Tag Archives: Knitting and Crochet

Mad, Possessed Woman

I wonder how many of you have stopped and actually evaluated your life? (expectations on yourself, things you want to do, things you have to do and things that you consider to be crucial to your survival). The title of this blog gives an idea about some of these factors and I did believe that I had thought about it a lot. What I had not done was consider whether I was ‘normal’ in it all. This week an enforced change of routine for me has resulted in some interesting revelations about myself. In short I knew that I was mad but just not to quite the extent that I now see I am.

Like anyone I have responsibilities:

  • a family consisting of youngish children and all the housework and organisation that involves.
  • I have a ‘part time’ job of 21/2 days plus…..
  • I organise family activity sessions once a month
  • blogging and making jewellery for Spoilt Rotten beads

I have the things that I consider important to me for my sanity:

  • running or working out 4-5 times a week
  • knitting and/or crochet
  • making jewellery
  • spending time with my friends
  • blogging

I have things that I want or wish to do very much:

  • writing and submitting patterns
  • opening and running an online shop….

I am sure that there are more……..


This week I met ‘new’ people who were not necessarily people that I would normally come across. I was in a situation that meant that I was not always in control of what happened and involved a lot of sitting around, cooped up inside. I knew that this would be the case and a few weeks ago found myself making phone call which was very bizarre (and rather embarrassing);

I will go mad if I am not able to run over two weeks. Is there a shower that I can use so I can go running at lunchtime?

Unsurprisingly the answer was ‘no’ and was not one that had been asked before. (I wonder why!) Whilst sitting around for a couple of hours at a time I was always busy – knitting and on one occasion doing some kumihimo. In the evenings I spent time on the computer, writing posts, reading blogs, catching up with e-mails before knitting. At lunch times I went out for a walk.

On Tuesday I had an unscheduled day ‘off’. What did I do? Spent the morning going for a run and working on preparation for the person having to cover my work time. I then helped out a very good friend. Oh and another friend came and did my nails for me. (very cool polish that changes colour due to how hot or cold I am!). On Thursday I had a slightly later start time than normal so what did I do? Have a cup of coffee? No squeeze in a very quick run.


I suppose that it is not really what I did during these times but what the other people I was with did. When waiting around most sat around chatting, looking at their phones or reading. Many did not go out at all at lunch time. On their day off they either went into work or maybe visited friends…. On the later start they simply had a more relaxed morning.


The real crunch came when, on being asked to come back on Monday morning I am begging for them to make it slightly later so that I can fit a run in. Now who on earth would think that that is normal? (except for me?)

I suppose what I am saying is that I am beginning to realise that I am possibly trying to fit far too much into my life. I cannot sit and relax at all. This is something that I am aware of but have not really seen it as an issue. So if I am trying to do too much then what can I drop? The real answer is not anything. I do them all because I enjoy them and they are all a crucial part in my life. Maybe the important thing about all this is that I recognise that I have high expectations of myself and should not give myself a hard time should something occasionally fall by the way side. After all, I wonder how many people can say that they knitted their first ever sock this week and have been described in a magazine as part of a;

handpicked selection of up and coming designers

Source – Simply Crochet

along with a photograph of something that I designed and created!

Who cares if I come across as a slightly mad, possessed woman? It is worth it 🙂

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 :))

Something new to try.

It is called Flutterby

It is called Flutterby

This is the yarn that I have been using for my latest crochet project. Unfortunately I cannot show you the finished item…..yet. This yarn is not one that I would choose again in a hurry as it was not easy to use although it will be perfect for the project that I have used it for. It is made from polyester and will wash and dry really easily and my boys like it because it is lovely and soft. This colour way is a new one.

The second item that I have been working on this week was a piece of jewellery, my beloved kumihimo. This time I have used chips of Turquoise:

KumihimoIt has created a really lovely chunky item which I will turn into a necklace.

Finally, some of you may have noticed that I have spent very limited amounts of time on the internet this week? This is because we have been away. We had a lovely week in Broadstairs (Kent) where i managed to swim in the sea every day! There is a lovely little wool shop there, which I had to visit ;). The main reason was for this:

DesireI know it is not yarn as such but I am hoping to be able to make a scarf a bit like this:

Unlike All night knits, I have never made a ruffle scarf before (she is going for the world record I think, although not through choice!) but I was drawn to this because it is unusual. I it is actually chiffon which has holes lasered into it:

Broadstairs2012 037The laser is to stop it from fraying. Luckily it comes with instructions and there are some tutorials on YouTube too (thankfully!). It was not cheap at £11.00 but I am looking forward to the experience. I shall keep you informed as to how I get on. Has anyone else come across it before, it is called Desire by Woolcraft?

