Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Resolutions

Thought I'd pop on to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a good Christmas. December was absolutely hectic for me, and crafting and designing took a big of a back seat to working extra hours (boooo) and catching up with friends and family (yay). 

But I want to move forward in January, and achieve a few goals in 2014. Yes, I know New Year resolutions mostly don't work out, but actually I didn't do too bad this year and it gives me something to work towards. Hopefully, seeing them in black and white on here will give me that extra push!

So here goes, my goals for 2014:

1) Use my gym membership, at least 3 times each week, and get back (and stay) in shape. This includes eating better.

2) Travel more, see more of the world, even if it's just enjoying more days out and exploring new corners of the UK.

3) Take lunch to work. Not doing so is costing way too much, and offers few healthy choices. Time to sort this.

4) Save money. This includes finding savings, paying stuff off, working overtime, selling unwanted stuff online and being just generally better with money.

5) Dedicate more time to crafting and designing. I've made a good start but I really want to build on my design work this year and get properly established.

6) Get the house in order. De-clutter, clean and tidy, and stay on top of it. Also update some rooms and carry out all those odd jobs that need doing.

7) Spend more time with friends. Arrange more meet-ups and events and days/nights out :)

I realise that I won't achieve all of these, and even that some are not going to work together (there are only so many hours in the day!) but it's a start. I'll try give updates and let you know how I'm getting on.

Is anyone else making a resolution this New Year? Would love to hear them :)

Natalie x

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Hey y'all!

Just a quick round up of, well, erm, stuff?

In case you wanted to know, the new pattern release for Pipe Dreams is going really well, and it's fab seeing people downloading and knitting the pattern.

But I'm not here to promote my wares today. I wanted to show you what else is on the needles.

This is 'Squirrel Jumper', which is a pattern from the Woodland Knits supplement with the current issue of Knit Now magazine (issue 28). As soon as I saw this I just had to cast it on (and rush out and buy a couple more balls of the wool I needed to finish it lol!). I'm using Sirdar Country Style DK, which is the same yarn I used for my Chain Attraction hat, and it's knitting up nicely. I'm a little concerned it looks a bit big, but I think it will just be loose rather than fitted, hopefully. My gauge is spot on so who knows. It's knit bottom up so I can't really try it on for size yet, so fingers crossed please!

In other news, how lovely is this Christmas wreath I spied on the high street earlier this week?! What a great use of leftover yarn! This would be so easy to make yourself - I might even give it a go if I get time, in all different colours. Or if like me, you are short of time, you can snap one up in Wilkinsons.

Oh, and also, how amazing cute is this fab Christmas wrapping paper I found for just £1 in Primark?! They have matching cards too, but ssssshhhhh, don't tell all your friends or you'll end up with 10 of the same lol!

And finally, I'll leave you with a funny picture. In fact, I think we should have a caption competition for this one. This is one of the alpacas that we met last weekend at an alpaca farm (while shooting the fashion pictures for the Pipe Dreams pattern page), and well, doesn't he look funny?!

If you have a hilarious caption for this photograph, please leave a comment, and the best will win a free copy of my Pipe Dreams hat pattern.

My lovely friend Rachel is also running a competition on her blog Rewarding Memories where you can win either a free copy of the Pipe Dreams or Chain Attraction pattern. So head on over there for  a nosey as well as an extra chance to win.

Catch you soon!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Announcement: Pipe Dreams is now live!

Just popping by to make an exciting announcement...

I am proud to say, I have just released my second knitting pattern Pipe Dreams, and it is now available to purchase through Ravelry and Craftsy.

Pipe Dreams is a super-quick and fashionable chunky hat, making it the ideal gift to give and receive this Christmas. The pattern provides both written and chart instructions for al sizes ranging from toddler to adult, and the design is completely unisex, suiting boys, girls, men and women alike - with or without the addition of a pom pom!

And for Ravelry members, there's a 30% discount on the usual selling price until midnight (GMT) on November 27th using the discount code PIPE30 at the checkout.

