Inspired handmade crochet, unique items and gifts to buy

our blog - February 2019

Rainbow Crochet Shawls Prove Popular!

I've just completed another rainbow coloured crochet shawl for a customer at yay retro!  These are proving very popular and happily I have several rainbow styled yarn cakes to to choose from as well as a range of crochet shawl designs. This means that every shawl I make will come out different to the others.

Here is a rainbow coloured shawl using the Droplets pattern by Mijo Crochet, as you can see this lacy effect shawl can be worn as a cowl or scarf, yet unwound it works as a shawl or wrap. Perfect for any weather or time of year.

Check out my new Waves crochet pattern shawl...this one is currently available to buy in the yay retro! shop. Look at the incredible pattern on this one which has an inset textural triangle surrounded by open stitches! I've called this one Zing Zing as the rainbow colours are really bright and zingy!!

Here is another rainbow effect yarn cake shawl this time in the Secret Paths Mijo Crochet pattern. Again this can be worn in any way. I've seen my customers wearing their shawls in both of these designs and they look simply fabulous!  Why not pre-order a shawl today? Simply opt for your design and choose a yarn cake from my huge range.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 28/02/2019

Yarn Winder Review

Here is my review of a 'Hand Operated Yarn Winder' which I recently bought on Ebay. It seems that there is one main type of yarn winder available to buy online, and they are very cheap ranging from £8 to £15 including postage. These are the cream and red plastic ones, which clamp to a table ahead of use.

Yarn winders are used to neatly wind left over yarn for storage or to divide up yarn cakes ahead of making an item so that you know precisely the colours and length of these that the cake has. Both knitters and crocheters would probably find a yarn winder useful.  Up until now I've always wound yarn by hand, however if you have a lot of yarn to wind it can cause aches and pains - recently I had really sore arms after doing a large batch of winding!  

As you can see the yarn winder creates very neat cakes or balls of yarn ready for storing in your yarn stash or for use in your current project. It's very easy to assemble. Simply put the spindle in place on the geared base and twist to lock. Then insert the wire yarn guide into the slot in the back.  I must admit that initially I didn't get this locked into place hard enough and had to ask fellow crocheters what I was doing wrong. They advised to really pull it hard to lock into place, and since then I've had no problems.

The yarn can jump around and get a bit tangled if you wind the handle too fast, and I find it works best if you place your yarn in a bowl to allow it to move freely and without losing it on the floor under your chair! I also gently hold the yarn coming from the bowl with my fingers to guide it and keep a little tension in it.

To release your cake of wound yarn you simply lift it off the winder and you can then use yarn from the centre or outside of the cake.

I would thoroughly recommend investing in a yarn winder, it's very useful when you need to divide up a multi-coloured yarn cake to find the colour you require and to check on the length of that particular colour before starting the next section of your pattern. Additionally it means that less of your yarn goes to waste, as you can keep track of the left over and useful pieces you have across your projects. Having a neatly wound cake of yarn in your stash prevents jumbles and knots forming and encourages you to find ways of using your left over colours. Take a peek at the handmade crocheted items yay retro! has for sale right now!

I use yarn cakes to make crochet shawls, wraps, scarves or cowls like this one.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 21/02/2019

Crochet Droplets Design Shawl for sale

I have a lovely crocheted shawl ready for sale in my online shop right now. I've named this one 'Mint Cake' due to its gorgeous minty colour scheme.

This is super soft hand crocheted asymmetric shaped shawl is made using an ombré effect yarn cake with colours changing from grey through to cream and mint greens. Light, cuddly and warm this would be a pure delight to wear. As you can see, it has a range of lacy crochet stitches which creates lots of visual interest and you can use it as a shawl or cosy up, wrapping as a scarf or cowl.

