Monday, November 23, 2009

My first crochet project

Have also done a fair bit of crochet lately, unfortunately made a completely rookie mistake and paid no attention whatsoever to needle size and gauge, so what should have been a blanket is now either going to be a cushion cover or is making a very handy laptop map to protect my lap.

In the Night Garden Cake

'In the Night Garden' first birthday cake for my cousin's beautiful daughter. Really enjoyed doing it, although definitely need practice on the characters. Have got a fairy castle cake to do for next weekend - which I am really looking forward to. One of my first cake memories is a fairy castle cake my parents friend made. It was gorgeous and the candles sat inside it so it looked all lit up... Ahhhhhh

Saturday, November 07, 2009

This blog is currently under reconstruction

I am finally updating the layout of this blog - so please bear with me while I make some changes.

Hope to see you again soon!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm back!

It's been so long since my last post! Wow - can't believe the time has gone so fast.

I haven't really done much of anything since my last post - besides going to Itay for my best friend's wedding - which was fabulous! I've made a few cakes - which I will post about individually. Haven't done a great deal of knitting. Have done a LOT of working. :( But it pays the bills, and I am enjoying it at the moment - it's just so busy that by the time I get home I either have more work to do, housework or am too tired. Anyway enough moaning...

I have a carrot cake in the oven, which is why I thought to check in on my blog, and am planning an evening of knitting. I am planning a bit of a bake fest over the next few weeks as I have a few cakes to make - halloween cake, a first birthday cake for my cousin's daughter, lots of Christmas cakes, husband's birthday cake and my company's first birthday cake! PLUS I came across Rachel Allen's 30 Day Muffin Recipe today so am planning a 'Muffin a Day' in November to try and get me back into baking & blogging. Every day I will post my concoction and let you know how it tastes.

With Christmas round the corner I am also starting my Christmas knitting, so hoping for a few dark, rainy nights curled up with my knitting and a glass of wine...and a muffin! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Journal Blanket - Square 2

This is square 2 of my journal blanket. The reasoning is this:

We adopted 2 cats (Pixie & Posy) from the Llys Nini Animal Centre about 4 years ago, and one (Hobbes) from the Cat's Protection League 2 years ago. Sadly Popsy got knocked down 2 years ago and Pixie, just over a week ago. So this is a tribute to both of them.

We have also applied to help with fostering cats and kittens for Llys Nini.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I have decided to stop wasting time planning and thinking and complaining I'm not making stuff and to just get on and DO IT!! I spend so long looking at other people's work and wishing I was spending more time being crafty, then getting annoyed because I'm not doing it. So I just wanted to get down in writing that as from TODAY I am going to start making stuff and I am going to try selling stuff.

Quick plan:
1. Pick up my beads & crafty stuff from my mum's house.
2. Make chrsitmas decorations so I have plenty of stock to sell later in the year.
3. Felt my cassette bag so I can see if the pattern actually works!
4. Make corsages.
5. Set up a floksy shop and let's just see what happens!!

Ah - I feel better already!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Journal Blanket - Square One

In line with my Journal Blanket knitalong on Ravelry I have decided to write my diary online here. So here goes...

On 28th June 2009 my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. (ah!) I have decided to knit a blanket to reflect our 2nd year together, as the traditional gift for the 2nd anniversary is cotton. The plan is to knit over the year, adding buttons, things I find, fabric, yarn, squares etc to represent us and what we get up to.

The first square is a heart in a light olive green-yellow colour. The colour reminds me of the roses we had at the wedding. They were 'Antique Roses' mainly green in colour with a pink tinge towards the edge (see photo).

The heart motif, I think, is pretty self explanatory, and there's only one of them to mark our first year together.

To celebrate our anniversary we went back to the restaurant where we had our wedding reception, with my parents (as it's their anniversary on the same day) and my sister. Then watched the wedding DVD. It was a great day. And DH had bought me a gorgeous stuffed Bunny Rabbit from the Build a Bear workshop - I've been fancying one since we bought one as a present for my neice who was bridesmaid for us.

