Tag Archives: Planet Penny Cotton Club

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 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

Thank you…

I’ve got to start this with a great BIG THANK YOU!  I’ve been overwhelmed by the the lovely messages, kind thoughts and helpful suggestions after my last post.  I’m working my way through a list of things to investigate!  I’m feeling much better now I’ve come to the end of the course of antibiotics.  I struggle to keep my brain functioning rationally at the best of times, and adding fogginess and gloomy spirits to the mix was not not helpful.  However, I’m much brighter now, I’ve just got to keep a tight rein of myself and not go galloping off after the next exciting thing, wear myself out and go SPLAT again.

It’s heart warming to know there is a big supportive network of kind people who really want to help one another, even though we are very often half a world apart.  There are plenty of negative things to say about the internet but this can only be a big plus.

We’ve been really lucky here in Norfolk to have had some beautiful weather over the past week or so.  It’s very uplifting for the spirits and I’ve tried as much as possible to get outside.  Higgins has helped of course although he gets a bit impatient with the pace, and my inclination to stop with the camera or pick blackberries.

higgins on the footpth

walking Higgins

acrossfield

Autumn is a lovely time of year, but it’s overlaid with sadness that everything is coming to an end, which is why I prefer the optimism of Spring.  But the autumn light is fantastic, misty in the mornings but golden later in the day and the night sky is spectacular.  And I never tire of photographing the richness of the hedgerows, and the warm glowing colours of the berries…

hedgerow berries

yellowflowers

red berries

blackberries

seedheadsIt’s been pretty noisy in the early mornings here.  Not traffic, although there’s been quite a bit of farm machinery on the move, but Greylag  Geese.  It’s lovely to see (and hear) them fly overhead, but I’ve never managed to get a reasonable photo with my little camera. The past few days however, they’ve been congregating in the neighbouring field…

morning fieldAnd despite the limitations of a compact camera the zoom didn’t let me down…

IMG_2128

greylag geese grazing

Worth hanging out of the bedroom window for!

Planet Penny hasn’t been completely neglected through all this though, I’ve had the crochet hook on the go on and off, and a two very large boxes arrived the other day full of yarn so I’m very well stocked.  It’s just as well the nice young man with a van is happy to carry them into the studio because I would never lift them myself.  They will sit there now until I’ve found places to stow all the yarn packs and I will treat them like a roundabout!

Planet PEnny Yarn

I’ve added half size packs to the Planet Penny shop, seven balls of either the Sunshine or Shadows shades suitable for smaller projects…

Planet PEnny Sunshine and Shadows yarn

And, and I have a question to ask…Would you like White?   Last year I tried a small quantity of white yarn, Snowdrop, which I sold as a Christmas pack with patterns, do you remember?

Christmas CrochetI tried to buy more because white is such a good background for the rainbow colours…

crochet circles crochet balls…but the dye batch was wrong and I wasn’t happy with it.

Now a new batch is available but if it’s the right bright white I will have to buy a whole case of it.  Before I completely fill my little cottage with yarn and move into the garden shed I thought I’d better see whether there’s a potential market for it!  So do let me know so I can do some forward planning.

And that, for  now, is it.  I’m off to put my feet up and peruse the weekend papers with a cup of tea, while Higgins and Henry fight over my lap (Henry always wins too, poor Higgins!)

I’m linking up this week with Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday, do call over to see all the crafty makes there and I’ll be back soon I’ll be back soon…x

 

 

Just the One…

Harvest TimeCan it really be August already?  The time flies by so quickly…

As I sit typing the harvester is rumbling up and down in the field next door, no doubt covering my washing with straw dust.  The joys of country living!  Never mind, the sun is shining and it’s warm, life could be much worse.

And I think I’ve seen more butterflies than ever before this summer.  They were late starting after the long cold winter but over the past few weeks the lavender and buddleia bushes have been smothered in butterflies and humming with bees.  I’ve spent so much time dancing around with the camera not getting them in focus…!

cabbage white in the lavender

bees in the lavender

peacock butterflies on buddleia

This year for the first time I saw a Swallowtail butterfly in the garden.  I was so excited, but between that excitement, the butterfly’s erratic progress round flowers and the breezy conditions every photo was a disappointing blur!

One of the things I really appreciate about writing this blog is the way it has given me a focus.  A focus on capturing the seasons, recording visits to beautiful places, exciting discoveries and new crafts, it’s been a lifeline on occasions.  And the added and unexpected bonus has been to link up with so many like minded people all over the world.  The internet is an amazing thing, opening up opportunities for virtual socializing and making it possible for so many people, especially women with families to run their own small businesses in a way which would have been impossible only a few years ago.

