Tag Archives: Craft

Know when to hold ’em, know when to frog ’em….

With apologies to Kenny Rogers for repurposing his wonderful song in my blog post title.

There is so much going on in the world this week, I offer this blog as a distraction from the reality of war, flood impacts and the ongoing pandemic.

Those who have been crafting for a long time will understand that sometimes a project will just not be going how you had hoped. This realisation often comes multiple hours into a project, and there is a point where you need to decide to persevere regardless, put it aside in the naughty corner for a while, or just decide to frog the project and move on. Over the last month, I have been wrestling with this decision with a project that I had hoped would become a special family heirloom for our first great-niece.

First, for those new crafters, to frog a project means to pull out the work done in crochet or knitting. The motion of unravelling the stitches which make up the fabric you have painstakingly worked on. We often say “rip it, rip it” back, which sounds like “ribbit”, hence frogging. That is the word origin story I am familiar with, anyway.

Now, to the problem item. A seemingly simple pattern, the knitted spiral baby blanket from Monsteryarns. I thought it would look amazing using a whirl, which has beautiful variegation and long slow colour changes. I had come to terms with it being a labour of love, over a kilometre of 4ply yarn on 3mm needles was going to take a while. So, in November I began knitting. By December I realised I had misread one of the pattern rows, so frogged what I had done (approx 30 rows in) and started again.

A top view of the swirl circular baby blanket, with colour fading from pink in the middle to mauve and bue on the edge visible in the image. The swirly lines begin in the middle of the blanket and spiral out as the blanket increases in size at the edges of the circle. The rest of the yarn ball is at the top left of the image.
Progress on the spiral baby blanket.
The swirl blanket on circular needles, folded in half to look like a semi circle. The colour fades from pink in the middle to blue and yellow at the bottom of the picture. It is attached to the rest of the yarn ball, which is at the top of the image. The pattern makes swirls of eyelet stitches which make diagonal lines in the fabric.
Another view of the swirl baby blanket.

I was happily working at least 2 rows a day over the Christmas holiday period, and into February. This is when the next issue surfaced, the shlubs in the yarn were really visible in the knitted item. Previously I have used whirls to crochet. The schlub (aka fuzz buzz) is where the new colour is added in to the yarn. It is a feature of this yarn, and usually not very visible in crocheted work. Unfortunately in this blanket these schlubs were very visible, making it look like the fabric had been caught and pulled. I tried to pull the fuzz to the back of the work, but this made the stretch in the stitch more obvious, somehow.

A very close up image of the knitted fabric. The fabric is pink and fades to pale pink. There is a stitch that is fuzzy and looks pulled, due to the nature of the yarn used.
The pink colour change on the whirl is quite obvious. The fuzz buzz makes the fabric look like it’s been pulled.
A flattened out section of knitted fabric on circular needles. The fabric is blue which fades into a pink colour. There are two sections that look like stitches have been pulled.
Two sections here look pulled, and even blocking may not change it.
A close up imahe of knitted fabric on circular needles. The fabric is yellow and blue. There is a slightly fuzzy yellow stitch.
This yellow colour change isn’t very obvious, as it is on the lace increase section of the pattern.

There were two options that I worked through in my mind. I could keep knitting and hope the schlubs could be blocked out. Not likely, as the stitches are quite visibly different in the knitted fabric. I could frog and re-knit it, cutting the yarn before and after the schlub, then weave in the ends. This option defeats the purpose of using this beautiful, long gradient yarn, as the big draw card for me is having a stunning fabric made with only two ends to weave in. Could I really give this to a new baby when it looked so unprofessional? Yesterday I decided that I couldn’t do that, so have decided to frog it completely and instead finish off another bakewell blanket to gift instead.

So I will frog the knitted blanket and try the spiral blanket again with an 8ply hand dyed yarn sometime in the future. For my new great-niece I will finish off a bakewell blanket I had in progress, and will probably also have time to make another little kina or in threes cardigan also.

A square baby blanket with dusky rainbow colours which fade through blues, greens, yellows, pinks and finished on the outer round in purple. The pattern has a lattice shape with bobbles in the middle of each lattice square.
A bakewell baby blanket made in a popin candy whirl.

