Webcam Cosy mark ii

Webcam cosySome time ago I made a cover for my webcam and it’s been sitting on top of my office PC ever since.  One of my colleagues admired it on several occasions and so I offered to make one; she wanted the same colours.

Crochet in the pubSo… this is what I made.  It’s a bit silly with the turned-up brim and little flower but I like it (and so does she).  I guess silly is what you get when I do my crochet with friends in the pub!

By the way, Tuesday is music night at The Fox in Shipley and last night featured ‘foot-stompin’ blues’ from Ben ‘Blue’ Waters.  I really enjoyed his set, performed with passion and some very skilled guitar, although it was a little loud in the first half.



Birthday coffee cosy

Striped cafetiere cosy with flowers This coffee cosy was made at the request of a friend for her husband’s birthday.  She chose the colours but I have to say that I approve of her choices.  The cafetiere in the photo is the same size as the one for which the cosy was made but not the same colours; I would have used different shades for this blue and red cafetiere.

I actually made this in August but could not post it until after the birthday. The flowers were a late addition but not conventionally masculine so I hope that the recipient likes them!

The cosy is made from acrylic yarn (washes easily) and is a mixture of Hobbycraft WI  DK and Stylecraft Special DK crocheted with a 4mm hook.

Lamp-post cosy

Lamp-post cosyLast weekend was Yarndale and, as part of the event, there was  a ‘yarn walk’ through the park between the station and the Auction Mart  and I have made this panel to decorate a lamp-post.
When the request came through I already had the little squares which were originally intended to be part of a  baby blanket.  However, the panel needed to be made quickly and I had the squares to hand so I joined them with coloured stripes and I think it works very well.  I had accidentally made one square too many; I had believed I was one short and after the panel was finished discovered the missing (now extra) square in my dressing-gown pocket.  My mother was staying and since her hip operation she uses a stick  (made by my father) so I used the last square to decorate her stick. Decorated walking stick

By the way, it was Kim in the office who called the panel a ‘lamp-post cosy’!  I thought it was a ‘yarnbomb panel’.


A fair exchange

Phone sock with pendantMy friend Sue saw the original phone sock, made for my husband and asked me to make one for her. She said that I could choose the colours so I used the ocean shades that made the ‘seawater coffee cosy’. Sue makes beautiful wood-fired pottery and runs workshops in which people make simple pots and then build a wood kiln to fire them. She said that I could have a piece of her work in exchange so I chose this pendant which, I have to say, goes perfectly with the phone sock. Originally the pendant was on a cord so I made a little silver wire fixing and attached it to a silver chain which I think sets it off beautifully.  Thank you, Sue.

Blackberry cosy

Blackberry cosyMy friend Gemma asked me to make a cosy for her Blackberry.  Gemma chose the colours from my stash; the pink and yellow are Stylecraft Special DK whilst the blue is Hobbycraft/WI DK.  I’m very pleased with the way that the colours work together; they have a real zing.

We shared a dorm whilst at Laurieston Hall recently and even though there was no signal Gemma managed to receive at least 20 messages so, as she says, the cosy will make her think of me 20 times a day!



Ripple cushion

Ripple cushion on sofa This cushion seems to have been a work in progress forever.  I was working on it in the car on the way to the Hot Aire weekend in Whitby and my husband asked , “Is that very difficult?  Because you’ve been doing it for a long time.” My answer was , “No, but it’s very boring.”  After I had finished and chucked the cushion on the sofa he said “That’s a cushion?  I thought it was a blanket for Lydia’s baby!”  Of course, the blanket was finished several months ago but he hadn’t noticed.

Nonetheless, although I loved the colours and loved them more as I came towards the end of the cushion cover, I found working the ripples rather tedious.  Partly this was because I could only work on it at home or as a car passenger; the project wasn’t quite small enough for the daily commute.  Ripples are rhythmic, soothing and all that but biggish stripy projects are not for me.  I don’t mind hooking a hundred squares and then putting them together and doing borders; the frequent colour changes on the squares keep my interest and in the joining/border stages I can see the finished work.  I’m happy with the completed cushion but I don’t think I will be doing another ripple stripe in the near future.

The cushion cover was made from Jarol Heritage DK on a 4mm hook using the Attic24 Neat Ripple Pattern.  The cushion pad is from The Wool Room.  I’m tired of cheap cushions that go flat as soon as you sit on them so hope that this will keep its integrity!

Writing group coffee cosy

Writing group coffee cosy At work we have a writing group that meets weekly.  Writing is an integral part of our work as academics but some people (like me) struggle to find the time for writing so the existence of the group helps me to block time in my diary.  The promise is that laptops and coffee are always available but sometimes the coffee gets cold so… yet another coffee cosy! This one is made from leftover scraps of New Fashion DK.  I started with the light blue stripe that is at the top in this picture but after the  red it all started to look a bit West Ham, or maybe Aston Villa (or even 1970s at Freddie Osborn school) so I added a fairly broad stripe of the pink and then the dark blue.  I’m still not sure about this colour combination and think it would have been better with three or five colours rather than four.  The coffee cosy was a little wonky so after adding the buttons I blocked it.  Mistake! What I learned from this project is block  before buttons!

