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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!

Party Lace Scarves3

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.

Party Lace Scarves2

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?

Party Lace Scarf 4

Party Lace Scarf 6

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.

Party Lace Scarf 5

Party Lace Scarf 7

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.

Party Lace Scarf 8

Party Lace Scarf 9

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?



Lace Leaf Shawl

When Claire from Mollie & Claire asked if anyone fancied doing a shawl KAL back in March, I jumped at the chance.

I had long admired each one of her ten versions of the Lace Leaf shawl pattern by Mary Henderson (£3-00 on Ravelry), so this was a great chance to bite the bullet and crack on with it. Does anyone else find that working this way helps you to get focused?

A group was set up on Ravelry so if you want to look at everyone’s progress so far, hop over here and be nosy!

I chose a luxury yarn of 70% mohair/30% silk (just because I could!) which, whilst expensive at around £18-00 per 50g, was affordable because it only needed a single skein to complete the entire shawl on 4.5mm circular needles.

Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe Circus

Designed by the legendary Kaffe Fassett, Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe in the ‘Circus’ colourway promised to knit up like this on the website….

Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe Circus sample

….but after I was some way in actually looked like this!

Lace leaf shawl KAL WIP

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement but, as progress continued, the glorious pink which lured me in the beginning began to creep in.

Shawl progress

I frogged it back to the beginning twice before mastering the pattern – not an easy task with mohair as it welds itself strand to strand immediately.

The pattern is an eight row repeating one and I found it a real pleasure to knit, always impatient to see the next band of colour emerge.

I suppose I knitted for a couple of hours most nights over the course of two weeks, then I wove the ends in and blocked it, leaving it for twenty-four hours before it was bone dry and ready to wear.

And finally – TADAH!


I used a matching shade in plain pink for the scalloped border as I wanted pink to be the main colour.

You get more of a sense of the stripes in this photo of the shawl laid over the back of a sofa.


The stitch pattern is so pretty that I might make another one in a plain colour to show it off more.


Look how sheer and lacy it is – you can see right through it when held up against a window!


Although it is warm and cosy around the neck, it is the lightest thing I have ever worn and weighs in at a mere 50g!


It’s going to be perfect to throw around my shoulders on those balmy Summer evenings when we stay outside until after the sun goes down.


The colours remind me of rhubarb and custard….


Yep – it’s gonna be a favourite, that’s for sure!



Handmade Christmas Presents – Light At The End Of A Very Long Tunnel!

Phew! (Mops sweat from brow before it drips onto freshly laid out pile of FINISHED Christmas pressies). Yep, you heard me – finished!

Well, obviously not the ones I haven’t started yet but, taking a leaf out of Tajana’s book, I gathered together all the recently completed works of art gifts and was pleasantly surprised at my progress.

D’you want to see?

OK then………………………….TADAH!


First we have a Granny square hot water bottle cover – I’ve been itching to find someone to make one for since being inspired by the multitude of colourful hotties on Pinterest. So, if you’re reading this and think it might be for you, ssshhhh, it’s a surprise!

Crochet hot water bottle3

Crochet hot water bottle2

The buttoned flap makes the cover removable for washing after you’ve spilt your cocoa all over it, because you know you just want to snuggle up with a hot milky drink (or whisky) now, don’t you?

Crochet hot water bottle

I’ve blogged about these cowls and beanie here, but these free printables from Kym at Cobberson & Company are a lovely way to present them.


You may remember the four Egyptian cotton pillowcases in this post that I bought from a charity shop for 50p each; I used one of them to make two napkins which I then (rather painstakingly) embroidered with the initials of the recipients. They don’t read the blog otherwise it would be a bit of a giveaway really:)

Embroidered monogrammed napkins


Embroidered monogrammed napkins4

This blanket was requested specially – I hope they like it because it took over two months to make!


It’s based on the Sweet Ocean Breeze Baby Blanket by Little Monkey’s Crochet only I made it twice the size to fit a single bed or across the bottom of a double.



The stitch pattern is a joy to crochet and the pale colours made it easy to work on in the evenings whilst watching re-runs of “Morse” and “Lewis”.


I embroidered a label on a piece of satin ribbon to personalize it and make it a bit more special.


The scarf was blogged about in this post and, to be honest, it was so long ago I’d completely forgotten I’d made it!

crochet scarf4

Similarly, the poncho I made was finished a while ago but it can be added to the growing box of presents that are ready to wrap! You can find the free pattern in the original post here.

Greengate Girls Crochet Poncho

There are also jars of homemade jam and a headband that I haven’t blogged about, but they’ve got their fifteen seconds of fame in this post!

There is one Christmas present that is ready to show you but I entered it into a competition today and didn’t have time to take any photos beforehand. Anyway, here is a photo I snapped quickly yesterday as a little tease although I promise to show you the finished article when I’ve collected it. Not my design but I’ve put my own stamp on it. Any ideas as to what it might be?

crochet clock WIP

I’ve also finished making presents and gathering little treasures together for my #sewingsanta recipient which I’m quite excited about! I’ve managed to get an awful lot for the ten pound spending limit and, by making a couple of things with fabric from my stash and some unbelievable ‘as new’ charity shop finds, this girl is in for a treat!

My giftee is someone with a young family who reads my blog, but that is all I am saying apart from the fact that I’ve squeezed in a little something for the children too:)

Happy Crafting!


Yarndale, Crochet Scarf & Designer Curtains

Wahay, we’re off to Skipton tomorrow – Yarndale, here we come!

Three girly days filled with yarn-related happiness and three nights of drinking wine away from home. Us four ladies having bought our tickets for the much awaited yarnfest four long months ago, thought it wise to book some decent accommodation at the same time while there was still some choice. Long gone are the days where I’m happy to sleep anywhere as long as it’s spotlessly clean. Oh no, nowadays I want somewhere at least as nice, if not better, than the home I’ve left behind. £39 a night Travelodge will NOT do.

Luckily, Cononley Hall was available and £90 a night for B+B in 5* luxury is a bit more up our street!


So, rooms booked, tickets at the ready, now for the FIVE HOUR drive up from Somerset……

Looking on the bright side, when did you last get to sit down and crochet for five hours flat??

Talking of which, I have finished another WIP.  It’s a Christmas present for a male in the family and I’m hoping it’s masculine enough.  I’m basing my choice of colours on my husband’s taste but he is rather brave on the colour front to say the least!!

crochet scarf2Wa

Today’s Challenge: How to take an interesting photograph of a scarf (without a model)!

crochet scarf

crochet scarf3

crochet scarf4

I’ve also finished with the designer fabric I bought in the charity shop. There was enough to make a pair of full-length curtains for our dining room which I am absolutely thrilled about. I can’t show you pictures of them in situ yet as the room still needs to be painted, but here they are all neatly folded waiting to be hung.


So, until next week (post-Yarndale) toodle-oo!