Now, do I wait until something happens that I want to add to my knitting or do I plan as we go along?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

1 Down, 51 to go...

Bobbi Bag.

Pattern: Let's Knit! Magazine, Issue 3, February 2008
Designer: Nora J. Bellows
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted. Main: Cafe au Lait.
Needles: 8mm

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bobbi Bag

I love this photo. All my bobbles for the Bobbi Bag in Let's knit magazine, designed by the wonderful Noni. And below is the Bobbi Bag ready to be felted - which I'll do tonight! So excited. Project number 1 nearly complete of 52 projects in 52 weeks on Ravelry.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Where did June go?

Wow - over halfway through June already! Work is crazy busy and for the last week we've had my brother-in-law and girlfriend staying so have been out and about showing them the Gower, going for food and generally entertaining. It's been fab, but has meant no time for knitting.

Anyway, I am on early starts this week at work so looking forward to getting some crafting done. Current Knitting WIPs include:

1. Skull lace pattern sample
2. Tobi's Blanket
3. Baby Wrap Cardigan
4. Bobbi Felted Bag

Plus I have loads I want to do. Determined to get at least one project finished for June. And sort out my websites. And make something of my own design. And practice cake decorating. Which reminds me...I must post the final cake from my sugarcraft course. When I find the photos.

Off to knit now. More later!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quick Update

Wow - Can't believe it's been so long since I posted! The last week I have been away from my computer so that's a bit of an excuse. I;ve been away for my best friend's hen weekend, and then to London to see my sister's final degree show. She's doing jewellery & silversmithing in London. So exciting!!

As far as knitting goes, haven't done a great deal, but am determined to get 52 projects in 52 weeks done. Plus have managed to get a bit of reading done.

I'm planning a bit of blog re-designing over the next few weeks, so it's likely there'll be a bit of a posting gap - but i am still here. Promise. Maybe just come along and follow me on Twitter for a while -

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Journal Blanket Knitalong

I have decided that for my second year of marriage (can't believe it's nearly a year already!!) I am going to knit a journal blanket, especially as the traditional gift for 2nd wedding anniversaries is cotton.

I have started a group on Ravelry - - so if you fancy taking part please join in. I'll be posting progress here and on Ravelry. The plan is to start on 28th June 2009 and finish by 27th June 2010. It will consist of 49 squares, each 15cm x 15 cm, resulting in a blanket 7 squares x 7 squares and measuring just over 1m.

Looking forward to starting. Seems such a long way away though....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Icing

I have just tasted the Poppy Seed Cake from Rachel Allen's Bake. It's good! I added a bit of lemon juice to the butter icing for something a bit different. Very nice!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

General Update - Studio, swaps, refashioning

A bit of a strange post as I have lots to update you on, and as it's still relatively early on a Sunday morning, my heads not quite tuned in yet.

Studio Update
As hubby and I had Friday off work we decided we would start sorting the house out. This started with sorting out kitchen cupboards and me FINALLY getting round to transforming 2 rooms into my office/studio and dressing room. Which I subsequently decided to swap around. I have before photos which i'll post later. I am not yet finished and thought I'd write a quick update while drinking my coffee before leaping into action! I can't wait to get it finished so I have all my cafty stuff in one place and there's so much I want to do.

My first ever swap - the Felted Purse Swap on Ravelry - was sent on 1st May, and has been very well recieved in the USA! I was so pleased she liked it. It's quite hard knitting for someone you've never met. Looking forward to recieving mine now. Will post photos later.

I've just been scouring the blog over at Wardrobe Refashion and am determined to make myself something to wear over the next 2 months. I'm thinking a skirt...probably a bag or two. Just have to get my studio ready...

