Charlie, Quinn and Queenie, and a hot Christmas Craft Fair!

I thought I would just share with you a little update of some of the crafting projects I mentioned in my previous post. I have been very busy getting everything done for this week, in between my increasingly hectic social life 😉

It is so lovely to have so many things to do and people to spend time with, I really never expected this when I came here. I thought I would be mainly in my new craft space making, and instead I am out so many evenings with new friends.

First to be finished was the Luna rabbit, who I named Charlie. This was a commission from one of the people who entered the ‘guess the name’ earlier on this year. She had requested a rabbit for her grandson in neutral colours so I made one out of linen again and made him a winter and a summer outfit, all from charity shop clothes in my stash.

I was very pleased with the way that the formal shirt turned out, it was very fiddly but well worth it. I am very happy with my neat top stitching, that is getting so much better. It helps to have such a lovely new machine.

I finished the reindeer last weekend, they are probably the cutest things that I have ever knitted, look at that little face!

The draw for the reindeer took place yesterday, I sold some of the names earlier this week to friends at my knitting and sewing groups and the rest at the Christmas Craft Fair that was organised to support the local foodbank charity.

All of the names were sold and the winning choice was Quinn and Queenie. They have gone off to their new homes today. This raised 100 euros for the charity and we raised a lot more with the tombola and other stalls.

All of the patterns for the reindeer and clothes are from Little Cotton Rabbits. The reindeer pattern is a free supplement to the fox pattern, I knitted two of those last year for Ellen and Sarah and you just adjust the placement of the ears and add antlers and speckles.

The Christmas dress and jumper are both from the seasonal pattern sets and the spare dress from the textured dress set of patterns. I particularly loved making the textured dress as it looks so lovely and the yarn knits up beautifully.

The craft fair was held outside the charity shop on a rather hot day yesterday, it has been unseasonably warm here and it was about 24 degrees yesterday so I was glad that I was in the shade. Many of my friends had their crafting for sale. I bought this gorgeous mandala dream catcher for my bedroom from Gale.

Gale also had lots of other dreamcatchers and key rings, she is going to teach us some macrame at knitting group at some point.

These cute little Christmas puddings with chocolates in were made by Mary who had lots of other versions on her stall.

Tracy and Isla had a beautiful selection of knitted and crocheted toys and clothes.

I bought one of Edith’s gorgeous candle holders last year and this year bought some of her crochet pot holders that match my kitchen.

Lynne and Linda were manning the donations stall.

I also bought these amazing hand embroidered silk handkerchiefs from Vivien, who selling them on behalf of a friend. They are so delicate and I plan to turn them into some gorgeous outfits for the Barbie dolls. I am going to spend a little bit of time in my atelier over the next few weeks getting back to Barbie haute couture.

I have also been cycling, the sky was so clear this week and the views across to the mountains have been wonderful.

My latest knitting project is Rainbow Rascals from Dollytime on Etsy. The picture below is from her website.

I love the bright colours of these dolls and have previously knitted her little snowmen. They are a very easy knit as the legs, head and body are all knitted as one piece and that includes the stripy jumper. I am looking forward to making some cute skirts to go with them. I’m not sure where these will go as they might just be kept until next year for Christmas boxes for the local charities.

I have about 6 weeks now until I go off on further travels so am looking forward to lots of lovely adventures on my bike and knitting and stitching on the sofa! I hope that you are all having a lovely time whatever you are doing. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

A rabbit, a quilt, some reindeer and many baubles!

Now that I am settled back into my Spanish life I thought that I would set a few targets for this visit here in terms of crafting that I want to get completed. I have a mix of things that I have to finish, and ones that I want to do, some of which have been on the WIP pile for a couple of years. I do also have WIPs that have been around for far longer but we won’t discuss those just yet 😉

The first thing that has to be completed is another fundraising ‘name the animal’ for the local foodbank charity. You may remember that earlier this year I made a Luna Rabbit complete with changes of clothes for the Jubilee Fundraiser.

