This is bat country


Life is messy PL Printables

Yep.  It is.  It feels like 2015 has been messy from the start.  Internet problems were surely the worst of it, but I keep throwing my back out, doing commonplace things (getting out of the car? really?) and then I had a cold, and then there have been other things that needed my attention that weren’t crafty…honestly, it’s all I can do to knit a little preemie cap in found time.

This printable sort of echos that.  I made two for a specific project, but the other one will come later.  This one I’ll share now.

I originally made just the set with the words.  But then I thought that the plain paint drips would be useful for journaling, or even as a small photo mat for any sort of messy, painty kid, room, etc. so I went ahead and created the sheet without the words as well.  And because I almost NEVER do 4 x 6 cards anymore, I did a couple of them as well – mostly because I really wanted a PINK one in the mix.


You can grab the three-page PDF here.

I wish I could say life has settled down, but it hasn’t.  We have a weekend of spring cleaning coming up, some Drs. appts for DD and some upcoming visits to prepare for.  I have something in the fall that needs attention and a fair amount of prep work and two more sets of visitors from across the pond.  I have a list of projects I want to do a mile long – I need to make notes on them or I will forget my grand plans LOL! The only thing I can be sure of is I am NOT missing the WOYWW crop, no matter what.    And I WILL be sharing the ATC backs for that (as well as an unbranded set for other than WOYWW swaps) probably next Weds.


A collection of Charity Beanies

As you may know I have followed Jan’s lead and joined in with the Baby Beanies charity, knitting beanies for Preemies.  I have a lot of small bits of yarn and this is perfect for using it up.   The smallest beanies use 9 to 15 oz of yarn (the cotton is heavier) for the knitted one with rolled brim.

But I am not a particularly fast knitter – I am a MUCH faster crocheter.  So I went looking for an “approved” crochet pattern.  After my experience with the Knockers I wanted to make sure I wasn’t wasting my time.  The organizer didn’t have a pattern but said she has had requests.  I figured this is something I can help with! so I went hunting for patterns to test, because you just don’t know till you try, right?

I found what I thought was a winner – a 10 minute, really simple pattern.  But when I tried it, there were issues.

The first issue is it has a very small crown and the sides come straight down.


Then there is a slip stitch edging that keeps the edges from stretching out.


So I set about tweaking the pattern to make it more like the knitted version.  I think I managed that but it took quite a few attempts to get it “right.” I will send them along and hope to get some feedback from the hospitals to say whether or not the pattern works for them – because that is the real test, isn’t it?


Simply varying the number of beginning stitches, and the hook size, gives slight variations in the sizing.  If it gets the OK then I will share it.  No point in sharing if it’s not usable, right?

But I will add the links to a few places I found and some good patterns.  They are all listed as preemie beanies.

One of the biggest selections of patterns is at Mama That Makes.  And this pattern is my favourite.  A little more time-consuming because of the ribbing, but so cute it’s worth it.


The hat on the left is this one.  Also ribbed.  The reason I looked at ribbed hats to begin with is the denser fabric.  As preemie beanies are meant to help keep the heat from escaping and help the babies regulate their temperature, I wanted a crocheted hat that wasn’t hole-y.  Most of them are, tho’, so I set that aside.  I mean, would 1000s or people be crocheting beanies if the “holes” were an issue?  Probably not. Similar issue, tho’ as the sides are quite straight – they SEEM stretchy because of the ribbing, but are they stretchy enough?

There seem to be two styles – one that is a circle crown with more or less straight sides or a continuous spiral, that increases slightly.  I didn’t test this one, and be warned, the site is littered with ads and not all the arrows mean what you think they do!  Click carefully.  I really hate that trick and tend to click away pronto….

This one is a gently increasing one, and probably my 2nd favourite.  The size can be adjusted by stopping the centre circle sooner, using finer yarn and a smaller hook, etc.  As all sorts of sizes are needed, and as this is hdc (htr in the UK) it is a bit denser than the dc (tr) versions.


I love the LOOK of this one but the there were so many instructions it sort of did my head in.  Seemed more like a choice for making something for someone you know and love, rather than for cranking out charity items where quality matters, but so does quantity!

This is by no means either ALL or the BEST versions, just the ones I looked at and wanted to try, that fit my own criteria (ie fast, easy, dense, even slightly re-sizeable or in different sizes) and where the end product seemed usable.  There is no doubt in my mind the knitted version is “finer” and the stitches tighter so the fabric more “solid” but I can make four crocheted beanies (maybe five)  in the time it takes me to knit one.

Are you a neonatal nurse?  Have experience of beanies?  Leave me a comment on the best patterns, knit v crochet, anything to help me focus my energies on the most useful version.

Now I have some WOYWW visits to return.  Yesterday the day got away from me, due to my aching back and some unavoidable stuff that needed attention.  And OMG my ATCs for the crop need attention too.  I have a lot more to make and time is slipping away….


