Toasty and Warm. And Orange

One of my friends loves orange. And retro.  And recently moved into a new house. So obviously she needed a tea cosy as a house warming present (she loves tea too, I’m not kidding, this woman must be 70% tea rather than water). My friend had already picked out the pattern she wanted from Ravelry and I chose a lush orange yarn from Knit Nottingham to make it.

It was a different pattern to work with since the stitches are worked in the front or back loops to give the ribbed effect. I couldn’t follow the pattern exactly because it didn’t fit the teapot I had, so it made the whole process a bit of a worry – after all the work, would it fit round the teapot? Thankfully it did, but I would strongly advise against trying to fit the cosy when the teapot is full of boiling hot tea.

tea cosy



As a little chap our son loved cows. Well, he still loves cows, but probably loves Batman and Spiderman a bit more now. So, his third Birthday party was cow themed.


Our son doesn’t get much (anything actually) made for him. Mainly because I am scared to stitch trousers and shorts. And partly because I know that I’ll take time to make them and then he will rip holes in their knees. So I buy them from H&M instead and save myself time and money.

But I did make him some t-shirts for his Birthday. Well, I didn’t make the t-shirts. I appliqued them instead. Using pictures from ‘Moo Cow’ by Nick Sharratt and ‘Hamish the Highland Cow’ by Natalie Russell, felt, fake fur, interfacing and a lot of hand stitching time I made him a pair of cow tops.

hamish tshirtmoo cow tshirt

And he loved them!

hamish tee

Almost as much as the cake. Mmmmmmmmmm (well someone had to eat the rest of the pack of Minstrels).

cow cake

Not Crazy Enough? Well, I did more reader, I did more…

Most projects I get obsessed by are gifts for others. Well, in the main, for others’ children. And in some cases (although I think it should probably be all, but then it ruins surprises) I check first that the gift I have invested time and love into will be wanted. My husband is inclined to believe that in most cases they are not wanted but people are too polite to say so. I choose to ignore this.

I(nearly) always check with my sister-in-law because she will honestly tell me if something won’t be used. And she is even kind enough to think of things that I can make that are needed. Love her. But I do like surprises, so with the Amy Butler fabric left over from making a mobile for my niece, I fashioned a couple of extra bits and bobs.

Everyone with a baby needs a basket to fill with nappies and wipes and nappy bags and cotton wool and, and, well, baby stuff. Indeed, most people need more than one of basket to fill with such stuff. So I lined a basket with some of the fabric. Which I thought would take me an hour. Hmmm, the fabric left overs didn’t quite fit so it was a bit more fiddly. And took a bit longer. Ahem.

basket lined in Amy Butler fabric

And then I got a bit carried away with being sentimental. Our little girl’s favourite cuddly toy is a piglet, so when I knew we were going to be having a niece, we bought a piglet for her to have from our daughter. And I made both the girls matching tops, so then I made both of their piglets matching tops from the Amy Butler fabric too. The pattern for all four tops is from Prudent Baby, but shrunk down a bit for the piglets.

Piglet 2 in Amy Butler



Going a bit Amy Butler crazy

Before our niece was born I really wanted to make something  special for her that hopefully she would keep for some years to come. Her Mum and I agreed I would make a mobile for her room, and came across this lovely pattern and tutorial from Spool Sewing. There are no end of photos of different variations that people have made on Flickr, it is such a simple idea it opens itself to several interpretations.

My niece’s room was decorated white but with bright accents, so I looked for fabric to co-ordinate. In hindsight perhaps a bundle of bright polka dot fabric would have been good, but I went all out for Amy Butler. And what fun I had…

Firstly I made lots of little birdies, and nearly didn’t want to let them leave my house (I have kept a runt one because I couldn’t quite bear to let it go).

bird mobile birds seated

Then I annoyed my neighbours by spray painting branches white in the garden late in the evening. The only way I could think to get an even all over coat of white was to hang the branches off the washing line and spray them. Which meant a good 20 minutes of can shaking and spraying whilst they were trying to have a BBQ. Ooops.

And then I spent ages deciding on my bird positioning. It may not be all the obvious, but they are roughly in a rainbow order starting the pinks and reds at the top and moving into blues on the bottom branch. I tried using fine wire to attach the birds to the branches, but sadly the birds twisted themselves to hang upside down (so it would work wonderfully for bats). So I ended up with a less delicate option and hot glued them on. But nearly 2 years on those birds are still stuck in place. I don’t think that they are ever budging. Budging. Budgies. Ha!

The final task was to hang the branches together so that they were balanced and could move. Which again I tried to do in a neat way with clear thread, but the branches twisted, so I had to resort to white cotton. But, and this is surely what you have been reading through to see, the finished item was done…

bird mobile 1

And the view from below…

bird mobile from below

Baby SJ’s Blanket

This was my February project. I made it for friends who were expecting their second baby at the end of February (she was due on my Birthday, but little monkey stayed in a day too long to celebrate her special day with me). I was perhaps a little over-hopeful that I would get it completed in time, but I tried. I had a total nightmare with the pattern (All-Around Blanket from Patons) at the start, and even after a lot of help from my ever-welcoming LYSO, I still had to frog this back three times or so.

I used the wrong size hook and consequently the gauge was wrong and the finished blanket wasn’t as big as I had wanted. I did an extra few rounds of popcorn stitch and some single crochet rounds as a border and finally completed it. Hoorah!Popcorn blanket close up IMG_2549

PS I know that I should really have blocked it to square it up, but well, I had to send it to Baby SJ before she hit her 1st Birthday!!