With the decision made I feel quite relieved. I can now stop worrying about what it might look like at the end of many more hours of work, and just move on to make some beautiful items.

I wonder if you have been through a similar thought process with a project you thought would be special?

Until next time, happy crafting and stay safe,

Fiona T

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Happy new year 2022

Happy new year, as we launch into 2022. The last two years have been pretty trying for everyone across the world. I have tried to keep up crafting during this time, and have completed quite a few projects as you can see across my most recent blogs. Unfortunately, some of my projects are languishing in the cupboard, as my brain just can’t keep track of the patterns and so I have admitted defeat, and moved on to new projects.

One project that I was determined to succeed with was the Bakewell baby blanket from Jollijenni and Chlola: http://jollijenniandchlola.blogspot.com/2017/08/

http://jollijenniandchlola.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-bakewell-blanket.html

http://jollijenniandchlola.blogspot.com/2018/03/bakewell-pattern-round-9.html

This beautiful blanket pattern is free on their blog, and is a nice variation on the usual granny square baby blanket pattern. It looks especially stunning with a slow gradient yarn, and just as lovely with a solid coloured yarn.

Bakewell pram-sized blanket made in variegated acrylic.
Bakewell pram-sized blanket in a solid mauve-coloured Bendigo wool mills 8ply cotton.
Finished Bakewell pram-sized blanket in Bendigo Wool mills Mauve and Cream coloured 8ply cotton
Bakewell blanket with join showing- Mauve BWM 8Ply Cotton.
Start of the Bakewell blanket with corner climbing rows in a Sheepjes whirl- Popin Candy.

I tried to make this blanket during the first of the Melbourne Lock-downs in 2020. I ended up giving up on it, as the pattern climbs out in the middle of rounds, and I kept losing track of the stitch counts after turning the work. When I was successful, there was a visible jog in the rows. I have spent some time over the last 18 months re-working the pattern to climb out of rows through the corners. I am sharing this pattern with you below, for free, by agreement with the original authors. I hope that this helps the pattern to be accessible for more crocheters. Please read this with the Jollijenni and Chlola’s original pattern.

I hope to share some of my other projects with you over the coming weeks.

Happy new year and happy crafting

Fiona T

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Lockdown projects part 5, during Melbourne’s lockdown 5.0

Hello friends. Much has happened in the last few months in Melbourne. We have had another 2 lockdowns, but in between I have managed to squeeze in full time work, a little holiday, getting immunised and a lot of crafting.

The beginning of a yarn bombing project. Off white acrylic mixed with a baby colour eyelash acrylic yarn, made to look like blocks. This will cover a bicycle pole.

Near the end of 2020 the yarn bombing group I am part of, Yarn Corner, put out a call for pieces for an installation outside one of my favourite stores, Unwind Craft cafe in Keilor. The install for this was delayed due to lockdowns, but a week ago we finally got to install approx 68 pieces. The feedback from locals was so overwhelmingly positive, making it worth the wait to make this happen. Here a link to the full album from yarn corner https://www.facebook.com/239600219420054/posts/4219556588091044/

My yarn bomb installed.

I’ve also had a bit of my patience return, and have dipped back into my tatting. Just a few small pieces, but I can feel my mojo returning. I am hoping to begin Mike Lyons’ Lagniappe large doily. I have chosen my colours and started to read the pattern closely, so you should be able to see some progress there soon. Below are a couple of pictures of one of the bookmarks I have recently made. I finished while we were on a short holiday and played a game of thread chicken to complete it without refilling a shuttle.

Just barely winning thread chicken on a pretty blue tatted bookmark. A Julie Paterson pattern, made in size 40 AleanaLea thread.
A close up picture of just how close this game of thread chicken was.
The finished tatted bookmark.

After a busy semester my family and I were pleased to be able to take a short holiday in country Victoria. We stayed at a beautifully restored, absolutely charming, at deco holiday house for a few days. It was just the thing we needed to unwind and reconnect. Here are some pictures of the lovely house, and view from the window.

Cosy lounge room in the holiday accommodation.
Pretty window with lovely geometric glass panels.
Very pretty view from the front windows! I think this is a Rosella in the tree.
Everything in the house was carefully curated.
Oh, and the house was pet friendly too. Here is Micah, our Cairn Terrier, looking like the king of the castle on his cushion.

