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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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« Fall. | Main | The striped dress! It's done! »


Anne Donald

I'm sorry that you felt that you had to delete your post, I thought it was fun, and showed how much effort people had made with their costumes - ah well, that's life. To happier things ... we were in Morpeth today (visiting my SIL) and it was miserable, to lovely to see your sunny photos. I had a tiny poodle, who would sit down and refuse to walk any further .... of course she was then picked up and carried. I knitted two rows last night, then realised I had made a mistake on the first one, so I will have to sort that out tonight!


Hi Vanessa
Lots of lovely sunshine and beautiful colours!
Just what I need on a miserable wet day - thank you. Can you remember where the garden was?? I adore walled gardens - I have a boundary wall around part of my veg patch and I would love more
Gill xx


What a great idea to have saved this post for an autumnal day!! It makes me long for Spring already. I understand all the romantic aspects about Autumn, but I do not like the arrival of the cold and dark days :(.
Enjoy your Wednesday night!


Just wanted to tell you that your Zombie post didn't offend me in the slightest! I'm really squeamish too but I took it in the fun light it was intended and it made me laugh. I know we are all different though and it is very sweet of you to take other people's sensibilities into account - hope they appreciate it. I only hope no one upset or offended you in what was said as you are always a very thoughtful person. As I sit here rain is trickling down the window, so it is lovely to be reminded of prettier days! Am enchanted by the little doggies as always - Douglas in his little bag and Ellie in the lavender bushes. So sweet. You went to some lovely places over the summer didn't you? As a teenager I had a little dog who was similarly reluctant - no bag though, we had to carry her in our arms. Then when it was time to go back home she would scamper back home at top speed. Have a nice knit and natter. I have to dig out that unfinished scarf from last year and just get on with it!

Alice @ Crochet with Raymond

Helloooooooooooooooooo Vanessa!!!
What a lovely post to read on a rainy miserable morning here in NZ!!! Ellie is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute.... and Douglas in the bag....
that's a shame you needed to delete the zombie post (I hope my comment about Hugo looking so dead didn't contribute to your feeling... it was meant to be a zombie compliment!!!) It was nice to see you both having fun in that post XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


I thought your Zombie post was really good fun! Anyway, there is nothing like your colourful uplifting photos to cheer us up on the grey, wet, miserable duvet south coat day xox thanks for sharing your little dogs too, they are adorable x


Thanks for taking us back to the summer again Vanessa, that was lovely!! :)
Vivienne x

Liz W

Such a pretty garden. When I was young I read "The Secret Garden" and ever since I've longed for such a place - quiet and serene. It looks like you found a good one. My own tiny, furry friend, Lucy (a Maltese) would have been happy to have kept Ellie company in the shade of the lavender. Thank you again, for sharing your day. I hope the rain lets up soon.
It's sunny and cool here in the mid-US. Perfect fall weather as far as I'm concerned. A sweater in the mornings and the air so fresh that it's a joy to be outside. Most of the summer here is swallowed in heat and humidity to the point of misery but now - NOW we move into the autumn and I just love it.
I thought the zombie photos were fun but I agree - there is no reason to keep something up that offends others. There's rarely, if ever, a good reason for that. Good on you for being sensitive to them.
Hope your evening goes well - can't wait to see the finished dress!


I really enjoyed this post, Vanessa. What a great idea to save up some of that summery garden loveliness to enjoy later in the year. I loved the flowers, the sunny roses round the door - all of it really - and seeing your two sweet little dogs!
Helen x


Your zombie post was one of your most original ones. I was amazed at how beautifully inventive people had been with their costumes, really putting some incredible effort into them. That's one thing about blogging that isn't that great; when you start feeling like you need to censor yourself (and... please note the irony, over a costumed party of all things!), because of your readers. Any day now and we'll end up with 'safe' ratings for blogs, as if we were all 5 year-olds. Back to unicorns and fairies Vanessa, what were you thinking?!


Such gorgeous pitures Vanessa. Good of you you take others' feelings into account, though I thought it looked fun x


Golly, what a beautiful garden, I do love gardens with walls and lovely gates like that, reminds me of the story I loved when I was little, "The Secret Garden". Thanks for the photos, they are superb quality, how I long for those June days again. Any post with the furry friends in is a fine post with me and of course, I loved seeing Douglas in his bag, too cute! Lady Ellie looks like she has it all under control though I have a sneaky suspicion that's cat mint she's sitting under, not lavender!
Shame about the zombie post, it must have taken a lot of time to write and photograph. Thank you for letting us know the reasons behind its removal. I think you're right, blogs are about sailing the middle ground, it's meant to be pleasurable after all!
Have a great weekend (I appear to be in weekend mode already, that'll be the wine order that just arrived!)
Love to you all, Hen xxx

Penny Peberdy

I don't think it's catmint or lavender, but Russian sage (Perovskia).

