#WIPvember · crochet · knitting · Lifestyle

WIPVember – Halfway Progress…

I can’t believe how quickly the last two and a half weeks have gone… and I am blown away by the amount of people who are participating in WIPvember. It is incredible!

I wanted to check in, and let you see how I’ve been progressing towards my goals for WIPvember. I have been a bit AWOL the last week for a few reasons… Last weekend I spent Saturday with Fay in Liverpool Central Library (One of my absolute favourite places)  looking through everyone’s posts for WIPvember and drafting some design ideas, and spent the evening looking after my Mother-in-laws dogs.

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William Brown Street, Liverpool

Sunday we had a family day and after walking the dogs around Marbury Park, we took them home and enjoyed a lovely roast dinner. I managed to do a lot of crocheting last weekend but unfortunately didn’t manage to catch the day light to take photos of the progress I’d made. (Apart from the blanket – but I will share that below…) Are you finding it difficult to capture content for instagram now that it is dark in the mornings and evenings? I’m finding I have to take several photos on the weekends to make sure I have content mid-week. (Something I obviously didn’t do last weekend as you can see from my IG) Oh dear! 

This week, I spent the first two evenings working on a Love Charlie pattern that I want to release before the end of the year, and the rest of the week I have either had plans, or been too exhausted to pick up a hook or needle. Work has been absolutely crazy this last week, and I haven’t managed to get any time during a lunch break to make any progress either… What a nightmare! But last night I got in a few hours, and today too… and tomorrow we’re having a movie day, so I’ll hopefully make a fair bit of progress then.

Anyway… to recap, here are my goals for the whole of November.

WIP-vember

  1. Finish Granny Square blanket.
  2. Complete 2 colour repeats on Cosy Stripe Blanket
  3. Finish Criss Cross Shawl
  4. Start & finish treasure Island Shawl
  5. Make arms & legs of ginger cat
  6. Make my Candy Cane socks.

The first thing I did in WIPvember was finish Katie’s Christmas Socks. Originally, I wanted to finish these as my second pair of socks for the #sockalong2018 but I ran out of time. I did however manage to finish these in the first week of WIPvember.

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I then started the Mustard Treasure Island Shawl, and my second Candy Cane sock… I was waiting on another sock needle so I could make both at the same time.  These have become my lunch time projects as they’re small and easy to get on with. 

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Once  I had finished Katie’s Christmas socks, I started working on my Granny Square blanket. I started by joining all of the 64 squares into 8-square strips. I managed to do this in an evening, and spent the next week joining the strips and adding an extremely simple border on it. This blanket used up stash acrylic in pastel colours, and it is the first blanket that I have constructed randomly. I didn’t arrange the squares before joining them, I just reached for the next one each time and added it in. Although this sounds like a simple task, it was a huge leap of faith for me as I am a bit (a lot) of a control freak and like things to be perfect. Thoughts: It saved a lot of time, however if the colours were more contrasting between squares, I think I would have laid them out first. 

I finished the Treasure Island shawl on Monday night. I don’t have enough good words for this pattern. It is my go-to pattern when I want another shawl or to make someone a gift. It is simple, easy to make, and designed by a fantastic person – Hannah from @thecozycottagecrochet This is in acrylic Stylecraft special DK in Gold, and is for one of my best friends. I chose acrylic so it is more durable and can be thrown in the washing machine easily. 

Last night, I made some limbs :’) I made two arms, two legs and a tail for the amigurumi ginger cat. This is already more progress than I planned for my WIPvember goal, but for now I’m going to put this WIP to the side to make time for my cosy stripe blanket and Criss Cross Shawl. 

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I think we may be going to watch Bohemian Rhapsody or the new Fantastic Beasts at the cinema this weekend so that’s exciting! And we’ve just started binge watching Killing Eve, so I think there will be a lot of progress soon. Next weekend I am out in Liverpool, but I may get chance to blog on Sunday (Unless I convince Katie to let me put the tree up early) How are you getting on with your WIPvember goals? I’m heading over to Instagram right now. I think I’ve got some catching up to do! 

Lots of love to you all, and I hope you’re having a nice weekend with plenty of crocheting and knitting. (Or any other craft!)

