Guest Feature

Wiggles Bear

Welcome Ann from Wiggles Bear. Ann is a very local business that I met through Instagram. I’m excited for you all you meet Ann and celebrate her real and business birthday when this post goes live. Without further ado lets meet Ann! “Hi, I’m Ann, from Wiggles Bear. I love to play with words and I create plaques, signs, mugs and more with quirky quotes, fun phrases and slogans. I am also a children’s author and have had 2 picture books published. I Started Wiggles Bear in 2018 in the midst of a very difficult year for me. It gave me something to focus on when and chance to use my creativity in a positive way.”

I’ve loved following Ann’s story over the last 2/3-ish years and as with my other guest features I wanted to know what inspired Ann to start her small business. “Originally I was going to run a business selling eco friendly party bags but although I was committed to the idea and still hate plastic filled party bags it didn’t fully allow for my creative side. In the October, just as I was launching, I did a brushstroke lettering workshop and was hooked. I then started to explore how I could combine my love for puns and quotes with lettering and painting. The rest as they say is history.
I also wanted something I could do alongside writing my children’s books and developing my role as a children’s author.”

AUTHOR… yes you read correctly. Ann is a children’s book author and has written 2 short stories. I’ve asked Ann to cover what inspired her to create such amazing books. “Many years ago when my eldest was little he wanted a sea themed bedroom. I painted some sea creatures that he picked onto his wall. We then started to create characters and stories for the creatures. I still have copies of little books he made up for the penguin on his wall called Pip. I had always wanted to be an author, even as a child, but had been convinced my spelling and grammar wasn’t good enough. However in 2017 my son convinced me to give it go and write the stories down and so I started.”

Ann and I met through craft and finding out she was an author was an amazing surprise although it is an amazing achievement I really want to talk about the craft side of Ann’s life. I’ve asked Ann to tell us a little bit more about her craft business and what its like to run.

“Wiggles Bear is named after my kids, it is a combination of their two nicknames. I work mainly with MDF to create plaques, signs and decorations but added mugs to my range as I love a good slogan mug. I have found I love painting more than I realised and have started a colour block range of coasters and tea light holders with plans to add place mats too. My items can be general home decor that you can treat yourself to or make gifts for others. I have included some items for younger children too such as bow holders, name plaques and bookends.

It is harder than you think and such a steep learning curve, but equally it is so fulfilling. The happy dance is a real thing and I can assure everyone it honestly happens whenever I get an order. I love being able to create personalised items as it is amazing to be able to create something that special for someone. My advice would be don’t forget self care (we all need time out), block your time and prioritise, no one can do everything.”

Christmas is definitely my favourite time of the year and I’m excited to see Wiggles Bear’s Christmas range (pictured above). I wanted to know what we can expect from Wiggles Bear over Christmas. “I love Christmas and I’ve got really excited about some of the new items I’ve released this year. I held my official launch week at the end of September so everything is now listed in my nuMonday and Made by Mums shops. I love Rudolph so I’m pleased to have extended my range of Rudolph Decorations to include a personalised option and new initial designs too. Also I have introduced some new festive plaques this year in classic red, green and gold combo or a frosty cool blue, silver and white all on oak veneer which offers a lovely textured finish.”

As mentioned above its Wiggles Bear’s second birthday and Ann has some special promos running over on Instagram and Facebook but Ann would love to offer all my readers an amazing DISCOUNT code ‘HEV10’ which you can use on either of Wiggles Bear’s shops. How exciting is that! I’m really excited and am off for a nosey at the Wiggles Bear Christmas collection.

Enjoy your cuppa,

Hev xoxo

Copyright

All Images on this post are copyright of Wiggles Bear, Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.

Crochet Patterns

Always a Treat, Never a Trick

I’m the type of person who when my kid goes trick or treating I’ll definitely steal a few for myself when they’ve gone to bed, now’s the time to own up guys! Although my small is too young for trick or treating I still wanted to make something fun for her to use now and when she’s older to collect those sweets for mum-mum!

My babe is obsessed with bags and baskets at the moment, anything that involves putting stuff in or pulling it out so I thought how fun would a seasonal bag be!! She can play with it now and then use it for more practical reasons later, although it probably won’t be cool then!

Simple in design but so cute! This bag would make a perfect addition to a Halloween outfit or as a favour bag for your guests to leave the party with. It makes up super quick and comes in two designs but if your theme doesn’t fit why not have some fun, use the bag pattern as a guide and then add your own theme to turn it out!!

Materials

For this project I double stranded DK yarn for the bag and borders, Aran will work just as well but I wanted a more sturdy feel to the piece which is why I choose to do it this way. You will need two contrasting colours. 

6mm  and 5mm Hook

Yarn Needle

Scissors

Abbreviations

This pattern is written in US terminology

Ch- Chain

HDC – Half Double Crochet

Rep – Repeat

St(s) – Stitche(s)

MC – Main colour

BC – Border Colour

NC – Nose Colour – Pink

Notes

  • This bag is made up of two panels crocheted together. You will need to make section 1 twice to complete the bag.
  • Using a 6mm hook for the main body of the bag and a 5mm for all features.

