Saturday, 24 November 2012

Custom cross stitch

I'm still taking custom cross stitch sampler orders via my Etsy shop - these make the perfect personalised Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life.
This framed sampler style is $25 plus shipping and is large enough for 1 - 5 words, possibly 6 if they are not too long. If you would like a larger sampler, or one with more decorative stitching, then drop me a line for a quote.

All my samplers are worked on 100% high-quality aida fabric and use 100% cotton DMC and Anchor threads. No message will be considered too silly, or too rude. I'm unshockable. Here's your chance to get those private jokes and family sayings immortalised in needlepoint!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Ziggy Stardust

Time to knit another David Bowie! Actually, when *isn't* it time to knit another David Bowie? Here is knitted Ziggy Stardust wearing his one arm / one leg bodysuit and a little felt cosmic disc thing on his forehead.
Ziggy was a one-off custom order but I may well be making another one so watch the Etsy shop!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Peter Davison doll

Here's the latest in my series of Doctor Who dolls - Peter Davison. He's wearing his cricket jumper and long beige coat with red trimming. It was really hard finding a yarn which was the right colour for the blonde Davison locks, but my trusty vintage stash came up trumps in the end. Now I know why I hang on even the tiniest amount of unusual vintage yarn...
If you'd like to give Peter Davison a home, he can be found in my Etsy shop.

Now, the big question is: which Doctor do I knit next?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Creepy naked TV presenters

I was commissioned by Talkback to knit naked dolls of TV presenters Russell Kane and Greg James. And here they are! They appear on Series 2,  Episode 2, and if you scroll through to 17 minutes on iPlayer you'll  be able to see them.

They were knitted with several different sizes of detachable penis but sadly they didn't use these on the show.

I hope these don't give you nightmares...

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Some of my knitting is going to be appearing alongside Russell Kane and Greg James on Unzipped, BBC 3, 10pm, next Wednesday, the 10th October. I can't reveal anything else at the moment, apart from the fact it's going to be quite rude...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Tom Baker doll

Here's my new Doctor Who doll! Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor, scarf-wearing hero of my 1970s childhood.
He's wearing his trademark scarf, which I knitted using vintage 1970s yarn from deep in the depths of my yarn stash. You know you sometimes inherit ancient bits and pieces of yarn from friends and relatives? Hang onto it, this is what it's useful for.

I made his curly hair from alpaca wool, which holds a curl beautifully and looks pretty much like the Tom Baker mop in both colour and texture.

Tom Baker is currently for sale in my Etsy shop and I have also made another Matt Smith doll, also for sale. More Timelords to come!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Stroll for Solidarity

 The phone box in Worthing's Styne Gardens has been given a fantastic knitted makeover by Worthing and Arun Mind and Blueprint 22. It's all wrapped up in shades of blue and white in honour of the Stroll 4 Solidarity, a 5k seafront walk taking place this Sunday,  23rd September 2012.

There were people crossing over the road from the seafront and  peering through the phonebox windows at all the little knitted flowers inside. It's really worth a look if you're in Worthing town centre over the coming week.

The Stroll 4 Solidarity starts at 10.30am on Sunday. "Everyone’s invited to go along and take part, regardless of their age or physical ability. There will be markers and marshalls along the route so that you can tailor the distance as required.  Show your support by getting some exercise in the great outdoors which is good for your emotional wellbeing." It's free to join in and show your support of this vital local charity, but if you want to get sponsorship, that would be even better, and you can download a sponsorship form here.

Once the display is over, the knitted cosy will be taken down and turned in blankets for the homeless.

 Just goes to show, graffiti knitting can be fun and help good causes at the same time.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

David Bowie doll

 Here's the first of my new doll designs for the autumn: say hello to this David Bowie doll, created from my own pattern. He's approximately 11 inches long and is based on the Diamond Dogs cover.

I was inspired to knit him because I have been knitting Doctor Who dolls over the summer and it struck me one afternoon, while listening to Bowie and knitting Matt Smith, that during his prime, Bowie was actually a sort of Time Lord. He regenerated into something completely different every few years, with Ziggy Bowie being as different from Let's Dance Bowie as Patrick Troughton is as different from Peter Davison. Everyone has their favourite incarnation. (Sylvester McCoy would probably be Tin Machine. You have to be a rather dedicated fan to like either).

