Welcome to my craft studio! All serious crafters understand how difficult it can be to keep a creative space organised and looking good. We tend to accumulate massive amounts of craft supplies and essential tools that it can be overwhelming trying to keep it all sorted. It’s really important that everything has a home, a spot where it lives when not in use. No one wants to spend hours searching for a pompom maker or special ball of yarn. Right? Right. Here’s my top tips for keeping your craft space organised.
Since moving into my larger craft studio (which I’m calling the Hen’s Den), I have the advantage of more space, but these tips will apply to any craft space. For many years all I had was a little corner of our family office, so I understand the challenge of organising a small space too.
My number one tip is Pegboard! It’s a great way to keep tools and supplies close at hand and is visually appealing. I’m lucky enough to have the mother of all pegboard in my new studio, but for a long time all I had was a small sheet of pegboard hanging on our office wall. Add hooks, baskets, clipboards and shelves to create separate areas for designated tools and equipment. I keep all of my scissors and notebooks on my pegboard and they always return to their home when I’m finished using them.I like to keep my yarn on display! Let’s be honest, although we pretend we’re ashamed of the size of our yarn stashes we love showing them off and having them on display can inspire fresh ideas/new projects. I love seeing a wall of colourful yarn, so I prefer to keep mine in cubes. I also keep a lot of it in clear zip lock bags to protect it from yarn loving bugs. But what do you do with the half used balls? Easy! Display them too. I’ve been winding up my half used balls into cakes to store on my pegboard. Not only does it look good, but I can quickly see what I haven’t used and it prevents me from opening/starting a fresh ball of yarn. Make sure you have some closed storage for messy items that you don’t want on display. I found some consoles from Fantastic Furniture that work well for me. I store all of my pens and smaller items in the drawers and unfinished ‘wips’ are kept inside the cupboards. I also plan on starting a wip wall, so I can see all of my unfinished projects.I am lucky enough to boast a seating area and kitchenette in my Hen’s Den. Yes, I know I am living the dream! But I don’t take it for granted for a moment. Having this craft space has changed my creative life!! I feel so happy and ORGANISED. I hope my little tips help you to get organised too.
I was really excited when i heard that Michelle Robinson from Poppy and Bliss had written a book dedicated to Tunisian crochet called Tunisian Crochet Workshop. It is the PERFECT book for anyone wanting to learn tunisian crochet or just expand on what they already know. What is tunisian crochet? Well, i like to think of it as the ideal merging of crochet and knitting. The best of both worlds!
This beautiful book published by Sew and So is bursting with colour, fun motifs and stylish projects to make for the home. It showcases 12 projects to make, and includes all the tools, skills and equipment you need to go from beginner to expert. It is definitely a one stop shop for everything tunisian and is a book that crocheters will refer back to over and over again.
What i love most about this book is the stunning photography and modern projects. I believe a craft book should be beautiful as well as practical, and Tunisian Crochet Workshop is both. You can find the book available for purchase here and an ebook is also available here .
As you know, i am a huge fan of www.lovecrochet.com and everything they do for the crochet community. Not only do they supply us yarn addicts with an endless amount of tempting yarn, but they are passionate about giving back where they can. LoveCrochet are donating 100% of sales from this pattern to the Houston Food Bank to help feed victims of Hurricane Harvey. Each pattern purchase will provide a meal for 15 people! Isn’t that amazing! So, if you needed a guilt free reason to purchase another pattern, well this is it!
To celebrate the start of Spring in Australia, i’m having a little Spring sale on all of my crochet pattern downloads. Hooray! Use the code SPRING at the checkout to recieve 20% off all patterns. Valid until the 7th of September. Visit the shop HERE Happy Spring everyone! Mandy xx
I was thrilled when We Are Knitters asked me to try out their Tropea Cardigan crochet kit. Firstly, it’s great to see that WAK are catering for crocheters as well as knitters with a beautiful array of patterns, kits and yarn. I haven’t used their yarn before, so I was interested to see what the quality was like. The Pima Cotton was like nothing I’ve ever used before! It was so soft and silky with a beautiful drape, making it perfect for garments. This is a seriously beautiful yarn! A+++++
This kit was rated intermediate, but the pattern itself is quite simple. I think the intermediate rating applies, because of the large number of granny squares required to make the cardigan – 174 for a medium size like me! But it was well worth it!! Honestly, i was a little intimidated by the large number of squares at first, but I was surprised at how quickly the little piles began to grow. I tend to get bored quickly, so if I can get through making all of these squares then YOU can too! And as a bonus they provided lots of great photo opportunities. 😉 If you’re into that sort of thing…..which i am!
