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  1. I've had my eye on this Cypress Textiles pattern for a long time waiting for an opportunity to use it but also slightly scared of the random colour placement!! I like matchy matchy and symmetry so I knew this pattern would take me way out of my comfort zone but the end result is so worth it!

    Click here for pattern

    As it happened I had a customer specifically choose that similar style of hexie blanket so finally a reason to I dig out Rachele's fab pattern and I couldn't wait to get started. Random colour placement was harder than I expected though. I thought seeing as I was joining as I went along it would be fairly simple to work out what colour I wanted next but that turned out to be a silly assumption so I decided to draw a picture to help me plan the colours.......much better idea, much easier to see what the overall effect would be and I love a bit of colouring in too! I didn't completely stick to the drawing in the end but I wasn't far off.

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    I used the following colours for the hexies:

    Stylecraft Special Dk in Plum, Fuschia Purple, Pale rose, Fondant, Candyfloss, Clematis, Violet, Wisteria, Royal, Lobelia, Cloud blue, Bluebell, Petrol and sherbet and I also used Cygnet Dk in aqua

    This blanket is great for stash busting!

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    I followed the pattern to the letter up until the half hexies. I wanted a more solid look so adpated the half hexies slightly to suit. I then followed the pattern for the squaring off using Stylecraft Special DK in Silver and then added a few rounds of UK dc until it was the size I wanted. The final round of edging was done from the reverse side and is simply a uk double treble alternated with a uk dc all the way round

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    I'm really pleased with the result! It is so very different from anything I've made before and I look forward to making another, colouring pencils at the ready, perhaps in a different colour combo

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    I really recommend Rachele's patterns, I have a few of them now and she always shares so many little hints and tips that really do widen your crochet skills so if you haven't seen her work go look her up :)

  2. This time last year I was approached by Cross Stitcher magazine to design a festive themed sampler for their October 2016 issue. Since then I have done a further 3 designs for them the most recent being a birth sampler in the latest issue 317 (May)

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    It has been really fun designing again and made me realise how much I miss a bit of stitching! I just don't get the time these days with the crochet side of my business being so busy......a good problem to have of course but I really do miss relaxing with my cross stitch

    Today 'Home for Christmas' has been released onto the website.

    Home for xmas

    It comes in kit or chart form and you can also buy the downloadable PDF version from my Little Dove Samplers Etsy shop

    If you are a subscriber to Cross Stitcher you may have already spotted my latest design for them, a gender neutral birth sampler. This design will be released onto the website towards the end of this year

    birthsampler

    I hope you like the new designs and I'm looking forward to working on some more new samplers over the coming months

  3. I recently came across a fantastic article by Sharon Hayes called 'Why I don't do free'. Here's the link

    Why I can't do Free

    I've edited my original blog post that accompannied this as a handful of people misunderstood and I am sorry that was the case. However, I still want to include the link to this article on my blog as I think it is useful for other one woman/man business owners particular those that are 'time poor' like me and struggle with the volume of enquiries not relating to new, existing or potential orders.

    I'm quite a private person when doing business. I like to keep my personal life seperate from my business but the truth is that I am just a normal person, a mum juggling a zillion different things like all us women do. It can be really tricky sometimes juggling my business with the usual daily pressures of general life. I just have the hours whilst my daughter is at school to work on orders and I have to use that time wisely, sometimes things don't always go to plan, sometimes I can get 5-6hrs straight work in, sometimes I can't. I try to keep weekends free from 'work' as that is family time and I try to not get bogged down in work stuff when my daughter is home. It doesn't always work out but I do my best. I don't feel it's appropriate to (over) share all the stuff going on in my personal life on my business pages but please remember that i do have a life outside of social media

    I frequently get up at 6am before everyone else to get an hours work in or stay up until midnight again to get some extra work time just to try and fit it all in. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the amount of interest in my work, I worry what people will think if I don't manage to respond to every comment left on my Facebook or Instagram accounts. I am often criticised for it. Trouble is I just can't manage it, I fail at it frequently. I do my best and try my hardest but I'm not able to be online all day and night, it isn't realistic, so I miss stuff, lots of stuff and I have to prioritise family and orders, I can't help that. It doesn't stop people assuming the worst though, assuming that I'm unhelpful or ignoring them and that can lay heavy on my mind sometimes as it's not done intentionally, it might simply be that I just haven't had time. One thing that can be very frustrating is when I have put the relevant information that I wish to share in my post yet still receive a high volume of questions asking for that same information. These same people then get rather cross with me when I don't respond but if they'd read my post they wouldn't have needed to ask and I'm not going to be made to feel bad for that. I'm not obliged to share every detail of how I make everything so please don't get offended when I don't want to share, that's my choice.

    Thank you for your understanding

     

  4. I love crochet in all it's forms but I love the modern look. There's definitely a place for granny squares but my personal taste is more contemporary so when a customer said he'd like a modern, crisp style of blanket in greys and mustard I just knew the chevron could fit the bill nicely! We did discuss a couple of other styles too, namely diagonal stripes and solid squares, however I was secretly pleased he went with the chevron :)

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    I love to use Cygnet DK yarn, Cygnet are a bit of a hidden gem really. They have some great ranges at half the price of some of the competitors and the quality is fab. I chose to use white, grey mix and light grey and would have used my favourite cygnet shade, barley, but this time I needed a more yellow mustard so used Stylecraft Special DK in mustard instead this time.

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    There are lots of chevron style patterns about and after a bit of googling I came across this one by Rescued Paw Designs It's a very simple pattern using Uk double crochets all the way along, you just need to remember to count. Very simple and very effective it really does look more complicated than it is, perfect for the beginner who wants something other than a ripple or a granny square. I found going up a hook size from my usual one gave a better overall drape for this blanket as double crochets can work up tightly. I used a 4.5mm but you might like to experiment to find what works best for your own tension.

    I planned to do this blanket exactly as the pattern with no border/edging however I found that the nature of the pattern made the long edges curl slightly and this really bothered me. Once finished I gave it a wash and a cool tumble dry as that often relaxes the stitches and helps it all to lay nice and flat but I still had slightly curled edges and to me it just didn't leave a professional finish so it was time to try a little bit of blocking. I just put a clean teatowel over the top of the blanket and used a bit of steam from my iron to manipulate it to lay flat. This definitely helped but I still wasn't overly happy about leaving raw edges so I decided to do a row of double crochets down each long edge and then crab stitch in light grey and this finished it off nicely

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    I loved making this blanket and can definitely see more in my future!

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