Posts categorized "handmade"

crochet granny square blankets

I've made a few crocheted granny square blankets over the last few months, which I'm now selling. I've listed them in the Quite Contrary Handmade store at Ribbons Galore, or you can contact me directly if you are interested.

Each blanket is made from beautifully soft cotton yarn, which is machine washable.

If you are interested in a blanket made with your choice of colours, please email me. I have a large selection of coloured yarn which can be used to create a custom designed blanket.

The first blanket I've made is my rainbow blanket.


This blanket is finished with a white edging.


Rainbow granny square blanket is approximately 71cm (28") square.


The next blanket is the peach and teal granny square blanket.

FEC granny sq peach-teal 1

FEC granny sq peach-teal 3

The peach and teal granny square blanket is approximately 70cm (27.5") square.

FEC granny sq peach-teal 2

My third granny square is a blue, red and grey blanket.

FEC granny sq red-blue 1

FEC granny sq red-blue 2

This granny square blanket is approximately 72cm (28.5") square.

FEC granny sq red-blue 3

These blankets are a perfect size for babies and toddlers, or as a throw or lap rug.

Visit Quite Contrary at Ribbons Galore for more details.

Thanks for visiting...


Fiona x

Online Crochet Class

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I look forward to hearing from you. Fiona


handmade crochet bags

I've been crocheting away the cold winter rainy nights here, and have made some cute crochet bags.

Just in time for spring, they are now for sale in the Quite Contrary Handmade section at Ribbons Galore (Edited 2023: Ribbons Galore is now closed). They are perfect for carrying small items bought at the farmer's market or taking the essentials out shopping or to the beach. Theyr'e a great size for younger girls too. I'm happy to take custom requests if you'd like to choose another colour, please get in touch.

Fiona Carter's crochet bags

The bags are crocheted from 100% Australian cotton yarn, in delicious colours (perfect for our upcoming spring and summer). They are super soft and the open stitches give some stretch.... and they have been lots of fun to make.

Hope you're having a great creative week!

Thanks for dropping by...



Online Crochet Class

Ribbons Galore in Australian Homespun magazine

Ribbons Galore had a little appearance in the August 2014 edition of Australian Homespun magazine. The window shopping theme in this edition was "village road show".

Ribbons Galore in Homespun magazine August 2014

The featured ribbon is the 'street view' ribbon which is perfect for using on projects for little boys. It can be seen centre left... on the right page.

Homespun magazine August 2014

The magazine is now available online (from and in newsagencies, supermarkets and craft shops around Australia. Print copies should be available in Europe and North America in two to three weeks time.




men's crochet beanie

I made my first crocheted beanie this weekend!

FEC crochet beanie 1

The pattern I used is by Kathy North, and can be found HERE.

Craftsy also has an online class, Crocheting in the Round, which teaches you the basics of crocheting and creating your own beanie.

Yarn used: Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton 8 ply yarn in glacier, sky and pomegranate colours.

It was a quick and easy little project... think I'll be making some more!

Hope you've had a lovely weekend, we've enjoyed some welcome rain here in NSW.

Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

Online Crochet Class

aussie dish cloth swap

I recently signed up to Mel's [onecraftymumma] Aussie dish cloth swap. This is Mel's second swap that she has organised. Every one who joined (and there's 50 of us) has made four cotton dish cloths which could be either crocheted or knitted. As my relationship with knitting is not a good one, I have crocheted all four of my dish cloths.

I crocheted four different designs. Two dish cloths I made up as I went along, and two I used patterns found on the internet. I used one of my favourite yarns, Morris and Sons Avalon 8 ply cotton yarn.

Fiona Carter's aussie dish cloth swap

Here's the four dish cloths I made...

Dish cloth #1: I made this one up. It uses triple crochet stitches in a square shape, with a scallop edging. There are similar ones around on the internet, but I just started crocheting and kept going...

 Fiona Carter's crocheted dish cloth

Dish cloth #2: This is another Fiona creation. Mostly treble crochet stitches in a circle.

Fiona Carter's circle dish cloth

Dish cloth #3: I used the Flower Power dish cloth pattern on Ravelry. Very cute design will be making more of these.

FEC flower power dish cloth

Dish cloth #4: I used the ZigZag dish cloth pattern by Mellie Blossom. I really, really like this design. I'd love to make a rug using this zig zag design. I also added a simple edge to this dishcloth which wasn't on the original pattern.

FEC zig zag dish cloth

Once the dish cloths were finished, I made four tags to attach to each dish cloth. The tags have fabric fronts, with wool felt flowers. The back of each tag was cardboard with information about each dish cloth like, the yarn I used, the pattern and my name. The tags were finished with a little baker's twine from Ribbons Galore.

FEC dish cloth tags

The dish cloths have arrived safely at Mel's house. Make sure you visit Mel's blog, she's been writing about all the dish cloths she's received for the swap there.

I'll be back to show off the four dish cloths I receive in the swap soon.

Thanks for visiting...


Fiona x

Online Crochet Class

free double passes to the Better Homes and Gardens Live Sydney show

Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is coming to Sydney!

