Crochet your own cute cactus with this Norfolk-made kit

Crocheted cacti

Crafter Sarah Ellis' crocheted cacti have been bringing joy during the lockdowns. - Credit: Sarah Ellis

During the coronavirus lockdowns, many of us have taken up, or rediscovered, crafts as a way of distracting ourselves from the endless news cycle and banishing boredom. 

Whether it’s knitting, embroidery, pottery or painting by numbers, taking time out to immerse yourself in a creative hobby can be hugely beneficial to our mental health. 

And crochet is one of the crafts that has got lots people hooked – including diver Tom Daley, who has been wowing his followers on social media with his colourful woolly creations. 

Sarah Ellis, from Wymondham, took up crochet around seven years ago. She has a condition called Meniere's Disease which causes dizziness and she learned to crochet as a way of keeping herself busy. 

Crocheted cactus characters in terracotta pots holding hearts

Sarah crochets characters for special occasions, including Valentine's Day and Halloween - Credit: Sarah Ellis

And now she's sharing her love of crochet with her first make at home keyring kit. 

Inspired by the Japanese art of amigurumi, creating cute crocheted or knitted characters, Sarah began crocheting cacti, initially to distract her young son from playing with a real cactus, which proved a bit of a prickly problem. 

“Children and cacti don’t go together very well, so I decided to crochet a cactus,” says Sarah, 44.

A picture of Sarah Ellis, who creates crocheted cactus characters

Sarah Ellis is chief horticultural yarnologist at My Cactus Adventure - Credit: Sarah Ellis

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From there she added eyes and started creating cactus characters, which proved a hit. She now sells them through her own website, My Cactus Adventure, and through Etsy. 

They have been especially popular during lockdown, with people either buying them for themselves or sending them to friends to cheer them up, and Sarah describes it as “spreading joy and happiness one cactus at a time”. 

Plus, if you love plants, but don’t have green fingers, they’re exceedingly low maintenance. 

Crocheted cactus characters in terracotta pots

Some crochet cactus characters created by Sarah Ellis - Credit: Sarah Ellis

“Now it’s not just a job, it’s making a difference to people’s lives, which I never thought it would,” says Sarah. 

She creates other items featuring crocheted characters, including Halloween pumpkins, sunflowers, Monstera plants, unicorn wall plaques, elephant plant hangers and greetings cards.

A drawing of a crocheted sunflower

Sarah Ellis also makes greetings cards based on her crocheted characters - Credit: Sarah Ellis

Alongside her own crafting, she also enjoys knitting. Sarah teaches crochet - or yarn wrangling as she calls it - which hasn’t been possible during lockdown. So, she has just launched her first make at home crochet cactus kit, a keyring, which is suitable for all skill levels, including beginners. 

A cactus crochet kit

Sarah Ellis is launching cactus crochet kits, so you can make your own cute keyring - Credit: Sarah Ellis

“Pre-Covid I used to teach face to face classes and small group classes of six to eight people and obviously I couldn’t do that in lockdown,” says Sarah. 

“I came up with the idea of doing keyring kits. They come with full instructions and I’ve also done a video to show you how to do the magic circle stitch and all the things you need to make that particular item in the kit.”  

And Sarah hopes that other people will become hooked on crochet too. 

“It’s very therapeutic, it’s like a meditation in a way,” she says.