Category Archives: Etsy Shop

Crochet Christmas Baubles – The Pattern

Crochet Christmas BaublesOh the joys of pattern writing!  I seem to have spent most of the last week fiddling around with these Crochet Christmas Baubles.

crochet Christmas bauble - closeup

I know a lot of you out there do the most wonderful tutorials and patterns on your blogs, but for those  who have never tried  I’ll give you a little flavour of it.

First, as you sit playing around with yarn and hook you have an idea and you make a ‘thing’ that you quite like.  So, after a bit more fiddling it turns into a ‘thing’ that you really like….Hooray!

Then,  trying to remember what happened the first time round, you make it again, this time jotting down the process as you go.

And then you make it again, this time from the pattern, scribbled on  the back of an envelope, correcting the mistakes.

To the computer to type it out…

Print it…

Make it again, to pick up typos.

Back to the computer for corrections.  Then go through with a fine tooth comb trying to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never seen the pattern before.  Is it explained it simply enough?

Decide some bits need pictures.  Make it again, taking pictures.

Photoshop next, cropping and balancing to make the pics as good as possible.

Put the pattern together on screen.  How does it look?

Print it.

Panic… Have I  looked at it for so long that I’ve missed some howling error?

Have some down time on the Facebook Page and discover that someone has left a comment on a picture shared of a beautiful original piece of work with a link to the Ravelry pattern and find someone has said, and I quote,  

It is BEAUTIFUL! but $5 is too much for a pattern!”


Crochet Christmas  BaublesAnd so this pattern was sent out to some lovely volunteers to try out, and having been thoroughly tested by a textile artist, a crochet newbie and an old hand at crochet, the  Crochet Christmas Baubles pattern is now available to buy on Etsy.  Find it here! 

November 2014 UPDATE:

You will also find it as one of Attic24 Lucy’s picks in the Christmas 2014 edition of  Simply Crochet Magazine just here…

crochet Christmas baublesHave fun…!

Crochet Balls of all Sizes!

Oh my goodness it’s been difficult not using my sore elbow!  I’ve got so excited about the crochet balls I’ve been making.  They started off as Christmas baubles but they are so pretty I think I want to have them on display all year round!   I’ve been doing a little bit here and a little bit there and ended up with a bowlful…

a bowlful of crochet balls

and then had a happy time with needle, thread and beads giving them hanging loops.

crochet balls on branch

Having discovered  a little dish of small crochet balls lurking on the back of a shelf I had a brainwave and  threaded them in random sequence onto white cotton yarn…

crochet balls on string

…and then made a long crochet chain, working the crochet balls and beads in as I went.

crochet balls on chain

crochet ball chain on tree

Add the original bigger crochet balls and you can see why I am now having to rest my poor elbow yet again!

branch of crochet ballsThis pattern really suits the Planet Penny Cotton colours.  There are so many combinations to put together, it’s great fun.  Would you be interested in a pattern?   I’m currently working on it and it’s always time consuming but hopefully  it will be available by next weekend.

(Ed to add:  The pattern is available here!)

It’s been a busy week in other ways.  There’s been a lot of weather about,  hasn’t there?   I do hope you haven’t been caught up with any of the aftermath of the strong winds blowing us about for the past few days.  I’m currently waiting by the phone to see if my dear OH is going to have a helicopter to fly him home today which will only happen if the wind drops sufficiently.

The middle of the week was glorious in Norfolk and I called in at the Craft Fair at the How Hill Open Day.   My Open Studios partner and all round best buddy Kit was there with her  prints and cards, and several other members of our Two Rivers Trail group.  We’ll be getting together later this month for our own Craft Fair and Exhibition so if you are in the area do come along to say hello.  You can find out all about the event and the artists taking part on the Two Rivers Trail website.

I also met the lovely Sue of The Mercerie who had a stall at How Hill and drooled over her beautiful wool and colours…

The Mercerie

The Mercerie stallAnd had a word with the alpacas from Burnt Fen

Burnt Fen Alpacas..before heading back to the car via this amazing view over the Broads…

View from How Hill NorfolkBefore I go I’ve just time to tell you that I have a fabulous giveaway coming up in the next post, an early Christmas present!  So don’t forget to call back or hit the ‘Follow’  button to make sure you don’t miss it.

