Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yesterday the weather was perfect to photograph the things I have been busy making for my new Robin Red shop. And it is now online! Its very exciting. Lots of new things will be added over the coming weeks and I'm doing my first craft fair in July. I'd love you to have a look and have your comments.

Better get busy making!



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cheeky Rascal Bunting & frames

The winds kept up today, meaning it was too windy again to take any photos outside, despite the beautiful blue skies, so this afternoon I made up the bunting for my sons room from the bright and cheery fabric I bought last week, and livened up some old photo frames in his room with some fabric scraps. (One of the fabrics has a masked raccoon on it, who we think looks like a cheeky rascal). I've got some fabric left so I thinking of making some log cabin cushion covers or a mini quilt maybe next week.
I made an extra set of bunting which will be in my shop soon, when I can photograph it satisfactorily! This is proving to be the hardest thing about setting up my shop. Everything is ready, but I can't seem to take decent enough photos yet to show everything off that I'm happy with.
This is about the best photo of the finished things I can take that doesn't show the chaos of lego and toys below! Its reaching the stage where it needs a PROPER tidy up....

Dies Horrendus

Yesterday was not a good day.

It was VERY windy in lots of places throughout the British Isles yesterday, here included. Our chicken coop blew completely over the fence into our neighbours garden, luckily not causing any damage to anything except itself, it is now in pieces in the garden. The chicken house itself blew over luckily no chickens were inside it.

A huge telegraph pole in the garden snapped and fell down luckily not damaging anything.

Some of the roof blew off our conservatory in the high winds, and then the heavens opened and everything got soaked.

Then I realized that the back and front left side of the cardigan I am knitting are too small and unravelled the whole lot. (Do you say defrog with knitting or is that just crochet?).

Anyway the sun is shining today, the insurance company are sending out someone to mend the roof this week, and I am going to start again on the cardigan.

Sometimes you just have to remember that in the scale of things going on elsewhere in the world we are very lucky and things like this aren't that big a deal just an inconvenience and we should think our selves lucky.


Ps. I have an afternoon to kill in Birmingham on Saturday is there anywhere I should go to?!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hows your friday?

Its been a lovely sunny day here in Lincolnshire today, and I enjoyed a few sunny hours finishing off projects in my sewing room looking out of my new window at the bunnies running around the field.

Quilting some more table placemats that will soon be in my shop.
My new moo mini cards arrived for my shop, I'm soooo pleased with them!!! They come in a lovely little box too!
And this weeks Graze box.
Do you Graze? I love receiving them, each week for £2.99 they send you four different tasty healthy snacks, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, foccaccia, flapjacks, olives. Its a surprise what you get each week, but you can rate them online so you don't get any that you don't like. I've been doing it for about six months and really like the things they send. It stops me reaching for the unhealthy things. *

This ones is one of my favourites, not 100% healthy, but not bad. Chocolate buttons, almonds, cranberries and tiny bits of fudge. Yum. Also the wasabi peanuts are one of my favourites too and the vanilla seeds.

I keep talking about the shop and I know it isn't visible yet but it will be soon! The site is all ready, my stock is increasing, all that remains is for some decent photos to be taken, so that means roping in my husband who is very good in that department. Hopefully the weather will be good this weekend and we can have a photoshoot in the garden!

Our plans this weekend ware for my husband to fit a new bathroom and me hopefully tackling the overgrown garden, so I took the chance this morning to nip into town to my local fabric store on my own, to see what they had in stock.

I came back with quite a selection, but when I saw this one the masked racoon,
I had to buy it for my son. I think he'll love it. I'm making some bunting for his room with it and maybe a log cabin cushion. If he doesn't like it though, it will be going into the shop!
Enjoy your weekend!


*If you fancy trying Graze you can get a free box if you use the code CHWCPCR (if you did that it also gives me £1 off one of my boxes, but I don't want you to think that's why I'm recommending it, they also do the first box free for anyone who visits their website so you can do it without involving me at all!).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A veritable feast for the eyes!

I have been checking the post every day to see if it had arrived... and today it finally did! The much anticipated first issue of Mollie Makes!
I took the chance to have a sneaky read over lunch today. Oops the table cloth looks a bit creased! (A little peek of my placemats and coasters that will be in my new online shop soon!).

Its great that we have a much better selection of craft magazines now than we did a few years ago, so I wondered whether this one would have anything different to add.

I was sooo not disappointed!
Page 2, I have to show you the lovely advert from Loop as it has a lovely Julie Arkell creature on it.

And these pom pom garlands, I really want to make these!