For this next ‘name the animal’ I have chosen to make this adorable pair of reindeer from Little Cotton Rabbits. I have not made the reindeer before but they are the same pattern as the fox, which I made two of last year, with modifications to the head.

I will be giving the two animals with a Christmas outfit and a change of clothes.

I already have the Christmas jumper for the boy and a pretty textured dress so just need to make a Christmas dress and a jumper and trousers set. I have a month for this so there needs to be knitting happening every day!

I am determined to sew up as I go along, I made this jumper some years ago and look at the mess that is left to sort out with all the ends to work in!

The second thing that has to happen is that I got a commission for a Luna from someone who didn’t win in June. I am going to make them a boy rabbit with a change of clothes.

The plan is to make the rabbit out of the top linen in this photo above then use the paler linen for the short and the grey flannel for trousers. The grey is an old scarf of Jacob’s and the paler linen is a charity shop shirt.

I am also using these charity shop finds for this other shirt and trousers. Hopefully these will be very quick to do as I can make a couple of outfits in a day.

We are having a few workshops at sewing group so there will be WIPs from that. We had the first one this week, learning how to make purses. I have looked at this type before for Steampunk but never done one.

This week’s workshop was just talking us through the make and sewing the clasp on a ready prepared purse but next week we are going to learn how to make the purse. I think these would make lovely gifts.

I am going to be running a workshop in December to make my beloved Christmas decorations. Over the years I have made so many different kinds of things using polystyrene shapes. This year we are going to be doing either trees, cones or baubles at the workshop.

Of course I stupidly gave all my previous ornament stash away before moving here, convinced that I wouldn’t be doing anything like this again. It all went to good homes, to various charity craft projects, but luckily the local Chinese markets have stash and I found a Christmas shop locally with the lovely ribbons in the picture below so all is good!

Lastly, if I have time after all of this activity, I would like to make a lap quilt for Katy. During lockdown I participated in a block challenge and I made lots of lovely things including these Liberty log cabin blocks.

I would love to make some more using motifs from my vintage tablecloths.

Many years ago I made a bag out of four, using one of Jacob’s old shirts for the outer fabric.

The plan is to use these 6 flower motifs above, and the 4 existing log cabins blocks and some sashing to make a little lap quilt for when I am sitting reading and it is not warm enough for the fleece blankets. I have until July to do this so that should be plenty of time lol!

So that should keep me out of mischief for a while. I also plan to stitch the first of my own Blackwork designs, that I showed you in this post. Fingers crossed I can find the time to do the other goldwork design I mentioned in that post as well, though that will not be done until next year.

What about you, what are your plans for this season? I always feel that autumn is a very good time to start thinking about new projects. Normally I am hastily putting together Christmas ornaments this season but those have all been done already.

I think it is the 35 years as a teacher that means that I always see autumn, rather than spring, as the start of things. Although there are no visible signs of autumn here really I still feel a sense of renewal of possibilities. Outdoor swimming is coming to an end, and I am looking forward to more cycling. I did 27km this Thursday with a friend, which I was very impressed about, my longest ride for about 14 years!

I hope whatever your plans you are having a lovely time. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Foxes in socks

When the children were younger I often used to read Doctor Seuss books for the rhymes and today I am happy to share with you my two ‘Fox in Socks’, along with other garments. I have only had time to knit 3 animals while I have been here, (retirement is proving to be surprisingly busy!), and these are my first two foxes.

This one is for Ellen and I have named him Ferdinand for now. He has a little donut in his rucksack to keep him going on his travels.

Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits is an absolute pattern genius and I have loved doing these. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am going to concentrate on cross stitch for now and get all my ornaments done well in time for Christmas, but no doubt will feel the urge to do some more animals soon. I have not yet made any dogs, or reindeer, and only one bear. I know she is in the process of designing more so will keep an eye on her blog for those.

This one is named Freddie, and he is for my niece, who I made Milly the rabbit for. This one is hers though I hope she will share it with the baby 😉 I have made it very neutral as she does not like bright colours, but think the dungarees look great against the rust wool of the body.

