Happy Houseaversary to me!

Hello everyone

I am celebrating as one year ago today I moved into my little house here in Marsden.

I have had a brilliant year here, I have never been happier living anywhere and I am so glad I made the move (and that it finally happened after all the delays last summer!)

I have made so many new friends including all the lovely people at my new knitting group, have really great,friendly neighbours and permanently feel like I am on holiday!

I have had a very nice quiet summer unlike the previous two where I was getting the house ready to put it on the market, then packing up and finally moving so I have really, really appreciated the lack of stress.

I have spent most of my free time when not away at events in my favourite place in the house, my crafting sofa with all the photos of my friends from re-enactment.

Houseaversary - sofa

I sit here looking out of the window at my neighbours’ lovely flowers.

Houseaversary - neighbours

I have also been admiring my new planting like this gorgeous lily just blooming and looking up at the hills that I can see from the back of my house. The heather is turning purple at the moment so it all looks fantastic.

Houseaversary - lily

Houseaversary - heather

These are a few of my best Marsden memories from the first year here.

Lots of walks to the reservoirs in the sunshine, am looking forward to many more of these in the off-season.

Houseaversary

The snow and sledging with the kids – fantastic fun.

Houseaversary - snow 1

Houseaversary - snow 2

The sheep, even though they do occasionally eat my flowers I love seeing them, these pics were taken in the Spring on my way home from work – what a lovely sight at the end of the day!

Houseaversary - sheep 1

Houseaversary - sheep 2

A few years ago I wanted to make a major change to be able to spend less time working and more doing the things I love, wishing to set up my own sewing business.

Sadly that wasn’t possible as life intervened but I now feel that I do have most of what I wanted back then, even though in a different place and under different circumstances.

If I had done that I would have missed out on living here and going to teach in China which has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my life so I am very happy at the way that things have turned out.

This print is in my kitchen, it was a house-warming present to myself and I would add that you can’t buy happiness but living in a beautiful home in a beautiful place with lovely people does really help.

Houseaversary - wine pic

I am spending my houseaversary doing all things domestic, have just baked apple cake for Jake and will be spending most of the day knitting bunnies while watching my new favourite addiction.

I have become a big fan of The Great British Bake Off. Series 4 has just started and while I have been unable to find previous series online I have found the Australian version which is just as exciting (if you like baking!). Am going to pick up new bread recipes for Autumn when I start soup making again.

Oh and one more little bunny update – I added some lace to Emily’s socks – what do you think, cute or what? They remind me of the socks Ellie had when she was little.

Emily Bunny dress 2 - shoes

Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks for visiting.

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Emily’s grand day out!

Hello everyone, hope you in the UK had a very good Bank Holiday weekend.We had a lovely time, a long car journey (well four in total!) gave me lots of chance for knitting and I took my latest rabbit Emily with me so here she is in her new dress at Ludlow Castle this weekend.

Emily really enjoyed her day – as well as the castle she got to look at some of the weapons close up – here she is on my friend Paul’s weapons rack.

Emily at Ludlow

Emily at Ludlow 3

Emily at Ludlow 2

We were going to see some friends at the Battle of the Nations Team UK tournament at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, intending only to visit on Sunday dressed in kit but watch and not take part.

However within 10 minutes of getting there were in the arena helping give water and sort armour. We had so much fun we decided to go back again on Monday (despite having a 3 hour drive each way – thanks to lovely Kerry for that!).

It was very warm on Monday and the water, cold flannels and jelly babies were much appreciated by the combatants.

Battle of the Nations is a new venture in the UK where teams compete in full contact tournaments, it is amazing to watch with everything from one-to-one timed combat with points scored for hits to large melees with huge numbers where it is literally last man standing who wins.

It is very fast and furious fighting and we loved being part of it and hope to join them at events again next season. Go and visit their website and Facebook page for more info including videos and photos.

Here are a few more pictures of the castle and of the lovely buildings in the town, it is a really pretty place and I would like to go back for a visit to look at things in more detail sometime.

Ludlow

Ludlow castle 1

Ludlow castle 2

Ludlow town 1

Ludlow town 2

Ludlow town 3

As well as Ludlow I got to spend the day in Chesterfield with Ellie and we had a look round the famous church with the twisted spire – will post some pictures of that in a later post.

We also visited all of the fabric, haberdashery and wool shops in the town (well it would be rude not too!) and as well as the wonderful fabric stall on the market enjoyed the button selection at Fred’s Haberdashery where I picked up these little cuties, perfect for bunny dresses!

Bunny buttons

Am looking forward to a quiet weekend at home making medieval kit and have an urge to start on my Xmas ornie stock as well ready for the craft fairs in Nov – never too soon for a bit of Christmas crafting!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Buttons for bunnies!

Hello there

Am still having great fun with the bunny knitting-I have knitted another dress for the first gift bunny and have also ordered some new buttons to use for the shoes and dress decorations.

These are my lovely new buttons, I will use the red hearts for my Xmas ornies this year and the tiny buttons for bunny shoes as in the picture below. The pretty mixed bag are for fastening the bunny dresses.

Buttons

Buttons 1

Buttons 2

Buttons 3

These buttons are all mail order from Gregory Knopp, a fantastic site with so many wonderful buttons and free delivery! Go and have a look.

Here is my latest bunny dress, this is my first attempt at one of the more complex Fair Isle patterns, bit messy on the back but I am very pleased with it.

Bunny dress 3

I have also acquired some vintage crochet – this will be added to my stash to be used creatively at some point!

Crochet

Crochet 2

Crochet 3

Have another event this coming weekend and then a quiet week ahead so am looking forward to more crafting – some bunny knitting and making some medieval kit.

