Category: Knitting

Look out for Mr Stork

February. For me, the pits of the calendar. Nobody really needs February. It just extends winter for too long, and personally, by the time we’re a week into it I’m ready to bid farewell to the chilly winds and rains and usher in March and April.

This time round however, Spring came early to a very special household. My wonderful friends Hannah and David had a BEAUTIFUL baby boy earlier this month, shaking off the winter blues. I’m head over heels for the little bundle already and can’t wait to see him grow.

As if I needed an excuse to craft eh?

This is a great little project if you already have kiddies and are expecting another, as the older siblings can definitely lend a hand.

For the impatient ones, yes, there is a picture of bubba at the bottom.


Things you need

12″ Embroidery hoop

9″ Embroidery hoop

Wool in a variety of colours (perfect for using up offcuts)

Pom pom makers in a variety of sizes (or cardboard, see below)

Double sided tape

Needle and thread

A sticky hook

A keyring

2-3m String


Step one

For those of you without pom pom makers (for goodness sake buy some) draw round a variety of circular objects to make differently sized cardboard hoops for your pom poms. You will need to make two hoops per size.

If you have pom pom makers, none of this is for you, skip to step 8 and relish in the fact you loved yourself enough to shell out £4 to save your sanity. All you guys need to do is follow the, in all likelihood hilariously translated, instructions on the back of your packet of pom pom makers. I bought mine on eBay from China, I strongly suggest you do the same.


Step two

Cut out the hoops so that you have a hole in the centre. Don’t worry if they’re messy, it won’t impact your poms.


Step three

Sandwich the two pieces of cardboard together and wrap lengths of wool around and around.

You do this by pulling the end of the wool through the centre of the disk and back over the edge.

Keep going as long as you can, but essentially the fuller the hole in the middle the plusher your pom pom will be.


Step four

Using scissors cut round the circumference of the ring.

Once you’ve made a few snips you should be able to get the scissors between the two layers of card which then makes this very quick.


Step five

Wrap a length of wool around the edge and tie a knot in between the cardboard layers. I always do a few for good measure.


Step six

Pull the cardboard rings off to release your pom pom.


Step seven

Trim any straggly bits to neaten it all up.


Step eight

Repeat until you have at least 24 pom poms of different sizes and colours.


Step nine

Sew the pom poms to varying lengths of cotton thread in twos (or if you’ve made more, then keep adding them!)

I went back and forth through each pom pom a few times so they didn’t slip down/fall off the end.

I recommend doing this randomly, or you’ll drive yourself crazy! Plus it looks better for baby if they are dotted about as the different levels of perspective means you can see more.


Step ten

Cut a paper/newspaper circle that fits inside the embroidery hoops. Fold each in half three times so you get 8 equal segments.

Placing the paper circles into the hoops mark out the eighths.


Step eleven

Remove the outer hoops and stick a small strip of double sided tape by each marker.

Step twelve

Attach two pieces of string to hang the mobile by. They need to wrap around both the outer and inner hoops and be as even as possible.

Try to make it so that the string comes out from under the hoop at all points. Otherwise you’ll do what I did and put the outer hoop on top, one will be over and the whole thing will hang a bit wonky. Distressed isn’t the word.


Step thirteen

Tie a longish piece of string (this will totally depend on your ceiling to cot distance) to connect the crossed over pieces you just attached to the hoops. Still with me?!

At the other end of that length of string tie a keyring. This is the bit that will enable your mobile to spin round.

Step fourteen

Attach your pom pom lengths, 8 around the outside, 4 around the inside by wrapping the thread round the hoop a few times. The tape should hold them in place quite well.


Step fifteen

Reattach the outer hoops and tighten.


Step sixteen

Using the sticky hook hang from the ceiling.


Step seventeen

Lie under it for a little while. It’s relaxing being a baby.

Wait, that’s not all.

I also couldn’t resist making baby a little friend to match his mobile. Introducing Bernard the bunny.


