Monthly Archives: January 2008

Pink Frenchy Bag


Pink Frenchy Bag, originally uploaded by lyndsey-jane.

Pattern: Amy Butler Frenchy Bag
Fabric: A seletion from Moda Quilt Pink II range
Mods: The inside only has one pcoket rather then two (purely due to lack of fabric as I was using stuff from my stash)

This is my latest finished sewing item. It took no longer than a weekend to make. I love it. I plan on gifting it to my Hot Cocoa Swap pal, as a small project bag. I think it will be perfect to use a sock bag.

New Year, New Skills



New Year, New Skills, originally uploaded by lyndsey-jane.

Firstly, quilting. I have wanted to start quilting just after I got my sewing machine. I have two books, (Quilting for Dummies and Homes & Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting) which have been an interesting read, a rotary cutter with cutting mat and rule and a little tinned quilt kit which has instructions and 32 piece charm pack. I’m hoping to have my first go at the weekend.

Secondly, embroidery. Sublime Stitching has some fantastic patterns and after reading the book I can recommend them to beginners. The instructions are in plain simple English and really are fool-proof. The book assumes you have no prior knowledge at all which is great when you don’t and still helpful if you do. The book also contains loads of pattern transfers at the back and has envelopes in the covers to store them after use (they can all be used up 9 times). The stitch-it kit, contains a small leaflet of instructions, a hoop, 2 tea towels, 7 skeins of thread (floss) and a needle, as well as more transfers patterns. These two purchased from amazon for under £20.

I am still awaiting an order of more patterns, textiles and bits from the Sublime Stitching website, these have been shipped from the US, so hopefully will be with me soon.

One final thing I love about the book – it has a transfer pattern which is a stitch lesson. I think this may be crafting for the evening.

I am feeling much better and will have some great FO’s to show soon. I just need to buy some buttons tomorrow.

feeling better


Thank-you to everyone that sent me well wishes, I’ve a couple of good days lately so fingers crossed!

I have been busy with the knitting and sewing though, my tank top just needs the side seams seaming, I started a baby jacket for a swap pal’s baby which just needs the arms sewn in (do you sense I hate seaming) and have started a new sock with some alpaca sock yarn from a swap pal. On the sewing front, I have made a lovely pink bag, which I think I will gift to my swap pal to use as a small project bag. I was unsure if I was going to gift this when I started to make it as I hadn’t made this pattern before and wasn’t sure how it would turn out – but I am pleased with the result.

We have a strange hamster situation going on, last night Karl went to get Mr Bob out to put him in our new hamster toy (a hamster playpen – so simple, yet so genius) and he appeared dead. It was late so Karl put him back in his cage, and was planning on burying him today.  Karl went back to the cage today to get Mr Bob ready for burial, but although he is unresponsive, he just doesn’t look dead. He is still soft and floppy (unlike prevous dead hamsters who look dead and are very hard and stiff) and just doesn’t look like other dead hamsters – we are wondering if he is in hibernation. We’ve put him in a much warmer room and will leave him overnight – if he is still unresponsive but soft and not looking dead tomorrow, I think I will pop to the vet to ask them. There are so many stories of hiberbating hamsters being buried that I don’t want to risk it. If we hadn’t have seen other dead hamsters we probably wouldn’t be worrying but he just looks wrong for a dead hamster.

I hope to take some photos of the wips and fo’s tomorrow and post them


I want to say a big thank-you to all of your compliments of my recent fo’s and wips. I paologise for mnot e-mailing you all in person but life is not good at the moment. The christmas chest infection, although now gone, has left my immune system in a real state. My ME has relapse to the worst it has been since diagnosis.

I can cope with the aches & pains, I can cope with sore throat and sore glands and I can cope with the constant fatigue but only when they occur on their own (as they have been for the past year or so) what I can’t deal with is all these symptoms at the same time.

