Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…


Oh what a lovely family holiday we had over the school May break! Although it’s not exactly relaxing when travelling with a baby, (so much stuff to take!), I think I speak for us all when I say that it restored our inner sense of well-being. It was just nice being together and not having to worry about work, school or nursery and a ‘change is as good as a rest’ so they say. 

We travelled down to Lincolnshire for the week which is somewhere we’d never been to before. It’s such a pretty place with a romantically English countryside and coastline. 

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View from the top of Tattershall Castle

We were blessed with beautiful weather for the whole time we were away which was amazing. It’s possibly the first time EVER I think for it not to rain for some part of a week away in England.  Some days the temperature soared to the dizzy heights of 20-23° which was practically tropical!!  We did lots of adventuring around with activities the children would enjoy but we also savoured some quieter gentler days walking around  Tattershall Castle and Gunby Hall Estate and gardens.

I do so love a pretty garden – I’m not much of an outdoor gardener myself (its more patio pots and house plants in the KCACOUK household) but I really appreciate the wealth of colour and the peaceful calming of the mind that a beautiful garden can provide. 

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Stunning poppies in the grounds of Gunby Hall Gardens

I especially love large gardens where you have to wind your way through the hedgerows and flowers. Little G and I had a great time exploring!

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We also all enjoyed glorious day out at Huttoft Beach  which is a large sandy beach with proper sand dunes (just as a beach should be).  

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At six years old Little G is getting more and more adventurous with going into the sea which delights me and terrifies me in equal measure because I’m ever the over cautious mother…  

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That said her joy at running in and out of the waves and splashing around made my heart very happy!  

And we actually saw a wild seal! We didn’t know that Lincolnshire is a bit of a seal watchers paradise. Apparently it boasts one of the largest breeding colonies of grey seals in the UK.  The one we saw was way out to sea but you could make out it’s head popping up now and again which was very exciting. Unfortunately it was too far away to take a photo of but I did take some snaps at Skegness Seal Sanctuary of some gorgeous baby seals which we all thoroughly enjoyed watching and learning more about.

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Our day out at Skegness was a busy one full of the noise and excitement of rides and amusement arcades much to the joy of both children – but who doesn’t love soft play areas and popping in the pence on the tuppenny falls?!?

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We also enjoyed the Skegness Aquarium, where Little G was overjoyed to have her face painted with a glittery mermaid and Little Miss was just entranced by the jellyfish tube! It was followed by ice-cream and obligatory donkey rides on the beach. Little G is just mad on animals / horses / unicorns so this was a definite highlight for her! We were all shattered at the end of that jam packed day I can tell you.

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And did I fit any crochet in? You bet ya! I did take a gianormous bag of yarn with me much to my husbands disbelief (horror) when I kept giving him more stuff to pack into the car (you surely don’t need all this? Well actually yes, yes I do). And on the still light evenings when Little Miss decided to sleep and in the early mornings when we were awake (but no one else was) I took full advantage of hooking away. 

I can’t give away too much about the projects I was working on (though all will be revealed here when ready) but I’ll give you a little glimpse at my work bag where you can see some lovely bright primary colours of Stylecraft Special DK.

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All too soon it was time to come home, back to reality, rain and mountains of laundry. I’m completely counting down the days until we can go away again!

Until next time! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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The Adventures of Little Adam | Part 4


It’s been awhile since we caught up with Little Adam, that lovable travelling amigurumi isn’t it. What’s he been up to I hear you cry?

Well if you remember his previous adventures have taken him to Greece (B) and Dubai (C), Rhodes (D) and Lanzarote (E). This time he’s stayed a little closer to home and travelled to Edinburgh (F) in Scotland. 

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So what do we know about Edinburgh? Well it’s the capital city of Scotland and the seventh most populated city in the United Kingdom.  It is also the home to the Scottish Parliament and is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth‘s southern shore…

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Human’s have habit-ed the Edinburgh area since 8500 BC and so it’s long past due a visit by a amigurumi!  But first a haggis (*bacon*) butty to fortify him for the 1.5 hour flight…

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A small crocheted doll in a big city…well it can be a little overwhelming! Luckily Little Adam found himself a stereotypical wee red headed tartan-ed beauty to help show him the sites…which he forgot to take of photo of himself with…before snuggling down for the night! 

Little Adam is off to Europe in his next adventure! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing Little Adam’s travels as much as I have! 😄  Wonder where he’ll turn up next – maybe near you!

Oppps and I almost forgot to say we have a giveaway winner for The Breton Bag pattern giveaway. Congratulations to Rebekah! Your pattern will be winging it’s way to you shortly!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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The Adventures of Little Adam | Part 3


So I thought it was about time that we caught up with that lovable travelling amigurumi – Little Adam to see where he’s been lately.  Previously his adventures took him to Greece (B) and Dubai (C)!  This post finds him jetting off to Rhodes (D), the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands with a pit stop in Lanzarote (E), one of the Canary islands off the coast of West Africa!

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Just look at that map! He’s becoming a proper globe trotting doll! 

