Tag Archives: Handmade Monday

Gnarled Bark Hat

I am not sure if anyone remembers this?

YarnAt the time I was unable to share the project that this was destined for, but now I can 🙂


Photo courtesy of Kat Goldin

This is it: The Gnarled Bark Hat from the latest issue of The Crochet Project. The designer, Joanne Scarce had asked me to have a go. I am not really sure why as her patterns tend to be written beautifully but I was more than happy to oblige.

It was a new stitch pattern for me that involved working around the stitch below which is not something I had done before. The pattern was easy to follow and I really enjoyed making it. It was fairly quick and therefore very satisfying to make. I found that, once you got going it was one of those projects that is perfect for the evenings when you are tired and need something to help you de-stress.

This is the pre-blocked hat.

This is the pre-blocked hat.

I am very ashamed to admit that I have not yet got around to properly cast off or block despite finishing a couple a weeks ago. Now the weather has changed I feel that this may become a bit more of a priority!

To help give you an idea of the finished hat I put it over a bowl. This is the view from the top!

To help give you an idea of the finished hat I put it over a bowl. This is the view from the top!

Doesn't it really open the pattern out? I really, really like this pattern.

Doesn’t it really open the pattern out? I really, really like this pattern.

This is the wrong side of the hat. I think it is lovely in its own way - almost a reversible pattern.

This is the wrong side of the hat. I think it is lovely in its own way – almost a reversible pattern.

Now I am not really a hat person but I would recommend this hat – I may even wear it!! The pattern is a bargain at £3. In addition, yesterday I went to a hat clinic with Wooly Wormhead who is the master of hats, at The Sheep Shop (my LYS.) It was really fab and I may well have bought another hat pattern so watch this space 😉

Do pop over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the other wonderful crafty events of this past week.  Hope you have a really great week. x


Exciting Times.

On Thursday our year-long crochet project culminated in an amazing display in the houses at the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens (read their take on it here). I think we are all quite amazed at how amazing they look scattered about in amongst the other plants.

We made Lichen which was put amongst the rocks.

We made Lichen which was put amongst the rocks.

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This plant is housed in a pot complete with soil, all crocheted of course!

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There are actually 2 crocheted plants in this shot. Each plant had an embroidered name card. This is so realistic it is hard to tell where the real begins and ends!

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This plant was amazing – it is all held up with wire and the detail in the flower is amazing.

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OK, so now this is not in situ – it is my groups sea onion before it has been tarted up!

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And here it is in situ. It looks so much better and I have to say that I am so relieved! I had been really worried. It has been actually buried in the soil!

What makes this project really amazing is that many of the participants were not able to crochet before the project started at the beginning of the year. It is a really tactile display and during our ‘meet and greet’ session yesterday everyone was touching them – including us!! Should you be in the Cambridge area at all this week it is on all week so do pop along and see it for yourself.

We all loved it so much that we are desperately trying to find another project to work on next year.
If you pop over to Claire’s blog from Monday you will probably find some better photographs to look at. I also know that Michaela is also putting it up on her blog – go and see their take on it.

I apologise to other Handmade Mondayers who will have read a very similar post already but I shall be linking up anyway.

A couple of other points to note:

1 – I have a giveaway that ends on Wednesday.

2. My son completed his first knitting project – a polar bear, pictures will follow (I am so proud).

3. I am about to have my very second  crochet pattern published – hopefully tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled 🙂

As I said – exciting times 🙂

More Stash Aquired

Last week I had no wip’s. The first time for quite a long time. I did have a couple of projects that I wanted to start but had not got the necessary bits for them. I then went to The knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally. I now have a lot of projects waiting to be started.


For those of you unfamiliar with the show there are many, many stalls and exhibitions – all to do with knitting, crocheting and sewing. My idea of paradise. It takes nearly a whole day to get around and see everything although this year we were slightly more organised than last. We headed straight for the stall where we knew that we would find some bargain yarn (half price!) I picked up one or two (ahem) bags and then we went off to have a look at the rest of the stalls. The yarn was all ear-marked for specific projects obviously (:))

This is the stall!      Source

The other main thing that I was looking out for was sock yarn. I am going to attempt my first ever pair of knitted socks. I am really looking forward to it – I see all these lovely socks on blogs and I want some of the action. I know that some people only knit socks. It must be good. Unfortunately I need to get the right sized needles for this project. In fact I really need to invest in a lovely set of needles and hooks. I just haven’t been brave enough yet.

My first Christmas present.

My first Christmas present underway.

As you can see I have not made an awful lot of progress on what should be a quick and easy project. These are going to be my teacher gifts, along with a nice bar of soap I think. I probably will not stick to just this pattern but have a go at several, both knitting and crochet. I have plenty of yarn after all (20 50g balls in all!) It is Rowan Purelife, organic cotton. Really lovely and soft but easily splits which is a little annoying. I have two colours – this colour, Brazil Wood and Oak Apple so some will be a mixture of both. I shall keep you posted.

