Year of the Pig Crochet

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I am currently spending my days making up needlework kits for the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia so in the evenings I look forward to picking up a crochet hook and some yarn. This cheeky chap was designed by the very talented Claire Garland and can be found in her book ‘Toys to Crochet’

I have to come clean here and admit that I am terrible at following a pattern, even really great patterns, so things often get tweaked as I work. To start with I didn’t have the correct yarn but I did have a very piggy pink in DMC Natura XL and I found some Scheepjes 4ply Catona in a dark grey colour.

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually write any of my pattern tweaks down as I worked but I think the following is a good approximation of what I did when worked in combination with the original pattern. Everything is written in UK crochet terms. The majority of the pig is crocheted using a 6mm hook but I will indicate when another hook is required.

When starting the head, spots and legs I chose to use a magic circle and 6 double crochet (dc) rather than the 2 chain (ch) foundation row and 6dc as originally described.

For the head and body I switched to a 5mm hook for rounds 4 to 18 and I also worked into the back loop only for 18dc in round four to give a slightly raised edge between the nose and snout.

To create a plumper bottom I worked repeats of round 24 until the head and body measured approximately 22cm from the tip of the snout before starting the following increases and decreases:

  • *1dc into each of the next 11dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (39dc)
  • 1 dc into each of the 39dc
  • *1dc into each of the next 12dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (42dc)
  • 1dc into each of the 42dc
  • *1dc into each of the next 13dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (45dc)
  • 1dc into each of the 45dc and repeat this round twice more
  • *1dc into each of the next 12dc, double crochet two together (dc2tog) , repeat from * around (42dc)
  • 1dc into each of the 42dc
  • *1dc into each of the next 11dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around (39dc)
  • 1dc into each of the 39dc
  • *1dc into each of the next 10dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around (36dc)
  • *1dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around until the gap is almost closed, stuff firmly with polyester filling, finish closing the gap, fasten off yarn

For the tail I doubled up on the pink DMC Natura XL and switched to a 10mm hook

  • chain 14
  • dc twice into the second chain from hook, repeat for next 9dc, 1dc into each of the remaining foundation chain stitches
  • Fasten off yarn and sew to the pig’s bottom

For the spots I doubled up on the grey Scheepjes cotton yarn and followed the original pattern using a 4mm hook.

The legs were worked according to the original pattern except I tripled the grey Scheepjes yarn to maintain the correct tension using the 6mm hook and chose to work three rounds of dc in the grey rather than switching to double trebles as described.

For the eyes I raided my stash of beads and stitched a couple on using dressmakers cotton. However, if you plan to let a child play with the pig it is probably better to opt for safety eyes and fit them before stuffing the head or simply embroider some eyes on the finished pig.

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We have some winners for the Spring Knitting & Stitching tickets

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Wow! so many entries for the Spring Knitting & Stitching tickets, thank you all so much for your enthusiastic response. We have some winners, many congratulations rebsuka, claireypollybella and Karen Merchant!!! Please contact me directly to arrange your prize and I will get all your stitching goodies and tickets in the post as soon as possible.

Don’t forget you can still use discount code SPRING2 for a reduced adult advanced ticket price of £12 when booking online at http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com
or on the telephone 0844 581 1319

Oh, and I must not forget to mention the funky embroidered bird hanging I got from Linladan Folk Art & Embroidery Supplies at the show a couple of years ago – what a great event for finding knitting and stitching treasure!

If you are coming along, please give us a wave and stop for a chat at C44, we are always happy to talk crafts.

Win!!! Tickets to the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

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On such a frosty morning it seems quite strange to be thinking ahead to spring, slightly warmer weather, longer days and a little sunshine…but I have tickets to give away for the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia and fingers crossed we will not be snowed in this year!

To get you in the stitching mood we are also offering a pair of mini beadwork kits. Alternatively, you may like a chunky cross stitch, a beaded parrot or woodpecker or a more traditional cross stitch or biscornu.

