Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Tea, anyone?

I do love a nice cuppa. And of course a drink is too wet without a biscuit. However I don't think anyone will be dunking these ones in their tea!

I made each of these from fleece fabric, using wadding and backing fabric and my lovely vintage singer sewing machine to create the lettering and decorations. I love my singer - it sews through anything!

Delicious looking custard cream
Yummy jammy dodger
Chocolate digestive - the front ...
... and the back!
A squidgy bourbon
And a cuddly pink wafer!
These were such fun to make! They are now winging their way to the recipient in a Very Large Box.

Of course, if you are going to have biscuits, as I said earlier, you need to have tea. In a tea pot. So as a bit of relaxation last week I made this tea cosy, from a lovely pattern in a book called Tea Cozies 2 (it's American, hence the "z"). I think I might have to make more cosies, they knit up satisfyingly quickly!
The front, with tea towel, tshirt and knickers!
The back, with skirt, jumper and camisole
Hope you all had a lovely Easter. Enjoy the spring weather!

Saturday, 16 April 2011


That was me last week. No internet! For almost a fortnight! Not quite sure how I survived. We are back up and running now (with a different provider, natch).

However I did survive, and now I will bring you up to date with the last couple of weeks' happenings. First, lots more owls and chicks have been made for the upcoming Easter rush. Here are the chicks nestling in their new home:
Don't think they will be there for long though! For sale at Eye Candy in Thurso. Also at Eye Candy are some more owls and some knitted eggs - they'll last a bit longer than the chocolate ones!
I have been very busy making bunting for the Puffin Croft Farm Shop too: Firstly a lovely set to hang up in their shop space (scuse the wonky spacing on my wall, it'll look much better in situ I'm sure!)
Here's a close-up of the puffins (they match the bags I made for them earlier):
And I also made some bunting to sell in her shop - here (am rather pleased with the packaging!):
All the items shown here are available to order - just email me on or message me on here!
More new items in the offing, will share soon!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Lots of news and deliciousness!

So much has happened over the past week!

Firstly, I have started working with a lovely local gift shop called Eye Candy who sell some fabulous gifts. She has some cupcakes and owls that I have created, look!

They look like they are jostling each other for the front spot, don't they?!
 I also made her some little Easter chicks - aww cute!

Soon to go into Eye Candy - exclusive bags and birthday bunting. Watch this space! It's lovely to work with a local business who "gets" handmade craft :o)

Another local business who I mentioned recently has just taken delivery of some more gorgeousness for their shop. Puffin Croft Farm Shop in John O'Groats now stocks these yummy lavender hearts:

And the commissions continue - here's a cupcake phone cover I made last week:

It even has cupcake lining fabric and a cupcake button - more cute!

As you can see, I have been busy, with lots of things in progress behind the scenes too!

I am very busy at the moment trying to improve my workspace. Currently I have all my things squished into a couple of cupboard shelves, with the overspill behind the sofa. However the overspill is threatening to take over and so Nick has cleared all his things out of the cupboard this afternoon so I can organise my own things in there a little more efficiently. I reckon that once I have sorted everything out I will save at least a couple of hours a week that I currently waste looking for things! Well, that's the theory anyway. If I am brave I might post some before and after pictures. Hmm.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

New product!

And I'm a little better too :)

Here's a project I have been working on for a wee while - bags for a wonderful place in John O'Groats called Puffin Croft Farm Shop . They do fantastic veg boxes which they deliver weekly, and they sell their own home-grown vegetables plus eggs and deli items. If you are in the area they are well worth a visit - the owners are really friendly and they have some lovely animals there too! The bags are for sale at the farm shop.

I started feeling a wee bit better yesterday afternoon, but am still not feeling great! You can tell by the amount of squares I have knitted.

Hopefully I will be back to full health soon!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Slow Progress

Urgh - I have the lurgy. A nasty virus has been working its way round the family and settled on me last Wednesday. I am now on day 5 of being poorly and still getting worse, which is very unusual for me!

