20 December 2009

weather warning

We woke up this morning, here in Belfast to 6 inches of snow. Great excitement as all the young ones in the street headed out to play. This photo was taken seconds before the photographer (me) suffered a head shot from a snowball!!! I couldn't resist the temptation to head down to the Titanic Quarter for some snow piccies. Chances are it might well be a white Christmas - whatever the weather have a great Christmas. Ali.

7 December 2009

patchwork obsession

At the moment everyone in the city and guild class are designing one of their final pieces. So we are all looking for inspiration. As for me, patchwork designs are becoming a bit of an obsession....everywhere I look I see blocks and patterns. Ive taking photos of just a few......
The Ohio Star seen in tiles on the floor of Donegall Arcade Belfast.

Half Square Triangles on an estate agents board.

And even the tattooist windows is displaying the Leymoyne star.
I'm even beginning to dream about sewing!!!!!!!
bye Ali

29 November 2009

13 today

My son celebrated his thirteenth birthday yesterday. I must say I'm envious of him, with his life stretching ahead. Wouldn't it be nice to be thirteen again with what I know now....theres a wee saying - youth is wasted on the young!!!!!

As for knitting etc...I'm working on some items for a charity Christmas coffee morning next Saturday. I used Julies pattern on her Little Cotton Rabbits blog to knit some mini Christmas tree bears. Some of mine look like koalas though!

Take care, Ali.

12 November 2009

a stitch in time

I hardly have much time these days, with the City and Guilds course....I have been neglecting the housework and my blog. The course is very intense, but challenging. Last week we learnt about American blocks and for our "homework" had to produce 4 blocks. Heres one - Card Trick.....

.....the colour choice was inspired by my sons Juggling balls which I had to dig out of the bottom of the toy box.

30 October 2009

scarey night in

We had a few sweet treats tonight (Halloween). Pumpkin gingerbread biscuits bought in Kittys of Coleraine - they always have a mouthwatering array of buns, cakes and biscuits.

As well as the traditional apple tart some toasted marshmallows at the fire.........mmmmmmhhhhhhhh!!

Bye, Ali

29 October 2009

autumn sunshine

We took the familiar pilgrimage up to Whitepark Bay, during the week. Of course when you're there, you just have to have a paddle even though the water is desperately cold....

Just as we were leaving the sun was just going down and so I got lots of lovely sky / sea shots. Bye, Ali

27 October 2009

pattern feedback

I love hearing how people find my patterns......I welcome all feedback. So I was all chuffed when Joanna sent me a couple of photos of her buns and cake she had knitted from my patterns. Here she is holding a plate of her knitted goodies......

Many thanks Joanna, for taking the time to write and send me your photos.
Bye for now,

24 October 2009

log cabin block

Week 4 City and Guild course was all about strip patchwork. I thought I knew a wee bit about patchwork, but I now realise that what I know couldn't be written on the back of a postage stamp! I really enjoyed the Log Cabin Block. We learnt how the centre of the Log Cabin block is traditionally red, to represent the fire or the hearth. The strips represent the logs used in the construction of the cabin. These strips are traditional contrasting light and dark - the light ones being the side of the cabin with the windows and the dark strips being the solid side of the cabin. I found a good guide for Log cabin blocks - just click here. Why oh why did I choose ginghams and checks for this particular sample!!

I also did a sample of crazy patchwork - I love this type of haphazard piecing where exact and precise measurement is not top priority. The central picture is one of relatives on my fraternal grandmothers side.
I was able to buy cotton fabric which could be put through the printer. To get a sepia toned fabric - I dyed some cotton fabric in a tea solution...great fun to make.
Bye, Ali

autumn rose

What else would you do on a blustery Saturday afternoon, but go for a walk in the park. I spotted some roses still hanging in there...how beautiful is that...

I think today will bring down the rest of the leaves...

......and then back home to the fire and some comfort food - an Ulster fry.....ah well the diet starts tomorrow!
Bye, Ali

13 October 2009

something to do

As my son is now at "big" school now ...I'm a tad redundant. I decided I would have a go at the City & Guilds patchwork and quilting course, for something to do. It however has given me too much to do and I seem to spend all my time sewing these days. Never mind the housework - what about the latest sample!!! I have even been neglecting my knitting and writing my blog.
Week 3 was all about folded patchwork - Somerset and Prairie Points. I got most enthusiastic about the Prairie Points and did a few samples. The boat sampler was made from Biting type Prairie Points trapped between wedges of fabric.

The sunflower was made from continuous Prairie Points with a Suffolk Puff as a flower centre.

Have a look at Kim Templins instructions for continuous Prairie Points.
Better get on with my "homework" for next week,

30 September 2009

p & q course

My knitting hasn't been out of the work basket recently, as I have signed up for a City and Guild course in patchwork and quilting. Its taken me a wee while to get into sewing mode. Here's what we've been doing so far - Week 1 ......to get us used to the sewing machine we sewed paper napkins with straight stitch and satin stitch. Once washed in lukewarm water, the napkin washed away leaving the stitches....

