30 November 2014

One More Little Gift Bag

Hello everyone! I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine seems to have gone in a flash! It began with birthday celebrations for a friend of mine. That was just the excuse I needed to make another little gift bag. My friend loves purple, and when I found a pack of purple beads at the local store where I did the beaded crochet workshop, I immediately knew I would present her with them in one of my little crochet bags.

I had a multicoloured Lang yarn in my stash with - most importantly - tinges of purple in it, and off I went. 

And so, ta-dah!

The yarn I used was lace, so I had to use a much smaller hook size than usual - 2mm - and the bag took longer than the others to whip up, due to those tiny stitches, and the fact that there were quite a lot of beads to cram into it!

I did the ruffling with trebles, unlike the last bags I'd made, for which I used UK double crochets. I love how each row came out a different colour. The last row is made of UK double crochets in a lilac cotton DK yarn, which helped stabilised the ruffles and gave a nice accent to the whole thing.

Here you can see the open top of the bag. I made a chain out of the lilac cotton yarn and threaded it through one row of alternated treble, chain 1.

And finally, I decorated the ends of the drawstring with a few colour-coordinated beads.

And that's it, yet another cute little bag... And I'm sure it won't be the last!

Thanks for reading, peeps, and have a good week!

26 November 2014

Granny Wednesday - A Mini Granny Square Purse

For a chance to win this mini purse, please go to my FB page and follow the instructions there! Good luck !

Hello everyone! I am back for another installment of the Granny Love Challenge. This week, I am going to tell you the story of a tiny Granny Square that flew off my hook and landed on my lap. 

But it looked so lonely that I soon took pity on the poor thing and crocheted a second one to keep it company. After a little thinking and playing around, I knew how to keep them together permanently, and a snap frame, pink sewing thread and a few stitches later, I had this:

A tiny granny square purse ! Look at it, isn't it super cute?

And I don't know about you, but I can't help seeing a mini, colourful hippo yawning broadly when it is open.

It won't hold much, but I can guarantee it will hold it with love!

And here's the other side:

So, what do you guys think? Have you ever made purses using granny squares? Would love to see your creations!

Thanks for reading, and head over to Jijihook's for more Granny Square Love!


25 November 2014

The Gift of Cake

Someone I know recently had a birthday - which feels like about half the people I know at the moment! Anyway, trying to keep in line with my "no shop-bought" policy, I decided to gift them a cake, but not a just an out-of-the-oven one. Rather, inspired by this recipe, I packed all the dry ingredients in a jar, flour, brown sugar, white sugar, chocolate chips, ground almonds, cocoa powder and chopped almonds...

 ...printed out a personalised recipe card and attached it to said jar with a string of crochet:

And voilà! An easy, thoughtful birthday gift that went down a treat and delighted its recipient!

Have you ever done this as a gift? Would you do it? I plan on doing it for Christmas as well. Let me know your views on this! :)

Thanks for reading, and see you soon!


20 November 2014

An Early Weekend Post

Phew! That's it, this week is over for me, and my goodness has it been a busy one! I had to cram as much work as possible as I am going away for a long week-end. Yay! So as a treat, because I am so elated at having finished all I needed to do, I thought I'd share a few scenes that made me happy this week when I struggled with the amount of stuff to do...

This fluffy bunch of pampa grass on a gloriously sunny day...

The flaming ferns in Richmond Park...

This rosebud and leaves, snipped from outside, next to my latest yarn casualties, in a an arrangement unapologetically inspired by the amazing work of Philippa Stanton...

These adorable little jars of beads, which I went to buy after I had my beaded crochet class...

And this squishy bit of roving I couldn't resist to get as well, without the faintest clue as to what I'll use it for!

Oh, and those scrummy rolls of fabric tapes, which I picked up just because I liked the look of them.

My ever growing collection of buttons of all sizes and colours, fast becoming firm favourites as props for crochet photo shoots...

Rich-coloured yarn I picked up a while ago and that I still haven't got round to put on the yarn winder. But it was quite expensive, and I confess I am a tiny bit scared...

More yarn, which I've been crocheting with lately. Again, warm, rich colours so in line with the seasonal tones. Love it!

And finally, the memory of this sunset, a photo of which I came across in my folders today!

Thanks for reading, peeps, I'll be back next week with tales from the North! :)

19 November 2014

Wednesday Grannies - The Skirt is Back!

Hello, time for grannies again! This week, I shall give you an update on the Granny Square Skirt, an intermittent project in my ever growing pool of WIPs. Well, the Skirt is growing, too, and I think I am now roughly half way through by now...

Shall we have a look?

I can tell you one thing, is that it's getting more and more difficult to get a good shot of the whole thing now that it's grown so much. For the full square shot, I had to precariously balance myself on top of a swivelling office chair, much to the amusement of my colleague at the other desk. Just in case you're wondering, this is an office rented by freelancers, not a company I am employed by, otherwise I think I would have been fired by now! It is quite unbelievable how much time can be spent taking pictures of crochet items rather than getting on with "actual" work...

Anyway, that's it for this week, folks, but as always, there is more granny square love going on at Jijihook's. Do go feast your eyes!

See you soon!


16 November 2014

Attempting Beaded Crochet

Hello, my darlings! Today's been a very drab day here in England, so methinks a shot of zingy colours is in order. Well, I have just the thing for you.

Yesterday I went to a crochet workshop in my local area. But not any kind of crochet... Beaded crochet! Now, that's a technique I had never properly tried my hand at, and I very much enjoyed it. It is a little - actually, quite a bit - fiddly, but the result is definitely worth it.

