A new blog has arrived!

16 Nov

A quick update from me to let you know my brand new blog has arrived!

This Little Space of Mine is my little corner of the internet where I can share anything and everything. Essentially it’s a lifestyle blog and it’s my aim to combine my love and enjoyment of being at home and my love of being creative.

While this blog will remain, I’d love for you to pop over to my new blog.

You can read all the latest on This Little Space of Mine via Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin’ and even sign up to my monthly newsletter. Oh, and don’t forget you can find me on Pinterest and Instagram too.

Hope to see you there! In the meantime, here are a few photos from This Little Space of Mine – to entice you over. ;)

banana-toffee-pecan-loaf-2

styling-seasons-3

life-after-life-2

home-ideas-scrapbook-2

 

Moving on

1 Sep

It’s with a heavy heart that today I announce that Knit Me a Cake is no more. I’ve been playing around with different ideas and thoughts for a long time now, but ultimately I’ve come to the conclusion that Knit me a cake doesn’t work for me anymore. I began this blog two years ago and when I look back over that time, a lot has changed in my life. I’ve learnt a lot from this blog but I now feel it’s time to move on to a new challenge.

Blogging is something I still really enjoy, so I won’t be gone for long! I’m not quite sure when I’ll be back, but I plan to have a little break before opening a new space for my thoughts and ideas – a more honest reflection of me and where I am going. With a new month beginning, a new season beginning and a holiday at the end of the week I feel it’s a good time to end this chapter.

I have loved the last two years here and want to say a huge thank you to anyone who has tweeted me, liked my page, commented, tried out one of my ideas or given me a big hug when I’ve met them in real life. When I began blogging I had no idea that I could possibly make friends through this little space of mine. But I did and so I say to anyone thinking about starting a blog – get on and do it, you might just surprise yourself.

I’m not going anywhere though and you can still follow my adventures on my Instagram page and my new Twitter account. When my new adventure begins, I really hope to see you come along for the ride.

Leanne x

Friday thoughts – 29th August 2014

29 Aug

Here we go, I thought I’d give my Friday thoughts post another go. I’m going to keep it really short and sweet and share some links that I hope you’ll enjoy.

First up, do you like my new bag? My Mum saw it and thought of me – it’s perfect for storing a newly purchased yarn selection.

Knit me a cake - Friday thoughts

* How had I never heard of Wreck This Journal before? After Jo shared a page on Instagram I looked it up and felt all excited about doodling (plus it gave me ideas for Christmas presents!). If you’re a bit behind, like me, this Tumblr page will give you some insight.

* I’m going on holiday next week! Stu and I cannot wait to be spending some time in Lake Como and we’re not the only ones going away – my sister is off to Greece tomorrow, my Mum’s off to Mexico on Sunday and Dad’s going to Barcelona in a couple of weeks. Jetsetters, ey?

* I bought myself some dungarees. My sister hates them, some friends love them. I don’t care; they’re the comfiest piece of clothing I own!

* I cannot believe the Great British Bake Off witch hunt that’s going on. It’s a show about baking and people need to get some perspective. The front cover of The Sun today makes me angry. Does anyone else agree?

* I’m enjoying jotting down ideas for how to move Knit me a cake forward. I’m looking at a new design and scoping new content. I’ve been blogging for 2 years now and I feel that my blog needs to grow up with me. Do you have any thoughts on what you’d like to see more or less of? It can be tricky to work it out so I’d love to hear your ideas!

* If you haven’t done it in a while, organise to have lunch or dinner with a school friend. I met up with my friend Sophie this week and it was so nice to natter over the things going on in our life – it fills my soul and gives me perspective.

Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend? I’m off to a housewarming tomorrow and having some much needed lazy time knitting on Sunday.

Leanne x

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Margot pyjamas from Love at First Stitch

28 Aug

I’ve been in love with Tilly for ages now, since the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee and when Love at First Stitch came out I picked up a copy as soon as I could! In fact, it was at Blogtacular where I actually met her and had my book signed. Jojo and I were actually a little starstruck – is that a bit sad?!

Before you answer that, here’s how my living room floor looked last Saturday afternoon. Yes, that bag you see in the top left corner is yet more yarn – but I’ll come on to that another time (like I needed any more yarn!).  I’d been obsessing over Love at First Stitch for a while and decided that the best place to start was actually where Tilly tells us to – the beginning, with something ‘simple’. Her book is a wonder; seriously, if you’re new to this sewing malarky and need everything spelled out for you, this is the book for you. Tilly starts with the easiest of patterns and then moves on to the more complicated – learning bits and pieces as you go along as well as boosting your confidence. I love how Tilly gives you ideas for how each make could be customised and I like how projects are broken up by snippets of information and humorous notes – such as how to behave in a fabric shop!

