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Tag Archives: Nicki Trench
  • Posted on March 22, 2016

    Crochet Easter Egg Cosies

    With Easter and the bank holiday weekend on the horizon, we’ve got the cutest craft idea to share with you today. Perfect for keeping boiled eggs toasty whilst you’re hunting Easter Eggs (obviously a priority), these little bunny egg cosies are taken from Nicki Trench’s Cute and Easy Crocheted Cosies. So grab your crochet hooks and brighten your breakfast table, next weekend and beyond! Plus, if you like these cuties, there’s plenty more Easter crafting to be had straight into your inbox with our latest MAKE newsletter. Join here to receive it now!

    Bunny Egg Cosies

    These cute little egg cosies have bunny ears and are made using standard double crochet to fit an average-sized egg. They are made in a spiral so it’s useful to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning and end of each round.


    Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, 100% merino wool DK weight yarn

    1 x 50g (1.oz) ball – approx. 105m (115yd) – each of:

    A: 58 Grass (green)

    B: 44 Aqua (blue)

    C: 64 Mauve (pink)

    D: 69 Citrus (yellow)

    3.5mm (US size E/4) crochet hook

    Stitch marker

    6 small pink beaded fabric bows


    17 sts x 19 rows over a 10cm (4in) square, working double crochet using 3.5mm (US size E/4) hook.

    finished measurement

    Approx. 4cm (1½in) diameter


    approx. approximate(ly)

    ch chain

    cont continu(e)(ing)

    dc double crochet

    dc2tog double crochet 2 stitches together

    rep repeat

    RS right side

    st(s) stitch(es)

    ss slip stitch

    WS wrong side


    (make 1 each in A, B, C, and D)

    Make 2ch, 6dc into second ch from hook.

    Round 1 (RS): 2dc in each dc to end. (12 dc)

    Cont in rounds with RS always facing.

    Round 2: Rep Round 1. (24 dc)

    Rounds 3–7: 1dc in each dc to end.

    Round 8: *1dc in next dc, dc2tog over next 2 dc; rep from * to end. (16 dc)

    Round 9: 1dc in each dc, join with a ss in first dc of round.

    Fasten off.


    (make 2 per Cosy)

    Row 1: Using A, B, C, or D, make 5ch, 1dc in second ch from hook, 1dc in each ch to end. (4 sts)

    Rows 2–5: 1ch, 1dc in each st to end. (4 sts)

    Row 6: 1ch, [dc2tog] twice. (2 sts)

    Row 7: 1ch, 1dc in each st.

    Row 8: 1ch, dc2tog.

    Fasten off.


    Sew in ends on WS and turn Cosy RS out.

    Pin and block Ears.

    Position and pin Ears onto top of RS of Cosy and sew in place.

    Sew one bow onto the left-hand Ear.

    Cute and Easy Crochted Cosies by Nicki Trench is available here. Don’t forget to subscribe to MAKE now to receive this and lots more Easter craft ideas straight into your inbox. Join here today!

    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with handmade, easter, school holidays, Nicki Trench, quick, crochet, 2016

  • Posted on October 10, 2014

    Don't go down to the woods today...

    It’s a bit crochet crazy in the office this week - we’ve been enjoying this cute little video full of crochet characters, we’ve got a Fairytale Crochet giveaway on Twitter, and Nicki Trench’s Crochet Basics is our current book of the week - so we thought it was only fair to share a crochet project with you today!

    A lot of you have voted Hansel and Gretel as your favourite fairytale, so we’ve picked this adorable pair for you to make. The book also includes instructions to make the accompanying scenery for each fairytale, so if Hansel and Gretel look a little lonely then they might just need a wicked witch, a gingerbread cottage and a garden to stand with (or run away from!)


    Hansel and Gretel

    Hansel and Gretel are brother and sister; they are quick to make and can be customized to your own wishes. I have made free standing figures but you could easily make cute egg cosies or finger puppets by omitting the skirt base and stitching a simple lining inside – if so, work Hansel’s bottom half as for Gretel.


