Blooming Lovely Free Pattern

by Helen on March 25, 2011

With this wonderful spell of warm sunny weather we’ve been enjoying lately, everything in the garden is blooming – lovely!  So I thought you might enjoy the applique design I’ve put together to take to Nostalgic Mix tomorrow.  It’s really easy – but very effective – and you can download the free pattern from Bustle & Sew.  Hope you like it!!
Meanwhile, I’ve been getting ready for Nostalgic Mix at Totnes tomorrow – the little handmade family are very excited……
“What’s happening?  Why are we having our photos taken?  Wonder if the elephants know?…..”
“Haven’t a clue … let’s ask the hounds … perhaps they can sniff it out….”
“Noses to the ground chaps … no we don’t know what’s happening either – perhaps the bunnies will know”
“Ooooh, isn’t it loverly, we’re off on an outing .. not sure where though … let’s ask the mice ….”
“Don’t know where we’re going … just hope it’ll be fun when we get there … let’s ask the chickens ..”
“We know, we know, we know … we’re off to the Nostalgic Mix to find our new families.  Look at our pretty labels … we hope to see you there!!”
And finally … STOP PRESS ……
The next Rosie & Bear pattern will be in the April Magazine … working up to the wire here, but confident now it will be finished – this one is May Blossoms  – it’ll be in my Etsy Shop too next weekend.


In which I am overcome …..

by Helen on February 22, 2011

… with excitement!!  Yes, I now have my brand new copy of Lesley Stanfield’s new book, 75 Birds and Butterflies to Knit & Crochet.  I have been looking forward to this book for ages.
as I am a great fan of her earlier publication, 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet, having successfully attempted flowers, carrots and radishes(!) from this book.
There are some great projects in this new book …
Love the tea cosy ….
and the fungi … she has nice red dotty ones too.
It’s also great that many more of her projects are for knitters as I am quite a good knitter – having learned at a very early age – but not so expert with the crochet hook, a craft which I only attempted for the first time last year. 
My favourites are the birds – you saw the little blue tit at the top of this post .. and here is a beautiful Christmas dove ….
Lots here to keep me happily occupied and out of mischief for ages!!  And as the projects are all quite small they’ll be good for using up all those odds and ends too.  Just off to find some yarn …… see you later!


Spring is on the way…

by Helen on February 13, 2011

Yes, it’s official, here in South Devon we have more snowdrops than we can count … great drifts of them across verges, banks and fields … I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many.  There are daffodils in full bloom, little splashes of sunshine on a grey day like today.  We have catkins festooning the hedgerows and all around my house the sparrows are fussing and squabbling, checking out every nook and cranny to reserve the best places once nest-building commences in earnest.  Even the rooks up by the old farmhouse are as noisy as can be, though I haven’t seen any spring lambs yet. 
The little family above are looking very spring-like too.  They’re all destined for my stall at the next Nostalgic Mix Fair in Totnes, on Saturday 26th March.  They’re waiting in a row to have their tails added (well, not the elephant, but he’s just keeping the others company!).  Although I don’t have primroses in bloom in my garden just yet, my cup, which last spring held a hyacinth bulb, is this year home to a pale yellow beauty …
And April’s magazine is well underway too.  In addition to guest tutorials and vintage patterns it will include three original Bustle & Sew patterns.  Just recently I’ve become very interested in the use of vintage illustration in embroidery design, and have also been rediscovering those iconic mid-20th century fabrics that were such a feature of my childhood.  I’ve combined the two to bring you two slightly different Bustle & Sew patterns.  One is a tea cosy …
… and the other is destined to be a cushion panel ….
Though it’s still a bit of a work in progress!!  Only 10 days till the next issue … better get stitching!!


This week I have been far too busy (in Ben’s opinion that is).   I’ve been sorting out my new magazine venture, having been overwhelmed and overjoyed that people actually wanted to subscribe to it…  feeling excited but sort of a little bit scared all at the same time. 
Everything’s starting to come together now, and I’m in the middle of writing up the first lot of patterns – that’s a sneak preview of the Nasturtium Envelope Clutch above.  I have another Rosie and Bear to write up as well, plus the Rosy version of the Envelope Clutch and at least one other Bustle & Sew original pattern to include.  (these will also be available as individual patterns in my shop  or on the Bustle & Sew site at the end of the month).
But I’m soooo sorry, with all my busy-ness, I’d completely forgotten about the draw for my little knitted rabbit.  So this morning I worked the random number generator …….
… and this is what it came up with – number two … who is …  Julie!!  Well done Julie – please can you contact me with your postal address and Ollie will soon be on his way to you.  Sorry to everyone else and thank you very much for entering.
As well as catching up with blogging, I decided to give Ben a special outing today to make up for any neglect he thinks he may have been suffering this week.  A fine morning was forecast and the tide was low at 8.30 am, so we headed off to the beach first thing.   It was very windy ….
…. and it’s hard to pose for your photo when the wind is blowing up your bum(!)  We had a great time though splashing in and out of the surf and clambering over the rocks.  And a good appetite when we returned home for our breakfasts.  The boy is fast asleep now, snuffling gently and shedding his coatful of sand onto my nice clean floor!
Finally … I found this wonderful vintage crochet pattern …

Pippy the Puppy
 isn’t he adorable?!  I haven’t made him yet, still busy with my crochet flowers, but the pattern looks quite straight-forward so I might have a go very soon.  If you’d like the free pattern, then just click here to visit Bustle & Sew and download him.