The Autumn Vintage Collection: Out Now!!

cosy-autumn-crochet-collectionI’ve done it! All finished. Woot!! I’m so pleased with it. Truly, I love this cosy set. It’s taken a while because I’ve been busy with other things too. The more I do this sort of thing, the quicker I’m surely going to get. And it’s technically still autumn too, so it didn’t take six months afterall! Please pop over to Ravelry or Etsy to buy your PDF copy. And because I’ve worked out how to do it, I’m offering a splendid 20% discount up until 9pm on Sunday (18thdec)!! You’ll need this code: xmastreat  The code also gets you a discount on all other items in my Etsy store!! Woohoo.

modelinNo silly faces like my last blog post (it’s the pic at the end)! I have very serious, yet… what? wistful? expressions for the real deal. It took a million pictures to get these. I scrutinize every last one to make sure I don’t look like too much of a freak and that the pompom is showing or I’ve got my hand in the right place. It’s possible I need a helper.

autumn-scarf mitts scarf-roll hat-with-pompomI took loads of pictures of it all. I wanted them to be informative as well as good looking. In the patterns themselves there are step-by-step photo’s for any tricky bits. I’ve focussed on the making of the mitts as they have elements where more detail is needed. But there aren’t many tricky bits because the patterns are super easy.

cosy-collectionPlease do let me know what you think.  I’d absolutely love to hear if anyone makes a set. At some point I’ll do some different colour combinations too.I think there are loads of options where the colours will make it look completely different.

Any way, that’s all for this week. I’m going back to present making!

Scraping the Barrel (not really, it’s a fabulous crafty update).

chunky-hatChristmas is getting super close now and I’m not ready. So many ideas have not yet come to fruition. I’m probably being too ambitious in my crafty endeavours but there’s so much I want to make! If anyone else is in a panic about handmade gifts then this crochet hat is really speedy to whip up and looks great too. It’s  the Ski Lodge Hat by Mama in a Stitch. I made it last week for my friend. She didn’t want it to be itchy so I used King Cole Big Value Super Chunky, which is acrylic. The pompom is Robin yarn. I don’t like Robin, it’s proper nasty but it didn’t really matter what the quality was like for pompomming. For the hat, I made 40 chains at the beginning rather than 46. That’s because my mate’s only got a small bonce. 40 was fine for her but for me I think I’d do 44 (bigger brain obvs ;p).

knittingI bought two balls of the King Cole stuff just in case one wasn’t enough for the hat (it was). With the second, I thought I’d have a go at knitting again. It transpires that one does need to practice to become an expert knitter and I ought to have a few goes to get good. I know what I want to make now though. My blogging friend Alida from Buttercup and Bee showed a picture on Instagram of a cowl she’d knitted. I said how much I liked it and she’s given the stitch count [is this what you say?] for making it. This is my first go at purling for a very long time. I can so do this! But not yet. Get Christmas out the way. Get new circular needles.

christmas-star-garland-easy-sewingI’ve done a rush job on a Christmas star garland. It’s not up yet (won’t dec the halls for a few more days, at least). I haven’t pressed it. It’ll look tidier once I’ve had a good go with the iron (not sure I’ll look at my iron in the same way again, not since I saw what Negan gets up to with his!). I could have worked on making this neater but I had just a twenty minute window for sewing machine activity and whizzed through it. Actually, this would make a nice little tutorial. That’ll have to wait for next year.

drops-andes green-ball-of-yarnI’ve been using some lovely yarns to make presents. The green stuff is Malabrigo. Thought I’d go for something fancier than my usual purchases. It’s very pretty.

being-sillyAnd whilst I’m here, let me give an update about this lot. I’ve not finished typing up the pattern. I’m nearly there. Last friday I did do most of it but it’s surprising how much work goes into even the simplest of patterns. Not only am I constantly double checking that I’m writing it down correctly, there’s also lot of photography and editing. I’ll get there in the end, even if I end up publishing it in June.

Finally, today I posted off my two remaining parcels for crafty secret santa type things. Will everyone actually keep them under the tree until Christmas day?!