    Skill level: **



    Gretel – 10cm (4in) tall

    Hansel – 11.5cm (4½in) tall


    You will need


    • DK (light worsted) yarn:

    Oddments of yellow (A), flesh ton or peach (B) and silver-green (F)

    10g (3/8oz) each of red (C) and pink (D)

    • Scraps of coloured felt in greens and pinks
    • 2.5cm (1in) square of cream felt
    • Heart shape button



    • DK (light worsted) yarn:

    10 g (3/8oz) of brown (A), yellow (C), green (D) and red (E)

    Oddments of flesh tone or peach (B) and silver-green (F)



    • 3mm (US D/3) crochet hook
    • Removable stitch marker
    • Tapestry needle
    • Embroidery thread or 2ply yarn in bright colours



    blo                        back loop only

    ch                          chain

    cont                      continue

    dc                          double crochet

    dc2tog                  double crochet two sts together

    dtr                         double treble

    htr                         half treble

    pm                         place marker

    ss                           slip stitch

    st(s)                      stitch(es)

    tr                           treble

    rep                        repeat

    rem                      remaining

    yrh                        yarn round hook






    Using yarn B, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch, ss in first dc tojoin, pm.

    Round 1: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

    Rounds 2–5: Dc around. (12 sts)

    Fill head with toy stuffing.

    Round 6: [Dc2tog] 6 times. (6 sts)

    Fasten off yarn B.



    Round 7: Join yarn C at st marker, dc(blo)around. (6 sts)

    Round 8: 2dc in each st around, ss in first dc tojoin. (12 sts)

    Rounds 9–10: Dc around. Fasten off yarn C.



    Round 11: Join yarn D at st marker, 3ch (countsas 1tr now and throughout), 1tr at base of ch, 2trin each st to end. (24 sts)

    Round 12: 3ch, tr around.

    Round 13: Rep Round 9. (24 sts)

    Fasten off yarn D.

    Round 14: Join yarn F at st marker, 1ch, dcaround, ss in first dc to join. (24 sts)

    Round 15: [5ch, miss 2 sts, ss in next st] 12times. (12 ch loops)

    Fasten off yarn F.


    Skirt base

    Base ring: Using yarn C, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch, ss infirst dc to join. (6 sts)

    Round 1: 3ch, 1tr in base of ch, 2tr in each staround. (12 sts)

    Round 2:1ch, 2dc in each st around. (24 sts)

    Fasten off yarn C, leaving a 15cm (6in) tail.



    Fill bodice and skirt with toy stuffing. Use tail of Skirt Base to attach to inside skirt to contain the stuffing.



    Using yarn A, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch from hook, ss infirst dc to join, pm.

    Round 1: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

    Round 2: [1htr, 1tr, 3dtr in next st, 1tr, 1htr, ss innext st] twice.

    Fasten off A.



    Cut 15cm (6in) length of yarn A, fold in half andput hook in fold, insert hook through end of dtrin Round 2, ss through dtr and 5ch using doublethickness of A. Tie off and trim both ends of yarnto make a plait. Rep for other plait.

    Use tail of yarn A to attach hair to head.


    Flower in hair:

    Insert hook into surface of hair at one side, using yarn D, yrh and draw through loop, 5ch, ss inbase of ch, 3ch, ss in base of ch. Fasten off andweave in ends.

    Stitch a tiny green felt leaf next to flower.



    For embroidery stitches see pages 122–123 and page 124 for making faces. Use French knots and black or brown yarn for eyes and peach for the nose. Make two tiny red stitches for a mouth and use cross stitch in pink to make 2 rosy cheeks.



    Follow the instructions on page 125; I have given Gretel long red sleeves but you can use anycolour or sleeve length you like.



