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Tag Archives: Crochet

5 of the best easily portable, sun lounger-friendly crafts!

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Okay, okay, okay, so it's not the best idea to pack chunky yarn on your summer holidays to finish off the wool blanket that you started 6 months previously, when it was freezing cold and you benefited from your project's thermal properties! And a sewing machine might be frowned upon at check-in. So what does constitute a holiday-friendly craft, and what sort of projects lend themselves to laying by the poolside?

1. Embroidery - A classic.  Embroidery has come a long way since your granny's day and yet there is still something really kitsch about it that we can't get enough of. When done well, embroidery tells a story of old skills meeting modern day themes and is a great way to feature elements from your holiday complete with date, as a reminder of your trip. Endless opportunities and easily transportable, the humble embroidery hoop gets our vote. Find ours here.

holiday blog

2. Brooch Making - If you're missing home, this little kit gives you the opportunity to hand make with love, something for two friends or relatives, with one left over for you. The kit is small enough to keep you on the right side of your in-flight arm rest, and sufficiently fuss-free that you won't get in a tangle with your knickerbocker glory. If you're already a Tilda fan then this needs no introduction. It's all there for you, packaged up in a gorgeous gift bag. Go on, treat yourself, you're on holiday! Tilda Country Escape Brooches kit.

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3. Felt - Small enough to not compete with your baggage allowance and charmingly simple and relaxing to handle. We love to hand sew felt because it's effortless and methodical and feeds the soul! Here are some heart magnets to add to your to-do list. Felt is available in 3 different sizes, 16 inch squares, half metre and full metre. (Image credit.)

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4. Crochet - So satisfying to watch those loops transform into something mysterious and inexplicable! One of our favourite holiday pastimes are crochet bears for a very worthy charity called 'Teddies for Tragedies' who send the bears to children in crisis. They are currently experiencing distribution issues, however the charity that provides the crochet pattern has advocated using this to create bear donations for your local children's ward. The Toronto branch has provided a crochet pattern online. The bears are small enough to be easy to handle and you'll feel good about making someone else feel good! For our stunning selection of crochet hooks whatever you're making, look no further.

Gilliangladrag Crochet Hooks

5. English Paper Piecing - This is a really holiday-worthy art because it allows the time to spread out your pieces and think about placement. Pack your desired paper pieces and your fat quarters and get lost in the art of cutting and placing. Our broad selection of paper pieces.

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All that's left is to wish you a very bon vacance! One where you truly enjoy yourself, relax and fend off project homesickness.

Yours, wearing in my espadrilles x

Featured image credit

Life is beautiful - enjoy the ride! Bicycle inspired crafts......

TourdeYorkshireTop10CraftIdeasPicture credits / links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

This week at Poppies & Polka Dots we've been getting excited about the Tour de Yorkshire, which takes place from the 29th April - 1st May 16. Fingers crossed the recent promising weather continues for the weekend, making it a great event for all those cyclists and spectators involved!

It's got us thinking about some of the fun bike themed makes out there; from bicycle basket crochet through to bicycle bell covers! Above is our 'Top 10 Bicycle themed craft picks', but for more details and fun inspiration, check out our Tour de Yorkshire Pinterest board.

In the meantime, as we can't get enough of bicycles and the sense of freedom first felt when our stabilisers came off (!) we've pulled together some of our bicycle themed fabrics for your enjoyment. Cast your eye over these adorable prints and I'm sure you'll agree they do justice to that which is the universal symbol of summer fun!

PoppiesandPolkaDotsBikes

1. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Aqua - more info

2. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Bicycle White - more info

3. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Red - more info

4. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Main White - more info

5. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Blue - more info

6. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Main Mint - more info

7. The British are Coming - more info

Tell us about your bicycle memories or any bicycle themed craft projects you've been working on : hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk or share on our Facebook

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'Cro-Pro Emma' & The Spring Tulip Cowl

SPRING-TULIP-COWL-2

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.

Emma

Steel&Stitch

xxx

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

Notes

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.

Abbreviations

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.

Crocheted Daffodils for Mothering Sunday & St David's Day

I've been practising different crocheted flowers recently and with Mother's Day fast approaching, I thought I'd focus on perfecting the daffodil. I tried a few different patterns, but as with quite a few projects of late, I've found the Happy Berry Crochet's version on youtube to be fab. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow and I love the little details, like the picot edge along the trumpet of the flower and the detailed guide for adding the stem, which I think gives it a great finishing touch.

Crocheted Daffodils

I decided to make a few of these as I thought they'd look really cute in a vase and could brighten up a room at any time of the year! You could also wrap a ribbon round them and give them as a gift. Or just make the flower (without the stem) and add a brooch pin. I also think the flower head would look amazing stuck to the front of a card for a striking 3D effect Mother's Day card. Also, don't forget that St.David's Day is on the 1st of March, so there's still a little bit of time (if you're quick) to make one of these fab crocheted Daffodil's to wear with pride on Tuesday!

