Believe it or not I started writing this post a month ago, however life has been really busy for us this month (in a good way!) and I never seemed to manage to finish it! However After a fall down the stairs this morning I have injured my back so have been ordered to rest. So the silver lining is that I finally have a reason to lie still and finish telling you all about Henry's birthday!
January was a HORRIBLE month and I was dreading 2013 if it was going to continue the way it started. However I have to say that things improved 100% in February! I have been really busy with Knitting tuition and am now teaching at least 3 days a week which is amazing! I cannot tell you how much I love my work and how being busy with it really does make me a happier person. I have lots lined up for March & April too so i'm really excited.
However that's enough about me, I only mentioned work because I think it's the only thing that stopped me going a little bit crazy over the last few weeks because......The main event this month was that our lovely little boy turned 2! How did the last year pass so quickly?!?!? I've only just recovered from the fact that my baby turned 1 and now he's 2! Don't get me wrong i absolutely love the age Henry is now because he has become the funniest & cleverest little boy i know (He can count to 20 & knows the alphabet!) and really is my best little buddy, but i really am in shock at just how quickly time is passing by since he was born. It feels like somebody has pressed the fast forward button on our lives. Is it the same for everybody? Does life ever slow back down again? It never feels like I get enough time to savour each stage of his development before it has passed like a flash of lighting & we have moved on to something new! I'm hoping that the millions (and that's not an exaggeration!) of photos that we have taken since Henry was born means that we will be able to look back and remember everything clearly even it does feel like we are zooming through his childhood at 100 miles an hour!
Because both me & his Daddy feel that life gets too hectic & we don't all get enough quality time alone as a family we kept Henry's birthday to ourselves without any Grandparents, aunties or friends around. It was a lovely day filled with all of Henry's favourite things. He had blueberry & banana Pancakes for breakfast, followed by presents which included more brio sets for his ever growing train collection and some new books. We then all set off for a train ride on the Avon Valley Steam Railway
. It was the perfect treat for our train obsessed boy & he loved it! I highly recommend it to any local parents!
We ended the day with dinner at Wagamamas (Henry's favourite) and then our little guy was exhausted so had an early night. I spent all of Saturday night baking in preparation for the little tea party we threw at home on Sunday for family so we were forgiven by the Grandparents for not inviting them over on the Saturday. I made a blueberry & mascarpone birthday cake, loads of cupcakes & a chocolate & cherry trifle (A nigella lawson recipe that was AMAZING!) plus the usual mountain of sandwiches. The party was great fun & Henry really enjoyed himself, but it's amazing how small your house feels with 20 adults & children running around in it! It was Mummy & Daddy's turn to be exhausted on sunday as we had family & neighbours around from 11am-10pm! Henry sure knows how to throw a party! :)
It was a lovely weekend full of laughter and generally a much more relaxed affair than his first birthday that fell in the midst of renovating & moving our house. However I have to say I have been left a little shell shocked now because since turning 2 years old all of a sudden there is talk of which play school & school we want him to go to and all of these decisions and events that seemed like forever away as I sat staring at my beautiful newborn baby 2 years ago now seems to be approaching at high speed. I enjoy and embrace every single day I spend with Henry but I guess what I'm trying to say is stop growing up so fast little boy, this Mama just isn't ready.
I'm so excited for Christmas!! It's our first Christmas as a little family in our new home without our own parents doing the cooking etc for us so I'm getting really into all of the preparations this year! However as per usual I started a long list of hand knitted presents in October......then left them untouched for a few months while i was busy looking after a poorly toddler or trying to keep up with my long list of things to do so I am now in full on speed knitting mode trying to finish all of the homemade presents in time! It will be worth it though as there is nothing quite like giving presents that have been lovingly made especially for the recipient......also although I am usually quite cash poor, thanks to years of yarn, material & button hoarding I am craft supply rich so I may as well turn them into beautiful presents!
I've been wanting to share pictures of all of the lovely things I'm making lately, but i an't until after they have been given or else it will spoil the surprise.....I'll be doing a post Christmas post of all of my homemade projects & I'd love to hear what everybody else made too.
I cannot remember the last Christmas Eve that I did not spend manically knitting trying to finish the last of my homemade gifts, last year it was a giant knitted blanket that i made for my sister. But Christmas Eve to me is sitting in the warm with a glass of mulled wine watching the Polar Express knitting presents! Every year I swear I'll finish everything sooner, but really I do love that feeling of finishing & wrapping the last of those special gifts!