    Stitch cream piece of felt onto front of the skirt, shaping the bottom so it’s rounded. Use a contrasting thread to stitch a tiny patch of felt onto skirt at side of the apron.






    Using yarn B, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch, ss in first dc to join, pm.

    Round 1: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

    Rounds 2–5: Dc around. (12 sts)

    Fill head with toy stuffing.

    Round 6: [Dc2tog] 6 times. (6 sts)

    Fasten off yarn B.

    Round 7: Join yarn C at st marker, dc around. (6sts)

    Round 8: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

    Rounds 9–11: Dc around. Fasten off yarn C.

    Fill body with toy stuffing.



    Round 12: Join yarn D at st marker, dc(blo)around. (12 sts)

    Round 13: [2dc in next st, 1dc] 6 times. (18 sts)



    Round 14: Miss 8 sts, insert hook into next st,yrh, draw yarn through both loops on hook, 8dc (makes first leg).

    Round 15: 8dc.

    Round 16: [Dc2tog, 1dc] twice, dc2tog. (6 sts)

    Fasten off yarn, leaving a 10cm (4in) tail.

    Rejoin yarn to second leg-hole. Dc one round, then rep Rounds 15 and 16.

    Fasten off.



    Round 1: Using yarn A, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch fromhook, ss in first dc to join, pm. (6 sts)

    Round 2: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

    Round 3: Ch3, 1htr in next st, 1tr in each of next 6 sts, 1htr (leave rem 4 sts unworked).

    Fasten off, leaving a 7.5cm (3in) end and set aside.



    Round 1: Using yarn E, 2ch, 6dc in first ch, ss infirst dc to join, pm.

    Round 2: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

    Row 3: 3ch, 3tr in next st, ss in next st, leaving rem 9 sts unworked.

    Fasten off.



    To make the wired legs and arms follow the instructions on page 125, using yarns B and C to wrap arms, E for legs and A for feet. Stitch hair and cap to top of head, using the yarn tails.



    Using yarn D, ss in any st at left-hand side front of Round 12, 12ch, take ch over shoulder, ss in any st on right-hand side of back. Fasten off yarn. Rep on other side to make second brace.

    To make lederhosen, embroider a chain stitch from right brace to left in a straight line. Weave in ends.



    Embroider eyes, nose as for Gretel, use a brownor neutral thread to embroider the mouth.


    We hope you enjoy the project and don't forget to head over to Twitter for a chance to win the book!


    Fairytale Crochet by Louise Tyler is available to pre-order now.


    Have a lovely weekend everyone and let's all go crochet crazy!

    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Craft Projects, Featured, Featured, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with handmade, Nicki Trench, video, 2014, Fairytale Crochet, Louise Tyler

  • Posted on June 5, 2014

    Mid-week Chat with Nicki Trench

    This week we’ve got a great interview with Nicki Trench to beat away those Thursday blues. Nicki is author of several fantastic craft books including the colourful new book, Fair Isle and Nordic Knits, and the bestseller, Cute & Easy Crochet. She also has a new book coming soon called Crochet Basics so we've got one to look forward to! This interview appeared first on Deramores in An Interview With on May 29 2014, and you can view the original post here.


    We have absolutely fallen in love with this book (Fair Isle & Nordic Knits), where did you find the inspiration for it?

    I’ve always loved Fair Isle Knitting, it’s one of my earliest memories. My grandmother taught me how to Fair Isle almost as soon as I could knit. I’ve always loved working with colour and love all the Fair Isle and Nordic designs, which are having a come back. The Nordic colours are gorgeous - all those reds and blues are delicious.


    Who or what influenced you to get into pattern design and writing?

    I started by making up my own hand knitted jumper designs many years ago and I also worked as a journalist in London for many years, so the two seemed to go naturally together. I have got into crochet more in recent years and my experiences of teaching really help when designing patterns, I made it my mission some years ago to try and take the jargon out of patterns and make them as easy as possible to read.



    Have you got a favourite knitting/crochet book by another author?

