Keyrings

Hop into Spring

peter-rabbit-emma-varnam

It must have be a certain Mr Peter Rabbit that captured my imagination as a child…but for as long as I can remember a bunny or rabbit is one of my favourite animals to draw, paint and more recently make as a toy.

I was thinking only this week, ‘how many bunny patterns have I made?’. Lots and lots and all different forms and sizes. Of course when the calendar swings round towards Easter then my making focuses on bunnies again.

emma-varnam-bunny-crochet

I thought perhaps if you were looking for a little Egg Hunt companion I would collect some of my patterns together in one post. First up is my downloadable PDF – Bobby Bunny. This is available in my shop and I have a few kits still in stock if you want me to send you all the equipment you need. I made a cute little jacket for this one and he makes a rather neat little Peter.

emma-varnam-toys-debbie-bliss-croche

You might also want to look at a lovely little pattern I designed for my friend Debbie Bliss. One of the highlights of last year was creating this little matching bunny and outfit combo. I love the long legs of these bunnies and who doesn’t want a smart pea-coat for their best long eared friend. The downloadable PDF is available on the Love Knitting website and you will be able to purchase the yarn directly from them. I always love using Debbie’s yarns it is such a pleasure to work with the classic Baby Cashmerino.

If you are looking for a larger bunny then Ruby Rabbit in my book Cute Crocheted Woodland Animals is a very cute friend. Very sweet in her dungarees, you can also make any of the other clothes in the book and they will fit her. The very tiny bunny who is a little cuddly friend for Benji Bear also features in this book.

Jack Rabbit and his friend Emily from my first Cute Crocheted Animals book will always be a classic – I love seeing so many of these bunnies across the world, all wearing their gorgeous outfits. The very best photos are ones where a bunny is firmly pinned under the arm of their young owner…off on an adventure.

But then if you are new to crochet I have two projects which will help you get started in working in the round. They also make great gifts for the Easter Table. The little bunny in my book How to Crochet is one of my go-to beginners projects for amigurumi. Really easy to make and also popular with little hands.

Finally the very first book I wrote was Crocheted Keyrings and Charms – I have been revisiting it recently and it has some cracking patterns in there. They not only make great charms for a hand bag but also little table decorations or party gifts. There is a cute bunny pattern in that book. I return to it every once in a while to use for a gift. I have a few signed copies still available in the shop.

Finally do tell me if you have a bunny or spring pattern idea you would like me to develop. As the bulbs start pushing through in the garden and the sun comes out – then the creative ideas start flowing. Its always a good time to get making.

Christmas Pressie Crush 14 #1

tweedarancosy

Hello Lovelies, I am sorry my blog was down for a couple of days. Not sure what was going on there. But my technical whizz has sorted it. Thank goodness for Big B! So what are you making at the moment? I have a couple of commissions in the pipeline, but I have tried to be kind to myself and not overload the projects. In previous years I have felt that my Christmas making has really taken a back seat and that has been a bit of a sad frustration. Making something personal for a friend or family member is one of my joys. When I can’t do that in the run up to Christmas due to unrealistically over-committing, then that is my own jolly fault. But it is not clever or wise.

sparklehat2

So this year I have made a start. Actually when I was editing the photos to fit them onto  the blog, they made me laugh. Basically I have reverted to what I know. Hats, keyrings, teacozies. I have made another hat using the Lumio yarn.  I simply love this reflecting effect which is woven into the yarn. We did a test drive of Little B’s hat the other night, and it looked fabulous.

tweedarancosy2

I have also perfected my go-to teacozy pattern with Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed. A really rustic country look. I just need to buy quite alot of teapots to go with each gift.

beadkeyring

Finally I have made some bead keyrings. I saw this idea in Prima Craft magazine. I can’t remember which issue, but it seems like fun. Gradually I am making some in all my friends favourite colours. We have started the Christmas crafting….but we have by no means finished!

What came in the post

lotsofkeyrings1

It has been a long time since I saw these little beauties. Maybe two years has passed since I sent my final batch of keyrings to my lovely publishers GMC. Well in preparation for the book signing on Monday they sent me back all of the keyrings from my first book and the project items from my new book How to Crochet. It is like being re-united with old friends.

Little B was so delighted when he saw the keyring box. It was like going through a box of chocolates. Loom bands are so very popular this summer, but ironically they use a crochet hook to work the little rubber bands. If you are looking for an opportunity to develop little crafty skills then these little trinkets are really do-able small projects.

 

Let’s Get Crafting – Fruit keyrings and bunnies

cherrykeyringLGC

I really like working with all the magazines I have relationships with. Each have a different look and thinking about the different readership is actually helpful with the creative process. Let’s Get Crafting have specific colours and yarn that they need their designers to work with. The restriction on the length of yarn is very good for me – it gets the little grey cells working. I am always really impressed by the designs in the magazine. There are often great gift ideas.

Following the Keyring book coming out, I took a slight sabbatical from keyring design…But LGC asked me to design some new ideas, I really enjoyed myself.

applekeyringLGC

The apple keyring would be a great idea for an end of term thank you present for teachers.

pearkeyringLGC

I realised recently that if you made this pear of the apple in a silver or gold yarn they would make good Christmas decorations. (Is it too early to mention that?)

lavenderbunniesLGC

At the same time I designed these little Lavender bunnies to keep the moths at bay. When I was making this design I couldn’t find loose lavender anywhere in the shops. So I ordered some lavender online. Unfortunately I got my quantities mixed up and a huge bag of lavender arrived. If I knitted from now until the New Year I wouldn’t use it all up. But it has given me a good idea for quick and easy house presents.

