Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Wednesday Night Project 170310 – National Crochet Month 2010

Well first of all I’m going to have a moan. Just when I get my head around the fact that spring may finally be dragging itself up the country to Scotland wham, bam, no thank you mam, it isn’t. The snow and howling winds are here again creating havoc and chaos everywhere. Our power went down for 8 hours last night and it’s a hit and miss probability as to whether it will stay on and I will be able to get this posted. No power no internet connectivity:-(

Today the house has been a balmy 12 degrees and the kitchen hasn’t even made it into double figures. The snow continues to fall as I’m typing.

OK moan over it’s the last day of the month and I wanted to remind everyone that March was National Crochet Month – so what did we do?

It must have sneaked up on me while I was crocheting as I almost omitted to mention it on the blog. As a staunch supporter of all things crochet, and crochet also being my chosen vocation you can imagine that I wanted to make the most of this month.

Below is my list of Crochet activity so far:

  1. Created the crochet ‘clootie tree’ and enlisted contributions from fellow crocheters. Click here for further info.
  2. Crocheted in public more than usual'.
  3. Taught 3 people to crochet this month. 
  4. Paid a designer for a crochet pattern.
  5. Designed and published crochet patterns for free.
  6. Made a gift that was crocheted and was my own design.
  7. Undertook & completed 3 different ‘crochet’ commissions this month.
  8. Bought lots of yarn.
  9. Planning to issue a new crochet pattern free of charge on Etsy & Folksy 
  10. Promoted the concept of men knitting & crocheting.
  11. Created a ‘yarny/crochet/knitting giveaway’. If you haven't entered yet please do so now HERE 
  12. Finished a WIP (work-in-progress). 
  13. Designed a new ‘crochet hook holder’ If you haven't seen it yet please click here.
  14. Decided to commission another crochet fanatic to crochet something for me :-)
  15. Have decided to offer blog readers a time limited discount offer on all items in my Folksy & Etsy Stores, details to follow.
  16. Got a tad distracted doing lots of drawing and not enough yarny activities.
  17. Was given the most incredible book Needlecraft Practical Journal Circa 1907 with first lessons in crochet. If you missed that then please click here.
  18. Bought too many vintage crochet books on ebay, but you’ve just got to have them – don’t you.
  19. Have undertaken to exhibit various types of crochet in upcoming exhibition in the next few months.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

This Week I’ve been a Shoe Designer

Just kidding but I’ve had such fun doing these pictures. All are available in a print format via my Etsy store or Folksy store.

Folksy Store

Etsy Store


Jimmy Who’s? Shoe Print


Life’s sweet in Flip Flops – Print


Spotty Mary Jane’s – Print.


Cow Hide Wedges – Print.


Zebra print strappy Ankle Heels – Print.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Mixed Up Ms Modigliani Ltd Edn Print


Limited Edition Print of ‘Mixed up Ms Modigliani’ now available in my Folksy store by clicking here.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Artist’s Crochet Satchel

I’ve been drawing so much lately I thought I should come up with a bag to keep all my sketch books in and here it is.

The pattern is really simple and yet I feel effective. The effect is gain from the choice of wools and yarns used.
Approx 200g of a variety of colours of yarn. A 5.5mm crochet hook, darning needle.
13” wide, 11” deep, 3.5” flap approx.
Bag - Ch 90,
Work  48  rows in sc.
My colour combination was;
Row 1: satsuma
Row 2-3: candyfloss pink
Row 5-6: red
Row 7: mauve
Row 8-9: pink multi
Row 10,11,12: tangerine
Row 13 : red 2
Row 14-15: dusky pink
Row 17-18: red
Row 19,20,21: fuschia
Row 22: claret
Row 23: satsuma
Row 24,25,26: pink multi
Row: 27-28: organdy pink
Row 29: mauve
Row 30-31: Red
Row 32: rust
Row 33: lavender
Row 34 –35: tangerine
Row 36: plum
Row 37-38: dusky pink
Row 39-40: brick
Row 41-42: mauve
Row 43-44: baby pink
Row 45-46: claret
Row 47-48: satsuma
Ch 140 ( here I used satsuma as it was at 1st and last edge of the bag)
Work 6 rows in any colour combination.
satsuma, mauve, red, fuschia, brick, satsuma.
Now fold the bag into a satchel shape with the straps being attached in-between from and back of bag, to the very bottom of the bag.
You can either sew it together.

