Crafts Crochet Travels

Crochet Winter Warmers



Anyone residing in the UK for the past few months would be aware that it’s been, well, rather parky out. I won’t be the only one who should have spent much all of January and much of February, shrouded in blankets and refusing to leave the warm environs of my flat for any non-essential reason.


However, the course of my life has never been sedentary. I was back in my seaside hometown of Southport during the cold snap, so I decided to hibernate at my Grandparents house – until cabin fever struck. I decided to take a stroll along the deserted beach, which gave me the perfect opportunity to play with the settings on my new camera.


For those of you who know anything about the North West coast, you won’t be surprised to hear that the wind was whipping up in every direction which made the chilly temperatures feel even colder! Eventually, I retreated back into the town to seek retail therapy and hot chocolate. It was then that I discovered a gem of a place: the Yarn Fairy on Wesley Street.
It was inevitable of course, that an addicted crafter such as myself would succumb to the lure of independent boutique yarn shops and the prospect of lovely new crochet projects. As I was wearing my deliciously warm new winter coat, I decided to try and pick out some colours to create some cozy accessories.


Unwittingly, I selected some yarns which perfectly matched the shades of the seaside, where I had taken my stroll and where my mind must have still been wandering. The yarn was from Rico studio, and was 50% acrylic, 50% wool, so I thought that would be a good choice. Both the blue and the cream yarns were variegated, and contained all sorts of different shades from my coat. Perfect!

I’m not really a fan of crochet patterns – I’m much happier just setting off and discovering where the stitches take me. However, I had recently seen a tutorial for making a hat from brim to top, rather than the other way round – I decided to give that a go.

I began by making a loop in the pretty, blue yarn, which fitted snugly around my head, and then hooking a row of double crochets to get the hat started. Onto row 2, I began a row of treble crochets, doing a hooked treble stitch every 4 stitches. A hooked treble is where you push your crochet hook crosswise, around the post of the stitch below, rather than putting it through the top of the stitch below. I hope that makes sense! It is the same technique used when doing the basketweave stitch.

After a few lines, I switched colours to the cream, but continued doing 3 trebles, 1 hooked treble for the first few rows -then as I wanted to reduce the stitches, I began doing a hooked stitch for every three, then for every 2 and so on, so that the raised columns were preserved, and the hat began to form into the correct shape. For every two rows I completed, I probably unravelled another, as I worked out how the hat should fit me.

I wanted slouchy, beret style to the hat, so I tried it on after every row or so, checking that I was progressing how I wanted. As I reached the top  of the hat, I got to a stage where each stitch was a hooked treble, and then for the next row, I began hooking two raised ridges together, to close up the hat at the top. Finally, once the hat was completed, I used a spare strand of blue yarn to make a simple bow at the top.


Next, it was time to get started on the hand warmers. I have a track record with handwarmers, and have made a whole series of them for myself and others over the years (a few examples are below). They are a quick and easy make, which doesn’ use up too much yarn, and can be embellished in countless ways.



Again, the easiest way to get a good fit for your handwarmers is to begin with a chain of around 34 stitches (depending on the dimensions of your hands and wrists), and to try on the glove after completing every row, to check they are fitting well. This time, I began with the cream yarn, and instead of producing ridges around all of the handwarmer, I just created two ridges, 3 stitches apart, which would run along the top of the item.


When I reached the bottom of the thumb, I began to alternate rows backwards and forwards, leaving a gap. Once the gap was sufficient, I added a chain of 3 and then began doing circular rows again – this technique gave my glove a thumb hole.

To match the design of the hat, I switched to blue yarn when I reached my knuckles, to give a blue border to the tops of the handwarmers. Once I had completed the glove to a desirable height, I then began building the rows around the thumb joint, using a selection of slip stitches, double crochets and treble crochets, to mould the shape. This is a little fiddly in explanation, but is very quick in reality!


The big task then was to make an identical twin for the gloves! This is always easier said than done, but it’s manageable as long as you continue to check and compare the work as you go along.


I”m really happy with my new creations, and especially like the silver flecks in the yarn that makes the items sparkle. My new makes came in handy last month, when I spent the weekend in Cologne, Germany. My trip coincided with a giant snowstorm, and I was grateful for my warm accessories whilst sightseeing in a blizzard!



Crafts Crochet Happy Stuff Sewing Travels

Souvenir Makes No. 2 – Travel Essentials

I really enjoyed using my Scottish souvenir materials to make cushions for my living room sofa. Every time I sit down, I’m reminded of my lovely adventure North.

