An Easter Bunny Basket

Thank you all for your continued support for my little needlework business in these uncertain times. Normally the cat and I lead rather a solitary lifestyle, working from home in a barn at the end of the garden. So it has been quite a shock that social distancing has meant so much more company at home now that my husband is not longer jetting worldwide, my daughter has returned from University and my son is home schooling. Everyone has found themselves a work space and hooked up to a computer so we seem to be muddling along and I have been able to get on with the new website and a range of new designs.

Fingers crossed the new website will go live towards the end of the month. There may be a few glitches but once they are ironed out I hope to be able to offer a much wider range of products as well as instant PDF downloads and possibly, if I pluck up enough courage, some instruction videos.

In the meantime I have designed an Easter bunny basket to keep you busy. It is a relatively simple pattern if you have some experience of the basic crochet stitches, but if not what a great opportunity to learn! There are some fantastic kids’ books on the subject and a whole selection of YouTube videos which are perfect for winding back and forth to see exactly what to do with your fingers, hook and yarn. Start with a granny square and you will soon be hooked!

Easter Bunny Basket

Bunny Basket Giveaway


Year of the Pig Crochet


I am currently spending my days making up needlework kits for the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia so in the evenings I look forward to picking up a crochet hook and some yarn. This cheeky chap was designed by the very talented Claire Garland and can be found in her book ‘Toys to Crochet’

I have to come clean here and admit that I am terrible at following a pattern, even really great patterns, so things often get tweaked as I work. To start with I didn’t have the correct yarn but I did have a very piggy pink in DMC Natura XL and I found some Scheepjes 4ply Catona in a dark grey colour.

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually write any of my pattern tweaks down as I worked but I think the following is a good approximation of what I did when worked in combination with the original pattern. Everything is written in UK crochet terms. The majority of the pig is crocheted using a 6mm hook but I will indicate when another hook is required.

When starting the head, spots and legs I chose to use a magic circle and 6 double crochet (dc) rather than the 2 chain (ch) foundation row and 6dc as originally described.

For the head and body I switched to a 5mm hook for rounds 4 to 18 and I also worked into the back loop only for 18dc in round four to give a slightly raised edge between the nose and snout.

To create a plumper bottom I worked repeats of round 24 until the head and body measured approximately 22cm from the tip of the snout before starting the following increases and decreases:

  • *1dc into each of the next 11dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (39dc)
  • 1 dc into each of the 39dc
  • *1dc into each of the next 12dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (42dc)
  • 1dc into each of the 42dc
  • *1dc into each of the next 13dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (45dc)
  • 1dc into each of the 45dc and repeat this round twice more
  • *1dc into each of the next 12dc, double crochet two together (dc2tog) , repeat from * around (42dc)
  • 1dc into each of the 42dc
  • *1dc into each of the next 11dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around (39dc)
  • 1dc into each of the 39dc
  • *1dc into each of the next 10dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around (36dc)
  • *1dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around until the gap is almost closed, stuff firmly with polyester filling, finish closing the gap, fasten off yarn

For the tail I doubled up on the pink DMC Natura XL and switched to a 10mm hook

  • chain 14
  • dc twice into the second chain from hook, repeat for next 9dc, 1dc into each of the remaining foundation chain stitches
  • Fasten off yarn and sew to the pig’s bottom

For the spots I doubled up on the grey Scheepjes cotton yarn and followed the original pattern using a 4mm hook.

The legs were worked according to the original pattern except I tripled the grey Scheepjes yarn to maintain the correct tension using the 6mm hook and chose to work three rounds of dc in the grey rather than switching to double trebles as described.

For the eyes I raided my stash of beads and stitched a couple on using dressmakers cotton. However, if you plan to let a child play with the pig it is probably better to opt for safety eyes and fit them before stuffing the head or simply embroider some eyes on the finished pig.



Crochet YipYip

Christmas is a great time to have a little scroll through the Internet and I found a brilliant pattern in both crochet and knitted versions for YipYip Martians by

The original is in Bernat Blanket but I didn’t have any to hand so plumped for two balls of DMC Natura XL and 5mm crochet hook from my stash. I also chose to crochet the eyes rather than use the recommended ping pong balls and I still need to figure out an alternative to the pip cleaner antennae which I was worried my not so small children might accidentally stab themselves on!

To make the eyes:

  • magic circle and 6dc
  • 2dc into each of the previous stitches (12sts)
  • 3 rounds of 12dc
  • dc decrease 6 times (6sts)
  • stuff with polyester filling
  • weave yarn through remaining 6 stitches and pull tight to close
  • stitch a black button or bead over the magic circle
  • pop on your Yip Yip

These fellows are so easy to make, are perfect storage containers and bring a smile to your face 🙂


A minor adjustment to the YipYip – I have stitched his googly eyes together so now much more like the original

yip yip eyes

Crochet with Garden Twine

I have an obsession with bags. Not fancy, designer handbags, but large, woven bags for carrying the shopping or, dare I say it, stashing yarn! I have been thinking about making crochet bags for a very long time, there are numerous half-finished attempts lying about the house. The main issue I have found is that most yarn is too soft to hold its shape once the bag is finished. I have tried doubling up and alternative stitches which help to a degree but it still boils down to the yarn. A trip to the garden centre yesterday threw up the option of using garden twine. It was the selection of colours which caught my eye, who knew there was a whole range of alternatives to bottle green or beige? Anyway, I have made a start with a rather lovely indigo blue. It is quite tough on the hands but the finish is just what I am after, firm but flexible. If I can figure out a simple semi-circular design to start with then there are all sorts of options to pimp it up – fingers crossed (except when crocheting).


