Pretty flowers, mild panic and naughty cats.

It’s been a bit of a funny week in the BAM household. It’s as if spring’s early arrival has set a clock ticking in my head, warning me that time is running out to finish all the things I thought I’d get done over the miserable colder months. I know it’s daft, but it’s been difficult to shake that nagging feeling that I should be getting more things done, things that have absolutely nothing to do with the weather! I’m my own worst enemy most of the time, so to escape that ticking sense of doom, and cheer myself up in the process, I made this:

Can you see it amidst all my crafty clutter? I'll give you a clue: it's blooming lovely!

Can you see it amidst all my crafty clutter? I’ll give you a clue: it’s blooming lovely!

It’s not quite the shelf edging I had planned, but when the urge to crochet pretty little flowers pops into my addled brain, it seems kinder not to resist. Besides, the results have cheered me up! They also inspired me to dig out a terracotta pot that I picked up at a charity shop last year. I have three of these little pots and I’d planned to make a crochet garland of flowers to go around their necks. One down, two to go!

I used 4ply cotton Drops Safran for the flowers, which isn't mercerised so it is slightly more muted than Drops Muskat.

I used 4ply cotton Drops Safran for the flowers, which isn’t mercerised so it is slightly muted in comparison to Drops Muskat.

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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

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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Making progress on another crocheted Christmas

Every year I have the same conversation about Christmas presents with my husband. We agree we’re not going to spend loads of money on presents but end up doing it anyway. Even when I decide to make most of the gifts for our family and friends, and I get everything done in time, there is always the worry that I won’t finish. The horror of someone being presentless leads to “just in case” bought presents, that sneaks into “just a knick knack each” and then the whole thing, for want of a better word, snowballs until I have all the pressure of making presents as well as the cost of buying them!

In recent years my whole family has relied heavily on Amazon wishlists to plan Christmas, but it feels as if it’s all got out of hand as the piles of books and discs stack up. Usually I don’t even remember who got me what from my wishlist, and my poor mum can’t remember what came from which list when the parcels start arriving. It’s almost an annual tradition for there to be at least one mystery gift that has to be claimed on the day, and sometimes this is complicated by being an item on more than one person’s list!

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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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Total crochet-fest for Mum’s birthday

I’ve been making things to give to my mum for her birthday for months now, but even with a huge head-start I found myself running around like a headless chicken this morning. I have no trouble planning and making a gift weeks before it’s needed, but pressing and wrapping things I’ve made always happens at the last possible moment!

I found a fantastic little chest of drawers in a local secondhand shop that is perfect for storing Mum’s sewing bits and pieces. It was filthy and missing most of its handles so it took a while to spruce it up enough to make it present-worthy. It’s now at least three shades lighter! I couldn’t find any handles small enough to fit, so I made my own by attaching pennies to small bolts with Milliput (a two part epoxy putty that I’ve been dying to play with for ages!) It turned out rather well, and Mum loved it.

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I made something to go in each drawer, although I did cheat a little and put sweets and hankies in the sixth drawer. The two mats I using the retro-style mandala pattern from Simply Crochet Issue 9 only needed a light press and careful folding to make them fit.

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Punk monkey, gnome in a mankini and doilies! (I can’t get enough of the doilies…)

The autumn always marks  the present making season kicking into overdrive for me. Last month I posted photos of the toy dog and the granny hexagon waistcoat I made for my niece, and this month it was her brother’s 10th birthday. He’s always had an obsession with monkeys, so I decided to crochet him one from the soft chunky acrylic yarn that I bought from Tiger (£1 per 50g ball!), but in deference to the fact that he is not such a little boy any more, I chose to make him a punk monkey complete with purple mohican and safety pin piercings!

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Slowly stocking my online shops (Etsy and Folksy)

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I made these cute little felt pots weeks ago, but I’ve only just gotten around to adding them to my Etsy and Folksy shops.

I improvised rather than using any kind of pattern, crocheting the pots from felting wool I got on sale from Deramores . Some of it was Rico Design Creative Filz and some was Adriafil Crea. They felted up reasonably well in my front loading washing machine, and I hid the less well felted areas underneath the motifs I added for decoration.The hearts were the first real success I’ve had with needle felting, and I’m definitely going to be trying it again. As long as you keep your fingers away from the business end of the needle, the stabbing motion is very therapeutic!