Sunday, 24 April 2016

Goodbye Bears

So before the teddy bears went off to their new owners I decided that they needed scarves. And even the original large-armed bear (who is staying with me) got a scarf, and has not been left out of the photos this time.

And as you can see this teddy has already found someone to have a lot of fun with.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Tate Modern

We went recently on a trip into London to the Tate Modern. Here is just a small selection of the art we saw - some probably very familiar, and other less so. 

The thing with seeing art in a gallery for me, is that sometimes you realize that you have until then completely misunderstood a piece. Perhaps the scale of a painting makes you reassess it. I hadn't realized quite how enormous Lichtenstein's Whaam! is.

One of our favourite pieces was the Tower of Babel by Clido Meireles. Only understandable when you are in front of this enormous tower of vintage radios, which are all tuned to different stations and playing at minimum volume, so the sound merges into a cacophony that you can't interpret.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Edith 2CV

I have really enjoyed making this version of my knitting pattern for a 2CV, which is on its way to Norway. If you follow my blog, you probably know that I enjoy embroidery with wool, so making this car was the perfect job for me.

Here are some photos of the real Edith. 

I hope the knitted version is loved just as much as the full size one clearly is.

I slightly altered my pattern to get the white doors, and boot and bonnet sections, and the striped roof. Normally I knit the windows in white, but I thought this would mean that there was just too much white, so I used light grey, which I think has worked.

If you would like me to make you a knitted version of your own 2CV then please send me a message through my Etsy shop. The pattern is also for sale if you want to make your own.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

"If You Go Down to the Woods Today ..."

I have at last completed my knitting pattern for a traditional teddy bear, and it is for sale on Craftsy, Etsy, ravelry and Loveknitting. These are two new bears (not the original one), and if you look carefully I have made the slight amendments that I talked about. The muzzle is more pronounced and arms a bit thinner. 

I felt a bit mean leaving the original bear at home when we went off for our photoshoot picnic. I have a plan to give these two away as gifts, but will probably keep the first bear as I have grown rather fond of him despite the imperfections.

I had to beg my daughter to come to the park with me this morning to help photograph the bears. Somehow a middle-aged women on her own photographing bears having a picnic looks a bit bonkers. 

These bears are not a difficult knit. All the sections are knitted flat, so there are seams to sew. I know some knitters hate sewing up, but I wanted to get curves in certain places, and short rows is my favourite method for this. He also has a small hump at the back, and curved bottom. The head (apart from the ears) is knitted in one piece, and the lines you can see from the eyes going up, are not seams but a line of increase stitches. 

Teddy can be knitted in any doubleknit wool, and is constructed with toymakers joints. The best place I found to buy the joints in the UK was online at, mainly because the postage was very reasonable. Joints and eyes are not expensive or heavy, so it is bit annoying to be paying more for postage than for the joints. These eyes are child safe, and when I put them on one of the bears a bit too high, I had to use cutting pliers to remove them, so I think your average baby would find it very hard to get them off. But if you were making the bear for a very young child or baby and were worried you could embroider the eyes.

Writing this pattern has been a huge learning curve for me. Though it has put in my mind some other toy animals that I think would be fun to knit. I might also make a smaller version of teddy using the same techniques, that would be a much quicker knit.  

Tuesday, 22 March 2016



I received a request to make a new car, and have adapted my mini cooper knitting pattern to make a BMWi3. Although it is the same basic structure, I had to completely alter the shape of the side panels, as well as making the front windscreen much deeper, and adding an extra raised bonnet. The parts I am most happy with are the wheels, the bonnet and the back view. 

I have now got pretty good at spotting a BMWi3 on the roads. I'm not quite sure where this fits into my idea of eventually having enough knitting patterns for a book of vintage vehicles, but it was a fun challenge.

So I have been reading about the BMWi3 on some review sites. (Am I turning into a sort of knitting Jeremy Clarkson?) It is an electric car, and does seem to be comparable in size to a mini cooper. I can see why owners love it, as it is instantly recognisable and very stylish.

The knitting pattern will be for sale on ravelry. It is all typed up, but I am just going to test knit one more car to check there are no typos. This first unique car was for sale in my Etsy shop, but has already been purchased. Please message me if you are interested in buying one.

P.S. I have slightly lost my enthusiasm for this project when I saw the original pattern customer had put my car photo on a BMW facebook page as if it was her own creation, and saying it would be for sale in her shop. (It is a closed group, and I guess she thought I wouldn't see it.) Got a sort of apology, saying she hadn't been careful with the wording. Still fuming, and have resumed my teddy bear project.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Eggstreme Sports

Once again it is time for the school Easter Egg competition. I think my daughter has done rather well this year. This is all her own work, and the only part I have had is providing stuff, as well as my husband doing a dash into town to look for quail's eggs, as the normal eggs wouldn't fit in the canoe.

Still no knitting you will notice. There is some on the way. 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Pirate Noodler

The school production of Peter Pan is next week. My daughter has the part of Noodler, one of Captain Hook's crew. So I just thought you might like to see her costume. She is wearing one of my blouses, and a handmade waistcoat. I sewed it from a suedette fabric (not real suede). It was not too difficult to fit the metal eyelets. They came with a tool, and you had to bash with a hammer. (Very satisfying.) And the tie is just a really long shoelace. You might also notice that Noodler is wearing a Canadian bandana, but I am hoping that by the time she is on the stage it will give the right effect.

I told her that she looks a bit more medieval serving wench than pirate, but she was very happy with the look. You can't see the bottom half unfortunately, but we found a long pair of boots in a charity shop, to add to the costume.  

She turned down my other suggestions. You know the sort of thing: beard, eyepatch, parrot etc. Probably just as well as she has to make a quick change and become a lost boy later in the show, which I forgot to photograph. But maybe I will be able to get some photos at the show.

Thank you for the all the kind messages last week.  I am very much recovered, and back to my needles.