Thanks for visiting.

More kit and castles!

Hello there

Thought I would post a picture of kit I have made recently and tell you about my latest castle visit!

This is my friend Jamie in the shirt I made him, I have lots of requests for shirts now so will be busy in the off-season and will get lots of practise at making holes!

Jamie - new shirt

We did a lovely show this last weekend with some friends, it was a countryside show just outside a town called Bewdley in Worcestershire.

I was dressed as a lady all day (a very rare sight and I didn’t get any pictures!) and Kerry and I did head-dress talks and the boys had a tournament. Luckily the weather was great.

After the show I stayed on for a bit and went castle visiting. This is Stokesay Castle in Shropshire which has been on my wish list to visit for a while.

It is a fortified manor house in most beautiful setting and we had a lovely day.

Stokesay Castle outside 1

Stokesay Castle outside3

Stokesay Castle house

Stokesay Castle House 2

Stokesay Hall

Most of the rooms were bare apart from this very lovely 17th century panelling in the tower.

Stokesay - room 2

Stokesay - room 3

There is also an old church next door with beautiful wall paintings – sadly none of my pics came out well as it was dark.

We did find some old graves with lovely textures on the headstones where the lichen had grown over them

Stokesay church 1

And we finished the day having some very nice cider in a pub in the centre of Bewdley, these are the views of the River Severn.

Bewdley 2

Bewdley 1

I do not have any shows planned for a few weeks now so will be getting on with rabbit knitting, shirt making and some house fettling, I have some bits of painting to do.Will have a new rabbit to show you at the weekend!

Thank you as always for visiting.

Bunny Love

Hello again

I have found a new addiction, I think I am just going to keep on knitting these bunnies as they are such fun to do.

I have long admired Julie’s (Little Cotton Rabbits) work and was very excited when she released the bunny pattern on Ravelry a while ago.

Do go and look at all the ones she has made on her blog, I have got lots of inspiration from looking at the colours she uses and have got some different ideas for my next few.

My first bunny and 2 dresses are finished and I have cast on for the second one.

Bunny Knitting 3

Julie’s original pattern has stripy legs and body so it looks like the bunny is wearing tights – I left that out of the first version to make it easier but am confident I know what I am doing now so will add underwear to the next ones!

Luckily I have lots of people to give bunnies to as we have lots of young children in the family now as well as friends with little ones so I will have homes for my bunnies to go to!

What I love about this is how quickly you can do it- am not a fan of large projects and the parts of the bunny are so quick even for a slow knitter like me.

As well as the basic pattern I bought the pattern for the extra dresses again from Ravelry, the spotty sleeveless dress pattern comes included with the bunny and the other dress is an adaptation of the cap sleeved lace hem dress. I also added the white border to the spotty dress as the original one was a bit short.

Bunny Knitting 2

I made the lace hem dress looser by doing another repeat of the lace pattern, made it a lot longer by adding rows to the skirt, added a white band at the waist when I gathered it in by using decreases and used bigger needles to knit the top to make it looser.

I am now feeling a lot more confident about how patterns ‘work’ so know how to do these simple changes.

I have left the back of both dresses open as the bunny is a present for a small child and that makes it easier to undress.

Julie’s patterns are brilliantly written with lots of step by step pics on every detail including the stuffing so even the bits that look tricky, like the shoes, aren’t at all.

Bunny Knitting

I am going to try some of the other designs for my next dress – the spotty one was my first go at colourwork and despite the back looking at bit messy it came out ok.

I am going to have a lovely time for the rest of the summer!

I have also been doing quite a lot of garden fettling – forgot to take a before pic but at the back of the house there was a very overgrown rockery with two foot high dandelions and nettles which now looks like this.

Garden Aug

I have planted some clematis and jasmine at the back so hopefully next Spring I will have some lovely climbers up the wall. I don’t miss having my old garden at all but do miss my clematis.

The hanging baskets back and front are looking lovely – due to inclement weather we haven’t made much use of the new table and chairs but I’m hoping it will stop raining soon 🙂

Garden Aug

Garden Aug

I do love my new little house so much – just the right amount of gardening to do, planting nice things and a bit of weeding and watering and no hedges or lawns!

Right am off to do more knitting – thanks for visiting.

More medieval loveliness!

Hello again

One of the lovely things about having new members and an official photographer with the group now is that we get lots of brilliant pictures of our shows.

Previously I have had to sneak out early on and take shots before I get into kit but thanks to Jamie, Sam and Wendy we have these lovely pics of last weekend. I particularly love the shots taken from the tower!

Our little living history camp.

Camp at Ashby

Camp at Ashby 2

Another bird’s-eye view – the King knighting the children after their training.

Knighting at Ashby

Me busy giving water to everyone.

Me at Ashby

Two of our newer members – Clive and Ron as Edward the Second and Squire Legget

Edward at Ashby

The ladies – Ellie and Kerry with our newly returned member Paul in his kit at the tournament.Our new member Jamie is on the right of this pic in the shirt I made him which fits thankfully!

Girls and Paul at Ashby

Luke and Mark in the tournament.

Tourney at Ashby

The group all lined up after the show – don’t we look lovely!

A special welcome to Sam (blue dress second from left), Jamie next to her, Richard (at the end on the right) and Alex (second from right in a green tunic) as this was their first show and they did brilliantly!

Group at Ashby

And with our new group banner.

Group at Ashby - with banner

I really enjoyed the show and it is lovely that our little group is expanding.

Have finished my rabbit and two dresses for it so will take some nice pics (when it stops raining!) and post that later in the week.Really enjoyed doing it so am on to rabbit number 2 next.

Thanks for visiting and have a nice week!