Tag Archives: binding

Christmas Crochet for Handmade Monday

I sincerely apologise to those of you who find it hard to think about Christmas in September, but I’m afraid those of us who hand craft seasonal bits and pieces have to start early or we run out of time! I could really do with an extra pair of hands, as I haven’t yet worked out a way of crocheting whilst needlefelting! I’m back with the crochet hook at the moment because I have just had a new delivery of Planet Penny Cotton Club yarn, and this time I have just a few packs with Christmas crochet in mind, lovely Snowdrop.

Planet Penny Cotton Club yarn in Snowdrop

It’s perfect for the Crochet Christmas Bunting in the tutorial here, which is featured in a magazine published in a few days time,  Simply Crochet.

I’ve been experimenting with my own ball of ‘Snowdrop’ to come up with a couple more patterns to use this lovely yarn.  Would you like to see?  There are crochet snow flakes…

…and crochet Hearts…

crochet heart Christmas decorations

and Snowflakes and Hearts…

Crochet Christmas Garland hearts and snowflakes

Christmas Crochet Packs of yarn, crochet hook, buttons and patterns will be available in the next few days in the Etsy shop…

Re-assuming my needlefelting hat, I discovered a fragment of old lace in a box the other day (you see how I’ve benefited from all that boring tidying up I’ve been doing?) and combined it with a new twig heart.  I had been a little wary of it, because the wire shaping was so noticeable, (I presume it was made with florists in mind) but I’d raided my Mother-of-Pearl button box and it made all the difference…

needlefelt robin in a twig heart

And there was still that last dyed top to transform…Remember this?

A rather uninspiring blue/grey…  But then I remembered some beautiful binding I bought in France over two years ago…

(… it was lovely to revisit the occasion on Planet Penny via this post – blogging is a wonderful thing!)   and with some matching buttons came up with something which I am very happy to have in my wardrobe…

(The camera is lying about the blueness of the dye, BTW!)

There will be a short ‘break in transmission’ over the next week or so as I’m going to be away.  Excitingly, I’ve been invited to a book launch in London on Wednesday for Buttonbag’s new craft book, closely followed by a trip to the South Coast to visit the family so there will be lots to tell you about when I’m here again (note to self: charge the camera battery!) 

I’ll leave you now with the usual link to Handmade Monday over on Wendy’s Handmade Harbour.   Have a lovely week and I’ll be back before long…

Reasons to be Cheerful 11

Hello! It’s very cheerful here on Planet Penny…a blue, blue sky and bright sunshine –  a perfect winters day.  And when Higgins and I went round the garden this morning we found these little lovelies optimistically anticipating  Spring…

Helleborus - Reasons to be Cheerful 11

Primrose -  Reasons to be Cheerful 11

They are probably being a little too optimistic seeing as we’re not even in the middle of January yet, but I shall enjoy them while I can!

And I have my usual post Christmas bunch of daffodils which I have to welcome the New Year.  There’s something so fresh and hopeful about the delicate lemon/yellow and green after the bright colours and rich decorations of Christmas.  They’re not quite open yet…

Daffodil bud -  Reasons to be Cheerful 11

…so I’ve got it all to look forward to!

Daffodils on the Dresser -  Reasons to be Cheerful 11

Can you see those spools on the the top of the dresser?  I bought them at the Knitting and Stitching show last year and forgot to show them to you.  They were empty when I bought them, but it was an ideal way of showing of some ribbons, tapes and bindings I’ve had in my stash waiting for the right moment to star…

The top two and the far right one are some I found in France and wrote about in this post, the blue and white stripe bias binding is made from a favourite shirt of Tim’s and the seashell ribbon was tied round a birthday present.  This way I can enjoy them even though I haven’t actually made anything with them yet! (I can’t remember the name of the company I bought them from at the Show, but I’ve found them for sale via Not on the High Street from Jane Means)

And the other thing which has made me happy is a little rabbit.  I don’t really knit animals much as I love to needlefelt them, but yesterday I discovered a bag of sample wool…

and this Debbie Bliss book which I’ve had for years…

click image for info

As I discovered it while I was looking for my mislaid sock pattern (which I needed as I’d got to the point of turning the heel) I abandoned the search, grabbed the most bunny coloured wool and some needles and created my own version of  a Debbie Bliss rabbit. (I know, what a butterfly brain!)

