I love pompoms.
Did I ever tell you how much I loved pompoms? No?

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The great thing about pompoms is they couldn’t be more simple. You can make them easily. You don’t need to be able to knit, crochet, or even sew – just wind some yarn around a piece of specifically shaped plastic or card, tie and cut. 
Craft for all.
There are various ways ways of making pompoms in all sizes (see below).
So I found myself with a pile of them. I’d had an afternoon of creative ‘holiday project’ fun with my daughter, and was wondering what to do with them. 

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They’re perfect for brightening up any space – particularly a little one’s bedroom.

pompoms, holiday projects, cheap and easy craft projects, cheap luxury decor

Strung up and hung across the mantelpiece around the fire or against the wall?  I’ve done that before and it’s a great simple effect. (Take care, if the child is very small that they are nicely out of reach.)

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Then there was the new pair of curtains I’d recently made, I’d been wondering for a while if they just needed that something extra.

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Yep, I think they did.

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Such a cheap and easy way to inject some extra colour and texture. Pretty cool I reckon .
And if you’re like me and have a good few odd balls of yarn in your stash – it’s stash-busting heaven…. and pretty addictive.

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I even made a Christmas garland with the extras. The colours were perfect.
Go on –  make some pompoms – You’d be surprised at what you can do with them.
Stuff you can do with Pompoms

My daughter has a bit of a thing for rainbows so how could I resist picking up this ball of multi coloured neon fabulousness when I saw it?
rainbow yarn ideas, ombre yarn, space-dyed knitting wool
There are some lovely patterns out for all manner of spaced-dyed cardigans, jumpers, dresses and accessories, but I was looking for something a little different… and I wanted a quick project, and one that’s nice and easy but still a little bit of a challenge for you folks who are new to crochet but want to push it juuuust that little bit further. 
I thought this might be fun.
Rainbow Fur!
What to do with it though?
Texture is HUGE at the moment and this fur effect can be knit or crocheted quite easily.
This great yarn fur could potentially be made up into all sorts of wonderful shapes and styles and perhaps that’s another future project – but for now I’ m sticking with something simple… and quick…. a project that uses only one 100g ball. 
A gorgeous little crocheted rainbow fur cowl….  
My simple cowl, I posted a while ago now is one of my most popular patterns.

…and all the little girls are wearing cowls these days. they’re just so easy, and warm, and stylish.
I made if for my now 6 yr old and it was designed with youngsters in mind, but who’s to say it can’t be for a grown up. We can wear bright colours too yeah?
In fact, it can be made up in any DK yarn in any colour and doesn’t have to be space dyed either. Looks just a good plain. 
Get an eyeful of this gorgeous teal wool.
Great for when we’re all fed up of the darks, and neutral tones we’ve seen through the winter months,  and for the onset of Spring with a fleece or hoodie and Autumn when we’re not quite ready to put on a heavier jacket.
Just think of those lovely colour combos you can get your teeth into.
Hollow Ponds, Leytonstone, London

I thought it would be good to start the New Year with something positive. 
 2015 was a tough one –  for people all over the world, and I’m perpetually in awe of those that give up their time and put their own lives at risk to help people in need. I thought I’d try do a little bit from this end and donate this pattern to p/hop (pennies per hour of pleasure)  – a charity knitting project that raises funds for the incredible emergency medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
You can read about the work they do HERE
… and HERE is where you can get the crochet pattern.   
Soy candle, christmas spice, scent of christmas, scented candle

Christmas is fast approaching ( I know! Where did that year go?) It’s the end of term and time for teachers to have a well-earned break. I can’t bear to get involved in all of that competitive gift-giving – it really does bring the worst out in some folks – but I do like to show our appreciation for all the extra time and work those hardworking teachers put in. No pressure here. Something small and handmade usually does the trick. 
We’ve made cookies, we made soap…  we like to keep it varied.
This year we decided on scented candles. Now who doesn’t love one of those? Especially when they’re made with natural essential oils

make your own scented Christmas Candles, Soy candle, christmas spice, scent of christmas, scented candle
I’d never done it properly before, but I knew that I wanted to use soy wax. I’m told that soy candles are cleaner burning, longer lasting, biodegradable, and leave no nasty grey residue.
I found a great little tutorial here on Clare K Creations. Thanks for sharing this Clare.
At this time of year it just has to be those seasonal scents that instantly conjure up Christmas.
Soooo…. Out came the Sweet Orange, Bitter Orange, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Ginger and Clove essential oils.

