happy holiday hat pattern

happy holiday hat cover

I wrote this pattern in December 2010 and it’s still one of my favourites to make up if I need a handmade gift for a friend.

Click HERE for the edited version of this pattern in PDF.

It’s written in English crochet terms.

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PS THIS was my original blog post on I Love Pom-poms

my wool-crush…

My instagram feed is always a source of beauty, inspiration, escape and best of all…discovery!

Here is my latest discovery….my new wool-crush…Renilde De Peuter.

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Renilde is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, and has been crafting all her life.

She loves to work with recycled materials, so what she creates is largely determined by what she finds.

I absolutely adore her work.

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The flat cushions with their blocks of colour just makes my artistic heart melt- just like an abstract artwork.

And then there is the even more amazing fluffy  circle cushions!

She is using something so familiar- wool, and making a very unique product from it…a true artist!
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renilde de peuter cushions

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Photos used are from eefjedeconick blog and from Renildes blog.

You can buy her lovely unique products at uguisustore, an amazing online Japanese shop.


Have a lovely inspirational week!

love from Elsbeth

PS: Anisa and myself are going to a very exciting event this week and we cant wait to share it with you…..

PSS: The only clue for now…… think knitting-rock star!!!!!

Read now all about our meeting with a knitting rock star

Interview with Crochet Dynamo – Amanda Perkins

 

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I came across Amanda one day while trawling the internet. Amanda live in beautiful Exmoor, Devon, in the UK.    I was totally amazed by her use of triangles and circles not to mention her vibrant colour combinations.  A little while later I received an email from Magda de Lange where she was raving about Amanda’s work and advised that I should buy one of her patterns.  Without much hesitation that’s exactly what I did.  I now need to just source the yarn for this beautiful project.  Here is the pattern I bought, and once I get started I will share my progress with you.

Amanda is truly inspirational and has carved out a very specific and unique crochet identity for herself.  Read this inspirational interview we did with Amanda.  I know you are going to love her work!!

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What inspires you?

The short answer is colour, shape and yarn.

I could write pages and pages for the long answer.  The inspiration for each blanket normally comes from several different sources, rather like ingredients in a recipe.

The colour is normally dictated by the yarn, I only use natural fibres and when I find a yarn I like I want to buy all the colours so I have the whole colour wheel to work with. I prefer softer tonal colours, I was a indie dyer for 12/13 years and exclusively used natural plant dyes, so my palette has nearly always been based around natural colour

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places and things, they normally have some personal relevance to me, such as historical quilts, I went through a quilting phase in my early 20’s, a lot of my blankets in my new book are inspired by the quilts I made 20 years ago, a couple of them are actually inspired by fabrics my mother and aunt used for dress making, my mother’s is bold brash geometric patterns from the 60’s/70’s and my aunts is liberty fabric.

Other inspirations include a computer game my children played when they were young, kaleidoscopes, crop circles, the solar system, historic maps, Persian carpets, Islamic tiles etc etc etc

My most recent blanket Kissing Circles was a result of my tec editor telling me you can’t make a blanket from circles because it won’t lay flat, I don’t like being told I can’t do something so set out to find a way to make the circles work, which lead me to do a lot of research and discover amongst lots of other circle based things Descartes kissing circles theorem and the Smith chart.

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 When did you start crafting / knitting / crochet / sewing and who taught you?

I don’t remember, I’ve been doing them all my life. Working with textiles runs in my family, my mother worked for Singer and both she and my aunt made all their own clothes. My maternal grandfather was an upholsterer, his mother and grandmother were professional seamstresses and so it goes….

 Tell me about your product / service / concept

I design crochet blankets, I prefer to design blankets as they give me a huge canvas to work with. I sell the patterns and at the moment am working on a book due out next year. And occasionally I hand dye yarn.

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  How did it all begin?

I’ve always “made it up as I go” even as a small child and so found it impossible to follow a pattern. I spent 2 years at art college studying general art and design, eventually specialising in textiles, which I’ve been working with ever since in various guises. The only thing else that I ever wanted to do was have babies, I had 3 and was able then to dedicate my life to textiles. My babies grew up surrounded by yarn, fabric and sewing machines, strangely only my middle one has grown up with any interest in textiles. She knits, spent years working with me in my indie dyer business, she has now discovered making blankets and like me makes it up as she goes and can’t follow a pattern.   However my oldest one is a painter, my baby is a computer games designer

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 What do you think will be the next big thing in the world of craft? (especially your area of expertise)

I don’t really know, but I hope crochet will begin to be taken seriously and become respected as a craft in its own right. And stop being a second class citizen to knitting and not just be something you do with all your old yarn to use it up

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 Who on the international craft scene do you admire most and why?