Love Charlie, Xx

 

 

 

#WIPvember · crochet · knitting

My #WIPvember Goals…

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So it’s time to show you what projects I’ll be working on throughout #WIPvember. If you’re wondering what I’m going on about click here to read a blog post all about this finish along. And if you do know what I’m on about, but you’re not sure how to choose your goals, then go and have a read through my previous blog post which offers a bit of advice on how to choose your WIPs and set your goals.

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First I thought it would be fun to show you ALL of my WIPs. I’ve linked to Ravelry so if you’re interested you can go and have a look at the patterns and designers. All projects are crocheted unless specified otherwise.

Untitled design

  1. Cosy Stripe Blanket by Lucy at Attic 24
  2. Granny Square Blanket
  3. Stripey Blanket
  4. Criss Cross Shawl by Fay Dashper-Hughes
  5. Kintted Christmas Socks (Basic socks by Christine Perry) [Finished this morning. Whoop!]
  6. Simple knitted shawl by Jane Hunter
  7. Woodland Blanket by Lucy at Attic 24
  8. Countryside flower blanket by Emma Haughton
  9. Beautiful Shells Blanket by Lahoma Jayne Nelly 
  10. Wedding decorations
  11. Bryggen Norwegian Embroidery
  12. Gran’s Spring Embroidery
  13. Lake district embroidery
  14. Knitted Candy cane socks by Christine Perry

I know that seems a lot (and it is) but I don’t tend to worry about the cross stitch WIPs as I only work on those in spring and summer, or whenever I fancy. They don’t stress me out in any way. Which leaves 10 WIPs as I finished Katie’s Christmas socks this morning.  I’m contemplating frogging the stripey blanket as this was started for a wedding blanket – which I’m not doing anymore, and making a blanket using htr stitches is going to take forever! Maybe I can make a bag or something? The other 3 blankets have been put away for my next finish-along, and I can make some ‘proper’ progress on these next year when I don’t have so many WIPs. January has been designated for Wedding decorations, so I won’t worry about that until after Christmas.

Here are projects, gifts and commissions that I need to get started and finished ASAP:-

  • Amigurumi Ginger cat by Kendra Szpila
  • Mustard Treasure Island Shawl by Hannah Siegmund
  • Burgundy Treasure Island Shawl by Hannah Siegmund
  • Ragdoll Mermaid by Spin a Yarn Crochet

Due to the fact that I have to get a few commissions and gifts done before Christmas, I will be splitting my WIPvember goals into finishing existing WIPs, and it is fundamental that I start another couple of new projects to get them finished in time for Christmas Day.

With that in mind, here is my #WIPvember WIP list…

WIP-vember

I want to get both blankets finished so they’re out of the way. Both are so close, but I may not finish the cosy stripe blanket. I don’t want to set un-achievable goals, so I am setting myself the target of achieving 2 colour repeats and I will re-evaluate whether I intend to finish it once I reach this point.  I think this will take the first two and a half weeks of #WIPvember.

I intend on working on the Mustard Treasure Island shawl and Candy Cane socks on my lunch breaks as these are small and easy projects – and once I have the blanket out of the way I can put more time towards these two.

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Week 3 & 4 are designated to the Criss Cross shawl as this needs my full concentration. For some reason I haven’t enjoyed this project half as much as I should have done (which is why it has been left in the WIP pile for so long) I think it is the counting that I dread – I’m a perfectionist which means that I am counting each and every row to make sure I’m in the right place. But when I actually get going on this, I know I can make good progress when my ‘head is in the game’. I absolutely love the shawl and the Harvest Hues yarn from John Arbon I’m using, and I can’t wait for it to be finished. I just keep putting it off.

#WIPvember WIPs & Goals

Finally, I need to start the Ginger cat commission. I aim to get the arms and legs made so I can make the body & head in the first week of December. If I get more made than my goal then I’ll be very happy 🙂

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Anyway, that’s my WIP list. Make sure you share your own WIP lists on Instagram so we can see what you’re making. Use the hashtag #WIPvember. Save the below image so you can overwrite your own lists and share on your feed and in your stories. I can’t wait to see what you’ll all be working on. Remember to have fun!

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WIP list template

Love Charlie, Xx

#WIPvember · crochet · knitting

#WIPvember… TIPS AND TRICKS

WIPvember starts in only 2 days! So I’m going to share some tips and tricks that I hope will help you choose your WIPs to work on during #WIPvember, and how much you want to achieve.