Decorating it can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.
Smells gorgeous
Christmas in a jar!

If you’re a little stumped for some last minute christmas pressies, have some old condiment jars lying around and can get hold of some soy wax pellets and essential oils, there’s still time – have a go! It’s not difficult, it’s inexpensive and if you like making stuff – great fun.

Merry Christmas.
Modern Granny Blanket,Modern granny square afghan,pixel afghan
There’s nothing I like more than a special event or occasion. Weddings, births, house warming, anything that marks the beginning of a new phase of life.
In my humble opinion, special occasions require special pressies. Easier said than done, I hear you say. I agree.
Thankfully, for me, I love an excuse to get out the yarn, cloth, hooks needles, whatever just happens to be the latest making phase I’m going through, and the chance to embark on a new challenge.
What ‘s more special than something handmade – something utterly unique that no-one else has, that you just wouldn’t be able to buy, with out having to commission.  

It was a couple of lovely old friends who were tying the knot. They’d been together a while, long enough to have already established themselves as a family with two gorgeous boys of 7 and 5, and me and my little posse were thrilled to be invited to celebrate with them.

I seem to have rather an awful lot of clever, creative friends and these two are no exception. Means only one thing – they like cool stuff. Instantly the stakes are raised. Don’t get me wrong, these folk totally get ‘handcrafted’, whatever shape or form it may take, but in this case, I felt something a little more was needed. I wanted it to have a modern twist – something for both the Designer and the Artisan.

I’d been wanting to make a chunky blanket for a while. I love ’em.

I’ve been impressed by some of the beautiful patchwork ones I’d seen, spread out  across the internet, and always thought that basic granny squares was something you could do something really quite contemporary with.

1.Feathered Hues – Design seeds. 2. Ellsworth Kelly quilt – spontaneous color.  3. Colour Explosion Quilt – Sew English Rose, Folksy. 4.Bears Rainbow Blanket – The Purl Bee.

Here’s what I Did

In a wool/acrylic mix (wearability combined with washability), knitted with two strands of DK yarn. Chunky would’ve done, but the colour choice of chunky yarns is always so restricting… and for this project I wanted some full-on colour –  

a simple two row granny square.

Hundreds of them.

488 of them to be precise.
My, clever other half came up with the excellent visual effect of colours scattering from the corner – just like a mini explosion. It looks simple and random but had to be planned quite carefully, taking into account the careful mix and concentration of colours and neutrals. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.

When all the squares were made.


they then had to be joined together,

and all the ends had to be woven in.

I can honestly say it’s probably the biggest project I’ve ever done. At times I thought I’d never finish. Anything like this is always going to be labour intensive – that’s what makes it so special. 

Three months and 2,200g of yarn later, tadahh, and what a great sense of satisfaction.

Finished off with a simple row of charcoal single crochet, thankfully I think it works.
When my young daughter saw it she said “Mum, it looks like it’s going ‘Boom”
I think that was the effect I was after…. so I called it my ‘Boom blanket’.

Here’s to Chris and Lucy.
Hope they like it 
Wishing them many more happy, cozy years.
Cheers!

Ok… winter has pretty much passed (dare I speak too soon). It’s May and it’s getting warmer out there. I’m now packing away my winter Jumpers. It’ll be a while before we get the urge to make warm things, although I always regret not starting much earlier than autumn.  
There’s a wealth of cool crochet out there that’s is just perfect for summer. Some great shapes – it ‘s amazing what you can do with a bit of crochet. Here are some ideas that I think are just fab –  all with patterns, some free, some not – but still great value. 
1. Love the shape of this simple but very stylish summer shell from Lion Brand
2. Cover up with this gorgeous little summer cloche from the I Love Pompoms blog.
I bet it would look great in raffia.

   

3. How fab is this idea. Lots of potential for creativity here. Lovely free picture tutorial from Genuine Mudpie
4. Found this lovely number on Crochet Kingdom. A longer version would make an excellent beech cover-up. Just think of all those bright coloured cottons out there crying out to be made into this.

