Broomstick Crochet Snood

Broomstick Crochet Snood

Broomstick Crochet Snood

My niece is doing well for Christmas presents this year, she has been watching my posts recently and has regularly spotted things that she fancies. This piece I have made specially for her after she’d seen a scarf she liked on the internet and asked if I could make her one. I have kept to the grey and yellow theme she liked and the ‘snood’ look, but I have made her scarf using Broomstick Crochet, which is the technique that creates the beautiful twist in the wool. The wool I have used is hand spun Welsh Aran weight, organic wool, un-dyed and the yellow is some Rowen baby weight wool, that was just the right shade.

Close-up of the yellow and grey wool tones.

Close-up of the yellow and grey wool tones.

I feel a ‘How to:’ coming on, as Broomstick Crochet is such a beautiful technique and I often use it in both mohair weights, sock wool is great, Aran weight works well and even the cheapest of wools can look pretty in this technique. In the heavy weight wools it shows off the structure of the design quite architecturally.

Close-up of Broomstick Crochet stitch.

Close-up of Broomstick Crochet stitch.

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Crocheted and hand made Christmas decorations

It makes such a difference to getting in the Christmas mood once the tree goes up, which we did this weekend. I’m afraid it is a fake tree, but seeing as we bought it over 10 years ago and still using it, I’m happy about that! Over the years, I have made lots of the Christmas decorations and it was nice to see them come out again.

Crocheted Christmas decorations

Crocheted Christmas decorations

Both of the wool decorations in the picture above have been crocheted using pure wool, then machine shrunk, beaded and stitched. You can also see in the foreground a crocheted chain, which I used to love making in paper when I was young.

Scrap leather tree decoration

Scrap leather tree decoration

This lovely heart decoration is made using leather offcuts and ribbons. This style has always proved popular when sold at the November Open Studios events at the Biscuit Factory.

This years OC's Christmas card!

This years OC’s Christmas card!

Mince Pies, mmmm, my favourite! It was decided that this years lino cut for our Christmas Card would be of the lovely mince pie – which I’m afraid, once the box is open, I can’t stop eating!!

Finally, I am beginning to feel festive and the clock is ticking. As I am sure so many of you have also put yourselves under the same pressure, it’s not a time for cleaning and tidying the house for visitors – it’s a time to finish off all those presents you had planned to make!!

Dachshund cushions commission

After the recent Open Studios, a lovely lady asked me to create some cushions for her daughter’s Christmas Present, as she loved the Schnauzer cushions but they were the wrong breed of dog!! I had a glorious time choosing the fabrics and patterns that would compliment each other best.

Dachshund applique cushions

Dachshund applique cushions

I have used woven silk fabrics which I buy from the silk mills in Sudbury and they are appliqued with floral cottons.

Red and white woven silk and black floral dachshund

Red and white woven silk and black floral dachshund

Blue/green floral woven silk and green leaf dachshund

Blue/green floral woven silk and green leaf dachshund

In the cushion above, the dachshund looks like he’s out smelling the flowers. He makes a lovely silhouette against the light background. This was the cushion the lady choose, so I will need to find a home for the two red cushions…

Sssshhhhh! Don’t tell anyone! Mini OC at work making Christmas presents!

My middle daughter, who’s 9, has been exceedingly busy over the last week or so making her sisters their Christmas presents.

Meet Francesca Fox and Molly Pup! After looking for inspiration on Pinterest, she drew out her patterns, cut out the velvet which she had chosen, then machined the bodies up, stuffed and decorated. Might I add – this has all been done by her – the only instruction I gave her was a quick refresher on the sewing machine. Proud, is putting it mildly! Her sister’s will be absolutely delighted when they open their presents on Christmas Day.

Francesca Fox and Molly Pup

Francesca Fox and Molly Pup

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to photograph the gorgeous Christmas Cards she had also made her sisters using vintage children’s annuals and cutting out shapes for Christmas Trees, Santa Claus etc. She had been flicking through copies of my old craft magazines and I think she had spotted some inspiring articles! I will try and remember to photograph them on Christmas Day and blog them!

Anytime. Anywhere. Socks!

Knitting the toe

Knitting the toe

The great thing about knitting socks is that you can take them anywhere and knit anytime! I have a lovely little handbag a friend gave me, which is just big enough to fit one ball of wool, four sock needles, my pattern (which I probably don’t need), a wool needle and a tape measure. So, whenever I know I may be sitting down for short or long periods of time, the bag gets picked up as I walk out the house.

This photo was taken yesterday whilst my eldest daughter was having her bassoon lessons at the Sage, Gateshead. I did get to finish the first sock and now I’m half way down the second. There’s a slim chance I may now get them finished for Christmas and they could be a present to myself – which would be novel! Generally, they are given to friends and family. But, I do love the fact that some of the socks can take up to six months to make with a little bit knitted at a child’s party, some knitted at swimming lessons, slightly more knitted on long car journeys.