Excuse me whilst I saturate one single blog post in several pictures of the same thing. I took many photographs and enjoyed doing so. I’m spreading my joy. There also might be a “reward” at the end, in the shape of different things.
This will be on Etsy by the end of the week (I tell myself), along with many others. I need to stop hoarding.
This was such a quick and easy blanket to make. It was one of those ones where you don’t have to think. Love those ones. The only fretful moment was when I ran half a row short of the shrimp. Luckily I had a small ball (less than a handful) left from previous adventures so I didn’t have to buy a new ball just for the sake of a few metres.
I’m now wondering what other colour combinations will work well. For many years I would make all sorts of blankets, in all sorts of colour combinations but I’ve recently begun to notice a pattern emerging. I think I might be developing some sort of crochet style. It might not be a good style but I suspect there’s one there nevertheless.
Taking repeated pictures of the same thing is confusing, I hope I’m not posting the same pictures twice.
This is still me using up the significant yarn stash I have. I’ve been really good recently, I don’t think I’ve bought any yarn since May. (I’m not including the stuff I bought at the Bovey Craft Festival. Special circumstances).
Here are the details: It’s Stylecraft Special dk in Denim, Shrimp, Navy, Mustard and Sage. I used Attic 24’s Neat Ripple and I think I chained 115 to begin, just right for a baby blanket. The border is Parchment and I used it to fill in the ripples and make a sort of picot edging.
These are some other blankets that I’m planning on Etsifying this week. I’ve bagged them up and weighed them. Looking at Royal Mail yesterday was exhausting. The pricing schemes are baffling. In the past I’ve made the mistake of not charging enough for p&p and I want to avoid doing that again. It’s blinkin expensive no matter which way you do it and I worry it’ll put people off. But! I shall stop looking for excuses and just give it a go.
And on a different note, I’ve put up a picture on my facebook page to show my summer fete stall. Feel free to go and have a look. It was a very hot and sunny day, which was great (I feared rain). I had no idea what to expect, hmm, it was OK. Having shared the fete blog post locally, I had a few visitors who came over especially to see me, which was lovely. But overall, I don’t think I had stuff that made people spontaneously decide to splurge. Eeh, I don’t know! It was a learning experience and I’ve even had interest off the back of it, so that’s good. Exposure innit!? I hadn’t considered that that could happen.
And in the interests of sharing all that I do (not just the stuff that makes me feel pleased with myself), here are some cheeky pixies!
Er, yep, I made those!
I have no idea what was going on in my brain. A bit cutesy aren’t they?! At least they make me laugh and that can only be a good thing! What you must do is go and look up Pixie Day in Ottery (try wikipedia too). It’s another tradition here, in town, alongside the more famous Tar Barrels. The local kids from scouts, guides, beavers etc run around the town dressed up as pixies for Midsummer. It’s a long story but a fun one.
Anyway, I’m off to do some stitching now. The sewing machine is calling to me this week. This morning I drove to Exmouth, to go a closing down sale at a fabric shop. I spent so long choosing that I didn’t have time to go to the other fabric shop (probably a good thing; I’ve spent all my pocket money).
For four weeks I’ve been making things. OK, I know I always make things but this time I’ve been making things with a specific purpose. A month ago I was asked if I fancied having a stall at the school’s summer fete. I thought “why not?” Hopefully I’ll get to sell a few things and help towards raising money for the school. Sounds alright. I enjoyed doing a similar thing last Christmas. That was my first time doing such a thing and I found out that I really enjoyed myself!
My main concern this time is that I have no idea about the kind of things people might like at this time of year. Christmas is easy as everyone is always up for buying a new decoration (or two) for the tree. Summer? Not got a clue. I might have misjudged this but I’ve gone for a little bit of everything. It’s a learning experience and I’ll find out a lot, I’m sure.
I’ve said previously that I don’t think this is the sort of event for selling baby blankets but I’m taking some anyway. You never know. By the way, these blankets have been made over a period of a few months not just churned out in the last four weeks!
There will be loads of felt designs. They’re all my own designs. I’ve got either brooches or keyrings. I think the owls are my favourite.. or the fish. And the cats! The cherries look fabulously kitsch! I think I love them all.