Tonight is the last knit club of 2012 at Cordial & Grace (seriously where did this year go?!) and I am really looking forward to a toddler free evening of knitting & chatting. I love my son to pieces but his idea of helping Mama knit is to run off with my ball of yarn shouting "Mummy's Ball!!".......not really very helpful at all! I think that quite a few of my students from my last Christmas knits class are coming too so it will be lovely to see them all knitting Christmas decorations!
If you are interesting in learning to knit something for Christmas it's not too late, I have places left for my class at the Making Things Pop-Up shop in Cabot's Circus On
19th December 6.30-9pm. It's £16.50 for the evening and this includes all materials and patterns and a glass of mulled wine or spiced berry cordial and yummy gingerbread (i don't like minced pies!). Also because I'm super excited about this class & Christmas in general I'm giving away a present to everybody who signs up to the class to make the evening extra special!! For more details about the class see here
. Also I don't know if you all know but I now offer Knitting lesson Gift vouchers.....so if you know somebody who wants to learn this would be a great Christmas gift. Vouchers are available from £10 and can be emailed so are a great last minute alternative to commercial vouchers. I think it's lovely to take a break from buying generic commercial presents for everybody and to either go handmade or shop local with independent makers You can get some lovely gifts from as little as £5 & they are so much nicer than something mass produced. If you are short of inspiration I would really recommend a trip to Making Things club when you're shopping In Cabots for some fantastic locally made beauties!
It's been a while since I've posted again, but not due to a lack of blogging motivation this time! November hasn't been that kind to our household. W§e have all been ill, I've had a couple of root canals done too after being in horrible dental pain for a few days, and if you follow me on twitter or facebook you'll also know that we had mice in our house too! I initally thought it was rats because my terrified mind convinced me that the rodent i saw was HUGE however apparently they weren't that big. Apparently i'm a drama queen when it comes to rodents! Anyway we had to decamp to the in-laws for a week while we tried to get the issue under control........and well moving your family in to another home with different ideas on how to do things is always interesting isn't it?! Anyway I can't say that I'm sad to see the end of November.....the only real shining glory in November was that I had the mst fantastic Christmas knitting lesson at Cordial & Grace last week! It was such fun & listening to A very She & Him Christmas album while knitting christmas ornaments with a lovely bunch of ladies was a lovely was to end a pretty tiresome month!
So It's now December so it's time to put this misfortunes & stresses of November behind us and start looking forward to the fun & festivities that this month brings! I love Christmas, I always have but I have to admit that i'm a worse with it this year as It will be the first year that we are having our own family Christmas in our own house. We won't be rushing around trying to appease all of the grandparents, but staying home and enjoying a more relaxing day together. This Plus the fact that Henry is starting to appreciate the magic of christmas seems to have us all a bit more excited this year. He loves seeing all of the lights and the fact that there are chocolates wrapped in colourful foil in all of the shops......the thought of making Christmas as magical for him as it was for me as a child fills me with Joy! My mum made Christmas amazing for my sister & I every year regardless of what else was going on in real life! Despite being a single mum who worked full time she always saved up her holiday days up and took lots of time off of work at this time of year to make it extra special. We had lots of traditions that she kept up long in to adulthood for both of us! I guess with Mine, (and his dad is even starting to come around to Chrismas cheer too!) my sister's and My mum's love of Christmas Henry is never going to be short of people who want to do festive activities with him.
Today being December 1st marks the beginning of advent and the first year that Henry seems excited and gets involved. Last year after seeing the idea on Pinterest I spent October and November scouring charity shops for 24 Christmas themed books for his book advent calendar. We're doing it again this year too, with each book wrapped in brown paper & numbered 1-24. Christmas eve is obviously going to be the night before christmas, but he also has a new pair of christmas Pyjamas wrapped up ready to wear to bed that night.
A few of the books wrapped up for our advent calendar....
He also has a chocolate advent calendar and a set of advent crackers that are each filled with a little character to make up a Nativity scene throughout december. This was originally on sale last year in M&S for the rather steep price of £20, but my Mum bought it in the January Sales ready for this year. Although the crackers will only last for this year next year each of the characters will be wrapped up with the books so it will become part of our yearly traditions. Henry loved this morning & seemed really excited by all the surprises that were waiting for him! He even requested to watch The Polar Express too, bringing the DVD up to his dad saying "Choo Choo train!! All aboard!!"........well it did seem like a pretty perfect way to start December!
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Mary being taken for a toddler tour.....thankfully she's still in one piece!
We're off to a Christmas market tomorrow where Henry will get to ride on a mini steam train which i know he is going to love! I hope you all have a lovely weekend too!
