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Preview: I dream of the sea

I dream of the sea

Searching my heart for its true sorrow, This is the thing I find to be: That I am weary of words and people, Sick of the city, wanting the sea; Edna St. Vincent Millay

Updated: 2017-09-08T00:56:55.333+01:00


A place for everything...


...and everything in it's place. It's the time of year for resolutions, for recognising flaws and for raising the bar. I am so desperate to make changes in my life. I need to be more organised and more tidy. Since Merry Berry and the Little Panda opened, I have been feeling increasingly like one of those plate spinners who used to appear on Record Breakers. They would set hundreds of plates spinning on top of sticks and then dash round madly trying to ensure that none of the plates stopped spinning and fell to the floor. I love my shop but I really need to become more organised at balancing running the business and running my home. I seem to have so many opportunities opening up but I can't take advantage of them until I'm sure that they won't compromise my number one priority, which is taking care of my children and my home. So I am determined to get myself more organised and get more accomplished each day.Wellie Rack (£19.50) from The pine Studio With two small children it sometimes feels like the cleaning, washing and cooking never ends but I am hoping that improving our routine will help. In this search for the secret of domestic harmony, I came across the Organised Housewife blog and I think I'm in love. It is a beautiful blog full of inspirational photos and quotes and full of actualy useful tips and techniques to get your house organised and keep on top of the chores and clutter. I bought the cleaning checklist from the online store and I love it. It tells you what tasks to do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually - perfect for a procrastinator like me. I probably spent more time trying to decide what to clean first than I did actually cleaning. The checklist prints out beautifully (in a choice of colours) and I have put acetates in front of mine in my file so that I can just mark off my tasks with a whiteboard pen and then wipe clean as needed rather than print more checklists off. Storage Basket Tutorial (£2.50 charity donation) from Helen Rawlinson  The other steps in my plan to take over the world organise my life are: Learn to drive Cook faster (I was given a copy of Jamie's 15 Minute Meals and a food processor for Christmas). I'm also planning on trying the 5:2 diet (if you haven't heard of this yet, this blog has an explanation and some yummy recipes). Mind control - well not really but I've bought a hypnotherapy CD that is supposed to make me more organised and tidy. I'll keep you posted on whether it works or not. Currently I'm doubtful as I am rarely able to stay awake much after the warning not to use while operating heavy machinery - as soon as they say 'relax' I'm gone! A more focused business plan for 2013. I'd love to hear about your New Year's resolutions and any resources you've found to help you accomplish them. The images from this post are all items available to buy from Folksy - just click on the image to see the item in the Folksy store. Carrier Bag Holder (£5.99) from Cush-n-Craft Hair Clip Holder from Merry Berry and the Little Panda  Posted with Blogsy[...]

Bunny Hop


The children have been ill this week. Not very ill but enough to mean too much time spent indoors, too many tantrums and too little sleep.  The result of this has been a complete loss of bounce from all members of the family.  It really has been difficult to identify even the smallest of springs in our steps.  Maybe that is why I’ve been sewing rabbits - little, pointless, whimsical bunnies from scraps of felt and linen.  They are filled with lavender and the little brown one has a secret little message stitched on his bottom.

By the way, the copy of Anne of Green Gables in the top photo is actually a beautifully made notebook from the Folksy shop Dab and a Dash.  I couldn’t resist buying the journal when I saw it on Folksy as Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite books of all time.  I was completely obsessed with it when I was a child.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before...

I have to show you my other little Folksy purchase too, this adorable little fox from the lovely Natalie at NOfkants Curios (if you ever need a gift this is the place to go to Natalie has an amazing range of items).
I’m going to go over and have a look at the other HandmadeMonday blogs now.  So I’ll leave you with a picture of a business card holder I made using one of my Dorset buttons.

Dorset Buttons


I've not had much time for doing any new designs recently as I've been busy with orders and my time management skills are practically non-existent (hence the fact I've just eaten my evening meal and it's eleven o'clock in the evening) but I've found a lovely little bit of crafting that is quick and easy to do when I need a break from making stock for my shop. Dorset Buttons! You can read all about the history of the buttons and find instructions on how to make them on this website (I didn't actually use these instructions but they look very clear).

