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.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Size isn't everything

When we need to replenish our stock we usually decide that one of us will do all the snakes and the other all the bears. We generally share the projects between us --- but ---- after the Wokingham May Fair we both set about making stock for the next show without consultation and here are the surprising results.

(Persephone pig pattern is available for both crochet and knit in our Etsy Shop or on Ravelry)

Vicky made this Persephone with a size 3.5 mm hook and Stylecraft special DK
I made this one with a size 3.5 mm hook and Stylecraft special DK


I made this one with a size 3.5 mm hook and Stylecraft special DK

I am not surprised by the fact that out of all the things we could have made we both chose to do the same one but I am surprised by the huge difference in size.

The difference is simply due to tension and this would be a disaster if we had been crocheting a garment, so it is really worth checking your tension.

Another example of the shape shifting that can happen- sometimes to advantage.

First one on the left I picked up a 3.0 mm hook instead of the 2.5 mm one I should have been using. Second one is how the mouse is supposed to be, third one I missed a couple of straight rows out of the pattern and the fourth one is a copy of the third one because I really liked the tiny little mouse.  (Crochet Menelaus mouse pattern or kit is available in our Etsy shop too :-)  )

 Victoria and Lynn

I forgot to say our next fair is at Hurst on 26/27 th of June

Friday, 20 May 2016

Free Crochet Pattern for the Cutest, Most Bonkers Pug Puppies.

To celebrate the launch of my latest pattern for Portia Pug I have decided to share the patterns for her little, teeny puppies for free. 

Hope you enjoy them and please pop over to our FB page and share your own versions.  We'd love to see them.

Patterns are in UK notation.

You will need to know how to:
Slip stitch  (slst)
Magic Circle/magic loop/adjustable loop (mc)
double crochet (dc)
half treble (htr)
Work in the back loop
Work in the front loop

Special Stitch:  Puff stitch is 3tr together in the same stitch

I have used Style Craft Special DK yarn in parchment and dark brown.

Sitting puppy

3mm hook throughout

Use col 1 (parchment)
Made in a spiral.  Do not join each round.  
Make first st into first st of previous round.
A stitch marker is useful for keeping track.
If you’re using safety eyes insert before closing body

1                                   Make 4dc into a mc, (4sts)
2                                   2dc in each st, (8sts)
3                                   [1dc, then 2dc in the next, (12sts)
4 -8              make 1dc in each st for 5 rounds, (12sts)
9                                   In front loops only: *[1dc, puff st, ch1, 1dc] in first st*, slip in next , repeat *-* in next st, slst in each of next 5, puff st then slst in each of final 4 sts 
10                               Work into the same row but this time into back loops: 1ch, [1dc, then 2dctog] repeat around, (8sts)
11                               Stuff  and put in eyes if you’re using them
12                               2dctog around and finish

Use col 2 (Brown)

1                                   Make 4htr into a mc (If your tension is very tight you might want to use tr insted of htr).  Don’t join.  Cut yarn and finish.  You should have a little fan shape.  Sew to face fanning downwards.

Ears (make 2)
Use col 2 (Brown)

1                                   Ch4
2                                   Dc in 2nd ch from hook, tr2tog in next, 1ch, dc in last.  Cut yarn and finish

3                                   Sew widely spaced on head.  Flop forward.

Standing Puppy
3mm hook throughout

Use col 1 (parchment)
Made in a spiral.  Do not join each round.  Make first st into first st of previous round.
A stitch marker is useful for keeping track.
If you’re using safety eyes insert before closing body

1                                   Make 4dc into a mc (4sts)
2                                   2dc in each st around (8sts)
3                                   [1dc, then 2dc in the next] (12sts)
4                                   1 dc in each st (12sts)
5                                   1dc, puff st in front loops of next,dc into back loop of same st, 8dc, puff st in front loop of next st, dc into back of same st, 1dc (12sts)
6                                   1dc in each dc but not into the puff stitches
7                 1dc in each st
8                 11dc, puff st in front loops of last st, dc into back loop of same st
9                                   2dc, puff st in front loops of last st, dc into back loop of same st , 9dc (last will be made in dc behind puff st,
10                               7dc (don’t forget to work into dc behind puff st and not puff st), puff st  in the front loops of the next st, dc in the back loops behind the puff st, 4dc
11                               Don’t forget to stuff and add eyes - if you’re using them.
12                               [1dc, then 2dctog in the next] around  (8sts)
13                               2dctog around and finish.

Muzzle and ears as for first puppy.

The puppy patterns are also printed as part of the full pattern.  If you'd like to make Portia you can purchase and download the pattern in my Ravelry store or through Etsy here: Portia Pug and her Puppies

Happy Hooking

V x