for all the ‘adults’ that we crochet amigurumi for. We get to bring friends back, even for a little while.  For children, we get to bring them new friends, loyal and immortal, to see them through childhood.

That’s not a bad achievement for a ball of yarn and a hook!

Pattern links

Totoro – free pattern from Ravelry

Melvin – so cute, highly recommend. Free pattern

Lalylala and Heidibears patterns can be found on Ravelry Here Both are paid patterns and worth every penny.

There’s tons of Pokemon patterns online but I found these by aphid777 to be the best and easiest to follow. The pictures are amazing and they’re free!


My Go-to hat

There are a few things that I go back to time and time again, patterns are no exception. I have favourite patterns and I though I’s share them this week.

Today its hats, or rather THE HAT. There’s only one hat pattern, as far as I’m concerned.


It’s by Krista, over at rescued paws designs, it’s called Autumn is here. You can find the pattern here

What I love about this pattern is that once you get the knack of the stitch, its easy peasy. Its quite a forgiving hat, once its finished. I’ve hidden many a bad hair day under one of these beauties and they’ve done me proud.

It’s a very tactile hat and I can’t have enough of them. I’m already planning a magenta one and perhaps a stripey if I get the time.  I made these out of Drops Lima DK, a scrumptious wool/alpaca mix. It’s super cosy, which is ideal for the windy, chilly days. The ribbing on the brim keeps the hat in place but the body is quite relaxed, not slouchy relaxed, just enough for you not to worry about helmet head!

So, if you’re looking for a great hat, here it is. Get crocheting, cos you’re not getting mine 😉