Every cloud…

It’s been a while since my last post, a very looooonnnnnng while.  Mostly because I have become OBSESSED with Pinterest and ISSUU, but I have also been doing a little bit of making and I wanted to share it with you.

A friend has recently had a baby, and I wanted to make her something really special.  So here it is…

crochet cloud mobile

The mobile has three clouds each with three little rain drops, all attached with sparkly silver thread.

I’m so pleased with it, she nearly didn’t get it.

I spent a while looking for a crochet cloud pattern, but i didn’t see any I liked, so just made one up out of circle shapes.

crochet cloud 2

I fancy one for my bedroom now, maybe a massive one with lightning bolts too!!

crochet cloud 3

I’ve been crafting up a few other things, I’ll share them soon!







What do you get a one year old?

What do you get a one year old? I was faced with this question a little while ago, and as this was quite a special little man I wanted to get him something quite unique.
I spent ages trawling through the Internet trying to find the perfect gift, but, admittedly, I left it a little bit too late to order anything truly bespoke. So I rolled my sleeves up and did something myself!

I cut out some big, tall triangles….

Then made a stencil out of some cardboard…

Added some very funky colours…

Checked they all fit together…
Then added a few sticks and a little whizz on the sewing machine and….
Ta da!!!!
My very first tipi!!

Unfortunately I’m a little bit too big for it, but it fits the one year old just fine.

Granny squares galore!!

So, big news, my sister is up the duff (she hates it when I say that, but what’s she going to do?)  This news is SOOOOO EXCITING!!!  I still can’t believe it and it’s going to be popping out in November, not long to go!

As this is the first baby of the family I wanted to make something very special, but she has refused to find out if this little sprog is a boy or a girl, my money’s on a girl.  As much as this is a nice idea, it has made it VERY difficult to decide what to make, but I think I’ve cracked it!

granny square baby blanketTo cater for all eventualities I had to pick a fairly mixed colour palette.  The last thing I wanted to do was go from cream, or yellow, or green, or orange on their own, so I thought I’d go for all of them, and throw in a bit of pink and blue for good measure.

granny square baby blanket


Unfortunately this meant breaking my only remaining new years resolution and buying more wool.  But as this baby was not anticipated at the time of setting the resolutions, I believe this is entirely justified, really it is.

granny square baby blanketI cannot stop smiling at the (nearly) finished article!!!!  A baby blanket fit for a Queen (because it will be a girl).

granny square baby blanketI spent a LOT of time trying to decide how to join all the little squares.  I could have joined them as I went, Lucy at attic24 has a good method for this,  but I really want to get all the squares done and play with the layout.  Lucy has a good method for doing this too, but I decided to do it like a seem and sew the little v’s together, if you know what I mean.

granny square baby blanketI LOVE the effect, it makes a really cool little ridge between all the squares on the front, and the back is very neat and tidy.  I have to add more photos of the back…

The 4-way joins were a little bit more complicated, I had to make them tight, but not so tight that they made the blanket inflexible.  The last time I tried joining granny squares I made this mistake at the finished piece was all warped and just not right.

granny square baby blanketI was just going to add a few granny square rows around the outside, but if I do that I won’t get this nice ridge around the outside.  So I’m experimenting with a little bit of granny square stripes and then attaching these to the outer edge in the same seam join, hopefully this will work, I’ll let you know.

crochet granny square border


I just LOVE this blanket!  I’m quite tempted to keep it for myself, but I suppose I should give it to my brand new baby niece, when she arrives, so I should get a month or two longer to look at it, before it ends up covered in baby vom.

granny square baby blanket






What did I miss?

4 month hey?  It’s been a while.  I have had the most stressful 4 months in a long time.  NOT FUN, but, I think that’s it now, everything has started to calm down a little bit and I’m getting back to normal and finding the time to do the things I love doing, like making stuff and telling you all about it!