If you want to make the Knitted Christmas ornaments at the start of the post you can still book in to one of my Christmas classes & I'll be popping the collection of patterns up for sale over the weekend on Ravelry & Etsy too.
P.P.S. Watch out for a little giveaway at the beginning of next week because I'm feeling particularly festive! :)
I feel like I haven't blogged in ages! In reality it's only been a week, but it's long enough to give me blogger's guilt! I've been really busy with knitting classes as well as breaking one of my teeth and looking after a toddler (and his daddy) with a cold so have been savouring my free time by doing important things like sleeping! I'm also on a mission to organise my life, which has taken up lots of time but there will be more on that shortly!
As I promised here is this weeks free pattern. As you can see I have taken the official start of autumn to heart & have gone all out making a pumpkin baby hat! Yes that's right you too can now be mean and dress your baby or toddler as a pumpkin! I hope that if anybody actually makes this they'll send me a picture of it in action as what could be cuter than little ones looking like pumpkins?!
I made this using Debbie Bliss ecoaran
which is a lovely 100% organic & fairtrade cotton & it's so soft! It's on sale in most places at the moment, I got mine from John Lewis
. I love a bargain, but I hope it's not disappearing forever as I love that they offered such lovely eco yarns!
I hope you like the pattern, it's a fun little one!
Pumpkin Hat Pattern:
Size:6-12 months Abbreviations:k= knitp= purlk2tog= knit 2 stitches togetherGauge: 18 sts & 24 rows (10cm)Materials:2 balls of aran weight cotton. 1 orange & 1 green coloured. (I used less than 1 ball of orange & only a tiny bit of green!)4.5mm (30cm) circular needle 4.5mm DPNsstitch markerneedle to darn in ends.Directions:In the orange yarn Cast on 72 stitches using cable cast on method on circular needle or 4 DPNs. Join in the round marking the beginning of the round with a stitch marker.Work *k4 P2 rib until work measures 4.5 inches from current row to cast on edge.If you are working on a circular needle, now knit the stitches onto 3 DPN, placing 24 stitches on each needle. On the next row you start decreasing.1. *k2tog, k2, p2 repeat from * to end of the round. (60sts on needles)2. knit all stitches.3. * k2tog, k1, p2. repeat from * to end of the round (48sts on needles)Change to your green yarn.
4. knit all stitches5. * k2, p2tog, repeat from * to end of the round (36 sts on needles)6. knit all stitches7. *k2tog, p1, repeat from * to end of the round (24sts on needles)8. knit all stitches9. *k2tog repeat from * to end of the round. (12sts on needles)10. knit all stitches11.*k2, k2tog repeat from * to end of the round. (9sts on needles)12. Knit all stitches13. *k1, k2tog repeat from * to end. (6sts on needle)Now place the remaining 6 stitches on one DPN & start to knit an i-cord, but on the first i-cord row you will decrease stitches: k2tog, k2, k2tog.Then continue to knit the i-cord as normal until the cord measures 3 inches long. Cut the yarn & using a tapestry needle thread it through all of the stitches twice. Now bend the stem off to the side and stitch it into the i-cord base & down into the hat. Now weave in all of your ends on the inside of the hat.
place it on the head of your unsuspecting baby & take lots of
Sorry this is a day later than promised (yesterday was crazy busy!) but here is this weeks free pattern, a slightly harder version of the last knitted bunting pattern. I have included instructions for how to knit the 2 different sized flags, but not how to do the intarsia patterns that i have used.....well for the simple fact that i made them up as i went along & didn't write any of that down. However if any of you really want those I'm sure I could knit them again & makes pattern notes. Just leave a comment if you want them & I'll get to it as soon as i can.
I hope you have all had a lovely relaxing weekend!
k = knit
k2tog: Knit 2 stitches together
p2tog: Purl 2 together.
skpo: slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitch over.
Materials: 4mm needles & DK yarn
Tension: 21 stitches & 31 rows to 10cmx10cm stst.
Cast on 38 stitches
Row 1: K all stitches
Row 2: K3 p to last 3 stitches, k3.
Repeat the last 2 rows 6 more times.
Row 15: (1st decrease row) k3, k2tog, k to last 5 stitches, skpo, k3.
Row 16: k3, p to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row 17: k all stitches.
Row 18: k3, p2tog, p to last 5 stitches p2tog, k3
Row 19: k all stitches.
Row 20: k3, p to last 3 st, k3.
Repeat rows 15-20 6 more times until you have 10 stitches on your needle.
Row 56: k3, k2tog, skpo, k3 (8 sts)
Row 57: k3, p2, k3.
