Sunday, 29 August 2010

Between you and me...

My mum has been interested in quilting for quite a while now but had been a little cautious of going out and buying all the stuff before she knew it was going to be a hobby she wanted to pursue. She mentioned to me that there was a quilting shop in the local area, who would have thought it, and so we popped along to see what it was like.

Just between Friends is a lovely little shop which is packed with gorgeous quilting fabrics, haberdashery and has a small teaching space. We got chatting to the owner, Carol, who was very happy to chat to us about quilting, whilst also taking a class at the same time! She told us that we could come in for a taster session, which is designed to show all the skills needed for quilting before you make the decision on buying all of the equipment needed to get you going.

We went back a couple of weeks later and did the taster session which was lovely and informal, with lots of chatting and cups of tea. We learnt how to cut using the mat, ruler and cutting wheel, then how to put together a basic square and press it. The session only cost £10 and lasted probably 2 hours with all of our chit chat, so it was well worth the money. You can see some pictures from our day at Just Between Friends here.

Mum has gone ahead and purchased the equipment to start her first quilt, but my heart still belongs to knitting and I don’t really have the time to devote to a new hobby, so I’ll just have to borrow hers if I want to do some quilting in future. I really think I’d like to make a Christmas quilt; something that you can bring out every year to snuggle up under whilst watching crappy Christmas TV. The question is will I find the time to do it before Christmas?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

What do Babies Dream of?

Had to share this amazing blog with you:

The creator says:
'This is my maternity leave hobby. While my baby is taking her nap, I try to imagine her dream and capture it.'
Love this.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy

It was Brett’s Birthday yesterday and Florence wanted to get him something special for his first Birthday as a Daddy. So a few weeks ago we went down to our local ceramic painting shop called the Creative Biscuit. It’s such a lovely place to go with a few friends for the afternoon and paint a plate, cup, jug, vase, money box, ornament etc. I’ve done it a few times in the past and knew that they could do ceramics with babies hand and foot prints if you pre-book.

Flo chose a side plate as she thought Daddy could use it for his legendary sausage sandwiches and chose the colour red for the foot prints as that’s his favourite colour. The lovely Moss Stitch painted Flo’s feet, which were surprisingly un-ticklish and printed them onto the plate. I then wrote the message for Flo, using her Dad’s favourite nickname for her, which is Bunround.

He liked it very much.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Nappy Cake

A friend of the family was kind enough to send us this amazing gift. It’s a Nappy cake! Sadly you can’t eat it, but I’m sure Florence will give it a try. It’s soooo cute and a really practical gift.

I’d heard of these before from American baby showers but never seen them in the UK. It’s basically layers of rolled up nappies stacked to look like a cake and then covered by cute baby stuff.

You can buy them but I think it’s nicer to make your own as you can put specific bits on the cake to suit the receiver. They’re fun and easy to make too. Although I didn’t make this one I did pull it apart so can see how it was done so here’s a quick ‘How to’.

· Get a couple of packs of nappies. These can be disposables or reusable ones, although reusable ones will cost you a packet. Even though Florence isn’t using disposable nappies these will still come in handy for when we’re out and about.

· Roll the nappies up individually. Once you have enough pack them together standing on end and use an elastic band to hold them together as your first layer. Repeat this process, making each layer a bit smaller each time. You might need a second pair of hands to do this so get someone to help you.

· Stack the layers on top of each other and then start to add your gifts. On our cake there were bibs on the bottom layer, fabric and clothes round the middle layer and socks round the top. Each layer was secured by another elastic band around the gifts and then a ribbon (which said ‘It’s a Girl!’) covered the elastic band.

· To finish off tuck toys, and bulkier gifts into the ribbon or tie them on using pretty coloured cord. We had lots of little chew toys, rattles, teething gel and a thermometer added to our cake.

· Finally wrap it up using cellophane and ribbon.


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Still too hot for Hand Knits

Since we came home from the hospital it’s pretty much been a wonderful summer weather wise, which is great for lots of reasons, but with only one down side which is that it’s too hot to wear hand knits.

I was over the moon to receive a couple of parcels of hand knit love from some of my lovely knitty fiends but it’s just been far too close to wear them. Despite this I simply have to have her try them on to see how they look and dream of cooler days where there is the need for cardigans and jumpers.