A Google image search for Dorset buttons results in an amazing selection of styles and colours- I especially like the beaded ones in this blog post. When I was at little I remember making lots of the ones that have tiny bouquets of flowers in the middle (like these ones) and it was finding one of these buttons when I was visiting my parents recently that started me making them again.  Why not have a go - they are very addictive though...

Right, now I'm going to go and look at all the other Handmade Monday blogs.  Why not pop over and take a look too?

I'll leave you with a photo of one of the hair clips I've listed recently in my shop.  

My first Handmade Monday


This is my first ‘Handmade Monday’ blog post. For anyone who hasn't heard of it, Handmade Monday is run by Wendy at 1st Unique Gifts and is basically a link party – everyone writes a post about something they have made and then they share their links on Wendy’s blog. It’s another way of creating a community in the blog world and I'm looking forward to reading the blogs of the others who join in each week.This week I’ve got two gadget cases to show. A Union Jack one for an iphone and a more girly one for a Kindle. I’m hoping that the Union Jack design is a more masculine design than my usual ones. I find it much easier designing things for women and children and my sketchbooks are full of pictures for future product ideas but when it comes to men I seem to have a mental block. I’d love to know what sort of designs you think appeal to men! As well as fitting in a bit of sewing we’ve also been doing some cooking. I love cooking – I’m not an expert and I don’t really cook anything too complicated but I enjoy it and for the most part I make sure my children are eating home cooked food. Unfortunately, recently my children seem to be going through a fussy stage. It’s so disheartening. I hate going to the effort of cooking and then scraping piles of food into the bin. So I’ve decided to try and get the children more involved in the cooking process and hopefully get them more interested in the food! I was wandering round Lakeland (something I try to resist doing too often as it has a detrimental effect on both my bank balance and my cupboard space) when I came across sale copy of the book which accompanies the Children’s series ‘I Can Cook’. I’m not usually a fan of children’s cooking programmes as mostly they just involve arranging the food in some complex way to look like something (a car, train, teddy bear) but actually just make it look totally unappetising and impossible to eat. This book, however, seems to have quite nice simple recipes, with healthy ingredients, and child friendly instructions.  We made the sausage kebabs (swapping the yucky precooked cocktail sausages for proper ones!) and they were actually really tasty. The idea of using rosemary stalks as the skewer was brilliant and I’m planning on using it with vegetable kebabs as an accompaniment next time I have people round for a meal! [...]

Folksy Friday - Make and Sell Blog Ring


This week I set up a new blog ring.  I've returned to blogging after a very long break and things have changed quite a bit.  There are lots of ways of finding and following blogs but it seems harder to find the sort of blog communities that seemed to be around when I first blogged.  I often come across a lovely blog only to forget where it was and how I came across it.  So I'm hoping the blog ring will make it easier to find blogs that all share similar theme and become a regular reader of those blogs.  The ring is open to anyone who makes and sells handmade items.

We've already got quite a few blogs signed up but obviously the more we get the more fun it will be so please join!  Click here to find out all about it.

Anyway, to celebrate the new blog ring I've chosen items from some of the shops who have activate blogs in the ring for my Folksy Friday.  Click on the images to be taken to the item in their Folksy shops.  There are quite a few blogs in the ring now so I'll do another showcase tomorrow so that everyone is included!

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Clockwise from the top left Hannelore's Atelier - Helen Limbrick - Say It - Handmade by Edwina - Slowlane Made - Jaysmonkey

Hoppy Easter - Free Felt Pattern


I'm working on a range of reusable cupcake toppers at the moment and I thought these little rabbits would be perfect for Easter.  I've also uploaded instructions and templates so that you can have a go at making some for yourself.  I know it's a bit late for Easter but surely rabbits as cute as these would be perfect for birthdays too?

Click the following links to download the PDFs.

This is my own original design.  Please only make these for personal use - not for selling (unless you are selling for charity, in which contact me first).  Thank you!

Happy Easter!