Well, this house inspired another project, and I will write my next post about it soon.

Until then, happy crafting.

Fiona T

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Finishing lockdown projects part 2

Last week I blogged about some of the craft I had begun or completed during the pandemic.  Today I’ll show a few more pictures of finished projects.  But first here is a project that has been in the naughty corner for a couple of years, the tatted clock.  I am abandoning this one for now,  as the final step was to join all the pieces together. There was one major problem,  the centre of the doily is too small for the clock work to fit through. Back to the naughty corner for it, for now.

Next, this crochet project brought me great joy to be a part of. The Scheepjes Natural History CAL 2020 was a wonderful crafting  experience.  I have tried over the last few years to join these CALs, but trying to fit it in with family,  work and writing my PhD just didn’t work.  Finally,  despite the pandemic, I was able to make the time to spend each week with the CAL, and Esther’s fabulous video tutorials. It took me until the beginning of March to finish the whole blanket,  and I loved every minute of it. 

It was based on the book “All the light we cannot see” By Anthony Doerr. It ticked all of my science, history, museum and craft interest boxes, so I had to take part in the read along and crochet along too. I found myself wondering,  more than once,  just what the main character, who is blind,  would interpret from the richly textured blanket we created. 

I enjoyed the journey of making this blanket, from receiving my kit in the mail, to using the stonewashed wool for the first time, to changing the little elephant motif to dinosaurs for a section of the blanket, as some creative people shared their ideas for adaptations on the international facebook group. You can find out more from: https://www.scheepjes.com/en/cals-and-mals/scheepjes-cals/scheepjes-cal-2020/information/

My completed Scheepjes Mineralogy Natural History Museum CAL completed blanket.

I’m now picking up my ubuntu kit again, and hope to make some visible progress there too. I’ve also completed the fuschia doily, so will blog about that journey next time.

Until next time, happy crafting,

Fiona T

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Pretty blue doily edge finished

This lovely little doily just needs the ends sewn in and a little blocking. It is from a Russian translation of an Italian book, gifted to me by a kind friend.

Blue doily edge. From Russian/Italian pattern. Size 50 Altin basak blue thread paired with Lizbeth 40 rainbow taffy.

Blue doily edge. From Russian/Italian pattern. Size 50 Altin basak blue thread paired with Lizbeth 40 rainbow taffy.

This has been my standby project, so I will need to find something else to have in its place.

Edit: here is an image of the book cover, as requested in the comments.

I haven’t been tatting very much this year as I have been time crocheting and knitting. One of the bigger pieces I made was a crocheted item for a commissioned yarn bombing at a shopping centre. It was a fun project to be part of.

I do miss my shuttles though, so I hope to have some of the new coloured threads on my shuttle soon to share some eye candy with you.

Until next time

Happy tatting

Fiona T

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Diamond Sword Crochet Blanket

A couple of weeks ago I finished this blanket I was making for my son. I began the blanket last year, it took approximately 18 months to complete. I didn’t work on it everyday, but would make some squares here and there while zoning out in front of the TV.

Completing a project like this looked pretty simple, but needed a fair amount of planning before I started, and as I progressed, to bring it together.

I started by looking online for a 15x 15 pixelated image. I was using an 8ply pure wool yarn. I ended up settling on this image, and reduced the colour pallet to six shades, instead of nine: 

Then I had to locate a crochet square pattern. I wanted more of a solid block pattern rather than granny square style. I looked online for free patterns and found one that I felt would give a pixelated effect. I used rounds 1-3 of the April square: https://www.allfreecrochetafghanpatterns.com/Granny-Square-Patterns/April-Square   and made each square for my blanket in a single colour. I ended up adding a boarder to the blanket with additional grey squares, making this blanket 17 x17, 7 cm squares.

I attached the main coloured squares into rows, and periodically checked that the placement would work. Here are some images of the blanket ‘in progress’. I tracked rows against the pixelated diagram using post-it notes which were numbers with columns, and attached using bull dog clips.

