FREE DELIVERY on UK mainland orders OVER £40

Tag Archives: Big Hook Crochet

'Cro-Pro Emma' & The Spring Tulip Cowl


I can hardly believe it, but it's been almost a year since we last had the pleasure of welcoming Emma from Steel & Stitch to Poppies & Polka Dots; and what a journey she has been on since then!Emma Friedlander-Collins

We are absolutely delighted that despite her busy schedule, Emma has agreed to design a new crochet pattern for us here at Poppies & Polka Dots and just check out this stunner she's created!

Spring Tulip Cowl - Yarn Pack


Given what a cold Spring it's been so far, this pattern is the perfect anecdote to that - cosy and practical, but stylish and very, very pretty.


Before we get started with the pattern, I thought it would be fab to find out what Emma's been up to since we last caught up, so here's the latest from Emma:

Just a year ago I began my cro-pro (yep, crochet professional) journey, and what a journey it’s been so far!   My second book ‘Big Hook Crochet’

Emma Friedlander-Collins - Big Hook Crochetwas released in September last year by CICO publisher, and my third is now written and in the process of being printed, due for release in the autumn of this year. I’ve also had the enormous good fortune of being featured in everything from ‘Mollie Makes’ to ‘Woman’s Weekly’, and now contribute regularly to ‘Inside Crochet’ and ‘The Art of Crochet’.

It’s been a real learning curve though, working for yourself, by yourself you have to be everything; marketing, designer, social media guru, writer, finance officer, admin and tea lady. One of the big challenges for me has been finding a way to connect with a community in a meaningful way, don’t get me wrong, crocheting all day and hanging out with wool is great, but it was a shock to the system leaving the day job and all my work pals. Instagram has become a place where I’ve met some amazing people, and not only made friends but now ‘work’ colleagues and business opportunities.   It also forced me to define my aesthetic and has resulted in photography work and a front page feature in The Guardian Online

Crocheting with Colour

I also got myself an adult teaching qualification, and have had the opportunity of running workshops all over the place, from a local school to the British Library.   Teaching has become one of the most rewarding facets of my crochet journey, as well as the hardest, but there’s real joy and satisfaction to be had from sharing a skill.

There is literally not time to mention all other amazing things that have happened, but I find that saying ‘yes’, and reaching out to people without being afraid of the consequences is the only way to keep going forward. Who knows where this journey will go next? I keep thinking that it can’t possibly have anywhere else to go, and then something else pops up and it’s off on another road.




Huge thanks to Emma for this wonderful insight into her world of gorgeous crochet loveliness and most importantly for this stunning pattern. So here it is...can you resist it? Not sure I can!

Spring Tulip Cowl - Free Pattern - from Emma Friedlander-Collins - Steel  & Stitch

This sumptuous, tulip inspired cowl is ideal to throw on while the weather is still all nippy round the edges. In lovely, chunky yarn, you’ll have it made in an evening but be wearing it all Spring.

Rowan Big Wool, Super Chunky (100% Merino Wool, 80m per 100g)

A - Reseda(69), B – Pantomime (79) and C- Prize (64)

 10mm hook

Spring Tulip Cowl - Yarn Pack


Tc2tog – rather than working together 2st’s from the previous row, yarn over and work the first part of a tc st, then in the same st, yarn over and work the first part of another tc, and then use the final yarn over to work them both together.


htc –half treble crochet

tc - treble crochet

tc2tog – work 2tc st’s together

ch – chain

slst- slip stitch

sk st – skip a stitch

Rnd 1: Using yarn A, ch 44, sl st ends

Rnd 2: ch2, htc in each st, sl st (44)

Rnd 3: Using yarn B, ch2 htc in each st, slst

Rnd 4: Using yarn C, working in back loop only, htc in each st

Rnd 5: Using yarn A, working in back loop only, ch3, *sk st, tc in next st, ch1*, rpt to end, sl st to finish

Rnd 6: Using yarn B, ch3, *tc2tog in top of tc st from prev row, ch1* rpt to end, sl st

Rnd 7: Using yarn C, ch2, *work 2htc’s in chain space from prev row* rpt to end

Rnd 8-11: ch2, htc in each st, sl st

Rnd 12: Using yarn B, working in back loop only, htc in each st

Rnd 13: Using yarn A, working in back loop only, htc in each st, sl st to finish and weave in ends

IMG_5351 Spring Tulip Cowl - with TulipsCrocheted Spring Tulip Cowl - Emma Friedlander-CollinsAll photo credits to Emma Friedlander-Collins - Follow Emma and her stunning photographic Crochet journey on Instagram.

Emma Friedlander-Collins: No.1 Guest Blogger!

