It's autumn time, and what better way to embrace the cosier season than with a bit of crochet? These patterns will prove super easy and fun, ensuring that you're able to spruce up your home, or give a gift to a dear friend or little one in no time.
- Penguin Pals
- Brussels Sprouts Garland
- Amigurumi Elves
- Pom-pom Mittens
- Christmas Donkey
- Advent Calendar Crochet-Along: Part Two
- Christmas Lights
- Christmas Doily
- Nativity Scene
- Bauble Coasters
- Yarn Christmas Trees
- View all
- 20 Patterns You’ll Love To Make This Autumn
- The Ultimate Christmas Crafting Guide
- Why A Crocheter Would Win The Apprentice
- ISSUE 105 SNEAK PEEK
- THESE AMIGURUMIS WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO CROCHET IMMEDIATELY
- SUE STRATFORD: WHY YOU SHOULD SWAP GARMENTS FOR TOYS
- 19 Crochet Projects For Your Summer Holiday
- Stuart Hillard: The Blitzen Yarn Kit
- ISSUE 104 SNEAK PEEK
- 9 Sexy Men In Knitwear To Brighten Your Day
- Look At These Incredible Crochet Dogs
- View all
- Accessories Crochet Patterns
- Amigurumi Crochet Patterns
- Baby Crochet Patterns
- Christmas Crochet Patterns
- Granny squares Crochet Patterns
- Homewares Crochet Patterns
- Toy Crochet Patterns
- View all
- 17 Things You’ll Wish You Knew When You First Started Crochet
- The Best Blanket Crochet-Along EVER!
- Pretty Posy Technical Guides
- Woolly Writer Winner Revealed
- Woolly Writer 2nd Place Runner-Up Revealed
- Woolly Writer 3rd Place Runner-Up Revealed
- Issue 103 Sneak Peek
- Support England With #WaistcoatWednesday
- Help Change Lives With Knitted Knockers
- The Ultimate Guide To Dyeing And Spinning Your Own Yarn
- 19 Baby Toys That Will Stop Them Crying
- View all
The Ultimate Guide To Dyeing And Spinning Your Own Yarn
Always wanted to step up your skills? We have just the thing. Many crafters have taken the plunge and are experimenting with their own yarn creations – whether it becomes a hobby or something you’d like to make a business out of, we think it’s time for you to give it a try. Crochet designer Sarah Shrimpton and expert spinner Louise McDonald share their insider secrets and help you to get started.
DYEING TO KNOW
Sarah Shrimpton has been experimenting with natural yarn dyes and you may be surprised by her secret fruity ingredient! “Using natural ingredients is a slightly different and more lengthy process than using acid dyes. I’ve recently been working with avocado – would you believe you can get the most beautiful coral and blush pinks from the stones and skins? Making your own dye is a bit like making soup. First you’ll need to collect your dye materials – you could try onion skin for yellows and oranges, nettles and oak leaves for beige, or hollyhock flowers for pinks and reds. As a rough guide, you’ll need around 100g of dyestuff per 100g of yarn. Add your ingredients to a pan of water, simmer for around an hour to extract the colour and once it’s cooled you can use the liquid to dye your yarn. Most dyeing processes use a mordant which is a substance that combines with a dye or stain to fix it to a material. If you want to work without it, simply soak your yarn first then add it to the dye bath – you’ll achieve different colours but that’s all part of the fun!”
SPIN ME ROUND
Louise McDonald is the creator of Spin City – a glittery, magical handmade store where you can get the most stunning spinning equipment and wool. We caught up with her over a cup of tea and shimmery threads to find out all about her crafty process – it’s safe to say we’re very inspired!
“The idea that I can combine colours in any thickness, texture, fibre or ply and create as much of it as I want blows my mind – if you want a super bulky, rainbow, glittery, gradient yarn, you can make it! Once I’ve dyed and gathered my fibre selection, I card everything together to smooth it and add luxury fibres like soya silk, tencel, firestar or glittery angelina. I choose the spinning wheel best suited to the type of yarn I want to create and attach the fibre to my bobbin. Spinning wheels are beautiful things and I love to think of the connection I share with generations of women who have used these wonderful tools before me. I start by treadling slowly in a clockwise direction to build momentum, gently moving my feet up and down on the pedals. At the same time I draft the fibre in my hands – drafting is the process of pulling fibre into a continuous thickness and length before you add twist. Holding my left hand in a firm pinch nearest to the wheel, my right hand pulls backwards to draw fibres out to a thickness that I want my final yarn to be. I then slide my left hand down the newly-drafted fibre releasing any twist built up by the wheel – I have now created an inch of yarn! I repeat this process for as long as I want my yarn to be, before winding it into a skein to knit or weave with later. This creates a single-ply yarn as it has been spun once on a spinning wheel or a drop spindle. There are so many different types of yarn; two-ply, three-ply, boucle, thread plied, core-spun, lock-spun – the list is endless, and I intend to spin them all and in every colour imaginable!”
Looking for more inspiration? Give weaving a go!
More from Top Crochet Patterns blog
The festive season can be a hectic time for us with presents to knit and decorations to crochet, and it certainly doesn’t help that our loved ones believe we can whip up a jumper in a matter of minutes! We’re good, but we’re not that good. We’re here to help you organise your schedule with loads of projects and inspiration to keep you on track for the busiest time on the crafty calendar.
Lord Sugar is searching for another business partner. Our television screens are shortly to be graced by some of the most talented and modest (ahem!) contestants we've seen yet, all vying for a £250,000 investment. But we think Lord Sugar's looking in the wrong place for a winner. Here's why crocheters have the perfect skill set!
Merry Christmas crafters! The latest issue of Let's Get Crafting, on sale 27th September, is a fun, festive pack that's sure to get you excited for the upcoming festivities. Inside you'll find patterns galore, an interview with chunky knitting extraordinaire Lauren Aston, a selection of quizzes and the ultimate guide for charity crafting – we know you crafters love to make for a good cause, so find out about all the organisations that you can help.
Sabrina Somers started her crochet journey in Amsterdam back in 2014 after she spotted amigurumi projects online and immediately fell in love with them. “My boyfriend bought me Zoomigurumi so I could learn to make them myself – my first toy didn’t even come close to the original from the book, but I was really proud that I’d made one,” Sabrina explains. Little did she know that this would encourage her to start designing her own patterns and go on to publish a successful book of her own.