Thursday 29 March 2012

Super-Easy Pocket Owl

Tooowit twooooooo.

Pocket owl

Aaaaages ago I made some owls with pockets. I thought I'd make another one and then remembered that a couple of peeps had asked me for a tutorial, so I fired up Nan's old sewing machine...

First, cut yourself an owl shape from cardboard (old beer carton does the job for me) and cut yourself two pieces of fabric slightly larger than the owl. (blurred photo, sorry)

Pocket Owl

You'll also need a pocket. Cut a folded rectangle which fits across your owl's tummy and slightly wider and longer is what you should aim for. Iron this so the right sides are outside.
Pocket Owl

Next, cut yourself some eyes and a beak out of felt (or you could use buttons) and sew (by hand or machine) onto your owl. You could draw a faint chalk-line around your owl-y template so you can see roughly where your adornments should go, or if you're like me, you could just guess.

Pocket Owl

Next you should pin your owl's pocket into the right position. Make sure it sits below the owl's beak and is straight (ish).

 Pocket Owl
Now turn your fabric over- you can see where your stitch marks are - and draw around the owl template with chalk again.
Not right? Just rub off the chalk and re-position until you're happy.
Pin the owl fabric (with pocket pinned inside) right sides together.

Pocket Owl

Now sew! 
(By hand or machine) 
Make sure you leave a gap of a few cms along the side of the owl, above the pocket, to turn it out.

Pocket Owl

Cut away the excess material and snip cuts along the outside curved edges/ and cut out notches along the inside curved edges.

Image from Fotolr Photo Studio HD!

Turn out. Use a knitting needle or chopsticks to poke out the ears.
Iron it flat.

Pocket owl

Now stuff. 
Keep stuffing.
It needs a lot of stuffing.

Pocket owl

Now sew closed. I use a ladder stitch (check out this turorial) but you could use a bright coloured embroidery floss and sew a blanket stitch to make it stand out.


Pocket owl

In need of an owl with a pocket?
Well now you can have one.

Have a good week, all.

P.S. I love reading your comments. Seriously. Thank you. 
P.P.S I am a very nice, helpful person. If you have any questions or queries about my tutorials or posts, then do ask me- I'm more than happy to give advice, or point you in the right direction.
P.P.P.S. Trolls are not welcome.

Sunday 18 March 2012


Crochet lampshade makeover

When I saw these little lampshades for the bargain price of 75p each, I knew what I wanted to do with them.
It mostly involved ripping off the ghastly material and recovering them with something infinitely better.

Crochet lampshade

And there's nothing better than crochet.

Fancy a go?

I'll attempt to tell you how I did it, but i'll warn you know, this is a seriously-sort-of-winging-it project;
 I frogged mine many times through its making, but it was quite cathartic. No pattern to follow, so no right or wrong. I used a basic shell stitch around the shade with some rows of double crochet (UK treble) to make the decreases in.
You'll need to reduce your number of stitches right from the start, but don't worry about counting obsessively- just do what seems right. Spare stitches at the ends of your row can always be slip stitched into, or decreased together to help fit the shape of the shade.   

Image from Fotolr Photo Studio HD!

You'll need an old lampshade, stripped down to its frame and yarn and hook of choice. (I used dk cotton yarn and 4mm hook)  [And for good measure, a bit of peace and quiet, some patience and a few well-seasoned swear words.]

1. Put a slip knot on your hook and single crochet around the bottom rim, heading in a clockwise direction. Make sure the stitches fit quite snugly together to cover it well.

2. Start reducing your stitches in this row:  
  Chain 3, *Double crochet in next 3 stitches, dc2tog* rep around. 

3. This is the beginning of the shell stitch
  Chain 1, sc *skip 2 stitches, 5dcs into next st, sk 2 sts, sc* rep around

Image from Fotolr Photo Studio HD!

4. This is the other half of the shell pattern. You may need to slip stitch around to get yourself in the right place 
  Chain 1, sc in the 3rd dc (the middle stitch of a shell), *sk 2 sts, 5dc in next st, sk 2 sts, sc in next st* (middle of next shell again) repeat around.

5. More reducing of stitches in this row. -I found that I had the best result when decreasing using plain double crochet, rather than decreasing in a shell stitch row.
 Chain 3, dc2tog around.

6 onwards. Repeat the shell stitch pattern around.
When I reached the ends of my row, I sometimes reduced a few more stitches to help it fit. 

Crochet lampshade makeover

When you've done enough, finish off by single crocheting around the top rim. You may need to put two single crochets into some of the stitches to give a nice finish and cover the rim.

Crochet lampshade makeover

Crochet lampshade makeover

See what I mean about this being a winging-it project? Be brave- have a go.

Lampshade crochet makeover

I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a really big shade to try this on next...

