Wednesday, 23 March 2016


Hi everyone. Just stopping by very quickly to say that my blog is moving. I have decided to switch to a different platform - same blog, just in a different place. You can now find me at

It would be great if you decide to come and visit me in my new home. My decision is down to a few things - wanting a new look and feel here, and basically feeling a bit tired of the styles and templates available through Blogger. I'm leaving this blog here as it is, I won't be deleting anything at least for the time being.

Anyway, I hope to see you on my new blog soon!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Pom pom garland

Just for fun.....

A pom-pom garland for the mantel.

Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Learning new things

I can't believe I have completely missed a whole month here again! Seriously, where was I for the whole of February? I don't know...I guess I was just busy and that's how life is sometimes.

I've been trying to learn lots of new things crafty-wise, as well as finishing projects and thinking up new ones. Yes, I always have waaay too many ideas for my very limited time. It's a common problem. If I'm honest I also have waaay too much yarn to use in my very limited time...I think the two things might be connected. Continuing my New Year resolution to be more disciplined in finishing projects, I am not doing too badly.

I've completed two garments already this year - one I was very happy with, the other, reasonably happy.

The first was this one - the Rose top from a Rowan Filigree Crochet book (sorry, but does the word filigree always remind anyone else of that episode of Fawlty Towers where Manuel has to get rid of his pet rat?! Maybe it's just me...). Anyway, I have been thrilled to bits with the way this top came out. I made less motifs than specified for the size small in the pattern - one row less on both the bottom of the body and the sleeves, and the resulting garment is absolutely perfect for me fit-wise. I also love the beauty of the motifs - so pretty! The only problem is it is still far too cold to consider wearing this!

The shape of this garment is really very simple - it's basically a series of rectangles, one each for front and back and then again for sleeves and collar - no shaping whatsoever, but it still looks great on. This has given me the confidence to have a go at designing and knitting my own sweater. I'm currently still in the stage of planning this, so it's only a partially formed idea at the moment. I'm very excited about it though - I've wanted to have a go at coming up with my own knitting design from scratch for ages, but have never been brave enough to try as I always thought I would have to have at least some shaping in the sleeve head to create anything remotely flattering. I might post some more about this soon if I can get my idea off the page and into reality - watch this space!

The other thing I finished was this striped sweater pattern. Sadly no photos of the completed garment yet, I just haven't had a chance! I did learn a few tricks for finish this though, which made me happy. The most useful thing I learnt was to do mattress stitch for the seams. I've never had anyone to teach me this, and I've always used back stitch for knitted seams before, which works fine and usually looks ok from the outside, but does tend to result in quite bulky seams, which I don't like. I've been making a concerted effort to brush up my knitting know how and skills and have found some really useful tips and tricks online. Maybe I will do a post collating some of these soon.

That's all for now - roll on spring!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Splashes of colour

January is a grey month. More often than not, with the weather here, the only colours you see each day are varying shades of grey to black. Black at night, dark grey in the morning, slightly lighter gray around lunchtime then swiftly returning to dark grey again by the time you head home.

It can be pretty depressing. Sometimes I feel a bit like the world has ceased to exist, and that I'm just trudging along in a little bubble, surrounded by blackness. That's when I have really bad January blue. But I try not to let myself wallow in it too often. I expect everyone does this, but to avoid the January blues, I try and work some colour somewhere into the day. Whether it's something I'm wearing or something I have around the house. Flowers, obviously are a good bet for this time of year.

I thought I would share some of those splashes of colour.

Yup, hyacinths again, but I just love them, sorry.

I did manage to finish the finger breaking crochet top I was working on the other week. I'm pretty pleased with the result so far, although I haven't quite finished weaving in the ends, and it needs a press. I added fewer rows of motifs to the length of sleeves and body. 2 less rows to the sleeves and 1 less to the body. The sleeves are a perfect half length for me, but I'm undecided on the body - I may go back and add the final row after all. I'll show some pictures when I've finished weaving in and pressed it...and when we actually have some daylight here again!

In the meantime, I've been working on this, which I LOVE! I have made one of these before, and have meant for ages to go back and make a second in another colour combination. Only trouble is, now I have ideas for a third in my head! Argh! Well, I have a v. long list of projects waiting after this one, so I think number 3 will just have to wait a while. The link to the pattern is on my Ravelry page if you are interested.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happy New Year 2016

So I know a lot of people post highlights of their year at this time on blogs. I would love to join in, but I don't think I blogged enough in 2015 to make it worthwhile! I'll just have to enjoy reading everyone else's highlights this year. But instead, I thought I would share a funny, technology related highlight of the year story with you.

