Monday 20 November 2017

Vintage Caravan

This week I made one of my vintage caravans for an Etsy customer. It is always a bit odd for me when I return to one of patterns that I wrote a while ago. Did I really do that? But it turned out the same as my original caravan, which is always reassuring.

You can find the Vintage Caravan Pattern here, which also explains how you can make a caravan keyring. I still have a few of these and other transport keyrings in my Etsy Shop.

Saturday 18 November 2017

Weather Watchers

I have not being doing as much photography as I used to. So I have been trying recently to take a few more shots, and send some photographs to the BBC Weather Watchers. You can submit your photographs online, and if you are very lucky your photo might be featured behind the weather forecaster on one of the BBC News programmes.

I had been trying occasionally for a while, with no luck. My new decision was that every day when I walk the dog, I take my camera, and submit the best photograph. I think there is a bit of an art to it. Your photo has to be taken on that day, be landscape in orientation, not feature people, and reflect something about the weather that the presenter wants to talk about. Occasionally there will be an arty close up, but I tend to think that you need at least half of the photo to be of the sky.

I was delighted last week that finally one of my photos was featured on the BBC News Channel. You get a message telling you that you are Editor's Pick, but not the time or channel where your photo will appear. It took a bit of a search to find my picture.

For a laugh, a few days later, I took another picture of almost the same view. It was rather dull weather that day, but I was amazed that it was featured on the BBC London News. I wonder if once you have been featured once, you are put on a short-list, or maybe it was just chance. 

Although I live on the edge of London, we are so lucky to have the beautiful stretch of the River Thames only a short walk from my house. We are also close to some other lovely park areas: Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common. There is plenty of scope for enjoyable walks with the dog and my camera.

What I like about the Weather Watchers is that it really is open to everyone. We all have weather, and the photos just have to capture it, not necessarily the most beautiful view, or taken with the best camera. The BBC also get a daily record of the weather over the whole country.

Clicking around a bit more I have found another of my photos from earlier in the month on a page about frost, and the photo below on their bulletin board. They must have forgotten to tell me they were using it. So arty shots do stand a chance. The fern photo was taken on a frosty morning in Richmond Park. You can see the whole piece at


Sunday 12 November 2017

Red-Eyed Tree Frog

I thought you might like to see this cute and really realistic tree frog, made by jenniferb3 on ravelry from my Frog pattern. She had used the perfect eyes and colours, and added some embroidery, to make a brilliantly realistic red-eyed tree frog.

Here is a photograph of a real red-eyed tree frog, just so you can see how realistic he is. I love to see what folk have made from my patterns, especially when they are as clever as this.

Sunday 5 November 2017


Ta dah! At long last I have finished my latest pattern. No one guessed that what I have been making is a Vespa scooter. Iconic, and I think those who are into them really, really love them. 

It was also one of my patterns where I was spurred on by being told I could not possibly knit one. You might say pig-headed, I would say determined.

So for Vespa-lovers, I would call this knit an ornament, and definitely not a toy. (I would quite like to display my knitted scooters under glass domes.) There are a huge number of different models of Vespa, and I have spent a long time looking at them. They have slight variations, but I would call this classic Vespa. I have a Pinterest board where I have saved loads of pictures of Vespas old and new, and also started saving celebrities on their Vespas, (also old and new). 

What I love is all the colours that Vespa scooters come in. You really could knit this in any colour and not be wrong. I thought I would need to insert wire in the handlebars, but by using thickish wool and small needles, the icord is rigid enough without.

The structure of the body is made by using a bit of card in the the front panel and base. There is a template for this in the pattern. The pattern is 14 pages long, and jam packed with photos to help with the construction.

One of the main problems I had writing up the pattern is that I don't really know the correct names for parts of the scooter. (After all, I am a knitter, not a mechanic.)  The knitting of the parts is not hard, but the sewing together is quite fiddly.

The pattern is available on ravelry, Etsy, and LoveKnitting.

And here is a photo of my daughter, sitting on someone else's Vespa at Goodwood this year.  I would love to be able to nip around on a Vespa.