Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Ok, so I haven't had much time for yarnbombing recently, and I don't know if covering your own bike saddle technically counts but I'd like to think so.
It will bring a touch of colour to the streets as I cycle around anyway, so I'm gonna call it my BumBomb
This eventuated through the fact that I recently discovered the joy of pattern testing.
Having not touched a pattern with a barge pole for a long time I decided to have a go at pattern testing through a team on Etsy, so that I would know what I was asking of people when i write patterns and want them tested.
I immediately found a totally amazing mandala pattern for lovely Susan of  felted button which she wanted tested and it was so gorgeous I just couldn't wait to hook it up in my favourite colours.
Well I was really impressed with it (the pattern AND my interpretation of it) and after wondering what to do with it for a little while I found that with a little tinkering around the edges and the addition of some ties it fitted my bike seat PERFECTLY!

I'm absolutely over the moon with it, because not only is it comfy and fabulous-looking,
if I fall off my bike again (OUCH!!!) I won't graze the saddle this time :D

If you want to try the pattern yourself you'll find it in Susan's Etsy shop, and very reasonably priced
just go right here: fabulous mandala crochet pattern 
She made hers in about ten colours and it's beautiful-the pattern also includes instructions to make it into a stool cover but don't be afraid to think outside the box like I did,
once you've made the mandala part the world's your oyster baby

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fat Free, Sugar Free, High Fibre Cake Recipe (Free Crochet Pattern)

Interesting fact: The Norwegian word 'oppskrift' means both recipe and pattern!
Makes sense to me; list of what you need and some instructions, same diff
But before we get on to how to crochet a piece of cake it's spot the difference time.
At a glance can you tell which are the crocheted yummies?

Obviously when you look closer you can see that three of them are on top of the cake dome, but I like to think they look pretty realistic.
 Leave me a comment and let me know whether I'm just completely deluding myself LOL

These are of course the cakes I made for my local coffee shop after they saw me crocheting a Union Jack at make and mend one friday morning. They thought it was so wonderful that we would put so much love into something and then just gift it to the general public, so they invited me to bomb their cafe with something topical.
They are part of a group of shops run for the benefit of a fantastic local hospice, and creating this yarnbomb for them made me think more about how I could support them and I love paying it forward,
so I thought I'd offer free patterns for these.

In the style of any good day let's start with chocolate :)

I personally don't like stuffing crocheted toys as I think you can always see the stuffing a little bit
(unless perhaps you crochet insanely tight stitches, but as a previous sufferer of repetitive strain injury who has since trained in natural therapies I have learned in two ways that holding your tools too tightly is the first step on pain street) so I came up with the idea of making 3-D crocheted items from solid yarn.
By far the simplest way of doing it IMO, and for the chocolate cake I was using a super chunky yarn so it didn't take much longer than if I'd stuffed it anyway.
 Crikey, I don't even like weaving in ends as it offends me to have to do something other than crocheting to complete a crocheted piece, so if you're anything like me you will prefer this method to stuffing. And this pattern really is a piece of cake (sorry-never can resist an old joke)
 I do NOT recommend printing it, unless you particularly like buying ink cartridges, as it's full of pictures- I wanted to make it as easy as possible for anyone to have a go

I like to reduce paper wastage and seldom print anything myself- with crochet patterns I usually copy it out in my own super shart shorthand but if you try this method I would recommend writing somewhere on it what it actually is!
 I have so many old envelopes lying around with patterns written on them that could be for just about anything it's not funny any more.
 If you would like a version with no pics so you can print it then just let me know and I'll do it.
I would really really appreciate any feedback on how easy the pattern was to follow (or not) and how your cake turned out.
Also please feel free to send me pictures of your finished articles (preferably installed in your local coffee house!) Enjoy the pattern, and I look forward to hearing from you

