DAY #29 – Last Craft Kit You Bought


DAY #29 – Last Craft Kit You Bought

The last craft kits I bought were presents for my mum. A needle felting snowman and homemade beeswax wrap kits for Christmas and a willow weaving pencil pot holder for her birthday.

The willow basket weaving kit was from an Etsy shop called WonderWeaverDesign you can find the link to her shop here:

She makes gorgeous baskets (her pumpkin basket for Halloween was beautiful) and willow tiaras for children as well as Christmas decorations and selling kits.

And the beeswax wrap kit I ordered for mum you can find, again on Etsy, here:

It’s from a shop called EarthKindCreations and they sell a range of eco-friendly products like beeswax wraps and reusable cotton kitchen rolls and sponges etc.

I don’t need any more kits for myself at this point I already have enough crafting to be getting on with!!


DAY #27 – Halloween Makes or not?


DAY #27 – Halloween Makes or not?

I don’t normally make a lot for Halloween (being British and having no children) but last year I did make one thing.

I used the pattern for a Christmas bauble just with bright orange yarn instead. The face isn’t the best ever, but it was just a little project to use up some spare yarn. I think it’s the eyes that are weird?

Halloween knitted bauble

DAY #26 – First Make of 2021- FIRST EVER DRESS


DAY #26 – First Make of 2021 – FIRST EVER DRESS

My first ever sewn dress! I did this in early January this year and before you say anything, yes! It’s only a practice!!

I wanted to see how it was put together and just practice using the machine really, understanding the construction, seeing how it was put together, that sort of thing.

The fabric was cheap and naff nylon/ polyester mix but was cheap, like £2 or £3 a metre. It feels cheap and horrible. The pattern was a free pattern – I think it was from Simply Sewing magazine?

I should note I haven’t sewn up the sleeve edges properly, I just pinned them for this photo, which is why they look at a funny angle, and I didn’t sew the neck edging down properly either.

It kind of looks like an unshapely blob in the pic, but it does look a lot better on (believe it or not!).

I did learn a few things from this though:

  1. The pockets in the pattern were not deep enough and give the dress a funny shape. In future, leave the pockets out or make them bigger.
  2. Sleeve bands are HORRIBLE to affix to the raw sleeves – so fiddly!
  3. The neck edging might have looked better with some kind of bias binding reinforcement.
  4. It needs a belt or something extra around the middle.

At this point, I am just shocked it fits…but it’s one for the back of the wardrobe…or for when literally all of my clothes are in the wash and the only alternative is to go out naked.


DAY #24 – Favourite Place to Craft Away


DAY #24 – Favourite Place to Craft Away

The photos below are pictures I took on a train to Edinburgh in 2019. What do you do on a long train journey? Knitting or crochet of course!

I really don’t have a favourite place to knit, I can do it anywhere! It’s portable and easy to shove in a bag, and, whilst I couldn’t do it in a car because of motion sickness, you can even knit on the go.

Day #17 – Using Up My Stash


Day #17 – Using up my stash

Last year, I emptied my stash. Used it up in almost its entirety. And I wasn’t alone.

A Youtube channel called The Crimson Stitchery did a stashless 2020 project to use up spare yarn. If you look at the hashtag #stashless2020 on Instagram you will see hundreds of posts of people’s makes, with tons of ideas and inspiration as to how to use up your stash. Socks, cardigans, blankets…

So many people were forced to look at their stash last year due to the pandemic and the fact that A) a lot of people couldn’t leave the house to go shopping and buy more yarn or B) with so many people losing their jobs/ being affected financially by the pandemic in some way or other, they simply couldn’t afford to spend on frivolous new purchases.

So, people looked at what they already had in their drawers and cupboards. And it was a lot, lol! And not just wool, either, loads of little pieces were sewn as well as knitted and crocheted.

Here are 5 simple ideas to use up your scraps.

5. Fabric

-Use left over scraps to make a patchwork blanket, cut out the squares as you go along until you have enough to start making either strips or squares.

-Small Christmas decorations such as mini stockings or fabric ‘paper’ chains.

-Scrunchies and knotted headbands – Pinterest has loads of ideas for sewn headbands!

4. Wool/ Yarn

-Granny Square blankets

-Hats, scarves, cowls, mittens, socks etc.

-Items for the home such as cushion covers, tea cosies, coffee pot/mug cosies, trivets out of cotton yarn

I love to crochet pumpkins out of scrap NEON wool! 🙂 can you tell the background is wallpaper and not real wood?!!!

