Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

One year, six garlands ...

As much as I love all the noise and fun that Christmas brings
I also love those few days between Christmas and new Year.

Nothing is planned, nothing is hurried or stressful, and there is no work.

 There is time to just sit, to drink tea,
to crochet and to think back over the last year
and one of the things I love the most about blogging and Instagram is the record
it allows you to keep of all your makes throughout the past 12 months.

When I was looking back through mine I realised that if I had to name 2015,
for me, it would have to be the Year of The Garland -
I seem to have made loads !

It started back in January, when having taken all the Christmas decorations down
something was needed to hang on the fireplace to try and make it look a little less bleak !
In keeping with the time of year I decided to go with snowbally pompoms.

Using a wondrous pompom maker they were made as quick as a flash
and they are back on my fireplace today,
having taken this years Christmas decorations down yesterday.

As Spring approached a new garland was planned,
one that would bring a little of the garden inside.

From a selection of yarns in the softest of yellows, pinks and greens,
little flowers grew

and there were soon enough to make tiny Spring posies

all ready to be sewn on to a raffia garland.

Just as surely as Spring follows Winter,
Summer was soon just around the corner and we were busily preparing
for our eldest daughters wedding in August.

With so many weddingy makes on the hook and needle,
last years Daisy Garland was retrieved from the bottom of the drawer and re-used.

Nothing complicated, just a string of my favourite flowers -

a giant daisy chain.

Meanwhile, in the background I was beavering away, making a garland of ivory roses,
the plan being that this would decorate the top table at Meg and Adam's wedding.

I think this has to be one of my most favourite makes of all time -
I loved everything about it,
from the fact that the roses were a mixture of knitted ones and crochet ones,
to the excitement that grew with each finished rose.

Little by little, in amongst all the other preparations, it continued to grow
and when it was all completed, just in time for the big day

I couldn't have been more pleased with the finished result.

One section was hung on the ceremony table during the wedding
 and then, when joined to three other sections,

it was long enough to cover the entire length of the top table
during all the celebrations that followed.

I have to admit to hanging a small section of it on our fireplace after the wedding
and every time I looked at it all the happy memories came flooding right back.

With the onset of Autumn came plans for a new garland,
one that would allow me to include all those glorious Autumn shades,
and of course lots of tiny acorns !
What is it about these gorgeous little fruits of the oak tree
that makes them so enchanting ?

Having made a similar Autumn garland the year before, this year
had asked me to put together a tutorial for them
and I decided that this time I would go for something
that was quite minimal and rustic looking.

I made the actual garland from several lengths of string
crocheted together, and then the clusters of leaves and acorns
were tied in to bunches with more string
and pegged on to the garland with tiny wooden pegs.

Of course the final garland of 2015 had to be a Christmas one.
Made up of snowballs, tiny Christmas wreaths and decorated Christmas trees
I wanted to create something that had a Scandinavian feel about it.

When each piece was finished I stitched them on to a length of crocheted red wool

and, once hung up for photo's to be taken,

it was very quickly spotted by daughter number 1

and off it went to its new home !

Hopefully there will many more Garlands to come in 2016
as well as lots of other fun crochet projects
but in the meantime I wish you all the very
Happiest of New Years and many Best Wishes for 2016.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The finishing touches ...

It seems that the final post of 2015 has sped round just as quickly as ever,
and suddenly here we are all ready for Christmas.

For once I seem to be actually ready on time and pretty much organised,
and I've even surprised myself with that one
as I have no idea quite how that happened !

Last minute crochet makes have all been finished off,
from tiny sparkly stars

used for present tags

and decorations,

    to small jingly robins

to hang on the tree

or fill small spaces in stockings.

There's even been time to make the cutest of chocolate orange covers,

to be given as presents

or kept for evening treats.

So, all that's left to do now is to let Christmas begin
and to wish you all the happiest of times with friends and families.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

See you in 2016.

