Category Archives: Knitting

The end of an era… and the beginning of something new

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Hello friends, how have you been?

It’s been almost a year since my last post (this feels like deja vu… I’m sure I’ve said that before after some very long absences.)

Anyway, I’m just back here briefly, one last time, to let you know that I’ve decided to bring Cute as a Button to an end.

When I started this little blog nearly five years ago (how on earth is it that long already?!) I had no idea that I would find blogging so much fun or that I would meet so many wonderful people! I simply wanted a place to record some of the things I made and had no idea that other people would actually want to join me on my crafty journey too. It amazes me that even though I haven’t posted anything new for so very long, there are still visitors stopping by to look at past posts. I would like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the trouble to visit, comment on posts, follow links and just spend time here.

When I started blogging I was working part time as a teacher and found plenty of time to craft and blog. When I switched to full time work, I found it much harder to get a good work/life balance and even though the crafting still went on in the background I didn’t really have the time or energy to share it with you all. Earlier this year I got to the point I was signed off work with stress. I decided at that point that I needed to get out of teaching, at least for a while, and left the school where I had been working for five years. It was really sad to say goodbye to the place where I had spent the majority of my teaching career, but it was totally the right decision.

I wasn’t working for a couple of months and during that time I started to dream. I’ve always wanted to have a little craft shop – in my mind it’s a light, spacious place, walls lined with shelves of wool and fabric, a huge table in the middle of the room for crafting groups, cosy armchairs with piles of magazines to browse through for inspiration… Sadly, I can’t actually afford a bricks and mortar shop, but I have decided to take the plunge and open up an online shop instead – eek!

But as I started to think about all sorts of shop related things, I grew more and more dissatisfied with the name Cute as a Button. I think it did the job just fine at the beginning, but I feel like I’ve outgrown it somewhat. It sounds a bit twee and I wanted something that was more unique. I spent a lot of time toying with different ideas until I finally came up with something I loved. And because you’ve made it this far through a very long post (thanks for sticking with it!) I want you to be the first to know my new name! Are you ready? I will now be known as…

gosling-and-plumb-logo_landscape-rgb

I have tentatively begun a new blog already. It’s in the very early stages, but if you want to pop over and have a look you can find me at goslingandplumb.co.uk. I’m still getting to grips with a slightly different way of blogging, so please bear with me while I work it all out. But I’d love to see you, so feel free to pop by any time! The shop isn’t in existence yet, but I’ll keep you posted on progress…

Before I leave, let’s have a little look back at some crafty goodness! I’ve loved sharing so many different projects with you all. Some of my favourites include:

  • Timmy and Tamara Turtle

Apr 2013 turtle tales

I loved making these little guys – almost as much as I enjoyed making up stories about them! You can read the beginning of their tale here.

May 20131 riverbed blanket

I made this for a friend’s birthday, and I love the fact that she still has it in her living room!

  • Paper cutting

I’ve not done this for a while now, but remember being really pleased with how these Easter/spring pictures turned out.

I still enjoy wearing mine and am looking forward to the colder weather so I can dig it out again!

  • A multitude of cushion covers

You can read about the cushion jumper here, the cable cushion here, the granny square cushion here, but unfortunately I can’t find the post about the recycled skirt cushion cover. It must be out there somewhere…

Which are your favourites?

So that’s about it. I’m slightly sad to be saying farewell to Cute as a Button, but so very excited about Gosling & Plumb! I really hope you’ll come with me on the next part of my journey, I’m sure we have a whole lot more fun in store.

By the way, I mentioned starting to knit a pair of socks in my very first post. I still haven’t finished them.

