A yarny HUG in 2017

A yarny HUG or Happy Unexpected Gift. 

A new project launched here at the nest which will run over the course of 2017.  Aiming to distribute love, joy and hope at random through yarny little gifts.


I will post more about this over the coming weeks.

There will be the chance to join me if you wish,

Take it, embrace it and be a part of it!



Homemade Christmas Damson Gin…

If you are new to these parts and are thinking…great! last minute homemade Christmas present then you may be disappointed, BUT you are very welcome here though and I may suggest how to cheat at the end, which might just get you out of that last minute hole. 

This process commenced way back in August

making damson gin...
making damson gin…

I have been really very disciplined and I have been gently shaking the gin each week and more importantly (and amazingly) I have not drunk any…if I did it would have been purely for quality control purposes!!! 

So today was the day to open and taste and Oh Joy…it is absolutely gorgeous, the type of sticky, sweet alcoholic gorgeous that one would expect when drinking a damson gin…the type that warms you from the inside. 

With a little bit of help from my brewing genius brother I sterilised my newly purchased gin bottles and began to fill them up. 

Brewers sterilising fluid…

Sterilised bottles ready to fill…
x5 lovely bottles of Damson Gin
x5 lovely bottles of Damson Gin

With the addition of a cute little cork heart they are going to make a lovely Christmas stocking filler don’t you think?

detail added with a sharpie…
a perfect stocking filler…or tipple for Santa!

Ok, so I said I would help you out of that last minute hole.  You could buy some bottles, sterilise them, add purchased alcoholic beverage and add a cute little label, but only if you promise to be more organised next year and make your own!!!




Hooking al fresco…

I have been so blessed to escape life for one whole week and kick back with the Robins clan…

WP_20160813_20_14_23_ProThe weather was more than kind to us, we even braved the sea for a session of body boarding!  That in itself may not seem that amazing, but if I tell you that the only water that Mama Robins likes is of the hot and bubbly variety…body boarding in the sea was a small miracle (it was so much fun too!).

InstagramCapture_4cd5d3ea-d57d-47ed-8631-cfc17f410c9bOf course I got some hooking in; mostly on the go.  Instead of taking a mammoth project like I usually do, I took just one hook and a single ball of yarn.  I didn’t even take a pattern and made it up as I went…


The yarn was the hank I had won a few months ago all the way from South Africa from Joey over at her fabulous blog, Littleblackdog, which you can read about here.

InstagramCapture_d6cd7a58-1408-4400-99e6-4f8c05f068f5The freedom of just one hook and a little bit of yarn meant I hooked every where…beach hooky….pool side hooky…farm hooky…

WP_20160817_19_35_55_ProI met the coolest sheep too, just take a look at him.

WP_20160820_15_21_49_ProBut I think the most yarniest place we visited was this place…

WP_20160818_12_59_15_ProClovelly…a tiny village of quaint cottages that seemed to tumble down into the harbour.  The cobbled street is so steep that it is unsuitable for vehicles and can only be accessed on foot or by donkey.  To stay overnight at the cutest bed and breakfast, your belongings are transported from the car park at the top to your accommodation by sledge…yes, I said sledge!!

WP_20160818_14_49_01_ProThe steep journey down is rewarded with an 18th Century harbour which the boy Robins loved. Taking much delight in hurling rocks into the sea with a catapult!

WP_20160818_13_15_27_ProWP_20160818_13_26_11_ProBut, I digress slightly…yes, it is a yarny place.  On the way down I discovered this beautiful doorway

WP_20160818_13_11_31_ProAnd this little cottage with a yarny roof


And a yarn bombed lamp post

WP_20160818_15_08_51_ProAnd of course I did a bit of my own hooking.


Hooking al fresco has proved quite satisfying indeed.




A Yarny Giveaway…

Yes, that’s right I’m having a little yarny giveaway here at the Nest.  The purpose for such frivolity I hear you ask?

Well, it is a belated celebration of my 2 year blogging anniversary; which was actually back in June.  Whilst I was aware this occasion had come and gone, life was a little too hectic to mark the occasion.  So, I parked the celebration temporarily and am now ready with a little yarny give-a-way.


This year has been frantic and I want to thank  all of my regular readers for being patient with me along this journey and for all of your cheering on! It has really helped me and if you’re relatively new around here consider it a welcome. 

