Sunday, 4 December 2011

Merry Christmas everyone!

Well! I can just breath a sigh of relief and stop the crazy Christmas crochet. No more, nup, nadda, zip, I'm all finished on gifts, wrappings, trimmings and trappings... It's been so long with the work basket out each night that last night's bid for freedom felt sooooo wrong.
Katie's Christmas wrap (the rainbow coloured strip bottom right) was only finished on the 22nd and was causing me so much stress! I could only do it when my little darling was asleep, so, fitting it in with dinner, work and-oh yes- sleep was tricky. But it's done and it's lovely. Thick and warm. Small enough to fit her frame and large enough to use as a small adult wrap will keep it usable for as long as she wishes.
Presents this year seemed to be mainly scarves. This bulky pattern from "Cute and easy crochet" that I talked about last post knocks up so quickly and looks the business.

A last minute gift was this cute pudding. It was a free pattern that came as an email gift from "Inside Crochet" magazine which I was subscribed to. I haven't found many patterns that I would use from this year's magazines, so I haven't renewed my membership. Then this pattern sprung up and it's right up my street. Easy, quick and fun. It's now part of a gift box of handmade decorations for my Mum.
These Christmas projects have now taken my Ravelry page to over 60 projects. Will 2012 see my first 100?? It's a challenge I think I'll go for.

So, Merry Christmas everyone! Have a good holiday and look forward to coming back online after some serious family time!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Christmas is coming...

It's been a whole month since my last post *slap wrist* but I have not been lazy! In fact, it's Christmas Crazy in my work basket at the moment. Where did the year go?? I started so organised with my Christmas Crafty Project in January but had to shelve that due to an overwhelming batch of pregnant friends and family. Now I am in November and my list of jobs seems to be growing instead of shrinking...

Oh well, at least this means that I will have a few posts this month as I frantically pump out projects. This Christmas is turning into a "What can I make with the stash I've got?" kind of year. I've been happily stock-piling lovely wool all year and am trying to work through enough so that I can, once again, close the lid on my huge wool box. This is great for the pennies and means that I am having to read through all my craft books to find projects to match the stuff I've got ( I plan far too many projects in so little time!). I can't wait to take a Crafty Christmas Collection photo of all the completed projects- I may even keep one or two for us this year-Yay!By the way, these patterns (apart from the wrap) came from this gorgeous book. I love, love, love this crochet book! It was one of my birthday presents and may just be one of those books where every pattern is made or planned to be made. I love, love, love this book! I got it as one of my birthday presents this year and just know that it will be one of those rare books where I make all (or plan to make all) of the patterns inside. it's set out into three levels which is great if you want a quicky gift project or something a bit more special.

So, photo explanation is now due, I think. Using left over chunky wool from my earlier baby blankets, I've made a seashell chunky scarf and a lovely shopping bag which will be filled with Christmas sweeties for one of my nieces. I've made a wrap for my Mother-in-law and a delicate scarf for her daughter too! I did take a small Halloween break to stitch this Cat Woman mask for my wonderful minxy daughter (didn't it work up well?) and am now working on another wrap for her too as she has been asking each time I work on one for others!

In between all this is various cards, baby gifts and party presents...I just can't crochet fast enough at the moment. I've also been using crochet and knitting in teaching a Year 5 class about instructions. Quite a few are asking for lessons so I'm sowing some more seeds next week and will keep you posted...A school crochet/ craft group may be on the way!This is why blogging has taken such a back seat as I can't seem to stop long enough to share. I will be good this month and aim for at least 3 posts.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Welcome to a special little lady!

The final baby box is on its way out!

There just wasn't enough time to make all the gifts I wanted to shower on this little darling but I put together a special box with some old, new, borrowed ( a returned book) and even something blue! There's even a cookie for big brother from the wonderful John Lewis.

I love the fabric for this bib and this was the least painful of the 3 that I made. (Left-overs made the phone cover that's in shot). I so wanted to make a big blanket to wrap baby up in but was hinted not to so I snuck in a mini blanket "The Mini Snuggly" which is the same pattern but with soft Sirdar Snuggly wool and a much smaller hook-kind of a comfort blanket that can be replaced if lost!

All other pieces have been dotted around in posts through the year....check them out! It was only when I was unpacking the last box from under the bed that I realised how many bits I've been hoarding. Spreading the cost by over planning definitely works for me. I really must attack the Christmas box now and see what I've got!

Wow. I've been making baby gifts for so long now that Christmas seems just around the corner and I have a list of jobs that keeps getting longer but not really started. Thank the Lord that I started earlier this year with my Christmas Tree project. Even though I ended up dropping my decoration each week idea early due to all the babies, it may well prove my life saver this coming festive season. So, watch out for more Christmas posts on their way.

