Thursday, 25 February 2016

I've moved...

After much deliberation, I've decided to move my online space. I'll still be blogging and I'll still be around, but I won't be posting to this page anymore. THANK YOU, really, truly, for all your comments, support, sharing all this stuff with me. :)
I'd love for you to come and visit me in my new home - I'll still be chatting about crochet, yarn (how could I not?!) and wanting to make all the things, but I'm planning on spending more time in my garden too, growing things, trying to live more sustainably and getting chickens (soon I hope!). Sharing all sorts of awesome stuff I find along the way.
I'll go and pop the kettle on...

Monday, 12 October 2015

Monday lists...


Rachel's post about planning struck a cord with me yesterday, as did Kat's post about there always being a shit bit in the middle of any process (our house move is in that bit at the moment...).

Monday mornings are for coffee and lists. Planning, preparing... and more coffee.
In the midst of phoning removal companies, confirming completion dates, trying not to get distracted (I never even knew there was such a thing as a Nostepinne until I read this post, now I want one!) and reminding myself to prepare for the workshop I'm running on Thursday.

I've been revisiting the Bullet Journal (my previous effort last year fizzled out), with less pressure on myself to organise every single day. It's good for untangling the jumble of 'everything that needs to be done' into a list of 'what to do right now'. Especially on a Monday.

Do you have a Monday morning routine?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Florian & a giveaway winner!

I must admit, I'm a little bit in love with Florian. He's turned out so well, and brought a most welcome smile to my girls' rather grumpy, post-school faces. (They have been waiting, not very patiently, for him to be finished). The shaping in the pattern is so well thought through and his gangly legs are just charming. As someone who loves a good granny square infront of Netflix, a bit of concentration to crochet the more fiddly of the details was definitely worth the effort!
To make Florian, I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Silver for the legs, neck and head (approx. 25g), Clotted Cream for the beak (approx. 5g) and Black (approx. 30g). I used Rowan Super Fine Merino DK in Polar for the wing tips and tail (approx. 10g). I used a 3.5mm hook, instead of the 3mm suggested by the book, because I have found in the past that this creates the best tension for me when crocheting toys.
And of course, congratulations to Alison, who has won the copy of the book! Thanks so much to everyone who entered and left a comment.

Saturday, 19 September 2015


I can't think of a plant in my garden that I don't love (dandelions included). I even picked a few ground elder blooms and brought them inside this year - the leaves are edible too, but I've never tried.
I'm going to try and propagate a few of them this weekend. We're moving soon (we don't have a date just yet...) and I don't want to leave them all behind, (although, as pretty as those ground elder flowers were I'm not tempted to take any part of them with us!).
I'm not sure how successful my plant-making attempts will be. I'm no expert gardener, but I'm keen - I'll probably dig a bit it up, shove it in a pot and see what happens.  Certainly a cutting of our climbing rose might work (I saw Monty doing this on telly the other day), and I've rooted the himalayan honeysuckle before just by leaving some stems in a bucket of water.
The virginia creeper, borrowed from a couple of gardens away, is a beast, and I'm not sure I want to be battling with it in our new space even though it's rampant crimson glory makes a brilliant backdrop for the japanese anenomes - I think I take that photo every year! The anemones, and the sedums above, should be fine with my 'have-a-go' method - plants want to grow after all. I think a trip to the garden centre for a few supplies might be on the cards...
Have a lovely weekend xx 

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Book Review & Giveaway... Edward's Menagerie: Birds

Hello!! I'm so pleased to have a few minutes to pop back here and share this with you. The lovely people at Toft sent me a PDF of Kerry Lord's new book, Edward's Menagerie: Birds, to review and I've got a proper, real, hold-in-your-hands copy to giveaway too.
There are sooooo many gorgeous patterns to choose from, knowing where to start and which to make first is a tricky business. My girls, of course were very willing to help me choose (and we've all got our favourites!), but rather than commit to making three at once for them, I've chosen one to make for me.
The gangly legs, fluffy tail and simple colour palette of Florian the Ostrich won me over in the end.
I don't crochet from patterns very often, so it's been quite liberating to follow someone else's instructions. With all the decision making already taken care of, you can sit back and crochet knowing that Kerry's patterns are going to leave you with a beautiful bird for all your efforts. I particularly love the attention to detail; knobbly knees, placement of wing, expression of eye. Everything is thought of to make sure that your bird has just as much character as those that have been photographed for the book.
I would have liked a little more help with regard to how much yarn each bird requires. The amount needed is a little vague, giving an approximate total weight of yarn for each size, rather then specifics for each bird. As most of the patterns involve more than one colour of yarn, it is difficult to judge how much of each you will need. Tricky if you'd like to use up something from your stash, but not a problem if you're happy to buy a little extra to make sure you have enough.
I love the photography and styling; it's a gorgeous book to look at and flick through. The way that each bird is a variation on a set of patterns is a great idea, and means that once you've mastered the techniques you'll be crocheting numerous Christmas presents in no time. The technical section is clear, well illustrated and full of helpful tips.

