Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A geographical miscellany!


Thank you for the lovely comments you left on my last post - I appreciate you taking the time to leave comments and I do enjoy reading them.

Today I am joining in with Ginny's yarn along. My yarn along this week has a distinctive geographical flavour. 

Firstly, I am re-reading Alexander McCall Smith's '44 Scotland Street', based in Edinburgh. The first time of reading I didn't enjoy this book as much as his The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency but I thought I would give it another go. 

And as for my knitting, well I recently purchased Nordic Knits written by Martin Storey, which has some beautiful projects in it, many using my favourite yarn of the moment, Rowan felted tweed dk

And so on my needles I have just started knitting the Snowflake Runner using the colours 
Seasalter (a light denim blue) and Clay. 

It does feel a bit strange to be making another table runner when I have only just finished a Christmas table runner but I think the snowflake is not so 'snow flakey' that it means I can only use it over Chritmas - I think this will be adorning our dining table for a few months of the year!

What have you currently on your needles? Are you desperately trying to finish off Christmas presents? Have a good week!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My 3 year table runner!

Hello again,

Yes, I was pretty happy yesterday because I finished a Christmas table runner that I 
started 3 years ago! I'm so happy to finish an uncompleted project.

This was a pretty simple runner - I bought a selection of Christmassy fabrics off the market at a very reasonable price and literally cut rectangular/square shapes from the fabric and sewed together in a very rough and ready patchwork fashion. 

My aim was then to quilt it but that went disastrously wrong and I ended up unpicking all the quilting stitches and I finally decided on just using an old flannelette sheet as wadding to give it a bit of body and folded the plain green backing fabric over to the top side to act as an edging. 

Please don't look too closely as the edges are not straight!  

It's quite long! 

It's far from perfect but it will brighten up our table and it is FINISHED - YAY!

I also finished four cross stitched Christmas cards - two of which are now winging their way to far corners of the globe! The other two are staying nearer to home.

And my final completed project for now was this little cross stitch kit purchased from Hobbycraft, I think last year, which I made up into a little hanging ornament with a few added embellishments. 


 I enjoyed making this so think I may make a detour home from work one evening this week and call in at Hobbycraft to see if they have any other little kits of interest. 

 I am enjoying all the project ideas I see bloggers sharing on line - it gives me so much inspiration.
 I hope your Christmas project making is going well - have a good week

Monday, 17 November 2014

Over a month!


Yes I have just realized that it is over a month since I last posted!

And those few weeks have gone by in a whoosh!
  • new job
  • making a start on sort out our house a bit
  • visiting 2 sons in Sheffield (yes, still find it hard to believe that both sons are now studying at university in Sheffield)
  • a half term train trip to Sweden and Denmark (for me and husband) 
  • and a school trip to Morocco for daughter which was a bit of "school trip from hell" with two thirds of the pupils suffering a sickness bug!!
 But anyway, I have managed to squeeze in a bit of reading and a bit of crafting in the last few weeks - especially this weekend when I was particularly lazy and spent several hours crafting. 

Firstly, I have at last finished the notebook cozy for my daughter - I posted about the notebook cozy I knitted for me to use here - I love it while at the same time thinking it is a crazy idea!

And I'm still loving that yarn - so no surprise that I've now added a few more balls to my collection!

I also love making Christmas decorations. I have made quite a few over the years but I give them away either as gifts or to our scout group for them to sell on their craft stall. I have kept a few for myself but realized I had several in various stages of construction so last weekend I finished the half-completed decorations and now have a reasonable selection of stockings, Christmas puddings, mittens and hearts!

And this is the very satisfying view I could see round my feet - ribbons, felt, cottons,
 cross stitch charts, buttons, evenweave fabric -  all waiting for me to be creative
 with them - the possibilities are endless!!

Right, off to catch up on some blogs!

Hope you are all and happy crafting!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Double love

I'm in trouble! I am suffering from a case of "double love" just now.
Firstly, I came across this great yarn from Rowan, Felted tweed dk. I think I'm a bit late in discovering this wool as I think it has been a round for a while.
The tweed effect is gentle and mutes the colours somewhat but Rowan offer a reasonable range of colours. The yarn just has such a lovely, light feel to it. I could really imagine wearing a cardigan knitted in this yarn. 
I chose Seasalter and Rage for my project.
 Oo, look at them nestled in the bottom of my shopping bag.

