Thursday, 28 November 2013

Clickety Click

The weekend just gone was ours to savour a bit more than usual. Miss Rosey had netball training on both days, but she was just too plain knackered to go on the Saturday. After a couple of weeks of class tests and lunchtime panto rehearsals she hit a brick wall.  It's traditional for her year group to perform their panto to local primary schools and old folks homes. She's got the plum part of Ugly Step-Mother in Cinderella which she's thrilled about. Much more to sink your teeth into when you love making people laugh.

Anyways, back to Saturday. No netball meant we could be leisurely and then head off to look at things and meander about. When we ended up in the Old Stuff Shop there was much I fancied, especially the religious print that announced He Made a Noise and They Knew He Was There. I keep thinking about it and that means I want it, so does my man who often announces "He has Been" to give me the eebeejeebies, aswell as laugh a lot too.

In the old stuff shop I was re-strained as needs must sometimes. Pennies really meant it was more of a looking kind of a day, but out of the corner of my eye I spied a little doll. I'm not sure if it was her zombie like stance or her staring eyes that made me fall for her, but fall I did.


I just love her, my man loves her, even my mum annouced she was sweet. She gives the girls the Creeps. Therefore, she has become a downstairs dolly. She seems happy with this arrangement.


With a little bit more free time and utter laziness beckoning me, I flopped in front of the fire when we got home with a plan to knit (after a few endless chores of course).


The other day I saw a shawl that just shouted out to me on Harmony and Rosie. As these things do, I couldn't get rid of the need to make this textured shawl even though it looked like a fair old bit of knitting was needed. Luckily Kate has provided links to the pattern on Ravelry and tips about how she went about knitting her beautiful shawl (I'm afraid I still can't fathom how to do post links on blogs, but if you just scroll down a bit you'll be able to find it if you want).

I decided to use up the Rowan Cocoon I bought years back to become a cardigan. Stupidly I lent the Rowan knitting book the pattern was in to someone I was teaching to crochet. I never saw her or the book again and as I was halfway through my cardi it became another not to be finished thing. Now this yarn is being revived and it's a joy to knit with.


So much so that I just couldn't stop clicking away and by Monday I was over halfway through. With it's merino and mohair mix it's an incredibly soft, yet thick yarn. My favourite bit are the textured parts, I love knitting with different stitches and it just feels good in my hands. Mind you, now with over 200 stitches on my needles it's starting to make my hands ache slightly.


My hands will have a rest over the next few days though as tommorow night after work we'll be doing a hotel evening. We won a free night stay plus breakfast at the school's sports dinner raffle. I plan to sample cocktails, chill and make the most of not getting up at 7am on a school day to enjoy breakfast in bed. My man's meetings have been cancelled for the next day, I think it's an unspoken rule that knitting will stay at home so I'm hands free.


In my head I'll still be dreaming about the next things I'm thinking about trying out very soon. Tartan and fairisle works a treat for me.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Custard Delights

Midweek I had a girlie night, just me and my mum. No spas or fancy resorts, just the two of us with good food and a lovely bottle of Hendricks. Now we know the source of her troubles (which turns out to be angina) a wee balloon has to be sent to the right place just before christmas and fingers crossed all will be well once more.

That same night I found I'd won something. I was so surprised and thrilled. I usually pop my name into the hat never expecting to win. Turns out that both Ada and I were the lucky winners of Jennys giveaway over at The Custards.

We got home late in the dark last night so it was only this morning that my man found my parcel propped by the front door. Very exciting to have a parcel at 7am when it's not my birthday I must say.


The parcel was wrapped in true Jenny style. Whimsical panache with Robins a plenty.

Now I'd had to guess the colour of a table, a bit like how many sweeties are in the jar really. Yellow was the colour I guessed and for that I won a gorgeous purse made by Jenny herself. The parcel I received had far more than just a purse in it, which was naughty, but very nice of Jenny indeed.


Just all sorts of lovely things to be sure. I'm thrilled with each and everything and it even smelt beautiful too. There was a wee lavender sachet inside which is a smell that reminds me of christmas. That with the paper and the gifts has got me in the mood I must say.


Isn't this fabric just wonderful? As for the purse. The purse has been given over to hold my lippy and powder. It's a very big purse and I have a very small amount of pennies to put in it.


As today was a home day, I had the chance to move my parcel bits around when I got back from school depositing. Florence's paperweight got re-united with empty Bubbles Flo. 

Then when I was writing this post, my man said that's not right, you're missing a Florence and so he went off in search of most elderly Florence.


She usually sits on the bookshelf with Action Man whose grippable fingers are slowly breaking off. Now she's been put to make up a three.

Once the important stuff was done, I hunkered down by the heater, surrounded myself with all sorts of fabric and had a think about what I was going to make from my headlist.


I could have made a warm curtain to keep out drafts, stitched some cushion covers, started a tartan skirt or a floral dress, but instead I  made patterns and cut endless felt for a few hours.


It suddenly dawned on me that the Buns break up in three weeks, that being the case I'd best get a wiggle on with all handmade gifts.

Wishing you all a very lovely weekend and be back soon.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Just Noticing

I'm braving the cold to jot down another post. You see my laptop doesn't like being moved about anymore and refuses to work properly if it leaves it's corner by the window. Leaving a cosy woodburner to tap out my tale is getting harder and harder as the nights get fresher. Also like an old dear I keep nodding off and then wake startled about 1am knowing I'll feel like hell six hours later when my man yells get up as he and Alfie head off for a blast down the lane.

