{Crochet} Easy Christmas Stars

Crochet star patternWow – can you believe it is that time of the year again? I posted these Christmas Crochet Stars last year and they were a big hit. They are super quick and easy so i thought i’d share them again. Perfect for Christmas or other celebrations, they can be made into garlands, gift toppers or tree decorations. I’ve used 100% Heirloom Cotton and a 4mm hook. This instructions are in UK terms but there are some shorthand instructions for both UK and US at the end of this tutorial. Enjoy! #mandyssuperstarsCrochet star patternStep one – ch4 and then ss into the first chain to form a loop. Work 10htr into the loop. Ss into the top of the first htr. (10htr)Crochet star patternStep 2 – Ch2, tr2tog in the first st (counts as 1x tr3tog). Ch3, tr3tog in each of the following stitches. Ss into the top of the first tr3tog. (10x tr3tog, 10x ch-3)
Crochet star patternStep 3 – Work 4dc into each ch-3 space and leave the last stitch open. (10x 4dc)
Crochet star patternStep 4 – *ss, dc, htr, tr in the next 4 stitches (ie, the first 4dc from the previous round). Ch3 then tr, htr, dc, ss in the next 4 stitches*. Repeat from * to * four more times. (4x ss, dc, htr, tr, ch3, tr, htr, dc, ss)
Crochet stars Step 5 – Ss into the top of tr3tog from Step 2 (this will form a nice sharp indent) *Work 1dc into the dc, htr and tr from the previous round. Work (3dc, ch3, 3dc) into the ch-3 space. Work 1dc into the tr, htr, and dc from the previous round. Ss into the top of the tr3tog from Step 2. * Repeat from * to *  3 more times. Then work 1dc into the dc, htr, tr from the previous round. Work (3dc, ch3, 3dc) into the ch-3 space. Work 1dc into the tr, htr, and dc from the previous round and then fasten off.

UK Shorthand

  1. ch4 and form a loop. 10htr into loop
  2. 10x (tr3tog, ch3)
  3. 4dc into each ch-3 space
  4. Work *ss, dc, htr, tr, ch3, tr, htr, dc, ss* repeat from * to * around.
  5. *Ss into tr3tog, dc in the dc, htr, and tr, then (3dc, ch3, 3dc) in Ch-3 sp , dc in tr, htr and dc* repeat from * to * around and fasten off.

US Shorthand

  1. ch4 and form a loop. 10hdc into loop
  2. 10x (dc3tog, ch3)
  3. 4sc into each ch-3 space
  4. Work *ss, sc, hdc, dc, ch3, dc, hdc, sc, ss* repeat from * to * around.
  5. *Ss into dc3tog, sc in the sc, hdc, and dc, then (3sc, ch3, 3sc) in Ch-3 sp , sc in dc, hdc and sc* repeat from * to * around and fasten off.


{Crochet} Springtime Hexie


crochet hexagonHere is my simple and sweet crochet Springtime Hexie. It’s a simple round motif that can be turned into a hexagon. I’ve used 8ply Cotton Blend for my hexies, but any 8ply yarn will do. I’ve used a 3.5mm hook. The instructions are in UK terms but I’ve included UK and US Shorthand Instructions at the end of the tutorial. Happy Spring!
crochet hexagon

Round 1 Begin with Colour A. Form a magic circle. Ch3 (counts as first tr), then work 11 more tr into the circle. Ss into the top of the intital ch3 and fasten off. [12tr]


crochet hexagon

Round 2 – Attach colour B between any two tr, (ch3, tr2tog)(counts as first tr3tog), ch3. Work 11 more (tr3tog, ch3) into the circle. Ss into the top of the initial tr3tog and fasten off. [12x (tr3tog, ch3)]


crochet hexagon

Round 3 – Attach Yarn C at any ch3 space, dc and then ch4. *Dc in the next ch-3 sp, ch4. Repeat from * 10 more times. Ss into initial dc, do not fasten off. [12x (dc, ch4)]


