Introducing…. ‘Up the Garden Path’

Hello there, thanks so much for stopping by on what’s a really special day for me. Today I have launched the first of my crochet patterns for sale on my Etsy shop. It has been a long journey of many months (perhaps even years) to get to this point and I would never have achieved it without certain events happening or some special people helping me along the way. Here’s the story of how ‘Up the garden path’ came about…

The Rock of Gibraltar

Many moons ago (well about 18 months ago to be precise) we moved back to the UK after spending more than a decade living in Gibraltar. Before we moved there we lived in a house with a garden and I loved my garden. I loved the huge oak tree in our neighbours garden which made a really pretty backdrop to our own small patch, I loved the really old hedgerow which bordered the side of the lawn and was a throwback to the old days when the land the house was on was farmland. I also loved the apple tree we planted expecting to spend years there and watch it grow. 

Life had other plans for us though and we found ourselves packing everything up into boxes and moving thousands of miles away to a tiny place call Gibraltar at the very southern tip of the Iberian peninsular. In Gibraltar land is scarce and gardens are scarcer. We ended up in a lovely apartment with a beautiful balcony filled with pots of geraniums and other mediterranean plants, we were also lucky enough to have a sun scorched patio which we put potted citrus trees in too. I missed my green English garden though (the grass truly is always greener!).

Our old ‘front garden’

When life brought us back to the UK to live last year, it opened up the possibility that we would be able to enjoy the delights of a proper garden again. I was like a coiled spring…. I had spent years watching Monty Don and co. on Gardener’s World from afar wondering if and when I would have my own garden again and what it would look like.

Then, one year ago (almost to the day) we moved into our new family home, it doesn’t have the biggest garden but it’s ours and it’s allowed my imagination to run wild with possibilities of what I could plant and grow.

My first batch of seedlings this spring
Some of my sweet peas from this summer

Meanwhile, I have long admired many talented people who design the most wonderful crochet creations like Lucy at Attic 24, Eleonora at Coastal Crochet, Rosina at Zeens & Roger, the lovely ladies at The Crochet Sanctuary and many, many more and wondered whether one day, I could have a go at designing something myself which other people might like to make. I knew I couldn’t attempt to design clothing – sizing would be sooo hard. I also didn’t want to attempt a blanket – there are already so many beautiful ones in the world to choose from. But, I could have a go at amigurumi – there’s no end of possibilities when it comes to making little people and creatures out of yarn and a hook.

I guess I took a fantasy trip back to my childhood, where I remember so many of the books and stories I loved were based in gardens and adventures in nature. What if I could combine my fascination with gardens and plants and trees with crochet? I had hit on an idea.

Hooking in front of Hootenanny

So, after finishing the Christmas crochet blanket I’d been working on in the run up to and over Christmas last year, I found myself on New Year’s Eve with a burning idea, some yarn and a hook and I set to work with some of my stash making the first prototype of an amigurumi doll. It took a bit of frogging and lots of note taking, and then another couple of prototypes before I bought the yarn I needed to have a go at my first little person…. Hope the Snowdrop.

Hope the Snowdrop

She was my New Year project and loads of fun to make. I called her Hope because snowdrops are pretty much the first plants to flower in the year and offer such hope of the better weather still to come, and the promise of Spring.

Next I decided to have a go at my alter ego, Flora the Gardener. Flora (in my imagination) has just acquired a garden of her own (remind you of anyone?) and is filled with expectation for what her new garden will offer her. The peace and quiet, the anticipation of what would sprout up from the soil and how successful her seedlings would be. I imagine that in the seasons and the years to come, she will make lots of new friends.

Flora the Gardener

So that was Hope and Flora. But then, a very good friend of my mine, Emma, saw Flora and asked if she could illustrate her. I didn’t need asking twice. Here’s the beautiful illustration she came up with:

Flora the Gardener
Copyright: Emma Jackson

Isn’t she marvelous? Hot on the heels of Flora came Hope….

Hope the Snowdrop
Copyright: Emma Jackson

Then…. Emma, being the wonderful friend she is, offered to design my patterns for me too. I wanted them to be as clear and simple as possible and with lots of photos (pretty much like a blog post) and that’s just what she’s done. I’m so thrilled with what she’s done for me!

And so, after 10 months of experimenting and absolutely bursting with ideas of what to do next (I have a list of about 30 future projects!!) and lots of to-ing and fro-ing between Emma and I, the big day has arrived – it’s launch day of the first of my patterns. Flora and Hope are available to buy from my new Etsy shop – Making Stitches Shop. [The proceeds of which are going to cover the costs of my podcast – Making Stitches].

The patterns are quite photo heavy so in addition to every illustrated pattern, you will also receive a text-only printer friendly version so you don’t run out of ink!

