The Bothered Owl

Alex and Sarah's crafty corner of cyberspace

Give away August 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebotheredowl @ 9:27 pm

Hey guys, just sneakily popping back in to put in a plug for a charity give away I’m doing over on my new blog:

Lots of yarn up for grabs, please check it out.




Owl’s well that ends well (Sarah’s goodbyeeee) July 29, 2011

Filed under: Life — thebotheredowl @ 9:58 am

I’ve been putting off writing my farewell post for a week or so.

It’s weird, saying goodbye to life as a Bothered Owl. Doubly weird as I’ve just started my own Folksy shop as Undercover Owl. And painful saying goodbye to two people who’ve been part of our family for the last almost 6 years.

Anyway, here’s a brief look back at almost two years of Bothered Owlishness.



Our very first craft stand. This is October 2009. We were so incredibly nervous. It was in the basement of a pub in South East London over a Saturday and a Sunday and we had a lot of fun. I remember the high of our first sale: a Lego Halloween themed bracelet that we sold before the fair even opened.


Owly at Oscar's

When we first started, one of the first things I did was write a tutorial for making this little fellow. I was much more unfocussed about my sewing back then. It was all about just making stuff because I wanted to. I still have a hell of a lot of fun sewing but there’s more of a theme to what I do these days.

I used some beautiful Japanese fabrics I bought on ebay. I love the dragons and I have the wave print in several different colours. I use a couple of fat quarters as scarves.

This was the first sock pouch I ever made. It’s very different to the current incarnation. No flat bottom, no pockets, sewn by hand. It’s still my most used knitting bag because it fits in my change bag, even when my bag’s stuffed to the gunnel with nappies and clothes.

Not long after that we did some prizes for the Stitch London newsletter. Alex had just started making stitch markers

as well as jewellery and I figured I’d have a go at making some sock bags.

What could go wrong? It was worth a shot.

We ended upgoing to the first Knit Nation as a result.

Scott got some hilarious photos, like the genteel Wollmeise stampede.

And we did a raffle.

The Raffle Prize

IKnit Weekender and Fibre Flurry followed, with Alex and Scott taking on more and more of the front of house stuff as I got more and more pregant.

Alex discovered the wonders of Fimo cake:

and… well, I could go on and on but I’m going to stop this little trip down Amnesia Lane before I get all teary.

Suffice to say, the last almost-2-years have been an absolute blast. I’ve worked harder at this than at anything other than being a parent. I’ve slept a frighteningly small amount, cut up enough fabric to cover London, made more bags, needle rolls and envelopes than I thought humanly possible, laughed my arse off at ridiculous things, met some amazingly wonderful people, some of whom I am lucky enough to call my friends, and generally just had a wonderful time.

Thank you so much to everyone who has come to see us at a show, purchased something from us on the internet, chatted to us on Twitter or read this blog. It’s been a fun ride, being a Bothered Owl and thank you all for being a part of it.

And a huge more than thank you to Alex and Scott. For being amazing business partners. For all their hard work on the Bothered Owl, especially over the last few months as I’ve been less able to help with things.

And most of all for being two of the best friends I have ever had. I will miss you guys more than I can say and I wish you every happiness as you head off on your big trip and start the next part of your lives together. I look forward to seeing you guys have massive success withThe Quizzical Owl.

It’s been so much fun, guys.

Over and out


PS Should you care to follow the continuuing adventures of the owlettes and I, we’re blogging over at Undercover Owl


Knit Nation Part the First July 17, 2011

Filed under: Knit Nation — thebotheredowl @ 6:07 pm

I’ll be blogging more later but I have to get this up here and I can’t get Twitpics to work.

This was possibly the most awesome moment of my entire weekend:

Baby in a Bag

Ysolda Teague answers the age old question “Can you fit a baby in a bag?” with resounding success. And he didn’t puke on her or anything. He did look longingly at her glasses but his arms are too short and his coordinations not up to much yet so she was safe.

Alex convinced me to go try on some of the cardigans from Ysolda’s latest book, since I bought a copy and they were right there and all that. I can confirm they are really beautiful and they really do flatter those of us with more to offer *ahem*.

And as we were chatting to Ysolda (who is very lovely, by the way) Alex spotted the bag on her desk and pointed out that Elias would fit nicely inside it. At which point Ysolda asked if she could put my baby in a bag and promptly took him to her photo booth.

I’ve got loads more to share. I actually took photos today, unlike yesterday when I was so shellshocked at being out in society without noisy small independantly mobile people that I forgot. But I need time to forge them into some kind of coherent narrative.




Guest Blog: The Yarn Cafe July 11, 2011

Filed under: Custom Orders,Knit Nation — thebotheredowl @ 7:50 pm
Tags: , ,

Alex and I are somewhat preoccupied with getting stock finished for a certain yarn event coming up this weekend  *cough*Knit Nation *cough*

Alex has, so far, made almost 80 bags, including the very special limited edition ones for our collaboration, and I know that she’s got more on the go as well.

I’m working a little more slowly than last year (anyone remember 100 items in a week? Glory days, I tell you, glory days!) but I’ve got needle rolls springing forth from my machine in a wide variety of fabrics to please the eye.

Anyway, as we’re both somewhat snowed under, we’ve invited Tracie and Simon from The Yarn Cafe to be guests on the blog.

 The Yarn Cafe is a brand new online yarn shop and Tracie and Simon have managed to find some gorgeous items with which to tempt us all – including some incredibly drool worthy Skein Queen colourways.