As my lovely blog readers will know, I am about to go adventuring again, this time even further North, to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

This gives me the opportunity to make some travel essentials for my Nordic trip, using the materials from Scotland. How wonderfully well-travelled!

I don’t believe in doing holidays by halves – my trips are usually less than relaxing! On my Nordic adventure, I will be travelling to 6 cities in three countries over 12 days. Therefore, I expect that much of the trip will consist of flights, train journeys and bus rides across the beautiful Scandinavian countryside.


With that in mind, I have decided to make my very own travel pillow, to allow me to snooze comfortably between locations. After scouring the market for a good travel pillow, I became perplexed by the sheer variety of products on the market: microbeads, memory foam, heated pillows – even pillows that look like exotic animals! In the end, I went back to basics and bought a very cheap, unbranded inflatable pillow, for which I would make a deluxe cover for. This meant I would be able to deflate the pillow to pack away between journeys.


I still had a stash of gorgeous woven remnants, which I had picked up from Kingcraig fabrics in Dornoch. I love all of the colours and patterns, so I decided to piece together a patchwork design for my cushion. Cue the usual chaotic explosion of materials in my living room!

DSC_0044 (2)

I made a rough pattern from a piece of paper by tracing around the deflated pillow, then simply cut out my fabric and stitched it together. I also flat felled the seams, to make the pillow look a bit more finished, and to strengthen the seams.

Either my pattern was too wide, or I stitched my seam allowances too narrow, as the finished pillow cover ended up too wide after stitching together. I stitched a new hem down the centre of the sandy material, to improve the fit.


I stitched around the outer edge, but left the inner curve unstitched, in order to insert the pillow.

I then measured where the air valve was, and carefully snipped a hole in the material – I tacked it by hand and then used a button hole stitch to create the edging for the valve. I appreciate this is not my neatest stitching! The woven fabric was lovely to use but was fraying really easily, so I found it difficult to get a smooth, even finish.


Finally, when I was happy with the fit of the cover, I tacked the inner curve closed, and inflated the pillow to admire my handiwork


I enjoyed using the fabrics so much that I used the final scraps to produce a little bag to store the pillow in.


I’m naturally quite a clumsy person, so at least with this design, if I manage to puncture the pillow, I can easily untack the cover and replace the inflatable. The only risk I have now is losing it! Air pillows can often feel quite cold against your face, but the cover makes the item feel much warmer and more snuggly. I can’t wait to use it on my adventure.


My final make before my trip started life as a crochet experiment. One day, whilst timewasting on Pinterest, I found a website by two fabulous crochet designers called Shibaguyz. One of their patterns is for an afghan square which shows a sort of diagonal basket weave design, which really appealed to me. I thought I would have a go at producing the square, and was doing really well until around line 4, at which point I came a little unstuck!


I loved the idea of cabling, and the effect I was producing, but I seemed to have no success in continuing the pattern, no matter how I tried. I was loath to unravel the strip I had made, and so it sat, neglected, in the bag of yarns for a few weeks, until I started prepping for the holiday.


It occurred to me that it would make a perfect head band to keep my ears warm, so I evened out the final row of stitches, and tacked the two ends together.

The most stylish traveller on the Swedish and Norwegian highways! Until my return, adjo!


Crafts Crochet Travels

Souvenir Makes no. 1: Cushion Covers

Happy Halloween readers!

Now that Autumn is well and truly here, there is nothing better than spending a day off, cozily crocheting whilst watching black and white movies. I know that there are lots of people out there that lament the end of Summer and the shortening of days, but this is the start of the best part of the year, as far as I’m concerned! I start looking forward to the rustling of crunchy Autumn leaves, hot chocolates and wooly jumpers from the beginning of July!


I love travelling and try to visit new places as much as possible, but I have a habit of treating foreign currency like Monopoly money, and spending too much of it. Therefore, in order to curb the impulse purchasing, I made a promise to myself  a few years ago that I would only ever buy holiday souvenirs that I could actually use – no more fibre optic Eiffel towers and personalised sticks of Blackpool rock. It’s a rule I managed to stick to in Venice, Berlin and Reykjavik! When I visited the Highlands and Islands of Scotland earlier in the year, I brought back all sorts of yarns, textiles and hand made items, with the plan of making them into new, unique things for my home. Now that the evenings are getting darker, I’ve finally got round to unwrapping all of the items from the Scottish road trip at Easter, and planning some crafty projects. My first make was the result of an afternoon’s idle crocheting, which is certainly one of the most enjoyable pastimes for a lazy Sunday.