Anyway, here's a few pictures of my finished articles, what do you think?

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Happy Sunday's everyone and happy crocheting 🙂

Katrina x

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Popcorn Stitch Flower Brooch - Here's how.....

FLOWER-BROOCH

When I taught myself to crochet some time last year, I wanted to start with small projects that were quick to learn, but with cute end results that I could easily turn into something decorative.

For me, flowers were great starting point. There are so many patterns and variations available, they are often quite small and therefore you can finish one off in no time and easily repeat the process to practise the techniques involved.

The popcorn stitch flower was one of the first that I learnt. I loved how it looked and how quickly I was able to produce a cute looking flower which I knew would make the perfect brooch.

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I have had lots of compliments about them and have since given them as little gifts to friends and family too. So I thought these might also be the perfect starting point for some of you as well, perhaps for someone who is learning to crochet or coming back to it after years. Anyway, I thought I'd pop a couple of pictures and the pattern that you will need to use to create these cute little popcorn flower brooches. Unfortunately, being left-handed some of the pictures might cause more confusion for the right handed person learning, but hopefully they can still provide some kind of guidance! I'll try and find a solution for this next time!

Please feel free to comment below or email should you have any questions or feedback.

Abbreviations (US Terminology):

Ss - Slip stitch

Sc - Single crochet (Double in UK)

Ch - Chain Dc - Double crochet (Treble in UK)

Pc - Popcorn stitch

How to create the stitches used in this pattern:

Slip Stitch: Ss - insert hook, yarn over, then pull the loop back through the stitch and then through the loop on your hook.

Single Crochet: Sc - insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (2 loops now on hook). Yarn over and pull through the two loops on your hook (this is equivalent to a Double in UK terminology).

Chain Stitch: Ch - yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch on your hook.

Double Crochet: Dc - yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch. There will now be three loops on hook. Yarn over and pull through two of the loops on your hook. Then yarn over and pull through remaining two loops (this is equivalent to a Treble in UK terminology).

Popcorn Stitch: Pc - the popcorn stitch is made by the removing your hook from the 5th dc that you've made, you then place your hook back into the 1st Dc stitch, then reaching towards the 5th Dc stitch you need to grab the loop from the 5th Dc and pull the yarn through the middle of the 1st Dc stitch. Pull the yarn tight and secure with one ch.
You will have joined the edges of the row of 5 Dc forcing the crocheted yarn to form a loop or curve - each one of these will become a petal.

I used Stylecraft DK Special for these brooches. However, you can use any type of wool you have to get you started with such a project.

Hook size: 4mm (G)

So lets begin creating the flower brooch.

Round 1
First, create a slip knot and then ch2.

Chain 2Then Sc 8 times into the ch closest to hook and join with a Ss, creating a loop (8 stitches).

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Round 2
This is your first round of creating the popcorn stitch. Begin with Ch3.

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Then DC 4 times into the same stitch at the base of your ch3. On the picture below I have got the ch3 (acting like a Dc), then 1 Dc. The darning needle shows where you should be crocheting all 4 of the Dc.

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Once you've created the 4 DC you have all the stitches for the first popcorn petal and can create the Pc.

Start by pulling the yarn loose and removing your hook as per the below picture.

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Then find the 3rd chain from the ch3 - (I've put a darning needle in below, just to show you where you need to put your hook).

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Put your hook through the 3rd chain of the ch3 and put your hook through the loose yarn, grab the loop and pull the yarn through the middle of the ch3. Pull the yarn tight and secure with one ch.

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Don't forget to ch1 to secure the popcorn stitch each time.

Continue round creating a Pc for every Sc in the round - 8 stitches = 8 petals. For each of the remaining 7 rather than starting with a ch3, you simply Dc5 into the next Sc stitch. Then when creating the Popcorn Stitch you simply insert your hook into the 1st Dc stitch and then pull through the yarn. Pull tight and ch1 to secure the popcorn stitch.

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Once you have 8 Pc (8 petals), turn your work to the backside and locate the first chain 3 (darning needle illustrates this below). Place your hook under the first ch3 and Ss.

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You have now completed the 2nd round and have something that resembles the below picture.

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Round 3
In this next round, you will be crocheting 2 Pc (2 x petals) in between each of the petals created in round 2. So you will end up with 16 petals in this round.

If you slightly pull apart the first and last 2 petals you created in the first round, you'll see that the gap is dissected by the Ss into the ch3 that you did to join the 2nd round.