Row 58: k all stitches
Row 59: k2, k2tog, skpo, k2. (6 sts)
Row 60: k all stitches
Row 61: k1, k2tog, skpo, k1 (4sts)
Row 62: k all stitches
Row 63: k2tog, skpo.
Row 64: k 2 stitches
Row 65: k2tog.
fasten off last stitch & sew in ends of yarn.
Cast on 20 stitches
Row 1: K all stitches
Row 2: K3 p to last 3 stitches, k3.
Repeat the last 2 rows 4 more times.
Row 11: (1st decrease row) k3, k2tog, k to last 5 stitches, skpo, k3.
Row 12: k3, p to last 3 stitches, k3
Row 13: k all stitches.
Row 14: k3, p2tog, p to last 5 stitches p2tog, k3
Row 15: k all stitches.
Row 16: k3, p to last 3 st, k3.
Repeat rows 11-16 2 more times until you have 8 stitches on your needle.
Row 34: k2, (p2tog)x2, k2 (6sts)
Row 35: k all stitches
Row 36: k1, k2tog, skpo, k1 (4 sts)
Row 37: k all stitches
Row 38: k2tog, skpo (2 sts)
Row 30: k 2 stitches
Row 31: k2tog
Fasten off the last stitch & sew in ends of yarn.
You can sew the flags on to ribbon, or plait yarn like i did for the heart garland. However for this pattern I originally just knit 2 stitches in garter stitch until the desired length & sewed the flags to that. I think I prefer the plaiting of yarn method though as it hangs better.
All flags will need to be steam blocked before sewing to string.
© Kimberlee Daly/The Homemade Mama
All rights reserved
This pattern is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced, distributed or archived in whole or in part without prior permission from the designer. It may not be sold or used to produce garments for resale.
Contact via: www.thehomemademama.co.uk
I'm going to be running a couple of knitting events for Windmill Hill City Farm.
I'm really excited as Henry loves the city farms that we have in Bristol and Windmill Hill and since we've moved it is now walking distance from our house. I was really pleased to be asked to get involved, especially as I'll get to teach some children to knit at Apple Day in October. I've got some amazing apple related craft projects lined up and I'll share some of them with you on the blog nearer the time as they'll be great for autumn!
I'm also teaching a beginner's Knitted Bunting Class there next Saturday 21st September & you can book via their website here
. It's a mixed age one to give anybody who wants to try knitting a go.
They run some amazing workshops there so have a look at their website if you fancy learning something new this autumn. The eternal student in me always gets the learning bug at this time of year! I'm quite tempted by the build your own bread oven......but I'm not sure our garden is big enough for one!
I'm really bust lately on the knitting lesson front & I love it!! I've already started to plan my Christmas patterns & lessons ready for November & December! The next few months are going to be great fun!
Anyway I hope you're all having a great Friday, I'll be back tomorrow afternoon to post up another free pattern as promised!
Tuesday night was the first Knit Club at Cordial & Grace. It was a lovely evening filled with amazing tea, cake & conversation as well as lots of knitting! Having been to quite a few knitting & Craft clubs in my time I can honestly say that Cordial & Grace is such a perfect setting! Unlike other events that have been held in reserved areas of dimly lit bars, pubs & Cafes we had the whole place to ourselves as the lovely Maria opened in the evening especially for us! We didn't have to shout over the loud music & conversation of other patrons and there was lots of light so we could see what we were doing!
Everybody who came was a 'new' friend who I hadn't met before which was great! Don't get me wrong it would have been lovely to see some old friends too, but to have a room full of people who I hadn't met before come along to my knitting club was amazing. I hope to see them all again next month!
I was feeling very sleepy after a bout of insomnia the night before, but a slice of homemade Mocha Cake perked me up nicely as did the delicious locally sourced teas! However I do have to apologise slightly to the other ladies present because being over tired seemed to make me slightly hyper & I literally could have talked the hind legs off of a donkey!! I promise next time to knit more & talk less! hahaha! I guess that's what happens when I'm released out in public without a toddler to chase around.
Anyway I had a lovely time, especially as I finally got to meet Emma & Rebecca in real life who I have been chatting to on twitter for months! See you all next time!
Also just a quick reminder that I am running an evening class for Beginners & Imrovers at Cordial & Grace every 4th Tuesday of the month. The first one is on Tuesday 25th September. Contact me if you have any questions o
So as you all probably know, I am organising a new Knit club (although please feel free to bring along crochet as well...) which starts this Tuesday night at Cordial & Grace.