I have recently acquired a new (well, second hand) sofa, which needed some cushions, so I have turned my crochet experimentation into a cushion cover. The sofa itself is a reupholstery project-in-waiting, but after the trials and tribulations of my last upholstering attempt, I’m still psyching myself up for the challenge!  The natural, undyed yarn is some North Ronaldsay wool, which I bought whilst in Orkney, and the rest are all from Kingcraig. I also tried slipping some fabric remnants behind the central motif of the cushion, but I’m not sure it really adds anything to the overall look – what do you think?


The central flower has 9 petals instead of 8 – this is the result of absent-minded crafting whilst watching TV! It took some manipulating to get the motif lying flat in the central section, but I think it looks ok now. I kept the main colour design the same for the back of the cushion, but I simply crocheted a simple granny square for the central motif. The edges have been formed into a scallop shape, by joining together the two shells.


I was really happy with how the cushion cover had turned out, so almost immediately began work on a second one, using the fabric remnants rather than the yarns. When I visited Edinburgh earlier in the year, I picked up a few remnants of different tartans – in the picture below you can see 3 tartans in similar shades but different designs – I wish I’d made a note of the names! I know that the one in the bottom left corner is ‘Flower of Scotland’, and the one on the right is ‘Davidson’, but I can’t remember the name of the one in the top left – apologies.

I wanted to experiment with pleating the materials, to match up the different lines in the patterns. After much pinning, stitching and seam ripping, I was on the verge of giving up! I liked how the different patterns merged into each other on the seams, but the overall effect was too frilly and twee. Time to start again!

I decided to simplify the design, by just using two pieces of material, rather than 3. I also reduced the number of line matches across the seam, which still gave the effect I was looking for, without appearing too fussy overall. It began to look much more appealing to me when I moved the seam from the middle , to just right of centre.

I was much happier with how the project was turning out, so I stitched the pieces together, matching the patterns as neatly as possible on the back of the cushion. Et voila! Two cushion covers to remind me of my Scottish adventure! These will be perfect for snuggling up on the sofa during the cold, blustery Autumn evenings.

I realise that I am a bit daft making the cushions before reupholstering the sofa, but I suppose this project has decided my upholstery fabrics for me – I am now on the hunt for some material that will pick out the blue and green tones from my project.

Crafts Crochet Making Gifts

Crocheted Baby Blankets 2

Spring is in the air, and there seems to be rather a lot of new arrivals being announced, all at once! This time, not one, but two of my friends at work are both going on maternity leave at the same time – I guess that gives me the perfect excuse to get my crochet hooks out!


Firstly, I decided to make a coverlet for my friend and colleague, Hayley – she has just gone on leave to have her second child, a little boy. Using some white Sirdar Snuggly and a number 5 hook, I made up 3 rows of trebles, then did a row of puff stitches to give the coverlet some interest. For the edge, I used some lovely blue lambswool from Kingcraig Fabrics to make rows of alternating shells.  This was really quick to make, and I think the edging looks really effective!


Secondly, a fellow member of my team at work, Sian, is also starting maternity leave for her first child this month. This blanket is larger than the coverlet, for no other reason than I carried on crocheting for ages before realising how large it had become!

Again, the main work of this crochet was simple rows of trebles, but every few rows I did a series of  *three trebles into a single stitch (to make a small fan), skipped a stitch, a single treble, skipped a stitch, all the way to the end of the row. On the next row, I would do a treble into each of the first three ‘fan’ stitches, but for each stitch, I would keep the last loop of the stitch on the hook. Once all three were looped on, I’d do a yarn over hook to close the stitches. Then I would do a single treble to complete the post in the middle of the motif, and begin on the next three trebles into the fan. I hope that made sense! This made the lovely flowers/windmills/crosses pattern you can see below.


To finish this blanket off, I simply did a row of *treble crochet, single crochet, skip a stitch, followed by a row of a *treble crochet, single crochet, treble crochet, single crochet into each loop created on the previous row. This meant I could thread ribbon throught the first row and produce a gentle frill on the outside row. I’m really happy with how this blanket turned out!