Crochet Christmas Pudding Bauble

Crochet Pudding

It is almost the end of another year during which I have been so grateful for all your support and encouragement.

This year, as a very small thank you, I have designed a crochet Christmas pudding bauble. It is made using DMC natura cotton and you should be able to get three or four from a single ball of yarn. However, feel free to raid your stash, use some chunky yarn for a full size pudding, add some beads to give the impression of dried fruit or make lots to create a garland. At only 2.5″ in diameter you should be able to squeeze a few in before Christmas – this year!

For full instructions and pattern please click on the link to the PDF file.

You are very welcome to share this pattern with family and friends.


Crochet Christmas Pudding

Iris Cushion

A leaking bathroom pipe has meant some emergency plumbing, plastering and redecoration over the past week so I have only now found a moment to write about my latest crochet cushion, a deep lavender coloured celebration of the irises in my garden.

Purple iris in double crochet.png

Just like the fern cushion I have used the most beautiful Ultra Prima cotton yarn from Cascade and worked in the round using two different coloured strands in double crochet.
The designs are very much like a counted cross stitch pattern, each square on the chart represents a single stitch. The unworked thread is run through the stitch and hidden within the work but always available for when a colour change is needed.
Working in the round means that the pattern is continued on both sides of the cushion and best of all there is only one seam to finish at the end.

Iris crochet cushion.jpg

I am heading off to catch some sunshine for the next couple of weeks but at least 8 hanks of yarn are going in the suitcase as I have another two cushions designed and they will make the most perfect holiday project.

Crochet Cushions

I have become quite hooked on crochet. It was something I only started last year after watching a YouTube ‘how to’ video and since then I have loved trying to twist the yarn into the shapes I imagine.

This new cushion works well to combine my cross stitch designs and crochet. Double crochet in spirals working with two yarns gives a fantastic intarsia effect AND you don’t have to sew in any loose ends. There is quite a lot of twisting when changing colours but I have discovered that popping each yarn into a separate drawstring bag means  you don’t end up with a great tangle of threads.

The yarn is a beautiful silky cotton – Ultra Prima by Cascade
It comes in a range of the most beautiful colours and crochets into a really sturdy textile perfect for cushions and bags that have to stand up to the rigours of family life.

I had better get my fingers twisting that yarn to get the patterns ready!

Fern Cushion

Crocodile Feet

Oh my goodness, over three weeks in and these Easter holidays still haven’t finished, hence the lack of blogging.

However, I have been squeezing in a little bit of crochet. I am currently working on several projects at once and yet another, a glorious floral bag, came to mind last night, but is currently just a very rough sketch in one of my many notebooks.

This morning I have finally created a crocodile leg in yarn. It proved quite a challenge as it is crocheted in spirals and it took rather a long time to work out how to bend the shape into an elbow, essential as his legs need to be able to dangle if his body is to work as a scarf. I now have to turn my attention to his head and I would really like him to make me smile so his teeth might be little wonky and his eyes need to have a bit of sparkle.

Fingers crossed the yarn will twist itself into the correct shapes and I should be able to write up a pattern and possibly put together a kit.

Crocodile feet

Woolly Scales

I am a recent convert to crochet but how I love twiddling the wool into fantastic shapes. This is another breakfast time idea….I need a woolly croc and thank goodness I had plenty of yarn to hand to get going straight away!!! It has taken several attempts but chuffed with these woolly scales I have made up as a sample. I now have to fathom out how to twiddle the wool into the other shapes I have in mind to create this critter….Will keep you posted.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 18.05.27.png

Tea Towel Transformation

Sometimes you come across an item that cries out to be used for something other than it is intended. I found this tea towel, designed by Holly Fream for Anthropologie, just before Christmas and decided it was far too good to be used to dry the dishes.

My daughter is quite obsessed with pug dogs so the design was perfect to create a cushion for her. I simply raided my stash of embroidery threads, popped the pug in an embroidery frame, stitched as the mood took me and finished his eyes with some jet black beads.

Making the cushion was simple, I just folded the embroidered fabric in half and stitched the edge seam before turning it the correct way and stiching a second seam to create a border.

Then the bobbles. Normally I would just insert a bobble edging into the seam but I thought I would try a crochet edging and was quite surprised at how well it worked.

If you would like to try, then hunt out those tea towels and click on the image below for a set of illustrated instructions…..

Pug Tea Towel Cushion

Tea Towel to Cushion