Monthly Archives: June 2013

Organising my yarn (finally)

Over the past few months, my collection of yarn, fabric, felt, buttons and all manner of other craft materials had become ridiculous. There were boxes and bags all over the house, stuffed to the gills with not only the things I actually use, but also old pattern paper, abandoned projects, tangled up yarn, scraps of ruined fabrics… and many many loose pins and needles.

On Friday, my other half was cleaning and tidying the house while I was at work, before my parents came to visit yesterday. I don’t think he enjoyed hoovering around all my creative supplies because when I finished work, he drove me straight to Hobbycraft and bought me two big plastic boxes to store all of my stuff in (after I’d had a good sort out).

So while we watched the British Grand Prix this afternoon, I sat on the living room floor surrounded by all my craft supplies and got them organised. I threw out one and a half bin bags’ worth of rubbish and then sorted out everything else. And I’m loving the results. He may have twisted my arm into doing it, but the other half was right – I feel better now it’s done.


One bunny down, one dino-child to go…

It’s a beautiful sunny day today (a rare occurrence in a British summer these days) but we promised ourselves a lazy day at home today and that’s what we’ve had. With all the windows and skylights open, sun and fresh air streaming in, I have spent most of my day crocheting (while my other half baked raspberry and white chocolate cookies). It’s been really lovely.

And with all this time on my hands, I have managed to finish my latest bunny person:




This is just one half of a two-part commission (gifts for two little ones) and I’m about to start on the second creation. I’ll post a preview when it begins to take shape…

Fame at last… And some lovely new yarn

I came home from work tonight to find two crochet-related treats from the postman.

Firstly, this month’s issue of Inside Crochet magazine had arrived. And I am featured in it! I’m really thrilled to get a mention and as the piece says, one of my patterns will be printed in the magazine later this year. I’m a journalist by trade so you’d think I wouldn’t get excited about seeing my name in print anymore, but this put a huge smile on my face:


The other treat in the post was some new yarn that I ordered a couple of days ago in lovely marine and purple shades for a commission I’m working on. I usually stick fairly religiously to Rico Creative Cotton but I saw this Schoeller & Stahl aran weight cotton (Record 210) and thought I’d give it a go. It’s a similar price but comes in beautiful colours with some more subtle shades than the Rico. Rico is either pastel or rich bright colours and I think these sit somewhere in between. I’ve started using it tonight and it’s lovely. I’ll definitely be using more of it.



Monkey making… Finished!

Today was my last day of a nine-day stretch at work, and I’m looking forward to getting a bit of my energy back with a much-needed day off tomorrow. And the good news is I’ll be able to start my next crochet commission as I’ve just finished my last one – the little monkey. I’m running a bit behind schedule on getting things done but I’m sure with a bit more time on my hands tomorrow and at the weekend, I’ll be back on track. I’m excited as always about starting my next new design.

Before I post pictures of the monkey, I’d better explain a little bit about him… He’s been commissioned as part of a wedding gift – from someone who has ‘adopted’ an actual monkey at a zoo in the name of the happy couple. Hence the personalisation…






The good news is I’ve written the pattern down for this little chap, so I’ll be selling that online soon. Watch this space for details.

Evolving (with opposable thumbs)

This weekend I’m working, so my usual Saturday craft marathon hasn’t happened – but I have managed to make some progress on Mr Monkey. And I’m finally feeling happy with how he’s looking (apart from the fact he has no legs yet):


Making something totally new (I don’t use patterns for my toys) is always an interesting process as it includes a certain amount of trial and error. And through said trial and error, this chap has two new features. Firstly, quite by accident, he’s ended up with flexible arms – you can pose them and they stay in place. I think it’s because they’re a bit longer than usual, and less tightly stuffed. However it’s happened, I like it. Secondly (and deliberately), he has thumbs.


Tomorrow, after work, this little fella will get his legs. And some special personalisation. Then it will be on to the next one…

The beginnings of a monkey

I haven’t blogged for a few days because I’ve barely been making any progress with anything creative. I’d barely even picked up my crochet hook for three days until tonight – and I was getting a little worried I’d totally lost my crochet mojo. Sometimes life just takes over, and with my day job taking a lot of time and energy, and lots of running to do before the five-mile event I’m doing next month, I’ve had no energy or spark left over.

I tried to make a start on my next commission earlier in the week but I ended up scrapping it and starting over. I had gone down a more realistic anatomically correct monkey kind of style and it just wasn’t working… So in a sudden burst of courage in my own convictions, I decided to revert to my usual cute amigurumi style, like my other creations, and now I’m much happier with it. In fact, I think monkey has helped me find my mojo.


Hopefully tomorrow there’ll be further progress to report too.

A productive day of… quilting (not crochet)

Last night I started cutting out squares for the quilt I’m making. After a lot of calculating, scribbling and head scratching, I worked out how many squares I could have, how big it will be, how much wadding I’ll need, how much of a border, backing fabric etc etc.

So after all of that hard work, today I couldn’t help but start actually making it. A quick trip to Hobbycraft (or Hovercraft as we call it in our house) yielded enough wadding and border material, but I’ve had to order some extra wide fabric online for the backing.

I’ve now sewn together around half the squares, with the help of my little red sewing machine. It’s repetitive work and I’m having to be more precise than I imagined in terms of cutting and measuring, but I’m loving seeing it grow so quickly. Hopefully in a week or so it will be looking lovely spread across our double bed.


But of course I haven’t forgotten my crochet. My dino creations are sitting in a jiffy bag awaiting an express ticket to their new home, and as I write this, I have monkey-making materials sitting next to me, all ready to be whipped up into my next commission.

Jurassic Park!

I haven’t spent that much time crocheting over the past two days – I’ve been tired out from a long week at work and have been out and about with the other half, going running, sleeping…

I really didn’t expect to finish my lovely bright dino-related commission until the end of the weekend, but I’ve done it.


I’m really pleased with how they’ve worked out and it’s been lovely to do something a bit different. I’ve picked up a couple of new techniques for doing more complex shapes and concealing the increases and decreases used for shaping, so I’ve learnt plenty along the way. And I love the bright colours.

My next commission is a monkey, so another new design to tackle, which I’m looking forward to. But since I’m a little bit ahead of schedule, I’m going to start him tomorrow and spend tonight sketching out a patchwork pattern for my quilt.

Another little fella completed – dino-boy

Every crafter has that moment – you’re working on a project in the evening, you’re fairly close to finishing it but you know you should probably stop and go to bed and do it another time…

So of course, you stay up and finish it.

That happened to me tonight with dino-boy. And I’m glad I pressed on and finished him, because I like him a lot!

My other half is working nights, so crochet has kept me occupied in his absence. And as you can see from the photos, I’ve left a certain little someone sitting on the sofa awaiting his return.



And now, it definitely is time for bed.