You can wear this in all sorts of different ways with the point hanging down your back, or down your front to keep you warm inside a winter coat or as an airy wrap on Spring and Summer days.  This design is called Droplets, a pattern by Mijo Crochet, and includes popcorn bobble stitches, as well as open work and decorative edges. If you missed out on this shawl, don't worry you can pre-order a shawl on the website, and get in touch to choose your colour from my extensive yarn collection.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 19/02/2019

Pre-Order a Crochet Shawl from yay retro today!

With my super soft crocheted shawls selling out fast, you may want to pre-order one from me. Many customers have already done this and the process is easy to do.  You will be able to choose the colour of your shawl from my yarn stock, and also the design and then once you have chosen I will make your shawl to order.

Above is the very popular Secret Paths pattern designed by Mijo Crochet, this includes popcorn bobble stitches, as well as open work and decorative ribbed sections. I create these shawls using an ombré effect yarn with colours changing through the shawl in a creative way. The super soft yarn feels light, cuddly, warm and a pure delight to wear, the range of crochet stitches create texture and lots of visual interest.

Whether you like bold or soft colours I can usually find something to suit you.  The shawl above is the Droplets design, again the pattern is by Mijo Crochet. This one has a lacier feel and I am set to do this in other colours soon. Why not be one of the first to get this in a different colour - and get in touch with me today?

This shawl I call Love hearts, mainly because the first one I made reminded me of Love heartsweets with the colours  I used. I have now gone on to make this in other colour ways with more to come very soon. 

You can use any of my shawls as a wrap  on a cool summers day or to cosy up, and wear as a scarf or cowl. You can wear them in all different ways making them a must-have item for your wardrobe. Many of my customers have bought two or three to wear with different outfits!  Search Crochet Shawl at yay retro now.  *** You can even pre-order and pay in the yay retro shop here. ***

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 15/02/2019

Another Crochet Shawl for sale at yay retro!

Once for sale, my crochet shawls sell out pretty fast, so thought I'd announce that another has been added to the shop now. I've named this one 'Pebbles' as the cream and grey colours used made me think of natural stones.

There are also a few rows of soft creamy mohair which adds even more texture to this shawl which features bobble and raised stitches. As with all my shawls they are washed ready for wear and arrive in super soft condition. They can be wrapped around your neck on cold winter days or worn as a wrap in the evening or in the summer. 

Why not wear with one of the shawl pins I now sell at yay retro. This enables you to style your wrap and wear it in a poncho style?
Check out my crochet shawls for sale now.  If they are all sold out, drop me a line ( and ask to pre-order or receive a notification each time a shawl is complete.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 10/02/2019

Broadsands Crochet Shawl at yay retro!

I've just completed this crochet shawl which I've named 'Broadsands' as the colours reminded my customer of the colours in my beach photo at the weekend. Vivid sky blues, ink, burnt sienna a rusts abound in this detailed shawl made from the mijo crochet Secret Paths pattern.  I love this design as it looks different in each colour of yarn cake I use! This sold before I had a chance to complete it.  If you would like to get on the waiting list for a yay retro crochet shawl, please email me and I will notify you when one is ready to buy.

These shawls can be worn in a multitude of ways in all kinds of weather from a wrap in summer to a scarf or cowl in winter!

Broadsands beach in Devon, all the colours in my Broadsands Shawl.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 04/02/2019

yay retro Secret Paths Crochet Shawl sold in seconds

I finished my second Secret Paths shawl last night and was thrilled with the result! I used a lovely soft and airy acrylic yarn cake with swooshed from sky blues to turquoise, ink blues to charcoal greys. I popped it into the shop this morning and in sold in seconds!  But don't worry I will be making more of these delightful crochet shawls.

The reason I love them is that you can wear them in a multitude of ways. With the point down the back as a shawl, or the point at the front as a cowl scarf. Pop a corner over a shoulder for a relaxed wrap effect or tie a knot to keep it secure. You can also pin a brooch in the front to close it up when wearing as a wrap! Check to see if I have any crochet shawls for sale now using this link or click on any of the photos.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 02/02/2019

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