Here I crocheted it together, again using satsuma, by working the strap down 27 sts at the front of the bag, 7 sts across the bottom of the bag, then 27 sts up the back of the back. Repeat on alternate side.
You can then sew all ends in and attach a button if required. Here I just attached lots of tassels.     

This pattern is offered and made available for personal use only. If you wish to reproduce this in any way please contact me or make sure that reference is made to the original author’s blog Thank you 
Crochet Conversion Chart US/UK International Yarn Weight Conversion Chart
I hope you enjoy using this pattern and if you are looking for other free patterns please visit Crochet Pattern Central

First Lessons in Crochet – Circa 1907

Oooh I must be the luckiest girl I know a lovely lady has just given me this bound copy of a book called first lessons. The actual book contains 6 different copies of the Needlecraft Practical Journal.
No 1. Crochet
No 2. Knitting
No 3. Plain Sewing
No 4. Darning and mending
No 5. Embroidery
No 6. Drawn Thread
This absolute gem is a real delight and pleasure to own. All of these ‘lessons’ were out of print at the time the book was bound and published and so I believe it to be extremely rare. I have done quite a bit of research and can find no reference to this 1st edition book nor any of the individual content chapters each of which would originally have been published as individual journals in 1906.
The book was originally written and published by the Manchester School of Embroidery, copies of some of the later Needlecraft Journals can be purchased on the internet but they appear to be years later.
If anyone knows anymore I would be delighted to hear your comments.
Sandra Thank You for letting me have this book.   

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

How to Crochet an Egg Cosy

Hello Everyone,

As we are deep into Easter preparations I thought I would post this ‘How To’ again.
Materials: Any small amount of double knitting yarn. Here I used red cotton. A 4.5mm crochet hook and a darning needle.
177-7730_IMG Let us begin.
Ch 3 and join with a slip stitch
Rnd 1:  ch 1, sc four times into the ring. Join with sl st. From this point forward just work in the round continually without any sl st.
Here I have placed stitch marker to know when each round begins. You can get my crochet stitch markers here or you can just use a safety pin.
Rnd 2: now sc twice into each st (10)
Rnd 3: * sc 1 st, dbsc next st,* ** rep to end (15)  
Rnd 4: * sc 1 st, dbsc next st,* ** rep to end (21)
Rnd 5-13: Work single sc into each st. I finished after row 13 but you may wish to continue if you have particularly large eggs. Break off yarn and sew all ends in.


Saturday, 20 March 2010

Birthday Giveaway

Ok I’m on the naughty step this week as I’ve not really done very much that’s yarn-tastic or even yarny. I’ve been very absorbed drawing, illustrating and painting. I did manage to complete a couple of yarny commissions so I’ve not been all bad. I just haven’t had the time or inclination to design or write up any new patterns. It’s on the to-do-list for next week.

So as mentioned previously I thought I would have a birthday giveaway not a blog birthday a me birthday. I’ve had such a puzzling time trying to think up what goodies to offer so here’s the list.

1. 1 pair of rosewood pony knitting needles 4mm.

2. 1 bamboo crochet hook

3. 1 set of either knitting or crochet stitch markers made by moi!

Large image

You get to pick which set (that is the winner does)

Large image

4. 1 knitting needle case/wallet in pink satin and blue flower power print.

5. 1 No7 gift bag which includes the following: liplicious candyfloss, stay perfect nail enamel –Rose Truffle, Perfect Lips Pencil – nude, Advanced Hydration Day Cream, Intense Volume Mascara black.