I’ll be back in the next few days, so see you soon …x

Perfecting the Art of Procrastination…

…or  indecisiveness…

Which is it?  I can’t make up my mind!

So here’s the problem.  I have done quite a few things over the past few weeks, have LOADS of photos and I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days being completely unable to write a blog post about anything because there’s TOO MUCH STUFF…

Which means I either never write another post, or I just metaphorically throw everything in the air, grab some bits here and there and see what happens.

We went to the Knitting and Stitching show a couple of weeks ago.  So much to see, and some amazing exhibitions.  I hope to follow up on some of the interesting stalls at a later date but in the meantime, well, I did treat myself.  Last time I went, a couple of years ago I fell in love with the wonderful Throw kits on the Colinette stand but there was such a huge choice I just couldn’t make up my mind, and have been kicking myself ever since.  I don’t know when I’m going to get time to make it, but this time I did buy one at the special show price  I wish you could feel how wonderfully soft and warm the yarn is, and the colours are fabulous…

perugino skylark throw Colinette

 My other great buy was a pinnie from Alison Hulme Textiles

Alison Hulme Pinnie

Hand printed by Alison on denim, it’s almost a dress!  It’s a good extra layer, will fit over a woolly jumper and has two big deep pockets so it’s a perfect work uniform for me when I’m in the studio.

And then I went off to the seaside…

Just a few days on the South Coast and it was lovely.  There was lots of weather…

Bright and breezy…


IMG_2310Wild and windy…



…and peaceful.



A teachers strike meant I had a precious day with my grandsons, a trip to the Observatory Science Centre which I enjoyed as much as they did!  I was allowed to have ago on all the scientific apparatus and no one told me I was too tall, or old to join in, and a tour of one of the telescopes.  A great way to entertain a granny!


Now I’m home I’m gradually unpacking all the things put away to make way for the decorator and seeing them in a fresh light.  It’s so easy to stop actually ‘seeing’ things, isn’t it. when you’ve had them a long time in the same place.  I’ve got shelves in a redundant fireplace which is ideal for china and other small and fragile pieces.  It spent several years with a perspex sheet screwed to the front when the boys were small, so with another little one coming along in the New Year, I need to make the most of it before we have to replace the perspex!



It’s all been a bit slow on the making front, alas.  I’ve been suffering from RSI in my elbow and operating the mouse and the crochet hook seems to be the culprit, which is so frustrating.  I really want to write a pattern for the Christmas balls I’ve been making with the Planet Penny Cotton which requires lots of crochet experiments and ‘mouse work’ for the photos, and rest is really the only answer for RSI.

I’ve been good though and have only done a bit here and a bit there so I hope it won’t be too long before I’m back up to speed.

crochet Christmas balls Planet Penny Cotton

 Christmas crochet  balls Planet Penny Cotton

crochet Christmas balls -  Planet Penny CottonGetting my rainbow colour fix is always good for the spirits!

Well, I have both Henry and Higgins telling me it’s teatime and although they are an hour too early I won’t get much peace right now!

If you are in the UK and are watching out for the weather warnings for tomorrow’s predicted storm as we are here, keep safe and warm.

See you soon…x

Thank you…

I’ve got to start this with a great BIG THANK YOU!  I’ve been overwhelmed by the the lovely messages, kind thoughts and helpful suggestions after my last post.  I’m working my way through a list of things to investigate!  I’m feeling much better now I’ve come to the end of the course of antibiotics.  I struggle to keep my brain functioning rationally at the best of times, and adding fogginess and gloomy spirits to the mix was not not helpful.  However, I’m much brighter now, I’ve just got to keep a tight rein of myself and not go galloping off after the next exciting thing, wear myself out and go SPLAT again.

It’s heart warming to know there is a big supportive network of kind people who really want to help one another, even though we are very often half a world apart.  There are plenty of negative things to say about the internet but this can only be a big plus.