My wonderful hubby managed to find me some poppy seeds - a much more difficult task than expected - at a local market on the weekend, so today I will be making a poppy seed cake from Rachel Allen's book, Bake! Can't wait. Have been looking forward to this for a while, so I hope it doesn't disappoint. Plus I get to use my new cake tin from the Kitchens shop in Cardiff.

We've got early starts in work this week, so have long evenings designed for plenty of knitting, baking, planning, crafting. Planning on plenty of blog posts, photos and tweets.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Heart Shaped Pink Sparkly Cake

The brief for this cake was ' I want a pink heart shaped cake with pretty sparkly things on it' - she was delighted with it. Inside was pink and vanilla marble sponge, buttercream and strawberry jam.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wardrobe Refashion Intro

Here is my introductory post on Wardrobe Refashion:

Wardrobe Refashion 2009

I minirhi, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed minirhi.

And this time I mean it! Really!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tea Cup Birthday Cake

Here is a tea cup birthday cake I made for my gran, Mams, who was 85 on the weekend. (The plate and jammy dodgers are real!) Went down well, just wish I could get my icing a bit straighter and neater. . .

BUT to help with that I have enrolled on a cake decorating course at in Port Talbot. Can't wait! It starts 2 weeks tomorrow and my mum is coming along too. Will let you know how it goes.

Next cake is a cupcake tower for my husband's nephew's 21st birthday. (I know technically that makes him my nephew too, but I'm 27, not old enough for a 21 year old nephew!!) Colour to be red.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to photograph your knitting

As I have started posting more photos of my knitting and studying other blogs, I have decided that I should do my knitting some justice and take some good photos of it. Plus I am hoping to start selling patterns and knitted items, so photos will, hopefully, make all the difference.

So, I will take some before and after shots of my knitting while I research and put my findings into practice. At the end of this post is a list of links that I came across in my research.

Natural Light V Artificial Lighting

There are a number of schools of thought on this. In many cases professional photographers will use staged lighting so that they have total control over light and shadow. I am not a professional photographer. Generally, in order to show items in their natural beauty, natural/daylight is best. Obviously this is hard to do an night, which is usually when I take photos.

However, if you do have the inclination, WikiKnitting has a great post on making a lightbox:

I won't talk too much about this, but obviously the camera you have will make a difference to the final photo. I have a 12 megapixel Canon PowerShot, which has a vast number of settings and can produce excellent quality photos...once I've worked out all the settings!

This post at The Walker Treasury Project
has some great tips on angling the camera, and a bit more on lighting:

The following two posts have plenty of information on using the camera with a tripod or without, looking at exposure and white balance.

So what have I learned?
I haven't out anything into practice yet, but here is what I'll be trying to do next time I photograph my knitting.

1. Paying attention to the light, taking note of how colours change and how best to represent them.
2. Going for an intersting angle - one that will highlight the texture, yet still show the piece without greatly distorting it.
3. Keeping the background clean, clear and uncluttered, and in a tone to complement the piece. Maybe something light on a dark background, something plain on an interesting pattern.
4. Learning what all the effects on my camera do. I know that 'macro' mode is great for close up work - showing stitches in fab detail, but learning how to set exposure, white balance etc.
5. PRACTICING. I will take plenty of photos until I get the one I want and only use the best ones. :)

Keep an eye out for my practice photos to come....

ps - i know the photo at the top has nothing to do with taking photos, but I thought it was quite cute. The one time the pair of them ever get on!

Peepo Blanket Progress

Here it is! My progress so far on the Peepo Blanket from The Knitter magazine, issue 4. It's about 4" so far. But I did manage to work out how to make the stripes look nice in moss stitch. Will post photos tonight with a bit more detail.

Am planning a post on how to photograph knitting - a learning thing for me as I have been reading a lot of blogs lately and noticed that the photos are much better than mine!! Anyone willing to share tips?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

9 Reasons to Knit

1. Because it's cool! Yup, knitting has become more popular over the last few years along with the resurgence in craftiness and home baking. It's no longer just something your nan does, but a bone fide hobby.

