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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

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Planet Penny

It's a bit hard to imagine how it's going when it's flat, but what if the cable were just at the sides leaving a plainer panel in the centre, maybe moss stitch or something similar, which would be more flattering over the tum. The wool is gorgeous! Good luck! Penny x


Vanessa, your paintings are just simply beautiful. I am no way near as experienced a knitter as you are so I'm sorry I can't give you a wise opinion on the cables, I do love the yarn though and am sure you will come up trumps with what you end up knitting (It's a real killer having to pull out all those hours of knitting though!) xox Penelope


I love seeing your lovely paintings Vanessa - they are just so pretty (an understatement! )It was so good to see so many of them on Monday's post. Goodness you've done a lot - what a good thing there are camera's so you don't have to miss them too much when they go to new homes. Your pictures today are stunning.

Isn't it good that we have always got the weather to talk about? The great thing is that it really is as changeable as you say - so it is never dull, that's for sure and now there is meant to be snow on its way!!

With your dress, I wonder if you could also have cables at the sides rather than in the middle/back. (I've just seen that Planet Penny also suggests that). I understand what you are saying about the smoothness of the stocking stitch next to the cables making them protrude (great cables though aren't they!). I see that cables all the way around would sort that out too - would it make it harder for the skirt to go out at the ends rather than inwards though? However, it is a bit sad to undo your lovely knitting. On the other hand if you keep going and decide its still not right, there will be even more to undo. Personally I would undo it if I wasn't happy because if you don't wear it, it would be even more of a waste of your hard work. It would be so annoying to have something beautiful sitting in my wardrobe that I didn't feel able to wear, so I think I would want to make changes that would make me feel happier and love my knitting, even though it means much more work. You haven't wasted it because you found out lots in the process! (that's the kind of thing I tell myself) and you can see how stunning it's going to look when you have got the fitting right. Perhaps cables also tighten the fabric a bit, as I'm not sure but does it lose elasticity in comparison to stocking stitch? if so - that might be why it is a little smaller than expected. I wish I could be more helpful regarding the composition of your dress but I am leagues behind you in my knitting know how; if you had seen me the last few days counting for dear life while trying to do a (simple) lace pattern (on 1 row only!) you would have laughed!


I've experienced weather like that, back home in Rochester, NY. Here in Tucson, the weather doesn't change much, but they still like to talk about it.

"It's hot."

"It's very hot."

"I think I might be on fire!"

"Wow, it's chilly and cloudy today. I finally get wear my sweater."

I love your paintings of the teacups with the roses.

I've ripped and re-ripped many a sweater that wasn't turning out quite right.


Love your painting Vanessa - the colours are so luscious and the subject matter so pretty.


I am loving the cables! Although, I am a bit of a cable-lover! The Rowan patterns are gorgeous. I so adore your paintings of tea-cups and roses! LOVELY!


Hope you've had fun at your knitting group, Vanessa, sorry I can't help on your knitting dilemma, (as a non-knitter ad very lapsed crocheter). I do know what you mean about the daylight/lack of it though. I am not finding the time to blog at the moment because by the time I think about taking photos, it's virtually dark and then I find it infuriating that they're so rubbish. However, I have solved the problem to shorter working hours by treating myself to a fab new lighting system in my den. I really felt like I'd tried (and struggled unsuccessfully with) everything, I had a handful of desk/floor lamps as well as an Ikea halogen ceiling thingy but when recently that blew for the second time and took the whole first floor lighting circuit with it, I'd had enough. I took the opportunity to ask the sparks' advice and have had a track with 5 mega spotlights fitted, just like he'd apparently recently fitted in a nearby shop. Sitting here now at nearly 11pm, I can tell you it is like a floodlit footy field. Well worth the initial outlay if not so pretty as the lamps!
Hope you're all fine and dandy.
Hen xxx


So sorry - forgot to say in my over zealous lighting post, that I love the painting of the teacups.
Hen xxx


Hola Vanessa,
All of them are very beautiful paintings, just adorable. This is my cup of tea! :o)
Here is very,very cold. guess you have to live in Canada to really know about the weather ;o)
Gloria x


Haven't been here in so long and goodness gracious you put us all to shame with your limitless creativity, productivity and patience! (I never say goodness gracious but it's entirely appropriate here!) Not to mention you do all these things WELL. AND you have time to photo it all AND leave us nice long blog posts. In short you are a marvel. And really can't wait to see your papier mache.

But mostly I wanted to say for my husband, he lived for twenty-five years in that mad weather and he's NEVER going back to it!!!!! That doesn't mean he's stopped complaining about weather at all however.

Surprised? No I didn't think so.

Cheers Vanessa to you and your lovely little family.


So so delicate and pretty that painting. Exquisitely so.

Alice and Raymond!!!