I bought these for a particular project I had planned.
For my second love, I came across this picture on the internet of knitted book covers

And I instantly fell in love with them and with the idea of knitting covers for my notebooks.  
Knit Inspiration: Unknown. I am in love with these covers. I would have had these for middle school, high school, and college! …but I would have been that kid…oh well…I was that kid even without the awesome knitted book covers!
Don't these look great!
 So I soon had my needles out and, after about 3 false starts trying to gauge exactly how many stitches I needed to cast on for a perfect fit, I was away.   

 I decided to knit a very simple fair isle pattern, just to add a bit of interest.

And fairly soon.....

I had a snuggly warm notebook tucked up inside its very own cozy!! 

And I love it!! And so does daughter so I shall be knitting more of these.
You see, we have a slight, but very well controlled, obsession with stationery, so I have
 notebooks of various shapes and sizes to keep cozy this winter.
I admit that I think knitting cozies for books is a bit bizarre but for some reason
 I just love the idea!
And my mind is buzzing with further project ideas for this yarn.
What is your favourite yarn of the moment?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

My cottage by the sea and still Felix!

Hello, well, after completing two knitted projects this week, yes two, I have gone back to knitting my own little bit of paradise by the sea.

I posted about this kit here.
My friend also bought this kit and completed her own little cottage long ago and it is so cute! Although she did say that sewing the roses round the door, or in other words, sewing on the beads, was a bit tricky so I'm not looking forward to that bit.

I am still reading The Map of Time by Felix J Palma. This is taking me a looong time, but only because I have been distracted by other events and so I just haven't been reading much recently.
Some nights I have been so tired that by the time I get to bed I don't even bother trying to read, instead I turn the light off immediately,
 and thankfully I am one of those people who can fall asleep within seconds! 
Joining with Ginny's yarn along.
**    Happy knitting    **

Thursday, 18 September 2014

My shawl is nearly there!

Yay,  I've nearly finished my Sirdar Freya shawl

I haven't exclusively knitted my shawl this week - I have also added an inch or two to my socks.

As to my book, I'm still reading The Map of Time by Felix J Palma and 
I am about one third of the way through it. 

While I was really excited by this book when I started reading it, it isn't turning out quite as I was expecting and I'm not enjoying it quite so much. But having said that, it's an easy read and a bit different so I'm happy to continue with it.

Joining in again with Ginny's yarn along.

Happy knitting!

Monday, 15 September 2014

A warm September weekend saw me...

I do love that feeling on a Friday, around 5pm, when you know you have the whole weekend in front of you to look forward to. A whole two and more days of endless possibilities.

And this September has been so beautifully warm that this weekend, my Friday evening saw me....

... cutting back our Leylandii tree and discovering lots of footballs underneath. I am not a great 
fan of these hedges but it makes a good barrier between us and our neighbours and stops 
a few balls from going into their garden!

 ... hanging out the washing in the evening knowing that it will dry the next day 
(I've never worked out why I get such pleasure from hanging my washing out late in the day -
 I've even been known to hang it out in the dark!)

  ... enjoying a glass of Prosecco and a read of my book - for it to be warm enough to do this sat outside early evening in September is a rare bonus.

 ... watching the sun go down behind the trees at the end of the field.

 ... and Saturday was warm enough for me to wear shorts while watching daughter run 
the first cross country league race of the season.

 ... calling at a garden centre on the way home for a coffee and finding some treasures in their antiques barn including the pliers above that daughter fell in love with.

 ... and the basket I fell in love with,
... which I decided was ideal for my magazines and knitting. 
I LOVE the shape - tall and rectangular, a little bit unusual.

... making the most of the warm weather to catch up on some gardening.
I think I may start again with this overgrown corner. I'm not sure that it is possible to even
 work out what is going on in this corner.

 ... collecting a few things together for younger son's imminent departure to university.

.... this has also meant buying in a few supplies.

 Please note the bottle of bleach - I forgot to buy one for older son when he first went off 
to university and considering that they have en-suite facilities I soon learnt that I had 
made a grave omission, enough said!

I hope you had a good weekend

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Yarning along on a sunny September day

Well thank you to everyone who commented on last week's yarn along post 
- your comments were lovely to read 

but I fear that you may all be expecting something spectacularly stunning to emerge from my yarn and needles and that you might find the end result disappointingly functional. 

