Wednesday, 30 November 2011

On My Walk Today...

On my early morning walk today I saw an owl.  I've only ever seen them in zoos and places like that.  This one flew past me and perched briefly on a branch before flying off again. 

It was 6.45am and the sky was only just lighting up, the sun hadn't risen so I only saw the owl in silhouette, but there was no mistaking it for anything else. 

I couldn't tell what type of owl it was, but as tawny owls are the most common in Britain, I assume it was that. 

What a magical start to the day - it made me smile so much. 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Christmas Angel

Wow, November seems to be going so fast and there's still so much to do.  Only four weeks to Christmas. 

I took a little time out from my twelve knits of Christmas and other secret projects to make this cute little angel.

She's very easy to make and will look great on the tree. 

I love her face - she has a cheeky smile. 

The pattern was created by my wonderfully talented and incredibly beautiful daughter, Grace (OK, I'm biased!).  It's available on her blog for free, here

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

New Kim Hargreaves Book

I've just noticed that Kim Hargreaves has a new book out called Scarlet.

Looking at the patterns on her webpage, these are the ones that caught my eye...

This sweater is called Craft and has a lovely textured pattern.

This cardi is also beautifully textured and is called Love.

And finally this lovely shaped cardi is called Steed - probably my favourite pattern but very similar to the Darcy pattern in the book called Heartfelt.

However, I don't think I'll be buying the book - as with the previous two books (which I didn't buy), I think there is too much sameness to previous patterns.  A little more originality would be nice.  I have at least 11 of her books - so I'm not short of patterns, plus most of the Rowan magazines dating from when she was the chief designer. 

So, sorry Kim, love you and your patterns but something new in future, please.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Twelve Knits of Christmas Part 1

So much to do to get ready for Christmas - I said last year (I say it every year) that I would be more organised this year but with one thing and another it hasn't happened.  So I have my usual situation of over ambitious plans and a shortage of time!

Anyway - I am making progress on my Twelve Knits of Christmas - I have completed the first four items - admittedly they are the easiest and quickest to make but at least it's progress. 

So we have a partridge (not in a pear tree!)...

A turtle dove....

A french hen...

And a calling bird...

They are fun to make and easy patterns to follow.  The book is called the Twelve Knits of Christmas and it's by Fiona Goble. 

Five gold rings will be very quick but the milk maid, piper and drummer are going to slow me down!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Ladykillers

Grace, Eve and I went to the Playhouse in Liverpool last night and saw the play The Ladykillers.  The Playhouse celebrated its 100th birthday on Friday and this play was a fitting way to celebrate. 

It is the stage adaptation of the classic Ealing comedy film that starred Peter Sellers and Alec Guinness.

This version starred Peter Capaldi, James Fleet, Ben Miller and Clive Rowe amongst others and it was excellent.  So funny - lots of slapstick, amazing scenery and all the acting was top quality. 

We were lucky to get tickets because it was so popular, it sold out quickly.  The show moves to London, to the Gielgud Theatre on 26th November - if there are any tickets left, I'd definitely recommend it. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Formby Church

Yesterday we had a little trip out to Formby - it's only a short distance up the coast from where we live, but our visit was to see St Peters Church and in particular look at the grave stones. 

The church was built in 1736, the previous chapel having been overwhelmed by sand!  Additions were made to it in the 1800s. 

My grandfather's family originated from Formby - they were farmers, before they moved to Liverpool and the prospect of better jobs.

Numerous members of my family are buried in the grounds of the church and I was hoping to find the graves of my 4th great grandparents. 

Unfortunately we didn't find them but there were many more graves bearing the family name - the family had been quite extensive in the area in the 1700s and 1800s. 

I did manage to identify the grave of my 7th great grand uncle.

He was born in Formby in 1689 and died in 1759.  His grave was near the entrance to the church and he would have been one of the early burials at the church. 

It's wonderful to be able to piece together the past and imagine the lives our forefathers would have lived.  Tracing the family history is such an absorbing and enlightening pastime. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Bond - finished

I've finally got around to taking the photos of the latest sweater to come off the needles.  It was actually finished last weekend but I haven't been organised this week. 

It's wonderful - such a perfect fit.  Lovely Autumn colours - purples, greens and reds. 

The pattern is by the wonderful Kim Hargreaves - nobody knows how to shape a sweater better than her.  The name of the pattern is Bond and it originally appeared in Rowan magazine #28.  It is now available as a free download on the Rowan website, here

I've made this pattern twice before and I'm sure I'll make it again in the future.  The pattern features a slash-necked version, a striped version and a three-quarter sleeves version!

The pattern calls for Rowan felted tweed but I used the more economical Sirdar Escape DK, but any double knitting weight yarn could be substituted.  It took 9 x 50g balls for the smallest size.  It's an easy knit and ideal for knitting in front of the televsion.  This is going to keep me warm all winter.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Furry Fairies

What could be cuter than little fairy mice. 

These knitted Furry Fairies are by Alan Dart - one of my favourite designers for interesting and cute characters.  I have previously made the Snow Queen and the Pudding Pixie from his patterns. 

This pattern is even better because it's FREE!  You can access the pattern, here, on Alan's website.

The original pattern has the mice holding stars but I have changed mine to crocheted hearts.  They each have little silver wings and a pretty skirt.

The knitting up time is about an hour for each mouse - it's the making up time that's longer - but they're worth it. 

All we need now is a Christmas tree to hang them on.  I took these pictures outside in the front garden and received some strange looks from a passing workman - isn't it normal to take pictures of woolly mice in trees?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Christmas is Coming

Christmas is coming and I have a new book. 

The Twelve Knits of Christmas is by Fiona Goble and is based on the song. 

I think one of each will be sufficient - I don't think I'll have time for all twelve drummers and ten leaping lords etc!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Another Film

Eve and I are visiting the cinema quite a lot at the moment - some goods films out.  Last night we saw the new Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris. 

Having been to Paris this summer it was lovely to relive the sights and the atmosphere of the place - although the film was lacking the huge crowds of tourists and queues!!!

It was a charming film that left Eve yearning for Paris in the 1920s - cocktails with Scott and Zelda! 

A lovely film, with a pleasing feel-good factor. 

The next film we're looking forward to seeing is My Week with Marilyn which is released in the UK on 18th November.