Everyone’s at it!

Craft | Tuesday January 5 2010 | 7:54 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , , , |

I know lots of people who are pregnant at the moment and it’s making me twitchy!  No, silly, not my hormones!!!  My crochet hooks!!!

Whenever I hear of the patter of tiny feet my initial excitement for the happy mummy and daddy to be soon turns to thoughts of crochet opportunities and right now they are rife!

The things I love about making for babies are the colours, the delicate yarns, the anticipation for the expectant family and the appreciation with which home made gifts are received.

My friend Anne became a granny to baby Joseph just before Christmas and even though I don’t know Joseph’s mummy I have made him a cosy hat.  I based it very loosely on a pattern from Haakpoes for sizing and made a couple of alterations.  Instead of stripes I used one main colour (blue for a boy, of course) with contrast turn up brim and tassles.  I love the ‘noodle’ on Haakpoes hat but it didn’t look quite right on mine so I added a few twists to the top instead.  The pattern says its for a 3-6month old but I have no idea what size a babies head is so I hope it doesn’t only fit him in the summer!!  However, the way the weather is going here at the moment we may still have snow!!

Doesn’t this look cosy? However, a strange phenomenon occurred, whereby the variegated yarn didn’t variegate itself very well and came out in chunks of colour rather than stripes!  I think it adds something to the hat in a funny sort of way, as you can turn it around and have a different hat for every day of the week!

 baby boy blue hat

My sister in law, KellyAnn, and one of my closest friends, Mandy, are both due in the latter half of February so I haveplenty time to create some baby gifts for them.   I have already started work on a blanket which I am really pleased with.  I have wanted to tackle a ripple pattern for some time and a baby blanket seemed the perfect opportunity.  Lucy at Attic 24 has lots of beautiful and colourful crochet blankets to I tackled her Neat Ripple Pattern.  I had a few false starts, mainly because, as usual, I cut straight to the simplified version of the pattern without looking at the great walk through that Lucy had done.  Turns out I needed my hand held and when I had read it all fully it worked a treat.  Here’s the work in progress:

 Ripple baby blanket

I’ll add more pictures when it’s finished.  Turns out Ali at SnipSnapHappy has been having the same ripply thoughts as me too!

It’s worth mentioning here the yarn I’m using for these baby items.  It’s one I picked in a different shade for a little phone case a few months ago and I really like working with it.  Its Patons Fairytale Colour 4 Me DK machine washable 100% wool.  It’s labelled at double knitting but I beg to differ as it really does have a slightly thicker handle.  As a result I’m using a 5mm hook and that feels just right.  There are loads of shades available and its a great price (around £2.60 / 50g ball).

MMX

Craft | Saturday January 2 2010 | 7:50 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Happy New Year to you!  I hope 2010 brings you good times, good health and lots and lots of craftiness.  Those are the things I dream of for the year ahead anyway!

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks with my birthday, Christmas, New Year, visiting family  and lots and lots of snow! I spent Christmas at home with Caveman then we went off to Scotland to visit our respective families and most importantly see my nephews and niece.  If there was one thing would make me move back to Scotland it would be them.

The weather was a real challenge, with near knee deep snow in places, frozen roads and sub zero temperatures at all times. The coldest I was out in was -9°c at 9pm one evening, so I can only guess how cold it got in the middle of the night.  Brrrrrrrrrrrr…

And now that the gifts I have made have been given I can share what I’ve been working on for the past few month or so:

A teal / green curly wurly scarf for Rhona:

teal spiral scarf

 A flowery scarf for Jemma (a fellow crocheter):

floral scarf

 Button heart for Rhona:

Button heart

Spiral brooches for a few people, in different colours:

pink grey spiral brooch

A ‘made it up as I went along’ bag for Lucy (age 5 ¾):

 made up as i went along bag

with a sherbet scarf to match:

 sherbert scarf

A butterfly hair clip holder for Lucy:

pink and yellow butterfly hair clip holder

 

The sherbet and flower scarves are variations of patterns from my favourite crochet book The Happy Hooker, about which I have lots to write at a later date.

I hope all your crafted gifts were well received, and maybe you even received some yourself too.

A snapshot of my year

Blogging | Monday December 21 2009 | 9:36 pm | No Comments | Tags: |

I have never intended this site to be about much other than crafting and tea, but I did soemthing yesterday on another site that I really wanted to record here, just for a giggle.

Facebook (yes, I do!) has a facility which makes a collage of your year based on your status updates, and I thought mine just really captured a bit of ‘me’.  Here’s a little glimpse into that other world…

my 2009

Better late than never for Betty and Cath

Craft,Tea | Wednesday December 16 2009 | 3:20 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , , |

I’m embarrassed to say this post should have been written about a month ago!  But its been nonstop round here; craft fair, Christmas shopping, weekend in London and busy busy in the day job and I’m now stuck at home with a cold! 

