I’m writing a crochet iBook

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So I’ve decided to write a book. Yup. Just like that. Bull by the horns, carpe diem, reach for the stars.

dream a little dream live a big dream

It’s always been a dream of mine to see my name on the cover of a book but why wait on someone else to make my dream come true, when I can go out and Make It Happen thanks to the wonder of self-publishing an electronic book?

My book of 10 pretty crochet accessory patterns will be available in the iBook format. iBooks are available for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac.

This book has been a long time coming.  I’ve been actively working on the book for three weeks but the patterns have been brewing a very long time.  The idea for one pattern came to me during our Scotland road trip back in September, another is inspired by something I saw whilst in France on the crochet retreat and my favourite piece is something I’ve been thinking of since the beginning of the year. Over the past three weeks I’ve had a great time learning about, and designing, the layout of my book, designing the patterns, crocheting the accessories, making videos and seeking inspiration for the styling. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so rewarding.

The photo shoot is arranged for 2 October, the studio booked and the ten pieces have been crocheted. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m so excited and motivated that I don’t even mind doing the editing and triple checking everything.

I’m pretty proud of what I’ve designed and I can’t wait to share the book with you all! If you want to be kept in the loop about the publication date of my first book you can join the mailing list by using the form below.

 

 

 

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Interview with an Etsy seller – Sabahnur

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IMG_0372.JPGI’d like to introduce you to Sabahnur, a talented Etsy seller from Istanbul, Turkey.

Sabahnur Gökalp is a stay-at-home Mom with 8 year old daughter. Her daughter is her muse and the reason why she started making crochet toys. Sabahnur believes that motherhood is a journey that opens doors, gives you fantastic ideas and a passion for learning. What a great attitude to have!

Her Etsy shop is filled with, in her own words, “lovely, funky, weird but totally CUTE products which had been crocheted with care and love.” I couldn’t agree more.


I’ve been following Sabahnur’s work for a while as one of My Favourite Shops, so I wanted to know a bit more about her and her crochet.

Q: Why did you start making cute crochet and what made you decide to sell it on Etsy?
A: Ah. It all started by my daughter’s birth. I wanted to crochet a toy which would be more healthy and playful than those sold in toyshops.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being an Etsy seller?
A: Getting positive feedback and lovely messages from my buyers.

Q: Describe your typical day.
A: I get up, prepare breakfast for my daughter and hubby, give my daughter a lift to school, then back to home. First breakfast, then housework, then checking my orders and crocheting them. If I have finished orders I go to post office and maybe meet up with friends. Then I pick up my daughter from school, prepare dinner and do more crocheting. In the evenings I read or watch tv.

Q: Do you worry about, or have you experienced, people copying your work?
A: Yes, in my country there are a lot of copycats. I was worried about it at first, but I’m used to it now.

Q: Do you have any tips for crochet sellers on Etsy?
A: Keep your items fresh. Beautiful photography helps a lot and be active on social networks.

Q: Where else, apart from Etsy, can readers find you?

A: My blog: petiteandcute.blogspot.co.uk

Instagram: sabahnur

Twitter: sabahnur

Facebook fan page: petite and cute design

Find Sabahnur’s Etsy shop Petite and Cute Design here.

I wish Sabahnur all the best for her Etsy shop and the birth of her second child. I can’t wait to see what cute and petite crochet toys she comes up with two muses to inspire her!

love my journey, love my life on etsy

- Sabahnur

Review of Super Cute Crochet For Little Feet

Vita Apala’s first book of shoes, booties and sandals to crochet for babies has inspired even me, a childless crocheter with no friends who have babies, to crochet three pairs of baby shoes! That’s how cute the patterns in this book are.

The book features 30 gorgeous patterns for crocheted sandals, shoes and boots for sizes 0 – 6 months and 6 – 12 months. The cute factor in this book is very high. If I tell you Vita’s book also includes patterns for baby gladiator sandals (!) and cowboy boots (!!) you get the idea.

I made Vintage Bow Boots (sans bow), Baseball Boots and Cutwork Shoes. Aren’t they just the cutest little shoes?

crochet baby shoes

In stead of a bow for the  Vintage Boots I chose to make the flower from the Daisy Chain Mary Janes pattern.

Flower baby bootie

Other modifications I made was to leave out the crab stitch on the Baseball Boots. I also didn’t do curly ties for the laces, rather opting for a chain of 140 stitches.

Baby basketball boots

I didn’t make any changes to the Cutwork Shoes. They are so girly and cute!

baby crochet mary janes

I found the patterns easy to follow, provided that you give it your full attention. On wearable items as small as these, every stitch you make and every word in the pattern matters, so read carefully. My top tip from own experience: don’t try to make your first tiny shoe whilst watching Downton Abbey and expect it to be perfect. No, you need to give the patterns your full attention.

I really enjoyed crocheting the two pairs of boots and one pairs of shoes from Vita’s book. Making baby shoes is a fun way to play with colourful yarn, challenge yourself a bit, and at the end you have extremely cute baby footwear. If you are in the midst of a friend & family Baby Boom, this book is going to be great for you!

