Sunday 2 December 2012

It's a Wonderful Life

Last night our local cinema (which is run as a charity) hosted a special event.  There was a screening of the film It's a Wonderful Life with mince pies and mulled wine being served.  The event was planned to kick off the campaign to raise £72,000 to repair the leaking roof, which hasn't been touched since the cinema was built in 1939.

How could anyone refuse.  Trouble was my cinema buddies were not available to accompany me.  

Then, what a surprise, my husband, who hasn't been to the cinema for 28 years, offered to go with me.  An offer too good to be true.

The mince pie was delicious.  The mulled wine was amazing.  The film was wonderful - I can't believe I've never seen it before.  Tears were streaming down my face at the end - such a great feel good film.

The cinema was full to bursting - I've never seen it so full.  A sharp contrast to when we went to see the film The Artist and we were the only three people there.

There are plans for more of these special fund-raising screenings - count me in.

And my husband's reaction to his cinema-going experience, "Well that was surreal!"

Thursday 29 November 2012

At Last - The Twelve Knits of Christmas

No longer just 9 - I have finally managed to finish all 12 of the Knits of Christmas!

This feels like a major achievement - I had reached the point where the project had become a real chore. But I couldn't just give up - whose ever heard of the 10 1/2 knits of Christmas! So I persevered, and now I feel a sense of calm and satisfaction.

So here are the final 3 Knits of Christmas.

The leaping lord....

The piper....

And the drummer....

Put them all together with the 9 knits completed last Christmas and they do look quite impressive.  Sorry about the picture quality but the light was fading and I was determined to get them finished and photographed today.

I think that's finished me off for Christmas knitting this year - I need a good old cardigan pattern to relax with.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Christmas Bear

I have to confess I have lately been distracted from my current work-in-progress.  The approaching Christmas season is finally catching up with me and I couldn't resist crocheting a cute little bear to celebrate.

Here she is.

She has a beaded flower headband, a full skirt and some stripy leggings.

She stands 23 cms tall (that's 9 inches) and is made from double knitting weight yarn (with a little bit of 4 ply for the flower).

The PDF for the pattern is available for free, here.

Of course, she doesn't just have to be for Christmas - she'd look just as good in a different colour scheme and make a lovely birthday gift.

I hope you like the pattern.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Trying Something New

I decided to set myself a challenge and try something new - some knitting techniques I've never tried before.

Using Kate Davies's pattern for a Fair Isle headband (available as a free Ravelry download, here) I did a provisional cast on and an i-cord bind off.

The  headband is knitted in 4 ply yarn in the round and has a plain lining.  The double thickness makes it extra snug and warm.

It looked a bit of a mess whilst in progress but looks pretty nifty now it's finished.

I used oddments of Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply (sadly, now discontinued) which accounts for the garish combination of colours.  The provisional cast on was easy and I wonder why I've never used it before - very versatile.  The i-cord bind off was a bit slow going but gave a lovely edging to the band.

All in all a very satisfying few days work.

My next challenge will be - as usual - to finish projects already started and not to let myself get distracted by setting other challenges!

Sunday 18 November 2012

Picking Up the Pieces

Thank you all so very much for your wonderful messages of support following the death of my Mother-in-law.  Your kind words have been so appreciated.

We have received so much kindness and warm wishes over the past week, and shared our memories, it has given us lots of strength.

Now it's time to pick up the pieces, be positive and look ahead.  I haven't felt like crafting much over the past two weeks but I'm ready now to pick up the needles and enjoy creating again.

Last Christmas I started knitting the figures from Fiona Goble's book, the Twelve Knits of Christmas.

I made eight (or was it nine?) of the characters but ran out of time and enthusiasm as Christmas approached. I've now resumed the work and will definitely have the full set by this Christmas.

The trouble is, at the moment I can't remember whether I knitted the lady dancing or not.  I don't seem to have any photos of her but I'm sure I did make her.  I shall just have to wait until I get the Christmas decorations out of storage to find out.  In the meantime, I'm busy with the leaping lord and the piping piper!