I couldn’t have reached this point without the help of Emma, and so many other wonderful people who have listened to me go on, and on, and on about my little ‘Up the Garden Path’ people. Sharing my successes and failures and not telling me to be quiet!! My sincere thanks also to my pattern testers and everyone who has offered me help and advice along the way.

If you would like to see some of Emma’s other work, you can find her Emma Jackson Art website here.

So, that’s the story of Up the Garden Path so far…. I can’t wait to share a couple of seasonal friends with you very soon as well!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Lindsay x

PS: The super logo for my shop was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.com

A Postcard from October

Well, here we are in November already. I really don’t know where the past month has gone. October has been such a busy month with day to day, nose to the grindstone kinds of things that I feel like I blinked and missed it. It’s only when I looked back at the photos on my phone that I realised what I had done and achieved – sadly I can’t share all of that with you, but before too much longer I will be able to – hurrah!

So here goes, here’s my postcard from October!

The beginning of the month began much as September ended, with children in school and me busily trying to get my ducks in a row for a deadline of the end of the month. As the calendar flipped into October the realisation dawned that by the end of the month, we would have been living in our ‘new’ home for exactly a year. It was Halloween last year that I hired a van, and with the help of two very strong friends, we moved from our rented temporary house into our very own home. That meant that twelve months had passed and there were still quite a lot of boxes sitting around the place hiding under crochet blankets….. they have many uses! I set myself the target of getting rid of the boxes by the end of the month. Did I manage it? Well, I’ll reveal all at the end!

There has been a definite autumnal chill in the air this month, and in case the changing colours and falling leaves didn’t give us a clue about the season, our neighbourhood squirrel (or maybe even squirrels) certainly let me know as they planted my newly cleared pots with all sorts of treats to sustain them through the winter!

Stepping far outside my comfort zone!

Early in the month, I was invited to do something utterly terrifying. I was asked to speak to a my local group of the WI about my podcast and crafts in general. Blimey it was a nerve wracking thing to do. I’m very happy to speak into a microphone in a room on my own but to speak to a room with about 100 pairs of eyes staring back at you – that’s quite another thing!! I debated long and hard about whether I should do it or not, but friends encouraged me to and I’m so glad I did. The ladies were lovely and didn’t bite! Not sure I’d do it again in a hurry but it was a bit of a high to know I’d managed it!

A lovely trip out

Christine and I outside Black Sheep Wools

Back in September I interviewed the lovely Christine Perry from Winwick Mum for Making Stitches Podcast (You can hear the episode here). While we were chatting online we realised that we are actually not that far apart geographically so we arranged to meet at one of my favourite places for a chat and a brew – Black Sheep Wools. It was so lovely to speak to Christine and get to know her a bit better, and she has helped me get over my fear of knitting in the round. As the ‘Queen of Socks’ (I hope she doesn’t mind me giving her that title!) she has helped thousands of people learn how to successfully knit socks with her ‘sockalong’ which you can find on her blog. At the last count, over 15,000 pairs of socks have been knitted by people using her technique and that’s just the ones she knows about. Incidentally Christine has just completed a whole month of daily blogging – phew what a feat! The above photo features in one of her posts!

Christine guided me (and another lady who happened to be in the shop at the same time) on what yarn to buy and what needles were needed to get started. So using her blog and her brilliant book, I have set off on a sock-making adventure. My initial momentum has been dulled by some necessary work on some crochet related items, but I’m back on it, and about to begin decreasing on my first toe!

In crochet news, my Making Stitches wreath which I made from a pattern in issue 96 of Simply Crochet Magazine actually got featured in the magazine itself. What a total honour! Thank you Simply Crochet!

I’ve opened a shop!

Also this month, I launched my Etsy shop called the “Making Stitches Shop’. I decided to try and see if I could sell a few bits and bobs to help support my podcast activities. Whilst I would not want to put the podcast behind a pay wall, it does cost quite a bit to keep going with hosting fees and other things and I thought that if I could raise some money via the shop, it would help me keep going. In the summer I bought a custom made screen with my podcast logo on it, and began screen printing cotton tote bags. It took a lot of trial and error and advice from others, but in the end I successfully printed enough bags to open the shop.

The wonderful Amanda from Mrs G Makes also helped me with advice on running the shop and postage etc. Then, she became not only my first ever customer, she also gave me a glowing review and showed the world her new bag in an episode of her Vlogtober YouTube series. Thanks so much Amanda!

In that first month of being open, my shop completely sold out! Thank you to everyone who supported me! I had to get my screen back out and print a load more on a sunny day just before the Little Postcards finished school for half term!

2nd batch drying on the line!

Half term holidays

Half term was a bit of an odd one for us this year, Littlest had soccer school for most of the week and Eldest was away most of the time on work experience too, so it was just me and Middle Postcard for a lot of the time. Being a teenager, most of that time was spent in his bedroom and I made the most of the peace and quiet by beavering away on something special I’m working on for this month…. (I will reveal all very soon!).

