Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Pattern Love...

Just wanted to share a pattern I recently found through Ravelry, I had bought a skein of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in a gorgeous purple grape shade and wanted a quick and easy knit to warm up my hands.

I found the Camp Out Fingerless Mitts, which is a free pattern available and modified it slightly to add a short thumb to the pattern (I provisionally cast on 5 stitches and knit for 7 ridges before joining to the  cast on edge using 3 needle bind off - then picked up the 9 stitches for the thumb rather than casting them on). I have small hands so also knit a few less ridges for the hand and picked up less stitches across the palm too, last mod was to knit a couple of rows of garter at the wrist to prevent curling.

Took an afternoon to do both so a great last minute gift knit if you're looking for one!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Stir Up (a day later)

Traditionally the last Sunday before Advent is known as Stir Up Sunday when Christmas puddings and cakes are baked. It's based on 'The Collect' from the Common Book of Prayer:

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that they bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by you be richly rewarded: through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

Whilst I don't personally follow the religious aspect I do appreciate the tradition involved and have long attempted to have all my cakes for Christmas made before the end of November (mainly to give them all feeding time). It's one of the first signs for me that it's just around the corner and really heralds in the festivities with the wafting scents of baked fruits and spices.

This year I've not baked the multitude of large cakes of old but have exceeded my total number of cakes made by at least 20. I chose to make a 7" cake for home and used the rest of the mixture to make 30 cupcakes. I lightened up my mixture quite a bit to help reduce the cooking time as didn't want them to dry out being much smaller and kept the decoration simple but cute. They're bound to be a hit with those who aren't keen on the icing and marzipan this year as there's much less to contend with.

I love the season and what it stands for and am enjoying the calm of baking before it all gets very busy and exciting. This is the first and only year my Son will perform in the School Nativity production and we have parties, festive lunches, catch ups with friends and family galore to come.

I hope you are all feeling calm and collected and ready to face the joy of Christmas time, with all it's rich rewards.

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Another speedy knitted project finished and modelled by my gorgeous little sister who can be found over at Cartwheels and Bubbles.

A looser fitting beanie with simple button detailling that could easily be a brooch, flower, feather or other adornment instead. The written pattern shows an average adult sizing.

In case you're wondering the yarn used is the lovely King Cole Riot DK and I chose the colourway as it reminded me of the fireworks from this years bonfire night. It's great value to make and will easily get two hats from one skein.

The pattern is available to purchase and download in PDF form through Ravelry and is directly linked through the Patterns tab above as well. You don't need to be a Ravelry member but will need a PayPal account - this pattern is available for just £2.

Thanks Sisterro for modelling for me x

Thursday, 15 November 2012

medren hat

A new design just in time for last minute gifts, it's a quick knit and available in 3 sizes, Adult/Teen, Pre-teen, Toddler/Baby. Also included is a recipe to tailor the circumference more specifically too.

I suggest using King Cole Merino Blend Aran for a snuggly knit as the range comes in jewel brights and muted shades too.

This pattern is available now from the page tab above, it's sold through Ravelry.com, you won't need an account with them but you will need PayPal to purchase. It's on sale for £2.00 now here.
Thank you x

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Man Knitting

A number of years ago now I made my first pair of socks (below) destined to go to my sister as a gift, they were a bit baggy but I was proud with my first attempt. As it turned out she found them great for slouching down and wearing at home as a slipper sock, and so did her boyfriend.

Sadly 3 years later and they've been darned a number of times - he requested a new pair of super sliding socks (apparently they're also great for whizzing along laminate in)!

I did a bit more research for mens footwear accessories specifically and came across Nola's Slippers on Ravelry and through Christmas at Sea pages below - wow what a quick knit, I altered the pattern to be knitted seamlessly in the round and finished off with a Kitchener Stitch along the length of the sole so they didn't irritate the wearer. I used King Cole Big Value DK held double and 6mm needles to get the tension needed. My finished ones are at the top of this post.

The Christmas at Sea website has more really lovely patterns that look well written and are for a good cause if you like to knit or crochet for others x

I have it on good authority that these are great for sliding in too!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Halloween round-up

Grave Worm Cupcakes (ok Lemon sponge, Coconut icing and Fondant 'worms', 39 were made and iced by myself and littlest man to give to family and neighbours)
 My attempt at scary pumpkin carving - there were two smaller friendlier ones that the boys chose as well...
 We went trick or treating in our cul-de-sac as a Skeleton and a Giraffe (pronounced Jarf and it was that or a Racula but the D racula had a cape that was "too scary")

Monday, 15 October 2012

Cardiff Half

A brief diversion from the crafty world to an event that has taken up lots of my time recently. On Sunday October 14th 2012 I took part in the 10th Anniversary Cardiff Half Marathon, along with 13,000+ others.
It took me 2hrs 24 minutes to get around, largely due to my support crew (DH) geeing me up at the start, 7th mile marker and spotting me at the finish too, so proud of my time as it beats anything I'd done in training hands down!
In order for you:
Waiting for the starting gun to be fired, in amongst the melee...

