Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Happy Christmas!!

A big thank you to all of you who have supported me and inspired me this year!! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year wherever you are...

1. The Real Beauty Of The Candy Cane...., 2. Waiting for Santa, 3. natural christmas sparkler, 4. xmas decoration, 5. Untitled, 6. looking..., 7. a small miracle..., 8. Baubles, 9. Block printing + embroidery / Estampado + bordado, 10. englar, 11. >>> PEACE <<<, 12. Snowflake Curtain, 13. wreath light, 14. white christmas, 15. Untitled, 16. -10°

Friday, 18 December 2009


I have to apologise for the extreme lack of activity on my blog in recent weeks. Now I can finally share the reason with the whole world... I'm pregnant! And for the past 5 weeks or so I have spent most of my time looking down the toilet. I'm starting to finally feel a bit human again...

It's been a struggle for us. I was told in May 2008 that I had started my menopause (at 39!!) and there wasn't a hope of me producing my own eggs. So we started on the long and financially crippling road of IVF and egg donation. The third attempt worked and thankfully all is going well. I realise we are incredibly lucky - I've heard some real horror stories of 9 or 10 attempts and counting!!

So now I can focus a bit on the months ahead. One of my first baby projects will be this beautiful mobile from spool.

You can select the pattern for the bird under their 'Free Pattern' menu on the left.

And I love this Lizzy House fabric from A Fabric Outlet

I'm going to try and be a bit more productive here from now on, so see you very soon!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

this tickled me...

Nicely done by these guys!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

that's more like it

Now this is what I have been waiting for. The LYS made truly cool! Great minimal design and bang on trend. Here is Wool and the Gang (just not sure about that name, anyway...)

They also have a blog here

milkin' it

I don't like milk except on my cornflakes or in my tea, but this packaging is just gorgeous. Seen on the lovely package website.

Friday, 13 November 2009

early seasons greetings

Well, as I mentioned before, I'm sort of having an off moment with crochet. A couple of days ago I got a teeny job out of the blue to design some bottle labels. Whether anything will come of it I don't know, but it got me back on the old computer and I kind of enjoyed it. So yesterday I sat down and did this little Christmas card. I really had fun creating it and think I might be doing some more. So, what do you think? Should I???

(click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

November inspiration

It's been a while since I posted a mosaic of my Flickr faves, but here's a little warming collection now the nights are drawing in. And Mosaic Maker just got a whole lot more user-friendly!

(click on image to super-size)

1. Vintage Notions, 2. Some Vintage Finds, 3. My bedroom (and Emiliano), 4. 100 yards., 5. etsy, chickens & me..., 6. vintage mugs, 7. snippets of color..., 8. Green Pincushion, 9. bada bing, 10. ||, 11. Firki, 12. living, 13. red stripes, 14. Untitled, 15. Assorted nuts, 16. sage

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

don't do it!!!

This gave me such a laugh this morning! I discovered this brilliant blog dedicated to all crocheting blunders called what not to crochet. I do urge you to take a look, if only to remind yourselves not to attempt that Elvis statuette. Or were you feeling the urge to whip up a tampon cozy?

If you discover any crocheting catastophes, then submit them to whatnottocrochet (AT) yahoo (DOT) com!

Friday, 6 November 2009

how to make pom-poms

I'm loving making squishy little pom poms lately. I'm sort of having an off-moment with crochet - not helped by terrible wrist and thumb pain - so taking a break from that for a bit. So pom poms still enable me to play around with yarn, creating pleasing little objects of joy!

I have some round plastic pom-pom makers, but I threw them down after about 2 minutes out of pure frustration! You have to keep cutting lengths of yarn and awkwardly threading it through the middle. No, the no pom-pom maker method is best! There are a few tutorials out there on the web, but I didn't find anything truly satisfactory, so this is my version.

You will need
some yarn
a crochet hook suitable for the size of your yarn
a darning needle
some small sharp scissors
your fingers!

You can click on any of the images to make them bigger.

Step 1 Cut a length from your chosen yarn - about 30cm/12" should do. Put it where you can grab it easily. We are going to use this later to tie our pom-pom.

Step 2 Take your ball of yarn. Put the end over your palm and hold it out of the way with your ring finger and little finger.

Step 3 Start wrapping the yarn - not too tight - around your remaining two fingers.

Step 4 I am using a DK yarn here and wrapped it around my fingers 100 times, but play around with different thicknesses and different wrap amounts. The more you wrap, the denser your pom-pom will be!

Step 5 Once you have the desired amount of wraps, take your length of yarn that you cut earlier. This will save you trying to cut a piece now - not easy! Slide it between the ends of the two fingers holding the yarn. You should leave it longer at the back as we are going to secure the pom-pom with this long end.

Step 6 Take the longer length behind and over the pom-pom and towards your knuckles as shown.

Step 7 Grab your crochet hook and stick it through your fingers to grap the yarn.

Step 8 Pull it through to the palm side of your hand and around to where you originally joined in the yarn.

Repeat this step a couple of times. Now pull gently but firmly on the two ends to tighten the 'waist' of the pom-pom.

Step 9 Now you can remove the pom-pom from your fingers. You will see that by wrapping the yarn round a couple of times already, it won't budge. This will really make your life a lot easier when tying the pom-pom. Now tie the two ends together, pulling a little tighter to secure, and tie once more.

Step 10 Now we are ready to take our scissors and cut around the outside edge of the pom-pom. Continue cutting through all layers until no loops are left. Be careful not to cut your ties at the moment!