Part of the reason this project was so enjoyable to work on was because of the colour and quality of the yarn. In fact, the hardest part of making this cardigan was choosing the colour scheme. WAK have such a large range of colours and all kits are completely customisable. The kits also come with everything you need – yarn, pattern, needles, hooks and even a little WAK tag to complete your project.
Introducing the Pamela Mandala, a free crochet mandala pattern. It’s been a while since my last free pattern, so i hope you enjoy making this one. Oh, and if you’re wondering why this mandala has been photographed in reverse, well head to my Instagram account to see why? please tag #pamelamandala on social media.
The Pamela Mandala
You will need –
- Paintbox Cotton Aran: 1x ball of each – Daffodil Yellow (622), Paper White (601), Mustard Yellow (624), Peach Orange (655), Blush Pink (654), Bubblegum Pink (651), Raspberry Pink (644) (available at www.lovecrochet.com ) also if you shop through this link or the banner at the righthand side, i will recieve a small commission which will help me to provide more free patterns)
- 4.5mm hook
- yarn needle
Front Post Double Treble – YO over twice, insert hook underneath the body of the required stitch from front to back to front, YO, pull up loop (4 loops on hook), YO, pull through 2 loops, YO, pull through 2 loops, YO, pull through 2 loops.
Popcorn (pc) – 5tr into the stitch, pull up the working yarn from the last tr and remove hook. Insert hook into top of first tr that was made and then replace the working loop onto the hook. Pull this loop back through the first st and pull together until the 5tr cluster ‘pops’ up.
Rnd 1: With Daffodil Yellow, work 6dc into a magic ring, ss into intital dc, fasten off [6dc]
Rnd 2: Attach Paper White into any st, ch3 (counts as first tr), 4tr in the same st, form first pc, ch2. Work (pc, ch2) into each st around, ss into back of initial pc, fasten off [6pc, 12ch]
Rnd 3: Mustard Yellow into any ch-2 sp, ch3 (counts as first tr), (tr2tog, ch2, tr3tog, ch2) in the same sp. Work (tr3tog, ch2, tr3tog, ch2) into each ch-2 sp around, ss into top of initial ch3, fasten off [12x (tr3tog, ch2)]
Rnd 4: Attach Daffodil Yellow into any ch-2 sp, ch3 (counts as first tr), (tr2tog, ch3, tr3tog, ch3) in the same sp. Work (tr3tog, ch3, tr3tog, ch3) into each ch-2 sp around, ss into top of initial ch3, fasten off [24x (tr3tog, ch3)]
Rnd 5: Attach Peach Orange into any ch-3 sp, ch5 (counts as first tr, ch2), tr in the same space. Work (tr, ch2, tr) into each ch-3 sp around, ss into the 3rd ch of the initial ch5, fasten off [24x (tr, ch2, tr)]
Rnd 9: Attach Paper White into any ch-5 sp, ch5 (counts as first tr, ch2), tr, ch1 in the same sp. Work (tr, ch2, tr, ch1) into each ch-5 sp around, ss into 3rd ch of initial ch5, fasten off [24x (tr, ch2, tr, ch1)]
Rnd 13: Attach Blush Pink at any ch-2 sp, ch5 (counts as first tr, ch2), tr, ch1 in the same sp. *Skip a ch sp, (tr, ch2, tr, ch1) into the next ch sp, rep from * around, ss into third ch of initial ch5, fasten off [30x (tr, ch2, tr, ch1)]
Rnd 14: Attach Bubblegum Pink into ch-2 sp, (dc, 1fpdtr into the empty ch-2 sp from Rnd 12, dc), 2dc in the ch-1 sp. Work (dc, fpdtr, dc) into each ch-2sp, (2dc) into each ch-1 sp around, ss into initial dc, fasten off [30x (dc, fpdtr, dc), 30x (2dc)]
- Rnd 1: 6dc in magic ring [6dc]
- Rnd 2: (pc, ch2) in each dc [6pc, 12ch]
- Rnd 3: (tr3tog, ch2, tr3tog, ch2) in each ch sp [12x (tr3tog, ch2)]
- Rnd 4: (tr3tog, ch3, tr3tog, ch3) in each ch sp [24x (tr3tog, ch3)]
- Rnd 5: (tr, ch2, tr) in each ch-3 sp [24x (tr, ch2, tr)]
- Rnd 6: 3dc in each ch-2 sp [72dc]
- Rnd 7: ch4, ss in centre dc, rep around [24x ch4]
- Rnd 8: ch5, ss in next ch sp, rep around [24xch5]
- Rnd 9: (tr, ch2, tr, ch1) in each ch-5 sp [24x (tr, ch2, tr, ch1)]
- Rnd 10: 3dc in ch-2 sp, 2dc in ch-1 sp, rep around [120dc]
- Rnd 11: dc in each st [120dc]
