Crochet friends forever

With Georgia off to the States in a couple of days I’ve decided to smuggle myself in her suitcase. I won’t take up much room, I promise…

Crochet Amigrumi Mini-Me
Now you can finally see what I look like -stunning hey?

And to stop me getting lonely I made a mini-Georgia too:

Crochet Amigurumi Mini Georgia
If only I could really clone her…

The pattern was from Crochet Is For Lovers and it’s definitely a pattern I will keep on using.

Lovely DH whittled the mini crochet hooks for me from wooden skewers.

Wooden crochet hook

And now Mini Dilly and Mini Georgia can happily crochet together for eternity *sniff*


Cute Animal Brooches

These brooches were supposed to be Valentine’s Day gifts, but they finally made their way to their recipients about 2 weeks ago! One is for my mum and one is for her friend who loves foxes. I just free-formed them, but they were small and easy.

I wasn’t as enamoured with the cat as I was the fox, it looked a bit sinister rather than cute, so I tried again and came up with this little grey one.


Feeling inspired I have now splashed out on a whole bunch of cottons to make more cute little brooches. It’s hard to find nice, brightly coloured, non-mercerised cotton but this Rico Aran from Cucumber Patch was available in a wide range of colours and came super quickly.


The Birds

I’m not usually one for making a fuss at Easter. The holiday usually passes me by. I’m grateful for the 2 days off, and for the chocolate eggs which I tend to buy cheaply after Easter when the supermarkets just want rid of them.

But having kids tends to make you see things in a new light, and Betty has cottoned onto all the supermarket crap and has embraced Easter as a holiday to be celebrated.

I must admit Easter brings a plethora of crafting opportunities, which this year I have actually taken advantage of. About time really, given this started out as a craft blog!

First up is this Easter chick, scratching about on my bird table. I had visions of making these in all kinds of pretty pastel colours, but, well, it didn’t happen. This one’s pretty cute anyway, and if you want to make one the pattern is a simple free one from Lion Brand

Next up are these chicken bean bags which I saw on Red Ted Art . They are so quick and easy to make, even by hand. One is destined for my mother in law (random, I know, but DH insisted she’d like one) and the other two are Easter gifts for Betty and Iris. Given that Iris is in a delightful throwing stage, hopefully this will be a pain free alternative to a plastic cup or the iPad.

If you want more grown up craft, this lovely wreath was made for a pound by Mum of All Trades!

Happy Easter everyone!

The Hungry Caterpillar

A friend of mine was having a minor maternal crisis known to many of us: creating a costume for a fancy dress party. This party, for a one year old first child (oh the naiveity of the new parent) was themed The Hungry Caterpillar, and quite strictly enforced. Apparently supermarket sourced fairy or pirate wasn’t going to cut the mustard.

My friend turned to me for help and requested a hungry caterpillar style hat for her 2 year old son, with the intention of dressing him in green. She sent me a couple of pictures for inspiration and I duly obliged.

I had some chunky red yarn that meant I could whip up a beanie style hat pretty quickly. At the last minute I added ear flaps and some tassels but you can’t see them very well in this picture. Still, this is one cute looking caterpillar.

20130210-093327 PM.jpg

Oh Happy Days

Last week I had a very lovely freelance journalist called Ruth Stokes came all the way out to the sticks to see me and have a chat about yarn bombing for a book she is writing on alternative activism. She wanted to see me in action at quite short notice. I didn’t have anything planned so had to come up with something quick and easy. You know they are my watch words!

I decided to do some sort of writing with strings of single rows of crochet that I could tie around a fence, something suitably twee and uplifting…


I made sure Ruth got her hands dirty too! We managed this in about 20 minutes while poor Iris looked on bemusedly from her buggy, pacified with Pom Bears and Milky Way Stars. When I did my interview on R4 last week they asked why I do yarn bombing. There are many reasons but this one was definitely just to make people smile!

Crochet Heart Pattern

Over the past month or so I’ve have been giving beginner’s crochet classes to a lovely group of women at my local library. I think the classes went reasonably well. I massively underestimate how long it would take to teach the basics to a group of seven. This is no reflection on the course attendees, simply a matter of scale. When learning crochet the most important and hardest thing is knowing where to stick your hook. Having to stop at each step to check everyone is getting theirs in the right space is time consuming when you multiply it by seven.

By the third class though, everyone had made a heart. Through this they learnt to increase and decrease stitches which made it an excellent project as well as cute.

I promised them faithfully that I would send them the pattern, but I wanted to check it was right as I hastily noted it down during the class (hey, I only charged £2 a go, I’m not exactly a crochet sensei yet!) The pattern is below. The heart it makes is about 3 inches, but it could be easily scaled up by repeating rows 10 and 11 (obviously with different stitch counts). This is my first published pattern so let me know if there are any problems.