PS- My typing glitch seems to have resolved itself. Weird?

Friday, 23 September 2011

Camping Madness!

My other half has always been a bit loopy when it comes to camping. So, for those early years of courtship, I had to endure many cold, damp dashes to the toilet block all whilst tripping over invisible guideropes. Don't get me wrong, Ienjoyed those strange trips. Only when camping can you take the entire morning to make an egg and bacon sarnie for breakfast and wash up at a chatty sink area. But the time has past and I happily sit in our tiny warm caravan and beam as the rain pelts down on those poor, mad tenters. My poor husband has been missing it though and is over the moon that our little girl is now happily camping out with him. 4 weekend out of the last 7 have seen my two intrepid explorers grabbing pilows and lanterns to go exploring- it won't be long before she is introduced to the fishing lakes! I have been left with the baby "sigh" and had time in the evenings (Yay!) to do some little crafty jobs. It's been a wonderful time indulging in guilty tv pleasures of X factor and Sci-fi films, late night espresso and having all my craft boxes spread around me in chaos! First on the list was a new school hat for Katie. I wanted a cushy, big, warm, blokey hat that would cover her ears and last a good long time. Well, it does the job ampley as it fits me pretty darn good too!

These two are more gifts. The corsage was for Mum's birthday. I used my leftover bootie wool and some tiny soft grey beads. I accidently stitched the leaves on too far out and, even though it looks beautiful, it ended up HUGE. I mean, my Mum's not tall and she may be in danger of getting lost behind it!

The little felt Humbug is cute idea from a book Mum leant me the other week. It's a very detailed book with wool explored in many intricate forms- not for me though. I liked the humbugs though as you stitch together two squares, going around 3 sides. You stuff the pocket and stitch the final sdie by pushing the corners together to stitch the line that runs across in the oposite direction (does this make sense?)

I'm now working on some more wraps for Christmas as my Step-Mother-in-Law has been admiring my one as well as my litle girl who's been asking for her own since last year. It mean that my birthday money this year was used on wool for other people. I know all crafters will understand this madness- bags of lovely wool! I also got some great craft books which I can't wait to try. So, as the Mad Campers are off again, I will get back to my fun!!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Baby Box number 2 (and other cute stuff)

Another beautiful baby has joined our family and it's a boy!! I must admit that I thought it would be another little girl but that's ok- I'll forgive him as he is so sweet. I hope he likes his goodie bag. Now I can keep working on the last baby due for a while (I hope). I'm trying to save those items for another "don't look at this post" so my final pregnant lady can keep up with my other blog posts whilst still having some surprises in her bag...

These next projects are a catchup from a blog post that seems to have gone missing. It's this darn laptop! The keys have recently developed a glitch, missing every other letter. This makes blogging a real pain in the neck as I have to seriously correct and retype every word (typing each word slowly also does nothing for the flow.)

I've also had issues with my iphone and some of my photos are lost : (. My lovely lunch basket that I made during the summer holiday for a little girls birthday has gone. Such a shame as I was sooo impressed that I managed to whip it all up in a week. There was a yummy cooked breakfast with bacon, sausages, mushrooms eggs and toast, loads of fruit and veg, chicken drumstick, some cookies and cakes and even a cheeky red toadstool ( how very dare I!) Here are the pictures I've managed to find:

These all came from my "Tasty Crochet" book again. It's a great book and makes up some beautiful food with little effort. Great for last minute birthday presents and stocking up my daughters tea party set.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


And now, the end is near...
These bibs have been the bane off my life! I now loath bias tape for the puckering and coming away from edges and general stop, rip seam and start over that these tiny things have needed for me to finish.
This picture shows the front and back of the second bib made for my other Sister-in-law as she is now over-due. The velcro on the neck isn't brilliant so I now need to learn how to button-hole I think.

The final bib (and I mean FINAL) I can't put up as it is for another important bundle. Thankfully, it is the best of the bunch. I avoided velcro and stitched on a lovely button and used embroidery thread for a loop on the other side- it should work well if the lady actually puts it on the little darling!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

How to make an Ipod Bag

  1. I have snatched a few minutes in between making lunches, nap-time and 100 other little jobs to type out this pattern. Let me know if you use it!
    (PS- sorry about neon colours as my daughter chose them!)

