This week is Mental Health Awareness Week.   If you are a regular to this blog then your probably know that colour and crochet are two great ways of relaxing and can be a tremendous benefit to your mental wellbeing.

Looking after our mental health is just as important as looking after our physical health and yet it is most often neglected.  So let’s get healthy!   To encourage everyone to do so and to raise awareness of mental health, I am making one of my favourite colourful crochet mandala patterns free for the rest of this week (until midnight GMT on 14th May).

You can find the Sunshine Mandala pattern on Ravelry here.   You will need to ‘purchase’ the pattern but enter coupon code MHAW on checkout and the price will be discounted to zero.


Find more information on mental health awareness week here.

Happy colourful crocheting xxxxx

I have just returned from the annual knitaway holiday to Buxton with my knitgroup friends.  As usual we had great fun, lots of laughs, plenty of good food and wine and managed a spot of knitting and crochet 🙂

Whilst our knitaway holidays are similar, we always manage to do something different each time.

This time we had a workshop on fair isle, tutored by Melanie Boocock.  I loved the workshop and came away with more confidence in my ability to knit fairisle (and with a little purse to show for it!).


Melanie is a great tutor and I can recommend her workshops.  She is running one at Black Sheep Wools next week – details here.

On the journey to Buxton some of us stopped at Whaley Bridge to visit Wiseheart Studio. This is a relatively new venture, having superseded the previous yarnshop which was in the same premises.   Kate wasn’t expecting us (next time we’ll warn her!) but she was extremely welcoming, making tea and coffee for us and explaining her aims for the studio.  We had a good mooch around and discovered she has a beautiful range of wool and natural fibres.  One of her aims is to have yarn sourced from Britain as ethically as possible, she has yarn from a variety of local indie dyers and is working on having a unique local yarn, all of which have these credentials.

As well as this gorgeous yarn, the shelves are decorated with shawls, felted and woven brooches, felted hanging decorations and shawl pins, even her notions are beautifully presented!

She also runs a variety of fibre and fibre-related workshops or ‘adventures’ which I think is a great word!   I’ll keep an eye on her website as I have been assured there will be some lovely adventures for me to try soon.

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx



My crochet hook is steaming at the moment!  I’ve been hooking away on all sorts of projects.  But they are all secret designs, so I can’t share them with you yet.

A few are for Cheshire Fibre Festival 2017 workshops, and I plan to reveal more on that at the beginning of May.

Several  are for a new project which I’m keeping quiet about for a while yet.

And one, or rather three, are for the next monthly Cheshire Crochet Club. A couple of months ago the topic was crochet shawls from the point upwards, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. There were even a couple of shawls ready for show and tell at last Crochet Club!

So I promised that the next topic will also be crochet shawls, and this time sideways.  I have been working on 3 variations of the same design for Crochet Club.  And the design will become a pattern very soon after. Would you like a peek?


This is Kitty, a shawl design in one or two colours that is worked sideways.  The design work is finished and the pattern partly written.   I’m looking forward to sharing it at next Crochet Club, and then I’ll release it for you all to enjoy 🙂

Happy crocheting xx





Somehow, maybe accidentally or maybe not, I have acquired a habit of running a CAL or two or three over the winter months.  This last season it was Spring Blossom Blanket, Christmas Mandala and Advent.  However, I rarely join in other CALS……….unless something grabs me…. like Hygge.   Why did it grab me?  Afterall when you look at it, what you see is lots of double crochet, lots of cross stitch on double crochet, a few bobbles and some spike stitch (sorry, did I confuse you?).

It grabbed me because of its simplicity: it looks like it should be complicated (maybe it is, but not to me), I knew it would be easy to do yet would look gorgeous.  And then the colour……oh heck, I love blues and they had a fantabulous blue colourway called Danish Mermaid.  Even though I know my cross stitch isn’t perfect, I knew that the ‘folk style’ would work brilliantly (it doesn’t need to be perfect!).  And I am so happy I joined it.  My Hygge makes me smile.  Here it is after week 9:


It even passes the Poppet inspection!

Fancy joining me?  Then check out your local stockists.  To me this means Magnolia Tree Crafts.

Happy crocheting xxx


Here in the UK we are enjoying a holiday weekend, having Friday and Monday as Bank Holidays for Easter.   Tradition requires us to enjoy eggs at Easter, normally they are chocolate eggs but I was reminded today that not everyone enjoys or can eat chocolate. Whatever eggs you have this Easter, you may like a little basket to keep them in:


This little one is approx 12cm across by 12cm high (including the handle) and holds 4 large hens eggs or lots of little chocolate eggs!
Here’s a ‘recipe’ to make your own:

Cotton DK yarn (I used Stylecraft Cotton Classique DK, 100% cotton, 50g/92m per ball,1 ball in Saville (3670) for the basket and oddments of pastel colours for the flowers)
4.00mm (US G/6) crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Stitch marker

All UK terms
St(s) = stitch(es)
Ch = chain
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp = chain space
Dc = double crochet
Dc2tog = work 2 dc together
Htr = half treble

Tension isn’t too important, just aim for a firm finish.

Instructions –  Basket
Foundation: Using Saville, 4ch and join into a ring with a ss. Alternatively start with a magic ring. 
Round 1: 1ch (does not count as st), 6dc in ring, do not ss to join but continue to work in a spiral (using a stitch marker on the first st and moving it up as you complete a round). [6sts]
Round 2: 2dc in each st around [12sts]
Round 3: (1dc in next st, 2dc in next st) 6 times [18sts]
Round 4: (1dc in each of next 2sts, 2dc in next st) 6 times [24sts]
Round 5: (1dc in each of next 3sts, 2dc in next st) 6 times [30sts]

Continue in this way increasing by 6 dc each round for Rounds 6 to 10, until you have 60 sts.