WOYWW 305 – BIG changes…


Doesn’t look like BIG changes from this angle.  Just some of the beanies, ready to pop in the post.  I did a pile of the knitted version


and then went on a bit of a quest for a good crochet pattern.  I made up a number of them and will send the patterns along with the beanies so the organizer can see them.  She mentioned in her email a few knitters had asked for a crochet pattern and I thought it would be good to see how they work up – and how they fit.  There are so many versions out there! I love the ribbed beanies, they look so cute, but if they don’t fit, then what’s the point?


OK so the BIG change is that we got a new Smart TV.  Nothing wrong with the old one, 40″ screen, but with a wide bezel and heavy.  It fits my desk, so now my two screen set up is the rotated monitor and the TV.  I am sure yo can’t get any sense of exactly how big it is but however big you think, trust me it’s bigger.



If I hold up an A4 sheet of paper over that A4 image of yesterday’s printables, it doesn’t even cover it on the screen.  :)

So that’s my desk.  Let’s see yours.  Is it as messy?  I hope so – I do love a busy, beautiful messy desk.


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Printables – an experiment (big numbers again)

I changed my monitor and wanted to do a quick printable to see if the current set up will become a permanent one or not.  I’m still not convinced it’s going to work, for a lot of reasons.  That might be my “workdesk” for tomorrow!

Anyway, here they are.


Just the numbers from 1 to 10, in that nice big fat font, filled with dots of varying styles and colours.  Nice and bright.  I just noticed there is no purple!  Oh well, maybe the next set. There is a little room for a bit of journaling if you like. Grab them here.

I have had quite a few interesting days.  Started the holiday weekend not feeling great. Easter and our anniversary fell on the same day.  And I wrenched my back yesterday – possibly due to the upheaval of my desk.  I’ve been knitting and crocheting for the Baby Beanies charity collection (nice, cause such small projects can be worked on even when I am flat on my back) and been getting DD and DH ready for a BIG event today.  I’ve sent them off as pure Americans and they will return as dual-citizenship holders.  Now I just have to get off my butt and schedule the test myself.




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I got sidetracked yesterday.  Actually, a phrase used by the culprit, the one who sidetracked me, is “my butterfly mind.”  Oh I do love that, it fits perfectly.  My brain flits and flutters all over the place too.  I’ll explain.

In visiting WOYWW yesterday I landed at Jan’s (that’s LLJ, or Lunch Lady Jan, who caters the WOYWW crop) and saw the diddy little hats she was knitting for charity.  I mentioned I would hunt up the link, but before I could she linked in a comment (and probably lucky, too, as I got a good 20 or so visits to desks before following the link.)

The site is Baby Beanies. What they say:

Baby Beanies is a non profit organisation run solely on the dedication and support of it’s volunteers.

 Neonatal units across the UK are in constant need of knitted hats for the premature and poorly babies in their care. 

Premature babies are often unable to maintain their temperature by themselves and statistics show that simply by wearing a hat it helps them to regulate their temperature. In some cases this can be the difference between being allowed home or not!

Sounds like a worthy cause, and ideal because they suggest a 50gm ball of wool will make FOUR beanies and I have tons of bits of wool and cotton.  Plus they knit up fast.  I emailed to the CONTACT US address at 9:01 and by 9:06 I had the welcome pack and patterns.

Of course I had to convert the flat knitting pattern with a seam to one for circular needles, and one I made one and worked out how I needed to alter it to be able to do two at a time, I gave that a go.


When knitting ONE in the round it’s easy to slip a stitch from one needle to the other, when the decreases start, so you aren’t trying to K2Tog with one stitch on the front needle and one on the back. Magic Loop won’t allow that.  But tiny tweaks sorted it.


Just doing to rolled brim ones (I do HATE purling, but might do a ribbed brim a some point) and with 150 mm cables I can do three hats for sure, and might even be able to push it to four!

3beaniesOf course it takes a bit longer to complete a three hats – it isn’t really about saving time, it’s about seeing if I can.  You know me….

So I’ll aim to get a handful done, it’s great watching-TV knitting, since the tricky casting on is done and it’s just rows of knit for a while, then ship them off.  And maybe help a wee one get home sooner.  That would be nice.

And NOW I have a few WOYWW visits to return so will set down the needles for a bit and get them done!


WOYWW 304 – more ATC play

Hello WOYWWers!  I have finalized my design and in the midst of making.  Sadly, the crop has been cancelled this month (sort of expected, falling between Good Friday and Easter, but I finally cleared the decks and was 100% I could go, even if I had to leave early.  Oh well.) so I am working on them at home.


Much like my blog, the ATC incorporates a lot of different elements, including some at first handmade items (stamped then coloured) then scanned and made digital.  With the best will in the world I couldn’t get as many Ws cut from book pages as I would need to multiple ATCs LOL!

