Tag Archives: Handmade harbour

You learn something new everyday!

After a fair bit of persuasion I am beginning to consider myself to be a fairly competent crocheter. This week I have had cause to question this. I started a pattern fairly confidently. I counted the stitches as required and found  that I didn’t have the  correct number. I told myself that I was tired when I did this and ripped it back. I started again. This time it was wrong again. I studied the pattern carefully, looked at the crochet and decided that I must be wrong and ripped it back again. HUMPH!


After a while I decided to ask my esteemed friend and designer Joanne Scrace. It turns out that I hadn’t got it wrong at all. Any of the times. (Extra large HUMPH.) It is simply a misunderstanding. The pattern, (for argument’s sake) had a row of UK trebles on one round and then on the next round you put another treble on top of the previous one but this time adding a chain in  between each one. When counting the stitches I had counted them all, chains and everything. Apparently I was wrong. The chains are not counted as a stitch. I had no idea. I do now though and will remember this for evermore.  As I always say, you have to make mistakes in order to learn.

If you fancy learning more useful tips, why not head over to Handmade Harbour and catch up with all the crafty goings on?

Finished Object (nearly!)

This week I have been cracking on and making a real effort to crochet each and every day. I think I managed it 🙂 I certainly feel better for it and have something to show for it…..Yippee 🙂

My sock number 2!

My sock number 2!

There is only one problem. I ran out of yarn with about 2 rows to go. 😦 How annoying is that?

Can you see.

Can you see?

As I am wearing them at home and no one will see them does it matter and do I leave them like this or should I invest in another (fairly) expensive ball of wool? Deep down the perfectionist in me would say yes, you need to finish them properly but the tight me would say that it doesn’t matter…..what would you do?

I must say a huge thank you to DaniellaJoe for these socks as she hosted a CAL and got me going. I may well have reached my destination slightly behind everyone else but the detours were well worth it. (Anyone who reads her blog will understand the meaning behind this.)

Crocheting everyday has also meant that I have had time to swatch another very exciting, top-secret project in this yarn:

YarnYarnThat is the most I can let you see…..

I do hope that everyone else has had a great week, with a lot of crafting time fitted in. Why not pop over to handmade harbour and see?





An important lesson….

This last week has been just as hectic as the week before – if not more so. I did not manage to blog at all which, as many of you will know is very unusual for me. The good news is that my Mum is well on the mend and my parent’s now only own one house. The house that they do own is not exactly finished so Mum is still with us but all their belongings are now in one place, albeit in boxes.

My crafting has also taken a bit of a dive in productivity. It occurred to me today that, when I most need crafting it is the thing that I get around to doing last. To be honest, this weekend I have ‘crashed’ a bit, both mentally and physically.  Not surprising really but instead of taking some time out to crochet and make jewellery I have done everything but…..cleaning, sorting and such. Madness. It is distraction techniques in reverse, doing everything except the one thing that will help me feel better. Does anyone else notice themselves doing this?

I do have one, almost finished object to show you:

Very slow progress but very nearly one completed.

Very slow progress but very nearly one completed.

As the weather is definitely changing in this part of the world, and getting colder and colder I really need to get the other one finished. I hate having cold feet and these are lovely and cozy (or will be if I ever get around to finishing them).

Sock from aboveI have enjoyed this project but it may well get eclipsed by another one that I am about to start as this new one needs to be completed soonish.

I am sure that my life is about to calm down a bit so normal blogging will be able to resume, both reading and writing. Meanwhile – the one thing that I have to take away from this week is:

(Image from this etsy shop)

This has to be a priority in my life from now on – I just need to try to remember it!

In order to get some inspiration I am going to pop over to Handmade Harbour to see what everyone else has been up to this week – do pop over too.

Ribbon Ruffle Scarf

Last week I showed you this fabric that I got whilst on holiday:

DesireI am very pleased to show you this:

watch Abraham heightgs 050It knitted up really quickly and was very easy once I found this wonderful blog explaining exactly how to do it, including casting on, joining and casting off.