crochet hexagon

Round 4 – continuning with Yarn C, ss into next ch-4 sp. Ch3, tr2tog (counts as first tr3tog). Ch2, tr3tog all in the same space. Ch3 then dc into the next ch-4 space, ch3. *In the next ch-4 space (tr3tog, ch2, tr3tog). Ch3, dc in the next ch-4 sp, ch3.  Repeat from * 4 more times. Ss into initial tr3tog and fasten off. [6 x (tr3tog,ch2,tr3tog), 6x (ch3, dc, ch3)]


crochet hexagon

Round 5 – Attach yarn D at any ch-2 space, that is, between any two tr2tog pairs. (Ch3 (counts as first tr), tr, ch2, 2tr) all in the same space. Ch1, 2tr in the ch-3 space, ch1, 2tr in the next ch-3 space. Ch1, * (2tr, ch2, 2tr) in the next ch2 space.  Ch1, 2tr in the ch-3 space, ch1, 2tr in the next ch-3 space, ch1 .Repeat from * 4 more times.  Fasten off. [6 x (2tr, ch2, 2tr), (ch1, 2tr, ch1, 2tr, ch1)]



Shorthand UK 

Magic Ring

  1. 12tr
  2. 12tr3tog, ch3
  3. ch4, dc around
  4. (tr3tog, ch2, tr3tog), ch3, dc, ch3 repeat around
  5. (2tr, ch2, 2tr), ch1, 2tr, ch1, 2tr, ch1  repeat around

Shorthand US

Magic Ring

  1. 12dc
  2. 12dc3tog, ch3
  3. ch4, sc around
  4. (dc3tog, ch2, dc3tog), ch3, sc, ch3 repeat around
  5. (2dc, ch2, 2dc), ch1, 2dc, ch1 ,2dc, ch1 repeat around.


{Crochet} Paintbox Yarn Stop Motion

I was pretty excited when my Paintbox Yarn from LoveCrochet.com arrived in the mail! Seriously, the colour range is amazing and the cotton is so lovely and soft. I still cannot bring myself to undo the labels, but i spent a little bit of time playing with all the lovely colours. Enjoy!

{Crochet} Crochet to Calm Book Giveaway

crochet therapyTo celebrate the release of this awesome book, Crochet to Calm, with a forward that i was honoured to write, i am having a giveaway on Instagram. It’s super easy to enter! Simply repost ANY of my instagram images on your own feed and tag #redagapecrochettocalm I’ll be running the giveaway for a week and it is open to everyone everywhere! hooray! If you don’t have an instagram account or have trouble reposting, then just leave your name in the comments here and i’ll add you to the draw. Good luck everyone. The winner will be drawn at 9.30 on Friday the 23rd of September.crochet book calming


{Craft As Therapy} Meet the Moderators – @annelies.leask

craftastherapy annelies I’m so happy to introduce the beautiful and charming Annelies from @annelies.leask  She is one of the newest moderators to #craftastherapy and i am totally in love with her photograpy and varied craft projects. Read on to find about a little more about her:
Why do you knit/crochet/design?
I crochet as it’s become my happy, productive, creative time that I can somehow (just about) manage to do alongside juggling being a stay at home mum to my wonderful, active, autistic 5 year old son and my sweet but cheeky, princess loving 3 year old daughter!
2. What’s your fave project that you’ve made?
I think the blankets I’ve made for my kids are my favourite projects to date. I love the magic that happens when all the granny squares get stitched together and you suddenly go from lots of little pieces of nothing much to a big old cozy blanket of love!
crochet square
3. Besides craft, what are you passionate about?
I love art, design and photography (and terrible action movies). I’m also a big fan of the outdoors and I love getting out and about with my family.
4. Do you have a nickname?
No, that’s probably why I somewhat unimaginatively used my actual name as my Instagram name! My husband is hoping that Yarn-Elise might catch on though!!
 knitting for therapy
5. Tell us why you love @craftastherapy
I love the amazingly creative, supportive and encouraging Craft As Therapy community. Such a lot of love, talent and inspiration.
6.  What’s next on your ‘to make’ list?
There are always too many things on my ‘make list’ probably another blanket (maybe using Tunisian crochet this time), and I would love to try a overlay mandala, a project bag would be nice (if I can decide on a style), and I definitely need an embroidery project too … (The list really is endless)
 embroidered feather
7. What are your dreams for the future.
I’ve always dreamt of owning a little art gallery by the coast. Maybe with a coffee shop attached so I could combine two of my favourite things!
8. Tell us something random that we wouldn’t know about you?
I love building flat pack furniture and I’d happily eat breakfast for every meal of the day!
 flower sketching
9. Share anything else you’d particularly like others to know about you.
I seem to be drawn to calm tranquil photography, I guess to balance out the craziness of my ‘real’ life.