WIP-vember

  1. GET YOUR WIPS OUT!

Firstly, I think it is useful to pull out all of your WIPS and have a good old look at what you’ve got. Then you can decide what you really need to get done soon rather than later, which WIPs you can leave for longer, and which ones you might want to frog.

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Here is a photo of my wooly WIPs (embroidery and sewing not included). I took this photo a few weeks ago, so I have actually finished a few, and added a few since it was taken, but you get the idea – I’m snowed under with WIPs.

2. FROG!

Sometimes when you have had WIPs in a pile for a long time, when you pull them out again, you may not feel the same love for them as you once did. Looking through this messy pile, I found an old knitted scarf that I started this time last year when I was learning how to knit again; my tension has changed since I started it, and I also didn’t know to slip the first stitch of each row to stop the edges from curling… so that got frogged. I will start it again differently when I don’t have so many WIPs. I was also working on some crocheted socks for the #SockCAL2018 using some lovely Fine Fish Yarn that I bought specially for the sock-along at Yarndale. However I really wasn’t loving the process of crocheting socks. The fit wasn’t great and I loved the yarn so much – I want to use it on a project I know I’m going to love. After a week of trying to persevere, I had a nightmare about these socks and woke up realising I really need to frog these. So I did. I wanted to continue with these socks to fly the flag for crochet but I don’t think my troll feet are suited to crochet socks (or maybe I haven’t found the right pattern yet). And it wasn’t a problem with the pattern, just me. I’m not saying I’m never going to try and crochet socks again, but whilst I’m trying to clear out my WIP list, and get ready for Christmas… stressing over a pair of crocheted socks is nonsensical.

3. DON’T CHOOSE EVERYTHING!

After you’ve decided if you want to frog any projects, you may have already decreased the length of your WIP List – if so, well done. Then I went through my list (I have a long list) and decided which WIPs were on a ‘must-get-finished’ list and which were not so important. As it is coming up to Christmas, I have to include a couple of presents into my list to get finished in time, which meant pushing a few of the longer-standing WIPs back to the bottom of the pile. Put away any projects that don’t need to be finished straight away so they’re out of sight and out of mind, and pick 4 or 5 to work on. When you’ve done this, you can start to set targets for #WIPvember. Of course, if you want to just get on with it and not plan like an obsessive control freak, then go ahead… 😉 But I do love a bit of organisation 😀 Which leads me onto my next tip.

 

4. SET SMART TARGETS!

Use SMART targets to set your goals, so that you can actually accomplish tasks through #WIPvember.

  • Specific – Don’t be vague with what you want to achieve. If you want to finish a blanket, then that’s what you want to achieve. If you want to crochet 30 rows, then write it down. Don’t pick goals like ‘make progress on scarf’ or ‘work on shawl if I feel like it’.
  • Measurable – By making goals measurable, it easier to know when you’ve accomplished your goal. – ‘knit socks to 16cm’ is an easy goal to tick off, whereas ‘crochet blanket’ isn’t. If you are intending on working on a blanket, break it down into smaller tasks such as colour repeats, or sections (suck as total Granny squares to complete) so that you can cross each task off the list as you go to keep yourself motivated.
  • Achievable – Don’t set un-achievable goals. If you work full time, chances are you only get a little time in the evenings, and weekends to work on your WIPs. Don’t challenge yourself to 3 blankets, 4 shawls and 2 pairs of socks. It isn’t going to happen. Which leads onto the next point…
  • Realistic – Be realistic. Think of what time you have to work on your WIPs and what you can realistically achieve. If you have 5 WIPs to work on, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have 5 finished WIPs by the end of #WIPvember. But you can still make progress on all 5; and that is still an accomplishment to be proud of.
  • Time – This challenge is time measurable as we have a month to make progress, but if you want to be more specific; break the month down into weeks. Give yourself a week to work on each WIP or give yourself deadlines to keep yourself focused.

5. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!

Please don’t compare yourself to others. It is so easy to do when everything is online; but you really only get to see a snapshot of someone’s life, and we’re all different. We all have unique projects, skills, and lives, and one may have the time and ability to complete a whole blanket in a month whereas another may only be able to get halfway through a scarf. It doesn’t matter! Every bit of progress throughout #WIPvember is fantastic, and worth sharing.