Yarndale Mandala

Mandala for Yarndale

As part of the tour de obsession cycling through Yorkshire this year, Yarndale will feature an installation of crocheted mandalas/wheels organised by Lucy of Attic24. Lucy is inviting people to make and send mandalas and at the last count she had more than 300 from over 30 different countries.  I am not sure how the mandalas will be displayed in Skipton Auction Mart; the plan is to hang them on a wall but there aren’t many walls in the market. However, no matter how they are displayed, the gathering of so many varied and colourful circles should  have the magnificence of a gothic cathedral window.

This is my contribution.  It’s made from the the same Hobbycraft/WI yarn as Sue’s coffee cosy.  There are patterns available but I just made it up as I went rather than working from a pattern.  It was an interesting challenge as I didn’t use any actual increase stitches so often had to stop and think before starting a new row to work out how many stitches to put in each block.  There were several rows where I stopped part way and started again with a new idea.

Lucy has asked contributors to send their name/region so I will send my mandala with this card from the Leeds University Art Gallery featuring Harrogate Pump House by Carlos Nadal, one of my favourite artists.  It’s a perfect fit not only in terms of colour but also the Tour de Yorkshire theme. The university art gallery is well worth a visit by the way, with not only the (impressive) university art collection but also special exhibitions.  At the moment there is an exhibition of images of Yorkshire.  Go and see it; take my car!


There is a gallery of Yarndale mandalas on Pinterest:, soon to include mine, I hope.

Sue’s seawater coffee cosy

Sue with her coffee cosyMy lovely colleague Sue kindly watered my plants whilst I was away in Jordan (for work) so I made her this blue-green coffee cosy.  Sue asked for turquoise but half of her clothes are lime green so I could not resist adding stripes of lime. Today it matches her cardi very well but Sue said that she would have worn a turquoise scarf had she known that there would be a photoshoot with her new coffee cosy.The yarn is an acrylic DK from the new range by Hobbycraft and the WI. I love the seawater colours  but found that the yarn had a tendency to split. This was a surprise: after all, the Women’s Institute is something of an authority when it comes to knitting, crochet and other domestic crafts so I expected that a yarn sponsored by the WI would be particularly good.  However, I probably wouldn’t buy the WI brand again (unless I just happened to be in a Hobbycraft shop and it was on a 3 for 2 offer in sea colours). Hmm…

 Sea colours coffee cosy  Sea colours coffee cosy buttons

Travelling with crochet

Crochet at the bus stop

The one crafty area where I think I have really developed a bit of expertise is crochet on the move. I’ve hooked on buses, trains, boats, and aeroplanes; and in airports, stations, cars and hotel rooms… I’ve crocheted in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America as well as on my daily commute. So, here are my tips for travelling with crochet.

Project bag and purse

The first thing you need is a good project bag.  Sewing is not within my skillset so I had to buy a bag ( and I chose this because I love the colours.  The drawstring top means that the yarn can sit securely in the bag with the string pulled tight; you really don’t want your lovely clean yarn rolling all over the floor of the train or plane!  This bag came with a handy little zip purse to hold all the little bits and bobs that find their way into the bag (which you also don’t want on the floor). The bag is lined too, which stops it from being too floppy.


Many people think that you can’t carry scissors on a plane but you can, provided that they have round/blunt ends and the blades are less than 6cm from the fulcrum.  Baby nail scissors fit the description perfectly!  In addition, they are cheap and you can buy them all over the place so it’s not a disaster if they are lost or confiscated (see below).

Hooks and needles

Hooks, of course, are crucial for crochet as are needles for darning ends and sewing up.  I have mild arthritis in my hands for long sessions I like swap between different hook types.  I also carry a needle threader (for those yarn ends that are just not quite long enough) and stitch holders so that I don’t lose my working stitch when the bag bumps on my back as I run for the gate.  A carabiner is really useful: I can use it to clip the scissors to the drawstring or to attach the drawstring to the straps of my main bag.  I have been known to leave things on trains and buses (I left my lunch on the bus last week) so a carabiner helps me to keep my belongings with me.

Backup bits and pieces

Although scissors, crochet hooks and darning needles are all permitted on planes, airport security officers are allowed to confiscate anything they perceive as dangerous so I am always a little anxious when my bag rolls into the x-ray machine.  I’ve taken my project bag through airport security innumerable times and never had a problem but, just in case, I carry a little backup kit with a bamboo hook, a plastic needle and a pair of baby nail clippers (part of a set with the scissors). I really don’t want to sit empty-handed on the plane!

wet wipes

Eating and drinking on the move can be a sticky business and I don’t my work to get grubby so I always keep some wipes in my bag (better than a spray because they don’t need to go into the liquids bag for airport security).

Work in progress

How could I forget my work in progress?  This is to cover a little decorative hoop but most of the time when I am on the move I am working on granny squares…
Granny squares…just like these!  This lightweight packing cube holds spare yarn on the outward journey and completed work on the way home.  By the way, I like to darn in the ends as I go so that when I get home, the squares are ready to add to the blanket.

Phone and headphones

Finally, but so important – an audiobook!  At the moment I am enjoying ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ by Paul Torday which I downloaded ages ago and forgot.  Long airport delays can become unexpected hours of pleasure when accompanied by a good audiobook and a bag of crochet!