A Caravan Tote in Tokyo Train Ride


caravan tote and pouch caravan tote closer caravan tote collage caravan tote foxy caravan tote pouch


I’m saving my new Caravan Tote for next week’s trip away - because I love it.  I think it will be perfect for travelling, enough room for passports, travel documents and so on but not so huge that I’ll lose everything (I hope)……..I will have to take another carry-on bag, I don’t think I can travel with two wee ones without a fair amount of clobber (particularly since my nephew is prone to travel sickness – I’m hoping that if he’s sick we can direct it away from me as spare clothes for me, as well as them, would just be too much and rather more than the kitchen sink!).

Anyhow, my new bag is just perfect.  The pattern, by Anna Graham of Noodlehead, is such a good one.  It is well set out and easy to follow.  I stuck to it throughout with the exception of the pocket fastening – I spotted the little leather snaps on U-handbag and used them rather than metal snaps.  As is often the case with bags it was the gathering of supplies, preparation of pattern pieces, cutting and so on that took the time – once I had everything ready the sewing stage was pretty fast.

I wasn’t sure how my recycled handles would look – they were rescued from a basket bag I have had for years and which was on it’s last legs – I decided to give them a go and then change them if they didn’t look right.  But I like them, even though they don’t really match the pocket snap, and I like the fact that they have been given a new lease of life.

I’d definitely recommend the pattern.  Here’s some details::

Pattern:: Caravan Tote

Fabric Main:: Tokyo Train Ride Canvas – Train Ride in Dusky Pink – I think it is now out of stock at The Village Haberdashery where I bought it but is in stock at M is For Make

Fabric Secondary:: Mochi Canvas – Scattered in Natural – again out of stock at TVH but available at M is For Make

Fastenings::  magnetic snap – U-handbag, leather snap – U-handbag

Interfacing:: Sew Hot

Metal zips:: Laverzips

Knitting distraction :: Settler Shawl

settler shawl beginnings

drawstring project bag

little skein stitch marker

madelinetosh sock yarn rose and kelp

r shawl and stitch markers

Despite my best intentions not to succumb to knitting distractions I have completely fallen off the wagon and cast on a new shawl.  I still plan to work, mostly, on my Jokull – in fact I’m up to the hand openings.  I’ll need to concentrate a little for the next couple of rows while I set the openings in the correct place so I decided to make a start on my Settler Shawl just be sure I can get my head around it.

I’m off on a little jaunt with Katie and my nephew at the beginning of the Easter holidays and would like a portable project to take with me.  I’m hoping, once we get to my mum and dad’s out in South Africa, that I’ll have a little time to knit in the evenings…….I don’t think I’ll have any chance on the flight out with an excited 4 year old and 3 year old to keep a beady eye on……..in fact if I manage more than a few snatches of sleep in the 24 hours it takes to get there I will be very pleasantly surprised.  But, I’ll be coming home on my own – 24 hours to myself sounds like bliss, I do hope I have a peaceful person next to me! – leaving Katie and my nephew out with mum and dad for a few days.  Grannie and Grandy will bring them home when they make their annual trip north for our northern hemisphere spring and summer!

I have planned to make a Settler Shawl during this trip for quite a while now.  I also wondered about a Pebble Beach Shawlette but for some reason that I can’t now remember (perhaps simplicity) I decided to leave that for next time.  I chose Northbound Knitting Fingering in Sullen for my shawl – I think it wasn’t perhaps the best choice – Libby does suggest a plump yarn in the pattern notes and my limited yarn knowledge suggests that this isn’t what I’m working with, this may be why I’m finding it a little slippery and tricky to deal with (or it could just be my incompetence).  Anyhow, I’m sure I’ll end up with a pretty and wearable shawl (it is small enough that I think it’ll work well worn like a scarf which is what I’m aiming for) even if it isn’t perfectly knitted.

Probably I’ve been far too optimistic in thinking that I may finish this one before coming home but, just in case, I have just bought some delicious Madelinetosh Sock in Rose and Kelp to make Katie and Islay shawls of their own.  I’ll hopefully work on them over the summer when we’re out and about at times that I won’t be able to work on my Jokull.  I think the Tosh Sock may be a better choice for this project, it will be interesting to compare.

So, that’s me – distracted as usual.  I do have such good intentions but find it very hard to stick to them!  How about you, are you more disciplined?

Oh, and just in case you’re interested.  The beautiful little stitch markers came from Little Skein in the Big Wool and I made my project bag with this tutorial by Jeni of In Color Order (my first one but there’ll be more -it is a great wee pattern).


finn, islay, angus running  feb 2015katy's traveller bagcaravan tote ready to sew

rosemarkie beach islay and katie ladies walk cromarty home

garden plans 2015

Oh dear, I really didn’t intend to be away so long.  We’ve had a month filled with nasty bugs, lots of time off school and not quite enough sleep to keep me on an even keel, and lots of other things on the go too.  But I really miss popping in here so I thought I’d make a start by posting a few snapshots from the last month or so – and hopefully get back into the swing of things from now on.

A lot of our winter weekends have been dominated by cross country running (and rugby, but that still has a fair few more weeks to go – the last cross country race is tomorrow).  The boys absolutely love running and enjoy the thrill of competing. Islay is only just old enough to have started athletics club, which she is enjoying, and isn’t old enough to compete yet but our club arranged a ‘tiddlers’ race at their event in the North District series – she managed to overcome her nerves, take part and even have fun in what proved to be the most classic cross country weather of the winter………..driving wind, mud, ice, and sleet which turned to snow as the day went on.  We were all there and had such a good day out as we’re beginning to know more people – there was a lot of muddy washing at the end of the day!

I have squeezed in a fair but of sewing too.  Some of it secret unfortunately – you’ll get to see it eventually – but I can show my completed Traveller Bag (pattern by Katy at The Littlest Thistle).  I enjoyed the chance to use some gorgeous fabric and make a very practical bag which will be put to good use in a few weeks time. I have also finished a Caravan tote - this was a real indulgence…..I think it deserves a post of its own!

We have had so much wind, I think this is a windy part of the world but I get the impression it has been worse than usual recently.  Still, we have had some lovely walks including one with my brother and sister in law when they popped up for a visit.  We do so enjoy having people to stay.

And finally, but certainly not least, today it really feels as if spring is on the way.  I heard my first skylark last week, I’m seeing pairs of oystercatchers in the fields and there was a little warmth in the sun this afternoon.  I am very excited to have a garden to play with.  The garden is very raw, being a new-build house, and it is a little daunting to know where to start.  I’m trying not to overstretch myself – both in terms of time and ability.  Over last summer I dug a few beds at the front of the house, with the help of my parents, and I have started laying out the bones of the back garden  – we are so lucky to have much more space than most people do in a modern garden.  So far there is a row of raspberries (six each of three varieties for a good long season I hope), gooseberries, redcurrants and a blackcurrant and I have a couple of raised beds which were sown with a green manure over the winter.  My seeds have arrived, all from Sarah Raven as I had 20% off and decided to simplify things with just one order.  I’d love to play with heritage varieties at some stage but I don’t think this is the year for that.  Mum and dad’s Christmas present was a propagator and it will shortly be put to good use………let the growing commence!

Can you tell how excited I am about my garden?!  It is something I knew I missed in our last house, but luckily didn’t fully appreciated how much until we moved.  I’m so pleased to have my own space to play with and the children are still young enough to take it for granted that they’ll join in which is wonderful.

How about you?  How have things been?  Have you seen or heard many signs of spring yet?  I’m very much looking forward to catching up.