Once I had finished these two, I was in full swing and ready to make a third – I don’t know who is going to be the recipient of this one yet, but I’m sure it will find a home soon!

I wanted to try a more intricate stitch, and I had spotted this great tutorial on Sandra Cherryheart‘s blog – the clamshell stitch. In Sandra’s blanket, she uses a different colour for each row of clamshells, but I thought it would look interesting if only occasional shells were picked out in a colour. Again I used Sirdar Snuggly, will remnant balls of primrose yellow and dark blue lambswool from Kingcraig.



What I love about this stitch is how the different rows catch the light – I didn’t notice this on the gorgeous, multi-coloured one on Sandra’s page, but I think the white really shows them off! I just wanted to keep on crocheting this one, it was a  struggle to stop! For some interest, I hooked some of the central rows of  stitches in blue, which means you can see the point where the clamshell spike stitches overlap it at even intervals.

For the edging, I was perilously close to running out of wool, so I simply did a row of V stitches, followed by a blue row of Vs, followed by a final row of white chain stitches, held onto the blue Vs with double crochets.


Et voila, the finished blanket. I guess, as it contains blue, it really should be a boy’s blanket. However, the combination of blue, white and yellow seems quite nautical and fresh to me! Perhaps it could work for a boy or a girl. What do you think?


Two of their blankets have already been delivered to my friends, in time for their own special deliveries. The third one awaits a recipient, but I’ll keep it to one side until one of my friends has wonderful news!



Crafts Crochet Mummymau

Scarves are like buses…

You limp on without one for ages, and then two come along at once!


I had so much fun making my new snood a few weeks ago, that within a few days I’d started on a second one. I had two more balls of my Kingcraig merino and cashmere left, so I decided to try making a smarter, more understated item which I could wear for work.  


It’s another Erika Knight stitch, unsurprisingly – it’s called fantail stitch and it crocheted up really quickly. The whole item was completed in just two days!


To give the snood a feature, I used some beautiful, pearlised cotton viscose by Drops Design every 16 lines. I’ve got quite a lot of this left over from the crochet snowflakes project, and I am totally in love with all of the colours. This was a simple, effective way of bringing out the detail of the stitch. Hopefully, the occasional shimmery row of shells gives the finished piece a bit of a ‘luxe’ look. 

So now I’ve got not one, but two snoods that I can wear. Lucky me – two lovely, warm and completely different crocheted accessories from one batch of wool!DSC_0026 (2)

Crafts Crochet

My New Snood

I was adventuring over the British Isles and Ireland during the Christmas break, and as well as relaxing with friends and family, I visited the Harry Potter Studios tour near London, the Titanic Experience in Belfast, the Turner Prize in Derry and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, amongst other things!

My faithful friend throughout my travels was my beloved plum and turquoise snood, which I made when I first learned to properly crochet a few years ago. I had used local, Yorkshire wool for it, and I never left home without it. Sadly, my snood was very fond of Dublin, and when I got on the ferry to come home, I realised it was no longer with me. I know it’s silly to get too attached to a piece of clothing, but I miss it!


However, I guess it gives me an opportunity to get my crochet hooks out again, which can’t be a bad thing.

Crafts Crochet

Crochet WIP

Can ya tell what it is yet?


Estimated completion date: sometime before it gets too warm!

Crafts Crochet

Crochet Snowflakes – my third water work!

Right, I actually completed this at the end of the Summer and have been meaning to write it up – I finally got round to completing the third section of my aquatic tetraptych, this one produced in the medium of crochet!


On a recent visit to see Mummymau in Hampshire, we visited a yarn shop in Alton called The Knitting Habit, which stocked a fabulous range of  Drops Design yarns – I couldn’t resist! In particular, these cotton viscose yarns in pearly pastel shades caught my eye, and I couldn’t wait to get started on a new project. I’m sad to report that, since September, The Knitting Habit has closed! I will keep you updated if it reopens.


I had an idea to experiment with crochet snowflakes as Christmas decorations, and I found this fantastic tutorial  on the Attic 24 blog. The lovely pearly yarns lent themselves well to the design, as each of the stitches almost shimmered!


I completed 17 snowflakes in a variety of colours, ranging from greys and silvers to golds and greens. I liked the idea of trying to use them to make a geometric, tessellating pattern, so I laid them out in a number of different permutations until I was happy with it.

