Sunday, 30 September 2012

Warm hands and feet

You can never say no to your mum. So despite the fact that I already had a lot on the go when my mum asked me if I could make some little slippers and gloves for my little nephew Lucas I dropped everything and gave it a go.

First stop I went on pinterest and had a look for a pattern.

 Pinterest is a great source when hunting for ideas but at the moment whenever I turn the laptop on I have to fight with the kittens to be able to see the screen. There was no way I was gonna be able to follow a pattern on screen with these monkeys around so I thought I'd just design my own.
I used the basic principles of amigurumi and was quickly able to make the gloves as they are just slightly longer and bigger bear ears. The slippers were a bit trickier but I figured if I used the pattern I wrote a while back for Twists little bunny slippers and scaled it up a bit it should work and after a bit of trial and error it did.

I managed to whip this set together in a morning and met my mum, sister and Lucas in the afternoon. Unfortunately Lucas has grown quite a bit since I'd seen him last so they didn't fit so I'll have make some bigger.

Fortunately they didn't go to waste. I took them along to the first Chicks with sticks crochet clinic to show off to my fellow crocheters and Angela liked them so much she wanted them to give to her neighbour that just had a little boy and I was happy to exchange them for a nice glass of wine ;)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Trick of treat

How quickly another week has passed. I've been hard at it again working on a new set of designs for Halloween. These little girls are all ready to go out trick or treating.

 Sorry about the picture quality its a wet and gloomy day today and I can't get any better than these at the mo.
This is Trish she a little steampunk princess. She has sparkly stripes on her tights and a natty little top hat on her lovely brown locks.

 Jo I've shown you before she was the first of this little group to be created and shes a lovely little witch.

 Sally's up next and shes a devil. Neat trick with her hair, its a natural cotton yarn and when you take it from the centre of the ball its already got that kink in it so you don't have to bother curling it. I really like her devil tail and horns :)
Poppy has come dressed as a pumpkin. The skirt on this one I made so that it would puff out like a pumpkin and the decoration is just cut out felt. I think shes been eating quite a bit of candy as she's a little chunky girl but shes really cute so we'll forgive her.

I've got a busy week now of pattern writing and then these and the last of the fat friends pattern will be in my etsy shop ready for you to make your own. How cute would it be to make one to match how your own little girl goes dressed as for Halloween as a gift to surprise her :)

In other news I have been spending a lot of time this week searching for a wool needle to sew my creations together. I've been trying to be a bit tidier when I work but this has meant that I can never find anything. That on top of the fact that I have a bundle of the most over excited kittens who play with anything that I put down means I have lost every wool needle I own (which is a lot). I bought a new packet of needles and promptly lost the whole packet 2 minutes after taking out of the bag. Something had to be done so after moaning about the problem with Grace at work we came up with the quite frankly brilliant idea of making pincushion pendents.

This one is mine and I'm wearing it right now after a week of stress it makes me a bit too happy to have it where I can see it and it makes such a nice necklace too :) 
I will be making a few more and adding them to my esty shop for all the other forgetful crafters out there :)

Its handmade monday time go have a look at all the lovely craft blogs

Monday, 17 September 2012


 I'm writing this in the first moment of peace I've had all morning. The kittens are asleep and I can finally type without little paws running across the keyboard. I can't believe how much the kittens have come along in the last week, they are all really confident and inquisitive. I am under attack at all times when they are awake as they love to play. One of there favourite games is to climb the my legs in the most painful way possible. I've been meeting lovely family's all week and now have forever homes for 4 of them.

Crafting with the kittens around has been nearly impossible. I wanted to get the fat friends pattern set complete and had meant to finish it with a rhino. I had to scrap that idea as the lack of face shape in the fat friends just didn't work for a rino. Someone on my facebook page suggested a frog, not something I had thought about before as I have a slight fear of frogs but i thought I'd give it a go.

 Most of my work is crochet but when I need a hard surface to do the face details I tend to work with a big book on my knee while sat on the sofa rather than at my desk. Its a realising way to work even if I am being judged by grumpy kitten at the same time. The area under the book its the kittens favourite hiding space and fought over regularly (not fun when you are needle felting felt onto a froggy face)

 My tubby little boy giving me a look of utter bliss. I needed to get some more felt but how could I move and disturb this little monster.
 Little froggy did finally get finished and I'm really happy with him. I think he just right to finish the pattern set.
 There are now 5 pastel and 5 bright fat friends.
 I can't even take a photo without on of the kittens getting in on the shot.
I'm linking in with handmade monday

Friday, 14 September 2012

new crochet group

Come along and crochet
Starting Thursday 20th 6pm – 8pm September there is a new crafting and chat group is starting in York city centre
Learn to crochet or just improve your skills. This is a drop in class for anyone who is interested in crochet to share your skills and meet new people.
 We are two leading crochet designers who will be on hand every week to help you with anything you are stuck with.  We can help explaining stitches and pattern terms. We will be teaching new techniques and showing you amazing projects to get you hooked on crochet.
For more information contact Liz at or Angela at
Or call 01423 358300 

I'm really excited about our new crochet group. There are so many people I talk to at the shop who are interested in crochet and would like to learn or would like to be able to do more than a granny square, or want to understand patterns.  this is a  new group that I will be doing with my craft fair partner in crime Angela from the design suite  we'll be on hand every week to give everyone confidence in crochet. This is a drop in workshop you can come along for a hour or two every week or just come when you get stuck on what your working on, plus get to met new people and have a natter.

