New Book – Crocheted Succulents – how it started….


Do you have moments of creativity which you seem to remember forever? You know, when you stop and think…’ah I’ve had an idea!’ When I was creating an writing my new book, Crocheted Succulents, there seem to have been more than the normal moments of joy and excitement.


It was quite a few years ago that I started to find succulents fascinating. In the last few years they have grown in horticultural trending. My real love affair with these fleshy beauties began in South Africa. Seeing so many of their regular, colourful leaves in their natural habitat was enchanting. It dawned on me that with our ever changing environment, growing succulents might be an important skill to develop. I began buying the plants and increasing my knowledge of their care.

At the same time our son began collecting and purchasing Cacti. I don’t have quite so much love of the spiky fellas. But B finds them very endearing and gives each of his collection names like Bob and Muriel. I know don’t ask me why.

At our local garden centre, Bud, the gorgeous own Brenda encourages B with top tips and points out all the new and fascinating varieties that have begun to appear. She suggested that we went on a course to learn how the look after our growing collection.

Well if you have followed this blog or my instagram account you will know that I have used these plants often in my photos. It was my editor who suggested, why don’t you think about making some in crochet? She is a genius….


How this process usually goes is that we have an idea….I then think..’no I don’t have time. Then I spend 3 or 4 days thinking of nothing else. For this particular book I had a discussion with my crafty friends Lucy (Attic 24) and Christine (Winwick Mum). By then end of a very long conversation of me talking round the houses of creating the book. They rather astutely realised that even though I didn’t really have the time to write it. I was going to anyway.

emma-varnam-crocheted-succulentsA lightbulb moment

The deal was finally sealed in my mind on a little Saturday shopping trip to Black Sheep Wools. I found some amazing spiky yarn by Rico. It is called Bubble. I knew immediately that it would be brilliant to create the fine spikes on the outside of the cacti. I went home and like a crazed woman on a crafty mission created my first design for the book. When I had stuffed it, placed it in a plant pot and stuck it on the mantelpiece, it made me chuckle with delight. Not event thinking I took the photo and sent to some of my close friends. I must be a VERY random person to be friends with.

emma-varnam-crocheted-succulentsThe Book

Well 24 projects later and the book was finished. I did quite a bit of research in my local Library. I bought a load of gorgeous plant books and you will find that each project is based on a real plant. If you have basic crochet skills you will find the projects quite easy. I have provided lots of description of how to construct the project and how you can manipulate the leaves or create flowers to decorate your cactus. There are also some patterns for pots and lots and lots of technical diagrams.


I really can’t take credit for how beautiful the book looks. The lovely people at GMC have done a fantastic job. Particular thanks should go to Wendy, Jonathan, Neal, Martin and Wayne. Jude Roust and Nicola Hodgson did all the checking (thank goodness). Lots of lovely people have asked me if I will make them a crocheted succulent. My answer with a cheeky twinkle is…why not buy the book and see if you can make one. They are alot of fun, and best of all you can’t kill them!


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