Category Archives: Felt

All Sheep Shape…

daffodils in the sun for a Sheep shape post

Have you heard the sound of birds singing and  sheep dancing on Planet Penny this week?   It’s all because the sun is shining and I have finished my piece for the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios Taster Exhibition at the Forum in Norwich….yippee!   I’ve just looked back and found I published my Ta-daaa moment for the last piece almost exactly a year ago today, you can read it here.   And I said “This has existed in my head for so long it was rather a shock to realise that I hadn’t actually made it yet, so I’ve been working on it all week” And I can say exactly the same this year.  It’s amazing how a deadline focuses the mind!

But first, the sunshine.  It’s still not very warm, but it was a relief to wake up yesterday morning and realise the wind was not whistling in the chimney which it’s been doing for days.

frosty gardenI’ve had the doors open into the garden for the first time this year (and kept my fleece on) to let some fresh air into the house and Henry and Higgins have appreciated being able to wander in and out as they please.  Henry has a spot on a warm paving slab where in a few weeks he will be able to get spaced out on Cat Mint…

Tabby cat in the garden

…and Higgins parked himself under the bird feeder to make sure no pesky birds could get at the little dish of water I  put out for them.  He found it was particularly delicious, so much nicer than the inferior water in the dog bowl!

miniature dachshund

There’s a lot of bare earth in the garden, even the weeds are holding back, but there are patches of Spring to enjoy…

purple crocus

white crocuses

mixed crocuses

frilly daffodilAnd so to my big project for this week.  I really wanted to do something completely different this time, to step away of the bright colours, the crochet, the small things.  Also to challenge myself on the needlefelt front and make something much bigger than little birds and mice.    So I’ve used a very subdued palette…

sheep fleeceNatural Merino fleece with a background of charcoal grey.

So can you guess what I made? Well, of course it’s a sheep!

needlefelt sheep for NNOS 2013It’s actually quite hard to photograph and get the angle right…

needlefelt sheep for Taster Exhibition NNOS 2013

It’s called ‘How to Knit a Sheep’… (but please don’t ask me for a pattern!)

'How to Knit a Sheep' NNOS 2013

The knitted part starts off as unspun fleece and gradually reduces in thickness until it becomes  undyed 4 ply to knit the lacy part.

Needlefelt Sheep for NNOS 2013

knitting for 'How to Knit a Sheep' for NNOS 2013This has been a rare moment when the finished piece is almost the same as the picture in my head, hence the singing and dancing!  As you can imagine, I haven’t done a lot else this week but there are exciting Planet Penny things in the pipeline which I hope to share with you soon.

It’s Handmade Monday again this week so I’m linking up with Wendy for Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour  and I’ll be back very soon…x



Seagulls…Robins…and a Small Sea Dog

Hello!  It’s that time of the week again….doesn’t it come round quickly?  If you spotted my mid week post about the Planet Penny Cotton crochet inspirations, you’ll know this post  represents a very quick gear change to get back to needlefelting again to build up my flock of Robins.

I think I’m going to have set days for each  to keep on top of things, oh to be disciplined and organised.  I’ve a feeling I may left it a little late in the day to change, but I do try!

And I have been sloping off when the sun shines to keep a small dog happy.  We went to our favourite Norfolk beach during the week…

Norfolk sky, sea and sand

So peaceful, and completely deserted,  Just me, Higgins and the seagulls.  Not even a seal this time.

Higgins had a great time…

miniature dachshund on Norfolk beach

miniature dachshund on beach

love the little pink tongue!

Did I mention he’s on a healthy eating and fitness regime?  The last weigh in at the vet’s pronounced him at the top end of his ideal weight window, so charging madly around the beach is just what the ‘doctor’ ordered.  (It’s not doing me any harm either!)

And later, back in the studio, the flock of Robins keeps growing…

Robins great and small…

needlefelt robins

three needlefelt robins

six needlefelt robins

needlefelt robins group

needlefelt robins on a log

I have a lovely selection of rings, wreaths and hearts for my robins to sit on so that’s tomorrows job!

I’m battling with the internet at the moment, it’s running like very cold treacle, so I shall quit while I’m ahead and leave you with a link to this week’s Handmade Monday over at Handmade Harbour.  Have a lovely week, I will be back soon….x

A Needlefelt Bird in the Hand….

