Carry on Crafting Festival 2023

Last weekend I attended the Carry on Crafting Festival at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex. It was a wonderful event and I thought I’d write a post all about the crafty days I spent there.

© Carry on Crafting Festival 2023

The Carry on Crafting Festival is new to me and I always like to attend a show that I’ve not been to before to see what it’s like. It is a two day festival, this year on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July and it’s held about 200 miles away from where I live.

However a superstar friend offered to drive us both down there so I booked a room to stay in locally and we headed off Friday morning so we would be ready for the show start at 9.30am the next day.

Image of the stalls in a field at Carry on Crafting

Yarn shows and craft festivals always seem to be such great events. A chance to gather with fellow creatives and admire stalls from independent sellers. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to catch up with friends and see some familiar faces!

In fact I bumped into the lovely Eleonora from Coastal Crochet (you can read the designer interview I did with her here) who it was great to catch up with (as you can see I look a bit overexcited!).

Photo of me standing next to the lovely Eleonora from Coastal Crochet.

I also got to have a quick chat with the lovely Kitey otherwise known as The Yarn Whisperer (my MAL partner in crime) which is always a blast – though we do have a tendency to talk ten to the the dozen and get a bit over excited about things (we may have been chatting about future MAL plans!).

Headshot selfie of Kitey (aka The Yarn Whisperer) and me.

There were loads of many wonderful stands and I did buy a few bits and bobs. As you would expect at a ‘crafting’ festival it wasn’t just yarn (though there were a couple including Kitey’s (The Yarn Whisperer) and Bex (The Pigeon’s Nest).

I will confess to buying some yarn and stitch markers (I can’t help myself!) from Kitey from his tarot collection (to go with some I already have) and some pencils (which I love!) and a fun yarn related sticker from Bex.

Image of the outside of Kitey and Bex's tent, featuring a lovely array of colourful crochet and yarn. There are people inside and outside perusing the items for sale.

I was excited to see in the flesh some of the new kits that Kitey had put together for the Peppermint Pageant. This is the first time a new colourway for one of our MALs has been put together after the MAL has finished. The new colourway is so pretty and I believe will be available in his shop soon once his end of show stock take is done.

Close up of the Yarn Whisperers stall where you can see the Peppermint Pageant stocking hanging from the ceiling and new packs of colourways on a shelf alongside other rows of colourful yarns.

The only other bits I ended up buying whilst I was there were some lovely stickers and keyrings to give to my kids and of course the food.

There were several food stands to choose from, prices were reasonable and I would say the sort of prices you would expect at a show. Options ranged from chips, burgers, Mexican food, jacket potatoes and crepes.

Image of a hand holding a crepe next to a blackboard sign advertising crepes.

The timing of the show was brilliant, being at the start of July meant it didn’t interfere with the school holidays. We were also quite fortunate with the weather; all the stalls for the show are outside and it was nice to have a walk around in the sunshine.

We did have a few showers but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits it just seemed to add more fun to the experience.

The South of England Showground is huge and there were plenty of spaces set up with seating where you could stop for a bite to eat or just sit, chill and crochet. It’s so nice to see folks able to get back together again in a relaxed way – something we definitely missed during COVID times.

Many of my friends were camping so we all sat together for most of the time, gathered around their tents, crocheting and laughing so much that my ribs were sore afterwards (what a tonic!). I also couldn’t resist getting a souvenir Carry on Crafting glass – used as a refillable option from the bar. I loved that eco friendly offering instead of plastic glasses.

Close up of a cute half pint glass that says Carry on Crafting Festival.

As there was a large group of hooky friends attending the lovely Jess (Hook and Cwtch) and Amanda (Mrs G Makes) and I decided to put together a special collab. It meant we could sit around working on the same project which is always a special thing to do.

The pattern I created is called the Festival Fade Shawl (which I will be releasing soon) for which Jess dyed up a gorgeous 100g skein to go with five 20g sparkly minis.

Close up of the Festival Fade colour palette created by Hook and Cwtch.

This was then combined with a fabulous tote bag, yarn cosy and cute caravan stitch marker from Amanda.

Although I’d already completed my Festival Fade Shawl in the original colours Jess, being the sweetheart she is, dyed me up a new special colourway which meant I could join in crocheting the project too. Such a kind thing to do and I really enjoyed working on it again without having to do the thinking part!

Hookers on Tour Festival Fade collab kit; a tote bag, a yarn cosy, to create a crochet shawl in 100g skein of varigated blues and greens and five 20g sparkle minis ranging from blues to pinks.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the show, and although it was a LONG way to travel to it was most certainly worth the trip. I think I’ll definitely be back to Carry on Crafting Festival next year – who knows I might see you there?!

Image of tents all in a row lit up at night with fairy lights on and bunting.

I’d love to hear about any yarn shows you’ve attended recently, and what you enjoyed about them – drop me a comment below.

