Friday, 23 June 2017

Marsh Violet Crochet Blanket

I've been offline all week due to all the computers in the house refusing to be connected to the internet.
I had intended to publish this pattern on Tuesday, in fact it should of been published a long time ago, but its the most un-photogenic blanket in the world and I've taken hundreds of photo's trying to get some good ones. I'm still not completely happy with these photo's, but they will have to do for now :-)

So without further ado here is Marsh Violet

Marsh Violet was inspired by the colours of the Marsh Violets that grow on Exmoor.

You will need 
550 gms of 4 ply fingering yarn.
The blanket is made using a collection of violet, lilac, pale magenta and pale copper colours. 
I have used 15 hand dyed colours  in total, the colours don’t need to be from the dye lot, so its the perfect blanket to use leftover  oddments from your stash
You can use any 4 ply yarns of the same or similar meterage, Alternatively if you would prefer to buy yarn I recommend the following yarns - Drops Alpaca, John Arbon Textiles Knit by Numbers 4 ply, Fyberspates Scrumptious & Vivacious 4 ply/fingering. Knit Picks Palette, Cascade 220 Fingering, King Cole Merino Blend.

Crochet hook in size 3 mm, or size needed for your tension.
A tapestry needle for sewing in ends.

The blanket measures approx. 46 x 40 inches.

Marsh Violet can also be made as a shawl, the pattern includes weights and measurements.

The pattern contains detailed colour and yarn recommendations 
Written and charted Motif instructions in US and UK terms. 
Step by step construction charts 
Full coloured layout charts. 
Colour & size variation charts.

You can find the pattern here....
and ETSY

Happy Crocheting
Love Amanda

Friday, 16 June 2017

Deramores Shop & Blanket Kits

I'm really excited to tell you that the lovely people at Deramores have given me the chance to have a designer shop on their site.
At the moment its in the early stages of being built, but eventually my shop will contain lots of patterns, kits and yarn packs,
This means you will now be able to buy kits for a lot of my blankets,

I normally use several different yarn brands in a single blanket as I like how the different textures work together, so I have selected a variety of different yarns for the kits and yarn packs.
I know a lot of people struggle to find the right colours, so being able to buy a collection of the recommended yarns and colours is a perfect solution.

To find my shop simply click on the photo above which will take you to Deramores and then search for "Amanda Perkins"
You can also get to my shop via the Deramores logo in the sidebars of my blog.

The first blanket kit available is Kissing Circles, the kit contains a collection of colours from King Cole, Rico, Rowan and Debbie Bliss, all at a very reasonable price. :-)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Shocked & Delighted - British Knitting & Crochet Awards

I was wandering around Facebook, catching up with the news feed and came across several of my crochet designer friends posting about being nominated for awards in the British Knitting & Crochet Awards. So I clicked the link to vote for my friends.

Towards the bottom of the page there is a category for Favourite Crochet Book, I was very shocked & delighted to find my book Rainbow Crocheted Blankets has been nominated :-)
I've never been nominated for a prize before, so I feel very honoured and proud to be recognised, its all very exciting.

So if you have a copy of the book and like it, I'd love it if you could vote for me.
If you take the time to vote, you are automatically put into a prize draw.

You can find all the details HERE

If you don't already have a copy of the book you can find signed copies of the UK version in my Etsy shop - HERE

Monday, 5 June 2017

Getting back to normal

Its been such a long time since my last blog post, life is finally getting back to normal after our big move.
So I thought I'd give you a quick run down of whats been happening before I start regularly blogging again.

April 2017
We spent almost the whole of April packing and moving books to the new house, I spent my weekends in the new garden trying to tame the jungle before we moved in.
You might recognise the old NDS dye baths which have started a new life in the garden, firstly as weeding buckets, then used for bonfire containers and soon to be used for planting veggies

May 2017
We moved on the first of May

Since then we have been working hard to turn our new house into a home.
I am so happy its the first place we've lived in since 2010 when we lost our house that I truly feel is home, it needs completely redecorating, the owners are self employed and are so busy they didn't have the time to decorate, but that's ok because we can make it ours.

Phil has been decorating, he's almost finished the lounge, only another 7 rooms + 2 staircases/landings to do :-)

My favourite room is on the top floor, its not really a room more of a large area on the landing, its become my library and the view from the windows are stunning, The light is beautiful and I spend quite a lot of time surrounded by my books gazing at the garden.
The view from my studio isn't bad either.

My passion is the garden, I spend every spare moment I can enjoying the challenge of making it beautiful. The view from the top terrace is phenomenal, I can see the mountains of South Wales across the Bristol Channel and on a clear day you can even see wind farms up in the hills behind Swansea.

But don't worry I have been crocheting too, I've managed to finish 3 blanket wip's, now all 3 are ready to have their patterns written and be published.

The first one is Zigzag, I'm working on the pattern at the moment, the even better news is that I am working with Deramores to produce a kit.

The second two are Cote de Lynmouth and Marsh Violet, but lots more about them later.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Valid excuses

Good lovely sunny morning

I haven't written a personal blog post for a long time, so this one is long overdue.
You might have noticed I've been a bit absent for a month or so, but I've got some very good excuses :-)
Real life has caught up with me and I am being forced to step back and take a bit of social networking sabbatical.
There are several reasons and they are all very exciting and very happy.

1 - My son is getting married to his long term partner.
They've been together for over 5 years and finally decided to tie the knot, so I have lots of proud mummy stuff to do.

2 - Those of you who remember NDS will know that Daisy is my number 2 daughter She moved to Exmoor with us and we worked together at NDS for 4 years.
Well I'm really proud to announce that Daisy is pregnant, her baby is due at the end of the summer, its a bit daunting to think I'm going to be a Grandma, but I am so happy for her and her man and so excited to meet the little bean who is actually turnip size at the moment.
I'm very lucky she lives just around the corner as I get to spend lots of mummy time with her and support & experience every panic and milestone as baby bean grows.
As the summer progresses I will spend more time with her, especially when she goes on maternity leave in June.

