Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Time Trickles.

 Where is time going this year. I can't believe that we are now only a couple of days away from March. What happened to February?????? And how on earth could I let myself be taken so unawares by Hugo's birthday that IS THIS SATURDAY. Unlike every other year since the boys have been born, there are no party invitations, just hastily phoned mothers and lots of apologies on my behalf for the lack of warning. Who needs more than 4 days to plan a party anyway........
The upside to everything though is that I have decided to try and make Hugo a rainbow layer cake. My sponge making has come on a lot over the summer and I have been researching up on it this morning so fingers crossed.
 But all of this means that patterns I am trying to write are on hold. And it is torture because that is all I feel like doing.
This particular Franco Fox is so desperate for a body.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, February 22, 2013

New Projects.

 Can you remember what I was doing on Monday morning? Well, here is the result... a new set of Stanley cards that I will be selling online soon. They came back from the printers very quickly and I am  thrilled with the result. I particularly like the card's back with the toadstool and tree showing.
 My goodness Stanley has some adventures. 
I have also started my new jumper, it is knitting up so beautifully and is so soft that I have to keep rubbing it against my cheek. The grey wool is the cashmerino by Sublime which I bought on sale a year ago. The yellow and pink are bamboo merino by Sirdar "Baby Bamboo", a range that I am mad on for their wonderful colours.
 This is the pattern I am using above. I have already knitted it up once in a dusty navy blue and wore it so much last year that I had to knit another one. It is the best and most clever knitting pattern I have ever had the pleasure of working with.... it became my friend.
And it comes from this book which is one of the best knitting books I have ever read.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wool and Fox Feathers.

 First of all - I am about to start knitting a new jumper for myself - I will include photos of the pattern in another post. Grey, yellow and neon pink are singing to me at the moment.
 And now for the most exciting part.... the genius that is my father-in-law. I was staying with my in-laws when I was working on Franco Fox. Norm (F.I.L) suggested that all was needed to finish him off would be a tiny feather. For the next few days we searched to no avail until this morning when I found a small wing on the lawn. I don't know how it got there and yes, there is some guilt in using a dead bird's feathers... but look how perfect it rests upon Franco's jaw.
 Much better to use an 'abandoned' wing than chasing small birds to pluck them. This is where if I used emoticons I would put in a happy face.
 It does add to the whole hipster look.
Because you know how you always see hipsters with their striped tops, skinny jeans and feathers?
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Morning

I always think, "Oh dear" when someone asks me what I get up to at home. Where do you even begin?
Happy Monday,
Love Kate xxooxx.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Up and Away.

I hope you had lots of adventures over your weekend!
Love Kate xxooxx.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day and Star Wars Love.

 The force is strong in this one. This is my friend Stef's big little baby. She loves Luke and the ewok.
 Being Valentine's day, she wanted to share the love too. Star Wars really is for everyone.
 Jonno picked me some roses from his mum's garden which is the best thing in the world as they actually smell. The whole house is filled with their scent.

And I have been crocheting more hot air balloons. It just seems like that time of the year again - an end of summer activity perhaps?
Lots of love and have a great weekend,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to Crochet a Toadstool.

 Apparently plants and hopefully fungi like music. Look how the red toadstool is leaning into the sound.

And now how they are waiting for someone to turn the music back on.
Materials Required.
-white felt
-white cotton thread
- 4 ply cotton yarn (colour of your choice...)
- 4 ply metallic silver yarn
- 2.5mm crochet hook

ch = chain
sc = single crochet (also referred to as double crochet in u.k. terms)
st/sts = stitch/stitches
BLO = back loops only
ss = slip stitch

Sewing the Stalk.
 Step 1. Cut two rectangles of felt of approximately 7cm x 2cm.
 Step 2. Place together and cut out a stalk shape (pictured above). Have the bottom end wider than the top.
 Step 3. Stitch up both sides longwise leaving the ends free for stuffing.
 Step 4. I use the blunt end of a crochet hook to stuff the stalk, pushing in a little bit of stuffing in at a time until it is firm.
Step 5. Cut out a little piece of felt (see above) and trace around the base of the stalk with a pen. Cut out the circle and sew to the base of the stalk. Leave a little gap to finish stuffing the bottom and then stitch shut. That's the stalk finished! I think you have done a terrific job so tell yourself a hearty "Well done".

Crocheting the Cap.

This pattern is worked in continuous rounds.

