Saturday 29 December 2012

Best Wishes for Christmas & New Year

I hope you had a lovely Christmas, and will have a Happy New Year.

We had a lovely time.  Mary and I made some biscuits on Christmas eve

and I had just enough icing sugar to decorate those meant for Father Christmas.

Our presents awaiting us on Christmas Day.

On Thursday 27th, we went to London to see Shrek the Musical which was brilliant, and even though we were on the very highest scary balcony seats it did not  diminish it. 

We also popped into Hamley's and Mary spent her Christmas money on a Build-a-Bear tiger. Back home our cardboard-box-loving-cat tried unsuccessfully to get into the tiger's box. She was so annoyed when she couldn't get through the small window.

Annoyed cat.

In Hamley's they have very impressive Lego statues and here is Mary and the Queen.


Tuesday 4 December 2012

Beautiful Skies at Sunset

Saturday afternoon about 4pm, I was making mud pie in the kitchen (truthfully I was mixing Lush's Caca Rouge henna hair dye - you can see why it has that name.  In real life it is not as bad. Blame the flash for  bringing out all the most horrible in it). Don't worry - there are some nice photos after this yucky one.

I was there some time, and out of the window I had a lovely view of the changing skies as the sun set.

So I thought I would share with you.

There you see, I told you they would be nice.

Friday 23 November 2012

Black Friday, Cyber Monday Sale

Pop over to my etsy shop where I am having a massive sale for Black Friday all though to Cyber Monday.

You can get a whopping 25% off everything. Just remember to quote BLACKCYBER when checking out.

Here are a few of the pieces you could be buying.

Friday 9 November 2012

Having Fun With A Dog

I was very happy to be asked to try out some stamps from Stamps Direct.  Looking at the many wonderful stamps on their website, I thought it would be fun to have a stamp made for my daughter.

She loves dogs and so I drew a dog and Stamps Direct made it into a stamp.  So Mary and I could play.

We coloured in a few bits and added a smiley stamp to make a name tag.

Of course the dog doesn't have to be white. Here is is a spotty dog on a birthday card.

I used the stamp and normal pad to make a simple hanging ornament. For Christmas I might embroider in a Christmas hat and hang it on the tree.


I also used the stamp on a calico bag.  As this might want to be washed I used fabric paint.


We did have lots of fun and every time we use it more ideas come into our head.  I am planning to use the stamp again on fabric, perhaps on a cushion cover, and maybe embroider over it completely or pick out small details.

So pop over to Stamps Direct and see what you can find. 

Sunday 28 October 2012

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Pigs in Tweed

In my last post you saw one of my new pocket pigs, so tiny they sit happily on top of a cotton reel, or in your pocket. Here are all of them, so far:

They are all made from the same pattern (my own) but due the the different fabrics and their own innate pigginess, they have different looks and character.

Green pig is quite slim and perky.

As the oldest, Brown and Mustard Pig is a bit wise.

Purple Pig is a bit plump and frivolous.

All pigs are available now in my etsy shop.  

Monday 22 October 2012

Same but Different

I was lucky enough to be given some tweed and there were two colours that I love working with. So much so that I have made different things out of them:

Available from my etsy shop now.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Beautiful Roses

Look at these lovely roses! Aren't they beautiful.  You can see more about them over here on Sarang-Craft's Blog.

I mention them not only because they are so lovely, and what a great idea it is to use them at a wedding, but also because they were made using my tutorial.  Thank you Abby for letting me share your lovely flowers.

Monday 15 October 2012

Knitting in Circles Giveaway Winner

I am glad so many of you enjoyed reading the Knitting in Circles Review, and entering the Giveaway.

I am happy to say that the winner has been drawn, using a random number generator and..... is Joanne Elizabeth. Please contact me with your details.

So well done! 

Thank you to everyone who entered.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Nicky Epstein - Knitting in Circles

I am delighted to be taking part in the Knitting in Circles Blog Tour. Do pop over to the other listed blogs (see my blog post here ) and read their Tour  blog posts. 

Knitting in Circles, is written by the knitwear designer Nicky Epstein, who also write Knitting Block by Block among others. Nicky lives in New York, but has recently crossed the Atlantic to visit the UK.

The patterns of garments and accessories in Knitting in Circles  are lovely and there is a great range from pieces you can knit with just one circle to the amazing many-disced Circle Sampler Afghan. I love the Hoopla Bag and Eternity dress is so beautiful. 

