Friday, 13 January 2017

Lavender Love

I have finally got around to using the rest of the lavender from my mum's communal garden. You can see the first batch of lavender bags here. I started with a nice piece of natural looking linen, and the first attempt above was OK, but not very inspired. So I then decided to go for a leaf shape, and add a ribbon. This way they can be hung on a coat hanger to keep clothes fresh. I have kept the stitching quite simple, and the cream seemed to show up best.

For the last few I thought I would go for something a bit more unusual, and these are the ones I like the best. It is just a line of backstitching up the centre, and some big random spaced stitches to the side. So I hope I will be smelling nice this year.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Resolutions and Plans

I've been browsing other craft blogs, where there are a lot of plans and resolutions for 2017. Although some years I've done this, for the last few years I just make my crafty list of plans on a piece of paper, and pin it up for only me to look us.

As for crafty plans for 2016 - well as you might imagine, some things on the list I did, and some I did not get to. 

Sock knitting was on the list, and I did do a lot of this. I don't think I can call myself a novice sock knitter any more. There is something eminently satisfying about knitting a pair of socks.

I also published a new baby garment pattern, Tundra Baby Top. Fortunately friends and family have been good at producing some new babies to keep me motivated with the baby garments.

I was really pleased with my teddy bear patterns. They were an enormous amount of work, and although they have hardly sold, did turn out exactly as I pictured them in my head. 

I have knitted quite a lot of cars for Etsy customers, but not got around to some new vehicle patterns which I have been thinking about for some time.  

I have also published two new animal patterns. Also, fewer than my plans.


I have blogged less, which was a deliberate decision. A few years ago I was posting blogs about everything I did. My daughter would say, "let's make cakes", and before you knew it I would be there photographing the whole thing for this blog. I have really tried to stop that, as it sort of takes the fun out of things. So this blog has become a bit more knitting focused, and less family. They are still here, but as teenagers spend a lot more time in their bedrooms. Perhaps I should start featuring hair and make-up tips? (Only people who know me in person will realize how funny that is.)

So for 2017 I still plan to come up with some new knitting patterns. It seems harder to come up with fresh ideas, but I still have a few in the pipeline. I do feel more confident with my pattern writing. There is still the usual dilemma of either going for the slightly bizarre (Why did no one want to knit my mermaid's purse?), or the more obvious (teddy for example), but then being up against large numbers of teddy bear patterns. 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Yin Yang Mini

I just wanted to show you a mini that I have made for a customer in France. The car has arrived, and she is very pleased with it. Isn't it the coolest car: the full size one and my little knitted version. 

I really like it when I am asked to make a personalised version of my mini cooper, and this is one of my favourites.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Dutch Postal System

I have been selling knitted items on Etsy for quite a number of years, and until recently have had no problems. But in the last few months I have had two packages go misssing, and strangely both were to customers in The Netherlands. For both customer I have remade the items, and then sent them tracked. (It is quite dispiriting, but it is the seller's responsibility to get the items there, and I am also very proud of my customer satisfaction rates and 100% good reviews.)  

One item was one of my mini cars, and the other these phone cosies. I did enjoy remaking the phone cosies, and it has put in my head to make a completely new set, with different flowers.

I have just found this article in The Daily Mail about the Dutch postal service. I don't believe very much in The Daily Mail, but in this case my experience does back this up.

Guelder Rose and Bumble Bee

Shepherd's Purse

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Lavender Pyramids

I have finally got going on my big bowl of lavender, from my mum's communal garden. I decided to keep it fairly simple, and have been making these little pyramids out of some white linen. I found instructions on how to do this on Chick Chick sewing

I decided not to worry about string or ribbon to hang them, and to just do some very simple embroidery (actually it is the only sort that I can do). It took a little bit of trial and error to get the embroidery in the right place, as it is done before the pyramid is sewn. The design of the embroidery has sort of evolved along the way. My husband says they look like rather upmarket teabags. I still have half a bowl of lavender left, so am thinking of another design.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Mini World Magazine

You will have found me recently lurking in the motoring magazine section of WHSmiths, where I have been eagerly awaiting the Janaury issue of Mini World Magazine. My Mini Knitting Pattern has been featured on their shopping page.

I was really pleased with how prominently it has been placed, and that they were happy to use my own photograph. Perhaps it will lead to a few orders, although it is always hard to predict these things. The patterns is for sale, and I also make minis to order (which can be ordered through my Etsy shop), so I have been stocking up on wheels, to give me a head start, in case anyone wants one for Christmas.  

I try to make each mini as close of the owner's car as I can, so a photograph to match colours and model is useful.  I love the Mini Traveller on the cover of the magazine, and if you click on Mini Cooper in my labels you will find the posts with minis in that I have made. I really enjoy adapting my pattern, and would love to be asked to make one of the checkerboard roofed minis.

So now to settle down with a nice cup of tea, and read the rest of the magazine.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

"Goodbye Reading Ninja Wizards"

The title of this post probably needs to be explained. I am changing jobs, and have just come home from my last day at my current school (where I work as a teaching assistant). I am moving to a new school to work in the school office. Exciting times, and I am very sad to say goodbye to a lovely school where I have made a lot of friends.

To say farewell to one group of children, with whom I read every week, I have made them a Flat Rat bookmark, from a pattern by Susan Glinert Stevens. With this group we don't just practise reading (they are all pretty good readers), but some of the skills that help comprehension and inference. So we talk about what we have read, ask questions, try to predict what might be coming next, etc. All the things that you probably do when you are reading without even realising it. When choosing a name for the group the children couldn't quite agree, which is why they became the "Reading Ninja Wizards". 

I used this pattern which is free on ravelry, although I knitted the head flat and sewed up a seam. I also slightly went my own way with the paws and ears. 

It also means I will be saying goodbye to my lunchtime knitting club, run with the lovely Joyce, which also makes me sad. But I am also excited about facing a new challenge. 

"Watch out, we may be flat, but we are coming to get you!"