I haven’t included a step-by-step for Bernard because he’s not my pattern. In fact, this was the first time I’ve ever knitted a ‘creature’ before. He’s not quite the masterpiece I envisaged when I started but full of character and a great beginner knit.

Bernard was knitted from the free fuzzy lamb pattern by Barbara Prime (I just added longer ears). I urge you to visit where you can buy all kinds of super cheap cute and quirky patterns including a bikini clad alpaca and a sloth in a poncho. Barbara’s patterns are adorable and easy to follow.


Another plug goes out to Hannah Melin whose ‘Hello World’ print I couldn’t resist at a craft fair just before Christmas. I think it would look lovely on the wall of any nursery.

I should probably make it clear that I’m not being sponsored for either of the above, I just think it’s good to support one’s fellow craftspeople from time to time.

Without further ado, here’s the man of the hour LOOKHOWCUTE.


Snug as a bug

Spring is in the air! Well, not really. It’s actually been so cold that I’ve cracked out the woollens for the first time this winter. BUT, if you get knitting now, you will have a perfect little snood to make the transition from winter to spring a cosy one.

I don’t want any excuses that you don’t know how to knit. I didn’t know how to knit a few years ago. This is a really easy and quick project to get you started. Plus I set up a youtube account to facilitate teaching you, so really, you owe me a try.


You will need

9mm knitting needles

200g of bulky (or extra chunky) wool, my ball was by Patons. If you want a longer/bigger snood, just double up and get 400g.


For those of you who know what you’re doing:

co 22 st.

k1, p1 to end of row.

Repeat k1, p1 until close to the end, cast off keeping enough yarn to sew ends together.


Step one

Make a slip knot by overlapping the end of the wool to make a circle and looping it back through.


Step two

Place the loop over the end of the knitting needle and pull to tighten.


Step three

Time to cast on.

Push the right needle through the loop behind the left one. Wrap the long end of the wool (the bit that leads to the ball) around it so that the wool sits between the two needles.

Pull the right needle under the left, taking the wool with you and through the loop. Tug it through until you can loop it over the end of the left needle and tighten.

Do this 22 times.


Step four

The pattern is just knit one, purl one, they are the two basic stitches.

You knit a stitch basically in the same way as casting on, but instead of hooking it back onto the left needle leave it on the right one.


Step five

The second stitch is a purl. For this one place the wool in front of the knitting and push the right needle through the loop in front of the left. Wrap the wool around it and take it through to the back and pull the stitch off.


The video shows a knit, purl, knit, purl sequence. Yeah. I’ll work on my videography skills, but you get the gist.

Step six

Repeat the knit, purl, knit, purl until you get to the end of the row. Turn the knitting round and k1 (knit one), p1 (purl one) until the end. Keep going.


The picture above shows the difference between a knit and a purl just in case you get lost at any point. On the left is a purl, you can see a little bump (sort of like a pearl, geddit?) and on the right is a knit. They are basically the same stitch but in opposite directions.

This is where I got a bit carried away with my new youtube account…

Don’t worry, I know I’m super cool.


Step seven

As you get close to the end of the wool you need to make sure you’re keeping enough to cast off and sew your snood together. Once the ball has basically unravelled so you can grab the end without getting in a mess, measure five times the width of the knitting from the end and tie a slip knot to remind you to stop as close as possible to that point.

To cast off, knit two, then loop the first over the second. Knit another one and repeat.

Sorry, what’s that? You could really do with another youtube video? Of course.


Step eight

Once you get to the last stitch remove the needle and pull the end of the thread through the loop and pull to tighten.


Step nine

Place the two ends together use a wool needle or a crochet hook to sew together. I find it best to go side to side like this.

After I did this I stretched it using the backs of two chairs, I tend to knit a little tight, you might not need to do that. The other way would be to dampen it and pin it out on the carpet but the chair method just seemed a bit easier.



Step ten

Put it on your beautiful friend.