Crochet to Calm Book

calming crochet I’ve been published in a proper book! Hooray! I was pretty excited to receive this book from Interweave publishers last week. They asked me, as the founder of @craftastherapy, to write the forward and contribute a simple mandala pattern for this gorgeous book, Crochet to Calm. I am really excited to be part of a book that promotes my philosohpy of #craftastherapy. I’ll be having a book giveaway on Instagram soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Mandy xx crochet to calm bookcrochet book calming

Creative and comforting interiors

Floral bedroomThis year so far has been a whirlwind of new challenges, some exciting and others a little scary. I cannot believe that August has arrived already….not just arrived, but almost gone. Over the last month the pace has slowed down giving me a chance to stop and gather myself up. Mum’s birthday, early August, is always a time for me to reflect and address the grief I still feel. I passed a lady on the street recently who looked like Mum, not the physically fit and trim mum I remember, but the Mum that was fighting brain cancer, overweight from the drugs and losing her sense of dignity. I recognised the same look in this stranger and I felt sad for her.  A lot has changed since Mum passed almost 3 years ago and sometimes the shock of this rises up and hits me unexpectedly, hard and sharp.

When I feel this way I try to spend more time at home. Home for me is my sanctuary, a safe place for me to refuel. I like to spend time moving things around, styling and planning mini makeovers. On the surface it seems superficial, but it’s not just about making things look pretty. A home should be a reflection of those who live there, a gallery of memories and a place where you can decorate however you like! So this month I restocked my yarn storage, started planning a bedroom makeover and finished off a granny square cushion for the office. And with my spare time, I channeled my grandmother and started learning a new skill – knitting. Here’s a snapshot –

Amazing yarn storage

Modern country interiors

Beginning knitter shawlGranny square cushionEnvelope granny square cushion


{Crochet} Spike Granny Cowl

granny spike crochet stitchThis modern granny spiked cowl is a simple crochet project that can easily be finished in a weekend. It uses a simple granny stripe stitch with a slight alteration – a spike! A spiked treble is simply a treble that is worked into the top of a stitch two rows below. If you’re unsure of what this means, the images below should help to explain it more clearly. You will see the term ‘spk tr’ wherever you need to work this stitch. All stitches are in UK terms. I have used Debbie Bliss Rialto DK for this cowl because it is so soft and squishy! You can find this yarn online at www.yummyyarnandco.com.au There are lots of delicious colours for you to choose from. Have fun!!

What you’ll need

  • Debbie Bliss Rialto DK – Yarn A (White), Yarn B (Petunia), Yarn C (Grey), Yarn D (Tangerine)
  • 4mm, 3.5mm crochet hook
  • yarn needle
  • scissors
  • measures approx 15cm wide and 105cm around

Stitch Guide

  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • tr – treble
  • skp tr – spiked treble stitch

You’ll be working in rows to create your granny spike cowl. Once you have finished your rows, you will twist the cowl before joining.