I love the ears and the tail, Julie had a tame fox visit her garden for some years and she has some beautiful pictures on her blog of Kit, who no doubt inspired her. The ears are so easy to knit, despite looking complex.

I have had a very busy, and very exciting week, more of that in the next post when I will update you on all of the happenings here.

Meanwhile, my time in Worcester is coming to an end and I will be going back to Ellen’s at the end of the week. It has been a lovely few months, and although I have not done much crafting I have done so much other lovely stuff, like working on my novel and doing creative writing courses. I have a couple more of those coming up in the summer, which I am really looking forward to.

I hope that you all had a good weekend, and have a good week ahead. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Baby love

My niece’s baby shower lunch went very well last week, we had a lovely time meeting her partner’s family and I got to meet one of my great-nieces for the first time. My nephew’s partner, Paige, had organised all of the pretty things for the do and everything looked splendid.

We played a few little games and generally had a lovely time. My niece is thankfully looking very well after a very rough time so hopefully there are only a few more weeks for them to wait until the baby arrives.

The nappy cake went well, I just followed directions I found on Google and rolled the nappies and it makes a pretty and practical gift. There is a rabbit with a teething ring at top but it is hidden in the ribbon.

I finished Milly rabbit with a few days to spare. My niece likes neutral colours so I used this beautiful variegated grey from the local wool shop for the dress. This is my 24th Little Cotton Rabbits animal, so I now have a list of them all, their names and recipients.

The moses basket was delivered to her last week. I made the liner out of this very cute hedgehog fabric. I have lost the details of where it came from now but it was about £5 a metre. I did try making sheets for the mattress but it was not suitable as the fabric seams split when stretched so just did the liner and bought sheets.

I didn’t use a pattern, just draped the fabric around the outer edges, then cut panels to fit around the handle. the bottom edge is elasticated so that if fits over the padded liner.

I have been working on my first two foxes so will post about them soon. One is for Ellen and one for my niece. I am then going to take a break from knitting for a while and get started on all the lovely cross stitch. I have found the bookmark function on my Readly app so now have many patterns bookmarked to work on over the next year.

I still have lots of museum things and embroidery to show you from the summer so will make those the next few posts before I can show you all the lovely trips in Spain. I am very excited to be returning home, Worcester has been lovely but looking forward to swimming in the warm pool and sea and more sunny bike rides. I am lucky not to have really had any bad weather here, winter seems to have passed us by here which has been wonderful.

Have a good weekend and week ahead and hope that you have fun whatever you do, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Actual crafting going on!

You’d think I would be posting a bit more about actual makes now I am retired, especially as this is supposed to be a craft blog. I have always posted about travel but obviously that has been the main priority of the last few months, although there has been a little bit of making in between all of the adventures.

The big news is that I have finally learnt how to crochet, after several previous attempts. My lovely daughter Ellen was very patient with me, and after lots of encouragement I got to grips with at least two stitches. I still need more practice on trebles, but have been watching some further videos on Craftsy as I got a very good deal on a year’s membership. I decided to make a project while practising my double crochet, and am very proud of what I have done as my stitches are quite neat. The lovely sparkly variegated wool is from our trip to Alnwick earlier this year.

This is a little pouch for my new crochet hooks, as well as the couple I have bought here, I have a set waiting for me in the UK so hopefully Ellen and I will have the chance to do some more crochet when I spend time with her over Christmas. She is now a crochet genius, and has made so many wonderful things.

As I mentioned last post, some things are more difficult to find here. Wool is no problem as all of the Merca China, (a cross between a pound shop and a homewares shop), have a good selection and there is a lot of basic haberdashery. Fabric shops are few and far between, and the postage and import duty since Brexit makes it very expensive to get mail order, so I am going to have a good stock up when in the UK.

I bought this lovely wool, and some Christmas fabric, at the little craft market I mentioned in my last post. The wool will probably be either some crochet, or dresses for animals. I love variegated wool and the rainbow one is so bright! The other ball is very subtle and beautiful shades so I might use that for crochet if I can decide on a good pattern.