The shapes needed some stretching before I could go any further, so I pinned them out on a spare piece of carpet underlay (which comes in mightily handy for tasks like this!). The easiest way to do this was to pin 2 or 3 snowflakes, stacked on top of each other, with 6 long pins. I ended up with 5 or 6 small piles of flakes, each pinned to equal sizes. Using carpet underlay comes with an added bonus at this point, as the underlay I was using was printed with a grid on the surface, so it was simple to ensure the flakes were stretched to the same size.

 Once they were pinned, I lightly sprayed them with a home-concocted starch spray of 1 cup hot water and 1/2 tbsp cornflour. I waited patiently (ok, not that patiently) for them to dry, and then set about attaching the snowflakes together. DSCN2778

Rather than stitching them together with thread, I decided to unravel the final row of stitches on a number of the shapes, so that I could crochet them together. I ended up having to frequently refer back to photos of the correct design, and number the shapes so that I could remember which ones to unravel, and what order to hook them back together in. This was a bit time consuming, but I’m glad I did it as it has resulted in a much cleaner finish.


Now that the shapes were all joined, I pinned and starched the entire piece of material again, to even out the shapes. It was all coming together rather nicely! Once dry, I mounted it onto navy blue felt using a simple running stitch.


So, here is the finished article – a third water-themed work for the wall. I have absolutely no idea what to do for the final one, but if anyone out there has some ideas, please let me know!


Crafts Crochet Happy Stuff

Nordic Knitting Crime Caper!

I spent an unexpectedly wonderful evening in Doncaster last week with my friend and work colleague, Jeanette. On the third Thursday of every month, we attend book group at Doncaster Central Library, which happens to be directly opposite the new Doncaster arts centre, Cast. It turns out that as we left the library, we were just in time to watch a play by one of Jeanette’s favourite, quintessentially Northern, theatre troupes, Lip Service.

Their latest production is Inspector Norse, a self-assembly Swedish comedy crime thriller, with a passion for knitwear. This is especially topical for me, considering my recent Scandinavian trips!

I was amazed to see the set – every prop, accessory, and even body part had been knitted – Lip Service had held numerous knit-ins up and down the country to make the set, and craft groups had produced leaves, telephones, cats and mice, cuckoo clocks, brains, feet, and probably the strangest item, a knitted spanner.

At the interval, Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, the writers and performers of the show, asked the audience to help decorate the stage for the second act – presenting a huge basket of hand-knitted leaves to clothe huge Ikea-style, flatpack trees.

What a wonderful, entertaining show! I won’t give too much away, but if you are lucky enough to attend, there is even opportunity for some light crafting of materials for a Walpurgis party at the interval…it will make sense when you get there!

If you want to catch Inspector Norse, there are still dates left – perhaps you could knit something for the show?

Crafts Crochet Making Gifts Travels

Icelandic Craft Adventures

So, despite our Icelandic misadventures, Louisa and I had a brilliant time in gorgeous Iceland. It really is a place like no other – there are only 320,000 inhabitants of the country, making it only a little bit more populated than Preston, but across 40,000 square miles, rather than Preston’s 55.

Iceland’s landscape is impressive and constantly changing – in the space of a half-hour drive, you’ll be traversing over volcanic terrain that looks like the surface of the moon, and suddenly you’ll see waterfalls and glaciers, black beaches, and creamy blue, geothermal lagoons. Totally amazing!

One of the most obvious avenues for creativity and crafting in Iceland is anything wool-based – I saw lots of lovely, fluffy-looking sheep on the South-coast of the island, which produce gorgeous Icelandic wool, available in lots of shops in Reykjavik. I also found lots of handmade felt items and, of course, dozens of varieties of the eponymous Nordic sweater! Icelandic wool is unlike any other natural yarn in the world – due to Iceland’s geographic isolation, the sheep here have evolved differently, to produce a rain-repellant, highly insulating, lightweight and breathable yarn. The most well-known brand is Lopi. I read on Cookie A‘s blog that you can actually visit the factory, which I’ll definitely have to do on my next visit!

Unfortunately, after our car getting totally totalled early on in the trip, I didn’t get an opportunity to visit the craft shops which were kindly recommended to me by UKCityCrafter– but I did find plenty of creative places in central Reykjavik that I could get to on one good and one rather wobbly foot.