I really hope that isn't the case. 

 Anyway, I have made good progress with my shawl during the last week. This is an easy knit, 

just plain old stocking stitch with the odd couple of rows of garter stitch 
thrown in to break up the plainness.

I took these photos in the garden - we are enjoying some beautiful sunny days here in the UK. 

The mornings have been misty and I love driving to work through a particular village where the mist lies low over the fields and at the time I am driving the sun is just poking above the mist, 
a huge orange orb.

And as for my book.... I have just started reading "The Map of Time" by Felix J Palma which, so far, I am enjoying very much but I think it will take me some time to finish as it is a loooong book.

Joining in with Ginny's yarn along
Best wishes

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Yarn along: Queen Victoria and "brushed winter cotton"

I work in one of those frustrating offices which is stifling hot in the summer and cold, with chill breezes in the winter. So last year I knitted myself a shawl to keep at work and I LOVE it! It has been so useful, I just throw it over my shoulders when I'm sat at my desk and feeling cool, and throw it off again when I need to leave the office. 

So I then thought I would probably make good use of one at home too - I work at home quite regularly and it's easy to get cold when sat still at a desk working. 

The first shawl I knitted using Sirdar Freya in First Frost 851, a blue colour (as the name suggests!) I do enjoy knitting with this wool  - it is light to knit with, a bit fluffy and very warm. Sirdar describe it thus:

"Freya is Sirdar's beautifully soft, brushed winter cotton. This gorgeous yarn comes in a range of gentle tweedy colours." 

 So when I was in Filey last week and was browsing in a great craft shop there called The Beachcomber, it took me very little time to choose 4 more balls of Sirdar Freya for my next shawl, but this time I chose grey, Gosling 857.

I cast on last night. For my first shawl, I made up a simple pattern and as it resulted in a shawl I was happy with, I am following the same pattern. It is such a quick knit for me too. Perfect!

And as for my book, I am reading "Queen Victoria, her life and times 1819-1861" by 
Cecil Woodham-Smith which I am enjoying very much. 

Joining in once again with Ginny's yarn along

Monday, 1 September 2014


That is always the feeling I have when I see the sea..................

Living in the middle of the country means we have to commit to a minimum of a two-hour drive to reach a bit of coast (older son informed me only this week that we lived just 20 miles from the middle of England, although there is some debate about the exact location of the 'true' centre point of England). This is a drawback for someone like me who loves the sea, in all weathers.

This year we hadn't yet made one visit to the sea. We have found that as the children have got older, the holidays where we used to spend a week by the sea perhaps in Cornwall, or Dorset or Northumberland just don't hold quite the same attraction for them anymore but yet a short break to walk along the beach, eat ice creams and spend our coppers on the amusements was acceptable to all. So last week we spent one night at one of our favourite seaside resorts, Filey.

This is how Filey is described: The quaint seaside resort of Filey, positioned on the beautiful Yorkshire Coast, is the perfect place to stay for those looking for a peaceful and relaxing holiday.
Bursting with all the appeal of a traditional Edwardian coastal town, Filey offers a real sense of olde worlde charm. The 5 mile stretch of clean, sandy, award winning beaches are the ideal place to spend your afternoons."

Sounds ideal for us. I posted about a visit daughter and I made to Filey last year here.

On our first day, the weather was better than forecast so we spent several hours on the beach, reading, playing with a bat and ball, drinking tea from a flask,

eating ice creams .............

And I do love to go out for walk in the evening along the sea front,

especially at a time of the evening when normally, if we were at home, we would probably be indoors. 

Even daughter didn't complain about the walk .... ok, I'm kidding, she was on her skateboard, and given a helping-hand uphill by older brother!

Our second day started a bit grey and overcast.

A small purchase at the wool and needlework shop (The Beachcomber) brightened my day. This is such a great shop packed with all sorts of yarny and fabric goodies - and all at a very reasonable price. 
Then, a round of pitch and putt kept us amused for almost 2 hours!

More ice cream followed,

and paddling and sea glass hunting.

 I could spend hours watching the tide coming in.

But eventually, as the late afternoon light hit the cliffs on the north side of the bay, it was time for us to say goodbye to Filey once more.