I’ve got some random makes too. Leftovers from playing/experimenting. I really like the rose brooches. They’re aran alpaca with wool felt leaves. The rose is Attic 24’s May Rose.
Speaking of Attic 24, these are the May roses used on a sweet crochet heart. Have a look here for the original inspiration.
Someone has already asked that I put one of these aside for them so I do hope that that’s a good omen for the rest of them.
It would appear that I’ve got a thing about these May roses, I’ve used them for hair slides too (not many though as I know that there is another stall that’ll be there, selling hairclips and I don’t want to tread on any toes ;p ). For the crochet bows I started with a pattern from Nicki Trench’s Geek Chic Crochet but it was too big and taking far too long to make a single bow. I cheated by using less stitches and using quicker stitches too. For some reason I find trebles much easier and less fiddly than half trebles. Most of these are made using scraps that were left over from blanket making. There’s a lot of merino stuff and the pastel coloured ones are a merino yarn mixed with cashmere. It’s lovely stuff to work with.
There’s something about a pile of blankets that I love. It’s a good job too, I have a mountain of crochet blankets in my house. And that’s the ones that are here to stay. I’m not going to mention the ones I was supposed to put on Etsy six months ago.
This one will be finished by the weekend. Just in time. There are so many more things I wish I had time to make. It seems that I have just about run out of time. However, I would like to point out that this really isn’t everything that I’ve made over the last month. I might share some other things on Instagram too. There will be loads more…
You’ll just have to come and see me to find out what else there is. I might look like a misery guts but I’m honestly not (I do suffer from Bitchy Resting Face though), so if you’re at the school fete in Ottery st Mary this Saturday, come over and say hello! I think it’s 12-3pm. Thanks very much. X
The title is a lie. I have no idea. I’m just going to share photographs that have no business being in a blog post of their own.
I don’t know where I’d been but I arrived in the hallway a few days ago to find a load of plastic animals everywhere. They looked kind of good, so I took pictures.
I bought them from a charity shop last Saturday, all bundled up in a plastic bag . They were placed all the way to the top of the stairs.
Every now and then, one would clatter down to the bottom, having been batted about by a predatory feline.
In a break from making lots of small things for next weekend’s school summer fete, I’ve been making yet another crochet blanket. A crochet ripple blanket, to be precise. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it as I’ve not experimented with block colours before. I can’t remember why I chose the colours I did. I think it’s a mix of trying to be cheerfully bright and trying to use what stash is still hiding in the cupboard under the stairs.
Speaking of school fete stuff… I’ve been making butterflies. I’m not sure how these will turn out once they’ve been stitched together. I don’t think they’ll be terrible but again, I’m veering away from my comfort zone.
I got a positive response over on Instagram from one kitty I made, so I decided to make a few more.
I’ve had help too. He needs more training.
And I think I’ve mentioned a couple of times before about a “spider” who became trapped inside my little camera. This is the sort of thing that Husband seems to think is unacceptable. Whilst it was annoying that a smudgy, leggy looking blob kept interfering with my snap shots, I had sort of become accustomed to the idea of an eight legged friend living on the lens.
One YouTube video later and the screw drivers were out. I don’t think I know anyone else who would take the time to attempt such operations.
And yeah, it wasn’t a spider at all. I am gutted. A friend had even advised I name him. He became known as Roger. I shall mourn him. Roger the miniscule speck of dust. 🙁
I’ve been doing a load of crochet over the past couple of weeks. It’s time to put up a few pictures I reckon.
The latest blankets are a quick diamond blanket and an equally speedy crochet granny square. Both are baby sized. Both use stylecraft special dk. I like making baby blankets, they can be finished in a few days.
I have so many colour combinations and/or new stitches I want to try. The waiting would take forever if I were to make them all massive. These ones are a lovely size. My youngest boy still uses his. He can’t sleep without Blankey.
I’ve got quite a few stashed away now. I have to wait until next month before they go on Etsy though. I’m going to have a craft stall at the school summer fete. I feel that I ought to have some blankets there even though I don’t think they’ll sell. People like to buy small things for a couple of quid rather than bigger, pricier items.
If they don’t sell, I still have others that I really should get on Etsy now. I don’t know why I’m not doing it. Meh.
I’ve made these coaster type things using Rico Creative cotton in aran. I want to get some cotton dk next but I have to use up the existing stash first.
