Archive | February, 2011

A Lovely Sock

25 Feb

I have knitted a sock. I never thought I’d say that. The jury’s still out on whether or not the second sock will ever exist, but I’m rather satisfied with myself for at least getting this far. It’s not pretty. It’s not perfect. But it is without question a sock.

And I’m exceptionally pleased with the neatness of my turned heel.

Learn to knit a sock. Check.


Subversive Cross Stitch

13 Feb

Subversive Cross Stitch has some delightfully vulgar cross stitch patterns, but I chose one of their slightly less offensive offerings for my beloved on Valentine’s Day.

I bought an inexpensive frame at Mr. Cohen’s Shopping Emporium, along with some black card, and slapped it all together.

Don’t look too closely at the stitching. I had to do it when the aforementioned beloved was out, which meant stitching in a mad rush with failing light. And please don’t mention how off-centre it is. I know.

And I should probably have pressed it before framing, but it’s not easy to fit these things in in a small house on a weekend with a nosy husband afoot.

Wrapped  up in red tissue with a pink bow, it almost looks like a proper present. It’s just a shame the whisky-filled chocolates I ordered didn’t arrive in time, but I don’t imagine he’ll complain about getting them on the 15th.

Good news: The chocolates arrived!

Bad news: I just noticed that I forgot to stitch the apostrophe. Damnation.

Scented Macaroon Drawer Thingies

8 Feb

Think that’s something to eat? Think again!

Poule de Luxe sells gorgeous very real-looking scented macaroons for you to tuck into your drawers and make all your clothes smell scrummy. They’re made in Provence and look so much like the real thing that I might be a bit worried about making a terrible teatime mistake.

For £26, you get six macaroons and a little bottle of lavender oil. You add a few drops of oil to the macaroons and there you have it. They’re reuseable as well.

My friend Liz (of the fabulous Feasts and Festivals blog) told me about Poule de Luxe and now I’m lusting after their mohair wraps and cream linen nighties as well as the macaroons. The nightdresses are made from smooth, fine linen and are all named after breeds of chickens, which is a lovely bonus! Fancy a Chantecler, anyone?


4 Feb

I’ve been growing sprouts and having so much fun with it!

I bought a little starter kit at Living Food of St. Ives. If you’re not local, don’t worry – you can shop online as well.

My kit included a sprouting jar and packets of three different seeds to sprout – lentils, alfalfa seeds and mung beans.

The process is really easy. You soak the beans/seeds, then rinse them out each day. They take from 3-5 days to sprout, depending on what you’re growing.

Here are my lentils soaking:

I was so thrilled when the very next day I could already see little sprouty bits:

I now get so excited every morning that the first thing I do is rush to the kitchen to see what’s happening in my sprouting jar!

Here is today’s batch of alfalfa sprouts:

I don’t have children, but I would think this would be a lovely thing to do with them, especially if they’re young, as the results are so quick!

Next up, mung bean sprouts. Stay tuned!

Hot Water Bottle Covers

1 Feb

My friend Barbara, who can make anything and make it beautifully, gave me a gorgeous handmade hot water bottle cover for Christmas. I believe she made it from a Welsh blanket. I should really have photographed it a month ago because it’s beginning to look a little ‘loved’ – but that only makes it all the more precious to me.

If you’re like me, you can’t possibly go to bed at this time of the year without a hot water bottle. Or a hottie, as it’s usually known in my family. For some reason, my husband calls it a bot-bot, but that’s just plain wrong. It’s a hottie or, if you’re feeling a little bit frivolous, a hottle-bottle. But never a bot-bot. Perish the thought.

Anyway, on the off chance that you don’t have a crafty friend like Barbara, I thought I’d share some of my favourite hot water bottle covers available in shops and online:

Here’s a beautiful hand-knitted cover from Ageeta. It can be made in a variety of colours and patterns, but this one would be my pick:

And a lovely cotton-linen Corsica cover from étoile home:

And here’s a stunning classic 100% cashmere cable-knitted cover from Plum & Ivory:

Or what about a luxurious velvet quilted cover? These lovelies are from Graham and Green:

And here are some  more beautiful hand-knitted covers. First this one from Seven Gauge Studios:

Or this one from Catherine Tough:

Or perhaps this lovely fairisle cover from Papa Stour. I love the ruffle:

Papa Stour also has another of my favourites, this felted jacquard cover:

For something a little less cuddly, what about these very tasteful lightly-quilted linen covers from Volga Linen:

Or these cheerful flowery printed covers from Alison Capeling:

Or this pretty V&A collection cover, available at Argos:

Or what about a slinky silk cover like this ivory one from Made in Silk:

And for those days when you just can’t bring yourself to get out of bed and face the day, there’s always this one, available from The Gifted Penguin: