pigeon post

yes our pigeon is still alive and well!
see you all next year! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

last minute makes for children to make...#4

peppermint creams - these are easy peasy and taste really cool and made extra special and extra fun to make with the drizzled chocolate...
makes about 20 using a 5cm/ 2inch round cutter. also you will need to make them a day before you want to give/ eat them!

1 large egg white
450g/ 1lb icing/ confectioner's sugar
few drops peppermint oil

for the drizzled chocolate topping:
100g/ 4oz of your favourite chocolate, i used dark
few drops of peppermint oil

beat the egg white with a fork until frothy.
add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time until a soft and not sticky anymore, dough is formed (you may not need all the icing sugar).
work in a few drops of the peppermint oil with your (clean) hands to taste.
dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll out (dust the rolling pin with sugar too) to 6mm/ 1/4inch thick,.
cut into rounds and lay onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment dusted with icing sugar.
melt the chocolate until very runny - either in a microwave or in a bowl set over barely simmering water - adult - may need your help for this hot water bit!. Then when it is all melty and runny, stir in a couple of drops of peppermint oil.
with a teaspoon allow the chocolate to dribble and scribble all over the creams... i then sprinkled a little edible glitter over as extra wintery sparkle effect.
leave then to dry out over night - the creams will go hard but still have the soft smooth minty creaminess  as you bite into them.
pack into bags with a hand written tag.

last minute makes for children to make...#3

my small son made these 3 kings cards for his teachers' cards - just simple folded paper dollies:

  1. take a piece of paper (8.5" x 11") and cut it lengthwise.
  2. fold it into quarters accordian (pleated) style.
  3. draw a figure of a person on the top layer. be sure that the arms extend beyond the edge of the folded sheet.
  4. cut the figure out and unfold. you will get a chain of dolls/ kings holding hands.

last minute makes for children to make...#2

knitted pink sugar mice
i know i've posted this one before but it's such and easy project for young knitters to attempt that i thought you may like to see it again although this pattern is knitted as flat knitting, not in the round as before - a bit easier for smaller hands...

ive used the instruction kfb throughout this pattern which means knit into the front and then onto the back of a stitch to increase - there is a good u-tube video here to show you how to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILcTB5hc0XM
using size 3 1/2mm or 4mm needles and a 4 ply, sock or fine dk yarn, cast on 2sts.

Row 1 knit into the front and then the back of the first stitch to increase (called kfb), do the same  kfb increase to the other stitch. 4sts
Row 2 kfb, k2, kfb. 6sts Row 3 P6. Row 4 [Kfb, k1] 3 times. 9sts Row 5 P9. Row 6 [Kfb, k2] 3 times. 12sts Row 7 P12. Row 8 [Kfb, k5] 3 times. 15sts Row 9 P15.
keep knitting in stocking stitch (knit a row, purl a row) until the mouse measures (approx.) 7cm/ 2 3/4in from the tip of its nose. Bind off all stitches.
finger knitting with 3 strands or a knitting dolly tail with 4 strands works well for the mouse's tail, or  simply just  braid 3 strands of yarn. sew the tail on.
sew the seam from the tip of the nose to the bind off edge.
Cut a tiny 6mm/ 1/2in diameter (approx.) circle from the felt. Cut the circle in half for each ear. Oversew these to the top of the head. Work stitches over the tip of the nose in black thread. Sew on the beady eyes (or embroider them on with little knots if you wish).

last minute makes for children to make...#1

we have a week to go  so why not fill your time... because of course you have lots of it!!!  - er, yes, ok, start again - for children to read only - you have a week to go so why not fill your time with a few simple makes (secret pressies for your family perhaps?!) - first up, simplest dolly peg dollies, my daughter made these for her friends... take a dolly peg and with a fine tipped pen draw on a characterful face, one with attitude...  next cut a 15cm/ 6inch x 2.5cm/ 1inch wide strip of ribbon (or any strip of cloth or even a strip of pretty paper) and the same length of sewing thread or fine yarn. Wind the ribbon around the 'body' of the doll - May found that putting glue from a glue stick onto the body first helped the ribbon to stay in place. wind the thread around the ribbon starting in the middle of the thread, winding both ends around the ribbon dress then tying the ends of the thread together in a knot. Cut lengths of yarn for the hair. rub a blob of glue onto the top of the peg then lay the yarn over the glue and leave to dry. May tied the hair or braided it to suit.

