Now and then…..

Good Morning folks….. the Shed doors are wide open and ready for the start of a brand new day.  The coffee is brewed, so why not pull up a chair and share a virtual morning cuppa with me.

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Having celebrated a milestone birthday yesterday…which made me go …’yikes’ internally, on several occasions, I am feeling actually quite blessed that I have such wonderful family and friends, who made the day feel special.

I suppose I thought that I would ‘feel’ older by now….but I have to admit, I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up and some days it is difficult to start ‘adulating’.  Life is a blessing and it should be, for the most part…..fun.

So have you grabbed that cuppa yet ?

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I always wanted this blog to have reality…as well as fluff and nonsense.  I find as an avid blog reader myself, the constant euphoria of an unreal existence can make the audience feel ‘less’. Now don’t panic, I am not about to share the ‘ugly’ shots of dusty corners and piles of ironing….we all need a little escapism too ( I’m escaping mine right now, by writing this blog!)  but its more about mood and emotion….again, no need to concern yourself here either…I’m not an over-sharer…so will not be dwelling!

I am however, a little ‘grumpy’ today……and once I’ve had my coffee I’m sure I will feel much better.  I suppose the phrase “I’m not angry, just disappointed “…best suits my current situation.

In the first instance, I received a message from a very lovely lady, advising me that somebody on Etsy, was selling my patterns and using my photography to do so, claiming the designs as their own.  I’ve tackled that one directly and am pleased to say that they have now been removed.

I know that the secondary issue is probably not deliberate but just something that upsets me because of the way it has been done.  I love engaging and inspiring through social media, and to know that you may have encouraged someone on their creative journey, albeit in a small way, is a wonderful thing.  But when that inspiration or encouragement, oversteps into ‘copying’ it feels wrong, especially when any credit is redirected and the ‘ownership’ of the design is assumed.   On most patterns, the designer asks for a little nod to their original pattern design…..it isn’t unusual or, in my opinion, much to ask, but there you go. It’s the rough with the smooth I suppose 🙂

Anyway, on a brighter note….let us move on and catch up.

I have been a busy little bee over the summer, despite the hot weather.  Some of you may remember that I had a little problem with blanket project finishing.  Well, at last Christmas I finished the Willow Square blanket…

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…affectionately named the “Willow or Won’t She”, by my lovely friend Sue!  It was the start of something wonderful…….blanket finishing.  After much deliberation, I decided that the Persian Tiles Blanket by Jane Crowfoot would be the next project to tackle….and when the Eastern Jewels colour way by Lucia Dunn, came out it quite literally had me at ‘Hello’

The design does need discipline with ‘end’ sewing.  Each motif, needs its ends sewing in as you go….otherwise you will have an absolute nightmare to finish.  When I saw the colours piled up together, I wasn’t sure, but after the first motif, I knew I was down the rabbit hole…the colours were stunning and the pattern addictive.

So this is what I did this summer…..

And finally it grew into this….  I couldn’t be more thrilled.

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The last few weeks has seen me back with the little hook, and I have to say it is my happy place.  Dottie and Dash, quite literally flew off of the hook.  These little friends, sold as a pair and already off to their new home, were inspired by ‘friendship’….and prove that friends come in all shapes and sizes 🙂

Dottie’s mass of curls turned out to be a wonderful mix of cornflower blues, lilacs and aqua….I have to say I would be tempted by it myself 🙂

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The colours really drive me, and it was just fun to match her little baby giraffe friend to her and the speckles in her dress.

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Oh the fun that can be had with a little fluff and nonsense.  I am working up some new batches of curls and colours, and I am so excited.  The little pals will also be a little different each time too.  I hope you stick with me as I share the new ones over the coming weeks….I’m very excited.

Well. those dusty corners and that ironing won’t be doing itself….so I must venture out of Shedquarters.   I am so glad to have come back to the blog.

Thank you for being here too my friends.

Have a great day xx

Hello my friends..it’s been a while!

The sun has well and truly got his hat on and it’s absolutely boiling.  The shed doors have been flung open and I am happy to be back inside my little haven.  Thank you for waiting for me, for such a long time Lovelies, please grab an ice cool drink and pull up a deck chair….we have quite a bit to catch up on……don’t forget to slip, slap and slop, if you are in the sun though!

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Apart from this amazing weather, which is certainly not what we are used to, life has been a little bit topsy turvy here at Fuzzpot Lane.

