It’s been an unusual and somewhat unsettling run up to Christmas this year. The EU VAT uncertainty is still ongoing, but I’ll be making some changes to the way I sell over the next few days/weeks to avoid running foul of any new EU laws while this whole situation goes through its ‘transitional phase’ – preferably culminating with the re-introduction of a VAT threshold for small digital businesses. Heaven only knows what 2015 will bring, but I’m getting as prepared as possible. There will be a new selling venue over at LoveKnitting especially for my EU customers, so I won’t have to suspend sales completely as I had initially feared. (Hat’s off – crocheted, knitted, or otherwise – to Casey and the team at Ravelry.com for helping us sort this in time for midnight tonight!) There will be other positive changes too, such as having my very own proper shop here on my website, but I’ll go into that more in the new year.
It’s been a busy but lovely Christmas this year. An Earlier highlight being a trip out to Westonbirt Arboretum with a few friends to see these magical light-scapes, whilst munching on roasted chestnuts washed down with hot mulled wine. A perfect Christmas combination! And now we’re suddenly on the other side of Christmas. So much planning, so little time to enjoy it all! I really want to say thanks for all the support and encouragement,comments, questions and feedback, and for all the sharing of your gorgeous crochet makes on my Facebook page during 2014, it’s been great to chat and share the journey as Moji-Moji Design has grown a little bigger, and a little bit more confident over the last year! 2015 is going to be ‘interesting’, full of unexpected, and unforeseen challenges, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stranger stronger right?! And it appears I’m still here, so it must be onwards and upwards then! I wanted to share a few pictures of my Christmas lights display, I’m heading off down to the lounge in a moment to enjoy their full, soothing glory…
…and to watch some New Years Eve fireworks from my window…Love and Light to all!And a Happy New Year too! Or as my Scottish Sister-in-Law says:
“Lang may yer Lum Reek!”
I’m assured by said Sister-in-Law that it’s a most auspicious Scottish greeting for New Year’s Eve, and not nearly as rude as it sounds 😉As you can see I’ve had to recycle last years New Year’s Eve photo due to my unexpectedly busy schedule…Sorry about that!
I’ll see you in the New year for a proper catch up when things should hopefully have settled down a bit!
We’re getting so close to Christmas now and I’m finally starting get into the festive mood, helped along splendidly by this little troop of winter wine cork cosies!
I had just as much fun coming up with the patterns for these as I did drinking the wine in the first place! They proved popular on my Facebook page and I’ve had lots of requests for the pattern. So as an early Christmas present to all my lovely followers here it is.
You will need:
Fizzy wine corks similar to these:
Light worsted weight (double knit) yarn in green, white, black, red, and any other colours you prefer.
3.25 mm crochet hook.
Polyester toy stuffing.
A selection of beads and bells to decorate.
White paint and paintbrush (emulsion paint works well).
Felt tip pens in red, black and orange.
Pink pencil crayon.
A suitable fabric glue (something like UHU or Bostick). And now we have everything collected together let’s get hooking 🙂
US crochet terms are used throughout. See here for a simple to use conversion chart for UK terms.
Square brackets [ ] indicate a group of stitches to be worked the amount of times stated after the brackets. Asterisk * indicates a point of repeat
With Green yarn make 2 ch. (Alternate rounds with a light and dark green yarn if you prefer) Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts) Rnd 3: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts) Rnd 4: Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 st. (8 sts) Rnd 5: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (9 sts) Rnd 6: Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 4 st. (10 sts) Rnd 7: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 9 st. (11 sts) Rnd 8: Sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (12 sts) Rnd 9: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts) Rnd 10: Sc in each st around. Rnd 11: [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (18 sts) Rnds 12-16: Sc in each st around. (5 rounds) Rnd 17: * Slst in next st, 4 ch, Slst in next st, repeat from * to end.
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end.
Stuff the top two thirds of the tree. Put a little glue all around the fattest end of the cork, position the tree so that the frilly edge is roughly level with the bottom of the fattest part of the cork. Hold in place securely until glue has set.
Now you can sew on your seed beads, sequins, mini pompoms etc. Or leave it plain for a natural look.
With White yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts)
Change to your chosen Second Colour here and continue alternating the colours each round until the end. Rnd 3: Sc in each st around. Rnd 4: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts) Rnd 5: Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 st. (8 sts) Rnd 6: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (9 sts) Rnd 7: Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 4 st. (10 sts) Rnd 8: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 9 st. (11 sts) Rnd 9: Sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (12 sts) Rnd 10: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 11 st. (13 sts) Rnd 11: Sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 6 st. (14 sts) Rnd 12: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 13 st. (15 sts) Rnd 13: Sc in each of next 7 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (16 sts) Rnd 14: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 15 st. (17 sts) Rnd 15: Sc in each of next 8 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 8 st. (18 sts)
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end.
Glue to top and back of fattest end of cork. Fold tail over and sew in place with a few stitches. Sew a small pom pom or bell to the end. Scarf
With your chosen Second Colour yarn make 37 ch.
Change to White yarn. Row 1: Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each ch to end, turn. (36 sts)
Change to your chosen Second Colour yarn Row 2: 1 ch (does not count as a st), sc in each st to end. (36 sts)
Fasten off and tie ends together in a knot. Trim to make a small ‘tassel’. Tie around elf’s neck. Draw on the eyes and mouth using felt tip pens in black and red. Colour in rosy cheeks with a pink pencil crayon.
