Sunday, 28 September 2014

Singin' Sweet Songs

I do hope that my blog post title makes sense, although I have ended up with more than just Three Little Birds.

Here are a few pictures from my new pattern - Christmas Bird. Just for once I am trying to get my timing right. Although I wrote the pattern in the spring, I thought I would sit on it for a while and bring it out pre-Christmas. 

The plain white bird is made with a wool with a bit of sparkle, although I found it hard to bring this out in the photo. I decided to let this bird be very simple, and let the shape and wool speak for themselves. On the yellow bird I have just added a bit of embroidery. I am really looking forward to seeing what others make from my pattern, as for a Christmas bird beads and sequins would also look great.

I concentrated really hard on getting the shape of the bird just right. I tried to make an elegant, 3-dimensional bird. It is an easy knit, with just three flat pieces. The pattern contains instructions for plain birds, or Fair Isle ones. I think the Fair Isle ones are really Christmassy, and the pattern contains my Fair Isle chart, and a blank chart so you can have a go at making up your own Fair Isle version. 

You will see that on some of my birds I have added wire legs, while on others I have used a hanging cord. I haven't worked with wire before, so found making the legs a bit of a fiddle, although I think it does make the birds more realistic. My husband made the hanging stick for me with a branch of our apple tree. The choice is yours. 

One of my cats certainly was transfixed with these birds.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Love in the Mist Shoes

Some more Baby Shoes. This time I have embroidered them with one of my favourite flowers - Love in the Mist. I am also very fond of this wool, which was just in my stash, but is full of such a variety of colours without being too loud.

This time I have made a little shoe bag from pure white linen, with a ribbon pull cord. After all even babies should keep their shoes tidy.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Mermaid's Purse

I've been thinking about this knitting project for a while now, but needed to find the real thing so I had something to work from. And so I was delighted that I stumbled across a mermaid's purse on the beach on holiday. I photographed it, and had a really good look at its shape. 

In case you didn't know, a mermaid's purse is the egg case that surrounds the fertilized eggs of some sharks, skates, and chimaeras. And although it is not strange to find one washed up on the shore, they are also not that common, at least on the beaches where I wander. I do think there is something rather delightful (and a bit magical) about finding a mermaid's purse. 

If you want to read a bit more about them there is a really good site here with advice on identification. And you can take part in a UK survey if you find one yourself, at The Shark's Trust MERMAID'S PURSE. I am going to send them my photo, though I think mine was a Spotted Ray case. I had not realized that there were so many types of mermaid purse until I found this site, so am now wondering if I should come out with a range of knitting patterns for different types. I am sort of joking, as I suspect there may not be a huge demand for this pattern, but sometimes you just have to do something because the spirit moves you.

This is not a long pattern, and contains some icord knitting to make the horns, and short rows to get the curved shape. To get its distinctive slightly deflated shape it is also important not to overstuff it.  

I have set up a Mermaid Purse Promotion. One might look rather nice with some of my other sea creatures.  I have a selection on a shelf in my bathroon, and they make a really nice display. So if you buy this pattern on ravelry in combination with any of my other beach patterns (Spiral Shell, Starfish, Sand Dollar, Scallop Shell, Sea Urchin or Little Minnow) you get a discount of £1. Remember to buy them in one transaction, otherwise this won't work, and email me if you have any problems.

And finally, although I have really tried to be realistic with my mermaid's purse,  my daughter suggested that if I added an eye I would have made Sheldon J. Plankton from SpongeBob Squarepants, which was not my intention at all, but I do see what she means.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Aran Leaf Cushion Pattern

You might think that because I like making things my house is beautifully furnished. It is not, because I imagine, like other people, life gets busy and things just get in the way. But I did decide this year to get to grips with sorting out a few of the more shabby areas.

So with that in mind I have made another cushion cover from my Aran Leaf Design. I picked this lovely blue, called denim, as I have plans to reupholster one of my armchairs, and I think this will look gorgeous on it. Quite a daunting project, but I am going to give it a go.

So you can find this Aran Leaf Cushion Pattern in ravelry. It is really quite an easy and quick knit. The wool is thick Aran, and it is knitted on 6mm needles. It may look a bit like cable, but is a combination of increasing and decreasing to make the leaves.

Here is the original cream version of the Leaf Cushion

I also had a lot of positive comments on my Tree Cushion and I am still working on making a chart for the pattern for this. And I have an idea for another cushion, though that is still just in my head.

Saturday, 6 September 2014


I seem to have so much new to write about at the moment, but here is the last of my holiday posts. We drove across Dartmoor near the end of our holiday in North Devon, on our way to visit Granny, who lives in South Devon. It really is beautiful, although I am not sure that the photograph above is large enough to really show how great the views are.

My daughter is still not too old to bring a cuddly toy on holiday, and Clopper was really excited to meet a real Dartmoor pony. Highlight of his holiday. These ponies live wild on the moor, but are very friendly.

The granite outcrops of rocks are called tors, and there is a tradition to hide letterboxes on them. These boxes contain an inkpad and a stamp, so we had great fun hunting around the crevices in the rocks until we found one.

Heading down from the tor I managed to catch one of those increasingly rare moments when my children were getting on.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Homespun Miniatures

This morning I heard the big thud of a parcel come through my letterbox. What could it be? I was delighted to find the latest issue of Homespun had winged its way to me from Australia, and in an article on miniature crafts, my own tiny Forget-Me-Not Fairy. Some of the other miniature crafts featured are truly amazing, and I felt quite honoured to be there amongst them.

I do love Homespun Magazine. It is just jam packed full of really beautiful patterns and projects. A really inspiring magazine. So I settle down now for a good read.