LGC62

Door 9 – Crocheted Keyrings & Charms!

advent13

Happy Advent! If this is your first visit to my blog – welcome. The fabulous people at GMC are celebrating this festive season, by offering one copy of Crocheted Keyrings & Charms for giveaway. This has been a fabulous year with the support of my friends of GMC ~ it is such a privilege to be able to publish the ideas you have in your head. If you would like to have your own copy of Crocheted Keyrings & Charms you can win one. To be in with a chance of winning, simply comment below and let me know what your favourite thing about Christmas is.

moth

In the next week I will hopefully start getting the house ready for Christmas. I have to say that I do like a bit of ‘scandi chic’ for decoration. I am big fan of red at the best of times. But after reading some interiors magazines and a visit to one of my favourite local shops, Moth, I feel a snowy and faux fur theme catching my eye. Look at this fabulous festive shop window, so simple and beautiful.

littlehouse

So I will be looking out he natural tone decorations in our collection.

penguineggcosy

I will perhaps get a few donations to our decoration scheme from Little B.

rabbitmug

You might be adding some ‘must have’ craft books to your Christmas list but keep an eye on @GMCcraftbooks throughout December, as they’ll be launching an advent calendar of great present ideas, free projects and giveaways, all inspired by this year’s lovely new book releases! From sewing to papercraft, knitting to woodworking and everything in between, GMC craft books have got all bases covered and are sure to offer you some inspiration this Christmas.

Miss Mouse

A good friend of mine was chatting with me last week. She was teasing me about the lack of a mouse pattern in my Keyring book. She couldn’t quite believe I had missed out this cutest of animals.

She really needed to make a mouse as a present and undeterred she took the head of Archie dog and elongated the pattern to make a body and then took the ears of the kitten to create a beautiful little mouse.

For many people this is how designing begins – creating a design from different pattern elements when you have failed to find it elsewhere. It has got me thinking perhaps I should design a little mouse keyring in the next few weeks.

Wow – thank you !

Sometimes I get a really lovely comment which pops up on the blog. Those days are lovely. I really like it when my good friends pop-by-and-say-hi! and I have also made some great crochet friends through this little space. This week I got such a cool comment. Ellie, who has created the lovely blog, Wellies Crochet and Cows (what a great title!) came by to say that she had used my book, Crocheted Keyrings and Charms to make her fish in a bottle. You just have to have a look at it. She has a great tutorial too. What a fab thing to do. It was kind of nice because she had bought her book in her local yarn shop. I have yet to spot it physically in a shop so that was quite a heartening story. Anyway – if you are a visitor to a blog – even a really famous one. Pop a comment on and say hello. It will probably make someone’s day.

Get ready for Flag Day!

When I started to make keyrings a couple of years ago I made this Stars and Stripes design for my American friend Elise. At the time she didn’t crochet much….but now my friends she another of my fly-away crochet addicts and also manages to design her own patterns.

Today was amazing to come home and realise that the wonderful Lion Brand Yarn website in the States has featured the Stars and Stripes design for their 4th July celebration! How cool is that? We are talking yarn royalty here. Anyway if you have time and want to make your own version the pattern is here.

When we were developing the content for Crocheted Keyrings and Charms we steered away from flags, but I think it is quite a popular choice for a gift. So if I ever write a second book maybe I will look into a range of flags.

 

Homey House Doorstop

This doorstop is a small commission from some friends. They wanted to give something personal to a couple getting married. I have taken a LONG time to get to this little project. But it has been in my mind and in my sketch book for about 3 years. Silly really when it is so simple and a perfect ‘new home’ gift.

My experience from making the Campervan and Mr Foxy has ensured that I have assembled the pieces together using a slip stitch seaming technique.  Because this doorstop is not for me I wanted to make sure the applique windows and doors were attached firmly, so I did using the sewing machine for durability.

Finally while writing the book I used the felt and bead decoration on my little Kimono Doll. I repeated the idea to make the cliched roses around the door. If you are interested (don’t answer that!) I used DMC Natura in Aguamania and Prusian.

Crocheteted Keyrings and Charms ~ on the shelves

So my little book is now out and available in the shops – I am very excited. There are so many crochet books out there at the moment, so I am very fortunate to be able to fulfil this dream. My idea for the book really was born from this blog. As I started making keyrings as gifts for my son and a couple of his friends I began to publish them as free patterns on this site. The wonderful people at Crochet Pattern Central in America also began to link to them, and after discussions they realised that they need to start a new category. That got me thinking. There were very few published keyring patterns and it made me think that there might be a gap in the market for a book. I was lucky  that the publishers at GMC agreed. They do a wonderful series called ‘Cosy’ which brings together 30 designs of one thing. You might have seen their teacosy books.

There are 30 designs in the book – they are designs specifically to be for your keyring or bag. Many of them are flat for that reason. You could also use them to mark your spare keys – or perhaps use them as decorations at Christmas. I find that one of these little charms helps to identify a specific school rucksack in the cloakroom! Crochet is a perfect craft for this type of thing. The little double crochet stitches are very durable and you could easily make many of them in an evening or weekend.

OK – I would like to say ‘thank you’ to a few people – so do feel free to skip this if that sort of thing makes you queasy.

Thank you to my folks and my lovely Big B and Little B for their encouragement and patience. The creative team/family I have at work – they are frequently my inspiration. Jennie for her encouragement, Katie for her faith, the ‘Uncommon Women’ for cheering me on.

A huge thank you and hug to Sue – who read and checked and quizzed me – I will be forever grateful, our friendship is a like a perfect creative marriage.

Finally the team at GMC who are brilliant – specifically Gerrie and the very wonderful Wendy.

But thank you to the editor Nicola (editors make everyone look good) – the gorgeous design of Ginny and the most amazing photos from Anthony Bailey and Andrew Perris.

I have had the most amazing and thrilling experience – thank you .

Cart
  • No products in the cart.