I'm not a person that loves social media. I know that's sort of ironic coming from someone who has a blog. But blogging always seems different to me, I'm here writing about something specific, and it's mainly for myself, to create my own space amid everyday life - something I can control and shape how I want. I don't really tend to go in to great depth about the minutiae of my life here. Mainly because I can't imagine who would want to read it, or ever be interested! I do have a Facebook and Twitter account, but I'm a 'lurker'. I don't really post on either of them, but use them more as news services. I love the Internet - it's such a great resource for craft - but I sort of hate the insidiousness (is that a word?) of social media and the world of internet on phones. I know I'm a mass of contradictions here, but it's just how I feel. Google ads bug me - I hate that they track what web pages you've visited and then use the info to advertise things to you when you're trying to do something else. I hate the fact that we're all now constantly expected to be contactable because of mobiles.

I am going somewhere with this rant I promise! Amid all my dislike of some aspects of modern technology, I have a smartphone, like pretty much all of us do now. I use my phone to take the occasional picture, again like pretty much all of us do (though I mainly use a proper camera - better picture quality).

Well, just as I was heading off to bed on New Years Day, post champagne celebration of midnight with S, I noticed a little message on my phone. It was a video clip. Creepily, some software on my phone had decided to create a little film of what it thought were my highlights of 2015, by splicing together all the photos I had taken and stored on my phone, with some backing music. As I say, I found this very creepy...until suddenly it became hilarious, when, as I watched the video scroll through my photos, complete with plinky plunky music backing, I realised that the software had picked up and included some pictures which I had taken for our plumber, of a leak on our toilet!! It was so hilarious - whatever my phone thought, I can tell you that a leaky toilet was definitely not one of my year highlights!!


One of my New Year resolutions was to finish every craft project I start. Yeah, I know, good luck with that! Well so far I am on track, I have finished my Nanook cardigan. The peach colour seems less peach now that it's knitted into a full garment. The light here has been rubbish though, so no pics yet.

I also finished a shawl over Christmas. Again, sorry for the slightly lurid colour of the pink, it's the bad light.

My latest make, which actually I am starting to regret a little, is the Rose top, from Rowan Filigree crochet book 3. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely design. It's just that working with 4 ply cotton and a 2.5mm hook is really crampling my hands and fingers, and the motif design, though lovely is quite painstaking...and there are 140 to make! I really wish the published had included crochet charts in the book too. I can't understand why there are only written instructions. I know some people prefer that, but I find a chart so much easier, especially with quite a fiddly motif. And I know I can't take a break and work on something else, because I just won't start again! So must press on to completion. Sigh. At least it is pretty.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Signing off for Christmas

So here we are again at the end of the year. It's really been an eventful one for me. A new home, new job (sort of) more Ph.D stuff. Nothing stands still. At times I've felt like I'm racing to catch up with myself. I think this has been the busiest year I've ever lived - there suddenly seems to be so much more to do.

It's been a good year though, with so many things I am now grateful to have, and so much to look forward to next year.

It might be 2016 before I can finish this's coming along fine, but I'm about to go away for Christmas, and there's no way I want to cram this in my bag to take with me. It's knitted in the round, top down, and there are about 3 different circular needles attached and sticking out at different points at the moment. Not exactly portable! So instead I'm starting a smaller crochet project instead - something more portable...more on that next time though.

In the meantime, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I'll be spending Christmas relaxing, enjoying a break from the whirligig...and daydreaming about future crafty projects!

Take care xx

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Winter solistice

...yes, winter solstice is nearly here. I actually really like this time of year, although I do find my 6 am starts in the pitch dark a little hard to take by this time. The weather here hasn't helped. It's been consistently muggy, damp and dank here in London. I've been beetling around still wearing a jacket instead of my big winter coat (which is normally donned sometime in November and then out of necessity not forsaken until March). Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the warm weather in a way. At 5 foot 1, winter coats tend to swamp me (you have no idea how hard it is to find a petite fit winter coat - trust me, I have tried!), so they are not my favourite thing. 

But, I am really missing the crisp, clear albeit freezing days which we do sometimes get during winter. I would really love to see a little but of frost, just for a day or two, just for Christmas! Ah well.

Mr Owl here isn't really a Christmassy decoration, he stays on the mantel all year round. I love him, so I thought he deserved a spot here, with his creamy-glowiness.

It's the time of year when hyacinths start to appear in the shops, which I love. I love seeing them bloom, and the amazing smell. I don't know what colour these will be, but I am kind of hoping for white to match everything else on the mantel.

