Someone has a birthday!

Hi everyone,

It’s my daughter’s birthday today so I just had to stitch a card for her. She loves to play the ukulele so that’s what I decided to stitch.


I had to be a bit sneaky, going up to her room and taking photos of her ukulele while she was out at work, and then yesterday, stitching it while she was at home. I honestly don’t know how she didn’t find me sewing this. Every time I heard her footsteps I was pretending to be stitching something else until she went away again Smile.

I did find some inspiration from various images on the internet for a pattern but I couldn’t use them because I wanted a good likeness to my daughter’s ukulele. Thankfully, I had just the right thread colours in my stash. Some of the tuning pegs were facing different directions, I needed the correct number of frets, had to copy how the neck was attached and I also added some metallic threads for where the strings are wound around the pegs at the top. I lightly padded behind the stitching panel with some polyester wadding.

This is how it turned out.


She really likes it so I’m very happy about that Smile. It’s always nice to give something handmade. If you want a free copy of my chart, just send me an email. The address is on the right of this page. You could then make your own little changes here and there to make it like your own ukulele.

I’ve also been making a zipper pouch. There is a link to the tutorial and more photos on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting.


I hope you are all finding more time to craft than I am at the moment. I’m still far too busy for my liking.

Sewing Beside the Sea | All things made with my needle and thread

Update: Sandie from Tigermum’s Creative Corner has sent me photos of her fantastic card which she made from my chart. Isn’t it fantastic? She used DMC 4128 thread to acheive the wood grain effect.


Here are her husband’s ukuleles. You can see why Sandie needed the correct thread now.

24 (1)

Avis x


I’ve been framed!

Hi everyone,

Well actually I haven’t been framed but my embroidery has. These finishes have been waiting in the wings for a while but I finally got around to ordering the frames and getting them on the wall this week.

First up, the Narrow Boat from Bothy Threads.


I chose the same oak frame as I have for all of my finished pieces but this time I decided on a blue mount. If you want to see more photos of this work in progress, just search for “narrow boat” on this blog. I thoroughly enjoyed stitching it Smile.

Next up is Pentecost 2 which was a free chart available on the Practical Blackwork web site. Look in my blackwork category if you want to watch this one grow. It is incredibly generous of Liadain to share her work. I stitched along with my friend Claire on this project. You can find her lovely blog by clicking here.


It’s nice to finally have them both on the wall.

I hope you will also have time to finish a project this weekend Smile.

Avis x

Chicken Run Giveaway/Swap Stage 2

Good morning everyone,

I’m pleased to announce the next stage in the Chicken Run Giveaway/Swap started on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting.

The winner of the first stage, Carla, over at Granny Maud’s Girl, has made three chickens. Her winner gets to choose which one they would like to win. Here is her little brood taking the sun in Australia. If you would like to win a chicken there are a few simple rules to follow. Pop over and enter today!


Aren’t they cute? Granny Maud’s Girl has even provided a nice tutorial if you would like to make a chicken using the foundation paper piecing method.

Enjoy! Avis x

Hurray! It’s finished!

Hi everyone,

I hope you have all woken up to bright sunshine this morning. I have! It’s glorious outside but still very chilly. The sun has got it’s hat on and I’m very pleased to announce that my crocheted ripple blanket is finally finished.


I’ve let you all have lots of sneaky peeks over the past year and a bit since I started this monster project and it has kept me so cosy while I have crocheted beneath it during the winter evenings Smile I am really happy with the way the edges stayed straight and flat. There was no need to block the finished blanket.


The other edges have ripples in keeping with the pattern. I toyed with the idea of having a border to straighten around all four sides but, no, I’m sticking with the ripples.


Hopefully, you can now see what a mammoth blanket it is, completely covering the sofa. I won’t be using it as a sofa cover of course Smile


As I finished off the ends, I thought these looked really lovely and couldn’t resist another photo.


This is what I have left from 1600 grams of yarn. What will they become?


Well, I have a few little bundles of inspiration in here. This will be perfect for playing around with scraps and I can’t wait to get started.


If you’d like to make a ripple blanket, the pattern I followed is here. Lucy’s blog is fantastic and the pattern is perfect!! This is the first pattern I have ever followed. I’m a complete novice at crochet and look what happened. So, if you are sitting there thinking “I don’t think I could do that”, you could! The only thing I would say is, if you use the pattern I’ve linked to, use a bigger hook just for the first chain. It needs to be slacker so the ripple lies flat.

I hope I’ve managed to brighten your day with this explosion of colour Smile

I’m linking up with the February Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. It’s just a bit of fun but if you want to win a gorgeous prize, enter your own February finishes. Maryanne has pulled out all of the stops again to bring us all a fine bunch projects to ogle. Hop across and take a look for yourselves NOW! If you want to enter, there’s only a few days left so get a move on 😉

Have fun this weekend!

Avis x

The first finish of 2014!

Hi everyone,

My daughter really does know what I like. She brought me this wool all the way from Stowe, Vermont, USA. As you can see in the photo, the yarn is from an alpaca. Her name is Nessun Dorma and she lives at Sugarbush Alpacas in Stowe. Isn’t it wonderful how we can trace the origin of such wonderful natural products these days, even down to the individual animal that it came from?


I knitted a neck warmer using this free pattern on Ravelry and added some vintage leather look buttons from my stash. This has to be the warmest and softest wool I have ever used. It’s gorgeous! Just what I need to keep out the chilly winter 🙂


My crocheted ripple blanket is progressing nicely and I’ve almost got one motif completed in the Cirque des Cercles cross stitch SAL that I’m doing with Claire and Izz. You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for a photo update on those.