For many years I have had the absolute joy of working in a local yarn store, which has helped subsidise my love of all things woolly and allow me to work in an environment full of colour and creativity, with a small group of girls who are almost as nuts as me!  I loved it. Sadly, it became a casualty of High Street closures….not one that made it onto the main news….but a casualty none-the-less, and my dream job was no more.  So then started a feeling of discombobulation and sadness.  I am not one to dwell, but I have to be honest it hit me for six……and so I didn’t actually pick up anything crafty for several weeks.  I have however, finally started getting myself back…. I’ve kicked myself up the bum,  hence the doors are firmly wedged open, and I am back to feeling positive….and crafty!

Okay….so let’s talk about sock knitting.  With so many beautiful sock yarns available, both hand dyed and commercial self patterning, it is very easy to become addicted.  It had been years since I knitted a pair of socks ( a term which I use loosely, as I did suffer from second sock syndrome), but once I got back on that horse, there was and is no stopping me!

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It wasn’t long before a little pile of soft woolly loveliness appeared, and the more I did the more I wanted to do….

 

In total I have made 8 pairs…..not all have been captured on camera….apparently even teenage girls like a pair of handmade socks…..but as you can see, that little bug bit hard.

The beauty of sock yarn is that I can not only create a beautiful pair of socks, but also little dresses….

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…….which is just as well, because Whimsy was getting a little cross, as the dresses I had already knitted remained unblocked and unfinished……to be honest they still are….but I will remedy that fairly soon.  But oh the joy, when I realised I could make socks and little dresses from a hank of hand dyed yarn….

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As always I am  finding that I am working backwards…..the outfits are coming along a treat, it’s the dolls that need to happen next.  I have some amazing 4 ply coats/jackets to contrast with these little pieces, on my list and can only promise a very exciting shop update towards the end of the summer.

Recently I finished a very pretty pair of socks that is just crying out for a knitted dress to be made with the same yarn…..this will match a new little redhead to a tea!

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I have a fairly new hobby, which isn’t really compatible with current projects, but does seem to alleviate stress …..

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I think you can see the problem and incompatibility issues!

I have been able to reacquaint myself with some amigurumi crochet too, in my time away…..

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…and whilst cats and dogs aren’t traditionally friends, I truly believe that there should be no barriers.

These were crocheted from the pattern designs I did for Stylecraft a few years back.  I’m still quite proud of them…and their little faces make me smile.

So….the plans I have for the early part of the summer, are to complete a couple of new free patterns to increase the Fuzzpotling doll wardrobe,  and to make sure Whimsy doesn’t stay on her own.  I have some wonderful hair colours, but no heads….so I had really better crack on.

Thank you once again for your company today, I really appreciate you popping by.  I am hoping to start weekly posts…..as I hope to have lots of creative stuff to share with you all.

Until next time……Toodle Pip xxx

Popping in to say Hello..

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Good morning all…..thought I would just pop by to say ‘Hello’.   It may have seemed that things have been a little quiet in Shedquarters of late, but things are not quite as they may seem.

There has been a flurry of activity, but if I am to be absolutely honest, I haven’t much to show for it.  I am having one of my ‘wading through treacle’ phases!  I am busy, yet unproductive….keep starting things but not settling to finish.

I understand as a reader, this is quite frustrating, and that you pop along to visit for a little escapism and perhaps a bit of crafty inspiration. The part of me that reads other blogs thinks that perhaps in  ‘blog land’,  where things are perfect and perky,  and the sun always shines, I  shouldn’t make such a huge admission……but actually, in reality…..I’ve been a little ‘unsettled’ in a crafty sense and do occasionally suffer from ‘makers block’……the horror!

Sometimes, you just have to sit back, relax and have a cuppa with friends….

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I have been knitting, and have developed a lovely pile of little dresses….these really just need the finishing touches of buttons and blocking, and that little clothes rail will seem full once more.

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I am working on some hats, and while the beret is my absolute fave, I do hope to have a couple of straw bonnets for the summer happily decorated with flowers and ribbon.

I was really pleased that both Speckles the Baby Giraffe and Meadow the little redheaded suitcase doll, found a new home so quickly, but this has left little Whimsy in the playroom on her own, poor thing.  I am trying to work out what sort of companion to create for her, until she finds her new ‘peeps for keeps’.

The danger is….a little like me…..if left to her own devices, mischief sneaks in, takes her by the hand and leads her astray!

I will be writing up a little ‘Neckerchief’ pattern,  should anyone be interested, for next time.  You can see it modelled by Whimsy here…….

