Category Archives: Tutorials

Cats and Crochet for Handmade Monday

It’s hard to believe that another Monday has come around again, and not only that, we’re at the end of January.  How did that happen?

It’s been a very cold grey day here today, but we’ve had a couple of bright and sunny ones, and I’ve been out pottering, quite literally, in the veg plot as I’ve been rounding up all the plastic pots which were ‘going to come in handy’ and in fact have blown into various nooks and crannies, binning the broken ones and washing the useful ones and stacking them in the new mini greenhouse.  I’ve started a diary of my gardening efforts which you’ll find via a tab under the header so I won’t repeat myself.  Not much happening at the moment but hopefully there will be!

I found a cheerful bunch of tulips in the supermarket yesterday which have brought a ray of sunshine into the gloom today….

a bunch of red, yellow and orange tulips

The big excitement of the week was a long awaited delivery.  My very own rainbow in a box!  I’ve got some wonderful new cotton yarn to play with.  Not available in the UK just yet and I shall have to be a little secretive about it for the time being…

…but I can let you have a peek…

…do you want to see?

It’s so pretty. It’s a thinnish DK weight cotton with a beautiful sheen, and crochets like a dream on a 3.5 hook.  I’m going to be doing lots of experiments with it over the next few weeks so watch this space…

And coincidently, the day before it arrived, I had an email from Jill, who writes the Stocki blog, about the Beautiful Blogger Blanket.  I don’t know if you have come across it in your travels through the Blogosphere but you can find out all about it it here…

Jill was letting me know that my name had come up on the Beautiful Blogger Blanket Wish List, proposed by BebeRouge (Thank you BebeRouge, what an honour!) as somone she would like to see creating a square for the blanket.  So this has been my very first project with this fab new yarn.

I will replace this photo asap when I have better light to do the colours justice!

I’m sorry I won’t be able to share the yarn brand just yet, but the pattern, which I have devised, will be available in the tutorials very soon.

I’ve had a little help with photography from Henry …

…whom I’m a little worried about at the moment.  He’s been much brighter since he had his big operation last summer, and still rules the roost and keeps Higgins in order, but he’s never really regained the weight he lost despite having a big appetite.  He seemed to be showing all the signs of having a thyroid problem but the tests have come back negative, and he’s lost a little more weight.  He’s under observation, and we are keeping our fingers crossed, but he still likes to be involved in everything that’s going on, so that a positive sign. (Oh, and note the socks.  A sign of how busy I’ve been, socks still on the needles, and I’ve hit the supermarket!)

And while we’re on the subject of cats, I’vew been working on samples of needlefelt animals for my next course at The OutHouse Studio and this is the first one..

And finally, I had to show you this.  Higgins in his favourite spot in the sunshine, in a good vantage point to shout abuse at passing tractors, bicycles and joggers.  (Note the chewed remains of a ball, and the stolen flower pot, great fun to steal that when I was trying to stack them up)

And now the back view, not easy to maintain ones upright watchful position without the aid of a box…

…and eventually it all gets too much, and you have to let things slide…

So all that’s left is to hand you over to Wendy over on 1st Unique Gifts where she is hosting this week’s Handmade Monday and where you will find lots of other handmade goodies to see.

Have a good week,

see you soon! xx


Dolly Peg Angels for Handmade Monday

Hello, and welcome to another Handmade Monday. I hope you’ve  had a lovely weekend as we all rev up towards the Christmas festivities.  I was very excited to find that I was able to control the weather on Planet Penny and arrange for some seasonal snow to fall!

I’ve just about reached the point of RSI on the needlefelting front now, and I’m longing to spend an evening with the hexipuffs or some crochet.  I can’t believe how popular the needlefelted robin baubles have been, I think it’s the Kirsty effect!  I’ve just posted the very last ones for this year on Folksy, the result of an experiment, but I really like it.

One of my fellow stall holders at the Pick’n’Mix Makers Market is Fiona Henderson of High Fibre yarns and she makes the most unusual yarns, a bit like french knitting, from lambswool, and I bought a few skeins to try out.  So this is what I’ve used to make a little creamy wreath on which two teeny tiny robins can perch….

…they’ve still got the little feet that make everyone go ‘aaaah!’…

Looking at then here they look huge and a bit hairy, but in fact they’re only 2″/5cm long from beak to tail.

