For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb
Psalm 139:13

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Since we last spoke…




I wrote my first ever feature for Mollie Makes (it's on how to crush it as a solo indie business gal – check out issue 95 here) and officially became part of the editorial team. Hurrah! It felt so good to be writing again.



Day job aside, most of my creative energy now flows straight into by beloved side hustle, To Be Adorned. I've spent the summer making custom wedding accessories for creative brides and colour lovers. It's been hard work but pretty wonderful. If you want to see what I've been up to, I share daily (mostly) updates on my To Be Adorned Insta, or you can sign up to my little monthly newsletter in the sidebar. 




And it wouldn't be a proper catch-up if I didn't tell you what's on my needles! I've got weekend of wedding fair prep ahead of me, but I'm definitely planning in some sofa Netflix and knitting time. I'll be catching up on Strictly, Bodyguard and maybe Neighbours (it's SO bad/good), knitting my long-overdue Bearly Bonnet for a special bubba. 

What have you been making lately? Tell me your news!


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

crochet wedding cake toppers



Love and marriage, cake and crochet – it all just kinda makes sense, doesn't it? 

So I'm breezing back in with another ta-da moment, this time something completely new. Back in January I was given the most beautiful little skein of blue Namolio linen thread (if you've never stitched with it, you need to get yours hands on some!) and commissioned to design some wedding cake toppers for Simply Crochet magazine. The theme was a burlap and lace look wedding decor set-up to chime in with the royal wedding excitement this spring. 

It was a perfect fit as I'd actually been pondering designing cake toppers for To Be Adorned. Right away I imagined a trio of little lacy crochet hearts on stalks, topping an icing-slathered cake. Cue some fun experimenting with my trusty 3mm hook, and this is what I came up with!



That Namolio thread blocks like an absolute dream, and check out those tiny picots!
Needless to say, I'm over the moon with how the team styled and photographed the whole collection (the other designers whipped up the loveliest wedding decoration bits), but have all the heart eyes for this shot. Want a closer look?


The pattern for my crochet heart wedding cake toppers is in Simply Crochet issue 70, out now! I kinda wish I'd made these for our wedding, though the pompom garland was a winner on the day. I'm also a huge fan of the really kitsch retro ones too. Are cake toppers your thing? 
What did you have on your cake? 

All cake topper photographs by Simply Crochet

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Beaded garters and bridal sashes


They're here! 
My wedding garters and bridal sashes for To Be Adorned are out in the wild and I'm pleased as punch. Have you ever felt that warm glow of pride in your chest that makes your eyes shine?




It sparked up big time when I received these beautiful pictures that Bristol photographer Lesley Mayfield  shot for this collection. But maybe I should start at the beginning?

Alongside my editorial day job at Mollie Makes, my head and hands are busy with my beloved To Be Adorned side hustle. I dream up and create colourful, vintage-flavoured accessories, then pop them up in my Etsy shop and take to social media to spread the word. Or, I'm creating quirky custom orders, which is an utter joy.

I've been a little shy about sharing what's going on in the shop in this space, but it's what I spend most of my time making now and I want to share it with you! So, there'll be updates aplenty coming your way, as well as the usual knitty goodness and WIP natter.

The colourful sash belts and crochet garters were things I'd be creating for a little while (I'm all about adding colour wherever you can, especially for weddings), but I knew they needed to be photographed on a model to really show them off. Accessories are made to be worn, loved and danced in, right?






After connecting with lovely photographer Lesley online, we finally fixed a date for a photoshoot. Lucy stepped in as our model for the morning, I sourced a dreamy blush-coloured frock and packed up my crochet pretties and we set about making some magic (see some behind-the-scenes silliness here).

It was nerve-wracking yet totally exhilarating see the ideas I'd imagined actually coming together in reality! The pictures are even more beautiful than I could have hoped (I've shared heaps of them in this post – sorry not sorry) and I've been merrily adding them all to the Etsy store too.