3 - Is the biggest excuse (physically)
We are moving again, just around the corner and up the hill a little way, but this move is going to be a big one. We're moving to a house that needs redecorating and has a big garden that is completely overgrown. I haven't had a garden for over 7 years, and due to NDS didn't have any time for one for the previous 4 years. Gardening has always been my second best thing to crochet, I didn't realise how much I missed it until I started pruning my new front garden.
I'm going to be spending my summer discovering hidden plants and turning it into something beautiful, its already started. When I finished pruning the giant fuchsia which took up the whole front garden I discovered 2 roses and a honeysuckle.
One of the best things is that the other Grandparents live in the house next door and the other Grandma is a very keen gardener, so we'll be spending lots of time together.
Plus I have to decorate the whole house almost single handed, which leads me onto excuse number 4

4 - Again if you remember NDS you will know that Phil is my husband who also worked with me at NDS. After years of working at a proper job he has decided to throw all his cards in the air, giving it up to follow his dream of becoming a chef. This means that he is working 6 days a week and doesn't have much time to do anything else.
Even though it makes life a bit tricky financially  I feel his happiness is more important, and so I am really excited for him.

BUT don't worry I'm still crocheting, for me crocheting is like breathing I can't not do it and have quite a few projects on the go at the moment, sadly due to all the above excuses most of them are secret. So I don't have much to show and share with you,
I'm aiming to do a couple of Instagram & Facebook posts a week and blog when I get a spare moment, I will share the secret projects with you as soon as I can, but for now all I can share are a few wips.

Wip 1

Wip 2

Wip 3

And finally the not secret wip, its going to be a third Kissing Circle design, I was working on it at Edinburgh. I'm not completely happy with it, so need to do a bit of a re-think when I've finished some of the wips.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

NatCroMo 2017 - Day 3 Amanda Perkins

Hi NatCroMo visitors

Its been a very busy year, I've published an awful lot of crochet patterns since I last talked to you.

I've been self publishing my pdf crochet patterns for about 12 years, but in October 2016 my first real book was published.
There are two versions of the book, Rainbow Crocheted Blankets written in UK terms and Rainbow Crocheted Afghans written in US terms.

I'm delighted to say the book has become a bestseller and the UK version is already on its third reprint.
The book is loosely based on the rainbow and is more about colour than crochet technique, it features patterns for 10 crochet blankets made in 4 ply and DK.
The patterns contain lots of yarn information, coloured charts, step by step instructions and 2 colour variations for each blanket.

The UK version of the book is for sale in my Etsy shop, as a NatCroMo special I am running a prize draw.
If you buy one of my patterns from my Etsy shop during March 2017 you will be automatically entered into the draw, the first 2 names out of the hat will receive a signed copy of the UK terms version of my book.
You can find my Etsy shop "Amanda Perkins Crochet" HERE
You can find the US terms version on Amazon HERE

Just a quick note to say if you scroll to the bottom of this post, you can find another NatCroMo special ;-)

So without further ado here are the book blankets, I've written blog post about each blanket, just click on the blanket photo's to find out the story of the blankets.

I finished writing the book in December 2015 and went into overdrive designing and publishing 8 new blanket patterns during 2016 ..... phew.... :-)
All the new designs featured a simple circle in a square motif, I spent the whole year experimenting with colour which is the thing I enjoy most about crochet.

The first three blankets were inspired by the Exmoor Night Skies, Exmoor is a International Dark Sky reserve and the night sky's are spectacular. 
You can buy the patterns individually or all 3 are published in a e-book - HERE

The second set of blankets were inspired by the wild foxgloves that grow on Countisbury hill, I can see the hill from my bedroom window and is one of my favourite dog walks.
Again the patterns are all published separately and also in a e-book which you can find HERE

The final 2 blankets have different layouts and inspirations, both of them use specific yarns, however as with all my designs you can use which ever yarn you wish.
You can find Scrumptious Bubbles - HERE and Severn Sea - HERE

And now that you have reached the end of my blog post here is my second NatCroMo offer.
Buy one of my crochet patterns on Ravelry and get a second one free, the offer includes all my e-books.
Simply put your 2 patterns in your cart, add the following code at checkout and you will only have to pay for one of them.
The code is NatCroMo17
And you can find my Ravelry patterns HERE
The code is valid until April the 1st and you can use it as many times as you want.

Happy camping & crocheting and maybe see you next year.
Love Amanda

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Rose Window - Story of a Crochet Blanket

The 10th and last blanket from my book Rainbow Crochet Blankets is Rose Window.
(You can find the book on Etsy HERE)

Rose Window was my grand finale, and finished a few weeks before my deadline, however I stupidly made it round which made it impossible to get a good photo and so didn't get the love or have the wow factor it deserved.
It was inspired by stained glass rose windows found in Gothic cathedrals and contained yarn from all my indie dyer friends.

Rather than choose the colours before I started I decided to work them out as I crocheted, I love working this way as I never know what the finished blanket is going to look like. I start of with a basic layout plan and colour it in as I go.
I had a lots of false starts and really struggled to get the colours right, so there was an awful lot of frogging involved.
In a way I find frogging quite satisfying as I end up with a pile of scrappy dog ends that I refuse to throw away, I want to use every last little bit, if its more than 30 inches I keep it for another day.
I keep my dog end scraps in little bags patiently waiting for the right blanket to come along.

Wip photo's

Finished photo's

As you can see Rose Window belongs on a wall (or flat on the floor), I've learnt my lesson no more circular blankets for me!! :-)