Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Copy Crochet?

Not long ago I was accused of having copied someone's friends pattern. I was stung as I knew I had designed the bees several years ago. Anyway it turned out to be the other way round.
The number of times we see a post  and say, "But that is what we were making last week!"  Even on occasion a magazine seems to be using  our ideas.  But the incident got me thinking about how such things can happen.

I suppose with simple things it is possible for several crocheters to come up with the same idea. So you see lots of lady birds, bees and mice for example.  The patterns and the finished objects are sometimes very similar.

 We sell and our patterns and give users full permission to sell anything they make but not to share the pattern. Examples:

Gorgeously cute, hand-sized Barnabus 
Currently part of a bargain double pattern along with Babs Bunny

Eyeballs -
we put ours on keyrings but there are infinite
uses if you have the imagination

We also share our patterns there are free patterns
in the files above. This one has proved amazingly popular.

We also claim we can crochet anything. As you become more experienced you begin to be able to look at a picture and copy it:

 You will see lots of these all made by different people but not copied from each other. Mainly copied from their children's favourite book.

Then we get commissions, in this case for book covers. Both of these are made from pictures.

As are the next two.

What has all this got to do with copying? I think sometimes you look at crochet in magazines and online and an idea gets lodged in the back of your head. The idea re-emerges later and you make it, thinking it is your own original idea.

I suppose that there are people who copy others designs deliberately but we have concluded that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and we will always tell ourselves a copy will not be as good as any original we make!

Lynn And Victoria.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

How to make a pretty bowl. You don't even need to crochet but it is more fun if you do.

First you need a doily - I made this one from part of a pattern in 'Crochet Monthly Magazine. You can just do the number of rows that you need for the size of bowl you want. This is an excellent source of doily patterns but there are plenty more on line.

 For the bowl below, I made  just did the star shaped part of this pattern with a slight alteration between the points.

This doily I bought for 50p from an antiques shop. You often see them in charity shops too. It looks a funny shape because I have just washed and bleached it without bothering to block it because I am about to change its shape.

You will also need some bowls, the size depends on the size of your doily, some cling film to cover the bowls and some fabric stiffener. Yes it really is called that but you can use PVA glue instead.

Mix two parts of fabric stiffener with one part of water in a separate bowl. Soak your doily in the is mixture, making sure that he stiffener has soaked in to all parts. Squeeze the excess liquid back into the bowl ( it would have been better if I had used a jug so that I could pour the excess into a bottle for later use) and then drape you doily over the bowl. Make sure the centre of the crochet is at the centre of the base of the bowl and then smooth out the doily into an even shape. At this point I sprinkled some transluscent glitter on to one of the doilys.

Notice I have had to change one of the bowls because the doily was a bit too big.

Leave to dry overnight or at least 12 hours.

As I am writing this as I make the bowls we would all have to wait until tomorrow to see the results so here are some I made earlier.

Lynn and Victoria

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Crochet People

You have to wonder about two women who are willing to pack woolly objects into boxes and then get up at a ridiculous hour in the morning in order to fill a car with the said woolly objects, together with a gazebo, tables chairs etc, etc. They then take at least two hours to set it all up to sell. Why do we put ourselves through wind, rain, cold and even coffee burns. Why? Simply because of the people we meet.


An elderly man who seeks us out to talk about his crochet and to have a sneaky peek at our prices.  His crochet is a protection against loneliness in the evenings.

A little girl who sat on a crochet blanket digging through our fifty pence box, who asks 'Is this all made of knits?'

An amazing 7 year old boy who has taught 
 himself to crochet from you tube videos. We gave him one of our bunting kits to encourage him

          The lovely fellow stall holder who has a business called 'Can't sew won't sew' She bought one of our free form shawls and then wore it as advertising for us. She was inspired to go home and try again to do some crochet.

A kind family who helped me when I spilled hot coffee on myself.

Another child who told us she had been in the carnival parade. She had a beak, wings and a tail but she didn't know what she was supposed to be.

Crochet is something that seems to appeal to girls and we have some that we have to try to put off or they would spend every penny their parents have given them on small crochet objects. Then there is the bigger girl who in spite of being in Hong Kong sent her parents to buy one of our animals to add to her collection.

It is a joy to talk to other crocheters who share ideas and ask knowledgeable questions about what we do.

Lots of people tell us they can't crochet but I suppose mainly we put ourselves through the discomfort of craft selling outdoors because of the overwhelming number of people of all races, gender and age who tell us that our work is beautiful and who just stop to chat about crochet.
Lynn and Victoria

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Upcycle project: Magnet Display

I've been making piles of crochet magnets at the moment.  The emojis are selling almost as fast as I can make them.

So that I can transport and display them I have upcycled an old toy belonging to my children.

Here it is in its original form.  It is an early learning centre case (I think it used to be a shop or a school - I can't remember).

It was a serendipitous find.  We just happened to be going through the backs of the boys' cupboards and having a good old clear out at the time I was wondering how I was going to show off my new designs at fairs.

All I have done is spray the whole thing white in a Matt paint.  Although, with our lovely British weather at the moment finding a 30 minute break in the clouds for a quick spray in the garden has been difficult.  I've done layers and layers and layers!  It still needs another couple really.

Now for the magnet bit.  The most brilliant part of this shop/school is that it had a loose magnetic board in the back.  I've covered this in a thin, white cotton.  The magnets still work well through the fabric so all is good.


A sample of flower and emoji magnets on the board with more in the compartments below - We've used the front for mum's sugar mice but next week I have a new magnet design that is perfect for that longer slot :-)

This is how is sat on our table last weekend.  For an experimental piece I think it works quite well.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Baby Bunting Hints and Tips

Vicky and I have just made some kits to make bunting like this. The kits are aimed at  beginners so this post contains more hints and tips.

You can buy a kit in our Folksy Shop or our Etsy Shop.

 The kit also contains beads and buttons for decorating the flags

How to join the flags together.

50 chain
Put hook through top right hand corner.
Yarn over hook and draw through
Yarn over and complete the dc. Make one dc in each stitch right across the flag.
How to add tassels.

To make the tassel cut two strands of yarn - I used my phone to give me the right length but it really does not matter how long you make the strands.

 Put your hook from  back to front through the tip of the flag.

Fold the strands in half.

 Pick up the centre on your hook.

Pull the loop through the flag.

Pull the long ends through the loop and pull it tight.

How to sew buttons so that you can't see the stitches on the reverse of the flag.

 Choose some thread that is close to the colour of the flag.
 Decide where you want the button
 Make a couple of stitches on the right side of the flag approximately where the centre of the button was in the last picture. Sew only through the top layer of the stitches. Push your  needle up through the button and then down and right through the flag to the wrong side. As you go back through to the button make a stitch under the top layer of the crochet stitches so that it does not show.. When you have finished sewing the button on fasten off by making several stitches under the button on the right side.
How to Add Beads

 Join thread to tip of flag.
 Thread the bead and a small bead like this.
 Go back through only the main bead and then sew a few stitches into the tip of the flag to secure the thread.

The kits contain all the yarn, a pattern together with a little bag of beads and a little bag of buttons, all for only £7:50. If you do not have it we can add a crochet hook to the kit for an extra £1.
Lynn and Victoria.