The red fabric is going to be used for this year’s set of ornaments. I was looking for something quick to stitch and decided on some Scandi inspired ones before I found this lovely fabric. I am using one of Jenny of Elefantz’s stitching patterns here. The holly fabric will go to back some cross stitch ones that I have had in progress for a few years.

I have also finally completed another Little Cotton Rabbits project, another elephant this time. This is Edward, and he is my 21st animal and my 5th elephant. He is a present for one of my old colleagues, for her grandson. I love making the little outfits and am now pretty confident at the removable shoes. My current LCR knit is a fox and I will be trying the slippers for the first time for that one.

I will be back next week after our latest adventure, we are going to have a really hard time choosing what to visit, I have been doing the research this morning and there are so many museums and palaces, very excited now.

I hope that you have a good weekend ahead, whatever you are doing have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

A very long awaited finish!

I have finally finished the two Little Cotton Rabbits animals for my friend’s grandchildren. I think I have been knitting these since December and life has just taken over so I am very glad that they are finally done.

This is the first time that I have made the little trainers and they are so cute and very easy to knit. I can’t wait to try some of the other shoe options as well.

I have named these Bertie Bear and Billy Bunny and this is also the first time doing a bear. The head is really easy and the shaping of the muzzle is done with a very clever strand of yarn sewn through the purl bumps at the back and tightened after stuffing.

They have cute backpacks with snacks in as well, I have made doughnuts and carrots before but left the beads off the doughnut this time as these are for very young children.

I have the dog pattern, and Ellen has been asking for a fox for ages, so I am really looking forward to starting my next set of animals. In a few weeks I will be off camping and am planning to take these with me as my travelling project as they are lovely to do by train.

At the moment I am altering some Steampunk outfits as we have an event this Saturday, at the Blist’s Hill Victorian Town which we are all very excited about, you know how much we love an open air museum! I am shortening the sleeves of the ‘Glories of Bombay’ outfit and need to re- do the hat. I also need a wet weather option just in case as it has been very wet this week, the satin will not cope with that at all!

I also really need to get a move on with the other outfits for Whitby Steampunk which is only a week and a half away. I am spending so much time de-cluttering (aka getting rid of 98% of my possessions) that very little else has been done. It is however as very exciting time and I am looking forward to sharing all of my future adventures with you 🙂

I will be back as soon as possible with more Steampunk loveliness and hopefully pictures of the lovely time in the sun!

Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Lovely Luna times ahead

Well dear readers as I write this there is less than a week until I retire! I will have a few things to finish off after Friday 25th June, as it the nature of a teacher’s life I can’t just cut and run, but after that date I am officially on holiday for the rest of my life. Very exciting times ahead.

I have had a very lovely day today sewing with Kerry, much progress has been made on the new hat for the cream outfit, Kerry actually sewed up the body of the hat this afternoon while I sorted some of the decoration. I am also making very good progress with the jacket and we have come up with an adaptation that will mean less work, and avoids making buttonholes as well. I will learn to do buttonholes properly one day, but today is not that day.

Last weekend Ellen came up and we had a very fabulous trip to Fabworks in Dewsbury and Bombay Stores in Bradford, thank heaven that restrictions have been lifted so that we can buy fabric again 😉 We got some lovely velvet and tweed for future Luna outfits and some more supplies for Steampunk.

I have not had chance to share the outfits that I have made for Luna, I have another couple of works in progress and this, and the Steampunk clothes, are going to be my main focus for the months ahead.

I have completed three outfits, all very cute. The first is a Liberty print and the other two are Rose and Hubble and I have loved adding all of the lace and bows and other pretty things to these. The buttons on the first outfit have poppers underneath, so no buttonholes needed!

Ellen has been making some beautiful things, there was a competition a while ago on the Luna Lapin Facebook page and one of the weekly themes was historical costume, so she made this amazing dress for Anne Bunelyn.

It is so beautifully stitched with such attention to detail, all her own design. I love the head dress and matching necklace. She is now going to match a matching Henry, as a fox which will be fabulous. She also made a beautiful party dress with a tulle skirt.