In amongst the hard work, we had a trip to the Etihad campus in Manchester for a teenaged Covid jab. So that’s all bar Littlest done. I feel a lot happier about that now.

Anniversary of moving

As we were celebrating our first anniversary in our home, I decided to have a soirée to celebrate our first year on Saturday evening with the two families who helped us with our move a year ago. As it was Halloween weekend, we had to make the house look the part, so we had a go at pumpkin carving. I think we did pretty well.

I even had a go at carving a squash myself and crocheted one too for good measure!

The innards were used along with some Butternut Squash to make some spiced soup for our soirée and the pumpkins are now out in the garden so the birds and other creatures can enjoy them.

And that pretty much brings my October ramblings to a close. Apart from those boxes. Do you think I managed to get rid of them all?

Well no, but my excuse is that I need a new cupboard to store some of this stuff in, and I can’t find the right one, in the right colour and the right dimensions to fit in the space I want it to go in…. is that a good enough excuse?! I did get rid of about 12 others though – so it wasn’t a complete failure!

I hope October was good for you and that November is even better!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

A Postcard from September

Hello there, it’s come to my attention of late that I’m no longer very good at maintaining momentum with my weekly Sunday Postcards. I miss posting stuff but just can’t churn posts out anymore with such frequency as I fear they will become just that – churned out and be pretty rubbish.

So, instead I’m going to have a go a publishing a monthly Postcard looking back at some of the highlights of my month just gone. If you’re up for it, here’s my Postcard from September 2021…

Last days of summer

We woke up on 1st September in beautiful Whitby but it was our last few moments of our trip and we had to pack up and be off on our way by 9am – eek! We managed it and were soon pootling along the road back to Manchester. Bye bye Whitby, thanks for having us!

You can read all about our stay on the Yorkshire coast here.

We had just a quick few days turn around before everyone returned to school for a new academic year. Everyone stayed at the same schools this time so the whole uniform thing has been far easier this summer than last year!

The return to school and the empty house gave me the freedom to get on with some things I just couldn’t do with a house full of young men….

I have been trying to find a way to financially support my podcast and hit on the idea of screen printing some bags to sell on Etsy to help pay for the hosting fees etc. I got a custom screen made by Hunt the Moon and set off on my screen printing adventure. It’s not as easy as it looks! After many attempts I managed to produce some semi-decent prints on old clothes which weren’t fit for the charity bag and started on some bags.

Here they are…. What do you think?

They are available for sale on my Etsy shop if you fancy a look. I’m hoping to add to them with some more podcast merchandise very soon plus I will be putting up some crochet patterns for sale too which I have been working on behind the scenes and I just can’t wait to share with you.

We were blessed with some truly lovely sunny days in September which meant not only could I screen print in the back garden, I could also enjoy a bit of a potter. There’s been so much wildlife in our little patch of late from foxes and squirrels, all manner of birds including a lovely Robin and this gorgeous butterfly stopped by for a visit.

Harvest time

I’ve really enjoyed having a go at growing some of our own food this year during our first summer in our new garden. I managed to harvest loads of cherry tomatoes, enough potatoes for one dinner including several potatoes about the size of a large pea (!), strawberries, loads and loads of kale for Diamond (our bunny) and one measly broad bean! I think I’ll give the beans a miss next year!

Some of Diamond’s kale – he even let us have some too!
The single broad bean!

A crocheted thank you

The schools where we live now are selective at secondary level and in order to get Littlest ready for the impending exams he’s been visiting a lovely lady called Emma. The exams are now done (what a relief) we won’t know the outcome for a while yet but we have said goodbye and thank you to Emma for all her hard work. I made her a mini Emma to have on her desk in her tutoring uniform as a little thank you. She was really pleased with it. (I made it using the Crochet Iconic Women pattern book by Carla Mitrani).

Craftivism update

You may remember the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists I was a part of in the summer? Well the start of September marked the time to send our canaries off to our local MPs with a handwritten letter asking for them to do all they can to support action to stop the Climate Crisis ahead of COP26 in November. Charlie the canary flew off to my MP who later wrote back to thank me.

Yarndale

A rare photo of me (left) with Yvonne from Bonnie’s Little Crafts

On 25th September I was lucky enough to be able to go to Yarndale. It was such a thrill to go back to Skipton after my last visit in 2016. the first person I bumped into once I was in the auction mart was Yvonne from Bonnie’s Little Crafts who I met on that previous visit when she ran a campaign for knitters & crocheters to make 7000 woolly hearts for Yarndale. She told me all the about the story of this blanket, which you will be able to hear by tuning into Making Stitches when it gets published.

I took my microphone with me and recorded loads of material for my latest episode of Making Stitches Podcast which will be out on Friday. I stayed literally to the end as you can see below! It was lovely to be able to enjoy all the beautiful decorations without the crowds of folk standing in the way!

After the crowds have gone home…

I also left with a bit more than I arrived with….