At the 7 Mile Marker (incidentally my fastest section)...
On the train home after I'd got my breathing back to normal, so overwhelmed on the finish line had to have a word with myself and calm down!...
Thanks to all the 30,000 ish supporters, the organisers and the other runners who made this an unforgettable event (especially with the aches lasting days afterwards)!

Saturday, 6 October 2012


I'm going back to a pattern I designed for a swap - I love what I did but fancy it could be great in a different way too.

The above is a close up of the rib detail on my Harlyn Cowl (clearly it's all about the Cowl at the moment) it's not the ribbing but the length of the knit - originally I designed it to be long and snug so you could wear it really wrapped up or more loosely as you felt like it.

Suppose that's what I'm really enjoying about doing my own thing is that I can change it and deliberate over the pros and cons to my hearts desire. I do alter other peoples patterns as I make them but feel tentative about what I'm trying to achieve by doing so.

Hope to share the outcome with you soon.

Almost forgot to mention that I think the Arwe shawl will have a hat to go with it. In principle anyway as the idea is definitely in my head, just working on the maths of the pattern and the decreases!!

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Exciting things happening at the moment, my second pattern available to purchase has been released today.

Trevone is a DK weight cosy cowl pattern that makes use of the self striping nature of the contrast yarn to fleck the cowl with textured drops of colour. Sadly the variegated yarn I used never had a label as came from my lovely Gran but I have found lots of alternatives in the Sirdar Crofter range. You will only need one skein of both the main and contrast colours.

For those familiar with Cornwall and the beautiful coastline there - I've named the pattern after Trevone Bay as it reminds me of the way the sea sparkled during a family holiday where true to form we got absolutely soaked in a sudden downpour, the sun shone through within moments and added tiny prisms of colour to everything we could see.

You can download the pattern through my Ravelry store here and I will be updating my pattern page today as well.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Arwe Shawl

A new pattern I've been working on... introducing Arwe (Old English for Arrow), named for the distinctive arrowhead lace stitch on the border of this long and narrow shawl. Knit from less than one skein of Stylecraft Life 4ply, it is a swift and soft knit. Perfect for wrapping up on cool autumn evenings or crisp bright mornings.

The pattern is linked to from the tab at the top of this page and also here made available for purchase through Ravelry (you don't need to be a member to buy but will need a PayPal account), as a special treat I will offer at half price for the month of October 2012 just £2.00 instead of the usual £4.00 x

Sunday, 23 September 2012


A fairly dreaded word in the workplace but outside of that... a welcome rest or opportunity to revitalise yourself.

I've been tinkering with the site for a few weeks now as you may well have spotted and have been updating my free patterns, all of which now have a dedicated page here, just click the Designs link at the top of this page.

For the eagle eyed, my site has now got it's own domain name too - no need to change any following settings as the old name still applies.

Welcome to my old blog with it's new name, look and direction...


I'm starting on a new work related path and will share more as it happens - I'm very excited though!

Friday, 21 September 2012


I think I know what these few rows will be, I'm a little concerned that the variegated yarn is too pale to stand out against the grey but may well give this a test knit as is.

I'm working on lots of things at the minute and I haven't tended to swatch very often until now - preferring instead to test knit the item first and work the issues out afterwards when I can see the whole effect.

I scribble my ideas in a notebook or whatever comes to hand and work from there most of the time. Designing knits fills a lot of my mind and you can imagine the notebooks and scraps fill up pretty quickly - I've learned some lessons along the way, stapling the ball band to my notes for a start. I keep coming across ideas from a while ago and have no idea what yarn I used or what yardage it was, that's fairly useless when it comes to sharing with people, ah well we live and learn!

What's involved in your creative process?

Thursday, 20 September 2012


Progress is happening albeit very slowly, cooler days remind me to pull out my hand knits ready for a quick freshen up and a home in my wardrobe for the next 6 months. When, like so many things I will be glad to put them away again safe (fingers crossed) from moths and dust for the next chill winds to remind me to bring them back out of hibernation.

