Handmade Monday 95 – Ring Out Those Bells Tonight!

Welcome to this week’s Handmade Monday, to take part or spend a lovely evening reading fantastic blogs written by a wide range of crafters, pop across to Handmade Harbour, the blog of Wendy Massey who’s creations are often found in Craft Seller

I’ve been a bit remiss with Handmade Monday for a few weeks due to a combination of being shattered by Sunday following a hectic week, needing to do a house search for car keys, involving roping in a friend who is definitely better at tuning in to answers to prayers than me and found them first attempt and having a very poorly Dad who is now on the mend we hope, its just felt like one more pressure. But today I realised I was looking forward to writing this post, so I sat here with very little idea of what to write and was inspired by bells!

Ring Out Those Bells Tonight!

Purely by accident I started making bells for Christmas – I was playing with some crochet cotton and they sort of happened.

Ringing Through History

And then I got to pondering the significance of bells and Christmas  as many carols or songs either make reference to or are written about bells:

Little Donkey – “ring out those bells tonight, Bethlehem Bethlem”

Ding Dong Merrily on High

Jingle Bells

Carol of the Bells –  lovely Ukraian folk song

Do They Know its Christmas?

Jingle Bell Rock

I am very into Medieval and Tudor history and in many of the books I read, bells are a significant way of communicating over long distances with a population. They might ring out sorrow as for a now dead King (or in the case of Do They Know its Christmas, sorrow over starving children);to keep the hours of the day according to the rituals of the medeival church. and of course  joy for the crowning of a new King or a Royal birth.

And although bells are less significant in daily life today, when it comes to Christmas they definitely mean celebration!  So whether you are a Christian and celebrating the birth of Christ or are into the secular meaning of Christmas, where bells signify the coming of Santa and a sleigh full of gifts; or like many having a foot in both camps – after all we are all human and we all love to give and receive gifts – you’ll definitely be singing about and decorating your tree with bells this Season!


Making Bells

So today I thought I’d share how I make my bells – I’ve chosen one of the simpler designs as I want it to be accessible to all, so here goes:



  • I used crochet cotton with a 0.75 mm hook. However there’s nothing to stop you experimenting and using larger hooks and thicker fibres with this pattern, you’ll just get a bigger bell.
  • You can also experiment using embroidery threads or adding in a blending filament to your bell – one of the joys of creating with crochet is that you have permission to play and try things out….. so don’t just sit there wondering – go for it!
  • Ribbon or thread to hang your bell with
  • Minature sleighbell to stitch inside if  you want your bell to chime!

Please note all instructions are in UK crochet terms, for USA and Japan, please feel free to download my conversion sheet if this will help: UK and US Crochet Terms


SC – single crochet or slip stitch; ch – chain;  tr – treble;  htr – half treble;  dc – double crochet;   sp- space


Fnd:       Make 6 ch and join with sc to make ring

Row 1:  3ch work 11tr into ring and join with sc – this forms the top of the bell

Row 2:  3ch 2tr into same st * 2ch miss1 tr , 3tr into next tr, rep from * to end join with sc

Row 3 -5 :   As row 2  These rows form a tube for the side of the bell

Row 6: 1ch, 1htr, 1tr, into 1st st  *1tr, 1htr, 1dc into 2nd st. 1dc into 2ch sp, 1dc, 1htr,

1ch in next st . Rep from * to  end. Fasten Off. This row forms the “skirt” at the base of the bell

Making Up

Sew in ends and sew ribbon onto top of bell securely

If required, sew small sleigh bell inside bell

If you’d like the pattern for this bell and another, please download my Ding Dong Merrily Freebie

Feedback Please!

I’d really like some feedback on the pattern should you choose to use it please, as I am developing a range of patterns I’ll be launching early in the New Year. I know its very easy when you write a pattern down to knit or crochet  merrily away, not realising you’ve made a colossal error, because as the author and designer you know exactly what you mean and then cannot fathom out why someonelse is having problems with it, until you actually read what you’ve written…… one red faced teacher then spotted slinking to the bottom of the class 🙂

Southampton Christmas Craft Fair


This time as well as the usual Craft Stalls we also have a small careers fair, organised by local radio station AWAZZ FM. Plus we have 3 local charitable / not for profit organisations joining us to raise funds and awareness by selling delicious food and handmade goods.

We also have been invited to appear on Radio Solent tomorrow at 1:20pm to talk about all things crafty and of course the fair! The local paper have finally given in to my nagging and are running a bit of a feature and our shiny new banner for the outside of the building has finally arrived!



Food Zone

CakesLittle Penguin Creations – Cupcakes and Kids Cupcake Decorating

Nagina’s Bakery – Large Cakes, Sliced Cakes and Cupcakes

Creative Options  – Paninis

Samosas and Bahjis

Jewellery Zone

 Gem in a BoxJewels

Raggy Rooz ( mixed media inc jewellery)

The Rowan Tree – Hair Accessories


Crafty Zone

Sadly mostCrafty

of these crafters are not currently on the web as they are either very new to selling their work or charities, so I’ll tell you a little about them instead

Happy Thoughts – Leeanne makes a wide range of beautiful items from cushions to vinyl bowls from old records

Bits and Bobs Crafts – including kids Bauble Decorating

Barbara – very new and mysterious but she’ll definitely be selling cards!

Miriam House – Fundraising  through creativity

ABC Project – Women’s Wisdom- supports local women into work through crafts

Oaktree Originals –   Carole is another very new crafter who makes amazing Owl Bags from felt and fabrics

Ember’s Hearth – Amaz

ingly cute crochet amigurumi’s often dressed as Super heroes!


Beauty Zone


Sarah and Edona – Face Painting

Henna Tattoos

PLUS we are awaiting confirmation from an Eyebrow Threader too!



And Finally……….. Answers to 2 FAQ’s so often heard at many a craft fair!

1. Why Is There An Entry Fee?

The fair is organised to support the Third Age Centre, a local community charity that provides a range of services to the local community, from meeting space to regualr events for older people, plus a free bookshop. The Stallholders fees are quickly eaten up in terms on the standard costs of running the fair –  including marketing, paid advertising in local papers, a nominal fee for the organiser which works at far below minimum wage, volunteer expenses, and the electricity etc used in opening the centre up for the day. The entry fee  however goes straight to the charity and means that all adults attending the fair have an opportunity to contribute towards the continuation of the projects run in the building.

2. Why Are The Prices So High on the Stalls?

To be fair they aren’t unless you’re comparing with High Street stores like Primark. However, walk into a shop selling  “Exclusive” or “Designer”  items and you would willingly pay in excess of £30 for a cushion…….. But at a craft market  people quibble about paying £10 for a unique, one off design, often never repeated. Unlike your “designer” cushion its not mass produced – so you know you will probably have the only one like it in the whole world! Also instead of being made in a factory, the designer will patiently make it to high standards and price it to sell. We have stall holders with items starting at 50p and others who are more expensive.


Remember crafters cannot charge for their time, because you would never be able to afford it –

For example making the  minHewlett-Packardature star bag charm pictured involves:

4 -5 hours of knitting on very fine needles

1 hour to sew up, stuff and embellish

but the most I can charge and hope to sell it for is £2 – £3.

So in effect by the time I deduct say £.1oo for materials, I earn approximately 33p an hour!

So please don’t think crafters are ever trying to make their creations too expensive – we’re not 🙂