The great thing about pompoms is they couldn't be more simple. You can make them easily. You don't need to be able to knit, crochet, or even sew - just wind some yarn around a piece of specifically shaped plastic or card, tie and cut. Craft for all.
There are various ways ways of making pompoms in all sizes (see below).
So I found myself with a pile of them. I'd had an afternoon of creative 'holiday project' fun with my daughter, and was wondering what to do with them.
They're perfect for brightening up any space - particularly a little one's bedroom.
Strung up and hung across the mantelpiece around the fire or against the wall? I've done that before and it's a great simple effect. (Take care, if the child is very small that they are nicely out of reach.)
Then there was the new pair of curtains I'd recently made, I'd been wondering for a while if they just needed that something extra.
Yep, I think they did.
Such a cheap and easy way to inject some extra colour and texture. Pretty cool I reckon .
And if you're like me and have a good few odd balls of yarn in your stash - it's stash-busting heaven.... and pretty addictive.
I even made a Christmas garland with the extras. The colours were perfect.
Go on - make some pompoms - You'd be surprised at what you can do with them.
My daughter has a bit of a thing for rainbows so how could I resist picking up this ball of multi coloured neon fabulousness when I saw it?
There are some lovely patterns out for all manner of spaced-dyed cardigans, jumpers, dresses and accessories, but I was looking for something a little different... and I wanted a quick project, and one that's nice and easy but still a little bit of a challenge for you folks who are new to crochet but want to push it juuuust that little bit further.
I thought this might be fun.
What to do with it though?
Texture is HUGE at the moment and this fur effect can be knit or crocheted quite easily.
This great yarn fur could potentially be made up into all sorts of wonderful shapes and styles and perhaps that's another future project - but for now I' m sticking with something simple... and quick.... a project that uses only one 100g ball.
A gorgeous little crocheted rainbow fur cowl....
My simple cowl, I posted a while ago now is one of my most popular patterns.
...and all the little girls are wearing cowls these days. they're just so easy, and warm, and stylish.
I made if for my now 6 yr old and it was designed with youngsters in mind, but who's to say it can't be for a grown up. We can wear bright colours too yeah?
In fact, it can be made up in any DK yarn in any colour and doesn't have to be space dyed either. Looks just a good plain.
Get an eyeful of this gorgeous teal wool.
Great for when we're all fed up of the darks, and neutral tones we've seen through the winter months, and for the onset of Spring with a fleece or hoodie and Autumn when we're not quite ready to put on a heavier jacket.
Just think of those lovely colour combos you can get your teeth into.
Hollow Ponds, Leytonstone, London
I thought it would be good to start the New Year with something positive.
Christmas is fast approaching ( I know! Where did that year go?) It's the end of term and time for teachers to have a well-earned break. I can't bear to get involved in all of that competitive gift-giving - it really does bring the worst out in some folks - but I do like to show our appreciation for all the extra time and work those hardworking teachers put in. No pressure here. Something small and handmade usually does the trick.
We've made cookies, we made soap... we like to keep it varied.
This year we decided on scented candles. Now who doesn't love one of those? Especially when they're made with natural essential oils
I'd never done it properly before, but I knew that I wanted to use soy wax. I'm told that soy candles are cleaner burning, longer lasting, biodegradable, and leave no nasty grey residue.
I found a great little tutorial here on Clare K Creations. Thanks for sharing this Clare.
At this time of year it just has to be those seasonal scents that instantly conjure up Christmas.
Soooo.... Out came the Sweet Orange, Bitter Orange, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Ginger and Clove essential oils.
Decorating it can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.
Christmas in a jar!
If you're a little stumped for some last minute christmas pressies, have some old condiment jars lying around and can get hold of some soy wax pellets and essential oils, there's still time - have a go! It's not difficult, it’s inexpensive and if you like making stuff - great fun.
There's nothing I like more than a special event or occasion. Weddings, births, house warming, anything that marks the beginning of a new phase of life.
In my humble opinion, special occasions require special pressies. Easier said than done, I hear you say. I agree.
Thankfully, for me, I love an excuse to get out the yarn, cloth, hooks needles, whatever just happens to be the latest making phase I'm going through, and the chance to embark on a new challenge.
