A postcard from March 2022

Cariad & Dave

Hello, hello, hello! Only one week into April, and here’s my Postcard from March. I’m feeling rather pleased with myself that I managed to pull this one off before the end of the month!

How are you doing? I hope you are ok. It’s a worrying world we are living in at the moment, and the over-riding feelings of being utterly helpless to make a difference is something I think a lot of us are feeling at the moment. Whilst this postcard focuses on the more frivolous aspects of life for me, I hope you are ok with that. I feel I have to look at the positives whilst being all to aware of what’s going on in the world too.

Here’s what I’ve been getting up to recently then…

Crochet news

At the beginning of March, to mark St David’s Day, I launched the next of my series of Up the Garden Path amigurumi crochet patterns on my Etsy shop. Again, fabulously assisted by my childhood friend and super-talented artist, Emma Jackson, the pattern looks lovely, full of process photos and the most gorgeous illustrations of Cariad & Dave the Daffodils.

However, Dave and Cariad aren’t the only new patterns to appear in my shop. I decided I simply had to do something to raise funds for Ukraine, so sticking with the floral theme I set to work creating a sunflower doll seeing as sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.

Meet Sophia the Sunflower, named after St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv.

The PDF pattern to make Sophia the Sunflower is available in my Etsy shop here . All the profits from the sale of this pattern are being donated to the UNHCR appeal to support refugees affected by the war in Ukraine. So far £65 has been sent to the appeal thanks to sales of Sophia. Thank you to everyone who has bought one!

In other crochet news I joined in with an appeal to make crochet squares for blankets to raise funds for Ukraine through the DEC appeal. The Blanket of Hugs Ukraine is the brain child of lovely Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet. She’s asking for crocheted squares to be sent to her and then she’s joining them into blankets which are being ‘raffled off’ to raise funds. The last time I checked there had been donations of £3,500 already! Well done Amanda. You can find all the information for the appeal here if you would like to get involved too.

Also can you spot my Ukraine button badge too? Made by the lovely Mrs G Makes.

There’s been quite a lot of yellow yarn on my hooks this month… an appeal locally for crocheters to make sunflowers came my way so I made some as part of a charity virtual bike ride from where I live in Manchester to Kyiv last Saturday. Those amazing cyclists managed to ride the distance between the cities raising £8,000+ at the last count. Well done everyone!

Sunny Skipton

In other news, I had a lovely day trip to Skipton in March to celebrate my Mum’s birthday. The weather was exceptionally kind to us and we had a lovely wander around the town.

It was such a lovely treat to leave the usual jobs for the day and jump into the car to go somewhere different. It felt like a mini holiday!

And thanks to the lovely Cathy at Dear Emma Designs we had a tip off of where to avoid the crowds and enjoy a lovely lunch. Thank you Cathy!

A lunch of flat breads at Bean Loved in Skipton

Spring in the garden

Garden-wise, spring has definitely sprung, although as I’m writing this there are hail stones battering the window next to me and I had to rescue my little green house which had broken free from it’s moorings and was half way up the garden along with a pot of compost!

The prunus (above) which looked like a stick when we moved in in October 2020 has been covered in beautiful pale pink blossom for a couple of weeks now – I just hope the current weather doesn’t bash it to bits.

And this Pieris (below) was destined for the compost bin as it was a wash out last year. It may well have redeemed itself!

Glorious Manchester

One day a couple of weeks ago I was able to hop on a train into the city centre in order to record an interview for a forthcoming episode of Making Stitches. It was a stunningly sunny day.

Blossom tree outside Manchester Art Gallery

It was such a joy to be able to mooch about in the city after the interview was done. It felt like a window into another world watching the office workers sitting out on any patch of grass or bench to eat their lunches! I’m really looking forward to being able to share the interview with you soon – it was truly fascinating!

Podcast news

Olesya Lebedenko

My guest for the latest episode of Making Stitches and the first of the new 5th series was Ukrainian textile artist Olesya Lebedenko. Olesya, who is now based in Canada, makes the most beautiful quilt blocks and appliquéd pieces.

It was a joy to get to know her a little over the last few weeks. In the episode as well as talking about her craft, she spoke about her fears for her friends and family back at home in Ukraine and the online abuse she and other Ukrainian artists are facing since the war began.