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx


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Dear Ewe | Behind the Scenes

Squeek! The launch day for  Dear Ewe is getting ever closer…only 16 days and 17 hours to go and probably even less by the time I’ve finished writing this up and posted it! I seriously feel that all of a sudden the days have started speeding forward to the deadline date and just where on earth did April go?! 


If this is the first time you are hearing about Dear Ewe it’s the online company and shop that I have formed with my friend, and now business partner Becky, that’s launching at the end of this month on Monday 28th May.  The shop will sell a variety of products  including bone china mugs,  bags, crochet patterns, prints and cards that all celebrate creativity and the world of handmade. 

We know that there are shops out there (not including the small handmade product providers) that have products for crafters but it’s often either only a small part of what they do or it’s a cheap import that’s not that great.  So we wanted to change that. Dear Ewe’s sole purpose is to create good quality products inspired by crafts designed exclusively for crafters.


With launch date growing ever closer I thought it might be nice if I shared a little behind the scenes look at how we’ve been preparing for the big day and a bit more of a peep at some of the products that are going to be on offer – including some of my person favourites!


As you can imagine we’ve been planning and working incredibly hard behind the scenes to design and source our products.  Sourcing our products close to home and supporting local business owners and our local community was something we were both very keen to do. We’re proud to live in Stoke-on-Trent, which is officially recognised as the World Capital of Ceramics, so it made sense that we should be able to find locally produced fine bone china – and we did with the fabulous and supportive Heraldic Pottery

One of my favourite days so far was when we were invited to go behind the scenes at the factory to see some of our first mugs being created. You can watch a little video that we took here, but I’ll pop a couple of photos below too…


I can’t quite explain that feeling of having seen something that was 2-D for so long and then how it felt actually seeing it as a real product – it was so exciting! 

Every single one of our mugs is hand decorated by skilled lithographers, and when we got the opportunity to watch them, well it’s unbelievable how skillful they are! I love the fact that our mugs have that ‘handmade’ touch because we’re all about celebrating that aren’t we!


Another of my favourite days so far was a fantastic photo shoot at the stunning venue of The Upper House with Clara Lou Photography. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, there were flowers everywhere, it was just such a lovely place to be – and it provided so many wonderful backdrops for some of our products shoots. 

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You can just see one of our bags in shot there. I LOVE our bags…shall I tell you a little secret…I’ve already bought several for myself (there’s definitely perks to being a business owner). But they are just so nice and handy and sturdy if you know what I mean!! I did a little bit of a yarn stash tidying exercise recently and oh my were the draw string bags great for that. But I digress…as well as (two different sizes) of draw string bags we also have our fabulous tote bags…

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And I think I’m going to leave it there…that’s enough sneaky peeks for now, but I will just quickly mention again that as well as our mugs and bags in store we also have our fantastic photo prop postcards, some beautiful framed print designs for your craft space, greetings cards and of course a couple of exclusive crochet patterns (designed by moi).


Our official launch is 28 May 2018 but you can stay in the loop with details by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on social media (all links on the website).

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx


Dear Ewe | Inspired Products for Crafty People

FB page

Hey lovelies, I have some extremely exciting news! I’m thrilled to announce my new business venture, Dear Ewe, a online shop full of craft inspired products for creative folks.

I founded Dear Ewe, with my good friend Becky (of Keepsakes by Rebecca) because we felt there was a gap in the market for high quality, contemporary and functional gifts for crafters. We’ve been working hard in stealth for many months to combine our passions of stitching and graphics to develop a range of products that we think creative folks will really like. 


Although the range of our products are for various crafts it made sense, as I’m a crochet addict, that some of our first ranges were exclusively for all the lovely crocheters in the world. 


I love these mugs!! There’s 3 wonderful mug ranges to choose from: the beautiful crochet chart range (as shown), the gorgeous character range featuring our own lovable Ewe, and the fantastic crafts pattern range ➰ And the fabulous thing is that each of these mugs are hand decorated on English made fine bone china mugs – crafted by crafters for crafters!

As well as lovely mugs, we also have a range of fab textiles, patterns, art and cards – all celebrating creativity and the world of handmade.  I know I am biased, as this is my new business, but I love everything we’ve got! You won’t find anything in Dear Ewe that we don’t want to own ourselves and everything has been inspired by you (or ewe) that love  handicrafts. 


More details about Dear Ewe will be following soon. Our official launch is 28 May 2018 but you can stay in the loop with details by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on social media (or go crazy sign up and follow us on them all!)

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx


Out of this World | Mystery Amigurumi Crochet Along


Who’s ready for a Mystery Amigurumi Crochet Along?

Following a poll,  in the KCACO-UK Community Facebook group about a mini Crochet-Along (CAL) for 2017, it was decided that we should do an amigurumi!!! This is the first time I’ve done a CAL with something other than a blanket and my very first mini mystery CAL (MMCAL) so I’m quite excited about it! And if this isn’t for you don’t worry I’m going to try and work in another mini crochet-along, a little later this year, for the other poll favourite choice of something Christmassy!

