Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Happy and Productive

Hello Everybody, I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  I had a wonderful Easter break with both of my daughters coming home to visit.

We visited grandparents, had a lovely meal out, baked brownies and made an apple crumble.

We visited the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery and we watched the recent film Suffragette.

We had a night out at the pub and ate lots of chocolate.

And my lovely girls took me out for a feast of cakes at one of our local cafes.  All in all an absolutely perfect weekend, why did it have to end so soon?

And obviously there was plenty of knitting done.  Over the past week, since finishing Eve's cardigan, I've managed to make excellent progress on other WIPs that were lying around.

First of all, here's a picture of me and Eve in our twin cardigans.

Eve was delighted to receive her own version and wore it most of the weekend.

I completed the grey version of my Olivia cardigan pattern and wore it most of the weekend!

The yarn was recycled from this cardigan which I never wore.  You can see details of the project on my Ravelry page, here.

I also completed my socks for March.  I used a plain coloured sock yarn for a change because I wanted to knit a lacy pattern and felt that self striping sock yarn wouldn't show the pattern up properly.

The pattern for these socks is the Petunia Dursley Double Eyelet Socks by Erica Lueder, a free pattern on Ravelry, and it's so pretty.  I'm entering these in a Harry Potter KAL that's currently running on Ravelry.  Details of my project are here.

I have also caught up with the Block-a-Month Crochet along that I'm following.  Here are my March squares.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips Square

Starburst Square

Tears from Heaven Squares

I now have the equivalent of 8 large squares in total.  The plan is to make 16 squares for a medium sized lap blanket.

All this activity has meant a significant reduction in my stash.  I'm looking forward to totalling it up at the end of the month.  I also managed to off-load over 500g of acrylic DK yarn to Grace for her ripple blanket - although this felt a bit like cheating, but if it gets my stash totals down I shouldn't complain.

I've still got a few other WIPs lurking around but I think I can treat myself this week and cast on a few new ones.

Wow, uploading a blog post and sorting the photos always seems to take more time than you think - as least I'm up to date now.

Enjoy your week and I hope it's a good one.

Monday, 21 March 2016

A Weekend of Mixed Fortunes

Thank you all so much for the lovely messages and comments for Eve's birthday.  It was wonderful to receive such kind and generous thoughts.  I would love to say that Eve had a wonderful time in Barcelona over the weekend, I'm fairly certain she did, but I haven't had a chance to talk to her yet because, due to the French air traffic controllers strike, she is still in Barcelona!  She was sat on the plane ready to take off for her flight back to London yesterday when everyone was asked to get off the plane because the flight had been cancelled!  She's had to buy a new ticket home on a British Airways plane today and there's still a possibility that the flight could again be cancelled.  Hopefully she will get home eventually.

In comparison, my weekend was trouble-free as far as travelling goes, but possibly not as glamorous as Barcelona.  My husband and I spent the weekend in Sheffield with Grace.  It's always wonderful to spend time with Grace, we spend all our time knitting and talking about knitting!

This weekend was particularly exciting because we had tickets to see my favourite ballet, Swan Lake.

I must have seen this ballet at least eight or nine times, but I never tire of it.

The Sheffield Lyceum is a beautifully ornate theatre.

The ballet was a delight with gorgeous costumes and an interesting modern interpretation of the story.   The following pictures were taken from the Swan Lake Gallery on the Northern Ballet website.

So now I'm back safely home (which is more than we can say for Eve!)  and I'm ready to enjoy another creative week.  I hope you all had a good weekend and that your week is filled with creative fun.  Bye for now.  

Friday, 18 March 2016

Knitting For My Big Girl

Today is my daughter Eve's birthday.  My baby is 22!  How did that happen!

Lucky girl has gone to Barcelona for the weekend with her boyfriend.  I'm sure they'll have a great time.

For her birthday Eve asked me to knit her my Kate cardigan.  Here is the original cardigan I made back in 2014.

I love this cardigan, and so does Eve.  Whenever she's home, she always borrows it.  So when she was home at Christmas I offered her the cardigan to take back to London with her.  Instead, she asked me to knit her a Kate cardigan of her own in exactly the same colours, and it would be her birthday gift.  No problem.

Now I have to confess that I'm rather a selfish knitter.  I'll happily knit most things but I'm more enthusiastic if I'm knitting it for myself than if I have to knit for someone else.

It would have been tempting to wrap up the existing cardigan and pretend it was a newly knitted version!  She wouldn't have suspected a thing, would she!  But no, I started off in January, all keen, knowing I had plenty of time to finish it.  But then, other projects kept popping up and distracting me.  And so March came and I realised I didn't have as much time as I thought.  All I can say is, it's a good job she's gone to Barcelona this weekend and doesn't come back to Liverpool until next week because I only just finished it this morning.

Here it is, although at this stage it hasn't been soaked and blocked.

Since taking the photos, it's been soaked so all the stitches have nicely relaxed and it's now drying.  So it will definitely be ready for Eve's visit home.  Full details of the project are on my Ravelry project page, here.

And just to prove that I didn't cheat, here are the two cardigans together!

I'm going to link this cardigan with Linda's Crafty Corner Stash Busting Party and I'm pleased to say that the cardigan has reduced my stash by 317g.  Have a good weekend. Bye for now.

