Inspired handmade crochet, unique items and gifts to buy

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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

yay retro! Handmade Crochet Shawls now being sold on the website

As many of you will know, yay retro! is now selling handmade crocheted items.  I have recently been making some gorgeous crocheted shawls, which can be worn in multiple of ways in both warm and cool weather. I began making two for myself.  First was the Dragon Belly shawl designed by Mijo Crochet.  I made it using a Lion brand yarn cake which changed from a mottled white through to a deep denim blue. The resulting textured shawl is ideal to wear as a scarf under a winter coat and would work for both men and women.

Next I made a Stormy Days shawl complete with lots of bobble stitches. This one was made using a Lionbrand baby yarn cake. It's super soft and includes grey, mauve and rich purples. I wore this a lot as a wrap on holiday, as it was perfect for the cool evenings in Gran Canaria. I got heaps of admiring glances!  I have also been wearing it as a scarf with my purple corduroy coat now I'm back in the UK. I love the flexibility of these crocheted shawls!

My next project was a Secret Paths shawl, another design by Mijo Crochet. I used another yarn cake, this time choosing the colours which blended with  an ombre effect from warm creamy caramel through to plum and burnt sienna. You can wear this styled shawl in heaps of different ways with the point hanging down your back, or down your front to keep you warm inside a winter coat. 

This one sold very quickly and I am now making another for the shop. You can keep track of the shawls I am making and selling using the hashtag #yayretrocrochet on Instagram.

Right now I have a gorgeous shawl for sale at yay retro! I'm calling it my 'Love Hearts' shawl as the colours remind me of Love Hearts sweets. This rectangular shawl or wrap is light airy, very, very soft and warm. Wear this coiled around your neck as a scarf in winter or draped around your shoulders in spring.

Why not search 'crochet' at yay retro! now to see what I have made ready for you to buy?

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 30/01/2019

yay retro talks Wire Sculpture with Becky Crawford of Spacefruit

Since I bought a wire sculpture from Becky Crawford at the Rotherfold artisan market in Totnes, I've been following her work on Instagram and regularly paying visits to her spacefruit Etsy shop. This culminated in my asking her to make a special commission and I also met up with Becky for a coffee and a chat recently. We decided it might be fun to feature her work on the yay retro! blog as I know lots of my customers will just love her work too!

above... A flowery wire sculpture by Becky Crawford of spacefruit on Etsy...

a long and bendy road to wire sculpture, with ceramics along the way....

Becky told me she's been messing about with wire for probably 30 years or more. She loves wire because she loves drawing, and sees her work with wire as kind of drawing.  Surprisingly, her degree at the University of Central Lancashire was in 3D design, specialising in ceramics of all things. She had wanted to specialise in glass and jewellery but it turned out she couldn't do them both together, so opted for ceramics. This made sense as having been taken to craft shows since she was tiny, the potters always captivated her with their wonderful squidgy clay and potters wheels; she'd spend whole days watching them in amazement. She actually hung around the potters so much that they would give her lumps of clay to play with! In the end Becky's parents bought her a bag of beautiful red clay and she made lots of little creatures which sat on windowsills around the house for years. When she got to Uni, she found she still loved the feel of clay and the way you could change it from a lump into so many different forms. After graduating she saved to buy a kiln, glazes and equipment but as she always lived in temporary accommodation, she found it impossible to set up a proper workshop and it sadly all ended up in storage until recently.

jewellery making and selling her work in galleries... 

Being unable to set up her kiln, it was easier to work with smaller materials. With parents who were makers themselves, Becky had often played with wire after her Dad had given her tools from a fairly young age; pliers and snips and solder and things to play with. She wanted to make silver jewellery so started with what she could afford; wire, beads and sequins. Her work however, was always very unique and creative.... one of the first pieces she made were crazy ladies with hair made from fishing line scrumples that she found on beaches. She sold these through galleries, saved up and eventually bought some silversmithing equipment. She says: "I loved making jewellery and I sold a lot for many years, in some fairly prominent galleries around the country".

above....Becky's wire 'doodles' which become wire sculptures when put together...

working from a garden studio to make 'wire doodles' into wirework sculptures... 

