Monday, 24 August 2015

A crochet drawstring bag to put crap in

Yep, that's what it is. A bag to put crap in. Mine contains the loose crap that's been scattered across my kitchen table for weeks; washi tape, some packets of safety eyes, sticky notes, my penguin and panda peep-out notes and a tape measure. I couldn't come up with anything clever or catchy. It's made from a pattern, that pattern is free, and here it is!

4mm hook
Fingering yarn, I'm using Knitpicks Chroma 
Some pretty bead thingies
Use a bigger hook/yarn for a larger bag. My finished bag measures 18cm. 

Join at the end of each row, we will NOT be working in a continuous round
Initial chains do not count as stitches unless otherwise noted

Ch - Chain
Dc - Double crochet
Sl St - Slip Stitch

Round 1: Ch 3, 8 dc in first chain, join. 
Round 2: Ch 2, 2 dc in st as joining and in each st around. 
Round 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in same st *1 dc in next, 2 dc in next* 
Round 4: Ch 2, 2 dc in same st *1 dc in next 2, 2 dc in next*
Round 5: Ch 2, 2 dc in same st *1 dc in next 3, 2 dc in next* 
Round 6: Ch 2, 2 dc in same st *1 dc in next 4, 2 dc in next* 
Round 7: Ch 1, sc in joining st *ch 5, sk 3, sc in next* ch 5, sk 3, sl st to first sc
Round 8: Ch 5, *sc in next ch 5 space,  ch 5* sc in final ch 5 space, sl st to first ch of beginning ch 5. 
Round 9: Sc in joining st *ch 3, sc in next ch 5 space* Ch 3, sc in first sc. 
Round 10: Ch 3 (counts as first stitch), 3 dc in next ch space. *4 dc in each ch space around* Sl st to top of initial ch 3. 
Round 11: Ch 1, sc in first stitch. *Ch 5, sk 4, sc in between dc (between the middle 2 dc in 4 dc cluster of previous round) Skip final 6 sts, sl st to first sc
Round 12: Ch 5, *sc in next ch space around, ch 5* sl st to first ch of first ch 5
Round 13: Ch 1, sc in joining st *ch 3, sc in next ch space of previous round* ch 3, sl st to first sc
Round 14: Ch 3 (counts as first stitch), 3 dc in next ch space. 4 dc in each ch space around. Sl st to top of first ch 3. 
Round 15: Ch 3 (counts as first stitch), dc in each st around. 
Round 16: Ch 3 (counts as first stitch), dc in each st around. 
Round 17: Ch 1, sc in same st, *sk 2, 3 dc in next, sk 2, 1 sc in next* Skip last 3 stitches, sl st to first sc
Round 18: Ch 3 (counts as first stitch), 4 dc in same space, *sk 2, sc in next, sk 2, 5 dc in next* around. Sl st to top of ch 3. 
Round 19: Sl st in next 3 sts, ch 1, sc in same st. *sk 2, 5 dc in next, sk 2, sc in next* around. Sl st to join.
Round 20: Ch 1, 2 sc in same st. 2 sc in each stitch around. Finish off, weave in ends. 

To finish, ch 100 and weave between shells on row 17. 

Now go forth and put your crap in it! 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A moment of peace

Rainbows never fail at brightening my mood. I found a use for this beautiful yarn and created a little bag for my Shadowscapes deck. When I'd finished an idea came to me to make a few of these pouches and fill them with daily inspiration cards, so that whenever I feel I need a pick-me-up I can simply take a note and remind myself to breathe. And with that I have a project for this afternoon! Wouldn't that make a lovely little gift to receive? A little rainbow bag of happiness? :-)

Love to all,

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Monday, 17 August 2015


I jumped into this adult colouring thing recently (by actually buying adult colouring books instead of just colouring in my fairy book I'd had since high school) and whilst I do enjoy it to a degree, I've noticed it brings out the perfectionist in me and I stopped finding it relaxing when my brain started screaming at me things like "OMG why did you put that colour there? Now you've ruined the whole thing!" So I thought I'd grab a bit of paper and a pencil and start doodling to see where it led. And voila! I doodled! Isn't it a great doodle? Doodle rhymes with strudel. And pool noodle. And poodle. Doodle.  

Tasha's Tips for Surviving The Week

These are probably more for me to remember than you, but if at least one other person finds these useful, then I will be glad to have helped. These are coming to you from a person who has two children under two, some serious lack of sleep going on, anxiety issues that are lately choosing to resurface, and an iron level that feels too low making the normal ability to function seem 10 x less effective. This person is going to the dr this week for that. This person feels like crap with a capital 'C'. But anyway... that's why this is necessary! Because I have people to keep alive! So on with the big girl panties and on with the bullet points!