Lots of very exciting things have been happening here at Poppies & Polka Dots over that last few weeks, not least that I am now able to introduce our very first and incredibly lovely guest blogger - Emma Friedlander-Collins. For those of you that haven't come across Emma before, she is the author of the fabulous Crochet Dress-Up book:

Emma Friedlander-Collins - Crochet Dress Up
A wonderfully original book full of delightful crochet patterns for children's dressing up costumes.

Emma has very generously agreed to create some exclusive tutorials and patterns for Poppies & Polka Dots which can be downloaded free from our website. The first two of these are going to be available from Monday 15th June!

In the meantime, I'd love to take this opportunity to introduce you a little more to Emma, so here are a few questions that I recently put to her.....

What first got you interested in crochet?

I remember seeing a little amigurumi unicorn somewhere and completely falling in love with it. I’ve always been a sewer, but knew I’d never be able to make it from fabric, so I’d just have to learn how to crochet.

When and how did you learn to crochet?

About four years ago I was on maternity leave, waiting for my littlest to arrive, I found some online tutorials, and started to teach myself. I’d tried knitting a few times and never taken to it, so was really surprised at how easily and quickly I fell for crochet, and now I think about it, am astonished at the journey it’s taken me on!

In terms of crocheting is there anyone in particular that inspires you?

I recently discovered Molla Mills, she’s the first crochet pin-up there’s ever been! Her designs are bold and graphic, and she definitely does her own thing.

How would you describe your style of crocheting to anyone that hasn’t seen what you do?

My work is quite playful. Having taught myself I’ve never been restricted by what you ‘should’ do. In my first book the editors called to say I’d been making up stitches! I like to play with shape and structure I suppose, and I also  really like subverting the traditional idea of what people think crochet is like, and making it a bit edgy.

Where do you get your ideas/ inspiration for new designs and patterns?

Oh goodness, they come from everywhere, all of the time! The first book was all from things that the children could play with and in so very much driven by them, but recently I’m obsessing about colours and flowers, so lots of things are going on in my head inspired by them.

How did you come about getting your first crochet book published?

I’d been making my own patterns for ages, and it was my husband who encouraged me to write them up and get them on Etsy. I thought he was bonkers, but very quickly I started selling at least a pattern a week. Eventually there were enough patterns on there that I thought they’d make a fairly cohesive collection, so I went online to find out what I’d need to do to submit the idea to a publisher
It was a friend that suggested I try CICO, they specialise in non-fiction, arts and craftsy books, so I sent them an email and after a few weeks they got back to me and it all went from there.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your work?

Sometimes I get this sudden picture in my head of something that I just think would be so cool to make, and sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not. What I’m most proud of is when I work through a hundred different iterations of something to finally make the thing I had in my head – the fairy wings is a really good example of that, but so are some of my newer patterns like the Aztec bag or the flowercrown that I’ll be releasing for Halloween.

Do you have a favourite crocheted costume from your book? If so, which one and why?

Probably the pirate costume, because it’s the first ‘set’ I ever made and my boys wore the hell out of it, it’s still seems bonkers to see it in a book.

Pirate Costume - Emma Friedlander- Collins

Where did you find inspiration for your second crochet book?

I’d bought some really chunky yarn but couldn’t find a hook big enough to get the tension I wanted, so my husband sawed the end off our broom and carved me a new, super-size hook. Then it was a case of seeing what I could find to use it on!

What’s your favourite type of yarn to work with and why?

At the moment I’m really into natural wools, but that’s because I’m learning to spin my own. The more wool you get in a yarn mix the more elastic the finish and I’m finding that really interesting to work with.

Do you have a favourite item that you’ve crocheted for yourself?

Right now I’m going over all the things I’ve made and getting excited about almost all of them. The thing I use the most though, is a tapestry crochet bag I made for myself, it’s just the right size and has a big blue block of colour above a geometric design and is just really cool.

What does the rest of the year hold for you in terms of crochet and your work?

I’m learning about the submission process for magazines at the moment, as well as working on a new collection to take to the publishers. I’m also getting a teaching qualification to start teaching adult evening classes in ‘modern’ crochet. So there’s a lot going on, but it’s all crochet based which is really rewarding.


Emma Friedlander-Collins - Big Hook Crochet

Emma's second book, Big Hook Crochet is out in September 15 and is available at Waterstones and other good bookshops as well as Amazon.

If you'd like to follow Emma's crocheting adventures, then why not keep up to date with her blog Steel & Stitch or follow her on Instagram @steelandstitch.

Remember to pop back on Monday as we'll have two fab crochet patterns on our blog created by Emma, exclusive to Poppies & Polka Dots, so keep in touch, Katrina x

Comments Off on Emma Friedlander-Collins: No.1 Guest Blogger! Continue Reading