I only have scraps left, I don’t know if I’ll be able to make more than one of each colour.
These flowers are made using scraps of all different things. Some are merino, some have cashmere in them, others are less smart. Not sure what these will turn into yet. We shall see. The rose pattern is Attic 24’s May Rose and the other is by Crochet with Raymond. I really like seeing the 4ply ones next to the aran jobs. Same pattern, completely different effect.
I started making bows using a pattern from the book Geek Chic Crochet by Nicki Trench (about £3 in The Works). I soon got bored of those. They were taking too long so I started using fewer stitches to get them smaller and I used trebles so I didn’t need as many rows. I’m thinking brooches?
And that’s the sort of thing I’ve been up to. It’s not all my cup of tea but I hope it’ll appeal to others. What I’m really hankering after is a good shawl. And some embroidery. And I wouldn’t mind a snooze. :p
I spent pretty much most of Friday in awe. I was fairly gobsmacked by some of the things I saw at Bovey Tracey’s Contemporary Craft Festival. It was my first time and I’m definitely heading back next year. I didn’t shy away, I stood and chatted to loads of the stall holders (I don’t know if I should call them that, maybe artists?). There were several moments where I became over excited and, mostly made a pratt of myself. I loved every minute of it. I expected high levels of snootiness coming from arty folks but I saw very little of that. In fact, I saw some major loveliness.
There were so many stalls, over 200 for sure. I’m ashamed to say I skipped some, my friends and I only had a few hours before we had to go and collect kiddliwinks from pre-school. My main interest lay in the mixed media crafts, paper, and textile gubbins. I don’t do jewellery (don’t wear it) and I’m not that bothered by glass and ceramics (not that it wasn’t good, it totally was). There was so much awesome, seriously, I didn’t know whether to squee or cry. The intimidation levels were high that day. Do I run and hide? Or do I celebrate how craft really is now a level playing field with what we consider fine art? I’m not going to get into that debate but I do not enjoy the elitism that goes on in this world. I find it funny how much guff people spew when they talk about art. I spent three years studying the history of it and know that there are art people who are right numpties. Crikey, some do tend to take themselves very seriously don’t they!?
Anyway, before I go off on one, here are some of the pictures I took that day. I didn’t take the posho camera, it rained a lot and I’m not quick enough with it to casually snap away, like the fella I saw in plus fours and a flat cap. I took my Lumix point & shoot with a dead spider trapped in the lens.
This was the first stall that made me realise I was in the right place. I was very keen on staring at it all. So much envy.
(I tried where I could to ensure the artists names were in the photo’s, look them up, or if I’ve typed it somewhere like this: Anya Keeley. Highlight, right click and google search, I’m too lazy to link, there will be many names.)
If you haven’t come across Little Burrow Designs, look it up. I think Claire’s inventions are wonderful. I noticed that her stall was very popular. My friends and I hung around chatting for ages (and we would have done so even if we didn’t know her from chatting in the playground at school!).
The attention to detail is marvellous, everything is made from old finds, even the quill that she writes with is proper ancient! Want to get her newsletter? Then you’d better tippytap your name and email address using the vintage type writer. Love it.
This is a close up of one of my favourites, the waves are what drew me to it. There is a tactile quality here that makes me want to do lots of stroking and poking.
I think this is Sue Brown. The dead spider is making its appearance for the first time. Sorry.
I think the shelves are just as cool as the works themselves. All the displays had so much thought behind them.
We all stared at these birdies for ages. When I first saw them I thought they were taxidermy. Apparently others do too. It’s all stitch work!
It is the work of Sarah J Perry Designs. This long tailed tit was my favourite but they were all beautifully made.
This is Craig Fellows. I thought his “casual doodles” were awesome. I don’t think he liked me calling them doodles but I was only teasing. They’re immaculately drawn. And I love the fact that he then puts them on delicate fabrics or turns them into a purse or cushion.
Hen’s Teeth is pretty well known. So beautiful. I wanted a little purse but didn’t have enough pocket money.
I’m trying very hard to do this in the order in which we went round. Next up is Sarah Morpeth. There were a few paper cutters there. All impressive. I liked the colours that Sarah incorporated into hers.
