Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Botanic Hat

Hello friends!
Just before Christmas I suddenly realised I needed a present for a man, that would be easy & quick to make, but still be wonderful (to match the recipient :-) ). So I started searching through Ravelry and stumbled upon the Botanic Hat by Stephen West (he's awesome, check out the rest of his patterns on Ravelry too!)

 I was SO happy to find this pattern. I made the first one, using local alpaca and Noro Kureyon, as soon as I downloaded the pattern, it's very well written, easy to understand and it's REVERSIBLE! Then I still had some of the same yarn left... so I made another one...

Then I remembered my brothers Birthday was only a few days away as well, so he got one too... For this one I used some Scheepjeswol Stone Washed XL (which I absolutely LOVE).

Then I remembered the beautiful handspun wool from EIisabet's Handspun, that I had been saving for something special, but I'd been busting to use it... So I made another one. needless to say, this is now my new go-to pattern when I need something for a man!

HOT TIP: When making this hat there is only one colour of yarn used per round, you don't cut the yarn after each round to change colour, you just carry it up the side of the hat. But, make sure you leave the yarn not in use at the FRONT of the work until it is time to use that colour again. This will result in the yarn carried up the side being invisible, which is a bonus, especially, when this pattern is reversible :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hello friends!
My Birthday is late in the year, right before Christmas, which can be a bit of a downer at times, because everyone is too busy with Christmassy things to do anything for your Birthday, so for my most recent Birthday, instead of letting the poor timing of my birth get me down I made myself a really fabulous Birthday present, crochet, of course!

I crocheted myself a bag! I was heading out the night of my Birthday for a non-Birthday related event (which was awesome, by the way) and I REALLY wanted to use this bag, so I did have to finished it record time, and I was seriously still stitching the lining in as I was running out the door, but I did indeed finish it!

I used Scheepjeswol Cotton 8 which, despite the name is a 4 ply/Fingering weight 100% cotton yarn. I really enjoyed working with this yarn, it has a nice hand feel as you're working, it comes in LOADS of amazing colours, has a nice matte finish, and isn't splitty! So there's lots to love about it.

I didn't have a pattern for this bag, instead I reverse engineered it from a picture I had seen on Pinterest. I later discovered that the very talented and delightful Lucy from Attic 24 has a really great tutorial for the motifs used in this bag. I used the "join-as-you-go" method, which saved a lot of time because it meant I didn't have to sew any of the motifs together. I vaguely guessed the size for the lining and used some black satin that had been languishing in my fabric stash for a few years, which I sewed with my machine, then I hand stitched it into the bag. The plastic handles had also been languishing in my crafty stash for many years, waiting for this project I guess!  In total, the bag took 26 motifs to complete.

Have you ever made yourself a birthday present? What was it? :-)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Libertas Cardigan

Hello friends,
You might remember the Libertas Collection that I released late 2014? Well, I have a few more photos to add, as I thought it might be nice and useful for you to see what the Libertas Cardigan looks like on a human, instead of a "flat lay" :-) So, here it is!

The LibertasCardigan pictured above is beautifully modelled by the lovely Kay of Crumbz Craft in Healesville. 

The Libertas Cardigan pictured above is made using Panda Cotton Blend, which is a really great yarn! It's fantastic to crochet with, and it's not "splitty" like a lot of other cottons, when you try to crochet with them :-)

You can purchase the Libertas Cardigan pattern from Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy. This pattern can also be purchased as an ebook which includes the Libertas Mitss and Libertas Hat patterns from Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy :-)

Also, we've had quite a few "beginners" make this cardigan so far, and they have been very successful, and pleasantly surprised with their garment making skills. This is a really great introduction to crocheting adult garments, as it's very simple and easy to follow, works up quickly (yay for instant gratification) and it's all made in one piece with NO seaming! So, if you've been meaning to attempt an adult crochet garment, but haven't found a pattern you feel confident you could finish, this might just be the one! It's available in 8 different sizes as well! So why not go for it?! It works up just as well in cotton for summer as it does in wool for winter :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Welcome 2015!

