Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dog Days...

 I can't stop making these new characters. Every time I go to pick up my crochet hook, another puppy appears. 
Even on the walls!
Lots of love,
Kate x

Monday, November 9, 2015

Family Life and Roses

 Oh thank the stars above my roses are in full bloom. The joy they bring me each year is almost indescribable. 

 Nowhere near as much joy though as this little chappie brings me. Hugo made a salad for dinner tonight - see below. 

 Or the Shepherd's Hut that Jonno is making for the boys. He is going to tow it to one of their most special spots on the farm near the 'Fire Crystal Tree'.
 Happiness or from the look of Archie above, contentment.
Lots of love,
Kate. xxx

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Christmas Lighthouses.....

Sometimes I find myself pondering things in the middle of the night when I find a pocket of wakefullness. The other night saw me thinking about a Christmas tree in a lighthouse - and so I started making these lighthouse baubles - or babules as I keep going to write. And another exciting thing..... I dipped my crochet Christmas babule (see) from this pattern in glitter and glue. It worked!
As for the toadstools, I have another whole post waiting to be written but I need a little bit more than five minutes to do it in. For the meantime, read about them here.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mini Crochet Advent Caravans!

 I just wanted to remind you of this project I made for Christmas last year. This is one of my favourite patterns ever and I am so looking forward to filling them up with goodies for our tree again. You can find the pattern here.

Lots of love,
Kate. xxx

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How to Crochet a Mini Christmas Wreath

With Christmas creeping up (at least in the world of handmade as there is only so much 'making' time until December), I thought it would be fun to add a festive project to the Lakeside Cabin from "Let's Go Camping! Crochet Your Own Adventure". A wreath for the door. Of course, once I made that, the caravan (also in the book) looked bereft. Now, I can't stop making mini decorations....
p.s. please ignore the paint on my fingers in the photos.
gold or silver 4ply yarn
embroidery thread (or 4ply yarn) in red and green (or white)

Abbreviations (US terminology)
ch = chain
st/s = stitch/stiches
ss = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
sk = skip

N.B. All rounds are worked in continuous spirals
 Round 1. Using 2.5mm crochet hook and gold yarn, ch10. Ss back into the first ch to form a loop.
Round 2. Working over the 10ch loop rather than into it, crochet 12sc evenly distributed around the loop. Ss back into the first sc. (12)

Round 3. *1sc, 2sc into the next st. Repeat from * until end of round. (18)
Round 4. *2sc, 2sc into the next st. Repeat from * until end of round. (24)
Round 4. *3sc, sk one st. Repeat from * until end of round. (18)
This will cause the wreath to start curving back around like a donut.
Round 5. *2sc, sk one st. Repeat from * until end of round. (12)
 Fasten off leaving a long tail to sew the first and last round together through the central hole.
For the French Knots 
Secure the thread to the wreath then wrap the needle anywhere between 1 - 4 times. 
 Place the tip of the needle back through the wreath and draw through the wraps.
 After a few french knots have been embroidered, thread the needle with green yarn and scatter some straight stitches to create leaves. Continue on with french knots until you think "Wahoo".
At this stage, my wreath is so new I have it stuck to the caravan with a needle. However, because it's going onto the door temporarily, I will fastsen it on with small pieces of double sided sticky tape - then it will be easy to remove after Christmas.
The  Lakeside Cabin wreath was made with a gold base and white embroidery thread for the french knots. 
If you are feeling particularly festive, you could attach a brooch back and wear it on your shirt!
Let me know in the comment section below if you have any questions.
Lots of love,
Kate. xxx

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Morning

 The boys are back at school today. The holidays have been wonderful but there is such a sense of joy that floods through my being when they hop onto the school bus ready to fill their minds with all sorts of things (mainly at lunchtime when they hang out with their friends). 
As you've probably picked up over the past few years, I'm not one for housework. But there is something almost mystical about that moment when you sweep and the floor stays looking sparkly for more than 5 minutes. I'm having a moment aren't I!
Anyhoo - I wanted to show you the watercolour above that my neighbour Dominique painted for my birthday.
 And that's me, blue hair and all, balancing on my own pair of stilts. I did have blue hair for the first half of this year but now it's blond. I like to think it's been captured for eternity in this painting. Look at the tiger's expression!
My dogs were looking a little sheepish this morning being used to store pav hats and birds so I had to take a photograph of them. Poor little things.
And I couldn't not show you my wisteria wisteriaring away. It's a glorious spot for a cup of tea or glass of wine.
 And my first bunch of roses. Yip, yip, wahoo!
Lots of love,
Kate. xxx

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Birthday Presents!