I shall now head over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the amazing achievements that they will have made over this last week. Before then getting on with my own knitting obviously.

(As an aside I had the pleasure and honour of meeting a fellow Handmade Mondayer, yesterday – Jan from Handcrafted by PictoIt was lovely to meet someone in real life and her items are every bit as amazing in real life as they are on the blog :))

A Crochet Sea Onion

One Saturday a month a group from my WI have been meeting up at the Cambridge Botanical Gardens to work on crochet impressions of plants. This is part of ‘The Festival of Ideas‘ which takes place in November.

Yesterday was our last Saturday. The next time we meet up we shall be putting the ‘plants’ into position in the glass houses. As the title of this post suggests, our little group was working on the Sea Onion. This is the picture that we were given to work on:

Sea OnionWe set to work on our version but were then shown the real thing – something along the lines of this:

I am not sure what you think but the real one was a lot smaller than we originally thought. It turns out that we are making a giant Sea Onion!

In processThese are all the parts before we started to put together.

I was going to show you a photograph of the fully constructed thing but it really doesn’t look very good and so I shall wait until we arrange it correctly and put it into the position. It is only a week. This will still be before the exhibition is open properly so I shall still be giving you a sneak preview. I do like to hold you in suspense 🙂

In the meantime – why don’t you pop over and catch up with all the events over on the blogs at Handmade Monday?

Exciting news

Did anyone see this image floating around twitter last week?

Embedded image permalinkwith thanks to Kat Goldin for this amazing photo.

If you look very carefully, you may just be able to make out a piece of crochet ‘hidden’ in this picture. I am really, really excited as that piece is mine. I designed it, made it and it is about to be released as part of the latest edition of the amazing Crochet Project. It was put out on Twitter as a teaser. I think it works well??

Due to the pressures of a really busy week this was the highlight. I have really missed everyone this last week (or month) as I have largely dropped out of the blogosphere for a while. I am hoping that things will slowly return to normal (except for half term in a couple of weeks followed by jury duty….why does it never end?) On a positive note my parents are now in their own home so family life is quietening down.

I have been steadily working on my green yarn project and have my next one already lined up as it is the one thing that I find truly relaxing. Unfortunately I am unable to share it with you….yet but it is really fab 🙂

I am really looking forward to catching up with everyone and hopefully fully returning to the wonderful world of blogging. As a start I am heading over to Handmade Monday – have you already visited?


Another really busy week although unfortunately not on the crafting side 😦 I do have a couple of things to share with you however. Do you remember this?

It is called Flutterby

It is called Flutterby

Well I can now reveal the finished object:

A baby blanket.

A baby blanket.

One of my very good friends had a baby recently. She knew it would be a boy hence the bluish colours. Being for a baby also meant that it had to be very washable which this is. I suspect that it will come out of the machine almost dry. I finally got around to sending it this week and so that is the reason why I could finally share it with you.

All parceled up.

All parceled up.

I am ashamed to say that this is the first blanket that I have ever managed to make for a friend. I really hope that this will be the first and not the one and only!

The other major thing I did this week was have a go at spinning at my WI group. It was a really excellent evening. Our chair spins and she brought in her spinning wheel and gave a really interesting talk / demonstration. My Mum spun  wool when I was little but I learnt so much from this talk. It was really, really good. Towards the end we had a go ourselves using a pencil (yes, really).

spinning wool with a pencil


This was thought through really well as it was a really good way to get used to how the wool feels, works and the technique in general.

spinning wool with a pencilNot bad for my first ever attempt? Some people then went on and made a spinning spindle out of a pencil and jam jar lid but I decided to stick with what I was doing. I have borrowed my Mum’s drop spindle however and fully intend to have a go at this at home… I fear that it won’t be long before I am borrowing my Mum’s spinning wheel (if only I had more time…)

Now that the evenings are drawing in I am finding it really hard to get proper photos as my days are so busy. I shall try to find time tomorrow to take some better ones and will post them up on my Facebook page. 

I shall also take photos of the progress of my crochet project that is growing very slowly (this will also cunningly give me a bit more time to work on it! ;))

Now is the point where I say that I am linking in with Handmade harbour. I am not going to this week as I failed to get around to very many last week and am not sure that I will have a lot more time this week due to my Mother being quite ill and also attempting to move into a barely finished house …..I obviously will pop over if and when time allows but I do suggest that you pop over as there are some very talented people over there.

Hope you all have a fab week 🙂 xx



Bedknobs and Broomstick

This week I have continued along the broomstick crochet road. I created a pendant:

Broomstick pendantAs well as some earrings:

Broomstick earringWire broomstickThe earrings have some orange crystals added along the bottom whereas the pendant has some beautiful Myuki beads added along the bottom.

Am I allowed to say that I am quite pleased with these? I think that they are unique and different to a lot of jewellery out there.

