• Needle Felting

    Beaded Felted Heart

    This is a piece I began at Start on our first week of learning needle felting. I’ve had my eye on the craft for a while, but never known where to start, so I was delighted to discover our tutor planned on teaching us. Needle felting involves stabbing a natural fibre (wool tops are the most popular but almost anything can be used) with a specially-designed needle to create the felted piece. As such, it’s very therapeutic! But you do have to be careful – the needle has barbs to enable the felting process and it apparently hurts like hell if you stab yourself. Despite being a disaster magnet, I’ve…

  • Events

    Creative Craft Show Spring

    Having won myself a pair of tickets courtesy of Black Sheep Wools, I moseyed over to Event City for the spring edition of the Creative Craft Show today. I wasn’t sure if the show would be any good – I went to the Knitting & Stitch Show in 2016 and found it was almost totally shops – but I’m pleased to report that there was a good number of textile artists showing this time around. I would have taken loads of photos, but many of the artists were busy and I wasn’t able to ask permission. One I managed to ask was Nikki Parmenter, who made this mixed media marvel.…

  • Crochet

    So give me crochet and TV

    There’s nothing as nice, after a long day housewifing, as putting on your favourite show and crocheting along. I’ve a Netflix subscription and my current watches are the fabulous Star Trek Discovery, quirky comedy The Good Place, and the weird and wonderful Stranger Things.   Vera is a murder mystery on for two hours Sunday night. It’s set in the north east of England, so it’s dark and gritty, much like the weather. In order to brighten up grey and dreary January and I like detective stories, I pop Death In Paradise on on Thursdays. I also adore feel-good shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off, though the…

  • Crochet

    New Year, New Me

    So my 2017 fell pretty flat. I’d plans and managed to get a pattern published but at the end of April, I had a motorbike accident and broke my right wrist. I also sustained soft tissue damage to my back¹ and my right shoulder. I’m mentioned which side because I’m right-handed. Even once the cast was off my wrist, I could only crochet for short periods of time due to the minor injuries. See ¹? Well, this came into play mid-July when I was travelling on hubby’s bike and we hit a pothole. The impact compacted my spine and caused a partially slipped disc. This proceeded to press on my sciatic…

  • Events

    Yarndale, Actually

    Speaking to my Mum after my hellish birthday, we decided it probably wasn’t wise to go through with our plan to attend Yarndale. It hurt – I’d bought tickets the moment they’d been available – but given how bad I could be, seemed for the best. And, going on the photos and stories, it was. Saturday was apparently crazy and I’d not have survived. The only problem was seeing all those photos… and what I was missing. That was very hard, but it was what it was. Until it wasn’t. We finally managed to insure the Volvo on Saturday, and the deposit ended up being less than what had been…

  • Ta Da

    Weekend Washout

    I’m a member of Sue Pinner’s Fb crochet group, and when a few decided to organise a weekend crochet retreat in Bala, Wales, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t? I arrived late Friday as I had to wait for hubs to finish work. I was greeted by the lovely Chris, and met Claire and her dog Deedee (who I almost brought home!) Saturday, we sat around crocheting, nattering, drinking tea and generally having a good time. Well, sort of. My sciatica started to play up and eventually I gave in and went for a lie down. Resting helped, and I was able to join the girls for a gorgeous…

  • Free Patterns

    Vintage Flower Square

    A few days ago, a lady in the crochet group I attend posted a photo of a blanket her mother-in-law had made for her husband when he was a child (40 years ago!), asking if anyone knew the pattern. I didn’t, but I knew I could recreate it. And here it is! I drafted the sample in DK but I’d recommend Aran weight and a 5mm hook. The squares are joined as you go by slipping into the 2rd treble of the side shells and into the chain space at the corners. You need to know how to make htrs and puff stitches, but it’s a fairly simple design that’s…

  • Ta Da

    Painted Roses Blanket Ta Da!

    This is the second Painted Roses Blanket that I’ve made, the first being done for my Mum in Sandra’s colours as a birthday present. I also made her a matching cushion for Mother’s Day. Mum keeps her blanket on her ottoman, so when we redecorated our living room and I bought an ottoman of my own in a vain attempt to store my yarn stash (I’d probably need at least 3 for that!) that I got the idea to make a blanket to cover mine. I chose to recreate the Painted Roses one as our new curtains are covered in large flowers. I took the colour scheme of the curtains and used Stylecraft…

  • Ta Da,  Weaving

    Peony Weaving Ta Da!

    The one thing about being a yarn hoarder is you do tend to end up with… well, a hoard of yarn. I didn’t even intentionally collect, either – I just picked up the odd ball here, got a little kit with a magazine there, and all of a sudden, I’d a mountain of the stuff. I could curl up on it like a yarny Smaug. There are several things you can do with odd balls – toys, scrap granny squares, even yarn bowls, but a recent copy of Mollie Makes came with a weaving loom and I rather caught the bug. The loom is very basic, but it does the…

  • Yarn

    My Favourite Yarns

    Stylecraft Special DK is my absolute favourite! Available in a wonderful array of shades which Stylecraft adds to on a regular basis, it crochets as well as it knits, making this a great yarn for garments and blankets. Add to this it being machine washable and tumble dryer safe, Special DK is extremely hard-wearing and it’s definitely my go-to yarn.   Stylecraft Batik DK comes in a close second. Designed primarily for crochet, Batik comes in a range of gorgeous heathered shades, which incidentally coordinate well with Special DK. The 50g balls work out a little more expensive, but the finished look is worth it, in my opinion.   Another blanket-making favourite…