Week 2..........English patchwork including sewing hexagons, diamonds (tumbling blocks) and clam shells. I had some fun with the clam shells turning mine into a bowl of ice cream. I'm beginning to wonder why a lot of my creations are inspired by food!!!

Bye for now, Ali

21 September 2009

*****giveaway pattern *****

I have just put my Celebration Cake pattern on my etsy shop, it is also available to download on Ravelry. Many thanks to aewsimmons and Wolhaeus from Ravelry for testing my pattern.
Pattern includes instructions to knit a slice of fruit cake, complete with marzipan and icing. You can finish it to celebrate any special occasion. Ive included three ideas to make it a Christmas, wedding or Anniversary cake.

Leave a comment and one person will receive a free copy of the pattern....picked randomly.
Regards, Ali

12 September 2009

summer at last

The weather has taking a turn for the better here. In our street there has been a frenzy of activity after the wet summer - hedge clippers, lawn mowers and paintbrushes have all been brandished. I took an hour to plant up my spring bulbs in the garden (fritillaries and bluebells) and planted some for the house as well............. I sat in the garden today in a sunny spot working on my latest pattern - a snowman tea cosy!!
Bye, Ali Add Image

2 September 2009

freebie pattern

Schools back and I now have loads of free time to catch up with things put on hold for the last two months.This morning, I got round to typing up a knitted rose brooch. See below. Hope someone can make use of it and as always I'd love to hear how you find the pattern.

Bye, Ali.

1 September 2009

                       Rose Corsage 


3.00mm needles
scraps of double knitting yarn
brooch back

k = knit
p = purl
sl = slip
st(s) = stitch(es)
psso = pass slip st over
inc = increase (k into front and back of st)

Inner Petal
Cast on 7 sts, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing up.
ROW 1 : k.
ROW 2 : p (right side).
ROW 3 : sl1 k’wise, k to end of row.
ROW 4 : p.
ROW 5 : sl1 k’wise, k to end of row.
ROW 6 : p.
ROW 7 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to end of row (6 sts).
ROW 8 : p.
ROW 9 : sl1 k’wise, k to end of row.
ROW 10 : p.
ROW 11 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to end of row (5 sts).
ROW 12 : p.
ROW 13 : sl1 k’wise, k to end of row.
ROW 14 : p.
Cast off k’wise.
Middle Petals (make 2)
Cast on 4 sts.
ROW 1 : k.
ROW 2 : p.
ROW 3 : inc every st (8 sts). (recommended inc - kfb)
ROW 4 : p.
ROW 5 : inc every st (16 sts).
ROW 6 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 7 : sl1 k’wise, k to end of row.
ROW 8 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 9 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, (k2tog) (14 sts).
ROW 10 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 11 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, (k2tog) (12 sts).
ROW 12 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 13 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts (k2tog) (10 sts).
ROW 14 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
Cast off k’wise.
Large Outer petal (make 2)
Cast on 5 sts.
ROW 1 : k.
ROW 2 : p.
ROW 3 : inc every st (10 sts).
ROW 4 : p.
ROW 5 : inc every st (20 sts).
ROW 6 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 7 : sl1 k’wise, k to end of row.
ROW 8 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 9 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, (k2tog) (18 sts).
ROW 10 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 11 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, (k2tog) (16 sts).
ROW 12 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 13 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, (k2tog) (14 sts).
ROW 14 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 15 : sl1 k’wise, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, (k2tog) (12 sts).
ROW 16 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
Cast off k’wise.
Cast on 3 sts with green yarn.
ROW 1 : k.
ROW 2 : p.
ROW 3 : inc1, inc1, k (5 sts). (recommended inc - kfb)
ROW 4 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 5 : sl1 k’wise, inc1, inc1, k2 (7 sts).
ROW 6 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 7 : sl1 k’wise, k1, inc1, inc1, k3 (9 sts).
ROW 8 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 9 : sl1 k’wise, k2, inc1, inc1, k4 (11 sts).
ROW 10 : sl1 p’wise, p to end of row.
ROW 11 : Cast off 1 k’wise, k to end of row (10 sts).
ROW 12 : Cast off 1 p’wise, p to end of row (9 sts).
Rpt ROWS 11 – 12 until 1st remains (purl row).
Fasten off.
To Assemble Rose
1. Weave all loose yarns away - down the edge of the petals, except for the tail at the cast on edge of the Inner Petal.

2. Place the Inner Petal piece flat, purl side down. Cast on edge is at the side and the decreasing edge is at the top. Starting at the cast on edge roll the petal tightly, so that purl side is turned to face outwards.

3. Sew the base firmly together with the yarn tail.

4. Wrap the four petals around the inner petal, with the purl side facing towards the inner petal and the cast on end at the base. Stagger the two middle petals and then the two large ones . Sew each petal firmly to the base and bottom edge of petals as you go. Keep the petals tight.