You can hear her episode here.

One of Olesya’s projects featuring a tradition Ukrainian house

In print!

Issue 120 of Simply Crochet Magazine

I’m thrilled that another of my articles have appeared in Simply Crochet Magazine. This one looks at how designers can get their designs in print and featured in books and magazines. It was a fascinating piece to work on and a thrill to be able to speak to so many truly inspirational designers. Thank you Simply Crochet for giving me the opportunity to write again!

And that’s just about it for my Postcard from March. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m off now to finish getting my next podcast episode sorted in time for tomorrow – and in keeping with the last month I’ve had it’s crochet-tastic! If you haven’t already subscribed to or followed Making Stitches Podcast on your podcast app of choice, please do – it means you’ll be able to hear the latest episodes as soon as they are released.

Take care, and thank you for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Dave the Daffodil – Free Crochet Pattern

Presenting Dave the Daffodil

Hello there and happy St David’s Day! March 1st seems like the perfect day to share with you my latest crochet pattern; for Dave the Daffodil. Dave is one half of a daffodil couple – Cariad & Dave – a beautiful illustrated pattern for them both will be available in my Etsy shop very soon, but a basic version of Dave can be found for free below.

When I first started creating my ‘Up the Garden Path’ amigurumi people last year, I was very much guided by the seasons, beginning with Hope the Snowdrop (who’s also available in my Etsy Shop) and Saffron the Crocus and then Dave and Cariad made an appearance.

Cariad & Dave

If you would would like to have a go at making your own Dave, here’s how to do it:

Dave is made using the Amigurumi technique of crocheting in the round, so a stitch marker is a must for marking the first stitch of every round, so you can follow where you are up to in the pattern. I also made him using a 2.5mm hook which makes the fabric nice and tight and there’s no chance that you will see the stuffing poking through between the stitches and rows.

Materials I used:

Face, hands, feet and hair – I used a dark beige to pick up on the colours of the papery cases around the buds of daffodil blooms a similar yarn is Ricorumi Shade 56 – Nougat

Body – Sirdar Cotton DK 550 Olive Grove

Inner & outer Daffodil petals – Ricorumi Shade 006 – Yellow

Soft toy stuffing

7mm Black safety eyes

Stitches and abbreviations:

This pattern is written in UK terms.

Ch = Chain

Dc = Double Crochet

Dc2tog = Double Crochet 2 together*

Htr = Half Treble

Tr = Treble

MC = Magic Circle

Slst = Slip Stitch

St(s) = Stitch(es)

YO = Yarn Over

Rs = Right Side

FLO = Front Loop Only

BLO = Back Loop Only

YRH = Yarn Round Hook

*I prefer a neater finish for my decreases in amigurumi which can be achieved using an invisible decrease rather than Dc2Tog. To make an invisible decrease, you put your hook through the front loop only of the next two stitches, yrh  and pull it back through.

The Pattern:

As Dave is crocheted together as you go, you will need to make his head, arms and legs first before attempting the body. His hair, cloak and crown and can be made later. The figure in brackets at the end of each row/round indicates how many stitches there are in that round e.g. (6). Please remember to use a stitch marker in the first stitch of every round so that you can keep track of where you are.

Head (Begin Dave’s head with Yellow yarn and work the first 8 Rounds in Yellow before changing to Nougat /dark beige in the final YO of Round 8) :

Round 1 With yellow yarn, work 6 Dc into a MC and pull tight (6)

Round 2 2Dc into every stitch around (12)

Round 3 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next st) repeat around (18)

Round 4 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 2 sts) repeat around (24)

Round 5 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 3 sts) repeat around (30)

Round 6 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 4 sts) repeat around (36)

Round 7 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 5 sts) repeat around (42)

Round 8 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 6 sts) repeat around . Change to Nougat yarn in final YO of round 8 (48)

Rounds 9-16 1Dc into every stitch around (48)

Round 17 (Dc2tog [or invisible decrease as detailed previously], 1Dc into next 6 sts) repeat around (42)

Round 18 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 5 sts) repeat around (36)

Round 19 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 4 sts) repeat around (30)

Round 20 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 3 sts) repeat around (24)

Round 21 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 2 sts) repeat around (18)

Fasten off and break yarn leaving a long tail to sew the head onto the body later on. Place the safety eyes between Rounds 11 & 12 and 4 stitches apart. Stuff head firmly.