3. T-shirt Yarn

-Make macrame wall hangings/ coasters


-Crochet bowls and pots

macrame wall hanging using t-shirt yarn

2. Paper

-Cards, tags, wrapping paper, stick odd bits in scrapbooks/ art journals as background – I have seen a Youtube channel called MaremiSmallArt use tags (from when you buy clothing) and use them as texture for the background of a make before she paints over them

– Discover origami

-Donate pretty paper and card you won’t use to your local primary/ elementary school

  1. Pattern books/ books/ craft magazines

-Go through and weed out any patterns you will never use and recycle/ donate, buy online patterns to avoid clutter

-I have a button badge maker and I have looked through old knitting and crochet magazines and created unique badges (that I have stuck on my knitting needle bag) out of pictures of knitted fabric

-Decide on a challenge – e.g. Make 1 item from each book/ magazine or flip through a book and pick a pattern to try blindfolded…something like that

Day #16 – How has blogging changed since 2015?


Day #16 – How has blogging changed since 2015 (when I created my first ever blog)?

I used to have a blog back in the day that was similar to this one, in many respects. I used it for general stuff and crafty stuff and things I wanted to do – it became a log of things I had done and a list of what I wanted to do. I lost the blog-mojo so I shut it down and didn’t do any blogging for a few years.

I started up that blog in mid 2015. 

And then I opened this one and I find the whole blogging industry (is that the right word?) has changed quite a bit. 

Here are a few points:

  1. Way back in 2015 there were fewer blogs with videos/ video podcasts in them. That’s a good thing, I like how we can add video content now, how we can do tutorials and podcasts or silly short form content. It adds more  to your brand and your content (lol, I haven’t added any but I am not proficient yet with video editing etc.!) More videos is a positive in my book.
  2. I haven’t seen any ‘awards’ – yay! This is a good thing! The Sunshine Blogger Award, The Liebster Blogger Award…and so on. They were like the chain letters you did as a kid (which I always hated and never did anyway!). I should point out here I am not talking about an ACTUAL award, these were just things to get more exposure for your and the nominator’s blogs. I can understand that in a way, but it got to a point where I felt I had to make a post with all this ‘research’ about some blogger I had never heard of, read a few of their posts and say something nice about them, thank them for nominating me and then I had link back to them and nominate 1 or 3 other blogs or whatever and basically it was faff that I hated. If I like your post or your blog I will tell people about it and link to it anyway, I don’t need some ‘award’ chain-letter-post to be guilted into doing it. GGRRRRRR rant over. Thank God I haven’t seen any of these in 2021!!!
  3. So many more platforms and apps to link to now. Way back in 2015, I remember there being Ravelry and Youtube you could link to if you wanted either exposure or to advertise things you sold/ made. Nowadays there are more social media sites, there’s Patreon, Kofi, PayPal, Etsy…yes of course, some of these were available back then, but it seems easier to link to sites where creators get paid to create and that is a good thing. 
  4. Ads – no banner ads! Yay! I suppose it depends on if you have a free or your own web hosted site, but there will always be ads somewhere, at least nowadays they are not so in your face. 
  5. There are still a lot of goodies out there – so far, after launching about a week ago, I have seen a lot of good posts with beautiful makes, delicious recipes to try, ideas for books to read and films to see, people recommending knitting and crochet designers, gorgeous sewing patterns…it’s amazing how one thing can inspire you and lead to so many other things. I remember one blog I used to follow (I won’t name it because I know they don’t blog anymore) introduced me to the idea of making a living solely from online work. This seems crazy to have not have thought of that at the time, but back then I don’t think I had truly realised how much potential there was to make a living from the internet and as such to not need to have a normal 9 – 5 job. The thought of passive income you made yourself at home was totally new and a novel idea…and it came from a blog about making sourdough bread and up cycling projects!

Overall I would say you have to pay for more stuff regarding blogging, but the free stuff is better than it used to be (does that make sense?!). I’m sure you used to be able to add videos on your free WordPress blog as part of your media section without having to pay for it as you do nowadays. And after having a paid WordPress platform for a while, I am surprised you have to have a paid plan for Plugins…Oh well, welcome to the 2020’s I guess!

Blogging has changed and evolved over the years, but as long as we creatives keep making and baking and creating and sharing our works, so much of it will stay the same x

Day #14 – Making for Children


Day #14 – Making for Children

I have to say, I haven’t knitted or crocheted a lot for children in the past. 

But last year I made 2 baby blankets (and donated 2 more to charity), a baby jumper, a hat and a cardigan. 

knitted boy baby jumper
knitted baby jumper

I like doing baby blankets as they are quite small (or as big as you want really) and you can get some really nice yarn to make them out of. 