The thing I hate the most about being ill is that I can't work (either at my salaried job, or at my lovely craft work). I have neither the concentration skills to work on the challenging Harry Potter socks, nor the ability to sit at the sewing machine to make any of the mounting orders of phone cases, bags and toys without descending into a coughing fit. Fortunately everyone is very kind and patient, but I still wish I could just get on!

However as any crafty person will agree, it's impossible to sit around and do nothing. At first I pulled out my scraps blanket and added a few rows to that, then when it was long enough (it's been needing an extra few inches for a while now!), I swapped my crochet hook for knitting needles and started making mini squares. At first I had no particular design in mind for them, I was just pulling scraps of yarn out of a huge bag and knitting mindlessly, but Calum has requested that I use them for making a blanket for him. Hooray - another project! Like I need another project on the go, hahaha. Here's my first few squares:

In the background you can see Calum's newly revamped chair - up until a couple of months ago it was still painted pink and white from when his big sister (now aged 13) owned it!

Hopefully, normal service will be resumed shortly.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Winter again!

For the last few mornings I have woken up to this view:

Good thing I have been knitting mitts and hats!
 Calum got a new pair of mittens, knitted in pure wool. They have gone rather fluffy but he still loves them:
His favourite colour is yellow, so I knitted him a hat in the closest yarn I had to yellow!

Eilish's favourite colours are red and black (closet goth!) so I crocheted her a stylish hat in those colours:

It's not sparkly wool - she had just been out to feed the rabbits and it was snowing heavily!

In other news, the bunting has arrived across the pond, so now I will share a full picture of it:
Recipient is very happy; I am going to make more bunting in the future as it is fun to do.
No picture yet, but the first Harry Potter sock is almost finished; tonight I will be shaping the toes!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A busy week

I have been trying to get on the computer for a while now but it seems to have taken forever to get near it to post this week! I've been busily working on a few projects, two of which are still under wraps, but can post up a couple of completed ones and a couple of teasers!

First up is my first attempt at an iphone case. This was a wee bit of a challenge as I don't have an iphone, so I did a lot of careful measurement-taking and calculating to make sure it was just the right size and not too big or small! Fortunately it is a perfect fit, I am told. I was asked for a pale pink ipod with "a big fat strawberry on the front":
Then I added a couple of extra surprises in the form of a strawberry button:
And lined it in strawberry fabric:
One very pleased recipient!
Another commission I have been working on this week is the bunting. I hit a major problem in the middle of the week - my usually trusty 1980s Singer sewing machine refused to sew through the bias binding and the flannel layers to create the final effect. After changing the needle, thread, bobbin, and giving it a thorough clean and oil, I finally admitted defeat and broke out the big guns - namely, my 1941 Singer machine! I haven't got a picture of it but will post one next time as it is a beautiful specimen and cost me the princely sum of £30 (baaaargain!!!). True to expectation, my vintage Singer performed the job perfectly and my bunting is now winging its way across the channel to California and its new home. Until it arrives I shan't share a picture of the final result, but here is a little teaser:
Yummy colours!!
Also in the parcel was this, a thinking lemon (I love these, they are so deliciously random!)
And finally ...


... the heel has turned!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

My favourite sweater

This is a commission that I completed towards the end of last year, and it remains my favourite. My brief was to create a sweater like this one:

See the black and red sweater? Or did you blink? Watch it again ... that's it!

So, armed with King Cole Haze in Poppy and Ebony, and a suitable sweater pattern for adapting, I set off:
We decided to make the stripes all the same width for ease, a long length body and slightly overlong sleeves. Here it is in progress:
And here's the final result in action (on a booga board, I think!). Twas just what she wanted, hooray!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

I love commissions!

