Friday, 29 November 2013


I've been so busy crafting for Christmas I have nothing very new to show this week. I am a bit craft-faired out, and am going to get back to making something just for the sheer fun of it next week.

So I just thought I would put together a compilation of all my minibeasts and bugs. Patterns for all the above are on ravelry (some for free), and on the others I have a Minibeast promotion: £1 off if you buy any two of the above patterns together.

Saturday, 23 November 2013


I'm not very keen on photos of myself. Apart from all the predictable reasons, I tend to shut my eyes when I'm being photographed. We had our photos taken at school last week for new i.d. badges, and while everyone else just got snapped, it took eight attempts before the photographer got one without me squinking. 

So this is the closest I am going to get to a self-portrait. It does sort of sum me up though. But I am still not very happy. Shouldn't I go in at least a bit at the waist?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Love Heart Phone Cosies

One last batch of iphone/phone cosies, and then I am definitely moving on. I decided to have a go at something a bit more graphic with simple colours, that I hope might appeal to teenagers. So these are the Love Heart Cosies. The colours really are this bright.

The embroidered hearts are made up of lots of hand-embroidered french knots. It is fun slowly building up the knotty area, and the padding of the knots give a bit of extra protection to the phone or iphone. I have found them really quite hard to photograph, but hope you can tell how thick and luscious the hearts are.

The top of the cosy is so stretchy it is really easy to get your iphone in and out, but tight enough so it won't fall out. If you want to make your own my pattern is still available free on ravelry, and my tutorial on french knots is in my right sidebar.

These are really aimed at my forthcoming craft fairs, but I may put a few in my Etsy shop. I am toying with the idea of something for the boys. Perhaps an embroidered skull made up of knots, as there do seem a lot of skulls around. Can't quite decide, as time is running out, and also my son insists that no self-respecting boy would want any sort of knitted cosy for his phone. He's probably right!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Pansies and Violas

I do promise to stop with the flowers soon. It is just that they are such fun. The flower photos below are violas, from the window boxes at the front of my house. I love their cheery little faces.

So I have used them as inspiration for some more cosies, but this time not for phones, but for glasses. I thought they might make good Granny gifts. Using my phone cosy pattern, which is free on ravelry and Craftsy, but just knitting them a bit longer. I have also sewn in a felt lining to give them a bit more rigidity. 

So are my flowers pansies or violas? I had thought that it was simple: the little ones are violas, and the bigger ones pansies. But after a little bit of research I find the National Viola and Pansy Society say that officially a Pansy must have a blotch (that is a consolidation of the rays that forms the dark velvety face of the bloom), while a Viola may have some rays, but these should not be so thick as to form a blotch. However commercial breeding of pansies and violas has somewhat blurred this definition. Though I am also sort of right too as violas are smaller than pansies.

Did you know that the name Pansy actually comes from the French word pensee, meaning "remembrance" or "thought"; thus when a bouquet of pansies is given to you, it means, "I'm thinking of you." The French believed that pansies could make your lover think of you.

Nicknames for the pansy include heartsease, love-in-idleness, godfathers and godmothers, call-me-to-you, jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me and faces-under-the-hood. And biblically, because of its tricolor, the pansy is often considered a symbol of the Trinity, and was sometimes called herb trinity.

Pansies are steeped in folklore. Pluck one of the upper petals, and your lover's future can be foretold by counting the veins that run through it. Four veins means there's hope; seven means forever in love; eight, a fickle lover; nine, a change of heart is on the horizon; and finally 11 an early death for the love of your life. 

Gosh, this has become a very wordy post for me.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Little Owls

I couldn't think what to post today, as I am part way through another project. I am not very good at writing about WIP's, but prefer posting about projects when they are finished. I'm not sure what that says about me. 

But then I remembered these little guys. 

I knitted them back in the summer when we were on holiday in France. They are from a free pattern on ravelry, called Owls Two Ways. Really nice simple pattern, which also has a crochet version. The knitted owls are done on double-points. 

I like a project on holiday where I do not have to refer to the pattern too much, and after knitting one or two I could more or less keep the instructions in my head. Some of these chaps were knitted on the ferry and the beach, where it is nice not to have to worry about your pattern being whisked away by the wind.

I did slightly altered the pattern, by adding the wings, and for some of the owls instead of sewing a seam along the top of the head I grafted. You can see this in the photo above: grey owl is sewn, tan one is grafted. This was just really because at the time I had just discovered grafting, and enjoyed doing it so much.  

What I like about the owls is that by using different wools, slightly altering the size, adding a few speckles, they do seem to take on a life of their own.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

A Well-Balanced Photograph

This week I gave my camera to my daughter to photograph something for Saturday Snapshot. This is what she came up with. It is a little desk toy, that suddenly had an eye-catching shadow.

But I also can't resist showing her in her Halloween outfit. This cost just £1.97 to make. Thanks to the lovely Fabricland: my favourite shop. (£1.50 for the orange felt, 30p for the green, and 17p for a metre of elastic.) I really don't know how they manage to make a profit. It is decorated with sharpie pen, and padded out with some cushions.