Incidentally I found the vampire post gory, but it didn't offend me, shame you had to delete it.


What absolutely gorgeous pictures Vanessa. The one with the roses round the door is just perfect.

I wasn't in the slightest bit offended by your zombie pics - I thought some of the costumes were a bit gross (wasn't that the point?) but not offensive.

Sue x

jane smallcombe

Loved your Zombie post and am disappointed that it has been deleted ;-(

Enjoy your knitting night!!!

Jane x


Fab photos Vanessa - love the door with roses around it especially and Douglas is so cheeky! It always makes me smile because my dad is called Douglas too!!

Rgarding the zombie post I agree with others that it is a sorry state of affairs when you have to remove it because of the minority. I thought it was brilliant - admittedly gory but thats what you would expect - I was hoping to look back on it at some point when I needed an idea for a fancy dress outfit because there were some very clever ideas. Just glad I did see it as its a shame but I can see why you felt you must remove it. Happy knitting!!


looks like a gorgeous garden to visit. sorry you felt you had to remove one of your posts, it's your blog after all...... xxx


Lovely summery post Vanessa - just perfect for such a frizzy-hair-drizzly kind of grey day.

Re your zombie post. I'll be honest, I wasn't that keen (it was the 'baby' picture that really spooked me) but this is your blog and I wouldn't have asked you to remove it - I would have just been glad when it had been resigned to 'yesterdays news'.

I do hope you're not feeling bad about it.



Lovely to see sunny pictures, it's been so grey here today. I laughed at Douglas - we've had lots of huge dogs so it's funny to see one that fits in a bag. Sorry about the zombie post, I deleted a post a little while ago because it seemed to irritate people but I couldn't work out why. Like you I thought it better to delete it.


What a magnificent post. Such beauty. Thanks for such a pleasant visit.


Dear Vanessa, this is my first comment, and I read you every week!
I wish I'd seen your zombie post. I bet it would have been fun.
I feel sad you have been made to feel uncomfortable, don't let it stop you posting, this blog is gorgeous and gives so much pleasure,thank you for all your lovely posts!


Vanessa, all of your posts are special, and it's grand to have a surprising topic every now and then. Do you mind if I knit ... or get into costume for a party? My answer is, no indeed!

I just cannot believe the beauty of those sprays of lavender in the June garden pix. Wow!

As always, best wishes to you. xo

Planet Penny

Hi Vanessa, I do hope mine wasn't one of the comments that made you remove the 'zombie' post. I seem to remember I said it was quite, quite horrible, but then I thought that was the point of the whole thing! Yes, the baby one was a bit freaky, although clever, but like Heather I was happy to let it become yesterday's news.
Anyway, I have really appreciated spending a June day in a garden with you and Hugo and the doggies, I did laugh at Douglas in the bag! Love Penny and Higgins x


Hi Vanessa from the rainy north west of England!
What a wonderful garden you visited in the summer. The lavender is gorgeous. Your dogs are so cute & i think Douglas has the right idea, smart dog.
Have you ever been to the Yorkshire Lavender Farm? It is beautiful.
Oh & fyi your Zombie blog did not offend me at all.
Take care
Love Carole from Rossendale xxxx

The Girl

People are ridiculous. It wasn't offensive. And if it was to them then they just don't need to read it or comment on it. I think it's a shame that people feel they have the right to make you feel bad like that. It's your blog and you can post whatever you like, I don't think you should be obliged to walk a middle ground or only post things that other people want to see. I also know how much freakin' time goes into whacking all those photos up and it's a shame it was wasted effort.

It gets me so riled up that I've come out of my usual position of lurker and commented.

I'd give my right arm to have a dog in a bag.

Magic Cochin

Oh, I'm slightly disappointed the zombie post has gone... but then again it's something I've done too (deleted a post I wasn't comfortable about with hindsight).

Love your doggy in the bag - how cute! And all that beautiful lavender blue cat-mint too! My cats would be on a catty-high in that garden ;-)


The Curious Cat

Just popped along to have a quick catch up - so much colour going on here! I love all your new creations and photos! I had come to comment on your zombie party - but where has that post gone to? Was it that long ago that I last checked in that I can no longer find it on the first page of your blog? Or am I not looking properly...ah no...just finished reading the above....ah I how did that offend people? I thought it looked great fun! Really wicked effort with the costumes - I am glad I saw it before it vanished! xxx


We are too easy to offend these days, I think. People should lighten up. OH WELL!