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289 squares later, I was done ūüôā

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It took a long time to hide all of the ends from the individual squares and from the row seaming too. While I am pleased with how it looks, I wont be making another one any time soon ūüôā

Now I don’t have any big projects on my shuttle, hook or needles…I wonder what will take my eye next?

Until next time, happy crafting.

Fiona T

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A curated list of over 50 tatting blogs :)

**Edit August 12th 2017- this blog post has had so many hits, I have made it into it’s own permanent page: https://onemadtatter.wordpress.com/links-to-over-50-other-free-tatting-blogs/¬†¬†

A list has been circulating proclaiming the ‘top 75 tatting blogs’ and then asking for credit card details to access the sites. When I realised my blog was on this list and that all of the blogs on the list are actually free to access, I was a bit annoyed (thanks to my followers who alerted me to this situation too).

I don’t usually post curated lists of links as blog posts. I usually share sites, videos and products I have used. So, without changing my operating methods, this blog post is an extended listing of tatting blog sites I have visited and enjoy reading. If you would like to visit them too, simply click on the links ūüôā You can then choose to follow the bloggers through email or RSS feeds. And there is no monetary charge to access these links.

If you have a tatting blog that isn’t on this list, please add it in the comments (or message me through facebook- one mad tatter) and I will progressively add them to this blog post too. If I have listed your blog and you wish it to be removed, please let me know. If you want different information listed next to your link, please let me know about this too.

As always, happy tatting

Fiona T

  • The list below is not exhaustive – it is a work in progress.
  • Some listed sites have a descriptor next to them- this is either a short sentence from me or taken from the about page, if the blog has one.
  • Blogspot attached a ‘.au’ ending to all blogspot blogs, as I am in Australia. This should not effect your ability to access the site, and don’t be concerned if the ‘.au’ ending changes to your countries ending.

We are a mother (Hye-oon)¬†and daughter (Eunice) team residing in Seattle, Washington. ¬†Hye-oon Lee started tatting twenty-five years ago. Within a year of learning how to tat, she started designing her own patterns. She is inspired by the natural world, and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Eunice Lee is a designer who enjoys taking photos. When she isn’t working in front of the computer, she is typically exploring the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, reading books, or watching movies.

This is where I share my latest adventures in fiber and send people to begin their journey into the world of tatting. Enjoy your visit.
Christian SAHM to an empty nest, married 32+ years to my best friend–the hardest working man I know (preacher, teacher and farmer.) Two sons: (DS#1, DIL, GS#1-6 years, GS#2-2 years, Gchild infant, DS#2)
We are here to encourage tatters. Our classes meet weekly on line (see info below) looking at how to tat patterns. What’s tatting? Making lace with a shuttle or needle and thread.
http://25motifchallenge.blogspot.com.au/ Like the homework site, this is a place for those participating to post their pictures and progress with this challenge.
The Thread Bears is the first tatting group formed in Western North Carolina. Located in Black Mountain, NC, the focus of our group is to generate and renew interest in the art of tatted lace, often referred to as finger lace. We share patterns, techniques and ideas centered around but not limited to tatting. Members of the group are artists in a number of fields as well.
https://agaveartesanias.com/¬†This blog will be dedicated to tatting and crocheting as I ¬īve been experiencing them for the last three years . They are not only beautiful crafts but indeed a kind of concentration practice. So while we create our elegant laces or mandalas we will also improve our attention and visual memory. This blog it will dedicated to my pupils in tatting courses in Valencia and to everyone who would like to approach this kind of arts and learn them as active meditations.
 