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It is a very versatile little accessory and can be made to fit any size doll, can be worn as a head scarf, neckerchief, or made bigger to create a little shawl…..so I will get my act together for next time…..I promise 🙂

Now you all know I have been dabbling with cross stitch…..and this has taken some of my creative intent.  I always do a spring clean at Shedquarters at about this time of year. A quick lick of paint and a good declutter does the soul good.  This year my little cross stitches will mean I can add a new picture to the wall.   I am absolutely loving it and can’t wait to see it hanging up.  I still have a fair way to go…..but I am already quite excited as the colours are so pretty……can’t wait to do the big “Ta-Dah”

Right then, my Lovelies…….

The dresses won’t hang themselves up….the neckerchief pattern won’t write itself, and Ted, though willing to help himself to rather too much some days……..simply can’t  take himself for a walk!IMG_4185

I must say TTFN…..and start pootling.  Those brightly coloured little crosses are beckoning for later on today…..best get cracking 🙂

 

Until next time Lovelies xx

 

Happy Easter !

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I thought I would pop by to wish you all a very Happy Easter and my best wishes for the coming Spring.

I absolutely love this time of year…well, to be honest this has a few caveats…..I love this time of year, when it is crisp, dry and sunny.  Although I know we need rain to keep nature in balance, that dull grey wet stuff gets right on my nerves….and while the snow was pretty…I am very much done with it for another year!

Okay, so that’s my weather grumble over.  Hope you have all been well.  I have been having a lovely time playing with wool, yarn and thread.  As you can see, I have been dabbling with cross stitch.  I love the rhythm of putting little crosses into Aida fabric…I would love to do it on linen, but my eyesight won’t really allow it these days.

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I love the colours, and I love the simplicity of it.  As a child and well into my teens I enjoyed cross stitch, and it has been almost like a holiday revisiting it once again….like meeting up with an old friend you haven’t seen for years.

I would like to incorporate the little cross stitched pieces into the Suitcases, and am currently working up a couple to make into little pillows.

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I do have a larger project planned….just for fun to brighten up the shed….and something to dip in and out of….but I am waiting on delivery of some DMC threads at the moment so can’t quite get going.

I am not sure where I got to on the introductions front, but Whimsy and Meadow are the little Fuzzpotlings, that currently reside in the playroom, whilst they wait for a new home.  Now these little girls are really full of fun.

First of all lets say hello to Whimsy…

Now this little girl has hair created using Teeswater Lambs Locks, and as they are just cleaned and un-dyed, she is a very natural blonde! Her hair is the softest of things, and I have to say, I love playing with it.

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As a result of having gorgeous curls, she is very trepidatious now that we are in April and there may be a shower in the air!  This of course means Whimsy will not travel anywhere without her umbrella.

She has made really great friends with Meadow…

Now Meadow is a rather gorgeous redhead.  and as you can see, understands the perils of the weather.

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She too likes to be prepared for those April showers, and just like her friend, won’t go anywhere without a brolly ( if only my daughters, would take a leaf out of her book!)

These girls love to have fun…

And are always up to mischief, with their two up bike rides and little chats!  I think they may be a little surprised who will be joining them soon….

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Speckles is almost ready and this little Giraffe, really loves to play.  It will be a nice surprise to have him join them for tea parties and games.

I haven’t made a giraffe for such a long time, it seems.  I love playing with colour and yellow just seems to pop at this time of year.  I will pop by with an update soon, and let you know if Speckles has made friends with the girls!!

I had better hop off, and will leave you with an Easter Bunny….(or two)IMG_3059

Hoppy Easter every Bunny xxxx

Keeping as a snug as a bug in a rug!

Hello all…..hope you are well and are keeping nice and warm.   It is chilly here as it seems to be across the UK, and we find ourselves, slap bang in the middle of a red weather warning, as issued by the Met office today…….. so I am using this as an excuse to grab a cuppa with you all and have that catch up we should have had on the weekend, until time got the better of me….soz!

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So here we are….between the Beast from the East and Storm Emma.  I am quite literally tethering myself to a warm kettle and a pair of snuggly socks ( hand knitted of course)…..and I really think I ought to keep the biscuit barrel fairly close to hand too….just in case!!

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Whilst this is going on ‘outside’….Twig, our elderly rescue greyhound is refusing to relinquish her grip on the sofa….

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….this would be her….” I don’t need a walk today ….are you completely bonkers! ”  face. Which is shortly followed by a sigh and then snoring.