Skein Queen, By the Seaside

I do apologise in advance for my slightly lumpy interviewing style. I did once fail a course on print journalism at university so I’m in good company at least! Without further ado, I present The Yarn Cafe Team.

Please to introduce yourselves:

We are Tracie and Simon from Coventry in the UK.

How did you get into crafting?

Tracie: I first learnt to knit when I was 8 and was taught by my mum and had two grandmas that were prolific knitters. As I child I enjoyed sewing, drawing and the spirograph was my favourite toy. As time went on, I followed my more scientific side and only returned properly to knitting in January 2010 .

Simon: As a fisherman, I know all about knots and am able to cast on ,but I learnt to knit in September 2010 (when the promise of a free spinning lesson spurred me on). I have a knitting machine and have made numerous cowls on that and even some sparkly black fingerless mitts.

What are you working on at the moment?

Tracie: I have a number of projects on the go – a lace tablecloth, socks, a couple of cardigans and would like to learn to crochet.

Simon: I am currently knitting a cable jumper for myself (in between knitting some miniature bobble hats).

What else are you into?

Tracie: I am inspired by music, nature and impressonist art but also love films, computers, web design and gadgets.

Simon: I love music (especially Metallica) and have a drum kit and a few guitars. I also love gadgets, fishing and my VW campervan.

Tell us more about the shop

Tracie: There are not too many yarn shops in the Coventry area and as buyers, we found it hard to get hold of good quality yarns (as did our local knitting group). We have decided to set up an online web shop that stocks the usual items such as needles and notions, but also have some exclusive lines made for us by designers. At present we stock Fyberpsates, The Bothered Owl, Atomic Knitting, Skein Queen, Rooster Yarns, Lang, King Cole, Knit Pro, Frangipani and Blacker Yarns with more to follow.

Blacker Designs yarn

So there you have it folks. And if you’d like to see a photo of one of the sock pouches we’ve made for The Yarn Cafe, how can we deny you?

Coffee and Doughnuts – YUM!

I made up 10 bags, all in fabrics you will only be able to get from The Yarn Cafe. A couple of them are sold out already but I can confirm I’ve got more of those fabrics and once the Knit Nation slog is out of the way I’ll be cracking on with some more bits and pieces of loveliness for Tracie and Simon.

We wish Tracie and Simon all the best with their new venture!

And now, it’s back to the Knit Nation grindstone for us.

Three days to go!

Sarah 🙂


Knit Nation 2011 Preview July 7, 2011

Filed under: Knit Nation — thebotheredowl @ 11:16 pm

It is only one more week until Knit Nation 2011 and this year we will have a stall full of lovely and fun treasures. So come and visit us on stall 134.

We are very excited about our London in Stitches collaboration. Pre-orders sold out in just 24 hours, but we will have 20 available on our stand on a first come, first served basis.

Individually numbered skeins


We are very excited to be able to show you the first photos of the completed pattern.

St Pancras Sock

South Kensington Shawl

To complement this we have a limited number of The Knitting Goddess’ Tube Yarns. These come in 10g mini skeins and 50g skeins. We have also produced knitting project bags and needle rolls in London themes. OneHandKnits lovely sock and shawl pattern will also be available to buy separate to the collaboration and would make an excellent present for anyone who is not able to make it to Knit Nation.

11 Tube Yarn Colours

OneHandKnits will also be launching her Doctor Who themed ‘Time and Relative Dimension in Socks‘ pattern. To complement the release of this pattern we have made a limited number of Doctor Who bags in all three sizes. This fabric we found at last year’s Collectormania. We will be at London Film and Comic Con this weekend (9-11 July) and will keep an eye out for any more gold nuggets like this.

Dr Who print bags

As well as our Lego stitch markers, we will also have a range kitsch and fun stitch markers. Any of our stitch markers can be made into crochet markers on the stall upon request.

In addition to the London themed project bags and needle rolls, we will have a large range of our sock, large and giant project bags. No matter the size of your project we will have a bag that will fit your yarn, needles and notions in.

Large Yarn Pouches

Giant Yarn Pouches

This will be the last event of The Bothered Owl before Alex and Scott return to Australia. Sarah will be continuing in the UK as the Undercover Owl while Alex and Scott will be opening the Quizzical Owl on October 1st 2011 after doing some travelling.

Sock Yarn Pouches


Make With Me June 21, 2011

Filed under: General Crafty Chat — thebotheredowl @ 5:50 pm
Tags: , ,

This week is Learning Disability Week.

Mencap are encouraging people to get involved with their campaign to stop hate crimes against people with learning disabilities. And part of the campaign is about making something personal and uploading pictures to the website.

We didn’t have the time, concentration span or ingredients to make personalised gingerbread men but we did have large amounts of glitter glue, pens and half-face mask shapes to hand, so Orlaith, Esme and I got into the spirit of things and here’s what we made:

I’ll spare you a ridiculous photo of me in a mask, though I did make one and finish by saying:

1. Don’t let Esme near the glitter unsupervised or it will end in sparklepants. And carpet. And sofa. And…

Twinkle, twinkle...


2. Do have fun.

3. Go here and get involved.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some serious vaccuuming to do.



Ready, Steady, Sew June 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — thebotheredowl @ 8:05 pm

I thought that I would share this photo that I just took of my sewing pile for Knit Nation.

It is only 25 days until Knit Nation.

This will be The Bothered Owl’s last event before Scott and I move back to Australia. We will have as many bags as I can manage to sew before July 15th.

See you there!