Inspired handmade crochet, unique items and gifts to buy

our blog - Crochet

Where Can I Buy a Unique Handmade Crochet Throw?

Hi there, I'm Sue and I create unique crochet throws and blankets which I sell in my online shop yay retro. I don't use patterns, instead I create designs in a painterly and creative way as I go along, working on colour blends and layouts during the process of making. 

Living in Totnes, South Devon I have a whole host of one-off crochet designs ready to buy now in my online shop. I can also take commissions (just message me to discuss your requirements).

One of my favourite motifs is the love heart, as I know that many people like to give my crochet creations as gifts.  Whether for a baby shower, or a birthday gift for any age group, or perhaps a blanket to offer comfort during difficult times, I have lots of feedback from happy customers telling me their gift was greatly appreciated.

My blankets are also a superb way to add colour or texture to any room in your home. From your lounge to bedroom and everywhere in-between!  Personally I use crochet blankets on our bed in winter, when out and about on picnics and also on our boat, to wrap up on chilly days.  Crochet throws and blankets have so many uses - why not pop in to yay retro now where you can buy securely online.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 13/04/2022

Crocheted Painting - Paul Klee vs yay retro

One of my most favourite artworks of all time is Paul Klee's 1925 painting  'Alter Klang', which translates as Ancient or Old Sound.  I adore the way the colours appear to pulse and visually move the eye backwards and forwards through the work.  

I decided to have a go at crocheting it as a blanket, because the use of colour blocks lends itself very well to a simple granny square.  The results certainly got people excited on social media, and it was a real delight to make! I used a range of Pato and New Fashion double knit yarns, taking Klee's layout of colours as a guide, and the blanket sold before I even completed it! I am now on the lookout for other paintings which could form the basis of a crocheted throw.


Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 16/02/2022

Summer Crochet Throws (they're not just for winter ya know!)

After a long old winter, today was the perfect day here in Devon, to take some breezy photos of the crocheted throws and blankets I have for sale. All of these super soft blankets or throws are ideal for year round loveliness in your home, camper van or caravan. Use them to add colour and texture to any room in your home, or mobile home! From the lounge to the bedroom and everywhere in between. 

I know that many of my customers like to use my smaller crochet blankets as pretty additions to their lounge or bedroom decor. Draped over a chair back or popped on a bed or cabinet. These soften a space and add visual texture and brightness to any interior, whilst being a sweet lap warmer for an adult or a fun cuddle blanket for children. My grandchildren always make a bee-line for the blankets in my lounge all year round!

Ideal as lightweight, compact picnic blankets. These beauties add that bit of cheery pzazz to any trip out, and being super easy to wash and incredibly fast to dry what better item to have handy for day trips. We keep a crocheted blanket handy in our family beach hut, and they always travel with us to the beach and on walks too.

In fact with many of us eating and drinking outside now, my crochet blankets have also been known to take a trip or two to the pub to snuggle with when the sun goes down of an evening!  Why not snap one of these lovely crocheted blankets up in the yay retro shop today? If you would like a bigger blanket, simply get in touch for a quotation and to discuss your requirements.  I make blankets from baby size through to super king size. 

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 26/05/2021

Notes on a Paul Mc Cartney-esque Crochet Waistcoat made by yay retro!

A few years ago I wrote a blog article about a waistcoat I had crocheted using slightly floral granny squares. This was a feminine version of Paul McCartney's infamous garment worn in the 1960/70s. Now I have made a unisex version using traditional granny squares, which makes it pretty much the same design as Paul McCartney's, and more suited to both men and women. 

Although Paul's was edged in pale grey, and made with a regular woollen yarn,  I have invested in a superior cotton based yarn so that it hangs better and is more hardwearing. I have chosen a charcoal edging, of Drops Cotton Light yarn, which is 100% cotton. This makes the colours stand out and be much more zingy. The centres of the squares are made using Scheepjes Stone and Riverwashed yarns which are 80% Cotton and 20% Acrylic and you can purchase these in a mixed colour pack of 52 x 50gram balls.  

Crochet Waistcoat facts:

  • You can pretty much follow my original pattern found here, though make the squares using a traditional granny square design instead.

  • I made 102 squares for this particular waistcoat, and a slightly different layout.
  • Each square took approx 10.5 minutes to make. So 18 hours of solid crocheting.
  • Sewing the waistcoat together and completing the edging took approx 8 hours.
  • [So a total of 26 hours non stop work.]
  • Made for approx 38-42" Chest, the waistcoat weighs 550 grams
  • I used approx 250gm of Drops Cotton Light yarn and approx 400 grams of Scheepjes River & Stonewashed Cotton/Acrylic yarn in an array of colours from a colour pack of 50gm balls (nb. the excess is natural waste from the crocheting process)

  • Note this design layout is very slightly different to my original pattern

A Crochet Waistcoat is 'the' distinctive fashion statement, and really easy to wear, just throw it over a long or short sleeved t shirt!  They are also really warm and ideal as a summer cover up on cooler days. If you would like to commission me to make you a waistcoat please get in touch. Prices will range depending on size and yarn used.... from £95 for a smaller adult with regular acrylic yarn to £160+ for cotton rich yarn like this.


Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 24/05/2021

Where can I buy funky Retro Styled Crocheted Cardigans and Jackets

Where can you buy funky Retro Styled Crocheted Cardigans and Jackets - yay retro of course! I love to crochet fun clothes using bright colours and soft yarns, making them very easy to wear. Here's the Join The Dots Cardy designed by Katie Jones, which is bright, breezy and warm and sure to gain lots of cheery comments!

Another Katie Jones pattern I've made a few times is the Blooming Bomber Jacket, this particular colour way is available in my sale.