I can't believe Douglas stays in the bag! That has to be the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. I love his self-satisfied look too. :o)

Vintage Squirrel Katie

Ahhh, that's better, sunshine!! Thank you Vanessa. It was dreich here in Perthshire yesterday, rained all day and the river Tay was very high, thank goodness, as it has been so low all summer. Beautiful blue skies, not a cloud and blazing sunshine today!


As one of the people who found parts of the now-infamous Zombie post offensive I would like to say that I didn't ask Vanessa to remove it, nor was that my intention. However, I have the right to comment if I so wish, and just because it was negative - one of very few - doesn't invalidate it. I do not need to lighten up, I am not easily offended at my age either, but I felt, as someone who has been delighted by Douglas, enchanted by Ellie and left positive comments always in the past, I had to say how I felt about this one. So some of you think I should have kept quiet.... so you always want to see nice, positive comments. Not in the real world you won't....
And I can see Douglas has sussed you out... he is just gorgeous, but then you know I am in love with him....
We have clear blue skies, warm sunshine and are making the most of it for tomorrow it rains, apparently.
Well done Vanessa for being sensitive to others thoughts, but really, you had no need to delete the post just because of a few negatives.


...sure it's a happy smile...he looks so wonderful! like Ellie, too!
Thank you for this lovely post with beautiful photos!
Wishes Teje


lovely post Vanessa and so nice to see a bit of summer sunshine, what a great idea to post it now- we've had a very misty murky morning here so it's extra nice to see all that sunshine and brightness - almost forgot it exists. Sorry that the previous post seems to have created so much controversy, and I hope it's not left you feeling out of sorts or upset by any of the comments. For myself (in general, I didn't see the post in question) when commenting on a blog I stick with the "if you can''t say anything nice.." approach, unless the post specifically asks for opinions for or against, on the basis that it's someone else's blog, and therefore their right to write whatever they wish. Hope you had a good time at your Wednesday group, take care, much love Julie x

Jenni at Baame Kniits

What a lovely sunny post for a rainy old english day :-) Love that garden in the middle of nowhere by the looks of it....can't even imagine doing that to my garden, such a lot of work :-)


Well, it's grey and raining here outside of Washington DC and the weather folks say it may continue through the weekend. I dropped by to say that Jane Brocket has posted some photos on her blog that reminded me of your beautiful watercolors. Both posts (yours and hers) offered something beautiful to brighten up a dark day.

Liz T.

Just goes to show you can't please all of the people all of the time. But I'm glad I saw your zombie party post before it got deleted - I was amazed at how much effort everyone had put into their costumes.


What a clever idea to save some sunny day photos for a rainy day post. Hope the sleeves went well and you're ready to catch the bug for the next project to cast on.

Sharon Peters

Lovely sunny pics Vanessa. I, too, am saddened that you had to delete the Zombie post. I thought it was great fun and lots of people having fun. Nothing offensive at all. Hope you enjoyed your knitting evening. XX


I loved your zombie-post! I mean, I was eating a bowl of instant-tomato soup for lunch and kind of had to push it aside while reading the post, but it was fun! (I think it was the teeth. Those are some gross teeth. Really. Ew.) Shame you felt you had to take it down because it offended people.

And awww, the dogs are very cute! Looks like this was a fun day.


My first comment here, I've been visiting for a few weeks. Sorry about the Zombie post, but you are a lovely hostess here and do take care of your visitors! Love your colours, the entire blog is spring-like, although I am more of an autumn-coloured personality my eyes enjoy looking through your posts as much as reading them. It's a cool 10c here in Ontario, Canada after a brutal summer. I am enjoying the odd stormy day!


lovely the doggie

The Vintage Heart

Hi Vanessa, what a wonderful garden, so lovely to see the flowers and sun shine a real tonic on such a grey day. When I saw the adorable Douglas in his bag , It was alight bulb momment as my little jackrussel Flora wasnt well at all this week ( see my recent post) and as i had to take my other dog out Flora did a Douglas and went out in a cloth bag, she loved it, thanks for the idea!!! Linda x x


Vanessa, I am sorry you felt you had to delete your post, that certainly wasn't my intention when I commented. Anyway, love the photos of Douglas in the bag, aren't they good at communicating, even though they can't talk. I live with a cat, who is quite good at communicating her needs. Have a good weekend, and hopefully see you on Monday with another finished dress.


Loved the zombie post (love all your posts), those costumes were fabulous, it's too bad some people aren't able to simply avert their eyes.


What a beautiful garden. Where is it? It does look kinda familiar. Shame you felt you needed to remove a post, from what is YOUR blog! Especially as I hadn't read it yet!


Isn't Douglas gorgous? Ellie too of course.
Lovely to have some sunny pics to fall back on.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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