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






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









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.



Day 25: if only

I’m sure I’m not the only person that dreams of winning the lottery, I get so excited sometimes I convince myself I’m going to win, but I always end up disappointed.

If I did win the lottery I think I’d spend quite a lot of my time making stuff.  At the minute I just can’t do it fast enough, I spend a lot of my time in work just wishing the day to go a little but faster so I can get home and finish those mittens or start the next little project spinning round in my head.

I could even upgrade from having lots of little projects to one massive one, like this…..

A whole crocheted room!!!!  Isn’t it amazing!

This incredible room was created by Artist Allyson Mitchell in 2006.

I’m definitely buying a lottery ticket tomorrow…

Day 22: colourific

It’s so hard to choose colours!!  Whether it’s to decorate a room, craft up something magic or buying an outfit it can be really difficult to choose a combination that *goes*.

I’ve got a little secret that might help you though…..

A few months ago I found Design Seeds.  Wowsers, if you were ever stuck for colourful inspiration this is DEFINITELY the place to go!

It’s a collection of amazing colour palettes all created using beautiful images, here’s a few of my favourites…

Aren’t they just incredible!

And, if you sign up for the newsletter you get 2 of these badboys in your inbox EVERYDAY!

what you could you ask for?!?!?

Day 19: paper

Tonight I want to tell you about one of my most favourite apps, Paper

I was looking for an app to just doodle with a found this one. When you it up there’s a few little books you can open.

You can add as many as you want, change the covers and the titles. When you open your book you can browse the pages too, it’s pretty cool.

You get a small, but really good colour palette to use, to be honest I’m not sure I could have picked a better combination. You also get a selection of pens or brushes to write with to create different effects.

AND… On top of creating all your own amazing pictures, you can submit them to the paperblog and see what everyone else has been upto too.

I’ve got a lot of practicing to do to be able to do anything close to these!
There is a free version of this app, but for the little spend you get all pens and brushes! I think it’s worth it.

Day 9: Pantone passion

Well, I survived my 5.30 start, just, I’m definitely struggling a bit today though. I’m away with work and staying in a hotel for a few days, but I’ve brought a few things to keep me, and you, entertained.


A few weeks ago I bought this little box of Pantone postcards from amazon. Not for anything in particular, I just fancied them.

I thought I’d try and put together a few colour combinations to see what they’re like.



Unfortunately, hotels these days don’t seem to have very good lighting, and I didn’t bring my camera so the colours haven’t come out very well, which kind of defeats the point of pantones, but you get the idea.

P.S. I haven’t forgotten about the *amazing* (if I do say so myself) little project mentioned a few days ago, but work seems to have got in the way and it’s still not finished. I will show you as soon as it’s done, but trust me, it’s worth the wait!