Crochet Snowflake woolly hat

I have been trying to find a woolly hat that is not made of wool, because I am allergic to wool and on my head it’s even worse. I end up with a major rash on the forehead. So acrylic here we come. I quite like fairisle, so that was my first stop. I fancied a pompom, a grey/black/blue colour scheme, and quite chunky because fine small hats look ridiculous on me, or the other way round, I look ridiculous under them. It also needed to be properly warm, because its prime function is to keep me from freezing half to death at the Saturday Night Ice Hockey Match, supporting Basingstoke Bison. It’s really cold there. If they played on an outdoors ice rink we’d be warmer than this! Snowflakes fairisle perhaps? To register my grumpy, shivery disapproval with the ice rink manager? Perhaps a flashing battery-operated icicles garland around the rim?

With all that, I couldn’t find a single hat that made me think, “Yes, that’s the one!”

Then I went to Haskins Garden Centre to have lunch with a friend, and there was a hat (in the men’s department, so quite chunky) in grey and green, but no fairisle. I tried it on and it looked great. Well, better than most hats look on me… So what to do? Customise!

Instead of ready-made snowflake fairisle, I crocheted a snowflake myself and stitched it on the front side of the hat. I chose a pale grey because although any self-respecting snowflake should be white, I thought the contrast would be too much. Also, white is not my colour, especially this close to my face. The green and grey bring out the green in my eyes (and it’s also the title of one of New Model Army’s songs, always a bonus) but the white would make my face look pink, not in a good way.










Here is a picture of my hat on the Christmas tree (everything gets pictured on the Christmas tree at this time of year) and modelled on my rabbit Penelope, who’s a much prettier model than me.

After looking for my new hat for 10 minutes to share the pictures, I realised that it had been on my head the whole time I was writing the post, that’s how comfortable it is! I don’t usually write with a hat on my head but I was on my way from the bedroom to the garden and I stopped in the living room to write a post while Mr. Flora’s Patch was having a Sunday afternoon nap on the settee… Now I am going to wake him up, wake Penelope up as well, and we’re off to deadhead some Hydrangeas!

Yarn: DMC Petra, 100% cotton, col 5415, hook 2.5cm

PS: I can’t resist posting a picture of our garden companion, waiting for us to dig up some stuff to reveal an endless supply of goodies…


Launching my new Etsy shop

Hello everyone,robinapplique20163ginkgoleaf02-framed

The first of December seems like a fine date to launch my new Etsy shop!

I would have liked to fill it more before launching but I will keep adding things on a regular basis. I am using this new platform to sell small paintings (easily sent in the post) and some of my crochet and textiles patterns and creations.

Here is a link:

I hope you like it and happy browsing!

Crochet pen étui

A few years ago my first book came out and I had some book signings sessions at various events. At the last minute I panicked: what kind of message do you write to complete strangers who happen to like your book? Presumably you have some things in common but at the same time, you don’t know each other. So I googled it. “What do you write at a book signing?” Surprisingly, Neil Gaiman, of whom I am a big fan, has written loads about the subject. His first piece of advice was to buy yourself a Sharpie.


I had heard of Sharpies, but I thought they were these big permanent markers basketball players use to sign autographs on basketballs. A bit over the top and slightly coarse for botanical painting… Then I found the fine Sharpies. Refillable in a metallic body. Pretty. It doesn’t bleed through the page, it is touch dry instantly even on glossy paper, doesn’t smudge when you close the book… perfect. (Honestly, they are not paying me for this; I really do like my Sharpie.)


Then obviously I wanted to share the love. I have a friend in France who is a comic book writer and has signing events too. Mr Flora’s Patch needs a pen in his breast pocket at work. My best friend likes everything I like, so definitely one for her. Soon enough, every stocking that year had a Sharpie on order. The fine refillable one with the metallic body.


Then what? It might be a good pen, but a pen just like that on its own is a bit boring. I decided to make étuis to hold them and make them more Christmassy. So I made these in crochet, with an organza ribbon fastening and a little satin rose. Except for the comic book writer. He is a man and not a man who would enjoy a crochet pen holder that includes a little satin rose. I bought him a faux leather affair in black. Had he known what he had escaped from, he would have been grateful.


The pattern is very simple: it is worked row by row, all straight, long enough to fit the pen front and back and to have a fold over flap at the end. Line the crochet piece in velvet, so that the pen doesn’t fall through the holes (the horror of losing your Sharpie!) and so that the body of the pen doesn’t get scratched. Use the same yarn to stitch the sides and a thin thread to attach the ribbons and the rose. It is worked in trebles all along or if you feel fancy you can add a few shells at the front.

Yarn: Patton mercerised cotton

Happy crochet!

(Copyright Sandrine Maugy)

Amigurumi Bubulle

amigurumi-bulleamigurumi-bulle-2Last year I made a crochet amigurumi tiny dog in the image of my dad’s little Yorkshire terrier, Bulle. I made a keyring of it and my dad loved it. The only problem is, Bulle loves it too and every time my dad tries to use it she has a tantrum because she wants to play with it. Any toy that enters the house is hers by right, in her opinion, (actually , anything that enters the house is hers) but she would shred the poor thing within seconds. She isn’t spoilt at all.

For the pattern I used a classic amigurumi animal body shape, added an elongated ball for the head and some tubes for the limbs. I crocheted a half-ball for the muzzle and added all the long hair as if adding fringes to a scarf, or I suppose hair to a rag doll. Some seedbeads for the eyes and nose and a little bow in the hair and it looks just like Bubulle!

Yarn: Clea cotton for the body and Rowan Kidsilk Haze for the fluffy hair


How I started crochet

It was a very long time ago… I was a toddler and my maternal grandmother, Mamie, was a keen crochetteuse. Nothing particularly fancy: she would unpick old jumpers and make granny squares blankets. Like me, she had trouble finishing anything so there were lots of bright squares laying around in the work basket. A single square was enough for a whole blanket for my teddy dog Patapouf. I was allowed to swap blanket on each visit until one day my grandmother taught me how to crochet my own granny square. I took to it straight away and have been crocheting ever since. (Unlike knitting, which my mum taught me but never really took on). I have always liked the laciness of crochet. It also appeared to me to build up more quickly than knitting, or perhaps it was just the illusion created by the fact that I could make a scarf out of small squares, so I had a feeling of “finished!” after each square rather than at the end of a long, long knitting marathon.

I still have the last of Mamie’s squares. The wool is scratchy compared to the yarns we use today. The colours are also completely different. Nothing soft and muted. It’s all garish and flat colours. Pretty awful yarn really. But Patapouf still likes them…