For Florian, I'm using a mixture of Debbie Bliss and Rowan yarns, all DK weight, I matched the colours as best I could to those in the book. He's working up nicely and will certainly be finished in time for me to announce the winner of the competition....
If you'd like to win a copy of Edward's Menagerie: Birds, please leave me a comment below and make sure to include a way for me to contact you, should you win. The winner will be announced here on my blog, on Wed 23rd September. Good Luck!

p.s. competition open worldwide, and as I'll be posting it to you I might include a few extra goodies too!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Rainbows, and the beginnings of a new blanket...

I'm considering the colours to include in my next blanket. A couple of swatches done and an idea sketched out, I'm not keen on winging this one as I'm often tempted to do. I'd like the restriction of a plan, something I can pick up and crochet without having to make a decision on where to go next, something I can start with the end already in sight.
Often, designers and bloggers have an instantly recognisable palate; the boundaries of their colour choices giving them away just as much as the freedom with which they choose. A vintage pastel palate, muted neutrals and natural hues, or a saturated rainbow of colour. I feel like I hop all over the place when choosing my own - often adding more to rectify unsatisfactory combinations (see my hexagon blanket dilemma here!), and turning to the internet for inspiration, it's hard to know where to start!

I confess to succumbing to the easy pleasure of rainbows as often as the next person; finding comfort in their child-like regularity and nostalgia in their palate. A rainbow, although encompassing all colours and possibilities, also provides structure and gives order to what otherwise could become a chaotic jumble - a riot of colour is not what I'm after!
My idea for this new blanket started with some yarn - Rico Essentials Merino Aran, with a little Debbie Bliss Cashmerino too. After swatching however, I realised that the colours weren't tallying with the blanket I was thinking of and some adjustment was needed. So, I dumped it all out on my dining room table...
 ...and started to impose order in the chaos, creating rainbows, and then taking them away.
 Pared down, I could now see where to add more colour, so I raided my stash, not for matching yarn, but for anything that would create the palate I needed. Steering away from the rainbow - the regularity of which often requires equal amounts of all colours to create balance, I started to play not only with the colour of yarn, but the amounts of each. Adding plenty of neutral white and even some graphic black.
 Adding colours back in that I'd previously removed, no order, yet in an ordered way.
There are colours left over that I'm surprised I don't want to include, those that have previously been my favourite additions to other projects, and there are colours included of which only the tiniest scrap makes a difference and alters the overall colour scheme completely.
I can see the colour scheme for my blanket coming together nicely and I'll buy yarn to fill the shoes of those added from my stash as I need to. The rainbow is still there, providing balance and coherence, reminding me of projects I've completed before - maybe there is a coloured thread running through my work, a rainbow of my own? I suspect it is harder for me to see - have you discovered your rainbow yet I wonder?

This post is my submission to the Deramores Craft Blog Competition 2015. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. Visit for more details.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

I just put three things in the recycling...

Yesterday, this popped up in my Facebook feed. Now, I must admit, I don't pay too much heed to things that announce themselves to me via Facebook, but a minimalist game? I was intrigued and I had a look. I've always felt minimalists to be another species; I feel comfy around stuff, I find clutter reassuring, and all those "just in case" things are there, well, just in case.
Having said that, past attempts to have a tidy-up and sort out have tended to conclude with a single trip to the tip, job done, but the house looks no different. Surely we're not living in a 'Mary Poppin's bag' of a house (although I like the idea), out of which will come never ending streams of stuff?
I'm willing to test the theory, and this seems like a fun way to do it.
So, this month, I will be getting rid of some things every day. Today is day 3, so I have recycled 3 things: 1. a small pile of magazines that I had put to one side "just in case" 2. The box and instructions for my old camera 3. A Christmas bauble craft kit.
I will not bore you with updates on my rubbish every day, but I will keep you updated. (If you follow me on Instagram, I probably will bore you, sorry)
So far I've noted that Sundays will need planning for as charity shops are not open and things need to be out of the house by midnight (which leaves only the recycling or rubbish bin - the latter of which I'm going to try and avoid if possible), and that finding 1, 2 or 3 things is not at all taxing - but I'm sure I won't be feeling as relaxed come the 23rd...