A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: Xmas

I’m never sure whether to include activities like this on the blog, seeing as I was really just assembling my Tatty Devine poinsettia necklace. However, it was still an enjoyable crafty morning and I ended up with a cute seasonal necklace that looks lovely with my two festive-ish sweaters.

Tatty Devine poinsettia necklace over my Port Charlotte sweater

I am very hungover in this picture

As usual, Tatty Devine provided everything we needed to put together this snazzy necklace.

This is what all the pieces looked like laid out. Putting the two flowers in the middle together using a head pin was a new skill (but I forgot to take any pics when I was doing it.)

Port Charlotte over my octupus Betty dress

Thanking the very lovely person who put up with my photographic demands.

I found it really interesting to look back at the blog post I wrote about the TD forget-me-not necklace I made. I’m pretty sure I have been to more workshops since, I just haven’t blogged about them. That workshop was one of the first times I wore a totally self-made outfit- my autumn leaves skirt and my rolling rock sweater. It’s nice to see how far I have come on my handmade clothing journey in the past four years.

Making Tatty Devine jewellery in handmade skirt and jumper

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With the festive period well and truly upon us (i.e. it is December), it’s time to foist lovingly bestow gifts of homemade preserves upon friends and family. After my jam– and chutney-making exploits of the late summer, I had a LOT of jars to shift.

In order to jazz up my random assortment of recycled jars, I made some labels.

I was inspired to do the cute faces by one of my favourite instagram accounts, @parade.made, who did an adorable challenge called #100daysofkawaii I recommend checking it out!

I considered making rubber stamps but thought it would be easier just to hand-draw each label.

I had to check the timestamps on my photos to remember when I made the jam and chutney. They should be nice and mature for consumption in the new year.

These look pretty different to the last jars of jam I bothered to label. Aww, past me.

Labelled jars


My travel knitting this year has been dedicated to Innocent hats. This isn’t entirely selfless as I’m trying to write a pattern for a baby hat, and I’m testing out different ways of doing the decreases. 


You will need

3.25mm circular needles/DPNs (or similar size)

A small amount of DK weight yarn. I used Baby Cashmerino for the brown and 

  1. CO 32 sts
  2. Work 5 rounds in K1P1 rib
  3. Garter stitch for 7 rounds, ending with a knit round
  4. K6 k2tog* *repeat to end of round 
  5. Garter stitch for 6 rounds, ending with a knit round
  6. K5 k2tog* *rep to end of round
  7. Garter stitch for 5 rounds
  8. Ssk k2 k2tog* *rep to end of round 
  9. K1 round 
  10. Garter stitch 3 rounds
  11. K1 k2tog* *rep to end of round (11sts rem)
  12. K1 round 
  13. Change colours and kfb in every stitch 
  14. K 12 rnds. 


Encourage the top to curl whichever way you prefer. I’m going to work on the top part as I think it could look better, but this is just the first iteration of the pattern.


I haven’t had a knitted FO in what feels like an absolute age! I’m still being very slow in doing all of the finishing stages on my aubergine rainbows sweater, which means that it’s been frustratingly near completion for months now. Oh well. Back to these socks.

If someone asks me to make something with wild colour combinations, I quite often end up putting together different self-patterning yarn leftovers and this was definitely the case with this project. I also did the same for the gloves I made my aunt gloves I made my aunt a couple of years ago.

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I used up a lot of the leftover yarn from the four balls of Stray Cat sock yarn I bought a few years ago. This is all that remains.

My thumb for scale. I might use these little remnants for Innocent hats.

This is a pattern I know well, and I enjoyed cranking out another pair of socks. I will try to get a picture of my uncle wearing them.

Pattern: Vanilla Latte (free on Ravelry)

Yarn: Four colourways of Stray Cat Sock

Ravelry project page


My Xmas-loving aunt requested another pair of socks for my uncle this year. I have a feeling she asked me last year as well, but I never got around to making them. My uncle is a slightly grumpy Scottish guy (note: I like grumpy people, I think they’re funny) but I think he quite likes having really bright socks hidden beneath his dull work uniform. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. For this year’s ocular assault, I decided to dive into my stash rather than buying a new ball of sock yarn. I’m using leftovers from my various skeins of Stray Cat Sock yarn.

I’ve just been going with my gut with the colour progression. I’m not sure this was the best idea as I feel my colour selections have been a bit off all year. I hadn’t realised that the tone or warmth of the four balls of yarn is quite different. I’m still going to keep going as I don’t think this will bother my uncle.


Making a sock seems so quick after months of working on fingering weight jumpers. I’m really enjoying this project at the moment.

Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks (FREE on Ravelry)

Yarn: Stray Cat Sock yarn, various colourways

Needles: 2.75mm

Ravelry project page


I feel like just posting a load of emojis and exclamation marks. I’ve heard somewhere that a picture is worth a thousand words. Feast your eyes on this.

Here’s more of a close-up.

Honestly I can hardly believe I made this.

Here are a couple of pics demonstrating the difference that blocking makes.


This sweater represents about two months of significant work. I estimate that the yoke alone took 24 solid hours.

Hence the three WiP Wednesday posts (links 1, 2, 3). Several people have asked me whether I’m also going to do a Christmas jumper. The answer is a resounding HELL NO. Even if I was ready for another project this intense, I definitely wouldn’t be able to finish it before at least February.

The finishing was also a challenge. I ‘unzipped’ a crochet provisional cast on for the first time and it was s a nightmare! Definitely dropped a few stitches.

Picking up the stitches on the hem took about two hours, then the tubular cast off took at least another two hours. However, it really makes the garment look more polished so I think it’s worth it.

Happy Friday peeps!


I don’t often make gingerbread. I tend to be more likely to succumb to a rich chocolate or salted caramel kind of recipe, rather than sticking to the classics. I can’t remember what prompted me to give it a go, probably a quantum of Christmas spirit penetrating my Grinchiness.

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I used an American recipe but I weighed the ingredients so people without cup measures can try them more easily. I substituted black treacle for the molasses stated. To my taste, the treacle flavour is a bit strong so I recommend half golden syrup and half treacle. I will test these out on the people at work and see if they agree. Update: the test was inconclusive as they were all rated by parties unknown.

Ingredients

Note: This makes a LOT of cookies. Like, at least 60. Or enough for a gingerbread house.

Second note: Add whatever spices you like. Leave out the zest if you want. Don’t go out and buy any spices especially for this recipe.

  • 5 cups (725g) plain flour
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda (leave this out if you’re building anything with the gingerbread)
  • 1/4tsp salt (add 1/2 tsp if you use unsalted butter)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cup (250g) butter
  • 1 cup (250g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) black treacle
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup

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Method

1. Sift together the dry ingredients and spices. Add the orange zest.

2. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, golden syrup and treacle and stir until completely blended.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture until it is all combined.

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4. Divide dough into three portions. If you want to freeze some, do so at this stage, wrapping in a double layer of cling film, or a single layer of wrapping inside a freezer safe container.

5. Roll out one portion of dough between two layers of baking parchment until 1/4in (5mm) thick, using cookie slats if you have them. Leave to chill in the fridge.

6. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)

7. Cut shapes out of chilled dough. Leave about 1cm between each cookie to account for any rising in the oven. Top tip: a gingerbread man upside-down makes an acceptable substitute for a bunny rabbit

8. Bake for 12-16 minutes, until firm and just beginning to darken at the edges. Keep a close eye after 12 minutes as these cookies can burn very quickly.

9. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

10. If desired, decorate your cookies. As you can see in the pics, I used a wide variety of sprinkles and writing icing as I was too lazy to make royal icing.