A Knitting Pattern

Oh Hi! been a while, hasn't it?! Where have I been? Well, I’ve been around, mostly at home or in the reserve or in front of the fire we had installed this year. Ive been making dolls and knitting Gumnut hats, reading stories and collecting eggs- it’s been my most enjoyable winter yet. I’ve popped in today to share with you something I’ve been working on this winter. I’ve been busy writing a knitting pattern for the Gumnut Hat and Im pleased to announce that the pattern is now available for purchase here on Ravelry and here on Etsy.

The Gumnut Hat is perfect for the growing little ones in your life. Because of the ribbed design the hat grows with the child, enabling a comfortable fit over a few winters. Designed to cover little heads and ears it’s sure to keep them warm and cosy during the cooler months.

A quick and enjoyable knit, the Gumnut Hat is knit flat starting with the front band. The flat knitting is then folded in half and joined together using Kitchener stitch. The neckband is picked up along the bottom edge and knit in rib stitch with an i-cord attached to both corners after the neckband has been bound off. The hat can be knit with either one strand of Aran weight yarn or two strands of worsted weight yarn.

If you follow me on Instagram you've probably already seen Ed sporting one in just about every colour! What can I say, I had to do a lot of test knitting for the pattern. Ive used 3 different yarns for the pattern: Quince & Co Osprey, Cascade Lana d'Oro  and Swans Island worsted. All so squishy and dreamy to work with I couldn't just pick one. I really love knitting these little hats and I hope you will too.

I'm hoping to return to this space a bit more frequently very soon. Until then, thanks for stopping by and I hope you're keeping well.

Tiny Dates & A Pretty Magazine

Oh my boy, my big 3 year old. He’s so much more confident at the playground lately… maybe a little too confident! His favourite part of our tiny dates is the playground but mine is the nice big cup of coffee at the cafe over the road when we’ve finished jumping and swinging. The only way I can get him away from the playground actually is by promise of the smartie cookie and smoothie thats waiting for him when we get to the cafe.

I have finished Ed’s doll and am working on some custom ordered boy dolls. I love getting out my felt and fabrics and working out their hair colour and little outfits. I have finished the wee cardigan pattern too so I’ll be able to dress them in some woollies to match their pants. 

I came across this beautiful magazine by chance last week at our local news agent. I don’t usually buy magazines- with the exception of Frankie magazine and a new favourite, Hundreds & Thousands- but this one jumped out at me so I picked it up to flick through. I fell in love with it; the paper, the pictures, the insight into other makers lives and creative processes. I keep picking it up in my spare moments and reading and re-reading. Im particularly fond of the characters made by Emma Cocker. There’s so much inspiration in here for lovers of making and handmade.

I decided to give another makers patterns ago and purchased a softie kit and a cross stitch kit from Alicia Paulson, of the blog Posie Gets Cozy. I can't wait to start them!

Its still been stinking hot around our way so when we've not been at the park in the early mornings we've been heading to the library to enjoy some reading in the air conditioning. Note the super cute Ravelry t-shirt I got for Ed a few weeks ago. Wal may dress him in heavy metal t-shirts but when he's with his mum is all about the online knitting community heehee.

I hope you're keeping well and happy x

A Busy Week & An Etsy Store

This week I’ve been tucked away in my studio finishing up the first few dolls to open the A Maker’s Burrow Etsy store. I’ve spent the last 8 months or so, working on the design & templates and creating prototypes to be tested by Ed and my Niece. The final product are these 4 little lassies that will be for sale in my Etsy store. Last month I set a store opening date of the next full moon, so, the store will open with goods at 8pm on Sunday 24th January.

These one of a kind lass’s are handcrafted from new and reclaimed fabrics with 100% wool stuffing. Each doll’s hair and face are hand embroidered. They stand approximately 18 inches tall and clothing & boots are all removable. The dolls are made for gentle love and play; to be an heirloom for generations to come. Each doll is handmade by me in my home studio, located in Bendigo, Australia and promises to be unique in her own special way. The dolls are not suitable for children under the age of 3 years old.

If you would prefer a boy doll don't despair, I am currently working on a design for a laddie version.

Amongst the doll finishing and store preparation there has been some biscuit making (see my go to recipe here), some under the kitchen table cubby house making and playing in the very much needed rain with our “brellas”

I hope your week has been a good one.