I am almost finished with the bear and bunny, I have made a bit more progress since this picture was taken, I do love the way the bear’s head has turned out and the cute little trainers. Another few hours and they should all be ready to go off to their new homes.

We are going to be away next weekend, celebrating both the end of work for me and my birthday, catching up re-enactment friends at an event, and then going to Oxford for a short break inspired by watching Discovery of Witches recently. There are some wonderful Tudor costumes in that show which we loved, including this amazing wedding dress.

We are going to be visiting museums, and having a look round all of the beautiful buildings, I used to visit regularly when I was younger as it was only 40 miles from where I grew up but have not been for years.

I hope that you are all having a nice time and enjoying good weather, it has been lovely here for days now and I have been loving sitting outside reading in the evening, making the most of my last few weeks staring at the moors.

Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Reduce, reuse, recycle…well 2 out of 3 isn’t bad

I have enjoyed watching the Great British Sewing Bee and am looking forward to next week’s episode which is all about using recycled fabrics. As you know that is something that I really enjoy doing, from my tablecloth jacket to my pouches made from old jeans.

On our recent visit to Northumberland we had a really good time in all the charity shops in Alnwick, buying clothes that we can use for Luna outfits. Buying large men’s shirts works out really well for getting fabric, Ellen and I have split these between us and there is enough materials for at least 4 outfits out of each shirt, not bad for an average of £4 a shirt.

I also bought these two very cute blue tops that I am planning to make Luna dresses from and a cute sun top with gorgeous pin tucks that will make some beautiful aprons.

We did also buy some new stuff as well, I am not very good at reducing the amount that I buy but I have two very good excuses for that, honestly!

One is that I really want to support small businesses, such as the haberdashers in the market that we found in central Durham. I love these types of stalls anyway and it is even more important now that they have had to close for so much of the last year. So we did have a little bit of a spend there but I am not going to feel guilty about it as they had some beautiful lace, bargain fabrics, and lots of buttons and bows.

I now have a dedicated Luna/Barbie button box with all of the tiny buttons and embellishments. We had a lovely time choosing these at the stall. I also had previously bought some very tiny coloured ones from Etsy suppliers here.

The other excuse that it is quite difficult to buy nice fabric and wool in Spain, my nearest fabric shops will be 40 minutes drive away and so I am planning to have lots of stash taken over there with my other possessions this summer. I have found a company that will take 40 boxes for a good price so at least 25 of them are going to be fabric, wool and books (of which we may also have bought a few from the charity shops in Alnwick and the amazing Barter Books.)

We also found a lovely wool shop in Alnwick and again had to buy lots of things to support this small business as well. I was just about to say to Ellen after we came out of our second charity shop that all I need now to make this a wonderful trip was a wool shop, and we spotted one, so that made me very happy.

I bought some very cute variegated yarn for rabbit dresses and these little balls of cotton thread. They are only £1 each and are designed for crochet but will be very good for striped jumpers and little bags.

I have recently taken delivery of this lovely lot of cotton yarn as well from Rito Yarns. What can I say except they were having a sale! And it is so soft and gorgeous, it will be so nice to knit with.

We also bought some things for us to wear, I got some jeans and two tops for Spain. In one of the last shops we came across this very stylish (!) furry handbag that we thought would make great squirrel tails for the Rowan pattern in the Luna and friends book. It was a bit of a labour of love to deconstruct it but we got a tail each from it.

Ellen has already made a lovely shirtdress from the red and blue checked shirt fabric, I am still at cutting out stage with most of my things as I am still knitting Little Cotton Rabbits, just about to make a carrot or two to put in a bunny’s rucksack and then it is lots and lots of sewing up!

