Thanks Karen for including this piece on your website … I am Karen’s twin sister, and like Karen I LOVE crafting! Karen uses fabric and I use wool – we are both equally obsessive about our crafts and love to share this with others …
I was about 10 when I taught myself to crochet. For years this acquired skill was only put to use making blankets. It’s a nice hobby on a cold winter’s night, especially when it’s reached a size big enough to keep you warm while working.
In recent years crochet, has made a comeback. Crocheted clothing hit the High Street and with the advent of the internet and sites such as Pinterest new doors have opened, each one an avenue full of inspirational ideas of what you can create with a hook and a ball of wool.
My favourite site for crochet inspiration and fantastic tutorials is Attic24. Take a look if you want to give it a go. It could be the start of something …
So, over the past few years I have evolved into the Crochet Queen and my house is gradually turning into a woolly wonderland. Blankets (of course) cushions, baskets, rugs, a wreath, teapot cosy, hats scarves, fingerless gloves, ponchos – I could go on and on and on … also most of my friends are wearing one of my crocheted hats – birthday presents from me are frequently of the handmade woolly variety! It’s lush seeing them wearing them!
So this love affair with crochet is filling my life when Karen invites me to a craft evening organised by a friend of hers where NEEDLE FELTING is on offer along with jewellery making and card making. Well, I knew which one I was going to do! All that lovely wool laid out on the table. Fantastic bright colours of the softest Merino wool … oohh … I couldn’t wait to dive in.
I had not heard of needle felting before, only wet felting, which one of my sons had had a go at Primary School, we still had a bag of Merino wool bits and pieces, (wet felting is totally different than needle felting) – I found it quite amusing that you stabbed the wool with a needle to make things; crushing the fibres together to form felt. The needles have barbs on the ends which “felt” the wool as you push the needle in and out. You can either do flat felting, like a picture, or 3D felting, when you make a penguin or whatever comes into your head! I made some coasters which I thought turned out pretty good.
Once home, I found the bag of Merino which had been sitting unloved and forgotten for years languishing in the bottom of a cupboard and gleefully liberated it from its nonexistence! Straight onto the internet to order some felting needles. Thank you Amazon Prime – it only took a day – and I was off on my new craft adventure … What spurred this on was the chancing upon a needle felted Tomte on Pinterest! Eureka moment – that’s what I would make! Great for Christmas! A little gift with my Christmas cards … here they are:
Little Scandinavian folk, a Swedish Father Christmas, a helpful gnome.
The legends of the Tomte are fun! They live either in your farmyard or pantry (much more likely these days) and generally protect you and bring you good fortune – that is – as long as you respect and perhaps love the little Tomte. It is at Christmas time that you show this love and respect by leaving a bowl of porridge on Christmas Eve for the little fellow to eat (much like a mince pie for Father Christmas) only … whatever you do DON’T FORGET THE BUTTER . The porridge must have a knob of butter on the top or you run the risk of upsetting the Tomte – who will then turn against you and wreak havoc! They are extremely loyal and will do anything to help you providing you remember this one request!
These Tomte will soon be available for purchase at Hobbyhorse Lane Crafts via this website.
Thank you for reading.
A crocheted basket using fabric – nice to combine the two.