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As a result for this first petal of round 3, you'll begin with ch3 into half closest to your first petal (I've put the darning needle in to show where, above). Ch3, then 4DC into that same gap. Create your popcorn stitch as per round 2.

After the first petal, you simply make 2 popcorn stitches into the gaps between each of the petals from round 2.

It does feel quite tight when adding all of the Dc stitches for these 2 petals each time, but that is necessary to give it the correct finished look. In the picture below, I have made 1 popcorn stitch in between the two petals that I'm pulling apart. The next thing is to add the 2nd.

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Now the 2nd has been added.

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Continue in the round until you have 15Pc (15 petals).

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Now add one more Popcorn Stitch in the gap where the first petal in this round was made. This time, use the other side of the Ss that was created to close off round 2 (hope that makes sense!).

Ss into the first Ch3 to join the round.

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Bind off, leaving a long tail, which can be used to sew the pin for the brooch onto the back.

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Using a darning needle, weave in the tail from the beginning of your crochet.
Then using the remaining yarn tail, you can see below that I simply sewed on the brooch pin to the back of the crocheted flower. You may prefer to attach some felt to the back and add your pin to the felt. However, this way worked for me and kept it pretty simple.

You'll then see from the front images that I simply used up some of my old spare buttons that I found in my button tin, to add a little decoration to the front of the flower.

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As you now know, these brooches use just 3 rounds, but using the same principle you can make the flower as big as you wish!

Hope you have found this tutorial helpful and for now, Happy Crocheting! x

 

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C2C Crochet Pattern - Cushion Cover

C2C Cushion Cover - 1

I recently posted a picture of my latest corner to corner (C2C) crochet project on social media and was then asked by a few people whether I had the pattern for it.

I have to be honest at this stage and say that I'm relatively new to crochet. I've always knitted but only really taught myself to crochet a year or so ago. However in that time, I've become a complete addict. I love how quickly a project can come together and the wealth of patterns and YouTube videos that are available to help you along the way. There are endless possibilities, so many yummy projects and I have really grown to love it!

Given this confession, you are more likely to believe me, when I say that the C2C pattern in crochet is very easy indeed. I found the rhythm of the pattern to be   incredibly therapeutic as well. Little thought is required and to be honest the most difficult thing about this latest project for me, was deciding which colour of yarn to use next!

The C2C pattern is perfect for a baby blanket, afghan blanket or shawl for example, but in this instance I decided I wanted to make a cushion cover, suitable for a 16in square cushion.

So as I mentioned at the outset, this isn't a tutorial as such - just a few pictures and the pattern for creating the C2C design. If you do need any further instruction, I would definitely recommend checking out one of the various tutorials available on YouTube. One easy to follow (which is available for both right and left handed crocheters), is by Bella Coco there's a link here, which can guide you through the stitches one by one.

For those of you familiar with the crochet stitches and used to following a crochet pattern, then here is a version of the one I first followed to get me started with C2C:

C2C Pattern (US terminology)
Abbreviations:
Ss - Slip Stitch
Ch - Chain
Dc - Double crochet (treple in UK)

Chain 6
Row 1:
Dc in 4th ch from hook and in the next 2 ch.
Turn {1 block made}.

Row 2:
(If changing colours like I did in my version - work in the next colour at the beginning of your ch6).
Ch6, dc in 4th ch from hook and in next 2 ch. Ss, ch 3 3 dc (all in the next ch-3 space of previous row).
Turn {2 blocks made}.

Row 3: 
(Change colour if applicable)
Ch6, dc in 4th ch from hook and in next 2 ch. Ss, ch 3 3 dc (all in the next ch-3 space of previous row) twice.
Turn {3 blocks made}.

Row 4:
(Change colour if applicable)
Ch6, dc in 4th ch from hook and in next 2 ch. Ss, ch 3 3 dc (all in the next ch-3 space of previous row) three times.
Turn {4 blocks made}.
Continue working like this, 5 blocks, 6 blocks, 7 blocks etc. Keep increasing by 1 block on each row.
For the 16in square cushion, the half way point was at row 28, however, just keep going until it is as wide as you'd like your version to be).
At this stage, you will then need to start decreasing the size - in my case it was going to turn the piece from a triangle into a square. To reduce each row, follow this pattern:

Row 29: 
(change colour if applicable)
Ss across first 3 dc. *Ss, ch 3, 3 dc (all in next ch-3 space of previous row): repeat from *to last ch-3 space on row; Ss in last space.
Turn.

The item is now reducing in width on the diagonal by 1 block with each row.
Continue to repeat the Row 29 instructions until you have 1 block remaining and if making a cushion cover, your work should now be square.