Arms (make 2): (Note: Change to green yarn on the final YO of round 6 and work the rest of the sleeve in green.)

Round 1 With Nougat/dark beige yarn, work 6Dc into a MC and pull tight (6)

Round 2 2Dc into every stitch around (12)

Rounds 3-25 1 Dc into every st around, ensuring you change to green yarn in the appropriate round as detailed above. (12)

Fasten off and break yarn. Darn in the yarn tail and stuff lightly.

Legs (make 2): (Note: Change to green coloured yarn in final YO of round 10.)

Round 1 With Nougat/dark beige yarn, work 6Dc into a MC and pull tight (6)

Round 2 2Dc into every stitch around (12)

Round 3 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next st) repeat around (18)

Round 4 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 2 sts) repeat around (24)

Rounds 5-8 1Dc into every st around (24)

Round 9 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 2 sts) repeat around (18)

Rounds 10-14 1Dc into evert st (18)

Round 15 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 4 sts) repeat around (15)

Rounds 16-42 1Dc into every st around (15)

Fasten off and break yarn. Darn in the yarn tails and stuff the legs firmly.

Dave’s Body

Round 1 With Olive Grove Green yarn, join yarn in the first stitch after fastening off on the first leg. Ch1 and 1Dc into the same st, then 1Dc into next 9 sts. Ch1 and join 2nd leg by making 1Dc into 1st st after fastening off on the 2nd leg. 1Dc into all remaining sts on 2nd leg, 1Dc into the front loop of the connecting chain, 1Dc into the remaining sts of the first leg. (32)

Round 2 1Dc into every st around including both sides of the connecting chain. (32)

Round 3 1Dc into next 2 sts, 2Dc into next 2 sts, 1Dc into next 14 sts, 2Dc into next 2 sts, 1Dc into next 12 sts. (36)

Rounds 4-24 1Dc into every st around. (36)

At this point flatten out the top of the body so you can clearly see the 2 sides where the arms should go. Mark the sides with stitch markers to see the midpoint of each arm position. We will be attaching the arms in Round 25.

Round 25 work out the point which is 3 sts away from the nearest stitch marker, this is where you need to begin joining the first arm. 1Dc into every st until this point. Taking the first arm, put your hook through both the front and back sts on the right hand side of the top edge and then work 1Dc into the next st on the body. Continue to attach the arm in this manner until all 6 sts across the top of the arm are attached to the body. 1Dc into the next 12 sts across the front of the body, then attach the second arm in the same manner into the next 6 sts, 1Dc into the remaining st of round 19. (36)

Round 26 1Dc into every st until the st above the beginning of the 1st arm join in Round 27, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 2 sts, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 12 sts, Dc2tog, Dc into next 2 sts, Dc2tog, 1Dc into the remaining unworked sts of Round 25. (32)

Round 27 1Dc into every st until the st above the first decrease of the previous row, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 2 sts, Dc2tog, 1Dc into the next 10 sts, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 2 sts, Dc2tog, 1Dc into the remaining unworked sts of Round 26. (28)

Round 28 1Dc into every st until the st above the first decrease of the previous row, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 10 sts, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, 1Dc into remaining unworked sts of Round 27. (24)

Round 29 1Dc into every st until the st above the first decrease of the previous row, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 8 sts, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, 1Dc into remaining unworked sts of Round 26. (20)

Fasten off and break yarn leaving a long enough tail to sew the head on.

Firmly stuff the body. At this point, position the head with eyes facing forwards on top of the body, pin in place and sew the head onto the body securely.

