Saturday, 3 October 2015

Modern Granny Square Blanket

Modern Granny Blanket,Modern granny square afghan,pixel afghan

There's nothing I like more than a special event or occasion. Weddings, births, house warming, anything that marks the beginning of a new phase of life.
In my humble opinion, special occasions require special pressies. Easier said than done, I hear you say. I agree.
Thankfully, for me, I love an excuse to get out the yarn, cloth, hooks needles, whatever just happens to be the latest making phase I'm going through, and the chance to embark on a new challenge.
What 's more special than something handmade - something utterly unique that no-one else has, that you just wouldn't be able to buy, with out having to commission.  

It was a couple of lovely old friends who were tying the knot. They'd been together a while, long enough to have already established themselves as a family with two gorgeous boys of 7 and 5, and me and my little posse were thrilled to be invited to celebrate with them.

I seem to have rather an awful lot of clever, creative friends and these two are no exception. Means only one thing - they like cool stuff. Instantly the stakes are raised. Don't get me wrong, these folk totally get 'handcrafted', whatever shape or form it may take, but in this case, I felt something a little more was needed. I wanted it to have a modern twist - something for both the Designer and the Artisan.

I'd been wanting to make a chunky blanket for a while. I love 'em.

I've been impressed by some of the beautiful patchwork ones I'd seen, spread out  across the internet, and always thought that basic granny squares was something you could do something really quite contemporary with.

1.Feathered Hues - Design seeds. 2. Ellsworth Kelly quilt - spontaneous color.  3. Colour Explosion Quilt - Sew English Rose, Folksy. 4.Bears Rainbow Blanket - The Purl Bee.

Here's what I Did

In a wool/acrylic mix (wearability combined with washability), knitted with two strands of DK yarn. Chunky would've done, but the colour choice of chunky yarns is always so restricting... and for this project I wanted some full-on colour -  

a simple two row granny square.

Hundreds of them.

488 of them to be precise.

My, clever other half came up with the excellent visual effect of colours scattering from the corner - just like a mini explosion. It looks simple and random but had to be planned quite carefully, taking into account the careful mix and concentration of colours and neutrals. I wasn't sure if it was going to work.

When all the squares were made.

they then had to be joined together,

and all the ends had to be woven in.

I can honestly say it's probably the biggest project I've ever done. At times I thought I'd never finish. Anything like this is always going to be labour intensive - that's what makes it so special. 

Three months and 2,200g of yarn later, tadahh, and what a great sense of satisfaction.

Finished off with a simple row of charcoal single crochet, thankfully I think it works.

When my young daughter saw it she said "Mum, it looks like it's going 'Boom"

I think that was the effect I was after.... so I called it my 'Boom blanket'.

Here's to Chris and Lucy.
Hope they like it 
Wishing them many more happy, cozy years.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

No.... Don't Put Down Those Hooks

Ok... winter has pretty much passed (dare I speak too soon). It’s May and it’s getting warmer out there. I'm now packing away my winter Jumpers. It’ll be a while before we get the urge to make warm things, although I always regret not starting much earlier than autumn.  
There’s a wealth of cool crochet out there that’s is just perfect for summer. Some great shapes - it 's amazing what you can do with a bit of crochet. Here are some ideas that I think are just fab -  all with patterns, some free, some not - but still great value. 

1. Love the shape of this simple but very stylish summer shell from Lion Brand

2. Cover up with this gorgeous little summer cloche from the I Love Pompoms blog.
I bet it would look great in raffia.
3. How fab is this idea. Lots of potential for creativity here. Lovely free picture tutorial from Genuine Mudpie

4. Found this lovely number on Crochet Kingdom. A longer version would make an excellent beech cover-up. Just think of all those bright coloured cottons out there crying out to be made into this.

5. One for the tots. Protect their little feet in the gentlest way with these cool shoes (pattern) from TwoGirlsPatterns on Etsy

6. Is this not the slickest crocheted bag you've ever seen? You too can make one. Get the pattern from Etsy's IsWoolish

And there's much, much more out there..

Friday, 10 April 2015

A Letter from the Tooth Fairy

tooth fairy letter, tooth fairy printable, editable tooth fairy letter

It’s finally happened… we’ve been waiting aaaages. At last, after weeks of wobbling, it's come out -  the first tooth.

Already six and one of the oldest in the class, yet one of the last to start losing her baby teeth. It’s made me feel a little sad - she’s growing up - far too quickly if you ask me. But just look at that that little happy, gappy smile. 
So here I am - with a tooth. 