Although I am still making my sock monkeys, the majority of my work this year so far has been via commissions (and most of them knitting ones!). I have a couple on the go at the moment and a couple in the pipeline. I love working on commissions, the back-and-forth with my customer to choose what they would like, the visualising of the project, the research to get the final look just right. But most of all I love the way that it brings variety to my work and often introduces me to new techniques and materials that I've not had the chance to try out before.

This is one of my current commissions, a pair of Gryffindor Pride socks:
Gryffindor Pride designed by Ann Kingstone
New techniques learned here - knitting cuffs with knitting in elastic (very odd stuff!), and my first attempt at intarsia in the round. It's not that hard actually, just looks impressive! Quite slow to knit though; this is about 10 days' progress. I'm hoping I pick up speed.

My other commission on the go today is some bunting for a fabulous friend Bronwen in the States who makes nappy cakes for baby showers. She sent me some divine flannel material, which I have augmented with a lovely yellow design I found which I feel complements her work fabulously!
Just look at that cute fabric with the babygrows!
So I sat in my kitchen this afternoon, with my i-pod tuned to Radio 3, and cut out some bunting:
As you can see, not ironed yet!
You can probably just make out in the picture my scribblings for the design. You can almost guarantee I will lose that bit of paper before I finish. On the right are my treasured pinking shears, which once belonged to my granny (and I think to her mother too). I lost them for about 14 months and truly mourned them as I thought they had gone for good. They are wonderful scissors. Any seamstress will know how valuable good scissors are (and how attached you get to them!).

More past projects tomorrow :o)

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Another past project

Here's another in the series "What I have been up to in the last year" !

This is a gift I put together for a friend who is having a tough time at the moment. Firstly, I made her a Dammit Doll to help ease the stress and emotions she may be feeling:
Dammit Doll
And just in case you are unsure of her role, here is the little card I sent with it (apologies for the poor picture, I seem to have been suffering from camera shake! NOT alcohol induced!)
Hence you can see why I gave her felt hair (which unfortunately bears more resemblance to an old-fashioned crash helmet, but we'll let that one go) as I thought wool hair may work loose over time!
Also, since she will be spending lots of time being wanged about (if she is doing her job properly), I thought I would save her modesty (if not her dignity):
I also made her a shawl in a nice bright red, to add a bit of colour to the hospital ward (they tend to be very beige, I've noticed) and to keep her shoulders warm if she got chilly:
It was a lovely quick knit, in King Cole Haze, which I was a little dubious about before I used it but I think it knits up well and is lovely and soft.

Then I made her a bag to keep all her bits and pieces in for when she goes to hospital appointments. This bag is made from curtain fabric samples, I think I used seven in all! It's double layered and has two pockets inside, for drinks and books etc. Unfortunately it came out a bit bigger than I intended, but hopefully it's still a useful size.
I added a couple of vintage buttons to each side to complete the look.
 And here's the inside:

This friend has a young daughter, so I sent her a sock monkey too so that she didn't feel left out:
They were all well received and it was nice to feel I could do a little something, even though I live far away from my friend.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Although I haven't been blogging for a long while, I have been very busy. Here's a toybox that I painted up for the boys at the end of last year:
I used the book "The Tiger Who Came to Tea" by Judith Kerr as my reference, as it was my favourite book as a child, and the boys love it too.  The picture on the top of the box appears on the back of the book.
This is the side of the box, showing the Tiger drinking all the water from the taps so that Sophie can't have a bath that night (even as a child I knew this wasn't possible, but it didn't spoil the magic of the story!)
On the inside of the box I painted my favourite scene in the book. As the Tiger has eaten everything in the house, there is nothing for dinner, so Sophie puts on her coat and wellingtons over her nightdress and goes out to a cafe with mummy and daddy for sausages and chips and ice cream. As a child, I thought the idea of going out at night after bedtime (particularly in your nightie!) was just magical. As the lid is often open as the boys rummage around for bits of lego, this view is often on display.