When I went on my detective journey eighteen months to find the yarn I had spotted on line, tracked it down, found there were no UK stockists and took a big gamble buying a wholesale amount I really had no idea what I had started.  For all I knew I might have ended up making rainbow colour blankets and cushions for the rest of my life to use up the huge packing case of yarn which was delivered!

But everyone who has bought it has loved it, just as much as I do.  It’s been bought by people all over the globe over the past year and I haven’t had one scrap of negative feedback.  Everyone has commented on the lovely quality, the wonderful colours and value for money.  And despite being surrounded by those colours everyday, I still love using it.

But, and here’s the rub.  I have become a victim of it’s success.  I have ideas for new things, more patterns, more fun…

And there’s only me…

Just the one…

I started the Mouse Kits and the Crafty Cotton because I was aware that the Royal Mail shipping costs made it difficult for some people overseas to afford the yarn.  But they require time.  Time to wind (and weigh) the yarn, to label, to pack.

yarn winder

And gradually over the past months it’s taken up more and more time and instead of being creative and innovative, I’ve just turned into a yarn processor…

wound Planet Penny Cotton

And meanwhile everything is suffering.  The garden is suffering from the erratic watering, my dear husband is suffering ‘cos I’m forgetting how to cook, the blog is suffering… The only ones not suffering are Higgins and Henry!

So for the moment with apologies, I’m calling a halt on the kits and the Crafty Packs so I can get back to exercising my creative muscles for new things for Planet Penny.

Planet Penny Cotton Packs will still be available.  The overseas shipping costs are lower now for the US and Australia than when I first started, and a pack of yarn will be enough to make up all the Planet Penny patterns which are currently available on Etsy with plenty left over for the new patterns I hope to have time to write now I’m not Winder-in-Chief!

And finally I will share the biggest and most important reason of all.  A couple of days back I was shown a small, grainy black and white photograph of the latest precious addition to the family… a new grandchild arriving early next year!  I just can’t wait to knit some teeny tiny socks!

So I do hope you understand, and stick around to find out what happens next…

I’ll see you soon….x

 

 

A Pain in the Neck!

If it’s been a bit quiet on Planet Penny the last few days it’s because its all been a bit of a pain in the neck…quite literally!  I don’t know how it’s possible to lock one’s neck up completely just turning on the pillow to look at the alarm clock  but that’s what I did, very effectively.   So my midweek post got delayed, and now I’m back in the chair with strict instructions from Lara, my amazing chiropractor, to set an alarm and step away from the computer every 20 minutes….

Which is quite tricky…

Feather and Needlefelt birds

I was mobile enough to take the second Needlefelt Workshop yesterday at Arts Desire and like the first one it was great fun.

Needlefelt Workshop, Arts DesireIt’s always fun to see the different interpretations of the same basic skill when we all get together, last week we had these little chaps (spot the bumble bee!)…

needlefelt bird workshop

…and yesterday these little feathered friends were born…

needlefelt birds29June

The Craft Lounge at Arts Desire is proving a great venue for these workshops and I’m looking forward to the 27th July and the Planet Penny Bakery when we will be needlefelting lots of low calorie high fibre treats!  If you are interested in joining us you can find out more right here

Meanwhile, I have been responding to many requests for a Rainbow Mouse knitting pattern for all those who don’t crochet and I’ve come up with this little fellow…

Knitted Rainbow Mouse

and introduced him to his crochet chums…

Knitted and Crochet Rainbow Mice

What do you think?  As soon as I feel happy with the design it will be available  alongside the crochet Mouse pattern via the Etsy shop

Knitted Rainbow Mouse

He seems to be looking very much at home..

And the sun is shining!  The creaky neck has put paid to much gardening, but my lovely son has been over and planted my Sarah Raven Sweet Peas. It’s a super scented collection of white, blue and deep pink …

Sarah Raven Sweet Peas…and I just can’t wait to pick my first bunch and fill the house with their scent.

I don’t think I’ve shown you my Planet Penny Cotton garden project!  It seems a bit mad, but so far has withstood the weather really well…

flowers in tins

Planet Penny Cotton Covered Tins

A possible tutorial?  Let me know what you think…

And now, because the sun is still shining and it’s heading towards being the hottest day of the year so far, I shall take my basket of yarn and the embryo mouse pattern into the garden and enjoy the rest of my Sunday, knitting under the cherry trees.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday too!

See you soon…x