Vita Apala is a textile designer who lives and works in Italy. Born in Latvia, she learned to crochet from her grandmother.  Vita specialises in creating beautiful crochet patterns for children. Her patterns and garments are for sale through her Etsy shop, Mon Petiti Violon. Vita blogs about her life and crochet love at www.monpetitviolon.com

The book is published by Apple Press and sells for £12.99 in the UK. You can buy it on Amazon here. The US version is coming out in March 2015.

 

 

Terrific Tuesday

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On a Monday I can still remember the fun I had over the weekend, Wednesday is the middle of the work week, on Thursday I start getting hopeful and on a Friday I can taste the weekend. But what about a Tuesday? It’s so…. just there. Weekend memories are too far away and the upcoming weekend might as well be a year away.

What we need is a bit of colourful inspiration to get us going on a Tuesday, don’t you think? A pretty picture, beautiful scenery or colourful imagery. Yup, that’ll liven up Tuesdays and turn it into a terrific day!

From now on I will go through my photos and Pinterest likes every Tuesday and find us a pretty picture to add colour and joy to the day.

Xxxxxx

view from blackfriars bridge looking towards waterloo bridge

This was my beautiful view on the way to work this morning. The photo was taken from Blackfriars bridge looking towards Waterloo bridge. I just love Autumn mornings. The sky is as blue as it is in Summer, but the light is softer and muted.

Wishing you all a Terrific Tuesday.

Natasja

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your squares for Crochet For Kidneys Part 3

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Crochet For Kidneys Part 3 is in full swing people! So far I have received two complete blankets and 15 strips of six squares!

The crochet contributions you see below come from France, England and Germany and each one is absolutely perfect and beautiful.

I was especially blown away by the two completed blankets. So much hard work and love have gone into each square. Both Tamika and Emma & Sandra used a cheery array of squares in happy colours. Thank you so, so, so much ladies – your work is beautiful and I really appreciate the time and cost that went into making these blankets and getting them to me.

emma and sandra tamika

We even have a knitted strip of squares. I didn’t even realise it was knitted until I read Carina‘s note! Carina’s mom, Angelika, isn’t a crocheter but wanted to join in CFK3 because her husband, Carina’s dad, is very ill with several illness and being 80 years old there is no hope for a new kidney for him. Knowing all about kidney failure first hand, Angelika really wanted to help in our charity project. I’m so glad she did! I love her knitted squares! If anyone else wants to knit up squares, follow her example – the strip of six squares are perfect!

I also have to mention Trish to you. I adore her brightly coloured squares. And there are so many of them! But wait, there’s more. Really there is more: she emailed me to ask if she can send me more! (I actually thought that Carina’s Mom’s knitted squares were a forgotten strip of squares from Trish, because they are so similar. Whatever knitted stitch was used, it is amazingly similar to SC crochet stitches.)

Thank you each and every one who sent me a colourful, cheery, strip of squares. I can’t wait for the 1 November deadline so that I can start putting together everyone’s contributions into blankets!

Five days on a crochet retreat in France

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I’m back from my week in South West France doing nothing but eating, yarn shopping, crochet and even a bit of knitting. I had the most amazing time at La Verderie with Sue, Brenda, Alison, Phina and The Hostess With The Mostess Sue Culligan.

My days were filled with joy. Nothing much else (that’s if you don’t count the great food, conversation, inspiration and all the crochet action). Sue blogged about our daily activities, the menu and excursions on her blog here. I’ll share some of my photos, but you can read all about my week on Sue’s blog.

(Click on any of the photos below to open up a slide show will full size photos.)

We visited yarn shops on three of the five days of our retreat. I bought yarn every time. In Cognac I bought Plassard Clown yarn which I knitted up as a snood between lunch and dinner. The yarn has eight pompoms already woven in! It was so much fun. You only need one skein of yarn, and the pattern is on the back of the band. It’s easy peasy. (I will do a separate blog post about my pompom snood a bit later.)
On Wednesday’s excursion to Saint-Juan-d’Angeley I bought Lanas Stop K2 to make into a hat before Winter sets in, but the biggest find was on Thursday when we went to Saintes to stop by at L’Oasis Laines et Tissus . They have a great selection of yarn in a huge warehouse-like space. Fantastic! I was adamant I wouldn’t buy any more yarn, but at €3.50 a ball I couldn’t resist the green Cheval Blanc Softine. I bought four balls to be made into a wrap / shawl / poncho type thing. Resistance really is futile when it comes to cheap yarn.

The balls of colourful yarn at L’Oasis Laines et Tissus were just waiting to be photographed. If I can’t take them all home with me, I can photograph them to share with you.

We all heard the calling of the yarn shops very loudly out there in France. I call this GIF “like a moth to a flame”.

like moths to a flame like women to a yarn shop

I’ve been going on about the yarn, food and relaxed week I’ve had at La Verderie, but all of it would have been lost on me had I not spent my days with five fabulous ladies. Kindred spirits we were. We laughed and learned so much from each other. It really could all have gone horribly wrong had we not “clicked” the way we did. I’m so grateful to have met Sue, Sue, Alison, Brenda and Phina. You ladies rock!