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Time flies

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I can’t believe it’s been more than two months since my last post! Is anyone still out there? The last few weeks of term were quite crazy and even my holiday time hasn’t felt too restful so far. But I’m enjoying my time off – I went to New Wine last week with a group from church which was lots of fun. And yesterday my friend and I drive from the South West (Somerset) to Scotland!
Today we have driven a little further and have just boarded a ferry to Barra, an island in the Outer Hebrides. We’re staying with friends there this week and I’m so excited about seeing them!
Before we got on the ferry we had some time to wander round Oban and we found some very exciting things that I wanted to share with you…

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This is the first yarn bombing I’ve seen in real life and we came across it completely unexpectedly! It was done by a lady who has a very small art studio nearby who wanted to brighten up her surroundings – she did it very well!

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I’ve taken loads more photos on my camera, so I’ll give you the full version next time I have computer access.
We also came across a quilt exhibition. I didn’t get any photos on my phone, but I took loads on my camera! They were just amazing, so much skill and talent on display. I think there may well be a few picture-heavy posts when I get home!

New Year, New Giveaway

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Happy New Year!

Before I get to the looking forward part, I wanted to do a quick look back. These are some of the things I made/came across/thought were pretty enough to photograph through 2012.

January

Jan 2012

February

 

MFeb 20122March

March 20124

April

April 201210

May

May 20128

June

June 20126

July

July 201210

August

August 20122

September

September 2012

October

October 2012

November

November 2012

December

December 2012

Looking through so many pictures made me realise just how much I’d made last year. Some months were a lot more productive than others, but I’ve enjoyed my creativity very much this year.

I wrote last January about my habit of starting things that I never get round to finishing. I still do that – I have a box of unfinished projects (that I’ve managed to lose somehow!) but I’ve learnt a lot even from the things that I’ve not completed. I’m hoping that 2013 will be the year when I learn to finish the things I start, but even if I can’t manage that I’m sure I’ll continue to learn a lot of other things along the way. I hope you’ll continue to join me on my creative journey!

One last thing before I go. On 12th January it will be my One Year Blogging Birthday! I decided it’s about time for another giveaway, and my Blogging Birthday seemed like a great time to do it. I’ll announce the details of the giveaway at some point over the next couple of days, so watch this space 🙂

Operation Christmas Child

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A few weeks ago my friend announced that she didn’t want presents for her birthday this year – or at least, not presents for herself. Instead, she asked for donations to a shoebox. You may remember (if you’ve been reading long enough) that I started making a few things for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes earlier in the year.

Well, I have to say that all my ideas of stocking up on hats, gloves and scarves over the year didn’t work out quite how I imagined it would. Basically, I got distracted! So by this point I don’t have nearly as many goodies as I had once thought. But my lunchtime knitting has been going rather well, and just this morning I finished the scarf I’ve been working on over the last couple of weeks.

I also popped into the wool shop in town this afternoon to see what they had, and found some lovely chunky wool. I started knitting with it almost as soon as I got home, and 35 minutes later I had another scarf! I’ve decided that chunky wool is definitely the way forward!

Last week I decided that a hat or two would be good to include too, so started looking around on ravelry (what a great place!) and came across a pattern for this hat.

I was also inspired by several other patterns to make this one. The flowers are from an Attic 24 pattern.

So now I have a lovely little pile of woolly goodies ready to take to my friend later 🙂

 

Catching up

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Autumn has definately arrived here in the UK. The days are feeling much colder and I have spent every day this week with a scarf firmly wrapped around my neck. I’m quite an odd person as I really don’t like being too cold, but I love autumn! It’s my favourite season – I love watching the trees change to glorious reds and yellows, I love the golden glow of the morning sun, and I love getting wrapped up in scarves and gloves. My favourite days of all are those when it’s really cold, but when the sun is brightly lighting up all the wonderful colours of the trees. 

The lakeside Pantheon at the National Trust’s Stourhead House near Warminster.

Of course, we’re not quite at that stage yet (and knowing what our crazy weather is like, we may yet have another mini summer before we enter the full glory of autumn) but I’m looking forward to crunching through fallen leaves and getting wafts of sweet, smoky air as the neighbours light their fires.

