Our brand new mini boxes have been a huge success and people are loving the second box that are now landing on doorsteps. These boxes contain upto 200g of yarn but no patterns which means that you can really get creative with how you use it. I have put together a list of suitable patterns and ideas that may help you! All of these links are available on ourPinterest Board which you can follow and repin
For those who would like to use their yarn for making something for little ones I have found some absolutely adorable patterns. The little crochet Vintage Yoke Dress dress is incredibly cute as is the Batwing Sweater for older children. There are so many gorgeous knitted items you can make from the yarn but I have chosen the Seamless Yoked Sweater and the most adorable little romper
I cannot wait to see what you all create. There are still so many patterns I have pinned onto the Pinterest Board, including hats and home accessories. Have you got a pattern you are going to be using? Let me know and I can add it to the Pinterest Board for everyone to see.
Don’t forget to use our super special hashtag #hiyminibox when posting your photos on social media of your completed items. You could win 50% off your next mini box!
If you haven’t done already why not sign up for the August Mini Box? It’s going to be another amazing box! Check it out here
June 2020 Baby Boxes
We are now more or less back
to normal with our deliveries from suppliers now that the lockdown is starting
to ease. We also now have our gorgeous postcards back again. I know I have
missed them the last few months.
We have been having some absolutely beautiful weather recently which is what has inspired this box a little bit. As you all know I adore colour and think that bright colours on little ones is amazing.
This month I included another gorgeous yarn from King Cole. This time it was a 100% mercerised cotton in a bold red colour. The Giza 4ply comes in 50g balls and each ball contains approx 158 metres. Like most of the yarn I include in the boxes I have made sure that this yarn is machine washable on 40°c although it is recommended not to be tumble dried but to lie flat to dry.
The King Cole crochet pattern 5002 is gorgeous and comes with 3 options. One of them is much better suited for a little girl but the other is perfect for a little man. The sizing on the pattern goes upto a size 22” chest which is approx 1 – 2 years and there is enough yarn to complete that size. The King Cole Knitting pattern 5562 is also gorgeous. I love the easy lace design on this one and it will look incredible in the red. The pattern goes upto a size 1 – 2 years but there is only enough yarn to complete it upto 12 months.
The little treat this month is a needle minder I found when searching through Etsy. You can attach the needle minder onto your work using the magnet. I also included a pack of large eyed needles, because, let’s face it…we can never find one when we need one!
The Etsy shop I purchased these through is called MandasMinders. She also has a facebook page where you can see more! Why not pop over and see what else she has available. She has the cutest needle threaders too!
June 2020 Mini Box
Our brand new mini boxes have been launched and the first one is hitting doorsteps as I type. These boxes contain upto 200g of yarn but no patterns which means that you can really get creative with how you use it. I have put together a list of suitable patterns and ideas that may help you! All of these links are available on our Pinterest Board which you can follow and repin
Foam – A stunning loose knit top perfect for the beach. It is available in several sizes. This is a paid pattern but would look amazing in the colourway in your box.
Everyday Household Washclothes – The Sirdar Beachcomber is 100% cotton meaning it is perfect for making washclothes with. They can be either crocheted or knitted. What designs could you come up with?
Emma Summer Tank Top – What about a stunning crocheted tank top? The colours of the Sirdar Beachcomber in your box would be perfect for the summer months. The top is available in 3 different sizes and uses approx 255 yrds. It has a recommended hook size of 4mm
Beach Bag – The link doesn’t take you to a pattern but the idea of using the Sirdar Beachcomber for a beach bag is brilliant. With it being 100% cotton it would be perfect. It would dry quickly if it got a little wet and by lining it you would get a sturdy bag to fill with all the beach necessities. You can crochet or knit something very similar and even use a contrasting or co-ordinating cotton yarn to make it bigger. Line it with something really bright to make it unique
Sisters Hat – This gorgeous hat is inspired by the Cascade Mountain Range in the Pacific Northwest. It’s an adult size and uses approx 100yrds meaning you can make more than one project if you decided to use the Sirdar Beachcomber. This is a free pattern and recommends you use a 4.5mm pair of needles
Starry, Starry Night Shawl – A crocheted shawl that can be adapted to use with any yarn and in any size. It is a paid pattern but is very well written. I would recommend not adding the beads if you make this using the Sirdar Beachcomber. The slub nature of the yarn doesn’t lend itself very well to being threaded with beads, plus it really wouldn’t need them. The yarn would do all the talking for you!