Free Pattern-How to Crochet a Piece of Cake


WOW!!! I can't believe it. Our BandStand yarnbomb is still there and commanding MASSIVE respect from the general public! To be honest, after the rapid thievery of the Lion Passage installation we weren't convinced that this one would last very long as we had placed it within easy reach. So imagine our amazement upon returning to amend it on Monday night with our paralympic medal tally and finding that the medal bunting had snapped..... and somebody had climbed up and tied it back up! Our faith in humanity is restored :) I am SOOOOOOOO glad we weren't discouraged by the total lack of respect for our previous bomb-and I feel so inspired by the paralympic athletes, they clearly don't let little setbacks put them off so why should we?! Anyway, here is the amendment we made to reflect our ENORMOUS respect for Paralympics GB-we had thought we would do the same as we did for the olympic athletes and replicate all the medals we won, but the initial 65 we did for the olympians had used up nearly all our gold, silver and bronze yarn. So when our paralympians won 120(!!!) medals we had to think again.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

BOOM! Goes the Bandstand

WooHoo!!! We finally managed to get our olympic medal bunting and flags of encouragement up :)

For those of you who don't live in Stourbridge,
this is the BandStand; 
an Iconic Structure in an Iconic Park.
We had thought it might be a good place for this YarnBomb but were open to attaching it to trees or whatever took our fancy when we got there
(I wonder if other yarnbombers are A LOT more organised than us? hahaha)
Well, the BandStand took our fancy late last night and, with the help of our fabulous menfolk 
(we really are the two luckiest girls in the world!!)
 we installed this tribute to the Superhuman Efforts of our Olympic and Paralympic Athletes.

It was quite funny going back this morning, milling around amongst the parkgoing public and hearing their reactions. 
I'm afraid I did tell a small fib when somebody saw me taking pics and asked if I knew who did it.....
I just love the mystery it creates! She said it was just a shame that nobody knew who it was so they could thank them or tell them how great it was-why would anybody go to all that effort and not want recognition?
We don't do it for thanks or recognition though (lovely as those things are), we just like to brighten up people's days, and I firnly believe that any gratitude people feel for our efforts will come to us in some form, some day. 
You know, karma and all that :)

I worked on parts of this YarnBomb at the local 'make and mend' group in the cafe above the Mary Stevens Hospice charity shop, and when they asked about what I was making and I explained the staff there were so impressed that they invited me to yarnbomb the cafe!!!
So I made them some cafe themed items which I shall show you in the next post,
along with a free pattern for a quick and easy no-stuff slice of chocolate cake.

The cafe is run for the benefit of the Mary Stevens Hospice too, and the charity shop sells a variety of yarns, so I am hoping people will see and enjoy the crocheted cakes and be inspired to make some themselves, hopefully buying some yarn on their way out!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Three Lions on Some Posts-Olympic Yarnbombings part 1

Our next bomb was initially just going to be three lions, again topically placed-we have a passageway in our town called lion passage which just happens to have three bollards in it-handy.
But as the olympics approached we found ourselves getting more and more revved up about it, especially when we saw this absolutely mammoth acheivement:

Here's a link to some close-ups of the different sports:


How absolutely fantastic! I wonder how many people took part and how long it took to create. 
HUGE respect to it's creators

With just the two of us we didn't think we would be managing anything that immense but we were certainly inspired by it!
So we decided to make flags with olympic rings, London 2012 and 'go team GB' and I even crocheted a Union Jack flag (never again!). 
The day before we were to install it I also thought of making a gold, silver and bronze medal to add to each bollard.

I printed off the tags available at http://www.lionheartproject.com/home/guerrilla/
and laminated them with a cheap photo laminating kit from the pound shop-no special machinery required, just peel and stick, punch a hole and attach.

So here is what happened:


Installed at around 10.30pm and again (amazingly) not detected at all!
by 9.30 the next morning:

So sad :( 
We knew it was going to get stolen but to not even make it 12 hours was very disheartening. 

We thought about re-doing the two lions that had been stolen (typically the ones we had attached the lionheart tags to) but couldn't face the thought of doing all that work again only for it to be stolen so quickly and decided it would be better to do another one after the olympics, celebrating our successes. 
This was partly inspired by the medals I had made-I thought it might be fun to make every medal we won and put them on a big long thread, like bunting. 

Also, by the following lunchtime this is how the bomb-site looked:
 So I was very glad not to have put any more energy into it!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Diamonds are Forever

I decided for my next yarnbomb I wanted to do something topical, so with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee looming I went for a crown with 6 crocheted diamonds on it and the words 60 Years. Like So...