First off we were treated to the obligatory holiday ‘this is the view from my balcony shot’…

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And then…well you’ll never guess who Little Adam met on his holiday in Rhodes?! Little Dad! What are the chances of that happening 😀 

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It seems whilst on holiday the pair befriended a local donkey and enjoyed the sunset on the beach…

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It was not long after this the pair parted and Little Adam flew off to his next destination of Lanzarote…where he climbed a volcano!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed Little Adam’s travels as much as I have! 😄  Wonder where he’ll turn up next – maybe near you!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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The Adventures of Little Adam | Part 2


Time for more endeavours of Little Adam; that travel hungry amigurumi! Last time we joined  Little Adam in Greece and since then he’s country hopped over to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. ✈️

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Although very excited about his next outing Little Adam was a tad miffed that he was travelling via suitcase rather than first class; but sometimes sacrifices must be made in the pursuit of adventure…

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Like any young amigurumi out and about in the big wide world he decided to experiment with a alcohol…

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Unfortunately it didn’t seem to agree with him…

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And much like John Lennon it he crawled off to sleep in the bath…

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The final photo shows Little Adam on the beach in Dubai I like to think perhaps enjoying a moment of quiet reflection…  

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I hope you’ve enjoyed Little Adam’s exploits as much as I have! 😄  Wonder where he’ll turn up next!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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The Adventures of Little Adam | Part 1


I don’t think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a younger brother Adam.  Well one day he jokingly suggested that I ‘make’ him out of crochet sometime.  Challenge accepted!!! I couldn’t resist! So last year for his birthday I surprised him with his own little mini me!

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As my brother has been playing guitar forever and it’s his ultimate passion I knew that anything I made had to have a little instrument. Luckily I found the most fantastic guitar pattern on Ravelry; amieggs guitar by Clara Bayarri. The pattern provided the perfect finishing touch I was looking for.

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Well my brother loved his little crochet doppelganger so much that he took him to work to sit on his desk…and here starts the real tale. You may have heard of the travelling gnome prank (as made famous in the film Amélie) well someone in my brother’s office decided to recreate the prank with Little Adam.  My brother received a ransom note and then the pictures started to appear which he then shared with me.

He started off his travels in Greece…

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Little Adam is becoming one seriously travelled and adventurous amigurumi! I’m completely living vicariously through his globe-trotting. Next he was going off to Dubai I believe – as I get the updates I’ll share his adventures with you.  I’m really enjoying getting new pictures of his exploits. 😄

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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June in a Nutshell (Part 2) Holiday in Brittany | 2015


We spent some blissful days at the end of June in Brittany, France (again!) on our big family holiday.  I think we are falling in love with the Brittany region; the sun, the sea, the bread, the cheese and wine…need I say more!  

We were blessed with beautiful weather and we did lots of adventuring around the various nearby cities and towns. One of my favourite places that we visited was Mont Saint Michel, which for people that don’t know, is a magical island topped by a gravity-defying medieval monastery and is easily one of France’s most stunning sights.

keepcalmandcrochetonuk.wordpress.comYes we climbed all the way to the top, even Little G and let me tell you it looked an awfully long way down from the top!  The people at the bottom look like teeny tiny ant’s don’t they!

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So you remember me telling you about the Granny Square Crochet / Fabric Dress by Mon Petit Violon I was making Little G for her holiday? Well she wore the finished item the day we went to Mont Saint Michel.  I was really chuffed with how it turned out in the end especially as I’m the first to confess that sewing DOES NOT come naturally to me!

The pattern is very well written with clear written instructions and accompanying photos.  It comes in sizes 9-12 months and up to 3 years; as Little G is a very tall 4 year old I played around with the pattern a bit to match her measurements and used double knit rather than sport weight and a 4mm (US size G) hook rather than a 3.25mm (US size D) to help up the size.  

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The top half of the dress I made from Young Touch 100% Cotton DK from my stash which has sadly been discontinued (which is a shame as it’s lovely to work with).  The fabric for the dress part Little G and I fell in love with at a local haberdashery; it was so bright and summery it was just crying out to be made into a dress – and it matched the Young’s Cotton perfectly!Dress+Logo

What would a summer holiday be without a trip to the beach.  We had one full proper day at a pretty beach which Little G thoroughly enjoyed – the rest we were off gallivanting around Brittany.

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Other beach trips were to look for treasures such a unicorn horns (twisty shells) and other exciting things – we got quite a collection of lovely scallop shells.

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There was a most fantabulous pool / water-park at the place where we stayed so we spent many an enjoyable afternoon there all playing on the slides!  I think this is one of my most favourite pictures of the holiday – I love how much fun Little G and my husband are having just shines through the photo!

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We all enjoy exploring where we were and taking in the sites of Saint Malo, Zooparc Tregomeur, Village Gaulois and Perros-Guirec.  Though we did have a couple of chill days to recharge our batteries.  I did take my crochet with me and before the sun came up and the day got too hot I luxuriated in some peaceful hooky time with a cuppa.  I have to confess that I finished off Little G’s hat for her holiday actually on the holiday as I ran out of time before hand!  

When I first saw the Create A Cloche pattern by JoAnne Grimm Thompson I just knew it was the perfect hat I had been looking for! The pattern includes instructions for 2 different body styles, 2 bands, 3 flowers, leaves and stem with leaves.  I chose the solid version with the giant flower but I actually forgot to take the pattern with me so had to improvise on the leaf part which is why it looks a little different.  It’s a great pattern, clearly written and comes in sizes 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-2 years, 3-10 years, teen/adult and large adult and I know I’m going to be making more of these in the future!!

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I love how this hat turned out!! The pattern called for Lily Sugar’n Cream Solids & Denimwhich isn’t easy to get your hands on in the UK so I used Drops Love You 5 100% recycled cotton. It’s the first time I’ve used this yarn and it’s a super lovely Aran / Worsted weight cotton usually available at a fabulous price and comes in lots of bright / fun colours – I created the ombre effect using three different shades.  As it’s recycled cotton it’s also a nice environmentally conscious option for yarn.

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All in all we did manage to have a wonderful holiday whilst we were there and I’m so grateful for the time we spent away as a family.  I’ll end with a few more of snapshots…

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Wonderful memories!

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