Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Cascade Colourful Stripes Crochet Blanket








Sunday, 29 January 2012

Vintage Granny Square & Hexagon Crochet Dress.

What an absolutely stunning dress, with ultra intricate detail. 100% cotton will look stunning with a scarlet red slip underneath or teamed with colourful camisole and jeans. I’m sure you’ll love it too.







Saturday, 28 January 2012

The RSPB: Big Garden Birdwatch

Song thrush on fencepost

How to take part

Photo by Nigel Blake

So, you want to take part in Big Garden Birdwatch? That's really great news as it couldn't be easier to take part in, and your results will really help us.

If you're one of our regulars – welcome back, and thanks for what you're doing. If you're new, keep reading to find out just how easy doing Big Garden Birdwatch is.


When, what, where

All you need is a pen, some scrap paper (or, a printout of our handy bird ID sheet), and an hour to spend watching the birds in your garden, or local park, on either Saturday 28, or Sunday 29 January 2012.

Simply make a note of the highest number of each bird species seen in your garden or park (not flying over it) at any one time, and come back to these pages to tell us what you saw.

You can also ask questions, and share your tips for a brilliant birdwatch on our friendly Big Garden Birdwatch community group.

You can do your birdwatch on your own with a cuppa, your favourite biscuit and your feet up, or try and beat the largest group that took part in 2011: 84 adults and 2 children.

The RSPB: Big Garden Birdwatch

The top 10

Like so many people who enjoy the birds in their garden, sometimes a bird pops in for a visit who you just can't name.

But don't worry.

Below are the top 10 birds as seen during Big Garden Birdwatch 2011.

This list is a great place to start to familiarise yourself with the birds you might see during your birdwatch.

And if you've an iPhone, download our new app - loveBirds - an easy to use bird guide which you can take with you wherever you are.

Top 10 birds of 2011Photo by The RSPB


The males live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. The bright orange-yellow beak and eye-ring make adult male blackbirds one of the mos... More... Blackbird (illustration) Blue tit

A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white and green makes the blue tit one of our most attractive and most recognisable garden visitors. In winter, family flocks join up with other tits as they search fo... More... Blue tit (illustration) Chaffinch

The chaffinch is the UK's second commonest breeding bird, and is arguably the most colourful of the UK's finches. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when feeding on the ground and it becomes ... More... Chaffinches (illustration) Collared dove

Collared doves are a pale, pinky-brown grey colour, with a distinctive black neck collar (as the name suggests). They have deep red eyes and reddish feet. Their monotonous cooing will be a familiar so... More... Collared dove (illustration) Goldfinch

A highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch. Sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, they have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. Their long fine beaks allow ... More... Goldfinch (illustration)

Great tit

The largest UK tit - green and yellow with a striking glossy black head with white cheeks and a distinctive two-syllable song. It is a woodland bird which has readily adapted to man-made habitats to ... More...

Great tit (illustration)

House sparrow

Noisy and gregarious, these cheerful exploiters of man's rubbish and wastefulness, have managed to colonise most of the world. The ultimate avian opportunist perhaps. Monitoring suggests a severe decl... More... House sparrow (illustration) Robin

The UK's favourite bird - with its bright red breast it is familar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted... More... Robin (illustration) Starling

Smaller than blackbirds, with a short tail, pointed head, triangular wings, starlings look black at a distance but when seen closer they are very glossy with a sheen of purples and greens. Their fligh... More...

Starling (illustration) Woodpigeon

The UK's largest and commonest pigeon, it is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches, clearly visible in flight. Although shy in the countryside it can be tame and approachable in ... More...

Woodpigeon (illustration)

Back to basics
Related websites

Monday, 23 January 2012

Unisex Mirage Ribbed Knitted Scarf Pattern



Here is a pattern for a very simple and easy ribbed scarf. The project is suitable for beginners and the overall effect is charming depending on the yarn used.


100g – King Cole Mirage DK Yarn, 1 pair 6mm knitting needles, tapestry needle.


50” x 8“

This scarf is knitted using basic farrow stitch.


Cast on 45 sitches.

Row 1: Knit 2, Purl 1.

Repeat this row until desired length is reached. Cast off and darn ends in.