We’ve been really lucky here in Norfolk to have had some beautiful weather over the past week or so.  It’s very uplifting for the spirits and I’ve tried as much as possible to get outside.  Higgins has helped of course although he gets a bit impatient with the pace, and my inclination to stop with the camera or pick blackberries.

higgins on the footpth

walking Higgins


Autumn is a lovely time of year, but it’s overlaid with sadness that everything is coming to an end, which is why I prefer the optimism of Spring.  But the autumn light is fantastic, misty in the mornings but golden later in the day and the night sky is spectacular.  And I never tire of photographing the richness of the hedgerows, and the warm glowing colours of the berries…

hedgerow berries


red berries


seedheadsIt’s been pretty noisy in the early mornings here.  Not traffic, although there’s been quite a bit of farm machinery on the move, but Greylag  Geese.  It’s lovely to see (and hear) them fly overhead, but I’ve never managed to get a reasonable photo with my little camera. The past few days however, they’ve been congregating in the neighbouring field…

morning fieldAnd despite the limitations of a compact camera the zoom didn’t let me down…


greylag geese grazing

Worth hanging out of the bedroom window for!

Planet Penny hasn’t been completely neglected through all this though, I’ve had the crochet hook on the go on and off, and a two very large boxes arrived the other day full of yarn so I’m very well stocked.  It’s just as well the nice young man with a van is happy to carry them into the studio because I would never lift them myself.  They will sit there now until I’ve found places to stow all the yarn packs and I will treat them like a roundabout!

Planet PEnny Yarn

I’ve added half size packs to the Planet Penny shop, seven balls of either the Sunshine or Shadows shades suitable for smaller projects…

Planet PEnny Sunshine and Shadows yarn

And, and I have a question to ask…Would you like White?   Last year I tried a small quantity of white yarn, Snowdrop, which I sold as a Christmas pack with patterns, do you remember?

Christmas CrochetI tried to buy more because white is such a good background for the rainbow colours…

crochet circles crochet balls…but the dye batch was wrong and I wasn’t happy with it.

Now a new batch is available but if it’s the right bright white I will have to buy a whole case of it.  Before I completely fill my little cottage with yarn and move into the garden shed I thought I’d better see whether there’s a potential market for it!  So do let me know so I can do some forward planning.

And that, for  now, is it.  I’m off to put my feet up and peruse the weekend papers with a cup of tea, while Higgins and Henry fight over my lap (Henry always wins too, poor Higgins!)

I’m linking up this week with Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday, do call over to see all the crafty makes there and I’ll be back soon I’ll be back soon…x



Planet Penny Cotton – FABRIC!

Fabric? yes..  now there’s a change!  This is something which has been simmering on the back boiler for a while and now I’m taking the plunge and telling you all about it.

I’ve made a couple of cushions over the last few months using the Planet Penny Cotton yarn to make the fronts and then finding a suitably brightly coloured fabric for the back.  I find it works really well, looks striking and makes a really simple opening on the cover so it’s easy to remove for washing.

this is the Granny Square crochet cushion

Planet Penny Cotton crochet cushion

…and for the back I used a much loved piece of Provençal print from my stash…

Provençal print fabric backThe Log Cabin Moss Stitch cushion which I later knitted…

Planet Penny Cotton moss stitch Log Cabin cushion…I backed with another treasured piece of Alexander Henry print fabric…

Alexander Henry Print fabric cushion back

…although this time I didn’t have quite enough material to make the envelope back.

But I’ve been thinking for a while it would be good to find a range of fabric which complemented the Planet Penny Rainbow colours and over the last months I have been working on it.  It still needs a little tweaking but I think I found some really pretty bright and more subtle colours and prints which I hope you like too.

The fabric has a lovely smooth finish, it’s gorgeous quality and I threw my sample pieces in the washing machine with a white towel to test them, with no colour loss and no shrinkage so I’m happy to recommend it to you.

