Tag Archive | crafting

Christmas Crochet and Free Pattern


Well, my hook has been super busy with Christmas crochet projects this year, the first one being the adorable Christmas Santa Gonk.  A lovely amigurumi pattern designed by Ling Ryan for Hooked on Patterns, I can’t remember where I bought this one, may have been Ravelry.  So cute!

I used acrylic DK yarn for my trial run and then 100% cotton yarn by Drops, for the finished version.  If you visit  www.hookedonpatterns.com, there is a host of extras available as long as you have purchased the original pattern.

Tapestry Crochet


This is my first attempt at designing and swatching a small tapestry crochet piece.  I have always loved how this looks in knitted work and really wanted to see if I could achieve a decent crisp look.   Still working on that! haha, but the interesting thing about this technique is that you never turn your work, and the second colour is carried along the back of the swatch as you crochet.  The stitches used are all dc (UK terms) and through the back loops only. Note to self ‘ I must spend more time on this technique in the future’.

Christmas Baubles – Free Pattern

There are many lovely free patterns out there for colourful Christmas Baubles but I wanted to try something different, something more open and lacy but quick to makeup and a great stash buster too.

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These baubles are made using 100% cotton from my stash and used less than 10gms to make.  I designed them to be made in two halves and joined around the centre to finish, you will need a balloon and some fabric stiffener to finish but all the instructions and details on how to make are included in my Free Pattern available to download Here.

They really brightened up my tree, especially in the daylight when the lights are not twinkling, they just added that splash of colour I needed.  I hope you try them, please let me know if you find any problems with my pattern, I would love to see your makes if you want to send me a link.

More Christmas Tree Ornaments


Are you a hoarder like me?  I keep everything that I think will come in useful for ‘something crafty’.  Well, this hoard was a blessing and was used as the centre circle for these little crochet wreath tree ornaments.  Can you guess what they were originally? – Curtain pole rings!  complete with their own little hook ready to add the tiesto hang on  the tree.

I made these to give as little thank you gifts to the ladies who come to my crochet classes and support a worthy charity.  We have raised over £1000 for Velindre Cancer Fundraising to date and have had some great fun with our makes.  These are made using DK acrylic yarn and again great stash busters.

Watercolour Doodle


Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without some home made cards, so my watercolours came out for a little play and I doodled a bit to get some ideas for cards for the special people in my life.  Let’s hope I get time to finish them.  Even if I don’t, it’s so relaxing and such a stress buster when I paint, definitely right up there with crochet!

Wishing you a Happy Healthy and Creative Christmas and New Year!


Crochet Catch Up and Free Pattern

Well, I am sorry to say I have neglected my blog for a little while, on the positive side I have completed so many projects, Yay! also started new ones and added lots of inspirational makes to my To-Do list – I just can’t keep up!
I have also managed to write up a pattern for a cute Christmas make.
So firstly, a quick round-up of the finished projects. ( Is’nt it a great feeling when you get a project finished, nothing like it!) in my last post I mentioned a poncho I was making for my sons Birthday in December, this was a lovely make, a free pattern from Two of Wands,  Ravelry shop twoofwands.  I adapted slightly so that the neckline was not quite so low and used my sons’ favourite colours. So many ends to sew in!  But it’s so him, I don’t think he will take it off once he gets it!

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Have you ever tried making crochet baskets?, I am totally smitten with them after finding a lovely pattern by Mijocrochet called doubledouble baskets.  I made up a few to show the ladies at the crochet class I teach and then made a square one just for the fun of it.  The way this pattern is designed, means you don’t have to stiffen them as the double outer wall helps them retain their shape beautifully.

A few Stashbuster projects

Looking at the amount of yarn I have accumulated I have been focusing on projects to stash bust, that was the theory behind the poncho I made, although it didn’t actually use as much as I thought it would. The next stash buster project I tackled was this bright cushion, which hubby has already claimed as his own.  Make lots of triangles and join together, with a few rounds of Linked Treble (UK Terms) stitches to complete, easy peasy and so satisfying as really quick to make up.