Pattern

Section 1 – working with your MC and a 6mm hook

Make a slip knot and Ch 33

Row 1 – HDC in each stitch to the end, Ch 1 and turn (32)

Row 2 – 25 – Rep row 1 until you have 25 rows of HDC (32)

Row 26 – HDC in the first 10 Sts, Ch 12 and miss 12 Sts, HDC in the 13th St and carry on HDC for a further 10 Sts until you reach the end of the row (32)

Row 27 – HDC in each stitch to the end, Ch 1 and turn (32)

Row 28 – HDC in each stitch to the end, Ch 1 and fasten off. (32)

Rep section one again to create 2 bag panels.

Pumpkin Features

Section 2 – Working with your BC and a 5mm hook

I hand stitched my mouth and crocheted two triangles for eyes then stitched them to the panel. See below for details. Again I double stranded DK for these features.

Mouth – Starting on the 8th row from the bottom (work in the back to begin with) start on the 6th St make a St diagonally to the 9th St on the 7th row. Sew in every other St along the 7th row for until you’ve made 9 Sts. Once you have made 9 Sts make a  diagonal St into the row above to make the corner of the mouth as before.

Working from the back again work in the spaces of the mouth to make it one straight line. Complete the mouth by adding some vertical lines, I started in the first stitch of the straight part of the mouth and Rep this every 4th St.

Eyes – 

Make 2 

Make a slip knot and Ch 9

Row 1 – In the second Ch from hook Sc across the row, Ch 1 and turn. (8)

Row 2 – Sc across in the next 6 St then make a decrease in the 7thand 8th St. (7)

To make a decrease, insert your hook, yarn over and put through with 2 loops on your hook insert your hook into th next space yarn over, 3 loops on the hook, yarn over and pull through all three loops on the hook.

Row 3 – 9 continue to Sc and decrease at the end of every row until you have 2 Sc left, make a final decease and fasten off.

Make another in the same way.

Sew your eyes to your work, the bottoms should sit on row 14 and should be 8 Sts apart from each other.

Section 3 – The Border

Put the panels together with the wrong sides facing. Make a Sc in the corner stitch of the top of the bag. 

Make a Sc in each St along the edge making sure to go through both panels. (Some stitch makers in each of the corners would help to keep the work together and straight).

When you reach a corner make a SC, Ch 2 and make another Sc in the same space and carry on Sc in each stitch along until you reach the next corner, Rep and carry on,

When you reach the top Sc in the last space, Ch 1 and fasten off.

Sew in your ends and buy some sweets to fill (that’s my favorite part)!!!

Cat Features

Section 2 using a 5mm hook

Eyes – Using BC

Make 2

Outer Eye  

Round 1 – create a magic circle or Ch 4 and Slst into the first Ch to create a ring. 12 Sc into the ring. (12)

Round 2 – 2 Sc into every St around. (24)

Round 3 – 2 SC in the first St, 1 Sc in the next, Rep until the end and fasten off. (32)

Inner Eye 

Round 1 – create a magic circle or Ch 4 and Slst into the first Ch to create a ring. 12 Sc into the ring fasten off and sew in the middle of the outer eye (12)

Nose – Using NC

In the centre between the eyes 3 rows down from where the eyes are placed make a small pin triangle for a nose. Mine was 3 stitches across and 3 down. If you wanted to you could fill your nose in like mine or leave it as an outline. When filling in your nose area try to come through the stitches under the outline stitch to make your inner stitches less noticeable.

Whiskers – Using BC

The whiskers are sewn in 3 straight lines one a little bit longer than the last by 1 stitch. I have sewn each whisker travelling in a different direction, please see images. 

Whisker 1 – covers 4 stitches

Whisker 2 – covers 5 stitches

Whisker 3 – covers 6 stitches

Ears – Using BC

Ears are hand stitched above the eyes. Insert your needle one row above the eye. Sew one straight diagonal line covering 3 rows. Working from the back again working 3 stitches from across inwards from the base of our first line create another straight diagonal line meeting the first line to create a point.

Section 3 – The Border

Put the panels together with the wrong sides facing. Make a Sc in the corner stitch of the top of the bag. 

Make 3 Sc in the same St, Ch 1, skip a Ch along the side of the bag and Sc 3 in the next St followed by a Ch 1. Rep along the edge making sure to go through both panels. (Some stitch makers in each of the corners would help to keep the work together and straight).

Continue with the pattern chaining 1 and inserting 3 Sc even in the corner, this will create nice rounded corners.

When you reach the last space make 3 Sc and Ch 1 to fasten off.

Sew in your ends and buy some sweets to fill (that’s my favorite part)!!!

Why not share your beautiful work on instagram? Remember to tag me so I can see @hevshomecrochet

This pattern and images are copyright of Hev’s Home Crochet. You must not sell or reproduce this pattern. You may sell items made from this pattern but must credit me as the designer.

