peppermints & poppies

where life imitates art

The elusive purple poppy and other stories… June 28, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Crochet,Photography,Sewing — Katherine @ 5:03 pm


It’s poppy season again. The time of year our garden actually looks halfway decent as we have quite a healthy poppy population growing back there. But this year brought something different. A single purple poppy sprouted among the red ones. I made a mental note to take a photo of it when the baby was in bed. 15 minutes before she went upstairs, a rainstorm washed all the petals off.

I waited two weeks for the other bud to unfold and the SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN! What are the chances?! Obviously the purple poppy and our garden were not meant to be.

This morning I noticed the universe had arrived at a compromise, and a half red, half purple poppy had snuck up in the night.

In other news, there are two babies due within a week of each other at work, so I’ve been working on baby ripples.

Baby Ripple 1

One of the girls has found out the flavour (pink!) and one doesn’t want to know. I’m doing the girly one first, cause it’s easy, and allows me time to ponder unisex-but-still-interesting colours.

This yarn is new in at my local yarn shop and I am in love. It’s Katia Merino 100%, and it’s amazing. Soft, squooshy and machine washable! What else do you need in a baby yarn?


The other thing I’ve been working on is baby shoes. I got a big bag of leather scraps from my local mill shop, and they’re just right for making those soft slipper-type shoes. Even Phoebe, who at one point was militantly anti-shoe, will keep them on and had now started waving them at me and pointing to her feet.


I’m making a few up to sell after the lady in the cake shop round the corner saw them and got very overexcited. They sell handmade things in the shop, and she thinks they’ll do well. Everyone loves baby shoes, after all.


The ones I’ve made so far are a 6-12 month size, and I’ve given them leather or suede soles so little movers and shakers have a bit of grip. I’m planning to do some 0-6 month sizes in softer fabrics for less mobile, more delicate tiny babies, and also 12 month + sizes in slipper-type materials. Cute.

Speaking of little movers and shakers, our little one will be one on Friday. I’m not sure I can believe it.


waiting for spring… February 25, 2011

Filed under: Crochet — Katherine @ 11:38 am


Something odd has sprung up in the p&p household lately. Not one, but TWO lots of fresh flowers. It’s beginning to feel a lot like spring is hovering, just around the corner. It’s very, very welcome.

The daffs were a present from Heather when she visited us this weekend, and they have been cheering up my kitchen all week. They’re hanging out in a vase I fashioned out of an empty lasagna sauce jar and a flower pot because my other vase is occupied.

Green Valentine

Yep, that illustrates perfectly how often flowers make it into this house, that I only have one vase!

The orchids were my Valentine’s present. Red roses are all very well and good, but I’ve always had a soft spot for flowers that look a little like alien monsters. Mr p&p obviously knows me well! They’re on the way out now, but they have been making me think that maybe I should try to have flowers in the house more often. For the price of a bar of chocolate a week, a simple handful of daffs or tulips could be making the house a whole lot happier. I’ll give it a go.

In other news, Babette is growing. Slowly. It’s my background project, I do a little when I haven’t got anything else to do, so progress is limited, but it’s looking fab. I love the hodge-podge of colours – not my normal style at all!

Babette grows...

I noticed on my stats that there’s been a mini surge of visitors this week, since Heather linked to my blog from hers, so if you’re new here – hi! It always humbles me a little if people take the time to read a little bit about me and my tiny patch of the world, and even more if they take the time to leave a comment. So thank you. All of you x


conspicuous absence… January 29, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Crochet — Katherine @ 11:46 am

Sorry, I’ve been busy. Poor excuse, I know. I’ll try harder from now on.

Those who look at this blog from the site itself rather than through a reader may have noticed me tinkering about with the look of it. Don’t panic – it’s a work in progress!

While I’m tinkering, I thought I’d nip on to show you how many granny squares tall baby girl is now.