    Small ball of DK wool main colour
    Small ball of contrast colour
    2.50m/ 3mm hook (I stitch quite loose and need small hook)
    darning needle

    SC= single crochet
    Ch= chain


  2. Ch 3.

  3. SC in second ch and in next stitch, Ch 1.

  4. SC in 2 stitches, Ch 1.

  5. Repeat until narrow rectangle is the length of Ipod base.

  6. Do extra SC in last stitch (as a corner), Don't turn.

  7. SC around the edge, putting 2 SC in each corner.

  8. SC in last corner, Don't join.

  9. Now work in a spiral using SC (no 2SC in corners)

  10. When bag is the desired height go to edge and continue around for approx 14 SC, Ch 1, turn and do 4 SC back.

  11. Repeat Ch 1 and 4 SC along to build up the strap. Fasten off at desired length.

  12. Join strap using whipstitch.

  13. Join contrasting wool at bottom corner of the strap, Ch 1 and SC around the strap and bag.

  14. Repeat at other corner.

  15. Fasten off and weave in loose ends.

  16. Now add your own embellishments!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Bad Blogger does catch-up.

I'm so sorry to be away so long but it's been crazy being back at work and dealing with two tear-aways! H is now cruising around the furniture and getting the bumps to prove it whilst K wants to be a rock star/ princess/ kung fu master and so on. I have been making lots of little, quick projects but haven't managed to post for ages. So here's a quick catch up for now.

I've been so engrossed in baby gift-making that I needed a break (especially as the bibs have been a nightmare- it's the bias tape around the neck that won't go). First was this little Ipod bag for my cool kid. Excuse the neon colours but she chose, not me! This is my second own design I will try to post pattern soon if anyone's interested but it really is just a spiral sleeve with a messenger-style strap to hold it close to the body.Next was my own lovely iphone cover! I LOVE this pattern. It's really quick and easy and so effective. After a recent trip to the seaside I found that sand had got into my case, scratching up the sides of my first nice gadget.

This pattern is from I'm always buying lovely fabric to use ffor other people. Now I can use the left-overs for my own stash of funky phone cases.

Last for now are these two squares for the SIBOL challenges- I hope I get these posted in time...

Enjoy the holidays and I will get some more posts done sooooon!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Potty about Pots- The grand finale!

Oh yes! Oh yes! Oh yeeeeeeesssss!

I'm so excited because, after MONTHS of waiting, my pots are finished!

It's typical that they day I can pick them up is the day that I'm rushing around getting ready for a mini caravan break. But I managed to squeeze in an hour to rush down to Sidcup, pick up and rush back.

Now, they are a bit wobbly but they are mine and I am so proud. Finally Dad will get his (very late) birthday present with 3 weeks before his next birthday! Never mind, it's the thought that counts.

Who's a clever bunny,eh?!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Baby Box number 1

Baby Box number 1 is out! OK, it ended up in a gift bag because I couldn't find a nice box in Bexleyheath the other week. Although someone else had put together a basket of goodies using a cotton-lined wicker storage basket which looked great which I think I will do next time.

I'm really happy with what I made. I did add a lovely broach from Past Times for Mummy and a bought toy for the baby, just in case it was all a bit too crafty for the new Mummy. I whipped up a quick card using bits and bobs from my stash and found some cute pieces from a previous baby card which was a nice quick solution for a change! Well, that's one box down. Time to work on the next baby due in August I think...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


How do you like my dinky booties? I had a real "Elves and the Shoemaker" moment looking at these all lined up. It did actually feel like being the wizened old shoemaker as I bent over the table, trying to get these done quickly for the first Baby Shower this weekend.

I really shouldn't rush though. The first pair took about an hour and I was struck by how simple and successful the pattern was. The second pair came with me to a local crochet group (my first time) but, with all the chit-chat, I ended up having to unpick and redo parts twice. The last pair at the table was going so well until I realised that the green cuff around the top was too big and I had to rework that too.

Never mind. I think I will leave going to crochet groups for a bit- at least until I have a straight-forward pattern like a wrap or blanket that I can do without thinking.

PS- It's been a while since I've had a comment. I so look forward to them so please say Hi!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Let's work on our sewing skills...

I've been working on my first bib recently which came out pretty well. I am not the most patient person, so patterns, cutting, pinning and prep work is still a chore that I have to force myself to take my time on. It always strikes me as ironic that sewing projects tend to be all prep work with a tiny fraction spent actually using my sewing machine!
But I did myself proud and got sore fingers from pinning the bias tape around the edge (can you buy extra fine pins for this?) I used contrasting green thread which was a mistake as you can see every little wobble. I finally cut the last thread and found out that, oops, the tape hadn't held on the neck edge.

Darn it, grr, argg.

