Saturday, 5 August 2017

Nordic Stitches cowl

I had such a lovely surprise last Saturday when the post arrived and an advance copy of issue 18 of Crochet Now popped through the door.
Cover of Crochet Now issue 18

Back in April I submitted a design proposal to Crochet Now and shortly after I was commissioned to produce a pattern and sample for my design. Throughout I never really believed it was happening so you can imagine my delight when I saw the design in print.

Like many of us who work with yarn, I am always adapting patterns or starting from scratch to make exactly what I (or my little boy) want. My head is also full of things I want to make...if only I had more time. But I had always assumed that I couldn't write a pattern. Setting my making goals for the year I challenged myself to stop procrastinating and give it a try.

Call for design submissions
When I spotted the call for submissions to Crochet Now I thought I should give it go. I immediately had the idea of a chunky cowl (I do love cowls - such a versatile accessory).
Sketch of cowl design

 I wanted to design something that was straightforward (for me!), suitable for beginners and lovely to wear. It was particularly important to me to create an item that was accessible to those new to crochet - I want as many people as possible to discover how amazing it is to wear something they've made.

I used MillaMia Aran yarn for the swatch - it is a dream to crochet with and so soft. In choosing the colours I really responded to the mood boards provided by Crochet Now. As some of you may know - I don't 'do' mustard! but I played around with different shades in the MillaMia range and I'm so pleased with how they've worked together. My Mum loves mustard - she's just bought a cardigan in the colour - she's very happy to be the recipient of the samples!

Pattern writing
Admittedly it was a very straightforward forward pattern to write up but I loved this part of the process so much. Crochet Now supplied me with their style guide, I worked up the pattern, tested it by making the sample and then wrote it up properly. In a strange way it reminded me of learning to write HTML many years ago!

Making the sample
I found making the sample the most nerve-racking thing and in the end I made two! It was all quite silly but I was intimidated by the finished object appearing in a magazine. I think I will feel very much more relaxed next time. I posted off the sample in early June and then tried to forget about it!

First published design
So there it first published design;
Nordic Stitches cowl pattern in Crochet Now

It's just one small page in a magazine crammed with beautiful designs but I feel so proud; I challenged myself out of my comfort zone and I've learnt loads; I've made my Mum a cowl that I know she'll wear a lot and hopefully played a small part in helping those new to crochet develop their skills and confidence by making a wearable accessory.


  1. Wow! It looks fantastic! You should definitely be proud of this achievement Helen. I can relate to your feelings of "is this really happening?" as you waited for the magazine to be published! Here's to many more patterns for both of us! xx

    1. Thanks so much Marta!'s to many more patterns for us both xx

  2. Well done! I also had my first pattern in a mag this month, it feels like such an achievement, doesn't it? I love this cowl!

    1. Thanks so much Dawn, it's been an exciting month for us both! xx

  3. Yay Helen! That's fantastic! Congratulations! The cowl looks wonderful. How exciting.

    1. Thanks so much Tamara...very exciting, I still can't believe it really! xx

  4. Wow! That's fantastic! (BTW, I found your blog through Tamara above) Congratulations on your achievement! (throwing you a bouquet!)

    You have achieved something I have been toying with; i.e. writing a pattern for publication.

    I've come up with a number of designs and the writing them down in handwriting isn't hard but my stumbling block is the editing and layout to make it legible again and in a format that I can share.

    How long did it take you to get your pattern from first writing to presentable format that others can understand?

    Don't even mention html! I admire your talents. Now go out and hoard as many copies of that magazine to give to everyone you know! ;-)

  5. Thanks so much for your kind words. I definitely recommend putting together a pattern if you have a design idea in mind - it really didn't take that long once I started working on it. Good luck!

  6. Congratulations!! I hope to pick up a copy soon!

    1. Thanks so much Carrie! I hope you like it! x