With Red yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: Sc in each st around. Rnd 3: Sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts) Rnd 4: Sc in each st around. Rnd 5: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts) Rnd 6: Sc in each st around. Rnd 7: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts) Rnd 8: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts) Rnd 9: [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (36 sts) Rnd 10: Sc in each st around.
Change to White yarn. Rnd 11: Working in back loops only: [Sc in each of next 4 st, dec] 6 times. (30 sts) Rnd 12: [Sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts) Rnd 13: [Sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Stuff top part of toadstool. Fit opening of toadstool over top of fattest part of cork. Thread the yarn tail onto your needle and sew in and out of stitches on the final round. Pull tight to form a snug fit just under the fattest part of the cork. Secure with a knot then pinch the edge of the toadstool together and sew a few stitches through the pinched edge of the toadstool to form the shaping. With White yarn, embroider a few French Knots onto the top of the toadstool, or use white seed beads or sequins, or tiny buttons.
First paint your cork white, then allow to dry. Hat
With Black yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: Sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts) Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts) Rnd 4: Working in back loops only: Sc in each st around. Rnds 5-6: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to your chosen Second Colour Rnd 7: Sc in each st around. Rnd 8: [Sc in each if next 3 st, dec] 3 times. (12 sts) Rnd 9: Working in front loops only: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts) Rnd 10: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end. Scarf
With your chosen Second Colour yarn make 37 ch. Row 1: Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each ch to end. (36 sts)
Fasten off, weave in ends.
Stuff the hat and glue directly on top of fattest part of cork. Tie scarf around neck. Draw on the eyes, mouth, carrot nose and buttons using felt tip pens in black and orange. Colour in rosy cheeks with a pink pencil crayon.
Oh Mojo! Am I not giving you enough attention? Time for another sit down protest then!
Now all we need is a little snow for the perfect Christmas. Looks like a digital snow flurry will have to do for now!
Well, what a week it’s been. And, no, for once I don’t mean in a good way. I just found out about the horrendous new legislation coming in from the EU on January 1st, compelling anyone who sells any digital services/products to work out and pay VAT to all 28 member states of the EU separately and according to who has purchased what from each country.
I really don’t want to get all bogged down with details here – this is supposed to be my ‘happy place’, but the more I’ve looked into it the more I see that compliance is not only going to be onerous, but the way things stand at the moment, completely impossible. The systems just don’t exist to enable individual sellers to do what they have to do in order to keep trading legally. There is a UK petition here for those of you who would like to have a look. It includes a summary too which outlines some of the problems. The adding of your signature would be hugely appreciated by myself and many others who find themselves quite shockingly and unexpectedly mixed up in this bureaucratic nightmare.
Here’s a great link you may want to read on Ysolde Teague’s Blog. She puts it so much better than I ever could. If you design and sell anything via email like I do then it’s a must read. If you love to buy craft patterns, eBooks, printable stationary, meditation courses, music – to name but a few – from any of us independent designer/sellers then I suggest you have a look too because if things don’t change significantly over the next few weeks there will be a lot of us closing down our beloved businesses before this legislation becomes law on New Years day 2015.
If you’ve read Ysolde’s post and the whole topic now has you intrigued, panicked, crying, having a nervous breakdown or just plain curious here’s another good source of information for you on Heather Burns Idea15 Blog. I don’t want to add to your dismay, but knowledge is power, after all.
Right, now that’s been said, let’s have some fun, because there’s only so much angst I can take at any one time.
(Takes deep, deep breath).
Here’s a little Christmas scene to cheer us all up. Well, it is December already! Not only have these tubby-tummied elves built their first snowman, but they’ve also managed to make a Christmas pudding and put their tree up. Wow, I need to catch up fast. I’ve seriously got to get my Christmas wiggle on!This is also the time of year when we try to make huge efforts in our otherwise very busy lives to see family and friends who live far away. It’s always so exciting to catch up face to face on a years worth of news or sometimes more. There’s nothing like a big hug, a bit of present swapping and a good chin wag to warm the very cockles of your heart! All the Facebooking and texting or even gossiping on the phone just can’t compare. My next few weekends are full of just such jaunts. Snow people love these kind’s of pre-Christmas shenanigens too. I don’t need to tell you how happy these guys are to have a good old get together. It’s written all over their faces 🙂 As well as getting together on their home continent on the perma-snow and ice of the arctic circle, they love to travel. As soon as southerly temperatures plummet into the minus numbers they start heading as far south as they can get. I expect you’ve seen them, magically popping up in parks and gardens near you, as soon as the first decent snowfall settles! I’ve had a few postcards from their jollies already that I’d love to share with you.
First the girls went on holiday exploring the forests in Canada…Then the boys decided a spot of skiing would be in order. Here they are in the French Alps…The baby snowmen aren’t big enough for all that wilderness trecking or alpine sporting but they do love to play together at their local ice rink.They’ve dressed up in all the different colours of the rainbow so their mum’s and dad’s know who’s who. Of course their mum’s and dad’s would never really get their own children muddled up but it can be a bit tricky to tell the difference when they’re skating around that fast. Here’s Mr. and Mrs. Snowdon with the triplets, Willy, Nilly and Milly, and of course not forgetting their new baby Billy.Awww, what a lovely Christmas they’re going to have with a houseful of smiling snowbabies. You can adopt some snowbabies here if you want to make your Christmas just as much fun. The pattern’s free and they don’t eat much (yarn) so you can afford to adopt as many as you like!