If you don't have a Ravelry account, you can bypass the site and purchase the pattern directly by using the link below.

Happy knitting!

Natalie x

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Who doesn't love a good discount?

Who doesn't love a good discount? I can't think of anyone. I mean, why pay more for something than you have to?

And that's why I'm popping in this evening, as I prepare to release my next new pattern - to offer you an exclusive discount on the normal selling price of my designs. Aren't I nice to you lot lol?!

All you need to do is subscribe to my newsletter, and you'll be kept fully up-to-date with new pattern releases, as well as receive a discount code to redeem against your purchases.

"Where do I sign up?", I hear you cry. Simply complete the short subscriber form either on the right-hand-side of my blog or as shown below (or click this link for those of you on mobile devices, or just can't see it for whatever reason) and that's it, done!



I promise to only send occasional e-mails about new pattern releases and discount codes, and not regularly spam you with other information or marketing. And of course, I promise to never pass on or sell your details to anyone else. Ever.

And that's all for now, but watch this space as my new design will go live any day now - and of course, you guys will be the first to know!

Natalie x

Saturday, November 09, 2013

And for my next trick...

Just popping in to give you guys a sneak peek of my next pattern design, which I have just finished and is going out to testers as we speak.

Except now, having spied mine, I now have to knit another 3 for both of my boys as well as my husband! At least this means I can thoroughly test drive the pattern, and there'll be a few extra examples for my photos and pattern page I guess. Still, that's gonna keep me busy for a little while!

I expect many of you are now speeding through your Christmas/winter knitting. I wasn't planning on knitting any gifts this year, but I have made an exception to knit my Chain Attraction hat in a pretty pink/purple shade for my step-mum, who saw mine and wanted one (there seems to be a regular theme here lol! I really should stop wearing my designs out until I have caught up a bit!).

Anyway, I'd love to see your latest projects for inspiration - so feel free to use the comments tool to link me up!

Catch you soon :)

Natalie x

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Chain Attraction - An Update

Just wanted to update you all on the publication of my new Chain Attraction hat pattern.

The pattern is now listed for sale on both Ravelry and Craftsy, and so far, between the two sites, I've had a total of 10 sales! I know that doesn't sound like an awful lot, but it's a lot to me and every single one means so much.

So really I just wanted to say a big thank you, to my wonderful test knitters, to everyone who has bought, queued or favourited the pattern and to all those who have offered kind words and support. I really appreciate it all :)

Natalie x

Friday, November 01, 2013

Big Reveal - Chain Attraction!

After so much hard work and behind-the-scenes activity, I'm so happy (and immensely proud!) to announce the publication of my first paid-for knitting pattern design. 

I present to you, Chain Attraction!

Chain Attraction is inspired by my love of chunky jewellery chains - well, who doesn't love a bit of bling to accessorise an outfit?! 

The faux cables are the hat’s main feature. The simple pattern repeat is easy to remember and knits up super quick, yet doesn’t require the use of a fiddly cable needle – hurrah! The hat is knit from the base up, with a deep embossed ribbed edge for added warmth and style, basic increasing for added slouch and decreasing to finish. 
The Chain Attraction hat will keep even the coldest of heads warm and cosy, and pairs well with, well, pretty much anything! The ribbing can also be folded over to give a more beanie fit, making this accessory even more versatile. 
The hat can be finished with or without the pom pom (a template to help make one is included to print and cut out in your desired size) and would also look fantastic in stripes!

