Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Win a £30 wool voucher...

The charitable service, Knit-for-Nowt, announces a fun competition!  Send in an item for Knit-for-Nowt to donate to therapists working with children with serious worries.
PRIZES:  1 lucky dip winner in each category will each receive a £30 voucher for the online knitting shop “Love Knitting” – go to to browse the shop.  Winning entries will be featured in the next Newsletter, which is distributed to up to a thousand knitters.
Entries are welcome now from knitters, crocheters and stitchers.
1                    Make a Worry Monster and/or hand puppet for the Knit-for-Nowt charity. You may enter up to 4 items. Please go to for what’s needed.
2                    Label clearly each individual item with your full name, email address and County
3                    Send to Knit-for-Nowt – for posting details please email 
4                    1 lucky dip winner in each category will be picked out at random on 4th June by a senior social worker
5                    All entries will then be photographed by Knit-for-Nowt and put up on a new “Competition Gallery” on the website.
Categories for entry:
·        A child-friendly Worry Monster
·        A child-friendly Worry Puppet (see website for explanation)
·        A hand puppet in the form of a person (could be a family member or professional such as doctor, nurse, policeman, judge, social worker, teacher)
·        A hand puppet animal
Please enter up to 4 items in any of the categories, or all in the same category.
Please go to  for full details, terms and conditions, and safety rules.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Another Insect Worry Monster...

After I wrote my pattern for an insect worry monster, I knitted one to make sure there were no mistakes. This one is 12 inches tall and has already gone off to Knit-for-Nowt from where it will join others that are used by therapists working with traumatised children. The monsters have to look scary. I am assured that these work well and the children love them. It takes all sorts!

I tried out a couple of new-to-me techniques. The wavy arms are knitted i-cord. You can also crochet i-cord. There are lots of videos about it on the Internet. It is a very versatile way to produce a tube because the size can be adjusted by changing the size of the needle and number of stitches.

The worry pocket is my first ever crocheted circle. I have tried before and given up. This time, I had a good incentive. It had to work and it eventually did after 4 attempts. I chose black and yellow as I think these are warning colours in nature. Just think of bees!

In case it was still looking too cute, I added a row of fangs by using Swiss darning. It is a very fine line between something that is cute enough for your favourite grandchild and something that is terrifying. It's now up to the therapist to chose which child can work with this without having nightmares!

There is a waiting list for these monsters. So if anyone feels like knitting, crocheting or sewing one just pop over to Knit-for-Nowt.

Saturday 3 March 2018

Free pattern for an insect worry monster....

Here is the pattern I wrote recently for an insect worry monster. I have donated it to Knit-for-Nowt and it is already on their website. 

This one is in intentionally scary colours. But it could easily be amended to make it less traumatising!


This pattern uses dk yarn doubled (i.e. two strands of dk yarn knitted together) and size 5.5mm knitting needles. It produces a Worry Monster measuring 12 inches long.

I find that doubling up the yarn and using 5.5mm knitting needles makes a strong fabric that knits up very quickly and contains the stuffing securely.

Don’t worry if the monster looks small when you are knitting it. It will look larger after you have sewed the seams and stuffed it.

Remember: the yarn is used doubled throughout except for the pocket, the wings and the facial features.

You will need
60g of dk yarn
5.5mm knitting needles
40g of toy stuffing
Felt or buttons for eyes

Start with bottom colour
Cast on 20 stitches

Change to body/face colour
Work 42 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Knit 4 stitches with the face colour
(you are now going to change to the mouth colour. But do not cut the face colour as you will need this on the next row)

Change to mouth colour
Work on next 12 stitches only as follows:
Knit across 12 stitches
Turn and knit back across 12 stitches (knitting both rows produces a raised, knobbly texture which is similar to teeth)

Change back to face colour
Purl 4 stitches
Knit across all stitches
Work a further 9 rows straight – (stocking stitch, commencing with a purl row and ending with a purl row)
Decrease one stitch at the beginning of the next 6 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Change to hair colour
Decrease one stitch at the beginning of the next 4 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Increase one stitch at the beginning of the next 10 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Work 14 rows straight – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Change to body colour
Work 38 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Change to bottom colour
Work 4 rows – (garter stitch)

Cast off all 20 stitches

Making up:
Embroider facial features as desired
Create the antennae by making a thick plait and attaching it firmly to the top of the head
Sew up both sides
Stuff with approved toy stuffing and check that it is not escaping through any holes
Sew up bottom seam
Using a single strand of dk yarn, knit or crochet 2 squares measuring 4 inches for the wings and sew them firmly to the monster along 2 side edges and across the diagonal
Using a single strand of dk yarn, knit or crochet a square measuring 3.5 inches and attach it to the front as a worry pocket. (I find it easier to add the pocket after stuffing the monster. But you might prefer to add it first.)

Let your imagination run riot
You could add two wings to each side to make a butterfly
You could add knitted or crocheted i-cord to make insect legs for a spider or grasshopper etc
Change the colours as required
Use all your left over oddments to make stripes

The inspiration for this pattern came from the BASIC PATTERN FOR A WORRY PUPPET by Diane Fenney

I tested this pattern carefully by knitting it again after writing it. It's amazing how many little glitches can be spotted that way. So I know this pattern works. But if you have any queries, just ask and I will help...

I have another pattern in the pipeline. Watch this space...