Sunday, 25 November 2012

Advent Calendar

Seeing as next Saturday is the 1st of December, I finally got around to making an advent calendar. 

Last year we didn't have one at all, and in years before we've just had a bowl of sweets on the dining room table. 

But this year, I came across Angry Chicken and her envelope advent calendar.

I used the same website for the digital collage sheets, There are lots of great things on here, and it doesn't seem that expensive seeing as you can print them as many times as you like.

We are 23 and 26 so not so much into stickers and toys, but we'll go for a chocolate coin any day.

Because I've put 2 coins in each envelope, they are a little full, but I'm not sure how to get around this as bigger envelopes wouldn't work. I used some pretty ribbon and some large copper paperclips to fix the envelopes on with. 

They look really cute though and they've started the festive theme in our house. 

I may or may not adapt these to include a little message to open every day, but thought it might be a bit too twee. 

Has anyone else started any festive making? I'd love to see!!


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Rachel Khoo and My Little Kitchen

I made some things from Rachel Khoo's Little Paris Kitchen book. I made the mushroom terrine.

Here's Rachel's...

And Here's mine...

I think it turned out pretty well, except she suggests eating at room temperature, I think it's a darn sight more delicious hot from the oven, but who am I to argue with a woman who has such impeccable fashion sense?

Later on I'm going to attempt the little sugar-puff pastries. Yum. 

I went on a little walk today, everything is flooded.

Now I'm going to knit and eat bonbons in the armchair. Ahhhh Saturday. 


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Lovely Free Printable Banners

What else is there to do on a Sunday morning other than design a couple of printable banners? Here they are for you to download and use as you wish (other than selling them obviously, that would just be cheeky).

They are circular motifs with capital letters on them, cut them out, hole punch the holes in the top and thread some ribbon through. I'm going to make a Happy Birthday one. And maybe a 'Honey you're home' to hang in the hallway. They'd be really cute for baby showers etc as well.

The Blue, Yellow and Grey banner is at:

The Pink, Green and Grey banner is at:


Friday, 2 November 2012

Knitting Books

The photos in this post are shoddy. I had candles lit, I took the photos, they looked fine on the camera, they were not fine. By the time I saw how bad they were I’d uploaded them and couldn’t be bothered to start again.

Obviously the photos in the books that I was taking photos of were beautiful so that was a good start. 

As mentioned, I had a little splurge on knitting books...

The first book, Tricots intemporels pour bebes by Astrid Le Provost, is full of classic, beautiful, chic designs. However, it is in French, so some translation required before I can knit anything from it.

These super-cute designs are from the book.

The second book, Vintage Baby Knits by Kristen Rengren, is full of vintage patterns from the 1920’s to the late 1950’s, and also contains a lot of interesting information on the history of knitting during this period. A lot of the negative reviews on Amazon said that there weren’t many/any patterns in the book they would knit for a modern baby. Personally, I found just as many in this book, if not more, than I have in books of modern patterns. I love the palette of greys, blues and mustard yellow.

A snippet of information I thought was really interesting was on the use of blue and pink for baby boys and girls. Obviously nowadays most people associate blue with boys and pink with girls but up until around 1920 it was the other way around. This was because pink was seen as close to red and being a ‘stronger’ colour, and blue was associated with the Virgin Mary and gentleness. Once blue began to be used in military uniforms it gradually switched around.

I didn’t put in a picture of it because the one in the book doesn’t do it justice, but Alicia Paulson knitted one of the cardigans in this book and modified it a little. It’s here on her ravelry page. 

I'm going to have to get knitting. 


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

I've been having a little think this evening about the gifts I can make for Christmas. A little early I know but it always comes around too quickly and I always end up rushing out and buying things instead.

 I already have Oscar sorted with his little blanket, but other than that I'm not sure.