I had to ask around for the going Tooth Fairy rate (thanks mums), and it got me thinking of how it was when I was a kid. The idea of a fairy taking away my old tooth ….for money, was magic on so many levels.

I thought I’d do a little embellishing..the sort of thing I would’ve loved. A letter from the Tooth Fairy…a 21st century tooth fairy of course. A modern day, urban tooth fairy who likes a bit of skateboarding as much as she likes her glitter. A fairy who's not really that much into pink and isn't afraid to get a bit messy sometimes … and I thought it’d be nice to share with anyone else who lost a tooth this weekend. 

I’ve drawn up and made a little printable - a letter from the Tooth Fairy… complete with envelope. I've included pdfs which can be the saved as a an image file and placed it into a program of your choice (e.g. Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, or an online photo editing site). Write your message, print and cut it out, fold and stick where necessary. I've provided full instructions on how to add text, plus an example of what the tooth fairy might write - optional of course. You can print it using one of the many quirky, fairy-style fonts out there, or even handwrite it for that lovely personal touch. Blond, brunette - you get to choose. Plus you get to use it again and again - just change the message each time. Easy peasy.

personalised letter from the tooth fairy printable

You can even make it 'Fairy size

Let’s make the most of the magic, eh…. while it’s still around… doesn’t last long.

                                    Get your customisable Tooth Fairy Letter HERE  

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Galentines Day

I'm loving the new February 14th concept that is Galentines Day. (Boys, you need one too).
It's great to hear of all those single.. and not-single girls getting together to have fun on a night that's been well and truly hijacked by couples. It's about time, I say.

It's a while since I last did a granny square project - so, with Valentines(Galentines) day on the horizon, I've been on the lookout for a nice 'heart' version of the the granny square. There's loads of them out there, but nothing quite matched what I was looking for. 
I decided to do my own - I wanted it to be slick (well, as much as hand-crafted can be), well-defined - and I wanted it to glow. Here's what I've got so far.

Heart Granny Square, Valentine granny square, Galentines day

Sadly, I've written no pattern as yet, -  life's been getting in the way of blogging lately. I will post one hopefully in the not too distant future. 

But for now..... wishing you...

Love, in whatever shape or form.... X

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Graduated Stripe Buggy Blanket

Another new baby in the 'hood….a boy.  
Seems that there are lots of boys being born round here at the moment. 
Means only one thing....

...yep, another blanket.  

This time I had hardily any time to whip one up. 
Wait.... I really shouldn't say that - handmade items are NEVER 'just whipped up'. 

So a nice simple stitch in an easy to do and contemporary graduated stripe. This can be made in any DK yarn. I used Stylecraft Life DK in classic, but not traditional baby colours. It is one of my favourite wool mix yarns and has a real quality soft feel. What's more it washes and wears well and doesn't break the bank. 

 Cream, Fern and Blue Haze - Perfect for a boy ….or a girl.

This is a great project for beginners.
I've made an easy to follow pattern with a chart for those more visually inclined, plus a guide to the graduated stripe pattern.
You can get it HERE

US Version
UK Version

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

New Year, New Bunny.... well sort of

Oh the thing us parents have to do.

I thought I'd start the new year - not with a pattern - but with a story of regeneration, and of what is possible when you think all is lost... sometimes. 

Meet Pop-pop. Yes, I'll admit the name's a little quirky, but she was given it by a 1 year old that had a pretty limited vocab at the time.

Fast forward 5 years...... that floppy little bunny has become a major part of our family. I can safely say that it's my daughters favourite cuddly toy. She will not travel or go to sleep without it.. and we kind of love it as much.

But would you just look at the state of her! Shabby, covered in holes - I'd darned her countless times - I'd even darned the darned bits - those holes were now just too big to darn. And terminally grubby - as much as I was keen to give her her regular spin in the washing machine it was a safe bet that she was likely to just fall apart. 

Buying a new one just wouldn't have cut it. We'd never have been able to replace the old Pop-pop. Drastic measures were what was required here - this bunny needed a skin transplant. Could we rebuild her?

Only one way to find out.

 I got to work with my trusty tools and an old minky hoodie that no longer fitted…

took a copy of her body parts….

 made them into a pattern, 

and bit... 

 by bit…

gave her a bit of a makeover…

Some bits I could sew together by machine but it was mainly hand stitching. The eye and nose area had to be care fully cut away and stitched back so she still has the same ol' features.

It took ages... but oh was it worth it.

Ta da! Good as new. A brand new Pop-pop....
and a very happy, little girl.