5. One for the tots. Protect their little feet in the gentlest way with these cool shoes (pattern) from TwoGirlsPatterns on Etsy

6. Is this not the slickest crocheted bag you’ve ever seen? You too can make one. Get the pattern from Etsy’s IsWoolish
And there’s much, much more out there..

tooth fairy letter, tooth fairy printable, editable tooth fairy letter

It’s finally happened… we’ve been waiting aaaages. At last, after weeks of wobbling, it’s come out –  the first tooth.

Already six and one of the oldest in the class, yet one of the last to start losing her baby teeth. It’s made me feel a little sad – she’s growing up – far too quickly if you ask me. But just look at that that little happy, gappy smile. 

So here I am – with a tooth. 
I had to ask around for the going Tooth Fairy rate (thanks mums), and it got me thinking of how it was when I was a kid. The idea of a fairy taking away my old tooth ….for money, was magic on so many levels.
I thought I’d do a little embellishing..the sort of thing I would’ve loved. A letter from the Tooth Fairy…a 21st century tooth fairy of course. A modern day, urban tooth fairy who likes a bit of skateboarding as much as she likes her glitter. A fairy who’s not really that much into pink and isn’t afraid to get a bit messy sometimes … and I thought it’d be nice to share with anyone else who lost a tooth this weekend. 

I’ve drawn up and made a little printable – a letter from the Tooth Fairy… complete with envelope. I’ve included pdfs which can be the saved as a an image file and placed it into a program of your choice (e.g. Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, or an online photo editing site). Write your message, print and cut it out, fold and stick where necessary. I’ve provided full instructions on how to add text, plus an example of what the tooth fairy might write – optional of course. You can print it using one of the many quirky, fairy-style fonts out there, or even handwrite it for that lovely personal touch. Blond, brunette – you get to choose. Plus you get to use it again and again – just change the message each time. Easy peasy.

personalised letter from the tooth fairy printable

You can even make it ‘Fairy size

Let’s make the most of the magic, eh…. while it’s still around…..it doesn’t last long.

                                    Get your customisable Tooth Fairy Letter HERE  

I’m loving the new February 14th concept that is Galentines Day. (Boys, you need one too).
It’s great to hear of all those single.. and not-single girls getting together to have fun on a night that’s been well and truly hijacked by couples. It’s about time, I say.
It’s a while since I last did a granny square project – so, with Valentines(Galentines) day on the horizon, I’ve been on the lookout for a nice ‘heart’ version of the the granny square. There’s loads of them out there, but nothing quite matched what I was looking for. 
I decided to do my own – I wanted it to be slick (well, as much as hand-crafted can be), well-defined – and I wanted it to glow. Here’s what I’ve got so far.
Heart Granny Square, Valentine granny square, Galentines day
Sadly, I’ve written no pattern as yet, –  life’s been getting in the way of blogging lately. I will post one hopefully in the not too distant future. 
But for now….. wishing you…
Love, in whatever shape or form…. X

Another new baby in the ‘hood….a boy.  
Seems that there are lots of boys being born round here at the moment. 
Means only one thing….
…yep, another blanket.  

This time I had hardily any time to whip one up. 
Wait…. I really shouldn’t say that – handmade items are NEVER ‘just whipped up’. 
So a nice simple stitch in an easy to do and contemporary graduated stripe. This can be made in any DK yarn. I used Stylecraft Life DK in classic, but not traditional baby colours. It is one of my favourite wool mix yarns and has a real quality soft feel. What’s more it washes and wears well and doesn’t break the bank. 
 Cream, Fern and Blue Haze – Perfect for a boy ….or a girl.

This is a great project for beginners.
I’ve made an easy to follow pattern with a chart for those more visually inclined, plus a guide to the graduated stripe pattern.
You can get it HERE

US Version
UK Version

Oh the thing us parents have to do.
I thought I’d start the new year – not with a pattern – but with a story of regeneration, and of what is possible when you think all is lost… sometimes. 
Meet Pop-pop. Yes, I’ll admit the name’s a little quirky, but she was given it by a 1 year old that had a pretty limited vocab at the time.
Fast forward 5 years…… that floppy little bunny has become a major part of our family. I can safely say that it’s my daughters favourite cuddly toy. She will not travel or go to sleep without it.. and we kind of love it as much.
But would you just look at the state of her! Shabby, covered in holes – I’d darned her countless times – I’d even darned the darned bits – those holes were now just too big to darn. And terminally grubby – as much as I was keen to give her her regular spin in the washing machine it was a safe bet that she was likely to just fall apart. 
Buying a new one just wouldn’t have cut it. We’d never have been able to replace the old Pop-pop. Drastic measures were what was required here – this bunny needed a skin transplant. Could we rebuild her?
Only one way to find out.
 I got to work with my trusty tools and an old minky hoodie that no longer fitted…
took a copy of her body parts….
 made them into a pattern, 
and bit… 
 by bit…
gave her a bit of a makeover…
Some bits I could sew together by machine but it was mainly hand stitching. The eye and nose area had to be care fully cut away and stitched back so she still has the same ol’ features.
It took ages… but oh was it worth it.
Ta da! Good as new. A brand new Pop-pop….
and a very happy, little girl.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
XXX