6. ENJOY YOURSELF AND MEET NEW PEOPLE!

Don’t stress. Enjoy the invigorating feeling of smashing through your WIPs, and interacting with others on the same mission through Instagram. Follow others using the #WIPvember hashtag and comment and encourage each other – you may make some new friends, and meet new people. We’re all in the same boat, and we all love the same crafts. Have fun, and enjoy the process of ticking WIPs off your list, and having brand new FOs!

Once you’ve decided on you WIP list for #WIPvember, don’t forget to share to your IG feed and stories using the list template below, and the hashtag #WIPvember 🙂 We’ll be sharing our WIP lists on the 1st 😀

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Have fun digging through your WIPs (or WIP mountains in my case) In my next blog post I’ll share with you what I plan on acheiving through November.

Love Charlie, Xx

knitting

Socks, Socks, Socks…

The last few weeks, I’ve had nothing but socks on my brain. With the Sockcal2018/sockalong2018 running throughout October, it was the perfect opportunity for me to try and grasp sock construction. I’ve also used this month to get my head around knitting in general a little better, seeing as one of my new year’s resolutions this year was to improve my knitting. Anyway, here’s a really quick blog post to show you what I’ve been up to…

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As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, and on my Instagram, I tried to fly the flag for crochet and make crochet socks… but I failed. I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind, used the best pattern for my troll feet or chose the right yarn for what is most likely going to be yet another pair of sacrificial crochet socks… That is until I get to grips with the construction of crochet socks. I think crochet socks will have to wait until next year. I have a suspicion that the reason I am finding it so difficult  to make a crochet sock that fits – is because I haven’t quite got the full understanding of sock anatomy yet. I’m hoping that once I’ve knit a few, I will understand the construction better.

I have however finished a pair of socks for Katie using a Backyard Fibreworks MCN yarn in the colour way Trading Post that Claudia kindly gifted to me at Valentines. I used a short row heel for these socks as this is the heel I used for my first knitted socks I made last year. This yarn is delicious. It is so soft! And Katie says it’s 100% toastie.

I have now started making Katie a pair of Christmas socks in West Yorkshire Spinners ‘Holly Berry’ using Winwick Mum’s Simple sock pattern yet. I wanted to learn how to do a heel flap and gusset even though it terrifies me. But with Christine’s easy step by step instructions, I’ve managed it! Now I just need to carry on with the foot and toes…

I do have a few sock WIPs lined up for the future though, and I am trying to learn something new (and a little more advanced) on each of them.

When I have finished Katie’s Christmas socks with the heel flap, I want to make myself some Christmas socks with contrasting heels, cuffs and toes… therefore learning how to change colour when knitting.

Then I would like to make the Vanilla Latte socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes learning to put a bit of a pattern into the sock.

Eventually, I’d like to make Fay’s Mini Mania socks, and then attempt to learn some simple colour work, I’d also like to learn how to make a few different types of heel to see which one I prefer. Although the short row is an easy heel to knit, I feel as though I do not execute it well, and even though there are no holes, it is a bit to gappy (is this even a real word?) for my liking. Although my recent socks are a lot less holey and baggy as my first pair of socks which I made last year.

Eventually, I would like to start knitting shawls and I feel that by learning these skills in socks I will build myself up to shawls. I still have no desire to knit garments or to learn cables… but a few years ago I had no desire to knit anything – so who knows! Crochet will always be my first love – but I am enjoying learning new skills and techniques.

At the moment, sock knitting is absolutely addictive! I am really enjoying the speed, and size of the project, and how transferable they are. I love that I can do a few rows on my lunch break, and each small sit-in amounts very quickly to a sock.

If you know any beginner sock patterns that you think I would enjoy please share in the comments or Instagram or even find me on Ravelry – lovecharlieblog 🙂

Love Charlie, Xx

#WIPvember · crochet

#WIPvember… Are you Joining?

  • Have you got a never-ending pile of WIPs?
  • Do you keep picking up new projects to start before finishing another?
  • Have you got to make gifts for Christmas?
  • Do you crochet or knit and want to make some progress?
  • Do you enjoy taking part in CALs, KALs, MALs and finish-alongs?
  • Are you ready to be honest about how many half finished projects you have?