There will be an interactive element, and I may cut a few to assemble at the WOYWW crop, as they can stand alone (literally) without the ATC.

I asked a trusted fellow WOYWWer if she thought an ATC that wasn’t 100% hand crafted from beginning to end would be a disappointment and luckily she said she thought it would be fine.  Even with the glimpses here you aren’t getting the whole picture, so I’m not worried about spoiling the surprise.  Not that I ever have been. I’m not one to hide my ATC until it is received.  The “official” swap one will be hand crafted from beginning to end, if possible, and there will be different versions, depending on the masterboard background, so it might still be a surprise.

I am working on a design for the backs – as with past years, I’ll share those if anyone wants to use them.

But not today.  Today I am desk hopping till DD gets home from her last day of term. I’ll be popping round to yours soon, I imagine.  Hope you didn’t tidy up, I like a messy desk LOL!



Watercolour words, part 2 (project life cards)

The Easter set was all a little vintage. Don’t get me wrong, I really like them, but they aren’t my usual bright and bold style.  This is a another set I was playing with.  Grab it here.


If you go back the splatter set I did previously, you will see these are also simple two-word phrases in a similar more artsy style.  I imagine they could also work to add to a canvas or an art journal.



If you missed that set and like the look of it you can grab those here.

Otherwise, I am deep in the throes of my WOYWW 6th ATC design.  More about that tomorrow….




Perspective, perception, illusion – Printables

So I made a set of printables, and I’ll explain why later.



Just a handful of filler cards. Grab them here

Why, you may ask? I’ve had optical illusions on the brain since a strange thing happened.  I have been reading a bit about “that dress” and the issues surrounding why people perceive it to be one way or another. Initially when I saw the dress, I think I recall believing it was clearly white and gold.  Then I saw it on that linked site. It was Black and blue.

Clicked the link there. On the Buzzfeed poll I see (SAW) it clearly as white and gold.  Honestly.  I really and truly did. I grabbed the above image and added it, interested to see the two different colours in different shots. And when I went back to the Buzzfeed page to grab the image?  It was TOTALLY Black and blue.  I swear.  One minute I saw white and gold, the next I saw black and blue.

Now, no matter WHERE I see that dress I can ONLY see it as Black and Blue.  THAT is weird.  Far weirder to me then the initial debate over colour.  So I want to know.  Can you see one black and blue and one white and gold.  Do you see two different colours on the two different sites?  Have you ever been able to see both versions?

HOW did I see it one way on one site then another way on another, and what made it change between visits?? Over time will I eventually see it differently or has my brain been trained?

Comment and tell me your experiences with “that dress”  – is it just me or did you ever see it two different ways? I am SO curious…..





Easter Printables – Project life or traditional scrapbooking

I’ve been playing around with some images from The Graphics Fairy.  I just love the bird’s nests from there.  And some adorable rabbits from another site I like a lot.

I adore the Yearly Egg Account ledger.  It came from a weird site, and initially I used a fairly low res image but I found a better one – this is getting posted late i the day because I re-did them a number of times, tweaking this and that till I got it to where I wanted it to be.

Pretty vintage, rather than my more usual brights, but I had fun playing.  Hope you can use them.  Interesting to note that Hippity hoppin’ is in fact the right snippet from the song Here Comes Peter Cottontail, although Hippity Hoppety is included as well.

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin’ down the bunny trail
Hippity hoppin’, Easter’s on its way

Oh, here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin’ down the bunny trail
Hippity hoppity, Happy Easter Day

What I kept finding was Hippety Hoppety Easter’s on it’s way, combining the two.  I went with hoppin’ possibly just to be different! That’s me…


Just a single page – I decided the font minimized the boyishness of the blue, so just the one sheet. Grab it here.



Getting close now to the WOYWW 6th anniversary and as usual my mind turns towards the ATC for the swap and something to make for the crop, like the little pointy eared fellows from last year.  This time I wanted to have something that I could mail, and I think I cracked it.


The Cricut mat on the left has the template, created and sized for the ATC I have in mind.  I did in using a combination of an online” gift-card”  download, my Intaglio drawing program, my Cricut with SCAL and a LOT of trial and error.  I even found a use for the bajillion loom bands that litter the floor in every room of my house.  DD is still hopelessly addicted to making them.

I have a couple of experimental versions – and no, clicking the photo won’t make it bigger so you can get a better look!- some easier than others, but I am limited by the tools I own.  There is no way I am going to be able to make more than a handful. I have the structure of the ATC already sorted bit the design of it is a different matter.  I am loving my ATC displays and already thinking I need to make one specifically for the 6th.12landscapeATCdisplay

I still haven’t worked out the best way to make one that handles both portrait AND landscape ATCs in the same hanger…

Have a happy WOYWW day.  See you round at yours in a bit.


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