Perfect Baby Boy or Girl Top Down DK Jacket – This gorgeous little knitted cardigan would look amazing using the Sirdar Beachcomber. It is a newborn size and uses approx 160 – 180 yards using a 4.5mm needles. Perfect for a beginner as it uses stocking stitch throughout
Kindle/Tablet Cover – There isn’t a pattern with this link but you can easily create a kindle or tablet cover using the Sirdar Beachcomber by either knitting or crocheting. Just chain or cast on your required number of stitches and off you go using your preferred stitch until it reaches the length you need. Decrease when you need to, add a button and there you have a fabulously quick project! You can even do this in the round or by creating a long rectangle and sewing up the sides.
Froth Top – A stunning knitting pattern available in sizes XS – XXL. The top is knitted using 8mm needles. Total yardage used is between 220 and 350 yds meaning there is plenty in the box to make the largest size available. Pattern is a paid pattern from Camexia Designs which can be found on Etsy.
Desert Winds Triangle Scarf – So this pattern was created using an aran yarn whereas the Sirdar Beachcomber is a DK but it would work beautifully. The joy of this pattern is that it would be easy enough to lengthen the length of the scarf. I would recommend using all 3 balls of yarn provided in your box and use a 4mm hook
Crocheted Soap Bags – Do you use soap in your home? How about using this pattern to create little soap bags. They would make amazing gifts too. The Sirdar Beachcomber would create a stunning and unique effect using a 3.5mm hook.
I cannot wait to see what you all create. Have you got a pattern you are going to be using? Let me know and I can add it to the Pinterest Board for everyone to see.
Don’t forget to use our super special hashtag #hiyminibox when posting your photos on social media of your completed items. You could win 50% off your next mini box!
All New Mini Boxes
So many of you really wanted to try our boxes but didn’t fancy making baby items so we listened and created our brand new Mini Boxes!
These boxes are still full of yarn and goodies but won’t contain a pattern in the box itself. I will be putting together a list of suggested patterns for both knitters and crocheters though which will be available. This box will really let you use your imagination.
Let’s take a closer look at these boxes! I put together a few sample boxes to give you an idea of what they may contain. You would receive upto 200g of yarn. This may be acryclic, cotton, hemp, bamboo or similar which would be suitable for vegans as well as I have had lots of requests for this option. In regards to colour, this will also be very different each month but a complete surprise until you open your box. Think solids, brights, pastels, variagated, ombre…if you can think it then it could be coming in the next box.
Just like our main boxes you will also receive goodies and treats. If you have previously had or followed our main boxes then you will know that the gifts and treats each month are varied. They could include handmade stitch markers, special buttons, yarn holders, stickers, notebooks, pens…all related somehow to yarn and the craft!
As well as these you will also still receive a postcard and tea/coffee and a sweet treat too. Why? Well, why not?
The best thing about this box is that if you upload a photo of whatever you make with your yarn to social media using our super special hashtag then you will be entered into the draw to win a prize! I will run this each month so everybody will have the chance.
The price of this box is much cheaper than our baby box at just £10 plus postage
There are just a few days left to purchase the June Mini Box which will be our very first one and believe me when I say it is amazing! Use this link here which will take you right to it!
April 2020 Boxes
So I am a little late getting this post written and up on the blog as I have just dispatched and launched the May box…whoops!
The April box included a brand new to us yarn brand. West Yorkshire Spinners. I chose the Bo Peep 4 ply in this grogeous minty green colour. This yarn does contain 52% Falkland Wool which creates a luxurious soft yarn which is perfect for babies and little ones. Because it contains wool please remember not to tumble dry it but you can wash it on a delicate cycle up to 40°. Now I know that something that can’t be tumble dried isn’t perfect for babies but I believe that every little one needs to have a supersoft wool cardigan.
The crochet pattern this month is from an independent designer, Lisa Van Klaveren. I actually purchased this pattern a while ago from her to use in the boxes but have only now come across the perfect yarn for it! She has a beautiful range of patterns available over on her Etsy shop.
The pattern for the knitting box was a classic Patons pattern which featured a cross over style cardigan. This was a great pattern to send, as not only did it go upto a size 2-3 years (which is always a bonus when the box is for little ones upto 12 months) but the pattern was written for either 3ply, 4ply or double knit yarn which meant they can use the pattern for a wide range of yarns they already may have in their stash!