…but a handful of baby birds is even better!

tiny Needlefelt robins

Guess who’s thinking ahead to C*******s! It’s alright, I won’t speak the word aloud!

I’ve been waiting for materials to arrive so I’ve switched to a different breed of bird, and trying out a different size too.  Last  C*******s I couldn’t keep up with the demand for needlefelt robins, I think it was the Kirsty effect, so I’m starting early year, although I find it really hard to think of Christmas in August, don’t you? (Whoops, sorry, it slipped out! )

three mini needlefelt robins

Needlefelt Robins for Christmas | Planet Penny

The robins are now fluttering their way to the Planet Penny shop, and you can find them here, here and here..

I’ve been a little indulgent this week and treated myself.  I said last week I couldn’t resist the little scented dachshunds, and so I had one made just for me by the lovely LouLou of Farrell and Holmes and these lovely parcels arrived a few days ago, smelling wonderful!

But I’d only ordered one thing!?  And here it is, such pretty fabric…

and in the other one?  A little present for me…

Thank you LouLou!

The weather this week has been beautiful, so no more thunderstorms much to Higgins relief but  the lovely Mrs Micawber, who was very concerned about his well being, sent a link to something which might just solve his problems, not only with the storms, but with the fireworks which upset him so much.  It’s a Thundershirt, and here he is modelling it!

Miniature Dachshund wearing a Thundershirt

miniature dachshund wearing a Thundershirt

The theory is that being wrapped snuggly calms dogs and makes then less stressed about loud noises and other worrying situations. Thank you so much Mrs Micawber, we’ll let you know whether it works when the weather breaks!

Well, it’s another short post as I must away to administer Clovis’s evening antibiotic on the other side of the village, I will get a lot more done when I don’t have to visit three times a day, it’s a good thing I love him!   I’ll leave you with a link to Handmade Monday so you can visit lots of other lovely bloggers who have been creating little lovelies over the past week.


See you soon…x


A Brief Pause…

I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the belated summer sunshine over the last week.  It’s been lovely in Norfolk which has been quite a relief with two little boys to entertain!  As you can imagine, not a lot of Planet Penny business has been undertaken over the past few days, we’ve had a brief pause for some fun and picnics on the beach…

…with sausages on the menu of course!  And eating in the garden late in the evening has been lovely.

So with no real brain power free to think about crochet and patterns, I’ve been needlefelting some bases to be worked on when it all goes quiet in a couple of days, with no little boys to entertain.  I’m very aware my new Etsy shop hasn’t yet featured any needlefelted pieces, and I have had several requests for my little lovebirds…

needlefelt lovebirds in wool hearts

…so these are next on the agenda.

So I hope you’ll understand why this post is just a short one, as I’m snatching a few minutes on the last day of the visit to link up with Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour.

I’ll be back soon though!


Needlefelt Sheep for Handmade Monday

I don’t know what the weather is doing in your part of the world, but despite the bright sun, fluffy clouds and blue sky, the wind feels as if it’s just blown off a snow field in this corner of Norfolk!  It doesn’t help that we know we live in the windiest spot in the village, as you can see by our proximity to the village mill, now sadly defunct. That’s us, at the end of the arrow…

So even though I’m still finding plenty of newly emerging flowers…

The view is still decidedly wintery…

…and it would actually be really good to get some rain, and I don’t say that very often!

I’m going to share some other people’s handmade lovelies with you now, before making a very exciting announcement!  So first of all, have you come across a book called Best in Show – Knit Your Own Cat?

knit your own cat

One of the ladies at our Knit and Stitch group was given this for Christmas, and has been knitting her own cats ever since!

Aren’t they amazing?  Imagine knitting a tail, with 4 stitches, on 4 needles!

And, since I am running out of time in my life to make anything for me, I went off to Folksy to find myself a peg bag and found just what I wanted from Plum Pudding, and couldn’t resist these little heart fridge magnets as well…

There are so many pretty things in the shop, and the fabrics are right up my street.

And now for my big announcement…

This is my 300th Blog Post!

Added to which, I have just galloped past 100,000 visits on the Planet Penny stats, so as a thank you to all you lovely people who have loyally followed, and commented and generally joined in,  I’m going to have a prize draw.