It was a really good job that they explained how to join as I had 2m that was not part of the rest of the ribbon. I am a bit disappointed by this as I really expected that it would all be one continuous ‘spool’. (Maybe I am being a bit over ambitious?)

It was ‘easy’ to knit although it didn’t flow like my knitting usually does as you had to put the needle into the hole each time rather than wrapping around but this was not really a problem. It probably just took a little bit longer.

This does not however take anything away from the fact that it has created a lovely scarf that I am really looking forward to wearing. I am really pleased that I bought it – it will serve as a long-standing reminder of my holiday in Broadstairs.

As always I am heading over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the events over there. First however, I wish to apologise to everyone who linked up last week on Blogger. I did read all the blogs, mostly even 2 posts to make up for the week before. I also commented on them all but for some reason WordPress and Blogger were having a bit of an argument and wouldn’t acknowledge each other. It was only on the ones that ask for a catcha code. Searching on the web it was not just me having this issue. I am hoping everything is back up and running this week. Sorry about that. There were some lovely creations (as always.)

As a final ‘plug’ – I have started up a series called Blogging Buddies aimed at encouraging people to start (or have recently started) blogging. If you know of anyone who is interested in Blogging then do send them my way – I have got so much out of blogging that I am trying to give other people the chance to experience the same positive things as me. I try to do it on Wednesdays. Thank you.

Broomstick Crochet

I am really pleased to say that I feel that I am getting the hang of this technique although it is quite a slow process (despite being told otherwise).

This is just over one evenings work.

This is just over one evenings work.

I do love the effect though. One thing that I have learnt is that you need to be careful which way you twist the stitches as they come off the ‘broomstick’ (I do not use an actual broomstick in case you are wondering – I use a ladle.) Other than that it is quite ‘easy’. You only need to know how to dc (UK terms).

The book that I learnt from is one I picked up in a second-hand bookshop.

It was published in 1981

It was published in 1981

As you can see from the cover it has lots of lovely photos. Patterns in it include a Fluffy Bed Cape and a baby matinee set. I don’t really mind – I was interested in the first two pages:

Broomstick crochet instructionsApparently this technique originated in the UK and was taken to the US in the 1600’s by the Pilgrim fathers.

I shall keep you updated on my progress. Have you ever had a go at it? I would love to see.

Why not pop over to Handmade Harbour with me and find a lot more lovely crafty blogs?

Have a great week 🙂

Home Alone

This weekend I had the most unusual situation where I had a fair amount of time in the house on ……my……own, at a weekend! As soon as I found out that this would be the case I quickly began making plans. Well I wouldn’t want to waste a minute would I? The first job was to clean and tidy. I didn’t want any of those horrible feelings that I should be doing anything like this in my free time.

The next job was to get supplies in so that I could get on with the sort of projects that are harder to do with distractions from little people, but…what? My recent love has to be Kumihimo (for more information about this historic craft look here). The trouble with Kumihimo, is that it is something that I can do around the children as it is not that complicated. Hmmm. On Friday my son and I headed off to the Bead Shop.

One or two things to keep me busy ;)

One or two things to keep me busy 😉

I am beginning to think about the need for end of year teacher presents so some of the things in there are for that (three kumihimo bracelets and three bag charms).

On Saturday, as soon as I had managed to heard the last one out of the door (about 2.30!) I was off. I got going immediately. My first make was this:

Ushuaia Wrap Bracelet

                                                                                                     Ushuaia Wrap Bracelet

It took 2-3 hours but I really don’t think it is at all bad for a first attempt at doing anything with a beading needle. I did make a few mistakes (see the post here for more info) but I am not sure that anyone who I don’t tell will spot them (there will not be many of them as I have this compulsion to tell everyone about the mistakes I make). So what next?

After some tea I worked on the computer for a bit before having a go at broomstick crochet (not very successfully I might add!)