Caitlan x

Drifting Off

Illustration by Phoebe Wahl- Photo found on Pinterest, source unknown

Illustration by Phoebe Wahl- Photo found on Pinterest, source unknown

I’ve been having trouble sleeping for a while but only recently it occurred to me it could be  because as I was hopping into bed at night and checking my emails, having a flick through Pinterest & Instagram (duh). Even though I was tired and I knew that I had to get as much sleep in as I could when I could because with a toddler in the house you never quiet know when that slumber will end, I couldn’t slow my mind… and I couldn’t stop myself from having a peek at social media. Well its not that I couldn’t, I just didn’t want to.I don’t know why its so hard not to look, maybe it really is an addiction. For the most part I try to read or do a little knitting before bed but sometimes I just want to look at pretty things so I set up a dream board on Pinterest. It consists of things I find calming and enjoy thinking about as I drift off. It helps block out the unwanted thoughts, the replaying of the days conversations and my long long list of things to do the next day. I make a cup of tea, snuggle up in bed  and scroll through pictures of cold weather places (I’m happiest when its raining), log cabins and cozy fires. I dream about what it would be like to live in one of these log homes with my family. In this place I’d wake before sun rise, do some crafting done and get some bread in the oven ready for when my family woke. I’d dish it up toasted & topped with eggs that Eddie and I had collected from our chickens. The day would be spent making, baking, gardening and playing together then we’d spend the evening before bed time reading books by the fire with bellies full from a hearty meal made with food from our garden. Sigh…. Ive just gotta keep working at making this world my reality. I feel I am definitely on my way though and I'm closer to this life now than I was a few years ago. My dad is building me a chicken coop so we can get some ladies in the next few weeks and this winter we are getting a wood fire in the lounge room. Theres something about the warmth from a wood fire that Wal and I don't want Eddie to miss out on; I'm not quiet sure how to explain it... perhaps you might just know what I mean.

Photo found on Pinterest, by I love Nature- Illustration by Phoebe Wahl

Photo found on Pinterest, by I love Nature- Illustration by Phoebe Wahl

Life Lately

Its been a couple of months since I posted last- Ive been busy making and visiting and baking and reading. I considered writing a few longer posts to catch you up on the happenings around our burrow of late but thought some photos and a little list would be enough to break the "no post in ages" ice and get my mind back into writing again. So, heres what we've been up to lately:

  • I'll be adding fabric to the Indie Stitches Boutique shortly and have been getting the site ready over the last couple of weeks. I visited the Australian Quilt Market with my dear friend De (of Patterns and Projects) a couple of months ago and the orders I placed are slowly starting to arrive. De's job was to help me choose out of the hundreds of beautiful fabrics and to stop me from only buying the colour mustard- I am so drawn to that colour that I feared that would be the only colour to choose from in my store *blush.
  • Ive been making Christmas presents for friends and family. I was trying to do a totally handmade Christmas for Ed but failed when I stepped into Toy World and saw a big Woody doll and knew how much he'd love it; and he does. 
  • We've been balling wool and getting a jump on knitting things for the cooler months. I keep having to remind him to only turn the handle one way when he's balling though otherwise its a big 'ol mess. I know I could probably do it when he's not about and it would be much quicker but he really does love it so I save the balling part for him.
  • A new cafe has opened up just over the reserve so we've been taking walks via the playground to get a coffee and some cake.
  • Reading books. LOTS of books.
  • Playing with Christmas presents. Im not sure how enjoys it more, Wal or Ed.
  • Learning the Tarot. Ive always found it interesting but lately Ive been too drawn to it to ignore it. I popped on to Etsy not long ago to have a look for some wooden buttons and there in my "you might be interested in" section was a beautiful set of Tarot cards and some crystal pendants. I used crystals for self care before I became pregnant with Ed but since then Ive been so focused on the care of him that I seem to have forgotten about me... and if Im being honest, its actually becoming very noticeable- at least to myself and probably those who know me best. Anyway, I thought it was particularly odd that they appeared because I'd never, like, never-ever-trevor looked these types of things up in Etsy before. I took this as a sign and purchased them on the spot. Since then other little things have been shifting and falling into place. Its funny what can happen when you listen.
  • Making dolls. Ive been making the first couple for my Etsy store for a while now. I think I am maybe taking so long to finish them because I'm afraid that if no one buys them I won't have an excuse to make them and dream about making them anymore. I love making them, so so much.
  • Playing in the sprinkler (or sprinkles as Ed calls it) at night time before bed to cool off. Usually I really dislike summer but seeing it through Ed's eyes is slowly starting to bring me around to it.

So, thats about it for what we've been doing for the last couple of weeks. Oh yeah, and I quit my big girl job in HR. OK, so that was pretty big and probably deserves a post of its own ;).

Oh oh oh AND! Ive started an online Herbal Medicine making class with Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. For about 6 months or so Ive been waking up with the words "Kitchen Witch" rolling around in my head so I decided to look into and found this really great online class and signed up. 3 days after signing up I saw someone who I admire and follow on Instagram had signed up for the same class. Ok, so it all sounds a little woo woo but whatevs, Im just going to roll with it and see where it takes me.

I hope this finds you well and happy.

Caitlan x

PS I'm also doing this Natural dying class in February. I. CANT. WAIT. Sooooo many great things to look forward to this year already!


Paris Happened

So, Paris happend.... a couple of months ago! Yes, I am really that far behind on sharing our holiday pictures with you. I have moved my blog over to the Squarespace platform and its taken me a little longer to get things set up than I had hoped; So thats where I have been incase you were wondering.