Guest Feature

Lorra Creations

Today I want to introduce you to the lovely Lorraine. She is the founder and maker behind a great small business, Lorra Creations. Lorraine is a 40 something wife and mother from Scotland. Crafting found Lorraine while she was in a dark place. After deciding that medicating was no longer for her she realised she needed something for her. We all need a little self-care sometimes and it is so important to remember!! Lorraine like myself found the much needed me time she needed at a local craft group. “Its a good stress relief for me, there is a good bunch of ladies who attend so sometimes we don’t get anything done because of all the laughing!!” More laughing always sounds like a winner to me.

Lorraine creates beautiful decoupage and personalised items for all occasions and celebrations. I love the attention to detail in every single piece and cannot wait to tell you more about Lorraine’s journey!

Around 5 years ago Lorraine started out making goodies for family and friends and as they were so well received they encouraged just enough for Lorra Creations to be born! “I decided to start up a Facebook page, I wasn’t expecting big things from it if i’m honest, as i’m always surprised when someone wants to actually buy something I’ve made.”

I absolutely love Lorraine’s personalised work and wanted to know if this was her main focus ” Yes I do a lot of personalised items, this is my main bulk of orders, it helps that I have my own silhouette portrait, so i’m able to offer this service.  I do a lot of custom orders as well again because I’m able to offer this due to my portrait.  A couple of years ago I started doing wedding signs, Mr&Mrs and Mrs&Mrs, I started doing these as themed signs which were really popular, but now a lot of the couples are looking for them to be personalised with their photos.  These look fantastic once completed and really are a labour of love, these signs can take up to 10 weeks to complete from start to finish, as both sides are decoupaged.  I’ve yet to do a Mr&Mr so if anyone out there is interested by all means get in touch, i’d love to chat to you!”

Like all my other makers friends I asked Lorraine what advice she would give to someone wanting to start up a small business. “Go for it, what do you have to lose?  Don’t get me wrong it can be stressful and hard sometimes, as I also work full time so I fit this round my work and family life, but I enjoy doing it. I started out at the dining room table then moved to the spare room now I’m up the attic as I’m outgrowing everywhere haha.  I’ve built up a good rapport with my customers and a lot of them are repeat customers which i’m very grateful for.  This year I took a leap of faith and opened up my Etsy shop, since January I’ve been doing ok, I’m pleased with how it’s going.  You have to try and stay as original as you can, the market is so saturated with small craft businesses that the competition is fierce at times, so be true to you.  I tend to come up with ideas that I like and enjoy making not so much what I think will sell, maybe this is wrong, I don’t know but it works for me and i’m happy with that.  When it starts becoming a chore then I know that’s when I’m done, when I stop enjoying what i’m doing.  Hopefully that’s not going to happen but you just don’t know.

Lorraine opened up her Esty shop earlier this year, which was a really great move for Lorraine. Its always nice to have your work over more platforms to make yourself more accessible. I asked what ambitions Lorraine had for 2021 and working on her Esty shop was on the list. Like us all Lorraine has big ideas that we can just never find the time for and 2021 might just be a year for that bit of extra time Lorraine needs.

If you want to see more of Lorraine’s makes you can find her on Facebook and Instagram or if you’d like to shop with Lorraine, head over to her Esty and use the link HERE for 15% off!

Enjoy your cuppa,

Hev xoxo

Copyright

All Images on this post are copyright of Lorra Creations, Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.

Guest Feature

Moonlight Bee Designs

Today we welcome Sarah of Moonlight Bee Designs, all the way from Texas! Sarah is a happily married Mother of four who started crocheting when she was about 11 years old and hasn’t stopped since. This is the kind of dedication to craft I love to see!

As well as crocheting and designing patterns Sarah also creates beautiful ergonomic hooks. This all started in early 2020 when Sarah was actually searching for a hook she liked with nothing catching her eye. I love a cute business start up story like this, how about you?

Recently Moonlight Bee Designs has shared some amazing holiday/Halloween themed hooks over on her Facebook page and I wanted to know if we can expect more holiday themed collections as I’m a sucker for a good old limited edition and the answer was a huge YES! “My shop update is September 6th 2020, for all Halloween themed crochet hooks. I wanted to get these out at least a month before the actual holiday so crocheters could enjoy them for a bit before the next holiday theme is released. “

Sarah seems to have been really busy recently on socials not only making shawls but creating and designing some crochet patterns, my favourite so far being ‘The Lazy Quarantine Pocket Shawl’. I asked Sarah to share the story behind this make.

 I also work from home for another big company and I am at my desk for several hours at a time. This shawl pattern came to mind when I was feeling quite chilly just sitting there working. I was inspired by all the pocket shawl craze happening on social media, but wanted to create a free version for all crocheters to enjoy. I am quite impressed with how fast it worked up and how simple it was to create! You can get that pattern here.”

I also wanted to know if we can expect more crochet patterns soon from Sarah and she replied yes and that she is currently looking for pattern testers for her current make! So if you crochet and you fancy a little challenge head on over to Sarah’s Instagram and check it out.