    I use stitch reference books a lot when I’m designing and I use Barbara Walker as a reference for knitting and the Harmony Guides stitch references for crochet. I really like the Japanese styles at the moment in knitting, crochet and sewing and although I don’t read Japanese, I admire the use of colours and eye for detail.


    How do you plan your designs?

    I start with a project list. Then I decide what style I’d like for a particular project, choose the colour, then try out different stitch combinations to see what works best with that project. I often throw out about six ideas before I come up with the one I like!



    Which do you prefer, knitting or crochet?

    That’s difficult to say! I prefer knitted garments, but crochet is so much more portable and easier to undo, so it’s much better when designing because I like to undo a lot!


    Do you have any top knitting / crochet tips?

    Follow the pattern exactly how it says! Don’t panic when you see the pattern, just follow it stitch by stitch and row by row. People often go wrong by misinterpreting the pattern.

    Take your time and don’t rush.

    Don’t be afraid of colours - choose what you like and go from there.

    Pin and block your work before you sew it up.

    Don’t sew up late at night - I have sewn many garments with sleeves the wrong way round when trying to get it finished before I go to bed! Best to leave it till the morning.



    Do you have any advice for budding designers?

    Learn your craft well. Take time to look around and see what is current and what people like at the moment. Design what you like and if people like your style, they will follow it.


    What’s the hardest part of putting a book together?

    The designing is not the hardest part. For me the hardest part is checking everything. My publisher, Cico, has an editor, a pattern checker and a proof reader, but mistakes can still seep through. The problem for me is that I get so close to the project from choosing the colour, stitches, design and then technical writing, by the time it gets to checking, I’m far too close and I can’t see if there are mistakes. I worry about small errors getting through.



    How do you relax?

    I have to take a break from knitting and crochet, just for the sake of resting my hands! I’m learning Argentine Tango, which I love. I have a lesson once a week and then I try to go to dances at the weekends. I’m also learning the violin. Both take my mind completely off work so I can take a fresh perspective when I come back to it.


    What’s next?

    I’m very excited about Nicki’s Crochet Club that I’ve started recently and I’m also planning on a new Nicki’s Knitting Club later in the year.

    I’m also working on a crochet book at the moment, which takes you through a series of workshops and teaches you all the skills you need. It’s a really brilliant crochet bible and I think the most comprehensive ‘how to’ crochet book yet. There are lots of illustrations and step by step guides and I’ve also designed 20 new projects to go with the Workshops.



    To see more of Nicki's work, head on over to her website, blog or Facebook page.

    All images taken from Fair Isle & Nordic Knits which is available here and to see more information about Nicki's forthcoming book, Crochet Basics, please click here.



    With thanks to Nicki Trench for the interview and Deramores for the blog post.

    Have a lovely day everyone and see you again soon for another mid-week chat!

    Here are some other crochet books possibly of interest by us :-





    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Interviews, Interviews, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with handmade, knitting, Nicki Trench, 2014, how to, coming soon, Fair Isle & Nordic Knits, mid-week chat

  • Posted on May 12, 2014

    Win your favourite #needlecraft book!

    We have a fantastic chance for you to win your favourite out of three new #needlecraft books this week! Choose between Home-sewn French Style, Sewlicious and Fair Isle & Nordic Knits - have a little look below to decide which one you will enjoy the most!

    To enter, simply follow us on Twitter @CICOBooks and re-tweet any #needlecraft tweet, telling us which one is your favourite. Whether you love to sew or knit, all of these books are full of stylish and creative projects to accessorise your home and your wardrobe! The competition will close Monday 19th May at midday UK time.


    Home-sewn French Style by Amelie Morin-Fontaine is a beautiful book full of sophisticated and chic pieces, along with helpful sewing techniques and a range of different styles for you to enjoy. With 35 stunning projects for homeware and clothes, you can capture the beauty of French design!