Sizes: Young child (45cm / 18in), older child/young teen (51cm / 20in) adult female (56 cm / 22in).
Yarn: Sirdar Country Style DK (you will need 2 balls), or other wool-blend dk yarn. Approx 205 yards or 225 metres for the adult size, less for the smaller sizes or if leaving off the pom pom.
Needles: 3.5mm & 4mm, 40cm & 80cm cables, or DPNs to finish.
Gauge: 22 stitches x 28 rows = 10x10cm/4x4in square using 4mm needles in the faux cable stitch pattern.
Notions: 1 stitch marker, pom pom tool or cardboard to make your own (optional).
Techniques: Knitting in the round, knit, purl, increasing, decreasing.
If you would like to download the pattern, please visit the Ravelry pattern page here. And to celebrate the pattern's publication, until 23:59 (GMT) on November 8th you can enjoy 30% off the normal price using the coupon code CHAIN30 at checkout.
And at time of posting this, I have just made my very first sale! OMG! I am grinning from ear to ear right now, literally! 
Anyway, I hope you like Chain Attraction, and if you do go ahead and knit it please let me know, I would love to see your finished projects :)
Natalie x
P.S. A huge thank you to my wonderful test knitters - BiggBird, Irene123, SnookiesOz, Lorak, saxynails, lmagsay and jayashankar. You ladies were absolutely fantastic, and seeing your finished garments and reading your lovely comments was just the best feeling! Thank you a million. x

Holiday over, and now it's down to business!

Well I'm back from my travels. We had the most amazing time in Portugal, which is why I've not popped in here for the last week - we were just having way too much fun! Seriously, the Algarve is just so beautiful and we were really lucky with the weather - it was rainy for the first day (ok, slinging it down!), but we had glorious sunshine every day after that. I would highly recommend it.


Anyways, as I said, now it's back to business. And it really is, because while I've been away my wonderful Ravelry test knitters (that's you jayashankar, Imagsay, Lorak, saxynails, SnookiesOz, Irene123 and last but by no means least my lovely friend BiggBird) have been busy working away and putting the finishing touches to testing my hat pattern. And they have done an amazing job. Seeing my pattern come to life in all different sizes and colours has been so rewarding and made all the hard work worthwhile. Thank you so much to all of you.

So this means, this evening, I will be releasing my very first pattern for sale on Ravelry! Eeeeeeeeep! Excited much!

Would you like a sneak peek? Ok, go on then!

That's your lot for now! But if you check back this evening, you can be the first to see it live - and there's a discount available to those knitters who purchase it in the first week. :)

Right, I better go make the final preparations! Be back later!

Natalie x

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Don't worry, I'm not leaving the blog abandoned and lonely for a long while again! Service will resume as soon as I'm back from a long-awaited much-anticipated family holiday to Portugal :)

Saying that I'm still busy co-originating two test knits of my patterns, and it is so amazing to see fellow knitters create such lovely FOs using your patterns! Seriously wow.

So hopefully as soon as I'm back the first design will be ready for release, and of course, I will share full details here.

And in the meantime here's a few snaps from day one of our vacation.

The boys at a local hamburgueria...

Such a kitsch little place...

Our villa & pool. And as you can see, today was quite overcast but still warm. Hoping for some sunshine so we can have some real fun!

Seeya soon!

Natalie x

Sunday, October 20, 2013

FO Catch-Up - Part 7

And now for the final post in this week-long series of finished object blog posts.

My dearest husband had been pestering me for some of these for a while, so in a bid for a quiet life I thought I'd better oblige!

I think these are inspired by the game Zelda, erm, that's all I know - ask a gaming nerd lol!

The triforce motif had to be gold, so I used a close shade of golden yellow, and teamed it with a nice contrasting grey.

And that, you'll be relieved to know, is the last in this series. But fear not, I'll be back with my more FOs soon, as well as a couple of my own designs, as soon as they are ready for release. Eeeeek, excited much! 

Natalie x

Saturday, October 19, 2013

FO Catch-Up - Part 6

It's nearly over with this, part 6 in this week-long series of catch-up posts about my recent knitting successes. 

This was a p/hop (Pennies Per Hour Of Pleasure) charity pattern I picked up at Woolfest. I just love the chevron design and they are so soft and comfy, and are wearing really well. Plus purchasing the pattern meant money going to a good cause.

I didn't mean to knit them this long, I missed the thumb hole lol so added in extra length, but I actually prefer them this way - a happy accident. And I managed to finish them while on a lovely weekend away, so snapped these photos in the stunning hotel grounds.

