Monday, 21 July 2014

The big stuff

I loves a bit of mahooooosive yarn.

It has to be a favourite of mine.
It's so exciting- seeing that huge skein, rolled up in a cone or ball. So many possibilities ...

I've made quite a few things now, with the big stuff:

And I've got a few projects in mind for the book, too.

If you fancy giving it a go, then there are plenty of commercially produced yarns available. And you can always make your own t-shirt yarn - there's lots of tutorials online to guide you - try this one for size.

My stash (and there's more)

It goes without saying that you'll need a big hook-anything from 10-20mm (US 15/N/P - S) depending on the pattern and then you're good to go. Hold it in exactly the same way as you would a smaller hook and yarn- it takes a little getting used to, but you'll soon adapt.

The great thing about this yarn is that it works up really quickly.
In no time at all you can have a bag or basket or slippers! 

Enjoy your mahosssive  yarn adventures,
Sarah xx

Thursday, 3 July 2014


A magic number.

Not my age (alas), but the number of projects I need to design for the book.

Luckily, as it's a book for beginners, the projects are neither complicated nor lengthy. 

However, designing everything from scratch involves a lot of testing and trying and fixing and frogging.

And there's a lot to be done..

I do hope you likey.

Enjoy the rest of your week, 
Sarah xx

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Let's Get Crafting

Its funny how things work out, isn't?
I've never exactly had what you might call a business plan, but I've tried to give myself a goal or idea for what I'd like to achieve each year.

And so a few months ago, I'd said to the Mister that it might be nice to have a pattern published in a magazine.   
I had no idea how to go about this, but imagined I might have to send lots of emails. A daunting task, I thought. It would be something I'd do later on in the year. Maybe once the little'un had started school.
Yes, something I'd definitely aim for later in the year. 
Much later.

So that was the plan.

And then I received an email from a lovely editor, saying how much they liked my designs *blushes* and would I like to accept a commission for the knitting and crochet magazine, Let's Get Crafting?

Ooooooo, yes. I said.
How exciting, I said.

And so I was asked to design a cactus, a toadstool keyring, a flower pen cosy and a toadstool pen cosy!
What fun!

Images courtesy of Let's Get Crafting Magazine

I designed. I made. I wrote up the pattern and emailed it. I sent the physical items..
And then I waited...

And here it is!!
I'm very proud to say that my little cactus made the front cover..
Image courtesy of Let's Get Crafting Magazine

.. and the keyring made the front jacket..

.. AND I have a full spread inside, too!!!!

Happy days.

What's more, I've been asked to take on another commission. Here's a sneak peek:

But now, it's back to the book. More designs need to be made and more writing needs to be done.

Suffice it to say that things are a bit busy at Annaboo's House these days. 
But that's how I like it best.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

Sarah x

Monday, 26 May 2014


Hello, you lovely lot!
As you know, things have been a bit busy here, but I thought it was about time for a free pattern.
So here's Moggy.
She's my new doorstop. 

And why would I want to make a new doorstop, you wonder?
Well, I have this little dog called Lola. She is a year old now and very, very cute.

But Lola can be a bad doggy.

See? That's my old doorstop.
Anyhoos, I thought I'd reuse the filling and the bag of sand to make another.

This is an easy project; Moggy is crocheted in continuous rounds of single crochet (UK doubles) in amigurumi-style. I used some leftover chunky yarn from my stash, so she worked up quickly, too. 

You could use any yarn to make yours.
Moggy Doorstop

You'll need:
Yarn and hook to match (I used Sublime Chunky Merino x2 50g balls and a 6.5mm hook)
Polyester toy filling/ a bag of sand/ rice to add weight
Stitch marker
2x 13mm safety eyes
Length of contrasting yarn for nose

Stitches and Abbreviations:
I use US terms, so single crochet= same as UK double crochet here.
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Stitches (sts)
Single Crochet 2 Together (sc2tog)

To single crochet 2 together:
Insert hook into next stitch.
Yarn over, pull up a loop. (2 loops on hook)
Insert hook into next stitch.
Yarn over, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook)
Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops.

Starting from the bottom and working up
Make 6 sc in magic ring OR
ch2, 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook.

1. 2sc in each sc (12 sts)
2. 2sc in each sc (24)
3. Sc 24

4. (Sc 1, 2scs in next st) repeat around (36)
5. Sc 36

6. (Sc 3, 2scs in next st) repeat around (45)
7. (Sc 2, 2scs in next st) repeat around (60)

8-21. Sc 60

22. (Sc 2, sc2tog) repeat around (45) 

Begin stuffing /add your bag of sand

23. (Sc 3, sc2tog) repeat around (36)
24. (Sc 1, sc2tog) repeat around (24)
25. Sc 24

26. (Sc 1, 2scs in next st) repeat around (36)
27-28. Sc 36

29. (Sc 5, 2scs in next st) repeat around (42)
30-33. Sc 42

34. (Sc 5, sc2tog) repeat around (36)
35-36. Sc 36

Ear 1
To make the ears, you will work both 'halves' of the head separately
37. Sc 9, turn, sc 9 (18)

Add eyes and stitch nose. 
Stuff as you go.

38. Sc2tog, sc 5, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc 5, sc2tog (14)
39. Sc2tog, sc 4, sc2tog, sc 6 (12)
40. Sc2tog, sc 3, sc2tog, sc 5 (10)
41. Sc2tog around (5)

Sew closed.

Ear 2
Repeat rows 37-41
You will have a slight gap between the ears, which can be sewn closed at the end.


Make 6 sc in magic ring OR
ch2, 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook.

1. (Sc 1, 2scs in next st) repeat around (9)
2. Sc 9
3. (Sc 2, 2scs in next st) repeat around (12)
4. Sc 12
5. (Sc 1, 2scs in next st) repeat around (18)
6-9. Sc18
10. (Sc 1, sc2tog) repeat around (12)
11. Sc 12
12. (Sc2, sc2tog) repeat around (9)
13-14. Sc9

Fasten off, leaving 30cm tail for sewing on later.

Finishing off
Sew the tail to the side of the body.
Add a ribbon to your Moggy's neck.
Sew the gap between the ears closed.

There you go- your very own Moggy doorstop.

Mine will have a new home upstairs, well away from the bad doggy...

Have a great week, everyone xx

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Advancing Deadlines

The deadline for sending the advance materials to the publishers approaches
(Eeeeek! It's all happening!!)

(The advance material is a section of the manuscript, containing some of the patterns and the physical crocheted items. This is used to mock up a kind-of early version of the book, which is used for marketing.)

I've been good at working and am the kind of person who works easily within time limits, so I think I'm on track. Mind you, I keep re-reading the text and changing bits here and there. I must stop doing this and leave it for a bit.

BTW, I am enjoying this whole writing malarkey immensely and choosing new yarn is so much fun. The ones in the above picture above are Debbie Bliss Cotton DK and they are completely delish...

Right, just a short post. I need to get on.

I'll keep you posted on bookish happenings and I have a new freebie pattern that I'm working on, too.

And so the clock ticks....

Friday, 2 May 2014

Instagrannies' Day Out

Well I have to say, the writing's going well so far and I must admit, I'm really rather enjoying the whole process.
But as we know, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so it was with great excitement I went off to our second Instagrannies' day out (the first seems so long ago...)

Image from here
This is the meeting place (Barnett Hill, near Guildford).
Isn't it lovely?

It's a beautiful house, built in 1905 by the grandson of Thomas Cook, the Travel Agent. It was later given to the Red Cross and used as a convalescence hospital during the war years and then as a training facility. Now, it's a conference centre. 
History lesson over.
Oi, you at the back, wake up.

Anyhoos, the super-gorgeous ShabbyChicSarah is the brains of the outfit and decided to invite the gals of Instagram to a little meet-up. And so, for a very reasonable fee, we travel from far and wide and get together.

Tea is sipped.
Homemade cakes and biscuits are nibbled at.

Look at all the crafty stuff

We sit, chat and bring our projects to work on and there is sewing and crochet and knitting and embroidery and lots and lots of laughter.
(And we also eat a great big lunch. Four courses, no less).
And before we know it, our time has come to an end and we mourn how quickly our day has passed.

Plenty of yarn
Busy bees. There's Ashley from CountryRoseCrafts, too!
But new friends have been made and ideas have been shared. Tips and tricks have been wondered at and stories have been told.
And there is the promise of another get-together in the summer....

...I will be there. With bells on.

Yours truly and the lovely Sarah (not so shabby, really)

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.
(Bank Hols here in the UK- yipppeeeee!!)

Sarah x

Saturday, 12 April 2014

It's a ...!

A book is my new project.
No, I can't believe it either.
(A book about crochet, obviously- not a 50 Shades or Harry Potter type-thing)

So, pull up a chair (yes, the squishy one over there) pour yourself a cuppa (teapot's on the table) and let me tell you a story about a book....

...For anyone who doesn't know, I haven't been crocheting long. I taught myself a few years back when I felt the grey matter ebbing away after I'd left teaching to be a full-time mummy;
I needed to learn something new.

And so I tinkered about a bit.
And crocheted.

I made some stuff. Some bad... Some really bad.
But some good.
Then I started selling the things I made. And people liked them.
I sold my crocheted wares at local events, rented a little shelf in a little shop in Arundel and online, too.

And then I thought I could design my own stuff.

So I did.
I started writing down my designs and putting them in my Etsy shop.
And people liked to buy those too.

And all along, I had this little blog. 
Where I catalogued my crochet journey (honestly, go back to the beginning and you'll find all the really bad stuff) where I tried new things and where a lovely publisher found me.

And their crafty commisioning Editor wrote to me and told me all about a book she wanted to make. 
And asked me if I would like to write it.

And I said 'Yes'.

So after much talking and discussing (and scribbling of ideas in the dead of night) I went to New York Newton Abbot in Devon for a planning meeting.
I met the fabulous gals from F&W Media and we planned the book. 
From cover to cover.
Seriously. It was a lengthy meeting. And definitely the most enjoyable meeting I've ever attended. We worked all day, without a break (none was needed- we were unstoppable).

There is a now a detailed plan about everything I need to write and design and I am raring to go.
The deadlines are ready..
My pen (laptop, actually) is poised..

I'm ready for the off. (Look! I have already made a terrible mess of my front room)

Can't wait to tell you what happens next.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sarah x