Tasha's Tips for Surviving The Week

  • Do your dishes the night before. It completely sucks waking up to a full kitchen sink, a messy kitchen and that roasting pan that was left to 'soak' overnight. Just do yourself a favour and get it out of the way before bed. It makes a difference when you have little people who insist on using a separate bowl for each item of food they want that day. 
  • Wear your big girl (or boy) panties. Just pull 'em up, and do what you have to do. Prolonging the crappy tasks just makes you feel worse about not having already done them. 
  • Get any dinner ingredients out of the freezer to defrost first thing in the morning. Make it a routine before you have that first coffee of the day. Take the meat out of the freezer THEN put the kettle on. The most common reason for take out in our house is usually because a certain someone *cough cough ME cough cough* realised at 3pm that she forgot to defrost something. 
  • Light a candle, turn on the salt lamp, light some incense, or pop some essential oils in the burner in a VERY HIGH place unreachable by little toddler hands. I find a candle or calming scent tends to add a bit of warmth to the room and is quite revitalising, don't you? I have a new lime and cedar oil I'm looking forward to trying this week. 
  • Find that little something extra to bring more meaning to your life and fill that void inside. Something is missing, and it's your challenge to find what that something is and make it work to your advantage. 
  • When it seems like things are happening too quickly take a moment to slow down and think it all over. There's no sense making choices or decisions until you've had a chance to really consider them. There is a lot going on, yes, but you can't let it overwhelm you. 
  • Open those doors and windows! Actually, wait, only do that if you live in a perpetually warm environment or you may end up with unwanted frostbite and/ or pneumonia. But seriously, daylight and a gentle breeze can lift the spirits and clear out the cruddy energy (and that smell). Throw back the curtains and let the new day shine on in. 
  • EMBRACE the changes. Things will get better if you accept, embrace and move forward. 
  • Turn OFF the tv, and turn ON the music. One can only take so much Jimmy Giggle and Peppa-the-rude-as-f***-pig. Whether it's something you can dance to, or just some nice ambient background jazz, it will help make you feel better. My toddler happens to dance to Led Zeppelin, Cream, ZZ Top, AC/DC and Canned Heat AS WELL AS Sinatra, Cosby and The Idea of North so I sorta of lucked out there.  
  • See the humour in the situation. Not always easy, I know... but laughing is better than crying, right? 
  • If things don't go the way you'd planned or had expected just release your worries, and smile. These things are generally out of our control anyway, Ask yourself: Is there anything I can do about this right now? Will my being stressed/worried/anxious about this help to solve anything? A clear head space is often the best solution to any obstacle we stumble upon. 
  • Keep up your fluid intake! All those articles aren't just written for shits and giggles. You need to drink water. 
  • Clear away all that no longer serves you. Materials items, people, and thoughts. All of it just needs to go. Spring clean your home and your mind. 
  • Prioritise your tasks... Lists are your friend! But on the same token keep your expectations realistic. None of that 'being a crazy neurotic control freak who wants to build Rome in a day and then some' nonsense. Hear me, woman? I'm talking to YOU, future self. 
  • Try going outside for some air. You need air. Air is a fairly essential element of survival. Air is good! Go forth and breathe some air! And soak up some glorious vitamin K whilst you're at it. Draw on the path with chalk, blow bubbles, just look at the sky! And breathe :-)
Be ready for it everyone! The new week is coming whether we're ready or not, and we're going to be ok Xx 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The newest prop styles available at DDH

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Mohair Prop-Making

A bit of a roundup of what I've been working on this past fortnight. Mohair has been on my hook lately, and it's been an interesting learning curve. Turns out you can't frog it so easily so a lot of care has been taken not to catch stitches! This has been a wonderful opportunity actually because you don't know quite how much I LOVE making love love them!! That green romper and bonnet set has been a labour of love, I can tell you. Can you believe it took me 4 hours to make?! Using a mohair strand lighter than fingering and a 4mm, it has been painstakingly stitched together with a whole lotta love. I'm undecided if I want to make another one just yet, my wrist needs a wee break after that one :-) It is beautiful though! You don't normally associate mohair with anything other than lace or the use of spacious stitches. It's gorgeously soft, well worth it in the end.  And yes, that is knitting you can see there. I've improved somewhat ;-) 

I hope this helps to satiate your crochet spam-demand for a while; I have been juggling a cranky sick teething toddler, a colicky baby and nursing a bit of a cold whilst trying to keep my household together and feed people etc. The only time I find to crochet at the moment is at night once bub is asleep for an hour or two if I'm lucky. This time is so fleeting though, babies don't stay babies for long as we all know too well. I am working towards finding a perfect balance to everything in my life though, and I must admit the tarot has been a huge help helping me sort myself out. Not ironically enough, 'Balance' shows her face quite frequently in my spreads. Sometimes I forget to slow down and breathe. This life business is a learning curve as well, really, isn't it?

