Thursday 30 October 2014

A Birthday Card

Today is my Auntie's birthday, so I thought I would share with you the card I made for her.

I was struggling for ideas but having tried a few arrangements, this is what I came up with.

It's relatively simple, but I often think that the simple ideas are the most effective.

I hope you all have a good day today, whether or not it's your birthday!

Tuesday 28 October 2014

New Scarf

I love it when we meet up with Grace - at last, someone to talk knitting with.  We made up for lost time this weekend and got up-to-date with each others current works-in-progess.

Grace has been to two craft fairs lately, Yarndale and one in Bakewell.  She seems to have bought herself a lot of lovely yarn.  And being a wonderful daughter she even got some for me!

She picked up for me some RYC Natural Silk Aran that was going cheap - pink of course.

I couldn't resist starting something new with it straight away.  So I cast on for a Louisa Harding scarf.

The pattern is called Cosimo and it's a lovely freebie.  You can see details of the pattern on Ravelry, here.

The pattern requires some concentration - it's relatively easy to follow but very difficult to memorize.  After seventeen repeats of the pattern I still hadn't manage to commit it to memory and had to refer to the pattern.  Nevertheless, it was lovely to knit and it grew really quickly.

And here is my finished scarf.

The yarn has a lovely drape and it's very soft and warm.

It's a very pretty scarf and I'm looking forward to wearing it.  You can see details of my scarf on Ravelry, here.

Monday 27 October 2014

A Lovely Birthday Weekend

Have you had a good weekend?  I hope so.  It was my husband's birthday on Friday so we've had a lovely time celebrating.

Yummy chocolate cake and delicious banana loaf - no better way to celebrate than to eat cake!

Grace came to stay for the weekend. She had been working in Manchester so it was easier for her to visit us than for us to travel to Sheffield.  We had a great evening on Friday, a meal and a drink in the local pub.

On Saturday morning we had a Skype with Eve.  Not quite the same as the four of us being together, but the next best thing.

Saturday afternoon we drove the few miles north to Formby and had a walk to the beach through the pine woods and the sand hills.

It's amazing how, just a few miles up the coast, the shoreline is so different.  I love the way the beach at Formby suddenly appears between the sand hills and jumps out at you shouting "Surprise!".

The weather across Liverpool Bay over in Wales doesn't look as pleasant as ours - although it was rather cold and windy for us.

We had a little diversion with the outdoor gym equipment - who can resist a play?

I think I would have looked more committed if I'd taken my backpack off!

After that bracing walk, what shall we do next? - time to go home for more cake of course!

Sunday 19 October 2014

About a Sewing Box

My Dad's next-door neighbour sadly died on Friday morning.  I didn't know her well, but she was a very good friend of my Dad's.  She had no immediate family, so when she went into a nursing home last year, she asked my Dad to empty her house for her.

He mentioned to me that there was an old sewing box, in need of repair, and would I be interested in it.  Obviously, I said yes.  So a while ago I picked up the sewing box and brought it home.

It's got some staining on the lids and the old hinges on one of the lids were completely broken.

I bought some new hinges, slightly bigger than the originals, but the smallest I could find and then put them away and did no more.

So, on Friday afternoon, after hearing the sad news about my Dad's neighbour, I thought it would be an appropriate time to try and repair the sewing box.

I intended to replace all the hinges but it took me so long to replace the broken ones - dodgy screws, a broken drill bit and several attempts to line up the lid with the box.  Not the prettiest of D-I-Y jobs but I was happy just to get the lid securely attached.  I'll replace the other hinges another time and maybe sand and re-varnish the lid.

There's plenty of room in the sewing box for storage.  I kept hold of some of the original contents of the box - cotton reels, bandages and some Christmas decorations!

Then I remembered a selection of craft papers I had.

The sewing theme of the papers would make them perfect to use to line the trays of the sewing box.

And here it is with it's colourful make-over.

I added a little piece of paper with Friday's date on it - just to remember my Dad's neighbour.  The paper is pale lilac with a white polka dot pattern - totally appropriate for a lady called Dot White!

It feels good to be able to give a new lease of life to the sewing box.  Now I can't wait to fill and organise the trays with my crafting bits and bobs.

Saturday 18 October 2014

All Set For the Cold Weather

Knitted hat - done.
Knitted mittens - done.

I'm ready for whatever weather this winter brings.  I have finished my mittens and they are lovely and snug.  

The cuffs have a snug soft lining and fit neatly around my wrists.  

There's a neat i-cord edging.  

And best of all, I'm completely co-ordinated!

Full details of this project can be found on my Ravelry page, here.  

Thursday 16 October 2014


I love buying new yarn, but I also love re-using old yarn.  I have a pile of cardigans I've knitted over the years but never fell totally in love with.  They're all waiting to be ripped out and re-knitted.  There is almost as much recycled yarn waiting to be re-knitted as there is new yarn.

The latest candidate for frogging was this very red scarf.

The pattern is lovely, an intricate lace panel.

I knitted it back in April 2004, but I've hardly worn it.  The problem is I wear a lot of pink and that red, is just a bit too red to co-ordinate with anything I've got.  Don't ask me why I chose to buy that colour.

So this is what the scarf has become.

The yarn is still very, very red but I might be able to work it into a Fair Isle pattern and tone down the redness.  Whatever it becomes, it's a good feeling giving new life to something that was unloved and unused.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Christmas is Coming...

There are many people out there who seem to dread the onset of Christmas, referring to it as the "C" word!  They don't want to talk about it or even think about it.

I don't like the commercialisation of Christmas, but I do love the build up, the planning, the preparing and the thought of Christmas.

Christmas is the one time of the year that the home takes centre stage.  It's decorated and given such special treatment and most importantly, it's where families, who are geographically spread out, get together.  I'm so looking forward to having both my girls home, even if only for a short while and I can't think of anything better than to spend the time now, planning treats and surprises for them.

I like to raid our local library for Christmas books to find new inspirations, and just to feel all warm and tingly.  Here's a lovely book I found this week - such gorgeous photos.

Plenty of inspiration there.  Christmas is best when it's home-made, full of love and fun.