There has been a lot of excitement in the Little Cotton Rabbits community as Julie is working on her newest pattern and it is dogs. Just check the link above to see all the cuteness, she has already knitted 57 different heads! This pattern is going to be amazing. I am so happy to be retiring, only 42 more days to go and my life can be one long stitch and knit fest 🙂

Ellen is coming to stay this weekend as she is going out for a drink with friends and so I will have company Saturday night, and I am going for a walk with a friend on Sunday. Fingers crossed from next week we can eat and drink inside cafes and pubs so hopefully we can do a little more live socialising over the next few months.

I will also be working on a new hat for Steampunk as we actually have an event next weekend. It is an outdoor picnic at Kelham, where we went last August. I am so looking forward to it, especially as I will get to see Kerry again 🙂

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend ahead and enjoy whatever you have planned. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Looking forward to a little linen and Liberty time!

Before I begin a new project I usually like to look at other people’s creations for inspiration, usually courtesy of Pinterest. Ellen is coming up for Sunday and Monday and as we have no decorating to do 🙂 the time is all ours!

In the fine weather this week I have painted the garden fence, the shed, and the windowsills, cleaned and replanted all of the pots, front and back, and emptied, cleaned and sorted the shed, phew! After all that hard work it will be lovely to be able to just chill. We are hoping for a little trip out on Sunday for a walk but Monday is forecast to be 5 degrees and snowing so we will be having a Luna Lapin creating session.

My copy of the book arrived this week so I am going to get a headstart on cutting out the fabric today and tomorrow so that it is all ready. I will be using linen for my rabbit body as I have lots in stash, rather than wool felt, and some lovely Liberty for the ears and clothing.

I have found so many lovely creations so I thought I would share these with you, I have also found some more knitting patterns for shawls as well. I am hoping that the Little Cotton Rabbits clothes might fit the animals as well. I am nearly at the end of my three animals for friends’ grandchildren so will be able to move on to other knitting projects as well.

This, and two other shawl patterns, can be found at Cool Crafting, who have a whole section of the website devoted to Luna (photo from website). It is a while since I have done any lace knitting but have always really enjoyed doing it. They also have the most gorgeous little jumpers for the rams.

I found a large selection of beautiful outfits on Bit of Tea and Honey, including some very cute felt shoes and this beautiful embroidered cape. I think these were done with machine embroidery, which I do have on my sewing machine, but could also be hand embroidered. Photos from her blog.

I also come across this adorable rabbit in a Liberty dress on one of my favourite blogs, Thimbleanna’s . I am in awe of the very neat topstitching here. Photos from her blog.

This beautiful coat and dress combination is also from Pinterest, made by Knitonestitchone.

We were doing some household shopping last week in a shop called The Range, which has a very nice crating section. We treated ourselves to some cute lace edging so I am going to definitely add that to one of the dresses as Tracy Daniels has done in this outfit here. I love the combination of colours and the cute crochet rucksack. Finally learning to crochet is also a retirement project.

I am so looking forward to a new project and the time to do it. All of my spare time for the last few months has been taken up decorating, which I do actually enjoy, even if it is just repainting things the same colour and nothing more creative. I do find it quite therapeutic, although I won’t be doing any more any time soon 🙂 Time now for some adventures (hopefully) and lots and lots of lovely crafting time.

I hope that you have a good Easter weekend if you are celebrating. I will hopefully be back next week with a completed rabbit to show you. Take care, stay safe, have fun and thanks for visiting.

The value of reflection

As a teacher, and a teacher trainer for 15 years, I use and teach about reflection and its value, and have always enjoyed learning from my experiences. Like many other people, I have been thinking a lot about the last year as we come up to the first anniversary of the UK lockdown.

One of the reasons why I love having a blog is that it allows me to look back on my past makes, trips and life in general. One of the practical advantages is that I can always find where I sourced things from, but also it serves as a reminder of all of happy times. Unlike a diary, this blog is not about everything that happens, but the public facing positive things in my life

I have been reminded of the value of reflecting this week twice, once by my very good friend Sarah, whose blog I read this morning. She has written about her year here, and many of the things that she says I can very much relate to. She writes about her appreciation of living here in Marsden, with the beautiful countryside on our doorstep, and the advantages of not having to commute to work.