There were also 2 lovely treats this month! As well as a set of handmade by me stitch markers you also have a fun little planner clip which has been made by the wonderful lady over at The Crafty Beach Hut. Her work is gorgeous and so cute. She has a facebook page and a website too so you can pop over and see what else she has available.
So there we have the April 2020 crochet box! Make sure you keep an eye out for our next blog post which will talk a little bit more about our brand new box and also the launch of the Christmas Limited Edition Boxes!
Colour Pack 2 Pattern Ideas
The next colour pack is now available and there are some wonderful patterns out there which a perfect for 100% cotton yarn. I’ve compiled a list of some fantastic patterns for accessories and homeware, some free and some paid which would be fantastic for the James C Brett ‘It’s Pure Cotton’ yarn
Granny Goes Shopping Tote Bag
This gorgeous granny square bag is perfect for popping to the shops. You can even line this bag to make it even sturdier. This pattern is perfect for a beginner who knows how to make a granny square. Just imagine this bag in these spring colours. You can find this pattern as free Ravelry download
2. Boho Crochet Bag
This is the perfect time to get started on making a gorgeous bag which has an incredible festival vibe to it. I know that the festivals have all been cancelled right now due to the current Covid – 19 epidemic but you would be ready for the summer and right on trend with this bag. You would have enough yarn to make a gorgeous multicoloured boho inspired bag. Find this one here
3. Easy Baskets
Baskets are absolutely fabulous around the house and are perfect for anything. You can use crochet baskets to store toys and bits and bobs. Use them in the bathroom for cotton pads, in the hall for those keys that you may just throw on the side. Why not use one in the bedroom to pop the loose change from your pockets or jewellery. I even have one in my bedroom for bobbles and clips. This particular pattern is brilliant as you can make these baskets even bigger! Pop over to Ravelry to find this free download
There is nothing nicer than crocheting some incredible and really unique decorative items for your home. Crocheted wreaths can be displayed all year round. I have several which I use at various times of the year. One I haven’t made yet is the springtime wreath from Attic 24! Why not pop over to Attic 24 and check out the pattern
Who doesn’t love snuggling down on the sofa with a brew and some comfy cushions to prop yourself up on. There are hundreds of patterns out there for crocheted ones and using cotton yarn would mean that they are harder wearing but still lovely and soft. One of my favourite ones is this chevron styled cushion from a Norwegian based crocheter who has translated this pattern into English.
6. Coasters and Place Mats
I made some crocheted place mats several years ago and they have been used practically every night at the dinner table and they still look brand new. Cotton yarn is incredibly hard wearing as well as showing fantastic stitch definition. Again there are hundreds of patterns available both free and paid ones. Here is a pattern for a simple coaster pattern but you can find so many more intricate ones with a simple search on Ravelry. Why not look at doilies too…not for use in the traditional sense but there are some gorgeous ones out there which you can use as placemats. You can even go one step further with place mats and sew them to felt which will help them last even longer
There are so many more patterns out there which you could follow for this yarn. It is perfect for blankets and garments too. Why not have a look on Ravelry to see what you can find. Use the really handy filters to search for specific yarns, weights and project categories to narrow down your search
Hand Dyeing Yarn! This can’t be addictive right?
An innocent looking box had sat in my craft room since Christmas. A box from It’s A Stitch Up and is available for £27 and it contained everything I needed to dye my own skein of yarn. I was so excited when I got this and wanted to get started straight away but I was pretty nervous. I had heard that dyeing yarn was a difficult and lengthy process. I didn’t have an awful lot of spare time, what with a business to run and a toddler at home. So the box sat on the shelf until now, when the UK went into lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The kit was bought for me by my other half after I asked for one. Even told him the one that had been recommended to me and in what colourway I wanted. I had chosen the peacock colourway. You can also choose the Primary colourway or the Flame colourway too. The kit itself contained
Little Book Of Yarn Dyeing – a full-colour beginner’s guide
100g skein DK superwash British Bluefaced Leicester yarn
3 x 0.5g vials Procion MX reactive dye pigment
10g citric acid crystals
200ml dropper bottle
1 pair disposable gloves
Other than this all I needed was a stainless steel or glass bowl and a microwave (or a veggie steamer) The colours were absolutely stunning. So much more vivid than I imagined.
The book that is supplied is incredible! It explains everything so clearly and in so much detail.