I also wanted to place it somewhere that tied in with the theme and remembered that our local park had a flowerbed near it's entrance with a plaque on it that reads "Queen's Drive" Perfect. 
Now just to find a way to get it high enough to prevent theft for a little longer....

This is where my Husband made his most amazing contribution to date-he lifted me on his shoulders so I could crochet it in place, what a Hero!
Worth it though, it's still there even though it has now gone a bit floppy.
I also saw signs of attempted theft but it's just out of arm's reach teehee.
I stayed up all night working on this (not a big deal, I a a total night-owl anyway) and on my way home from Lydia's at 5am we sneaked it up undetetected.

All this time Lydia and I were still formulating the plan for what would be our biggest yarnbomb yet, inspired by Shauna Richardson's patriotic triple lion sculpture.....

My First Yarnbomb

When I discovered Yarnbombing I was in the middle of making a coffee-cozy for my Etsy shop, inspired by the greenness of some yarn I had. This was mid May.  
It occurred to me that a coffee cup was about the same size as a lamp-post so I repurposed it...
Onto a lamp-post in an alley that runs behind our house, so i had the added bonus of being able to hear what people were saying about my work from behind a high brick wall :)

This definitely inspired me to do more as people were so pleasantly surprised-we heard lots of
'Oh Wow! Look at that!"   
Groups of people could be heard musing and debating over who would do all that hard work and then just sew it to a lamp-post in an alley and why?
Weird people who would rather make strangers smile than make money, that's who!
and, erm...to make you smile :)

Someone has even written underneath it "this is fred :)"
I think he lasted about a week before he was stolen, which was fine by me; I had read on other Yarnbombing blogs that they don't often last long. 
Some jobsworths actually remove them on behalf of their city councils and such because they are technically graffiti!  Boooooo

I actually wasn't upset at all about his disappearance-it had been such a confidence booster to hear nothing but positive comments on it-I had thought people might say it was stupid or not very good or whatever.
I was just a bit sad that I wouldn't be able to hear people's reactions to the next one!

Welcome to the diary of a YarnBomber

Hi Everybody and welcome

I have decided it's time to share my YarnBombing exploits and the creative processes behind them. 

It's ridiculously good fun to make silly things from yarn and then attach them to trees, lampposts, etc and I hope you feel inspired to 'terrorise' your own neighbourhood with lots of yarny goodness!

I strongly recommend engaging a partner-in-yarn if you can find one
Lydia is mine and it wouldn't be half as much fun without her-in fact I can't imagine how different this adventure would be without our joint crocheting sessions and stealth 'bombing' expeditions. So I wont

I also hgive HUGE thanks my husband for his supportive role-
Literally VERY supportive-he has even lifted me on his shoulders so i could reach to apply the jubilee yarnbomb!

I have to say this was the perfect year to be in the UK and subsequently discover Guerrilla Crochet, what with the Queen's Jubilee, Olympics/Paralympics, The End of the World.

So much opportunity to commemorate these momentous events with silliness/yarn. Just for the fun of it :)

It was actually the Olympics that really got me interested in Yarnbombing-after seeing 'Crochetdermist' Shauna Richardson's AMAZING Lions, which were created as part of the cultural olympiad I was hugely inspired to start crocheting artistic installations-albeit on a *slightly* smaller scale to start with

Here she is with them-what a SUPERSTAR! 
Shauna We salute you

I decided to get involved through the guerrilla section on the lionheart website:

And an obsession was born. Well, rather my obsession evolved hahaha.

You see, I am already way gone with my crocheting obsession. 
As if it wasn't time-consuming enough having a billion ideas a day for things I could crochet, people say things to me like:

"if you crochet me a bikini in flesh colour with big nips on it I promise I will wear it next time we have a hot-tub party"

How am I supposed to resist a challenge like that?!

But anyway-I intend for this blog to be mostly about YarnBombing with other crocheting tips, free patterns and inspiration thrown in.

Oh yes and probably some Chickens (maybe Goats too).

Here's a link to my Etsy Shop which is full of unique crocheted items, 
all designed and lovingly handcrafted by me

You can follow me on twitter  @mrsberploudest- I always tweet my yarnbombs

you can also see mine and Lydia's first olympic yarnbomb on the lionheart website above,
we are in the process of creating another one right now which will also be posted there once we have installed it