I've made it in other colours too, and also with different pockets. These designs are really exciting and unlike anything you would find in a high street shop!  I can make these in a range of colours and sizes for you.

If you love this kind of outfit, why not get in touch to discuss your ideas and sizing to get a quotation? 

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 03/04/2021

How I Made a Crocheted Wedding Bouquet

I've just completed a crocheted wedding bouquet. An exciting first for me and I have to say it was fabulous creating it for one of my most supportive customers! I had been working closely with the bride-to-be deciding upon a pattern for a wedding shawl, when it came to me that perhaps a wedding bouquet might be a lovely idea as it can be kept afterwards.

First of all I needed to work out how the flowers would be supported and mounted, and finding some youtube videos on bouquets made of brooches, decided upon using a polystyrene sphere mounted on a wooden handle. The most difficult part of this exercise was covering the handle in ribbon!  

I then created an array of flowers and leaves trialling the use of pearl headed and sparkly pins to both be a feature of the flower, and also a means by which to firmly attach them to the sphere. (Obviously, having used pins this means this style of bouquet would be for an adult only). Crochet flower and leaf patterns can be found in books and online, although  if you are like me you will find that you can very quickly design your own once you understand the principles. I used Scheepjes River and Stonewashed cotton rich yarns for their artistic top quality finish and also Drops Muskat which has a matte look and Drops Paris which has a mercerised sheen as a contrast. 

Once I had created an array, these were carefully pinned on to the sphere in the manner of a floral bouquet. Plenty of different leaves, including a long trailing fern style leaf I designed to fill spaces added to the overall effect.  I made sure to include teeny forget me nots, pansy shapes, daisies and asters, and found that different hook sizes, and thickness of yarns enabled me to make different sizes for more visual impact.  My customer has kindly written to say it's "The most magical and beautiful wedding bouquet I have ever seen", and I'm thrilled to say that her intention is to keep it forever as a reminder of her happy day.

Like me you may find this instructables page on a crochet bouquet helpful too 

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 28/01/2021

Painterly Crocheted Blankets & Throws - Art in Yarn!

Painterly Crochet

Having been a fine art painter for a considerable part of my career, I've recently been exploring the idea of making crocheted blankets and throws with a more painterly artistic feel. Rather than follow a pattern, I am using a simple granny square and then the yarns as if they were paints, and letting my feelings and sense of colour inform the work.

My painted artworks were always based on abstraction, with the idea of conveying a deep emotion or mood, and I must confess they were rather sombre and serious pieces!  Now, however with the wonder of crochet I find I want to convey happy, joyous feelings, so use bright colours and colour changing yarns.

 I am still drawn to the idea of a division of space, as you find in American Abstraction by painters such as Robert Ryman and Mark Rothko (two of my favourites). You can see how I've used a division of space on this throw which has an offset square of a different colour entirely to the main blanket.

Careful use of colour changing yarns can bring to mind large artworks,  and this can really enhance a room. I named this throw 'Monet's Garden' and allowed the randomness of the yarn and the simple granny floral motif to completely take over.

Using Yarn to create a Watercolour effect

On these customer ordered blankets made big enough to use on a sofa or a single bed, I used an array of stitches to give the impression of swirling washes of paint. By randomly altering the stitch heights and carefully selecting the colours that appeared side by side for the most visual impact, this gives the feel of a large abstract paintings, rather than crocheted blankets.

By dividing up the space, and a mix of two strands of yarn a textural Colour Field painting effect can be created - as seen in the Super King Size Crochet Blanket below.  I will be exploring more painterly blankets and throws throughout the year. DO get in touch if you would be interested in pre-ordering. In the meantime, here is a link to all of the blankets I have previously made.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 28/01/2021

Crochet Flowers on Canvas Artwork

Having trained as a fine art painter, I have long been wanting to create a 3 dimensional crocheted artwork on canvas, and ta-dah! Here it is!

This has been made with heaps of tiny crocheted flowers made with the most beautiful, top quality cotton rich Scheepjes river and stonewashed yarn in yellow, orange, sky blue and green tones. There is an array of different flower designs in this piece, with lots of delicious texture and hues.

The flowers have been carefully sewn together and then mounted onto a 40cm square and 4cm deep top quality, fine art stretched canvas. A one -off piece, do snap this up if you love it as much as I do! Ideal for any wall in your modern vintage home. A wonderful gift and heirloom.

You can buy this piece here.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 28/07/2020

Send a Hug in the Post with yay retro!

Why not send someone you love a hug in the post? This star shaped, love heart mandala is the perfect treat for your friends and family to receive, showing them that you are thinking of them. Let me know when ordering if you have a personal message you'd like me to include! Made in 100% pure quality cotton this vibrant crocheted artwork is 30 cm / 12 inch diameter and looks wonderful in any room in your home. Pop it on your table, sideboard or cabinet, under a vase of flowers or frame it! Made with love just for you or your friends, this is made with bright tangerine, hot and pastel pink, mocha and cream hues.  Just £13 inc UK postage and you can get in touch to choose your own colours too!

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 09/07/2020

Buy a Handmade Crochet Blooming Bomber Jacket today!

Many people have fallen in love with the Katie Jones designed crochet pattern called The Blooming Bomber Jacket. Normally made with a black background and bold primary colours; this funky one-size-fits-all jacket works in all sorts of colour schemes. This is the third one I've made, and this time I've tried a hippy, boho theme, even adding a wooden button closure.

This is available to buy right now on my website here. Be quick, as I like to make these in one off colour schemes.

If you would like to commission me to make a Blooming Bomber Jacket for you, in colours of your choice please get in touch 

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 07/07/2020

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