Anywhoo…..while the ‘outside’ does its thing, I have been cracking on and catching up on some makes.  The first Fuzzpotling doll this year to wander out of Shedquarters was little  Ava…..

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There was so much about this little one that I loved when making her.  Matching pinks with deep reds, seemed wrong and yet so very right for this one.  The beautiful sock yarn used for her dress pulled all the colours together at the end.  So those funny red boots, didn’t really seem to clash with her deep pink tights, gingham bloomers and shocking fuchsia pink curly hair.

She is an all action girl, and loves to pack her little denim bag, with a good book and things she finds on her adventures.  I am so glad that she has found a new loving home where she is already making friends.

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I love working with Teeswater Locks.  This untamed hair, always reminds me of my youngest daughter, who has a mass of stunning curls.  We tried straightening it once….and although it looked lovely….simply wasn’t her!   So whenever, I create a doll with this wild wild hair, I just know that they will be kind and funny, just like her.

Once I start making wigs, I am possessed by the colours….

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So today, I have just finished Marin.  I have called this one Marin, because with its Irish Gaelic roots, the name Marin means “Star of the Sea”.  Her hair with its bright sea greens and pretty aquas reminded me of mermaids.

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While the play room is quiet she has been looking at all of the dresses.  I certainly think that this one is ‘hers’ though, reflecting those ocean colours and matching those bright turquoise sneakers.

It is definitely scarf weather, so of course….Marin is wearing a thick woolly hand knit scarf made from pure wool.

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I do seem to have been busy making frocks.  Each one is slightly different, but I am putting them down in a notebook, with a view to writing up a pattern at some point. When I see this picture, I fall in love with sock yarn all over again 🙂

It is a great excuse to use up little bits of yarn from your stash……even tiny bits can become a scarf, a hat or even leg warmers!!

I am working on some little coats at the moment, as well as finishing off a couple more dolls, so I will be able to share those with you soon.

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For now, I will say…..make sure you wrap up warm.  I have just dug out my stash busting scarf.  Knitted lengthwise on long circular needles, and using up lots of “posh” yarn, it is liking wearing a great big cuddle!

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Stay safe…stay warm and stay well all.

TTFN xxxx

I’m Back!

Hello my Lovelies, how have you all been keeping?

Firstly, let me apologise to you for letting my little blog get so dusty.  I have flung the doors wide open, blown off the cobwebs of this little corner of my world and started making notes and noise once more.

If you’ve got a minute now, why not grab a cuppa, pull up a chair and have a bit of a catch up.

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January is always a really busy month here at Fuzzpot Lane.  Shed quarters always has a little bit of a lie down after Christmas, and with both of my teenage girls celebrating birthdays 9 days apart (they are 2 years different in age), weekends seem to fly by in a bit of a flurry.  So there is…..how can I put it (?)…..an aftermath!!

The dull and damp weather makes dog walking that little bit longer….. there is the walk itself (slower in wind and rain)…then the drying off, which consists of a Rugby tackle that Chris Robshaw would be proud of for the Six Nations….the changing from wet weather gear into something snug and warm …the need for Hot Chocolate….the obvious need for ‘actual’ chocolate and then finally the sofa slump.  I think you can see what I am saying here!

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Yes !!  I’m talking about you…….Mr Ted….I am blaming you!!

I suppose I should also say that I suffer quite badly from LOMAC…..Lack of Mojo After Christmas.  There I’ve said it….I’ve made my excuses and said my apologies.

It’s February and I’m back…..

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It isn’t that I’ve not been ‘making’ things…..I just haven’t been ‘finishing’ them.  But all that is about to change.  All of the little bits and bobs that I have been doodling around with, are finally starting to come together.

The notebook is full of ideas, plans and dreams.  There is a little stack of knitted dresses…IMG_4719

that just require blocking,  buttons and a couple of ends sewing in.  The little pile of gingham cotton bloomers is starting to take shape, and I have found out some ribbon and edging which I am really keen to use.

The beauty of cold evenings by the fire, is that you can crochet those little body parts, but still be embroiled in family life.  I am working on several dolls at the moment, and have quite a gaggle forming….all waiting in a little line!

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Most of the heads have been needle felted, skin fabric attached and eyes embroidered, and this week, will be ‘Wig Week’.

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I have some beautiful, locally sourced Teeswater Locks, hand dyed in some truly fabulous vibrant colours, waiting to transform a little doll into a real character.  These are just 3 of the shades I have to play with at the moment……we will call this a sneak peak!  This type of Teeswater locks are what I have used in the past for these little cuties…

I will also be making a couple of fluffy heads, like these using wonderfully soft mohair yarn….