6. 1 skein of fyberspates scrumptious hand dyed yarn.

FyberspatesScrumptiouschunkyspringgreens7. 1 box of my favourite herbal tea whichever it maybe that week.

8. 200g of assorted other selected hand painted yarn, coloured sock yarn, pure wool etc. (Still to be decided)

This is open to all and everyone all that you need to do is leave a comment or suggestion and I will enter your name into the draw – which I or one of the little people will draw on Sunday, 11th April 2010. If you can mention my giveaway on your blog let me know and I will enter your name a second time into the draw.   If I don’t have your email address please check back after the 11th to see if you’ve won. Alternatively you can send your email address to so that I can let you know if you are a winner. Best of luck everyone.

If you wish to purchase some stitch markers you can do so by clicking

Friday, 19 March 2010

Wooden Crochet Hook Holder Recycled.


How cool is this little crochet hook holder ? This is made from an old tree out of my garden and is wholly recycled. I’ve been after a natural aesthetically pleasing hook holder for a while now. Before this all my hooks were either crammed into a pot or still residing with various works in progress. I think this makes selecting a hook far easier as you are able to see and touch the hooks rather than tipping them all out to assess which one you wish to use.

Of course this could be used for various other craft equipment not just hooks. Paint brushes, scissors, pens & pencils, prodders for rug making etc. Anyway I think it’s great.

If you are interested in having one of these holders please feel free to email me to discuss requirements at Unfortunately I only have enough wood left to make about another 6 so you’ll need to be quick.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Big Tent Festival 2010

Click here to see live photos and video from the 2009 festival

Set against the backdrop of the East Lomond Hill and next to the House of Falkland, the Big Tent offers what has been called 'one of the most stunning festival locations in the UK'.

The Big Tent serves up great music and great food in a thoughtful and family-friendly atmosphere. Come and party, come and be inspired and restored. Come and camp under the stars, come and walk in the woods.

In challenging times of ecological and financial crisis, it's more important than ever that we come together to celebrate the ways we can create a movement for change.

Want to join us at The Big Tent in 2010? Then here is the place to do it. Whether wanting to trade or exhibit at the event, you will find all the information here. Simply download the appropriate form below, fill it in and return it to us! Please note that food trading stands are by invitation only.

To take part click here.

The Big Tent Festival 2010

Monday, 15 March 2010

A Mirasol Mother’s Day

I hope that all Mum’s, Mother’s, Ma’s, Mummy’s everywhere had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I was the lucky recipient of some sublime Mirasol yarn. It is too yummy for words really.
I crocheted up a quick swatch to see how the yummy yarn would perform and it’s really excellent. The colours are beautiful and the wool itself is divine. Unfortunately I now feel a long term, time consuming and very expensive blanket, throw, afghan project coming on :-)
The stitch definition is incredible and it’s wonderful to be working with such an ethical product. The sample here is Mirasol Hacho shade 317. If you are not familiar with the Mirasol project then click here.
The philosophy behind the Mirasol Project is very simple, the Mirasol Project supports local communities in Peru through the sales of the Mirasol Yarn Collection.
Peru’s heritage and culture of textile artistry is rich and ancient. The Mirasol Yarn Collection includes yarn made from the animals tended by these communities for generations in the Peruvian highlands. Without them we would not have this beautiful yarn.
I hope Mum’s everywhere were as lucky as me.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Generic Tea Cosy