It's one of those projects where you wonder why you started it!  But it'll be worth it in the end - even if just to say "I stuck at it!"

PS. I've just found the picture of the dancing lady.

So only three to make to finish the set.

Thursday 15 November 2012

So Sad

We have had a very sad time over the last week.  My wonderful Mother-in-law died last week after a short illness.

Although she had reached the grand old age of 88, she still lived on her own in the house she loved and we thought she had plenty of years left in her.  It felt like a cruel blow to have her taken away from us so suddenly.

We have received so many wonderful messages of sympathy from family and friends, it's wonderful to see how well loved she was.

She did so much for us to make our lives easier and I hope that, although we might not have always shown how much we appreciated her, she knew that we were grateful.

My husband is an only child so Grace and Eve are her only grandchildren.  They were her whole world and meant so much to her.  They will miss her so much.

1924 - 2012

Simply the best.

Friday 2 November 2012

Another Blanket

With the arrival of cold weather my thoughts usually turn to warm and woolly sweaters but this year I've been thinking more of blankets.  Perhaps it's an age thing?!

Anyway, I've started another blanket, and these are the colours I'm using.

There's less pink than I normally use but still plenty of yellows.  For this blanket I've extended my colour palette to include some greens and turquoise - how daring!

I'm using the Neat Ripple Blanket pattern by Lucy at Attic24.

It's very basic and straightforward to do but it's fun choosing the order of the colours and seeing how they turn out.

It's looking very jolly and as it's getting bigger it's already keeping me snug of an evening.  Blissful.

Sunday 28 October 2012

New Doily

I had the sudden urge to  make a doily the other day.

There are so many lovely patterns out there, but in the end I settled on this one.

The pattern is called Passion Flower and it's by Denise Augostine.  You can see details of the pattern over at Ravelry, here.

It only took me one afternoon to make it and it really is a  beautiful design.

Friday 19 October 2012

Colourful Placemats

I've noticed an increasing usage of the word 'Christmas' creeping into other people's blogs.  Yes - it's getting to that time of the year when Christmas crafting needs consideration.

Being a very keen Christmas crafter, I have a loft full of Christmas decorations - knitted, crocheted, sewn and embroidered.  So this year the key word is 'restraint'.  Sometimes all this Christmas crafting can become a bit too stressful so this year I'm taking it easy and not getting carried away!  (I'll make a note to myself to reread this post as December approaches).

Anyway, it wouldn't be Christmas without something new and this year, I've made some colourful crochet placemats.

These will certainly brighten the Christmas table.

They are based on the wonderful Little Spring Mandala pattern  by Barbara at Made in K-Town.  I've made this pattern several times before and I'm sure I'll think of plenty of other ways to use it again in the future.

For the placemats, I used dk yarn and I simply added some extra rows to get the right diameter.

Right - so that's Christmas started - now what was the key word again?

Saturday 13 October 2012

Lucy Pattern

I've been very organised today and I've created the chart and typed up the knitting pattern for my Fair Isle vest.  The pattern is called Lucy and has a lovely vintage feel to it.

The pattern was originally inspired by the Ralph Lauren Autumn / Winter 2012 collection.

The pattern can be downloaded for free, HERE.  This pattern has been updated (as at 4 February 2014) to include charts for small, medium, large and extra large.

Maybe Not...

Following on from yesterday's blog, I immediately set to work making some cute covers for my door knobs.

Great fun to make - but oh no - do they look just a little bit like a pair of breasts?

There's a definite hint of nipple there!

The flower one doesn't look to bad...

but I don't think they are working for me.  Maybe a change of colour scheme - some brights rather than the pinks and yellow.  I'll give it one more go before I abandon the idea.

Friday 12 October 2012

Fair Isle Vest Finished - Finally!

Well it took it's time to get there but the Fair Isle vest is now finished.

No particular problems with the pattern just a lack of motivation in the knitter.  But now that it's finished, I'm very pleased with the result.

I've haven't got any pictures of me wearing it yet - my photographer has gone to university!  I have had to give up my modelling career and turn photographer with the lovely Ada the mannequin standing in as model.

Full details of the project can be seen on my Ravelry page, here.