Folksy Friday - Fish


We're all on holiday at the moment. Pretty much every holiday we've had since the Little Panda and Merry Berry were born has been at my parents house in Devon. I'm so lucky that my lovely parents let us descend on them with mountains of luggage, two noisy children and still offer to baby sit in the evenings.  Today was a perfect day. The sun shone, my husband (Monkey if there is anyone reading from my old blogging days!) finally managed to get off work and join us on holiday, and we went for a ride on a miniature railway (I think I might have mentioned before that a holiday isn't a holiday without a ride on a miniature train - choo choo)! Anyway, as we've been having so much fun I'm a bit late putting my Folksy Friday up. This week I've chosen 'fish' as the theme as it's Good Friday and we've been eating a lot of it! Here are some gorgeous Fishy Folksy Finds...Articulating fish by Jeff Soan Fish Coin Purse by Handmade by Edwina Handmade Notebook by Dab and a Dash Handmade Pewter Keyring by The Owl and the Pussycat Lavender Fish by Kirsty Elson Designs Big Blue Sock Fish by Welsh Egg Designs [...]

Warm Weather


It has been another beautiful day here.  Merry Berry and the Little Panda still feel the chill of winter in their memories and so every perfect blue sky is greeted with surprise and happiness.  What could be better than being able to open your door onto a garden and let your children tumble out into the sunshine to find an adventure?People who don’t knit to the extent of yarn-dreams (don’t pretend you haven’t had one) often think that warm weather might mean abandoning your needles or hook – who wears woollies in the Summer? But we all know that, not only are there a million and one summer things to knit and some lovely light yarns to knit them in, but also that it is never too early to start knitting the garments that will keep our loved ones warm next Winter (you can’t accuse me of being a grasshopper)!  So I’ve decide to do a Folksy Friday showcase of yarn related items, to celebrate the sunshine and coming back to this blog.Bring Me Sunshine - Sport weight merino yarn by Abstract Cat CraftsHandknit lightweight teal blue baby merino triangular garter stitch scarf by CreativeTherapy3 to 6 month Crochet owl baby hat by Eccentric EllaBright Pink Crocheted Baby Ankle Boots by NOfkants CuriosBeaded Glass Covers by Uniquely Yours[...]

Hold my hand


(image) I've been thinking about motherhood a lot recently. Revisiting my old blog and striving to establish this new one has highlighted to me the changes that my children have made to my life.

Becoming a mother is like suddenly becoming a secondary character in the novel of your life. Surprisingly though, this actually makes it a much more fascinating read (well maybe not for the long-suffering friends who now get to hear every 'amusing' anecdote). Your days, your thoughts, your conversations all orbit the tiny people who have suddenly become your world.

Lately though I've felt a need to try to get back a little of what I was before, and finding time to sew, knit and write are, I suppose, my way of reclaiming a little of the limelight from Merry Berry and the Little Panda. However, even the way I write and create has changed now, my children unconsciously alter my mood, aspirations and my inspirations. I once read an interview with Michelle Obama, in which she was asked how happy she was. I forget the exact quote, but it was along the lines of 'a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child'. That says it all really. From the moment you give birth the highs and lows of your life become anchored to those of your children. It is a petrifying thought and an equally petrifying reality.

(image) We are fortunate that we seem to have a lot more highs than lows at the moment. One of my personal highs is that I've made three sales and one swap from my Folksy shop! I've been trying really hard throughout June to list an item every day. Today I listed this cupcake apron as modeled reluctantly by the Little Panda (he only modeled it on the understanding that I would make him one featuring a space rocket). I also listed these sweet little nappy covers, Merry Berry has been doing her best to ruin the set I made her, by sliding into muddy puddles and covering them in Ribena but they are still going


Elephants, I like Elephants...



Are these the sweetest sandals in the world? Or are they just the sweetest feet? I couldn't resist buying these because of the elephants. I like elephants, I'm a secret elephant collector. If you look round my house it won't be long before you notice rather a lot of our large nosed friends sitting on shelves and generally making the place look pretty.

Why a secret elephant collector? Well, let's be honest, we all know what happens when you let it slip that you have a certain admiration for a particular member of the animal kingdom. Christmas comes and there's yet another novelty teapot under the tree. Ok, novelty teapots are a bad example, because to be honest I've got a weakness for those too but I'm sure you get the point.


My Mum's a teacher and it's even worse for them, let the class know you love sheep* and every plastic ovine product in the town will be on your desk on the last day of term. Although it does make it easier for the giver. Imagine their satisfaction when they spot that sheep toilet roll cover and realise they bagged the perfect gift.