Here I wanted to come up with a pattern for a tea cosy that hopefully would fit a multitude of tea pots. I have constructed it so that it slips over the top a a variety of tea pots. Please measure your teapot prior to making this cosy and check the measurements.
Measurements: Circumference 20” x 8.5” height.
Materials: 5mm hook, approx 70gms of DK yarn, stitch markers or safety pin, a small amount of contrasting yarn to finish, darning needle.
Ch 4 join with sl st,
Rnd 1: ch 1, work 5 dc into ring, join with sl st.
Rnd 2: ch 1, work 2 dc into each dc, join with sl st,
Rnd 3: ch 1, *work 2 dc into the first dc, work 1 dc into next two dc*,** rep to end, join with sl st.
Rnd 4: ch 1, *work 2 dc into the first dc, work 1 dc into next three dc*,** rep to end, join with sl st.
Rnd 5: ch 1, *work 2 dc into the first dc, work 1 dc into next four dc*,** rep to end, join with sl st.
Rnd 6:  ch 1, *work 2 dc into the first dc, work 1 dc into next five dc*,** rep to end, join with sl st.
Rnd 7: ch 1, *work 2 dc into the first dc, work 1 dc into next six dc*,** rep to end, join with sl st.
Rnd 8: ch 1, work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st, join with sl st
Rnd 9: ch 1, work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st, join with sl st
Now begin working in the round using a stitch marker or safety pin to mark each round. No sl st at the end of a row and no ch 1 at the beginning of a row.
Rnd 10: work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st
Rnd 11: work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st
Rnd 12: work 2 dc into the first dc, work 1 dc into next two dc*,** rep to end
Rnd 13: work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st
Rnd 14: work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st
Rnd 15: Decrease Row – work a straight round and decrease on every 6th st to end.
Rnds 16, 17, 18: work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st
Rnd 19: Decrease Row – work a straight round and decrease on every 7th st to end.
Rnds 20,21,22,23: work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st
Rnd 24: Decrease Row – work a straight round and decrease on every 8th st to end.
Rnds 25, 26,27,28,28,30: work a straight round with no increases, 1 dc into each st
Round 31: Join contrasting colour and work 2 dc into each dc until a complete round has been completed.
To Finish: Lay the cosy flat – you may wish to block at this point. I trimmed by using a single dc into the seam of the cosy from one edge to the other. At the top of the cosy a created a hanging hook by chaining 10 and then continuing to dc down the other side of the cosy.
This pattern is offered and made available for personal use only. If you wish to reproduce this in any way please contact me or make sure that reference is made to the original author’s blog Thank you Crochet Conversion Chart US/UK International Yarn Weight Conversion Chart
I hope you enjoy using this pattern and if you are looking for other free patterns please visit Crochet Pattern Central

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Wednesday Night Project 100310 – Men Do Knit & Crochet.

Today one seldom sees anyone knitting. Grandmotherly types, likely suspects, pull newspapers or magazines out of their handbags rather than skeins of wool while waiting for trains or buses. And headsets abound among younger women. The only person I know who knits in public is a man; and though he seems oblivious to criticism, his friends tend to make excuses for what is generally perceived as odd or inappropriate behavior.
When I was at boarding school during World War II, however, everyone knitted - including the headmaster, the teachers, and the whole football team. We knitted 9-inch squares, which somebody else sewed together to make blankets and scarves for British soldiers. "Knitting for Britain," it was called. The wooden needles were large and clumsy, not really fit for much else. It was a knit-two, purl-two, mindless sort of occupation, like mucking out a barn or shoveling snow. But it was wartime, so we all did extra things.
There was a picture hanging up in the school library of the football fields grown up in wheat during World War I. We were not issued rifles or taught to shoot and march in formation as our fathers had been. Pearl Harbor was still a few months away, and we weren't geared up to do anything much yet.
A few boys became obsessed and knit enormous, lumpy, 12-foot scarves for themselves. But most of us were satisfied to turn out a square or two at a time and throw it in the knitting bin. I don't know who supplied all the wool.
Full story here.

Over on Handmade By Mother there is a great post on Men knitting and Knitting for Victory.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2010 in Crochet.