My final project this week is something that I hadn’t originally thought about being a craft until someone suggested that it was crafting on the large scale:

Yes, I made this bed. It came in kit form.....

Yes, I made this bed. It came in kit form…..

Surely this counts? In my house I am considered to be the queen of flat pack and it wasn’t until it was likened to crafting that I realised why. Up until this point I thought it was just because I was organised!

So that pretty much sums up my crafting week except for the odd bit of jewellery that I shall cover on the other blog! For now I shall be heading over to my weekly appointment at Handmade Harbour to catch up on what everyone else has been up to this week. Fancy joining me?

Please Help Me.

I have a bit of a conundrum about this blog. As you are the ones that read this (and for which I am very grateful) I thought it best that I share this with you and allow you to share your views with me.

In the beginning…

The name of this blog is knitnrun4sanity. I started out writing about my knitting, crochet and running. Simple and fairly self-explanatory. Occasionally I would write about something completely random but mostly I stuck to the identified topics.


A few months ago I took the step to write about blogging, how to set it up, tips that I have learnt etc. Nothing to do with the title directly but, according to the feedback and comments, something that people found useful.


Even more recently I started writing the Blog for a bead shop called Spoilt Rotten Beads. In order to write that blog I have been making jewellery. Not knitting, not crochet and not running. I aim to write three posts a week for both blogs. Something which most of you will be aware takes a lot of time, especially when you consider the time it takes to make, photograph and research items and subjects for each of these posts.

So the problem is….

  1. I have spent a lot of time building up this blog. I enjoy the relationships and interactions that come from this and I am reluctant to stop.
  2. I also am enjoying building up the other blog and want to give it my full energy and effort that it deserves. (I am not being paid but, in a way, I feel like it is a paid job.)
  3. The summer holidays are coming up and my time will be way more limited with three children running around all day.
  4. I have come to write my Handmade Monday post and have not got nearly as far on with my broomstick Crochet as I would have liked to. This makes me feel sad and as if I am letting people down as the content is not really as it should be.

So do I……

  • Go for more of a crossover between the blogs? This is something that I have been trying to limit as far as possible because :
  1. I am worried that my content is becoming too broad and therefore the readers will start to feel that they are no longer getting what they signed up to get.
  2. The name no – longer reflects what I am writing about.
  • Change the name of this blog so I can write about all the things without feeling that I am duping anyone e.g: knitnrunnbead4sanity? (except for all the wonderful people who have already signed up to follow me before the change.)
  • Do nothing and carry on as before?
  • Change the name to an umbrella term such as Uniquely Alice which is the name of the shop that is almost, but yet to open? (I have also just got a load of business cards with knitnrun4sanity all over them)
  • Reduce the number of posts I do? (which feels a bit like neglect to me).

And Finally

I follow a lot of blogs….a lot of very interesting blogs that I enjoy very much. There are a lot more out there that I would like to follow but, at the moment I am struggling to keep up with all the ones I am already following. In short I am spending too long doing all this ‘blogging’ but am unable to see (or unwilling) to know what to change. Maybe I don’t really need to do anything.

I cannot be the only person who feels like this, or has been through this before. Can I?

I would really, really love to know what your views on this whole conundrum is.

Before I go this is the progress on the broomstick crochet diary cover. The broomstick crochet is all done (I really enjoyed that part). I am now on the more mundane part of trying to fit it onto the cover of the diary.

The front.

The front.

The inside

The inside

I also made a bracelet for a christening but that is not crochet, knitting, running or blogging so not sure if I can show that on here yet 😉

I am now going to head over to Handmade Harbour where there are people who know what they are doing. I shall now spend a happy hour or so catching up with their makes this week. Fancy joining me?

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 🙂

So how long should it be?

I have been working really hard on a crochet scarf this week. It is not a hard project to work . I have lovely yarn to use and it grows quite quickly. It has been a nice project to sit and do whilst watching Wimbledon.

I said that it grows quickly and it does when it comes to completing the pattern repeat. As for the overall length however I would have to disagree.

When I started off I thought 2 skeins would be enough (this is about 100 yards of  yarn ). As the end of the second skein came my thoughts were along the lines of:

hmmm not quite long enough, maybe I will do the third.

I have now finished the third skein and am still not sure that it is long enough! (Yes even with the required blocking.) I was a little disappointed – you know that feeling you get when you think that you have finished something? You have worked really hard to get it finished only to find that you haven’t?

So what is the correct length for a scarf?

As you would expect. There is no correct answer as personal preference comes into play and different styles also have a bearing on it.


The only advice that I could find is:

The general rule is the scarf should be about the same length as the person.

Go-on admit it, how many of you will be going to lie down next to one of your scarves in  the near future? (I have already had a go myself if that helps?)

The things that you never think about despite using them all the time! Have you ever had a situation like this?

With it being Sunday I am now going to head over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the lovely crafty blogs over there. Do come and join in. 🙂