I am eagerly awaiting lambing time so I can go and see the little cuties like this one last year. Hopefully the weather will be beautiful again so we can go for lots more walks as well.

Like me Sarah’s life has changed a lot. She works at a university, in addition to being a GP, so she too has been working from home a lot. We have shared the frustrations of not being able to talk to colleagues easily, and missing the things we took for granted a year ago, like going to conferences and just spending time with people.

She has also completed far less projects than she thought she would this past year, and I can share that feeling as well, where did all that extra time go? I think for me, a lot of it went into thinking, and into connecting with others. I have certainly spent for more time talking to relatives and friends this year, on the phone and video calls, just reassuring each other that it would be ok in the end.

Early on in the lockdown I started taking part in a research project, I can’t actually remember how I found about this, maybe through an Instagram or blog post? It was run by Naomi Clarke, someone who I previously had come across as a crafter as she is an avid paper piecer. The project was called Crafting During Coronavirus and the involvement was to keep a diary for a number of weeks, recording what I was doing and how I was feeling. This is part of her PhD work on why people sew.

I really enjoyed being involved in this, I have kept diaries many times before, and being a diary, and only for Naomi to read it was good to be able to write about some of my frustrations of that time. I re-read them recently and we were all trying to get to grips with online teaching over the summer and feeling totally out of our depths. I have become quite adept at it all now, not that I want it to continue but feel very proud that I managed to get my head round all that complex stuff that was introduced last summer.

Naomi contacted me again this week, with another part of the project, which is to create a postcard to my past self. It is to be a crafted postcard so I think I should definitely make it using Liberty. One of my little lockdown treats has been spending what would have been travel to work money on more beautiful fabric like these from Duck Egg Threads.

I think it will have to be hexagons as well as you know how I love them. Not that I have done much paper piecing this year at all, that is one of the things that has not been achieved, overtaken by Barbie couture and Little Cotton Rabbits knitting! These are some of my favourite hexagon creations, made some years ago for Yarndale, so I think the postcard will have to be linen and Liberty.

She has asked us to think about what we would say to our past selves, from our current selves, knowing what we know now. Being a huge fan of any time travel time type stories I have been thinking a lot about what to write. Almost a year ago on the 21st March I wrote a blog post about the start of lockdown. I titled it ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’

I think that what I wrote then still is very true today, but even more so. I consider myself so lucky to have all of my wonderful friends and family, who have been so supportive over the past year. There have been some lovely times, like going to Whitby and Northumberland with Ellen, and Aysgarth with her and Jacky. I will put that in the postcard, along with the power of positive thought and prayer.

My focus in that post, then as now, was on crafting. The immense comfort that I have had from knitting, sewing and embroidering over the past year cannot be underestimated. I know others feel the same, judging by the amount of knitted animals that have been created in the last year on the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook page. This Egbert, who I finished last July, wearing the first set of striped jumper and dungarees. I am now on my third jumper so have really got to grips with top down knitting.

My stressful meetings, complex concerns about the job and the students, and worrying about my family, don’t completely go away when I craft but it makes it all so much easier to bear. The blog also serves as a useful reminder that I have failed so far to use any of the fabric that I bought on that trip that I posted about last March for Barbie dresses. I have made lots, as you know, including these two made at the very start of lockdown, but just not with that fabric. Oh well, at least it doesn’t go off, does it!

My plans for this weekend are to finish another striped jumper for a little animal and to create the fabric postcard. I also have lots of little DIY tasks to do, Ellen will be up again next week the last weekend of decorating, then it will only be a couple of weeks of finishing touches before the house goes on the market. Exciting times 🙂 What is even more exciting is the Easter holidays, I am not promising much in the way of crafting, due to the house prep, but you never know.

I hope that you are having a nice weekend and that things continue to be positive in the weeks ahead as well. It is strange to think that we may be on the way to a more normal life. I was sat in a friend’s garden this week, in the sun, having a cup of tea. Over a year ago that would be commonplace but I was so grateful just to be able to be there and have a chat with her. It is, as always, the little things that make a difference.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.