Hello friends!
It's time to welcome in 2015! I hope you all had a stress free and relaxing Festive Season, and hopefully a bit of time to get crafty as well :-) I have been a bit slow on the yarn craft front so far this year because the weather has been rather warm, and really not conducive to working on a massive woollen blanket that's draped across my lap, for example. So I've been trying to work on a few small things, like fingerless mitts (still in the testing phase, so I'll show you some pics soon :-) ) and a few new sock patterns as well. I aim to get a few more patterns released this year than I did last year.

Some of the patterns currently being tested are 4 different womens cardigans, knitted in 10 ply/Aran/Worsted weight yarn, one plain, and 3 with some simple but effective colour work. Yay! More adult garments! And another 2 womens pieces in 8 ply/DK/Light Worsted weight yarn, with options for a cardigan or a sweater,  one with stripes and the addition of some fruity knit or crochet embellishments, and the other with some simple colour work. 

There are also a few sock patterns in the pipeline, a shawl pattern, and one fingerless mitts pattern (so far). I'm also working on some new 4 ply/FIngering weight cardigans, one knit, one crochet :-)

And for the little ones, there will be another e-book of crochet sweaters/jumpers coming out very soon,  and it will have patterns suitable for boys and girls, and in sizes, from newborn to 6 years!

So stay tuned for some more Shara Made patterns in 2015! I hope this year is the craftiest yet, for all of us!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Kotori Jacket

Hello friends!
While I might have been quiet on my blog, I have been very busy in the pattern writing department (yippee!). This particular pattern has been available for a little while now, and it is already one of my most popular patterns (thank you lovely crafters!!) and I have made approximately a squillion of them so far :-) I can almost make them in my sleep now (it would be pretty handy to be able to crochet whilst sleeping, right?)

I like to try and write my patterns in LOTS of different sizes, so you can make one for all the little people in your life, and so you can keep using the same pattern and make a new jacket as your child grows :-) This one is available in sizes from newborn to 6 years! That's a lot of sizes!

It's a simple style, that is suitable for both boys and girls, and can be made with long or short sleeves. This pattern works just as well in cotton, for a Spring/Summer jacket, as it does in wool for a Winter/Autumn jacket. The simple design also means it the perfect "canvas" to play around with stripes or some gorgeous hand dyed yarn :-) And even an adventurous beginner could make this jacket in a few evenings! And did you know that I am always happy to help with any questions you have when making anything from my patterns. I promise you, there are never any silly questions :-) You can leave a comment here on my blog (I always get a notification so I don't miss any questions) or drop me a line via my Facebook page HERE

The Kotori Jacket pattern is available on Ravelry, Etsy & Craftsy!

I'm also thinking about making and adult version, with a bit of subtle waist shaping. What do you think?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Libertas Collection

Hello friends!
Wow! It's been a REALLY long time since I last posted anything to this blog! Apologies! I do get into Instagram a lot, almost everyday, so if you like to have regular contact and see exactly what I'm working on each day you can follow me there @shara_made . I really LOVE seeing what everyone else is up with their creative pursuits too, so let me know you Instagram name in the comments below so I can find you there too :-)
Hopefully these new patterns will make up for my lack of contact over the last few months :-)
The Libertas collection includes, a cardigan, fingerless mitts and a hat, and they've been so much fun to work on and develop. You might be familiar with some of my knitted scallop beanies and a few little cardigans I've knitted with the same scallop pattern?? Well, I really love it! It could be petals, or maybe shells, or waves, or just a pretty pattern :-) Lots of my lovely friends who are strictly crocheters love the scallop pattern as well and wondered if I might be able to make a crochet version... Well, I do love a challenge, so I got busy and soon enough I had a crochet scallop pattern that I was able to incorporate in to various garments and accessories :-) Besides the cardigan, fingerless mitts and hat, I am presently working on a blanket using the same pattern, as well as a scallop scarf, cowl, and skirt!
For this series I have had some extra wonderful test crocheters who have been extremely helpful too!
The cardigan is made from the top down, all in one piece (no seams to sew, woo hoo!) and has a v-neck & button closure, with 3/4 length sleeves (my favourite, and very practical for busy crafty folks).

