Monday 15 October 2018

Stylecraft Blog Tour 2018

I am amazed to see that the last time I put something on here was in April when the final part of the Sunshine and Showers CAL was posted. I now write a weekly blog style newsletter which drops into email in boxes on a Friday afternoon, so this blog has been more than a little neglected over the last 6 months. If you want to sign up to my newsletter you can do so by following this link - there is a box at the bottom of the home page!

I am here this morning to post a round up of all the fabulous designs that the Stylecraft Blog Stars have been revealing over the last 2 weeks as part of this year's Blog Tour. I have really enjoyed seeing the designs appear on a daily basis. The patterns are free for the duration of the tour and are all made using Stylecraft's Bellissima and Bambino DK, an acrylic yarn with a lovely bouncy feel and soft, rich colour palette. The projects have been made using 2 colour choices - Autumn Leaves and Summer Pudding, which you can see above.

First up on the list of Blogstars sharing their patterns was Helen Shrimpton of Crystals and Crochet. You can see Helen's crochet waistcoat, which has proved really popular and is pictured above by following this link. At the time of my writing this post Helen's blog appears to be down (probably because so many people are trying to access her fabulous pattern), but do keep trying the link to see more images and Helen's pattern.

The second (pair of) blogstar(s) to take part in the tour was Anne and Michelle from 'Crochet Between Worlds' who came up with these lovely stacking baskets shown above. Helen and Michelle used the Autumn Leaves pack, here is a quote from their blog:

'If you follow our blog, you know that we dislike sewing. And we love useful and easy things. Combining these "features" the Stacking Hexagon Baskets were born. They can we used for everything really... a bread basket, a toy basket or whatever tickles your fancy. When not used, they can easily stacked into each other, so they won't be space eaters. We hope you like them as much as we do!'

Third up was the lovely Sandra from Cherry Heart who posted the 'Dotty Darlings' baby blanket pictured above - with this mornings news that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby this project seems particularly timely! Sandra says of her design:

'So I settled on a nice and easy dotty motif.  It's inspired by fillet crochet, although technically it doesn't quite follow the rules... I also went for nice wide stripes of colour, with changes often enough to keep things fresh, but not so frequent as to be changing yarns all the time.'

On Day 4 Lucia Dunn had a festive theme in mind as she posted the pattern for a wonderful crochet cushion cover. As I am sure you are aware I am a massive fan of Lucia's work and I love the way she has used cross stitch on a double crochet background to achieve the stag motifs. Lucia says:

'I really hope you will  like my cushion, it is a quick, cheery, little project, something that you can make in no time (the yarn is used two strands together), It is  something for your home or to give to a loved one, or something  special you can add to a hamper full of Christmas goodies!'

Polly Plum posted her pattern on her blog 'Every Trick on the Hook' on Day 5. I love this project, especially as wall hangings are becoming really fashionable again. This project uses the Autumn Leaves yarn pack.

'For my project I wanted to make a baby blanket because, like I said – SO snuggly! But, I didn’t have quite enough yarn for what I wanted to do. Instead, I decided to capitalize on Bellissima’s stunning stitch definition and sheen and made a wall hanging'.

Day 6 saw the lovely Helen Kurtz of 'Josie Kitten' post the first knitted project. Helen designed a fabulous infinity cowl and a scarf called 'Frosted Blooms' using the Summer Pudding colour pack and you can follow the link above to her blog to find the pattern and more images. Helen says:

'Both the infinity scarf and the cowl are knit flat and then joined once all the kniting is done. They feature snuggly garter stitch along with a pretty floral star motif - it looks complicated but it isn't! This was one of the stitches that I learnt when I took a shawl class with the amazing Melanie Berg and I have been wanting to include it in a design for some time'.

Emma Varnam is well known for her cute knitted and crocheted toys, so it wasn't a big surprise to see that she had used her yarn pack to make yet another gorgeous little bear, complete with his own carry bag on Day 7 of the tour.

I adore this project - Emma has such a knack for making toys look so adorable and I really like that this bear (Billy) has his very own little pouch so that he can be transported on his travels. You can find the pattern by following this link and Emma says:

'This year I knew immediately what I wanted to make. I have been creating this quick and easy toy bear for a couple of years, but never wrote up the pattern. The time was nigh. The pattern is super simple and would make an excellent festive present. But then I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cute to create a matching bag?’. The idea is that any proud owner could take their bear with them on a high adventure'.

Phil at 'The Twisted Yarn' posted the second knitted project of the tour on Day 8 when she shared her knitted clothes line peg bag, but if you are a crocheter and not a knitter, don't be disapointed as Phil also made a crochet version, complete with minitaure crochet clothes! You can find Phil's blog by following the link above. Phil says:

'I couldn’t decide whether to knit or to crochet, let alone what to design. And then inspiration struck, because I really needed a new peg bag. As for the knitting versus crochet, well let’s have both! Here’s the crocheted version.'