Here are a couple of elephant items from my Folksy shop (just in case you know anyone who like elephants)!

[caption id="attachment_85" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Come and see my elephants"](image)

By the way the title for this post comes from this great children's song on YouTube

*animals have been changed to protect my Mum's end of term chocolate gifts. Resist the sheep teapot.



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To celebrate my new blog and my first ever Folksy Friday, I've decided to feature panda products!  All of these gorgeous handmade items can be found for sale on the Folksy website, just click on the images above.  What is it about the Panda with the moustache that makes him so cute?  Here is my Panda also with a moustache.


My own little panda is feeling a bit sorry for himself today after a crash on his scooter (better known as the yellow sky-rocket).  Trust it to happen on the only occasion I hadn't taken my huge bag with me (the one that contains the kitchen sink amongst other things).  I had to staunch the buckets of blood pouring from his mouth with my lovely blue cardie.  Fortunately, the Little Panda felt much better after a pack of chocolate buttons provided by my much more organised friend and a few hugs (provided by me - I never forget those).



This week has been busy. I decided to have a big clean up and not a single grubby finger print or dusty corner in the house escaped (although can I just say don’t open the cupboard under the stairs). I needed a quick make to bring some necessary craftiness to my poor hum drum life (serious violin playing here folks).My parents-in-law had recently given me two old wooden frames (I think they were hand carved) and I've been debating what to do with them for a while. Finally I decided to turn them into two very sweet mini notice boards, which I have hung over my sewing table. If I'm feeling a little pretentious in future I may refer to them as my mood boards (don’t hold your breath).I'll go through making the notice boards step-by-step just in case anyone else fancies making one.Supplies Two cork tilesdrawing pinswadding (batting)A piece of fabric about 4cm longer and 4 cm wider than the frame's apertureSmall nailsTools Stanley knifeScissorshammerUsing the Stanley knife cut the cork tiles to fit snugly into the back of the frame.Cut the wadding to the same size.Stretch the fabric over the wadding and the cork tiles (make sure the untreated side of the cork tiles is facing towards the wadding and the fabric). Pin in place using the drawing pins. It’s best to place one pin and then do the pin opposite to ensure that the fabric is stretched evenly. Make sure that the pins go through both cork tiles to hold them together.Fit into the frame. If you’re lucky your frame may already have fittings to hold the back in place. If it doesn’t just use some small nails to hold it in. Knock the nails into the fame so that they are about half in half out (see diagram). Knock in at least one nail on each side (the exact number you need to put in to ensure that the notice board is strong enough will depend on the size of the frame.You could also put some ribbons across the board to hold postcards etc, but the prints on the fabric I used were quite busy and didn’t need any extra detail.I finally got my Folksy shop up too. I’d welcome any constructive criticism.I‘ll leave you with some photos of the hair clips that I’ve just added to my shop.[...]




I'm back. I just couldn't get used to Wordpress and the result was no blogging so here I am dreaming of the sea again. I'm bring across some of the posts from my Wordpress blog. This post will fill you in on my family now.

To start our adventures, here is a summary of key characters:

Me: (I just asked my husband how he would describe me and he said 'deranged zoo-keeper', I think I might have to write this myself). I previously worked in finance but for the last 3 years I've been a full-time Mum. I spend any spare moment I have making things (sewing, baking, knitting, drawing, turning cardboard boxes into the requested object of the latest pre-school whim - actually I spend most of my time on the cardboard box thing). On this blog I'll probably give you the impression I live in quiet tidy rooms with gentle music playing in the background. In reality I sometimes forget what colour the carpet really is under the toys and cbeebies theme tunes haunts me as I drift off to sleep.

The Little Panda - 3 years old and already a gentle giant. Clever and shy, he obsesses over maps, aeroplanes and under-sea creatures. He pretty much always wakes up singing.

Merry Berry - 18 months old. A determined, NOISY, child. Happy and energetic. Independent but loving. If only she would sleep.

Monkey - My wonderful husband. Captain of our small crew and ridiculously adored by the children. Clever, charming and infinitely patient (luckily).

Well, that's all of us. Let the adventures begin...