Kaffe Fasset and Sophie Digard for their use of colour and shape and the fact they have spent their lives developing their idea’s and bringing their craft into the 21st century

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 Where can our readers find you (Pintrest, Instagram, Facebook, Blog address etc)

I’m everywhere!

https://www.facebook.com/amandascrochetblankets

http://amandascrochetblog.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.ravelry.com/designers/amanda-perkins

https://twitter.com/queenieamanda

https://www.pinterest.com/queenieamanda/

https://instagram.com/queenieamanda2/

What is your favourite blog and magazine and why?

I don’t really read blogs or magazines as I like to keep my mind clear of other peoples ideas so I don’t end up copying them sub consciously. But I do read books.

As a teenager and in my early 20’s I loved Vogue and a French magazine called “100 idees” I think it became Marie Claire.

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What is your favourite craft?

Crochet of course

If you had more time on your hands what would you do?

Crochet and go on long driving adventures, maybe drive across America coast to coast, or from here (Exmoor, Devon, UK) across Europe to North Africa or China or across Russia. Anywhere just as long as I had my crochet and as long as I could come back home to Exmoor in between journeys.

And have more brain space at the end of the day to be able to read more.

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Have you bought something online and if so what?

Yarn, yarn and more yarn

Dvd’s of tv series, so I can have something playing in the background that I don’t need to concentrate on too much.

All my clothes and shoes, I hate shopping and avoid shops at all costs

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 What magazines do you buy?

I don’t, but occasionally I will buy our local North Devon Gazette Newspaper.

Would you buy a pattern, or the whole kit online?

No, for the same reason I don’t regularly read blogs

 What is your favourite yarn store / craft store and why?

They are all on-line

At the moment I am working with lovecrochet.com and have several future projects in the pipeline, so they are my “go to” yarn shop

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 I love nice people who make truly cool things!  Amanda Perkins is such a person. 

Let the Hellohart team know what you think about Amanda’s designs!

Colourful yarn blessings!

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my south bay shawl

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This has to be the project I most enjoyed crocheting – ever!

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I saw the diagram first (on Pinterest) and it intrigued me from the start. Maybe because it was intricate/lacy, but also simple/predictable (the beautiful star flower in the design is created by just 2 repeating rows!!!)

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The yarn was SOOO soft

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it felt like nothing in my hand

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and created the most delicate lacy pattern.

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Once I “got” the pattern, it was so easy to do row.after.row.after.row.

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I wanted it to never end.

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Being so light to carry around (the finished shawl weighs a mere 150 grams!!!),

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I took it to the beach on my last day in St Francis.

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My Katia Silk Alpaca Color 61 is exactly the colour of St Francis Bay beach sand!

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And here it is …

You’ll find the pattern on Lion Brand’s website for free, once you sign up as a member..

As well as lovely images on Instagram when you search for the hashtag #southbayshawl or #southbayshawlette

Hope you’re inspired!

Have a lovely weekend,

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PS I used 6 balls of yarn, each weighing only 25 g and a 4mm crochet hook. I have a little left over yarn from the sixth ball and will be making some fingerless gloves to wear in winter.

hello, winter is coming…

This year is travelling at the speed of light and it is already March!

The mornings are getting chilly and I am getting ready for winter.

I bought some beautiful Malabrigo yarn from my favorite local yarn shop, I love yarn. I had no clue what I wanted to make with the wool (I rarely do), but after seeing Stephni, co-owner of I love yarn in this cute knitted top, I felt inspired to knit myself a little top.

The last major knitting experience I had was in high-school. I made myself a  sweater and when I finished it, it turned out to be a sweater for some weird giant person with extremely long arms.

I didn’t dare to make anything else, I was so disappointed.

Fast forward and here I am  in 2015 and I just completed this little top!

knitted top by Elsbeth

The Silky merino Malabrigo was such a treat to fondle and knit with and I highly recommend it. It is a blend of silk and merino and mmmmmmm….. very beautiful.

I felt very adventurous and just started to knit, and measured the top as I went along.

After knitting a rectangle shape with a hole in the middle for my head, I sewed the sides closed and added some crochet detail at the neckline and arm openings.

knitted top detail

sleeve detail

I am busy adding some embroidery details to the top and will share the complete finished top in a later post with you.

(the embroidery details are also there to hide some of the holes and weird stitches I knitted!)

embroidery detail

I enjoyed the challenge of knitting so much and I want to make another top for the cool autumn days with mid length sleeves. I have a few balls of beautiful Rowan Cocoon in my stash for a pretty sweater top!


Here are some sweaters and cardigans that I would love to have this winter.

I can imagine starting to knit these…..

 

….and then moving on to knitting like this…

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..yes, in my dreams I can.

All these sweaters are from my Pinterest board- just click on the photo for the link.

Hope you are going to have a great week!

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hello monday

me and the babette

……Ladies and maybe a gentleman or two, may I represent my first ever finished crochet blanket!

Yes, my first.