    Sewlicious by Kate Haxell shows just how fun and fashionable sewing can be! With 35 stitched and highly original projects for your house, for festivals and glamping, to wear and for crafting, this book will inspire you to pick up a needle and thread and create something wonderful that you can't pick up on the high street!


    Fair Isle & Nordic Knits is a fantastic new book by the brilliant craft author, Nicki Trench. These 25 lovely projects will inspire you to try the Nordic tradition of knitting intricate patterns in colours that combine and contrast, creating beautiful pieces and learning the fair isle techniques with a skills section and full colour charts.


    We're sure that one (or maybe all!) of these lovely #needlecraft books will inspire you to pick up some needles and get knitting or sewing, but make sure you tell us your favourite at @CICOBooks for a chance to win a copy of the book!

    Good luck everyone!

    This post was posted in Competitions, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with handmade, needlecraft, knitting, knit, Nicki Trench, 2014, Sewlicious, Kate Haxell, sewing

  • Posted on April 3, 2014

    Happy Tweed Day!

    Today is Tweed Day and we’re feeling the need for tweed! Not the traditional Scottish man’s jacket kind, instead the geek chic crochet skirt kind! So if you’re into crochet then here is a lovely project from the Nicki Trench book, Geek Chic Crochet, for you to enjoy.


    tweed skirt

    A great little skirt made using a smart and effective tweed stitch in three vivid colours.


    Rooster Almerino DK

    50% baby alpaca/50% merino mix DK (light worsted) yarn

    » 2:2:3:3 x 50g (13⁄4oz) balls – approx 225:225:337.5:337.5m (248:248:372:372yd) – of shade 212 Blueberry (A)

    » 2:2:2:2 x 50g (13⁄4oz) balls – approx 225:225:225:225m (248:248:248:248yd) – each of shades 210 Custard (B), 213 Cherry (C)

    4mm (US size G/6) crochet hook


    beg begin

    ch chain

    cont continue

    dc double crochet

    foll follows

    htr half treble

    inc increase/increasing

    rep repeat/repeating

    RS right side

    sp space

    st(s) stitch(es)

    tr treble

    WS wrong side

    yrh yarn round hook


    fptr (front post treble) tr worked around stalk of st from previous round from front of work

    bptr (back post treble) tr worked around stalk of st from previous round from back of work


    22 sts x 21 rows over 10cm (4in) square working tweed st using 4mm (US size G/6) hook.


    (make 2 the same)

    Using A make 55:61:65:71ch.

    Row 1 (RS): Miss 2 ch, 1htr in each ch to end. (54:60:64:70 sts)

    Row 2: 2ch, miss first st, *fptr around stalk of next st, 1bptr around stalk of next st; rep from * to last st, 1htr in top of 2-ch.

    Row 3: 2ch, miss first st, *1bptr around stalk of next st, 1fptr around stalk of next st; rep from * to last st, 1htr in top of 2-ch.

    Inc row: 1ch, miss first st, working in dc inc 24 sts evenly across. (78:84:88:94 sts)

    Beg working tweed st as foll:

    Row 5: 1ch, 1dc in first st, *1ch, miss 1 st, 1dc in next st; rep from * to last dc, 1dc in last dc.

    Do not fasten off, attach B.

    Row 6: Using B, 1ch, 1dc in first st, *1ch, miss 1 st, 1dc in

    next ch sp; rep from * to last dc, 1dc in last dc.

    Do not fasten off, attach C.

    Row 7: Using C, rep Row 6.

    Cont to change colour in this sequence, rep Row 6 to form tweed st until work measures 41cm (16in).

    Fasten off.


    With WS together, sew up side seams, turn RS out.

    Block and press.


    The skirt is designed to sit on the hips, rather than at the waist.


    Geek Chic Crochet by Nicki Trench is available here.

    Enjoy the rest of your week folks and happy tweed day!

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US and was tagged with handmade, fabric, Nicki Trench, project, tweed

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