Enjoy your week, all

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Such Fun!


Yesterday, I met with some lovely ladies for lunch.
Lovely ladies who blog.

Please may I introduce you (from right to left) to:
Ashley, me, Sarah and Gem
Or Country Rose, me, Shabby Chic Sarah and Treasures From The Cherry Tree as you may know them.

I've met Gemma before (what a laugh we had then, too) and she organised a luncheon for us all, since we live near-ish to each other.
Marvellous fun, much a-chatting, laughing and sharing and too little time.
Three wonderful girls who I hope to see again very soon.

Thanks, ladies.

It was ace.

P.S. I forgot to take my camera to lunch so have nicked Gem's photo- cheers love! X

Tuesday 6 March 2012

nice things

I love a nice parcel from Missus Postlady.
And I've been lucky enough to have two in the last couple of weeks.
The first was planned:
The purchase of some new yarny stuff.
I've been admiring the lovely Lucy's crochet work over at Attic24 and really wanted some of that fabulous Rico Creative. It took a while, but I found a great supplier. 
Look at the colours. And it's so soft, too!

Lovely yarn

And here's my second basket. Full of gorgeous soft, woolliness.

Lovely yarn

I love a yarny basket.     
I am so rock-n-roll.

Anyhoo, just a little plug for the wonderful and helpful Abby at Crafty Yarn
A pleasure to do business, as they say in the trade.

Now parcel number two was a surprise. (the best kind of parcel, I say)
A while ago I made some wooden blocks for an ex-pupil of mine.
To say thank you, she sent me this:

Gift from Millie's monkeys
Gift from Millie's monkeys

How sweet is that monkey- and look, he matches my sofa perfectly too.
And see the card- it's been a while since I've been called Miss G.
10 years ago, infact. I taught Millie when she was an ickle 10 year old and now she is a proper grown-up and everything. 
And she makes and sells these marvellous sock monkeys.
Go see her!
She's on Facebook and Twitter and Blogger and all things digi-tech-tastic. 

Gift from Millie's monkeys

Well done, Millie. I am very proud of you.

Gratuitous picture of nice necklace found in Charity shop today for 2 quid.

Thrifted necklace

BTW, have just restocked my Arundel Shop. Egg cosies and these cute egg decorations are available to buy.

Crochet Easter eggs

BTW again, the bloke who owns the whole Arundel outfit is a fella called Dennis. He looks like the type of chap you wouldn't mess with, but is a diamond geezer of the right sort. And all those programmes on the Telly where the antiques dealer says things like 'That is my best price. That is my absolute best price. It's got some age. That is my rock bottom price" - all true. Have heard Dennis saying all these things.    

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Thursday 1 March 2012


Egg cosies

*cheep cheep, cheepity, cheep cheeeeeeeeeep*

Balmy sunshine, the shedding of winter layers, and these mad looking chicks you can pick up for a few pennies from every shop. 
Their little crazy faces make me smile.
Yes, spring is here.

So I thought i'd make egg cosies.

Egg cosies

Egg cosies

Fancy making one? 
What? You're not very good at crochet? 
Can you do a single crochet stitch? (UK double)
Yes? Then you, my lovely, can make this. (Yes, Gem, you too)

I used:
DK yarn
4mm hook
Stitch marker

I also use the American terms, but it's easy to translate into UK terms:
single crochet (sc) = UK double crochet (dc)

Round 1:
[Now I use the magic ring method when working in the round. Have a look on YouTube for a tutorial and give it a go.]
5 single crochets in magic ring
Too tricksy? Then make a slip knot and put onto hook, chain 2 and make 5 single crochets into 2nd chain from hook.

Egg cosy tutorial

Round 2
Now you need to make 2 single crochets into each of your 5 stitches- see photo below (you'll have 10 stitches at the end of the round).
Don't forget to use a stitch marker in the first stitch (or bit of coloured yarn) so you know where you started out.

Image from Fotolr Photo Studio HD!

Round 3
Next, make 1sc into the first stitch and 2sc into the next.
Repeat around.

Image from Fotolr Photo Studio HD!

You'll have 15 sc now.

Round 4
1 sc in each stitch (15 sc in total)

Round 5
sc in next 2 stitches, 2sc in next stitch. Repeat around. (20 sc)

Round 6
sc in next 3 stitches, 2sc in next stitch. Repeat around. (25 sc)

Egg cosy tutorial 3

It should start to look a bit like this. The 'right' side of the cosy is actually the inside. We'll turn it out at the end.

Rounds 7-13
sc in each stitch around (25 sc)

Finish off, weave in ends.
Turn right-side-out.

Decorate as you wish. I made pompoms, or here I made a frilly edge from here (chain 3, slip stitch around) and added a buttonny-flower.

Egg cosy

Ahhhhhh, cheepity, cheep, all.