Category Archives: Planet Penny Cotton

A Funny Old Week…

It’s been one of those weeks where I feel like I’ve taken two steps forward and one and a half steps back, do you have those?  The main calamity was the disappearance of Planet Penny into a virtual black hole a couple of days ago.  Many apologies if this affected you in anyway, it was not your computer!  The technical term according to the help desk was the ‘White Screen of Death’ which was very scary, but I was really smug when I worked through the long list of instructions they sent and sorted it out…All On My Own!

It’s quite horrible outside, the wind is howling and the rain is lashing down, so I do hope you are keeping warm and dry.  My heart goes out to everyone suffering in the floods, it must be horrendous…

It seem very odd that if a disaster happens abroad all manner of aid, both financial and physical is supplied, but when people are suffering hardship from extreme weather conditions in our own country it seems such a struggle for them to get any help.  (If you are not in the UK, you might not be aware of the flooding in some areas in the west of the country, but you can find out here.)

Anyway, back home with a cheerful picture of the bike which I found outside our Community Shop this week.  It’s owner was probably only about eight years old, but what style…  I’m quite envious!

Flowery Bicycle

I had great plans to share a new pattern, but what with one thing and another, it’s not quite there.  I found some crochet bunting on Pinterest, but not finding a pattern decided to work it out for myself.  I wanted something a bit plainer than the more usual ‘granny’ bunting, and I’m very pleased with this.  It’s really quick and easy…

crochet bunting - Planet Penny Cotton

Hopefully I’ll finish off the pattern very soon, and there will be more photos when the light is a bit brighter!

I’ve had my ‘window-dresser hat on this week in our Community shop and with Valentine’s Day on the horizon I made this Valentine Tree for the window display…(although I’d actually quite like to keep it on my dresser!

Valentine tree

I’m now going to desert you for a comfy chair by the fire with the baby knitting, where hopefully the sound of the howling wind and lashing rain won’t be quite as loud as it is here in the studio!

I’ve amalgamated two of the patterns from the Debbie Bliss pattern book from my last post, so I’ve got a stripy tank top on the needles…

Debbie Bliss tank topI’ll be back soon…x

Christmas Countdown – Day Thirteen

Day Thirteen of the Christmas Countdown and I came up against a little problem.    As you may be aware, I am reprising the items from last year’s Advent Calendar and then finding more similar ideas for added inspiration.

However, last year I made the crochet fairy lights.  This year, when I Googled crochet fairy lights nearly all the images on the first page were mine, from the Advent Calendar post! And it was the same when I did a search on Pinterest. So I’m afraid there’s not a lot of ‘added extra’ today…

These were the fairy lights I produced last year using the Planet Penny Cotton and if you click on the photo it will take you to the post and the free instructions…

crochet fairy lights - Christmas Countdown day 13

Planet Penny Advent Calendar – Day Thirteen 

I used them on the little Christmas Tree I took to the Christmas Fair the other week.  They look so pretty I’m busy making another set.

Tree - Christmas Countdown day 13

The next image reminds me of the fairy lights we had on the tree when I was small, but even plugging them in won’t make them light up!

crochet decoration - Christmas Countdown Day 13

Isabelle Kessedjian

Now these look very pretty in red but there’s no pattern alas…

crochet lights

Make a Beautiful Place

And this is a neat way of using a single element of the lights garland above to make a tree ornament.

light dec Christmas Countdown day 13

Visualize Us

So it just goes to show, you don’t need to go anywhere else, you get the exclusive stuff right here on Planet Penny!

On another note, thank you for all the lovely comments made about my trip to my daughter’s graduation.  It was a wonderful day, and I was bursting with pride.  As well as the thrill of the graduation ceremony, honorary fellowships were awarded to Kevin Whately, Stephen Poliakoff and Jenny Sealey who all gave speeches and said really positive things to encourage the graduates.

(If you’ve never heard of Jenny Sealey, well, she was just inspirational.  I’ve put two links to her name so you can find out more about her)

But in the meantime I must dash off, I have Christmas cards to write!  I hope Friday 13th is peacefully uneventful for you all, and I will be back tomorrow…x

Crochet Christmas Baubles – Part Two

Crochet Christmas BaublesWhen I wrote the last post about Crochet Christmas Baubles and the perils of pattern writing I really didn’t expect such a huge response when I tentatively asked for pattern testers.  Many,  many thanks for all the offers, it was very much appreciated.  I’ve not done this before, and decided on 4 testers as I hoped that different things would be picked up by different readers but that 4 points of view wouldn’t confuse me too much!

It’s amazing how many typos got through,  you really do read what you meant to say, not what you actually said. I was able to make tweaks to the pattern to correct anomalies, and to clarify instructions, so the testers’ input has been hugely helpful, so many thanks to Gina, Sarah, Alison and Janet.  This is from Janet, it’s interesting to see someone else’s version!

Crochet Christmas Bauble example

I’ve added the American equivalents to the abbreviations which I hope will help, and I’ve put in illustrated steps which I hope will  make things clear.  It looks more complicated than it actually is!

The pattern is now for sale in the Etsy shop here, along with the yarn of course.

more crochet Christmas baubles

I’m now busy getting things together for the Two Rivers Trail Exhibition and Craft Fair which is coming up on 24th November, and coming up very quickly… eek…!

It’s the only thing I’m doing in the real world for a while (as opposed to cyber space) so if you are in the Norfolk area it would be lovely to see you.  My fellow ‘Trailers’ are a talented lot and have very varied skills so there really is something for everyone.

I’ve just time to fit in a Higgy walk before it gets too dark so I’m off just now, but I’ll be back soon…x

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!”

Aaaaaah!

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

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

 

 

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