Thursday, 24 March 2016

Operation Sea Slug - The Foreland

I'm still walking with Phil everyday or rather still staggering along behind him trying to catch up. Some nights I really don't enjoy it, such as tonight when it was wet & cold & dark. 
But some walks make up for the cold, dark, wet ones, such as last Sunday's walk.
We went up to the top of Countisbury Hill, overlooking the Foreland, it's one of my favourite places as the views are always amazing even when it's raining. 
It's also one of my favourite blanket shoot locations.
On Sunday it was bathed in soft late afternoon light.

Looking east towards Porlock and beyond, if you look closely you can see the moon rising.

Looking north across the Severn Sea (Bristol Channel) towards Wales.

And looking south towards the moor.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Pattern of the Week - Lecchi crochet blanket

This week's pattern is Lecchi.
You can find it on Ravelry HERE

In 2012 we went on holiday to Italy with our very dear friends Fyberspates & Chester Wool, we stayed in a village called Lecchi.
I had taken my current project and as much yarn as I could physically fit into the car, while sitting, relaxing under olive & pine trees in the Tuscan sun I decided that I didn't like what I was working on so started playing with colour and triangles.


It didn’t take long for me to realise that the very simple triangle I was mindlessly playing with had huge potential, the colours glowed in the dappled sunlight and I loved the way they fitted together. I spent the rest of the holiday making triangles out of the colours I had, it took us 3 days to drive home and when I wasn’t driving I was sitting crocheting with a lap full of orange and pink triangles. 
In fact I loved the triangles so much that Lecchi became the first pattern in my Madder Triangles e-book.

Lecchi was first published in the very first edition of Simply Crochet, I was really proud to see it on the very first cover.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Destination Amanda Perkins - Crochet Colour Wheels

Dear Blog Tour travellers

Its lovely to welcome you here at my destination on Exmoor, North Devon in the UK
Exmoor is a beautiful, wild and windy moor bordering the Bristol Channel in the bottom South West corner of England.

I've thought long and hard about what to write for this special blog post and decided to write it about choosing colours for scrap blankets and colour wheels.
My new book Rainbow Crocheted Blankets comes out in September 2016 and this blog post will hopefully be useful for people who are planning to buy it.
If you are interested in the book and would like more infomation, please sign up for my mailing list, you can find the form in the side bar. 

These days a lot of blanket designs use a specific yarn, but these can work out to be expensive, so to help with cost I try to write my blanket designs as scrap blankets.
Scrap blankets not only help you use some of your existing stash, but can also contain lots of memories of past projects and help you use the precious leftovers of a favourite yarn that you don't want to throw away.
But scrap blankets can also be a bit daunting if you aren't confident with colour, so I've included a bit of colour theory below.

When I'm making a rainbow blanket I base my colours around a colour wheel.
I find a colour wheel a perfect way to experiment.

I start off choosing 3 primary colours.
I prefer to use gold, magenta and cerulean blue for my colour wheel rather than the normal colour wheel colour's, because they make much prettier secondary and tertiary colours.

Then I add the secondry colours in between the primary's.
The secondry colours are a mix of the primary colours for example yellow & blue make green blue & red make purple and red and yellow make orange.

And lastly I add the tertiary colours.

The tertiary colours are a mix of a primary & secondry colour, for example blue & green make blue/green which could be yarns named jade teal, aqua, azure, or yellow & green make yellow/green which could be named lime, chartreuse.

I keep my wheels as samples, as I like to refer back to them and sometimes the colour wheels become something new.

I am running a "Buy one, get one free" offer on all my patterns bought in my Ravelry store.
Simply put 2 patterns in your shopping cart, add the following discount code and you will only have to pay for one of them.
Code - Crochetexpress2016
The offer lasts from now until the 1st of April 2016.