I have always liked the idea of knitting rompers and diaper covers and I have yet to knit a pair of bootees or mittens for babies. 

The blankets I just crocheted from my head, I think they were corner to corner blankets. I bought the pattern for the jumper (in picture above) from Etsy, it was OK, but some parts of the pattern could have been explained better. 

I HATE the way in some (adult or baby) patterns it just says ‘increase’ for sleeves – how? Should I use a right or left leaning increase and where should I put said increases? I had to work it out in the end and figure out sewing the top together, but I don’t think I’ll do that pattern again. Even though I quite like the finished outcome. 

The cardigan was from a knitting magazine. So was the hat. 

Baby knits are supposed to be quick…the cardigan took me almost a month!! :O

Thank goodness I don’t have any more lined up in the near future. 🙂

Day #12 – Knitting vs. Crochet


Day #12 Knitting vs. Crochet


How long have I been doing it?

I learned at the start of 2016. I made a stocking stitch scarf and that was it, I was away. I taught myself from a few Youtube videos.

What level are you?

I would say I am an intermediate knitter. I haven’t done a lot of lace, cables or Fair Isle, although I’ve done some in the past. 

What kinds of things have you made so far?

Blankets, scarves, cowls, hats, random freebie patterns from magazines, a couple of knitted whale toys, hot water bottle covers, a coffee pot cover, cushion covers, one lone single sock, loads of Christmas decorations – baubles, mini stockings, hanging trees etc., 3 large Christmas stockings, a tea cosy in the shape of a pudding…

What techniques have you mastered so far?

Simple ones. Stocking stitch, rib, gartur stitch, moss/ seed stitch, patterns with knit and purl such as basket weave and waffle stitch, basic cabling, basic eyelets and button holes, baby jumpers/ cardigans, increases and decreases.

Would love to try entrelac, brioche and Double (reversible) Knitting next.


How long have you been doing it?

About 12 -13 years. I learned at university and although I tried knitting at the same time, I found it too difficult at the time and just focused on crochet.

What level are you? 

I would say advanced. I understand how stitches are made and altered, even if I have to refer back to patterns for stitches sometimes. Most of the things I crochet I design myself as I tend to make quick and easy items.

What kinds of things have you made so far?

Blankets, scarves, hats, amigurumi figures, baby dress and waistcoat, balls and baubles, pot holders, trivets, a terrible top which I threw away!, decorations, bunting, granny squares, bags, cowls, cushion covers…

What techniques have you mastered?

Pretty much most of the basic ones and once you understand how crochet is done, it’s pretty much variations on a theme. A few techniques I haven’t tried yet in crochet is entrelac, broomstick lace and hairpin lace. 


I find crochet a lot quicker than knitting – I could crochet a scarf in an evening, depending on the stitch used. But I like the look of knitted stocking stitch better than crochet. 

I would prefer to have a knitted jumper rather than a crocheted one, although I could probably whip up the crochet one in half the time. 

As you can see from the answers above I tend to make household items, rather than pieces of clothing, whether for knitting or crochet. I don’t tend to do many small items such as toys or figures because I hate the fiddly bits and they never look ‘normal’ by the time I have sewn them up! I hate doing crochet amigurumi mostly, I have to be in the mood. 

In 2021, it is sweater knitting all the way, I have 3 on the go, as well as a knitted shawl and there are sewing projects getting lined up, so I don’t really have the desire to do small projects at the minute. Especially as Christmas is out of the way and I did quite a few small decorations last year.

So…if there was a contest between knitting and crochet, I think knitting would win, but not by much. I am equally a knitter and crocheter…I don’t discriminate, it’s all yarn!!

Day #10 Techniques I Want to Try


Techniques I want to try – Entrelac

I have never tried Entrelac before, either knitting or crochet, and I have always wanted to. It looks so complicated and fluffy, with lots of raised texture as well as looking really warm and snuggly!!

I understand the basic idea of it, but just haven’t had the time or patience to try as I hate picking up stitches! Basically, it looks like a chunky basketweave kind of stitch, that’s the only way I can think to describe it!

Here are 3 patterns from Ravelry to get you started with Entrelac:

  1. Entrelac Made Easy Cowl by Susan Gressman

2. Entrelac Scarf by Allison LoCicero

3. Entrelac Blanket by Catriona Stevenson

These are all free Ravelry downloads, have a look if you want to learn a new technique and add to your list of crafty skills.