On Day 9 Catherine Bligh posted the pattern for a really cleverly constructed 'Harlequin Bag', a close up image of which is shown above. Catherine used the Autumn Leaves colour pack, but I am sure this would look amazing in the Summer Pudding colours too! Catherine says:

'Inspired by traditional pantomime harlequin costumes, it’s composed of diamonds and triangles that are then worked together in slip stitch to create a lattice effect. The base is a circle, making it nice and roomy. The straps are long enough to go over my shoulder, but are easy enough to make longer or shorter if you wish.'

Julia of 'Hand Knitted Things' posted her projects on Day 10 of the tour and you can find the Scallop Scarf and Mittens. shown above, by following the link. I really like Julia's eye for detail in her designs and her projects are always so neat and well thought out, not to mention the fact that her images of the countryside that surrounds her home always look amazing! Julia says:

'One of the many qualities I like about Bellissima is the good stitch definition.  I had the idea to make a long scarf, using an all over lacy pattern called "scallop" with bands of colour separated by the neutral cream. The bold colours increase in length from one end to the other.'

The fabulous Sarah Shrimpton posted her crochet cushion project via her blog 'Annaboos House' on Day 11 of the tour. You can find her post by following this link. Sarah likes to work on a large hook and is famous for her super chunky designs, so this pattern does not disapoint. I really love the effect that Sarah has achieved by using 2 yarn strands held together. Sarah says:

'Now I cannot take much credit for the idea behind my design - it was one of my fellow Blogstars, Helen Shrimpton (no relation - well actually, we probably are related somewhere along the line, but that's a whole other story ..) who suggested that I work with two strands of yarn held together and tried blending different colours. So thanks to Helen, that's exactly what I did to make the Colour-Blend c2c Cushion'.

Kathryn Senior at 'Crafternoon Treats', who used the Summer Pudding yarn pack, posted her wonderful crochet shawl pattern on Day 12 of the tour. I adore this design and agree with Kathryn that it would make a super cosy cover up now that the weather is becoming a little cooler. Kathryn says her project is:

'A super big, super squishy shawl that is a meditation and a pleasure to work. Soothing, relaxing and lots of colour play… And you have it to wrap up in once you are done'.

Heather Leal of 'The Patchwork Heart' took her turn to post a project on day 13 of the tour. Heather's corner to corner blanket (which is the same crochet technique used by Sarah for her cushion cover) is shown above and her blog includes step by step instructions and some great tips and images to help you along the way. You can find Heather's project by following this link and Heather says"

'I have designed a blanket using corner to corner or C2C. This stitch is a favourite of mine. It works up so quickly and is very easy when you have learnt the basics. The texture created by this stitch makes a wonderful thick 3D blanket'.

Day 14 saw a lovely post by Angela of 'Get Knotted Yarn Craft' where she shared the design process for her 'Summer Pudding Blanket'. You can see Angela's note book with her sketchings of the design above and she very kindly posted the pattern for the central motif on her blog, which you can find by following this link. Angela says:

'The packs this year are stunning. I know that Stylecraft have their own names for them, but in my head they are Elsa and Anna from Frozen. If you have children, you'll know what I mean. So, I'm working with Elsa, aka the Summer Pudding Pack'.

Zelna Olivier of Zooty Owl posted the link to her 'Kerchief and Tote' patterns on day 15 of the tour. You can find the patterns, which feature some lovely crochet flowers and braids, by following this link. Zelna says:

'I chose the "Autumn Leaves" yarn pack which consists of 1 x 100g ball each of 5 fabulous colours:  Sugar Snap;  Mellow Yellow;  Single Cream;  Ash Rose and Rio Red. Bellissima is the "grown up" version of the super soft and squishy 100% Acrylic Bambino and it comes in 14 "to die for" colours!'

The final patterns of the tour were designed by Stylecraft's in house designer Charlotte Johnson and you can find them by following this link to the Stylecraft blog. Charlotte was inspired by the zig zag designs by Missoni and the fabulous huge pom pom on the hat is bang on trend! Charlotte says of her design:

'....Knitting the rucksack just wasn’t enough I decided this heavenly stripe pattern would look amazing as a big pom pom hat…. And of course, I needed a scarf to match! I became excited and giddy at the thought of bringing all the colours and blending them all together creating a twist on the iconic Missoni Stripe!'

So that wraps up all the fabulous projects featured in this year's Blogtour and all that remains is for me to offer you the opportunity to win the very last yarn pack. To be in with a chance of winning a 'Summer Pudding pack' as shown above, all you need to do is follow this link. Good Luck!

Janie x