Good luck and have fun :-)
Love Amanda

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Twinkle - Pattern of the Week

I love Twinkle, Twinkle, it was the last blanket I made before I embarked on writing my book.
The book has a theme and structure so I had to work within the self imposed guidelines, even though I was really happy and excited to make the book blankets I wasn't totally free to do whatever I wanted and let my inspiration run wild.
So you could say Twinkle was my last burst of freedom before the book, since I finished the book in December I have gone back to following my own path and am completely free to do what I want again :-)

Twinkle is this week's Pattern of the Week
You can find the pattern HERE on Ravelry, don't forget to add the discount code in the photo so you can buy Twinkle at the special price of £2.

Its made up of lots and lots of little triangles that are joined together to make interlocking stars.
I've completely rewritten the pattern and added step by step charts, I have to say drawing the charts made my head hurt, it took a long time to work out how to make them simple enough for a newbie to understand.
I've also added US pattern terms into the actual motif pattern, its the first time I've done it and think its the right thing to do. But it means I now have to go back to all my newly edited patterns and re-edit them again....sigh....

Monday, 14 March 2016

Operation Sea Slug

Since I stopped dyeing yarn last April my dyers muscles have been fading away.
I don't eat a huge amount and most of the time I eat reasonably healthily, but I was beginning to feel like a giant sea slug, I think mainly due to the fact that 50% of my life is spent sitting on a computer chair and the other 50% is spent crocheting on the sofa
I don't think I've put on weight and normally do a small amount of walking, but no where near enough, so I've decided that I need to do more exercise before it's too late.

My cunning plan is to walk the dogs with Phil every night rather than occasionally.
Phil has very long legs and I have very short ones, so for every stride he takes I take 2. I end up staggering along behind him doing a fast walk/slow jog, and I hate it.
But if I force myself to try and keep up with him, eventually in theory I'll get fitter and find it easier.
As yesterday was Sunday we went for a proper walk, instead of a local walk.

We went to Dunkery Beacon which is the highest point on the moor, from where we parked the car it was 3/4's of a mile to the beacon and 3/4's mile back.
It was a glorious sunny day, but very hazy so the views look watery, on a clear day you should be able to see forever.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Catalina comet

As I promised a daily blog post and promptly didn't do anything about I thought I'd better start.

So here is the introduction to my new Catalina Comet blanket.
(All the photos & text have previously been posted on Instagram)

I started crocheting on Tuesday (8/3/16)
This makes me really happy 😃
It's the start of my Catalina crochet blanket and is named after the Catalina comet.

This is Wednesday
This is still making me very happy - 💕😃

And this is yesterday

There's a very subtle colour change going on in this photo, I don't think it's noticeable yet.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Sagittarius A Crochet Blanket

 I published my Sagittarius A pattern yesterday.
You can find it HERE on Ravelry

Here are the details.....

I live on Exmoor which is a designated international dark sky reserve; the reserves are classified as public or private areas that possess an exceptional quality of starry nights
Sagittarius A is the second blanket of my Exmoor Stars series, which celebrates our very dark night skies
It is inspired by the black hole in the middle of the Milky Way, which is situated in the Sagittarius constellation, the Milky Way can clearly be seen from the moor.

Sagittarius A is made with 1170 x gms of 4 ply/fingering weight Yarn, 360/400 metre’s per 100 gms
Sagittarius A is a scrap blanket; you will need assortments of very similar colours in colour collections.
Yarns used in the sample blanket include …
Stars - Assorted scraps of indie hand dyed and commercial yarns.
Background – The essential ingredient is at least 1 skein of John Arbon Exmoor Sock (Midnight), John’s Exmoor sock is made with Exmoor Blueface sheep which live on the moor.
I’ve also used Cascade 220 fingering (In the Navy) Drops Alpaca (Blue/Turquoise mix). Knitpicks Palette Yarn (Navy) Artesano 4 ply pure alpaca (Uruguay), King Cole Merino Blend 4 ply (French Navy), and assorted indie hand dyed yarn.

Sagittarius A measures 55 x 55 inches.