If anyone is interested in coming along drop me an email and I'll let you know the details :)

Monday, 10 September 2012

The owl and the pussycat

Its been a another busy week. I've been working on a design commission for lets knit magazine. I can't show you any pictures till its in the mag but I am very happy that my first patterns to be featured in a magazine are some of the cutest creatures I've ever created :)
 I was also lucky enough to be asked to write about blogging for lets knit and after worrying about what to write for a few days I sat down and got my thoughts on paper and wrote my little article. It left me feeling a bit mushy about my blog and my readers so I thought I'd give you all a little treat in this weeks post.

After all that work that I can't post pics about I didn't really have anything to show for my week of work so last night I decided to write a new free pattern :)

 These little mini owls are really cute and quick to make.

i owl pattern

You will need
DK weight yarn one multicolour and one plain to match
3.5mm crochet hook
Wool needle
Toy stuffing
Scraps of felt
Felting needle
Long pins

St Stitches (this is shown at the end of every row so you know how many stitches you should have at the end of the round)
CH chain
SS slip stitch
SC single crochet
HDC half double crochet
DC double crochet
INC single crochet increase (2 single crochet into the stitch)
DEC single crochet decrease (single crochet the next 2 stitches together by inserting yarn into the next stitch, draw through a loop, insert hook into the next stitch, draw through a loop, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook) *I like to give the yarn a little tug after doing this stitch to make sure the decrease is nice and tight which is important cause these guys are so little*
() around Brackets show an action that is to be repeated .

Owl body
This is worked in a spiral; use a contrasting piece of yarn as a row marker so you know when you have got to the end of the row.

Start with your plain coloured yarn

Row 1 – Start with 6SC into ring                6St
Row 2 – (INC) around                                  12St
Row 3 – (1SC, INC) around                         18St
Row 4 –  (INC, 2SC) around                        24St
Row 5 – (INC, 3SC) around                         30St Change colour to your multi coloured yarn now
Row 6 – (SC) around                                    30St
Row 7 – (SC) around                                    30St
Row 8 – (SC) around                                    30St
Row 9 – (DEC, 3SC) around                         24St
Row 10 – 1SC (DEC, 2SC) around, 1SC         18St
Row 11 – (1SC, DEC) around                         12St *Stuff your toy now*
Row 12 – (DEC) around                                  6St

Cut the yarn leaving a long tail and pull through loop to secure.

Using a wool needle weave the yarn through the last 6 Stitches and pull tight to close. Weave in yarn ends and cut off remaining yarn.

Make 2 using 3.5mm crochet hook

This is worked along the front and back of a foundation chain so your chain becomes the centre of the wing.

Ch 5
SS in 2nd Ch from hook, SC, HDC, 3DC in last chain from hook
Turn and work along the back of the chain
HDC, SC, SS to join into your first stitch

Cut the yarn leaving a long tail and pull through loop to secure.

Sew the wings onto the owl’s body at the line where your yarn changes colour. One on each side

Weave in any loose ends and cut of remaining yarn.

Cut circles out of felt to make the eyes and attach to the body with a felting needle (you can sew or glue if you don’t have a felting needle)
Cut a small triangle of felt for the beak and attach in the same way between the eyes.

That’s you mini owl finished  happy crocheting 

In kitten news they are all doing wonderfully. Last time around I had trouble getting them onto solid food and toilet training but this lot have done it all with no bother at all. My little fave was very taken with my little owls
 Mummy checking up on the situation.

Not quite like the poem I'm afraid my pussycat killed the owl :)

Its my favourite time of week, its handmade monday time again. I'm gonna have a cuppa and catch up on the lovely crafters blogs why not join me :)

Monday, 3 September 2012

3 and a half weeks

The kittens are now 3 and a half weeks old their personality's are starting to come through and its time for me to start finding them lovely forever homes. I have 2 boys and 4 girls and now Cals older kittens are growing up its easy to see these kittens are gonna be more Bengal than tabby.

Remember little Sheldon well just look at him now

He is such a beautiful boy and he's getting huge.

and just a reminder here he is with mum Cal.
 Now for the new batch :)
 One little girl
 One grumpy little girl
 Bundle O kittens somewhere in this pile of cuteness is the 2 boys and 2 of the girls.