The hat uses 3 different colours (but you could use as many or as few colours as you like) and only uses a small amount of each colour, so it's a perfect stash busting pattern (and remember, the more of your stash you use, the more NEW YARN you can justify) On a side note, I have been doing a MASSIVE stash bust this year and you can see the results on Instagram by searching the tag #operationstashbust2014. I still have a lot more stash to bust, but I'm making a big dent in it.... Yaaaay!
You can find this pattern on Ravelry, Etsy & Craftsy!

The fingerless mitts also use 3 colours, but just like the hat, you can use as few or as many colours as you like here, and once again, it's the perfect stash buster! These work up really quickly and you could easily have a pair finished in an evening. They make a great last minute gift for when you suddenly remember that you forgot you favourite workmates Birthday! Or there is an extra guest coming for Christmas dinner :-) You can find this pattern on Ravelry, Etsy & Craftsy!

For the hat and mitts pictured I have used Australian Superfine Merino by Cleckheaton and if you haven't already tried it, I urge you to get your hands on some! Oh my goodness! It is SO soft and squishy and delicious and it has a gorgeous drape, but is still very springy and has great stretch and recoil. And it seriously comes in the most amazing colours!!! It costs a little more than a regular 50g ball of wool, but it's actually a bit bigger (65g) and the yardage is about equivalent to 1.3 balls of yarn, so it works out quite economical :-) I'm looking forward to the Southern Hemisphere to roll around to I can make myself a delicious sweater or cardigan with this yarn (and it will definitely be some sort of colourwork  number, so I can use lots of the pretty colours!)

The cardigan pictured is made using a combination of Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury (the main colour, Slate), Bendigo Classic (hot pink, "Deep Rose"), Cleckheaton Coutnry Naturals (mustard/ochre) and Utiku Corridale (oatmeal/natural). You can find this pattern on Ravelry, Etsy & Craftsy!

And all three patterns are available together in an e-book on Ravelry, Etsy & Craftsy :-)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Aro Hat Pattern

Hello friends!
It's been such a long time! I've missed you :-) but never fear, the reason I've been so quiet on my blog is because I've been busy writing a LOT of new patterns! Yippee! 
So, here is my first new pattern for 2014: The Aro Hat!
You might have seen some of my other stranded colour work pieces here and there, but this is the first of my stranded colourwork patterns, and it even comes with it's own special chart to work from :-)
this hat is a really quick knit as it is worked in Worsted weight or Aran weight or 12 ply yarn. It has been successfully tested with all 3 types/weights of yarn :-)
The particular yarn used to make the Aro Hat pictured is Mondial Merino Special which can be purchased at various places, but I got mine at Lincraft
The pattern can be purchased via Ravelry (using the "Buy Now" link above, Etsy and Craftsy :-)
And as a special treat for my readers I am going to give away! To win this pattern, and any other single pattern of your choice from my range, you need to like my Facebook page HERE, "like" & share the Facebook post, then leave a comment here to let me know that you've done it!
The winner will be randomly selected and announced on the Facebook page on Wednesday 26th February!!
We're friends in real life, can I still enter? Yes, of course you can!  
I live in a country other than the country you live in, can I still enter? Yes, of course you can! The patterns are all digital PDFs so they can be delivered anywhere in the world to your email address :-)
I can't knit, but I can crochet, if I win can I choose two of your crochet patterns instead? Yes, of course you can!
I can't knit or crochet, if I win can you please send two patterns to my crafty friend instead? Yes, of course I can (you're a lovely friend)!

If you have any other questions, please let me know in the comments below and I will be happy to help :-)
xo Shara

ETA: I have drawn the giveaway and the winner has been notified :-) My dog actually randomly selected the winner :-)