Tuesday 6 October 2020

Crochet Flower Blanket or Playmat Pattern Review

 Spoke Flower Blanket by The Crochet Fix.

This pattern was something I’d wanted to do for a long time so was really happy when I got time to get started.

It did start off a bit of a nightmare, nothing to do with the pattern which is extremely well written by the way, no it was me not reading it properly!

I got through the first full pattern repeat and all looked fine, it was nice and flat and looked really nice in the colours I’d chosen.

So I continued on but it started to pucker at one side of the spoke of each petal and twist around, like this ......

So I checked the pattern, felt sure I was right but undid it back to the dark purple where it had been fine.

Off I went again but the same thing happened, I thought maybe it would improve when blocked so carried on, but sadly it got worse and the puckering looked awful, no way was this going to come out with blocking.......

Sadly it was time to undo again! 😥

I nearly gave up, it was so much work to undo but decided to really sit and read the pattern again, I must be missing something and indeed I was, where the pattern called for UK treble/US dc down the side of each petal and UK half treble/US hdc hdc at the spoke, I was doing all half treble from the increase at the petal point! 

Studying the numbered round chart I had a eureka moment realising how I’d misunderstood. What a relief, it meant I could get back on track and actually finish it.

My advice is read, read, read, study, study,study. Look at the charts which give all the stitch counts for each round and you won’t go wrong. 

Here’s my finished blanket or it can be a baby playmat. It measures 36” across from point to point, worked in double knit on a 4mm hook.

I’ve also used the same pattern to make some placemats and coasters, doing just the first few rounds. For the small coasters I did just one colour each round, for the larger mat I did two rounds per colour.

An absolutely brilliant pattern and offered for free which is so kind bearing in mind the amount of work that must have gone into it. Thank you The Crochet Fix. 

Find the pattern on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spoke-flower-blanket

Happy crocheting!


Saturday 3 October 2020

Rudolf Christmas Crochet Amigurumi and Soft Toy

Who doesn't love Rudolf!

Using the Reindeer Ralf rattle pattern which is free on Ravelry from Stip and Haak https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rammelaar-rendiertje-ralf

The pattern is really easy to follow and has photo instructions as well as written ones.

I made a Christmas tree decoration by using the basic pattern for the head but not attaching it to the rattle part. I made a tree hanger by making  a loop between the antlers. Using 4ply cotton yarn (Drops Safran) and a 3.5mm hook they came out a good size for a tree decoration.

I then made a large reindeer doll the same way but using a larger hook and DK yarn and  used my knowledge from making other soft toys to make a body and arms/legs to go with it.

I later found that Stip and Haak have a full pattern available for the same idea! So if you don't know how to do a body you can buy the pattern here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rendier-ralf

They make lovely Christmas decorations and it's a shame they have to be put away in the loft for the majority of the year because they are so lovely!

Happy crocheting!


Short Story by C.J. Brady crochet cowl pattern review

 I think this is one of my favourite C.J. Brady patterns, so quick and easy it can be made in a couple of evenings.

It is a cowl/infinity scarf which can be made larger around the neck if necessary, instructions in the pattern although I just did the basic pattern instructions and it fits me fine.

It has a panel in the centre with patterned edge which comes down to a point at the centre front.

I did make a mistake on my first one, on row 41 it gives the row instructions then says repeat twice, I thought this meant you do the instruction then repeat two more times, making three in total but it actually means do it twice only. If you study the diagram you can see how it looks. The mistake didn't spoil the cowl, unless you studied it and knew about the mistake you wouldn't know it was wrong so I didn't bother undoing it.

The pattern is well written with a diagram and stitch count chart. 

The first one I did in Cygnet Watercolour yarn, it is a double knit and made a warm cosy cowl. It took about 60g of DK so you can't quite get two from one 100g ball which is a shame.

I then made a second one which I called Short Story - The Sequel!

This one I did in a hand dyed merino and nylon 4ply sock yarn. It used about 40g. The colours looked lovely and really defined the pattern.

 The pattern can be bought on Ravelry or on CJ Brady's Etsy shop.

I've done quite a few of her patterns which you can find on the blog by searching the tag C.J.Brady

Happy crocheting!