Like all our other features its time to hear what advice Sarah would give to someone who wanted to start up their own small business. “If I was to give someone advice, I would have to say one word. Patience. It takes time to build up followers and supporters. It does not matter if you spend thousands of dollars on new materials or even special equipment for ads, photos, and such. It all boils down to having patience and building up that trust with customers. A lot of my customers have never even heard of hooks with polymer clay. Going into any new business, do not expect sales to just fall into your lap.”

Finally I asked Sarah what ambitions she had for Moonlight Bee Designs and how she saw her business moving forward. “My ambitions for my small crochet hook company & patterns is to have my work known out in the world. I want crocheters to know that I design ergonomic crochet hooks for comfort. I want crocheters to have a beautiful tool to use when they create their own masterpieces. I want my designs to be created and worn by beautiful people all over. Just seeing these photos of my hooks being used or my patterns being created warms my heart. ” An ambition of my own for 2020 was to put my crochet patterns and love for supporting others out into the world. Its really important to never lose sight of that goal no matter how small. Sarah, you’ve already made your small mark and I cannot wait to see it grow!

If you want to see more of Sarah’s work you can also find her on Facebook and everything she has for sale can be found over on her website, happy Shopping!

As always, enjoy your cuppa,

Hev xoxo

Copyright

All Images on this post are copyright of Moonlight Bee Designs, Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.

Crochet Patterns

Granny’s Woven Throw

I love a cosy throw and this make is no exception. Made from gorgeous thick Aran and fluffy fashion yarn you can’t say this isn’t a comfy cosy make! Inspired by my grandmother this piece is a modern twist on a classic.

Just after I had my daughter my Granddad gave me some blankets made by Granny, she passed 20 years ago so these were super special to me! My Granny taught me to knit when I was about 4, she was all things yarn and crafts, my 91 yr old granddad still fondly talks about all the yarn she used to squirrel away. I couldn’t not dedicate a make to the woman who helped inspire me to love all thing yarny.

Lets get stuck into the pattern! I cannot wait for you all to make the Granny’s Woven Throw. It’s quick and beginner friendly, it’s also my biggest pattern to date!

Here we go…

Materials

400g Aran weight for the main body

150g Fluffy or 4 weight yarn (A textured yarn will help give better definition).

6mm Hook

Yarn needle

Scissors 

Abbreviations

This pattern is written in US terminology

Ch – Chain

St – Stitch

Rep – Repeat

DC – Double Crochet

BC – Base Colour

WC – Weave Colour

Measurements

Width – 130 cm

Height – 100 cm

Notes

  • This pattern is made up of 2 main parts.  1. The base and the weave. The pattern below is for the base and there is a small image tutorial for the weave.
  • The best part of all if you do this pattern as follows there are ONLY 2 ends to sew in.

Pattern

BASE – 

Using BC Ch 174 plus 6 (180)

Row 1 – DC in the 6th Ch from the hook, Ch 1, skip a Ch and DC in the next, Ch 1, skip the next Ch and Dc in the next. Rep until the end of the row and Ch 4 (inserting a stitch marker into the 3rd chain).

Row 2 – Dc directly above the last DC, Ch 1 and Rep pattern as before. To finish the row Ch 1 as before to create a space and  DC into the 3rd Ch of the Ch 4, where the St marker was placed, this acts as the last DC. Ch 4 (inserting a stitch marker into the 3rd chain if needed).

and turn

Row 3 – 64 – Rep as Row 2.

WEAVE – 

Using your WC colour.

Cut 140 lengths of WC yarn at 150 cm each.

Lay your base down flat using a yarn needle and your WC double stranded weave your yarn in and out of the gaps made from your DC and Ch 1 above.

  • Try to insert your needle from the same side on each row this will create an even look when creating your tassels.

Tassels – 

Gathering the yarn ends from across 4 rows use strands from the groups ends to tie around the group and make a tassel. See images below

Tassel ends                                 Ends tied off to create finished tassel

Check out this make from one of my pattern testers! Image by Out of Yarn.

Why not share your beautiful work on instagram? Remember to tag me so I can see @hevshomecrochet

This pattern and images are copyright of Hev’s Home Crochet. You must not sell or reproduce this pattern. You may sell items made from this pattern but must credit me as the designer.

Guest Feature

The Crochet Counter

A Big welcome to Rhonda, another crochet gem from Canada, Vancouver to be more precise.

Rhonda is a massive fan of making and creating accessories, since COVID hit Rhonda has spent a lot more time working on these makes in her yarn room. I think it’s safe to say we all need a yarn room in our homes too!

Rhonda is an avid traveller and loves to run marathons. She’s even been known to run a half marathon on the Great Wall of China, how AWESOME!

Crochet is definitely close to her heart but so is costume, Cosplay and Disney. Her makes are definitely an extension of these loves in life and I cannot wait for you all to see them.

As all the crochet themed questions burn I was desperate to find out what inspired Rhonda to start crocheting. “I’ve been crafting as long as I can remember. Even as a child my favourite gifts were things that I could use to create other things. Crocheting is another form of expression for me.” Expressing yourself through craft is an amazing talent and something we don’t all find easy. Many designers make things that they need and use this to inspire them, using their own personal style and Rhonda is no different.