Becky now works in a lovely studio in her back garden. As mentioned before, she sells her work via her shop called spacefruit on from Etsy, and she also sells work through galleries, artisan fairs and shows. Working from her garden means she is often inspired by the things she sees around her, she says: "The chickens in the garden make me smile and inspire my wire bird pieces. Flowers, the shapes of leaves, patterns of stems in gardens, hedgerows, my local woods and being on the Devon cliff tops all rattle around in my head and influence the shapes I make in wire. I LOVE the time I spend in my studio... I always say that I actually barely notice what I'm making, my things tend to 'make themselves' if that makes any sense... I'm there listening to some amazing music or something on the radio but the wire or pen or whatever is actually doing the work itself!"

above.... spacefruit cork and bee sculptures, bring to mind warm sunny days...and have raised money for charity

Much of Becky's work features bees, hares, birds etc...She says: "The natural world is very important to me, so it does feature a lot in my work. Without the natural world we have nothing, and I worry about the future of our planet and what is going to be left for my daughter. Last June I started donating £2.50 to the Bumblebee Conservation Society for every bee on a cork or bee on a block I sold; in 6 months I managed to raise over £50! 

Customers who collect her work and commissions... 

Becky says: "I have customers around the world who collect my work. A lady in Australia collects my mobiles and buys them for her family members as well, another lady in America who collects wire artwork now has quite a few of my wire pieces. My work gradually changes over time and new ideas come along so there's always something new for people to buy".  Becky is also available to make commissioned pieces. I asked her to make a sloth hanging from a branch for my daughter in law for a gift, and the result was fabulous! It arrived in a beautiful package and was exactly what I had hoped for!

above....coloured wire hanging sculpture....lovely to prop on a shelf or hang in a little nook or window...

Personally, I love the characters in Becky's work, and I wondered if they have names? Becky told me: "I don't exactly give them names, but they definitely have conversations with me and each other, and have very real personalities; I've done a lot of people watching in my time and real people do seep into my work. When I'm making a commission like a portrait I like to get an idea of personality and character and even taste in clothing before I start. My friends and family also probably don't realise that they've been turned into wire characters!"

above....a roller skating lady - full of movement

Mobiles, cards and much more... 

Becky also creates mobile artworks, she started making these way back in 1999 by picking up rubbish from beaches in Cornwall and turning coloured bottles into jewellery. However, when she started working in a recycling centre she suddenly had access to many more colours, and started turning the waste plastic into mobiles instead. She says: "I do find some of them quite tricky to make – all that working out of balancing can take a lot of brain power!" of Becky's mobiles with one of her drawings behind...

In her spacefuit Etsy shop, you'll also see that Becky sells cards, and even instantly downloadable colouring in sheets. So it's certainly worth a visit. Becky says: "My work develops and changes all the time so there are always new designs. I've done a few bespoke wire family portraits recently which I would like to make more of this year. I would also like to develop some designs for paper based products." 

The artist at home... 

I asked Becky to tell me all about her home and she explained: "Our home has lots of handmade items in it, as it's quite hard doing shows and not coming away with lovely things from neighbouring stands! I've always collected beautiful vintage plates from the 1930s – 1970s, and used them daily until I moved into this house. Sadly they all got broken when the shelf they were on fell down! I was utterly devastated at the time, but they are all in a box waiting to be turned into mosaic things; so far I've made a bathroom mirror from them with more ideas yet to come. Our house is also full of beautiful paintings and things that our young daughter has made".

Becky talks yay retro! and crochet... 

"I love bold bright flowery patterns from the 1970s as they remind me of my childhood; same with all yay retro!'s gorgeous crochet stuff, as all our childhood photos have some kind of crocheted item in them made by my Mum or Granny!"

If you would like to see more of Becky's work do visit her Etsy shop here, or follow spacefruitgirl on Instagram here.

Check out yay retro!'s crochet and vintagewares for sale here.

Clearance of all Vintage items at yay retro now!

Visit for the last of the vintage items for sale. 

I am currently stopping selling vintage, the past year has been practically impossible, along with the High St Big Brand names, small businesses are also suffering dreadfully with the down turn, even online ones.

I have consequently lost the joy of it and am no longer confident to invest time and effort into buying more stock. It's incredibly sad as yay retro has been my successful baby for 6 and a half years. But the past 12 months has been heartbreaking. 

I will continue to sell crocheted items on the yay retro website and a few pieces from my personal vintage collection from time to time. yay retro will also remain very active on social media crochet-wise. I may send the business in a different direction when things pick up again. 

Thanks so much to ALL of my loyal customers over the years xxxx Sue

For Sale 1957 Vintage Larder Kitchen Unit Professionally Restored by Resto-worx

I never thought I would see the day that I would wish to sell my stunning 1957 vintage kitchen larder unit. But here we are it's for sale in the yay retro! online vintage shop right now. This has it's original glass, chrome handles and enamel worktop inside, all in amazing condition. It's so fabulous it looks like new!  