Knitted bunting ditto ! Can see these looking fab in my kitchen.
(It's from Jane Brockets new book the Gentle Art of Knitting which is on my Amazon wish list).
Fabulous frilly aprons, I've got a thing about frilly aprons and some will be appearing in my new shop soon!

I am love seeing other peoples houses and particularly their work space, so I'm hoping this will be a regular feature.

There's also an interview with the lovely Tif Fussell from Dottie Angel. I love her work and regularly read her blog so was really pleased to see her featured. If all issues are as good as this one then this is definitely "my new favourite craft magazine." Have you read it? What did you think?

ps. whilst the salad looks very virtuous it hasn't all been health eating this week... The other night I had dream I had that I ate a huge packet of white chocolate buttons. Reality hit I woke up the next day and found a white chocolate button stuck to my bottom (of my pyjamas!).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Did I say that?

At certain points of knitting the Shalom Cardigan I do remember saying that if I ever suggest knitting something again, shoot me...

So how come only a week after casting off on that project I happened to be passing my LYS and couldn't pass without picking up my next knitting project?!

The yarn! This is the most deliciously soft yarn. Its Rowan Cocoon in Petal. 80% merino and 20% kid mohair. So beautiful, so soft, so lovely against the skin. I really want to wear something I've knitted in it! I leafed through the Rowan Cocoon pattern book in the shop and liked almost everything in it, so even though I spent a few extra pennies buying the book I know I will definitely be knitting more from it.

I plan to start with this as a summer cardigan.
And then this one for Autumn/Winter.
I love that cardigan I can myself wearing it a lot.
And this gorgeous v necked jumper.

On the way home I had The Most Delicious Boathouse Burger. Yum! Highly recommended if you are ever passing Farndon (The Boathouse) a lovely place on the river with lovely food.
Ps. Did you spy the knit pro needles? Ridiculously expensive but I have heard so many knitters raving about them, so I am hoping they will make the process less stressful this time round! We'll see!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Do you zentangle?

Have you ever heard about zentangle before? I hadn't before I heard an interview on a podcast I subscribe to Mark Lipinski's Creative Mojo (which my husband can't believe I listen to, but I love it because of his sense of fun & humour).

They were talking about zentangle, and how it could be done by anyone, all ages, all abilities, with just a piece of paper and a black pen, so when I got back home I had to google it to see what they were talking about.

Basically zentangle is described as an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. The whole point of the zentangle is to not know what its going to look like until you're finished, and there's also not supposed to be an up or a down, it can be viewed from any angle and look right.

It becomes easier if you see some examples.
Zentangle as a grid of different patterns
With this one you draw a squiggle on the page and then fill in the various bits of the squiggle with whatever patterns take your fancy
Another grid style
Some beautiful examples...

Basically its just doodling isn't it?!

We found a really good site full of inspiration and tips on getting started and how to do the basic patterns at

To get started they suggest that you start with a small piece of paper, and my six your old daughter and I chose a grid of 9 squares and started zentangling.

Then we tried some squiggles.

Then we got totally carried away. Here is a small sample of our zentangles! It's strangely absorbing and filled a couple of hours over the bank holiday weekend!

After we'd finished zentangling, we took advantage of the windy sunny day and went kite flying!

Perfect day for it!

I did it, I did it, oh yeah, I did it!

Imagine me dancing around in the garden like a mad woman singing the above yesterday afternoon...

I finally finished the Shalom cardigan! My first ever knitted garment!

The fraught hours that went into the making this, the cursing when I went wrong (notice the two extra stripes?). The painful unpicking a couple of rows stitch by stitch (when I misread the pattern and made a stitch every alternate stitch instead of just once). Almost giving up but carrying on thanks to Debs encouragement!

Its made with Rowan Purelife, British Sheep Breeds Chunky Undyed 100% British Wool from a Steel Grey Suffolk and I'm really pleased with it!!

It probably was a bit ambitious for the only the third thing I have ever knitted (number one, the fingerless mitts, number two, the gaptastic cowl) but I learnt how to "make one" how to "decrease" how to "purl into the back" and "knit into the back". Knitting for me has definitely proved to be a much steeper learning curve than crochet, because if you go wrong with crochet you can undo it and you always come back to "a loop" you can continue from, you always know where you are, whereas with knitting it seems so much harder to rectify if you go wrong or harder to undo.. I suppose that will come with experience.

So despite saying I would never knit anything again, I'm already back on Ravelry looking up my next project! (Which I think is going to be the Tea Leaves cardigan that I saw on Kates blog Foxs Lane, I just need to study the pattern and see if I think I could do it.

As well as finishing my cardigan, this weekend my husband has been busy painting my new workroom, and I've been busy moving everything back in! Can't wait to show you this week when its all ship shape!