Friday, 30 September 2011

Northern Star Christmas Stocking

I wanted to make a stocking for H's first christmas, but I couldnt find an interesting pattern I liked, so I decided to make one up! I chose traditional green and red, and used a granny square motif. The stocking is made as two motifs, and then worked in the round, just like a sock. I had great fun decorating my fireplace for Christmas to take these photos when it's still only September!


The pattern is available at Ravelry and The Tree Bridge etsy store.

Peapod Soup Children's Clothing

Peapod Soup etsy store is now open! I decided to open a 2nd etsy shop, because I think people we getting confused between the crochet patterns available at The Tree Bridge, and with finished items. So now the tree bridge stocks patterns only, and Peapod Soup stocks colourful vintage-inspired childrens wear. Look out for colourful tank tops and retro christmas stockings soon!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Quite often I miss living in a city, I miss art and culture and shops and galleries. I miss the museum in Cardiff where I would go in my lunchtimes to look at the paintings. The town where I live is very small with not a lot going on.


So a couple of weeks ago we went to Salisbury for the day, as the international food festival was on. It's amazing how you can live near to somewhere but somehow never get around to going there. We spoke to people with American and Australian accents, like they had travelled around the world to come to Salsbury, but I've lived here for 5 years, and only ever driven through.


We went to the Catherdral where there were sculptures by Sean Henry. It was great fun going round the catherdral trying to spot them, after a while we didnt care about the historical gargoyles and architecture and things, we just wanted to take a picture of every single sculpture. They were so eeriliy realistic. There is also a copy of the Mappa Mundi there. Salisbury has a really nice feel to it, with lovely cafes and shops and interesting buildings.

The Sean Henry exhibition is on until 31st October.

Simple Pleasures

I think people can be divided into two categories, those who thrive on interaction with others, and those who get exhausted by it after a while. I'm definitely the latter. I like people for a couple of hours, and then I want to go and hide in the bath with a good book. I think its why I found school hard, you have to be around hundreds of people all day long, and there isnt much energy left for learning after that.

The best job I ever had was being a gardener, I could have my mp3 player on all day and just get on with my daily taks. At the same time, I worked in a fabric shop, and it was tiring talking to customers all day long. My husband could always tell which job I'd been to that day. If I was energized but calm, it was gardening, if I was exhausted and grumpy, it was the shop.

So now I get to be at home with H a lot. I love it! I've gradually come up with a routine so I get my housework done quickly (one room per day). It just makes me really happy doing quite mundane things like hanging H's nappies out to dry in the sun. Or rearranging the food cupboards. I think I was meant to be a housewife! Then in the afternoon we go for a walk or I do an hour of crocheting. I do go to baby groups and things, but sometimes its just lovely to just have time at home.

So my simple pleasures are:

Nappies drying in the sunshine

Organic veggies from the farmers market

and baking. Yum!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Blackberry & Apple Jam

It's definitely feeling more Autumnal here in Wiltshire, and there are plenty of berries in the hedgerows. I took H out blackberry picking, its such a nice feeling picking the abundant fruit, knowing its going to make enough jam to see us through the winter. People always stop to talk, and lots of kids stop to ask what I am doing.

Blackberry & Apple Jam

You will need:
Equal quantities of fruit to sugar.
For example, 3lb of blackberries, 1lb of apples to 4lb of sugar.
If you use crab or cooking apples, you wont need to use jam sugar, regular granulated sugar will be fine.
About 8 jam jars with lids
Cling film or waxed disks
Wash and sterilise the jars, either by putting them upside down in a warm oven for 20 minutes (about gas mark 4, 180 degrees) or use sterilising solution.
Wash and pick over the fruit. Peel and core the apples and put them all in a large saucepan, and heat until soft, about 30 minutes. At this point you can strain the fruit pulp to get rid of pips, but I don't usually bother.
Add the sugar and stir on a gentle heat until you reach the setting pojnt, this should take about 20 minutes. To check for setting, put a teaspoonful of the jam on a cold saucer, leave to cool for a few seconds, it should be jam-like and not runny. 
Pour the jam into the jars,m sela with waxed disks or clingfilm and put the lids on. 

Enjoy on toast, or my favourite is a big spoonful on my porridge.

happy hexagons blanket

My brother & his girlfriend are expecting a baby next month, they don't know what they are having but I know they like bright hippyish colours, so I made them a hexagonal blanket in yellows and using all sorts of scrap colours I had in my stash. I will be publishing the pattern in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Cornish Coast Baby Blanket - Free Crochet Pattern

I've been making a blanket for H, when he's out and about in his pushchair and car seat. I wanted it to be small enough to carry around, and made from acrylic yarn so it can be washed easily. I used Robin Picasso Chunky, and managed to get the whole blanket out of one ball.

Here's the pattern:

Cornish Coast Baby Blanket
UK crochet terminology.

You will need:
15mm / Q hook
10mm / P hook
1 x 100g ball Robin Picasso Chunky, (150m per ball) or equivalent yarn.

Approximately 6 sts x 7 rows over 4 x 4 inches, using 15mm hook.

Stitch Key
Ch = Chain                            
Dc = Double Crochet
*---* = Indicates a sequence of stitches to be repeated.

With 15mm hook, Ch 51. 
R1. Dc in 2nd ch from hook. *Ch1, skip next stitch, dc in next ch*. Repeat across to end of row. Dc in last ch. Ch1, turn.

R2.  Dc in 1st st. *Ch1, skip next stitch, dc in ch1 space.* Repeat across. Dc in last ch. Ch1, turn.


Repeat row 2 until there are 39 rows in total. Do not turn.

Using 10mm hook, work all the way round the 4 edges of the blanket, working 1dc in the end of each row, 1dc in each chain, 1dc in each dc. Slip stitch to join.

Fasten off. Sew in ends.

The USA version of the pattern is available free on Ravelry