So I thought what better time to write about the goodies I got in Yorkshire (all those weeks ago) while I’m sitting under a blanket with a cuppa.

I have two sets of loveliness to report.  I think I’ll start with tea.  I had been really excited about visiting Harrogate, not least because it is the home of Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms!  Purely by coincidence (honest) we ended up parking just near Betty’s so headed there first.  As expected there was a long queue and everyone was saying there was up to a 45 minute wait.  It’s no secret that I love tea, but balanced with my hatred of queueing, I was not going to wait. We decided to have a look around Harrogate and return. 

After a good look around Harrogate, including trips to Duttons for Buttons and Cath Kidston (see below) we returned to find the queue just as long.  There was only one thing for it… pop into the bakery and take some goodies home.  Here are the things I got:

Goodies from Betty's

A lovely lemon cake, tomato and herb loaf, Betty’s Tea Room Blend tea and a cotton Betty’s bag to carry it all in.  Yum!

And then there was the Cath Kidstonshop.  I have never been in one of her dedicated shops before, only the section in Selfridges nearby at the Trafford Centre (which is virtually my local shops!).  I have never particularly thought of myself of a fan of Cath Kidston, but my heart did skip a happy beat when I saw all the colourful and flowery loveliness in the shop.  I just couldn’t resist.  I am ashamed to say I have yet to do anything with the lovely things I bought (back the the aforementioned busyness I guess).

So what did I get, well, a pretty little selection!

Cath Kidston goodies

I got 2 pieces of gorgeous cotton print fabric (I had a really hard job choosing which ones as cotton print fabric is my favourite of favourites, especially little repeat prints), a set of matching tins, a little butterfly brooch and a little green glass salt and pepper pinch pot.

I plan to use the fabrics just for myself.  How selfish is that??!  I think I might crochet some cushion fronts and back them with these fabrics.

I must be getting into the Cath Kidston thing as I have since bought her Sew book too!  Not had the chance to make anything yet, but it comes with the pattern and fabric for the bag on the cover, so that seems like as good a place as any…

Secret Santa

Uncategorized | Monday December 7 2009 | 11:48 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , |

So here’s the problem…  I’m making lovely and intresting and pretty things as Christmas pressies but I can’t write about them here for fear of spoiling the surprise for their recipients. 

I’ll just need to wait until the new year and let it all out then, or a little sooner if you’re on my Christmas list!

An evening with frou-frou

Craft | Friday December 4 2009 | 10:54 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , |

SHS displayThis time last night I got home after my first ever craft fair, and was very glad of a seat and a cup of tea!  It was lots of fun and an interesting first outing for frou-frou!

The event was described as a having Craft and Gift stalls and overall there was actually very little craft and mine was one of only 2 or 3 with handmade and crafted items.  In fact, many stalls were (cheap) wholesale jewellery and hair things.  I don’t want to be too rude about them as everyone has their own reasons for being there, but it was hard to sell many of my things when there were trendier, cheaper and more sparkly things all around.  

After the cost of the table fee I didn’t come out with much, but it wasn’t about the money and at the end of the day I had my first experience of selling things I have laboured over and loved for a long, long time – and that was a great experience.  I think I learned a lot of what is most popular, and that is the cutesey and pretty girly things, in particular the butterflies and button hearts. I also think that an actual ‘craft’ fair would be much more appropriate for me and my goodies.

butterfly hair clip holdersOne thing I did realise is I need to add some more interest to my stall display.  I did have a few display items, but these were all at the back and quite tall.  The cake stand and sweetie jars worked well too, but the rest was very flat.  Also, because there was quite a lot of colour it all looked like quite a jumble, so maybe some streamlining would help too, or more colour themes.

Caveman was a great help as shifter, carrier and chief packaging operative!  At one point he said ‘You know, you’re really good at this’ which was a relief and lovely words of encouragement!!  It helps that a) I LOVE to chit chat and b) I knew every stitch of every item on that table!  It is a strange feeling putting yourself  ‘out there’, no matter how much you love your own work, it’s a risk in how it will be received.

If you like what you see, or want to buy anything as I have lots of stock left, drop me a line via my contact page, or you may see them on Folksy some time soon. 

Thanks to my lovely chums who came along for support! xx

I’ll leave you with some pictures…

 

crochet brooches on cake stand

puff brooches in sweetie jar

 

whole display

santa hats and jingle bells

cherry brooches

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