After a brief interlude….

….normal service is to be resumed! Huzzah!

It’s been such a long time since my last post, I’m so sorry folks! Life had gotten just a smidge too busy after the yuletide season, and I was struggling to keep up! What with writing copious amounts of essays and completing projects for uni, working extra shifts in the evenings, and having a birthday (my birthday very rudely and inconsiderately interrupted me being in my 20’s, a decade a thoroughly enjoyed, and has now pushed me somewhat reluctantly in to my 30’s even though I kindly asked it not to, hurrumph!), my head has been in a bit of a spin and my mojo got a little lost 😦 My usually smiley face was replaced by a frowney, somewhat serious and at times pouty face. I don’t like essays, and I don’t like getting older, but after being a good girl and getting all my work done, my smile has pounced back on my face and kicked the frowney face clean off, yay!

Such a smiley soft drink lid

I found this little happy face peering up at me from Mr Sharps soft drink lid this morning, and it made me smile. It just looks so very happy! I felt quite mean when I had to put it in the bin….

My thoughts tend to go to sleep unless they and I wonder, and wonder they did thanks to my beloved Mr Sharp; for my birthday he whisked me away on a wonderful surprise holiday to Amsterdam for 5 glorious days of debaucherous giggle filled bliss to celebrate my 3rd decade of being. We had a most splendid time, a much needed holiday for us both. I have come back feeling revived and inspired. I love Amsterdam, it’s such a beautiful city.

Now that my Handmade Christmas has come to an end, I need a new project, and thanks to my favorite ever website, Ravelry, I have found one. Over the next few weeks, any free time that I have will be spent on making these little fellows:

Photo by Rachel Borello Carroll at Petite Purls.

Aren’t they just adorable? The pattern for these delightful little creatures, known as “Anything Animals” is available for free at Petite Purls. I plan on making a whole menagerie of different animals to give to the little people that I’m blessed to have in my life.

Photo by Rachel Borello Carroll at Petite Purls.

Off to my wool stash I go! It will be an excellent project for using up all my little scraps of left over wool. Excited much? Er, yes! Muchly! Happy knitting folks! xx

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His and hers Christmas stockings

When I was a littl’un, one of the best things about Christmas morning was waking up to find a stocking filled by Santa at the end of the bed. I would get caught up in the magical belief that Santa had been in my bedroom that night, that he’d managed to sneak in again without getting caught. Every Christmas eve I would go to bed hoping that I would wake when Santa snuck into my room, but I never did. I’d wave my little fist in the air and promise that “next year I will stay awake to meet you Santa!”, but I never could.

I’d heave my bulging stocking up on to my lap and pull out each little gift, one by one, with great excitement and a huge grin planted firmly on my face. Once they were all pulled out, inspected and played with, I would hurriedly shove them all back inside the stocking and run to my parents room, bounce on the bed shouting excitedly to wake them up, then sit there pulling each gift out again, one by one, to show my mum and dad while they made the appropriate “ooo’s” and “ahhhh’s” in half asleep state.

My wonderful mum has always hung a stocking at the end of my bed on Christmas eve, every year for the past 28 years , because I have spent every Christmas at the family homestead (although the bouncing and shouting and bundling in to bed with them the next morning had to come to a stop for I was getting too big, sob!). But this year, now that I’m a growed up and living with the amazing Mr Sharp, the responsibility of hanging the stockings on Christmas eve has fallen to me. I was excited by the prospect, until I realised that there were no stockings to hang! I summoned the help of my knitting needles and balls of wool and set about rectifying the worrying stockingless scenario.

Clickety clickety went the knitting needles with great urgency, and ta dah! As if by magic, two little stockings, one his, one hers, were birthed:

These little lovelies are knitted flat (my favourite way to knit) so they were a pleasure to make. The pattern is a doddle to follow too. I used this pattern to guide me, but used my own colour schemes and pattern sequences to give them more of a personal touch. If you would like to know how I made mine drop me a line and I will send you some instructions. They only took me a couple of evenings each to make, so if you fancy making some you still have time! They would make a lovely gift for someone.

I couldn’t wait until Christmas eve to hang our lovely new stockings up, so they are already taking pride of place in our lounge, hanging high enough that they don’t suffer a CATTACK(!) from our little kitten. I’m sure she would have hours of fun destroying them if she could only get her claws into the wool. Well not this year little kitty! Although, I cannot wait to see what havoc she unleashes on the Christmas tree when we hang it this weekend…..

