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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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Fabulous cardigan! I'd love to see a pattern for this.
Of course, you need that fabled 25th hour in the day, or maybe that 8th day in a week to squeeze everything in!


Great cardigan Vanessa but can I assume that you won't be knitting yourself any underwear from this wool???
Are you still sewing?? You haven't shown us any for a while!

Rattling On

I bought some of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's wool (well not his exactly...his sheep!)when I made a pilgrimage to his farm shop in Axminster. Dare I say it too is on the rough side and so I made a throw, which is beautiful in the undyed colours and very warm.


What a gorgeous pattern! Too bad about those pesky little hairs, but I have to admit, you wear layers very well. I'll be eager to see if you work the same pattern with a more skin-friendly yarn.

Coraline, already? You must knit in your sleep! Can't wait.


Vanessa that is seriously THE cardigan. As soon as I saw it I knew that was the one I wanted to make (after I have finished current blanket and scarf duties). I wouldn't change a thing. I was a bit sad when I found out that it isn't a pattern but that doesn't mean you should feel obliged to do it. I would love it if you did but only when you are good and ready. I think you could sell it in your shop.

I love how it looks on you and it is funny how fond I am of natural sheep colours when usually I like colourful things. Goes well with that skirt and leggings doesn't it? Great photos as usual - haven't got to the seaside this year and it makes me want to go! I just like that that is how it comes off the sheep and herdwick sheep are as you say very pretty, (they have smiley faces too). The colours and textures of the pattern go together perfectly. I wouldn't care about its scratchiness as it just looks so very nice. I like the idea of buying of the sheep farmer too.

Ms Premise-Conclusion

That is a seriously beautiful sweater! I just love how you made the sleeves a little bit shorter - it looks lovely with a long sleeve underneath. I guess the scratchiness is just another example of beauty before pain! ;)

Liz in Missouri (with Lucy)

Well - I think the sweater LOOKS great. But your description reminds me of a couple sweaters I made from Icelandic wool a few years ago. At the time it seemed fun to have a very "natural" wool with all kinds of little weeds and twigs in it, but in the end I bet I only wore it about 3 times. Between the sticks and the hairs, it also had to be worn over several layers and that was just waaaayyyyy to uncomfortable.
Regardless - the sweater is lovely - and so are Ellie and Douglas. Thanks for the Beatrix Potter links. Fun read.


One day you must treat yourself and knit a cashmere cardi!


Right... the whole thing with the little sticky white hair, that get everywhere if you forget your layers, sounds like torture, BUT... I bet your nice new cardigan is very very warm, which is really important as cold weather is only round the corner. Well, I love it - it's simple and nice in a simple way, if you know what I mean :)


I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw your post tonight. Your cardigan is lovely, I really like the colour.

Archie the wonder dog

It looks great but I'm wincing in sympathy at the ouchy wool - I'd be scratching within seconds!


Great story about the wool so perhaps it makes the prickles worth it?! I love your cardigan, it looks so comfy and wearable. x


The yarn is a beautiful shade and your photographs on the beach display the perfect coloured setting for your newest design: I LOVE it when colours marry like that.

A also enjoyed the tale of your yarn purchase, Vanessa.

What is your knitting group like? How many of you are there? Do you go regularly? I am hoping to set up a knitting group here in Tours as a friend of mine runs a pub (yes, a pub not a bar) in the town centre.

Vanessa, I am VERY timidly and quietly informing you that I am having a giveaway which I would dearly like you to have a chance to win: I honestly think the gifts are just up your street... or should I say, garden path.

Best wishes,



My husband and I are sheep farmers and I was surprised to hear about someone selling herdwick yarn as it is well known to be hard wearing but course, very good for carpets, not so good for jumpers! They are beautiful sheep and we've been talking about buying some for the kids as pets. It is a shame their wool isn't great as it is such pretty colours. The kids' other sheep are balwens (think little back welsh sheep) which is also not jumper making wool, but beautifully black.....


Another beauty Vanessa, you are one super duper speedy clickety clackety knitter! Wow, you churn 'em out alright ;0) It looks stunning but I must confess that you are braver than I when it comes t wearing anything that might itch/scratch/irritate/prickle me. Whenever I buy yarn I do the cheek test, if it rubs up soft against my cheek then I know I'll be able to wear it. I totally see why you love the colour and your pattern is to shed tears over. It's just sooooo beautiful. I have just finished knitting myself a cardy and I love love knitting from the top down and the cntrats of st stitch to garter is gorgeeeeoooouuuusss. I think when it's super sonically cold mid-winter you will be grateful for a few wiry white hairs (hee hee). Thank you once again for such a delightful post xox Penelope xxx


ps. A pattern would be divine xox


Gorgeous cardigan Vanessa, I love the shape!
A pattern would be lovely. :)
Vivienne x

Liz A.

Hi Vanessa,

Yes, Herdwick is definitely not a soft yarn but your cardigan looks great. I'd knit one if you wrote up the pattern.

Susan young

Love your Cardy... was brought up with Itchy scratchy wools so know what you mean...a whole generation didn't like home knitting becos of it.I'm knitting banana Bed socks for my partners Rest Home idea and hopefully one they'll like..though the Blog I got pattern from said she'd knitted several for Residents where she worked and one Darling after several weeks wearing them threw them at her saying "you knitted two left feet !" She added I see shes wearing them this winter and I haven't said a thing...Love it! As always xx from NZ.


You are very brave wearing a scratchy cardi.


Lovely Vanessa, and in all truth, much nicer than the stripey Annabel one. Shame the yarn is a bit scratchy, maybe it can be your proverbial "hair shirt"?! Loving that big furry ginger with his pink bean-paws.
Hen x


You have the loveliest of souls. I enjoy your posts and projects so very much, Vanessa. The cardigan is just beautiful.


