pom pom pom pom pom pom

In my last newsletter* I included instructions on making pom pom bunnies, and I rather skipped over making the pom poms themselves. I have had a request for a reminder about how to make them, so here goes…

pom pom making tutorial

pom pom making - 01
Cut two circles of card slightly larger than you want your finished pom, and draw a smaller circle in the centre of each.
pom pom making - 03
The whole ball of yarn is probably too big to fit through the central hole, so cut a shorter piece (I am a messy so and so and need several short pieces so they don’t get all knotted).
pom pom making - 02
Cut out the circles and the central holes.
pom pom making - 04
Put the two cardboard circles together and start to wrap the yarn around the double ring.
pom pom making - 05
Keep on wrapping the yarn around the cardboard rings…and on…and on…
pom pom making - 06
Carry on until you have a thick layer of yarn.
pom pom making - 07
Use a small pair of scissors and push them between the two card circles and carefully cut through the edge of the yarn wrap. Hold the whole pom pom together as you cut – you don’t want to let go of the cut strands or you have to start again (does that sound like the voice of experience speaking…?)
pom pom making - 08
You will end up with a bunch of loose strands through the central holes. Take a piece of yarn 20cm to 30cm long and carefully tie tightly between the two cardboard rings. Take the piece of yarn back on itself and tie it again…twice (I’m risk averse).
pom pom making - 09
Pull away the cardboard rings (which you can re-use).
pom pom making - 10
Ruffle up the strands so it forms a ball and trim any strands that are longer than the others. N.B. if you are making bunnies or chicks, don’t trim the long piece of yarn used to tie the pom pom – you need it to tie the head and body together.

 

Making this tutorial I have realised how much quicker it is to use a pom pom maker. They work in just the same way as the cardboard rings but each half of both rings open up so you can use a full ball of yarn, and the two rings clip together so the strands are less likely to fall out as you cut between the rings.

Using pom pom makers...
Using pom pom makers…

 

* you can see my April newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/R6_s9 and if you would like to sign up to get future newsletters, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/DeereyMe/app_100265896690345 

 

 

 

 

win an Easter bunny!

Over on my Facebook¬† page there has been a lot of enthusiasm about my little Easter bunnies, so how about a giveaway? If you would like one of these little bunnies…they are only wee, just 13cm to 15cm tall depending on the type of wool and the length I cut the ears…just leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page.

DSC_0049
Easter bunnies
DSC_0050
two little cotton tails

 

I will draw the winner on Sunday afternoon and announce the winner here and on my Facebook page. If you would rather make one yourself, you can sign up for my newsletter which will have making instructions!

* these little bunnies are only for decoration – they are NOT toys and are made with beads and trimmings that could be a choking hazard for a child.

holibobs and cotton tails

holibobs

I have not been sewing. Mark had a week off – although he had to go in on Friday so swapped days and is off today instead (I did try to wait for him to wake up so we could have hot cross buns and coffee together, but it is past 10.00 and I have been up since 06.00 and there is still snoring upstairs and I neeeeeeeded a hot cross bun). We have had lots of exciting trips out…to the dentist (perfect teeth and gums, although I am not one to brag!) and hip and knee pathway physio assessment – really hoping that the 6 week course on exercise and pain management will at least postpone any surgery. We have done some fun things too though! We had been waiting for our council tax bill to renew our discovery cards (the only bill with both our names on it) and made the most of some time off to pop in to the Roman Baths to renew our cards. Of course we then had to make the most of them and go and be tourists somewhere.

the Fashion Museum in Bath

One of the many lovely things about living in Bath is that a week off can be a proper holiday (or holibob, as my friend Hannah would say) without going away at all. There is an exhibition of Georgian fashions at the Fashion Museum and Mark was more keen to see that than the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the American Museum. It is a lovely fashion exhibition and the museum encourages one of my favourite pastimes…dressing up! I was a little too full of breakfast (the Roscoff Deli in Northumberland Place does awesome breakfasts!) to risk bursting one of the corsets, but the bonnets seemed a safe choice. I rather like bonnets, whether the simple Amish ones at the American Museum or the more decorative ones at the Fashion Museum. What do you think?