My very first attempt at Broomstick crochet (You wouldn't guess it!)

My very first attempt at Broomstick crochet (You wouldn’t guess it!)

I think that I need more practice!

Last night I slept for 11 hours straight and then made these:

Teacher bag charmsThese are some of the gifts for the teachers that I mentioned.

Before I know it, my time alone was shattered.

What would you do with an unusual and unexpected weekend to yourself?

As always I am heading over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with the events and makes in all the lovely blogs over there.

Am I unfaithful?

This week has been one of those which I thought was going to be fairly quiet but actually turned out to be quite busy. Good busy that is. I have found a new obsession. Kumihimo. Kimihimo is a Japanese art that is used to make silk bands that they tie around their tunics. It is very similar to friendship bracelets if you have ever tried that. I made this one that has beads added in as an extra:

braceletWhen I saw the examples I have to say that I thought it looked as if it was going to be very complicated. Happily I was wrong. It honestly is not that complicated (I learnt in a couple of hours) and I have already plans for many more to be made. One of the reasons that I like it is because most of the jewellery that I have been making so far is not portable like knitting and crochet. This however is. Once you have the beads threaded on then you are able to get on with it, wherever you like. It is also fairly quick. I do have one dilemma with it: it is very similar to the beaded crochet ropes that I have made in the past. I love making these a lot but feel as if I am being somewhat unfaithful to the crochet.


A beaded crochet rope.

Kumihimo beaded bracelet.

Kumihimo beaded bracelet.

I think that you will agree that the first and last pictures are almost identical in structure. So where does  that leave me? Should I stay true to beaded crochet or allow myself to go with kumihimo?

To help me (or you) to decide I have done a comparison between the two:

Kumihimo                                                                                                                                                                    Beaded Crochet Ropes

You have to decide on the length of thread to cut before you start.                                            Is done on one length of thread so you work from the reel.

You can move beads around when you have started.                                                                     You have to get it right from the start. No re-beading is possible

Fairly portable.                                                                                                                                          Very portable

Less fine work involved – you move the threads with your hands                                              You have to pick up small loops with a fine crochet hook

I suspect this is quicker than beaded crochet ropes

So what do you think? Maybe I should just go with whatever takes my fancy at the time and I am making a big deal out of nothing?

As always, on a Sunday, I am about to head over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the other talented blogs. Do come and have a look too 🙂

I hope you all have a great week and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my dilemma 🙂

A huge burst of enthusiasm and ideas.

Since I went on my first jewellery making course I have to be honest in that I have been struggling a bit for ideas. At the time I put it down to the world of jewellery being so wide open with so many different variables which I found overwhelming. This weekend however something has ‘clicked’ and I am now bursting with so many ideas that I don’t know where to start or when I am going to get time to do them all before I forget! I have no idea what ’caused’ the change. I am just really grateful and full of energy. As such I am going to keep this post quite short so I can go and get on with the making.


I have not got an awful lot to show this week – I hope that there will be a lot more next week. I have spent a lot of time trying to finish a knitting project that I am doing for a book (not my own design). That is nearly finished now 🙂 I can’t show you yet but will in a few months when you will have forgotten all about it ;).


I have to say that I am quite pleased with how my jewellery making has come on this week:

I made this button ring which I love wearing.

I made this button ring which I love wearing.

I also had a go at wire wrapping with this ring.

I also had a go at wire wrapping with this ring.

I have also made a bracelet but as I have yet to blog about this I don’t think it would be fair to share it on here yet. (If you want to see tutorials on these rings and have a go yourself they can be found here and here.)

The final thing that I have to show you is the beginnings of one of my ideas:

upcycled braceletsI took a simple silver wire bracelet and, so far have covered it with thread using crochet. I then crocheted some sewing thread in a different colour along each side. The idea is that I create a range of different sorts of these that can then all be worn together or not as desired. I have at least 4 more different versions in my head and that does not involve different colour versions of this one.