Sydney Showground

Friday 20 September – Sunday 22 September 2013

A Great Day Out For The Entire Family.

Australia’s favourite home magazine and television show is coming to life at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, from 20 – 22 September 2013 for Better Homes and Gardens LIVE.

Whether you are a renovator, foodie, DIY or craft lover, gardening or interiors addict, Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is the only place to go for all the latest products, advice and tips for your home.  Get inspired with live demonstrations and workshops from your favourite Better Homes and Gardens experts and shop for the latest gadgets and technology from more than 350 exhibitors at our one-stop home and garden product showcase.

Better Cooking

Fast Ed and Karen Martini will demonstrate their favourite recipes as well as some exciting new creations at the Better Cooking stage.

Fast Ed 1

Better Decorating and DIY

Rob Palmer will power up his toolkit at the Better Decorating and DIY stage and will inspire men and women to create great projects from the TV show at home whilst Tara Dennis will work her design magic on projects that tap into the latest trends in colour and interior design.

Tara Dennis 2

Better Craft & Skills Workshop & Make and Take Workshop

The Better Homes and Gardens magazine editors will be showcasing how to create amazing craft projects at the interactive Make and Take Workshop. And at the Better Craft & Skills workshop, discover the overwhelming satisfaction of creating something with your hands. 

Better Gardening and Pets

Dr Harry will share his incredible knowledge to help all pet owners and pet lovers to look after the furry, feathered or scaly member of the family at the Better Gardening and Pets stage.

Whether you are already a green thumb or a gardening novice, Australia’s eminent garden and landscaping gurus Graham Ross and Jason Hodges will be creating Australia’s most sought after gardens, whilst offering ample practical advice.

Jason Hodges 1

Plenty of Activities for the Kids!  Looking for things to do with the kids during the school holidays? Crafty kids will feel right at home at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE!  They’ll be spoilt for choice with face painting, balloon sculpting and sand art on offer.  And the little ones will love the petting zoo, getting hands-on with their favourite farmyard animals.

Make yourself at home at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE this September.

Visitor and Ticket Information

Venue:  Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park                       

When:  9am – 5pm, Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September, 2013

Who:  Johanna Griggs and the Better Homes and Gardens team: Tara Dennis, Fast Ed Halmagyi, Karen Martini, Dr Harry Cooper, Jason Hodges, Rob Palmer and Graham Ross.

Ticket Prices:

Buy Earlybird Tickets Online and Save at

Full priced tickets can be bought at the door of the event every day.

Standard Early Bird Ticket:  $15 (save $5 off the door price)

Standard Ticket on the Door:  $20

Concession Early Bird Ticket:  $10 (save $5 off the door price)        

Concession Ticket on the Door:  $15


Now, here's some exciting news..... 

I have 20 FREE double pass tickets to give away to the Sydney Better Homes and Gardens LIVE show. If you would like a double pass (that's two tickets) to this event, please send me an email (you can find the "email me" link in the top right column right here on this page). EDITED: ALL THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN GIVEN AWAY. THANKS FOR VISITING MY BLOG, AND I HOPE EVERYONE WHO RECEIVED TICKETS ENJOYS THE SHOW.

I look forward to hearing from you.



new crochet ripple blanket

I've taken a short break from my New Zealand wool ripple blanket to crochet a blanket for someone special. In preparation, I had bought cotton yarn in two colourways, one for a boy and one for a girl, waiting the news so I could make a start.... girl or boy, can you guess???? 

FEC ripple blanket web

I've used one of my favourite yarns [AGAIN], Morris and Sons Avalon cotton to make this one.

FEC ripple blanket 1 web

I've almost finished, only a few more rows left. Then I'll have to choose a simple edge to finish it off.

FEC ripple blanket 2 web

Here's the details of the yarn I have used...

Morris and Sons Avalon 8 ply cotton:

  • #4803 Moonstone (Off White)
  • #4834 Rose Quartz (Light Pink)
  • #4836 Carnelian (Rose Pink)
  • #4838 Spinel (Dark Pink/Red)

I'll be back shortly with a photo of the finished blanket.

Thanks for dropping by....


Fiona x


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ripple crochet blanket with ripplealong

It's not like I needed another crochet project, but when Mel Goodsell announced she was hosting a RIPPLE-ALONG... I just felt I needed to join in!

While I have been happily crocheting my african flowers, Mel had been posting pictures of her ripple blanket she's been crocheting on her blog and intasgram. It was gorgeous!

FEC Ripple Blanket

After signing up to Mel's "ripple-along", I had to choose the wool for my new project.

Last year (January 2012) I was holidaying on the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. We had a few nights in Dunedan where I found a few crafty shops selling gorgeous New Zealand wool. I bought a few balls back with me, buying only one colour of each. These are the wools that I decided to use for my ripple blanket, it's going to be my New Zealand South Island inspired Ripple Blanket.

So here's my wool selection...

Random Dyed Tekapo 8 ply wool

FEC Tekapo wool

Colour "landscape" (shade #062) by Ashford.