( Patterns for all three of these makes are all in the right hand side-bar. )

Monday, 7 December 2015

Christmas Crochet

As it's all gone a little bit Christmas Crochet bonkers round at mine
over the last couple of weeks, I have decided that this morning
  I'm just going to take a quiet five minutes
 to sit down and share some of my Christmassy makes with you
before moving on to the next WIP !

As well as finishing crochet presents for family and friends
I have been having lots of fun designing and writing tutorials
 for the Christmas Crochet Club over at

I think this first one has to be one of my all time favourites so far -
my Christmas Garland.

When Lovecrochet asked me to make one for them I knew straight away
 that I wanted to crochet something that was almost a little bit
 Scandinavian in design, with it being just white, red and green and
  very simple and minimal in design.

So, I set to and made Christmas trees, Christmas Wreaths and some tiny little snowballs.

The trees and wreaths are decorated with some Christmassy string
 and I added a star button and some bells to the trees,

before attaching them all to a red crochet chain.

I made two different sized trees to add a little variation and each tree has a front
and a back to add a bit of strength and to stop it from curling.

The full pattern can either be found in the right hand side bar or
 by clicking HERE to go to

And the one that I made ?
Well, it disappeared very quickly and now hangs in my daughters
beautiful, cosy lounge.

My second Christmassy make is two co-ordinating hot water bottle covers,
perfect for a bit of snuggling on those chilly Winters evenings.

I think my favourite has to be the spotty one ( no surprise there really ! )

and I made these by just sewing on lots of little tiny crochet circles
 to the front of the cover, with the back being left plain.

 The stripy cover is made to exactly the same pattern, 
with each cover allowing the hot water bottle to be filled from the top and
 the cover to be removed for washing through the fold over flap at the back.

They are super quick to make and again, you can either find the pattern in
the right side bar of this page or HERE at lovecrochets blog.

Happy Christmassy Crocheting everyone.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

When all else fails ...

Do you ever get those weeks when nothing quite goes right ? 
When things that should be straightforward and easy to accomplish are suddenly stood stock still, 
right in front of you, resembling a very high brick wall ?
All too familiar to all of us I'm sure .... 
and my last three weeks have certainly been a little challenging at times. 

It started with the f word, flu - it quietly sneaked up on me
and after not having had it for about 10 years , it decided to wipe me out for just over two weeks. 
And it was proper, ache to the tips of your fingers flu.
Not even crochet helped !

But, slowly it went and life resumed as normal and I headed back to work. 
All good.
But no, there was another little pile of bricks in the form of a brick wall there too, 
as it seems these bugs and viruses are catching and my work computer was poorly,
 very, very poorly.
So poorly in fact that it had to go to Computer Hospital.

Ok, I thought, that's not a problem , I'll just take my laptop to work and use that.
Well clearly that would have been far too easy !
Quite coincidentally, my laptop decided it didn't want to send or receive emails anymore, 
and that it too was going to take a few days out.

I really love I T when it works, I really don't love I T when it doesn't !

Aaaannnyyyyway .... 
by the time the weekend came I decided that all things electrical 
were no longer my friends and what was needed was some serious Pootling .....
nothing taxing or thought inducing, 
nothing stressful or difficult.

And all it took to turn things around were two tiny little pots of paint, 
a couple of little paint brushes

and an Elf house.
This is what it looked like before ....

and this is what it looked like after a couple of hours of the most blissful therapy.

Of course there had to be a big reveal .....

and all in all , 

I'd say it went down pretty well :-) ! 
Elf loves it.

And then, as is the way with these things, one thing led to another ....
the little blue car

became a cream car

and then it was time to fully embrace the fact that the 1st day of December 
was just around the corner and all the kitchen decorations came out.....

from tiny Christmas cottages

to bells and ribbons and stars

and all the rest of the little Christmas pixies were unwrapped 
from their cardboard box home and 

placed around the kitchen.

 They each have their own place to sit

and some clearly have very important jobs to do !

I love them.
They make me smile every time I look at them

 and in our house they always mark the arrival of December
 and all the festivities to come.

Happy 1 st of December everyone !