The beauty of Knitting in Circles is that the vast majority is the circles themselves - all arranged gloriously by pattern and type. Nicky takes you from the basic circle shaping to lacing, and on to ruffles, and petals and much more. Thereby giving you a reference book that will allow your circular creativity to escalate in a circumrotatory fashion.  Think of all the wonderful things you can create. 

Nicky was kind enough to answer some questions (asked by my wonderful readers) :-

One problem that faces a lot of small business is copyright issues.  Have you had any problems with people copying your work and do you have any specific thought about it?
I deal with it on a daily basis, and it makes me feel very sad that someone has to copy my work. The idea of asking permission and given book credit has been lost along the way. Recently a person won a design contest with a prestigious craft company with an exact copy of design of mine that had been published years ago. A few fans of mine recognized contacted the craft company and it was awkward for them. But as they say on the New York subway “If you see something…say something”. Thankfully, publishers are becoming more vigilant and cracking down on the offenders.
How do you start your designs and what inspires you?  Do you start with the yarn, or a particular stitch you fancy using, or do you sketch?
I get my inspiration from everywhere and everything, depending on my mood, and I like to start with a sketch so that I remember the inspiration. But, I am often inspired by a great yarn or a unusual stitch pattern. The process varies from project to project.
Do you ever look at something you have knitted, and wonder how you did it?
Yes! Overwork sometimes dulls my memory and it’s frustrating. But that’s when I consult my own books. After all I’m very close to the person that wrote them.
How many people try out your patterns for you before they are published?
Me, my knitters, my instruction writer for format, my proof readers, and the publisher’s proof readers. My husband would be on the list if he could knit!
Do you find any differences in designing for particular markets, for instance the UK and the U.S.A?
Not really…I try to design for everyone regardless of culture. Even though I know a certain piece might not be made by everyone, I want people to say “Wow!” or “How did she do that!”

Thank you Nicky for your great answers which will be pertinent to crafters everywhere.

Nicky will be appearing on QVC tomorrow October 10th,  and then will be on the GMC stand at the Knitting & Stitching Show from the 11th - 14th to sign copies of Knitting in Circles and run Make & Takes.

If you cannot make it you can always visit her website at

Tomorrow's Blog Tour stop will be at by ConnieLene Johnston at

Knitting in Circles can be purchased from

But for you lucky readers, I am giving away a copy of Knitting in Circles. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The winning number, which will be randomly COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Monday 8 October 2012

Nicky Epstein Knitting in Circles - The Tour List

I am happy to be taking part in the Nicky Epstein Knitting in Circles Blog Tour.
Here is the list of all those taking part so do go and see them and then come back to me on the 9th October.

27th Sept – Knitting Institute --

28th Sept – Susan Crawford --

1st Oct – Cut Out + Keep --

2nd Oct – Make and Craft --

3rd Oct – Black Cat Originals --

4th Oct – Jessica Biscoe --

5th Oct – Jo Simmonds --

8th Oct – Kate Heppell --

9th Oct – Alix Beech --

10th Oct – ConnieLene Johnston --

I accidentally deleted this post so have had to write it again. Sorry!

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Honing My Craft

What an interesting word 'Honing' is.  Is sounds odd as it rolls on your tongue.

'Hone' means 'sharpen on a whetstone' - so it means giving a sharp edge to a tool.   My tool, I suppose, is my needle and my fingers. And if I 'give them a fine edge' it means I am making my skills better and better.

I was looking at my flickr page, this morning. I have a set 'Dorset buttons' and there right at the bottom is one of the first buttons I ever made.  Here it is:

It is off-centre and the stitches are wonky.  Compare it with these which are the same size, more or less:

and these which are much smaller:

I am getting better. I am honing my skills, sharpening the old metaphorical tool on the old metaphorical whetstone.

It is good to look back and then look forward.

Friday 21 September 2012

Southsea Seafront

The Common, Southsea

Views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight (Ryde)

In the distance yachts and the Isle of Wight (Ryde)
The other day was lovely, and before work, we decided to go to the Seafront at Southsea. I took these photos as in real life the view was amazing. It was so clear and you could see over to Ryde, on the Isle of Wight.  My camera phone was not quite up to catching the detail.  We used to say if you can see the Isle of Wight clearly then it will be bad weather soon, but it was a lovely day the next day too.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Blueberry and Spider

I made a couple of hair snaps today.  The first was this pair of Blueberry and White. Such a lovely fresh combination.

The next hair snap was this Halloween inspired Spider on a Pumpkin.  Last year I made a smaller version for the bobby pins that I also have in stock.  But I thought it would work better on a larger button.  I added a pair of red eyes too.

Both are available now in my etsy shop