My Yarndale haul
Skipton

I enjoyed my day in Skipton for Yarndale so much I actually felt like I’d been away on holiday for about a week! It was just what the Dr ordered.

That’s just about all my news for September, I hope it was a good month for you. Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

A rainbow to end September
A monthly picture round-up

Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Week 6)

I won’t say it’s gone by in a flash, it has in some ways but in others it’s gone slowly. The school summer holidays are over (two of my three are back in school today, Number 3 goes tomorrow) and that means this year’s Summer Craft Challenge is over too.

Back in the summer of 2016 I set myself the challenge of doing something crafty, even if it was just for 5 minutes, every day of the school summer holidays. At the time we were living in Gibraltar, far from family in the UK, and although we would fly home to Blighty for a few weeks, the 9-week-long Gibraltarian school break was more than a little bit daunting. By doing something fun and crafty each day, I thought that would break things up for me. Also by blogging about it, it forced me to keep going.

I find it’s so easy (when you’re busy) to forget about crafts. They get put on a back burner and forgotten about as I get consumed with everything else going on. However, the longer I am without a crochet hook or needle in my hand the worse my mood becomes. By setting myself this challenge it reminded me to not forget my crafty projects and also made me consciously plan what I would do ie. Was it portable to take on holiday or for a day out?

I managed to fill that first 9 weeks with fun makes, and every summer holiday since (apart from last year when we moved house and country over the summer back to the UK). This year I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep the momentum going in a new (old) country with fewer days at the beach and lazing about, but I did. I achieved something crafty on every day bar one – as you will see.

Here’s my final installment…

Day 36: Saturday 28th August

Just over a week ago, I packed up the car and drove us all to Whitby for a little holiday. This was the one day all summer that I didn’t manage to do anything crafty (unless packing and unpacking fall into that category). It was a lovely day nonetheless and the sunshine welcomed us to the North Yorkshire coast!

Day 37: Sunday 29th August

After a day exploring Whitby, I had the chance for an evening with a chilled vino and my hook… now that’s what holidays are for!

Day 38: Monday 30th August

I brought my liberty patchwork kit with me on holiday and day 38 meant hexies.

Day 39: Tuesday 31st August

Our last night of the holiday – by the time we were all packed up there was only a little bit of time to sit down and crochet.

Day 40: Wednesday 1st September

Back home again and after all the washing was done I sat down to make a few more hexies.

Day 41: Thursday 2nd September

This is my least favourite sewing job of the year… school trouser hems and name tags. The most monotonous job! It can only be improved to my mind with a decent podcast playing in your ears and a cup of coffee by your side!!

Day 42: Friday 3rd September

Back on the crochet again, playing with amigurumi patterns.

Day 43: Saturday 4th September

Saturday evening in front of the telly gave me the time to work on another seven hexies, in blues & greens this time. I’m really looking forward to joining them all together.

Day 44: Sunday 5th September

I ended this year’s summer craft challenge with a very unremarkable bit of crochet … a mistletoe leaf – well at least that’s what it’s supposed to look like!! It was a busy day yesterday making the most of good dry sunny weather to get to the bottom of the laundry pile and getting the last few bits and pieces sorted ready for returning to school this week. I was almost falling asleep as I did this last night!

So that marks the end of this summer’s challenge, it’s been good fun and just the impetus I needed to keep me going with my crafting when all things family seem to get between me and few moments of craftiness. I managed to either crochet or sew on all but one day of the past 44 days so I’ll take that as a victory.

I also managed to complete a couple of things…

My Making Stitches craft room wreath from Simply crochet Magazine

And….

My Little Box of Crochet heart cushion

Thanks so much for joining me in this daily quest and thank you for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2021

A postcard from North Yorkshire

Hello there, it’s been a while since I’ve sent you a postcard, so I thought our recent trip to North Yorkshire was the perfect opportunity to send one!

Last weekend we packed up the car and headed off up North from Manchester to visit the North Yorkshire coast. It’s been about 20 years since I’ve been up in this part of the world so I was very much looking forward to seeing it again.

We stayed in a modern apartment right on the side of the River Esk which meets the sea in Whitby. Not only could we see the River and the boats near by, we also had steam trains chugging past on the opposite side of the river!

We arrived on a beautifully warm and sunny Saturday and once the car was unpacked we rushed out to make the most of what was left of the day and the sunshine, knowing the good weather wasn’t expected to last for long.

Whitby looked stunning in the sunshine!

On my previous two visits, we had come out of season and I’m pretty sure it was in the depths of winter so it was lovely to see at least a few hours of summer here!

Looking south

We ventured out along one of the long curving piers – something which I hadn’t done before and wasn’t entirely happy with… I’m not great with heights and despite there being railings along the side was worried I may lose a Little Postcard or even myself over the side. I was very glad to get back onto terra firma and not entirely sure I would repeat the experience!