...more Christmas fun...

ho ho pixie and baby outfits ready for you to knit - one pattern fits both and they are super quick to make - here's the links etsy  and ravelry (for baby) ravelry (for pixie)... merry Christmas to you all!

goodbyee sweet Sophie!

sweet sophie is off to lovely, lovely cardiff in wales today - i know she will be very happy there - i used to live there!... if you too (and you live in uk or europe) there is still time to get one before Christmas - it's last day for US, - the post goes at 4.00gmt! you could you know if you're quickety quick!

New shoes for Appley this Christmas

..or you could hang these teeny tiny shoes from your Christmas tree... the pattern for all three is available from etsy or ravelry

Off to the U.S.A...

no, not me (sadly)... her, lucky lady! my first ever handmade doll sale, i've only ever sold the patterns and i love making them.... and, guess what there is still time to catch the Christmas mail (p.s. my dolls do have little pants on too but they didn't want me to show you them - very shy...)

Open -

come and browse and enjoy a glass of imaginary mulled wine! here's the link Christmas Shop with free postage worldwide and a free tree to the first 4 orders! Happy Holidays when they come!

Christmas shop...

i'll be opening my Christmas shop tomorrow (monday) where you will be able to buy my hand knitted dolls - knitted with care and attention by yours truly.. and as a special Christmas thank you, the first four to be sold will also be sent out with a knitted - then felted - Christmas tree tree decoration!

Happy Thanksgiving!

to all my american friends!

Sneak peek!

i'm just putting some finishing touches to some dolls i'm making to sell off this site and etsy for christmas and i'm loving every minute of it!

Knit some fun...

available now from ravelry - right here...

Winter Wonderland Tea Cozy!

this pattern will be available from ravelry at just £1.50 tomorrow, i've totally run out of time today - homework and supper to sort now - oh and dreaded ironing later - oh joy! i hope you like the tea cozy design - it's unusual i know but it will amaze your family and the kids will love it!

Poppy; peace please!

Pixie outfit at Etsy

i'm working on a christmas shop at the moment, stitching and knitting to make a few things ready made for you to buy - i really do feel like a little pixie working in santa's grotto!... oh and here's the etsy link... hi ho!

Little red winter hood...

hello - a seasonal outfit for your little pixie! available from ravelry - etsy tomorrow...

New month... new doll

well almost a new month, i just couldn't wait to share her with you - her name is pixie moon, she stands 46 cms/ 16 inches tall and she's so quick and simple to knit - more clothes to come, i'm really excited about her... hope you like her too, please tell me what you think! pattern available from here - ravelry

have fun this halloween!

New pattern blog...

i've uploaded this pattern and other free patterns onto a new pattern blog (take a look it's fun to play around on it!) - here - claire-garland.blogspot.com

Autumn country walk cozy

...you could make this with your leaves - only £1.50 from ravelry.

The falling leaves

we may have been momentarily thrust back into high summer over here but the leaves are still falling thick and fast like snowflakes -  be inspired perhaps and go forth toward your stash and knit these this weekend - your thinking perhaps an individual one as a brooch or adornment, however you'll get un-stop-ably addicted 'cos they are quick and fun and made all in one... and after your frenzy you'll end up with a positively autumnal splendid garland of many oak leaves to be proud of... i'm off to make more and finish my squirreling t cozy which i'll show you next week! have a great, fun weekend!
oak leaves pattern

Using 31⁄2mm (US size 4) needles and any spare 4-ply, sock or sport yarn cast on 6 sts onto one needle, using simple sock toe cast on cont as follows:
1. Hold needle with cast on stitches in left hand. 
2. Hold 2 empty dpns parallel in right hand.  
3. Slip 1st cast on st p-wise onto the dpn closest to you and off the needle in the right hand, then slip the next cast on st onto the dpn furthest away and off the RH needle. 
Repeat step 3 until all 6 stitches are divided onto the 2 parallel dpns, 3 sts on the front dpn and 3 sts on the back. Slide sts to the other ends of the dpns, working yarn at back.
RS facing, cont working in the rnd, beginning by knitting the sts on the back dpn - working stitches over two dpns, using a 3rd dpn to knit with, as follows:
Rnd 1 K6.
Rnd 2 (inc) Kfb, k1, kfb, kfb, k1, kfb. 10sts (therefore 5sts on each dpn)
Rnd 3 K10.
Rnd 4 (inc) Kfb, k3, kfb, kfb, k3, kfb. 14sts
Rnd 5 (inc) Kfb, k5, kfb, kfb, k5, kfb. 18sts
Rnd 6 K18.
Rnd 7 (dec) Skpo, k5, k2 tog, skpo, k5, k2 tog. 14sts
Rnd 8 (dec) Skpo, k3, k2 tog, skpo k3, k2 tog. 10sts
Rnd 9 K10.