The workshop was held at this bead shop in Kingston town centre, and we had a young and lovely teacher who very patiently explained to us the concept of crocheting with beads. This is what things looked like before any crocheting happened:

All beads had to be threaded on crochet thread, of which there was a scrumptious selection at the store. I ended up setting my heart on this lovely turquoise number:

Once all beads were threaded, we could start crocheting in spirals using slip stitches. I could not finish the project during the actual workshop hours but dutifully completed it once I got home... and this is the finished result:

Isn't it a sweet little thing? The 1.25mm crochet hook pictured above is the one I actually used to make this bracelet. I had never used such a small size before. It wasn't the easiest, but it's definitely needed to go through between the beads and the thread, as the gap is so small!

I really like the colourway I went with. I normally would have gone for purples or pinks, but I decided to go out of my comfort zone a little bit. You should have seen all the pretty colours our teacher had experimented with. And that's not even mentioning the different patterns and varying bead sizes!

The clasp was simply glued on both tips of the spiral. I didn't touch it for 12 hours to make sure it was absolutely secure. The good thing about craft glue is that it dries clear, so you don't have to worry about excess amounts.

So there you have it, my first attempt at beaded crochet. Relatively simple once you've grasped the concept, but still a little fiddly. This pattern is quite forgiving, so even if your tension is not completely even and some of your beads sit a little bit askew, it loses itself in the general pattern.

Have you ever tried beaded crochet? What did you think?

Take care, folks, and thanks for reading! xxx

12 November 2014

Granny Wednesday - Half a Granny Square Shawl

Hello! It's that time of the week again! So I have been agonising over what to show you today. A bit of skirt progress? Or another WIP? I finally decided to go with another WIP and save the skirt for next week, but it's been a very close call!

To be honest, I feel a bit naughty showing you this WIP, as it's so near completion I should really wait until it's fully finished. But I am so excited by it that I can't wait till then. It's a shawl made from half a granny square. My inspiration came from this one, found on Pinterest. It took me a while to find a suitable yarn to work with but when I did, this is what it looked like:

Warm, rich colours so reminiscent of autumn, don't you think? The yarn is by Rico Designs, I think. All of it went into the shawl, which is more like a shawlette in size, to be honest. While I was making it, I enjoyed the colours, but wasn't actually too fussed about the triangular shape of the shawl, so I thought it would make a nice gift for someone or perhaps a giveaway on my Facebook page.

That was until I started the edging. I found a yarn in my stash that matched one of the purple hues, went on a Pinterest quest for pretty border ideas, set my heart on this one, and hooked away. The shawl transformed before my very eyes into a gorgeous, feminine, elegant and very much desirable clothing accessory. By the time, I was through row 2 of the edging...

...I kind of knew that the shawl would not be given away, and that I would selfishly make it mine. Sorry :D

One thing that has been annoying me since the first few rows is that one side of the top is rolling slightly upon itself...

But I plan on adding a row of UK dcs, and possibly one row of crabstitch, and I'll probably block the whole thing, which hopefully will resolve this tiny issue.

So far, I have done all three rows of the edging on one side, plus at the tip of the shawl.

I am very pleased with the look of this tip. This is quite literally the first elaborate border that I have ever made. Working the stitch sequence at the tip proved a bit of a challenge, and I definitely recommend this very simple trick

Anyway, I am now a little over half way through the edging, as you can see in the picture below:

The edging in the foreground is the complete one. It ruffles a bit and I think I may attempt some dreaded blocking to make it look a bit flatter. However, I've noticed that it hangs very nicely when the shawl is worn, so maybe I will not bother...

And that's it for another installment of the Granny Love Challenge! For more Granny Love, get to Jijihook's website. And as for me, I shall leave you with the promise of a more 'skirty' update to come next week.

Thanks for reading :)
See ya!


A little addendum post-publication, as I had a request about the earrings pictured above. Here's a clearer picture of them. They are lovely earrings but unfortunately quite heavy and therefore pulling on earlobes in quite an unflattering way... :D

10 November 2014


Helloooo! I am loving the colours of autumn at the moment! Granted, we have had some pretty miserable weather here in England, but boy does it look amazing when the sun shines!

This morning, I went out on an errand and I was amazed by the glorious sunshine and crisp blue sky. It seemed to echo into everyone's good mood. Absolutely perfect.

On my way back, I picked up some lovely red roses, and after getting my fingers copiously pricked by a crowd of thorns, I managed to display them in my living room. Look at those beauties!

One of them has a pink discoloration at the tip of a petal. It doesn't show that much in the pic below but it's a lovely little accident, I thought.

Despite the slightly colder temperature, the front of our home is still blessed with some pretty blooms... 

...and although the rose bush has now seen better days...

...there is still the odd rosebud valiantly popping its head here and there!

Indoors, on top of work, I have been busying myself with more crochet projects than I should embark on, but definitely loving every minute of it.

I have a sole wrist warmer from this pattern...

The other one has been in the making for a while, and I have actually completed a pair in another yarn, which I need to blog about soon.

And there's the usual riotous pile of WIPs in my shoe box/Basket/crochet corner by the sofa.

I have also been doodling a bit, inspired by Isabelle Kessedjian's amazing ballpoint pen drawings. This one below is the basis of an ongoing project.

And on this note, my dearies, I shall say my goodbyes. :)

Take care, and many thanks for reading!