I’ve got a few little projects on the go which I’m very close to finishing so pictures will follow soon, but in the meantime here’s a few little pictures from my recent trip to the Chelsea Flower Show…

chelsea flower show 1My super duper sister bought me tickets to the show for my birthday.  I’ve always wanted to go but it was always at an awkward time of the year.

chelsea flower show 2

It was a brilliant day out!  But there was soooo much rain!  We got soaked so spent most of the time in the big tent or hidden in the hospitality tent eating chelsea buns with clotted cream and jam..  mmmmm….

chelsea flower show 3this little guy was definitely one of my favourites…

chelsea flower show 4One of the best parts of the show was the retreats, a few small garden sheds that had been taken over by a famous designer to create a crafting workspace.  The Cath Kidston one was very cool, but a little too flowery for me, the best one was definitely that of paper cutter Rob Ryan…

chelsea flower show 5I’ve been a fan of Rob’s work for a VERY long time, and it was great to see a few pieces in the creative stage and also talk to one of the girls that works in his studio…

chelsea flower show 6

_MG_7113chelsea flower show 7

chelsea flower show 8Despite the rain it was a brilliant day out (thanks Whizzy!) and the little insight into Rob Ryan’s creative space had really inspired me to get going again, so watch this space!

happy birthday to me!

it’s my blog birthday!  I can’t believe whattaylormade has been going for a whole year!  It is a bit strange just writing posts and putting them out there in the world wide web, not really knowing what might happen or if anyone is actually interested in what you’re rambling on about.  But the feedback from you guys has been A-MA-ZING!!  So thank you very much!!


I’ve had a few issues of late with an over enthusiastic odd job man who managed to cut through the phone cable to my flat, not particularly convenient, but all sorted now!

All that time, with no access meant a serious dent in my blog reading time, but did mean I actually made some stuff, rather than just looking at pictures of the stuff everybody else was making.  And here it is!

iphone cover 1


my new phone cover!

iphone cover 2I’m so pleased with it.  It is loosely based on a phone cover from this book, with a few little twists.

iphone cover 3I didn’t really follow a pattern for the stitches, just sort of went with what I felt like.

iphone cover 4It’s quite a snug fit so I also added a little pompom phone puller-outer thing, that’s the technical terminology, so the phone just pops out!  Quite clever, if I do say so myself!!

I used this clever little thing to make the pompom…

pompomGone are the days of cutting circles out of cereal boxes!

pompomjust wrap it round…



Then just cut and tie..

pompomand a little pompom pops out!

I’ve also been spending a bit of time tidying up my stash, all those little ends that are left over that just lie around all over the place, well, in my house they do.  I’ve seen idea in a few places and just love it!

yarn pegsI don’t actually want to use up all the bits because they look so cute on the pegs, it makes quite a nice garland do you think?

yarn pegsI used Anchor tapestry wool for the phone cover in 8118, 8922, 8824, 9786 and 8440









Can you believe it!!!

I had some very exciting news this week and have just been waiting to have enough time to tell you…

I got my first blog award nomination!  Clare over at So Many crafts, So little time nominated me, it was a complete surprise and put a big smile on may face all week!

As part of my nomination I have to do a few little things;

1. Thank the person who nominated you. DONE, THANKS AGAIN CLARE!

2. Add The One Lovely Blog Award / The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post. HERE YOU GO!


3. Share 7 things about yourself. HMMM…

1) I was born in Belfast, grew up in Wales and now live in England, I should probably consider retiring in Scotland, just to round things off nicely.

2) I don’t eat meat, unless it’s chicken breast.  I don’t know why, and it drives my boyfriend mad, but I never have and I never will (So stop pestering me Tom!).

3) My best friend is my little sister, even though we used to argue quite a bit when we were younger and she used to pull my hair A LOT, I think she’s the bee’s knees and miss her quite a lot.

me and my super little sis!

me and my super little sis!

4) I love CHEESE!!!!  It’s my favourite food, or maybe it’s chocolate?  I do quite like avocado, and aubergine and hummus aswell.  And grapes and mango too…. Oh I can’t decide.  I’m quite partial to the odd cream tea too.

5) My favourite place in all the world is a little youth hostel called Casa Kiwi outside a small town called Trujillo in Honduras.  I went there when I was travelling in 2006, and it was paradise!