5. Attach the leaf (knit side facing outwards) to the back of rose.

6. Sew on the brooch back to the reverse of the rose.

© copyright Alison Hogg 2009. For personal use only

29 August 2009

tis the season to be jolly

I cant believe that last Thursday, one minute I was sunning myself in Hyde Park and the next I was wandering round Harrods Christmas shop, with Christmas music playing!
Sorry to mention Christmas twice in one post during August - but I have just finished a new Christmas goodie knitting pattern for a Gingerbread Man and Mince Pie.

Thanks to Stickfia and Wolknaeuel from Ravelry who volunteered to test knit my pattern. It can be found on my new etsy shop - crazydazyknits. I'm reorganizing my shop at the moment so things are a bit chaotic.
Have a good, hopefully sunny Bank Holiday, Ali

28 August 2009

liberty of london

I'm just back from a trip to London. While I was there I spent a morning in Liberty of London, Regent Street.

I love everything about this shop, the actual building, the fabrics, all the lovely things for sale....in fact the only thing I don't like about it are the prices!!!!! Here's me doing a bit of window shopping..

........and the interior is even more beautiful than the exterior.

I must have spent over an hour browsing the Rowan yarns and the fabrics. Here's my favourite the "Betsy" fabric in four colourways........

Bye for now, Ali (the worlds biggest Liberty fan)

11 August 2009

new baby

A new baby is a good excuse to run down to the toy shop to shake the rattles, squeak the squeaky animals and fondle the soft toys. Also a great reason to get the knitting needles out. I thought this little guy would be the beanie hat type, so I knit two.... The ribbed beanie at the back of the picture is from a pattern found on Ravelry... Little Boy Blue Ribbed Baby Hat, and I followed this pattern to the letter. The hat in the foreground is based on the Apple Hat found while browsing on Knitting Pattern Central. I liked the shape of the hat, but knitted it with blue wool and icorded the top to form a loop. Not having much chunky or aran wool in my stash I just used two strands of double knit, which created a nice mottled random effect. I used these brill dpns which I found in a charity shop recently - they're plastic and quite slippy so great for me as Im a tight knitter. Im not sure what era they're from...but definitely "vintage" as they say on ebay.
All the best little one, Ali

3 August 2009

top of the world

Its raining in Belfast again today. Yesterday, the sun made a rare appearance and being up in the North Coast we would usually have headed for the beach, but instead we drove to Binevenagh Forest. It is a short walk to the basalt cliffs were you can see the most amazing view....

this is only a fragment of the panorama, you can see, Lough Foyle, over to Donegal in the Republic of Ireland, Magilligan Point, Benone Beach....its just breathtaking and a wee bit scary if you don't like heights. I think I should get a job with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board!
Bye for Now, ali

28 July 2009

hair band

I thought I would have a go at a few different decorative knitting stitches.....I found this pattern Leftovers Headband which uses a nice lacy stitch. I knitted a shorter band, (44cms long) and then added two lengths of icord (each 20cms long) to be tied at the back of the head.

I knitted this one with dk cotton I'm pleased the way it brings a little order to my unruly hair.... I think for the winter I may knit a few woolly ones.

Bye, Ali

16 July 2009

he loves me he loves me not

I love these daisies....hence my user name.......they are indestructible, they can thrive in the most adverse of conditions tilting towards the sun and seeding themselves in the tiniest of cracks.
Here's my attempt at capturing them with watercolour.....

They have inspired me to do a Treasury on Etsy......have a wee look click here.
Bye, Ali

14 July 2009

second childhood

My father cleared out the glory hole recently and all my old toys reemerged. I was presented with a very sooty dolls house. After giving it a wash and a Mr Sheen I thought it would be quite fun to furnish it.
I decided I would like to do it up, a traditional 50's style house and so I bought some vintage furniture from ebay. You're welcome to have a look around here's the nursery......

All I need now is the baby, but its difficult to find 1/16th scale people. I made a few bits and pieces for it. The rug is crocheted 4ply cotton. The crocheted blanket would have looked better with a thinner wool. I also made a wee teddy which is a mini version of the teddy pattern for the Mother Bear Project.

I didn't have a pair of needles fine enough for the wee teddy, but I found an odd single dpn which I snapped in two.

Ill show you round room by room, as I make a few more items.
Bye, Ali

11 July 2009


I haven't been in Dublin for many years. Last time I visited, there were punts not euros and a bomb scare on the Belfast to Dublin train line was a daily occurrence.
Some things haven't changed though.............
Bewleys in Grafton Street is still serving coffee........

Bewleys skinny decaf cappuccino
The flower sellers are still selling bouquets......

Blooms in Grafton Street
and the train journey is so jiggly it is impossible to knit to pass the time!

outside Dundalk
I was hoping to further my Christmas pattern on the journey home, which I'm working on at the moment, but it will have to wait for another day. I cant believe I have just mentioned the "C" word and its only July - many apologies for that.
Bye for now, Ali