The garters are available in six different colours so far (and I'm open to custom orders), crocheted in fine silk blend yarn, finished with tiny beads and satin or velvet ribbon – a little bit luxe, you might say! And the bridal sashes belts are limited edition as they're made with lace from a vintage wedding gown and I'm currently sourcing some more lace! You can check out the lot in the shop here and find me hanging out on Insta here.

What have you been working on lately? I'd love to hear about your magical 'project finally coming together' moments!





All images here by Lesley Mayfield Photography

Friday, 9 February 2018

taking stock: February



The less said about January the better, right? Moving swiftly on, I thought a cheeky taking stock post would be a good way to catch up on 2018 happenings. Congrats if you make it all the way to the end of the list. Either way, I'd love to know what you're loving and making right now, so let me know!

Making: baby bootees, a new To Be Adorned headdress and something top secret. Oh, and an embroidery hoop that's very almost done. It's WIP central over here, as per. 
Cooking: not cooking exactly, but trying to be dilligent in prepping my overnight oats on school nights. 
Drinking: green tea, please. 
Reading: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (aloud to Mr P) and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.
Next read: Any recommendations? I've got a stack of unread EM Forster, so I might start on that. 
Wanting: to find jazzy workout leggings. 
Looking: cosy in my latest knit – an easy-peasy beanie stitched with coral-coloured Mrs Moon Plump and some leftover Drops Eskimo, knitted with this free hat pattern by Davina Choy.  
Wishing: my headphones worked – I'm really missing my walk-to-work podcast time. 
Enjoying: seeing the Little Hearts for Grace project coming together. 
Waiting: on the pictures from a couple of exciting To Be Adorned shoots! 
Liking: the latest Paramour songs. Who even am I? 
Loving: the brave, bright spring flowers popping up everywhere. 
Considering: pitching some feature ideas and flexing my writing muscles.
Buying: surprise Valentine's flowers for Mr P from The Blossom Parlour.
Watching: ALL of Friends now it's on Netflix, and also loving Grace and Frankie
Next watch: catching up with the Stitch in Time series on BBC iplayer.
Marvelling: at the fact that my body (and new shoes) carried me through a post-work 5k last night.
Needing: new tights. I think I wear them how other people wear jeans (I mean in frequency, not that I wear them instead of trousers!)
Questioning: the necessity of literally everything I buy being packaged in plastic. Grinds my gears!
Smelling: Lush's Sleepy body lotion and having to resist grabbing a spoon and tucking right in. 
Wearing: all the moisturiser ever. Winter is an ordeal for my skin, apparently. 
Following: @heysweetpea on Twitter for affirming, soul feeding solo biz goodness. 
Worrying: about literally everything. And then worrying about why I'm worrying. Anxiety much?
Noticing: more grey hairs, exclusively in my fringe.
Sorting: my sock drawer this weekend. There, I've said it so now I have to do it. 
Getting: back into running, yoga and actually going to the gym. Hope it sticks. 
Coveting: stuff from Friends – Phoebe's statement coats and Monica's bee cushion and face vase. 
Feeling: exciting about my upcoming Copenhagen gal pal adventure. 
Snacking: on everything in sight, or sliced apple and peanut butter if I'm being virtuous. 

As always, I'm playing along with Pip's Taking Stock series. Thanks to Sam for this pic!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Bee My Baby blanket



Poised for a ta-da moment?

I started making this honeycomb hexie blanket what feels like absolute yonks ago and I'm over the moon to be able to share it with you at long last! This is my second ever crochet blanket design and, due to my love of both bees and the colour yellow, it's an instant fave.  



After finding the ultimate grellow palette in DROPS' Cotton Merino range, I got hooking. A little bit of maths was required, to figure out how many hexies I'd need in each colour to make one big hexagon. This yarn is an absolute winner - super soft and really good stitch definition. I've been using the leftovers to make cute baby bootees. 