crochet snowflakes, modern crochet, cool crochet snowflake pattern,
Did anyone just mention Christmas?….. Yes it’s nearly here….. and, believe it or not,  I’m pretty organised this year, for a change…. At least i think I am.
Just one little thing though – my tree’s looking a bit bare… still. Every year i try to make new ornaments for it, but this year I’ve been too busy getting organised.
 I needed to give it a quick boost.
 Here’s what I came up with….

Funky crochet Christmas decorations, make your own 'Conran Shop' style tree decorations
… a slightly different twist on the crochet snowflake that, let’s face it, is everywhere these days. 
This one is has a more modern, slightly ‘Scandi meets Conran Shop” inspired twist and instead of traditional white is, yes, you guessed it…..fluoro. 
It still has that handmade quality and sits nice and quirkily on a real tree but also works with something more contemporary.  
Nice and simple, and those colours are fab. Crochets up in just two rounds. You can make a good few of them in one evening, easy peasy – and it’s still not too late. As a special Christmas treat I’ve included a free pattern.
 HERE’s how to make them.
Happy decorating.
Christmas seems to be so much more fun with children around. They’re coming home from school with cotton wool snowmen and cut out snowflakes. They’re practising their Christmas songs and learning lines for the nativity. Their latest favourite read is the Argos catalogue (why oh why did I pick one of those up?) and every trip to the shopping centre needs a plan for avoiding the Disney shop. Those little ones are getting excited.
I’m very conscious and a little sad that those years of magic are very fleeting so I’m determined to make the best of them. Perhaps in a way, I’m  wanting to relive the the magic I remember from my own childhood. Of course I also learnt the true meaning of christmas and our kids will too, but in the meantime there’s no reason why it can’t be fun.
I thought it would be nice to make a printable. A letter to Santa… in its own special envelope.  Nothing pre-written, chances are they can write their own now – at least with some help from mum or dad. I’ve provided some lines, but hopefully that’s all the help they need…
Just watch them fill up that space in no time.

I wanted to share this as a printable download – in case you might like to do it too.
If you follow the link at the end you can download the 2 page PDF. You may reduce or enlarge as required by changing the details in the ‘scale box in the print menu.
Print and cut out on A4 (portrait setting).  Fold the envelope (it’s easy to see where) and stick down. 
It will need to be sealed with glue – my daughter was a little disappointed when she licked the top and it wouldn’t stick, bless her – never mind….  no big deal. 
We (with an adult of course) put ours on the open fire, and sent it up the chimney… or you could do THIS
If you do decide to send it in the post, don’t forget to include a stamped addressed envelope if you want a reply.
Get The free printable download by clicking HERE

This is for personal use only. It must not be re-sold or used for commercial purposes.
For all permissions please contact
thredhed@btinternet.com

We’re hunkering down for the winter here in London… and it’s getting cold… so I thought I’d share this. In these times of saving energy, colossal heating bills and (still, despite what people are saying) austerity. Someone somewhere may find it useful….
Have you seen the gaps underneath our doors?

I mean… seriously…. Look at them.
Gaping, draught-beckoning, under-door, wind-tunnelling, chasms.
…. Kind of needed to sort this.
I have a small stash of fake fur that I’ve had for years. nice stuff that is destined to become, one day, the most gorgeous coat – but in the meantime, there’s just about enough of it to spare for a more pressing little project to keep out those breezes.

