books, crafting, crochet

A Favourite Book

Many many years ago, when I was still a student, I had taken up knitting. I was quite good, but I decided I wanted to try crochet. My mum crochets, y’see, and she raves about it. So I went to my local Borders (see how long ago it was!) and bought a book all about how to crochet.

Reader, I was hooked. Excuse the pun.

The book was ‘The Happy Hooker’ by Debbie Stoller, and followed on from her wildly successful ‘Stitch and Bitch’ knitting books.

It’s – how can I put this? – well-loved. The pages are falling out, the cover is bubbling and I’ve spilled something or other all over it.

Bubbling cover

Pages everywhere
God only knows what this spillage is!

It’s a wonderful book, which is why I’ve kept it, despite its falling to pieces. It has such clear instructions, and cute little illustrations, that I picked up crochet pretty quickly.

How to

It has such amazing patterns too. Some are whimsical and fluffy, some are funky, some are functional, some are girly, some are retro!

Whimsical cardigan
Girly cardigan
Putting the ‘fun’ in ‘functional’
Funky gloves
A cover for your iPod!

All in all, it’s a great book. I’m currently working on a blazer called ‘Prepster’ from it, and I’ll post pictures in due course. But if you’re thinking of taking up[ a new craft or hobby, I highly recommend crochet, and I highly recommend this book!

crafting, just for fun, sewing

Porcine Principles

I’m going to a fancy-dress party soon, and the theme is ‘cartoons/children’s programmes’. I am, therefore, going as my ultimate heroine and style icon, Miss Piggy. I’ve always been fond of pigs, and a pig in a glamorous frock? Well, I can’t resist.

I had to go to Hobbycraft the other day to buy some needles, and while I was there, I wandered into the felt section. On impulse, I bought some pink felt to get myself into the piggy mood and, on the train home, began to sew.

I made a Little Pig finger puppet. Yes, the stitching is a little… wacky, and whatever you do, don’t look at the back, but it’s the first thing I’ve sewn and I’m proud of it.

Now I’ve got into my porky groove, I need to finish my costume for Miss Piggy. Now, where did I leave my pearls?!

Don’t mention the stitches!
Sitting on my finger
crafting, crochet

Cotton Pads

I don’t often wear makeup, but when I do, I always make sure to remove it before bed. I wear face masks quite a lot and so get through cotton pads at quite a rate.

I’m also interested in trying to be as green as possible, so when I chanced upon some cotton yarn in my stash that was going nowhere, I decided to make my own. It was surprisingly easy!

I made a chain they can stay on, which can be hung up, and the pad can be pulled off the bottom. I only made seven (one for each day of the week, clever) but accidentally made the chain very long so I’ll have to make some more so it looks less… ‘empty’.

If you want to make your own, they’re very quick. All you need is cotton yarn, and I used a 4mm hook, but whatever your yarn says will be fine.

1. Chain 6, join to make a ring.

2. Chain 3, 11 treble (double if you’re American) into the ring. (12 stitches)

3. Chain 3, treble (double) into same space, 2 trebles (doubles) into each stitch around. (24 stitches)

4. Chain 3, 2 trebles (doubles) into next stitch, 1 treble (double) into next stitch all the way around. (36 stitches)

And you’re done!

For the chain, it was a lot of trial and error. I eventually ended up chaining 3, then doing 2 trebles. After that, I chained for as long as I thought would look good, then used a slip knot to make the loop. Easy!