One such item, is my new favourite cardi, my Ruby Red, I knit it in Rowan CashSoft 4ply in a gorgeous sage green and in respect of the pattern name added some red buttons. This was my first 4ply full size garment and I have to say I'm thrilled with how it turned out, the pattern was well written and taught me lots along the way. The knit overall is light but cosy and a great layer.

I didn't make any alterations to the pattern (which is odd for me!).

Sunday, 9 September 2012

And the winner is...

Comment number 3, as left by The Pea Pod. I'm replying to your comment now so look out for my e-mail.

Thank you all for taking the time to leave me a comment. And, my apologies that it's taken me so long to post the winner. A lot going on that I'll fill you in on very soon x

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Giveaway 1 week left to enter...

Just a reminder that if you'd like to enter my giveaway to leave a comment on the previous post.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

365 days giveaway...

Not strictly true as some days I have blogged more than once, however it seemed like a good point to offer blogland something in return for the joy it gives me to share my life, makes and random ramblings... and to read your inspirational stories and tutorials in return, thank you all x

A giveaway to celebrate 365 posts in just under 4 years of blogging - I'll put together a surprise for the winner. Please read below for entry instructions...

If you'd like to join in my giveaway, please leave a comment on this post by 1st September 2012, you don't have to be a follower or a blogger but may help if I need to contact you - blogger being notorious for not being able to reply to posts. You're entering for the chance to receive a surprise of my choosing.
Sadly, due to postage costs I will not be sending outside of the UK - however, if you have someone who could receive the parcel for you in the UK please feel free to enter.
Let me know if you've re-blogged the giveaway or added a button to your blog and I'll add on another entry for each.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Jar full swap...

A post to show you how lucky I was to be paired with Jille from love to craft. We overcame some technical issues to get the swap on it's way and I set to making and collecting as did Jille. I was so excited when I got home today and saw the parcel that had arrived, take a look at the thoughtful and generous gifts that literally sprang from the jar as I unscrewed the lid...
Inside the gingham bag was some super arts and crafts bits for the boys to use - we can already see some bugs in the bag using the pipe-cleaners!

I received:
CK Mirror
CK soap
Buttons, ribbons and brads
Loose leaf tea and a cage to brew it (can't for the life of me think of the actual word for it!)
Crochet Hooks
Cupcake Cases
Gorgeous beads in my favourite colour!
Alphabet Stamps
Wax Melt
Shower Gel
2 balls of Sirdar Fizz
Set of cosmetic brushes
Scented Heart

and this beautiful beaded necklet...
Thank you Jille for being a lovely swap partner, I hope your Jar gets to you in one piece and thank you Katie for organising xxx

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Treat for small feet...

A little pair of pop-ons for my friends new baby girl. No pattern as such followed, kind of made it up as I went along - lots similar available on Ravelry if you'd like to find one x

Friday, 20 July 2012


A tutorial I found through Ravelry and content on blog is here. I added an extra round as my box seemed a bit taller. Lovely, finished within a couple of hours and whilst doing other jobs too.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

How many loaves...

did I have to bake before I got one that rose perfectly, had a nice crust - didn't taste 'odd' and could be sliced without a chainsaw or completely falling apart.

Too many to count, but finally it's done - thank you world wide web for all your advice, step by step photos and lordy knows how many different recipes for the humble loaf.

All my efforts were made in my Bampa's Hovis Tin - to this day it's never had more than a quick wipe around and still all the loaves it's made have slipped out with the smallest of crumbs in the corners left behind... Best of British manufacture I say!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Winding me up...

I've been bidding on a vintage bit of knitting kit for a month now and keep losing out, firstly I forgot to increase my bid before the auction ended and then I didn't bid enough trying to get it for less and then someone frankly paid a ludicrous amount to get one and I lost again! I printed out a picture of the kit and asked my very handy Dad if he thought he could invent something that would do what it did without having all the necessary moulded parts etc. As it turns out - he said he wouldn't as his mum, my gran (incidentally the lady responsible for my knitting habit), had bought something many years ago to do the same job and he was sure she still had it....

My Gran has now very kindly given me the piece of kit as she no longer needs it - I wonder if any of you knitters out there would like to guess what it's for?

Will post a picture of it in action to reveal all later in the week!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

New baby...

of sorts, hope I didn't get you all thinking with that title ooo errr!

I've had this as a WIP since forever, not a hard knit just other things kept coming up and I used DPN's to do it which are my least favourite knitting tools. It's the felted waldorf doll pattern and it's a great pattern, detailed and correct (from Ravelry here). If I were ever to do it again - I'd decrease down from the knees to make a more realistic leg/foot size and also give the arms an extra few rows in length. Since I'll be knitting it's clothes though I can adapt as I go along to make them fit the doll. The pattern I used was for a 15" doll and called for fingering weight yarn I had aran weight feltable wool and so used 5mm needles to get a bigger overall doll. I'm really pleased with it's size and shape.