As always I am about to head over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the amazingly talented crafters/bloggers over there.

P.S If you have a great argument or strong view on pinterest then please add your comment here. I am trying to work out if it is a good idea to join in or not. 🙂

I hope that you all have an amazing week. x

A week of firsts!

This week, on Wednesday I was very lucky to be invited around to a friend’s house to be a ‘guinea pig’. I must make it very clear that she didn’t really need any guinea pigs at all but she was very keen to give her lesson a trial run as she will soon be teaching at The Sheep Shop in Cambridge. It is always a good idea to get the idea of timings and what to do when you are given a complete idiot to teach! Teaching what? needle felting.

It was a lovely, relaxed morning and I managed to complete 2 projects in this time. 2013-05-22 10.29

This is a pictures shows the tools we used. In the top left you can see the needles (horrid things with barbs along them), the red ‘handle is the tool that you put the needles into, the blue is the wool and the heart cutter would give us the shape. The heart at the bottom is what we were heading for – eek! All this is on a mat to stop the needle going through to the table.

2013-05-22 10.36

To start with we put bits of wool into the shape and then stabbed at it with the needle. This mats it together. You keep adding until you have a fair bit and then you can gently take the shape away and peel the wool off the mat.

2013-05-22 10.40

There we have the rough, fluffy shape. The more you stab it the less fluffy it gets.

2013-05-22 11.05

You can just about see that I have added bits of pink and blue in too. It is now firming up nicely.

2013-05-22 11.42

The flowers were added by rolling small bits of wool and then gently stabbing at them so they join with the main one.

2013-05-22 11.55

All three hearts that were created on the day.

The next project was more free – form as we had no ten plate. We were just doing a flower:

2013-05-22 12.16

Here is my attempt.

2013-05-22 12.33

Here are all three.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. If you would like to have a go and live close to Cambridge then do book yourself into the class.

The other first for me was I attended an introductory Jewellery Making class. I am starting a new venture and writing a blog for a local bead shop Spoilt Rotten Beads about my journey as I learn how to make jewellery. Do pop and have a look – I have done 2 posts so far. After yesterday I now find myself in a major dilemma – I don’t know which to do – knit, crochet or make jewellery. Oh dear, too much choice and not enough time!

4 pieces

These are the bits that I made yesterday in the class. I am still buzzing from it. Do keep an eye out to see what else I get up too.

As always I am popping over to Handmade Harbour to catch up on everyone’s makes this week. (For those who are wondering I will be partaking in wine this week ;).

A Happy Mistake.

I have to say that all day I have been umming and ahhhing as to whether to write a post tonight or not. As always the lure of Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour is just too strong. I know that I shall be visiting blogs there so thought that I may as well put my penny’s worth in.

The last few days I have been doing some research to try to find other people who use wire and crochet / knitting to make jewellery. It has been totally inspiring and I have loads of ideas bubbling around in my head. Now before you worry, I am not going to copy what they do, it has been a case of looking at what they are doing and using it to inspire me to move on with my journey. Obviously there are some overlaps but largely what I am doing is my thing and what they are doing is theirs. I shall share some of these blogs / shops with you later. Today I want to keep things fairly short so shall move on.

Tunisian Crochet

A while back I did some experimenting with tunisian crochet here and here. To save you clicking back I made this:

Beaded Queen lace Crochetand this:

A Tunisian Wire Bracelet.

A Tunisian Wire Bracelet.

Whilst making the second (well actually my first) bracelet I made one of those happy mistakes:

Not quite what I was looking for!

Not quite what I was looking for then!

I have now gone on to make this little mistake into something within its own right:

A beaded tunisian pendant

A beaded tunisian pendant

What I really like about this is that it is slightly curved:

tunisian pendant

Don’t you just love it when a mistake turns into something lovely and new? Has it happened to you recently? My next project….earrings 🙂

I am now going to head over to catch up on all the other blogs over at Handmade Harbour, do come and follow me.


Hope you all have a great week 🙂