To start, make a slip knot with the yarn A and using the 4mm hook and ch172 – Foundation ch. Feel free to chain an few extra stitches if you’re not sure you’ve counted correctly. You can always undo them at the end. If you’d like your cowl longer or shorter, alter your number of chains in the foundation row and sticking to multiples of 4.

  1. First Row – tr into the 4th ch from the hook, tr into the next st (counts as 3tr). * Ch1, skip a ch and work 1tr into the next 3 ch, ch1. Repeat from * until you reach the end of the row.granny spike crochet stitch
  2. Second Row – Attach Yarn B and cut Yarn A leaving a generous tail (You will be using the tail to attach one end to the other to form a cowl). Ch4 (counts as 1tr, ch1) and then work (tr, spk tr, tr) into the next ch-1 sp : t0 create the spiked treble, the middle tr is worked into the empty ch from the foundation ch below (see image below) In the following rows the spk tr will be worked into the top of the middle tr from 2 rows below.  * Ch1, (tr, spk tr, tr) into the next ch1 sp. Repeat from * to end. Ch1, tr into the top of intital ch3 from Row 1.granny spike crochet stitch
  3. Third Row – Attach Yarn C and cut yarn B leaving a generous tail. Ch3 (counts as first tr), tr into the middle tr (spk tr) from round one (see image), tr into same sp. * Ch1, (tr, spk tr, tr) into the next ch-1 sp. Repeat from * to end.granny spike crochet stitch granny spike crochet stitch
  4. Forth Row – Attach Yarn D and cut yarn C leaving a generous tail. Ch4, (counts as 1tr, ch1) and then work (tr, spk tr, tr) into the ch-1 sp. * Ch1, (tr, spk tr) in each ch-1 sp across the row. Ch1, tr into the top of intital ch3 from Row 1. Finish with a tr into the top of the beg ch3 from the previous row.granny spike crochet stitch granny spike crochet stitch
  5. Fifth Row – Attach Yarn A and cut yarn D leaving a generous tail. Ch3 (counts as first tr), spk tr,   tr into same sp. * Ch1, (tr, spk tr, tr) into the next ch1 sp. Repeat from * to end.

Repeat rows 2 – 5 three more times and fasten off.

Making up the cowl

  1. Twist your work before laying the two ends side by side (see image)modern crochet cowl
  2. Using the generous tails, join the ends by threading a yarn needle and weaving them together. The cowl doesn’t have a designated right side, so twisting it won’t effect the design. You will notice that pink and orange don’t match up, but the grey and white will, making it almost seamless in appearance. If you want them to match exactly, don’t twist your cowl. I prefer a twist as it sits nicely.
  3. After you have joined your two ends, using your 3.5mm hook and Yarn A work a border of dc around the cowl. Attach Yarn A at the join, working over the top of the tr stitches first. Work 1dc into each tr and ch sp. When you get to the start of the foundation chain work 1dc into each ch stitch. Because the cowl is twisted, you will continue to work dcs until you reach where you began. SS into the intial dc and fasten off. All done! granny spike crochet stitchgranny spike crochet stitchmodern crochet cowl





{Craft as Therapy} Meet the moderators : @yarn_house


Crocheters of Instagram

Meet Amanda from @yarn_house

It’s time to meet another one of the @craftastherapy moderators. Amanda from @yarn_house is a relatively new member of the team, who has embraced moderating with energy and enthusiasm. She is currently moderating her second week with the theme #craftastherapy_bouquet ? She’s a talented designer with her own unique style, so pop over and join her on @craftastherapy this week. Read on to find out a little more about her.

1. Why do you crochet? 

Plain and simple – It’s my passion. I can’t help it.

2. What’s your fave project that you’ve made?

My overlay crochet peacock feather mandala

Crochet overlay mandala

This is Amanda’s favourite project – her crochet overlay peacock mandala

3. Besides craft, what are you passionate about?

Spending time with my husband and our 2 kids, camping, the ocean, drawing, occasional cooking, baseball, highway driving, music, and I also really love silence.

