Tag Archives: colours

Moving on, new ideas…

There’s nothing like climbing out of a rut with a flash of inspiration and some new ideas.

And I’ve had to work hard to get into the right frame of mind, but I’m getting there! A lot of the problem has been the ‘swimming through treacle’ effect of mountains of STUFF.  I’m really bad at parting with things, and my little cottage is filling up rapidly with all the things I can’t bear to part with from my mum’s home, not just yet anyway.  (I’m also filling my studio, my shed, the veranda…)

So you can see that with all that going on, there hasn’t been much room to be creative and have any new ideas at all.

However, here’s the first one, a Planet Penny Newsletter.  I wanted to be able to add a little something extra to what goes on in my woolly world so I investigated MailChimp and found it was actually jolly good fun finding out just what I can do.  If you would like to find out more the sign up is on the sidebar, it’s a work in progress!

Planet Penny Products photo practice digital SLR camera

I’ve had some new ideas about the Planet Penny Cotton Colours yarn too.  So many people have commented on how lovely it is to work with but I know those gorgeous rainbow brights aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I can do subtle as well, you know!

So this is the first proposed set, delicate pastels which work beautifully together and also with the white ‘Snowdrop’ yarn.  I can really see these as a baby blanket or something cuddly for the cot.

New ideas Planet Penny CottonAnd the other collection is this…new ideas - Planet Penny yarnI think it’s just scrumptious,and I can’t wait to try out some new ideas with these soft colours!

It’s all in the planning at the moment so I’d love to know what you think.  And maybe I will be able to do some limited editions via the newsletter.

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

Crochet Heart Bunting free PDF pattern

Crochet Heart Bunting for Little Hearts Matter

Today I am sharing a new Planet Penny pattern for Crochet Heart Bunting to help raise awareness of the Little Hearts Matter Charity.

This is a great charity which raises funds and awareness for children born with only half a heart, something I admit I knew nothing about before. During the month of October there is a lot going on with the theme ‘Handmade Hearts’ and you can find out all about it on the Little Hearts Matter website.

I’ve made my bunting using the Planet Penny Colours range which is perfect for this pattern, but it’s also a great stash buster. If you’ve made a pretty baby blanket as a pressie, coordinated bunting for the nursery would be a lovely little added extra.

Planet Penny Crochet Heart Bunting

The pattern is available here as a FREE downloadable PDF ,however if you use and like the pattern it would be great if you could visit the Little Hearts Matter website and make a donation to help these amazing and brave youngsters.

Crochet Heat Bunting made from Planet Penny Cotton Colours

I hope you have a lovely weekend, and if you decide to make the Crochet Heart Bunting I’d love to hear about it!

See you soon…x

P.S. If you like hearts, you might also like the small heart pattern I created for the #PeytonHeartProject which you can find here.


Missing Mojo – Found!

You might remember me bemoaning the loss of my Mojo in this post, the debilitating feeling when inspiration disappears out of the window.

Well, I’m happy to relate that it’s back and I’m beavering away being creative and even the wind and rain whipping past the window and howling down the chimney hasn’t dampened my spirits today!

I realise that I’ve become bogged down, especially with Social Media.  When I started writing this blog I had no idea about SEO, I didn’t have a Facebook Page, a Twitter account, a featured board on Pinterest, an Instagram account, Flickr.  I wasn’t helping other people with their Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, websites….

Add that to the Etsy shop, packing yarn, writing patterns, answering queries as well as family commitments and actually having a life… the part of me which I discovered and which grew when I was at Art School only a few years ago was in danger of withering away altogether.

Being part of Open Studios over the past few years has kept me hanging on by my fingernails though, and I’ve loved making the exhibition pieces…


Wool Gathering 2012

'How to Knit a Sheep' NNOS 2013

How to Knit a Sheep 2013

That time of year is coming round again (so quickly!) and I’ve been rummaging around in my mind for the perfect inspiration.  For ages after making the sheep’s head, I toyed with the idea of a stag’s head complete with antlers.  The perfect place to hang crochet garlands and pompoms!  But then I realised that every time I opened a catalogue or magazine, or watched a design programme on television there seemed to be some sort of variation of a stag’s head, a rhino, a zebra or similar and I knew the moment had passed.

There are also restrictions for the exhibition too.  I work in three dimensions but making something which needs a plinth, and finding the plinth too is an added complication, so the hanging format I’ve used so far works best.

