Blog Archives

Arts and Crafts

Crafty Ladies meet locally once a month when you can make a simple project either seasonal/theme related or bring along your own knitting, crocheting or any hand held craft work.  Everyone is invited to come along for a natter.  Please see Preview Notes for next meet up.

Please click on links below for the patterns

Click here for knitted “Bunny” pattern

Colins jumpers
Click here for “Fish and Chip” jumper and hat pattern
Click here for a selection of bootie patterns

Teddy pattern

    • With 4mm (8) needles and Double Knitting.


    • Garter stitch used throughout (knit every row)

Cast on 8 stitches and work 16 rows.
Break off yarn and cast on 8 stitches and work 16 rows to form other leg.
Knit across both legs (16 sts) and complete 8 rows.
Cast on 8 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 8 rows.
Cast off 8 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Now work 42 rows on these 16 sts.
Cast on 8 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 8 rows.
Cast off 8 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 8 rows.
Using only first 8 stitches, work 16 rows and then cast off.
Return to remaining 8 stitches and work 16 rows and then cast off.

Making up
Fold knitted piece in half lengthways. The fold becomes the top of the head.
Join seam around teddy, leave a small gap between the legs.
Turn right side out.
Backstitch a diagonal line across corner of head to form ears.
Stuff (with flame resistant stuffing) and slip stitch closed area left for stuffing.
Embroider a face on teddy.
Take a double thickness of yarn and thread around neck, going in every few stitches, (making sure there are no loops that little fingers can get into).
Draw up yard tightly to form neck and secure ends.

Optional scarf
With same needles and thickness of yarn, cast on 60 stitches.
Knit 6 rows and then cast off. Tie round teddy’s neck and secure in place if being given to a small child.

Knit for Peace January 2017

As an alternative to knitted blankets, Knit for Peace suggested making dressing gowns and here is Madeleine modelling the wonderful one she has made. This will now be sent to Knit for Peace to go towards their “Keep Britain Warm” campaign. Well done Madeleine.

Workshop May 2016

A very enjoyable time was had by the members who attended the workshop on Saturday 21st May, at St.Lawrence’s Church Hall. Several made the “disappearing 9 patchwork” cushion covers and a few members attempted the beach hut scene. Everyone went away very happy with what they had achieved. We hope to hold another workshop in the autumn, so if you have anything you would like to try, please let us know

Autumn 2015 Craft Updates

Patchwork Sessions

The first meeting of our patchwork sessions for beginners will be held at 7.00 on Friday 16th October.  For this first meeting we are limiting the numbers to 6 people but would like everyone interested to put their names on the signup sheet at the meeting on 21st September so that we can get an idea of how many would like to do it. We will be attempting 2 basic patchwork skills with a Christmas touch.


5270838_origThank you to everyone who has knitted baby blankets, bonnets and blanket squares. We now have enough to make eight blankets and if there are some willing volunteers to stitch these together that would be wonderful. Dulcie will be bringing these along to next meeting so please see her if you can take one.

We have enough squares now to be getting on with but if you would like something to do over next few months, our contact will be visiting Africa again in December and has room to take any “Dress A Girl Around The World” dresses, knitted teddies or cloth dolls. Please see the following websites for details on how to make these or speak to Eileen at the meeting.

Knitted Teddy Pattern



Remembrance Sunday 2014

Commemorating World War I: a first for Wimbledon WI and for me

A big thank you to Wimbledon WI for the new experiences and memories they have given me this year.

At our July meeting, we had a talk about London in World War I, which led me to research a vague memory of something my mother had told me before she died. I found a photograph of her Uncle Fergus (2nd Lieutenant James Ferguson Hickson) who, researches revealed, died on the 1st day of the Battle of Passchendaele on 31 July 1917. This led me to attend two days of courses at London’s City Lit about women in World War I, as well as visits to the National Archives to find out more about Great Uncle Fergus, and onto two visits to the display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”.   Amazing and thought provoking to think that each of the 888,246 poppies there represents each British and the Commonwealth person who had died during the 1st World War. And we must not forget the enormous losses suffered by the deaths of people from other countries.