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Coming Soon… 

If you answered yes to any or all of the above then you should join the #WIPvember finish-along. Co-hosted by Hannah @andintothetrees, Caroline @poppyseedsbeads, Zahra @tinyanasthetist and myself, Charlie @lovecharlie.co – the #WIPvember finish along runs from 01.11.18 to 30.11.18, and encourages you to grab those pesky WIPs that have been pushed to the bottom of your bag and get them finished. End the year on a high feeling fantastic because you’ve finished your projects. (P.s then you can start 2019 with a fresh list of new WIPs.)

Where is #WIPvember taking place?

So, the finish along is taking place on Instagram, and starts on the 1st November, when we will share our ‘I’m joining’ badges which you can share too to let people know you’re taking part.

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‘I’m Joining’ badge to share on Instagram…

Are there prizes?

No, there are no prizes in this CAL/KAL/MAL as it is not a competition, just a safe space where you can be honest about how many WIPs you have and what you want to get finished. We will provide support and tips and tricks to help you get on, and at the end of each week throughout #WIPvember we will share a collage of your WIPs that you have shared on Instagram…

How will we know what you’ve shared?

Well you can use the hashtag #WIPvember on your WIPs and FOs throughout November we will pick up on your posts. Feel free to use any other hashtags you like, but this is the hashtag we will be following. Following a hashtag on Instagram is great fun as any posts with the hashtag will appear on your feed. (Just search for WIPvember and select tags underneath the search bar – then click #wipvember and click follow) It is a great way of meeting new people and making more crafty friends. Also, you can help encourage other WIP-aholics on this challenge by sharing your own knowledge and advice.

How else can you get involved?

You can post your WIP lists to your Instagram stories by sharing this image and over-writing your list. (You can share more than one if your list is too long.)

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I can’t wait for the finish-along to get started, I have many WIPs and I’d like to get a few finished before the end of the year. I also need to make a few gifts for Christmas, and if I have time, I’d like to make a few decorations for the tree. I’m also looking forward to seeing how many WIPs other people have, and whether I am normal in having my excessive list.

In my next blog post, I will be sharing some advice on how to set your goals for WIPvember.

Will you be joining?

Love Charlie, Xx

crochet · Free Patterns

Free Autumnal Crochet Patterns

This is really part two of the blog post I posted yesterday. I wanted to combine Halloween and Autumn patterns, but there are so many wonderful patterns out there that I had to split it in two.

10 Free Autumn Crochet Patternswww.lovecharlie.co

Here are my favourite free Fall crochet patterns that I have found. I wish I could make them all… but it’ my own fault, I have too many WIPs already. I’m preparing for a co-hosted finish-along so I really shouldn’t be starting anything new. So I have to enable you instead! 😉

I love the look of all crocheted garlands, but I think that crocheted acorns are adorable. When I see crocheted garlands I wish we had a fireplace so I could make some for each season and hang it up…

Acorn Wreath by Kate Eastwood

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Lucy at Attic 24 seems to have a knack for designing perfect autumn patterns, taking inspiration from nature and using shapes and colours to influence her designs. I have shared three of her patterns as I love how easy her patterns are to read, and how accessible they are. I have already started the Woodland blanket earlier in the year, but it is taking it’s place on the back burner whilst I focus on getting through a few other WIPs. (I told you I’m out of control)

Woodland Blanket by Lucy at Attic24

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Autumn Garland by Lucy at Attic 24

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Autumn Wreath by Lucy at Attic 24

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Here are couple of Autumnal blanket patterns. I love how unique the stitches are in both of these patterns, and I love how warm and homely these colours are.

Autumnal Throw by Amy Gunderson

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Autumn Fields Throw by Roseanna Beck

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I know I already shared Lucy’s Autumn Wreath, but this one is a lot simpler if you prefer a pared down look. And of course I absolutely LOVE the burgundy bow at the top!

Autumn Morning Wreath by Ashleigh Kiser at Sewrella

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I made this cardigan by Alexandra Tavel last year, and I love how snuggly it is. It is literally a blanket that you wear! Perfect for curling up watching movies while it’s raining outside.