With it being Sunday I shall be heading over to Handmade Harbour to catch up on 2 weeks worth of news (my phone does not make it easy to  comment so sorry to everyone. I shall try to make up this week :)).

The online community – and an award

It is no secret that I am really happy that I started blogging. A day never goes by when I am not reminded about all the wonderful people I have ‘met’ via the online crafting community. As such I am REALLY ashamed to admit that I have been rather remiss about thanking, taking part and passing on the wonderful awards that I have been thoughtfully nominated for over the last few months. As such I am now going to produce a series of posts to put this straight. It will also remain as a wonderful reminder just how amazing you all are, each and every one of you. It still amazes me that anyone reads what I write, let alone comments on it – even though I must admit I do work hard at my blogging. I am very, much a ‘relationship’ girl. I like to get to know the blogs I follow as well as I can and that means investing time (and not as one of my friends puts it simply being a ‘blogtart’!)

I realise that these can be a bit tiresome to read but please consider it as a chance to find some great new blogs to read – we all need that don’t we. 🙂

Enough waffle. These are in no particular order (not even date!)

This award was awarded to me by lottieknits. I didn’t know this but Liebster is German for favourite. It was awarded to me on the 1st of May (only a month late this one!)

The rules say:

1. To thank the person nominating your blog (this of course goes without saying!)

2. To give 11 random facts about myself. (Oh uh – not good at that.)

3. To answer the questions that have been set me by Lottie.

4. Think up 11 questions for people to answer that I nominate for the award.

5. Nominate some more blogs and let them know (11 in total).

OK. 1. done.

11 facts about me:

1. I learnt how to play the clarinet.

2. I was a VERY shy teenager.

3. I played Cinderella.

4. I am a complete control freak (but am getting better.)

5. I have a degree in Geography.

6. I chose to study English Language over English Literature at A level.

7. I very rarely wear make-up.

8. I am prepared to knit or crochet anywhere and at any time (usually at the park or indoor play centres!)

9. I live in the same village as my parents and my brother and his family.

10. I have very small handwriting.

11. I hate sitting still for too long.

I hope that satisfies 😉

Now onto the questions I have to answer:

1. Knitting or crochet? That has to depend on the project. If I am designing – crochet every time, especially jewellery although there is something very comforting about knitting (and I don’t have to watch what I am doing when knitting).
2. What was the first thing you ever knitted or crocheted? I honestly cannot remember (I was a child!)
3. Can you crochet? Yes If you don’t crochet do you want to learn, or are you happy with just knitting?
4. Knitting/crocheting garments or accessories? Mainly accessories – they are quick! 😉 Although I enjoy test knitting garments and am currently knitting a tunic.
5. Natural fibres or synthetic fibres? Natural.
6. When you choose yarns, do you choose according to the colour or the fibre? Usually look or feel but I don’t choose that often as I often get the yarn specified or supplied!
7. Self striping yarns (like Noro) or plain yarns? I mainly use plain but I wouldn’t mind self stripping if the yarn was good quality and the item right for it.
8. Variegated yarn that does the work for you, or semi-solid yarn that shows off details? Again, depends on the project.
9. Cables or lace? Again depends. I want to say lace as I like fine work but I am knitting cables at the moment. Both add interest to the work which is important to me.
10.Fairisle or intarsia tricky. I have never done fairisle and am not always that keen on the patterns I see but, more recently I have seen more that I like – maybe it is something I should learn.
11. What is your favourite knitting or crochet book and why? My crochet stitch book – simply because it is my go-to if I ever get stuck and it has a lot of stitch patterns in it. It was also my first book. Not very big or complicated but still special 🙂

I really hope that you don’t feel that I have opted out too much on these answers.

Now for my questions:

1. What is your all time favourite craft?

2. Where is the strangest place you have ever crafted?

3. What is your favourite craft time snack?

4. Do you prefer the radio, tv, music or other when crafting? (If other then please inform!)

5. What is your proudest achievement?

6. What is your biggest crafting ‘dream’?

7. Who is your inspiration?

8. Is there a craft that you have yet to try that you would like to have a go at?

9. How often do you craft (everyday, every weekend, twice a week etc) ?

10. Are you a messy or neat crafter?

11. What or who got you started crafting?

Now for the blogs to nominate:

1. Misschaelaboo

2. lacreatureandyou

3. Bits and bobs Crafts

4. free spirit designs

5. Truly Myrtle

6. Mrs Snufflebean Makes

7. Alibee creations

8. All night knits

9. Miss Neriss

10. Polka Dots and Sparkles

11. Off the hook thread designs by Keke

I really enjoy all these wonderful blogs so if you do have time then do pop by and say hello.