Round 1. Using the cotton yarn (or 4ply yarn of your choice), ch 2.
Round 2. 6 sc into the 2nd ch from the hook, join with slst into first sc. (6)
Round 3. *2 sc in each st. *Repeat until end. (12)
Round 4. *1 sc in the next st then 2 sc in following sc. *Repeat until end. (18)
Round 5. *1 sc in following 2 sts then 2 sc in next sc. *Repeat until end. (24)
Round 6. *1sc into the following 3 sts then 2sc into the next st. *Repeat until end. (30)
Round 7. *1sc into the following 4 sts then 2sc into the next st. *Repeat until end. (36)
Round 8. *1sc into the following 5 sts then 2sc into the next st. *Repeat until end. (42)
Round 9. Change to silver yarn and crochet 1sc in each st until the end of the round. (42)
Round 10. In BLO, crochet 1sc into each st until the end of the round. (42)
Decreasing Rounds.
Round 11. *1sc into the first 7 sts then skip the 8th st. *Repeat until the end of the round. (36)
Round 12. *1sc into the next 6 sts then skip the 7th st. *Repeat until the end of the round. (30)
Round 13. *1sc into each of the next 5 sts then skip the 6th st. *Repeat until the end of the round. (24)
Round 14. *1sc into each of the next 4 sts then skip the 5th st. *Repeat until end of the round. (18)
Round 15. *1sc into each of the next 3 sts then skip the 4th st. *Repeat until end of the round. (12)

This is the stage where I see if the stalk fits into the cap.  Push the silver section up to form the cap's underside as shown above. If the hole is too loose, skip every 2nd stitch until the stalk fits.

Ss the silver yarn into the last st and bind off.

Stitch the stalk into place with a needle and thread and then hold up your toadstool in the air like a little parasol, admiring how clever you are. 

 N.B. The scary thing about this project is that once you begin, fungi begins to sprout up all over the house. Try varying the cap shape by doing a straight round between increasing rounds.
*I will add a pattern for the red toadstool over the next week.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Friends with Pointy Ears.

Please meet Franco Fox (top photo), a new friend I am working on. He gets along reasonably well with most creatures although can't resist the odd chicken - I can't blame him for that at all.
And above is our cat Maggie photographed by Archie this morning - this is one satisfied mouser. In fact, Maggie's full name is Maggie Mouser because she is so terrifically clever at her job. She knows it too. 
Lots of love, 
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fancy Bike.

 Well guys, thank you for your comments and yes, you were right. A weekend with  a bike attached to my basket made a big difference and I am starting to grow more fond of it by the day... Even if I did have a little 'incident' at the farmer's market in front of a few friends. I loaded up the basket all nonchalantly indicating I was off for a healthy ride with my spray free veges and generally just showing of about how organic I now am (I am really not very at all). Unfortunately my very overloaded basket popped off the bike and spilt blueberries everywhere. I laughed awkwardly, scraped everything together and rode off wobbling the way you do when you are going very, very slowly trying to keep your blueberries from rolling away. I don't know how long this basket will last...
 So here is my bike having a bit of a fashion show. 
 I have to admit that when I ride my bike I pretend to be all casual but really inside I am going "This is MY BIKE!!! ". 
 I love how in this photo it's looking pensively off into the distance. This basket is more of a thinker.

Oh yes, we made it to the beach too. The weather was warm and the waves were the best they had been all summer. Archie and I spend hours boogie boarding together and I think I have ruined any chance he has of true surfie talk by teaching him some of my phrases. When I described the waves as rowdy the other day he asked me admiringly where I learnt my surfing banter from. I told him the truth. I told him that I made it up. So now he knows that phrases like "There's a lot of pi going on in the green room" are not commonly made statements. They should be though.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A New Bike Basket.

I had a little accident the other day. I fell off my bike.... like a five year old might. I was okay, lots of spectacular bruises but pretty much unharmed. Except my basket didn't make it, I landed somehow on it (the physics remains a bit hazy as other parts of the bike flattened me) and heard a loud crunch of wicker. I was a bit miserable on the return stretch, secretly sobbing not because of my leg and foot, but because of my beautiful, handy basket.
 So of course I had to track down another and I have decorated it - or have begun to... but I don't think I like it as much. Maybe it's because we haven't bonded yet.
Hopefully when it is attached to the bike I will go "Awwwww". At this stage though I am still missing my old one.
First world problems methinks.....
But I really love riding my bike with stuff in my basket. Especially good stuff to eat.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Last night saw lots of rain falling down on very thirsty New Zealand soil. It was getting to the point where I was considering stripping off for a little dance but fortunately I didn't have to. Maybe because I sewed up this little cloud a couple of nights earlier....
Lots of love, 
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crochet Fungus.

 Wahoo - this is my first post on my new computer. The insurance money came through which is fantastic and I picked up my new best friend from the shop this morning. 
It was just too hard to blog on anything else so while my internet life was low key, I have been furiously crocheting fungus. You know how the craving hits you occasionally. Now please remember to look and not touch, these toadstools are most definitely not good to eat....

Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
p.s. Thanks for having me back!


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