So before I get to the give-a-way, I thought I would just highlight some of my favourite posts from the last 12 months.

 100 patch granny
100 patch granny

The 100 patch granny blanket…

blog post here

joining tutorial here

wpid-dsc_0621.jpgA hooky bake off

WP_20160127_09_29_27_SmartThe world’s smallest library

wp_20160217_21_40_10_proA yarny little leaf pattern



Robins nest square pattern

I love a little look back, don’t you?

So Give-a-way time…cue the party poppers!!! It’s easy to enter and is open to all.  The prize to covet is this…

WP_20160729_19_28_04_ProA gorgeous hank of beautifully soft baby alpaca wool in Lichen by Louisa Harding; which has an added touch of sparkle with a fine gold metallic thread. 

glorious alpaca yarn
glorious alpaca yarn



alpaca yarn

This yarn is gorgeous, I hooked with it a while ago…remember?

lightweight glamour...
lightweight glamour…

So the entry rules are simple.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment below.  If you are reading this on facebook then like the page and leave a comment also.  Simples!  Closing date for entries is 22nd August 2016.


Robin’s nest square


   How can x2 part completed quilts just get mislaid????  That is the question I am pondering this week.  Several years ago I started on two lovely quilts and I cant find them anywhere.  However I did find this…


A square I hooked several years ago… along with my scribbled notes on the pattern.  So I hooked up a new one and thought I’d share.  

As always I’m using English crochet terminology.

Ch – chain

Slst – slip stitch

dc – double crochet  

tr – treble crochet  

ch3 – counts as a treble unless otherwise stated.  

I’m using drops muskat cotton 


and I’m using the colours listed below


old pink


vanilla yellow

dark orange

sky blue

apple green

and a 4mm crochet hook. This lovely yarny square measures 7″ x 7″ or 18cm x 18cm once blocked.  To download a pdf version click here, otherwise full instructions are below. 

So here goes…

ch2, join with ss to form a tiny ring


Row 1: ch3,


11tr into ring,


join blue yarn and  slst into 3rd ch

(12tr in total).


Row 2: ch3,


1tr in same space, ch1


2tr in next st, ch1


*2tr in next st, ch1*, repeat * * x10 times,


slst into 3rd ch

(12 clusters of 2tr).

Row 3: join white yarn in any ch space, ch3,


2tr in same sp, ch1


*3tr in next ch space, ch1*

repeat * * x10 times


join with slst in ch3

(12 clusters of 3tr).

Row 4: join green yarn in any space and ch3,


3tr in same sp, ch1


*4tr in next space, ch1*,


repeat * * x10 times,  join with slst in ch3

(12 clusters of 4tr)


Row 5: join yellow yarn in any space and ch3,


4tr in same sp, ch1


*5tr in next space, ch1*,


repeat * * x10 times, join with slst in ch3

(12 clusters of 5tr)


Row 6: join pink yarn to any space and ch3,

5tr in same sp, ch1,

*6tr in next sp, ch1*,

repeat * * x10 times, join with ss in ch3

(12 clusters of 6tr)


Row 7: join red yarn in any space, ch3,



5tr in same space,




6tr in same space (corner made),


*6tr in next space, 6tr in next space,


6tr in next space, ch3,


6tr in same space*        (2nd corner made),




repeat * * x2 times



6tr in next space, 6tr in next space, join with slst in beginning ch3.  Do not fasten off.

Row 8: ch3,


1tr in next 5sts,


*6tr in ch3 sp,




6tr in same space (corner made),



1tr in next 5sts,


dc in next space (indicated by needle)




 1tr in next 5sts,



dc in next space, 1tr in next 5sts,


dc in next space, 1tr in next 5sts*,


repeat * * x2times


6tr in ch3 space, ch2, 6tr in same space (corner made)

1tr in next 5sts,  dc in next space,

1tr in next 5 sts, dc in next space,

1tr in next 5 sts,

 slst to beginning 3rd ch to finish.

Weave in ends.




Pin out to block… this is really worth the extra effort.  I just pinned this square to a clean towel,

then spritz with water and leave to dry.


blocking really makes the the world of difference…


A very versatile yarny square.  

Happy hooking




‘Robins nest square’ designed by Nicola Florence @ ayarnyrobin.wordpress.com…….March 2016