Louise McLaren. More paper cutting loveliness. How does that paper not rip under fingers?
I think this may have been the only jewellery stand I gawped at. The brooches were gorgeous.
Kirsty Elson’s stuff was amazing. I could in no way ever, make drift wood look this good. By this point I was starting to get overwhelmed by how everyone was just so blinking good at what they do. It is not fair. Whilst I was there a guy came up to Kirsty and gave her a curved lump of metal he’d found washed up on the shore somewhere. Provenence is the word that springs to mind. It might not fit perfectly but I don’t know a better word right now. Maybe it’s an antonym I’m after, afterall you don’t really know where you’re ingredients came from.
Can you tell what that is? It’s only blinkin’ crochet! Incy wincy crochet. It reminded me of microscopic things sitting on a petri dish. I totally loved this. I stared at Liz Cooksey’s work for the longest time and probably gushed a lot. Puts me and my granny squares to shame.
This is Teresa Green. She’s a local screen printer and has a shop in Exeter.
I was most intrigued by what Michelle Griffiths (for Resist Gallery) was up to. This was another lot of textiles I wanted to scrunch but was too afraid to touch. How does she do this?!
I was reminded of sea creatures and seaweed. I think this is what mermaids would wear.
And more beachy seaside inspiration.
Ella Robinson is embroidering driftwood!! Flippin’ driftwood. And she made it look good! I’m not even going to try. We had a drift wood BBQ a few summers ago. I thought I was being inventive.
If you look up Linladan, a Swedish Flax, you’ll find a really interesting story about how this collection of colourful threads was discovered.
I wish I’d bought some but I’d already spent my money on food and wool.
This wool! This is completely gorgeous. I have never felt a wool so delicately soft. This is probably because I can only ever afford the cheap stuff, which is never going to get any where near the quality of this. I think this one hank (I don’t like saying the word hank at all but I think that is what this is) will make a shawl. It’s lace weight so it’ll go far. It took an age to wind into a ball. I used two bottles of wine to hold the yarn in place.
This was the stall where I bought the wool. And I know I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed a thorough fondle.
Belinda Harris-Reid. I took quite a while deciding which one would come home with me.
Marna Lunt’s stall was actually the first one we came to but there was a permanent crowd of people. She’d been on the telly the night before actually, did you watch Make! Craft Britain on BBC4? It was very interesting, can we have more please?
When we arrived back at her stall a while later there were still people there but we muscled our way in and drove them away. Ha.
I wanted everything. Marna’s lampshades and brooches are just lovely. Really truly beautiful. But I also wanted to rummage in her fabric basket and steal the beads so I could make my own! I mostly crochet and don’t do nearly enough embroidery. I’m going to now though. I think that’s one of the great things about coming to a place like this. It really is hugely inspiring. I may not be any where near the same standard as the people displaying their works here but it makes you want to do it anyway.
Whilst at Bovey I was talking to Helen Bottrill who fronts Kindred Rose and organises Creative Women Together. Last month I plucked up the courage to attend one of her get togethers for the first time – a total fish out of water experience! I really enjoyed it and it was so interesting to hear how even professionals feel like imposters who are gonna get chucked out of the club. Helen made some interesting points about passion and creativity. Do you love crafting? If yes, then do it! It really is that simple. And don’t compare yourself to others around you. Some of these people have been making stuff for years, they are working hours and hours a day, everyday. It is so hard not to feel envious and even harder not to feel like a massive dunce, fangirl, wannabe. Mostly however, I found that there is a massive network of support here. I may be small fry but at least I know that I won’t get laughed at for trying.
By the way, there were loads more artists and crafters who I haven’t shown here but loved equally as much. Check out Suzanne Breakwell, I didn’t manage to get a picture of her stall but her work is breathtaking.
I hope that no one minds that I’ve written about their stuff. I asked to take photographs of everyone’s work but didn’t mention to all that I would be writing a blog post. I wasn’t sure at the time that I would be! Thank you.
I’ve had a week filled with lovely birthday things. I’ve been out for dinner/lunch, twice, no! three times. I’ve had lots of awesome presents and there has been gorgeous weather. Smashin’.