These amazing pieces are all Rhonda’s own creation and as a designer I love finding out how idea for projects come about – “I’m my happiest when I’ve completed something of my own design. When I started, I couldn’t read a pattern, and so I just made what was in my head. Free form crochet is the most rewarding style for me. Being able to think of something and then just do it! There is just something really special about being able to do that. At first I would just jot down a few notes for myself,  and my husband would find little sticky post it notes all over the house as I came up with an idea, but this has now evolved into writing patterns for other people to make my items as well.”

As a crocheter I always have a different favourite make every time I finish a project and I wanted to know what Rhonda’s fave make was and she didn’t disappoint me by saying as well as her character scarves, blankets were also at the top of her list, she mentions that some of the blankets she has made are truly specials including one shes been working on recently.

So whats next for The Crochet Counter? Rhonda is busy updating Ravelry and Etsy with her patterns and other makes. Are there any more patterns heading our way I hear you ask? Well Rhonda has LOTS of new plans for future makes and patterns, one even includes a volcanic eruption!! Mysterious and interesting, I cannot wait to see what Rhonda creates.

To keep updated with The Crochet Counter you can hop on over to Instagram or why not shop at Rhonda’s over on Etsy .

Enjoy your cuppa,

Hev xoxo

Copyright

All Images on this post are copyright of The Crochet Counter, Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.

Guest Feature

Quintessence Aromas

As I’m still playing around with the style this blog is being written in, I thought this would be a good time to have a little mash up. This feature is all about the amazing Holly, who some of you have met before on my giveaway post. Why not read all about her and her small business journey from her point of view with no interruptions from me.

Hello everyone! I’m Holly from Quintessence Aromas – a handmade home fragrance business previously known as “At home with Ivy” and we are based in Bristol! We love providing luxurious products while also keeping the health of our planet in mind. Our products highly scented and are vastly made from biodegradable materials such as soy wax, and plant based glycerins and our packaging is all recyclable, biodegradable or reused. I’m honoured to be taking part in Hevs new adventure with her blogs and can’t wait to see her bloom! 


We became “Quintessence Aromas” on the 1st of June 2020 after the great pandemic and lockdown provided us with the perfect opportunity to close down for a couple of months and evaluate the business. Although my main reason for wanting to take a break was because I was actually pregnant with my daughters, Ivy, little sister. First trimester wiped me out. The time away from selling and making provided us with the much needed head space to reflect on our products and refine our image. We wanted a much more professional and luxurious look and although I don’t feel like we are quite there yet we are certainly getting closer! 


Why “Quintessence Aromas”?… I hear you ask… Well, with another baby on the way, and our business growing from strength to strength we wanted a name that both of our children can be part of. I’d no longer be making to products “at home with ‘just’ ivy.” – In fact… Our products would no longer be made at home at all! We have officially outgrown our little kitchen set up. Lock down not only provided us with the time and energy to rebrand and set up our own website, but to also take things to the next step! So a leap of faith we took and with the help of my very hardworking parents we now have our own workshop set up in their garage. It’s by no means pretty or ‘insta worthy’ as I like to put it. But it is now a workable space and fully functioning. At least it means I can carry on creating fabulous home fragrances, and a place to escape to while we also have our house renovated! I know right – rebrand, baby on the way, new workshop, and house renovations aswell. Must be mad! I definitely don’t do things by halves.


That says a lot about me really. I didn’t get to where I am today by just dipping a toe in. I got here by taking risks, and jumping in feet first. Don’t get me wrong, mistakes have been made. Money has been wasted. There’s many things I know I could have done better and would do differently if I was to do it again. But that’s how we learn right? Take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. Although there is a couple of bits of wisdom I can share with you all. 

1 – Although it’s great to have no fear and push yourself to take risks – don’t be silly about it! Do your research! Market research, legal research, product/materials/ingredients research. Feel comfortable knowing that your financial investments won’t be wasted because you suddenly find out its illegal to sell those items without expensive licencing! (Yep, been there!). Or you waste £100 on bulk buying an ingredient that actually turns out to be diabolical quality (Yep done that!). Or you have this amazing idea for a new product line, you do all your legal research and product research, spend another £100 investing in this item, only to realise your current customer pool isn’t that interested. Guess what, got the t-shirt for that one!


2 – Find an inner circle that you can lean on. Whether that’s a group of other small businesses (local or virtual), or its brand representatives that turn into life long friends. However you find your inner circle, and whoever or wherever they may be, lean on them. They will inevitably be your life line and back bone. They will be the people that will support you, and help carry you to the top of the world. Don’t feel like that you can’t ask them for help. Small businesses need all the help they can get. It can be stressful, and lonely, and sometimes feel damn near impossible. But those people will be the ones to help you pick up the pieces and put them back together more perfectly than they were before. I absolutely wouldn’t be where I am today without the continued support, loyalty and friendship of by brand reps and fellow small businesses.