I’ve used vintage mother-of pearl buttons to attach the limbs and shirt buttons for the eyes so he wouldn’t be suitable for a little one, but I think he’ll be staying with me for the moment!

So that’s what making me cheerful this week, how about you?  Do share your thoughts by adding your blog  to the Linky below, or if you don’t have a blog, leaving a comment.  I really appreciate all your comments on every post and always read them.  If you are linking your blog, don’t forget to link back to Planet Penny so we can really spread a little cheerfulness!

And now I’d better get back to looking for that sock pattern….

See you soon! x

Rain in Rouen

 It may be quite a way south of Norfolk, but Normandy seems to enjoy much the same weather as we do in Norfolk, so while the garden at home was getting nicely soaked after a long dry spell we were enjoying torential downpours and thunderstorms too.  In fact, after a frantic trip outside to deal with a blocked downpipe which threatened to divert the entire deluge in through the conservatory roof rather than into the drain, Tom and Tim looked like extras from a Hornblower movie. 

So, on our last day, it was entirely apt to head off to the coast to look for seasick sailors. I was determined to do this having read Thomas’ blog post here, and wasn’t going to let a bit of rain put us off.

Normandy is beautiful, and full of contrasts.  High plateaus of fields and agriculture, and beautiful green valleys, leafy lanes and timbered houses.  Hard to appreciate though through the steamed up windows of the car. 

Our destination was a cliff top church at Varengeville sur Mer,  the burial place of, among others of the artistic and literary elite, George Braque a contemporary of Picasso. 

I was looking forward to seeing the inside of the church, which Thomas had described as being lit by the sun through the beautiful stained glass windows, but when I stood in the doorway on this dark and dismal day I might as well have been standing at the mouth of a cave.  Below me all I could see  was the Madonna lit by candles.

This was another time to be grateful for my camera, as I could actually see more on the display than in reality.

Here was the pillar I’d heard so much about…

That poor sea sick sailor…

and the woman of his dreams, the mermaid.

Outside in the church yard I was fascinated by the enormous tombs, so different from our grassy English churchyards, and the amazing china flowers decorating some of them.

Moss had added a new dimension to this one…

Monet had seen the church rather differently…

So it would be nice to go back one day in the sunshine.

I missed out on the garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll  at Bois de Moutier, because of the rain.  I could have happily wandered round with the trees dripping down my neck, but my companions had only just got over their soaking from the night before and obviously thought I was mad. 

Back in the car, the windows even more steamed up because of our wet coats we retraced our steps back to the village where my daughter-in-law has promised me a shop  I would like.

How well she knows me! The photographs I took inside are rubbish, I’m embarrassed to show them.  I was far too excited about everything I could see, and I can never get over the feeling that someone is going to think I’m some sort of spy and get cross.  (I know lots of other bloggers take pictures in shops.  How do you get round this?  What do you say ?Please let me know)

It’s a cliche to say it was like an Aladdin’s Cave.  There were beads, barrels of beads and shells and little tin dishes to collect them in.  Bundles of brightly colour ribbons hung from the ceiling and draped across the shelves.  A huge rack of turned wooden bobbins were wound with Liberty print bindings.  Baskets of trimmings and printed tapes. Necklaces and bracelets made from metal charms and glass beads. Bolts of linen, natural and dyed, striped and checks.  Bales of flowery Liberty prints, baskets of fat quarters for patchwork, embroidery silks and cottons.  And for those who wanted to by things readymade two rooms filled with table linens and teatowels, crafts and soaps and…and…

I usually leave these shops empty handed, overwhelmed by the choice and completely unable to make up my mind.  With a supreme effort, and with the image of husband and son losing the will to life out of the corner of my eye, I chose a few little pieces.

This ribbon, blue like the flower of the linen…

Tape, perfect for Planet Penny…

Pretty, pretty flowery binding…

and a fat quarter of ballerinas.

Alas, no website, but if you happen to be 9 kilometres from Dieppe in Varengeville call in, I promise you, you’ll love it.