Thanks again to Lottie for nominating me. I am much appreciative. Have a great weekend everyone. 🙂


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 🙂

My Mascot Project Realised


Having completed the challenge to blog every day last week as part of the knitting and crochet blog week I wasn’t sure if I would manage this today however the lure of Handmade Monday is just too strong. (although I may keep this post fairly short) 🙂

One of the prompts last week was entitled A Mascot Project. (To see my post click here) To cut a long story short we had to identify which animal was most similar to our crafting style. In true form I was unable to put myself into one group thus making up a new house group: the Monkbeecock. (A mixture of a bee, monkey and peacock should you be wondering!) The mascot idea that I came up with was:

take a flower motive, make it out of wire as ear-rings. This would be turning a basic motive into something new and slightly unexpected, something I haven’t done before, delicate like the bee and linked to the bee through the flower idea. Also if I adapt it (as is my way) then it will be more monkey like as I shall be challenging myself.

The Design process:

I first went onto ravelry to look for a flower pattern that I could use.

I found these. (From Donna Collinsworth) I was drawn to these as I liked the 3D nature of them. I initially had a go in yarn to get the idea (it was disastrous if you are wondering) before moving on to free free-forming with wire and beads. The result is:

I actually quite like it although it is too big for the earring idea. More of a pendant for a necklace sizeI successfully was able to keep the 3D element in the design.

Did I manage to tick the boxes?

Flower? check

New and unexpected? check

Delicate? check

Adapted? check.

What a great way to round off a really great week 🙂

(Should you wish to see what other people made then type in 4KCBWEC to a search engine)

A bit later than usual I shall be linking up with Handmade Monday – I have already had a read of some of the lovely blogs on there and have some more to read tonight. Do make yourself a tea and have a good read yourself.



Looking Forward


WOW! This is the last day of the knitting and crochet blogging week and I have done it 🙂 I have written a blog post of some sort everyday for a week. Phew. I am quite tired but SO pleased I have done it.

Today we have been set the challenge of looking forward to this time next year:

One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?

Before I address this I first wanted to go back to last year where we were asked something similar and I set myself some targets. I have never returned to these and so thought that now might be a good time to do this (Should you wish to read the full post it is here):

1. To be more effective and further develop my understanding around Facebook and Twitter.

I had only been blogging for a couple of months this time last year and I was struggling to get to grips with these. I am not sure that I will ever stop learning but I have got the basics (or so I think!)

2. To set up an e-shop to sell my jewellery.

Well no! Failed on that one and so will push this forward to this year. I have started I promise 🙂

3. Make a beaded crochet rope necklace by the beginning of the summer holidays!

I have done this but not by the time I set myself!!

Beaded Rope Bracelet

A bracelet

A necklace.

A necklace.

Turquoise non-classic beaded rope.

Turquoise non-classic beaded rope.

So on to this year:

1. Set up the e-shop!

2. Keep challenging myself:

I enjoy doing new things – sometimes too much (the bee) flitting from one thing to the next. I cannot give a specific list because things have a habit of cropping up out of no-where. I would like to make some socks (I have a pattern from feelgoodknitting that I won doing a treasure hunt!!) and I would also like to learn how to knit 2 at once. Which brings me to another part of this which is to keep looking outward. I have found so many awesome blogs through this knitting and blogging week that I had no idea existed. I have this ‘silly’ rule that if I follow a blog I really want to be able to do it properly, read each post and interact. The trouble is the more I find, the more I want to follow that takes more and more time! Anyone have any answers – PLEASE?

So there we have it. Nothing very exciting – more reminders so I don’t get stuck in a rut (something that is so easy to do). Oh yes, one more thing:




I hope you all have a lovely Sunday which includes some crafting time 🙂

Colour Review


Day 4 of the knitting and crochet blog week

Today we have been tasked with reflecting on colour.

What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.

So this bit is easy. I am drawn to greens (any colour) and  light blues/turquoises. I am training myself to go for oranges, reds and purples as I want to add more bright, cheerful colours to my palate so these are beginning to creep in. Unconsciously I am still drawn to greens and turquoises. They suite my colouring and  I have never been afraid of wearing them.

Is this reflected in my projects?

No not always, but definitely sometimes.