If you'd like to give this rock Time Lord a home, he is currently lounging around my Etsy shop.

Oh yes - one bonus feature of this doll is that if you want to have a knitted version of the pre-censorship album art, you can put Mr Bowie's tail between his legs and you have an anatomically correct dog. If you know what I mean...

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Worthing Knit and Natters

Worthing may be a small and sleepy Sussex town, but blimey, there's a lot of crafty things going on. Here's a list of groups meeting up for coffee, knitting, sewing and general socialising in Worthing at the moment. Listings are organised according to the day of the week. Contact the organisers to check events are running before packing up your needles and heading out. Have I missed out anyone? Hope not. Let me know if I have!

Hook Knit and Sip, 2nd Monday of the month, 10.30am - 12.30pm at St Paul's

"Coffee or Tea, Crochet or Knit, the choice is yours!" This small group has only recently started - mostly crochet beginners but knitters welcome too! Pop over to Facebook and say hello to Magscraft for more info.  St Paul's Centre, 55b Chapel Road, Worthing BN11 1EE.

Knit and Natter, every Tuesday evening 7pm - 9pm at The Wool Bar

A very, very popular meet-up at Worthing's spiritual home of knitting, The Wool Bar. "Bring your current project, meet others, relax and enjoy the company, as we put the world to rights!" It can get rather busy, warns Caroline. The Wool Bar, 15 Warwick Street, Worthing  BN11 3DF

Knit and Natter at Worthing Library, 1st Wednesday of the month 10 - 11.30am
"Come to the Library to meet new people and share your craft creations."
Worthing Library, Richmond Road, Worthing BN11 1HD

Seabelles Knit and Natter "This year we are meeting the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Thomas A Becket pub in Worthing 7 – 9pm. It's lots of fun and you are more than welcome to bring crochet, sewing or even just turn up for a natter, glass of wine and some inspiration." You can check the dates here on the Seabelles blog.

Meet and Make, every Thursday morning, 10am - 12pm at Coast
A lovely, chilled mix of crafters of all ages. Of course I'm going to say that because I help organise this one. Come along and say hello to a friendly and supportive group of knitters, crocheters, cross stitchers and crafters. Whatever craft you can bring to Coast is most welcome! We're usually stitching away at the big table downstairs. Every Thursday apart from school holidays (we used to meet on Tuesday but have changed dates). Photo of Chi Chi Revolver by uber-blogger Ivy Arch. Coast Cafe, Beach Parade, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 2ES

Make and Munch, last Thursday of the month at Green Cuisine.

"Once a month a group called Make n' Munch gets together to be creative, learn new skills (eg knitting, crochet, pumpkin carving, drawing, card making, sewing etc), and complete various community projects. Open to "ladies of any age who like craft, art and being creative." Make and Munch is organised by Storm Ministries, the people behind that beautiful garden full of yarnbombing in Union Place. Green Cuisine, 37 Rowlands Road, Worthing, BN11 3JJ

Worthing Renaissance WI meet at the Scout Hut in Anglesea Road. "Our first aim is to create a new and exciting group for women who wish to talk, learn, share, create, help local projects, have fun... and enjoy the occasional tipple, a nice hot cuppa and of course cake!" They meet on the last Thursday of every month at 8pm.

Meet and Make at Broadwater Library, every Friday, 10.45am -12pm
"People can bring in their own craft projects, which could include knitting, quilting, painting or model making, or come and find inspiration for a new one. The sessions are a great opportunity for people to share their skills and socialise. There is also a selection of craft books available for people to browse and borrow."
Broadwater Library, Dominion Road, Broadwater, Worthing BN14 8JL

Durrington Knit and Natter at Durrington Library, 1st Friday of the month, 11am - 1pm
"Do you enjoy knitting, crochet, cross stitch, embroidery or any other kind of stitching? Would you be interested in meeting like minded people sharing knowledge, or nattering about your stitching?"
Durrington Library, Salvington Road, Worthing  BN13 2JD

Worthing Women's Institute also run monthly lunch clubs and craft groups - contact them for more details.

