The post Christmas catch up.

Three weeks since Christmas and I still haven't got everything back to 'normal'.  I do love Christmas, with the tree and the food and the decorations and the food and a toasty warm fire, and did I mention the food?

Unfortunately almost as soon as Christmas was out of the way Chloe came down with ... something, although I don't really know what.  It's kind of a cold as she's all stuffed up, kind of a flu as she's sore, pretty grumpy and looks like a zombie most of the time and, from what I've read there's a small chance of it being whooping cough, help me the cough I've never heard such a noise coming out of a small child.  The bouts almost always end up in her being sick and leave her feeling shattered but unable to get to sleep before the next bout of coughing sets her off again.

So, basically, not much happening around here other than laying around snuggled under blankets and watching a lot of movies to pass the time.

I haven't really got my making mojo back just yet because I've just had too many other things to tend to and to be honest I'm just a little bit burnt out cleaning up after a sick little one.  She really doesn't get sick very often and almost never more than a dose of the sniffles ... I think I'm a bit spoilt:)

I did manage to whip up some new thank you notelets for my shops.  They're just 160gsm card cut down to A6*, I've added strips of fabric, offcuts and selvages mostly along with a handwritten "Thank You" (awful handwriting I know) on the front and space for a little personal note of thanks inside.  I quite like these ones and I've some more offcuts and a selvage or two still waiting to be used so they should keep me ticking over for a while.

I'm not doing too badly with the sky blanket either, it's nice to have a little something to keep my hands busy (and my sanity in check) in the evenings.  I've been sewing the squares as I go along, although I've four more to add since taking this photo and I've yet to knit today's darkest of dark grey square.

I've knitted the squares in two strands of dk yarn on 7mm needles, casting on 18 stitches and knitting 27 rows, casting off on the 28th row.  I've been knitting the squares in the evening and pinning them out to 13cm to block overnight.  So with the quilt being 18 squares wide and 20 long I should end up with a quilt measuring roughly 234 x 260 and it should fit Chloe's bed perfectly.

By the way, I got the biggest hug ever when I told her I was making it for her, but since she'll likely drag it around the house to make the little nests she likes to play and read in I'll probably end up knitting a border around the finished quilt and backing it with cotton, I'll hand tie the backing to each of the points where four squares meet.  Hopefully there'll be slightly less risk of snags and pulls once it's backed.

In the meantime in preparation for a time when I can get on with making again, I'm having a little bit of a January sale to make some room.  There's a little of everything in there, although quite a bit has already been snapped up but there are a few bargains left until the sale finishes on 31st January.

And now while my poor little creature snores her head off beside me, I might just try and sidle out for a mug of hot coffee ...

* Yes, you'll notice a couple of smaller cards up front.  I did say I was tired and suffered a very small brain fart and decided to make the cards to a specific size before I woke up enough to realise I should have made them A6 to begin with and I wouldn't have had any waste.

The Sky Blanket

by D Sharon Pruitt

And so after almost an entire year thinking about it, I've decided to knit a sky blanket.

I first heard about the sky blanket from Laura at Bugs and Fishes, who in turn was inspired by Lea Redmond's sky scarf.  Now it isn't that I'm not a fan of scarves because I am in a big way, it's just that I have an awful, awful lot of scarves and can't see myself being committed enough to finish a year long project that would end with something I have far too many of to begin with.  But I would love a blanket for Chloe's bedroom and the sky blanket idea really clicked and it's been niggling at me all year.

At first I thought "oh sky quilt, I could sew it" because I'd fallen out of love with knitting after making far too many of the really big daisies.

But since I've had my hands on some new yarn I'm back to enjoying it again having started with a few mindless and simple pattern repeats to get me going again.

I'm not exactly short of a blanket or six around here either.  I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it but my granny on my dad's side woke up one morning with what looked like a cold sore just underneath her nose, what quickly followed was an infection that somehow spread to her brain and caused complete memory loss.  You'll have to excuse the lack of details, I got the Chinese whispers version but the gist is that when she was finally discharged from hospital having regained some basic memories (who each of us were etc) she was a bit shocked to find there was no yarn nor tools to work it with in her home.  Somehow, and we've no idea how because she'd never done it before, she could crochet and not only that but she's a demon with a hook.  I don't know, maybe an old buried memory of being taught as a child or something surfaced but my house, all our houses are coming down with crocheted blankets.

I've never made it through a whole one myself though, often starting and rehashing them into smaller projects, but I will have a bash this year.  I have my diary at the ready and will make a note of what the sky looks like each day at noon and then knit the squares, I'll either be well behaved and do one every night or I won't and I'll be left rushing at the end of every week/month/year to catch up.  We shall see.  I should probably also make sure I always look out the same window when I'm at home, more than once this year it's been sunny at the front of the house and raining at the back but then that's Ireland for you, it ain't green because we paint it:)

Now I just have to choose the shades and buy the yarn ... it's a good thing I like grey.