This time, I’m offering a very special prize.  Do you remember my needlefelt sheep?

There haven’t been any sheep in the Folksy shop for a while, something I mean to address very soon, and they usually sell for £30.00. But, I have one very special sheep looking for a good home, and because this is an occasion worth celebrating, I am offering her as the prize.  Meet Goldie…

Goldie could be yours, all you have to do is to leave a comment on this post for a place in the draw.  If you ‘like’ me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter  you’ll go into the hat again!  It’s that simple… I’ll keep it open for a couple of weeks to give you all a chance to join in.

And can I make a plea for some healing vibes to be sent my way on Tuesday?  I dashing off after teaching the needlefelt course at The OutHouse Studio on Tuesday morning to have a tooth out in the afternoon, at two thirty would you believe…(tooth hurty!?…sorry..) So I may be a bit feeble for the rest of the week.

Anyway, off to 1st Unique Gifts now to link up for Handmade Monday again, do go and see what everyone  else has been up to.

See you soon x



Needlefelt Birds for Handmade Monday

Happy Easter to all!  Are you full of chocolate yet?  We’re having a quiet time here as the family are away and so needlefelt birds have been in the forefront of my mind and the felting needle has been smoking…(which is what mustn’t happen to the lamb shanks I shall be putting in the oven shortly for a long slow cook for our dinner à deux tonight !)

We celebrated the start of the hosepipe ban last week with a really rainy day here…

Norfolk garden viewed through a rain spattered window

Some people found it most depressing…

A small dog being very grumpy about the rain

Of course, Murphy’s Law applied too, as after days and days of dry weather, this was the day the soil was delivered to fill my beautiful new raised beds from Home Grown Revolution

These are now looking absolutely splendid…

raised beds from Home Grown Revolution

…all ready for warmer weather and the time to get them planted.  I’m feeling very guilty about the garden as despite my best intentions things are slipping rather, but short of that elusive extra day in the week I would love to find, it can’t be helped.

As well as the smoking felting needle, the keyboard’s been pretty hot too, as I’ve been writing.  I haven’t mention it before (because I sort of didn’t believe it until I saw in black and white) but I am now a Features Writer for UK Handmade, and you’ll find my first offerings here and here if you are curious.  And if you haven’t found UK Handmade’s website before, there are lots and lots of really interesting articles by some amazingly creative people to keep you amused over the holiday weekend!

I was also asked to write a guest blog post by Sue, of SusanD1408Crochet Addict which you can find here if you’d like to know  how Planet Penny came into being.

Meanwhile, back at the felting needles…. You’ll remember last week I had got as far as this…

colourful needlefelt Merino wool balls

….but nobody guessed where I was going with it.

I started with the pale yellow on in the middle…

the woolly feet of a needlefelt chick

(those little feet are very important) …and turned into a special Easter chick…

a needlefelt bird on the letter P

However the real aim is a piece to exhibit at the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios Taster Exhibition at the Forum in Norwich next month.  This has existed in my head for so long it was rather a shock to realise that I hadn’t actually made it yet, so I’ve been working on it all week.  This involved my Easter Chick having a few more friends, a whole flock of needlefelt birds…

pink, blue and yellow needlefelt birds on a branch

A wool branch of needlefelt birds

a lambswool branch of needlefelt birds

I’m now at the final stages, with leaves crocheted in Bluefaced Leicester wool….

…and with any luck I should finish it this evening in front of the fire.  The branch is made from the lambswool yarn I bought from High Fibre, and used with the needlefelt robins at Christmas and I’m really pleased with the way it works in with the whole concept.  One day, when I have time (!) I will knit myself the raspberry colour mug hug from the yarn I bought from Fiona at the Pick’n’Mix Market last year.

Needlefelting is getting a fresh burst of publicity this week with this month’s issue of Mollie Makes.  Aren’t these cute?

So I hope there will be lots of enthusiasm for the Needlefelting Course I’m teaching on 17th April at The OutHouse Studio in Aylsham, North Norfolk.  I think there’s a place or two left, so if you are near enough, it would be lovely to see you!

I’ll leave you with a link to Wendy, over on 1st Unique Crafts who hosts Handmade Monday, and there you will find plenty more interesting things have been going on over the past week!

See you soon x

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