Wednesday 18 June 2014

Squirrel knitting patterns

Knowing that some of you are keen to know when I introduce new knitting patterns I thought I'd better pop in and let you know that I've been busy designing and knitting squirrels during the past couple of weeks.

Similar to some of my rabbit patterns but with big fluffy tails.

This is Pinny Fuzzytuft, a very helpful stitching companion. Pinny will hold your pins in her skirt and apron, scissors under her arm and your thimble in her little acorn-cup basket.


Next are the Fuzzytuft Twins

These plump little rascals are quick and easy to knit. Only 10cm tall they are an ideal size for little hands to hold.

The knitting patterns are being sold to raise much needed funds for the Westmorland Red Squirrel Society which works to assure the survival of Britain's endangered red squirrels in and around the Lake District. The society now has its own Etsy shop named Fuzzytuft. All patterns can be found there and hopefully there will be more soon!

Don't forget you can get regular updates about our squirrels on Facebook

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Out and about

Greetings friends. I hope you've all had an enjoyable Easter. I'm just popping in to let you know that I'll be busy for the next few months so you won't be seeing me on Flutterby Patch quite as much. I'm now responsible for a new Facebook page belonging to my local red squirrel society so please pop in and find out what's happening if you're passing.

On Sunday we walked to Orrest Head above Windermere.


It's uphill all the way and soon we were able to look down on the town of Windermere.

The path to the top passed through woodland.

In days gone by you would have been taken to the top of the hill in a horse drawn carriage.

The carriage would have stopped near the top and the passengers would have alighted and walked the last few yards to the summit.

And here is the view that would have greeted them. Little has changed over the centuries.

Windermere lake with the Lakeland fells (mountains) in the distance.

There are plenty of fast flowing streams tumbling through the Lakeland landscape.

Primroses bloom among the rocks.

These pretty blooms were once so plentiful they were picked by the basketful. These days the picking of wild flowers is discouraged.

The fast flowing stream eventually reaches Windermere lake.

Hopefully we will soon see the return of a lot more red squirrels like this cute little character.


WRSS Facebook page

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Still smiling!

I've been busy again this week with my happy theme. See what you think.

First I made some Happy Knitter brooches

I thought the knitters needed a few friends so I made some Happy Quilter brooches to keep them company. Their little patchwork quilts are made from tiny scraps of Liberty Tana Lawn trimmed with vintage pearl buttons.

Finally I decided children needed something cute and smiley to cuddle so I made these tiny jolly dollies. Each one has a pretty tote to sleep in.

 I've now listed some of my happy characters in my Etsy shop. I've renamed the shop 'Jollymakes' which I hope better describes the shop's contents.

Monday 24 March 2014

More smiley makes

Greetings friends. I've just popped in to show you some of the happy little characters I've been making over the past week.

Little brooches

A happy flower on a patchwork pouch

And finally - four little pin-keeping dollies who take care of the beaded pins in four little pin cushions.

More smiles to follow!
Eli x

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Happy stuff

TV news bulletins showing an endless stream of man's inhumanity to man and popular TV programmes showing even more murder and mayhem make me feel quite downhearted. I often feel the need to escape to a happier place and what better place to escape to than into the pages of a children's story book.

Let me show you a couple of books I've recently acquired. 'Aunt Amelia' by Rebecca Cobb is about two little cuties who worried about a strict auntie coming to stay with them. But she turned out to be a very unconventional auntie as you can see.

Together they did lots of fun things.

They painted pictures.

Ate scrumptious meals.

And found a cosy spot to watch TV.

A really happy tale for little ones. Full of fun and mischief and beautifully illustrated.

And here's another one of my current favourites.

'Not Me' by Nicola Killen is about five cute kiddies who create lots of mess around the house. The illustrations are colourful and uncomplicated and clever paint effects depict the 'mess' created. I love it!

And of course by now you'll know I'm a big fan of Mabel Lucie Attwell books where carefree children live in a safe, happy world.

I've been doing a spot of sewing this week and the 'happy' theme has continued. The grey weather here in the Lake District resulted in me choosing brightly coloured Kaffe Fassett prints for my happy purses. Each one has it's own smiley dolly stitched to the front.

They were such fun to create I couldn't stop myself making some larger ones using pink flowery prints that I trimmed with vintage lace.

The smiley purses will eventually go into my Etsy 'Flutterby Stitch' shop which I'm ashamed to say has currently got empty shelves. I've moved the PDF sewing patterns for Ragtaggle Rabbits and Little Counting Dolls into Dollytime (my other Etsy shop). These sewing patterns are now for sale alongside my knitting patterns.

Meanwhile, my Flutterby Stitch shop will remain empty until I've produced a few more items. I'll continue to concentrate on 'happy stuff' and next on my list of makes will be happy brooches. . . . . . Watch this space!

Friday 28 February 2014

Dolly surprise

A small brown box arrived in the playroom this morning and within seconds Lucy Lavender was taking a look inside. She opened the lid and peered into the dark interior while a few onlookers waited in anticipation.

Lucy could see nothing so she opened the box a bit further and a tiny flower appeared.

Then the top of the box suddenly burst open, the flower popped right out and everyone fell over in surprise.

The flower was attached to a little red hat and the little hat was on a little doll's head.

The doll waved a little arm and then quickly disappeared back inside the box.

Before long another little flower popped out. This time it was attached to a little green hat that was being being worn by a different little doll.

Then both the dolls popped out at once.

And then they jumped right out of the box. 

But oh dear! They were very strange looking little dolls as they didn't have any stuffing in their arms and bodies.

Well of course they won't have stuffing! . . . . . . They are hand puppet dolls.