I got my hair cut off too, so when I went out to dinner on Saturday night (The Five Bells in Clyst Hydon- very nice) I felt all new and swooshy. I didn’t feel so new and swooshy when we went out for lunch on Sunday (The Rock Inn on Dartmoor). A roast dinner sorted me out but, crikey, I felt rough yesterday. I took loads of pictures of Haytor whilst there, which I’ll post in a day or two.
I also finished a blanket, one that I’m really pleased with. I especially love the border, which is the same pattern I used for my granny shawl. It’s Stylecraft Special dk.
At some point this blanket will end up in my Etsy shop. I will sort out a link when I’ve got some blankets and other things in there.
Other things I managed to finish last week were two little bag/purse type things. One is for my unimpressive collection of barely used knitting needles and the other is for keeping small projects in so I can take it out and about. I used the fabric I bought in Totnes shops during the Easter hols. They both need pressing again because I made a very lacklustre job of it.
I had all my sewing laid out on the table. I’ve made a half hearted pledge to take part in Me Made May. Since last week, I’ve worn hand made things already and I made a dress! I’ll take pictures of the dress before the end of May, I’m sure.
Another work in progress is a new shawl. I’m doing a variation of my granny shawl just to play around. I’m using Drops Baby Merino. I went on a Drops spending frenzy last weekend. They had a sale at Woolwarehouse so I went a bit bonkers.
See! Drops. I have an idea.
More Drops. I cannot wait to start this, Cherry Heart’s Victoria shawl. Pattern bought and printed, ready to start any second.
Some lovely presents were received, I got a bunch of fat quarters from my mother-in-law. She went to a quilting shop in Bovey Tracey. I know about this shop but I’ve not been. It’s supposed to be good.
I got lots of fab books. Looking forward to getting stuck into those…
I got these bowls too. I got loads of stuff, I won’t show it all, but needless to say it’s all good gear. One of my favourites is the drawing from the photo at the top. It’s by my friend who is an artist and graphic designer. It’s a picture of me doing me crochet! I guess I should frame it, I think it’s beautiful but then so is the subject matter, obvs.
And then the week before last, I got this wonderful bundle of stuff from Samantha at createitsamantha.co.uk We took part in the #craftblogclub spring clean challenge on twitter. Essentially it was a craft stash swap. It was such a lovely surprise to open up the parcel and have lots of delightful things tumble out. The Power Ranger didn’t come with my new stuff; Three year old thought I should take a picture of it. I have some ideas of what I might do, I’m looking forward to playing around in the next week or two.
I love getting birthday flowers!
Anyway, I’m off. Got a house to tidy and a child to entertain. Can’t watch A Bug’s Life all day. Actually, we did sit down and watch the local secondary school do a live Q&A with Tim Peak on the International Space Station a couple of hours ago (via the internet). I thought it was interesting but Three year old only managed five minutes before going off to look at a Lego book.
This is going to be a bit of a random post today. I’m chucking up pictures of where I’m at this week. There isn’t a theme as such, just things I’m tinkering about with.
I’ve had all these hexies stored away in a tatty old paper bag for about three years. I think I was knocked up when I was sewing the fabric to paper and now my boy is turning three soon. A long time.
With spring on its way, the change in season has created a new surge in enthusiasm. I have the painstaking task of hand stitching them all together. It’s actually not that bad. Think I put it off for so long because I thought it was going to be a nasty job. I’m enjoying it!
I’m not going to go nuts, it’s only a bag. It’d be a definite labour of love to go bigger. I’ve got a patchwork blanket my Nanna made for me, I think she was at it for years.
Next: a pile of Jedi appropriate fabrics. Both my boys have birthdays on the way so they will each have something Star Warsy. If I’ve got enough fabric, I’m thinking reversible robes. They can decide whether to be a Jedi or join the Dark side! Not sure how this’ll work right now but I’d better get on with it.
For me, I want a summer dress. I saw a really pretty one on Instagram about a month ago, did some nosing and found out it was the Charlie Dress from Simply Sewing magazine. The pattern was spread over two issues and it was the second issue that was in the shops. I ordered the back issue of the first one and it arrived within a week. I’ve sorted the pattern pieces and dug out some ancient fabric from the depths of my fabric drawer. Fingers crossed I will actually do this. I have repeatedly got to this stage with many a dress pattern over the last few years. Then all stops. I chuck it all back in the fabric drawer and forget. I think I’m pretty consistent like that.