I am a very eager starter when it comes to any project but halfway through something else catches my eye and my project becomes part of the WIP pile. Sometimes it will stay there for a month but *hanging my head in shame* some will never see my hook or needles again…

babette blanket

This amazing blanket was my gift to my daughter who started studying at WITS this year.

We decided on Vinnis Bambi, a beautiful blend of 70% organic cotton and 30% bamboo blend.

The yarn is hand dyed and balled by women in a rural area of South Africa.

The primary colours I used was  turquoise, black, and natural and all the others colours was part of the secondary palette.

 babette blanket

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bottomleftThis blanket is such a lovely project.

I used Kathy Merrick‘s pattern for the basic layout but didn’t follow her pattern when it came to the colour combinations for each block.

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If you are looking for a project that is easy, fun and where you can express your creativity, I highly recommend this blanket!

I know that there are some of you out there that made amazing Babette blankets! Please  join our Facebook page and share your Babette with us, I would love to see yours.

love elsbeth

be bold: go bohemian and vintage

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Those of you who know me will realise that these words truly embody my spirit. It’s reflected in my home, my dress, my crochet and knitting projects.

What do these two words mean?

 Bohemian is defined as a socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts. Words that are synonymous with bohemian include nonconformist, unconventional person, beatnik, hippy, avant-gardist, free spirit and artistic person, to name but a few.

Vintage, on the other hand, denotes something from the past of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind. Words synonymous with vintage include high-quality, prime, select, superior and best.

So off I went and did a search on the above two words. WOW! is all I can say – a whole colourful world popped up on my screen.  Very quickly I discovered the crochet and knitwear designer Katie Jones, who truly embodies the theme of eccentric bohemian and vintage. Her use of colour and how she embraces the granny square  is phenomenal.

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Katie Jones has a ‘waste not, want not’ design approach, implementing a modern twist on traditional crafts. Her pieces are hand produced in London and is made by reworking surplus and British made products. Katie learnt her craft as a child and honed her skills while studying at Central Saint Martins.

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Katie studied at Central St Martins for seven years, where she completed her BA and Masters in Crochet and Knit Design (never thought there was a study direction like this). She was lucky to work as an intern with designers such as Mark Fast, Diane Von Furstenberg in New York and John Galliano in Paris.

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To me Katie’s work captures the true essence of Bohemian chic with a touch of Vintage.

I’m so inspired and hope you find as much inspiration in her designs as I did. Even if it’s merely her brazen approach towards pairing colours (reminds me of pairing pink Champagne with Turkish delight – unusual, delightfully surprising and tantalising all at once).

I’m going to make the beautiful shawl below and will share my progress with you on our hello hart Facebook page.

Go on, I dare you! Jump out of your comfort zone and try something different.

Remember to share your projects with us.

The following patterns are available on Etsy and can be downloaded immediately after purchase:

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granny square mosaic top pattern

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granny squares maxi skirt pattern

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flower fringe shawl pattern

Colourful boho blessings to you all!

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hello monday

I have a very playful spirit and tend to enjoy sweet, cute and adorable projects if I have a little bit of time on my hands. So it will come as no surprise if I want to let you know, that if you need a bit of fun in your life, you can just put a bow on it!

BOW =  FUN

It is really one of the easiest little decorations  that you can make, to add to some of your projects for a little bit of extra fun and attitude.

Here is a collection of crocheted and knitted items that I simply adore – just because of the bows!!!


green bow cape

like a poncho but not quite – I love the colour combination!

simple and elegant

Simple and elegant scarf

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An easy knit scarf.

shoulder bow

Pink sweater plus bow…… simply genius !

blue dress with bow

Navy blue dress with attitude!

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My favorite scarf.

This is definitely on my to-do list for autumn and winter

bow neclace

Oh such a cute necklace.

little jersey with bow detail

I adore this jersey with knitted bow detail.

little shoes with bows

I can just imagine some tiny little baby feet in these cute crochet shoes.


Hope you are going to have a great week and remember that whatever you are making…. put a Bow on it!

love elsbeth

happy valentine’s day

cornel's valentine's brooch

Few things match the joy of giving a gift that you made with your own two hands. Why not take half an hour and make this Valentine’s brooch for a dear friend of yours, your daughter (or even for yourself) to wear proudly today?

what you need

Use any combination of textured fabrics. I specifically didn’t choose any reds, as I’m in love with neutrals at the moment…

red

grey scollop pattern

fabric bow 1

fabric bow 2

sew the bow

sew the pin

heart in place

 CLICK HERE for the very simple crochet heart pattern on Olivia’s blog Hopeful Honey.

Here’s a suggestion of HOW you can give it as a gift:

make a card

almost done

final touch

That’s how easy it is!

I hope you feel very special today.

And remember to

do all things with love

 From

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PS Please share your brooch with us on our Facebook page HERE

or on Instagram with the hashtag #hellohartbrooch