Bunting, Bunting Everywhere

Bunting is IN.  Everywhere I look there’s red, white and blue bunting; floral print fabric bunting; multi-coloured PVC bunting; paper bunting; Liberty print bunting; Vintage doily, print, postcard, sheet music and map bunting; spotty bunting, striped bunting; wooden, ceramic and hessian bunting; themed bunting, even Star Wars and Pride and Prejudice bunting – but no knitted bunting.  Well, not any more... There are a number of patterns and styles available and I chose this one for its simplicity and the fact that the flags are hung on a knitted string – that’s the…Read more …

Dawn Raid Foiled by Great British Slipper

The night had been humid. Storms were expected. The windows were wide, devouring what cool air there was like a frog catching flies. Awoken by the rhythmic notes of bird song, I began to tune in to the regular tap-tapping I’d heard in the dawn hours over the past weeks. In that early morning dozing state, I dreamed that my neighbour was knocking at my door while his wife operated a pneumatic drill in the street. I turned my back on the early morning sunshine, resisting a look at the clock, slipping easily…Read more …

All the World’s a Stage

We join the road from a small river-side track and are hit with the most unexpected view.  A former chateau in 16th century France, this fairytale castle, Chateau du Chailly, is now an exclusive hotel for golf enthusiasts, among manicured greens, freshly-swept bunkers and immaculately-groomed hedges. We sit on a bench of the side of rue Caillot Charrière, savouring our baguette and cheese, drinking in the Disney scene. While our knees slowly stiffen after cycling close on 10 miles, we watch in comfortable silence as a golfing party of three vibrantly-dressed men arrive…Read more …

It’s a Waiting Game

Yes, I know, 1.30 pm on a Sunday is not the best time to go to the supermarket. It’s the window for the weekly shop or for legging-clad girls on a flying visit straight from aerobics. It’s for middle-aged husbands looking for alfresco lunch ingredients, and for young dads, sometimes alone and sometimes accompanied by the children.  I smile at the hen-pecked husbands, ringing home to check if Greek Kalkidis olives will be OK as ‘they’re out of Spanish Couchillo’. Although just green or black to him, he knows he’ll be for it…Read more …

Eggs à la Mode

Boiled egg gone cold? Then you need one of these. Fashionable and functional, easy to customize, they're a very satisfying make.  This design, Pearly Girly, by Gina Alton, had an Audrey Hepburn air about it and inspired me to make three beaded cozies for three girlies using DK yarn and 4mm needles. Following the original pattern, I amended the embellishment to suit the materials to hand and they were 'egg-cellent' Easter gifts. I found the pattern in a brilliant little book - Egg Cozies, Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd. If you don’t…Read more …

Coasters on Demand

With another pair of tea cup coasters and more compliments under my belt, I was flattered to get requests for another couple of sets from my French friend – for her mother-in-law and her neighbour. At the risk of being boring, here they are...  Read more …

A Nutty Yarn

Oh dear.  The English are getting a bad name.  I gave some knitted Christmas pudding covers for individual chocolates to use as table favours at Christmas to my French friends.  They've since put a walnut in each one to preserve the pudding shape while they're on display.  Their neighbour, recenty spotting them,  is now convinced that the English like to keep their walnuts in little individual woolly covers... she couldn't stop laughing.  She laughed almost as much as she did on hearing that I'd made grape jelly with our grape harvest, rather than…Read more …

Warm Hands Warm Heart

Well, here they are, the hand warmers for birthday presents for three lovely girls. I had a huge (and I mean huge) ball of cream DK yarn which was very easy to work with. The pattern for the hand warmers is a basic 3k 3p rib, casting on 42 stitches and knitting until the work measures 20cms.  After casting off, put the two long sides together and sew up, leaving a gap of 3-4cms or so for your thumb, 4cms from the top.   Knit two of these.  The flowers were made from…Read more …

Frogs’ Eggs?

It's that time of year when I like to come up with something original, and...well...froggy for my friend's birthday.  Last time I produced a dishcloth, and after a year's experience, voilà! Thank you oliverboliver - this was just what I was looking for. Although originally a hat for an Innocent Smoothie, this works just as well as an egg cosy, though do you really need a reason?Read more …

Coasting Towards Teatime

Tea, teacups, teapots – to my French friend, these epitomise the English. From her family’s recent visits to London she has tea in beautiful patterned tins; she has bone china teacups, and now a teapot in a beautiful floral design. What else could I make as a quick gift but a set of cup-shaped coasters? A tea cosy is on the cards, of course, but an image of her sipping tea, little finger crooked at just the right angle, means there’s plenty of opportunity for a few more tea-themed knits...      …Read more …