Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Barkham Hooker Breakfast Set

I've been really busy designing new kits for Artesano recently and am loving every minute of it.

 Having recently launched the Fingerless Glove kit,

Crochet Fingerless Gloves Kit

I decided to do something a bit more traditional and vintage style so opted for the good old fashioned tea cosy.

 Wanting to add a modern vibe as well though, I also made a Cafetière cover

and a couple of egg cosies for good measure.

So here it is...The Barkham Hooker Breakfast Set,  now available to buy as a kit from Artesano...check out the website for Open Days and special offers. (this Saturday 8/11/15 there is an Open Day from 10 til 2 with 20% off ALL YARN!)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Lest We Forget

My merry band  of hookers and I have been busily beavering away for the last few months making crocheted poppies to sell again, just as we have for the last few years.

Every single penny donated will go straight to The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal as we  buy all the wool, buttons and pins ourselves helped by  the generous  donations of some wool and pins from Ashridge Farm in Wokingham. Thanks Cindy.

Last year we raised over £4,800 ...

Happy Proud Hookers with Dave 'The Poppy'

...and were thrilled to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement which was presented by the Mayor of Wokingham!

 So I admit  we are feeling the pressure this year to beat that total. Fingers crossed... 

   Our poppies are being sold in Stitchery Do in Wokingham, Lockey Farm in Arborfield, Barkham Post Office, Curves in Lower Earley and in Wokingham as well as in Ashridge Manor Farm near Cantley Park and at Artesano in Spencers Wood. We ask for a donation of between £3-£5 for each brooch.

One lovely lady and her mum have made over 70 of these sparkly beauties which are selling like hot cakes at £5 each.

As we now have a dedicated charity bank account we can also take BACS payments and send out poppies in the post.  Do feel free to contact me by email at if you would like one (subject to availablity of course).

If you live locally, have a wander round Wokingham Town centre on Remembrance Sunday. ...There might just be a little bit of evidence that we've been there...

*****UPDATE 26/01/16*****

When I finally totted up all the monies collected from the various shops as well as the on-line payments and those collected by individual ladies, I was flabbergasted to discover that we had topped last year's amazing total with a gobsmacking

                                   £5,058 !

As you can imagine we are all absolutely delighted with this staggering amount and were proud as punch to present the cheque to Dave from the Wokingham Poppy Appeal in front of a local reporter.

We had better get started again if we want to  beat that total next pressure!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Barkham Hooker Glove Kit

Having released my Poncho Kit last month with Artesano and seen encouraging sales...

The Barkham Hooker Crochet Poncho Kit

I was keen to crack on and release a smaller project too.

Having fallen in love with the handpainted 4 ply 

hand painted 4 ply alpaca and wool blend yarn

I decided to design a pair of Fair-Isle style fingerless gloves. As a confirmed hooker, Fair-Isle is one of the things about knitting of which I have always been jealous! It just never quite seems to come out the same...but I really do hope that I have got quite close with this pattern.
Crochet Fingerless Gloves Kit
This colourway  is called Meadow Flowers...isn't it just stunning?

The yarn is so delicious to work with and the colour changes are just want to keep on going round and round to see what happens next.

The kit comes with the exclusive pattern as well as a great little project bag and a whole squishy skein of yummy yarn. You can choose from 3 colours...

The mesmerizing Meadow Flowers

Refreshing Mountain Falls

Calming Canopy

If you choose to buy all 3 colours you will have just enough to make one BONUS pair of multicoloured ones....a cunning plan don't you think??! Actually these have become my favourite ones now and I wear them every morning to keep the chill off the steering wheel.
Crafty bonus pair using up the remnants of all 3 colours. My fave.

The Kit is available to buy from Artesano now at £8.99.

Don't forget to mention that you're a Barkham Hooker in the Gift Message part as I can collect and save you postage if you live in the local area! Happy Hooking. x

P.S. Here are some photos from the shoot...always good fun to see the behind-the-scenes shots!

The Barkham Hooker Holiday

This is something I had planned to do for ages but just needed to find the right when I found a converted barn to share with all my family in April to celebrate my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary,  I knew that it was the perfect place to host a hooky weekend away...
It is a huge house that sleeps 18 adults; all rooms have en-suites too,  so need to queue for the shower in the morning! There is an oak-beamed indoor pool

photo of Holiday cottages in Halwell, South Hams, Devon | The Roundhouse sleeps 18 for year 2015 | Helpful Holidays

 as well as a games room too so perfect for families. Having gauged interest within my group and deciding it would be possible I paid the deposit and started planning. I wanted to include workshops to cater for all levels as well as offer free hooky time to enable everyone to chill and continue with on-going projects.
photo of Holiday cottages in Halwell, South Hams, Devon | The Roundhouse sleeps 18 for year 2015 | Helpful Holidays
The large open-plan kitchen was perfect for running the workshops 
photo of Holiday cottages in Halwell, South Hams, Devon | The Roundhouse sleeps 18 for year 2015 | Helpful Holidays
the peace before the calm...

and the spacious lounge area was well-used in the evenings for some hooky relaxation...

 After settling in on the Friday night I ran a Crochet Poppy workshop...this was a sneaky attempt on my behalf to get a few more made ready for November and it worked a treat...Joanna won the challenge to make as many as possible over the weekend and she finished 20 which was fantastic!
 On Saturday the sun shone bright and I ran 2 workshops; a crocheted purse and a crocheted basket working around twine.
Lots of concentrating!

Purse bases taking shape

just checking the size is right for the clip

We used some gorgeous yarn from Artesano

Hooky in the sun...perfect!

Lunches with a bit of Fizz of course..

Crocheting around twine to make a basket

We had to yarn bomb the house of course...

The purses came out so well. We used a mixture of yarns including this stunning DK handpainted

alpaca/wool mix from Artesano.Hand Painted Alpaca Wool Blend yarn Double Knitting from Artesano

 I have now made these up in kit form available to buy from me . They will include my pattern, a purse clip and 25g of the Artesano yarn in the colour of your choice.  Please email me at  if you'd like to order one. They will cost £6.50 (plus postage if not local) and will make great Christmas presents either made up by you or as a gift for a hooky-mad friend!

Some ladies rose to the challenge of making something a bit different...

Great bottle holder Claire!

 On Sunday morning I ran a pattern/chart  reading workshop. I used Orchidee Flower's scalloped pattern but adapted it, translated it in to UK terms and drew a chart for it too.

Emma won the challenge for most inventive glass charm!

This one was made a bit bigger to be used as a hook case - genius idea Susie! I'm planning to make more of these as well as one made to keep reading glasses. 

Some grown-up colouring !

On the Sunday afternoon I managed to get some fresh air and caught the car ferry over to Brixham

No mention of hooking though

I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.....I am already thinking about the next one.........
Happy Hooking Everyone.