Only 9 more days till Chrimbo people, eeeeep! So excited! xx

Sunday night knitting project

After a day spent trooping round Ikea trying to find solutions for our storage problems, Mr Sharp is busy spending his Sunday evening building an epic amount of flat pack furniture.

I, on the other hand, have been instructed to “leave him to it”, so without my playmate to keep me entertained I have had to find a little project to keep me busy and out of the way before I start becoming a ‘back seat flat pack builder’.

Autumn is taking hold, and there is a definite nip in the air this evening, perfect conditions for a spot of knitting.  And, with Christmas a mere 55 days away (eep!), I thought I had better get cracking with making some gifts for friends and family.

After a quick mooch on my favourite knitting pattern site, Ravelry, I found me the perfect Sunday night knitting project:

An incredibly cute pair of hand-warmers! The wonderfully clever and very generous Marta over at CreativeYarn is providing her pattern for these hand – warmers free of charge over at her blog! Thank you Marta, you are a superstar! (click here for a direct link to the pattern)

The pattern is very easy to follow, and the hand-warmers knit up fairly quickly! I started on one mitten just over an hour ago and I’m pretty darn close to finishing it. Definitely a project that’s do-able in one evening. I’ve got a feeling I will be knitting up quite a few pairs of these cute hand-warmers in a variety of colours, they will make perfect stocking fillers this chrimbo 🙂

Happy knitting folks! xx

Things I’d like to do this weekend

This weekend will be the first weekend in a very long time that we have absolutely no commitments, and we are very much looking forward to it. Mr Sharp and I are both extremely exhausted from our trip and busy work schedules, and so a weekend to be lazy, recharge our batteries and do the things we love is definitely needed. For Mr Sharp I imagine it will mostly involve lot’s of x-box  playing and sitting around in his pants, for me it will largely consist of making things.

I love compiling lists, in fact, I can’t function without them! All this week I have been jotting down the various things that I would like to do this weekend and growing increasingly excited with each passing day that took me closer to Friday. This is said list:

This weekend I would like to……

1. Remain in my pyjamas from the moment I get home from work this evening until Monday morning, and drink copious amounts of tea brewed in a tea-pot and drunk from a china tea-cup.

I love these rocket pyjamas by Zade Home on notonthehighstreet.com

2. Knit this little pug:

It’s another Barbara Prime pattern, and they are always fun to make. You can buy her patterns on Ravelry by clicking here. I would quite like to knit him some little dungarees instead of a coat though.

3. Stuff and sew these bunnies that I knitted months ago and completely forgot about. I think they will be little girl bunnies, I’m in the mood for knitting some little dresses.

4. Do a little bit of quilting. I was inspired by this quilt that featured on the blog andothersillythings. So beautiful! With a few of my friends expecting babies in the coming months it will make a perfect baby welcoming gift .

5. Now that I know just how much cats like to play with the knitted mice that came from the little blue knitting case, I’m going to create an army of knitted mice to help make cats up and down the country very happy kitties. I will be selling the mice for £2.50 each (plus £1 p&p) to raise money for the cat rescue charity from which we got our Rosie cat.

If you would like to order one of these little knitted mice to make your cat a very happy kittie, and to support a very worthy cause in the process, please leave a comment below or email me at gizmoandstitch@live.com to place your order. Please state what colour combination you would like – you can have any colour you like!

Have a happy weekend folks! I hope you have a good’un xx

A week off, ah bliss!

I have got an entire 9 days off work, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I intend to spend it drinking copious amounts of tea, taking the occasional nap, knitting blanket squares and little bunnies for easter, making a patchwork cot quilt for a baby boy, watching back to back River Cottage episodes, and cooking lots of yummy treats for my hardworking man to enjoy when he gets home from work.

 I have been working on a few commissioned items for the past couple of weeks which has been really good fun, and I thought you might like to meet them:

Ladles and jellyspoons, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Wolfgang Woolfingson the knitted wolf.

Rather excitingly, this little knitted wolf is going to live in Canada!! That is the furthest that my work has ever been sent! Giggle! I hear it gets quite nippy in Canada at this time of year, so I made little Wolfgang Woolfingson a very warm knitted coat to keep him nice and cozy on his very long trip.