So off to Jewsons I go for some pipe insulation (all will become clear – I promise). Love it there – shopping with all those builders – surreal.
So what do you do with a pile of fake fur and pipe insulation?
Here’s what. This is an idea I got from lovely blog Living a Slow and Simple Life . A fab draught excluder that slides snugly underneath your door – and (this is the important bit) stays there. It moves with your door. No getting in the way. No having to put it back in place. 
under-door draught excluder,  the best ever draught excluder, how to keep out the draughts
And you know what – what a difference.
So snug that when you open the door you’re practically blown off your feet. Ok…. so I exaggerate, but trust me – it works, and particularly well with wooden floors. Our living room has never been so toasty. You needn’t use expensive fake fur. Fun fur, fleece, velour, velboa, minky or even just some unused fabric would be just as good, and for a room with a floor covering like carpet, a fabric with no pile, like cotton canvas, would be the best option.
under-door draught excluder,  the best ever draught excluder, how to keep out the draughts
It’s important for the environment and for our pockets that we try to conserve as much heat and waste as little energy as possible these days so this is a great idea. It’s easy to make and works out pretty cheap. With the most basic of sewing skills and couple of hours you could do some serious draught busting. 
Click HERE for instructions.

It’s Mothers day again over here in the Uk. I can’t believe it’s come round again. How time flies. 
Big bunches of flowers, lovely handmade cards from the little ones, having breakfast in bed or lunch down the pub – it’s all going on in this part of the world today.
But let’s spare a thought for those who don’t have mums – for whom Mothers Day is not an easy one. 
I’m dedicating this post to the mums who are no longer with us, for whatever reason.
Lets not make too much of a big deal of Mother’s day, as nice as it is for some. Let’s just appreciate the mums we have –  everyday. 
In the meantime, to all you mums out there, Happy Mothers Day.
Crochet Iris by thredHED. Rainbow flower by Iris. Keep watching, pattern to follow.
light up with hearts, heart fairy lights,valentine heart lights
It’s nice to take time to appreciate those you love but, let’s be honest, Valentines day is not everyones cup of tea. Red Roses, Chocolate Hearts, or candle-lit dinners – been there, done that, have come out the other end – now totally indifferent…….  so I’m not going to go on about love… or romance. 
Having said that, I do love the paraphernalia…. but that can be just as much fun without all the sugary stuff. 

So for those of you who are…, or who are not, doing Valentines Day, for whatever reason…. but like the odd heart or two, here’s a nice little project .
 ‘Crochet hearts’, I hear you say, ‘they’re everywhere’. 
Yes’ that’s true and they look great – but I wanted to push  it further and make something extra pretty and, in true thredHED style, 
… a little bit useful.

These little lights instantly perk up a dark corner and look pretty at the same time. Made from crocheted hearts, sewn together and reinforced to make little filigree shades for a chain of LED fairy lights (and I must stress LOW VOLTAGE LED). Use can use any fibre yarn – it’s great for using up your stash.
They can be red and racy, hot pink, or muted pastels for that vintage look….or why not mix ’em up. Which ever way you choose they do look nice…. and if you like a bit of crochet you can make them.  Here’s how – for a limited period of time, my pattern and instructions are free to download to all fans of my thredHED face book page

Click to get it HERE  

men's storage bag,underwear bag, men's shoe bag, men's tidy bag, cool drawstring bag
There’s nothing nicer than a handmade gift. I love ’em. But Boys?….. simple handmade gifts for boys (and by that I mean men) – now, that’s a tricky one, especially with the men I know. They seem to be much more discerning, more fussy than any girl. They totally get the handmade thing but with them there seems to be no messing –  they want stuff that is either really cool or really practical.
Ok. BIG birthday challenge of the above kind. Thankfully I had a small amount of this  great Riley Blake cassette-print cotton fabric.
I picked it up on a visit to friends and family in Bristol, UK from the most fabulous craft shop Flo Jo Boutique. Well worth a visit if you live in or are visiting the area. It sells  all manner of gorgeous printed fabrics, and holds some great classes and workshops – check it out.
I decided to keep it very simple with these lovely little Tidy Bags. Great for keeping their shoes/trainers or undies in when travelling, or just for great-looking, handy hanging bathroom/bedroom storage. Half a metre will give you a couple or if you have more fabric you can make as many as you like. How about a variety of sizes. You can change the size and proportions – the making process is still the same. I think an extra large one would make a great laundry bag. Perfect  – and not just for the boys – I know plenty of girls who would love it too.
They’re easy to make – a good project, particularly if you’re new to sewing. It’s made using ‘French Seams’, so it will be nicely-finished and good quality. I’ve put together an easy to follow tutorial.
You Can find it HERE.