2. Because it's relaxing.
I spend most of my day in front of the computer (and most evenings too, really) and watching TV doesn't always help you relax. Knitting is one way to get your mind totally off the crap that has gone on at work, and a lack of flickering images give your eyes a rest.

3. Because it's sociable.
Knittng is one of those hobbies that can be done with a group of friends, hence the build up of Stitch N Bitch groups, as you can still talk and knit.

4. Because you'll always learn something new
. There are so many things that can be done with some yarn and a pair of needles, so whether you find a new stitch pattern, a new way to cast on, using double pointed needles, felting, different'll never stop learning.

5. Because you'll find new friends. Whether by joining a knitting group, at your local yarn shop or on the internet. I have recently starting chatting via Ravelry with my felted purse swap partner in the USA.

6. Because everything you make will be unique - guaranteed! No matter whether it's for you or a friend - the yarn you choose, the pattern, your own knitting gauge, a missed stitch here and there, every garment, accessory or toy you make will be totally and utterly one of a kind.

7. Because it can be cheaper. While nowadays knitting is done more for pleasure than for making cheap clothes, it is still possible! Besides how much would you really have to pay for a totally one of a kind scarf or corsage?

8. Because the Internet makes the whole world your local yarn shop. Finding the perfect yarn for your ideal knit has become easier as yarn can now be shipped all over the world.

9. Because there are so many gorgeous patterns. We are spoilt for choice with patterns, whether free, downloadbale or in a book, there is guaranteed to be something you'd want to knit.

Why do you knit? Feel free to leave your comments for a 10th reason, it would be great to hear why others knit too.

Build a Better Blog

I have decided that while I will be continuing the blog challenge, I won't mention it every day as it will probably detract from what I am actually trying to do. It may also make this blog sound like an experiment, while I am really trying to make it more interesting and build on my blogging skills. (Also so I can souns like I know what I'm talking about in work! :)

So, I would like to thank Darren for what is already turning out to be an interesting and informative course, and now on to my blogging....

Inspector Gadget & an Elevator Pitch

Above is my latest birthday cake. A teacher's desk with an Inspector Gadget drawing - long story!

Yesterday was the start of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge (31DBBB) by Problogger. The task was to write an Elevator Pitch for my blog, which got me windering why I started theis blog and what makes me carry on. Mainly it's a personal thing, somewhere I can keep photos and details on everything I am up to. However, I am looking to start selling online and I guess this blog will then become part of that.

So, in an ideal world then....this blog is intended to inspire like minded crafters and bakers and push me to be more crafty and creative. How's that sound? Any thoughts?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Weekend Plans - Cooking, Baking & Knitting

It is Friday, I am finishing work in 5 hours and looking forward to a weekend of knitting, sorting and cooking. M (Hubby) is cooking tonight, I'm cooking tomorrow and we're out on Sunday for a friend's birthday so will be making a birthday cake with a teacher theme.

Will also be ordering the yarn so that I can start the Felted Purse Swap I have joined on Ravelry. Have to get it done by May 1st!! But I have decided what I'm doing, and it shouldn't take too long.

We have people starting work in the garden next week, which is VERY exciting, and we'll be heading off to garden centres this weekend too. Plus M wants to get chickens, so we'll be looking at chicken supplies.

The photo above is of a desert we had at a wedding in a castle in Scotland. It's gorgeous and something I want to try tomorrow night. If it looks any good maybe I'll post a photo...

Nex week starts the 30 days to a better blog challenge so prepare to have plenty of posts. Have a good Friday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Time for a change

Good morning. It's 7:30am, and usually I would stay in bed until I absolutley HAVE to get up. Today I have already made a cup of coffee and emptied the tumble dryer, folded clothes and put a load in the washing machine.

The aim is to get up a 6am every morning (yup, even weekends) so that I have time to write blog posts and concentrate on my knitting. I uploaded some photos to Facebook yesterday and had some really nice comments, so I would really like to do something with it. Plus I want to set up Clic-a-Clec propoerly.