New blog


I just wanted to say that I have a new blog, which can be found here. I've loved this blog so much over the years but my neglect of it since I had my children has just meant that I've lost all the lovely people who read my posts and I feel too sad to try and bring it back to life. So I've decided on a fresh start. If there is anyone who still visits this site I'd love to hear from you on my new blog. I'll put my patterns over there but I'll also update them on here and try and maintain them better than I have done over the past three years.

Pretty little things


It’s strange how small accomplishments can often bring the greatest pleasure: a completed crossword, a neat pile of ironing, a tray of perfectly risen cakes. That’s why sometimes creating small but beautiful things rather than knitting an inch of your current major project is a good use of a precious hour. I’ve been on a bit of a jewellery-making binge recently (both knitted and non-knitted) and I’ve put some photos of a couple of the things I’ve made below.  I'll put more projects in my next post, but I thought I'd stick to a sea theme in this one.Blue wave -silver beaded cuff Seafoam and Pearls - knitted lace choker A simple seafoam stitch choker with pearls.  The buttons at the back are made with larger pearls and seed beads and the tiny button loops are just so sweet. [...]

Home help


The Bunkey loves to help around the house.  When I’m hanging the washing on the maidens to dry he follows behind me and carefully pulls it all off; he loves to come and peer into bowls of cake or scone mixes but as he also loves to try and get a sticky finger into the mixture, I’ve taken to giving him a big plastic bowl and wooden spoon so he can stir too.   Another task he enjoys is carefully sorting my embroidery threads (imagination will help you picture the kind of ‘sorting’ a 14 month old boy can do to a tin of brightly coloured cottons...)  But he does think he is helping and is so proud when I praise him for some particularly good ‘work’. Recently, I decided that it was about time that we made something together, so Alex helpfully obliged by making some lovely hand prints which we turned into the cushion pictured below.  I added a small amount of embroidery over the top just to give it a bit more texture.  2009 is going to be a year of make do and mend for me as it is the first year that I won’t be earning a wage. So the cushion is made out of an old tablecloth, the sofa it is sitting on has been recovered and then to salvage those covers recently re-dyed and the knitted cushion was made out of a ball of horrible old wool that has been hiding in my stash cupboard for a long time.  When the Monkey got home from work he thought I’d bought a new sofa![...]

I'm still here...


Apologies for the strange looking blog, gremlins seem to have taken up residence during my long vacation. This post is going to be mostly pictures, I’m afraid, just to bring the blog up to date. It has been a long time since I last updated here, despite composing many posts in my head. Alex has taken up so much of my life, sometimes it’s easy to forget to think about other things. But I am beginning to realise that for the sake of my sanity I should make an effort to do more. Being a stay- at-home mum will be such a wonderful job (if you use that word for something that is more fun than work) but, like any job, I don’t want it to be all that I am so I am trying to make an increased effort to be more than that (in the very small amount of spare time that I have).Anyway, here are some of the FOs which I haven’t previously posted about. They are on Ravelry with more photos (my user name is skendras).Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl (interweave knits)Yarn: Posh Yarn Eva – Orchid (I think)Needles: 3.5 mmThis was made for my Monkey’s Grandmother. I added tiny purple beads to the points of the edging.Pattern: Kerchief BibYarn: Rowan DenimNeedles: 4mmMade for my little monkey, to soak up the rivers of drool he produces when he is teething. Just made a few mods to allow for the thicker yarn and the fact that the denim shrinks. Plus I added a felt heart for some extra cuteness.Pattern: My own Bobbley bobble hatYarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and some left over Rowanspun Aran from my JunoNeedles: 4mmThis was made for my baby monkey, it looks totally ridiculous :-) He gets so many nice comments when he is wearing this hat!Pattern: Just made it up as I went alongYarn: Sirdar Baby BambooNeedles: 4mmThis was made for my baby Monkey. He loves to fiddle with the various textures. It’s quite a small blanket but I wanted to make it so that he could cuddle up to it. I’m currently knitting a Cardigan for Merry, Icarus, two lace stole and a baby blanket... hmm did I say I don’t have much spare time!Now a quick non-knitting update. Alex is almost a year now and is busy crawling and cruising the furniture. He has been through a (long) period when he wasn’t sleeping well at night and I have been feeling like a zombie but for the last 5 nights he has slept through and it’s making such a difference to both of us! I‘ve actually regained enough brain power to finish sentences and not put the milk in the dishwasher.So that kind of brings me up to date. I wonder whether any one is still out there! I’ll have to go and check out all your blogs to see what you have all been up to.[...]