dun-bonnet Sue
sun-bonnet Sue

Mark almost fitted in to a dress coat and top hat..

fashion museum - 01
a dapper gentleman

the Assembly Rooms

Fashion Museum is situated with the beautiful Assembly Rooms, and we felt the need to remind ourselves of them. It is one of those places where I am so aware of ghosts from the past who walked there before me. I am a big fan of Jane Austen and my favourite book is Persuasion and I cannot help but daydream about Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth as I wander from room to room. There are very fine chandeliers, although of course not electric in Jane Austen’s day.

fashion museum - 15

fashion museum - 12

gardening

We also managed to fix our new raised beds in place and have top soil delivered to fill them. My dodgy old knees limit what I can do, but Mark’s mum and dad came to help and I found I was ok to shovel top soil in to wheelbarrows…so I did pull my weight! Mark displayed a very fine ‘builder’s bum’…one might even say it was cracking…but I will be made to sleep in the shed if I so much as think about sharing a photo, so I will leave that charming image only in your mind dear reader.

raised beds raising - 01
Mark and his mum digging
raised beds raising - 11
ta da! raised beds!

I suspect the cats think we have built extra large litter trays, but never mind.

 

pom pom Easter bunnies

So…no sewing, but I have been making pom poms! We popped in to Wool in Bath and the lovely ladies there advised me on good value wool for pom pom making, and I tried out my Clover pom pom makers. Now there is nothing wrong with the old way of using two circles of card, but these do make it quicker and easier.

pom pom bunny - 01
pom pom makers

With a little felt and some beads, I soon had a number of Easter bunnies. I am not going to sell them (always wary of the fine line between ornament and toy and the need for CE marking), but thought they would make sweet (calorie-free) Easter gifts. I will pop a simple tutorial in my newsletter, which is going out this week – you can sign up on my Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/DeereyMe/app_100265896690345

little white cotton tail
little white cotton tail
pom pom Easter bunny - Mark chose the wool and it's perfect!
pom pom Easter bunny – Mark chose the wool and it’s perfect!
pom pom bunny - 14
Easter bunnies – tutorial in my newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a good yarn

Well I am well and truly hooked on crochet. Don’t get me wrong, I still love sewing, but crochet is still at the learning stage so is just for me rather than for my shop. At the beginner’s crochet 2 hour course at ‘Wool’ in Bath (run for Bath WI) I learnt:

  • a slip knot (to get started)
  • chain stitch
  • slip stitch
  • treble crochet

The granny squares started improving and I felt I was ready to buy some more expensive yarn (although still not very expensive) and to treat myself to a couple of books to learn some more stitches:

crochet books
crochet books

Now I also know:

  • double crochet
  • double treble crochet

I have moved on from the standard granny square to the daffodil square; have decided it is too heavy with only the border in white, so will make the centres in white too. One day it will be a blanket, sitting on our bed. My hope is that the more I do, the tidier it will get…at the moment it still needs work!

A couple of years back my sister gave me a book on making flowers, and now I think I may stand a chance of making something that resembles the photos in the book.

crochet flowers book
crochet flowers book

My first attempts are not quite right – I need to count better and I am sure I am not making my slip stitches in quite the right place, but this week I have a dear friend visiting and she is a very talented crochetist and I will take every opportunity to make the most of her expertise while she is here…and will pay her in lavender scented shortbread!

first attempt – it’s meant to be a daisy
getting there...it's a hellebore (I just didn't have quite the right colour yarn)
getting there…it’s a hellebore (I just didn’t have quite the right colour yarn)

I am also experimenting with different styles of crochet hook…the steel one is ok, but sometimes my fingers ache (think I am too tense), so I got some acrylic ones (ok, I admit it, I liked the rainbow colours) and managed to snap the one I was using (but I didn’t like the way it kind of squeaked against the yarn anyway), so I will try bamboo and one of the Clover softgrip ones. Yes, a bad workman blames his tools, but there’s no harm in finding the most comfortable style to use! What do crocheters out there recommend?