Category Archives: patterns

Crochet Scarflet – Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky

A little while ago I was asked if I would like a sample of a new yarn to try  (I’m sure you can guess my answer!) and the postman duly delivered a gorgeous ball of soft sea green loveliness, Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky, a mix of 75% wool and 25% true hemp.

Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky - SeaIt’s sometimes a problem to find just the right pattern to show off a sample, isn’t it?  I really didn’t want to just knit a swatch to look at, I wanted a ‘thing’, and a lovely one at that. Fortunately, in the wee small hours one night, Madame Serendipity came to call and I came up with a pattern which I think ticks all the boxes.

It’s simple, it’s cosy and makes use of every scrap of the 100gms of the Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky.  I couldn’t ask for more.  So without further ado, just a quick Ta – DAAA… may I present my Chunky Scarflet with Pompom…Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky Scarflet …or button…Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky scarflet with buttonor even a pin…Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky scarflet with pinIt’s a really quick and simple weekend project suitable for all skill levels and a perfect little snuggler to pop in your handbag in case of unexpected Autumn chills.  The yarn is lovely to work with and makes up very quickly.  I used a 7mm hook, didn’t have any problems with splitting and the yarn is soft and light.

I am working on writing basic instructions in much the same way that I did for last year’s crochet sweater so if you are interested do let me know in the comments.   The Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky yarn itself is available for pre-order from the online knitting and crochet shop Laughing Hens and there are eight fabulous colours (so maybe I need to make one to match everything I wear!)

It’s been a busy summer and I’ve missed being here but I have that September ‘New Term’ feeling coming up (does it ever go away?) and lots of things to share.

I’ll be back soon…x

Crochet Eggs for Easter

I’ve been putting all my crochet eggs in one basket this week!

crochet eggs in a basketI’ve had the whole rainbow of Planet Penny yarns in play and twiddled around until I perfected a pattern for these colourful eggs.  (I can just about do them with my eyes closed now!)   I’ve written a pattern,  which is here…Crochet eggs close up… and played around to my heart’s content arranging the eggs in jolly ways as Easter decorations.  Would you like to see?

 

crochet eggs on ringcrochet eggs on treetree full of crochet eggsThese are the smallest flowers I’ve made and they work really well with a french knot or a bead in the centre when you stitch them on.  I think they will now turn up all over the place!

Don’t forget, you can buy the whole rainbow of colours to make these crochet eggs at the Planet Penny Etsy shop, and there are other patterns there too.  (Made with this yarn the eggs are about 5cm/2″ long. If you use your own choice of yarn make sure you use the appropriately sized hook, the size will vary accordingly.)

See you soon…x

Writing and Testing a Crochet Pattern

One of the aspects of writing a crochet pattern is the constant niggle in the background of accuracy.

I don’t know about you, but I rely heavily on my spell checker when I’m using a keyboard, my spelling is much worse when I’m typing (and it can be a bit erratic when I’m using a pen, I must confess!)  However, that’s no help at all for typing crochet abbreviations so it’s quite a slow process.  And that’s after dreaming up the idea to begin with and then making it a second time so the pattern can be recorded.

By the time you get to the point where you make the item again from what you have written down it’s hard to judge whether you have explained yourself properly. By then you know the pattern inside out!

My latest make is a granny square cushion cover using the Planet Penny Cotton Colours with Snowdrop yarn which I backed with one of the PP fat quarters – jolly red and white spottiness.

Granny Square cushion - Planet Penny Cotton Colours

Granny square cushion - crochet pattern

cushion back for crochet pattern

I’m very happy with it, but now there is the question of the crochet pattern, and the making up instructions, and making sure it all makes sense.

What I need are some testers, and I’m trying to work out the best way to make it work.

So…

…if you are a Planet Penny customer with a Rainbow pack of yarn who would like to make a cushion, I’ll provide the pattern, the fat quarter and a ball of Snowdrop yarn in return for trying out the pattern, giving constructive criticism, and sending photos of the finished article.  How does that sound?

If you could help test the Granny Square Cushion crochet pattern I’d love to hear from you. You would need to have some crochet experience, be used to working from a pattern, have basic sewing machine skills, and be able to produce a clear photo of the finished article.

You can leave a comment, or get in touch via the contacts form with some details which will help me choose.  I need 2 or 3 people to get a good cross section.

I’m really looking forward to hearing from you and hearing about your crochet pattern skills!

 

Everyone Needs a Crochet Skirt Guard!