Blogging and knitting may be scarce over the next few weeks as I am desperately trying to get back ‘normal’ in time for uni at the beginning of Feb.  I have an exam on Monday but there is no way I will be able to make it, I’ve been sleeping 12-15 hours a day of late (straight through with no waking) so haven’t even picked up a book. Univetsity are fine and I have a note from my GP so as I can retake in April. As well as the physical aspects of this relapse I am having psycholigical issues – it is just so frustrating!!! I was doing so well, I was up to date with my work at uni and now I am falling behind. It has all been ok’d with uni but just annoying for me. I don’t want the ME to start up my depression but not being able to to the things I want (and need) to do just gets to you.

I’m off back to bed.



Just to prove that I have been knitting here as some progess shots of Juliet. I love this pattern it is quick and easy to memorise. I have finished all the knitting and just need to block and add buttons. I have to go buy some thread for (yet) another bag I plan to make soon, so will have look in the city for some nice buttons for this.
The truer colour is more like the close up.

Amy Butler Handbag


Amy Butler Handbag
Originally uploaded by lyndsey-jane

I love this bag!!! It is made from off cuts left over after I cut out the pieces for a bag I am making for friend. I am still waiting on the exterior fabric for it but will post about it when its hear. This is such a quick make even for a beginner like me. I made this from start to finish over the course of an afternoon and evening.

Pattern: Amy Butler In Town – Smart Handbag
Fabrics: Exterior – Amy Butler Tree Peony (sand)
Lining – Amy Butler Full Moon Polka Dot (linen)
I added 2 feet to the bag and used a magnetic closure. I only had enough fabric to make one internal pocket also.

UK Swap Questionnaire


Yes , I’ve joined another swap.

Part One: Crafting

Do you knit, crochet, or both?

I am a knitter and have been knitting for 2 years now

What do you like to make? Do you have a favourite project?

I like to make socks but more recently have been making sweaters and cardigans. I also like to make scarfs and wraps. Whatever takes my fancy really.

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?

I knit with natural fibres and love merino, alpaca and silk blends. I’ve just knit a clapotis from Malabrigo and loved every second of it. Anything soft and squishy is good by my books.
Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?

I‘m not fond of scratchy wool and hate acylic yarns. I don’t mind a small amount blended with wool in sock yarn.

Do you do any other crafts?

I got a sewing machine for my birthday in november and have been busy making bags for christmas presnts. I finished the first bag for myself tonight. It’s so addictive. I really want to learn to quilt and hope to teach myself this year.

What knitting do you bring ‘on the go’?

Socks, they are so small and portable.

What do you carry your ‘on the go’ knitting in? Do you want something new?

At present I use a cosmetic bag from Cath Kidston, but would like something less rigid (it’s made from oilcloth so doesn’t squish down at all and can take up quite a bit of space in my bag). I would love something new, who wouldn’t, or even the fabric to make myself something new.

Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?

I have an extensive list on, one dedicated solely to knitting books and a craft list including sewing and spinning books. I have a drop spindle but need alot more practice. I’ve always wanted some sock blockers but other than that I can’t think of anything.  Yarn wise anything nice and squishy and in nice colours.

Part Two: Your Favourites

What is your favourite colour? What is your least favourite colour?

I love green, browns and oranges at the moment – feel autumna colours. I do however also like pinks and purples. Any colour os good with me as long as it is bright, dark or jewel tones as I’m not a fan of pale or pastels. I’m also not keen on red (unless it s a deep burgundy, which could be classed as pink I suppose)

What scents/smells do you like? What don’t you like?

I love neroli. I also like lavender. There’s not much I don’t like but I’m not fond of sweet and floral scents. My fave smell at the moment is cinnamon.

How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure)

All of the above. I have very sensitive skin so have to be careful what I use.

I am ok with most branded stuff as long as it is for either sensitive skin or dry skin. I can’t use Johnsons, Nivea, Olay or most own brands. I can use anything with salt in it e.g. salt scrubs or bath salts.