 This little man is gonna be the pick of the litter. He is the biggest and is colouring is going to be like a silver Bengal he is absolutely gorgeous and whoever takes him home is going to be very lucky.

My favourite :) this little girl is the outcast of the group and tends to spend most of the time looking worried and incredibly cute at the corner of their box as a result she gets the most cuddles so I think shes on to something. She will be leaving home last. I will do the same as last time and stagger when the kittens leave home. this makes it less stressful on Cal and it helps give the ones who need a bit of extra confidence time to find their feet.
 I haven't given them any temp names yet so if anyone can think of any let me know. Also if you want to offer a forever home to one of these lovelies email me at

crispy treats

 Its been a while since I posted a recipe here so I thought I'd share my recipe for marshmallow crispy treats.

This is the simplest thing in the world to make 

 You need 2 mars bars (or 3 if like me you nibble as you cook), a bag of marshmallows, 25g of butter, 2 heaped spoons of golden syrup and rise crisps.

 All all the ingredients into a pan and melt slowly.

 You can use a baking sheet but I just spread out backing parchment onto the work surface.

 Continue melting your ingredients giving the a stir every now and the. At this point when I was making these the metal spoon felt in the pan, I burnt myself getting it out and then managed to step on a drawing pin that had appeared from nowhere.

 I switched to a bigger spoon and licked the metal one clean :)

 Still melting. You'll notice the mixture goes quite pale when its all melted. Turn off the heat.
Now add the rice crispy. You want to add them bit by bit as its very sticky stuff and gets hard to mix if you put them all in

Tip the mixture out onto the baking paper and smooth out with a spoon. I tend to have a cup of boiling water on hand as the spoon gets very sticky.

Leave it to set for a while then cut it into bite size squares (or man size slabs) and enjoy :)

Craft fair

This past week I've been gearing up to do a craft fair yesterday. Now as I am a crafter you'd think I'd have lots of things to sell but most of the time I'm working on amigurumis to sell the pattern so I don't actually have a lot of stock to sell. I didn't let this put me off and got cracking on making stuff to sell. I used up some wool that's been lingering in my stash for a while and made bags, scarfs and headbands. I got the fimo out and made some more ghostly necklaces and I collected together all the finished amis I had that I didn't need for photo shoots. For a week I didn't get much sleep but I got a healthy amount of stock ready for Amigurumi Barmys first craft fair.

On Saturday we were told there wasn't enough room for us at the fair and we would have to go onto the waiting list for the next one :( Gutted after all my hard work but I knew we'd get another one sorted soon so I could let my aching hands relax and I settled down with a glass of vino to watch new Doctor Who :)

Angela who was doing the craft fair with me then rang to say she had managed to get us in at the boroughbridge and aldborough show in the craft tent. I'd sort of got my head round the idea of not doing a craft fair now and had mentally planed to tackle the garden which with the changeable weather has got a bit on top of me and now looks a bit of a jungle. I'd also had a glass of wine and was craving bed and a lie in not a 6am start and another busy morning but I didn't want to let Angela down so I sorted out my stock and other bits and pieces I needed, set my alarm to a stupid time for a Sunday morning and tried to get some sleep.

 After a few hours of sleep it was time to be setting off. We had fun finding our way there and confused the signs to the show with some for a bike race and ended up following lots of bikes for a while, but we got there in the end. Setting up was quite simple Angela does a lot of contemporary textiles and some crochet too so our stuff looked really good together and I think the stall looks really interesting and inviting.

 Fancy a brew? I was gasping for a cup of tea by the time we'd set up. These Yorkshire saying tea towels are Angela's that she made in her print studio. I've very jealous of Angela studio space, she has a huge building at tockwith where she runs classes and hold craft party's her website link is here The knickers you can see in the pic are from one of her new projects for hen party's and let to lots of comments from amused customers throughout the day.

The stall all set up :)

 More of Angela's work this is salt dough. I aways think of salt dough as a tradition craft but I love the way here she has used contempary stamps, inks and glitter and created something really different.  She does salt dough parties for kids to come and get messy playing with crafts. its a great experience and something a bit different for birthday party's. Plus the kids get to take home something they have made.

 Angela herself sporting one of my headbands.

We had a lovely day. We didn't sell much, Angela tea towels were the biggest hit, closely followed by my fimo jewellery and little crochet toys. We got some really good feedback and all our products were cooed over and admired which makes me puff my chest out and walk a bit taller today. It was also lovely to be around the other crafters, there was a really nice atmosphere in the tent. We were next to a cake stand and a card maker.
 I was surprised at how many bought in crafts were on sale though. I couldn't help thinking after my week of working tirelessly to that buying in crafts was cheating a bit. I know its a hard time to be a crafter but to me, handmade will always be worth paying that bit extra for.

 its handmade Monday time again so go have a visit to some of the lovely crafters blogs :)