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‘Shout out’ to a creative friend

Just to let you know that this week NONE of the items were created by me. This post is about a very talented young lady who has set up a creative business.

Alex Hellawell runs a business called ‘Alexis Barn Creates’ (ABC). Alex creates individual items that are focused around ABC’s ethos ‘Colourful gifts for Colourful Characters’.

Alex has always loved making colourful things, but it was only when she went on maternity leave that she found she had time to research the possibility of creating her own business.

Growing up with a  Mother who is also very creative and has a workshop packed to the rafters with fabric, buttons and trimmings, Alex couldn’t fail to be inspired.

A well timed gift of a sewing machine and ABC was born………..

I have selected a few of my favourite items for you to have a look at.

I have fallen in love with these baby booties, what a wonderful idea for a totally original present.

These flowers are so bright and fun, a bunch of them in a vase would make a unique and colourful centrepiece for a table.







Or, what about one of these lovely cushions to brighten up a nursery or as a colourful addition to your living room.






ABC is based in Cranleigh, Surrey but thankfully you can purchase the items online. Please check out the etsy and folksy stores right here:

All colourful characters arrive beautifully packaged and with the assurance that they are all individually handmade.

Alex is currently in the process of converting a barn to work from and is planning to have a number of open days throughout the year where she can meet her customers and showcase her work. I will keep you posted on any information about the ABC Open Days.


Not another scarf tutorial!

A couple of weeks ago I was given a couple of balls of wool by a good friend of mine. Some lovely baby pink and peacock green. Then I randomly found a very similar lilac wool in a charity shop.

I got knitting and made a stocking stitch stripey scarf, then joined the ends and basically made a chunky tube scarf that is really warm and snuggly.

Am really pleased with the results.

Want to have a go? If you want to watch some good tutorials about getting started there are some links at the bottom of my previous tutorial

You will need: Some chunky wool in three different colours (I used ‘Serenity’ Super Chunky wool by Wendy). Colour 1 (Lilac): 2 100g balls, Colour 2 (Peacock Green): 1 100g ball and Colour 3 (Baby Pink): 1 100g ball. This will be plenty of wool, I have quite a bit left over.

To make: Using UK size 8 needles and Colour 1 wool (Lilac) cast on 24 stitches.

♥Knit 1 row, Purl 1 row, Knit 1 row, Purl 1 row. Keep knitting 1 row and purling 1 row until it measures 11cm.

Bring in Colour 2 wool on the next knit row (Peacock Green). (See the you-tube tutorial below for adding in a new colour).

 Purl 1 row, knit 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row. Keep purling 1 row and knitting 1 row until it measures 8cm.

Bring in Colour 3 wool on the next knit row (Baby Pink).

Purl 1 row, knit 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row. Keep purling 1 row and knitting 1 row until it measures 8cm.

You will now have your knitting with three balls of wall attached to it at different stages. For your next row you are going to add Colour 2 (Peacock Green) back in. Find where Colour 2 (Peacock Green) is attached to the back of your knitting and cut this off leaving about 10cm of wool hanging to tie off later.

Take the ball of Colour 2 (Peacock Green) and bring it back into your knitting on the next knit row.

Purl 1 row, knit 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row. Keep purling and knitting one row until it measures 8cm.

From here you go back to the beginning of the pattern, you will need to add Colour 1 (Lilac) back in. So, as with Colour 2 (Peacock Green), you will need to find Colour 1 (Lilac) where it is attached to the back of your knitting, cut it off leaving 10cm hanging off your knitting to tie in later.

Add your Colour 1 (Lilac) back in on a knit row then go back to the ♥ in the pattern above and follow it through all the colours and back to the beginning again.

I repeated the pattern five times to complete my scarf.

Once I had finished I cast off and then tied off all the loose ends by knotting them to the loose end next to them.

I then attached the two ends to each other using mattress stitch (see the you-tube tutorial below), as this was chunky wool I threaded the ends together using my fingers but you can use a large tapestry needle if easier.

Happy Knitting!

You-tube tutorial for adding a new colour

You-tube tutorial for attaching the two ends together

The Patchwork Bag

So last week I was given these three books. ‘Stitch’ and ‘Make’ by Cath Kidston and ‘Quilting in no Time’ by Emma Hardy.

There are so many projects in here that I am really excited to try, applique, embroidery, quilts, bags…… many things and so little time.

In ‘Quilting in no Time’ there is a lovely patchwork bag so I decided to have a go with some navy and cerise fabric and here’s what I came up with, would be great to know what you think.