What do you do with all those little leftover last dregs of yarn? not quite enough for a full project but if you’re like me, you just cannot bear to throw away.   Another great find from Pinterest this time, for a bright wall hanging, more for a little bit of fun than a serious make. I am still trying to find the ideal place to hang this one so that I can look at it and let it brighten my day when I do.


Tea Light Candle Holder Pattern

I finally put pen to paper and wrote up this simple candle holder pattern available here as a free PDF download if you would like to give it a go.   The candle holders are ideal for the festive season, shown here with glass inserts.


They also look lovely without the glass,  using the imitation battery operated candles (much safer and advisable if not using glass inserts).  I made mine using 100% cotton yarn and stiffened them with PVA glue and water by covering the glass first with cling film and using a foam brush to apply the stiffener.  Leave in a warm place to dry completely.

Let me know how you get on with the pattern, I have tested it a few times so hopefully no errors! Until next Time Happy Crafting!


Wall Art Mandala’s and Dubrovnik

IMG_0872We recently enjoyed a little holiday to Croatia.  I’ve never visited this country before, wow it is really beautiful. On one of our days, we visited old town Dubrovnik and walked all the way around the outer wall surrounding the old town taking in the amazing views.  A fabulous day but it was so busy there, so many cruise ships visit the old town, apparently, we went on a quiet day, would hate to be there on a busy day!

IMG_0882For those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, they did quite a bit of the filming in the old town,  so it has brought a lot of tourism interest since the program was aired. Not that is the reason we visited, but it was cerainly strange to see all the merchandise in the gift shops.  Here we are, sitting on the wall for a little rest overlooking the red-tiled rooftops after about an hour into our walk it was soooo hot that day!

As you can see from the pictures below, we certainly had some pretty changeable weather! Is’nt it handy I took my Crochet hook and some Cotton in my suitcase. 🙂

I was pleasantly surprised to see my colour choice of yarn perfectly matched the hotel decor, and my two little mandala makes, looked totally at home in the hotel room.

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I made these one afternoon when the only thing to do was to stay in our room and wait out the thunder and lightning storm.  It was so relaxing, listening to the rain on the balcony and hear the sea in the distance with a crochet hook in hand, who needs the sun eh!


Before I went on holidays I took part in a new sort of Crochet Cal (Crochet Along) on Instagram,  called #notacal by Dedri Uys. It was a photo tutorial of Mandala 21 by designer John Kelly who gave Dedri permission to share his lovely pattern.  It consisted of 15 rounds with each round being posted at different times on Instagram.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this mandala and as usual Dedri’s instructions were easy to follow and very informative, fingers crossed she will do another for all her IG fans.

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I had some lovely Yarn and Colours 100% cotton mini balls in my stash and decided they would be perfect for this mandala, although I did run out of the raspberry colour just a little way off finishing my round! Aghh…

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I was just going to frog the last round and choose a different colour when I heard a loud ‘NO…..’ from the seat next to me!  It was my dear OH, he said “you cant do that just order more cotton! ”  Music to my ears!  haha, so of course I had to order a few other colours just to make the order worthwhile.

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This is the finished Mandala.  I loved the bright colours and decided to make it into a wall hanging which would be perfect for my new Home Office/Craft room (which is still in the decorating stage).   So,  I found some lovely metal plates in our local Ikea Store, I think they are meant for candles but are perfect for what I had in mind.   Using the last round colour of raspberry, I attached the mandala to the plate using a darning needle weaving in between the holes of the plate and  Ta-Dah! Perfect.

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I can’t wait to put this up on the wall but of course, I will need to do a few more, just to balance the look of it you understand and not because I love making them  😉

Crochet Wall Art

Talking of wall art, I was most surprised to see the huge glass cabinet displays in the bar of the Hotel in Dubrovnik, some beautifully crocheted red mandalas.

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Both Mandalas were of a different design but both had sort of like ‘bite-size’ pieces left out of the finished rounds.  They were perfectly finished, so like me they had definitely not just run out of yarn.

