Change of plans

Hello everyone, hope you are all ok. I am here and not in Worcester visiting my sister and we did not go to Budapest either as sadly my Uncle John died the week before last so I have been to Spain instead to be with the family for his funeral.

It was all very last minute and slightly chaotic but I made the right decision to change my plans. We knew on the Weds night that Mum was not going to be able to come here to go to Budapest as he has been very ill for some time and she could not leave her sister Maureen so I was all ready to fly out on my own on the Sunday as she still wanted me to go and enjoy the holiday.

He died on Friday morning and I made the decision Friday night to cancel the holiday and booked a flight to Spain for the next day and arrived Saturday night.All the family came from England so though it was a very sad time we were all together which is the most important thing to be able support each other and my Aunt Maureen who has been so wonderful and brave during his long illness. Thank God for the internet so we could all get flights with little time to plan.

The reason I was going to see my sister in Worcester with Mum was that we have just welcomed a new member to the family, my nephew Sam and his partner Paige have had a beautiful baby girl called Ava Grace and we were going to meet her. We will postpone that until later on in the Summer when Mum comes over next.

So it has been a very emotional few weeks, very happy and very sad and just brought home to all of us the value of family and the love and support that they give us at the start and the end of life.

I have made Ava Grace a mouse as a gift, you may remember I was knitting various mouse parts some time ago and here she is, designed by the lovely Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits once again.You can buy the pattern for this and all the other animals here.

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This is my first mouse and I am very pleased with her, I am calling her Ava after her recipient and although I had some trouble with the nose the rest of the knit was fine and I am very pleased with the lacy dress and the very cute little tail!

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I also made some pincushions a while ago to add to my ever growing pile, these may go to Yarndale to be sold or they may be given as gifts but I love making them, so quick and easy.Patterns for the strippy one is here and the other came as inspiration from my Pinterest board here. There were no instructions for this one so just made it up as I went along!

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Am not going to be very productive over the next few weeks as I have a huge amount of marking to do which may take up weekends as well and some other sewing that needs to be completed but will keep revisiting my Pinterest pages to remind me of all the pretty things that I really want to be doing.

Take care and keep happy and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Pinspiration and perspiration

Hello, hope you are all looking forward to a nice weekend whatever you are doing. I am planning to make some pincushions, have got so many lovely ones saved on my Pinterest board that it is time for some doing rather than just looking.

I have got my friend Sharon’s dog Ted staying with me for the weekend while she and Sarah are at Yarndale  so Jake and I will be taking him for walks later on.

Jake is home with me for a few months until he hopefully goes to Japan next year. He is starting a Japanese course the week after next and in the meantime is working part-time doing bar work and dog walking so he is getting very good at canine control!

Have been working hard over the last couple of weeks getting the last of the baskets finished for Sarah to take to Yarndale so just thought I would show you the last few.

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I got this fab vintage sheep motif from Ebay, sadly only had the two, really love the pattern on the sheep.

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I also made another mini basket to put the needlebook and pincushion I made last year in, I also made a pink one of these a while ago.

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Along with the other baskets I made earlier and the Liberty and linen pincushions I had quite a lot of things for the stall so am very pleased.

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I do love the combination of Liberty fabric and linen and so will definitely make more things using that combination. These are the ones from last year that I made for Yarndale.

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I also still have lots of lovely themed stitching and vintage print material to make more as gifts for crafting friends. I also definitely need a couple more for me for craft room storage, you can never have too many cute fabric baskets 😉 and there is a gap on my shelf now these have gone to Yarndale.

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Sarah is selling copies of her latest pattern book at Yarndale, not only does it feature some gorgeous patterns again, this time inspired by the Beaubaton Castle from Harry Potter but also Ellie modelled again for Sarah and her picture is on the front cover!

beautiful-knits-book

This would make a fab Christmas present for a knitting friend so do go and get some from her website here. It is great value and there are some beautiful designs as usual, the woman is a knitting genius.