'Snow in April'


(image) I know I said I would post more frequently and I’ve not. I’m sorry. We were burgled recently and my laptop was stolen. I know that it is just a ‘thing’ but to be honest, I’m feeling quite down about it.

It isn’t just the laptop (although it did have all the patterns I’ve downloaded over the years and my new design on it); it is the thought that someone got into my home so easily and looked through all my things. I hate the fact that they might have touched my baby’s toys. This is a bit silly and I shouldn’t let it bother me but it does. We are going to get a new lock fitted soon, so that will make me feel a bit happier I think.

(image) Everyday the blank spot on the coffee table where my laptop used to sit reminds me about the burglary. If I were to get close to explaining how I feel about it, I would say that mostly I feel foolish. It feels like ‘a slap in the face when you expected a kiss’ (by the way if you can tell me where this quote comes from and what the full version is I’ll be sooooo impressed). People are all so nice to you when you have had a baby and I guess I had got used to it! I was wondering around with my head in the clouds and a smile on my face and I really didn’t expect it.

Anyway, that is enough moaning about that. Let’s send it under the metaphorical bridge. I’ve been knit, knit, knitting away here. I can’t really show you as I am still planning on trying to get the pattern into one of the online magazines but I’m really pleased with it so far. By the way what are your views on beads in lace? I can’t decide whether to put some teardrop beads in the border of the design or not.

I’ve put some pictures of my finished scarf up. I was hoping to take some of me wearing it but somehow the only person who gets photographed these days is my beautiful Alex.

Serendipity Scarf* details

Yarn: Colinette Point 5 dusk - 3 skeins
Needles: 15mm Lantern moon (lovely, lovely, lovely)
Pattern: none really

(image) I wanted to really show off the colours in the yarn and a simple garter stitch just didn’t seem to do it. So I used a kind of slipped stitch rib, which, as well as meaning it didn’t curl, made beautiful bud like stitches that seemed to bloom out of the fabric.

CO 14 stitches
Row 1: (RS) K14
Row 2: P2, (slp wyf, P2) 4 times

Repeat these two rows until you almost run out of yarn, BO.

*I'll explain the name of the scarf in a future post!

More lace


This is my favourite drawer in my entire home. Look at all that lovely lace weight yarn. The problem is that I really need to knit this yarn up before I can allow myself to buy any more. Knitting lace is definitely more difficult since Alex was born but during my maternity leave I came up with a new design and the temptation to start it was so great that last week I cast on.
I'm making it in Jaggerspun Zephyr in a gorgeous shade called Ruby (it reminds me of the colour of the Grand Prix roses I had in my wedding bouquet). I'm probably being a little bit over ambitious but I was thinking that perhaps I might try and get the design into one of the online knitting magazines. I know that this is unlikely as there are so many people trying to do this and most of them have much better patterns than me but I thought I'd give it a go. However, this means I'm being extra picky about the knitting and the design. I keep changing my mind and having to undo about 10 rows or so at the time and mistakes that I might normally turn a blind eye on have to be corrected. Anyway, I thought I'd tell you about my knitting ambition for 2008. If nothing comes of it I'll put it as a free pattern on here and try again another time.

Time for tea...


(image) I'm going to have to write today's post pretty swiftly as Alex is beginning to stir and will soon be wanting his next feed. I think that I've got used to the way I live my life in 3 hour blocks around Alex's eating times now. It takes roughly an hour to do a complete feed and change his nappy, then about 30 minutes of play time, then he settles down for a sleep and I have an hour and a half to do housework, wash, eat etc. It took me a while to get used to this but now I've got it down to a fine art! I usually cook the evening meal at about lunch time and leave it on a low heat in the slow cooker for the rest of the day (this limits the options for meals but what's better than a tasty stew at this time of year?).