I haven't started to write up the pattern yet - never a very inspiring task but I will do it as soon as I can work up the enthusiasm.

I'm still preferring crocheting to knitting at the moment and I have just spotted an amazing project that I want to start straight away.  Sara at Tangled Happy has posted a link to a post on Roman Sock in which Brigitte has crocheted some covers for knobs (for drawers and doors!).

Why hasn't anyone thought of this before - our house is going to be transformed!

Wednesday 10 October 2012

My Blanket-Of-Many-Colours

I've been full of cold the last few days - horrendous - so I've been feeling sorry for myself.  My bounce was completely lost.  I've sat on the sofa, snoozed a bit, read a bit and crocheted quite a lot.

I'm a keen follower of Little Woollie.  A lovely blog by Jules which features some beautiful colourful crocheting.  I decided, just before the cold hit, that I would crochet a blanket in her mixed stitch stripey blanket CAL.

Looking on the positive side, the cold has allowed me to work away on the blanket and five days into it, I've caught up with Jules and I am eagerly awaiting the next section instructions.

I've just worked on the basis of grabbing any colour out of the stash bag and taking it as it comes.  It's going to be so colourful and jolly.  It already feels nice and cosy.   It's also great fun to make because of the variety of stitches.

Today my bounce feels like it's on the way back.  I've tackled some tidying in the garden and done some housework.  I think I'll take it easy for the rest of the day, maybe watch a DVD.

To make my day even more special, my study material for my new Open University course has just been delivered.

So exciting, more geology and earth sciences - can't wait to get started - a complete book on plate tectonics - what bliss.

I hope that wherever you are there is something exciting to light up your life.

Friday 5 October 2012

Cute Heart

I'm not in a knitting mood at the moment.  Just can't work up the enthusiasm to pick up the needles.  The Fair Isle vest is feeling very neglected.  I need to make an effort to get it finished 

What I am enjoying at the moment is crocheting.  It's funny how knitting and crocheting vary with mood.  Crocheting is very much in the ascendancy at the moment.

I bought a copy of Inside Crochet magazine, issue 33 and felt very inspired by the patterns.

As a last minute gift for Eve to take away I crocheted the Lavender Heart pattern by Tracey Todhunter.

The pattern calls for aran weight yarn which would make a heart about 9 inches across. I used dk yarn and mine ended up about 7 inches.

It was a lovely quick pattern - very enjoyable.  I'm going to make some more because they are so cute.

I also finished off a hot water bottle cover that Eve had started but lacking enthusiasm hadn't managed to finish 

The heart is now in place on the mantelpiece in her room at university, together with the hot water bottle cover and the blanket I made for her.

It's good to know that she has so much woolliness with her at university - a home from home.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

New Beginnings

Well, it's finally happened, Eve has gone away to University.  Last week seemed to drag on as we tried to get ourselves organised and packed.  It was a bit of a squeeze getting everything in the car but we set off at 5.30am on Saturday morning and arrived at Cambridge University at 10am.

Eve's room is lovely - very spacious and it was refurbished over the summer so everything looks nice and new.

Look at that gorgeous window seat.

Lots of storage space.

After we had helped her unpack we left her to settle in.  She seems to have done so very quickly and has made lots of new friends - and there have been plenty of activities organised for them.

How lucky she is to have the experience of studying at Cambridge.  I'm sure she'll have a wonderful time and  I know she will appreciate this amazing opportunity that has come her way through all her hard work - we are so proud of her.

My husband and I decided to stay in Cambridge for a further two nights rather than rush back home - our first few days of being 'empty-nesters'.

It was lovely to walk along the river and stroll through the city.

We also visited the Fitzwilliam Gallery and the Sedgwick Museum (Earth Sciences museum).

I saw lots of wonderful rocks and fossils and took loads of photos

 - but I won't bore you with them all - as my husband said, after he had to look through the numerous photos I'd taken, "You got carried away there, didn't you!"

We're now back home and it's going to take a while to get used to only two of us being here.  I'm looking at it in a positive light and planning new projects and adventures - a new beginning for me, not just for Eve.