Have a safe trip little knitted wolfgang, have a lovely time in Canada, and take very good care of your new owner.

 And now to meet little Pip the knitted rabbit, cousin to Tatty Babbit.

My fantastically lovely and fabulous friend Hannah has just become an Aunty for the very first time, and a very proud Aunty is she. Little Pip is a gift for her very new and teensy nephew Henry George who was born on Wednesday. Pip is currently winging his way first class to Staffordshire to meet his new owner. He was in such an excited rush however that he forgot his clothes! Ooops!

I will pop some warm clothes in the post to follow after him, but I’m sure little Henry will keep him warm in the meantime.

I love the feeling I get when I finish creating a toy and post it off to its new owner, it’s very exciting!

Ooo, I’ve just seen that the sun is shining outside, yay! I’m going to get out there and make the most of it before it goes into hiding again. Enjoy your day folks, have oodles of fun! Mwah! xxxx

Something silly…

My very wonderful bestestest chumley Laura was birthed in the month of Augustus, and to celebrate the anniversary of her birthing I decided to stick to my handmade pledge and make her a few little somethings as a birthday offering. One of these somethings is a work in progress and is taking longer than expected (Sorry Laura! I promise to get it to you before christmas so that it doesn’t become a yule tide gift). But, I did manage to finish one of the gifts in time; a rather silly but very cute knitted apple cozy:

The apple cozy is not to prevent the apple from getting cold for I don’t think apples mind that too much, no no, it is to stop the apple from getting bruised in your bag when you take one out with you as a traveling snack. I’m very proud of my Laura for she is a student at university training to be a nurse, and I thought a knitted apple cosy is just what she needs so that she can have an unblemished healthy snack while she is busy being studious. I found the pattern at The Vegan Lunchbox blog and you can find the link to it here. I did change the way the leaf was knitted and the pattern for that is as follows:

Knitted leaf pattern:

  • Cast on 3 stitches on 4mm needles.
  • 1st row (RS) K1, MK1, K1, MK1, K1 (5st)
  • 2nd row and WS rows K
  • 3rd row K2, MK1, K1, MK1, K2 (7sts)
  • 5th row K3, MK1, K1, MK1, K3 (9sts)
  • 7th row K4, MK1, K1, MK1, K4 (11sts)
  • 9th row K5, MK1, K1, MK1, K5 (13 sts)
  • 11th row SSK, K9, K2tog (11 sts)
  • 13th row SSK, K7, K2tog (9sts)
  • 15th row SSK, K5, K2tog (7sts)
  • 17th row SSK, K3, K2tog (5sts)
  • 19th row SSK, K1, K2tog (3sts)
  • 21st row SK2po, fasten off remaining stitches.

Happy knitting! xx

100 flowers to knit and crohet

As I mooched around the craft book section of  Waterstones on a torturous shopping trip with no money to spend, I stumbled across a book that left me breathless. “100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet”  by Lesley Stanfield. It was love at first sight!

Each of the 100 flowers within were absolutely beautiful and I wanted to make them all!  We shared a moment, this book and I.

I sat crossed legged on the carpet like a small child captivated at story time. I gently caressed its pages with my finger tips and devoured its contents with my lustful eyes.

Look how pretty!!

After a few wonderful impassioned moments, I was snapped back to reality by my shopping companion and had to part company with my new found object of desire. remorsefully, I gently placed the book  back on the shelf. I nestled it between the other craft books hoping they would keep it safe for me until a day that I could return with some coinage to claim this book as my own. With a heavy heart and one last wistful glance I walked out of the shop and continued with my day, but all I could think about was that book. I simply had to have it!

That evening, I was still thinking about the book. It had captured my heart and inspired me, I not only wanted the book, I needed it! I was already justifying it’s purchase to myself with all the many, many projects I was now dreaming up for all the pretty flowers. Sure, I don’t know how to crochet, but it’s a very good reason to learn! “It’s what overdrafts are made for!” I told myself, “essential and emergency purchases”! I considered this both an essential and an emergency purchase. So, I logged into Amazon, ordered the book and instantly felt much better.

A few days later the book arrived, and I didn’t regret its purchase one little bit. It is beautifully presented book  and the patterns are very easy to follow. If you like to add knitted embellishments to the things you make and flowers are your thing, I highly recommend this book. It is simply delightful and truly inspiring, a most excellent and recommended purchase.