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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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Hello Vanessa
I loved your pictures and your trip was wonderful! Everything is so beautiful!
Glad you're back to show your news in knitting.
A big kiss and good return!


What stunning photos. It's really looks as if you had a super time! Fantastic scenery and cats too!


We will be visiting the Lakes district in June and your gorgous photos have really whet my appetite. We visited there a few years ago and went to the bobbin mill, which as you say, was surprisingly interesting. Thanks for sharing your trip.

Estela Brandez

Hello Vanessa!
Two days ago I discovered your blog and am fascinated with what I found there! Your taste for nature, animals and knitting make me feel identified with you! (unfortunately no English (I asked for help from Mr Google.
Your last post on that dream cottage has impressed me is wonderful!
I'll keep reading!
See you soon!

Vintage Squirrel

Looks like you had a wonderful holiday. What a heavenly hideaway in a magnificent location. I would like to visit Hill Top but alas didn't manage last year on our short trip to the Lakes. Isn't Salts Mill fabulous? Like you it's too many years since we last visited... but my mother-in-law remembers it as a working mill, so it can't be that long ago! Love the Miss Marple photo but you'll have to wait another 40 years until you look convincing enough!!
Katie x


Oh some of my favourite places, and I've done knitting on that train too.

we have your latest book, but grandson has not seen it yet.


What a wonderful place, I've never been to the Lake District but it's on my 'places to visit' list!
What a brilliant house you stayed in too. :)
Vivienne x


I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Please go visit my blog to claim your award.

dutch sisters

What a wonderful post this is! Love your trip pictures!

Teresa Kasner

Dear Vanessa, I cannot tell you how wonderful that you are to share your visit to the Lake District with us - I descend from ancestors in England and Scotland and dream of visiting, but may never get to do so. So, you took me to where I dream of going. Thanks..

Hugs, Teresa


looks like a great trip. we went to the bobbin mills years ago, I agree it was fascinating.

That post must have taken ages to create? All those photo mosaics! But thank you, I feel like I've had a little trip away too.

Magic Cochin

What a lovely collection of photos! I'll have to pop back again to look at them properly :-)

I thought I spotted Miss Marple ;-)



It is so long since I visited those places, thanks for jogging the memory. The Lake District was our favourite place to holiday and I was lucky to grow up not far from it so that days out there were easy. Not so now I'm across country and down quite a ways!


Beautiful pictures! It looks like a fabulous holiday.


What an amazing place to stay - I think it's more the location than anything, it looks wonderful buried away in the woods. It must have been gorgeous to wake up there and then go outside to all that! You did so many things and went to so many places I can't remember them all! I do love your photo of the cuddled up sheep. Herdwick sheep look as if they are smiling (I think those are the ones). How lovely to get to hold one. Otters are gorgeous little things, I love them too. What a funny-faced little monkey that was; Marmosets are tiny aren't they? People must look like giants to them.I have a lovely biography about Beatrice Potter, she was very interesting! Love the steam train and the gorgeous scenery you passed through - so much to see and do, it all looks fabulous. Would love to visit the farm - all of it actually! Thanks so much for letting us share it all, it was lovely.

Judi A.

Thank you for taking me on a wonderful trip this morning. Now I can enjoy a hum-drum day. :-)


Vanessa, what magical places you all saw on your holiday! Magical because of their beauty, but also that they convey such a relaxed pace, although clearly you and Hugo did lots of short travels, too.

I love those photos of the luxuriant moss! Well, I actually love all the photos, and did a quick click to find out more about both holiday home companies. They are so different, yet both are very appealing.
You are a great travel guide! xo

Liz W in Missouri, USA

Long ago I bought a book about short tours in Britan. Soon afterwards, I got my passport with plans to make the trip. It's been 15 years now but I haven't given up yet. Beatrix Potter is another of my favorite people in the world and the work she did to preserve the land and the life in that beautiful countryside is amazing. I think she would have been a wonderful person to have known, don't you?
I'm so happy that you had such a lovely birthday week. Your photos are a joy, and your enthusiasm is really quit contageous. The otters remind me of a children's book - "Emit Otter's Jug Band Christmas".
Thank you, Vanessa, for allowing us to share your wonderful vacation.


Hello Vanessa! What a wonderful Lake District post! You stayed in an amazing house! And yes, I think we DID photograph the same lamb at BP's house! I also loved seeing your pics of the ferry, the Gondola and the otters - all of which we've seen in the past (but not on our trip last week). Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures, and I'll be going to the Bobbin Mill and the angora farm next time, I hope.
Have a lovely week. Helen x


Happy birthday Vanessa, glad you had a great holiday. We're off to the lakes in a few weeks & I have a couple of small people who will love the aquarium


I love all your photos! Sounds and looks like you had a heavenly time! Cx


Hello Vanessa: I discovered your blog a few months ago and I like it very much. Like you, I love animals (especially dogs), knitting, nature, photography. It's been a long time since you showed us pictures of your cute dogs. They are adorable. Cheerio from Argentina.

Alice and Raymond!!!

what a gorgeous post Vanessa! So much wonderfulness to see! I love that you went to Beatrix Potters house, it sounds so wonderful and yes, I love all of the things she did for the area she lived too, such inspiration for sure!
Looks like you had a fab time and thank you for sharing!


What a wonderful holiday you had!! So busy!
I'd like to go to the Lake District one day too to explore with the family. :)



Brilliant account of your trip and fantastic pictures. I've seen that 'shack' before and it looks great - one day 'll get to try it out for myself.
Can't wait to read more of your articles in future. Thanks for sharing!

Planet Penny

What a lovely holiday! Can't wait to show Tim, he went to prep school in the Lake District and is full of wonderful tales about it.
Sorry I missed your birthday but many happy returns, it sounds like a really special day. Lots of love Penny and Higgins xxx


Beautiful pictures! We were in kendal at the start of the month for a wedding & go to go on the gondola at Coniston too! Such a pretty area & hope to visit again soon!

Dawn Nelson

Oh, I want to go!!!!! Lovely pics. Thanks for sharing. Like you, I am a fan of Beatrix Potter - and not just for her artwork, but for the fact she had the balls to buy the farm in the Lake District and to do all that conservation. She was an inspiration. There's a wee town in Perthshire with a museum (it's fab) dedicated to her because apparently before the Lake District, her family holidayed there. Can't remember name of said town, but am sure if you Googled Beatrix Potter Museum, Scotland you'd find it. Dawn x

Teje & Nero

Dear Vanessa, Happy Birthday!!! Sorry I missed that, had too busy time.
Your story from your wonderful vacation is like a book! Full of most beautiful photos and lovely story! Thank you for that! That place you stayed looks like a dream!
Happy Easter to you and your family and lovely dogs! xxx Teje


wow...amazing trip!!! love the picture of you, knitting in the train... and the wool colors are so nice!!!!!

Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

Oh Vanessa you have just had my perfect holiday! Beatrix Potter's house, otters, lambs, marmosets and all those fabulous photos, all that colour and texture......Heaven!!

Kendal Self-Catering

That hammock looks difficult to get out of! :)

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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