I love the promo picture for Yarndale this year, look at the cuteness of this sheep!

yarndale-picture

I now have an I Pad, courtesy of work which has the Pinterest app on it and I am loving the fact that I can add things from the suggestions really easily. I came across this wonderful site the other day, Gentlework.

Christine makes the most amazing things from vintage textiles and I have been so inspired by the beautiful things on her site. Do go and have a look at them, they are really delicate and inspired by nature and just lovely.

Right off to make pincushions – see you later and thanks as always for visiting.

 

 

Knitting geniuses and a knitting numpty

Hello everyone

I have made a start on the Sarah and Ann’s Knit Along, in fact I have made 3 starts on it 😦

My great excitement last year about being able to knit in the round meant that I thought that I would have no problems with the pattern.

It is a very well written pattern but for some reason I started knitting backwards from rear of the needles rather than the front so ended up with it being back to front.

Anyway lovely Sarah helped me out at knitting group so I have started again. I have chosen two of my favourite colours and my favourite wool Debbie Bliss Sublime.

Sarah's knit along 1

I am going to be in Spain all next week so hope that I will get chance to do more work on it. At the moment it is just two not very impressive rows!

Sarah's knit along 2

If you would like more information about the Knit Along you can go to the Ravelry group and look at the discussion. Sarah and Ann have a video introducing themselves on Youtube as well.

It is really lovely to know such talented people, their designs are stunning. I have already told you about Sarah’s Elven Reckoning book but she has other really lovely designs as well including lots smaller designs for hats etc.

Here are a couple of my favourites, pictures from her her web site. Firstly the Alexandria fingerless gloves .

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Next the Bella cowl. Wouldn’t these make lovely gifts especially in matching yarn.

Sarah's Bella Cowl

I don’t know if I would ever be able to do any of Ann’s designs, they are amazing and so pretty but maybe beyond me at the moment, especially if I can’t work out which way round I am knitting!

This is the stunning Hedgerow jumper – picture from Ann’s Ravelry page   , isn’t it just beautiful.

Ann Kingstone Hedgerow jumper

A group of friends knitted themselves one each, it looks fabulous in any colour, again picture from Ann’s Ravelry pattern page.

Ann Kingstone Hedgerow group shot- small

I have made good progress with the mouse though so am not feeling like a complete numpty. It is so cute – just look at the lovely furry yarn and those little ears!

Mouse parts 1

Mouse parts 2

I have knitted most of the little ballet cardigan as well, this has been really quick to do so I think that all my little girl animals are going to have to have cardigans now, it is so sweet.

Ballet cardigan

I am nearly all packed to go away, just my knitting to add and I am also taking my beautiful Printemps fabric for some hexi making.

I shall catch up with you all when I get back in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile have fun and thanks for visiting.

Joining in

Hello everyone, hope that you have had a good week so far, I am so glad it is nearly Friday, that is excellent news 🙂 I have had a lovely week but weekends are always better!

Given that I didn’t actually finish the Block of the Month we started last year within the knitting group I am possibly a little optimistic posting about a couple of collaborative ventures I have discovered recently.

However I am working on the basis that I am doing it more for all of you who read my blog than for me and who knows I might win the lottery soon and need lots of things to fill my time with 😉

Anyway being a new year there are lots of great things happening that you can join in with, I am going to share a couple with you now and I have more in my favourites for a later post.

The first one is a mystery knit along being organised by my very talented friend Sarah from knitting group and her equally talented friend Ann. I am definitely doing this one and it will help to have one of the designers on hand if needed!

The knit along is for a pair of fingerless mittens and it is called, ‘On the other hand’, as for each section you get two pattern options, one from Ann and one from Sarah.

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The link above takes you to Ravelry where you can buy the pattern and join the group and the first part gets released on the 5th Feb.

There are also some lovely free block of the months to inspire me. I have never done any of Lori Holt’s designs but love the look of the Quilty Fun and Farm Girl Vintage and she has got a new design called Bloom.