And finally 3 – Don’t be afraid. Fear will hold you back. Dont be afraid to experiment. Dont be afraid to express your personality within your business. And don’t be afraid to show yourself to your customers/followers. The good the bad and the ugly. Perfection is hugely overrated. Watching someone progress, and blossom, and grow is much more satisfying and exciting. So share your story, take them on the journey with you.


The journey, that’s the fun part! No one wants to skip straight to end. And I definitely don’t think we’ve reached our climax yet! So what else do I have up my sleeve for the second (and hopefully better) half of 2020?! Well of course we have new scents in line, I’ve recently been adding to our autumn, Halloween, winter, and Christmas ranges! We also have subscription boxes which are now available to pre-order ready for the release of our autumn scents. And of course I have a few cheeky new products in line that I will actually be collaborating with a few other small businesses for. 


As you can see I have no intentions or plans to be out of action for long when the new baby arrives. But I will by no means be doing any of this alone. I’m sure, as always, Chris my husband will play a huge role in keeping the orders flowing out the door while I recover. Like I said, it’s okay to lean on others in times of need. 


So that is me, Holly, 25 years old from Bristol. Crazy badass mum entrepreneur with no fear and limited understanding of taking it easy. If you want to follow me on my crazy hectic manic journey you can find me on Instagram via the link below and if you fancy trying any of our products my website is also below. Hev has been a rep with us from the very beginning! So for 15% off of our items be sure to use ‘Hev15’ 
www.instagram.com/quintessence.arom
www.quintessencearomas.co.uk


P.s on the side of all that, I also host and run monthly virtual market nights for crafty small businesses across the UK! (With the help of a fabulous team of ladies!) – come check it out, I’d love your help in supporting these amazing small businesses. 
www.instagram.com/ukcrafters_marketplace

Enjoy your cuppa,

Hev xoxo

Copyright

All Images on this post are copyright of Quintessence Aromas, Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.

If you prefer this style of guest features leave me a little comment below so I know to carry on letting small businesses write there own stories.

Guest Feature

Clouds and Cocoa

Happy Monday and what better way to kick off our August guest features than with a little bundle of crochet goodness in the form of Becca from Clouds and Cocoa.

A warm welcome to the beautiful 22 year old Becca from Kelowna, Canada. Becca like myself and many more in the crafting community is an introvert, I for one can say crochet has helped me feel like I ‘fit’ in somewhere and helped me to meet people I can honestly say I would have never had the balls to speak to in person! Becca loves to be creative getting involved in most aspects of crafts including painting, drawing and of course, the big one, crochet!

I wanted to know what really inspired Becca to start Clouds and Cocoa, here’s what she said “I was really inspired to start a crochet business last summer after I had made a cute stuffie for an expecting mom we knew. I really loved working with my hands and knowing that what I was creating would be apart of a new baby’s life. Now over a year later, I have a shop up and running. I sell lots of stuffed animals: unicorns, dinosaurs, cows, pretty much any animal that I think would be cute for a baby gift. I sell some pre-made things but mostly specialize in custom orders. Most of the patterns I use are my own and I love being able to take my own patterns but make them personal to my customers.”

Most crafty business stories I’ve heard have never started with someone sitting down and writing a business plan. Becca is no exception and I think’s its amazing, to be able to create an income around a hobby while creating beautiful pieces others admire is just the best feeling. That being said with so many people now doing this and trying to earn a few quid from a hobby it can be hard to find your market without finding your niche.

Finding your niche is all about finding out what works for you, finding your place in that big BIG market world and in turn creating an audience that keep coming back because you’ve got that something special. I wanted to know if Becca had found her niche: “I would say that baby items would be my niche, especially stuffed animals. My siblings and I grew up with stuffed animals that we created complex personalities and worlds for. So many of our days were spent imagining these worlds and I would love to help spark that kind of imagination in kids’ minds. I am always inspired by the stories of Winnie the Pooh and Calvin and Hobbes when I am crocheting these stuffies. To think that something that I create could become a child’s best friend or keepsake simply warms my heart.”

Creating and designing something from nothing can be a mentally draining job in any sector but I’m really exciting to let you know what we can expect from Clouds and Cocoa in the future –

“Right now, I have a teddy bear picnic themed line of teddies bears that should be up in my shop by the time this blog post goes out. I have plans for a farm-themed stuffie line: cow, pig, horse, etc that I am really excited about that will hopefully be coming in September. And otherwise, I guess you can expect this business to grow because I truly value my customers and understand how much impact a stuffed animal can have in someone’s life.”

I don’t know about you but i think these pieces are super cute and if you want to check out more of Becca’s future collections and current makes head on over to her Esty shop HERE to immerse yourself in that crochet goodness.

Just for fun I wanted to know what Becca’s favourite pastime was and I love her response “My favourite pastime is obviously crocheting but I also consider myself to be a bit of an artist. When I can find the time, I like to experiment with pastels, graphite, and acrylics, along with alcohol based markers.”

You can find Becca on Intsagram or Facebook, why not check Becca out and find out what crochet gold she has up her sleeve.

Enjoy your cuppa,

Hev xoxo

Copyright

All Images on this post are copyright of Clouds and Cocoa , Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.