The view back to Whitby from the pier

Being a bank holiday weekend and being very sunny, pretty much everywhere in Whitby was rammed which made us feel a little uneasy after months of avoiding crowds. We did find a few spots which were quiet though…

Henrietta Street

And this made me laugh… experience told me there would be a few of these this holiday.

We woke up on Saturday morning to grey skies – as had been forecast – but wouldn’t let that stop us getting out and exploring. Our arrival in Whitby had coincided with Whitby War weekend, which was being held on a large field behind the ruins of Whitby Abbey.

On our wander about on Saturday we had spotted a number of people dressed in 1940s style clothing so my interest was piqued and I dragged the Little Postcards up the hill to discover what was going on.

We were immediately greeted by some America civil war soldiers. There were demonstrations going on in the main arena.

And lots of folk in costume from lots of different conflicts from around the world including the Spanish Civil War, Vikings, Roundheads & Cavaliers as well as World War I trenches and World War II memorabilia.

The Little Postcards found it a bit odd why the Confederate flag and Swastika were allowed to fly freely on British soil. That led to a heated debate about whether certain factions should be airbrushed from history or remembered for what they did.

In other news, they did enjoy the archery!

As we left the War Weekend event, we walked down past the atmospheric Whitby Abbey ruins which were hosting a medieval event. We didn’t go in though, opting instead for an ice cream!

The views from the cliff top were beautiful in spite of the rather dull weather.

We popped into the beautiful St Mary’s Church and saw the first of many references to craftiness we would see on our trip…

It’s a beautiful old church with ‘boxes’ for people to sit in rather than pews.

And there were more knitted & crocheted remembrance poppies inside…

Then we ‘did’ the famous 199 Steps the easy way… heading downwards!

It gave us a great vantage point to see Whitby’s rooftops from above.

Later on we climbed up the cliffs on the other side of the river to see where we had been.

Bank Holiday Monday gave us the same kind of grey weather unfortunately along with a fair amount of misty rain so we got into the car and headed south to Robin Hood’s Bay. Although I have been before, I had very few memories of the place so it was lovely to visit it again and enjoy the quaint narrow streets down to the sea.

It is so quaint it almost felt like a theme park rather than a real place where real people live!

The cottages are so lovely and well looked after although if there are any people still living there full time, they must find the invasion of tourists a bit of a drag (apologies for that!).

It can’t be easy living on such an incline – especially in winter. I know what it’s like to live on a hill after our time in Gib but at least we didn’t experience snow and ice there.

After taking a walk through the village and down to the sea, we explored the cliffs above the bay for a while.

And we happened upon a lovely mosaic on the sea walls. There’s craftiness everywhere if you know where to look… it says “A community knitted together. Woven in time”

Do you see the giant knitting needles?

I thought this was lovely.

We hopped back into the car again and set off for Scarborough next. It was a typical British bank holiday… crumby weather but still some brave souls on the beach. I believe Scarborough ‘enjoyed’ the UK’s coldest weather that day! Typical!!

Inspite of the grey skies, the beach huts were looking bright and cheerful. I am a great fan of beach huts, having had many holidays in Norfolk & Suffolk over the years but never in all my days have I seen two-storey beach huts before!!

A quick lunch & wander through Peasholm Park brought us back to our car.

Peasholm Park

We headed back to Whitby to have some dinner before heading out on a spooky ghost walk with Dr Crank!

Dr Crank in action!

We heard stories of a headless horseman, a hand of glory, grey ladies, terrible terrorizing black cats and of course, lots of information about Dracula and where Bram Stoker got his inspiration from. It was a super 90 minute-long walk and talk with plenty of jokes and banter. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Whitby whalebone arch – the beginning and end point of the ghost walk

If you’d like more information about this Whitby ghost walk – which is suitable for families (ie – not too gruesome) please visit the Whitby Walks website.

Whitby harbour at night

Tuesday was our last full day in Whitby so we headed back into town and climbed up through Pannett Park to the Whitby Museum and Pannett Art Gallery, as recommended by Dr Crank the night before.

It’s very reasonably priced – it cost us just £6 to get in and that granted us a year-long season ticket! It’s filled with treasures from Whitby’s past from fossils to Whitby Jet jewelry, and antique toys to the town’s seafaring traditions.

Some of the samplers on display

There were beautiful examples of embroidered samplers and handicrafts from overseas brought back by the town’s sea-going explorers.

Examples of native North American beadwork

It really is worth a visit. The Little Postcards loved the huge array of model ships on display including a model of HMS Victory which, of course, was captained by Admiral Nelson in the battle of Trafalgar and had to be repaired in Gibraltar before returning to Britain with Nelson’s body. There seem to be links to Gibraltar wherever we go!!

There she is! Ever present in maritime history…

Around Whitby itself there is a lovely collection of metallic sculptures to commemorate the town’s history. They even gave a nod to knitting too.