Actually, I’ve only just realised that I personally need a crochet skirt guard even though I don’t know whether one would survive many journeys down our muddy lanes!

I spotted one in Mollie Makes a few weeks back in pale, subtle colours.  Did you see it?  Definitely not mud friendly!

Crochet Skirt guard

Crochet Skirt Guard – Mollie Makes – issue 41

But it was a conversation I had with one of my Planet Penny customers which set me thinking…

(When you live on your own little Planet in cyberspace it’s such a treat to actually meet up with one of you lovely people out there!)

Debbie bought a pack of Planet Penny yarn when she visited for Open Studios and mentioned making a skirt guard as she left. I pleaded with her to send pictures of the finished piece.I love to see what people do with the yarn after it leaves me as I never seem to have time to be as adventurous as I would like with my own yarn.

My day was made yesterday when an email popped into my inbox with the most gorgeous picture, worthy of Country Living magazine!  How fabulous is this…?

Crochet Skirt Guard made with Planet Penny Cotton Colours

The unusual colour combination is stunning and it looks a real labour of love.  Debbie used a pattern from JustDo who sells her patterns on Etsy…

Crochet Skirt Guard from Just Do

Crochet Skirt Guard Pattern from JustDo on Etsy

…and had to be a bit ingenious to make it fit her own bike but it worked beautifully.  Thanks Debbie, for allowing me to share, just too good to hide away!

I’ll be back soon…x

 

It’s a Jungle Out There

This isn’t the post I planned to write, but I think it needs to be written, both for the people like me with small businesses trying to make things work, and for our potential customers.

Just as I was going to bed last night I had a message from a fellow Etsy member, for which I am so grateful.  It was to alert me to the fact that one of my patterns was for sale via a European site similar to Etsy.  The person who got in touch had found one of her own items for sale in the shop, and spotted my Mini Mice pattern.

The shop had about 14 patterns for sale, and presumably they had all been similarly ‘shoplifted’ from Etsy, Folksy or similar, assembled together for the benefit of this unscrupulous person.  I hate to think that person is a customer of mine, but he/she would have to have access to the original pattern, perhaps borrowed from a friend?  Who knows…

But not only did they help themselves to my pattern, they also copied all my photos from the Etsy listing, and copied and pasted the description too.  Completely shameless!

It’s theft…

It was quite peculiar finding a picture with my eggcup on my tablecloth on a completely strange site!

mini mouse Planet Penny - Etsy

I have emailed the shopping site with this information and await their response.  I’ve also sent a message to the…..the…words fail me!.. PERSON who perpetrated the crime.  I don’t expect a reply to that however!

This is so unfair.  I don’t mean to me personally, but to everyone who has beavered away creating something unique, who is trying to make a small business pay it’s way, trying to realise the dream of making a living from their own endeavours.  It’s only been possible since the advent of the internet and it’s been an amazing opportunity for so many people.  Unfortunately it’s also created many opportunities for underhand, dishonest people to coast along on the backs of a lot of hard working makers and crafters.

I’m not sure what can be done to protect our work.  Etsy shows a warning every time an item is listed…

By adding files to this listing, you guarantee that you have rights to the content. Etsy may remove content per our Copyright and IP Policy, at which point buyers may not be able to access purchased files. See our Terms for more information.

….so I presume this is similarly stated by other sites, and if they are informed that someone is contravening this one hopes they take action.

And we can look out for each other as my fellow Etsy member did.  We can pass on any information or suspicions which we spot and try and nip these things in the bud.  Whether you are a maker or a buyer, this affects us all.

It has concentrated my mind on the thing I’ve been chuntering about for ages and not doing, adding watermarks to my photos.  I use Photoshop, and although I had made a watermark layer, it was a bit fiddly and I’ve been lazy about it.  Today however I found a handy little You Tube video which made things very much easier.  By turning  the watermark into a preset brush it’s the work of a moment to add it to any photo.  If Photoshop is your thing you can find the video here.

It’s a pity as it doesn’t enhance the image but as I’ve also had pictures turning up without any link on Pinterest I think they are a necessary evil!

Planet Penny Mini Mice - EtsyAs things stand at the moment, the offending shop has been suspended and I don’t want to go down the road of naming and shaming but I think it’s something we should all be aware of, don’t you?

I’ll be back soon with a happier post.  I’ve been beavering away with my Green Man and he’s progressing nicely, I can’t wait to show you!

See you soon…x

 

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