Crochet Patterns

Northern Blossom Baby Blanket

Good morning lovelies!

I’m feeling all the good vibes today and I’m excited to share with you my latest creation which quite frankly I’ve kept you waiting for.

Welcoming my first blanket to the pattern pile, the Northern Blossom Baby Blanket. This has been a pleasure to design and make. I’ve used some yarn that’s been on my list for a while now, velvet. Who doesn’t love a soft to the touch, textured and cosy yarn! I wanted to make a blanket that fitted with the theme of my daughters room, pink and grey, of course. After a play around with what was originally another cushion idea I decided a blanket was more practical for her so I grabbed my hook and yarn and got to work, the Northern Blossom was born.

I’m one of those people who loves a textured stitch, I love a waffle, a bobble, a rib, a cable, a basket weave, seeing the pattern here? This is why for me, this make has all the feels!

Enough of my rambling lets move on to the good stuff… the pattern.

Materials

I used a bulky #5 velvet yarn, a comparable yarn in the same weight would be Bernat Velvet or Crushed Velvet in two colours, I have used pink and grey. You will need 600g in your main colour and a little less than 200g in your second colour.

6mm hook

Yarn Needle

Scissors

Measurements

My blanket measured width 72 x 90 cm height. If your foundation chain measures smaller than 72 cm try going up a hook size to create a bigger stitch.

Abbreviations

This pattern is written in US terminology

Ch- Chain

HDC – Double Crochet

BST – Bobble Stitch – yarn over insert hook into st, yarn over and pull through 2 loops only, rep 4 more times. You should have 6 loops on the hook in total, yarn over and pull through all 6 loops.

Rep – Repeat

St(s) – Stitches

MC – Main colour

BC – Bobble Colour

Notes

  • This pattern is for the advanced beginner.
  • This pattern is worked in multiples of 4 plus 5. (If you want to carry on your chain and increase I reckon this would make an awesome throw!).
  • Chain 1 and turn at the end of every row.
  • Remember to carry your MC with you as you use BC and vice versa on a bobble stitch row. TIP – When you carry your yarn try and carry your BC towards the front of the work and your MC towards the back to make it easier to hide the yarn. See images below.
  • Cut your BC colour yarn at the end of every bobble row, this way you won’t waste too much yarn.

Helpful images depicting how to carry your yarn through this project –

Carry your BC yarn in front of the current row (this is the wrong side of your work) making sure you crochet over it when you insert your hook and yarn over.

Carry your MC behind the current row (on the right side of the work) making sure to insert and yarn over it when you pull up a stitch.

Pattern

Using your main colour create a slip knot and Ch 72 + 5 (77)

Row 1 – HDC in the 3rd Ch from the hook (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 2 – HDC in the first 3 Sts, finish the last HCD by pulling through all 3 loops on the hook with the BC. BST in the next St, HDC in the next 3 Sts and finish the last HDC in the same way as before, BST in the next St, Rep until the end. (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 3 – HDC in every stitch to the end (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 4 – HDC in the first 3 Sts, finish the last HCD by pulling through all 3 loops on the hook with the BC. BST in the next St, HDC in the next 3 Sts and finish the last HDC in the same way as before, BST in the next St, Rep until the end. (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 5 – HDC in every stitch to the end (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 6 –  HDC in the first 3 Sts, finish the last HCD by pulling through all 3 loops on the hook with the BC. BST in the next St, HDC in the next 3 Sts and finish the last HDC in the same way as before, BST in the next St, Rep until the end. (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 7 – 11 – HDC in every stitch to the end (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 12 – HDC in the first 3 Sts, finish the last HCD by pulling through all 3 loops on the hook with the BC. BST in the next St, HDC in the next 3 Sts and finish the last HDC in the same way as before, BST in the next St, Rep until the end. (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 13 – HDC in every stitch to the end (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 14 – HDC in the first 3 Sts, finish the last HCD by pulling through all 3 loops on the hook with the BC. BST in the next St, HDC in the next 3 Sts and finish the last HDC in the same way as before, BST in the next St, Rep until the end. (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 15 – 21 – HDC in every stitch to the end (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 22 – HDC in the first 3 Sts, finish the last HCD by pulling through all 3 loops on the hook with the BC. BST in the next St, HDC in the next 3 Sts and finish the last HDC in the same way as before, BST in the next St, Rep until the end. (76) Ch 1 and turn

Row 23 – 53 – HDC in every stitch to the end (76) Ch 1 and turn

When you reach Row 54 we are working the same pattern as above but backwards. Follow the steps below to continue.

Row 54 – Rep row 22

Row 55 – 61 – Rep rows 15-21

Row 62 – Rep row 14

Row 63 – Rep row 13

Row 64 –  Rep row 12

Row – 65 – 69 – Rep rows 7 – 11

Row 70 – Rep row 6

Row 71 – Rep row 5

Row 72 – Rep row 4

Row 73 – Rep row 3

Row 74 – Rep row 2

Row 75 – HDC in every stitch to the end (76) Ch 1 and turn, Ch 1 and fasten off

Why not share your beautiful work on instagram? Remember to tag me so I can see @hevshomecrochet

Why not use the hashtag #hevshomecrochet to show off your work

Copyright

Again its time for the boring bit! This pattern and images are copyright of Hev’s Home Crochet. You must not sell or reproduce this pattern. You may sell items made from this pattern but must credit Hev’s Home Crochet as the designer.