Fasten off.
C2C Cushion Cover - 2

I decided to opt for a wool backing for this cushion. However, I think it would also look fab with a nice linen blend material. In case you're interested, I used an old jumper that I found in a charity shop, I cut 2 pieces out of the body of the jumper and sewed them onto the crochet square, just as you would when making an envelope style cushion cover. I used the bottom cuff of the jumper as the envelope opening and added a crocheted edge along with 6 button holes in a contrasting coloured yarn. I think I love the back almost as much as the front!

C2C Cushion Cover - 3C2C Cushion Cover - 4
C2C Crochet Cushion Cover

If anyone wants any more details about this specific cushion cover, then let me know. If not, enjoy creating your own designs and happy crocheting!

Katrina x

p.s. I used Stylecraft Special DK for this project. The following colours feature and all can be found here

Aspen - 1422, Aster - 1003, Bright Pink - 1435, Citron - 1263, Cloud Blue - 1019, Cream - 1005, Fondant - 1241, Gold - 1709, Green - 1116, Grey - 1099, Lime - 1712, Magenta - 1084,  Mocha - 1064, Plum - 1061, Sage - 1725, Spice - 1711, Wisteria - 1432

Remembrance Day Poppies.....get your hook out!

Remembrance Day PoppiesIt isn't too late to create one of these lovely crocheted Poppies for this weekend's Remembrance Sunday. We used a pattern from HappyBerryCrochet.

However there are loads to choose from depending on the style you prefer....check out this link for ideas:

You Tube - Crochet a Poppy Ideas

Here's the red & black yarn that we used, happy crocheting!

 

 

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Get 'Hooked' this Halloween....

CREEPY-CROCHET

I love a good excuse to create something new for my kids, so when my 8yr old suggested having a halloween party this year, I couldn't resist the urge to get making some creepy, 'oh so crucial' accessories!

Having recently come across a lovely 'youtube' channel called 'HappyBerry Crochet', by Laura Eccleston (if you haven't already seen some of her tutorials, I would definitely recommend it), I knew it was just the place to get some crochet inspiration for the party!

Laura of HappyBerry Crochet gives incredibly clear, concise and easy to follow instructions for all the projects that she features on the channel.

The channel is also ideal if you're a complete beginner, as there are tutorials to walk you slowly through all of the basic stitches, even showing you how to start with a slip knot. So, if you are thinking of learning to crochet, then I'd absolutely recommend checking this out.

Each week a new tutorial and pattern designed by Laura is released and from what I can tell so far, they are often quite small easy manageable projects, which can be finished pretty quickly.

Ideal if you're quite new to crochet or if you'd just like a quick crochet fix or would like to make a little gift for someone - there are some great ideas.

Her projects are often themed for the time of year, so if you check out the channel at the moment, you will see a few recently added Halloween projects, which is of course where I got the pattern for the pumpkins and ghosts featured here. I love the halloween bunting and intend hanging it on our front door for when our 'party guests' arrive on the 31st October! Plus the cute little pumpkins will make great table decorations as well as fab little party gifts for the guests - when I add a keyring fob to the stalks!

If you'd like to watch the tutorial for making the amigurumi pumpkins click here

Amigurumi Pumpkins - Halloween Crochet

 

Or if you fancy the bunting, then click here

Halloween Bunting - CrochetAs well as the youtube channel, HappyBerry Crochet also has a website, where you can download all of the patterns for free as well as lots of other useful 'crochet' information - including a conversion chart for US to UK terminology, yarn weights and hook sizes.

So, if you're looking for some inspiration for some 'spooky' halloween crochet ideas, then I'd definitely recommend that you head over to HappyBerry Crochet...... enjoy x

Crocheted Sunglasses Patterns by Steel & Stitch

So here they are our first yummy patterns created for Poppies & Polka Dots by Emma at Steel & Stitch.

Given the time of year and the fact that we have recently been enjoying some lovely sunshine here in the UK, we thought it would be a lovely idea to provide a pattern for anyone wishing to make their very own, unique and much prettier than the average shop bought sunglass case. Here Emma provides us with 2 very pretty designs, both using the tapestry crocheting technique. So take you pick - which do you prefer?

maypolecase johnolga case

All you need to make these lovely cases are the following yarns:

Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK:

John&Olga (Hearts) Design:
1 ball of Azure
1 ball of Fondant
1 ball of Teal
1 ball of White

Maypole Case Design:
1 ball of Azure
1 ball of Fondant
1 ball of Teal
1 ball of White

To make it a little easier for you, we created 2 packs especially for these designs:

John & Olga Sunglasses Yarn Pack Maypole Sunglasses Yarn Pack

To access and print your free pattern and instructions for these cases, please click the links below.

John & Olga (Hearts) Sunglasses Case Pattern by Steel & Stitch

May Pole Sunglasses Case Pattern by Steel & Stitch

If you have any questions or comments, please do feel free to get in touch with us or Emma directly.
Happy Crocheting!

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