Rounds 11 to 22: 1dc in each st around, do not break yarn but continue to work the handle.

30ch, miss 30sts, 1dc in next st.  Now work dc all around the top edge of the basket back to the start of the 30ch and work 1dc in each of the chain, now repeat this once (so you have done 2 rounds of dc along one edge of the chain.  You will find it neater if you work dc2tog on each side where the handle meets the top of the basket).  Ss to join, break yarn and fasten off.
Rejoin yarn to the other side of the chain and repeat the 2 rounds of dc.  Break yarn, fasten off and sew in ends.

Now embellish with a few flowers:


Flower 1 (on the right)
Round 1:  Start with a magic ring, work 6dc in ring, pull ring tight, ss to join.  [6sts]
Round 2: (3ch, ss in next st) 6 times.  Break yarn and fasten off.  [6 3ch-sps]
Round 3: Join second colour into any 3ch-sp, (1dc, 3htr, 1dc) in each 3ch-sp, ss to join.  Break yarn and fasten off.   Use one end to sew to basket and weave in all other ends

Flower 2 (on the left)
Round 1:  Start with a magic ring, 2ch (counts as 1htr), 8htr in ring, pull ring tight, ss to join.  [9sts]
Round 2: (3ch, ss in next st) 9 times.  Break yarn and fasten off.
Using a contrast colour, sew a cross in the centre of the flower.  Use one end to sew to basket and weave in all other ends.

Now fill your basket with eggs!

Whatever your choice of eggs, have a Happy Easter!

Happy crocheting xxx

…it’s a secret…………. but we are working quietly in the background planning the next Cheshire Fibre Festival.  This year it will be different; the focus is on creating – there will be workshops morning and afternoon covering a range of fibre arts, and a mini-marketplace at lunchtime.    Come for the day and learn something new or refresh your fibre skills 🙂

More information coming soon, so keep you eye on the CFF page. Meanwhile save the date:  Sunday 1st October 2017

cff logo 1

Happy knitting, crocheting, hairpin, needlefelting, spinning, weaving!   xx



I have been blown away by your love of the Ivy Mandala, my inbox has been pinging non-stop as people have been downloading the pattern.    What a lovely way for me to celebrate National Crochet Month 🙂


National Crochet Month isn’t over yet and there are still plenty of things to discover and offers to find if you follow the Crochetville facebook page.

And don’t forget, until midnight GMT on 31st March 2017 you can download Ivy free from Ravelry if you use the code IVY on checkout, and receive 10% off all other patterns in my Ravelry store if you use the code CROMO17 on checkout (one use only per customer).

Happy crocheting xxx

During the month of March, Crochetville organises a blog tour to celebrate National Crochet Month.  Almost 100 designers from around the world participate and today is my turn.

The theme for the blog tour this year is GLAMPING and I thought I would first share some of my experience of glamping.  I confess I have never slept under canvas of any type and when asked about my experiences I didn’t even think I’d been glamping!  But I have been on safari in Africa and had some memorable nights in the most wonderful glamping type safari lodge.  This is the room and view

The ‘bungalow’ was built into the hillside and thatched with open sides (with mossie-proof curtaining at night) and a lovely little terrace/balcony with a view to die for.   Waking up at sunrise watching the elephants on the plains from the terrace was mesmerising.  The furniture was all locally made and very rustic and the textiles were fantastic.   The lodge is called Elsa’s Kopje and is built on the hill where Elsa the lion roamed.

Looking at these photos again reminded me of the colours of Kenya, which was in drought when I visited, and it inspired me to start using this little collection of yarn that I have had in my stash for ages.  You’ll have to wait and see what I make 🙂


Whilst preparing for this blog I decided to design something which you can all make –  a colourful mandala.  I had been aware of crochet mandalas for some years but was never inspired to make any until 2 years ago.  Mandalas have great spiritual significance, and crocheted mandalas are not used simply for decoration; they are used as colour therapy and in meditation, and can be so soothing to make.  At the time I designed my very first crochet mandala I was in need of a soothing lift and playing with crochet and colour was the perfect therapy for me.  So I thought what better way to share the joy of crochet with you this month than a special mandala.

So this is the one I designed for NatCroMo, it is called Ivy Mandala:


It is small and has texture as well as colour.  The pattern can be found here.  If you purchase through Ravelry and use the code IVY on checkout you will be able to purchase it for free.  This code is valid until the end of March (midnight GMT on 31st).

In addition, in celebration of this month of crochet all my patterns on Ravelry can be purchased at 10% discount until the end of March – use code CROMO17 at checkout (one use per person).

March isn’t over yet and there are more blogs and offers planned by Crochetville – so keep your eye on their website and join in the fun!

Happy crocheting xxx



Today is the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere.   It started miserable with clouds and rain in abundance.   But just after lunch the clouds drifted apart, the sun popped out a few times and now it’s come out to play.  So I took a break from my desk for a little wander outside to see all the signs of life springing up in the garden and the fields:

Some tulips about to open (looks like the slugs have been having a feed on some of the leaves!), a small clump of primrose and just over the fence in the rough meadow signs that the primrose has been self-seeding – this little patch was a joy to behold and the meadow will not be mown in this area for quite a while!

And further afield evidence of the badger foraging by pushing up the turf, blackthorn in blossom and in the well/spring there is evidence of just how wet it has been.

Before too long the leaves will open on the trees and in the hedges and more life will well up.   I love this time of year!

Happy spring xx



…. a special blog post, a new pretty little mandala pattern and an offer!


Until then….happy crocheting xxx


Smile :-)

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