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  • Would you like to award someone special a knitted rosette? See the pattern to knit one here!

  • Little Squares Scarf, (quick pattern).

  • Little Squares Scarf, (step-by-step pattern, with lots of step-by-step photos).

  • How to sew up crochet or knitting with an invisible stitch, step-by-step tutorial

  • Sisterhood Crochet Blanket pattern for square.

  • step-by-step pattern for Sisterhood Crochet Blanket square. Makes crocheting this pattern a doddle for beginners!

  • step-by-step tutorial for some basic crochet stitches

  • Tara's failsafe cup cake sponge recipe

  • knitted slipper pattern

blogs I read

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But your garden is beautiful! Amanda x


I agree the garden is stunning. I hope the dress works out for you in the end after all that hard work xx

The Vintage Heart

Hi Vanessa, your garden looks so similar too mine! i have loads of box and yew in mine and mine desperatly need a hair cut also,, but mine has take four years to join, must have planted too far apart, i am going to do a anoyher longer post on my garden this week take a look if you can! I really like the top stripey bit of your dress,interestedt to see what it looks like finished! bested wishes,Linda.

mlle paradis

yes your garden IS beautiful! and it's fun to see what you're up to with the dress. you have much more patience than i. i knitted a waistcoat years ago that came out wonky. never tried knitting clothes again. paint is so much more forgiving!

 Joyce Stewart

Yes, I once tried to unravel a pattern similar to that and it was a disaster which never saw the light of day was a learns the hard way.


Wow! You have stamina. I would have dropped the dress off in the nearest garbage can and moved on. Now you will have two lovely dresses for all your hard work. Can't wait to see them when you are finished.


wow! I love your garden it looks fabulous! Just need to catch a glimpse of your lovely dogs in there and all will be perfect :-).

Good luck with your knitting. I'm all in favour of going off-road if things don't suit me...just takes a little time but I'm sure it will be worth it.

best wishes!

Alice @ Crochet with Raymond

I am stunned by your ambition! I would have completely given up on the dress so I am looking forward very much to seeing how it turns out!!!! I saw it on the table in one of your photos from your holiday and wondered what those beautiful colours were going to be, mystery solved! Loved your post today :)


Gosh, I am in awe of you! To have the courage to cut the dress in half and then the knolwedge of how to proceed! Well, I take my hat off to you! You so deserve for these dresses to turn out well. I just can't wait to see the finished items! So glad you happy with how they going now.
Your garden is a dream. Perhaps in the autumn you will have time to give it a little trim. At least box grows slowly so it is quite forgiving if you leave it for a while.
Have a good weekend. Look forward to catching up with you next week. x

Janice Perkin

like everyone else I raise a glass to your stamina with the dress thing - well done - recyclely is the right thing - i just love the garden!


Can't wait to see how the dresses work out. (Perhaps you could bind the frayed edge with a knitted strip rather than reknit the whole panel). Garden looks very inviting to me.


Your garden looks lovely - it won't take long to give that box a haircut, when you are ready - Most important that you're in the clipping mood when you do it, cos gardens are meant to be enjoyed! So sorry the dress didn't work out the way you wanted - I've been following it's development, and I can't wait to see what you end up with (I'm so sure it'll be fab, though!) I think I'd have had a big hissy fit!


Your garden looks very inviting - I can't tell that it needs a haircut.

Your bravery in changing a knitted dress from something you don't like into two somethings you do like is inspiring! I, too, look forward to seeing what you do with the new ideas you have.


I'm impressed with your bravery with scissors. The problems you are having with the dress highlight why I don't knit things to wear myself. Knit is SO unforgiving over your perceived lumps and bumps etc and there is so much work involved before you find out the dreadful truth!
P x
PS I LOVE your garden!

Magic Cochin

Well done you - finding a way to love your knitting again. It could so easily have been put away in a bag and left half done. But you've told us about it on this blog, so someone would have said "That dress... ?"

Your garden is gorgeous, just as it should be. No-one should ever ever ever snip anything from their box topiary before The Derby (which was yesterday).


Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

Oh wow!! good are you! I agree very brave move! It is pretty disheartening to make something thinking it will be fantastic when its finished and then you try it on and it is just not right. Only the very brave ones would go ahead and wear it anyway and say who cares :-) Most of us would put it down to have another go later and there it would sit...Good on you!!


I had never heard of Struwwelpeter's hair, so off I went clicking on your link - what a good association! But gardens are meant to be a bit wild; hair we like a bit more tamed! Your garden can soon be sniped back into shape.
Such snippy snip adventures you are having with your dress - only for the brave hearted! (and fortune favours them we are told, so I'm sure it will all come out well). Your oceans of optimism are wonderful to behold and I know we are going to be looking at 1 if not 2 fantastic creations when you are finished. Nothing daunted nothing gained (or something like that). I really admire your attitude Vanessa and can't wait to see your new improved version. Lets face it, most of us would have burst into tears, had a hissy fit and thrown it, enraged into the bin after all our hard work! I love the fact you will not be defeated. And you know what, you have the skills and imagination to carry it off! Great tenacity and self will - can I have some?


I too am impressed that you took the scissors to your knitting, I'd have been more inclined to sulk than turn things round so positively. Your garden looks very pretty and interesting, no drastic action required there.


Your garden is so pretty, what a lovely place to live! I think you're very brave taking the scissors to your knitting but if something's not right with it then it'll be well worth the extra work in the end. I hope it goes well and we get to see your lovely results. :) x

Petit Filoux

Loving your executive decision to cut the dress!! Must have been very scary but if you're happy with it now, then it was worth it! Can't wait to see what the 2 dresses end up looking like!
You have such a pretty garden!! xx


Admire your bravery! I would have dumped the whole thing never venturing to do smth else with it. Good luck! Love your garden.


I love your blog and your colors! Always so cheerful! Come visit my blog...I have a present for you!


Wow Vanessa,
That was a brave thing to do, cutting your dress! What a shame after all that work. But i can`t wait to see your new finished dresses.
Do you know your garden looks lovely, all fresh and green.
Love Carole from Rossendale xxxxxx


Hi Vanessa - I can't believe you took to your knitting with the scissors - so brave. And I'm impressed that you can design something new (I just follow patterns to the letter), Good luck with the (now) 2 dress project.
The garden looks great (haircut or not) from my perspective of living in a 4th floor 'shoebox' with no balcony. Enjoy it for me.


Hi Vanessa, I think what you're doing to the dress is fantastic - and so much more exciting than following a pattern doggedly through to the end - especially when you know it's not going to work for you.
Can't wait to see the two finished items!
P x


That is how a garden should be. I bet there are a million creatures living there. I have a locust somewhere in mine. he's eating the runner bean leaves.


Your garden is rather wonderful! And I think the dress will be too.


Your garden is gorgeous-I've got a section of garden I've been umming and aahing over, and I think yours might give me some inspiration.Except that I don't have your beautiful artistic eye!


Just wanted to tell you I have included your blog in's challenge of 3 blogs I love :D hope you dont mind xxx


I think I would have thrown the whole thing on the floor and jumped on it! You are SO patient Vanessa, I am very impressed! And your garden looks lovely! Penny x


How wonderfully creative of you to have the bravery to cut up your dress....I'm sure I'd have just thrown up my hands in despair and given up!

I agree with previus comments - I love the "messiness" of your garden and think it's beautiful!

Jo x

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Hello and welcome!

  • Hello, my name is Vanessa Cabban, and I'm so pleased you've dropped by! I'm an artist and illustrator, working from home. I have two Miniature wire-haired Dachshunds, Ellie and Douglas. I love being part of the blogosphere, reading your comments, and feeling like I'm part of a community. I hope you enjoy reading about my small world.

Books I have illustrated!

  • The Best Gift of All

  • Book and dvd,(narrated by Kevin Whateley), of Bringing Down the Moon

  • There's a House Inside My Mummy

  • The Magic Donkey Ride

  • Down in the Woods at Sleepytime

  • Dear Tooth Fairy

  • Dear Mermaid

  • No Place Like Home

  • Diamond in the Snow

  • Bringing Down the Moon