I can highly, highly, recommend Sue’s Knitting and Crochet Holidays in France. There are spaces available for three retreats in 2015 (May, June and September) and one workshop with Carol Meldrum in October 2015. If at all possible, you really should go. You won’t be sorry.

(Just FYI, I’ve not been paid to go on the retreat, or write this blog post.)

 

Terrific Tuesday

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On a Monday I can still remember the fun I had over the weekend, Wednesday is the middle of the work week, on Thursday I start getting hopeful and on a Friday I can taste the weekend. But what about a Tuesday? It’s so…. just there. Weekend memories are too far away and the upcoming weekend might as well be a year away.

What we need is a bit of colourful inspiration to get us going on a Tuesday, don’t you think? A pretty picture, beautiful scenery or colourful imagery. Yup, that’ll liven up Tuesdays and turn it into a terrific day!

From now on I will go through my photos and Pinterest likes every Tuesday and find us a pretty picture to add colour and joy to the day.

Xxxxxx

imageYarn in a basketSue culligan studioSue culligan studioButtons

These are a few of the beautifill things I’ve been surrounded by at Sue Culligan’s crochet and knitting retreat. Her studio is my absolute favourite spot, followed a close second to the view from my bed. Please excuse the short bit of writing. I don’t have much time to write as breakfast is being served in 10 minutes and then we are off to Cologne. Oh the life of a crocheter on holiday in France!

Wishing you all a Terrific Tuesday.

Natasja

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess who is going on a crochet holiday

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I’m packed, I’ve planned* and I’m checked in: tomorrow morning I’m flying to Sue Culligan‘s farmhouse in South West France for six days of crocheting!

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Eventhough I’m looking at my packed suitcase as I type, it still feels very unreal that I blogged about Knitting Holidays In France back in April, and now I’m going on one of those retreats! My amazing husband read the blog post and knew how much I would love a week of crocheting in the French countryside, so he paid for me to go as a birthday present. I’m so blessed!

Tuesday’s Terrific Tuesday post and a whole bunch of Instagram updates will be coming to you from Charente-Maritime, France. “Location Services” enabled!

*I’m taking 11 balls of Stylecraft Life DK to start work a blanket inspired by English farmland. I have no idea how much crocheting I’ll be able to get done in six days if I don’t have to do household chores, work, commute, or prepare meals – hence I’m taking enough yarn for a whole blanket. Let’s see how far I get.

As seen on TV (Gilmore Girls)

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It’s been a while since I’ve seen crochet on TV, but luckily you fabulous blog readers email me when you spot something for me to investigate. This time it was Joanna who asked me whether I’ve seen the Blue Blanket On The Couch in Gilmore Girls. She desperately wants the same blanket for her home. Joanna said that she blanket appeared in Season 5. I watched the whole season but couldn’t see a crochet blanket anywhere. Eager to help her out and to see what the fuss is about, I did a few searches in Google Images and found photos of two crochet blankets! One appears in Season 7, and the other is the blue blanket that Joanna emailed me about. Whoo-hoo!

First off, this beautiful Red Roses throw can be seen on Lane’s bed in Season 7, Episode 16

I think the Chinese Rose In Square pattern by LubaDaviesAtelier could easily be used to create a throw like this.

In stead of one round of yellow like in Luba’s photo for her Etsy listing, make at least three rounds in white. When you join the squares together you will have 6 rows of white between each rose, which should give you an effect like the Gilmore Girls Red Roses throw.

Now for the Blue Blanket On The Couch that kicked off my Gilmore Girls crochet scout.

I can see why Joanna would want to make this blanket. It’s such a pretty throw with a vintage feel to it. To replicate it, I think the High Noon Square from the book 50 Fabulous Crochet Squares is the one to go for. Use the pattern, but do it in a duck egg blue shade.

For the wide ruffle border, I suggest Border 45 from Edie Eckman’s Around the Corner Crochet Borders book. You would have to repeat the first few rows a few times (the rows before doing the scallop edging) to get it to be as wide as the Gilmore Girls blanket.

So that’s it. The two crochet blankets in Gilmore Girls located, dissected and ready for you to replicate!

 

 

Terrific Tuesday

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On a Monday I can still remember the fun I had over the weekend, Wednesday is the middle of the work week, on Thursday I start getting hopeful and on a Friday I can taste the weekend. But what about a Tuesday? It’s so…. just there. Weekend memories are too far away and the upcoming weekend might as well be a year away.

What we need is a bit of colourful inspiration to get us going on a Tuesday, don’t you think? A pretty picture, beautiful scenery or colourful imagery. Yup, that’ll liven up Tuesdays and turn it into a terrific day!

From now on I will go through my photos and Pinterest likes every Tuesday and find us a pretty picture to add colour and joy to the day.

xxxxxx

 scotland

The colours of the Scottish coastline are just so incredibly beautiful to me. Purple heather, golden ferns, green fields and a moody greyish blue ocean – it’s a beautiful colour palette just waiting to be brought to life with yarn.

Wishing you all a Terrific Tuesday.

Natasja

 

 

 

 

 

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