This is a great CAL for anyone who’s never tried an amigurumi as we will be taking it slowly – you could even make several different versions during the mystery!

Details of the Mystery…

  • We will begin on Monday 18th September 2017 
  • There is no charge to join the CAL; anyone can join in as long as they have some yarn and a hook.
  • The mystery will run for 5 days; For those that like a deadline I will be adding new details about the mystery each day from the 18th Sept at 7 pm-ish (GMT time) – see below for full schedule. For those that want to hook when they have the time then that’s fine too; no pressure to this CAL it’s all about having fun!


  • For this design I used double knit/8 ply/yarn weight #3 and a 3.5mm (US size D/3 or E/4 will be fine). The pattern will also work in worsted /aran/ yarn weight #4 with a larger hook such as a 4mm (US size G) – your finished project will just be bigger!
  • You will need about 60g / 177m / 193 yds of yarn TOTAL; this design could be a great stashbuster for yarn you have lying around; I used three different colours but use as many colours as you want! 
  • You will also need some toy stuffing, 3 x 9mm or 12mm black or green safety eyes, scissors and a yarn needle.

The Basics…

We will be using simple stitches in this crochet-along but you will need to know how to work:

  • Chain (ch)
  • Slip Stitch (Sl St)
  • UK double crochet (dc) / US single crochet (sc)
  • UK double crochet two together (dc2tog) / US single crochet two together (sc2tog)

Many sections of this CAL are also worked without joining in continuous rounds  (rnds) by placing a stitch marker in either the the top of the first st to mark start of rnd.

The Keep Calm Crochet Community…

  • The hashtag for this CAL is #ootwCAL. Make sure you link me your wip’s via your favourite social media sites: RavelryFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram!
  • The ravelry link to add to your queue / favourites is here.
  • Once the final clue is released I would love you to submit a picture so I can feature you on Facebook, the blog and in my Newsletter.
  • You will have until Saturday 30 September to submit a finished photo to used in my galleries.


It’s all very exciting isn’t it!! I can’t wait to see your projects – and hear your guesses on what we are making! 

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx


Vintage buttons are just the NICEST thing!

Beautiful buttons are just the nicest thing to add to a project so you can imagine my absolute delight when a most lovely friend of mine, who knows I enjoy all things crafty, gave me a bag full of the most gorgeous vintage buttons.  Just look at these beauties! Aren’t I lucky!

I’m a bit of a button hoarder and have several jars and boxes of nice buttons, including ones I have inherited from family and brought in places like France, but some of these have a real WOW factor! You can completely imagine them on a 1940’s box coat or adorning a shiny mink coat can’t you.  


A beautiful button can turn an ordinary crochet project into something special and unique!  But how am I supposed to pick from all these beautiful buttons? Though I must confess some of them are whispering designs to me…


I love that these buttons have a history about them; and I love that these buttons are going to get a lease of new life when I add them to something new.


Thanks again Alison! These buttons will all be put to good use I promise!  And just one day I’ll finish off that tea cosy for you; though I’m thinking now that it perhaps needs a button on it somewhere!

And if you are looking for some fun crochet button projects you should check out the blog post by who has put together 15 fun ideas to do with buttons – I’m personally loving the broach idea!

Getting a bit crafty with string eggs

So as it’s nearly Easter I swear that string eggs are everywhere! As they look so cool I thought Little G and I would have a go at making some as the one thing I do have a lot of is spare yarn lying around.  

If you want to have a go at making them here’s what you will need:

  • PVA kids glue
  • A saucer or a bowl to put the glue into
  • Wool or String
  • Scissors
  • Small Balloons (or water balloons)
  • Some treats (in wrappers)
  • Apron (it does get messy!)
  • A tray to put your string eggs on to dry

1. Make sure you have an area you don’t mind getting messy and I would suggest aprons for anyone involved!

2. Stuff your treats inside the deflated balloon and then blow up to the size you want your string eggs.   The treats I had brought were like chocolate coins so it turned into a fiddle-fest to get them inside so I would definitely suggest roundish treats!  


It’s only natural that not all the chocolate will make it inside the balloons if you are working with small children…


3. Next put your glue into the bowl, you will need quite a bit as you need to soak the string or wool thoroughly.  


4. Then start to wind your gluey string or wool around one of your balloons; this bit gets extremely sticky and there is likely to be glue splash! You don’t have to wrap your eggs too neatly; cross the yarn in lots of different directions to make an interesting ‘cage’.  You will need to wrap the balloons enough so that your treats won’t fall out.


5. Once you have finished wrapping your balloons you will need to set them aside on a tray to dry; we left ours for a couple of days…


6. Check to see if the yarn feels hard and if it does pop your balloon.  You may need to snip the balloon a bit to release the treats this can be a bit tricky.  Once the treats are free you can then pull out the balloon bits leaving the chocolate behind and that’s it, place on a shelf and admire!


I really love them!  I have now added them to my Eastery looking shelves ready for Easter weekend! Hope you all enjoy a lovely holiday with your family x