Above are the only pictures I have of our time in Paris as the rest were stored on my phone, which I managed to leave in a taxi in Rome *slaps forehead. It chucked it down the whole time we were there making it very hard to get out and about with a wee one and no rain cover for the pram. Not that the pram was much good to us in the streets of Paris anyway. We ended up using the Ergo carrier for the length of our stay there. I managed to duck out for a couple of hours to visit some yarn shops and have a bit of a wander sans kiddo and husband. We stayed in a great little Airbnb place, again the photos are on my phone, but if you wanted to take a look here, is the link to our accommodation. Our host was lovely and we were lucky it was such a lovely little apartment  because due to the rain, we did end up spending a bit of time there! Ed's favourite part of Paris were the pigeons, mine was the pretty yarn shops & buildings and, well, Im not actually sure what Wal's was but I think it was the cheap beer- It was that last time we went to Paris and he and Paris hasn't changed much since then so I'll go with beer again. 

I'll leave you with some yarny goodness from my day out shopping in Paris. I only brought 2 skeins because I out did myself at Loop so I really had to behave in Paris- also, I think if I tried to stuff one more thing into my luggage at this stage the zipper would have burst. 

I hope you're enjoying your start to November.

Caitlan x 

Portobello Road & Loop London


We got home last Wednesday. It was a great trip but boy, was I glad to get home by the end of it. Travelling with a toddler is certainly a lot different to travelling as a couple or by yourself- especially a 2 and a half year old who decided it would be a great time to test out his right to have the “terrible twos” tantrums in places like St. Peter’s Basilica. I did get a little taste of alone travel though on the day I left the boys in search of my dream store, Loop. I mapped out my journey the night before as I wanted to head back to Notting Hill that day too. I had been to Portobello Road last time we visited London but I really wanted to go back. I am a sucker for the pretty coloured doors and houses. It wasn't the first time I’d used the tube but it was the first time I'd used it by myself… I know it's super easy to use but I was still really proud of myself. It can be pretty daunting when you're not used to it. I must say it was soooo much easier when you're not trying to get a pram up the stairs!

I visited Alice’s Antiques along the way. It’s Mr Grubers Antique Shop in my current favourite movie to watch with Ed, Paddington. I also went to The Notting Hill Bookshop, also known as the The Travel Bookshop that Hugh Grant owned in the movie, Notting Hill. I spent ages poking around in there and chatting to the lady that owned it. I ended up selecting a copy of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by Beedle the Bard to read to Ed. It's another one from the Harry Potter story- a book young witches and wizards are read by their parents.

Afterwards I made my way out to Loop. I got a wee bit lost and stopped at a cozy English pub for a pot of tea *cough vodka, but found my way eventually. Oh man, I didn't want to leave when I got there. Everything about the store is wonderful; the displays, the walls of wool and the ambiance that makes you want to curl up on the comfy couch by the window with your needles clicking and a cup of tea…. actually, if there were an open fire there I would probably be sitting there right now doing just that. The staff are just as wonderful too and a member of the team spend ages upstairs balling the wool I had purchased so I didn't have to do it by hand and could start knitting as soon as I got home- very sweet I thought. I have been thinking about how lovely it must be to work there in winter when the snow is falling outside the window. Ok, so I know it's probably super busy all the time and no one that works there actually gets to sit about gazing at the snow outside while knitting over tea but this is my fantasy, so don't piss on my chips and tell me any different.

So what did I buy you might ask? well, it's all balled up and I put the labels somewhere in my suitcase (thats sitting in the middle of our lounge room that I haven't unpacked yet and am  just getting what I need out as I need it) BUT I did pop a picture of my purchases in for you. I got some cute stitch marked, the Loop 10 year anniversary book and also a really cute book called Granny Chic. Granny Chic has soooo many super cute projects in it. I have been wanting to make a fabric covered chair for ages but have never gotten around to looking up how to do it. I was super excited to find the instructions - or “recipe” as it's called in the book- on how to do it. For anyone out there who is obsessed with pretty floral fabric, wool and crafty bits this book is a MUST. I pick it up at least 4 or 5 times a day and flick through. Also, the paper smells really good too. On a side note- how pretty is the new to me bed sheet my sweet friend Bea thrifted for me!

On a kiddo note- He LOVED watching the garbage man outside our apartment window in London. He got really upset one morning calling out for "Woody!". It took me ages to figure out why but then I finally remembered the scene out of Toy Story when Woody is in the garbage truck. So Wal and I hunted high and low for his Woody doll (the one time the bloody thing isn't sticking in the bottom of our feet because we've stepped on it) to show him that Woody wasn't in the truck. We finally found him and all was right with the world again.

P.S I just came across this book, Snail Mail while looking up the link for Granny Chic to show you. I couldn't help but buy it so I'll let you know what I think of it when it arrives. Maybe some snail mail writing might be in my future....