The tickets are valid for use on Thursday 28th February, Friday 1st or Sunday 3rd March 2019.

If you would like a chance to win a pair of tickets please drop me a line either below, on any of my social media accounts, via the contact page of the website http://www.annsorchard.co.uk or send an email epavier@annsorchard.co.uk

The competition closes at midnight on Friday 25th January 2019
Three lucky winners will be drawn at random on Saturday 26th January 2019

It should be a fantastic day out, plenty of inspiration and a great opportunity to stock up on projects, haberdashery, fabrics and yarn for the coming year.

If you are not a lucky winner this time then please take advantage of the discount code SPRING2 to get a reduced price of £12 for an advance adult ticket when booking online at http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/spring or by calling 0844 581 1319

If you are visiting give us a wave at C44 and best of luck!

Crochet YipYip

Christmas is a great time to have a little scroll through the Internet and I found a brilliant pattern in both crochet and knitted versions for YipYip Martians by http://www.carissaknits.com

The original is in Bernat Blanket but I didn’t have any to hand so plumped for two balls of DMC Natura XL and 5mm crochet hook from my stash. I also chose to crochet the eyes rather than use the recommended ping pong balls and I still need to figure out an alternative to the pip cleaner antennae which I was worried my not so small children might accidentally stab themselves on!

To make the eyes:

  • magic circle and 6dc
  • 2dc into each of the previous stitches (12sts)
  • 3 rounds of 12dc
  • dc decrease 6 times (6sts)
  • stuff with polyester filling
  • weave yarn through remaining 6 stitches and pull tight to close
  • stitch a black button or bead over the magic circle
  • pop on your Yip Yip

These fellows are so easy to make, are perfect storage containers and bring a smile to your face 🙂

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A minor adjustment to the YipYip – I have stitched his googly eyes together so now much more like the original

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A Christmas Biscornu

Free Biscornu Pattern

I have been so fortunate over the past year to have received so much support and encouragement for my little needlework business. It means so much to hear such positive messages from this community of crafters and to be so inspired by your creativity. One of my favourite projects has been designing cross stitch biscornu so it seemed appropriate to create one as a Christmas gift.

This quirky shaped needlework is surprisingly easy to make. Simply two squares of Cashel linen covered in festive cross stitch motifs and then the process of offsetting the finished needlework squares when stitching them together causes the shape to fold itself.

For a PDF copy of the cross stitch charts and instructions simply click on the link.
I do have a few kits available but feel free to raid your stash.

You are very welcome to share this pattern with friends and family

Wishing you a very happy Christmas and joyful New Year x

Link to Christmas Biscornu Pattern

Christmas Cross Stitch Designs

After all the rain the weather is now beautiful and the sun shining so it is very hard to believe we are mid way through November and Christmas is on the horizon.

It is this time of the year when I am preparing for the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, crafting some presents and thinking of a Christmas pattern giveaway. One of my favourite projects this year has been designing biscornu so I thought a Christmas themed version would be perfect for a little seasonal stitching.

One side has been designed over the weekend and the stitching should be complete by tomorrow I just have to design the second side!!!! Normally inspiration strikes when I am in the midst of doing something very boring. It is as though part of my brain is at a loose end so starts wandering off into creative thought and the images start to appear in my mind. Since I have a set of shelves and the ceiling of the summerhouse to sand and undercoat today I am hoping this will be the perfect stimulus to create some more motifs to complete the biscornu.

If you would like a free copy of the finished pattern, hopefully at the beginning of December, please head over to the homepage and sign up to my newsletter.

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Congratulations!!! We have some winners

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Many congratulations to tracyjroe and theruralsewist winners of the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show tickets. Please contact me to arrange your prizes and have a fantastic day out.

If you are hoping to come along to the show and not yet booked tickets please take advantage of the discount code HAR16 for a reduced price of £12 when booking online or over the phone.

Give us a wave if you are passing C550!