This is a beautiful Sea Waves jumper from Gillian, which looks too cute on her. I especially love the colours.
My mum has also made a few things but this is her stock pattern for all newborns. Although Flo is still small and so it fits her now, I fear that by the time it’s cool enough to wear she’ll be too big. Oh well, we’ll save it for a dolly or something.

These are some beautifully soft vests from Iris which have a great story attached to them. They meant for wearing as under garments during the winter and can be used from birth to two years old as they stretch to fit and have a draw string neck. Iris even included a little swatch of the knitted up fabric to test in the wash before we potentially accidentally shrink them.
As you can see she's not massively happy about wearing this little warm number when it's already 24degrees in pants.
Everything I’ve knitted her I made in 3-6 months or -6-12 months size but she’s still in the diddy 0-3months sizes, so hopefully she’ll get to wear the bits I’ve knitted for her too when the cooler weather arrives.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Things that happened last week

Knit Nation kicked me into gear and I finished Wilbur the Wale. Florence likes his textured stitching.

I made cupcakes for the first time in 5 months. Oh how I missed baking.

I took Flo to baby sensory, which is basically a room of lights, noisy toys and tactile bits and bobs to play with. She loved it!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Tales from a Knit Nation

Yesterday I left the Mr in bed with Flo and took a trip across town to the latest knitting show on the block, Knit Nation. At first I was a bit concerned that it was only going to take me 10 minutes to get round as the room looked a little small, however it was a case of small but perfectly formed. There was just the right amount of stalls, all carefully picked to bring us the best yarns, notions, designers and accessories from around the world. Some of the bigger shows can get a little messy with random hair clips and glitter glue on sale in between the yarn stalls but there was no such fluff here, only fluff of the wooly kind.

It was so lovely to catch up with many of the vendors I’ve got to know over the years from being a visitor and volunteer at various knitting shows. Andy from was the first one I saw as I walked in and he was so glad to hear about Florence’s progress that he gave me a ball of pink Baby Rooster merino yarn to knit Flo something pretty with. What a fantastic start! I’m thinking I’ll maybe make a hat from the Wee Wooly Toppers book that my mum bought at her stall. Did you know the cute as a button boy in all the photos in this book are Wooly Wormhead’s son? He’s so adorable and she assured us that he loves to wear hats, which is probably a good thing when your mum’s a hat designer!

I had a lovely chat with Emma, the editor of Knitting Magazine and took a sneaky peak at Perri Lewis’s article which has taken over my spot at the back of the magazine while I’m on my break. Hopefully I’ll be back on the pages of Knitting magazine next year.

Over at Yoslda’s stall I acted like a massive stalker and generally said the wrong thing. I think she thought I was a bit of a nutter. Despite this, or maybe because of it, she signed both copies of her books for me and we had a photo taken her cute photo booth, with me wearing one of her designs.

I met the nice ladies from Denise needles, picked up some sock yarn from a stall I can’t remember the name of (sorry!) and made it down to the stand everyone was talking about Rohrspatz & Wollmeise. Apparently, because their yarns are not usually available in the UK there was a full on stampede when the doors opened on Thursday night. I hear there was screaming... scary! The stall was beautiful and the yarns were very lush.

On the other side of the room I chatted to Robin at Purlescence and met the nice people at Sparkle Duck (great name). I had a lovely long chat with Dixie from Nicols buttons, who was reluctant to let me take a picture of her. Eventually I manage to get the back of her head.

There were some amazing and inspiring kids deigns from Millamia a Swedish company. I caught up with some of the S&B London girls at the Knitting and Crochet Guild stall and then with the fabulous Eirwen from Knit Witches. Finally I stopped off at the Loop stall where I saw Meghan wearing a cute creation from Susan Cropper’s latest book of vintage gifts to knit. Whilst there I bought a ceramic button with a spool of thread printed on it a) because it was cute and b) because it has my name on it. How vain.

Finally I saw Ravelry creators Jess and Casey and felt very embarrassed to ask them for a photo. I was glad I did but didn’t realise they’d be so tall!

So in my opinion Knit Nation was a successful and really enjoyable day. All my pictures of the show can be found here including stalker-ish shots of all my favourite yarny people.