I can feel my thoughts are already turning to spring. As much as I am enjoying our new home at the moment - it's still a novelty to change things around as the seasons change. I am very much enjoying having a slightly Christmassy mantel, and a tree of my very own in the living room. I am gradually sneaking in bits and pieces of decorations elsewhere in the house. So far S is not complaining, which I am surprised about!

Crafty wise, there is a lot going on. My head feels like it might burst as it's so jam packed with thoughts of things I want to make. I seem to have fallen head over heels in the last 24 hours for this crochet top. This worries me slightly though, as I have a bad track record with crochet garments. I don't know why, but they always come out too small! Clearly it must be my tension. Weird though, as I never have this problem with knitting. I must be more relaxed when knitting! 

I also want to make more cushion covers - the bedroom needs new ones, the living room does too. I have ideas for colour and pattern already. A new throw for the living too I think....Then there are the knitted garments I want to make... another version of a striped boatneck top I made a few years ago.

This is not to mention the cardigan I am currently working on. Worryingly I have issues with that too - colour related ones. I thought I was picking a nice neutral, creamy colour in the shop. But when I got home and started knitting, I realised the yarn I have chosen looks more of a dirty peach pink. Now don't get me wrong I actually like peachy pink...but maybe not to wear, not for me. I have brown hair and eyes, and am thinking peachy pink near my face may make me look jaundiced! Hmm, well we shall have to see. Maybe another version of the cardigan will have to be knitted in a different colour - because I really do love the pattern and the idea of the finished garment.....

Friday, 11 December 2015


2015...what a year. It has been pretty crazy for me. A lot has happened and I am still playing catch up. And now it's December - it's getting to the time of the year when you reflect on everything that has happened.

Well it has been a good year, but a busy one. I've sort of drifted along with everything that has happened - a little like being swept out to see sometimes, but all ok really. I think life is like this sometimes, you have to just go with the flow and wait until you are washed ashore again...hopefully somewhere calm.

Anyway, I am rambling.

It's starting to feel a little Christmassy. I am so excited about decorations this year. I don't know, there's something about having a new home, especially a new home that is more of a home because it is a home you make with someone. If that makes sense. Unfortunately because we are starting from scratch in terms of decorations I can't quite justify the expenditure necessary to justify all my decorative wanties! I guess Christmas decs are the sort of things you build gradually over the years. I keep thinking about the decorations on my parents tree, and about how we always had those same old ones year after year, ones I remember from when I was very small, as well as ones bought more recently.

I hope S and I will be able to gradually build up a store of memories like that, now we are together.

Crafty-wise I have sorted of plodded along. I sometimes criticise myself for never finishing things, but then I look around the room and think, and realise that actually, there are a few things I have made and managed to finish this year - I haven't done so badly after all!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

New things

...there have been a lot of new things for me lately.

S and I finally took the plunge and bought a place together... so a new home, a new area and a new person to live with...a new commute to work too!

In the mad rush of doing everything - getting used to travelling around a new area, unpacking, cleaning, buying furniture...well as you can imagine there just hasn't been time for much else, least of all blogging!

 We moved in mid-June so we are still very much in the settling in phase. We have a lot more space then either of us had before, which is lovely. We are very lucky. I have huge plans...well, too many plans really!

We've both spent months dreaming about this - we actually started the process in February, but it all got rather complicated and stressful, especially in the last few weeks. I've spent ages leafing through interior design books and home magazines, day dreaming - one of my favourite activities!

There are just too many things to buy and do, and we can't do them all at once! Never mind though, I love that we now have the time to plan at our leisure!


Tuesday, 12 May 2015


I think I might be on a roll. Maybe I shouldn't speak to soon though. I'm working on another project, and I have a feeling I might finish it.

It's only a little cushion cover, nothing major. It has a slightly different palette than I would normally go for. It's kind of...zesty. I don't know why, I just wanted watermelon and primrose shades, together with a sort of greeny gold... some brown and cream to balance it out. I think I like it though.

The idea for this came from one of my favourite blogs, which I first discovered through Pinterest - IDA Interior Lifestyle. I love the things she makes - they are always simple, but so beautiful. Showing that you don't need to do anything complicated to create something effective. I think the colour palettes she uses are one of the things I like the most. I love the way she pairs bright colours with neutrals, and that the bright colours are always selectively chosen, and not just the whole rainbow thrown in (not that there's anything wrong with throwing in the whole rainbow - I've done it myself!).

It was the cushions shown in this post that really inspired me: I have it pinned on my Pinterest board and whenever I see it, it lifts me. So simple, but so effective. I also love the colour blocking throw seen on the foot of the bed. Hmmm, maybe one will have to made at some point.