Inspiration struck a couple of weeks ago because of our local pantomime.  The Am-Dram group in the village is full of creative people and we’re lucky to have someone to devise something beyond the usual Sleeping Beauty/Aladdin/Puss in Boots offerings.  This year it was The Green Man.

Green Man Panto

Aha! the Green Man! And with some research I find this quote

His name means the Green One or Verdant One, he is the voice of inspiration to the aspirant and committed artist.

He can come as a white light or the gleam on a blade of grass, but more often as an inner mood.

The sign of his presence is the ability to work or experience with tireless enthusiasm beyond one’s normal capacities. In this there may be a link across cultures,… one reason for the enthusiasm of the medieval sculptors for the Green Man may be that he was the source of inspiration.”


I’ve sorted through my stash of fleece and yarns, filled a bag with natural colours and ordered some more from Wingham Wool Work.  I also bought a sample pack of dyes and that’s what I’ve been doing most of today, dying natural fleece and yarn, and over-dyeing some bright shades to bring them into the right colour spectrum.

Landscape Dyes Wingham Wool Works

I’ve had such FUN! I’ve looked back in the archives and it was January 2011 when I last dyed yarn and I loved the results then.  This is a very different palette, but I’m so enjoying throwing caution to the winds, and mixing up different dyes, and different strengths and dribbling them over the wool to get soft natural effects.

Landscape Dyes

My Green Man has been inspired by the cherry trees in the garden with their grey trunks.  His face is bark coloured using natural Cheviot fleece, rougher and hairier than my usual Merino, and lovely to needlefelt.  This is the story so far…

The Green Man - work in progressJust waiting for the greenery to grow!

The greenery is too damp to use tonight so I will put my crochet ‘Hat’ on as I want to finally finish the bunting pattern which I’ve been editing.  It’s looking very pretty…Crochet Beaded Bunting - Planet Penny Yarn

 I’m off to clean up the dye splatters in the utility room, but I’ll be back soon!



Come to the Christmas Fair!

There’s a lot scurrying around going on in this part of the world this week, and it’s not just the mice!  We have our very first Christmas Fair this coming weekend, which is exciting and scary in equal measures.

Two Rivers Trail Christmas FairSo who is this ‘we’ I hear you ask…

Well, if you’ve been visiting Planet Penny for a while you will know that for the last few years I, along with my print maker pal, Kit, have taken part of Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios.  It turned out to be a wonderful way of meeting up with kindred spirits living very close by, so this year we got together as the Two Rivers Trail to create an Art Trail for Open Studios in May of this year.

It all worked so well we decided a year was too long to wait to get together again and so the idea of a Christmas Fair and Exhibition was born.  It’s been a great excuse for meeting up over coffee and/or wine for planning meetings!

For various reasons this year the Planet Penny Etsy shop has been my only selling point so it’s going to be fun to step out of cyberspace and into reality and meet real people.  I hope that any Planet Penny readers who live in the area will come to say hello.  My fellow ‘Trailers’ are varied and very talented, so we’ve got a great mix of things to see, and to buy.  If you call over to the Two Rivers Trail website you can find out more about us all.

It’s hard to decide what to sell alongside the pieces I will be exhibiting, as needlefelting is such a time consuming craft and it’s hard to fit it in alongside the pattern writing, crochet, yarn processing, blog writing, knitting and everything else.  This is why it makes more sense to teach it so that others have the fun of making their own creations.  Nevertheless, I decided to make a collection of ‘One Off’ creations, totally exclusive, no two the same.  Collectors items for the Christmas tree!

I started with a basket of hearts, needlefelted with  fleece from my massive bag of colours, another rainbow collection…

needlefelt hearts for Christmas Fair

I was quite tempted just to leave them just as they are, and heap them up on my dresser but no, that is not the plan.

I sat in the corner of my studio with the hearts and gradually disappeared beneath a heap of ribbons and trimmings, buttons, beads and threads while I had a happy few hours making tree decorations…

tree decorations for Christmas Fair

And they do look really pretty on the Christmas tree…

needlefelt baubles for Christmas Fair

Now I’ve just got to persuade myself to part with them!

I’ll be back soon with more pretty things, but for now I’d better get back to the preparations.  I have a red tablecloth to hem!

If you are in the area, put the date in the diary and come and see us, we’d love to meet you, and there will be CAKE!

See you soon…x


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

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