~Tash Xx

Romper in progress here.... colour to be revealed later! 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

6 Environmentally Friendly Ways to Use Crochet in the Home

Going green with crochet! Being more eco friendly in the home can end up being fairly pricey, even with the best of intentions. There are, however, a few little things you can make yourself with our all time favourite hobby crochet to make a difference and reduce unnecessary wastage. For example, making your own dishcloths means they will last longer, do a better job than most store bought varieties, and reduce the number of sponges you would normally go through in a given period of time. I've been using dishcloths and scrubbies made from Lily's Sugar 'n' Cream for a couple of years and I think I've only replaced them three times. They're durable and actually work! Hubby was skeptical to begin with but after trying them out he agreed that they reduce the amount of scrubbing needed for dishes and pots. There are other ways you can incorporate crochet into the home for everyday usage as well; you can make your own face and body washers, shower poufs, cleaning wipes, facial scrubbies. You can even make an effective crochet cover for your mop to extend its lifetime that does a better job at scrubbing the floor than the original bit of foam it comes with! No, I'm serious :-)

So I've put together a list of awesome patterns for you to try and actually with Christmas coming up, you'll find these make neat gifts. Little differences add up to big differences if enough people can make the effort to create change.

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These look a little hyperbolic. I like that. Make one in pink and red and wash yourself with a brain! 
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Use these little beauties instead of the disposable kind! They are seriously fantastic for make up removal. Seriously fantastic. 
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I find these the right size for wiping down surfaces. I use the spiral scrubbies for washing up with as they're easier to handle. You can always just crochet a shorter chain length to create a smaller cloth. 
Image source:
I love these. The stitch is so pretty. You can make a dishcloth with any stitch. Check out 'New Stitch a Day' for some great tutorials!
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This one isn't free, but I like the bobbles. I don't own a Swiffer, I don't actually even know what they are... some kind of mop/duster thing, but it looks like it's easily adapted to most sponge mop heads. They're re usable, washable and you can make them in pretty colours! That's a plus right? 
Image source: CrochetNPlayDesigns 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

This week's hooks and needles

I'm the crazy person starting her Christmas gifts in August. I have A LOT of family to make for and I'm determined. I thought these little stockings in everyone's favourite colours would make nice little gifts. They can be hung on the tree and are a good size for treats and candy canes! I'll be offering them for sale in my shop again this year; they were popular last Christmas :-) 
One very delicate mohair onesie in progress. You wouldn't believe me if I told you how many hours have gone into this already! It's nearing completion finally; mohair is impossible to frog. 
Chunky fluffy knit layers! I think I'm going to name these 'Knitty Bitties' because I suck at judging how much yarn I'll need to produce an even shape when it comes to knitting, so one is square and two are rectangular. They're like layering 'bits'...textural interest pieces. 
Part of a prop commission I've been given; mohair loveliness! The request is for neutrals but I couldn't resist making a romper and bonnet set in this lovely purple and cream colourway. I've also added another 3 patterns to my collection; how have I never thought to make rompers before?! Loving them!! 
Unicorn in progress. You know how I feel about unicorns. I will NEVER not make unicorns. It'll be going in the shop when finished, so watch out for her! 
And more knitting. 
That's it! That's this week's hooks and needles. My dining table is a mess and well and truly covered in projects, I've been busy!


Monday, 3 August 2015

Meet the evil Sir Wingus Thingus!

Last night, this happened. I had started out making a teddy bear but I realised early on that it was going to be much too small so instead I created Sir Wingus Thingus!! He's the winged, tentacled, monocled, flying cute little critter bent on destroying the known universe!
Pattern coming soon :-) I just need to test it, tweak it and add the photographs. Stay tuned!


How I got back in control of my anxiety

Has anyone else found the past week or so especially more stressful and difficult emotionally and stress-level wise than normal? I certainly...