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Reykjavik soon, then you’ll soon discover that you would be hard-pushed not to discover a craft shop – the streets are bursting with creative outlets, from ceramics to hand-made jewellery, from really interesting vintage clothes to knitted garments and home furnishings. Here are just a few that we visited in an afternoon:


Kolaportid Flea Market, Tryggvagotu 19, Reykjavik Harbour, 11am-5pm Saturday and Sunday

Even the novice rummager is bound to find a bargain here – I saw intricate lava jewellery being handmade by artists, perused vintage maps of Iceland, and browsed rail upon rail of Nordic knitwear amongst the hundreds of stalls at this weekly flea market. A word to the wise, stock up on Icelandic Krona before going, as the ATM queue has to be seen to be believed. One thing in particular caught my eye – a vintage, hand-embroidered table runner in beautiful, fresh, Spring colours. You can see a swatch of it folded up in the picture above, but the full item is 48×16 inches in size. Expecting it to cost me at least an arm and a leg, I cautiously queried the price, and was astonished when the stall-holder said it was just 500ISK – around £2.50. Ker-ching!

The Nordic Store, Laekjargata 2, Reykjavik – this place is quite pricey (and get used to it – this is Iceland!) but you can buy the best that the country has to offer here – again, beautiful knitwear, but much of it was in a more modern style which I completely fell in love with. The Nordic Store also sells oils, creams and potions from the famous Blue Lagoon, as well as unique jewellery items made from lava and silver. The store had a great selection of Lopi colours, so I bought a few which complemented my fleamarket find. Wool is the only product I found all weekend which didn’t break the bank – even at the Nordic Store, Lopi was 360 Icelandic Krona for 50g – about £1.80. Also, many of the stores in Reykjavik are tax-free for tourists, so by submitting your receipts at the airport, you have an additional 10-15% of the cost reimbursed. Bargainous! Next time I’m bringing an empty suitcase…..

The Handknitting Association of Iceland, Skolavoroustigur 19, Reykjavik and Laugavegur 53b, Reykjavik

The Handknitting Association stocks beautiful, handmade jumpers, scarves, blankets and even onesies, all made from 100% Icelandic yarn. You can also buy all kinds of Lopi, which is good as you are bound to feel inspired after a few minutes here!

There are simply endless second-hand and vintage clothing stores, my favourite two being Spuutnik, where you buy items by the kilogram, and the Red Cross store, where I bought a weird and wonderful Icelandic jumper, which is essentially two snoods looped together, in a sort of Mobius strip formation – it takes as much concentration to put on correctly as it does to complete a Rubik’s cube! There are plenty of great bloggers out there who have already catalogued the wonder that is Icelandic vintage shopping, so rather than duplicate, I’ll strongly recommend you to The House that Lars Built for more info.

As well as all of these awesome places, Iceland seems to be the sort of country which attracts lots of wonderfully creative and talented people! Almost everyone I met was in the middle of some amazing project! All very inspiring.

Staying at our hostel was American knitting designer Stephen West, founder and creator of WestKnits. Stephen was in the middle of creating a sort of technicolour dreamcoat out of various yarns, collected on his travels. I hope he doesn’t mind that I’ve borrowed the picture above from his website to show you what fantastic items he produces! You can also check out Stephen’s patterns here at Ravelry. What a talented guy.

I also met Jen from Burnley, UK, who had not only brought her crochet to get on with at the hostel, but in fact had also brought along her own handmade weaving loom! Now THAT is creative travelling!


Jen sent me a message a few days after we left the hostel, to say she had finished her crochet beanie – looking good!


After the drama of the car accident, Louisa and I decided to spend our last evening in Iceland doing some crochet – we were too shell-shocked for any more high-octane activities! This was Louisa’s first foray into crochet, but she picked it up straight away. Of course, the enormous tankards of Arctic berry cider from the hostel bar helped.


Louisa texted me this week with a picture of her progress on a lovely, striped scarf, made of snuggly Icelandic wool. I think we’ve got a natural-born crocheter on our hands here!


One of my closest friends, Julie, is celebrating her 30th birthday this week, and she utterly adores Iceland, so I thought I would make her a crocheted evening bag. I did intend to complete the item with a button made of lava, but unfortunately that was one of the casualties of our car smash! I hope Julie doesn’t mind the replacement. When I returned home, I beaded the primrose-yellow shells to give the bag a bit of birthday sparkle.


I guess I’ve written quite a lot, considering we were only there for 3 nights! My bank balance is going to need a bit of TLC after the trip, but then it will be going into intensive training so that I can afford to go again – hopefully in the next 12 months.