The first step was to soak the yarn in the citric acid and just leave it for half an hour. My little toddler loved watching the process and really enjoyed wearing the skein as a necklace for a few minutes. (She didn’t touch any of the other components or the yarn until it had been finished and dried as the citric acid and the dye pigments can cause skin irritations) After that it was a case of gently squeezing the skein of excess solution and placing it into my sink. At this point it resembled a vast amount of very long spaghetti!
Now came the fun part! I chose to use the speckling method of dyeing the yarn which meant using a fine metal sieve to carefully speckle the dye on the yarn, but other methods were very clearly explained. I could have dip dyed the yarn, painted or immersed the yarn into the dye as they all create very different results.
I found it quite hard to be controlled with the speckling as I just wanted to speckle the whole thing, and I feel that I may have overdone it slightly with the purple but the results were gorgeous regardless. You can see the dye hit the yarn almost instantly and it takes about 10 minutes for it to fully soak into the yarn. You can literally see the colour developing as you watch.
The final part of the process is to ‘fix’ the colour. The book recommended steaming it and because I didn’t have a veggie steamer I used the microwave. It was as simple as wrapping it up in cling film, poking a hole in it (gently as you don’t want to wreck your yarn) and blasting it in the microwave for a minute at a time until it starts to steam. Leave it to cool down completely and then hang to dry.
I loved the whole process. It was so easy and quick too. In fact I may have been rather disappointed that I only had 1 skein of yarn to dye as it was all over far too quickly. I now know that if I ever purchase a kit again (which I most definitely will) I can add further dyes and yarn to my order to make the fun last longer. I love the finished skein and I cannot wait to crochet it up into something truly unique. I’ll upload a photo when I have done so!
Crochet hooks…what’s the deal with them? Surely a crochet
hook is just a crochet hook right? Well, actually there is a little bit more to
crochet hooks than that.
First of all let’s look at what a crochet hook actually is. A crochet hook is essentially a longish stick with a hook on one end of it. They come in all different sizes, which affects the size of the stitch, in different materials, which makes a difference in the control the user has over the hook in the hand and there are also differences with the shape of the hook, this means that you may need to change the way you grab the yarn. Some of these differences such as the material of the hook or the shape of the hook are all down to personal preference which is important when shopping for and choosing hooks
The basic anatomy of a crochet hook is the same. There are 5
main features, the head, the throat, shank or shaft, the thumb rest and the
There are 2 factors to consider when it comes to the head of
the crochet hook. The first aspect is the shape of it. Some of them are pointy
and some are blunt. So how does this affect the way it works? There are
positives and negatives with both, the pointier hooks go through the spaces in
the crochet work much easier but they can often split the yarn which can be
frustrating. The blunter heads are the opposite, the don’t tend to split the
yarn but it often requires more effort o slip the hook through the crochet work.
The second factor to consider when it comes to the head on
the crochet hook is to whether it is an inline hook or a not inline hook. An
inline hook means that the head does not protrude at all, there is just a notch
taken out of the throat, whereas the not inline hooks has a slightly protruding
head. This affects how you grab the yarn and is all down to personal preference.
Some people prefer one over the other, whilst some find they cannot crochet
with one or the, personally I prefer the non inline hooks.
The throat is where the yarn slides over with each stitch,
it is where is taper from the shank to the head. Throats can be longer or
shorter, it all depends on the brand. You may also find that the inline hooks
tend to have a sharper taper whereas the non inline hooks tend to be a more
This is a really important part of the crochet hook. This is
the bit that determines the size of the stitch. It is the diameter of this
which is the actual size of the hook. So a 4mm hook will have a shaft diameter
of 4mm, whereas a 2.5mm hook will have a diameter of 2.5mm
This is where many crocheters place their thumb, however,
this is not essential. You place your thumb wherever it feels most comfortable
for you. It all depends on the handle of your crochet hook too, if your hook is
a hand made one with a polymer clay handle it may not have a thumb rest. If
your hook is a basic aluminium or plastic one you may find that this is also
where the manufacturer puts the size of the hook.
The handle is where you hold your hook. It should feel
comfortable to hold. Many people enjoy using a hook which is the same material
all the way down, however, some feel that they are uncomfortable especially when
crocheting for long periods of time. This where hooks with handles come in
handy. You can purchase hooks with a variety of handles, including wood, rubber
or polymer clay. You can also get ergonomic hooks which are shaped. Personally
I prefer a rubber handle which isn’t too
Now we can also think about the hook materials. You may see
from the very small selection of my rather extensive collection that there are
several variations of hook, there are aluminium, plastic, wood, steel and bamboo.