At first glance I thought she was knitting a sock, but upon reading the plaque you can see she is knitting a fisherman’s gansey – a sweater which would protect her fisherman husband from the elements.

And for any real life crafters visiting Whitby, I have to recommend a visit to Whitby Crafts. What an amazing Aladin’s Cave of crafty delights it is, with floor to ceiling racks of fabric in every hue of the rainbow as well as embroidery kits and yarn too.

And in the blink of an eye our holiday was over. 4 nights in Whitby gone in a flash. We’re now back home, the washer’s on and the cases are up in the loft again already! Thank you North Yorkshire for a lovely time even if the sun didn’t shine much!!

Sunset on our last evening

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Weeks 4 & 5)

Hiya, I’m a bit late with this post – again! So late it’s two weeks for the price of one!

It’s not been that exciting I’m afraid – just a super busy couple of week with us traveling down south to see some very dear friends. Then, on my return, I’ve been busily crocheting something which I can’t share with you yet. It’s a very exciting new endeavour which I’m bursting to share with you, but that will have to wait for now I’m afraid. Hopefully in October I can tell you more…

For now though, here’s what I got up to during the last two weeks in my Summer Craft Challenge.

Day 22 : Saturday 14th August

Day 22 of my Summer Craft Challenge saw me back working on another Flora the Gardener ably assisted by my gorgeous Mrs G Makes stitch marker.

Day 23 : Sunday 15th August

My make for Granny Square Day 2021 on Day 23 was this gorgeous square designed by @lovedottycrochet for Simply Crochet Magazine – you’ve got to love a rainbow 🌈 granny square!!

Day 24 : Monday 16th August

Day 24 of my #summercraftchallenge and I was back on the holly leaves again – adding prickles this time! Quite hard in Amigurumi.

Day 25 : Tuesday 17th August

We took a road trip down south to visit some very dear friends, the crochet came with me though… another amigurumi head in the making.

Day 26 : Wednesday 18th August

A couple more amigurumi arms…

Day 27 : Thursday 19th August

Crochet by the pool! Our last morning down south brought the sunshine.

Day 28 : Friday 20th August

Day 28 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 and I put my crochet hook away for a moment to begin something new. Remember that fabric purchase I made at Liberty in London? Well it was a kit to make a EPP (English Paper Piecing) patchwork cushion cover.

I’ve done some EPP before and find it’s easy to pick up and put down if I get bored or need something new to focus on. I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck into this.

Day 29 : Saturday 21st August & Day 30 : Sunday 22nd August

Days 29 & 30 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 were filled with crochet which unfortunately I can’t share with you at the moment – but will do in a couple of months 🤞. But in other news my hexies are very slowly growing in number…

Day 31 : Monday 23rd August

🧶Day 31 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 saw the super exciting arrival of the August Little Box of Crochet – squeeeel!! It’s adorable but I’m not showing you inside incase it spoils the surprise… I think I may have to wait until term begins and I have a quiet house again to give this my full attention, but we’ll have to see if I can last that long… 🧶

Day 32 : Tuesday 24th August

Day 32 and I’m really enjoying all the gorgeous fabrics in this pack from Liberty London ❤️ It’s the perfect little project to have going on the side – when my current crochet pattern is making my brain into mush I can zone out as I stitch a hexie or three.

Day 33 : Wednesday 25th August

Not the most inspiring photo for Day 33 but at least it’s decent daylight for crocheting with black yarn! Crochet on the sidelines at goalkeeping practice… thank goodness it’s not raining! 😃⚽️🧶

Day 34 : Thursday 26th August

There hasn’t been much time for crafting but I fitted in a teeny bit of crochet – I wonder what those red bobbles will be? Red noses, cherries? Ear muffs for a tiny person? You’ll just have to wait & see!

Day 35 : Friday 27th August

Just a little bit of time for some more hexies today.

That’s all there is from me for now. I hope the last 2 weeks have been good for you. Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Week 3)

Hello there, I’m a bit late with this post – it should’ve been written on Saturday – but hey, it’s the school summer holidays so we’re just rolling with it…

Here’s what I got up to last week in my crafty challenge 😊

Day 15 : Saturday 7th August

More festive leaves on the hook for day 15.

Day 16 : Sunday 8th August

My pile of Daisy hexies is growing… perhaps not as quickly as I had envisioned. I don’t think this blanket will be finished this summer somehow!

Day 17 : Monday 9th August

Summer craft challenge Day 17 went on the road… or perhaps that should be the train! I began a project I’ve been keeping on the back burner for a special occasion – a Little Box of Crochet designed by the lovely ladies The Crochet Sanctuary @Lynda-Rose & Lisa. I got half way through my heart which was made between Manchester & London.

Then I got to visit a place I’ve wanted to go to for aaaaages….. Liberty of London! ahhhh! Those fabrics, all the beautiful things….