https://lacegazette.com/ Canadian lacemakers gazette
The Canadian Lacemaker Gazette was first published in Spring, 1984 by a group of women from Denman and District Lace Club, located in British Columbi
Then, over the years, the Gazette was published in Toronto, Ottawa, and Sooke BC, and is now located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
There are 38 Canadian lacemaking groups in our directory. We have subscribers in Canada, USA, England, France, Australia and send to other countries all over the world.
https://bridgecitytatting.blogspot.com.au/Jeff Hamilton’s blog- currently completing the monster doily from Jan Stawasz.
http://toptattyhead.blogspot.com.au/ Linda Davies blog- lots of lovely patterns and good videos for split rings and split chains amongst other things.
The purpose of this non-profit group is to develop an appreciation for the fine art of lacemaking. Through educational programs + workshops, our members have the opportunity to learn about, collect, preserve, and actually make the various laces that have made history.
https://margaretsdesignercards.blogspot.com.au/ Margaret is an avid tatter and very supportive member of the tatting blogging community.
http://danielamendola.blogspot.com.au/  My name is Daniela Mendola and I am fond of tatting. I love working with the shuttles, but mostly I like to conceive and design new patterns.
https://oclairedelune.wordpress.com/¬†Claire’s blog- ¬†french language (use google translate to read in your preferred language), beautiful tatting.
https://janeeborall.blogspot.com.au/¬†Jane Eborall’s blogs regularly here- keep up with BC3’s antics, ideas and patterns.
http://tatitandsee.blogspot.com.au/¬†Jane Eborall’s TIAS blog- Tat It and See – a mystery tat along game for all tatters. It is most active in January each year.
http://irisniebach.blogspot.com.au/ the tatting player- The brilliant Iris Niebach’s blog
http://dallaslacesociety.blogspot.com.au/ The Dallas Lace Society is a non-profit organization and a chartered chapter of International Organization of Lacers, Inc. Our purpose is to continue and promote the art of lacemaking through education and demonstration. Focusing on Bobbin-made laces, many members also participate in other types of lacemaking including crocheted, knitted, tatted, and needle-made laces.
https://tattedthreads.wordpress.com/ This is my tatting blog. I hope to include mileposts on my journey, as well as tips and tricks that might help other tatters.
http://threadsofatattinggoddess.blogspot.com.au/ Gina B’s site- Gina passed away a few years ago, and the tatting world lost a great advocate and support. Her blog is still live, and maintained by her family as far as I know.

http://yarnplayertats.blogspot.com.au/ Hello, my name is Marilee Rockley. I live in the exciting, culturally diverse area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with my husband and 3 sons.

Over the years I’ve experimented with many fiber arts, but tatting remains my favorite. I discovered tatting in my youth when I found a small needlework how-to book stashed among my mother‚Äôs art books. Between those sketchy instructions, library books, and trial and error, I soon taught myself and fell in love with the art.
http://www.be-stitched.com/¬†Nancy’s hobby blog, access to a range of patterns and information
https://tipsaroundthehome.blogspot.com.au/  Muskaan’s site- lots of photo tutorials and tips
https://tatsaway.blogspot.com.au/ Jon’s blog- great patterns and tips
https://tennbrown.blogspot.com.au/ Carollyn’s tatting blog (MadTatter 80- be assured we are two different people lol)
https://onemadtatter.wordpress.com/¬†¬†My blog (Fiona T)- but you already know this address- because you are here ūüôā I am a hobby blogger, science educator and crafty person. I share my current projects and ideas. This blog also serves as a ‘brains trust’ for me to keep track of my projects.
http://worldwidetatting.blogspot.com.au/ Kristen Fink’s tatting blog- Lovely tatting and book reviews too.
http://www.tattedtreasures.com/ Heather’s blog: Tatted treasures is dedicated to introducing tatting to the public, providing easy-to-follow instructions to learn this ancient art, and inspiring accomplished tatters with information and ideas.
http://renulek.blogspot.com.au/ Renulek’s blog is gorgeous. Every few months she conducts a tat-along, releasing large doily (napkin) patterns in stages over weeks. These gorgeous designs are diagrammed using annotated photographs of each round. Renulek has recently opened an ETSY shop and sells PDF versions of her full patterns.
Knot a blog- but you-tube channels/facebook pages ūüėČ :¬†
http://entrelanzaderas.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/clases-de-frivolite-tatting-lessons.html¬†Karen Cabererra’s blog, linking ot her fabulous tatting video tutorials
https://www.youtube.com/user/RustiKate/videos Rusti Kate’s tutorials
https://www.facebook.com/SparklingLightCreationStudio.GloriaNelson/  Needle tatting facebook page from the very helpful Gloria.
Other sites of interest to Tatters:
http://www.janeeborall.freeservers.com/Links.htm More helpful links for tatters from Jane.
http://www.somethingunderthebed.com/CURTAIN/TATTINGbiblio.html If you are wondering about a tatting book, this is the site to visit. It has over 1,000 reviews of published tatting books. M. Leigh Martin’s site.
http://www.bellaonline.com/site/tatting Georgia Seitz writes for Bella Online, and provides interesting commentary and links to antique patterns.
https://www.craftree.com¬†Run by Kersti Anear and a dedicated group of admins, craftree is a social media site for tatters to connect and share. It houses the old ‚Äėin tatters‚Äô forums, which are a wealth of information for old and new tatters alike. You can use this site for free, or choose to become a member for a small monthly fee. Very welcoming group.