Okay everyone I’ve been trying to think of various ways to celebrate International Women’s Day 2010. I had thought about giveaways etc but will be doing that next month as it’s my birthday then and it’s always more pleasurable to give than receive.
So to mark International Women’s Day 2010 I’ve decided to have a different type of giveaway a more spiritual and altruistic form of giving. I’m going to make all your wishes come true :-) All that you need to do is leave a comment, wish, dream, prayer or affirmation and choose a colour. I will then crochet a ribbon for your wish etc in the colour you have chosen. I will then add your ribbon to my clootie tree to blow in the wind I will be creating these ribbons throughout March.
You can find out about the history and meanings of a clootie tree here.
The day is an official holiday in Afghanistan,[5] Armenia,[6] Azerbaijan,[7] Belarus,[8] Burkina Faso,[9] Cambodia,[10] China (for women only),[11] Croatia,[citation needed] Cuba,[citation needed] Georgia, Guinea-Bissau,[5] Eritrea,[5] Kazakhstan,[12] Kyrgyzstan, Laos,[13] Madagascar (for women only),[14] Moldova,[15] Mongolia,[16] Montenegro,[citation needed], Nepal (for women only),[5], Russia,[5] Serbia,[citation needed] Tajikistan,[5] Turkmenistan,[5] Uganda,[5] Ukraine,[5] Uzbekistan,[5] Vietnam,[citation needed] and Zambia.[17]
In some countries, such as Cameroon[18] or Romania,[citation needed] the day is not a public holiday, but is widely observed nonetheless.
On this day it is customary for men to give the women in their lives - mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, colleagues, etc - flowers and small gifts. In some countries (such as Romania) it is also observed as an equivalent of Mother's Day, where children also give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union celebrations of IWD were abandoned in Armenia. Instead April 7 was introduced as state holiday of ‘Beauty and Motherhood.’ The new holiday immediately got popular among Armenians, as it commemorates one of the main holidays of Armenian Church, Annunciation. However, people still kept celebrating IWD on March 8 as well. Public discussion held on the topic of two ‘Women’s Days’ in Armenia resulted in the recognition of the so called ‘Women’s Month’ which is the period between March 8 and April 7.
In Italy, to celebrate the day, men give yellow mimosas to women.[19][20] Yellow mimosas and chocolate are also one of the most common March 8 presents in Russia and Albania.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Serbia the custom of giving women flowers still prevails. Women sometimes get gifts from their employers too. Schoolchildren often bring gifts for their teachers as well.
In countries like Portugal it is usual, at the night of 8 March, for groups of women celebrate in "women-only" dinners and parties.[citation needed]
In India, IWD holds a lot of significance. Many celebrations are held during the day.
In Pakistan working women in formal and informal sectors celebrate International Women's Day every year to commemorate their ongoing struggle for due rights, despite facing many cultural and religious restrictions. Some women working for change in society use IWM to help the movement for women's rights. In Poland, for instance, every International Women's Day includes large feminist demonstrations in major cities.[21]
In 1975, which had been designated as International Women’s Year, the United Nations gave official sanction to and began sponsoring International Women's Day.
The 2005 Congress (conference) of the British Trades Union Congress overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for IWD to be designated a public holiday in the United Kingdom.
Since 2005 International Women's Day has been celebrated in Montevideo, either on the principal street, 18 de Julio, or alternatively through one of its neighbourhoods. The event has attracted much publicity due to a group of female drummers, La Melaza, who have performed each year.[22]
Today many events are held by women's groups around the world. The UK based Marketing company, Aurora hosts a free worldwide register of IWD local events[23] so that women and the media can locate local activity. Many governments and organizations around the world support IWD.
There is a map of IWD events available at this location, for women's groups around the world.[24]

Monday, 8 March 2010

Clootie Tree Update 8th March, 2010

I recently received some crocheted ribbons from Perry in MA, USA. Thank you Perry. Here are some updated photos of the tree.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Bridge Stitch Pattern