Resto-worx in Cornwall professionally stripped this down and fully restored it for me and I have to say it has brought me so much joy over the past couple of years! It holds all of my food and ceramic cookware with room to spare - it is very much a Tardis!  It is also useful as an extra worktop when I have loads of people over and am doing a lot of cooking. Because the worktop is enamel, it is ideal for rolling pastry out on as it keep it cool. The larder is in stunning condition inside and out, t and is painted cream and mint green in a satin finish. Incredible condition and very well looked after. COLLECTION only from Totnes in Devon.

Find out more and buy here.

Reason for selling is that I am having a new kitchen installed and this no longer fits with my design.

Huge Polka Dot Granny Square Blanket - Free Crochet Pattern from yay retro!

So here is it, my first properly written crochet pattern!  I have a real addiction to making circles in crochet at present and wanted to make extra large ones into a blanket. I've had a play about and made this Huge Polka Dot Circle lap blanket or throw. Have a try using the free crochet pattern below and let me know how you get on (do let me know of any hiccups as this is my very first pattern)! 

Buy this ready made blanket here.

yay retro! Huge Polka Dot Granny Square Blanket - a free crochet pattern


This pattern uses UK Stitch Abbreviations & DK yarn:

st = stitch

ch = chain = yarn over, pull yarn through stitch on needle

sl st = slip stitch = insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull yarn through both loops on hook

hdc = half double crochet = yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over, pull yarn through all 3 loops

tr = treble crochet = yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops, yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops

dtr = double treble crochet = 2 yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook), *yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops*, repeat * * twice


Ch 4 and make into circle /‘sliding loop’ or ‘magical loop’:

ch 3 (counts as 1st dc)

Round 1. 11dc into ring and then you pull the beginning tail - Join with a sl st into the 3rd of initial 3 ch. (12 dc in the ring including ch)

Round 2. ch3 (= 1st dc), 1dc into same st, 2dc into next st, repeat until end, join with sl st into 3rd of initial 3ch (24 st)

Round 3. ch3, 1dc into same st,  1dc into next st, *2dc into next st, 1 dc into next st*, repeat until end. Join with sl st into 3rd of initial 3ch. Break of yarn. (36 st)

Round 4. ch 3, dc into same stitch, dc into next 2 st, *2dc in next st, dc into next 2 st* , repeat until end, join with a sl st into 3rd of initial 3ch. (48 st)

Round 5: ch 3, dc into joining stitch, dc into next 3 st, *2dc in next st, dc into next 3 st*, repeat until end, THEN add 2 more stitches in final space before joining with a sl st into 3rd of initial 3ch.  (62 st)


Round 6. Make your first corner Ch4 counts as dtr, 2 dtr in same stitch, ch2, 3 dtr in next st. *Miss 2 tr, 3tr in next st, miss 2 tr, 3htr in next st, miss 2 tr, 3 htr in next st, miss 2 tr, 3 tr in next st, miss 2 tr 3 dtr in next stitch, ch 2, 3 dtr in next st*, repeat three times. On final row you need to slightly change the missed stitch count to complete. This does not affect the overall look of the blanket….So after the final corner, Miss 2 tr, 3tr in next st, miss 1 tr, 3htr in next st, miss 2 tr, 3 htr in next st, miss 1 tr, 3 tr in next st, miss 1 tr  join with a sl st into 4th ch of initial 4ch.

Now you can use the join as you go method to add further squares or simply stitch them together. You can see how to join-as-you-go by following Bella Coco’s instructions on YouTube here. Remember I am using a variety of stitches in my pattern, but you should get the idea of how to join-as-you-go from this video.


Round 1. Evenly dc a round, with 3 dc at each corner and ss to join

Round 2 - 5. htr in each stitch with 3 htr at each corner and ss to join

Round 6. htr in back of loops, 3 htr at each corner and ss to join

Round 7. tr in back of loops, 3 tr at each corner and ss to join

Round 8. htr in back of loops, 3 htr at each corner and ss to join

If you decide to make this blanket show me your makes using the #yayretropolkadotcrochetblanket

If you would like to buy this blanket ready made, click here.

Yarn used: Stylecraft Special DK, Wondersoft Merry-go-round Rainbow and other DK from my stash.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 13/12/2018

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