Brands I like use regulary are:

Lush, Liz Earle, Sanctuary, Soap & Glory, Boots Medittrean (esp. Almond, Pistachio and Milk range),  Burt’s Bees & Molten Brown.

(if  you would like a more extensive list just ask)
What goodies to you like to treat your tummy with? (chocolate, biscuits, truffles, etc.)

Again, all of the above. I am back on my diet but I do still allow myself a treat every so often. I’m a big fan of Hotel Chocolat but like most other chocolate, sweets and biscuits. I don’t like dried fruit or Jaffa cakes.

Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind? Favourite mug/cup?

I drink all of the above but mainly coffee. I like fresh coffee, with starbucks syrup. I have a few mugs I use on a regular basis, my plain starbucks mug (it fits my coffee filter it came with), a patterned starbucks mug and my new addition a spotty Cath Kidston mug bought for me by my mum, for no reason other she saw it and knew I would like it. The one these all have in common is they are large!

I do drink tea but only loose leaf tea. My favourite tea is Darjeeling. 

Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TVshow-Along, movies, music, podcasts)

I often watch (or should that be listen) to TV whilst knitting. If there really isn’t anything (which seems to be happening more and more often these days) I listen to audiobooks (I subscribe to audible), podcasts (gotta love Lime N Violet and Cast On) or just music. I tend not to knit whilst watching movies as I like to devote 100% attention to the film. I may knit if Karl is watching a film i’m not too interested.

Part Three: Living & Past-times

Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)


Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?

I’ve lived in lots of places, I moved to Cambridge 4 years ago to go to Uni and am still here, well I’m still at uni but we don’t plan to move once I graduate

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Probably Canada and New Zealand.

If you couldn’t go to a knitting group, what other kind of gathering would you go to? (book club, tea party, yoga class, jewelery class, etc.)

I don’t go to my local knitting group that often as I have ME/CFS and find after a week at uni I need saturday to recuperate, plus I like to spend weekend with Karl. They do meet on a Tuesday night too, but after lectures I am to tired. I am more of a virtual member. I have told myself that I must try to attend more meeting. I would probably go to film night or maybe a cookery class (not that I can’t cook, I can, but I’d love to learn more)

What’s your style? (elegant, traditional, glamourous, girly, natural, sporty, outgoing, etc.)

Weird! I don’t really have a style and I’m kinda just me. I’m definitely not smart, elegant or sporty. I tend to wear Jeans, Crocs, Buffalos or DMs, with long sleeve t-shirts layered under short-sleeved t-shirts. On my smartish moments I’m  supposed I’m quite bohemian. I often wear skirts/dresses over jeans. I only own one pair of trousers that aren’t jeans and only wear heels when made to for weddings etc.

Final Part:

Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?

I am allergic to mohair and angora. I am also allergic to cats and dogs so if you have them, can you keep them away from my parcel or let me know so I can wash yarn before I use it.

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?

I can’t think of anything but feel free to e-mail me and ask anything you like. 

Mmmm….Hot Cocoa Swap Questionnaire


1. What is your favorite way to drink cocoa? Prepared with milk? Water? from home made recipe or store bought?, In a tea cup, or big mug?

It has to be made with 100% milk, I can’t stand the instant just add water stuff. I usually have a large mug and use frothed milk.

2. Marshmallows or whipped cream?

I try not to keep these in the house on a regular basis, but on special occasions or when I am out with friends I like both. Although marshmallows are better for the diet.

1. What is your favorite type of yarn? In what colors?

I tend with knit with natural fibres, wool, alpaca, silk and blends of these. I just knit a Clapotis with some Malabrigo and loved it. It is high up on my list. I also love squishy sock sock yarn.

2. Do you knit or crochet (or both)?

I knit, and have been for 2 years now. I do want to learn to crochet at some point.