Introducing Billy / Billie - depending in what mood my sons are in they have a non-defined boy/girl doll to play with. So far Billy has been put to bed and told to stay there all night by my youngest (funny that he remembers being told this when addressing his baby but can't actually do it himself!).
I had to set to and make him a pair of pants pretty quickly after my eldest asked me why he was still naked when 'we all had to get dressed this morning mummy?'. They're a bit on the large side to accommodate the feet I mentioned above but easy enough for small hands to practice with.

I completed the knitting yesterday afternoon and then popped it in the wash to felt it down. Then; whilst still wet, set to with a large knitting needle and lots of stuffing 'borrowed' from a cushion. It had to be filled wet so the felt could dry into it's new shape and as I pulled it from the machine I realised I had no toy stuffing left in my supplies argh. Billy went from 24" tall knitted to 19" felted and my sons coming home from hospital outfit fit him perfectly which was a newborn size - should be easy enough to dress the rest of him now.

The pattern came with instructions to make hair too, I'm not sure if I will add the hair or not so that it can be a boy or girl depending on what the boys want it to be to suit their play at the time. In fact, the hair is a crochet cap so I could make it a bit like a hat/wig I suppose. What do you think, confusing to the boys or helping them to be creative?? (over-thinking it I guess really)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


I think I've got a thing for taking pictures of the sunset against the clouds - not sure why but couldn't help myself last night! Shepherds Delight YAY!

Monday, 9 July 2012


As they will be known for ever more! I L O V E the way children mix up words and even create their own. H wore them for half the trip and after that moved on to taking his camera out of his backpack instead, haven't checked out his shots yet, could be some greats in there.

We spent a day with Nanny & Grandad at the Cotswold Wildlife Park, a familiar haunt for me and boys as we tend to take a trip once a year but N&G hadn't been since the last time they took me, my Sister and Brother many many years ago.

The rain held off all day (yes you read that right) and we had a super time, two very tired pickles this evening so hoping for a lie in tomorrow morning - I'm not kidding myself, I know that for us that's not how it works...

A few photos of the day for you...

A Meerkat Maul?? Such cuties until they revealed their nashers
The boys asked the Peacock to 'turnaround for the camera please' and amazingly it did - quite a few times and then it shook and the boys just had to stand and shake too - a real giggle moment
The park invested in a great viewing platform for the giraffes in recent years - you can get so close to them and all buggy friendly too.
There was a lot of jumping out from hiding places as we walked around - much fun had by all
New life everywhere around the park, more than we've ever been lucky enough to see before
Amongst the captive wildlife there was some actual wildlife, this mummy duck flew over our heads and landed in the flooded ditch pools formed around the rhino enclosure, eagle eyed Grandad spotted the ducklings and of course I had to attempt a photo!
Have you ever seen a Lion awake at one of these sorts of places??? We also, saw the very elusive Leopards prowling their cage - amazing!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Craft Cookie...

I've been on the lookout for an online free resource for knitting stitches and have come across Craft Cookie, if you're into making your own things and want to find new stitches to use, they have loads sorted by style and all with a chart as well as written instructions on how to do it too.

What more can you ask for? Obviously not all stitches are there but it's another great place to look - where do you go to for inspiration??

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Garden Visitor...

Look who was enjoying the brief moment of sunlight this morning on my shed roof! Don't normally see more than sparrows and starlings so a real treat... I think it's a green finch??

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Why is there soooo much maths in knitting...

I've got an idea I'd like to try for a lacy edge to a shawl - sadly it's involving way more maths than I'm used to! I think even excel is about to explode with the number of formulas I'm using to work out the perfect stitch count and row number to get the lace repeat working correctly.

Anyhoo, a FO that used some of that maths to get the basic shape right has just been bound off, blocked and photographed to prove I really am making things at the moment.

A small shawl to wear in the style of a kerchief. I'm not happy with the size entirely or the colours for that matter but as a test knit it's fine. Watch this space for it's big sister shawl, which is still on paper but very soon to hit the needles!!!

Monday, 2 July 2012


Cheltenham Race For Life 10k...

A great day for a run around the race course and surrounding parklands - lots of lovely people working together to support the process of finding cures for all types of Cancer.

I smashed my goal of 1.20 and got round in 1 hour and 4 minutes, the local rag caught me at the finish line looking a little worse for wear! I think my photo above is a little better as I'd drank a bottle of water and had an ice lolly by then!!!!

Guess what - I've already signed up for next year too!