6) My favourite colour is green, although I’ve just realised I’ve never actually crafted up anything that is green, I should probably do that.

7) If I could have magical power in all the world it would be teleportation.  That would solve ALL my problems, I would never be late, I could travel the world without any of the inconvenience of actually travelling and I could see all my favourite people whenever I wanted to.  Could someone please hurry up and make a teleportation device!


1) debbiedoesdoodles.wordpress.com

2) crayonsandmilk.wordpress.com

3) genevieveblog.wordpress.com

4) oneyellowteapot.com

5) georginagiles.wordpress.com

6) 37calvertrd.com

7) crochetmissy.wordpress.com

8) knitstitchsew.wordpress.com

9) oliveinbigchina.wordpress.com

10) westerlywhimsies.wordpress.com

5. Include this set of rules. 

6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs I’M OFF TO DO THAT NOW!



What was I thinking

I seem to have made that fatal mistake, again, and set ridiculously over the top New Year’s Resolutions. Why do I do this to myself?

Usually my will power wains by about 24th January, I have a second wind for the first few weeks of February, then it’s all over by March and everything goes back to normal.

This year I’ve added a twist and challenged my Mum and Sister to give up chocolate for the WHOLE YEAR!!!!

*head hits keyboard in despair*


It seemed like a really good idea at the time, appealing to my excessive competitive nature to ensure I stay on track, but really, what was I thinking?  To make it even worse, I’ve also challenged my boyfriend to give up crisps instead of chocolate, as they are his biggest vice.  I should have just stuck with my Mum and Sister, they are far more forgiving and I reckon I could have tricked them into eating chocolate sooner or later.  But my boyfriend? the competitive rivalry between us, particularly over childish bets, is off the scale.  And to make it worse, he’s now decided he LOVES chocolate!! grrrrrr…….

In addition to this I’ve also set myself 3 other challenge (I prefer the word challenge, it just makes it so much more exciting!!!!)

Not to buy anymore wool until I make a serious dent in my stash. (I did manage to squeeze in a sneaky little splurge on the 29th December, but seriously, this has to stop now)

the stash!!

To complete the equivalent of one hexipuff a day to create the amazing Beekeepers Quilt by Tiny Own Knits.


To write down everything I spend everyday in the hope that I can learn to budget a little better and be put off buying things I don’t need because I have to write them down.

So far, I’m 5 hexipuffs behind, I have no money until I get paid at the end of the month and there’s a wool sale on at John Lewis, I’m screwed….  but I’m NOT going to eat chocolate!





Christmas Catchup

Well….   Where has the time gone?  It seems I have slipped back into my pre-blogtober tardiness and haven’t written a post for aaaaaages!  I think there is a new year’s resolution in there somewhere.

There is a good reason for my blog post slacking… I’ve been so busy!!  Busy at work, busy making christmas presents and very busy making and eating lots of food!

travel knittingI’ve been on a look of trains recently and taken my latest project with me.  This is my sister’s Christmas present.

One of my little trips was to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.  Have you ever been to this show?  It’s incredible!  This year they asked people to contribute to an entire knitted village to put on display, it was amazing…

knitted village

There was even a complete farm yard and vegetable patch…

knitted veg patch

The show filled me with inspiration and emptied my bank account at the same time, but it means I’ll have a lot of projects to keep me going in the new year.  There were some brilliant pieces of work on display and this little one definitely caught my eye!


I’ve also attempted my first, and quite possibly my last, ever embroidery!

embroideryThis was a present for my niece’s, yes I’ll say my niece, although my boyfriend thinks she is just his niece, christening.  Who knew embroidery was so much hard work, it definitely doesn’t complement my short attention span and, like my needle felting experience, I ended up with multiple puncture wounds.  Seriously dangerous.

Still, I am quite proud of it, particularly the little church…

embroidery churchmaybe I will try it again, one day…

I’ve also been crafting up a few other things….  A pin cushion for my secret santa at work, or christmas tree decoration, whatever you fancy really.

crochet pin cushionand a not so little stocking for my niece, there you go, I said it again!

handmade stockingThere’s still one or two belated christmas presents I’m trying to finish off, they might become birthday presents instead.