Alex usually has trouble settling down to sleep in the afternoons and I stay next to his bed to soothe him and cuddle him when he needs me. This has officially become my knitting time as I can sit near him keeping nice and quiet and just put my knitting down whenever he needs me. If he is really unsettled though we go for a nice long walk (and Mummy buys chocolate from any shop she happens to pass, which is almost as good as knitting). The title of the post comes from the fact that Alex has a tea sensor. He knows when I have a cup of tea and invariably wakes up. This means that by the end of the day there are usually at least 3 cups of cold tea sitting around the house. There is definitely no time for tea here!

(image) I didn't manage to get pictures of my finished project yet as my camera is out of batteries but I've put a picture of one of my other projects up. It's Buttercup from one of Kim Hargreaves collections. I'm enjoying it so far - I always like Kim Hargreaves' designs though. Everything is done with such style and care. I love the new book by Kim Hargreaves - I'm finding it hard to resist. Has anyone else bought it yet?

Anyway, I'll leave you with another photo of Alex. He has no trouble settling down to sleep like this - who would?

Easing myself in: comfort knitting


(image) I didn’t really understand how much work looking after a baby would be. I secretly laughed at comments from friends about having no time to myself when the baby came. ‘No time to myself? I’ll be off work for an entire year!’ I thought. How wrong I was. To give those of you who don’t have children a measure of how much work it is, I will now tell you that my baby was 8 weeks old before I managed to knit a single stitch. 8 weeks without knitting, how did I cope? Well to be honest I didn’t even notice and that’s not just because the lack of sleep meant I barely noticed that I hadn’t brushed my hair, ironed my clothes or eaten my lunch. It is because I was mesmerised, obsessed and totally in love with my beautiful son. A day could easily go by in which all I had done is fed, cleaned, cuddled and looked in adoration at my baby. Eventually, however, I have slowly begun to be able to change a nappy in less than 30 minutes (without him taking out 3 outfits – mine included) and I gained back a few hours every day while he slept and during which I didn’t need to do housework and I knew I could knit again.

(image) I’ve got a few projects on the go at the moment – something I hate. I’d much rather concentrate on one project at a time but the yarn keeps getting the better of me. But I needed something to ease myself back into knitting, a project which could be put down and picked up at the drop of a hat (or the wail of a baby) and luckily one just dropped into my lap (literally - I’ll fill you in on this in a later post). This project is very different to anything I’d normally knit but I love it. Big needles and bulky wool equal instant gratification.

I’ll post pictures of the finished item tomorrow. Yes tomorrow! To wean myself off spending any spare time staring at the baby monitor and waiting for a cry, I’m challenging myself to post every day until Easter… We’ll see if it works!

(image) Anyway, I’ll finish with a picture of my baby. Isn’t he perfect?

Thanks for all the good wishes you sent to my little family.

FO: My beautiful son


This year I haven't been very productive but I think you will all agree that I've finally surpassed myself in making something really beautiful. Alexander was born on 27th November. Sorry for taking so long to post about this but Monkey, Bunkey and I have been spending some lovely days (and nights!) getting to know each other.

(image) Thank you for all your messages over the last few months. I am hoping that eventually I will be back to blogging more frequently - as soon as the monkey and I get the hang of being parents!

By the way I have loads of knitting news to let you know but for now I'm just going to inundate you with pictures of my little boy!(image)