Heart Pattern


St(s) = stitch(es)
Dc = double crochet
Dc2tog = double crochet two stitches together
Ch = chain

Row 1: 2dc in 2nd chain from hook (1st chain) chain 1 then turn (2 stitches)
Row 2: 2dc in each stitch, chain 1 then turn (4 sts)
Row 3: 1dc in each stitch, chain 1 then turn (4 sts)
Row 4: 2dc in 1st stitch, 1dc in next 2 sts, 2dc in last st, chain 1 then turn (6 sts)
Row 5: 1dc in each st, chain 1 then turn (6 sts)
Row 6: 2dc in 1st st, 1dc in next 4 sts, 2 dc in last st, chain 1 then turn (8 sts)
Row 7: 1 dc in each st, chain 1 then turn (8 sts)
Row 8: 2dc in 1st st, 1dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in last st, chain 1 then turn (10 sts)
Row 9: 1 dc in each st, chain 1 then turn (10 sts)
Row 10: 2dc in 1st st, 1dc in next 8 sts, 2 dc in last st, chain 1 then turn (12 sts)
Row 11: 1 dc in each st, chain 1 then turn (12 sts)

Continue, making the first curve of the heart

Row 12: 1dc in each of the first 6 sts, chain 1 then turn (6 sts)
Row 13: 1dc in each st, chain 1 then turn (6 sts)
Row 14: dc2tog, dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog, chain 1 then turn (4 sts)
Row 15: dc2tog x 2 (2 sts)
Tie off

To make 2nd curve of the heart join new yarn in the 7th st of Row 11, i.e. in the middle next to the 1st curve

Row 12: 1ch then dc in the same st, 1dc in next 5 sts, chain 1 then turn (6 sts)
Row 13: 1dc in each st, chain 1 then turn (6 sts)
Row 14: dc2tog, dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog, chain 1 then turn (4 sts)
Row 15: dc2tog x 2 (2 sts)
Tie off

Sew in the ends.

Happy Hooking!

50 shades of crochet

Well, just one for now. After 2 years of looking up at generic Ikea paper lamp shades I decided it was time for a bit of creativity. I’d seen a few examples of crochet lampshades online and decided to give it a go. I managed to find two bargainous lampshades for £3.50 at a charity shop.


I started by just crocheting a row of doubles around the bottom of the frame, which was pretty tricky.


Crocheting with the frame between my legs was pretty cumbersome.


It has taken quite a long time given that it’s not exactly a portable project.


The stitch is shell stitch. I didn’t follow any sort of pattern, I just crocheted until it felt a bit loose then decreased a few stitches. I found a couple of good videos to show how to increase and decrease the shell stitch.


I finished with a shell scallop around the bottom, which I fear makes it a bit twee (as if a crocheted lamp shade isn’t twee enough!). Twee isn’t really my style but it needed something to finish it off.

Crochet lampshade
Crochet Lampshade
In situ

I’m really pleased with it. I still have another frame so I need to decide what I want to do with that one. Of course, I will keep you posted!

Behind the scenes of a yarn bombing

So, it’s about time I did a proper write up of Tuesday night’s yarn bombing. I’d been planning it for weeks, spending most evenings making bollard cosies and lamp post tags.


We have adopted the Montpellier Chapter as our den of iniquity. It’s a very “naice” place (originally chosen because it was the only place NOT showing the football). This was the second time we had been in there, crocheting away, the table strewn with wool. The waiter came in periodically, a faint look of bemusement on his face, but unfailingly polite. We finished up our creations there with a cup of tea. Actually Georgia was still sewing hers up as we were walking to our target!

Our initial target was a big public garden in the town. Wednesday was the start of the local music festival and all the festivals are based in this garden. Well, nearly all of them. We turned up at the gardens with nary a marquee or even a tent in sight. I quickly checked on my iPhone to see if I’d got the right dates. I had, but no mention of location. Stitch This suddenly had a brainwave that the music festival is usually held at the Town Hall. So we traipsed in the pouring rain to the Town Hall. “Are there even any bollards near the Town Hall?” I wailed, bollards being central to this yarn bomb. “There’d better be. I’ve just spent two chuffing hours on this train finishing this thing getting weird looks” replied Stitch This. Except she didn’t say “chuffing”.

Through an alley way and outside the Town Hall we found a bollard-tactic vista and got cracking straight away. It was getting late for us poor tired mothers of young children (sorry to ruin the mystique for you there).

It was lashing with rain, but it didn’t really matter. It just made things a bit awkward that we couldn’t put our bags down while we were sewing up. Instead we were manically running around, swapping scissors and yarn needles.


Most of the bollard cosies had been pre-sewn to make it easier to just slip them over but a couple still had to been sewn on as did the lamp post tags.


This was Stitch This’s first foray into yarn bombing and she was giddy with excitement. Her yarn bombs were a green sea creature closely resembling a head on a stick, and a magic wand with the words “Music is Magic” sewn on, and even some gold sparks! The wand was actually a mash up of some UFOs including a scarf of doom.

I ummed and ahhed over whether or not to add a tag. It seemed very self promoting and I thought it might ruin the air of mystery. However I put a lot of work into the project and it would be nice to have more visitors to my blog. In the end I did and I added a message saying that if people wanted to take the yarn bombs to please think about it and remember the yarn can be undone a recycled. I love yarn bombing, even if it has become less subversive and more ubiquitous. But the only slightly negative comment I have ever had was questioning the wastefulness of all that yarn, which was a good point. I have to hope that people who take the yarn bombs do so because they want them for decorative purposes, and if not hopefully my note will make them think twice.



All in all they made for a great sight. I haven’t actually seen them in broad daylight, but I have been updated by various Twitter observers that they are still in situ. The Cheltenham Town Hall staff were very pleased with them and have been tweeting about them and putting pictures on their Facebook page.

Picture from the Cheltenham Town Hall Face Book page
More from Cheltenham Town Hall Face Book page

My new posse and I have big plans for the next festival, and we are going to keep meeting at the Montpellier Chapter (you think if I mention them enough times they will give us a discount?) so watch this space…