I also  have a rather gorgeous raspberry pink yarn from High Fibre destined to be a mug hug soon, another reason to get at the knitting needles!

By way of a change, I’ve revisited the Dolly Pegs, and made a little Choir of Angels who are also listed on Folksy

…and then decided the Dolly Peg Dolls would make a great tutorial to share, and you can find it here!  I hope you enjoy it, I’d love to see your versions.

I’m off to do some baking now.  We have the Christmas meeting of our Knit and Stitch group this week, and I’m using that as an excuse to get out the Frangipane Mince Pie recipe.  I’ll have to get them into the freezer the minute they’ve cooled down though, they are SO more-ish I doubt there would be any left if I don’t!

Finally, thank you so much for the congratulations and nice comments about Planet Penny being on the Ch4 Favourite Craft Blogs list.  I hadn’t realised before how many links there on the 4Homes website for makers and crafters, well worth a look.  And of course the other place to visit today for handmade inspiration  is Wendy’s Handmade Monday Linky over on 1st Unique Gifts.

I’ll leave you browse…

Have a lovely week! x

More Hearts…More Pompoms…

Hello!!! Is it Thursday already? This week is galloping by.  Firstly, because I know you’ll want to know, Henry is still doing nicely.  The medication has been finished, and as I write he is snoring contentedly, in his bed.  This is a relief, as when he first came back the only place he wanted to be if he couldn’t have a warm lap was a warm keyboard.

The only little cloud on the horizon is the visit to vet next Monday for the removal of the stitches.  This will probably require the entire squad of nurses and maybe one or two brave volunteers from the waiting room as he will NOT be a happy bunny!

Oh, and some hair restorer…

His tummy was shaved for the ultrasound, his head was shaved for the spinal tap, patches were shaved on his legs for the drips, and his throat was shaved for the operation.  Thank goodness it’s summer, I don’t think he’s be happy in a jumper, however beautifully knitted!

But pompoms, I hear you cry, you said there were pompoms!

There are SO many pompoms!  I found this wonderful gadget…

Do you remember the Heart and Pompom bunting…

…which I made in January?

I still love it, but I made the pompoms with a little gadget which my mum had given me because she wasn’t very happy with her results.  Well, I tried really hard with it, and made so many pompoms using up my leftovers

but they were never as firm and fluffy as I wanted them to be.

Now I have found this gadget…

…and it is wonderful! The smallest sized one makes a beautifully firm pompom in just few minutes and it is so compulsive I had to pack the gadgets up and put them away as  there was a danger that my entire stash would be used up!

The solution was to make a larger version of the Heart and Pompom Bunting – the tutorial for that is here.  I just worked the last row in the pattern in the main colour and added an extra row in the contrast colour to make the hearts bigger and made the joining chain slightly longer between the hearts so I could use slightly bigger pompoms.

Would you like to see?

It was hard to find the best way to show you.  When I hung it up inside I realised how much my house needs redecorating, and the light wasn’t right so here it is outside the studio…

There’s actually a bit too much light here, it rather bleaches the colours, but I’m not going to complain about sunshine! (If you can’t find the pompom maker locally I got mine from Clothkits thank you, Kaye!)

Now we have another sunshiny day I’d better get out into the garden. All the strong wind over the last couple of days has blown my little plastic greenhouse and flowerpots all over the garden. (Higgins has done his best  to round things up but the toothmarks are a problem…)

Talking of Higgins, he’s rather had the spotlight taken off him with recent events but if you were wondering…he’s fine…

You see…?



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Christmas Bunting Tutorial

A very short post today,just to tell you that the tutorial for the whiter cotton bunting is all done and dusted and can be found in the tutorial section of Planet Penny, which is here, or at the top of the page. I’m sorry I had to have a rather gloomy background, but as I’ve got a very light, bright look to my house,I couldn’t find a location with a strong enough background colour to show off the detail.

I’m not going to be around for a couple of days. We’re having a bit of a family get together which is involving a six year old, two four year olds and a four month old baby plus assorted grownups !  Higgins is really looking forward to it, no-one has told Henry the cat yet! 

Happy Halloween, see you all soon x

p.s. Higgins has asked me to point out that the picture of him in his coat in the last post is suffering from bad lighting.  It is not a PINK Coat, it is a RED coat.  It is a very manly, soldierish RED COAT… He is very upset that people think he would let himself be dressed in a PINK COAT… that would be silly ….

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