I ended up having to carefully unpick the lot, which left nasty marks in the tape, which meant I had to unstitch each piece and rework with a tape that matched the thread. I tried again with the same stitch very carefully going closer to the edge but it did the same again!
See what I mean- nasty gap there. I finally reworked just the neck using the "V" stitch which disguised the mistake and looks pretty good. The coffee cup seems to suggest that this task took just long enough to finish my cuppa. No. It's a second cup much later after some hot-headed growling and shoving-back-into-box-never-to-look-upon-again time. I am pleased with it. I just hope that the next one will be much quicker. Now that I know what colours to use, I'll get started!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Oh Baby,Baby

If you are pregnant and in my family, look away now.

No, really.

You will have to check this out after Bump arrives.

Sorry about that but I'm dying to post what I've been up to for my baby boxes and I can't wait any longer! With three ladies expecting, I seem to be working hard but not ending up with much for each baby (Boy, I'm glad I started early this time.)

I started out with these two lovely chunkie Snuggle shawls. Blue for a Boy and Yellow for a who-knows-what! None for lovely lady number three as she has her own fair share of blankets. I've made this pattern before using Sirdar snuggly wool which makes a finer, soft little shawl. These are chunky but still soft and very warm- I can't wait to see them wrapping up those little pink babies...

Next on the list were baby Berry Hats. I've made a few of these as well for my girls and they have been so admired that I had to make them for the boxes. I loved using these beautiful cashmerino wools, the colours are so gorgeous!

I'm now working on the matching booties but I must post now as if I wait any longer, I will just keep on adding. Bye for now!

2 chunky blankets, 1 bib, 3 hats and 1 pair of booties

Just a quicky...

Oops, almost forgot to put this little lady up! My little girl has started flicking through my crochet books whilst I'm working and making requests. Some are on the backburner- "for Birthday/Christmas darling"- but this one I started in our caravan and finished last week.
She sat waving, waiting for Madame to come back from school and wasn't she a nice surprise! The excitement lasted about two minutes before requests came for more.....sigh.

Potty about Pots- Part 2!

Oh what a saga these pots have been! They were supposed to be for my Dad's 60th birthday in July last year... A tad late I know.

I had booked into three separate day courses to make, trim and glaze the special gift (as my parents have been collecting stoneware for as long as I can remember). The first day went swimmingly with three beautiful pots made. The second day a month later was cancelled and the third day, a month after that, I had to pull out of. Thankfully, the lovely Jane from Sidcup Adults College rang to say she would happily find a spare work surface during one of her weekly courses and show me how to glaze the pots. So after holidays, illnesses and trying to find childcare...I got back into the studio today!

I spent a relaxing hour dipping my pots into the glaze (which is ground up glass) and cleaned off the bottoms and edges so that they wouldn't stick in the kiln. Jane will try to get them fired before next week but they may have to wait until the next set of JUNE.

So Dad, you may be getting your pot in time for your 61st but don't hold your breath!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Back from the wilderness!

Hello Peeps! Did anyone out there miss me?? I've just come back from a 2 week break in the Forest- of-Dean (pronounced "Far-rist" mostly) and, boy, did I miss my Wi-Fi. There was no signal for phone or internet in our little caravan which made catching up with friends and family particularly tricky. I had to use a pay phone- it's surprising how strange that felt...

Anyway, I took a whole bag of wool and patterns to work through but got very little done I must admit as, by the time the girls were down and we had eaten, it was way past 9pm and we were only good for a short read before turning our sofas into a bed again.

The joy of a teeny caravan! There's a certain Ballet that needs to be performed for every little task where both of you are looking after bouncy bundles of energy and trying to move around a small space. It normally involves one doing baby care whilst other is standing doing washing up and cooking and entertaining big sister with lots of swapping around. So getting out and about was definitely the key!

One of my highlights was accidentally coming across a craft group on the one evening we had a drink in the pub. I must admit that I gate-crashed these lovely ladies in "The Fountain" in Parkend and probably looked a bit crazed as I was having hook withdrawal symptoms. They politely listened to my wittering and I came away refreshed and eager to get my hooks out when we got back and settled for the night. Thank you Ladies! I'll be back in the Summer if it would be alright to say hello again?

I did manage to make these two little dears as gifts for my friend and her little girl- A Snail finger puppet and an owl from my lovely "Fa La La Felt" book which I'm really pleased with. Hope everyone had a lovely Easter break x

Monday, 4 April 2011

Waste not, Want not!

I made 2 little baby cardi's when I was pregnant in the summer which ended up as gifts to others as my little cutie was too big to fit into newborn sizes! This was my first attempt at the pattern after a 6 month break from crocheting.