I may have accidentally made a teeny-weeny fabric purchase 🤪

Day 18 : Tuesday 10th August

Managed most of the second half of my heart on the train home but I was utterly pooped and ran out of steam. The miles we covered on foot and public transport was bonkers (40,000 steps in less than 48 hours), but it was a very informative trip looking at possible places for Eldest to study next year – eek.

Day 19 : Wednesday 11th August

I made a crown and a chubby squidgy heart!

Day 20 : Thursday 12th August

Thursday’s crochet was all about leaves again!

Day 21 : Friday 13th August

A second project finished! I’ve been waiting over a year to make this and it was well worth the wait – a beautiful heart pincushion designed by The Crochet Sanctuary ladies for Little Box of Crochet. I love it!

That’s all for this installment of my summer craft challenge. I hope I can keep it up – I seem to be powering through my projects which is great. Onwards….

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Week 2)

Only on week 2 and I’m late posting this already! Well it is the holidays isn’t it?! Here’s what I got up to in my Summer Craft Challenge this week…

Day 8 : Saturday 30th July

Day 8 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 was all about joining granny squares & making stitches 🧵🪡🧶

Day 9 : Sunday 1st August

A grey cloudy Sunday was perfect weather for staying in and crocheting! Day 9 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 – has anyone seen my ✂️ scissors?! 😉

Day 10 : Monday 2nd August

Day 10 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 was about sewing rather than crochet. 🧵🪡

Day 11 : Tuesday 3rd August

Not much time for ‘real’ craft today – just a paltry hexie round, but I did ‘craft’ a podcast episode – does that count?

Day 12 : Wednesday 4th August

Day 12 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 and the balls are finished and ready to be attached to their final home… can’t wait to share the finished project once it’s completed 😊.

Day 13 : Thursday 5th August

I’ve was playing with festive leaf shapes … feels a bit early for such things but time waits for no one…. Day 13 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 #crochetholly #c

Day 14 : Friday 6th August

It’s finished!!

It may have been started about a year ago, but I think it’s worth the wait? My Craft Room wreath is finished and ready to go on the wall in @making_stitches_podcast HQ!! I’m rather pleased with how it’s turned out. The pattern is by @sewing_the_seeds_of_love & is from Simoly Crochet Magazine issue 96.

And that brings week 2 to a close, I’m looking forward to seeing what week 3 has in store…

Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Week 1)

Hello there! It’s summertime – could someone please let the weather know?! Our early heatwave has well and truly disappeared! Never mind – damp and cloudy days do make me feel less guilty about not heading off for days out with the Little Postcards, more time for snuggles and crochet I guess.

I didn’t do a summer craft challenge last year for a number of reasons – moving house and countries being just two of them – a challenge was a step too far, but in previous summers I set myself a challenge of doing something crafty each day of the long (9-week-long) summer holidays we ‘enjoyed’ in Gibraltar. This year we are having a UK based summer holiday thanks to our relocation to the North-West of England, with that we have fewer weeks off school, fewer beach days and a lot less sunshine, however that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!

Fun to me almost always involves something crafty, so why not relaunch my challenge for 2021? I began last Saturday – the first weekend of the holiday for all 3 Little Postcards. I will attempt to do something crafty each day of the holiday which is a perfect excuse to power on with some of my ‘WIPs’ (works in progress) and begin something new too.

Here’s how I got on in week 1:

Day 1 : Saturday 24th July

So here is day one of my #summercraftchallenge2021 – most of the day was spent painting the inside of the summer house (after moving all the boxes!) ready to make it my new craft room – I know! I can’t quite believe it – a whole room for crafty things. And this box of yarn accidentally turned up a few weeks ago ready for me to start a new blanket over the summer.

Day 2 : Sunday 25th July

Day 2 of my summer craft challenge saw lots of progress being made – a first hexie of my new daisy hexie blanket done, plus inroads are being made in the craft room!

Day 3

Day 3 was all about amigurumi hair. Just playing with a few ideas – this little person has a passing resemblance to Frida Kahlo don’t you think?

Day 4

Day 4 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 and I’m working on something for my new craft room.

Day 5

Day 5 meant more crocheted balls!

Day 6

Spot the difference? Part of my crafty fun on day 6 involved making this little pencil ✏️. Fun to make but blimey that lead was fiddly! 😂 Looking forward to sharing all the other components of this fun project soon…

Day 7

It’s all about the granny squares today for day 7 just look at all those ends which need weaving in… thank goodness it’s a teeny-tiny blanket I’m making! Got to love a granny square though – they’re definitely worth it!

So there you have it, one week gone already – 5 more to go!!

A postcard from a flock of Canary Craftivists

Hello there. Sorry I’ve not been about much of late. Life has been very busy and I’ve just not had the time for blogging lately. However, I did something yesterday which I simply had to share. Here goes…

Mrs Pankhurst helping the Craftivist cause!