If you wish to reproduce this in any way please contact me or make sure that reference is made to the original blog post. Thank you

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Lady of Quality–Georgette Heyer

Not the type of book I would normally read but having just romped through it in one sitting, I can recommend it. I had listened to a interview on BBC Radio 4 titled ‘The Enduring Appeal of Georgette Heyer’ and felt I must read at least one of her books.

You can listen to the program here.

Georgette Heyer was born on 16th August 1902 at Wimbledon, London. She was the eldest of three children and the only girl, her brothers being Boris and Frank.

It was as a story for her brother Boris that she first wrote The Black Moth. Her father, George Heyer, impressed with his daughter's imagination, suggested that she prepare it to be published, which it was by Constable in 1921 when she was only nineteen.

She continued writing and in 1925 she married Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer. After reasonable but not spectacular sales from her first few books the instant success of These Old Shades in 1926 brought her a solid source of income which was very necessary at the time, her father having died shortly before her wedding and her youngest brother needing financial support for his education.

In 1927 she joined her husband in Tanganyika where he was working and later went with him to Macedonia 'where she nearly died of an erratically administered anaesthetic in a dentist's chair' (PWGH).

By 1929 they were back in London. The success of These Old Shades had permitted Ronald Rougier to give up his mining work which he had never enjoyed. This success also prompted Heinemann to buy up and republish Georgette Heyer's earlier novels.

After Ronald had an unsuccessful venture in London, he and Georgette moved to Horsham in Sussex where in 1932 her son, Richard was born. Georgette Heyer was continuing to write and had started on a new genre, detective novels, in addition to her historical output. Her husband, eventually disatisfied with his new venture in Horsham and with the encouragement of his wife, started studying to be a barrister.

In 1939, after several more novels, Ronald had qualified for the bar with the need to be within easy reach of London the family moved to a service flat in Hove. Richard's education at private school was not cheap and as a junior barrister does not earn the fees of a more senior one, the family continued to rely to a large extent on the income from Georgette Heyer's writing.

In 1942 they moved back to London, to chambers in the Albany which was to become their home for 24 years. Efforts to satisfy the tax authorities were to plague her for many years as the harsh rules then applying in a war-torn Britain, and even long after the war, took their toll but when her husband became a QC in 1959 and it must have taken some of the pressure off her.

Georgette Heyer's relationship with her publisher, Heinemann, had always been personal and soon after the Managing Director A. S. Frere left she moved to The Bodley Head. Her output of historical novels continued but she was now 60 and her own health was starting to be a little erratic. More tax problems loomed and the income from her new American publishers, Duttons, must have been welcome.

In 1966, when the lease expired on their rooms at The Albany they moved to a flat in Jermyn Street, London. Books continued to be written but the flow was stemmed by deteriorating health and she died on 4th July, 1974.

The above brief chronology is almost entirely derived from Jane Aiken Hodge's 'The Private World of Georgette Heyer', a biography and detailed account of the background to her novels.


She certainly wrote a lot of books.

A Civil Contract
An Infamous Army
April Lady
Bath Tangle
Black Sheep
Charity Girl
Cousin Kate
Devil's Cub (2)
False Colours
Faro's Daughter
Friday's Child
Lady of Quality
My Lord John
Pistols for Two
Powder and Patch
Regency Buck
Royal Escape
Simon the Coldheart
Sprig Muslin
The Black Moth (full text)
The Conqueror
The Convenient Marriage
The Corinthian
The Foundling
The Grand Sophy
The Great Roxhythe
The Masqueraders
The Nonesuch
The Quiet Gentleman
The Reluctant Widow
The Spanish Bride
The Talisman Ring
The Toll-Gate
The Unknown Ajax
These Old Shades

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Sunroom: Pandora’s Cushion Tutorial Pattern.



The tutorial pattern is now available on ravelry click here. Not a ravelry member then don’t worry I will be listing the pattern on Etsy this week.

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Hello again everyone I have been not blogging for what seems like a ridiculous amount of time. A very belated Happy New Year to you all and I hope you had a very crochety festive season.

I have been busy working on various projects which I will be blogging about in the coming days. I have reopened my etsy store so all patterns and products are available again.