My sister wants a tea cosy, I'm thinking this one designed by Ruth Cross:

(But I'd have to buy the book)

Alternatively this beauty by Keren Smith looks amazing but potentially a little beyond my knitting skills

The link to the pattern is here

I thought I might knit my mum a lacy scarf like this one

How did I ever cope without Ravelry? If you aren't a member then get over there and join quick sharp.

I've also been looking at edible gifts for the male/not so into knitted gifts members of the family.

Here are some that look amazing:

Candied Cinnamon Almonds

Toffee Blondies

Cowgirl Cookies

Incidentally the last website took up a good portion of my evening. Be warned. 

Any other good ideas for gifts? I like things that don't look handmade but people know they are. 



Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Oscar's Chevron Stripe Baby Blanket

There is a new baby. His name is Oscar. He likes to be slung over your shoulder. He is going to South Africa to meet his grandparents for Christmas. He will be coming back to England in January. He likes to be warm. 

So I started making his Christmas present early. In fact I started making it before he was born but I was a little ambitious with how much time I could devote to it (about an hour a week, watching Downton Abbey). 

This is the yarn I used, it's Peter Pan DK from Wendy. It was not too expensive (wasn't sure how well this was going to turn out and whether I'd actually want to give it as a gift), Machine washable (who knits things that can't be washed that are going anywhere near a newborn?!), and supersoft. 

The three colours I used were Raindrop (910), Freckles (903) and Primrose (380). This yarn comes in 40 shades so is perfect for making something really personal to the baby and their parents. 

I used this pattern and it's perfect. Simple, repetitive, good for knitting whilst watching TV. 

There's only one problem with this project, it's making me very broody and wanting to knit lots of other lovely baby things. 

I may have ordered this book.

I want to make this, this and everything from this

I'm also going to start making another one of these blankets when I've finished in more girly colours, I'm thinking Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in:


Enjoy your Tuesday!


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Back from a break.... and a new theme!

Well, what a year! I've been sporadically looking at my blog and thinking... do I have time?

I think that blogging should be a pleasure and an escape, not a duty and a bind. I started feeling that way about it when I began a new job in January which seems to drain all of my time and energy, and since then have not quite gotten around to blogging again. However, as half-term has rolled around again and I have found myself at a loose end with zero-degree temperatures outside, I think now is the time for a return to blogging. 

And with that return comes a new theme alongside the craft/thrift/cookery side...

The sailor and I got engaged in August and my whole life has been turned into a whirlwind of planning and DIY-Weddingness. (This is no bad thing as it has led to a huge amount of new blogs for inspiration, the ones I've been looking at daily are listed below). So, as this is our wedding and weddings are nothing if they don't represent the couple, lots of the details will be handmade and homegrown. 

So, want to see what I did yesterday?

I used the Martha Stewart instructions for making tissue paper 'pompoms' (I think they look more like peonies but hey ho). The actual ones we are using at each place setting will be smaller and in a much paler pink/peach colour but this is what I had for a trial run. Pretty non? I'll do a proper post on these when I make the real ones and give some details on sizes etc. 

Still on the place setting theme, I made the placecards. These seem ridiculously expensive in shops and often unimaginative. We wanted something a little different so I did a bit of scouring the internet and got inspired. 

I bought 100 sheets of 300gsm Kraft card from here (I used 8 sheets for the placecards, a total of £1.60). Then I downloaded this font (free) and typed out the names 10 to a page (38 point font). I printed these onto the card, used a label cutter from Hobbycraft (11.99) to cut them and a hole punch to put the small hole at the top of each tag. I bought some ribbon from a local market, cut 40cm lengths and threaded through the holes (£13.50 for enough to string 75 tags and to tie the ends around napkins). I actually already had the label cutter so these worked out costing 20p each, I think they look lovely. 

I can't find the cutter on Hobbycraft's website, but the same shape one can be found here for less money! 

Lovely wedding blogs/websites: (Check out the printables section)

I'll most likely be blogging every day this week because I've got a whole lot of ideas to share! (That and the fact that our boiler is being replaced so I need to stay in and knit/blog/make things, what a hardship)

Have a lovely Sunday!