Sunday, 13 March 2016


Thank you so much for all your lovely good wishes for my birthday last week.  I really appreciate them.

I had a lovely birthday week with the wonderful surprise visit of Grace on the evening of my birthday.

I was so lucky to receive some fabulous presents, including a gorgeous project bag that Grace made for me.

I just love the polar bear fabric which Grace bought specially for me because she knows how much I love polar bears.

There's a lovely snowflake charm on the zip and it's lined with pink snowflake fabric.  It's just the perfect size to hold my latest sock project.

She also bought me this ball of sock yarn.  I love the colours and can't wait to cast on with this .

I have been ill the last few days - thankfully not on my actual birthday - so I've slept most of the last few days.  I've missed reading your blogs, so I'll be catching up today.  It'll be nice to get back into a normal routine. I hope you have a lovely week.  Bye for now.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Look Who's 55!

Yes my birthday has finally arrived and here we are the birthday girl and boy.

I'm not sure which one of us is wearing better (I should have put some make up on before taking the photo!).  My teddy bear suffered considerably during my teething years and became threadbare at an early age, hence the extensive darning and patching.  He's a Wendy Boston bear - one of the first washable bears, and he went through the washer quite a few times when he was young.

For his 55th birthday, I decided to knit him a new outfit - he's been wearing his 40th birthday outfit (a Fair Isle jumper and baggy green trousers long enough).

The new outfit makes him look rather like a Hipster, don't you think?  So I'm assuming he's having a bit of a mid-life crisis!

I have so enjoyed being 54, I feel sad to let it go.  It has been a wonderful year.  But I'm embracing the year ahead and all that being 55 brings and I hope that it will be as much fun as the last year.

I have a day of treats planned so the year is already off to a good start.
Bye for now. X

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

What a Jolly Weekend!

Hello Everyone, I hope you are having a lovely time.  I am truly blessed at the moment as I am having a wonderful time.  Tomorrow is my actual birthday, but as you know I've been celebrating for some time now and have no intention of stopping for a while.

This weekend my husband and I went up to Kendal for a short stay.  Kendal is only one and a half hours drive up the M6 from us so it is nice and easy to get to.

The hotel we stayed in had a swimming pool which was wonderful.  We were only there for one night but we managed to fit in quite a few swims.

We also did a lot of walking and sightseeing.  We climbed up to Kendal Castle, which is just a ruin but has spectacular views across the Lake District.

We visited Kendal Parish Church which is beautiful - and found lots of angels.

I spoilt myself with a gorgeous ball of Juniper Moon Farm lace weight yarn (50% merino, 50% silk) from Williams' Wools - I just couldn't resist it and it is my birthday!

I managed to bash my toe in the swimming pool and I have a colourful and painful bruised toe now - the colours match my new yarn!

The sun shone and it wasn't too cold for walking around (we were well wrapped up) - just perfect.

Did I tell you that Kendal is only one and a half hour's drive away? - well coming home yesterday it took four and a half hours because the M6 was closed between Kendal and Lancaster!  Oh well, the silver lining was that I had some knitting with me, so I got plenty done.

Have a good week.  Bye for now.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Happy Mothers' Day

Happy Mothers' Day to you all - a day to celebrate, not just Mums, but all women - because we are so wonderful!

I hope you are having a good weekend.

As part of my Mothers' day gift to my Mum, I made her a crocheted coat hanger.  This one has lovely rainbow stripes.

I added one of my floral embellishments, which I think finishes it off nicely.

I have partly typed up the pattern for the floral embellishment and I will finish it and publish it shortly, but you will have to forgive me this week - as it is my birthday week (how many days in a week?  eight, nine?) I am busy treating and spoiling myself.  Normal service will be resumed shortly - well, at least whenever I decide that the birthday week is finally over.

May your week be filled with treats, even if it isn't your birthday.  X

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Delayed Shawl

So didn't get my shawl finished in February after all.  But it was a close thing.  It meant that my destashing totals for the month weren't as high as I had hoped but they weren't too shabby.  Especially as I only started the stash busting counting part way through the month.

So the total destashed in February was a splendid 755g.  I'm pleased with that and hope that March will be even more impressive.

I'm off to a flying start in March because the shawl I didn't quite finish in February will now count towards my March totals.  And here is the finished shawl.

The pattern is Hansel Hap (the half Hansel version) by Gudrun Johnston.

I used Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight yarn from my stash.  I originally bought the main colour to make a cardigan but when the the wool arrived I thought the pink was a bit too salmony for my liking - the problem with buying online!

I think it works ok in the shawl and I'm liking it more now, especially when combined with the other colours.

The shawl itself was great fun to knit.  Because it's knitted in garter stitch, it's lovely and squishy.

You can see full details of the project on my Ravelry page, here.

Now I need to get back to knitting Eve's Fair Isle cardigan for her birthday later this month.  Lovely Fair Isle - I do so enjoy knitting it.  As this is now officially the start of my birthday week, I'm enjoying myself with extra knitting time and watching knitting podcasts - what a great way to spend the day, I'm so lucky.  I hope that you are all enjoying some crafting time.