Thursday, 27 March 2014


I took Mr Year to Barcelona. It was a surprise present for a significant birthday. 

Delicious churros, an incredible final score, and a great flea market. I sadly did not come home with the tiny furniture or the pink typewriter but the much more baggage allowance-friendly box of colouring pencils.

Spanish names for colours are very beautiful. Amarillo cromo. 

I am going to keep little hands away from these.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

May the Force Be With You

Hi. I am still alive and making things. 

Here are two and they both feature Yoda. I feel like Yoda has been a counterpoint to my life, and I'm sure to yours too. My cousin had a little toy hand puppet Yoda and he liked to chew his ears as he fell asleep. He's a professor now.

Also belonging to my cousin was a black guinea pig called Yoda. My brother did (and still does) very good Yoda impressions. None of this is surprising from these children of the 70s and 80s, but now I see Yoda love in the next generation. I think this is all A Good Thing.

I have a 12 year old nephew and am never sure about crafting for him. Is it any way cool? I know I think so, but not sure how he feels. So, I ploughed on regardless and made him this Yoda iPhone cover

It was not so much complicated as lengthy: once you had finally finished the duffel coat there were the ears, and then the hood and then the eyes, and then... who knew such a little guy took so long?

out of focus photograph you have taken

I think Sam is pleased, at least he said thank you very nicely.

Then, I made this hat for my godson, another mini Jedi. I took the pattern again from Ravelry and it went like a dream. 

When I got to making it up, the ears were a bit floppy so, for the first time, I started a thread on a Ravelry forum. Within an hour I had about 15 replies and suggestions for making Yoda's ears, um, stiff... You hear a lot about online 'community' but this really felt lovely. I do love Ravelry very much.

Here is the hat modelled by one of my own. In the end I made a stuffed pair of ears out of felt (I had some in a matching green) and sewed them on by hand, thus anchoring the crocheted ears.

Happily, my little godson is too young to be troubled by thoughts of whether a crocheted Yoda hat made by his godmother is cool or not, he just lives for the moment and wears his hat with the joy of a 4 year old. Very Jedi.

Finally, huge thanks to Kate, author of one of my favourite blogs for a very kind (and undeserved since it's so shamefully long since I posted) shout out. Kate, thanks for kicking me up the behind. And thanks for writing such a beautiful and inspiring blog.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Scooter girl

I may have mentioned that I find dressmaking a bit of a teeth-gritting battle. But if the pattern is simple and quick I love it. 

Danish pattern company Minikrea has been a great discovery for me. I found out about them at Raystitch. I am so lucky to live a bus ride away from this beautiful shop.

I bought this fabric ages ago, perfect for my little scooting girl.

So much that is interesting and beautiful comes out of Denmark doesn't it? My friend Ane for one. The pattern was very simple, just two pieces sewn together. My kind of dressmaking. I've bought the trouser pattern too.

They design the garments so they can be dresses, tunics or tops. I am hoping, with a little alteration, this can be all three.

Every time she wears it she gets compliments. But every time she wears it, being three, she screams and protests. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

From the same pattern I made it as a long sleeved blouse for her big sister. Another piece of Liberty tana lawn from the sales.

She is so elegant, this one. This does not come from me.

I can see this being made again and again. Maybe in chambray, or denim, or needlecord, or gingham...

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

ask a busy woman

The two girls went to stay with my parents for a night last week. And lo, the stars aligned and the baby slept for nearly three hours.

So I did this to a wall in the kitchen:

Before: grubby

After: none more black
I also got out the drill and did this:

These little handles had been sat staring at me for the best part of a year since I bought them in a flea market. They make me feel (marginally) better about the oversized filing cabinets that are our wardrobes.

Then, clearly on some kind of craft Stakhanovite high, I did a little sprucing up of some corners of my home. In our bedroom I put up a mobile for the baby and rearranged a mix of my old work, my Granddad's painting and a flea market buy:

I also added to this wall that I have previously featured here:

The print is from a collage by Martin O'Neill, the poster from the London Transport museum shop, the rest are handmade, heirlooms or charity shop booty.

And I thought, all the while, of the wise words of Caitlin Moran:

Give a new mother a sleeping child for an hour...and 'multi-tasking' does not come near to the quantum productivity of someone putting in an online grocery order, writing a report, cooking the tea, counselling a weeping friend on the phone, mending a broken hoover - all within the space of a 3 pm nap.  

-From How To Be A Woman, Caitlin Moran, Ebury Press 2011


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

some days

Some days there is no time to make things.

Some days your fridge packs up in a heatwave. 

A gas leak apparently. Do I save the hummus or the orange juice?

Some days you take a hot teething baby to the surgery for his immunisations. And you have to wait over an hour.

A work-in-progress sits tantalisingly over a chair.

So nearly finished. If only I had some time.

On these days I try to find comfort in what I can do.

I can rearrange my scissors. This is pleasing.

I can make a good luck card for someone important.

And that is about it. Sigh. Maybe it's ok. 

It will have to be.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

tank girl

Ah the English climate. 

As I write: a cool, sticky day. The sky a greyish shade of rainy sports day. What to wear? Not too hot, not too cold. Layers layers layers.

Why, a tank top of course!

A couple of years ago I taught myself to read Japanese crochet symbols and made this tank top in Alpaca wool for my older daughter Eva. 

Reader, I am sorry to report that that top is no more. Unless you are a doll. Yes, it was put on a hot wash. And not by me. I will say no more.

The thing is, it was a really quick pattern, and had enough going on not to get too boring. So, I made it again in a kind of deep space blue with intergalactic silver threads I bought in the sales:

I made another, this time more a sleeveless cardigan than a tank top: 

The wool was a lovely merino wool mix also bought in the sales. I found this pattern on Ravelry to base the shape on. Such a great pattern for a cardigan on there: you just start with the circumference of a neck then do a simple formula to work out the rest.

It's the same author as  this cardigan, with my own amendments.

The weatherman says it will be barbecue weather this weekend. Can I, dare I, believe?

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