Guest Feature

The Colourful Crow

Introducing another small business and extremely colourful guest Clare from The Colourful Crow!

“Hi, I’m Clare and I run the Colourful Crow.  The other member of the Colourful Crow team is my good friend Hayley who helps with making our lovely creations and is our resident pom pom expert.  We make gifts to make people smile, including ornaments, decorations and garlands.

I live in Sussex with my little family. My daughter who is 2 and a half, and my fiancé Steve.  We have another little girlie on the way very soon!  In between family life, I work from home running my small business and I absolutely love it.  

I’ve always loved being creative and began sewing on maternity leave.  After requests from family and friends for gifts, I decided to see if I could make a business from it and I haven’t looked back!”

Clare’s designs are full of colour and talent! I wanted to know what inspired Clare to make her beautiful garlands and hanging ornaments, “I’ve always loved helping people to be happy and found that making colourful gifts and creations that could be personalised put a big smile on peoples faces.  I love colour and want to make the world a brighter and happier place which I hope our garlands and decorations do. I’ve always loved being creative and am inspired by the beautiful world around us, especially nature and the outdoors.”

I’ve been following and watching The Colourful Crow grow on instagram for a while now and am always in awe of Clare’s bright style and sleek photography! I wanted to know if The Colourful Crow had any photography training, its never to late to learn something new, right!? Clare said she hadn’t. Can you believe it!! She said “Photographer is another one of those hats that you have to wear…at least in the beginning of running a small business.   I spend time teaching myself using online resources like YouTube and Skillshare, and I practice (a lot!).   It takes a while to get a style sorted that you are happy with.  Even now I find myself changing things to fit more with what I want The Colourful Crow to look like as a brand.  It’s always evolving.”

As Clare mentioned owning a small business meaning wearing many hats! I should know and I totally respect all business owners small and big for getting involved in well… business! As I asked Makepeacemade in my last post I also wanted to ask Clare what it was like to run a small business and what advice The Colourful Crow would give. I thinks its really important to hear different peoples perspectives and this way we can all pick up some tips along the way.

Clare says “Running a small business is the best thing ever.  It’s so rewarding, every little sale, review, like, comment, share on social media etc really does mean the world and we are so grateful for all of it.  I have a little girl and one on the way very soon so it means I can work from home and work flexibly around family life which I absolutely love. 

Of course, it’s hard as well.  Running a small business means you have to wear so many different hats and try to be the best you can be at all of them.  Whether that’s design, marketing, finances, photography etc.  It’s a really steep learning curve, but the important thing is to embrace it all and to recognise how much you are growing and learning as part of the journey.  We all make mistakes along the way and have days where we question what we are doing if something goes wrong, but if you love what you do, it’s important to get back up and keep going.

For anyone wanting to start a small business I’d say just go for it.  There’s lots of anxieties and fear around taking that step, putting yourself out there and starting something new, and people might try and dissuade you from doing it. But if it’s something you love just follow your heart and make it happen. You won’t regret it!

Also make use of social media and the connections you can find on there. People are so supportive.  We really found such a great network on Instagram.  Everyone was so helpful and kind and we’ve made so many insta friends.  Most of our sales came through social media in the beginning so it’s definitely worth making sure you have a strong presence on social channels.  But, I would pick one channel first and concentrate on doing that right rather than lots, because it’s a lot of work and can be overwhelming.”

Thanks so much Clare for sharing all your advice and for being honest about the hardships. Talking business in the current pandemic I wanted to ask Clare if she’d seen a bigger demand during Covid-19 or if small businesses has struggled. Clare mentioned that the demand during Covid has actually been higher! “It’s a time when people have moved towards supporting small and local businesses more which has been really really lovely.  I know a lot of people were anxious to begin with about keeping their businesses going, but customers have been so supportive and kind.  We initially shut our Etsy shop because of postage issues and being high risk because I’m pregnant, but we had so many requests for gifts that we chose to open up again and I’m so pleased we did.” This is amazing to hear and I’m so glad while self isolating Clare’s been able to keep busy and happy.

The Colourful Crow has definately had their work cut out for them during lock down creating A special little rainbow bird.  “We designed them with NHS staff in mind.  I worked for the NHS as an Occupational Therapist for quite a few years and Hayley still works there so it really did mean a lot to be able to make something special for staff on the frontline.”

These are really beautiful and its an amazing take on the Covid Rainbow. If you want one or want to see more of what The Colourful Crow has to offer check out Clare on Instagram and Etsy.

Next month I’m inviting not two but THREE super guests to the blog, why not check them out here, Quintessence Aromas, Clouds and Coco and The Crochet Counter.

Enjoy your cuppa,

Hev xoxo

Copyright

All Images on this post are copyright of The Colourful Crow, Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.