I sat for a very long time sipping my cocktail, just looking at these and wondering why they had that section missing and if I am honest thinking how much nicer they would have looked with complete rounds. Eventually, I found someone to ask who worked at the bar, but she had no idea and was obviously not as interested in them as I was, I think hubby was getting a little tired of my vocal theories as to why the looked like that and was desperately trying to hurry me to dinner.

Eventually, I found someone to ask who worked at the bar, but she had no idea and was obviously not as interested in them as I was, I think hubby was getting a little tired of my vocal theories as to why the looked like that and was desperately trying to hurry me to dinner.

I do have a theory which until advised otherwise I am sticking with… All around the local area, shops and gift shops we visited they had many pieces of red jewellery, which I found out was made from local coral – also a traditional Mediterranean ornament, a symbol of vitality and a protective charm.  So I am thinking the mandalas represented the red coral of the area.  What do you think, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings… I’m on a mission to finish all my WIP’s so I can start on my Autumnal projects, I will share them with you soon.

Happy Crafting!

Hairpin Lace and Sirdar Yarn Review


I recently revisited my to-do list for the International Diploma in Crochet Part 1 that I am doing.  This re-visit was partly prompted by the CrochetNow Magazine issue 15 that I recently purchased.  (So many inspirational ideas in this issue) .  It came with a supplement on Hairpin Lace and had a mini loom as a freebie and some nice patterns too.

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I love that summer top,  another that’s added to the huge To-Do list I am compiling!  The loom is thin plastic and ok for giving hairpin lace a go but very flimsy, luckily I have a nice sturdy loom which then came out to play 😀

For this part of the diploma, I have to submit 5 strips of Hairpin Lace, any width but with different spines and make them all the same length, these are my 5 makes…

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The strips of yarn running down the sides are just to keep them neat.  I loved making these  but my favourite one is the most simple spine, made using just one dc (UK terms) in the centre.  I did find it very difficult to measure them keeping to the same length as they are quite stretchy , all with a different number of loops so I couldn’t just count those as a way of measurement. So I simply measured the spine, while still on the loom and went with that. Lets hope thats the right way!  Any suggestions, please let me know!

Also I needed to make a hairpin lace strip with an offset spine which then was made into a fringe for a household item.  I used two strands of cotton for this one and again love the look.

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Would make a lovely trim on a summer bag or top or even the edge of a rug or table runner.  You have probably noticed that none of these or my other samples are finished and the ends are not neatly sewn in, this is one of the requirements and not me being lazy! Honest 😉

I still have many more swatches to make including filet crochet which I’ve have never tried, and also Buttons again a first for me.. I am so pleased I decided to take this course, it has certainly opened my eyes to so many ways of crochet and I am sure this is only the tip of the iceberg!  I have already learned and passed on many tips to my ladies at the crochet class I teach.  So anyway watch this space and I will let you know how these fair with the assessor , fingers crossed I have done them correctly.

Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots Yarn Review

Earlier in the month I did a blog post review for Minerva Crafts of a yarn they have available on their site, called Snuggly Tiny Tots.  Its a textured yarn in DK weight, with a fine white thread running through it.


I made a little jumper with this yellow and some blue yarn, if your interested, here is the link to the blog post on their site.

Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots Yarn Review by Liz

I would love to know your thoughts.  Till next time , wishing you a very fruitful June filled with Crochet, Crafting, Fun and everything you Love!

Liz 😀


Baby Crochet, Fashion and Tatting


I have been on the lookout for a pretty baby blanket crochet pattern, tried a few designs of my own, (mentioned in my last blog).  I didn’t want anything overly complicated but something that at row 20 I wasn’t already tired of the repetition.  So I opted for a multi colour shell pattern, with two rows of Dc ( UK terms) between colours, using a baby Alpaca/Silk mix yarn,which is heavenly to hold and work with.

I got as far as the 9th row of shells, sat back and thought nope, the colours are not doing it for me, they are lovely but not for a new born. So back to the drawing board.  After much deliberation I realised that this beautiful yarn didn’t need any fancy pattern, the feel and cuddleability ( is that a word?) of the yarn is enough, so I picked up a 3mm hook and the white and started a C2C instead.