You may remember at 12 days old, she was a mere six squares:

Modelled Sunburst

By 9 weeks she had grown to seven:

9 weeks

At 3 months, she was stretching to eight:


And at 6 months, well, just take a look:

Off the scale

She’s 7 months next week, and I think we’re going to need to make a bigger blanket.


twenty eleven… January 1, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Crochet — Katherine @ 6:36 pm

...and a Happy New Year

…and a Happy New Year!!

What a year. I spent exactly half of it waiting, growing, stitching towards a goal, a tiny person born 6 months ago today. Happy half-birthday, Phoebe!

The other half, well, to say she changed my life would be an understatement. I have never in my life been so elated, so drained, so energised, so frustrated, so overjoyed, so tired, so sore, so proud, so sad, so fraught or so totally at peace, all at the same time. I have watched this tiny human, this little, fragile being get bigger and stronger and smarter by the day. I have watched her learn simple lessons, things we absolutely take for granted, like holding up her head, or reaching out her hands to grab something. I have heard her find her voice. I have seen her grow before my eyes.

At six months, she sits by herself, rolls off anything and everything, reaches very much further than you expect she can, says ‘ba-ba’, ‘ga-ga’ (music fan?), ‘ma-ba’ and ‘waa-waa’ (we’re still working on ‘mama’), giggles when you throw her in the air, tries to eat anything within reach. She is a person. She is my person.

Merry Christmas

It was a year of lots of things. Lots of change in lots of ways, and my hope is that this year will be very much calmer.

Increasingly active baby-frolics aside, of course.

Ho Ho Ho

My resolution for 2011? Keep calm, and carry on.

Happy New Year xx


new beginnings… December 14, 2010

Filed under: Crochet — Katherine @ 5:33 pm


So, the world’s most blanketed baby grows ever more blanketed.

Not a little baby sized blanket this time, though. Oh no. She has lots of lovely little blankets. This is going to be a big blanket. A big blanket just for her.

I’ve been flirting with the idea of making a Babette for a long time, but after spending approximately 56 years making Baby Granny Blanket, I needed to get some instant gratification type projects done. Now I’m rested, I’m revived, and I’m ready to go. Bring it on, Babette.


I’m using my go-to yarn for baby projects, Jarol Heritage DK. It’s cheap, soft, machine washable, and at 55% wool, it’s nice and cosy to boot. Best of all, a lot of the colours were in my stash already. Perfect.

Babette Begins

Beginnings are always very exciting, don’t you think?


the littlest critic… October 6, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Crochet — Katherine @ 8:58 pm


Time seems to be moving at a really rather alarming rate. One day your baby is 5 granny squares long, and almost before you have time to blink, she’s stretching to a whole 9 grannies. Yowsers.

And yes, I’m measuring my child’s height in units of crochet. That’s a bit sad, isn’t it. I’m ok with it.

Even so, my baby girl is still only 3 months old. So imagine my surprise when I look up one day to find her inspecting my handiwork.



I may have to wait a while before I can get her feedback on it.


emerging from the fog… September 1, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Crochet — Katherine @ 2:18 pm

Yesterday evening, a funny thing happened. The baby monitor went quiet. Not the bad kind of quiet, and we have one of those sensor mats so a light flashes every time the little one breathes (oh yes, I’m one of those neurotic kinds of mums), but the kind of quiet which means that it’s 8pm, and my baby girl is actually ASLEEP.

Then something even stranger happened. My crochet hook found its way back into my hand.

The thing that I didn’t realise about life with a newborn is how intense it is. How all-consuming the hapless routine I now find myself in. I consider the day relatively ordered if I find the time to pee more than once. And here I was, cotton in one hand, hook in the other, about to partake in some me-time.

Before I knew it, I’d crocheted a whole granny square. Then promptly decided that I think I’d prefer the yarn (Rico Essentials Cotton) knitted. Of course, a timely squeal from the baby monitor stopped the fetching of knitting needles in its tracks, but it was a start. A tentative toe back into the craft sea. An hour or so a night (so long as it’s not a bad night) of it just being me again.

We’re back in business, folks.