Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I forgive you for munching your way through my strawberry plant, because you are so pretty.

After some internet research I think this is a caterpillar of a Knotgrass moth, Acronicta rumicis. (Please do let me know if I have got this wrong.) There are a baffling number of caterpillars. Click on the name Knotgrass moth, if you would like to see what he will become. Not as bright as I had expected, but still very beautiful. I was amazed when looking through the list of UK moths to see the enormous variety.  Did you know that there are 8 times as many moth species as there are butterflies? Perhaps they need a PR agent, moths just are not getting the publicity they deserve.

Sunday, 21 June 2015


I have finished my New York cab knitting pattern, and knitted it has reminded me of the TV comedy Taxi. Oh the lovely drivers of the Sunshine Cab Company. Taxi never seems to be repeated on UK TV, so I have not really thought about it since I used to watch in the late 1970s early 1980s. I used to love this show. I think mainly at the time because I had a bit of a crush at Tony Danza. (OK, I was very young.) I have been watching some clips on YouTube, but these days I just find myself drooling at glimpses of those lovely shiny yellow cabs in the background. How times have changed!

So many great people! First time I had seen Danny Devito, and also Christopher Lloyd. I think my favourite character was Latka (played by the late Andy Kaufman).

As you can see I have used a bit of trickery to transport my cab to New York. It is just balanced in front of a computer screen, but I think it has done the job.

So having discovered how to link to Youtube clips, here are the show credits. This instantly takes me back in time?

My knitting pattern is finished, and available Craftsy, ravelry and Etsy. It is really not a hard knit, but there is a bit of fiddling sewing up. (Have I managed to put you off?) I hope not as the end result is really cute, but if you just can't wait to own a taxi, I am putting my two samples cabs into my Etsy shop. I am sort of hoping they might find their way to someone in New York.

Friday, 12 June 2015

"You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone ..."

This is just a sneaky peek at my new pattern. I don't usually do this - that is show a pattern until it is ready. But I have nothing else in the pipeline, and although the pattern is almost written, I have to make a few tweaks, and then knit another New York vintage cab, before I hope I will be set to go. 

If you are interested in knitting your own taxi, then keep watching Ginx Craft, as I will probably release the pattern in another week.

I hope most folk will get the song reference in the title of this post, so if you would like a reminder I have linked Joni Mitchell singing Big Yellow Taxi. Love this song!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Rainbow Spiral Shells

I have been working on a special commission, which for me has been made a bit of a change, and as don't often knit to order. Some of my spiral shells, but in very specific colours. 

These colours were asked for in order to represent various stages in recovery. At first I had thought to knit the shells in pure bands of colour, but so that they still had a natural look, I decided to use the shell shade wool (Sirdar Crofters) together with each of the nine colours that had been asked for. This has made it an extremely firm knit, and I actually for the first time in my life have a knitting blister. But I was delighted with the way they have turned out, still looking very much as if they could be found on a beach.

It is really nice for me return to my own Spiral Shell pattern. But it was also fun to knit the shells in a slightly different way. Four shells delivered, but this is just the first batch, so back to the needles.

This is a really fun quick knit. The pattern is available in my Craftsy, Etsy and ravelry shops, and although I currently don't have any shells in my shop you can Etsy message me if you would like to order some.

Saturday, 30 May 2015


I decided to look through a few old photos, and found one of me and my sister. In this photograph we are at the bottom of our garden, and I am the rather podgy one who has been squeezed into a doll's pram. I am not sure the pram can have survived much longer. I think this was when we lived in Birmingham, although she has a much better memory of this time than me.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Corky the Giraffe

My daughter has a bit of a craze on giraffes. Hence the giraffe onesie and numerous other giraffe stuff. So I thought you might like to see this giraffe that she has made. 

The giraffe is made from corks (can't think how those got into the house!), a drawing pin, glue and a marker pen. You also need a craft knife to cut the cork, and wire cutters to cut the wire. So this giraffe although very simple to make would need an adult to supervise.

As she is old enough to do these things herself, and I had no hand in the giraffe-making, I am going to hand over to her to explain how to make a Corky Giraffe.

Step 1. First, I went and used a knife in the kitchen to cut a cork into pieces for the feet, head, horns and ears (you should ask someone to help you or you may get into trouble). Also keep one whole cork for the body.

Step 2. Then I got some thick black wire and cut four bits the same length and one longer one.

Step 3. Using pointed pliers, I made holes and put the wire in them to make my basic giraffe. To make sure the wire stayed in place I put some glue on it.

Step 4. To make the face I put a drawing pin in him to be a nose - I let it not go the whole way in so it sticks out a bit. And stuck the horns and ears on.

Step 5. Then I used a sharpie to draw on the eyes and a tiny mouth.

Step 6. I let him dry for a few hours and then he was done!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wrap Over Baby Shoe

I think I mentioned that I was going a bit baby shoe crazy. Here is a second shoe design. I have been dithering about a name, as it would be nice to come up with something northern like my Tundra Shoe pattern. Everything I think of seems to have been already used. For now it is the Wrap Over Baby Shoe, but if I would welcome any better suggestions. 

This time my pattern comes with two sizes (newborn-3 months and 3-6 months). Once again I have tried to keep the knitting simple. The shoes are made with doubleknit wool, and I think the simple shape just emphasises the loveliness of the wool.

There are only two pieces to knit, and once again the shaping of the top piece uses short rows. You can see my tutorial for this technique here.

I have tried to find fluffy doubleknit wools for my samples. I think this gives them such a cosy look, as if they are felted. The brown shoes below have alpaca in the wool, so are lovely and soft. 

Some of these shoes are going to be gifts, though I have now put a few for sale in my Etsy Shop.

If you do make some of these I think that it is really important to find some lovely buttons. The button flap is functional, so you can really easily put the babies feet in. I wanted my buttons to look natural, so opted for wood or mother of pearl. What I really wanted to find was a tiny wooden toggle, but as yet could only find really enormous ones which just looked ridiculous.

So baby shoes are done for now, and I may finally have reached that time when I face a baby garment!