Check back tomorrow for the seventh and final post :)

Natalie x 

Friday, October 18, 2013

FO Catch-Up - Part 5

We're getting there! Today marks part 4 in this week-long catch up of knitted projects from the last few months. 

This is a mega-quick knit, it literally flew off the needles in just a couple of days! But I guess that's what happens with projects knit using super chunky yarn! I love the style of this, it's perfect for autumn walks, but a little impractical for much else lol.

This project looks like it has a cable pattern, but they're not actually cables - quite a clever design really. Really enjoyed knitting, and wearing this one :)

Part 6 tomorrow (don't worry, we're nearly done!)

Natalie x

Thursday, October 17, 2013

FO Catch-up - Part 4

Welcome back to the fourth part of this week-long catch-up of recent knitted projects. There's a few to show you, and so I thought posting them one at a time would be slightly less annoying than one very long, very photo-heavy post!

This was such a fun knit - the cables were addictive! I love the texture and warmth of this, and this mostly lives at work so I can wrap up all warm and cosy but still look some-what stylish in my freezing cold office. I even learned a new skill knitting this - knitting cables without a cable needle. What a revelation! And I didn't even mind picking up the rib border. 

Back tomorrow for part 5 :)

Natalie x

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FO Catch-up - Part 3

Now for part 3 in my week-long series of posts detailing the items I've knit recently. Hope you're not all getting too bored yet!

I love that this top is reversible, so can be worn with the lace pattern facing the front or the back.

It's a pretty quick dk knit, with enough instructions to keep it interesting, and the fit is just lovely.

Call back at the same time tomorrow for part 4 :)

Natalie x

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FO Catch-Up - Part 2

Today I give you the second instalment in my week-long catch-up of finished object shown and tells. 

This pattern is taking from one of my favourite knitting pattern books - Boutique Knits. Despite this being a lace project (yikes, what was I thinking?!), it knit up pretty quickly, and it does look and feel nice. I had a bit of difficulty with the lace chevron pattern at first, but it was a good learning curve. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this one.

Back tomorrow for another instalment. :)

Natalie x

Monday, October 14, 2013

FO Catch-Up - Part 1

Thought this week I'd share some of the finished objects I've knitted and photographed recently but that you guys haven't seen on here yet.

I'll post one each day this week. Here's instalment numero uno!

I started knitting this quite a while ago, and finally steamed ahead just in time to wear it for this year's Woolfest. I may or may not have been up until very late the night before sewing in the zip!

I really enjoyed knitting this, especially the cables, although I didn't so much enjoy seaming it all together. But it's warm, and comfy, and fits well, so it's all good. :)

Be back tomorrow!

Natalie x

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Baby Slippers (warning, this post contains extreme cuteness!)

Just a quick post to show off a seriously cute photo...

These baby slippers were knit a short while ago, but their recipient (Reward's little Martha) made her entry into the world a little later than anticipated. But now here they are adorning her sweet little feet, which means I can finally share them with you guys.

The pattern is from Knit Now issue 6, Baby Knits supplement, and is really quick and simple.

Check out my Ravelry project page for more information.

Be back soon :)

Natalie x

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Exciting developments!

Ok, sorry it has been so long. I kinda got busy, and forgot about this place. But I'm determined to get things going again.

Anyway, so what's new? Don't think you've missed much really. The only exciting news I have to share with you is that I have progressed to designer in the knitting stakes. My first own design is currently out with some lovely test knitters, and behind the scenes I have been busy writing the pattern, designing the document, knitting the garment, getting professional-grade photos, etc, etc. It's taking a lot of work and a lot of time, but I'm really enjoying the journey so far.

I can't reveal too much yet, I want it to be a surprise when it's eventually released, but here are a few sneak peek photos to wet your appetite :)

And some scenes from yesterday's fashion shoot...

Crazy times! 

So anyways, lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline, so watch this space!