Continue to increase as before, on each rnd, (increasing 2sts onto each dpn - one at beg and one at the end of each needle - 4sts in total) until there are 26sts (13 sts on each dpn).
Rnd 14 K26.
Continue to decrease as before, on each rnd (decreasing 2sts from each dpn - one at beg and one at the end of each needle - 4sts in total) until there are 10sts (5 sts on each dpn).
Rnd 19 K10.
Continue to increase as before until there are 18sts (9 sts on each dpn).
Rnd 22 K18.
Continue to decrease as before until there are 6sts (3 sts on each dpn).
Rnd 26 K6.
Rep last rnd once.
Rnd 28 (dec) K2 tog, k1, k2 tog, k1 4sts
Rnd 29 K4.
Rep last rnd once.
Leaving a longish tail end, cut yarn, thread up a yarn sewing needle.
Graft 2 sts on front dpn with 2 sts from back dpn working kitchener st:
1. Insert the threaded needle purl-wise into the first stitch on the dpn closest to you, pull the yarn through, leave the st on the needle.
2. Insert the threaded needle into the first stitch on the back dpn, as if to knit, pull yarn through, leave that stitch on the dpn.
3. Insert the threaded needle into the same front stitch, this time knit-wise, then slip that stitch off the dpn then bring threaded needle through the next front stitch as if to purl it – leave this stitch on the dpn.
4. Pass the threaded needle through the same stitch on back dpn – this time purl-wise, slip that stitch off the dpn*, then bring threaded needle through the next back stitch as if to knit it – leave this stitch on the needle.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 once more to *. Weave in the end.
Thread leaves onto a length of yarn if you would like to make the garland.

a newbee

coming soon, i've been busy getting a new doll pattern together which i'll post up before christmas, hope you like her - she's a little bit larger than the babies and i want her to have knitted, sewn and crocheted clothes which will be fun to designt... more later... hope you like her!?

Mollie Makes to the rescue...

again and again - such a great mag especially for birthday present ideas - this time, one for a 10 year old and one for a 40 year old (40 buttons in the purse)

New in blue and berry red

two new baby outfits
one boyish blue hooded coat 
with grey mittens and kitty cat hat
for her, a very smart indeed berry red coat 
with stripy beret and matching mitts
buy from ravelry or etsy

Signs of Autumn #3

this is a sorry little tale... last friday we rescued two baby pigeons (we think they must have fallen from the nest, also the mother was nowhere in site), we took them home to look after them and all was well, although one was considerably smaller than the other, until yesterday when the smaller one died we think he/she couldn't digest the food properly - perhaps an internal injury after falling from the nest? we buried the dear little creature and i must admit the whole household was rather sad that sunday, it's quite curious how you get so attached to something like this - & a reminder how fragile life is... however the other chap is very much alive, growing well, starting to stretch his/her wings and preen and peck and is also learning to hop onto low things so we hope that there will be a happy tale to tell there - i'll keep you informed... i'd love any advise if you have any?

Signs of Autumn #2

.. a new batch of lovely autumny colours cozy yarn for a new project

Signs of Autumn #1

beech nuts...

It's getting a bit chillier...

so get out your mitts, yes indeed - i've knitted some for the babies, i'll put the pattern onto Etsy and Ravelry soon...

cute for a Tuesday...

isn't it! it's made by nechepurenka, check out the blog. and the shop.

Windy and wonderful

man it's windy today! with a bounty of quince windfalls as a consequence- i'm thinking quince brandy this year as the quince jelly of last year, after all it's tediously disagreeable process off drip drip jelly bag and all that straining, turned out to be a little bit of a disappointment - by that i mean inedible and rather too stickily set, stuck fast in the jar actually! - it looked prettily glowing and gleaming on the window sill though, if i remember rightly, in fact i'll get it out from the back of the cupboard and place it back onto the window sill to make me feel virtuous again - (who'll know?)... a good weekend though, especially saturday's post - i received my order from faded plains, a vintage glass lamp base, so, so beautifully packaged, which i have to share with you, and two fat quarters from m is for make which i was equally overjoyed with, again packaged so specially i felt they were special presents just for me 'ah!'- thanks guys, made my day x !

party pig

a little pink knitted pig pal for a friend's 60th (don't believe you bill!) birthday - a pig keeper to boot

The stylish past...

last saturday, whilst visiting my parents in the cotswolds, we took a trip to the black country museum, so fascinating to go temporarily 'back in time' to the beginnings of the industrial revolution, wonderful history - but what impressed me most was the simply stylish, yet thrifty, interiors of the old, workers' cottages. i took reference shots with the plan to perhaps emulate this simple style in my own home...