End of November Crafty Catch up.

my-felt-decorations-for-christmasSince November started it feels like I’ve hardly had any time for making things but looking at my photos, it turns out that isn’t true. I actually appear to have been quite busy. I’ve been sewing instead of doing my crochet.

my-felt-decs felt-christmas-decsI’ve got the school’s PTA Craft Fayre on Saturday so these decorations will hopefully be sold to lots of jolly holly people. I’ve mostly used designs from previous years. There are a few new ones too. This year I designed a bunch of mistletoe, a bell, some stars and a Christmas pudding. There are three or four other designs I came up with that haven’t made the cut and some old ones that  I didn’t bother with either. They’re more complex in their construction and they’d end up costing more. One day I’ll make the whole collection, I’ve got quite a few now. I really really want to turn them into sellable patterns but first I need to work out how to transfer rough, scribbly templates into professional printable patterns.

crochet-christmas-baubles crochet-baublesI’ve made these baubles too. Get yourself to Wilko’s to grab the naked set. £2.50 for 12. I’ve used various cotton DK’s. I’ve used mostly used Drops Muskat, Stylecraft Classique and Paintbox Yarns. My favourite is the Drops. It’s hands down, the best of the bunch (although there’s nothing wrong with the others either). The pattern is a mix of existing ones. I’ve got the book Boho Crochet which has a bauble pattern for giants. I used that as a base and took out lots of rows. I saw on Kaleidoscope City a pattern which slip stitched the two halves to the bauble and that created a lovely finish.

new-crochet-booksI went into Exeter a couple of weeks ago (and actually did some Christmas shopping!). Whilst there I popped into The Works because they now have an awesome selection of craft things. A lot of it isn’t my cup of tea but if you’re into all things crafty then there’s a shed load of treasure waiting for you. I always head for the books. I bought four because when the most expensive is four quid, why the blazes would you leave any behind? I’ve since discovered that these are new publications. New! Why are they being sold in a cheapy shop for £3 or £4??! Does it get sales figures up or something? Whatevs, I’m well pleased.

my-new-autumn-scarfThis has been one of my only crochet projects over the last few weeks. I’m making myself a scarf out of some Paintbox aran. It’s the stuff that Emma from Potter & Bloom sent me for when I tested her Geoffrey scarf. I caved and bought more colours (here, that’s the blue and green).

crochet-mohair-hatOk, I made this too. Since doing the Take Care Mohair review I’ve been on a mission to find a cheaper alternative. I feel quite guilty actually (not that I’m under any obligation) but I cannot afford to buy the Wool and the Gang stuff for experiments and pattern workings. I’m using Drops Melody instead, which is nice but not super fancy. Now that I think I have a pattern sorted I might get some of the real deal. Comparatively, it is much silkier and has a thicker halo on it. I really like the designs I’ve come up with, however, I’ve been looking at and working with mohair for two months. Do I want to buy the posh stuff when the excitement is waning? Hmm.

differencesThis picture is not a good representation as the one on the left has more stitches. But it is the Take Care Mohair and you can see that it does come out thicker and it’s a nicer pink too. Not that I have any reason to favour it other than personal preference.

mohair-yarnLaying side by side there is not much difference in yarn thickness. I think it must be the halo that adds body to the yarn. I’m trying to decide if I can recommend both yarns in the pattern I write. There might be a considerable difference in the finished product. Gah, it’s mini stumbling blocks like this that make things so much trickier than they need to be. Things I didn’t think would be important but actually are if you want to be a designer.  Boo. Anyway, it is my hope that I can write a pattern for a hat and scarf combo that I can sell. I’m miles off because the Paintbox scarf has taken my attention (I think I want to write up the pattern for that too). Maybe have some wrist warmers to go with? I say this all the time yet I still only have one pattern for sale! I’m easily distracted by new pretties, that’s my problem!

crafty-secret-santaLastly, there’s this jumble of crazy. Funny that the thing I should have finished first is the thing that I’ve left until last! Must do this today. I must also remember to take pictures of it complete!

Oky doky, I must go. Got lots to do and time is not on my side. xx




A Crafty Catch Up: So Many WIPS!!


September is here and I’m ready to begin my blogging ways again. You think you can carry on with it in the summer holidays, but you really can’t. I managed to squeeze in a few posts but production was down and time was limited. The exciting thing for me now, is that Youngest has started preschool properly. He’ll now be doing two and a half days a week. Think of all the stuff I can make!

a crochet cushion. waffle stitch.