- Rnd 12: ch2, ss into every second st [60x ch2]
- Rnd 13: (tr, ch2, tr, ch1) every second ch sp [30x (tr, ch2, tr, ch1)]
- Rnd 14: (dc, fpdtr, dc) in ch-2 sp, (2dc) in ch-1 sp around [30x (dc, fpdtr, dc), 30x (2dc)]
- Rnd 15: dc in fpdtr, ch5, rep around [30x ch-5]
- Rnd 16: (4dc, ch2, 4dc) in each ch5 sp [30x (4dc, ch2, 4dc)]
- Rnd 1: 6sc in magic ring [6sc]
- Rnd 2: (pc, ch2) in each sc [6pc, 12ch]
- Rnd 3: (dc3tog, ch2, dc3tog, ch2) in each ch sp [12x (dc3tog, ch2)]
- Rnd 4: (dc3tog, ch3, dc3tog, ch3) in each ch sp [24x (dc3tog, ch3)]
- Rnd 5: (dc, ch2, dc) in each ch-3 sp [24x (dc, ch2, dc)]
- Rnd 6: 3sc in each ch-2 sp [72sc]
- Rnd 7: ch4, ss in centre sc, rep around [24x ch4]
- Rnd 8: ch5, ss in next ch sp, rep around [24xch5]
- Rnd 9: (dc, ch2, dc, ch1) in each ch-5 sp [24x (dc, ch2, dc, ch1)]
- Rnd 10: 3sc in ch-2 sp, 2sc in ch-1 sp, rep around [120sc]
- Rnd 11: sc in each st [120sc]
- Rnd 12: ch2, ss into every second st [60x ch2]
- Rnd 13: (dc, ch2, dc, ch1) every second ch sp [30x (dc, ch2, dc, ch1)]
- Rnd 14: (sc, fptr, sc) in ch-2 sp, (2sc) in ch-1 sp around [30x (sc, fptr, sc), 30x (2sc)]
- Rnd 15: sc in fptr, ch5, rep around [30x ch-5]
- Rnd 16: (4sc, ch2, 4sc) in each ch5 sp [30x (4sc, ch2, 4sc)]
I need to clear out some of my craft kits before i move into the new studio, so i have reduced all of my Gelato Pops and Melon Pops kits by $10. This equates to almost 30% in some cases which is a huge saving. The PDF Patterns for these cushions are not included in the kit. They will need to be purchased separately. Please head to RedAgape Shop to check out the bargains. They will only be on sale for a week, or until sold out!
Today I have been decorating crochet kits bags using transfer paper, but i totally got distracted (read bored) and decided to make a cool granny square bag of my own instead. The Gelato Pops and Melon Pops bags were pushed to the side, which actually are pretty cool too, and i whipped up a little granny square in my fave colours. Here’s how i made my own kit bag –
You will need –
- calico bag
- iron on transfer paper
- an iron (obviously)
- a granny square made from yarn
- ink jet printer
Step 1 – photograph your granny square and print out the image on iron on transfer paper
Step 5 – Ta da!! Pack your favourite yarn and tools into the bag and you are ready for crochet on the go!!
The sound of building has been ringing in the air, as construction on my new craft studio has begun. I feel like the luckiest crafter in the world to have a dedicated creative space that is all my own. In fact, i have been feeling a little guilty about have something that is just for me. Lots of exciting things have happened in my life and this ranks pretty high on the list – after marriage and children of course. And there’s something else pretty exciting ahead for me that makes the timing of my creative space just perfect. Can you guess what it is? I will reveal it soon….keep reading. 😉
I have been planning my creative space for such a long time that i know exactly what it will look like when it is finished. Crisp clean white walls and ceilings, a medium toned wooden floor and accents of grey and wood throughout. Colour will be injected with YARN (of course!), crochet cushions and blankets. I will also be including pieces from other Instagrammers, crafters and artists i admire. I already have my little Curlie from Tiny Curl and wonderful paintings from artists Kyah Wilson and Jacinta Haycock.
Okay, enough about the Craft Studio, scroll down for the big NEWS!!
The timing of my craft studio just could not be better as i begin work on my first book!! Hooray!! I have partnered up with the greatest publisher MeteoorBooks to create a book about crocheting all year round and it is going to be fantastic! I am pouring all of my creative heart and soul into this book and i am certain you will LOVE it! Check out #12monthsofcrochetwithredagape for updates and sneak peaks on Instagram.