I have in mind not only cushion backs, but linings for crochet and knitted bags, cheerful bunting, soft toys and accessories which will tie in with the blankets, throws and of course mice and  garlands made from the Planet Penny Cotton Yarn.

I found a great little pattern to share with you whilst trawling through Pinterest which shows of the fabric a treat, and have made a whole flock of birds!

And here they are…

pink fabric birds

blue green fabric birds

multi Fabric birdsI had a lot of fun getting them to roost in my little tree…

blue fabric birds in tree

pink Fabric birds in tree

multi fabric birds in tree

The fabrics will be available in packs of 4 assorted fat quarters from the Planet Penny Etsy shop and I will be listing them gradually over the next week or so, no two alike, so keep your eye out to see what’s on offer!  This is just a sample….

planet Penny Fabric and miceIf you like the birds, you can find the pattern here, they are easy and lots of fun.

This is a bit of a leap of faith so I’d really like to know what you think, and I’ll be back soon…x



Sunshine and Shadows…

Sunshine and Shadows flower

Having lost the label I’ve decided this is my Sunshine and Shadows Plant!   I’m sure someone out there will know the proper name but with it’s bright sunshiny petals and gorgeous purpley leaves I think my name really suits it!  I do know it likes to be a bit damp, and that’s been real headache this hot and sunny summer.  The lawn has pretty well given up.

dry lawn

I don’t water the lawn, do you?  It seems to bounce back as soon as the season changes and between Higgins and ‘his’ boys (who are coming for a visit very soon, cue much excitement!) it’s never going to be a bowling green.  I’ve just about managed to keep the pots and tubs going, the veg garden and my ‘Sunshine and Shadows’ Plant.  I say the veg garden, hmm… this year I’ve managed two bowls of strawberries…

strawberriesThere’s what is shaping up to be an enormous pumpkin…


and so far, two runner beans…  What a good thing Tim is away so I don’t have to share!

It’s been quite busy on Planet Penny over the last week or so thanks to the Rainbow Mice appearing in the Australian craft Magazine, Homespun

Homespun Magazine

It’s amazing to think there are little Rainbow Mice running around all over the globe!

Recently several people have bought more than one pack of the Rainbow collection of yarn with throws and blankets in mind and this has concentrated my mind on something which has rattled around for quite some time.  I wrote last week about the problems of being  ‘Just the One‘ and never having enough time, or pairs of hands to do all I want to do, and one of those things is to make a big enough crocheted piece to work out what sort of area one pack of yarn would cover, in granny squares or a ripple.  And this has held me back on an idea I’ve had for ages, because I kept thinking it would raise the unanswerable question.

But I’ve decided, stop faffing around, Penelope, get on with it and see what happens!

So, and this is where the Sunshine and Shadows theme appears again, I’m readdressing the Planet Penny Colours from either end of the spectrum, and making up packs which would be perfect for making cushions, throws, baby blankets etc with a more defined colour palette.

Put together Aubretia, Delphinium, Cornflower, Eggshell, Aqua, Jade and Apple and we’re in the shady woodland end of the garden…

Sunshine and Shadows Knitted Mice

…and meanwhile Rose Red, Gerbera, Petal, Peach, Marigold, Buttercup and Lime reflect the sunshine and heat on the terrace…

Sunshine & Shadows Knitted MiceThe packs are the same size, but with 2 balls each of the seven colours in the Sunshine or Shadows colours and they are going in the Planet Penny Etsy shop today…

Sunshine and Shadow Collection, Planet Penny Yarn - Sunshine

Sunshine and Shadow Collection - Planet Penny yarn - Shadows

I’d love to know what you think and if anyone has made a throw, cushion or similar with their Planet Penny Cotton I’d love to see it, and to know how big it is!  I’m going to be working on a baby blanket because not only have I got my prospective Grannification next year, my niece is expecting this month so baby things must done!  My crochet hook will be smoking!

And speaking of baby things, this week I made these…

baby socksI’m getting very excited!

This week I’m linking up with Handmade Harbour do call over to find lots of handmade lovelies to admire!

I’ll be back soon, have a lovely week…x


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