Why I bought this wool: During another holiday on the South Island of New Zealand, we stayed a couple of nights at Lake Tekapo. It snowed while we were there, the first time my girls saw snow. The colours of the lake and the surrounding mountains was amazing, like the colours in this wool.

Merino Possum 8 ply wool

FEC Possum wool

Colour navy by Merino Possum

Why I bought this wool: Curiosity, to be honest. Possums are a protected animal here in Australia, they are a pest in New Zealand. Introduced from Australia a long time ago, they loved New Zealand (who wouldn't), and spread, and spread and became a pest. They are "harvested" for their fur. The fur is mixed with merino wool resulting in an incredibly soft wool.

Rare Earth 8 ply wool

Image 5

Colours "old snow", "champagne" and "camel" by The Rare Yarns Company

Why I bought these wools: The softness of these wools, they are beautifully soft being made from alpaca and merino.

Starting the ripple

Two days ago, during soccer training, I finally made a start. I'm using Lucy's pattern from the Attic24 blog. Lucy's instructions are very good, with lots of photos.

Image 1

I started with 199 chain stitches. The first row was the hardest and slowest. It got easier after that.

Image 2

I'm 14 rows into the blanket so far, and I fear I'm going to be running out of wool some time soon. I'm already researching how I can buy more of my wool... I might have to plan a shopping trip back to New Zealand to stock up :)

If you'd like to play along with the ripple-along, visit Mel's blog for details.

If you'd like some inpiration and ideas for a ripple blanket, I've been adding ripple blankets to my crochet board over at Pinterest.

Will be back soon to share my progress.


Fiona x

Online Crochet Class

a new crochet project & the granny square at newtown

I've started a new crochet project. I'm crocheting a hexagon granny rug for Emily.

Fiona Carter's hexagon granny square crochet

I bought some lovely wool from a little wool shop I stumbled upon in Newtown recently, called The Granny Square. It has apparently been open for a while now, I'd just missed it on previous drives along King Street. The Granny Square is a cute little shop full of wool... think of an old fashioned candy shop, and replace the shelves of lollies with beautiful coloured wool. It's inviting and homely.

The Granny Square shop sign

After chatting with the lovely lady serving in the shop, I found out The Granny Square is part of the Morris and Sons group. If you're in Sydney, that's the gorgeous wool shop in York Street, Sydney. That lovely lady I was talking to in the shop... her name was Ruth, and I'm thinking she owns the business after reading this page.

The Granny Square shop on the Living on the Crafty Side of Life blog

If you follow this link, you can read a little of the background of The Granny Square (the images seem to be missing, but the story is good). The Granny Square does have a website which has it's class schedule.

Anyway... back to the wool and my crochet project.

Fiona Carter's hexagon granny square crochet project

The wool Emily choose is called Morris Arabesque Sugar Plum, which is a lovely verigated wool with pink, plum, dusty blue and tan.

Fiona Carter's wool from Morris & Sons

Here's a little close up of how the rug is coming along...

Fiona Carter's hexagon granny square crochet

Thanks for dropping by, til next time...



ribbons galore custom order: luggage tags | key rings

Recently I received a request to make 25 luggage tags, in the same style as the ribbon key rings I make and sell over at Ribbons Galore. They were for a tour group which I assume are travelling to Japan (my assumption based purely on the ribbon chosen for these tags).


I love making custom orders, the more in the order the merrier, cause I set myself up a little production line, completing one task at a time.


First task with these tags was to cut the cotton webbing and the ribbon into pieces and have them stacked next to my sewing machine. Then the ribbon is stitched to the webbing.


A little tip: when I'm stitching a polyester ribbon to cotton webbing (or cotton fabric for that matter), I always iron the ribbon with a warm iron (not hot). There is usually a little shrinkage with polyester ribbons, and by ironing them now (before you sew), you avoid the ribbon puckering once sewn to it's cotton base.


Each piece of webbing/ribbon is then folded in half so I can sew the two raw edges together. I add this step into the process so both ends of the webbing stay in place once the metal end is clamped. You see, the metal clamp has "teeth" on one side only. When the metal end is clamped only one side of the webbing is held with these teeth. By stitching the two ends together, you are making a more secure key ring or tag. And I speak from experience, one of the first key rings I made did not last very long, one side of the webbing pulled out of the metal end. Since sewing the two ends together, the key rings have stayed in place!


Next step, and this is an optional one, but I really like to be sure that my key rings will stay in tact. I like to glue the webbing ends to the metal end. I use a strong glue.



Then leave them to dry a little.


Time for clamping, this is the part where you close the metal end around the webbing ends. I always clamp these as tight as possible.


Once that is done, the split rings are added and you're finished.


I had a 24 hour turnaround for these, they had to be packed up and on the plane to Hong Kong (well at least in the hands of Australia Post) one day after receiving the order. I made it, and they were on their way in time.


Would love to see what they all looked like on the luggage as a group.

Thanks for visiting.



PS: the ribbon used is the gorgeous miss ling on grey ribbon, available from Ribbons Galore. Webbing and key fob hardware available also from Ribbons Galore.