Okay I was just mucking around with fibre – as you do and I came up with this pattern. When 1 row is completed it looks like fish but with 2 rows completed it reminds me of the Forth Rail bridge, hence I’ve named it Bridges. It’s a very simple and easy concept.
Works on multiples of 7.
Row 1 – *sc, hdc, dc, trc, dc, hdc*, rep as often as required.
Row 2 - *trc, dc, hdc, sc, hdc, dc*. rep as often as required.
Repeat both rows as often as required.
This pattern is offered and made available for personal use only. If you wish to reproduce this in any way please contact me or make sure that reference is made to the original author’s blog Thank you Crochet Conversion Chart US/UK International Yarn Weight Conversion Chart
I hope you enjoy using this pattern and if you are looking for other free patterns please visit Crochet Pattern Central

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Tide Pool Project – Call For Entries.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: We are seeking submissions from textile and mixed-media artists from around the world to create a collaborative tide pool made up of textile stones, kelp, anemone, barnacles, octopi, crabs, shells and other related flora and fauna. Our goal is to create a textile tide pool that will bring awareness to the importance of our coastal waters and the delicate and critical balance they play in the health and future of our planet
Tide Pool Project Blog

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Wednesday Night Project – 030310 Yosolda Teague

Thank you Amanda at Eight By Six.
At the age of only 24, a self-taught Scot has become something of a rock star in the colourful world of knitting. Working from her flat in Edinburgh, amid beautifully composed arrangements of wool and buttons, Ysolda Teague cannot produce designs quickly enough for her fans to knit.
Her website receives 2,000 to 5,000 hits a day, as knitters log on to buy her clever, accessible patterns for hats, retro cardigans, mittens and soft toys. Her two books, self-designed and self-published, are selling so well that she can’t keep pace on her own.
In North America, where knitting is a multimillion-dollar online industry, Ms Teague gets celebrity treatment — and she has the income to match. Fans recognise her in the street and her female followers, who range from teenagers to pensioners, endure five-hour round trips to see her at one of the many conventions she attends.
“It is a little weird. These people know me but I don’t know them. It’s such a huge online community, but people are so friendly to me,” she said. “What’s strange is that I work at home and it’s just me. I haven’t changed.”
Related Links
She spent three months touring conventions in the US last spring and returned in the autumn. Soon she will leave for Ohio, the venue for one of the knitting world’s biggest trade fairs.
The fame and prosperity started by accident, in the lecture halls of the University of Edinburgh. Ms Teague, an English literature student, realised that she absorbed information better if she was doing something with her hands rather than taking notes. So she began to knit in lectures and found she could recall everything. “Everyone in my family knitted,” she said. “My mother is a Highlander, who grew up outside Fort William and moved to Edinburgh to go to art college. I learnt to knit when I was 6, but I didn’t want to study anything crafty.
“While I was knitting at university I wasn’t following patterns because I couldn’t afford them, but I started posting pictures of things I had made. People wanted to know how to make them, and I had to do the pattern.”
She made her breakthrough at 19 with her first proper pattern — a lace cardigan in a fine yarn, inspired by a 1940s design, using wool she had inherited from her grandfather. One of the biggest knitting websites paid her $80 and asked about her website — so she had to set one up.
“Then I noticed two or three designers were selling their own patterns, and it seemed very simple. I sold my first design for £2 or £3.” she said. “Over the last two years at university I made £50 to £100 a month from knitting. My parents were horrified when I said I wasn’t going to get a proper job.”
She saw the growth of traffic on her website and decided to try to make a living from knitting, teaching herself techniques from books from the 1940s and 1950s bought at church sales.
“I gave myself six months to make the equivalent of the annual minimum wage. That was my goal. It took six weeks. My mum now works packaging up my books and mailing them.”
Business is now booming. Her patterns cost between £2 and £4 and she sells several thousand a month — or, if she brings out a new design, a few thousand in a day. “It had got to the point where I could either run the business or design things,” she said. “I have sold patterns to Africa; I get blog traffic from Iran. The main markets, though, are the US, Britain, Canada, Scandinavia, Europe and Australia.”
She raised £15,500 for Haiti in two weeks and her focus is now on her next big challenge — designing her first dress. Her fans, no doubt, have their needles and credit cards poised.
Times Online 27th February, 2010