V. good cardi indeed.I have a Herdwick scarf I bought many years ago,love it,gorgeous subtle colour and texture, but yes, just a teensy bit you knit at warp speed?


Great reveal - thank you. Pity it's scratchy - but you'd never know from the photos! :) I love your style.


I like it a lot, shame it's itchy but layers are in.

Sandi Lee

Oh I love it too, such a shame it is owie! I love what you are wearing with it too. You have been very busy.
x Sandi


i do love the colour Vanessa! L*O*V*E THE NATURAL WOOL...
i looked up the info- thanx for sharing...
i always enjoy your photo shoots down on the beach- such fun!
my twinny is just like you a very keen knitter, she's made a polka dot & stripy cardigan- but she said it makes her itchy/tiggly whenever she puts it on- but it looks beautiful as its egg blue, white and red!...have a lovely week x

Crochet with Raymond

Love it Vanessa! it is just gorgeous and I would so love the patter ha ha but I'm sure many people are saying that!
You have just inspired me to go and start my very first cardigan... I got the pattern yesterday and have the yarn so I'm going to do it! Tonight!
Thank you,
love ALice XXX


It's beautiful but I know what you mean - it would be a two scarf yarn, for the itching round the neckline for me.

Magic Cochin

What a lovely practical cardie shape - just right for the studio! nice and warm around the shoulders and back and shorter sleeves so you don't need to keep pushing them back when you're making/painting.

O think your Lake District prickly cardi should be called "The Tiggywinkle Cardie"



Gorgeous, gorgeous cardigan ... but would you be very offended if I admit to having paid more attention there to darling Ellie and dashing Douglas than to the knitting ;D


Love the cardigan, Vanessa. Great boxy shape.

Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

Yes you have been busy! I love all the photos of the beach and you and the dogs....too cute. Its a lovely cardi and a beautiful colour pity about the scratchy bits. I'm looking forward to seeing your Coraline :-)


Hi Vanessa,
I think your new cardi is lovely, mind you when you said Herdwick yarn i thought brave girl lol! But never the less it is a lovely design and it will be toasty and warm for autumn & winter. Layers are good, lol!
I`m busy with Bob Marley this am, i`m Jammin` lol! A friend gave me some more plums! I`ve made 12lbs already & i think there will be another 5lbs!. I think i`ll take a stall on Rawtenstall Market?!
Lovely post as ever, take care.
Love Carole from Rossendale xxx

Planet Penny

Great pattern, but I do sympathise about the scratchiness, I hate scratchy wool! Love the way it accessorises so well with wire haired dachshunds!


A lovely cardigan, in such a soft shade and delightful subtle and textured. You look lovely in these pictures too...but what a shame the wool is a bit scratchy!!! I am knitting a new cardigan too, in fact I've been doing a bit of it while reading blogs (obviously not while typing comments though!) Have a lovely afternoon, Vanessa, and thank you for the knitting inspiration.
Helen x

Vicki K

The styling of your cardigan is so pretty and looks so great with what you are wearing! Hopefully all the prickly hairs will eventually work their way out and leave you in soft wooly heaven!


You are on one of my all time favourite beaches, *sigh* beautiful (if a little hairy!)cardigan. I suspect it will always keep a few guard hairs - sadly the nature of that wool, but don't let that put you off wearing it, just keep on adding a few under layers, looks too good not to have it on :)


I just love that cardi!


I L.O.V.E this cardigan, Vanessa!! It´s a fabulous pattern!! I´d love if you decided share it with us! And the colour is just great! I totally agree you should knit another one, without annoying hairs... :)
Love your blog!


That's a good looking cardigan and looks very practical and hardwearing too! I've yet to find a yarn that won't pill or bobble after a while. I'm also on the hunt for something soft. Too much to ask...hmmm maybe!xx


the most perfect cardigan ... and gorgeous photos too!
happy knitting and sewing, Vanessa! xx


Oh you are a clever lady..I LOOOOVE that cardi. Get the pattern written up and get it on Ravelry (are you on Ravelry?). I promise to knit it.

Teje & Nero

Hi Vanessa! I just adore this cardigan and want to make similar! I enjoy always seeing your knittings and other works and of course your sweet dogs!
xxx Teje


What a beautiful design, lovely colour too. I once knit a cardigan in mohair and it drove me mad! Several years later - I made a lining out of fleece, now it gets worn and it is toasty warm too.
Carol xx


It's a great design, well done. Hopefully one day it'll be cosy warm AND itch free!

gris fleur

I was amazed to read your post today ! We went to Lake district end of June and we were staying 5 min away for her " paradise". Don't worry I got lost too going to her farm. I manage to buy a lot ( even though she had already packed to attend a wool fair ).I bought also the goat yarn , so beautiful that so far I'm only spending my time cuddling the skeins.... I loooooove your cardigan. PLEEEEEEASE !Would you do a pattern of it ? But do you have enough days in the year to wear all your knitting ? :)

Niki Jackson

What a gorgeous cardigan, I do hope you publish the pattern, I would love to make it. Niki x

M. Bell-Ferguson

hello. i just came across your blog through pinterest and I love it! Your words and creations are wonderful! Your dogs, are so cute! We have a wire haired blend - believe she's got terrier mixed and is solid black, with a hint of white around the mouth. I envy your environment! We have luscious green space in Atlanta, GA - but your home is dreamy....that is all. thank you!

Kirsty Brown

Oh my gosh - your cardi is lovely. Its a similar pattern to something I'm knitting right now but I would love you to write up your pattern (no pressure then!)

There are almost too many health benefits through the use of a hot tub can be hot tub 98 degrees pregnant brought inside the house.

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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