Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


Handmade Christmas Presents – Progress

Q: What do you get if you cross seven jewel-coloured balls of Drop’s Kid-Silk…….


…..with 266 of the finest Swarovski crystal beads?


A: Seven of the softest, lightest lacy scarves you will ever come across!

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Using the FREE ‘Party Lace Scarf’ pattern by Lisa Sisk on Ravalry (available here), I thought these scarves would make perfect Christmas gifts for the women in our family.

The yarn is 75% Mohair and 25% Silk (so no itching) and weighs just 25g per ball. Each scarf requires just one ball which means you end up with a superwarm scarf that is so lightweight that you barely know you’re wearing it at all!

In case you are interested in making your own, you can buy the yarn from The Wool Warehouse or Love Knitting.

From the top, the colours I chose are: – Beige, Pink, Off White, Light Beige, Lavender, Medium Pink and Sea Green.

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I bought mine with an introductory 15% discount at Love Knitting, getting each ball for just £3.91.

I also used 300 Swarovski 3mm Xilion Bicone Crystal Beads (£2.50 for 50) from The Bead Shop, which equates to £2.14 per scarf.

Assuming you already own a set of 4.5mm straights, each scarf works out at a £6.05 and takes about ten evenings to complete – a bargain, if you can spare the time!

Would you like a closer look?

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The lace pattern is a two-row repeating pattern, alternating with a row of purl – very easy to memorise and a great one to start with if you are new to lace knitting like I was.

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It’s so hard to photograph the crystal beads, seen here along the edge, but they sparkle in the light and add a subtle glamorous touch.

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The beads can, of course, be omitted for a plain scarf…..but why would you?!

Here they are again – don’t they look lovely piled up together like that?


Party Lace Scarves

This one was reserved for a follower of the blog and is ready to be sent in time for Christmas.

Party Lace Scarf

I think they make a great present, a real touch of luxury at a ridiculously low cost.

You’ve still got time to make a Party Lace Scarf – who do you know that would love one?



Birthday Gifts – A Purse (Wallet) And Matching Tote

We were invited to No.1 Son’s girlfriend’s parent’s house (are you with me?) at the weekend, for a barbeque.

It was his girlfriend’s mother’s birthday (keep up!) so we wanted to take a suitable present, but there was a tiny problem – we’d never met, so I had no idea what she would like.

Obviously I was going to make a gift and, after a little indecision, settled on a purse (wallet, for our U.S. friends) and a matching tote.

I found this great tutorial at Confessions Of A Fabricaholic and got cracking straightaway.

I had some leftover vinyl from the One Hour Ikea Bag and searched through my (massive) stash before whittling it down to these grey and pink coordinating cottons, using just the dotty ones in the end.


The tutorial is pretty comprehensive and soon I had put the main pieces together.


After sewing the outside to the inside, it was simply a matter of turning through to the right side and top stitching.


Et voilá – one (very pretty) vinyl purse!


I chose to fit a magnetic snap closure simply because I’ve got loads of them and they really do give the best finish.


The inside is a purse of two halves – one side is pink, the other is grey.


The grey side holds all the real money.

Coins are kept safe in the zipped pocket….


….which is lined with the contrasting pink.


Notes are stashed in the open pocket below.


The pink side houses the ‘pretend’ money and can accommodate up to eight credit cards or similar.



Just in case there was any doubt I included a label from Hobbycraft.


I whipped up a simple tote using the same principle as the One Hour Ikea Bag but with dimensions and handles more suited to a shopper.


Box corners makes for a more spacious interior.


Matching grey webbing is perfect for two short handles.


I think they make quite a smart set for nipping down to the corner shop for a loaf of bread and a pint of milk. (In my dreams. We don’t have a shop in our village.)


All wrapped up and ready to go – complete with handmade birthday card!


Update: The handmade purse (wallet) and matching shopper was a huge success fortunately – she loved it!


Finished! Greengate Style Crochet Blanket (With FREE pattern!)

Yippee! Picture me dancing a jig around the room with a smile of glee painted on my very smug face. Why? I have finally finished my Greengate style blanket that I started way back in July……and I LOVE it!

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Row after row of Drops Paris Cotton loveliness that feels so substantial and luxurious it was well worth the effort and time.

It is HUGE.

Pictured above on the bed in one of our spare bedrooms which is 5’6″ wide, it makes a decent throw but it completely covers a single bed!

The original article and pattern (found here) are in Swedish and the Google translation was a little confusing but, with some crochet experience, I managed to come up with a workable version of the pattern in English which I can now share with you –  just click on the link at the bottom of the page to download it!

I particularly love the lettuce-leaf edging – time-consuming but it adds a beautiful texture to it, I think.

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Would you like to see some more photos?

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Whilst it may look complicated and rather daunting, the main body of the blanket actually consists of nothing other than treble crochet (US double) in plain rows and granny stripe. It’s the winning combination of colours that make it so successful.

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If you would like to make your own blanket, I have included a pattern for you to download and print off. It is my own interpretation of the google translation (in the Swedish edition of Homes & Gardens) and may not be perfect but worked well for me!

Click on the link below to download: –

Greengate Style Crochet Blanket Pattern PDF

Now, onto my next blanket…..


Tutorial: Crochet Poncho

This last week has been pretty miserable weather-wise in South Somerset. I have managed to walk the dogs on several days but mostly they put one paw on the doorstep, feel the rain and high-tail it back indoors. They’re most definitely fair-weather walkers which is a shame because I quite like walking in the rain.

On the plus side, being cosied up in front of a roaring fire has had its advantages in that I’ve been finishing some WIPs (and starting some others…) and I actually have one ready to show you complete with a tutorial!

This one was relatively straightforward – I wrote the pattern as I went and got it right first time…with no unpicking at all! Or should I say “frogging”. That’s a lovely word that I’ve only just come across but I think I’ll use it in future:)

Anyway, drum roll please…..


crochet poncho

Most of the poncho patterns out there seem to be decorative rather than functional and I wanted one that could replace a coat and scarf, so I designed this one with a toasty cowl neck that can be rolled up around my face if it gets windy.

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Two rows of granny stripe in blue were added at the bottom edge for a bit more interest.

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Impossible to get a decent selfie but this gives you an idea of what it looks like on;

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I love it!

It crochets up really quickly and could be finished in two or three evenings so why not have a go? Here are the instructions: –


You will need: 5 x 100g super chunky yarn in Red and 1 x 100g in Blue (I used “Life Super Chunky” by Stylecraft with 25%wool)

10mm crochet hook

Tension: 6 rows and 9tr in 10x10cm


In Red, Ch50, sl st in first chain to join round

*Ch3, 1tr in each st to end. Join with a sl st into ch3* Repeat ** until your work measures 8″ (20cm) then continue on to work the Poncho


Ch3, 1tr, ch1, 2tr all into next stitch (centre back), 1tr into next 26 stitches, 2tr, ch1, 2tr all into next stitch (centre front), 1tr in each stitch to end.

Subsequent rows are all treble crochet, increasing at centre back and front as follows: 2tr, ch1, 2tr

Repeat until your arm length measures 20″ (50cm)

Change to Blue in the sl st to join the last round.

Ch3, 2tr,*sk 2, 3tr* Repeat ** to end increasing at centre back and front as before. Join with a sl st.

Repeat last row.

For the final row, work 1dc into each stitch to end. Fasten off and weave in ends.

And there you have it! A lovely warm crocheted poncho to see you through Autumn:)

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