Originally I had planned to paint scenes on the sides and back too, and I should really have painted the inside as well as it looks rather shoddy! But I'm afraid I had run out of patience by this point and was desparate to move onto something else! Being a bit of a perfectionist my eye is drawn to all the mistakes, but I am basically fairly pleased with the end result. I find painting furniture very enjoyable!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Another Free Pattern!

Continuing yesterday's theme, here's the pattern for a washcloth I designed that was hosted on the old site. This way everyone can have a go!

"Wash" washcloth
Wash Washcloth

Moss st: k1, p1 to end of row.
4mm needles, cast on 37sts. Moss st 4 rows.
Row 5: k1, p1, k33, p1, k1
Row 6: k1, p1, k1, p31, k1, p1, k1
Rows 7, 9, 11: as row 5
Rows 8, 10: as row 6
Row 12: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p6, k6, p6, k1, p1, k1
Row 13: k1, p1, k6, p8, k5, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1, k1
Row 14: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p4, k2, p6, k2, p4, k1, p1, k1
Row 15: k1, p1, k5, p2, k6, p2, k4, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1, k1
Row 16: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p4, k2, p12, k1, p1,k1
Row 17: k1, p1, k13, p2, k4, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1, k1
Row 18: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p4, k2, p12, k1, p1, k1
Row 19: k1, p1, k12, p2, k5, p10, k4, p1, k1
Row 20: k1, p1, k1, p3, k10, p6, k6, p6, k1, p1, k1
Row 21: k1, p1, k6, p7, k6, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1, k1
Row 22: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p12, k2, p4, k1, p1,k1
Row 23: k1, p1, k5, p2, k12, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1, k1
Row 24: k1,p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p4, k2, p6, k2, p4, k1, p1, k1
Row 25: k1, p1, k5, p2, k6, p2, k4, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1, k1
Row 26: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p5, k8, p5, k1, p1, k1
Row 27: k1, p1, k7, p6, k6, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1,k1
Rows 28, 30, 32, 34: k1, p1, k1, p31, k1, p1, k1
Rows 29, 31, 33, 35: k1, p1, k33, p1, k1
Row 36: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p5, k2, p5, k2, p4, k1, p1, k1
Row 37: k1, p1, k5, p2, k5, p2, k5, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1, k1
Row 38: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p5, k2, p5, k2, p4, k1, p1, k1
Row 39: k1, p1, k5, p4, k1, p4, k5, p2, k6, p2, k4, p1, k1
Row 40: k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p6, k2, p4, k2, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k2, p3, k1, p1, k1
Row 41: k1, p1, k4, p2, k2, p3, k2, p2, k5, p8, k5, p1, k1
Row 42: k1, p1, k1, p4, k2, p4, k2, p5, k2, p2, k3, p2, k2, p3, k1, p1, k1
Row 43: k1, p1, k4, p2, k3, p1, k3, p2, k5, p2, k4, p2, k5, p1, k1
Row 44: k1, p1, k1, p5, k2, p2, k2, p6, k2, p7, k2, p3, k1, p1, k1
Row 45: k1, p1, k4, p2, k7, p2, k6, p2, k2, p2, k1, p1, k6
Row 46: k1, p1, k1, p5, k2, p2, k2, p5, k2, p9, k2, p2, k1, p1, k1
Row 47: k1, p1, k3, p2, k9, p2, k6, p4, k7, p1, k1
Row 48: k1, p1, k1, p6, k4, p6, k2, p9, k2, p2, k1, p1, k1
Row 49: k1, p1, k3, p2, k9, p2, k6, p4, k7, p1, k1
Row 50: k1, p1, k1, p7, k2, p7, k2, p9, k2, p2, k1, p1, k1
Rows 51, 53, 55: k1, p1, k33, p1,k1
Rows 52, 54, 56: k1, p1, k1, p31, k1, p1, k1
Moss st four rows.

I’ve checked and double-checked it, but if there are any mistakes then please do let me know! Feel free to make this washcloth for yourself or as a gift but please do not make it to sell. It is listed on Ravelry and I would love to see your finished results. Enjoy!