peppermints & poppies

where life imitates art

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


on babywearing… February 12, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Sewing — Katherine @ 12:50 pm

Things about parenthood I wish I’d known in advance, part 260: spending lots of money on an all-singing, all-dancing travel system is stupid, cause actually within a couple of weeks you’ll realise how restrictive a pushchair is (seriously, I have discovered maybe 10% of how hard day-to-day life must be for people in wheelchairs – what’s with all the random and unnecessary steps, world?), and abandon it in favour of a carrier.

Things about parenthood I wish I’d known in advance, part 261: spending lots of money on an all-singing, all-dancing carrier is stupid, cause you can make one yourself!


Back view

(I feel compelled to point out that the back straps are the same shape and size, they just look a little wonky cause of the way they’re sitting on the dressform).

I love Phoebe’s Manduca, but there are a few things I wish were different (narrower between her knees, more streamlined, straps easier to wear crossed), and after seeing all the beautiful mei tais all over the internet, I decided I could totally make one.



I settled on a basic design somewhere between a mei tai and a soft structured carrier. I like the lightweight and streamlined look of the mei tai, but I love my buckles, so I went down a buckle tai route.

A lot of carriers have sleeping hoods, but baby girl hates having it over her head, and doesn’t stay asleep long, so I fashioned a sleeping flap that would support her head while snoozing, but that could be folded and fastened out of the way the rest of the time.

Sleeping flap down

Sleeping flap up

It’s not perfect, the next time I’ll have a few alterations to make, but for a first attempt I’m pretty pleased. I took it for a test run round town yesterday and while the waist belt needs some work, the rest is really comfy, probably more so than the original! And Beebs seems to like it too:


I’m already planning my next attempt!


the yarn fairy… February 1, 2011

Filed under: Knitting — Katherine @ 5:45 pm

Legwarmies modelled

Shortly before Christmas, a little package landed on our doorstep. Well, more realistically (but much less poetically) shortly before Christmas a little package was unceremoniously rammed through our letterbox by the postman (who has broken said letterbox three times already and who I suspect may have underlying anger issues). Destruction of our front door aside, I opened the package to find two lovely little balls of Baby Cashmerino (phwoar) in deep pink and apple green (you may have noticed that I’m a bit obsessed with pink and green together for baby girl things). They were a present for me and the little one from the lovely Heather, and came along with a card which suggested they become a pair of Legwarmies.

I carry Beebs a lot in her Manduca, and her little legs poke out and get ever so cold, so legwarmers were a fab idea, and one I set about on at once!

Mmm, soft...

They’re lovely and soft, and have been a big hit around the baby group circuit! And they keep her little protuding limbs so lovely and toasty that I have immediately set about on her next pair, in self-striping and black sock yarn. Colourific!

Legwarmies II

Thank you, yarn fairy. We loved our present ❤


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?


well… December 6, 2010

Filed under: Photography — Katherine @ 5:22 pm


Remember last year when eight inches of snow fell in one day, and we feeble islanders were all in a kerfuffle about it?

The last day of November saw fourteen inches fall in one day. FOURTEEN. See?:


Now I snowboard, I’ve travelled, and I’m aware that in a lot of places fourteen inches of snow is a mere sprinkling, but over here this is a BIG DEAL. I heard on the radio that this is the worst December weather in our region since December 1981, and the worst single day of snow since some time in the 60s that I didn’t commit to memory cause I wasn’t even alive then.

And due to our driveway and the road out of our estate looking like this:


…(they’re both under there somewhere), we have been a weeny bit stranded. For a week. So I’ve got a good deal of knitting to show you. Just gotta wait for better light.