Last but not least, don’t forget to take part in the Chicken Run over at my patchwork blog Oh Sew Tempting. You have to agree to do something fun to be eligible to enter so hop across and see what it’s all about before it’s too late!

Thank you for all your lovely comments. Have a wonderful weekend Smile

Avis x

A new beginning and an almost finished!

Hi everyone,

Just letting you know that I’ve finally decided on colour and fabric for my new project from Ink Circles called Cirque des Cercles. I can’t think of another time when I’ve been so indecisive. Anyway, eventually I have decided to go with the same as the example on the chart which is black 28 count evenweave fabric and embroidery floss DMC shade 111.


So, we are off! There are now three of us in the stitch-along Smile

Claire over at Claire93 is stitching the same design as me but in her own fabric and colour choices and Izz at Isabel’s Needleworks will be stitching a sampler which she has wanted to complete for several years. We are dividing our projects up into approximately 12 stages and have agreed to post updates when we have all finished the first stage, probably early February. If you have a large project in your stash that you could divide up into 12 stages, why not stitch along with us and post updates at the same time too? Let us know if you decide to pull out that long lost kit. This is a great way to stay motivated and finish a project alongside everyone else. What are you waiting for?

Next up, my crocheted ripple blanket is nearing completion. If I continue to finish one stripe per day (2 rows) as I have over the last few days, it’ll be finished in 11 days from now. Eleven stripes to go YEY!!


Finally, for today, I just want to quickly tell you about an exciting sort of giveaway on my patchwork blog Oh Sew Tempting which you may like to take part in. Please do!

I hope you are all having lots of time to craft. I’m off to catch up with some of your lovely blogs now.

Avis x

Is it bright enough?

Hi everyone,

This work in progress jumped out of the cupboard at me…literally! I’d been meaning to get it out again to finish it before the end of the winter as it is lovely and warm to sit under while I crochet. When I opened the cupboard door to get something else, a huge black bag tumbled out containing this unfinished ripple blanket.


I’m onto the sixth repeat of eight colours and the intention is to try to do one stripe (two rows) each day until it is finished. I have 19 more stripes left to complete. In the photo, it is draped over the sofa and it more than completely covers it already. So it is going to be a monster, easily big enough to cover the double bed Smile. Whether anyone will be able to enter the bedroom without being sent into some kind of psychedelic trip will remain to be seen. Is it bright enough for you? 😆


The pattern has been made very simple by Lucy over at Attic24. It is a lovely blog full of brightly coloured crochet goodness and her tutorial pattern for the ripple blanket is here if you want to try it. The only thing I would say if you do try the pattern is to make sure you create a slack starting chain. Alternatively, use a bigger hook than for the rest of the blanket. Mine bunched up badly the first time and I had to pull it out and start again.

I hope the New Year has got off to a crafty start for all of you too!

Avis x


It’s that time of year again!

Hi everyone,

It’s the time of year when my knitting needles are screaming out to be put to good use. I love those dark winter nights when I can curl up on the sofa under a quilt and knit.

I have no idea what made me park up the car and take a long stroll down our mini high street yesterday. Maybe the knitting magnet pulled me towards the wool shop Winking smile. I found this yarn and had to buy some. I found more colours in this online shop and it is cheaper than the high street store that I went to. I bought one ball of South Downs shade (purple) and one of Glens (blue).

OK, I know I wasn’t compelled to purchase and I had no projects in mind, but by the time I got home, I couldn’t wait to get started. Here’s some photos of my progress.


Isn’t it lovely how each colour randomly morphs into the next one?


There’s also little flecks of brighter colours which add a bit of extra interest when you get close up. You have probably guessed that I decided to knit a scarf so here’s where I’m up to now.


It’s 26 inches long and I’m looking forward to knitting more tonight Smile.

The pattern repeats every 6 rows and the cables are reversible. I’ve always avoided doing cables on a scarf before because the back wouldn’t look great. This pattern solves the problem. The back looks the same as the front except there are 5 cable twists on one side and six on the other. If you want to try the pattern designed by Jan Cullen it is free here Thank you for your generosity Jan! The pattern explains that to increase the width of the scarf you just need to add multiples of seven stitches to the cast on stage, which I did. This wool is nice and snuggly, not prickly like some yarns can be.

Before I go, I need to mention Angela who has sent me this from the other side of the world Smile.


I won a prize!!! Angela of Pretty Little Things in a Box offered to send me something handmade or a shop bought prize and she wanted me to choose BUT I like surprises….so I asked her to choose for me. So this little Christmas Bauble shaped package will be going under my Christmas tree. I have a good idea what it is because I couldn’t resist feeling around the parcel but I’m going to open it on Christmas morning Smile. Thank you so much Angela! There is a little something on its way to you now. I hope Santa can deliver it to you before Christmas!

Well, that’s it for now. I hope you are all finding time to craft if you are preparing for the Festive Season. Have fun!

Avis x

Only 37 crafting days to Christmas….

I’ve been concentrating on making Christmas decorations again this week. I hope you are all ready to get into the festive spirit if you celebrate Christmas. If not, maybe you can think of more ways to use this cross-stitch idea from my friend Claire. They could be lovely little door hangers or lavender pouches with the words of your choice. Claire has charted her cross stitch designs for lots of different Christmas decorations in both English and French. You can download them free here. Please leave a comment on her blog if you decide to download them.


The stars you can see in the background are featured on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting. I’ve given some instructions for making them too. They don’t take very long to make and it’s a great way of using up fabric scraps….and…. they don’t have to be Christmas stars. Why not experiment using different fabrics Smile

Have fun,

Avis x

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