Bloom Sew Along

Isn’t this quilt just so pretty! The pattern does use Lori’s Bloom templates but I think you could make the flowers without those as well as the instructions are very clear. Picture from Lori’s blog.

Bloom Quilt

The overall pattern is free from the Riley Blake site and Lori is giving step by step instructions on her Bee in my Bonnet blog

The fabric is her new Calico Days range and it really is, ‘bloomin gorgeous’, look at all this, pity I am trying to be good and not buy anything! Again picture from Lori’s blog.

Calico days fabric

I have a whole weekend of lovely crafting planned, how unusual 😉

Will catch up again soon, meanwhile thanks very much for visiting.

 

 

 

What I did on my holidays … or what I did in 2015

Hello everyone, inspired by lots of other people doing review of activities posts I thought that I would take a look back at what I managed in 2015.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, (except for the perennial one of doing less housework and more fun things), but do like thinking about what the year might bring.

I did set myself a number of goals for that year, 12 quilt blocks with our Block of the Month organised by Helen from knitting group, 26 books to be read and 17 sewing projects from the Sewing Bucket List.

I didn’t get any of them completed fully but on the positive side this means I still have things to work on for this year 🙂

I finished 5 of the quilt blocks and have another one cut out but have been having a few issues with my new machine 😦 so need to spend some time sorting that out before any serious quilt making happens.

I have enjoyed the challenge and it has made me a lot more accurate and confident about piecing and if I hadn’t been doing so much other sewing would have managed all of these.

I have read lots and lots of books this year but got diverted from the list so ended up only completing 11 out of the 26.

My current favourite diversion is my discovery of Debbie Macomber, I really enjoyed watching the adaptation of her Cedar Cove series on Netflix in the summer and as usual picked up a couple of her Blossom Street series in a charity shop in Spain recently and am now hooked! Appropriate for a series that starts with the story of a yarn shop.

Blossom street novel

Have ordered four more of these to take to Spain for my next holiday, yes Alison what happened to not buying any more books until all the ones you had were read?

As for the sewing list 7 out of 17 and again lots of other diversions off to stitch Jenny’s beautiful designs and to make lots of medieval kit and a couple of extra things for the sewing room.

Other things I accomplished not on the list, lots and lots of hexagon piecing, my favourites being the pincushions and needlecases with Liberty fabric.

And learning to knit in the round, the wristwarmers and the little knitted pincushions were my first success with this.

The discovery of Jenny’s embroidery which gave me lots of beautiful things to stitch, my favourite so far are her birds, this one is now in my craft room.

So challenges for 2016 then. Well to finish all these lists, to improve my skills at making quilt blocks.

I still have lots of lovely things I want to make for the craft room and think that single blocks to use as mini quilts is probably a better option than trying to make anything bigger.

2016 will definitely be a year of more embroidery and challenging myself to use different stitches.

As for knitting goals definitely lots more of Julie’s little animals, the mouse is coming along very well and love the speed at which I can complete them.

What about you, any challenges that you want to tackle in 2016?

Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Embracing my inner Scandinavian

Hello everyone and greetings from not a wet Yorkshire but a very white one!

We have finally had the snow that we have been expecting for a week and so there are lots of very excited children out on sledges and heading up to the local reservoir where there is a wonderful slope for them to whizz down.

I however will be staying indoors and practising the Danish concept of hygge which I am getting very good at these days.

Roughly translated as cosiness it involves candles, fleecy blankets, doing nice things to keep yourself cheerful in the dark winter days and possibly mulled wine as well. That sounds like a plan!

We visited Denmark earlier this year and even though it was quite light in the evenings by then we loved all the lights in the Tivoli gardens.

Tivoli Gardens lights

In Norway this Christmas the streets were full of light, not only Christmas lights but also oil lamps outside the shops, lights in windows etc. It really makes a difference when it starts getting dark at 3pm and it is cold.