Movie Night Cocoon Cardi by Alexandra Tavel at Two of Wands

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Here is another pattern by Alexandra Tavel, which has been in my Library on Ravelry for a fair few years now. I should really make this one as I drool over it everytime I see it. I love that it is such a fashion statement and the size of it means that it’s sure to keep you warm.

Coffee Shop Wrap by Alexandra Tavel at Two of Wands

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Once again, here’s another shawl that has been in my Library for a long time. I saw this shawl at Yarndale too, and it looks even nicer in person. I think this is going to have to go on my WIP list for next year.

Secret Paths Shawl by Johanna Lindahl

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Disclosure: I do not own any of the photos in this blog post, nor do I claim to. All designers are credited. I just wanted to show you some of the patterns I’ve made, or had my eye on for a while.  Crochet designers put in a lot of work to release patterns for free and I am extremely grateful. Please click on the links in this post to show these designers some love.

Love Charlie, Xx

crochet · Free Patterns

Free Halloween Crochet Patterns…

I’m busy hooking up a sugar skull Rag Doll for my friend Sam @a_stitchin_time_and_space  as she LOVES anything Halloween, and I thought that this weekend I would share some of the free crochet patterns I’ve found on the internet so you can all get busy before Halloween arrives too. I also wanted to share Autumn patterns in this post but found so many Halloween patterns that my Autumn themed blog post will have to go into a ‘Part 2’.

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I’ve found 12 free crochet patterns that are cute, scary and easy to make.

1. Spin a Yarn Crochet’s latest design is perfect for Halloween. I tagged Sam and Claudia in this post on Instagram as I knew they’d love it. Sam mostly knits, so she asked me if I could make this for her. Of course I said yes… I’m hoping to finish it before Halloween for her.

Sugar Skull Rag Doll by @spinayarncrochet

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2. How cute is this little Dracula? Jillian at Spin a Yarn Crochet makes fantastic rag doll patterns that are easy to make, and guaranteed to look perfect when done.

Vampire Rag Doll by @spinayarncrochet

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3.  Another pattern by Spin a Yarn Crochet here. This little Frankenstein is even cuter than the Dracula. I have made several of Jillian’s patterns now and they are written very well and easy to follow. Check out her other patterns here…

Frankenstein Rag Doll by @spinayarncrochet

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4. I’ve been seeing crocheted pumpkins all over Instagram recently and they are so adorable and make great seasonal decorations. If I didn’t have so many WIPs I would love to make a few of these to put on the window sill at home. This pattern by the Caron Design Team for  Yarnspirations seems to be very popular, and you can see why…

Harvest Pumpkins by Yarnspirations

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5.  Here’s another popular pumpkin pattern. It looks as though the structure for this one is slightly different but just as cute. There is even a tutorial for making a needle-felt pumpkin…

Pumpkin Pattern by Petals to Picots

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6. How amazing is this spooky blanket? Perfect for wrapping the children up with a hot drink when they get back from trick or treating…

Halloween Throw by Michele Wilcox for Red Heart

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7 & 8. Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me has designed two brilliant wreaths, although I have to say I prefer the cat one 🙂

Bat Wreath Pattern by Repeat Crafter Me

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Black Cat Wreath Pattern by Repeat Crafter Me

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9.  This blanket by Rilla Edwards is a great project if you’re taking part in Zeens & Rogers C2C CAL, and is not only perfect for Halloween, but for the whole of Autumn.

Fall Corner to Corner Blanket by Rilla Edwards

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10. Look at the detail in this lacy shawl. I know a few people who would like this one…

Skull Shawl by kungen och majkis

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11. This bowl is one of my favourite Halloween patterns, and if I had the time I would be making this one and filling it full or sweets for the trick or treaters. It is so cute!

Ghostly Candy Bowl by Michele Wilcox for Red Heart

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12. Finally, I found this coaster pattern which would be great if you were throwing a Halloween themed party. I think they would look brilliant stringed up to make ghoulish bunting too…

Ghost Coasters by Kara Gunza for Red Heart

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Disclosure: I do not own any of the photos in this blog post, nor do I claim to. All designers are credited. I just wanted to show some of the cute and spooky patterns you can make for Halloween. Crochet designers put in a lot of work to release patterns for free and I am extremely grateful. Please click on the links in this post to show these designers some love.

Have a creepy time hooking these projects! Happy Halloween!

Love Charlie, Xx