Knit me a cake - Margot PJ bottoms from Love at First Stitch

So how did my Margot pyjama bottoms turn out? Excuse the photos – my boyfriend thought it was a good idea to take photos of me on our bed, since they’re pyjamas. I’m just not sure. :/ Anyways, here goes…

Knit me a cake - Margot PJ bottoms from Love at First Stitch

Knit me a cake - Margot PJ bottoms from Love at First Stitch

And finally, having a read of the latest issue of Mollie Makes.

Knit me a cake - Margot PJ bottoms from Love at First Stitch

Thank goodness for instructions. Has anyone ever made trousers before? I was completely baffled by the shape of the legs and how the two would sew together. Tilly’s tip about placing one leg inside the other was genius and thankfully, it all lined up perfectly!

So how did a sewing novice like me get on with this make? Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hit a few bumps in the road – but that was definitely due to my inexperience over anything else. ;) A few silly things I did -

* Cut out more pattern pieces than I needed to. The pattern sheets says ‘cut two’ so I did exactly that, when actually I was using folded fabric so only needed to pin and cut through both layers of fabric. Silly me!
* Somehow managed to get the sizing a teeny bit wrong – they’re a little tight around my waist and I’m not quite sure what I did. But they fit, and they’re comfy, so I’m happy.
* And saving the worst for last… I sewed together the entire waist, that’s right, so you couldn’t even get in them. I’m blaming that silly mishap on the fact that it was 11pm at night and I was starting to get tired! Thank goodness for seam unpickers. ;)

But hey, it’s all part of learning how to sew. Ultimately, yay – I made a piece of clothing all by myself!

Leanne x

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Make it Wednesday – Fruity!

27 Aug

How was your bank holiday weekend? The rain arrived in Surrey on Sunday evening and only left us last night – thank goodness!

So in this week’s Make it Wednesday I’ve taken on a fruity themed and shared four ideas with you that I hope you like as much as I do. I could’ve done a whole post on watermelons, to tell you the truth – when did they get so popular? I must have missed the memo on that. I also missed the memo about the popularity of loom bands, weaving and the ice bucket challenge (don’t get me started on that one). Anyway, let’s get crafting…

Make it Wednesday - fruity!

From left to right and right to left:

1. Fiber Flux – Summer strawberry applique. Oh the possibilities!

2. The People Shop – Fruity’licious melon purse. This would be an awesome summer/autumn accessory.

3. Make and Takes – Watermelon coasters. Because you’ll need to put your fruity drink on something. ;)

4. My Poppet – Fun fruit keyrings. Bring your keys and get some Hama beads back in your life.

Happy crafting!

Leanne x

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Sky blanket: July roundup

26 Aug

I’m officially past the half way mark on my sky blanket – hurrah! Here’s the moment I sewed the 8th July square. :)

Knit me a cake - July skyblanket round up

July was a great month in sky blanket land, lots of blues – almost a whole row of blue in fact. There were a lot of blues and whites, but a few solid colours managed to sneak in two. Gorgeous, I’m so happy with it. I took this picture outside, mainly to really capture just how blue some of July’s squares were.

Knit me a cake - July skyblanket round up

After a few house changes, my bed has moved and it’s making for a great place to take snaps of my blanket – you can really start to get a feel for how big it’s going to be. Excuse our mismatch bedside tables – we’re ‘making do’ for now. ;)

Knit me a cake - July skyblanket round up

And a close up:

Knit me a cake - July skyblanket round up

For you number bods, here are the numbers for July – for the first time ever this year, there were more blues (Cloud blue and Aster combined) then any other colour. Good work July!

* Light blue (Cloud blue): 20
* Bright blue (Aster): 8
* Dark grey (Grey): 0
* Light grey (Silver): 8
* White (White): 26

If you fancy catching up on the story so far, have a mooch over here to see how this blanket has grown since January.

Until next month…

Leanne x

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Sky blanket: how to knit a square

22 Aug

So I’ve been talking about my sky blanket since the beginning of the year, but have never explained how you can make one! Silly, silly me. This blanket has been a big part of my year so far, something I know I’m going to look back on remember with a smile on my face. I’ve loved seeing the blanket develop through the seasons, loved having people ask me what colour the square is for the day and enjoyed working in moss stitch and, as I’d hope, speed up my knitting skills as I knit square after square. Even when I’ve felt frustrated by how long it all takes, that feeling has quickly passed when I’ve seen my hard work take the shape of a super snuggly blanket.