You can be as clever and creative with colours and patterns as you like – I have a fantastic circular version of an Entrelac throw made in rainbow colours.

Entrelac is definitely on my list of things to learn. What technique is on yours? x

Day #9 Favourite Knitting Stitch


Favourite Knitting Stitch

I’m incredibly boring and pathetic in that I like the basic stocking stitch for knitting and a basic granny square for crochet.

I know, I know…such a vanilla crafter!! But there is nothing so beautiful as a swatch of stocking stitch…

Last year I knitted my first ever baby cardigan and a baby blanket for a friend who had a baby, using the same yarn (I can’t remember, was it a Stylecraft yarn?) and I completed my first ever C2C (corner to corner) crochet blanket at the same time.

I love the way the stocking stitch turned out in this yarn – too bad I hadn’t quite mastered mattress stitch at that point so the sewing up of the cardigan was a bit wonky.

I also love the combinations of different textures you can make with only knit and purl stitches.

Day #8 New Crafts To Try This Year


New crafts to try this year

I feel like I tried a lot of new ones last year in 2020 – resin, mosaics, made a leather handbag, tried Lino cutting, got to grips with my sewing machine in earnest…

This year, I want to focus more on finishing UFO’s and WIP’s, and on improving my technique and learning new techniques for current skills (I am thinking knitting, crochet and sewing here).

I still have the materials for the Lino cutting and printing- I had a go last year and didn’t pick it up again after I cut my hand quite badly – doh!! So, maybe that’s one for the summer.

I also have a block of candle wax to turn into candles and a lot of shea butter and oils to make into salves and body butters etc. These are more about using up what’s left of my stash and making a bit more room for stuff.

As regards knitting and crochet here are a few goals for this year:


Double Knitting

Brioche Knitting

Improve on my colour work and Fair Isle knitting – there is a cowl and hat in the Shetland Wool Adventures journal that I would’nt mind having a go at

Do more varied versions of the granny square – I tend to stick to the plain one all the time

Knitting in the round– socks and mittens are a sort of goal for this year

And for sewing?

I did a collar facing last year and added zips- I used the zipper foot for the first time ever!!

I think the biggest issue is the measuring and cutting out of both patterns and fabric. And the finishing touches and just finishing in general. I am quite a fast sewer, but the edges always look wonky…so the actual technique of sewing needs a little work, rather than specific projects.

So, to recap, no new crafts this year until I finish my current projects and I am going to focus on improving the crafts I do at the moment. 🙂

Although, saying that, this pattern is in my stash…I love the first 2 (they remind me of Assassin’s Creed and Rey’s outfit from Star Wars) and I want to do A with the sleeves of C and no pockets like B…

sewing pattern

Day #7 My Crafty Childhood


My Crafty Childhood

When I was little I had 3 books that inspired me to craft away. I even did some of the ‘makes’ in there.

The books were: My First Paint Book, My First Nature Book and My First Cook Book all published by Dorling Kindersley.

I can’t remember how old I was when I had them , definitely about 8 or 9 years old. So, early to mid 1990’s.

I remember I made an art box out of a shoe box – I painted it and even did the stencilled art palette on the top but I don’t think I did the red and yellow square edging.

I also painted a glass jar with lots of dots and that became my paint brush jar. I did the one with all the dots and little 9 year old me thought it looked rather AMAZING if I do say so myself!

It’s funny looking back at them now as an adult…how was I so enthralled with these books?! I did always want to try the bread rolls and the mini pizzas but I don’t think I ever did. Aw, childhood regrets…I didn’t make the pizza!!!

I remember I had an easel for Christmas one year and I did a paint-by-numbers picture on it, whilst wearing an old shirt to protect me from paint splatter!! I’m sure I looked the part!

I also had a Christmas Craft book from The Early Learning Centre which I loved looking at. (The Early Learning Centre shops might have disappeared from UK High Streets now, I’m not sure, but I used to love going into their stores as a kid – they had wooden train sets that you could pay with, I even had a set of my own with a bridge and everything).

I had a lot of craft books…don’t forget this was pre-Youtube and probably pre-internet too!! If you wanted inspiration you either had to read about it in a book, or watch it on terrestrial TV, which, if you missed an episode, you had to wait patiently until it was repeated.

Nowadays, as an adult, I still have a lot of craft books only now they are more specific – soap making, knitting, crochet, sewing, macrame, Top-Down Sweaters, Tunisian Crochet….I guess some things stay the same as you get older! 🙂

Day #6 Favourite Crafty Celebrity


Favourite Crafty Celebrity

I live in the UK. There is only really one person that comes to mind when we think of a crafting celebrity…yes, I am of course talking about Kirsty Allsopp!