The panic at the moment is so that I can complete my e-marketing course as my assignment needs to be dine in 6 weeks and I have finished the course materials yet. So, best get on.... you will definitely hear more from me soon. And I have signed up to ProBlogger's '31 Days to a Better Blog' challenge, so there'll be plenty coming. Have a great day all.

(Have also decided to add an image to all future blog posts, an excuse to take more photos, so please excuse the random pic today!)

Friday, March 06, 2009


I came across 'The Bear Necessities' blog via Ravelry and love the yarn being spun, but also came across this meme - and as I have very little chance of doing much knitting at the weekend (I jammed my thumb in the car door last night and everything is pretty painful at the moment) I figured I'd give this ago.

Ok, the items in bold are the things I have done, Italic items are things I plan to do, and the rest are left as they are. Here we go:

American/English knitting - not entirely sure what this means?
Baby items
Cable stitch patterns
Charity knitting
Combination knitting - again, not sure what this is
Continental knitting
Cuffs/Fingerless Mitts/Arm warmers
Designing knitted garments
Domino knitting - ??
Drop stitch patterns
Dyeing spinning fibre
Dyeing with plant colors
Dying yarn
Fair Isle knitting
Free-form knitting
Garter stitch
Graffiti knitting - Don't know what this is, but it sounds exsiting!
Hair accessories
Hats: Cuff-up
Hats: Top-down
Holiday related knitting
Household items
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting a gift
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
Knitting and purling backwards
Knitting art
Knitting for a living
Knitting for pets
Knitting for preemies
Knitting in public
Knitting items for a wedding
Knitting on a loom
Knitting smocking
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting to make money
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with alpaca
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Knitting with banana fibre yarn
Knitting with beads
Knitting with camel yarn
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with cotton
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Knitting with dpns
Knitting with linen
Knitting with metal wire
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Knitting with silk
Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn
Knitting with soy yarn
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Knitting with wool
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Lace patterns
Long Tail CO
Machine knitting
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Moebius band knitting - ??
Norwegian knitting - ??
Participate in an exchange - Have started a Felted Purse swap on ravelery!
Participating in a KAL
Publishing a knitting book
Short rows
Slip stitch patterns
Socks: toe-up
Socks: top-down
Stockinette stitch
Stuffed toys
Teaching a child to knit (My neice?)
Teaching a male how to knit
Textured knitting
Thrummed knitting - ??
Toy/doll clothing
Tubular CO
Twisted stitch patterns
Two end knitting
Writing a pattern

What have you done?

Friday, February 27, 2009

A busy weekend

Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to get much sorting out done this weekend.

Tonight I will be moving on to phase 2 of engagement cake baking - baking 2 more cakes and icing layer one. Then heading out to watch Wales V France.

Tomorrow I'll be finishing off the cake and going to an engagement party. (With cake!)

Sunday is St David's Day, which will probably become all day in the pub and a quiz. I do have Monday morning off though, so hopefully will get some done then.

I am considering moving my studio up to the attic though, so my mess is always likely to be out of sight. Also means I can set up a decent workbench and not have to worry about putting everything away mid-project. This does mean that the sorting out will be much more involved and will take longer, but should be great in the end.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Crafty Afternoon

I have 6 hours this afternoon to make a bit of headway in my studio, hand-felt a very small flower I knit yesterday (as I haven't tried hand felting before) and get ready for a charity dinner.

Plus do a bit more blogging (this post is just to get me in the right mind set!) as I swatched a piece yesterday that is made up of a binary representation of 'rhi' based on an idea found here:

Photos later.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Studio-to-be

I have taken the first step and started tidying my studio aka The Little Room. :)

I wish I had taken a before photo just so you could see how much I have done. Anyway, this is my progress so far...

This is my favourite storage at the moment, and I have another 2 to put up. a great way to keep your stash on show, safe and away from the cats!

Leafcutter Designs

I spend most of my days sitting behind a desk working on a computer, thinking about doing something a little bit more crafty. Making something tangible rather than websites or reports or marketing leaflets.

I came across Leafcutter Designs and love the random little items that have been made like these recipe dice.

A new years resolution was to dedicate some time to being crafty and setting up my studio, we're two months in and I have done, tell a lie...I have made a bag. :( More effort required!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Needle Felting

Having just seen this post on I really fancy trying Needle Felting.

So I have found this video on YourTube, which makes it look pretty easy, and this web page that helped to explain it a bit more.

Just need to get some needles....

EDIT: Just found this shop, that looks great and seems to have everything I'll need to get started,

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Knitting Patterns - Just do it!

This is just a little word of advice really. I am really crap at deciding what I want to knit. I even have a degree in graphic design and do web design for a living, and still I can't sit down and design something I want to knit. I think the big difference is not having a brief. Not having a specific problem to solve, so at the moment I am spending my time knitting patterns from books and magazines to improve my techniques, see how things are made, trying stitch patterns and different yarns for texture and finish.

I guess what I want to say is that knitting is only ever made up of two stitches really. Sometimes there's a little bit more to it, but generally if you've mastered the knit and purl you can follow any pattern. I know this won't work for many people, and I have to say I don't consider myself an advanced knitter, but I am pretty determined.

I don't read through a pattern before I start. I look at the end product and if I like it, I'll find the yarn and needles and cast on. Then knit row 1 (which is more often than not either a knit row, purl row or maybe k a few-p a few rib), then row 2 and so one. If I come across an abbreviation i don't understand I look it up. if I come across a techique I haven't done before I look through my books, or (my new favourite way) look for a video online. There are so many wonderful, kind people who have taken the time out to video themselves doing a aprticular technique and putting it online. If it looks really tough I'll find some scrap yarn and do a little practice. But by the time you have finished the knitting you have learnt something new.

I have quite often been put off knitting something because the pattern looks complicated or fiddly, and that quite often meant I wouldn't knit anything from one month to the next. With my new....knitting philosophy I now tend to start a new project as I am coming to the end of one just so there's no gap. I enjoy it and it definitely works for me. I'm hear to say (if Nike don't mind me borrowing their strap line for a minute) JUST DO IT!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cassette TapeToy

My retro 80's Cassette Dude admiring himself in his slightly updated counter part. If only he knew what the shiny disc was really for....

Monday, February 02, 2009

Felting Swatches

Meet the new additions to my stash. I thought I had plans for them all when I bought them, though now I have them home i can't seem to remember... :) I do have the light brown DK yarn in the first photo on the go, making a bag if I can just work out the pattern, and I have swatched both the brown/green in the second photo and the pink/purple in the third photo. I'm sure I'll find a use for them!
p.s. here's a post about the swatch i was talking about in my last post (if that makes sense!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Handbag knitting

I have started knitting handbags. And am hoping to make a go of it, so I have started another blog. where I'll be posting my progress as well as my rapidly growing bag collection. I found loads in my attic the other day and have decided to bring them back into general usage. Anyway... my current project is the 'Look, no hands' bag but I also want to design my own bag soon to get myself started. I plan on doign a felted clutch, so that the fabric is solid and fancy this colour scheme:

I think as a small bag it would work. My wedding colours were pink and green (not THIS pink and green) but they came together by accident in my stash and I reckon it could work. Am experimenting with knitting words. Pictures coming soon.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Retro Cassette Purse (or toy) Take 2

This is a much better shape, and my intarsia has definitely improved. As you can see in the comparison photo below. Can you see what I mean about a toy though? Add some eyes and a little mouth...maybe some arms. Genius!

I love the little toys being made over at, it reminds me a little of those.

Maybe this will be my first pattern... now that's exciting, isn't it?

Monday, January 05, 2009