Knit me a cake - Skyblanket in May

This is the first of a few posts I’m planning to walk you through each step of making a sky blanket – starting with how to knit a square. It’s made in 22 rows of moss stitch and two strands of yarn – which is really easy to pick up and get to grips with. I want to share the story of this blanket with you, but more so I want to encourage others to give it a go – setting yourself a challenge and ending a year of your life with something to grab onto to, cuddle and show off (with pride) in your home. Perhaps you’ll take on a different style to mine, I know I did when I look at my inspiration source – Laura from Bugs and Fishes. You could even crochet your blanket – there are so many options to adding to your own bit of uniqueness.

With that in mind, are there any specific tutorials you’d like to see, if you’re thinking about doing a sky blanket next year? I’m more than happy to share any tips/processes and already have a few posts in the pipeline, so watch this space!

On to the tutorial…

You’ll need:

* 6mm knitting needles
* Stylecraft Special DK in Cloud blue and White (or whichever square you happen to be knitting)
* Small pair of scissors

What you’ll learn:

* How to knit a sky blanket square.
* Working in moss stitch.
* Using two strands of yarn.
* Working in ‘larger’ knitting needles.

How to make it:

1. Start by casting on 16 stitches, with both strands of yarn.

Knit me a cake sky blanket: How to knit a square

2. The first row is made up of K1, P1 to the end.

Knit me a cake sky blanket: How to knit a square

Knit me a cake sky blanket: How to knit a square

3. The second row is made up of P1, K1 to the end. This will form the complete pattern. Those first two rows are the hardest bit of the square – it’s the bit where you’re just starting out and the tension can be too tight, or you’re simply missing the weight of the yarn. You’ll get there.

Knit me a cake sky blanket: How to knit a square

4. You’ll now need to repeat rows 1 and 2 10 more times – 22 rows in total. The picture below is how it’ll look 12 rows in. Gorgeous – I just love how the cloud effect really comes through. A little tip for you – If you happen to lose count just remember that each ‘bobble’ in the pattern represents two rows – so when you finish a square there will be 11 bobbles.

Knit me a cake sky blanket: How to knit a square

Knit me a cake sky blanket: How to knit a square

5. Your finished square will now look something like this. Oooo I love it – I love how neat it looks and I love the effect that two strands of yarn can so easily create. Now cast off all but the last stitch.

Knit me a cake sky blanket: How to knit a square

6. Cut the yarn (approximately twice the length of the square – for later sewing), thread the yarn through the remaining stitch and pull tightly.

Knit me a cake sky blanket: How to knit a square

And voila, one finished sky blanket square. You’ll now need to do this 364 times more. ;) Up for the challenge? Of course you are!

Or, this could easily be used for a different blanket, or made smaller, wider, longer etc. I’d imagine this pattern can be used in many ways; moss stitch, you are looking good.

Leanne x

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Make it Wednesday – Felt makes

20 Aug

Hello Wednesday! Is it me or does this week feel like it’s dragging a bit? Looking forward to a long weekend coming up. :)

On to Make it Wednesday… felt is one of those versatile materials that you can make so much from; in fact it’s an ideal material for new crafters and young crafters. That’s why this week I’ve taken on a felt theme. Enjoy!

Craft it Wednesday - felt makes

From left to right and right to left:

1. Jammy biscuit brooches – Bugs and Fishes. Turn your favourite biscuit into a cute accessory.

2. Felt beach hut photo – Beak Up Crafts. Bringing the seaside into your home. :)

3. Felt piggy banks – Dream a Little Bigger. Adorable. Could be a cute gift for a child.

4. Modular felt coasters – The Purl Bee. I want these and I want them now.

-

P.S. As this is my third Make it Wednesday post I’d love to get your thoughts – are you enjoying it? Could I do more? Are there any themes you’d like to see? Share your thoughts.

Happy crafting!

Leanne x

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A knitted newborn baby cardigan

19 Aug

Knit me a baby - newborn baby cardigan

As the baby boom continued (in my little social circle), a little while back I made this gorgeous newborn baby cardigan that I’m really excited to be sharing with you – for various reasons! First up it was a success, and secondly I really enjoyed making it and think it’s ideal for a knitting newbie. Now that baby Clementine has made her appearance, here’s how it was made…

You’ll need:

* 3.25mm knitting needles
* Stylecraft DK yarn in Lemon
* The Knitting Book (a staple book for any knitter!)
* Stitch holder
* Yarn needles
* Scissors
* One button

What you’ll learn:

* The beginnings of how to make clothing
* Working in garter and stocking stitch
* Casting on stitches in the middle of the pattern (for the arms)
* Using a stitch holder
* Sewing on a button

How to make it:

1. The pattern is really good for detailing how it’s made, but you’ll start with the back piece. Arguably the biggest part, this is made up of stocking stitch (after a couple of rows of garter stitch.

