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Toddler in turquoise cardigan with fish emblem on neckline

The Coddfish Cardigan Adventure

We are at the height of the British summer, therefore it is of the upmost necessity that a toddler’s wardrobe is kept fresh with snuggly knits as the sunshine can turn on its heel at any moment and leave your wriggly little best bud shivering. […]

Knowing When To Unravel

Knowing When To Unravel

When July worked her way around I was waiting, needles poised, to cast on the latest project from A Year Of Techniques. I’d brought Talmadge to a sprint finish (though to this date it is still awaiting a pair of buttons) and was ready for […]

Father's Day Gift Photo frame papercut

A Gift For Dad (Tutorial): Multi-Aperture Photo Frame Papercut

As Father’s Day approached last month I found myself getting quite nervous as to what Darwin and I should give to the most perfect and loving daddy in the world. Not only was the task of giving something adequately meaningful huge within itself, but boy did I have a precedence to live up to, as a few months previously my husband and baby boy had put together their skill, imagination and cuteness to make me something to truly cherish.


And so I wanted something beautiful, and handmade, but something that I could make whilst I was alone in the house with a toddler full of boisterous fun. And so I decided to make a simple photo frame to hold a series of photos of father and son at various points from the day of his birth until very recently. It’s a really simple but effective little project and quick to make, so I’ve put together a downloadable template at the end of this post in case you know a daddy as special as my husband.

What you need

  • A copy of the downloadable PDF template and a printer
  • Two sheets of lightweight card stock in complementary but contrasting shades
  • Selection of photographs measuring a little over 5x5cm (2×2″)
  • Photo frame to hold a print 25x20cm (10×8″)
  • Scalpel/craft knife and cutting mat
  • Adhesive or tape

This simple project is achieved by printing the downloadable PDF template onto the reverse of two differently coloured pieces of card. The look of the final piece will be determined largely by your choice of colours and the frame that they are mounted in. Using a craft knife and self-healing cutting mat, carefully cut out all of the shaded areas from the reverse side of each piece of card.

Using an adhesive that will not warp the card, align the upper lower layers and fix together in a few places to keep the layers in place, making sure that the lower layer shows through equally on each letter aperture.

The fun bit comes, of course, with choosing which of your cherished photos to place in each of the apertures. I decided to choose five moments in chronological order from birth to 20 months, just before Father’s Day.

Once you’ve decided on the final selection, align each of the snapshots in their spot and affix with small pieces of tape before trimming the final piece to size and framing.

Russell loved the commemoration of just a few of the beautiful Daddy & Son moments that he’s shared with our little boy, and though I don’t think anything will ever top my Mother’s Day gift, I was glad that we were able to present him with something both handmade and very personal.

Download the freeย I LOVE YOU DADDY papercut to print and make your own personalised gift for the amazing daddy that you know, perfect for Father’s Day, Birthday, or any other special occasion.

A Knitting Sprint Finish: Crossing The Line With The Talmadge Cloche

A Knitting Sprint Finish: Crossing The Line With The Talmadge Cloche

Another project from A Year Of Techniques has freed itself from its needle-y bonds and plopped itself down into a bubbly bath. A relaxing end to an emotional knit that, at one point, I did not think would ever get finished. I am relieved to […]

Super Mario cross stitch by Russell

Guest Post: Stitch Envy

Guest post by Russell Codd Have you ever had knitting envy? I don’t mean that you look at someone’s finished object and wish that you could knit as well as that, or had the ability to design that pattern. I don’t mean that you wish […]


My Open Window

Like A Coddfish To Water – From Strength To Strength

Like A Coddfish To Water – From Strength To Strength

For a while now my husband has been making noises to the effect that he would like to take Darwin swimming. The mere thought of it filled me with dread. I cannot swim, and for so very many reasons the idea of going to the pool was just horrifying to me, and deep inside I was worried about the experience for me, my little boy, and (if it was an upsetting experience) my husband. Russell said I could just rest at home, or come along and watch, but oh look at brave ol’ me, in my newly purchased swimsuit, in the water, smiling.

And I was actually smiling, and not just for the camera, because I had the strength to be brave.

I decided to put all my fears (from the water itself to getting my lily-white dimpled backside out in public) aside for the sake of my family. In wanting to be there to help my son be strong and brave and have fun, it forced me to be strong and brave, and oh my goodness did we have fun.

It turns out that my little boy is a Codd by name and nature. He absolutely adored being in the water, and he was so veryย bold.

On the very first visit we let go of him in the water and let him float a short while. The second time we visited we stood back and let him freely explore the water, which is 4ft deep at even the shallowest end, and he worked out for himself the best way to turn and move in his new environment. Our third visit allowed him the confidence for him to lay on his front and, with his floats, swim. Head up and travelling with body horizontal in the water. He is learning for himself how to best move in the water. He is doing widths of the pool!

Our fourth visit was yesterday, and I had the confidence now to take him to the pool alone, whilst my husband was away on his brother’s pre-wedding stag weekend. Darwin is yet more confident in the water, loves being splashed when other kids jump in, and his is the main source of laughter that rings around the pool. He taught himself to sit in the water in a pike position and then lay out onto his back and barrel roll back around to his front position. As his little nose pokes under the water there have been split second moments of surprise, but he has learned to modify his roll to stop this and has been doing it over and over to test himself.

I’m so, so very proud of him. I’m also proud of myself for being brave enough to give him the space to be brave whilst he is within the safety of our family love.

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