I’m not sure when I first heard about Craftivism, but I know it was well over a year ago. I have followed the work of Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective for quite some time and found her method of ‘gentle protest’ so inspiring. The act of making for a cause; to raise awareness about something which needs to be spoken and thought about but in a quiet, gentle, thoughtful way rather than by shouting and waving placards. Whilst there is always a place for such things sometimes being quiet has a bigger impact than getting peoples’ backs up and shouting loudly.

I was reminded about Sarah’s work when I watched the BBC2 documentary ‘Craftivism: Making a Difference’ with the comedienne Jenny Eclair. In it she explored different methods of craftivism with different activists on topics from equal pay in the production of fast fashion by placing little notes into the pockets of clothes in shops to encouraging women to have smear tests by putting pairs of miniature knickers in public toilets. Sarah was one of the craftivists Jenny spoke to and she gave a compelling case for the effectiveness of Craftivism and the art of gentle protest.

After watching the documentary I was compelled to buy Sarah’s book ‘How to be a Craftivist’ and on reading it was amazed to see the amount of workshops she had led and the sheer scale of her one-woman mission. She’s spoken to groups all over the UK and many overseas as well. At her workshops she encourages people to mindfully craft something which will help focus attention on a whole host of causes including minimum wage as worker’s rights, to the environment and equality.

The book ‘How to be a Craftivist’ came beautifully wrapped with a ribbon and a yellow ‘Crafterthought’ pencil to write down my own crafterthoughts after reading it!

I decided that I had to contact Sarah and ask if she would consider being a guest on my Making Stitches Podcast. Much to my amazement, despite being a very small scale podcast I was thrilled when I got a positive reply. Our interview date was set and in the intervening weeks my trepidation grew at speaking to such an inspiring woman. There was no need though, she was so lovely.

Sarah Corbett
Photo Credit: Craftivist Collective


We spoke for more than the hour we had planned and by the time our chat finished I was more than won over to the cause of ‘gentle protest’ and offered my services to help with Sarah’s latest campaign to raise awareness about the need to reduce carbon ahead of this year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow.


You can hear my chat with Sarah for the Making Stitches Podcast here.


I became the contact for a ‘flock’ of Canary Craftivists who would get together in an iconic spot in Manchester (as many flocks will do up and down the UK and further afield), dress in yellow and mindfully create canaries either by sewing, knitting or crocheting them. The plan is to then send the canaries to our local MPs to put pressure on those going to COP26 to remember the need for urgent action to halt the rapid pace of climate change.

I have to admit that this is not my usual kind of thing to do on a Saturday morning. I felt well and truly out of my comfort zone co-ordinating a small group of crafters from across Greater Manchester to get together and quietly make a stand.

My attempt at a crocheted canary

Why Canaries?

First of all canaries are yellow, and yellow is such a happy uplifting colour which inspires hope. Secondly though, canaries played an important role in checking for clean air. Miners would take the birds down pits in the knowledge that if the canaries stayed alive, there were no poisonous gases about in the tunnels and shafts. If the birds died, it was time to get out and up onto the surface quickly. These little fabric birds are our way of saying it’s time to do something before we choke the planet with poisonous gases any more than it is already, and in fact we need to reverse the trend and quickly.


We kept the location and time of our flock secret to avoid attracting the attention of any troublemakers who might want to take advantage of our action. It was also a deliberately small group both for Covid reasons and because all of us are new to this – the aim of this campaign is to attract people who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise join a climate protest. I have to admit that our group was slightly smaller than we had hoped but the dreaded Track and Trace ping hit a few of our planned flock.


Our uniform was to be dressed in some yellow. Yellow isn’t a common feature in my wardrobe, although I did have a pair of yellow jeans. I added to my ensemble by sewing a yellow face mask and crocheting a yellow canary cape.

I finished my cape the night before and added the ribbon which came wrapped around my How to be a Craftivist book to be an appropriate way of fastening it at the front. The words on the ribbon say ‘little by little we travel far’.

The weather was kind to us, we woke up to bright, clear blue skies above Manchester. I jumped onto a yellow (on message) tram into the centre of Manchester ready for the flock.

We chose St Peter’s Square as the venue as it’s easy to get to via public transport, it’s very central and has the iconic backdrop of Central Library, trams & the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst too (someone who could teach us a thing or two about campaigning!).

We set up camp on one of the benches and got busy!

The Manchester ‘flock’

Gemma and her daughter Evie wore the most amazing costumes they had made for the event…

It was a really positive experience- my fellow Craftivists were all lovely as were the people who stopped to ask us what we were doing and why. We were able to direct them to the Craftivist Collective website so that they could find out how to make their own canary to send to their MP.

Crafting by the Emmeline Pankhurst statue

All in all, this ‘flock’ has been a truly positive experience and an opportunity to meet some lovely crafty folk.

Outside Central Library

If you would like to have a go either forming your own flock or making a canary to send to your MP, please visit the Craftivist Collective website for all the help you’ll need.

Photo credit: The Craftivist Collective