My new experiences did not end there. Several members of our WI had been making some wonderful poppies to raise funds for the British Legion. It was decided that for the first time in our existence, we would create a wreath from some of those poppies to be placed at Wimbledon War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

We met before 10am in Belvedere Grove for the parade through Wimbledon High Street and onto the War Memorial. A very moving, and poignant, service was held, followed by the organizations represented laying their wreaths. I had the great honour of being asked to lay Wimbledon WI’s wreath. I am not normally an emotional person but, as I walked up with our WI’s wreath to the War Memorial, I felt shivers running down my spine, as I thought with some considerable poignancy not only of Great Uncle Fergus but also of all the others who had lost their lives in that terrible war. I had not previously attended a parade or service on Remembrance Sunday.

Thank you for encouraging me to learn more about my family’s history involvement in World War I, for encouraging me at the grand old age of 63 to finally pay my formal respects to those who died in both World Wars, and asking me to lay the wreath on behalf of our WI.


Delightful Denman

Monday morning, and I am just back from a womb enveloping experience at Denman College, thanks to a WI Bursary won back in November last year.  This “gift” came at just the right time in my life, my dear old Dad, aged 90 had been taken ill where he lived in Spain and died in the middle of December.  I had been out staying with him as he recovered from a pacemaker operation and all had been going well, enough for me to return to England to prepare for Christmas when he would have been flying home to stay with us for a couple of weeks.  Alas, I had not been home long before he suddenly took a turn for the worse and died peacefully after a very long and extremely well lived life.

I decided to do the Flowers in the Home course tutored by Christine Pearce, an exhibitor at the Chelsea Flower Show and holder of a Gold Medal at the RHS Malvern Flower Show.  I fall into the supermarket bunched flowers kind of person category.  A fairly cheap bouquet will often find its way into my trolley during the weekly shop, to be opened (stalks trimmed and flower food added as per instructions on cellophane) and plonked into jug filled to the brim with fresh water – then ignored until flowers fall over, bad smell is overpowering or a new bunch enters house.  After meeting the other 12 participants on course 134.10755 in the Denman Brochure, I know I am not alone in this flower arranging technique.

We arrived on Friday afternoon at around 5.00pm.  I say we, as my husband, Phil came too and had been booked onto “Men in the Kitchen” run by Jill Brand.  Welcomed by the WI host, we were shown up to our room;  the enormous Northumberland bedroom had an ensuite, three working sash windows overlooking the croquet lawn, two comfortable chairs, a wardrobe out of Narnia, desk, chest of drawers, twin beds, power shower, tea making facilities and a selection of books about the region all bathed in late afternoon sun – just heaven.  Tea, a piece of cake and a timetable of our respective classes awaited us on the terrace and our first appointment was a welcome talk from Jane Dixon, head of Denman College at 6pm.  Three course supper was at 6.45 and our first class was at 8.15pm.  Did I mention the bar opened at 6pm too?  We were obviously going to be busy.

As well as our course, Denman last weekend was offering “Telling Stories in Photographs”, “William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement” and “Patchwork an Origami Cushion”.  There were also ten Federation ladies on a refresher course struggling with the intricacies of Power Point.  Denman was busy, but the air of sleepy calm in the Georgian House belied this.  There was time for you to be welcomed individually,  your name was learnt, your progress was asked after, praise for your endeavours liberal and your wellbeing was their priority.

Over the next two days, I learnt about conditioning flowers when either picked from the garden or in the ubiquitous Tesco bunch. The importance of foliage, colour combinations for pleasing the eye.  The evil smell is botrytis and can be avoided by removing all foliage that would sit under the water in a vase and by not filling the container right up to the top with water.  Flowers can only “drink” the water from the bottom of the stalk and need only a few inches of water to sit in and this should be topped up daily and replaced completely every couple of days.  The arrangements we made had been demonstrated first of all by Chris, who then circulated and gave individual attention as we tried to copy her fabulous displays.  At the end of the weekend, we all had wonderful formal table displays, hand tied bouquets, simple dinner table designs and a very glamorous door thing-me-jig, suitable for a church, wedding or special occasion to take home.

I haven’t mentioned the laughter, stories and giggles that also went on in class.  The breaks for coffee and shortbread in the morning, and the welcome cup of tea and cake at 4.00pm.  The cooked breakfast, the buffet lunch and three course dinner meant that Jane Dixon’s words of abandoning your diet when you enter the gates of Denman were only too true.