To those not in the UK, she is probably best known over here for hosting a lot of selling your house type TV programmes, where the people do up their home and then decide whether to sell it or not, or maybe they are simply looking for a new house somewhere.

But, in more recent years, she has also hosted a lot of craft programmes with different formats. She tries lots of crafts, she does tutorials for some and there was even one series where she entered lots of craft fairs and shows.

I particularly love her Christmas craft shows…although they always seem to be on air at funny times and I miss them!

I guess the US version would be Martha Stewart?!!!!

I like Keith Brymer Jones from a TV show called The Great Pottery Showdown – it has become a guessing game of whether he will cry each episode, but he’s a sweetie!!

And Patrick Grant from The great British Sewing Bee – all the women watching that show like him!!!!!!!!

There are many other crafty people I like, but I’ve looked at TV and not Youtube or anything else.

Who do you like? Any suggestions who to watch?! x

DAY #3 Favourite Thing I Have Ever Made


Favourite thing I have ever made

Well, where do I start with this one? I have made so many things from so many different materials. Also, what are the exact judging criteria?!!

I generally go for easy, quick-ish knits and bits. I like to knit and crochet blankets, cowls and hats. I am only just now starting with the sweater knitting after about 5 or 6 years of knitting. I am late to that party.

One of my all time crochet faves is this shawl I made with Stylecraft Cabaret DK, I don’t know the shades but I did 2 balls of a multi-coloured shade and then 2 balls of a grey/ blue shade.

It is so soft and snuggly and I used up yarn I had already and best of all…I crocheted it in the sun last year during lockdown 2020. Something beautiful and practical out of being stuck at home. Pattern from a book called Shabby Chic Crochet designed by Agnieszka Strycharska.

Another of my all-time favourite (non knitting or crochet related) makes was this recipe design I cross-stitched at university. As if I didn’t have enough to do then!!

I have kept it hidden away for all these years until last year, when I got out my hot glue gun and stuck it to the front of a spare notebook I had and it is now my hand-written recipe book. Of course, it doesn’t look as glamorous inside…

The pattern was from a cross stitching magazine with a free calendar and the pattern was in the calendar, I can’t remember anything else about it than that!! Possibly Cross Stitcher or World of Cross-Stitching magazines??

I also love this granny blanket I made last year using up Double Knitting scraps. It’s bright and funky coloured and eye-catching and is currently on my bed on top of my duvet as it’s getting cold here. Last night was -3C BRRRR!!

crochet granny square blanket
crochet granny square blanket

As for knitting? It’s hard to pick a favourite. Probably all of the mini Christmas makes I did last year. I bought 3 volumes of pattern books from a website called Deramores. They were called Christmas Knits by King Cole Yarns. And I knitted baubles, stockings, a Christmas pudding tea cosy, Christmas hanging trees…so much festive goodness!

knitted stocking
mini knitted stocking
tea cosy
knitted bauble
knitted bauble

So, yeah, that’s a few of my favourite makes. I realised when writing this post, I don’t actually have a lot of pics of things I have made. Every so often I have to make more memory space available and I go through and delete photos, but also I just don’t take many pics! I am not the best photographer in the world…

Also, a lot of the favourites have been given away to friends and family.

What are your favourite makes?

DAY #2 Favourite Yarn Brand


Favourite Yarn Brand

I have always loved James C. Brett, especially their Marble Chunky range – I have made so many things for both myself and other people from it. It knits up really well and fast and is chunky and warm.

I have used quite a few different yarns from both King Cole and Stylecraft. Usually the cheap acrylic ones – either 100% acrylic or a mix with either polyester or wool.

I tend to shy away from 100% wool as it can be a bit itchy and scratchy for me.

A brand I have only recently started to use is Hayfield. I like their aran yarn which I used for my Christmas stockings. It’s bright and soft.

So…I would say I don’t go for the expensive or luxury brands!!

The trouble I find with most brands, including the ones above, are that most of them are made in other countries like Turkey, and the fact that the material is acrylic and not the most eco-friendly. No-one has forced me to buy acrylic and I don’t want to sound like a yarn snob, I like the feel of acrylic yarns and the fact that they usually wear well, like they stand up well to a washing machine in my experience.

In the future I definitely want to use more British spun and dyed yarns and more natural fibres such as wool or alpaca. I have never tried a bamboo yarn before, so that is on my list.

style craft cabaret DK