There's also often local groups looking for knitters to get involved with various charity projects. Caroline at The Wool Bar often organises charity knits, so get in touch with her to see what's going on. Transition Town Worthing's Reskilling group have knitted blankets for Worthing Churches Homeless Project in the past and sometimes run knit and natters and workshops.

Hope that's enough Worthing knitting to keep you busy for a while!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Blue Moon quilt

Way, way back in 2010 I wrote a blog post bemoaning the hexagonal quilt I had started in 2007 and had never finished. This mother was the ultimate unfinished project for me. The knitted albatross around the crafters neck. I thought that had bitten off more than I could chew.

 Six months ago, I got this hexagonal monster out of my wardrobe, where it had been lurking, and pulled it, kicking and screaming out into the sunlight. It lay on my bedroom floor, taunting me everytime I looked in its direction. Day by day I forced myself to sew a little seam here, crochet a half-hexagon there.

A week ago, I realised that I was in the home straight and decided to finish this crocheted millstone for once and for all, before the Blue Moon on August 31st. I liked the idea of tying in this monumental craft effort with an appropriately rare astronomical phenomenon. It would be a Blue Moon before I would ever attempt to make anything as large again.

So, here it is. About half the size I had originally planned for, but it's finished - that's the main thing - and it looks really lovely draped over a chair or a bed.

It's very, very satisfying to put away the last oddments of brown yarn, crochet hook and needle and know that my ultimate unfinished project is now done. If you have a similar craft nightmare sitting in your wardrobe, take heart - it can be conquered.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Meat Is Murder

The perfect sampler for the vegetarian, or the Smiths fan in your life (and of course if you know a vegetarian Smiths fan then all your present-buying woes are truly over).

A hand-stitched sampler, plucked fresh from the boughs of my Etsy shop.

More lovely knitted stuff to come in September including some new doll designs which I am rather excited about...

Friday, 22 June 2012

Dr Who doll

I have just finished knitting Matt Smith as Doctor Who as a custom order. I love the way he turned out! He's about 10 inches tall and is preparing to launch off into space (well, OK, the USA) only he is going to have to travel by cardbox box, rather than TARDIS. Sorry, Doctor.

While I was knitting the Eleventh doctor I started thinking how great it would be to knit them all... I'd probably start with Tom Baker and Peter Davison as those are the Doctors I grew up with. Will definitely add this idea to the knit-list.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Bird Yarns

Here is my Arctic Tern, Erin, sitting on Worthing beach before heading off later today to Scotland to join a flock of other knitted Arctic Terns in the Bird Yarns Installation on Tobermory Pier. You can see Worthing's resident Herring Gulls keeping a safe distance from this rare visitor.

Bird Yarns "brings knitters from Mull and across the UK together with textile artist Deirdre Nelson in response to the changing migration patterns of seabirds across Scotland’s islands. Working with local wool from Ardalanish, Mull, and recycled materials, the knitters will create a flock of ‘lost’ arctic terns on Tobermory Pier and provide them with a Mull welcome of local food, music and poetry. Knitting kits will be developed in partnership with local producers to highlight the plight of migratory birds and celebrate local resources and resourcefulness."

The main body and head of the bird were designed by Deirdre Nelson, with each individual knitter designing their own beak and feet from whatever materials were to hand. My bird's beak was made from a stick reclaimed from a broken bamboo blind, wrapped around with yarn. Her feet are crocheted.

It was a pleasure to work with the beautifully soft Ardalanish Bluefaced Leicester wool. I decided to stuff her with some unspun fleece from Surrey, to keep with the natural and local theme of the installation.

I finally took her for a visit to Caroline at Worthing's spiritual home of knitting, The Wool Bar, before getting her ready to migrate North to join the other birds in Scotland.

You can see Erin and rest of her "lost" flock on Tobermory Pier 18th - 24th June 2012, and in the Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, in August.


Thursday, 31 May 2012

Eddie Izzard doll

Here is knitted Eddie Izzard! He was a special one-off custom order and he left for his new home in the USA this morning.

Knitted Eddie's outfit was based on this real-life Eddie ensemble of high-heeled boots, black sparkly skirt, basque and pink jacket.

There was a horrible mid-knitting moment when I was reminded of Dolores Umbridge's pink tweedy outfit in Harry Potter, but once the black accents were embroidered on, normality resumed. No-one wants to think of  Dolores Umbridge in a basque.