Beautiful paintings, loved the photo of the peonies in the cups too!!!
Vanessa, you truly are the goddess of knit and I am so impressed with the cables, they are pure art....
the pattern on the rowan jumper is gorgeous isn't it? It's like an ancient brick wall, I hope you make it eventually!
Lots of love and happy knitting to you


Hi, I think you're such a hard working person! It's amazing there is always something beautifully new in your blog.
Enjoy your weather


Hi Vanessa!,
I'm back in the land of blog and have spent a goodly amount of time catching up with yours. Just what I needed over a few miserable dark days, ah the colours...I just want to leap right inside your paint pot. Today we have glorious crisp sunshine, the golden sort, it's truly glorious, yet there is the threat of snow, more excitement to be had.

I loved your post that presented "Fanny" and I think it's right you should name her whatever you fancy, I have one now and I have called her Pixie Stick. It suits her.

Right off to make some quilted coasters before attacking a few bits and bobs with some spray paint...gosh I love feeling well, Hope you and yours are in fine fighting fettle too.

Much love x x x x


Your patience with re-knitting, pulling out, redesigning, never ceases to amaze me. By now, it would be in a bag in the cupboard, if it were me. Hope it turns out all right in the end.

Magic Cochin

Your cabbage roses in teacups are beautiful - wouldn't that make fabulous wrapping paper! or wallpaper!

I see your point about the cables and the colour. But the colour is gorgeous!!!

Golly you did gets lots of weather yesterday, didn't you! We live inland and tend to miss weather from the west and east and south and north - the clouds run out of weather by the time they get to us! But when we do get cold and snow it's extreme and sticks around! (Usually the last weekend in January.)

Today is so so cold - the sky has gone that tell-tale grey with a hint of mauve, I can almost smell snow...


1.15pm starting to get dark! uh-o!


love the paintings Vanessa, they are so beautiful and such lovely warm and bright and cheerful colours.

Know what you mean about the weather - my friend's in Yorkshire and she just sent me some pictures of them playing in the snow this morning - looks beautiful, but I am quite glad that we don't have any here (yet) with school runs to contend with and a rugby match to go to on Saturday - we are going to be so cold!!

Afraid I am completely lost on the knitting talk, so no advice here, but I'll look forward to seeing what you decide. It's heartbreaking to put so much time and .effort into something and then not be happy with it, but on the other hand, if you know you're not comfortable with it, there's no point going any further. Hope you figure out what to do, and hope you don't get too snowed in!


Vanessa, I completely agree with you about the power of natural light. I try to make the most of it on my days off, and always feel a little disappointed when one of those days off is grey and cloudy, if not downright wet. Like Today.
Your weather report was fabulous. The roses in teacups painting is a tour de force. Truly lovely!
And about those cables. I have recently knit and unraveled a long cabled scarf twice. It just wasn't going the way I wished. I very much like the idea of the diminishing-sized cables, and hope you can find a way to incorporate them into your dress. (Perhap the idea would work at the wrist edge of a sleeve...sort of a weighty bell effect? Or at the back of a jacket, from bottom edge up to a break just above the natural waist line, where some sort of other decorative stitching might come into play? Experimenting is really fun! xo


Hi Vanessa!
Here in the foothills of the Alps, we are probably less exposed than you, but it is pretty icy cold just now - I'd love for it to snow. But then it'd make me anxious that December/Christmas might be sunny, which always feels so wrong (and yes, it happens here!!). Our weather is changeable at this time of year - thick mists from the river and up over the hill to cover the lake, then it clears to crisp sunshine with views over to the mountains only to go grey, dull and wet, then dark: that was today...

Intrigued by your knitting. I can see what you're envisioning, but the cables are always going to pull the hem in like that, as they do on the Debbie Bliss pic, too. What about doing some garter, moss or something as a hem to "ground" it and give the width and weight you want and then gradually going into the broad cables as planned?
As for bulkiness, you could do a wide stocking stitch or ribbed waist panel with a view to wearing a waist-defining belt (wrappend leather?) with the dress before moving on up. I don't know if you're busty, but perhaps making the 3 cables into 9 smaller ones for the top half would work, they could meander a bit towards the shoulders, treelike, I suppose? Also, maybe this could be a tunic rather than a dress, as sleeves would make it really bulky... Well, just some ideas from me ;) have fun experimenting!

Liz in Missouri

Well - as usual, the paintings and the knitting are beautiful. As I was reading about the cables I was thinking how nice they would look on the side instead of of the front - and when I read the comments, I saw I wasn't the first to think so. I'd give it a try before I ripped too much out. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it will be lovely - besides - how can you miss with such pretty yarn?


Love paintings, weather and your superb knitting, so of course I loved this post! We are all wilting in hot, humid weather down here but wait, a thunderstorm is on its way!

ps I'm knitting still, but using Sirdar Soya Cotton ...


Love your paintings, these are so pretty. Looking forward to seeing your finished knitting.

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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