What I've been up to

Awful blogger, promises to make more time, yadda yadda, it's Christmas and you know how it goes:)

So just what have I been up to lately?  Well, truth be told not an awful lot.  After the slightly frantic Christmas last year it's been much more chilled and relaxed this year.  I didn't take any more custom orders than I was comfortable with and they're all very nearly finished now.  I'll be popping all my shops in holiday from the 18th December until the New Year which should give me a few clear days before Chloe finishes school to take care of any little last minute things and generally make the house nice and neat and tidy should anyone rock up to my front door over the holidays and I won't feel like the cleaning elf while everyone else sleeps in front of the telly:)

In the meantime I'll be beavering away as usual;

Working and packing orders

Sewing in anything that even vaguely resembles sunshine;

And making some time for things just for me and the family.  In between wrapping the presents ...

And whipping up a little bit of festive bunting for the kitchen so that it doesn't look like the room that Christmas forgot ...

I've made a new bag just for me, a little more Winter proof than just plain cotton I have to admit I'm quite pleased with it and my new Dottery Pottery bag charm finishes it off nicely.

I whipped up a fat stack of new bandana style bibs for my little (I say little, he's 28) brother's eagerly awaited new arrival ... Edit:  in hospital as we speak, I'm telling you any nails I'd managed to grow have been bitten to the quick this morning!

I also treated myself to a couple of skeins of beautiful yarn from Wharfedale Woolworks and have been busy knitting myself a snuggleddy, strippeddy cowl which I may or may not get finished this side of Christmas.  I hope to.

And I managed to tolerate Chloe's aghast looks that the scarf wasn't for her for a grand total of about 8 minutes before popping on t'internet and letting her choose something for herself.

She went with the plumberry, which is very much the yummiest of all colours but her scarf will definitely not be ready for Christmas.  One for the dark nights curled up in front of the fire with an old movie and a full belly I think.

And I couldn't resist another little skein for myself while I was at it (it would have been rude to just order the one), but I've no thoughts on what to make yet.

I'm open to any ideas, it's a lovely chunky yarn, oh and the colour screams candy corn ... Yes I know we don't have candy corn here but I bought a bag from Harry and David in Vegas over 8 years ago and I totally remember what it looked like ... right before I ate the lot:)

And in my quiet moments, they're precious, few and far between, but they're there to be found if I look hard enough, I'm fiddling and faffing with the pattern for the tri-fold purse to make it a little more blog friendly.

Up and Running

All of my shops were closed for a little while, but you'll be glad to hear that both my Etsy and Folksy shops are now back up and running again.  I'm still working through my Wow Thank You shop but it's getting there (oh for a 30 hour day).

I had a large order to work through and decided to taken the time to reorganise all of my shops whilst they were closed and kill two birds with one stone.  For a while I have been making the kindle and tablet cases to order but I wanted to have ready to ship cases in stock for the Christmas period.  I'm not a patient person so I always think twice (three times) about whether or order something that needs to be made to order, partly because the item I get may or may not be exactly like the item I ordered and partly because when I order something I like it to arrive and be able to tick it off my list, especially at Christmas.  You know when you just like to know something is done and you don't have to think about it any more.

So anyway, all the custom orders I've been making happily fall into three sizes, all right more than that if you count ipads and phones etc, but the Kindle and tablet cases are now available to buy in three sizes and all are ready to ship.

The Size 1 Cases, suitable for Kindle Nook and Kobo Touch, Kindle 4 & 5 and the new Kobo Glo and Kindle Paperwhite.

Designer Handmade Fabric Kindle Touch Case, Kindle Paperwhite Case, Cover, Sleev, Kobo Glo, Kobo Touch, Nook Touch
Paddington Lime

Designer Handmade Fabric Kindle Touch Case, Kindle Paperwhite Case, Cover, Sleev, Kobo Glo, Kobo Touch, Nook Touch
Paddington Raspberry

The Size 2 cases, suitable for the Kindle 3 Keyboard (wifi & 3G), the Google Nexus 7, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 and the new Kobo Arc.

Handmade Designer Fabric Kindle Keyboard Case, Kindle 3, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Case Cover, Google Nexus 7 Sleeve Case
Notting Hill Raspberry

Handmade Designer Fabric Kindle Keyboard Case, Kindle 3, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Case Cover, Google Nexus 7 Sleeve Case
Kaito Red

And the Size 3 cases, suitable for the Kindle original and the Kindle 2 as well as some of the other larger tablets.

Designer Fabric Kindle 1 Case, Kindle 2 Case, tablet, ereader, made in the UK
Book Store

Designer Fabric Kindle 1 Case, Kindle 2 Case, tablet, ereader, made in the UK
Scratched Vinyl

These cases and more are now all available to buy from both my Folksy and Etsy shops, but please feel free to still get in touch if you would like a custom made case in a different fabric ... I haz many!