The story behind the “Hibiscus” bag

Way back, when I got my wheel about 18 months ago, a dear friend, Dawn, sent me some zwartble/suffolk cross wool.  A beautiful silvery grey colour. Some she had carded, some she left for me to card, so I had an introduction to some of the processes that go into spinning wool.  By the time I came to spin it up I had managed to get my spinning quite fine and consistent, and I was very proud of my first decent wool.I then got asked by a friend to make her a bag like the one I had made for myself for the Guild challenge this last Christmas.  She decided she liked the grey wool, so I set too.  However, it was very quickly apparent that I had spun it too fine to be used as a bag, so doubled up the wool to create the right thickness of wool.

And so, as is the way when knitting in the round I cabled, and cabled, and cabled until I ran out of wool!!  Yep, because I had to double up the yarn it didn’t go as far as I had hoped, and Dawn kindly sent some more wool, this time I had to wash it too, and the transformation was amazing.  Once it was processed, and spun, I could carry on knitting.Until we came to the finished bag!  Well, that wasn’t quite the end of the story.  About half way into making the bag I remembered a sweet little black and silver button with flower on it that had been part of my Nan’s button stash, which I knew just had to go with this bag.  I also decided a lovely bright pink and white floral lining would look good.  But do you think I could find such material?Browsing the internet, I happened across some hibiscus material in America that a lovely lady was selling in a sale.  It was perfect, and guess what… the flower on the button is also a hibiscus.  Which has subsequently given this bag the name of the Hibiscus bag. 

Let’s celebrate!!

Although this particular website is new, Aisiling Designs has been around for a whole year now.  So what better time to celebrate?  And what better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway!

So what can you win?  Well, I have been working on a little something that I thought everyone would have a need for.  Everyone has birthdays, so here is the birthday banner.  With my usual applique designs on the front, it is suspended from some wooden dowelling and some plaited threads.  Perfect to hang on a door, or a wall to help celebrate a special day.

The “Happy Birthday” is handstitched with a beautiful thread that just shines in the light.

So what do you have to do to have a chance of winning?  Well, I could make you jump through hoops, but I would rather you like my things because you truly like them.  So leave a comment beneath this post for a chance to win.  If you feel like following me on facebook, or subscribing to this blog (just fill in your email at the side of this post), or catching what I’m up to on Etsy, then it would be wonderful to see you there, but it is not a pre-requisite.

So come and help me celebrate being one year old!!  Competition will close on Sunday 1st July at 9pm.


Decisions, decisions

Last year, for my daughters birthday I  made her a story bag.  A cloth bag filled with knitted characters from one of her favourite books, Chicken Licken.  It sparked and idea, and I decided to see if I could make some to sell, this time making the bag a little more professional looking (lined, and with a pocket for the book).  I made sure I sourced patterns that were able to made to be sold, and I had some success with these, and also great enjoyment in re-creating the characters from the books.

We had The three Billy Goats Gruff…

…Little Red Riding Hood…

…and The Three Little Pigs

But, it then came to my notice that these would be subject to safety regulations, and to remain legal they would have to be CE marked.  After the initial anger subsided that something as straightforward as a knitted toy should be regulated, I decided that I would look into what was required to obtain the CE mark.  A meeting yesterday with a lovely woman from trading standards has given me some hope, and has answered some of my questions.  But I still have to see if they would require each character to be tested, and if that is the case, this is definitely the end of Story Bags.

If they just need a sample to test I will have to create a story bag and characters for them to put through it’s paces and see what it takes to destroy them.

The simple play scene below, looks like it might be a rare sight, an even sadder sight is the knitted, but yet unsewn characters I made for a gingerbread man bag, they may never see small hands playing with them.

So, decisions to be made.  And trying not to get too emotional about it all!!

“Helena” blessing bunting

Another custom order for some blessing bunting.  The specification was red.  I think we managed to achieve that!

The blessings on the reverse of the flags.  Peace, Joy, Friendship, Love, Wisdom, Hope, Happiness and Grace.

I decided to add an embellishment to the end flags.  A simple flower with the petals each a colour that was used in the appliqued name.

Each letter was appliqued on using red thread.  I like the contrast of the stitching against the felt, it just seems to pull it all together that little bit more.

This is reserved in the etsy shop for Clare.



In the midst of the dullest, wettest June I can remember for a while, I thought I would try and bring a glimmer of summer into Aisling Designs.  With bright yellows and oranges, and rich lush greens, this bunting has a real cheery feel to it.

We have a summertime butterfly appliqued and embellished with buttons…

…some summertime flowers embroidered on, again with button embellishments…

… a fruiting tree…

..and a blazing summertime sun. 

All interspersed with bright floral bunting flags.  Now for sale in my Esty shop.