And, as well as all that crafting, I’ve been doing quite a lot of eating too…

christmas dinner!Yummy!  I’m actually quite looking forward to a salad filled January now, I have definitely over indulged, but it is Christmas…

Well, I guess that’s me for 2012, I hope you have all had a fabulous Christmas and I’ll see you in the New Year!  Hopefully a bit more regularly.


we will remember them


My dear Mrs Rourke,

I am deeply grieved to be the bearer of very sad news, your son was killed whilst on duty last night by a German shell.  I am afraid I can hardly express my feelings to you as I should like, but I can assure you Mrs Rourke your son will be mourned and greatly missed out here by all who knew him.


He was one of the best soldiers on the column and certainly the most cheerful and willing to carry out his duty.  It may be of some comfort for you to know your son died bravely fighting for his country.  He lived about five minutes after he was hit.  His greatest friend Ross carrying him to a place of safety under heavy shell fire and was with him to the last.  Ross will no doubt write to you later, as he is at present lying in hospital suffering from the effects of gas.  If there is anything I can do for you please do not hesitate to write to me.  Your son was buried some distance from Lue, but I will see that a proper burial service is read over his grave and a cross erected.


With deepest sympathy from us all

Yours sincerely,

J Webster Lieut.


Could you imagine receiving this letter?  It brings me to tears every time I read it.

Mrs Rourke is my great great grandmother, she received this letter in the summer of 1917 after her 20 year old son Dickie Rourke was killed in action.  20 years old, a boy really.

I got a copy of this letter a few weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  What did he look like?  How tall was he?  Did he have a similar sense of humour to mine?  Did he play a sport or have a hobby?  What was it like living in the trenches?  How did he manage to build up the courage to stand up and run over the top of the trenches knowing what an incredible risk he was taking?

Having this letter suddenly made everything seem so real to me.  Remembrance Sunday has always been important to me, but this year it’s meant something slightly different, it suddenly seems so much more personal and I’m glad it does.  I will never even begin to understand what it was like to fight in the trenches, or be on the ground in wars like so many people today.  I will never know what it takes to make life or death decisions when they really count.  I will never understand how difficult it is to sleep at night knowing your dad, mum, brother, sister, son, daughter or friend is hundreds of miles away risking everything for others who don’t even know their name,  But I have a new found respect for those and the family of those who do.

There is an interesting twist in the story of Dickie Rourke.  The letter mentions his best friend Johnnie Ross who rescued him, took him to a place of safety and stayed with him until the end.

After the war Johnnie went to visit Mrs Rourke and while he was there met Dickie’s sister.  I don’t know the details of what happened next, but I do know that Johnnie fell in love will Dickie’s sister and they married and had a daughter, my granny Joan, who had a daugher, my mum Pauline, who had me!  What an incredible love story.

we will remember them.



I love my mittens

Well, after all the fun of blogtoberfest I’ve found it quite strange not writing a post everyday, but not strange enough to want to do it again yet, it was hard work!

It’s been raining all day today, this completely ruined my plans for a big bike ride (which, let’s be honest, was unlikely anyway) but provided the perfect opportunity to stay inside and make stuff.

You might remember this mitten I finished a while ago, well I finally finished the other one, and it’s only slightly smaller than the first one, so that’s a bonus.  They are both massive though so I’ve had to put a little bit of elastic around the cuff to keep them on my hands.  I’ve also added another little addition to them… a big piece of string to tie them together!

I feel like a little kid again!  But just in case I have to behave fairly sensibly and it’s not appropriate to have mittens dangling from my sleeves, I’ve made them detachable!

I used a little hook and eye on each end of the string.  I’m really quite proud of myself, you might have noticed.

As well as finishing off the mittens, I’ve also finished my little bird, with minimum blood loss (those felting needles are lethal).

He’s only little, I might attach him to one of Burt’s antlers, or maybe I’ll find somewhere else to put him…