Whether it will be in this group of girls, or whether it will be in the next, I would also like to revisit the yarn curls that I created for this one….

There was just something about this little lass..that stuck in my heart.

I never make two dolls that are exactly the same, and I very rarely go down the custom order route…..I always feel that each one has to be an individual, with there very own character……and they always have to be made with love.  To enable me to create something truly unique …. I have to go with the flow!!  I hope this makes sense.

Anyway, back to the here and now!

Post arrived today….very happy post !  I treated myself a little while ago, and now it has landed, I am going to have to show the same levels of self discipline that it is taking to ignore the half eaten chocolate orange in the fridge!!

This lovely wool / mohair mix from Plymouth Yarn has a really lovely soft sheen.  It is a double knit so I have some wonderful plans for this.

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The next is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock….an old favourite of mine.  I cannot wait, to make some little outfits with this beautiful colour way called Childsplay.  The bright soft colours leave options wide open for accessorising.

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But you really can never tell what takes your fancy.  I threw this ball of sock yarn into the basket as a last minute thing, just to accommodate a discount code.  I’ve never used Lion Brand Sock Ease before, but a bit like that film quote….”You had me at Hello”…..I actually heard myself say “Hello!” to this ball of yarn when I opened the mail bag!   It’s just so pretty.

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This will look stunning as a little dress for a natural blonde ….don’t you think?

I can’t wait……the ideal, but very naughty end to my day (after parents evening with Thing 2 of course), could see me knitting with this and eating chocolate orange segments!!!

CAN SOMEBODY EAT THAT BLINKING CHOCOLATE…..PLEASE ???!!!!

 

Anyway, it is so good to be back…..I promise not to be gone for so long again.  Hopefully, next week will see some new little dolls, forming an orderly queue, to meet you all.

TTFN my friends xxx

 

 

 

 

Willow or won’t she ?!

Hello everyone…..Hope you are all well, and managing to keep warm.  Thank fully December is ‘Blanket’ month here at Fuzzpot Lane, so I have had the excuse to snuggle up on the sofa and finish off that Willow Square blanket I started absolutely months ago!

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It’s so far back, I won’t expect you to remember it straight away, but there was some doubt, on my part as to whether it would ever be finished.

Once all of the little Fuzzpotling dolls had made there way off to their new homes, I simply ran out of excuses.  I had decided that I would not start another blanket project until this one was complete…..tricky for someone of my ‘Mrs Many Projects’ mentality, and December was already here…..the horror!!

Now someone out there ( you know who you are Susan!), renamed this, the “Willow or Won’t she Blanket”, and from some people I may not have taken it quite so well, but she is a ‘Mrs Many Projects’ herself, and over the years we have had many ‘phases’ on our crafting journeys, many giggles and trodden a very similar path…….quite frankly….with this name, she pretty much nailed it!

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Willow or won’t she?   Well she did….and thanks to Priscilla Hewitt and her Continuous Flat Braid Join it all went together quite swimmingly.

The yarn used was a mix of both Stylecraft Special Dk and King Cole Pricewise DK, and basically I did 4 of Jan Eaton’s Willow squares in each of the following 16 shades…64 squares in all :

Styelcraft Special Dk :  Raspberry, Duck Egg, Violet, Buttermilk, Pistachio, Clematis, Cream, Vintage Peach, Sage, Strom Blue, Stone and Lavender.

King Cole Pricewise DK : Orchid, Grape, Fallow and Blossom

The continuous flat braid join was done in Stylecraft Special Dk shade Mushroom.

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So now what will I do ?  It’s only the 13th December and you’ve finished a blanket, I hear you cry!   I had a brief dalliance with thoughts of another blanket, but I am being drawn back to little things once more.

Just before I took Priscilla by the hand and let her lead me through the continuous joining technique, I had been putting together little outfits in suitcases….

….and I have to say, I am being drawn back.  The knitting needles are out and dresses, coats, hats and scarfs are starting to fly.  This coupled with mini blankets, a basket of beautiful sock yarn and the ease of taking it wherever I go…..had me at ‘Hello”.

So once the festivities are over….I’ve gone a chocolate too far….and am ready to create some new Fuzzpotlings, the choices will be endless.

I will be back to wish you all a ‘Merry’ one very soon, but for now my friends, the kettle is calling.

Stay warm xx