Step 11 Here's the fun bit - shaping your pom-pom! There is no quick solution for making a perfect ball (which is where pom-pom makers have the advantage), but you're roughly aiming to trim off the longer lengths to match the shorter lengths. Shake out your pom-pom every now and then, hold it up and spin it around to see where it's uneven. You will however, have to cut off a lot more than you think is necessary!

And there you have it - a (hopefully) perfect little pom-pom! This one measures about 5cm/2½" across. You can leave the ties on until you come to use it or chop them off recklessly.

Now you can experiment. Try using two different coloured yarns together with half the amount of wraps. And you can use the same method above with 3 or 4 fingers, although a little more difficult to tie on the 3-finger method. I have even made some really small ones using a straight-sided fork instead of fingers!

Friday, 30 October 2009

a year in yarn

It's been exactly a year since I picked up my knitting needles again and tentatively made a few swatches. I taught myself to crochet in May which for me was the major breakthrough. Something I always wanted to do, but never thought I could. Now there is no stopping me. Here are some of the snippets of my year in yarn! (Click on the image to zoom in)

1. starstitchscarf, 2. swatches, 3. brioche stitch, 4. toast, 5. Untitled, 6. Noro Taiyo Dizzy Lizzy, 7. Noro Striped Scarf, 8. Noro Striped Scarf, 9. habitat hat, 10. h e x a g o n s, 11. h o o k e d, 12. s t r i n g b a g, 13. s h o p p e r, 14. f i l i g r e e b o w l, 15. d o i l y, 16. 8 point star, 17. p i n c u s h i o n, 18. ***, 19. c u s h i o n, 20. s h a w l, 21. experiment in colour, 22. t w i z z l e r, 23. p i n c u s h i o n, 24. s c a r f, 25. Untitled

Monday, 19 October 2009

it's crochet Jim... but not as we know it

I'm just not an enthusiastic knitter anymore. Crochet is my thing in an obsessive and passionate kind of way. Knitting just has way too many sticks involved, and don't even get me started on DPNs! But I do hanker after the texture of knitted items sometimes, especially the chunkier kind... a simple stocking stitch in a lovely bulky yarn can't be beaten. And for me, the queen of knitting stitches has to be brioche. But it seems you need a PhD in rocket science to understand how to do it! Ah, if only there was a kind of crochet that in someway resembled this type of knitting, and was really easy to boot. What a perfect world it would be then... But wait, there IS!!! It's called Tunisian (or Afghan or Tricot) crochet. I nearly wet my pants with excitement the other day when I discovered this. Immediately I grabbed my stubby little crochet hook and worked up this teeny swatch in the three basic Tunisian stitches. My Tunisian hooks are on order and I can't wait to get started on my full-size beauties. My world has just got a little brighter!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

my first pattern

I have just published my first ever pattern... my little hexagon pincushion. It retails for 3 euros, but in celebration of this momentous occasion, the first five of you to leave a comment will get a copy for free!

Thanks girls - patterns are on their way!

Or you can buy the pattern directly here

Sunday, 4 October 2009

it's been a while!

Well, I've been away for a while. Lost my mojo as you know, but I think it's coming back slowly. One thing that's really helped me is starting a knitting group with the Ravelrers of Athens. I had an idea to meet a couple of like-minded knitting addicts over a coffee every now and then. Twenty turned up to the first meeting! We even had a lady from Salt Lake City joining us, while holidaying here in Greece!

I really couldn't have been more delighted with the turn out or to have met a nicer bunch of girls. I think we all got really inspired talking to each other and fondling each other's stash ;) We really all had a wonderful time at central Athens alternative cafe Pure Bliss, right in the heart of LYS land.

And we're going to do it all over again next month. So if you happen to be in town, why don't you join us! We'd love to see you!

Alexandra, in between Eve and Maria here, has also started a knitting group up in Thessaloniki. Get in touch with her here if you are going to be in that neck of the woods!

Many thanks to Eve for the photos!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Hurry to get this!

A free pattern for this lovely throw landed in my inbox this morning from Crochet Me. I think it's only available to those registered, so maybe you'll receive this too if you hurry and join today!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Flickr Galleries

Wow... Flickr now have a great new tool (well, I only just found it) called Galleries! Now you can collate your own collection of other peoples images within your stream. One way to keep your favourites organised! Sadly, you can only put up to 18 images in one gallery... so I made two for my first subject! Below are a small selection from 'For The Love of Cotton Reels'. Get curating!

1. Spools, 2. Four spool clover, 3. pile of spools, 4. Untitled, 5. spun, 6. notions IV, 7. Pinks, 8. ., 9. YIP Day 251 - Cotton Reels

Monday, 14 September 2009

spotlight on... Emma Lamb

One of my most favourite of blog friends and goddess of granny chic is the one and only Emma Lamb. I'm sure many of you are getting to know her name as she is deservedly appearing everywhere lately and slowly taking the yarn world by storm with her cushions and potholders. Which all have fantastic granny names like Audrey and Doris by the way!

Her sense of colour is outstanding and her work is so exquisitely executed... just get a load of those granny squares!!

And I just love all the beautiful little details too...

Emma runs some amazingly inspirational groups on Flickr too including .knit.solid.yarn., granny chic... and all colours in... which are definately worth a look over a cuppa. All this along with a day job as a textile designer - I really don't know how she fits it all in! But I'm glad she does. Here's to you Emma!