What 's more special than something handmade - something utterly unique that no-one else has, that you just wouldn't be able to buy, with out having to commission.
It was a couple of lovely old friends who were tying the knot. They'd been together a while, long enough to have already established themselves as a family with two gorgeous boys of 7 and 5, and me and my little posse were thrilled to be invited to celebrate with them.
I seem to have rather an awful lot of clever, creative friends and these two are no exception. Means only one thing - they like cool stuff. Instantly the stakes are raised. Don't get me wrong, these folk totally get 'handcrafted', whatever shape or form it may take, but in this case, I felt something a little more was needed. I wanted it to have a modern twist - something for both the Designer and the Artisan.
I'd been wanting to make a chunky blanket for a while. I love 'em.
I've been impressed by some of the beautiful patchwork ones I'd seen, spread out across the internet, and always thought that basic granny squares was something you could do something really quite contemporary with.
In a wool/acrylic mix (wearability combined with washability), knitted with two strands of DK yarn. Chunky would've done, but the colour choice of chunky yarns is always so restricting... and for this project I wanted some full-on colour -
a simple two row granny square.
Hundreds of them.
488 of them to be precise.
My, clever other half came up with the excellent visual effect of colours scattering from the corner - just like a mini explosion. It looks simple and random but had to be planned quite carefully, taking into account the careful mix and concentration of colours and neutrals. I wasn't sure if it was going to work.
When all the squares were made.
they then had to be joined together,
and all the ends had to be woven in.
I can honestly say it's probably the biggest project I've ever done. At times I thought I'd never finish. Anything like this is always going to be labour intensive - that's what makes it so special.
Three months and 2,200g of yarn later, tadahh, and what a great sense of satisfaction.
Finished off with a simple row of charcoal single crochet, thankfully I think it works.
When my young daughter saw it she said "Mum, it looks like it's going 'Boom"
I think that was the effect I was after.... so I called it my 'Boom blanket'.
Ok... winter has pretty much passed (dare I speak too soon). It’s May and it’s getting warmer out there. I'm now packing away my winter Jumpers. It’ll be a while before we get the urge to make warm things, although I always regret not starting much earlier than autumn.
There’s a wealth of cool crochet out there that’s is just perfect for summer. Some great shapes - it 's amazing what you can do with a bit of crochet. Here are some ideas that I think are just fab - all with patterns, some free, some not - but still great value.
1. Love the shape of this simple but very stylish summer shell from Lion Brand
It’s finally happened… we’ve been waiting aaaages. At last, after weeks of wobbling, it's come out - the first tooth.
Already six and one of the oldest in the class, yet one of the last to start losing her baby teeth. It’s made me feel a little sad - she’s growing up - far too quickly if you ask me. But just look at that that little happy, gappy smile.
So here I am - with a tooth.
I had to ask around for the going Tooth Fairy rate (thanks mums), and it got me thinking of how it was when I was a kid. The idea of a fairy taking away my old tooth ….for money, was magic on so many levels.
I thought I’d do a little embellishing..the sort of thing I would’ve loved. A letter from the Tooth Fairy…a 21st century tooth fairy of course. A modern day, urban tooth fairy who likes a bit of skateboarding as much as she likes her glitter. A fairy who's not really that much into pink and isn't afraid to get a bit messy sometimes … and I thought it’d be nice to share with anyone else who lost a tooth this weekend.
I’ve drawn up and made a little printable - a letter from the Tooth Fairy… complete with envelope. I've included pdfs which can be the saved as a an image file and placed it into a program of your choice (e.g. Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, or an online photo editing site). Write your message, print and cut it out, fold and stick where necessary. I've provided full instructions on how to add text, plus an example of what the tooth fairy might write - optional of course. You can print it using one of the many quirky, fairy-style fonts out there, or even handwrite it for that lovely personal touch. Blond, brunette - you get to choose. Plus you get to use it again and again - just change the message each time. Easy peasy.
You can even make it 'Fairy size
Let’s make the most of the magic, eh…. while it’s still around…..it doesn’t last long. Get your customisable Tooth Fairy Letter HERE