I'm really looking forward to it, mainly because i get to eat some more of their delicious cakes!
Anyway, I have been chatting to Geraldine over at the UK Hand knitting Association
and she told me about a display that they are putting on at The Knitting & Stitching show
at Alexandra Palace on 11-14 October. They are creating a knitted & Crocheted sweet shop full of beautiful sweets made out of yarn. It sounds amazing! Geraldine asked if we would like to get involved & donate some knitted treats to the shop, and in return we would be featured as contributors & our group will be featured on their website.
So if any of you fancy giving it a go take a look at their page here which tells you all about the project. They have lots of free patterns for inspiration over on the website or you can use your own if you know any. I got slightly addicted to knitting cakes & Doughnuts a few years ago after buying this book
, so I can imagine knitting little sweets is just as addict
I'm trying to figure out if I have the time & money to go to The Knitting & Stitching show this year.......I went to WonderWool
in April & spent a small fortune on yarn & needles! Are any of you planning to go?
Anyway I'm really excited to see some on you on Tuesday night!
I wrote this pattern ages ago to teach in some of my lessons, I thought it would be a nice quick 'summer' knit for students as people don't seem that excited to knit hats, scarves & gloves in July & August for some reason! Anyway seeing as it was my birthday yesterday & I'm feeling in a good mood, throughout September I will be giving away a free pattern every week. Next week will be a more complicated & bigger knitted bunting pattern that I wrote at the same time as this one.
This bunting is made of 2 different sized garter stitch flags & it knits up very quickly. A single flag takes me about 15 minutes to knit when i'm watching the tv. This is a great size for hanging on bookshelves or around a baby's cot and makes a lovely little present for somebody.
Easy Knitted Bunting:
k: Knit stitch
ssk: slip, slip, knit together.
k2tog: knit 2 stitches together
I recommend that you use Double Knitting (DK) weight yarn & 4mm sized needles to knit this bunting. You can however change this, but the size of your flags will vary.
Small Bunting Flag:
Cast on 12 stitches.
Rows 1-4: k all stitches
Row 5: k1, ssk, k6, k2tog, k1 (10stitches will be on your needle at the end of the row) Rows 6-7: k all stitches
Row 8: k1, ssk, k4, k2tog, k1 (8stitches on needle)
Rows 9-10: knit all stitches
Row 11: k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1 (6 stitches on needle)
Rows 12-13: k all stitches
Row 14: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1 (4 stitches on needle)
Rows 15-16: k all stitches on needle
Row 17: k1, k2tog, k1 (3 stitches on needle)
Row 18-19: k all stitches
Row 20: k1, k2tog (2 stitches on needle)
Row 21: k all stitches
Row 22: k2tog
Bind off the last stitch.
Large Bunting Flag:
Cast on 18 stitches.
Rows 1-4: k all stitches
Row 5: k1, ssk, k12, k2tog, k1 (16stitches will be on your needle at the end of the row)
Rows 6-7: k all stitches
Row 8: k1, ssk, k10, k2tog, k1 (14 stitches on needle)
Rows 9-10: k all stitches
Row 11: k1, ssk, k8, k2tog, k1 (12 stitches on needle)
Rows 12-13: k all stitches
Row 14: k1,ssk, k6, k2tog, k1 (10 stitches on needle)
Rows 15-16: k all stitches
Row 17: k1, ssk, k4, k2tog, k1 (8 stitches on needle)
Rows 18-19: knit all stitches
Row 20: k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1 (6 stitches on needle)
Rows 21-22: k all stitches
Row 23: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1 (4 stitches on needle)
Rows 24-25: k all stitches on needle
Row 26: k1, k2tog, k1 (3 stitches on needle)
Row 27-28: k all stitches
Row 29: k1, k2tog (2 stitches on needle)
Row 30: k all stitches
Row 31: k2tog
Bind off the last stitch.
© Kimberlee Daly/The Homemade Mama
All rights reserved
This pattern is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced, distributed or archived in whole or in part without prior permission from the designer. It may not be sold or used to produce garments for resale. Contact via: www.thehomemademama.co.uk
I'm so excited to share this with you all as it has been in the pipeline for sometime now, but we have only just finished planning everything! Lots of people have been asking me about starting evening lessons in the Clifton area & also the possibility of a Knitting club.......well now I'm doing both of them! I've teamed up with the lovely Maria at Cordial & Grace
to start lessons and a Knit Club there. She's in charge of the cakes & coffee & I'm in charge of the knitting.....a match made in heaven right?! All of the details are below in the flyers, but I hope to see you all there soon!