Ok I was wrong. Most of what I do does use these colours. Probably because these are the colours I am drawn to. I am more likely to buy them and so have them about when I am making. I do also use other colours, I shall show you:

So you see I can do different colours too! (Although notice that these were slightly harder to come by!)

Are my preferences reflected in my stash?

Well obviously although there is a bit more of a mix here as I sometimes buy things for particular projects that need to be a certain colour…..for example I bought some silver and gold beads to do some Christmas knitted beaded napkin rings. I have not used them all so they have been added to my stash!

Do my colour preferences reflect my House animal?

Being a cross between a monkey, peacock and a bee….to some extent. I am sure that I can stretch a link from somewhere.

The Peacock: definitely with the turquoises.

The bee: not as much as I don’t use black hardly at all and yellow only very occasionally. However, bees like pretty, bright flowers so maybe this could count?

The monkey – he is found in trees with their green leaves. Do you think that counts?

Do let me know if I am stretching the truth a bit too far.

Do go and see what other bloggers have been writing about on this topic by typing 4KCBWDAY4 into a search engine. It will be worth it – I have loved seeing how different people have interpreted each task.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway here.

Help – crafting is taking over my house!


Day 3 of the knitting and crocheting blog week.

Today we move away from the houses. I found it really interesting seeing all the different ways that people went about planning or deciding on projects that they would do. It was also interesting how broad the meanings of the houses were, the different paths and associations that people made. That was yesterday….

 …..today we have been asked to make an infogram about any aspect of our crafting. This is really to get us to think a bit more creatively about how we present information on our blogs. Creating the ‘infogram’ was relatively easy for me. Putting it into the blog – now that is another matter!

Unfortunately I am not techie enough to be able to import a document from word into WordPress. I tried several different ways but failed on them all. If you are able to enlighten me then I would love to know. So I went down the route of printing and photographing.

How my craft is taking over my house!

I really hope that you can read the labels. If you can’t then let me tell you – my knitting and crochet is taking over the house slowly but surely. I am quite horrified by it all!

Lets just hope that my Husband doesn’t see it!

If you would like to see what infograms others have come up with then type in 4KCWDAY3 into a search engine and it should take you to lots! I have found some great blogs this week in this way and I am sure you will too!

See you tomorrow 🙂

The House Cup


Hello and an extra special welcome to you if you are visiting as part of the Knitting and Crochet Blog week. The first challenge asks us to put ourselves into a ‘house’. I have to admit that I hate these sort of things,not sure why really. I can only think that I am afraid to get it ‘wrong’ (not that these is a right or wrong answer). I shall attempt to be brave:

The House of Bee:

Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.

The first thing that comes to mind when I read this is the literal take on bright and shiny things. I like beads and use them in my work a lot.

See, yummy, shiny beady things 🙂

I am not sure that this means this however. Another take may be when you are rushing around and keep finding new things to make. I do this too:) One of the reasons I like making bits of jewellery is that they are finished quite quickly and I can then move onto something else – or they even fit in as a quick project every now and again when doing a longer project.

The House of Manatee:

Manatees are gentle, calm and cuddly. Relaxed and unflashy they represent the comfort and soft side of knitting and crochet.

I think that I can safely say that I am not in this house, mainly due to the things written above! (Although I obviously am gentle, calm and cuddly – honest :))

The House of Monkey:

Intelligent and with a fun-loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting.

Well I obviously in this house as I am all  of this 😉 Seriously however I do like a challenge. I like to be learning new things and testing the boundaries. It is one of the reasons why I do test knitting. It is also another reason as to why I like the smaller quick projects that jewellery is. It allows me to master something and then move onto the next challenge. This is very much in my personality from my crafting, to my running (I keep on doing longer and longer races and setting myself goals), to my work (I always am striving to be better), to my family. Evaluating, reviewing and trying again is me all over.

The House of Peacock:

Peacocks take something good and make it brilliant. Buttons, embellishments and a bit of sparkle prove that perfection lies in the details – like a Peacock’s Tail.

Hmm this is looking for perfection and detail. I am a perfectionist and will undo projects just to get them correct (See here) I have to be honest I am drawn to this one – I love the colours of the peacock and the extravagance of the tail but I am not sure that I really fit in here as well as the 2 of the others…. What do you think? I honestly would put myself into:


I have put across my reasons now I shall leave it up to you to make the final decision. Leave a comment below and let me know. Thank you (did you notice the way that I side stepped from making any firm decision? ;))

In case you missed it I have a fabulous giveaway running on my blog this week.