Also kicking about is my sweety tin. My sweety tin is a good size for keeping embroidery type projects in.
I’m not very far ahead with this. I’ve drawn a rough sketch of what I want and now need to sort out all the little bits for it. Not sure how it’ll turn out, it’s more of an experiment at this stage. I just really enjoyed making my spring flower stitching a few weeks ago and want to play some more.
Then there is an actual finished thing. A baby ripple. I’m going for the plain border. I wasn’t sure. I guess I could add something a bit snazzier but feel like I’m finished with it.
I thought that was it for WIPs but I’ve got that knitting kicking about somewhere.
It feels a bit weird to write this post as I reckon I’ve mostly been banging on about crochet for the last few months. This has actually been quite effective because traffic here has gone bonkers (relatively speaking). It’s tempting to try and force new crochet ideas upon myself to keep up with momentum. Not gonna do that though. Since I don’t get paid for blahing about my hobbies I’m going to carry on and do whatever I fancy. But it is lovely to know that people like things I do, so, thank you. I’m loving it here. x
Chocolate Easter Eggs are my favorite sort of chocolate. Mini eggs and creme eggs are both very good reasons to look forward to Easter but neither truly beat a large Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (or other Cadbury) egg that has been put in the fridge for at least two hours so that it cracks and crunches as you bite it.
When I was little I used to drink milk out of half a chocolate egg, I thought it was fancy. The other half used to get crumbed into a mug and ruined with hot water to make some kind of bad hot chocolate (not so fancy). I don’t waste it like that now, I shovel it in my face whilst hiding behind the fridge door. Mostly I hide because the chocolate doesn’t belong to me. When I’ve finished mine I’m then stealing from the children. Anyway, I shall move on…
Nearly as good as the chocolate thing are crocheted versions. I am here to celebrate Easter with a little bit of amigurumi style eggs. I came up with the pattern for these at Christmas. I was trying to design a Father Christmas head/hat combo but whatever shape I tried looked like an egg. I binned the FC idea but out of it came these so I can’t complain. That’s the thing about designing. Through mistakes and fails, come good things! I guess that’s the creative process, right?
I think they’re cute and I hope you like them too.
They did look quite nice sitting up by themselves. The children like throwing them around and I know the cat would too if she could get her paws on them.
It’s rather telling that I don’t have any egg cups and I had to use shot glasses.
Amigurumi Easter Egg Pattern
As with most amigurumi patterns, the pattern is written in US terms.
I used Stylecraft Special DK and a 3mm hook. I even found a use for the shade, Duck Egg!
Round 1: 6sc into a Magic Ring.
Round 2: 1 Inc in each stitch around. .
Round 3: 1 sc in next stitch, 1 inc in next. Repeat around .
Round 4: Sc around. 
Round 5: 1sc in next 2 st, 1 inc in next. Repeat around. .
Round 6-7: Sc around 
Round 8: 1 sc in next 3 st, 1 inc in next. Repeat around .
Round 9-15: Sc around. 
Round 16: 1 sc in next 3 st, 1 dec. Repeat around. .
Round 17: 1 sc in next 2 st, 1 dec. Repeat around. .
Round 18: 1sc in next st, 1 dec. Repeat around .
Fasten off leaving a long tail. Stuff firmly. Using a darning needle thread through the front loops only. Pull tight to close the hole. Stitch in and out a few times to fully secure and then snip the end neatly.
Decorating is relatively quick and easy. With a darning needle, I went in through the bottom of each egg and then made french knots for the flower centres and a few chain stitches for petals and leaves. With a poke and a prod from the darning needle, the snipped ends can be hidden inside. Hey presto!
Please don’t be frightened of the embroidery. I show you how I do it in the video tutorial (link just below). I have very little experience of needle work and just make it up as I go along. If I can do that then so can you, I promise!
EDIT: For 2017 I’ve added a video tutorial on YouTube, which also includes how to decorate with pretty embroidery. Please go here! Cheers.
This is an amigurumi Easter Egg pattern I’ve designed and belongs to me. It can be used to make decorations for yourself or for gifts for friends and family but please not for mass production. Thanks very much. Feel free to say hello and you can even follow my blog to get more patterns and, dare I say, inspiration. Cheers!