Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Land Girl Hairband

Frankie and Slightly Reluctant Cat

In town last week, Little One suddenly suggested she would like a haircut. Her long hair was annoying her in the heat, so before she could change her mind I whisked her into a hairdressers. They gave her a great bob, my favourite style. But now her hair is a bit short to tie back in a pony tail, so we had to come up with some new styles.

So here are the new hairbands. She said she wanted it slightly in the style of a "land girl". Did anyone else really enjoy Land Girls on the TV? (Not the film, which is also good, but there was a Bristish television series on a few years ago. Actually I think it ran for several series.) 

The hairband is fairly simple to make. I have put the pattern instructions so they are downloadable in a single document and it is available in my Etsy Shop. Sewing patterns are a bit of a new thing for me. (I did do a smocked hairband, in a failed attempt to repopularise the craft of smocking.) I expect there are pattern drawing software programmes but I have done this with the old sketchpad and scanner. 

I guess you could wear the band with the bow on the side or back. This one was made from an old school dress, to co-ordinate with her school uniform.

Here are a few more. There are three different styles of ties in the pattern to give a bit of choice: curved, single-point and double-point. What you can't really tell from the photos is the band is made in three sections, with elastic under the ties. This makes it more comfortable to wear, and means you can make slight adjustments in size.  The bow is purely decorative. It also means you don't need a really long bit of fabric to make the band, and as you can see I am using up all sorts of oddments to make Frankie a selection of bands.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Little Brown Bird

I so admire some of the wildlife photos that are posted, and it is a bit of a joke in my family that I don't have the patience or zoom to get any decent shots of wildlife.

So this morning when hubby woke me up saying that Noodle, one of our cats, had brought in a baby bird, I thought I had better grab my camera. He had managed to get the bird out of her jaws, and put it in a little box in the bottom of our lizard tank (lizard has recently deceased). So I was expecting I would probably come down to a dead bird, but was delighted that he seemed to have recovered, didn't look injured, and was a bit indignant about being in a lizard tank.

So a few hasty shots (I know they are still not good), but I wanted to get him out the tank before he injured himself against the glass. But how to get him out? I decided to open up our patio doors, and then open up the tank, and hope he would flutter out himself. He did flutter out the tank, but unfortunately I didn't actually see him fly out of the doors. I have spent the last hour searching every corner of the living room, and am pretty sure he has gone, but it would be nice to have seen him fly out .... Noodle has been banished to the kitchen in disgrace!


So several hours later, when I had totally given up hunting for the little brown bird, and let Noodle back into the living room, she suddenly bristled all over and went into hunter mode. I whisked her out the room again, and there in the tiniest of corners behind some DVDs was the little brown bird. This time I was determined to get him out to the garden, so scooped him up in a towel.

He hopped off from the towel, and has taken cover under a bush. I am still a bit worried, as I would have liked to see him fly off, but I guess he might still be in shook, and at least out of the house he stands more chance of recovery. Noodle is once again locked in the kitchen. Will update if I have more news of the birdie!


Searched round the garden and no sign of little brown today, which I hope means he has gone on his way. Little One has decided to call him Simon. I just thought I would add a photo of the shame faced cat.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Some More Fairy Folk

As promised a few more fairy folk for my shop. Meet the Oak Tree Fairy, my first boy fairy. Do you like his little acorn hat? Perhaps I should call him an elf or pixie rather than a fairy. 

Many thanks to my husband who so patiently held him in place while I photographed him. Goodness knows what passers by thought we were doing in the bushes.

Next is the Echinacea Fairy. She is the main reason for my not posting these fairies sooner, as I have been hunting around my neighbourhood for a yellow echinacea flower for her photoshoot. I think it is a bit early for them here, so she has had to make do with a sunflower. As I also couldn't find any sunflowers locally I took this photo between the aisles at my local garden centre. Hubby was my lookout guy! But as you will see from her little embroidered bag, she is definitely an echinacea. All these fairies are for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Finally I have photographed the Lavender Fairy again, as at last the lavender in my garden has some flowers.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Evolution of Baboon - A Work In Progress

I am very bad at sticking to WIP Wednesday, as I like to put projects on my blog when they are finished. I have been working really hard on my newest pattern, but it is still very much a work in progress.