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1,500 likers giveaway

I’m very excited to announce a new giveaway to celebrate 1,500 likers on the One Mad Tatter Facebook page. There will be two prizes – one for my Australian and New Zealand followers, and one for my international followers. For my local followers, I will put together a craft pack- including a vintage tatting book and Alenalea thread, that I will post to you. The ever increasing price of international postage means that the International prize will be a¬†selection of¬†PDF tatting patterns, that can be delivered by email to you.

The threads and PDF¬†patterns will come from Alenalea’s Etsy shop¬†. The International winner will get the 2015 snowflakes pattern and have a choice of 2 other patterns from Alenalea’s store. I have organised to pay for these patterns on your behalf and email them to you. Once again- this is a hobby blog and I have no commercial motive, only that I would like to support local and international tatters. Thanks to the lovely Lea for letting me gift¬†her patterns in this round-about way.

For the local winner – I have added a photo of the books I will give away below. I will also include some of Lea’s lovely threads (from my stash) and some beads and little tatting knit knacks.

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To enter: please answer the question by commenting below, or on the One Mad Tatter Facebook page under the post where this link is shared. The prize will be drawn next Sunday, November 20th at 16.00 (4pm) Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time. I will list all of your names in the order you have commented, assign a number and get my random number generator (AKA my son, Little Tacker) to pick a number. I will announce the winner on the facebook page and blog on Sunday November 20th,  after the draw.

THE QUESTION: I wonder what is your favourite pattern to make and why? It may be a tatting pattern, or another craft.

In other news: Recently, I did enjoy test tatting and making Alenalea’s little christmas tree ūüôā This was made in size 50 Altin Basak threads, with some seed beads and a little bell added. They would make a nice earring in this size, although I think I will add some ribbon and use it as an ornament alongside some little Angels from last year.

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angelina-picture-one-mad-tatter

So, good luck with your entries, and I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.

As always, happy tatting,

Fiona T

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Knitting with the magic loop method

A few weeks ago I took a craft lesson on how to knit cable stitches and in the round using the magic loop method. I have never ventured into using cable patterns and thought this was a good way to learn the technique. The magic loop method was one I had never heard of before- so I was surprised at how cleverly it uses the cable to allow you to work on small peices in the round. The lesson took place at one of my favourite places- Unwind Craft Cafe in Keilor East. I used the lovely cable needles I got for my birthday and some Bendigo Wool Mills milky way  (blend of wool and milk fibres). 


I was pretty pleased with how quickly this knitted up, and how nice the wool was to work with. The pattern is from ravelry- main street by tin can knits. 

Until next time, happy crafting 

Fiona T 

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A pattern won and made.

The winner of the 1,000 likers on facebook prize, Janis, received her craft pack recently. Here is a quick picture of what ended up in the pack. I included a purple birch ‘joke’ shuttle and a few other little surprises too. It is lovely to share the crafting fun with everyone. Next giveaway will be at 1,500 likers. Again- thanks to everyone for following – it is so much fun to have you with me on my crafting journey ūüôā

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Around the time of my own 1,000 likes giveaway recently, I entered a giveaway on Dearest Debi’s facebook page.¬† I was one of the winners,¬† and was given a code to select three of Debi’s crochet patterns from ravelry for free!¬† I was really excited- she has some lovely patterns.¬† Here is one I selected- flower bud granny octagon. I have just sat down and made this now,¬† and the pattern was pretty easy to follow (I made the usual substitutions from US pattern terms to the ones I am familiar with), and I am really pleased with the results.

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Thanks for the patterns Debi, I look forward to trying the others I downloaded very soon.
Until next time,  happy crafting
Fiona T

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