Introducing the Whirly Catherine Wheel Cushion!

I’ve made a few crochet cushion covers recently but they’re all been gifts for other people, and as lovely as it is to give them away, I quite fancied having one all for myself! Once I finished my star ripple blanket, I found I had quite a lot of yarn left, especially in Cream and Aster (blue). I thought I’d seen a pattern in one of my crochet magazines that used a fan stitch, but when I went looking for it I couldn’t find it.

Hmmm.

There’ always the possibility that I imagined it existed at all, or more likely that it wasn’t a pattern for a cushion but for something else and I just thought it would make a good cushion.

Double hmmm.

But then I thought of the Catherine Wheel stitch that makes up part of my stripey blanket WIP, and I came up with…

Whirly Catherine Wheel cushion!

The Whirly Catherine Wheel cushion!

As I didn’t have a cushion pattern to work to, the sensible thing to do would have been to make a swatch so that I could work out precisely how many pattern repeats to do to fit my cushion. Continue reading

Craft fair, bunting, cute and smelly (in a good way!) little owls, WIP and socks.

Suddenly it’s Wednesday and I still haven’t updated my blog! I can’t blame it all on recovering from the Briar Patch craft fair on Saturday, although I was exhausted after spending the day chatting away with both customers and fellow stallholders. A steady stream of compliments more than made up for the slow sales, and it was a fantastic opportunity to network with other creative people locally. There’s not a lot of crochet at this particular craft fair, and what there is is mostly hats and scarves, so my stuff really stood out. I was lucky to be given an extra table to fill at no additional cost due to a last minute reshuffle by the organiser!

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Crochet owl keyrings, pincushion rings and lovely hearts

My next craft fair is less than a week away now, and I’ve stayed more or less to my target of making something to sell every day.

Owls are still very popular, and an easy shape to crochet, so I improvised these cute little amigurumi keyrings. I could happily making dozens of these in all different colours, but I’ve just made a few to start with to see if they sell first.

Crochet owl keyrings. Small, cute, and hard to photograph because they won't sit up and behave!

Crochet owl keyrings. Small, cute, and hard to photograph because they won’t sit up and behave!

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Finished felted foxes and NEW YARN!

The laundry has been piling up over the last fortnight in the the BAM household. Our old washing machine gave up the ghost halfway through a load consisting mostly of my mister’s underwear (I think it lost the will to live), but today it’s replacement arrived! It’s installation didn’t exactly go smoothly. My grumpy upstairs neighbour laid into the delivery men for parking in his space; then the delivery guys couldn’t get at the pipes because they were behind the dishwasher which was wedged in under the counter so tightly they couldn’t get it out without tearing the lino; then they ran out time because the driver had to take his break so I had to get them to leave the new machine in the middle of the living room; then… Well, I think you get the idea!

We did get it sorted out eventually; although there is a small tear in the lino. 😦 I love the new machine, so I still count it as a win. The old machine was pretty decrepit, and I can’t really blame it all on my mister’s pants. I did do quite a lot of felting in it when it was already on its last legs, including an idea I had to crochet felted foxes. The basic shapes came out really well, but they sat in my living room for ages, waiting to be finished… until yesterday!

The first one came out looking sort of angry looking, and there was a small hole where the filling was poking through, so I think I’ll keep him.

Cute, but angry cute!

But the other three are just adorable! I’ll be taking them to the craft fair on the 1st.

Such cute little tubby foxes!

Such cute little tubby foxes!

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Crochet tea cosies, turtles, and relearning to knit European style

The short, grey days are getting to me a bit at the moment, so although I’ve had quite a productive week, I don’t have much to say. 😦

My stripy blanket (tutorial by notyouraveragecrochet found here) is making steady progress. I’m on row 26. I would have been a lot further along but I had trouble ending up with the right number of stitches after doing the two rows that made up the star stitch stripe (the lime green stripe between the purple and the red). I got there in the end though, and got a lot of practice with a new stitch!

Stripy crochet blanket work in progress. 26 rows and counting!

Stripy crochet blanket work in progress. 26 rows and counting!

I have another stall booked at the Briar Patch Craft Fair in Eastbourne on the 1st February, so I’ve been trying to make something every day to sell. I made a couple more cupcake keyrings and a turtle too. Continue reading

Beautifully bright coloured cotton makes for happy crochet (and a less crotchety crocheter!)

I love wool, but unfortunately wool doesn’t love me. When it comes to sensitivity I could give the Princess and the Pea a good run for her money. Everything seems to make me itch, which is bad enough when it affects what fibres I can wear next to my skin, but when itchy hands force me to put down my crochet hook I’m doubly grumpy! Thankfully there are some amazing varieties of yarn out there that don’t make me want to take a cheese grater to my hands, and my favourites are all cotton.

I aim to make all 30 projects from Emma Varnam's Crocheted Keyrings and Charms book, and these three were all worked in Drops Muskat yarn

I aim to make all 30 projects from Emma Varnam’s Crocheted Keyrings and Charms book, and these three were all worked in Drops Muskat yarn which is 100% mercerised cotton.

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So that was Christmas!

Phew! I made it! A few things had to be scaled back to something more manageable given the timeframe, but I did manage to make all the presents for my family and friends this year. I did cheat a little as some people got things I’d made for my stall at the craft fair, but hey! That still counts!

I did several versions of this hat and this scarf in various yarns in such a short space of time I think I could make them in my sleep now. There was a minor problem with the sizing of a couple of the hats. One was supposed to be for my brother but was too small. It was, however, a perfect fit for my 10 year nephew… but his hat was too small so I’ll probably sell that one on my next craft fair stall in February. Oh well, I guess it all comes full circle in the end. My brother has requested a scarf to replace his hat, and I’m working on that now.

Some of this year's crocheted goodies

Some of this year’s crocheted goodies

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Achievement unlocked: sell work at local craft fair

I’ve been neglecting this blog even more than usual lately, but that’s because I’ve been busy getting ready for my first stall at a craft fair. I had lots of half finished bits and pieces that I had to work my way through in order to have a decent amount of stock, and somehow I managed to pull it all together in time for the big day yesterday.

I was very proud of my little stall at The Briar Patch Craft Fair in Eastbourne, and although the event wasn’t exactly swamped, there was a steady stream of people having a good look around, and I did make a few sales!

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Flower cushion, finished bunting and my first international order!

It was my eldest niece’s birthday this week and she was thrilled with the cushion I made her using Attic 24‘s Blooming Flower pattern based on a vintage pot holder design. I’d already made a pot holder using this technique for my mum (you can see it here),

Here’s my cushion.

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This Blooming Flower cushion was a big hit on my niece’s birthday. In fact it was so popular that the birthday girl had to wrestle it out of the arms of various party guests! Looks like I’ll be making more of these for Christmas presents then…

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The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (otherwise known as “Hell on a stick” or “Never again on a Saturday”)

Okay, despite the title of this post I did actually have a pretty good time at this show, and really I can only fault it for being way too successful. I’m no stranger to busy events or even popular tourist attractions in London, Paris or Rome. Hell, I’ve even shopped in Ikea on a bank holiday weekend when there was sale on! Admittedly some of these things drove me to drink and/or psychiatric pharmaceuticals and required bed rest the following day, but you get my point: I’ve seen and shopped in big crowds before.

Yarn bombed Taxi parked out the front of Alexandra Palace. I was a bit disappointed that more yarn bombing hadn't been done in and around the venue.

Yarn bombed Taxi parked out the front of Alexandra Palace. I was a bit disappointed that more yarn bombing hadn’t been done in and around the venue.

This was infinitely worse. Dear God, it was so much worse…

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