Dave’s outer daffodil petals (Make 6)

Round 1 With Yellow yarn, 6Dc into a MC and pull tight (6)

Round 2 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 2 sts) repeat (8)

Round 3 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 3 sts) repeat (10)

Round 4 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 4 sts) repeat (12)

Round 5 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 5 sts) repeat (14)

Round 6 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 6 sts) repeat (16)

Round 7 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 7 sts) repeat (18)

Round 8 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 8 sts) repeat (20)

Round 9 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 9 sts) repeat (22)

Rounds 10 – 13 1Dc into every st around (22)

Round 14 (Dc2tog, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 7 sts) repeat (18)

Round 15 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 7 sts) repeat (16)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Dave’s Crown

Round 1 Once all 6 petals are complete, they need to be joined together to make Dave’s Crown. Take the first petal and put the hook through both the front and back sts on the right hand side of the top edge and pull a loop of Yellow yarn through, Ch1 then 1Dc into this same st, 1Dc across the remaining 7 stitches (both front and back sts) of the first petal. Then take the 2nd petal and work 1Dc across all 8 sts (both front and back sts) and continue in this manner until all 6 petals are joined with a row of Dc sts then slst. (48)

Round 2 We want Dave’s crown to be worked in the round, so the first st of Round 2 is worked into the 1st st of Round 1 which will connect the whole row of petals into a circle – remember to make this first stitch of the next Round with a stitch marker. 1Dc into every st around (48)

Round 3 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 6 sts) repeat around (42)

Round 4 Working into the FLO (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 5 sts) repeat around (36)

Rounds 5-12 1Dc into every st around (36)

Round 13 (Htr, Tr, Htr, Slst) repeat around to form frill on top of the inner trumpet of Dave’s Daffodil Crown. Finish off and break yarn. Weave in the end so that it’s invisible on both the inside and outside of the trumpet.

Then with yellow yarn, stitch the outer petals to each other at their widest part so that they stand up around the trumpet.

Place the daffodil crown onto Dave’s head positioning it along the edge of the yellow circle on the top of Dave’s head. Pin in place and then sew it to the head using the rim of back loops formed in Round 4 which should marry up with the edge of the yellow circle.

Dave’s Hair

Row 1 With Nougat yarn, Ch 40. (1Dc into 2nd ch from hook and the next 4 chains. Stst into next ch & ch6) repeat along to the end of the chain until you have 35 strands of hair. Once you rech the end of the row, ch1 and turn.

Row 2 1Dc into every st along, Ch1 and turn (33)

Row 3 Slst into the next 3 sts, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, 1Dc into the next 3 sts, Htr into next 2 sts, Tr into next 5 sts, Htr into next 2 sts, 1Dc into next 3 sts, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, slst into next st and finish off leaving a log tail to attach hair to Dave’s head. Sew the hair in place just below the crown.

Dave’s cloak

Row 1 With Olive Grove green yarn ch 52. 1Tr in 3rd chain from hook and each subsequent chain. Ch1 and turn. (50)

Row 2 Slst into next 36 sts. Ch 18 and turn.

Row 3 1Tr into 3rd ch from hook and 15 remaining chains. 1Tr into the next 36 sts. Ch1 and turn (52)

Rows 4 Repeat Row 2

Row 5 Repeat Row 3

Row 6 Repeat Row 2

Row 7 Repeat Row 3

Row 8 Repeat Row 2

Row 9 Repeat Row 3

Row 10 Repeat Row 2

Row 11 Repeat Row 3

Row 12 Repeat Row 2

Row 13 Repeat Row 3

Row 14 Slst into next 36 sts. Chain 16 and turn.

Row 15 1Tr into 3rd ch from hook and 13 remaining chains. 1Tr into the next 36 sts. Ch1 and turn the cloak at right angles to begin working along the top edge.

Row 16 begin the first row of the cloak collar by working 1Dc into the end of the first row and 2Dc around the 1st Tr of the first row. Repeat this along the top edge of the of the cloak. Ch2 and turn (25)

Row 17 Work 1Tr into each of the stitches of row 16. Fasten off and weave in the ends.

Now take the yellow yarn and join it in one side of the cloak where the collar joins the main cloak and ch12 to bring a fastening across the front of the cloak and then secure it into place on the other side of the cloak once it is around Dave’s neck.

Cariad & Dave

If you make a Dave of your own, I’d love to see him! Please tag him on your social media posts with #upthegardenpathdave so I can see him.

Happy hooking!

Lindsay x

Some of my ‘Up the Garden Path’ creations