At some point in the holidays I discovered the waffle stitch. I totally love it, it eats yarn but it’s such a lovely texture, it’s just wonderful. I was going to jump straight into another crochet blanket but then I thought a cushion might be the way to go. I even have some complementary fabric that can be the back. I’ve got some cusion pads, so there’s not much to stop me. I do have to frog all that I’ve done though :/  It’s working up blanket size at the moment, not cushion size. A small sacrifce, I reckon.

crochet ideas.

I’ve continued to tinker with my half circle project. I have re-started this project more times than is necessary. I’m getting miffed with it now. The latest issue was a lost crochet hook. My favourite crochet hook too. The only one of its size in my collection. Pssh, I was frustrated to the extreme. Worst of all, I lost it on holiday. I had to leave our holiday destination, knowing that I was leaving it behind. Except that I wasn’t. As soon as I ordered a new hook (and another back up set – just in case) I found it. I just don’t understand. I do not understand in the slightest. I took it, in a project bag, on holiday. I even worked on the crochet, in the car, on the way to our holiday destination. So how come I found it in another project bag, at home? How’s that?! Makes zero sense. Pfft.

geometric crochet design.

To forget my frustrations, I got drunk on geometrics. Do you like my new squares?! I love them! Thinking cushion again. I’ve gone from big blankets to baby blankets. From baby blankets to cushions. I guess I can work on more things that way. I’ll get each project done in no time and then I can move swiftly onto the next thing. Like it.

simple crochet squares.

These little crochet squares can be twiddled into different formations too. I haven’t made my mind up about the directions they’ll eventually go in, but I’m getting there. It’s lots of fun. It has also lead to other ideas, one of which I will write a separate post about soon because there will be a new pattern! Woot!

colour pop swap.

For Halloween I’m taking part in a Colour Pop Craft Swap!! I haven’t actually started this yet but I’m already getting urges to pick up the hook. It’s linked to Instagram and fellow blogger Set Free My Gypsy Soul. I’m very much looking forward to it, I’ve got the perfect thing in mind! I’m to send my finished present to an assigned IG friend and I’ll get one from someone else. It’s like Christmas but better; Halloween is my favourite!

puff stitch hat

I made this puff stitch hat on holiday (when I couldn’t do the other thing). This derrived from a yarn buying fail. I was in a hurry one day and grabbed an aran ball of Stylecraft Special instead of the dk. With only one ball I thought I’d give a hat a go. Whilst it fits, it doesn’t fit how I want it. Not slouchy, is the thing. At least I know for next time.

home made dolly fail.

Dolly fail. You think you can just cut out some bits of fabric and they’ll magically stitch up into the perfect doll. This is based on a pattern I drafted last year. It was dodgy back then but I still made a doll to give as a Christmas present. This time, it just isn’t up to scratch. I want it to be really good. I’m struggling with the neck/head. And symmetry. I guess that one is quite important, no one wants a wonky dolly. Still, considering I haven’t followed a professional pattern, it’s not too bad. A few more tweaks and it might be OK.

doll's coat.

I probably should have focussed on the doll before getting excited about making her clothes. This was going to be a very glamorous reversible coat.

making a doll's dress.

I added facings on a dress but didn’t get any further. Both the coat and dress would fit quite well but it’s still probably just rolling a turd in glitter.

my crafty holiday buys

These are my holiday purchases! We went to Wales. We stayed in the Cardigan Bay area, which is beautiful. I might write a post about that too… We took a (half) day trip to Newcastle Emlynn, which is a nice little town (no shoe shop, which I needed – my flip flop broke). There were lots of charity shops and a couple of antiques places and three fabric shops!  I fell in love with one of the fabric shops. I think it was called The Cross Patch. Seriously, it was room upon room of fabric and all things sewing. So much beautiful cotton fabric, it was so hard to leave so much behind. I also bought a new purse from the National Wool Museum. I love my new purse! Oh and I haven’t taken a picture of the Sylvac plant pot holder I got for 3 quid from one of the charity shops. Bargain!

tray of sewing.

And finally, I got the sewing machine out again today to start on a couple of other things. One is linked to the geometric squares and the other, is a thing just because I want it.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve gone on quite enough for today, so I’m off. I have some photos to edit for a tutorial and Etsy. I’ll be sharing both here in the next week or two. I’m so excited by the extra time I’ve got! I’m trying hard not to squee about it because there’s also the expectation that things like more laundry and toilet cleaning will get done too. Haha!