With just a bit of help from human hands these little puppets can move their heads and arms and become very busy little dolls indeed.

And when the day's fun is over they like to take a rest. But they hate to be left limp and lifeless on the playroom shelf . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . All they need is a little bit of something soft stuffed into their tiny bodies and they will happily sit very straight and upright alongside all the other dolls in the playroom and no one will ever know they are actually hand puppets.

Meet Ruby and Rose, new arrivals in the playroom. I've often looked at knitted hand puppets designed for children and thought how sad and limp they looked when not in use. So I decided to create a pattern for little dolls that could be made to look plump and happy even when they weren't being played with. If children pop something soft inside such as a pair of socks or mittens the dolls will immediately stop being lifeless puppets and be able to sit up straight like all the other dolls.Then when it's time for them to become puppets again the soft interior can be removed and they will be ready for play.

A knitting pattern for Ruby and Rose can be found in my Dollytime Etsy Shop and Ravelry shop (see shop details at the top of this post).

I just wanted to let you know that a lack of comment from me does not mean I haven't popped into your blog to say hello. I regularly make return visits to blogs but get hugely frustrated when the comment I leave disappears as it is sent. I know many of you are equally frustrated by this and there seems to be no easy solution! (I'm able to use Outlook, Firefox and Google Chrome). Any ideas anyone?

Have a good weekend everyone
Eli x

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Perfect in pink

Many of Britain's school children are having their half-term holiday this week and quite a few of them have come with their families to explore the Lake District. Little girls wearing pink anoraks seem to be everywhere.

Pink is a favourite colour here in the playroom . . . . . sometimes!

Thank you for all your nice comments following the previous post. I'm glad you liked the bear pictures. Here is another one you might enjoy.

I hope anyone enduring extreme weather will soon find more seasonal conditions returning. No need for words to describe our current climate, this picture says it all.

Eli x

Monday 17 February 2014

Another wet day

Greeting friends, from a totally rain-soaked Britain. No need to bore you all further by describing the weather we've endured over the past few weeks. It's been too dark and dismal to photograph inside or out so I'm showing you a couple of postcards of our area which seem appropriate.

Here in the mountainous Lake District a few hardy souls have ventured onto high ground. A punishing pursuit as they've been lashed by storm force winds and driving rain.

Many water-logged footpaths are now unstable and of course the mountain rescue service has been kept very busy.

But compared to coastal and low-lying areas elsewhere in Britain we've been fortunate as storm water rushes straight down the rocky hillsides and into the lakes.

My thoughts are very much with those whose homes and local areas have been damaged by hurricane force winds and flooding.

Stay safe
Eli x

Friday 17 January 2014

Kitchen chaos

Greetings friends. I've been absent from blogland for quite a few months and I know some of you have wondered where I'd disappeared to. I'm afraid I can't tell you I've been on a luxury cruise or lazing on a tropical beach somewhere. In fact I spent the autumn months at home without a kitchen! I'll tell you the story . . . . . .

Until October I had a pretty breakfast room next to the kitchen. It had a window with blue curtains that matched my blue and white china. In the corner was a fireplace with wood burning stove and my china decorated the wall above. A small cosy room, we used it a lot when the children were young but they've flown the nest now and the breakfast room was used very little. And so we decided to make changes . . . . . . .

In October the builders arrived. They took out the window and knocked out the wall below to create an opening for a door. Next they removed the pretty fireplace. I was sad to see it go but it filled the entire corner of the room and I knew I'd need that space for my large china cupboard.

Everything in the kitchen was removed into the dining room and cloakroom and these two rooms became our temporary kitchen while work was in progress.

You can see the dividing wall between the two rooms just behind the stove. This wall had to be removed in order to link them together.

Sadly the pretty floral tiles couldn't be saved and quickly got broken up by the builders.

I was very sorry to lose these tiles but managed to pick up a few broken pieces from amongst the rubble which I'll use for a mosaic sometime.

Once the tiles had been removed it was time to knock the wall down.

After much banging and crashing of stone and brick you could stand in the breakfast room and look into the kitchen. It felt very strange.

The enormous stone chimney above the demolished wall needed supporting until strong steel beams could be put in place.

Over several weeks the work continued and I confess at times I wished we hadn't started as dust and grit spread everywhere. But of course there was no turning back and by mid December the plastering was almost complete. When the new kitchen units were delivered I suddenly felt the end was in sight. At this point Christmas was only ten days away. 

A week before Christmas the new oak floor was put down and the units fitted.

Four days before Christmas the builders finally left and we were able to move back into the sparkly new kitchen.

We bought this 1940s table from a used furniture shop when we were first married and have always used it in the breakfast room so it was the first item to be returned. Next came the old chairs and then a mug of tea and a biscuit or two.

At this point I'd not started decorating the house for Christmas so to bring a bit of festive cheer into the new room I spread a scarlet cloth on the table and collected greenery from garden. The small room behind the table is the pantry which we've always had and decided to keep. I'm so glad we did as I'd be lost without it.

The new curtains were hung, the dresser was returned and the china put back on the shelves. Finally, with just two days to go, everything was ready for Christmas.

Now that the breakfast room window has become doors we can walk straight outside and into the new area of garden we are planning to create. It certainly isn't garden weather here in England at the moment so I'm spending my time knitting bits and pieces for a charity I work with.

I've seen recent weather reports from around the world and whilst many of us in the northern hemisphere are being flooded or frozen there are many people in the southern hemisphere who are suffering from intense heat. Whatever your weather I hope it doesn't spoil your fun this weekend.

Best wishes to you all
Eli x