How Claire is crafting a crochet business

Claire Mackaness, crochet, #whatkatydid

Craft creator: Claire Mackaness

IN recent years, TV shows like the Great British Bake Off, the British Sewing Bee and the Great Pottery Throwdown have helped fuel something of a craft boom in the UK.

Indeed, the craft market in the UK is now worth a massive £3bn (and growing!) and traditional skills such as crocheting, knitting and sewing have seen a real resurgence.

Claire Mackaness, 38, of Gooseberry Green, Billericay, has seen first-hand just how popular crocheting has become. She runs workshops in sewing, dressmaking and crochet at her studio in Brentwood – and now offers classes online.

But why does she think crocheting has become so popular again? Continue reading

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Have yourself a crafty little Christmas

newspaper bauble, Katy Pearson

All wrapped up: a newspaper bauble

When it comes to homemade Christmas decorations, for some reason, it seems the more rustic they are the better.

Who can help a little nostalgic rush when, rather than just shop-bought perfection, the tree is trimmed with lovingly home-crafted displays?

Lacking inspiration and not got tons of time to get creative? These two mini projects are perfect for even the most cack-handed of us.

Newspaper glitter baubles

Got some old newspapers hanging about? Or magazines? There’s no better way to put them to use than to create these simple glittery newspaper baubles for your tree. Continue reading

Today I’m loving…these crochet baby shoes!

Crochet basketball shoes for babies

Crochet basketball shoes for babies

A few years back when rather a lot of my friends were having little ones I had a bit of a crochet phase.

Quite a lot of those babies spent their first weeks of life snug in a tiny hat lovingly crocheted by me.

And even though I’ve not actually got round to crocheting one for Sonny Jim yet (sorry babe, but you were a spring baby) I’m still a sucker for sweet knits for babies.

So I’m totally loving these crochet baby basketball shoes (from Baby Shoes to Crochet, by Lucia Förthmann, £7.99, published by Search Press)  – even if it is totally unlikely that my little guy will actually get these made for him by his mummy!

What to give it a go? Here’s the pattern… Continue reading