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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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I haven't even finished reading your post properly but I am so excited about how wonderful your dress is that I have to tell you right NOW! Wow those colours are working well together - you have pulled them all together so skilfully that they all just look made for each other - love how you have put in some of the bodice blue, it makes it all seamless as if the colour is somehow running through the whole thing, while only being seen at times. I think you are doing fabulous things with the orange, it looks right at home and I think you were definitely right to keep it. Love the bit that replaces the orange bit you ripped out and the complementary row after it. I've said it before but I will say it again - Vanessa you are very CLEVER! I know just what you mean about sari colours. A piece of art! Am off to finish reading the rest now. xx
p.s. Am glad I read the rest - Well done to Hugo for volunteering for such a heroic and worthwhile job. It's a fantastically brave and self-less thing to do and very much appreciated by many. Thank you Hugo!


Oh it's just lovely Vanessa! Colours are great and I just love those cables.
Well done to your hubby volunteering for the RNLI!!!
Have a great weekend :)
Vivienne x


That's the pure joy of knitting for me, the colour combinations, what fun you must be having with this pattern it looks gorgeous!xx


Vanessa, your Fair Isle is making me swoon. Almost as much as Mr Darcy. Emma x

Gorgeous Things

Nice 'n spicy colours - that dress is smokin'. I'm so pleased for you that it is looking so fab.
And a big thank you to Hugo from everyone in the Things household for his volunteering - we are so lucky to have the RNLI!

Alice @ Crochet with Raymond

yay I'm so glad to get my fair isle fix! It's looking quite wonderful and very magical to my no-so-talented-knitter's eyes! The cable at the top is amazing... flawless! Do you think you could do a cable tutorial one day??? :)


this is just stunning i love love those colours, and that cabling is the neatest i have ever seen lol x

Kate Bruning

EEEEEKkkk - I still have to put an order in for your books - we had Archie's medieval feast day as a big celebration to end the term and play and everything else slipped my mind. I love the dress - the orange makes it sing. I am going to have to give it a try at some stage - maybe something like that will get me out of my non-productive blagh. School holidays might help a little with that too. I have promised to teach Archie to sew and that often sends me into an orbit of new ideas. Take care, love Kate xxooxxooxx.

Planet Penny

That's just scrummy, Vanessa, love it P x


Ohhh, the dress is beautiful! You are so talented!


Hi Vanessa,
Oh the fair isle dress is coming along GREAT, i love it! Can`t wait to see it finished. The colours are f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s!!
Have a great weekend
Love Carole from Rossendale xxxxx


Looks beautiful! Love the unexpected color combo.


The colours and pattern look amazing! Sparkling indeed! Great job!

Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

Vanessa your dress is stunning!! Love the little dots of colour that you have added and what can I say about the is after all one of my favourite colours :-)

Hugo is very brave for jumping into the English sea....I bet it is freezing!

Have a great weekend Jen xx


It's coming along so beautifully, can't wait to see it finished. Haven't knitted fairisle for years, but it's very tempting when I see your wonderful creations.

Teresa Kasner

Vanessa - I love the Fair Isle - my question - is the dress for you, the baby-to-be, or a friend? I knitted a fair isle bag in primary colors many years ago and for the life of me I can't find it! I might just have to make a new one. I'm currently working on a granny square pillow cover ala Lucy - it's one big granny square. I'm using "Mission Falls 1824 Cotton" are you familiar with it? The colors are all amazing. I'm making it for our new 28 foot trailer - so it will look like some of those caravans in Lucy's blog. I love you both - you're my inspiration!!

Teresa in Corbett, Oregon - the Columbia River Gorge


Vanessa, Hoping that you do not get any speeding ticket and that you all will have a great weekend.

The fair isle skirt extension to your cabled dress top is coming along so beautifully. Yes, it's always fun when doing fair isle to discover just how much contrast is needed to keep the harmony from getting a bit too quiet...not boring, never boring.

I remember being quite pleased once when in the company of Kaffe you know who, when he complimented my including a pretty brisk yellow in the combination of an intarsia-harlequin-patterned sweater I was wearing. Yes...he was right. It did seem a jarring color at first, but as the rows accumulated, it became a needed accent.

Your dress is going to be super! Already wondering how you will finish the botton "hem" line. So many choices. xo


You should be so proud of yourself - you are such a talented knitter with a wonderful eye for colour - and so proud of Hugo for doing such a brave and selfless thing...
Jo xx

The Cuckoo

Beyond clever! How do you do it? Looking forward to your post tomorrow, go on show us a pic of Fanny in her new home! x

Janice Perkin

just back from a week at Seahouses - thanks so much for keeping the weather good - had a fantatic trip to the Farne Islands - love the dress - it is just so zingy! - please can I have A Father Christmas book and a mole book signed for Phoebe( I had my first grandaughter this March and always used you Father Christmas books when I was teaching because the children loved them and so did I!!!!!)

Porcupine Design

Very interested in your quest for a knitted dress. Its so inspirational tracking your creative thought processes to how you have arrived at the lovely fair isle dress you are now knitting. I am about to embark on a stripy babies jumper and have been inspired to alternate my stripes with fair isle. Do you suggest working on circular needles? Very lovely blog...keep posting.jx


Oh it's beautiful...i adore the colours. I wish it was mine!!


Dear Vanessa
Fair Isle forever I say! It looks so adorable, enjoy every stitch and drive carefully ... Barbara

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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