I used the English Double crochet stitch instead of realising that, as it was an American pattern, the stitches needed to be changed! It ended up too long, too airy and not wide enough to do up. It almost got unraveled but instead I tucked it away.

I pulled it out the other day and realised that size-wise it would fit my little girl now and only needed a few changes to make a light Spring cardi.

I used my leftover Sirdar Snuggly to lengthen the sleeves and add enough width for the cardi to do up.

The buttons were on sale at John Lewis and are so sparkly and sweet.

The tiny flowers are just:

1-Chain 4 and SS into a ring

2-x6 SC into ring and join with SS

3-Chain 3 and SS into next stitch 6 times

4-Fasten off

When my little angel wakes up, we'll try it on!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Week 8 Decoration- Felty chains again!

I've finished!! I know it's Wednesday but I couldn't post it uncompleted when I was almost there. I LOVE it and it was sooooo worth the effort. I must say, I'm a dab hand at blanket stitch now. You kind of have to after almost 2 weeks of work.
I loved stitching each chain by hand although I would consider using my sewing machine for a quicker gift one next time. I might come back to this another day...

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Week 7 Decoration- Felty Chains!

Wow! It's Thursday already and I'm late, late, late darn it! I only started this project on Saturday and was holding off until Tuesday evening to get a bit more done when my laptop decided to develop a glitch. No Internet for 2 days was surprisingly stressful which is very sad really. I didn't realise just how much I pop on to check up little things. My iphone is even worse as I constantly have to answer those pointless questions that pop up every day.
Like: Who's the voice behind Sally from "Nightmare before Christmas?" (It's Maureen O'Hara who was the stepmother in Beetlejuice who did the possessed crazy dance at dinner!) Oh, and Danny Elfman -who seems to write music for everything- wrote the score for the film and
sang the part of Jack Skeleton... You see, pointless really.
Back to the project now. This felty paper chain was an idea I found on
I've been eying it up for a while and decided to make it a two-week project. My husband looked at all the strips I cut ready and promptly declared that it would take me forever. But, as usual, just by doing a little bit each night the chain is growing nicely. I think sometimes people see these projects as too much hard work, but all crafters know that spending your time doing something you love where you end up with something to treasure is so worth the effort and time.
I'm loving it so far, especially using contrasting colours for the blanket stitch. It means my blanket stitch is really improving as wonky stitches look a little naff. I'm not aiming to decorate an entire room but make a length to go along the top of my dresser. I can't wait to see how it will look next week!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Am I stock-piling too much??

I've just looked back at my Blog to date and realised how much I have made since January! This is a GOOD thing except that I seem to be stock-piling. Under my bed is a growing number of boxes gradually being filled with gifts for the future- it's becoming an obsession.

You see, I'm going back to work in June and I know that time will be pretty much filled with everything else. So my boxes are my way of getting my crafty projects ready for when they are needed.

1- Christmas box

2- Birthday box

3- Baby box (there are 3 due in my extended family this year....sigh)

This was enough but now I'm adding a fourth! Katie's birthday in the Summer term always seems to sneak up on me. Frantic buying and baking always leave me flustered and, as Katie wants a few friends from school this time, I thought I would start making bits for pretty party bags. I know I will never have the time later in the year and I want these gifts to be unique, valued (and cheap- I plan to make the bags as well!)

So, number one for the bag is:
I like to stick to the "rule" of children's age= how many children to invite. So, there are six sweet cupcakes- Five for her guests and one for herself as she has been eying these up for a week now! I wonder which one she will pick?
This pattern is available on Ravelry free from Hannah Kaminsky

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Week 6 Decoration- Tiny Felt Robin

Look at this!! I am so proud of this little guy as it is the first design that I've made that is a perfect match to the pattern.

  1. I sketched out a robin from a google photo and traced each different section onto plain paper.

  2. I cut out the teeny pieces and used sticky tape to hold them onto the felt. (This was a tip I got from a previous website. It makes it easier to cut very small pieces neatly, the felt piece comes away when the shape is cut out and the tape left on the template strenthens it)

  3. I used silver, red and brown thread to embroider the details and then stitched all the pieces together. I added a plain, fine ribbon to keep the focus on the little guy

The whole thing from cutting to finishing took just over 40 minutes which I was surprised by, I must say! I wanted to scan in my pattern but my scanners gone phooey so I hope this picture will do.
So, instead of a pattern to offer, I am going to start my first Freebie Giveaway. One condition though. I want to get up to 10 followers. When I have 10, I will put names into a hat and send this little guy out to you. So, if you want him, spread the word and help me complete my dastardly plan "Mwah- ha-ha!"