FO: Bliss


Pattern: Rowan Magazine 39Yarn: Rowan Calmer (shade: Onyx 465) Needles: 5mm Addi Turbo circulars (yum yum)I finished this a while ago but I’ve just not been able to get around to posting. It was fun to knit - the lace pattern added enough interest but was simple enough to be done while watching TV or chatting to friends. I didn’t make any changes to the pattern (other than to totally disregard the number of stitches they suggested to pick up for the button band – I’m just too lazy).I’m sure I’ll get loads of wear out of this as the yarn is soft but easy to care for, it fits well (hopefully it will fit even better when my figure eventually shrinks back to match the dress dummy’s! Spot the difference in the photos) and I made it in a sensible, wearable black.I’ve got some more WIPs and FOs to share but if I did that in this post it would be the longest post ever. Because I need to tell you all about Ally Pally!Mum and I had a wonderful time, we spent hours wandering around. There was so much to see that we even sacrificed lunch in order to see more yarny goodness (just to stop you worrying we made up for it with carrot cake and chocolate fudge sundae later on).It was my birthday and my family, knowing me so well, had all given me money to spend at the show. The only problem was that there were so many things I wanted to buy that I couldn’t make up my mind what to buy and actually left with some of the money still left in my sweaty little paws. Don’t let that give you the wrong idea though because I managed to buy a pair of Lantern Moon needles, some lovely lace weight merino from Touch Yarns (my Mum bought some Possum yarn from them), some Christmassy patchwork fabric, an embroidery kit and best (and most extravagantly) of all a namaste vintage knitting bag from Foreign Strand. Once again I have to say how lovely the ladies behind the Foreign Strand stall were, especially Forbidden Knitter who some of you might know from blogland.Talking of meeting people from blog land at I Knit London this week I met emmms from Quelle Erqsome. It was nice to meet her and she really is as witty in person as she sounds on her blog. Luckily she had left for the evening by the time I embarrassingly ended up falling over in a big heap on the floor on my way out. Believe me it isn’t easy getting back to your feet in a crowded pub when you are seven and a bit months pregnant. Not my most glamorous moment, especially as I seemed to lose the power of speech when it happened and all I could manage to say to the surprised looking faces staring down at me was “I’m pregnant” – as if that explains everything. Actually, it usually does!By the way do you like the Bunkey’s bedroom curtains in the photo at the top? I finally got round to making them last weekend. I love the little green monkeys.[...]

A walk by the river


Sorry it has been so long. I seem to be saying that a lot recently… At least when I start my maternity leave I’ll have a bit more spare time (until the Bunkey makes an appearance).

I was going to come on here and moan about the long commute to my new office and how awful it is but then I thought about it and realised that really it isn’t all bad. It does take a long time but I’m getting lots of exercise and seeing sights on the way that tourists travel hundreds/thousands of miles to see (it looks like a postcard doesn’t it?). Plus I get to walk past a waffle stall. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I love the smell of waffles.

So no complaints from me today, and tomorrow I’ve promised myself an afternoon of catching up on everyone’s blogs and I won’t feel guilty about not doing housework instead.

Something exciting happened this week. Lyndsey sent me a link to her finished Celtic Knot Stole. I love the pale pink she used. It is so nice to see one of my designs knitted up by someone else, especially when they have done such a beautiful job of it.

Another exciting bit of news it that I managed to persuade my Mum to come to the Knitting and Stitching show with me at Ally Pally. We’ll probably go on the Sunday I think. Anyone else likely to be there?

Long live lace


The last time I went home to my parents I went on a huge search through my old cupboards for a copy of Scrap Saver’s Stitchery, which I’ve had for years. It is a great book, full of the sort of patterns that make you want to put on your frilly apron and bring out the patchwork placemats. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it anywhere, which is really bothering me as I want to make the bear changing bag for the Bunkey. Anyway, during my search I came across my old crochet basket, when I was about 11-16 years old I loved to crochet lace. I used to hunt out the little booklets of doilies (I think they are still available in some newsagents!) and make yards of filet borders. This is the basket that I lined to keep all my yarns and hooks in. I love it so much, it really brought back memories (I must have been a bit of a geek as a teenager!). The lace has all yellowed and the hooks have gone a bit rusty but I’m not going to be abandoning it to a cupboard again. So expect to see some crocheted lace joining the knitted lace soon.Talking of knitted lace I’ve completed clues 1 and 2 of the mystery stole 3 project. I’m so behind but I really love the pattern. I’ve seen the rest of the clues and I’m so glad I joined up because it looks like a really imaginative, unique design. I’m using Lane Borgosesia in white and some tiny transparent seed beads. The picture isn’t that great I’m afraid.I’m also knitting Bliss from Rowan 39 to use up the Calmer I had lying around (thanks for all the suggested patterns you gave me by the way). This is my current no-brain knit. I’m hoping to finish it next week as I’m on holiday. We’re going down to Devon to cat sit while my parents are on holiday. So the only downside is that I won’t get to see my Mum and Dad while I’m there, but I will get to see the sea, which as you might have guessed I miss a lot here in London. Plus I might be able to fit in a couple of rounds of crazy golf – it’s as close to a sport as you’ll ever see me get!Thanks for the comments on the last post. It was so lovely to hear about your children. And I'm glad to know that little boys like cuddles just as much as little girls because I've got a whole lot of hugs stored up and waiting for this baby![...]