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas
Best Wishes

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Here Comes Christmas...... Fluoro Flakes

crochet snowflakes, modern crochet, cool crochet snowflake pattern,

Did anyone just mention Christmas?..... Yes it's nearly here..... and, believe it or not,  I'm pretty organised this year, for a change.... At least i think I am.
Just one little thing though - my tree's looking a bit bare... still. Every year i try to make new ornaments for it, but this year I've been too busy getting organised.
 I needed to give it a quick boost.
 Here's what I came up with....

Funky crochet Christmas decorations, make your own 'Conran Shop' style tree decorations

... a slightly different twist on the crochet snowflake that, let's face it, is everywhere these days. 
This one is has a more modern, slightly 'Scandi meets Conran Shop" inspired twist and instead of traditional white is, yes, you guessed it.....fluoro. 
It still has that handmade quality and sits nice and quirkily on a real tree but also works with something more contemporary.  
Nice and simple, and those colours are fab. Crochets up in just two rounds. You can make a good few of them in one evening, easy peasy - and it's still not too late. As a special Christmas treat I've included a free pattern.
 HERE's how to make them.
Happy decorating.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Letter to Santa

Christmas seems to be so much more fun with children around. They're coming home from school with cotton wool snowmen and cut out snowflakes. They're practising their Christmas songs and learning lines for the nativity. Their latest favourite read is the Argos catalogue (why oh why did I pick one of those up?) and every trip to the shopping centre needs a plan for avoiding the Disney shop. Those little ones are getting excited.

I'm very conscious and a little sad that those years of magic are very fleeting so I'm determined to make the best of them. Perhaps in a way, I'm  wanting to relive the the magic I remember from my own childhood. Of course I also learnt the true meaning of christmas and our kids will too, but in the meantime there's no reason why it can't be fun.

I thought it would be nice to make a printable. A letter to Santa... in its own special envelope.  Nothing pre-written, chances are they can write their own now - at least with some help from mum or dad. I've provided some lines, but hopefully that's all the help they need...

Just watch them fill up that space in no time.

I wanted to share this as a printable download - in case you might like to do it too.
If you follow the link at the end you can download the 2 page PDF. You may reduce or enlarge as required by changing the details in the 'scale box in the print menu.

Print and cut out on A4 (portrait setting).  Fold the envelope (it's easy to see where) and stick down. 
It will need to be sealed with glue - my daughter was a little disappointed when she licked the top and it wouldn't stick, bless her - never mind....  no big deal. 

We (with an adult of course) put ours on the open fire, and sent it up the chimney... or you could do THIS

If you do decide to send it in the post, don't forget to include a stamped addressed envelope if you want a reply.

Get The free printable download by clicking HERE

This is for personal use only. It must not be re-sold or used for commercial purposes.
For all permissions please contact

Sunday, 9 November 2014


We're hunkering down for the winter here in London... and it's getting cold... so I thought I'd share this. In these times of saving energy, colossal heating bills and (still, despite what people are saying) austerity. Someone somewhere may find it useful....

Have you seen the gaps underneath our doors?

I mean... seriously.... Look at them.

Gaping, draught-beckoning, under-door, wind-tunnelling, chasms.

.... Kind of needed to sort this.

I have a small stash of fake fur that I've had for years. nice stuff that is destined to become, one day, the most gorgeous coat - but in the meantime, there's just about enough of it to spare for a more pressing little project to keep out those breezes.

So off to Jewsons I go for some pipe insulation (all will become clear - I promise). Love it there - shopping with all those builders - surreal.

So what do you do with a pile of fake fur and pipe insulation?

Here's what. This is an idea I got from lovely blog Living a Slow and Simple Life A fab draught excluder that slides snugly underneath your door - and (this is the important bit) stays there. It moves with your door. No getting in the way. No having to put it back in place. 

under-door draught excluder,  the best ever draught excluder, how to keep out the draughts

And you know what - what a difference.

So snug that when you open the door you're practically blown off your feet. Ok.... so I exaggerate, but trust me - it works, and particularly well with wooden floors. Our living room has never been so toasty. You needn't use expensive fake fur. Fun fur, fleece, velour, velboa, minky or even just some unused fabric would be just as good, and for a room with a floor covering like carpet, a fabric with no pile, like cotton canvas, would be the best option.

under-door draught excluder,  the best ever draught excluder, how to keep out the draughts

It's important for the environment and for our pockets that we try to conserve as much heat and waste as little energy as possible these days so this is a great idea. It's easy to make and works out pretty cheap. With the most basic of sewing skills and couple of hours you could do some serious draught busting. 

Click HERE for instructions.