The C2C (corner to Corner) design is so easy to crochet, a great pick up put down TV project.  Honestly I spent so much time looking for the ‘Special’ pattern I could have finished this by now!

The white is not a bright white and not quite an off white, but has a slight sheen, I guess from the silk content.  Anyway, I’m on row 25 and its still very small, quite a few more rows to go yet!

In Between Blanket Projects

I have managed to make two little cardigans with this yarn aswell, just to get an idea of how to do them.  Crochet for Baby is all new for me, my children are all grown now, and when mine were little I had no time for Crochet.

The first one I made was a simple cardigan type, just the gauge sizing with the yarn (again the Baby Alpaca, as I’m not using the colours in the blanket).


A very easy pattern just Trebles (UK Terms) worked from top down, the colour is called ‘Powder’ not pink , not beige, but very pretty.  Looking at jazzing up with a few coloured buttons.  Again not really one for a new born ( Did I mention I’m going to be a Granny !) I know, I know, I did, but I just like saying it! (So exciting :D)    I found a pretty new born matinee style pattern on Just Crochet and tried that one too.

FullSizeRender 71Aww! So cute…. drools.  Again worked from top down, the pattern on the lower section is pretty too, with lots of texture, again easy but very effective, does take a fair bit of yarn, so this one was discounted for the blanket.


So enough about Baby Crochet , how about some Adult content ( Steady!)

Fashion and Inspiration for Crochet Class

Can you believe what I saw in one of our large UK Fashion Chain Stores recently………

Who said Crochet isn’t fashionable!  These were plain white basic T’s with a multi colour granny square added to the pocket.  They wanted £12.99 for them, how many balls of yarn could you buy for that!  I am sure we all have T’s we could jazz up.

So that gave me the idea, for the subject of my next crochet class, ‘going back to basics with granny squares.’

Its surprising that after a while of getting into the groove with ripples, ribs, chevrons etc, how productive it is to go back to the basics.  Many of my ladies, started with little or no crochet experience and the humble granny (erm ..no I’m not still fixating on the up and coming event!)  was covered a long time ago at our early classes.

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We reviewed a few techniques, such as colour change, how to stop your granny square from twisting, the False Treble Stitch (they all loved that one) and then decided on two granny square projects to have a bash at.

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Isn’t this fab! its a free pattern available from  www.1dogwoof.com and uses two large granny squares topped with waffle yolk. Simple design but so effective.


This is another design using the humble granny stitch but with an unusual construction.  I found this in my ‘CrochetNow’ magazine issue 15. Both of these fashion tops were a big hit with my ladies, guess I will have to make both… just in the interest of research and class preparation of course! ;D

and Finally … Tatting

I follow a blog by a lovely lady called Tami https://tanglewoodknots.com why not pop over and see her lovely makes, she’s and amazing cook too!  Tami recently posted about her experiences with Tatting.

Tatting is a beautiful craft, like crochet but very fine yarn and using needles or shuttles to make intricate designs, lace, jewellery etc.  After ready Tami’s post, I thought yes I must dig out my supplies that I completely forgot I had previously purchased and give this a go.


These are the shuttles and yarn, shown here with a pretty tulip, one because I like flowers and two to help you see how small the shuttles are . 😀


This is how far I got!  I’ve threaded my shuttle ready to go…. that was about 2 weeks ago, well its a start haha.  I did find a tutorial I had purchased on Craftsy (and never watched, my bad!) so the plan is watch that first , then pick up my shuttles and create something wonderful… we can dream right!

P.S. International Diploma in Crochet swatches are back.

In my previous post, I blogged about the swatches that were submitted for part one of the diploma course.  Happy to report they all came back with Excellent or Very good indeed.  On to the next ones…. I really should finish the Hair Pin lace and make a start on the buttons.  Jenny from Prawn and Pebble has made some lovely lace and buttons and has just completed her broomstick lace, pop over and take a look, it’s beautiful!

Until next time…….. Happy Crafting!

