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Friday, 30 April 2010

A few of my favourite things.....

One of my most favourite parts of the design process is getting the pattern together so that it works and assembling the colours. The colours are my favourite thing and I almost get obsessed with it until it's just right.

Here is my latest obsession this week. I'm designing a new crochet blanket and I'm really excited about this one, it's my favourite so far. I've chosen bright colours with dramatic black as a back drop. I've called it Flamenco because the colours remind me of Spain. I'm using Cascade wool, a newly discovered wool for me. A good price at £4.99 for 100g from Laughing Hens and a really lovely palette to chose from. Let me know what you think.....

Patchwork Class Menu

Tomorrow's menu will be:

Morning Coffee: Afghan Biscuits: a no-egg recipe with cocoa and crunchy cornflakes

Lunch: Homemade rolls with homemade bread and an option of:

1. Mozzarella with pesto and vine tomatoes
2. Houmous with olives, red peppers and salad

Tea: Carrot cake with a cream cheese topping

The class will be on how to make a Patchwork Cushion.

The waitress for the day is: Camilla

Sunday, 25 April 2010


Just back from Wonderwool. Really enjoyed helping on the Laughing Hens stand and spending some time with Andy and Jeni.

These photos are my favourites from the show. They are pretty random because I can't get them into an order.

Pretty handmade tea cosy:Andy's Shetland: Saras Texture Crafts:
Raggedy Girl:
Raggedy Clothes:
Crochet purses from Hooked By Design:

Phil from The Natural Dye Studio:

The Natural Dye Studio:

John Arbon Textiles & Fibres:
Jenny Oliver:
Hooked By Design:

Hemp Fabric UK:
Felt So Nice: One of my favourite stands: Eliza Conway. She always has a really pretty stand with fresh flowers and really lovely handmade designs:
Sparkly Yarns, but I lost their card with the name of the stand! Sorry.

Another favourite stand with fabrics and bobbins: The Deco Shop:
Gorgeous Angora bunny:
Ingrid Wagner: - Giant knitting with really interesting fabrics, see her website for more details. I really liked Jeni's sign and am a huge fan of her yarn, particularly Scrumptious DK. Watch this space as Jeni and I are thinking of working together on a new brand of fabrics:

Friday, 23 April 2010

Travels with my daughter

Here are a collection of photos I thought you might like from Muscat. The fabric is mostly from a Souq in Muttrah and other shops in the Seeb area of Muscat. Souqs are wonderful places, full of little narrow alleys with people selling all sorts of fabrics, textiles, bits and bobs - it was just total heaven.

Omani family:
Omani hats:

Fabric shop:
My favourite fabric.... to make a patchwork blanket:
You can tell I was in this shop for a long time...... Camilla was getting bored!Doing the deal...Incense shop at Muttrah Souq:Incense sellers:Supermarket trips - often! They were a welcome air conditioned break from the heat...
Dresses at the tailors where I had some clothes made... not like this though!
Choosing more fabrics:
Gorgeous ribbons:

Thursday, 22 April 2010


Finally got home last night. Long trail on planes, trains until finally squeezed onto the Eurostar at the last minute. Met some really interesting and lovely people along the way, except I lost a lovely crowd of stranded fellow travellers that we'd travelled up through Europe with at Brussels airport somewhere in the crowd. So if any of you ever find my blog, please get in touch!

Lots of photos to show you all as soon as I can work out how to download from my iphone and unpack my camera lead.

Off to Wonderwool show tomorrow to help Andy on the Laughing Hens show, so please come and visit if you get the chance. I'll be on the stand until Sunday lunchtime.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Still here

Been to the airline office and the airport. No flights to anywhere in Europe from here. Am trying to get somewhere, but we're now on a waiting list to get home and it could be another week.

Very frustrating. Am going to yet another travel agent this afternoon as soon as the blistering heat of the day settles down.

One good thing - bought more fabric this morning! If I buy any more I'll be able to suspend myself into the air and catapult my way home!

Saturday, 17 April 2010


I think I'm stuck in Muscat! Well, probably anyway. Our flight is due to leave tomorrow night, but it doesn't look good.

Difficult to get news because it's a bit of a trek to the internet shop.

Anyway, off to a Souq tonight to buy more fabric! Gorgeous Sari silk that I'm going to make a patchwork out of. Can't wait to show you all - if I ever return to the UK that is!

At least I can start cutting out the fabric I suppose and pinning it together. It sounds like there will be lots of space to spread out at the airport!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

More Arabian News

It's certainly fabric heaven. We've spent so much time trailing the streets and shops looking for fabric to make up some garments. Some fantastic fabrics have been found, but you really have to sift through the tat to find the gems. The fun has been in the searching through endless little back streets in the swealtering heat. Eventually after going to endless 'Gents' Tailors, we found a Ladies Tailor and took the fabric there this morning. If it works out well I'm going to get some designs made up to sell in the UK, so watch this space...

Here are some pics from the supermarket and fabric shops. This is before I got chucked out of the supermarket for taking photos. He thought I was a store detective.

Off to an Omani/Pakistani restaurant tonight - all men in beautiful turbans, outside, heat, dust and delicious basic spicy food.

This keyboard doesn't do 't's very well - so I'm giving up now - it's oo much hard work!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Hurry I'm in Oman!

Well, I've found an internet place, hardly a cafe though. It's a tiny cubicle obviously made for little Bangladeshi men, because they're very tiny. But it's just big enough to squeeze my bum in which is going to get bigger over this holiday because the food is sooooo good.

This keypad doesn't work very well and it's just as well I learnt how to touch type on a manual typewriter all those years ago because I'm having to thump very very hard! Camilla is in the next cubicle and we keep being peeped at by little men through the window. They are finding us quite fascinating, or maybe it's just my style of over-the-top typing that more resembles playing something enthusiastically on the piano.

Yesterday we went to a fab haberdashery. I was in heaven and could have bought the whole shop.

Today we've been dumped in this shopping centre for a while because Christopher has a 'client' at home - he is a psycho therapist and not an male prostitute, as Camilla first thought. It's a bit of a modern centre really, but is air conditioned, so a welcome relief from the heat from outside. Being here is a little like being dragged from inside a chest freezer and being put into a tumble dryer on the highest setting.

I haven't taken photos yet, but will start taking some today. There are some wonderful sights and we're planning on buying fabric tomorrow - so I'll see what I can find to show you.

When we get back I'm going to teach Christopher how to make a pavola that we will take as a gift to our hosts of a Biryani evening - am very excited. It's being hosted by some of Christopher's friends, I'm not sure where or why but I'm sure the food will be authentic and I think the host is Pakistani with an Australian mix - so interesting cuisine!

I will keep you all posted when I can next get back to the internet.