Slow burners!

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Hello you!

Sorry I’ve neglected you, this year has been a bit of a slow burner so far, a bit like my crafting; slow work but working up to a big flame! I found the start to the year quite hard trying to balance work, motherhood and my passions for music and craft, it has been a bit of a juggling act.  I think I’m just about turning the chaos into some kind of order.  It was really good to get some perspective on things when we went away over Easter, it’s so great to get away for a little bit, isn’t it?  We were super lucky to go to New york for 10 days and visit family in Brooklyn.  It was both very exciting and a bit scary to take Roo away for the first time on a big trip, but we had an amazing family time.

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I only went and knitted a gawd, darn sweater!  I have done some (simple) knitting before, mostly things that involve square shapes, but I’ve never knitted a jumper before, so this was a first.

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As a slightly more experienced mum now after a year or so, I knitted this in my favourite merino wool (Tip:  I bought some in bulk online, check wool shop ‘Sale’ sections!) but made sure it was ‘super wash’ so it is a practical jumper as well as a pretty one.  I really feel happier when things are both aesthetically pleasing and practical and I’m not the world’s best at remembering to hand wash, so this was definitely the way to go.

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There was quite a lot of undoing and swearing and starting again, so it went even slower than I expected, but I got there in the end.  I’m really pleased with how it came out and I am feeling satisfied with my efforts although I’m no expert knitter yet!

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I used this free pattern in the largest size and I made up the patterned bit which was fun, just because I wanted a bit of colour and honestly got bored knitting in the same colour. The bits I was worried about actually were easier than anticipated, like the neck and buttonholes. I love, love, love these yellow buttons!

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I had enough wool to make a little jumper for Roo’s new cousin who has just arrived.  Yay!  It’s my favourite jumper to make for babies which I adapted from this pattern to make the Little Cornish Jumper.  Hopefully it will be breathable enough to keep her cosy through the constantly changing Spring temperatures and of a cooler evening but without overheating when it warms up. I kept the front nice and simple.

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But, I added a button at the back (that yellow again!) . . .

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. . .not only because I love the colour combination, but also because it should make it easier to get the jumper over baby’s head.

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Here are a couple of great photos taken by Roo’s uncle on our trip, firstly, Roo is modelling amazing booties by Laurel of Arrietty Exeter:

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. . . and here is little chubby cheeks in his new jumper (that’s Rupert, not his dad, shoving, one of many, amazing NY pastries into his mouth!)

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Badges, badges, badges and a Christmas market!

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Westcountry badge set anyone?  I just had a lovely time at the Magdalen Road Christmas Market in Exeter where I sold some of these, as well as these:

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but you don’t HAVE to wear them all at the same time either:

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or maybe you’d prefer a set with a torch:

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or a bear:

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The mountains and bears they keep on coming!

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as well as these little guys, who come individually, as I think they will make nice stocking fillers:

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These would be available in my Etsy shop but I have sold out, so as soon as I make some more they will be there.  I am making the hats customisable in case you should want a copy of your best loved hat to pin to your jumper.  I also just made a custom ‘Tis Ansom magnet for a nice lady I met at the market and a few mountain necklaces as well.  It’s a lovely Christmassy event and I will definitely be going again next year.  Just let me know if you want something.

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Above is my ‘Zoe Did It’ array and here’s me manning the Arrietty stall, look at all Laurel’s lovely things!  There’s still time to pop in to the shop before Christmas if you’re in or around Exeter and get yourself a special handmade present.

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And I couldn’t have done it without these guys of course:

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Now best get on with the family and friends presents!  I’m a bit behind . . .

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. . . the only problem is that now I have an early riser, I don’t have enough hours in the day, it’s make or sleep, hmmm . . .  probably settle for crochet in bed with Mad Men tonight – I know I should have watched this a long time ago, but I’m very much enjoying working my way through season 5 (slowly!).

Drumming Robot Tote Bag

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This is a bag I screen printed with the help of my lovely friend Laurel.  We made a few different ones but this remains my fave.  She really knows what she’s doing and I recommend trying a screen printing class or workshop it’s a lot of fun.

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I took a photo of a robot Matt bought in a junk shop and edited it to make it black and white screen print friendly.

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The finished screen print is very close to the photo.

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You can do simpler screen prints at home with stencils and a DIY screen like this or like this or buy a fancy kit like this one.  It was really fun to do this with Laurel and I love screen printing now!  I can’t wait to do some more and experiment with more complicated designs.

 

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Laurel has an amazing shop in Exeter called Arrietty, an Aladdin’s cave of haberdashery where they run super fantastic workshops; it’s a must visit if you are in the area.  She also sells her own beautiful hand screen printed items in the shop and you can not only get your own robot bag but an array of baby grows and more. Here is just a selection:

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Laurel hard at work:

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She’s only grumpy when the gramophone breaks down.  Don’t worry though, Dan fixed it.  I love this photo!

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