Saturday, 31 March 2012


Way back before Flo was born I started working on a cardigan using yarn I'd bought in the famous Black Sheep yarn dive at Ally Pally. I had bought the yarn thinking what a fabulous colour it was, but as I knit I became more and more concerned about the bright and lurid green. The cardigan was eventually swallowed up into the stash and was deliberately ignored for two years while I did stuff like have a baby and consequentially only wanted to knit stuff I really liked!

Doesn't it look... horrible!

With the energy of a New Years resolution or Spring clean I found the strength to pull the cardigan out of it's hole in January and re-examine the damage. After a quick look, which felt the benefit of my additional 2 years of knitting experience, I could tell that there was never enough yarn there to finish the project. I did some research and found that the yarn was long discontinued not available for a reasonable price anywhere. There was only one thing for it and it was ripped. This felt good.

I spent some time looking for a good project for such a difficult colour and then found it in the Nymph Tee. Unfortunately the pattern was from an old issue of Knit Scene, which I again couldn't find anywhere until the lovely Kathyr65 on Ravelry offered me her copy. Don't you just love the internet?!?!

I quickly cast on the new project and this knit up so quickly it already feels like a dream! The colour suits this casual but bold boxey look and the yarn feels really nice with its mix of silk and rayon. The neck hole is quite large and the top does slip off my shoulders easily, but for the warm weather we've been having I actually quite like the way it casually drapes like this. I've already worn it twice, including to the beach last weekend, so it's definitely wearable.

Like a phoenix the Nymph rose from the flames.

The Dream Team at the beach - ooooh yeah!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Just a little bit country

Today I spent the afternoon at the Country Living Spring Fair looking at a whole host of pretty inspiration.

I have to admit that not all of it was to my taste. Having a small child certainly limits the number of nick-naks, wire baskets, balls of twine and decorative wooden crates you can have laying about the house. But there was a great deal of inspiration and cute ideas to take away from the afternoon as well as meeting some lovely people.

My favourite stall had to be one of the only knitting stalls at the show and a London shop that I've been meaning to get to for ages: Nest. When my Mum and I honed in on this cosy little corner she pointed out an Elizabeth Zimmerman baby surprise jacket and the owner promptly exclaimed "Knitters!". Zimmerman, what a give away.
The stall was lovely and I spent some time perusing the Oliver + S childrens' sewing patterns and gorgeous yarns, including a brand I hadn't heard of before called BC Garn which is well worth a look! I will definitely have to make a trip out to Crouch End, where the full shop is, some time soon.

I did come away with one purchase of a lamp base made of an large old machine bobbin from 1913. Once I've found an accompanying lampshade I'll post up a picture.

It was a great way to spend the afternoon, so if you're looking for inspiration this weekend why not check it out?

Monday, 12 March 2012

Liberty Love

I work just around the corner from Liberty and often find myself drawn upstairs to the haberdashery department as if pulled by a magnetic force beyond my control. Most of the time I am able to walk out with my purse still in tact, but with my head full of inspiration. 

I love their prints and so whenever I see them I am instantly drawn in. I had already used the V&A's Liberty print collection to make my friend Shan's wedding quilt and so when their fabrics went into the sale I got a little bit excited. 

Our sofa has been the victim of red wine, curry and baby related Marmite incidents over the last 3 years and because it is the least practical colour ever (white) it now looks extremely shabby, not in the chic way. I had a plan of making covers for the seat pads, so that these could be taken off and washed when needed. The fabric sale was calling and this print jumped out at me.

The sofa is actually a sofa bed and the seat pads are joined together in the middle and attached to the main sofa at the font. I therefore couldn't make traditional slip covers and so had to get creative with their construction. I ended up making them like a fitted bed sheet with elastic drawing the fabric underneath the pad. It was a fun project to do and is definitely an improvement to the disaster of a sofa underneath. With the scraps I have left I plan to make some cushion covers to match.

The Liberty love then continued as I desperately needed some new trainers and then found out about Clarks range of Liberty Art Fabrics shoes! I ended up going for these and have worn them almost every day since buying them. They make me feel really summery!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Country Living Spring Fair 2012

As the days get a little longer, bulbs begin to pop out of the ground all over the place and the occasional day of sunshine graces us, the home-maker in me twitches with delight. I suddenly want to decorate the whole house, dig the garden, hoover the lampshades and get crafty all at once. Unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day, especially with Flo demanding my attention at every turn and rightly so. However when Country Living announced its Spring Fair I thought I'd treat myself (and my lovely Mum)!

Country Living SpringFair 2012 is taking place from 21st - 25th of March in the Business Design Centre, London. As this is only in Islington it's totally accessible by tube and completely possible for us to go and have a nice lunch/ dinner on Upper Street before/ afterwards.

The fair promises an inspiring day out weather you’re looking for ideas for the home, garden or even your wardrobe. Out of 400 independent designers, small producers and craftspeople from across the British Isles I’m sure I’m going to find lots to tickle my fancy.

I’ve recently decided that a small patch of ground at the back of the garden is going to be my veggie patch. I have the leeks already sprouting indoors and so am interested to see what is on offer for a gardening beginner at the fair.
My first attempt at growing real food
We also are in some serious need of interior decoration. After moving into the flat at the end of last summer we've only managed to decorate one room and that happens to be Flo’s bedroom. So I’m hoping to find lots of inspiration at the Homes and Interiors stalls for the rest of the house – it needs it!

I’ll be sure to report back on my experience of the Country Living Spring Fair but if you are interesting in popping along yourself tickets are available online or on the day. You can also help the wonderful Bliss charity by quoting BLISS at the checkout or over the phone. This will donate £5 of your ticket price to the charity which is such a worthy cause. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Here come the terrible...

Happy Birthday to our Daughter Florence who turned two this weekend.

We had a lovely party with lots and lots of presents and I made her cake in the shape of a strawberry by her request. We had to sing Happy Birthday twice!

I had meant to do the decoration on the cake slightly differently but ran out of time and so made do with a bit of ribbon and some pins - no one knew the difference. The mixture was a super light Mary Berry christening cake recipe with cream swirled with jam in the middle. It was yummy.