I have also been able to start knitting again! I have not knitted for nearly 6 months due to the problems with tendonitis in my wrist and though I have been really enjoying my embroidery have had an urge to knit again.

It does seem very much a winter thing and I am working on some more of Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits animals at the moment.

I have previously knitted lots of these gorgeous creatures and several extra dresses for them and this time I am trying some of the other animals.

I have just bought some gorgeously fluffy white wool from my friend Lydia at Spun  for my first mouse, just look at the cuteness of Julie’s boy mouse and those little ears in her pattern!

Boy Mouse LCR

I am planning at least one mouse in a ballerina costume, no-one can resist this little wrap around cardigan from one of Julie’s free added patterns.

ballet_bunny_LCR

I have just bought the cat pattern as I realised that I didn’t have this one and love the plaid dress that she is wearing!

Girl cat - LCR

These are all Julie’s pictures of finished items from the patterns I have bought, I am just showing them to you to inspire you.

I have also been inspired by seeing all the Norwegian knitting in the Folk Museum so I want to make some little dresses with Scandinavian patterns on.

I love all the Christmas stockings I did a few years ago so am thinking of using some of these pictures for inspiration, there are some lovely free motifs from this site.

Norwegian motifs

I know that I have said this before but Julie really is a genius and her animals are wonderful, if you haven’t ever visited her blog please go and see all the lovely animals she has made, guaranteed to bring hygge to your life!

I think you should really buy her patterns as well as that is double happiness, knitting them and the pleasure when people get them.

I love looking though her Etsy shop at all the designs she has sold getting ideas for colour combinations.

So a happy day ahead for me, I will be doing some catching up of TV watching as well. I am going to watch the first couple of episodes of Jericho this afternoon as that looks very good and then there are the double delights of Walking the Himalayas and Call the Midwife tonight!

Have a lovely hygge time yourselves and see you all again soon, thanks for visiting.

A Colourful Friday

Hello everyone, hope that you are all ok and enjoying the weekend.

As I don’t enjoy shopping anyway nothing would have induced me to go and join the supposed throngs in Black Friday retail endeavours and I had a far more exciting and colourful trip planned to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.

Part of the reason for going was to buy things, (of course!), but I was very restrained and stuck to my budget. Will show you my purchases in a later post as I want to share with you the lovely displays in the exhibition sections.

There were the winning quilts from the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, though I had seen some of these before we didn’t know whose were the winning ones at the time as that was not announced until later so here are some of the beautiful ones that won prizes in various categories.

There was a great mix of traditional and art quilts on display.

I love the use of newsprint fabric and flowers on this one, winner of the Contemporary Quilt category by Lesley Brankin.
Harrogate K and S 2015 7

This was one of the most photographed in the exhibition, so sparkly and gorgeous, it was the winner of the Pictorial Quilts category and is by Claudia Pfeil. She has some other amazing pictorial quilts on her website.

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This beautiful applique quilt won the Two Person Quilt Category and was made by Alison Wells and Mandy Parks.

Harrogate K and S 2015 4

This was the Traditional Quilts winner by Janette Chilver. The quilting is just amazing.

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Harrogate K and S Winning Quilts

There was also the SAQA Quilts Food for Thought exhibition with some more amazing examples of machine quilting.

This was one of my favourite fruits when I was in China, love the blacks beads she has used for seeds. This one is by Helena Scheffer.

Harrogate K and S 2015 SAQA Quilts

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And the level of detail is brilliant on these Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Diane Powers-Harris and the Tomato quilt by Sarah-Anne Smith.

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My friends from the Knitting and Crochet Guild were there as it is based in Huddersfield and they had a beautiful display of vintage accessories and crochet. It gave me some great ideas for bunting!

Harrogate K and S 2015 Guild

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It is another wet and windy day here so an afternoon of stitching on the sofa watching TV seems in order, oh dear what a pity 😉

Have fun, thanks for visiting and see you all soon.