Phil too had a good time, the six other chaps on his course all had different reasons for being there, but all tackled the cooking with gusto and wonderful smells drifted out of the teaching kitchen round the corner from the studio where we were immersed in flowers and greenery.  He made bread, pastry for his baked cheese cake tart, a complete roast dinner, chilli, lamb burgers, stir fry and rock cakes and watched numerous demonstrations on soup, lasagne and cottage pie.  He came home with a tailor made cook book of his achievements as well as Tupperware boxes full of goodies.

The WI can be so very proud of Denman College, my weekend was a joy from start to finish.  I have learnt a new skill, albeit that Chris said to me in the phrase used by Bruce Forsyth on Strictly Come Dancing – that I was her favourite when everyone else got gold and silver gilts.  Phil has a very smart black WI apron and a lot more confidence in the kitchen.  We have laughed, made friends from around the country and been thoroughly spoilt by the Denman staff.  We left all our problems at the gate of the college and do you know what this Monday morning – I’m not inclined to pick them up.


Knitted Squares

While we wait for evenings to be lighter why not knit some more squares for blankets. We will be saving some for next year’s Get Your Knit On and some will be made into blankets for our charity Merton & Morden Guild.


Size 8 (4mm) needles, 33 stitches of double knit wool – preferably work in garter or moss stitch (not stocking stitch as it curls at the ends) until you have a 6″ square. Wool available to knit and would welcome any donated wool.

How to knit garter stitch

How to knit moss stitch

A thank you from the Get Your Knit On Team

Dear All
We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who took part in the Get Your Knit On! project. We received over 2,000 knitted squares from all over the country, and even some from overseas. I think the furthest travelled knitting was from Japan! This enabled us to make around 40 blankets which have now been given to Age UK Lambeth to distribute to vulnerable older people in Lambeth, the borough Southbank Centre is based in. It’s wonderful to be able to help our neighbours in this way, and really heart warming to think that around fifty people contributed to each blanket.
Thank you to each of you for your contribution, if you knitted squares or helped sew up the blankets, you all made a valuable contribution and have helped to keep older people warmer this winter and beyond.
We hope to repeat the project next year and will be in touch nearer the time.
Best wishes, Jessica and Hannah

Get Your Knit On!

Some of our members knitting for the campaign

Some of our members knitting for the campaign

More information about the campaign can be found here

Dress a girl around the world

“Imagine a World where every little girl owned at least one dress! What if that dress was made by you?”

dress a girl around the worldDress a Girl Around the World is a charity set up in America with the aim of sending dresses to girls living in poverty across the world.
We thought this was a great idea.  Some of us got their sewing machines out and Julia, one of our members, took 10 dresses to Utange, Mombasa where a charity works to provide needy children with an education. We are hoping to get photos of the girls wearing the dresses soon.

We are going to continue to make dresses and will be able to send more out in the spring when another visit to Utange is planned.

If you would like to make a dress, the following links should give you the information you need.
All the information on the links is quite clear and the only comment we would make is that the minimum width bias binding should be 5/8th inches (16mm) anything narrower might not stand up to the wear the dress is likely to get. (20mm works well.) Also, although they are called pillowcase dresses, you don’t have to use pillowcases. Any rectangle of fabric is OK and probably easier to work with than a pillowcase.
Introduction, photos etc

Tutorial and full instructions

Video tutorial giving step-by-step instructions

Information about sizes, material needed etc.

If you are not able to make a dress but have fabric you are able to donate for others to sew with, please bring it along to one of our meetings. (Any pieces of cotton, pillowcases or duvet covers would be fine. Also any bits of lace, ribbon etc.)

Armhole pattern

Dress a Girl armhole patterns

Handmade Poppies

Wimbledon WI have been busy sewing, crocheting and knitting poppies to sell to raise funds for The Royal British Legion.  They will be recreating a ‘Flanders Field’ of poppies at the historic Menin Gate, Ypres on Armistice Day and a poppy from the Wimbledon WI will be placed there in commemoration. Our ladies made over 120 poppies which were sold at our meeting and to family and friends and together we were able to raise £330 for the British Legion.