Many, many hexies later and the blanket was complete. My favourite bit was creating the little daisies and the bees with their flappy wings! And, not only am I chuffed with it, but pattern is in Simply Crochet issue 65

I'm hoping to be able to give my finished bee blanket sample to a special new tiny one in the fam soon! Not bad for the last FO of the year, I reckon. What's been your fave 2018 make? 




Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Kitchener stitch and patterns on Ravelry!



Between the day job and my To Be Adorned side hustle, I'm managing to cram in few sneaky rows of knitting here and there. We've moved a little further out of the city centre so my day generally includes a bus journey or two, which is prime stitching time! 

As usual, I had grand ideas about all the amazing yarny gifts I was going to make for Christmas gifts this year, but as the end of November is fast-approaching, I'm going to have to swallow the craft guilt, scale it back and make peace with working on with my WIP instead. When you think about it, it is a bit bonkers to feel guilty about your own unrealistic goals that only you knew about anyway. Currently on my needles is a pair of Edith mittens, and while I shouldn't have to justify making something for myself instead of Christmas gifts, I do actually need a pair.


I'm using the leftover red DROPS Nepal yarn from my Miette cardigan (so cosy) to knit these, and am loving the simple lace design. So far I've completed the first mitten, minus the thumb, and am well into the ribbing on the second. All plain sailing, until it got to grafting the top of the mitten together. Knitting socks isn't really my thing and I've never grafted stitches before, so this Purl Bee tutorial on Kitchener stitch came in very handy. I literally couldn't have figured it out otherwise. I'm not quite sure I've nailed it, I think it could be neater. Do you have any tips or good resources for Kitchener stitch? 

The other yarn-related news is *drumroll* two of my Simply Crochet designs are now available to buy on Ravelry! My Over the Rainbow ripple crochet blanket and Figgy Pudding festive hat topper patterns are out in the big wide world. While I've added the odd simple design to Ravelry before, this is the first time anything's gone up for sale.



It's been a while since I've chatted yarn here, so I'd love to know what's on your hook / needles right now and what's in your Ravelry queue. Fill me in!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

to be adorned is one!

Photograph: Lee Niel Photography

It's my birthday today, which also means it's one year since my To Be Adorned shop went live! Happy birthday to us.

And what a year of milestones and firsts – it's been a whirl of non-stop crochet, vintage lace snipping, precarious hot gluing, craft shopping, Instagramming, sewing machine wrangling, Etsy meet-ups, wedding events, 'I've made/sold a thing' happy dances, post office runs and impromptu photoshoots.




And (full disclosure) along the way there have been tears, very little sleep and a LOT of hard graft. Trying to balance full time work, growing something new and all of life's other commitments has been a whole new kinda challenge. Any and all tips welcome. I have no idea how people do these sorts of things AND raise a family, too. If this is you, you're basically a superhero.

But, having a creative thing that's all my own gives me so much joy, and I've met some amazing people along the way.  The real highlights for me have been meeting brides-to-be, dreaming up new designs and working on special custom headdress and wedding garter orders.





I wanted to say a BIG thank you to everyone who's been cheering me on this year (Mr P has been a positive saint), placing orders, sharing pics and saying hello at events - you're the actual best. That's the kinda stuff that keeps me going and helps me quiet those niggling, doubting voices that I think all makers have.

So, if you've been wondered why the blog's been so quiet for a while, it's because I've been hustling elsewhere! I'm planning to start sharing more of what I've been up to in this lovely space again, and in the mean time you can find me 'grammin like a mad thing at @tobeadorned and sharing on Facebook, too - I'd love to see a few more familiar faces cropping up!

To celebrate this exciting first birthday, and also by way of a thank you, I'm throwing a discount party! If you wanna join the To Be Adorned fun and help me celebrate, you can get 10% off absolutely everything in the shop (it's not just wedding stuff) this week with the code BDAYLOVE





Photograph: Viktoria Kuti

Photograph: Jacky Badenhorst photography
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