 I am feeling utterly spoilt today after a wonderful birthday yesterday. Hugo (9) and I were at the local market last week when I spotted a salad sprouting kit which I thought was wonderful. Hugo stowed it away, later explaining it to Jonno. And together, they made one just for me! Archie (12) snuck away an enormous and very much forgotten glass jar I had filled with odds and ends and turned it into the most beautiful terrarium. So I am feeling very fortunate. I'm so glad they already have that ethos we all cherish in blogland, of making something special for someone you love. 
So today Hugo and I are going to start sprouting some seeds he bought. Very exciting..... watch this space!
Lots of love,
Kate. xxx

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pavlova Hat!

No new dress yet.... I had better get stuck into it. In the meantime though, here is a photo of the pavlova hat (Pav Hat) that I made for a fancy dress party. I went as Anna Pavlova of course. Just looking at the photo makes my mouth water. 
Lots of love,
Kate. xx

Friday, September 25, 2015

A New Dress - well almost......

Dont you love finding the perfect fabric, the very thing that you didn't know you couldn't live without. That's how I felt when I stumbled across this roll at Spotlight (good old Spotlight). It's 100% cotton AND jersy to boot - it's quite stretchy but firm enough to sew. Now all I need to do is cordon off a morning or afternoon to sew it up - that'll be easy enough...... won't it......????
Lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

'Let's Go Camping! Crochet Your Own Adventure' - a look inside the book!!!!!

Now that pre-orders of 'Let's Go Camping! Crochet Your Own Adventure' are turning up in mailboxes around the world, I thought it was time to show some more photos from the book.
I can't believe that this project began mid January and now it is in my hands. 
One of the things I enjoyed most about writing this book was the little anecdotes I share at the beginning of each chapter. All of the projects come from different elements of my life - the cabin above was based upon a holiday house we had when I was tiny, the colours of it though, coming from my granny's house.
 The photography by Keiko Owikawa still takes my breath away each time I look at it. And as for the styling, I still can't believe how lucky I am that Christine Leech joined the team.
 So here are a few more photos for you to look at - I hope you like them!

We were also very fortnuate that Playmobil came on board and gave us permission to use my vintage Playmobil toys in photos - they bring such magic and scale to the projects. As I look at this photo I can't help thinking how funny it is to see the tiny binoculars that Mum gave to me at Christmas - neither of us knew they were going to be starring in a book this year. Goodness me.
Having received a copy a few weeks ago, I have been crocheting my way through the book to quadruple check each pattern. To my chagrin (a word I never get to use - it almost makes it worthwhile), there were some small mistakes that I have remedied with a printable errata page found at the top left hand side of the blog.  
I've also changed my commenting system I will now be able to reply to your questions!
A book! Yippe Yay! Whoot!
Lots of love,
Kate. xxx

UPDATE!  Since then this pattern has been developed and published in my book "Let's Go Camping! Crochet Your Own Adventure" with many other patterns like ice cream trucks and lakeside cabins. Physical copies have almost sold out but it is available in digital form through online booksellers. 

There is also an errata page for the book here.

If you would like to see another small and magical crochet world with rabbits, click here!

If you would like to make a circus, click here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Crochet Teepee (from Let's Go Camping! Crochet Your Own Adventure)

 Here is a photo taken of the teepee for Let's Go Camping! Crochet Your Own Adventure before everything was parcelled up and sent off to England for the photo shoot.
How much would you love to snuggle up with a book and read in there.....
Lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx

Sunday, August 23, 2015

When Sewing Hurts.....

 I made my first squab for the caravan yesterday, four more left to do and a back that is already saying "no more". Because of the length, I have to do the measuring and cutting on the floor and my muscles are screaming today. There must be a way that I can get Archie and Hugo to do the work for me surely.
This is the fabric I will be using for curtains down the bed end of the caravan. I've decided to treat the two different ends as two separate rooms. This helps with the smaller runs of fabric that I have. No money in the budget for buying endless rolls of matching fabrics. But who would want that when there is a cupboard bulging with beautiful material purchased randomly over the years.
I start doing pilates tomorrow so helpfully that will reinforce me enough to do the last three squabs. Fingers crossed!
Love Kate. xxooxx

Monday, August 17, 2015

If You Like Alice Hoffman.....

 If you like Alice Hoffman, Sarah Van Allen, Lisa Van Allen or a beautifully written story with a pinch of magical realism, then you will love 'The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender' by Leslye Walton. I don't want to give too much away but it does begin with a baby girl born with wings...... Now I want to crochet a pair of wings for myself! 
You can find my wing pattern here.
Lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx


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