4. Do you have a nickname?

I have a countless number of nicknames, but the one that has stuck the most over the years is “bigdoonie”, which also happens to be the name of personal IG account.Crochet rainbow

5. Tell us why you love @craftastherapy

It’s such a wonderful community filled with positivity, support, and endless inspiration.

6.  What’s next on your ‘to make’ list?

I’ve been wanting to make a massive wall hanging for awhile now, I’d love to cross that off my list eventually.

Crochet Mandala

7. What are your dreams for the future.

I’m finding myself becoming increasingly interested in gardening. I have zero skills at the moment, but I hope to one day have a big beautiful garden full of colorful flowers.
8. Tell us something random that we wouldn’t  know about you?

I can’t remember the last time I read a book.

Crochet rainbow


{Craft as Therapy} Meet the Moderators : @olivesandpickles


crochet hexagons

Ryane is the queen of hexies!!

I am very blessed to have a wonderful group of ladies help moderate the @craftastherapy account on Instagram. If you haven’t heard of #craftastherapy, you can read more about it here. The ladies that run the @craftastherapy account come from all over the world, are avid crafters and give up their time to take turns moderating the account….for free! That’s right, these ladies volunteer their time because they are passionate about the therapeutic benefits of craft.

So, i thought it was time to ‘Meet the moderators’ of @craftastherapy! Hooray!

First up is the delightful Ryane from @oliveandpickles, a crafty canadian with a busy young family. She is the crochet hexie queen and has her own Etsy Store, OlivesandPickles. Ryane was kind enough to answer the questions below so we can get to know her a little better.

#craftastherapy @olivesandpickles

Ryane and her beautiful family

1. Why do you knit/crochet/design?

I crochet to create beautiful useful items for my loved ones and others; mostly blankets and to feel connected to my Great Grandmother and Granny who have passed.
2. What’s your fave project that you’ve made?

That’s a tough question, maybe my first colour block hexie blanket I made for myself or my newest blanket for myself my scrappy granny stripe afghan. It may sound selfish but the things you create for your self are often the last to be made or take the longest to complete so much extra love and dedication go into them because you rarely or never make anything for yourself.

crochet cubes

Just one of Ryane’s recent #wips

3. Besides craft, what are you passionate about?

I am passionate about my family, taking care of them is so important to me. I also find great joy in music and just being in the warm sunshine. I enjoy photography and baking as well but I am really focused on crochet. Lol
4. Do you have a nickname?

My name is Ryane pronounced Rye-Anne. I haves a few friends along the way call my Rye or Rye-bott but now a days I’m more referred to as mumma, mum or MOM. I would also consider Olivesandpickles to be a nickname my kids point out the pickles and olives sign in the grocery store every time 😉
5. Tell us why you love @craftastherapy

I love the community of @craftastherapy. So warm and welcoming. I felt comfortable sharing stories about myself or my family I hadn’t shared on IG before. I was never judged, the people of this community just offered hugs and compassion. In some cases I felt like they understood what I was going through.

crochet hexie blanket

Just look at how Ryane plans her projects! Amazing!

6.  What’s next on your ‘to make’ list?

This summer I am taking time off of work persay and am tackling my many works in progress. I’m really looking forward to creating an abstract colour block hexie baby blanket for a dear friend. It will be a silent auction item which is part of her Inaugural Rare Finds Gala Fundraiser. Taking place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada my friend is raising money for The Rare Disease Foundation.

Visit here for more information
7. What are your dreams for the future.

My dreams for the future are to be able to continue creating and selling my crocheted items, while balancing motherhood and marriage. Balance is such a difficult task; my daughter has anxiety and keeping her steady, while helping everyone else can be a full time job.
8. Tell us something random that we wouldn’t  know about you?

I drink my tea with 3 or 4 sugar in it. I got my sweet tooth from my Grandmother and when I was younger the going joke was “would you like tea with your sugar?” They use to tease her and now they’ve moved on to teasing me. ?crochet project bag