This pattern contains the following…..
Detailed colour and yarn recommendations
Written and charted Motif instructions
Step by step construction charts
Full coloured layout chart.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Pattern of the Week - Icarus Crochet Shawl

Well yesterday's "Testing" blog post seemed to work, so you can expect lots more to come :-)

Onto today's post...
Its about Icarus, one of the crochet shawls that featured in my Madder Triangles book, it originally started out as a design for a NDS crochet club I ran back in the spring of 2013.
It was inspired by the Greek myth of Icarus and his father Daedalus.
Daedalus and Icarus were exiled to Crete after they had fallen into disfavour with king Minos.
Daedalus constructed wings made of feathers and wax for them both to escape, he warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, but Icarus was so amazed by flying that he forgot his father’s warning, flew too close to the sun, his wings melted and he tragically fell into the sea and drowned.
It was also inspired by flying and wing's, the colours are very subtle, but if you look closely you can see darker shades which  represent a backbone, with two wing bones either side and paler shades which represent wing feathers.

The original sample is made with NDS's Phoenix 4 ply, which was Merino/Silk 4 ply and is now discontinued.
But the shawl can be made with the following yarns, they all contain a little bit of silk which give the shawl a lovely drape.
Easyknits - Splendour, Cherish,
Skein Queen – Selkino, Lustrous, Luminosity, Oasis Grande
Cascade - Heritage Silk

You can find Icarus HERE, don't forget to use the code in the photo at checkout so you can buy Icarus for £2.



Monday, 7 March 2016


This post is a test post.
I post a daily photo diary via Instagram, I try and post at least one photo a day.
By the time I get round to my weekly blog post I've forgotten what I've done in the week and sometimes struggle to find a topic.
I've always thought it would be lovely to be able to blog my daily photos as most of them document my design processes and the making of my blankets.
I've had the blogger app on my phone for ages, but never used it, but over the weekend had a thought that maybe I could use it to do a daily blog post.
So here's my test run.....

The text that goes with the above photo is as follows....

YAY - my Perseids crochet scarf is finished and I've started playing with my next blanket.
So far, so good I love the colours and fingers crossed the design will work 😃

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Crochet Express Blog Tour 2016

My second piece of news is that I am taking part in the CROCHETVILLE 2016 BLOG TOUR (click on the link for more info)
Or join the Crochetville Facebook group - HERE
Its all very exciting and as you can see I have a special ticket to my destination :-)

To celebrate the US national/international crochet month I have decided to run a "Buy one, get one free" discount for the whole of the tour duration (1st to 31st of March 2016).
The discount is already up and running, so simply go to my Ravelry Pattern Store HERE add 2 patterns to your basket, add the following code - Crochetexpress2016 and you will only need to pay for one of the patterns.
Incidently the offer also applies to the e-books in my store.

I will be publishing a special blog post on the 19th of March, I still haven't decided what its going to be about, but I suspect it will be Exmoor Star related as I'm completely obsessed with stars and outer space at the moment.

Have fun :-)
Love Amanda

Ariana crochet scarf - Pattern of the Week

I was going to write one long blog post this morning, but I think my two news items this week deserve their own post's.
 So the first post is Pattern of the Week.

Its Pattern of the Week day and this week's pattern is my Ariana crochet scarf, which you can find on Ravelry HERE
Don't forget to use the code in the photo at checkout to be ble to buy the pattern for the special price of £2.

I like making scarves as they are basically small slices of blankets, they are also really useful for my design process, I have so many blankets in my head and no where near enough time to be able to make them all.
I design as I crochet and am always dreaming up new variations of the design I am working on at the time, so I've recently decided to turn some of the the variations into scarves because it means I won't end up remaking variations of the same blanket over and over again and so theoretically I can publish more designs.
I'm actually making a scarf at the moment, but I'll tell you more about that another day.
Anyway back to Ariana which was inspired by warm spicy desert colours, I can't remember the exact time that I started designing it, but I suspect in was in the winter when I was dream of the summer sun :-)