Friday 2 October 2020

Crochet Lamb pattern review


I  made this little lamb from the free pattern I found via Ravelry.

The pattern is very easy to follow and well set out with clear instructions. I made it in a couple of evenings.

I couldn’t get the recommended yarn but did have a ball of Drops Boucle which I thought would be good for the fleece effect.

I found the Boucle impossible to crochet with though. I just couldn’t see the stitches and kept missing them and getting holes and mis counted rounds.

So I tried holding the yarn along with some cream 4ply I had and it made the stitch definition much better and actually gave the fleece a two tone look.

The face, ears and hooves were done in brown double knit.

I recommend following the instructions for defining the eyes, it really made a big difference to the face and also the yarn wrapping to make the split hooves, it really finished off the look.

Very pleased with the finished lamb.

Free pattern here:


Happy crocheting!


Friday 13 December 2019

Plot Twist. C J Brady pattern review

I couldn’t find the yarn locally but found a lovely 100% cotton yarn by James C Brett. Although it is a DK and not a blend of cotton and alpaca it still feels lovely, soft and silky.

The pattern is, as always, well written and easy to follow and can be found on Ravelry or CJ Brady’s Etsy shop. 

The cross stitch seems tricky at first but stick with it, it’s easy once you get used to it. It feels wrong to be going backwards and I found my fingers didn’t want to obey but it didn’t take long before they got used to it and it’s only a small panel, not the whole row.

I just did the tassels a little differently by simply cutting the yarn and folding in half, putting the loop through a hole then wrapping back through itself.

Colour is a lovely silver grey and I’m really pleased with the finished shawl.

It’s large and very cosy wrapped around you and the panel really stands out being an unusual stitch.

Highly recommend all C J Brady’s patterns, always a good price too and very detailed instructions. 

See other blog posts for reviews of others I’ve done. You can search using the tag C.J.Brady

Happy crocheting!

Saturday 9 November 2019

Shine On by C J Brady crochet pattern review


I love C J Brady patterns so when I saw this one called Shine On I wanted to make it. Quite often she has special offers where you can buy one get one free and I got Shine On when buying another of her patterns called Plot Twist, I’ll review that in another blog post. 

Shine On is an infinity type scarf /small cowl crochet in one long piece and joined with a short seam to make it circular. The decorative lace edging gives a lovely drop at the centre front.

I loved the lace section so much that I made a second one but made it wider, I added another two repeats.
I used Lion brand shawl in a ball metallic.  One x150g ball will make two shawls.

Happy crocheting!

Thursday 29 August 2019

Fire and Ice Shawl Pattern Review


This pattern makes a lovely shawl, I used the recommended yarn Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball metallic. "Moonstone" shade.

It is beautiful to work with and although described as an aran yarn it is much thinner, works more like a double knit to me. It is cotton and acrylic with added metallic thread.

I used a 6mm crochet hook to get the recommended gauge.

The pattern is by Marie Segares and is easy to follow, a free version is available on Marie's blog or you can buy a pdf ready made copy. Full details on Ravelry here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fire-and-ice-shawl-2

I did get a little confused with the instructions - for instance at the end of some rows it says "(Decrease 1 st to an even number of sts)" I thought this meant that you then decreased at the end of the row but what it is actually doing is just confirming what you have done in that row, you've decreased one stitch

After reading some comments on Ravelry I understood it better and I think once you get into actually working something it makes more sense than just reading a pattern. 

It is worked from side to side, starting at one point, working to a wide centre then decreasing down to the other side point.

One thing I did not like was the idea of making a separate small circle and stitching it on to the end to match the start. This is simply because I really hate sewing/joining :)

So, once I had come to the end instead of cutting my yarn I slip stitched over the the other side to make a small loop and into this I crocheted 6 trebles (dc in US terms) and weaved in the end to make it into a circle. It looks fine and certainly matches the start and any discrepancies, if there are any,  are hidden by the multi colour of the yarn. That's the best thing about multi colour yarns, they hide a multitude of sins. :)

I did work the edging stitches, someone said they didn't bother as they thought it did not look right as the colours changed along the row due to the yarn changes, but I think mine looked lovely and was happy with it. It's whatever suits you that matters.

I would highly recommend this pattern.

Happy crocheting!