I call him a baboon (although I think he is technically a mandrill). Although I really like his serious little face, he still has quite a few issues. Nose should be a bit bigger! Should he have ears? Something not quite right about his arms ..... etc.

But some of his features have turned out as I imagined: his prominent brow, and his colourful rear end.

Baboon Bottom!

I have had him in mind for a while, but could not find the right wool. And then on holiday saw the ideal wool (Sirdar Escape DK) in a bargain bucket in the window of a tiny wool shop in the village. I had to buy it, as it was just perfect. But it took three visits to the shop before I managed to get my hands on it. Shop owners in North Devon seem to close for long lunches. So now I have ordered two more balls of this wool online, so I can have another go at refining him.

And although he is not quite right yet, I am not going to unravel him. So I hope to be able to show you how he has evolved from this to the final version in a few weeks.

Saturday, 15 June 2013


Spiral Artwork, Made from Weathered Wood

This week I am going to try and do a photography post (only one little bit of knitting has slipped its way in). Spirals are important in both nature and mathematics, and art. I cannot give you much more information, but I do know there is something called the golden ratio, which is very important.  

This shell below was in the bathroom of our holiday cottage. It is real, and as huge as it looks.

Spiral Shell

Knitted Spiral Shells

I love this shot. The angles of the spiral are so beautiful. But I also really like the odd bits of human anatomy that have been caught. (I have another shot, which doesn't have any of the bits of hand, and although might be a better photograph technically, is not as exciting.) This was taken at The Monument in Pudding Lane, built to mark the spot where the Great Fire of London began.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Cherry Ripe!

Meet the Cherry Fairy Twins. I was delighted by Frankie's reaction when I first showed them to her. "Lady Gaga!" she exclaimed. Not my intention, but I can see what she means, although I had thought of them as more in 1940's dress.

Sorry about the seemingly never-ending stream of fairies. I do love making these little girls, which are still my basic pattern. It is such fun deciding on the flower or fruit and how to give them their character. There are still more on the way, and even when made I have to hope for a sunny day and seek out the right flowers for photographs.

These ones also come in their own little dupion silk bag. The cherries are hand embroidered, and the drawstring made of suede leather. They are also off to my Etsy shop. I am still working on a slightly bigger toy pattern, but whenever I need a bit of a break I return to my fairies.

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Bluebell Fairy

This is the new flower fairy that I have had in mind. I suddenly realized that although there are plenty of bluebells around now, they will probably be over quite soon. 

She is off to my Etsy Shop. I was going to stop knitting fairies for a while, but was so pleased to have some sales, and three of my little girls have headed off to the States.  For this fairy I have added a cream silk drawstring bag, which is hand embroidered. There are some more fairies in the pipeline, and I am in the middle of working out how to knit some little breeches for some boy fairies.

Her dress is a little different from the other fairies, and is bell-shaped like her flower, and I have sewn on her little hat, just to make sure she doesn't lose it.

Here she is in front of The Harebell Fairy poem by Cicely Mary Parker, which is what the bluebell is called in Scotland. There is also a Bluebell poem, but I don't have that book.

I don't often put pictures of myself on my blog, but I just love this one which was taken a few years ago of me and my children in a bluebell wood. I try to get us to skip through bluebells each spring, but it is getting harder and harder, as they get older and a bit more inhibited, so it is often just a nice country walk these days. 

I have also been making some little pincushions, which are also going to head to my shop. I will probably put them all in a separate post, as there is a selection of flowers, but I thought I would give you a peek at the bluebell one.

The Bluebell Fairy takes a dive! Hubby's idea of a joke.

Monday, 3 June 2013


We are very keen on Zingy in the EDF Energy adverts, and Little One asked me to knit one for her friend as a extra birthday present. So I have had to wait for the gift to be given before I could put on this post. I used Brackenzcraft's free pattern from ravelry. 

Zingy turned out much larger than I had imagined. He is 15cm tall. The only thing I altered was the eye-size, as I made the white bit smaller with only 20 stitches.

We tried to set up the photos to be a bit like the adverts.

But we don't have a dog so had to make do with our cat.

Poor Noodle, has to put up  with quite a lot!