Knit me a baby - newborn baby cardigan

2. At the point where the arms are added in you’ll need to cast on some additional stitches over two rows. I was a little worried that I’d done it wrong at this point, but just stick with the instructions and all will be well.

3. You’ll now knit 30+ rows of garter stitch to make the back of the arms. I found this bit a little dull, so chuck on a good film or play some music to keep you going.

4. Half of your stitches will now end up on a stitch marker, and then you’ll shape one side of the neck and knit the rest of the arm. I loved this bit; so satisfying to see it come together.

Knit me a baby - newborn baby cardigan

5. The front section (remember, it’s all one piece – brilliant!) is made up of a few stitches of garter stitch (for the button edge) and then stocking stitch again.

6. You’ll then add back your stitches at the back of the arm and repeat steps 4 and 5. I was pleasantly surprised by how little time this took – the perfect make for a beginner in my eyes.

7. Now comes the sewing up part! I’d recommend using pins to keep the pieces in place and sew as close to the edge as you can – you don’t want a ‘bulky’ seam on the inside (I may have done this on first attempt, maybe).

8. Finally, add a little button and press the cardigan on a low heat. I had wanted to go for a contrasting button in bright pink but bottled it and went for yellow in the end! I did think about a white button, but needed more colour. :)

Knit me a baby - newborn baby cardigan

What’s next:

Make it again! I really recommend making it again if you’re looking to improve on your knitting skills. The pattern is straight forward and comes together really well. I gave my Nan the pattern and she’s made a few cardigans already; giving them to charities through the WI.

Knit me a baby - newborn baby cardigan

Congratulations Jesse and Ky, and welcome to the world baby Clementine!

Leanne x

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P.s. this was way more enjoyable than the previous cardigan I made!

Vintage knit – a book review

16 Aug

This month I was sent this delightful book and have been excited about sharing it with you ever since! Vintage Knit by Marine Malak with Geraldine Warner is a great addition to any intermediate or advanced knitters bookshelf and just flicking through the book I felt instantly inspired to make something from years gone by. Vintage Knit contains a range of vintage knitting, and some basic crochet patterns and aims to demonstrate how older styles can be revived and worn today. There are patterns from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s and the book cleverly features modern day sizing and uses easily accessible yarns.

Knit me a cake - Vintage knit - a book review

This book itself contains 25 projects – some are easy and some are more tricky; thankfully the book includes a difficulty rating and, while it’s not for those at the beginning of their knitting journey, anyone with a little bit of experience and a willingness to learn more will love this book. There are lots of details on methods and the different terminology and I enjoyed how the book is broken down into three key categories – accessories, sweaters and cardigans and gowns and skirts.

Something about this book that really stood out for me is the ‘oldy’ feel to it; it’s not super modern with bright (and sometimes garish) photography, but instead sticks to the vintage theme – even the pages have an ‘oldy’ texture to them. While I’m not a fan of some of the photographs of items on display, I enjoyed seeing a little snippet of information about the garment, with a picture from decades ago (see below). It feels authentic.

Knit me a cake - Vintage knit - a book review

Onto some of my favourite projects. First up, these ‘trim ankle socks’ which are made on two needles – right up my street and ideal for a knitter not ready to tackle double pointed needles. Plus, they look cute.

Knit me a cake - Vintage knit - a book review

The two-colour spot jersey really caught my eye, and surprisingly only has a two-star difficulty rating. I must mention that only this week did I spot a yellow/black trend for Autumn/Winter 2014 over on Oasis’ website. Get this in your life and you’ll be bang on trend (apparently!). The instructions for this, and all patterns in fact, are very clearly written out and in neat paragraphs. I struggle with ‘messy’ patterns, but I doubt you’ll lose your way with this pattern structure.

Knit me a cake - Vintage knit - a book review

I have so much admiration for anyone who can knit a dress, so I’ll end my review with a note about this pattern. This ‘Charming dress’ is just that, and the story tells us that this style is from the 1930s (time machine, please). It’s largely knitted in the round and features my favourite knitting texture, moss stitch. Unsurprisingly, this project is marked as 5 on the difficulty scale.

Knit me a cake - Vintage knit - a book review

What do you think? Fancy adding it to your crafty book selection? The book is released this Monday (18th August 2014) and can be picked up here. I think I’ll start with the trim ankle socks. :)

Please note that this book publisher sent me this book to review. I received no payment and all opinions are my own.

Leanne x

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