Autumn also makes me want to knit. I sort of dabble all year round (although this year my focus has mainly been on crochet) but the colder months seem much more suited to knitting than when it’s warmer. As I seem to have so little time in the evenings to just sit and be creative I’ve come up with another solution – I’ve taken my knitting to school! I usually spend the first part of my lunch break in the classroom, tidying up from the morning, getting ahead with some marking or setting up for the afternoon. But I try to make sure I have at least half an hour in the staff room, and after I’ve eaten lunch I normally have at least 10-15 mins of just chatting before the bell goes. So that chatting time has now become knitting time. I’m only making a scarf, so I don’t really need to concentrate, meaning that I can still be sociable. But it’s a lovely relaxing end to the lunch hour before doing battle with an art or science lesson.

Photo: Had such a fab evening learning to crochet! Laura Dimon and Emma Higgs what great teachers u guys r! Thank u so much, am well proud of my coaster... That may be going to grow into a hat, or a bag, or a purse, or a table mat... Ah just endless possibilities = one WAAAY too excited Helen!! Lol!! <3

Helen’s first ever crochet circle – so much better than my first circle was!

I’ve also taken Debbi’s advice (see her comment here) and set aside Tuesday evenings as my craft time. This week that involved teaching a crochet class! That actually makes it sound grander than it was – a few friends and friends of friends gathered together and I attempted to show them how to get started on crochet. I was expecting it to be really stressful (I’ve only ever tried to teach crochet to one person at a time before, not a whole group) but thanks to my friend Emma (who’s far more professional than I am!) who lent a helping hand, it was a really fun evening.

Helen’s second circle – she started this at home with no help from anyone. What a star pupil!

One thing Emma and I both learnt was that there is often more than one way of doing something in crochet. Pretty much everything I do one way, she does another way! We tried to make it as simple as possible for people, so hopefully they weren’t too confused! I saw one of our ‘students’ yesterady – she came bounding up to me asking when the next crochet evening would be! This is someone who claims she doesn’t have a crafty bone in her body, so I was so excited that she’d enjoyed it enough to want to do it again. And she’s been practising at home too!

As well as teaching others, I’ve also managed to add a few more rounds to the granny blanket I’m making for a friend (she’s going to give it to her Nan for Christmas).

I’ve also enjoyed flicking through a couple of mags – I’m already getting very excited about all the Christmas stuff and am planning out some projects. I think that realistically I won’t have time to make them all, but I can dream!

And finally – I was recently nominated for a couple of awards. Rainbow Junkie passed on the beautiful blogger award

…and the wonderful team member readership award!

Thank you so much for your generosity in nominating me for two awards! I really feel like I don’t deserve them as I’m hardly posting anything these days, but thanks for your encouragement! I’m not going to pass them on at the moment, but may do at some point in the future.

Now I’m off to catch up on some blog reading – I have about 120 new blogs sitting in my inbox demanding my attention! Enjoy your evening, and I’ll maybe see you in another couple of weeks 🙂

In July I…

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…made a display board…

…and some buttony goodies…

…and teeny tiny bunting…

…and lavender bags for a sale that didn’t happen.

I finally finished a cable knit cushion cover.

I made a wedding banner.

I started another baby blanket…

…and a granny square blanket.

I did a whole lot of baking in quite a short space of time.

And I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the beach with some lovely friends.

How was your month?

 

Patterns and Tutorials

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Good morning!

I just wanted to pop by to let you know that I’ve added a new page. You will see a link for Patterns and Tutorials at the top (hopefully!) where I will occasionally add either patterns or tutorials (did you see that coming?!).

I’ve kicked it off with the pattern for my Cable Cushion Cover. It’s taken me a little while to work out what all my scribblings mean, and turn it into proper knitting language, but hopefully it all makes sense. However, if you try it out and you fnd a mistake, please let me know and I’ll fix it!

Now, I need to stop procrastinating and get sewing. Have a good day!