International Diploma Catch Up and Hello May…

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Well goodbye April and Hello May!… where on earth did April go? Anyone else feel the same.  When I look back on April, I did actually cram it full of crafting including crochet (of course), sewing , painting and I even went on Holidays for a week.  I guess thats where April went then.

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If I’m honest my Diploma was slightly neglected in April, so many other things on the go, but I did cram a few more swatches in the last week of the month, more so I felt I hadn’t totally abandoned them.  The last batch of swatches came back all with great marks, apart from that one darn rib sample, which I have now re-done (third submission!) and am confident I have got it right this time, the rib does show on both sides of the swatch which was the problem last time.


So this is my swatch for the ‘two colour no texture ‘ criteria.  I’m loving this one, looks the same both sides so really great for so many applications.  I used Stylecraft Special DK , on of my favourite Acrylic  yarns for this,  Grass Green and Variegated Green, they look so nice together don’t you think? Its quite deceptive as it looks like it is textured but its just the way I have used the colours -clever eh!

Three more swatches, one for a pattern to include a shell, this one was made with again a lovely yarn by scheepjes called Stone washed, its an cotton/acrylic mix, so soft!  Then I have the lacy open pattern using just trebles, another great easy pattern which looks great anyway, lengthways, upright, back to front… a very versitle pattern.  Finally two of my hairpin lace swatches done.  Again I loved doing these, just need to find the next spine patterns for the last three, as we need to send five in one go of this one.

Non Diploma update…

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So apart from that, I have been playing with a few yarns with Baby projects in mind (yes BABY!) Ask me who’s going to be a Grandma (big grins!!)  So exciting!!

I have had one ball of the Drops Alpaca /Silk 4ply mix in my stash for a long time.. it wasn’t  a cheap yarn so I have been saving it some something special… its soooo soft! Gorgeous to work with and when I saw Wool Warehouse had it on Sale.. it was a no brainer.. I’ve just ordered a big bag for that special project that I haven’t decided on yet. Well you’ve got to be prepared haven’t you!! Its ok I have till July :O

I like this pattern very much but will try a few more in this yarn, before I decide on the final project.  I put my little swatch around my wrist, then thought oooh so soft and cwtchy (welsh word for cuddly)  would make a lovely sweater, for me that is… oops had to give myself a talking to…. stay on track woman!

The little booties are so quick and easy to make, I just had a play , just for practice 🙂  I also tried some animal squares for another blanket project but after my dear Hubby thought the cow motif was a pig, hmmm maybe I should re-think this one!  Interestingly I worked up one square for the tiger but in a smaller hook ( my mistake.. who would make hooks the same colour  -blue handle, but different sizes… doh!)  Anyway it turned out a lot smaller but also much neater… note to self… “do more swatches before committing to a project”.

Non Crochet update….

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Mmnnnn hot porridge breakfast!

In between all the other things that happened in April, I was also fortunate to finally have my new Kitchen installed (waited 15years for this!)   We splashed out dipping into our savings and went for real oak worktops..  ( Gasps!)  They look wonderful but of course need extra care with hot pans etc.  So with the help of my lovely daughter Jenny, who  loves sewing too,  we spent an afternoon making these lovely Tulip Bowl Cosies.

The are lined in the middle with heat reflective padding, like the sort in ironing boards and so are perfect for hot dishes and bowls.  I also made two larger ones for our big pasta bowls.

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They are so easy to make, I think they are called Tulip Bowl Cosies and I believe the pattern was a free one from Craftsy  although I  have had it a long time, if you google it, I am sure you’ll come up with the pattern if you want to give it a go.

Finally for this post….

So lastly with my catch up, my watercolours came out for an airing and I have started my next painting  – I love birds and watercolours and was thinking the other day  that I have not seen many Starlings around lately, how about you?  I think their iridescent plumage beautiful but is a real challenge to capture with watercolours , still a lot to do with this one but great fun .


So for now bye  and hope you enjoyed the catch up -Happy Crafting!

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PS – I have no affiliation with the Shop  Wool Warehouse mentioned in my post, I just really like their products and service.  Just in case you wondered 🙂