Again, there is a degree of personal preference although some hooks are better suited
for certain types of yarn.
Aluminium and plastic are amongst the most popular. They
come in a fab range of sizes and are relatively cheap to purchase too. Just be
aware that plastic hooks tend to drag certain types of yarn.
Wooden hooks can be made using many different woods and
there are some absolutely beautiful ones out there, just be aware that these
may have a rather hefty price tag attached to them too.
Bamboo hooks are a great alternative to wooden hooks and are
much cheaper too. They are quite flexible and offer a warmth in the hands.
Steel hooks are often found in the smallest of hook sizes
which are used for crocheting thread. They offer a real smoothness and allow
the yarn and cotton thread to glide over hook quickly
If you are using a double knit yarn, go for a 4mm or 4.5mm and if you wish to learn using a chunky yarn try to use a 6mm.
So now you know, there is just a little bit more to crochet hooks than you originally thought but what is best to begin with? As a beginner I would always suggest you try out a few different hooks, go into the yarn shop and ask if you can try out a few if you can. Feel the weight of them in your hand. You do not need expensive hooks. My first hook was one from china with a rubber grip and funnily enough it is still my favourite one now
March 2020 Luxury Box
Have a look at our first ever Luxury Wrapped In Comfort Box. I know with everything going on in the world right now we could all do with some comfort which is one of the main reasons why I chose to launch this box now. It will be a bi monthly box and available on pre order only.
Subscribers of this box found 2 skeins of Manos Del Uruguay Alegria in the colourway Antigua. Manos Del Uruguay is a non profit organisation which was set up in the 60s to give economical, social and personal development opportunities to the women in Uruguay’s countryside. Each Manos skein has a tag with the name of the artisan who made it and the coops location. It’s a way to connect the knitter and the artisan who created the yarn. The dying process is an artisanal process with small dye lots made in pots heated by wood fire or gas. The colours are never completely solid, they have beautiful nuances and tone variations. To achieve the spectacular space dyed colours, they dye up to 6 times the same skein, to achieve the complexity of a true piece of art. After being dyed, the yarns are sun-dried in the co-operatives back yard. Every skein is unique, there are no two skeins exactly the same.
Each 100g skein contains
approx 405 metres and it is advised that items made using this yarn are hand
washed in cool water and laid flat to dry
The patterns I included are from independent designers. The knitting pattern is from Lavender Hill Knits. Her Echarpe Mistral Scarf pattern is absolutely stunning. Julie is based over in the US and she has a number of patterns available which you can see in her Etsy store here https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/lavenderhillknits?ref=shop_sugg
The crochet pattern I included is from RBS Crochet. Her Wading In shawl pattern is absolutely stunning. Rachel is also based over in the US and her pattern is written in US terms so please be aware if you normally use UK crochet terms. She has a number of patterns available which you can see in her Ravelry store here www.ravelry.com/stores/rbscrochet-designs. She would love to see what you create if you add the shawl onto your projects list if you use Ravelry
I have also included a stunning shawl pin which was sourced through a local seller. Unfortunately, this seller does not have an online presence for me to share with you. I was lucky enough to find these and purchase them last month.
March 2020 Boxes
Subscribers found 4 balls of Sirdar’s brand new yarn ‘Replay’ in Bunny Hop Blue. This yarn is absolutely gorgeous and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it in the boxes. It has a softly marled effect which gives it the lived-in look of a favourite sweatshirt that feels like it’s been worn and washed to irresistable softness. It has been designed especially for kids, and the lightweight, cotton acrylic blend is perfect for playtime. It is a really smooth yarn to knit with, and the has all the benefits of cotton yarn with the lightness of the acrylic. The stitch definition is incredible too. Each 50g ball contains approx 150 metres and it is machine washable on 40°
Because of the gorgeous effect that this yarn creates and the incredible softness I decided that the perfect pattern for this yarn is a simple jumper. The addition of the buttons on the shoulder gives the pattern a little something special to it.
I included buttons which are a matching blue but have a beautiful striped effect on them to add a little something special to it.
The treat this month is a pair of stork scissors. These are incredibly popular right now. Did you know that the first ever stork scissors were created in the 19th century and used by midwives as a clamp to stop the bloodflow in a new born babys umbilical cord? The design has changed somewhat as the original designs were blunt with the beak being at a 45° angle!