If you'd like a custom doll made, then you know where my Etsy shop is. Just take the second left then follow the internet until you can hear the sound of knitting needles. It's not far.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Custom cross stitch

Now you may know me best as a knitter, but I also take commissions for custom cross stitch samplers as well. I'm happy to stitch anything, no matter how big or small, or randomly daft. Recently I've been working on large pieces for a company's corporate meeting room, including their company logo, and also small framed private joke pieces which make no sense to me as an outsider, but which are providing a good deal of mirth somewhere in the world.

If you'd like something stitched, drop me a line to discuss prices, sizings and options. Everything I make is crafted from 100% cotton DMC threads and high quality aida fabric. Even the private jokes.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Happy children

Genuinely happy children! This is a rarity for a knitting pattern. Most knitting-pattern-children have nervous or forced smiles, usually because they are having to pretend that the man in the alarming 1970s pullover is actually their Dad.

These three, however, look genuinely amused at a private in-joke (no doubt a height-related one) and are clearly enjoying their day out at a badly-drawn fairground.

Lavenda Hand Knit boys and girls sweaters with crew or V neck, in Lister's Lavenda 4 Ply, Crisp Crepe or Golden Fleece. No date.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Bayou Arcana's One-Eyed Raccoon

Here he is, my knitted rendition of the One-Eyed Raccoon from the much-anticipated Southern Gothic graphic novel Bayou Arcana. Ol' One-Eye is going to be at the Bristol Comic Expo May 12th - 13th if you fancy meeting him in the the knitted flesh along with Bayou Arcana's creator Jimmy Pearson.

I based One-Eyed Raccoon on Sara Dunkerton's original concept drawings from Bayou Arcana and started off by knitting him as she had drawn him: a scrawny, half-dead fella. What looked great on the page just didn't work out in knitting. Cue much unravelling of yarn and a bit of a think.

In the graphic novel, One-Eye is a dead raccoon whose body is possessed by a malevolent demon who is taking his final breaths and needs to find a new home for his evil spirit. So, I decided to knit him as a cuddly plush toy who had the misfortune to have the same experience, keeping Sara's original touches of the missing ear, wounds, and tail hanging off by a bone.

I worked out a method of unravelling the knitting to make gaping wounds without the whole raccoon falling to pieces, and here is the end result.

I do often feel sorry for fictional bad guys. I sit there watching Die Hard, thinking "Poor Hans Gruber, he must have had an awful childhood". I felt the same for this poor raccoon who had his corpse reanimated for such evil purposes: he didn't choose this to happen, it wasn't his fault. I think this comes across in my knitted version. One-Eyed Raccoon: evil through and through and stuffed full of bad intentions but you can still see the fluffy creature he was before the bad times began.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Poker Face

Some great poker faces being pulled while modelling Patons Cameo Crepe Twist "vintage cardigans for the connoisseur".

Although, to be accurate, I was informed by the lady in the charity shop that these people are playing whist, not poker, so they are actually pulling "whist faces."

Friday, 30 March 2012

Long John Silver

Here is Long John Silver as played by Eddie Izzard from the Sky TV production of Treasure Island. He's a one-of-a-kind custom order with a bright pink parrot, rather than the red macaw from the TV show.

I'm starting to think that maybe all pirates should have a pink parrot. In fact I'm feeling rather sorry for any buccaneers who have to put up with anything less. Pink parrots for all!

Long John Silver was great fun to knit: the first time I've ever attempted anyone with one leg + Eddie Izzard is my second-favourite comedian = knitted pirate win.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What the 1960s toddler is wearing this season

An oddly royal-looking toddler, this fella: a touch of the Prince Williams about him. He's sporting a two-piece powder blue Patons Quickerknit creation.

The top is a button-up cardigan, and the shorts are a "pilch". Never heard of a pilch before but a quick trip to the dictionary tells me that a pilch is an over-wrapper for a nappy. I look forward to dropping this word into a conversation some day soon.

Monday, 12 March 2012


Citrus fruit used to be an enormous source of excitement before the internet came along. These two ladies have been standing on a street corner, discussing this orange, for over an hour now. Yet another pleasure that the electronic age has taken away from us.