3. What are your favorite type of needles, would you like to try something new?

I got a set of Knitpicks Harmony interchangables and dpns for christmas and love them. Before that I used bamboo circs (either addi or clover) and brittany birch dpns. I still love my brittany birch dpns as they are shorter in length than the knitpicks. I find that I can’t knit with metal needles as they drain the warmth from my hands which affects my joints.

4. Do you have a healthy supply of notions?

I have reasonable amount of notions. I have quite a few stitch markers but believe you can never have too many as most of them are so pretty and works of art within themselves. If I have a pal from the US it would be great to be sent some T-pins for blocking as they are not available in this country.

5. What one thing do you keep thinking you need to buy for your knitting habit (outside of yarn)?

I often go to block something and wish I had some blocking wires, but never seem to get around to getting some. I also would love to get some sock blockers but again never get around to buying some.

6. What is your favorite ‘quick knit/crochet’ pattern (quick gratification)

I don’t really have one. I’m not really about the quick gratification, more about the process of acheiving the end result. I did enjoy knitting a clapotis from 2 skeins of Malabrigo, as it took much less time than I thought.

1. What is your favorite thing to do in the Winter?

Find somewhere cosy to sit, watch a classic movie, drink hot chocolate and knit.

2. What is your favorite animal?

Polar bears (and hamsters)

3. Do you get the ‘winter blahs’?

Not as much as I used to. I don’t tend to feel so much ‘blah’ as ‘urgh’. The cold makes my ME/CFS worse so I suffer from fatigue and pain in the winter, which causes frustration rather than depression

4. What is your favorite way to beat the blahs?

Take a nice long hot bath, whilst reading a good book and listening to some good music

5. What is the thing you are most looking forward to this spring?

Warmer weather, drinking iced caramel macchiatos

6. What are your favorite treat?

this is tricky as it all depends on how I am feeling. Sometimes it chocolate, other times soem nice cheese and crackers. As long as it is in moderation I often give in to my cravings as depriving oneself makes you want that thing even more

7. What is your favorite board game?

I love Trivial Pursuit

8. Do you have any children (furry or human)?

2 gerbils, 2 chinese hamsters, 1 syrian hamster & 1 russian dwarf hamster (I also have a boyfriend is who is 25 going on 6)

9. Do you have any allergies or special considerations you partner should know about?

I am allergic to mohair and angora so no yarn containing that please (however small the quantity it still really affects me) I am also allergic to cats and dogs. Foodwise I am allergic to raw tomatoes (but I don’t think you’ll be sending me those any way) and I don’t like dried fruit of any variety or minty flavoured things.

New Years Resolutions


It seems many people are posting their new years resolutions (knitting and non-knitting related) so decided to post mine

1) To get fitter – excercising is difficult with my ME but small walk and light workouts in a sensible manner should help. I played on my nephews Wii on New Years Eve and am now trying to persuade Karl that we should get one. We got a £50 Argos voucher from his brother for xmas and some money from his parents so with that we would only need to add a small amount. I have my student loan coming soon and once we have cleared out debts (we will be debt free by the end of the month) he has said if we have some left then he’ll think about it. I really think this could go some way to helping me.

2) Start geocaching. I really really want to start this (it is also tied into number 1, as the walking will help) but this will involve buying a GPS which I may no be able to afford if we get a Wii. As geocaching is more of a spring/summer activity I may wait until Easter to get a GPS and start

3) Learn to quilt. Karl’s brother and his wife are expecting a baby in June and i would really like to make this quilt for them. Yet, again this is going to involve an initial outlay of money, not only for fabric etc, but also as I would like to get a rotary cutter, mat and ruler.

4) Finish off my WIPs or frog those I will not finish

5) Be more organised at Uni. I tried really hard last semester and was doing well until I left some work until the minute, got ill and couldn’t get it done in time.

6) Continue with my Carb Curfew – I was reasonably good until the start of Dec. but now I will start again and try to loose the other 2 stone I want to