I noticed I've hardly posted in November and thought I needed to re-dress the balance as it were. It could be down to time slipping away - or it could be down to there being very little to say. I know the latter can't be true because I can talk endless nonsense if necessary. Therefore, I think it must be down to time rushing ahead and leaving me in it's slipstream. I have been trying of late to slow time right down. I've felt an urge to squeeze more out of it and so I've stopped, rested and looked around me some more.


When I find myself pinned behind our evil ironing board I love to gaze on this scene balanced on our dead as a dodo Rayburn.

Even getting the milk out of the fridge is a joy now the gardener lady will turn to look at the chef. Each morning I'd find her spun away from him in disgust.


This cupboard just makes me happy to gaze upon and you should feel happy with your everyday stuff shouldn't you.


I even manage a smile when I wash up, having a look to see what's been added to the swans lately.


Amongst these things that I love is one of my treasures. A tiny pill box, the purple velvet inside slightly stained and faded adding to its charm all the more. I'm unsure which of dad's relatives it belonged to, but it somehow became mine.


Well all of these just make me plain happy, I refuse to have favourites, but the cheeky slant eyed grin of the fish makes me giggle each time I see him. I bought him many moons ago now from Daniella at one our Pick 'n' Mix Makers Markets. He reminds me of something I wanted to do and did, of people I met and great times to be sure.


The ladybirds were added to as we grew as a family. I like the dogs even if they are a bit grumpy of late, my man adds to these for me.


Just above the low doorway out of the kitchen, where I'm always whacking my head, the Spice Family sit trying hard to remind me to duck.


I've always been a homebird, luckily I married one too. Just about everything in our home is handed down, rescued and plain worn out but we love it all. 

I loved reading your comments about my blanket, thankyou for stopping by to say hello. It is always really appreciated. Heather of Pink Milk made a great suggestion about doing a blog shout out if I ever ran out of yarn again. I think we'd all be up for those kind of swaps, mind you I was relieved not to have to make another twenty squares.

Tommorow my mum is having tests in her arteries to see what her chest pains are. I'll be stopping the night with her to make sure all is as it should be. I had thought I might take my blanket along to start sewing those ends in.  Then I suddenly realised it will be the first time either of us have gone to the hospital since dad died there. Now I feel awful that I can't get the day off work to take her in. Sometimes a teaching job just doesn't allow for real life stuff does it.

And on a brighter note - I found out tonight that I've won Jenny's giveaway along with Ada. Well that was a lovely turn up for the books indeed.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Let's Celebrate with A Cake

I'm in a state of shock and excitement. I've actually finished my first ever hooky blanket. There are many I've started - some are still waiting patiently in a basket to become their finished selves, others have just been forgotten and given up on.  I started on The Bubblegum Blanket (named so by Little Bun) last October. I worked a row or two and then put it back in the basket again to wait awhile. A lot of my waiting a while has been down to yarn supply problems as well as my tendency to hop from thing to thing.

It all started from the odds and sods of Amy Butler yarn left over from my Japanese Flowers Scarf. I loved working with this soft, chunkyish and bright yarn so much. As it's super warm too, making a blanket out of the left overs was the only thing to do.


After I'd worked a few rows I started running out of yarn which meant I needed to add to the left over yarn. No problem I thought as this is such gorgeous yarn I'll be able to get it anywhere.


First problem I ran into was that the local yarn shop said goodbye so I couldn' get any more there. Then when I went to the big yarn shop in the city it turned out that Rowan didn't make or sell Amy Butler yarn anymore. Now it was time to get creative. A few colours and some of the huge amount of pink I was after turned up on ebay. Weeks later John Lewis tipped a few balls of the colours I was after into a sale bin and I roughly calculated I'd have enough to do the 10 rows by 10 I was after.


Late on Saturday I found a quiet spot by the fire and felt an urge to work some more squares on the blanket. My man was cooking, the Bun's were happy doing their thing and so I lit the woodburner, popped on Darling Buds of May and snuggled up with my hook and yarn. This cosy scene was made all the better when I was handed a glass of wine.


By this stage of my Bubblegum Blanket I was nearly 8 rows in and only had another ten to go. Then I realised I only had a ball and a half of the main pink left. I just couldn't face searching for more pink and then waiting for it to come if I even found any, so a quick change of plan and I decided it was big enough as it was.


Then it got exciting, because it meant the end of my blanket was close in sight and we would actually be able to start using it. I started and finished the border on Sunday. My plans were changed to fit in with the amount of pink yarn I had so I kept it simple and added in a row of cream trebles after a couple rows of double crochet. Sad to say but I was holding my breath as I worked the last row of pink trebles wondering if my yarn would last. It did and I even have enough left to tie a few things that might need tying up with it. 

So here it is in all its glory. Not as big as I'd hoped for, but certainly as soft, colourful and lovely as I'd dreamed of. Now like everything else it will need a partner as I have two girlies who love all this stuff I make. How can I say this is yours and you're not having one? Just hope they're patient that's all as it may take me a while ...


... because there are a hell of a lot of ends to sew in on this one first.


I was most definately in a finishing up mood, as the scarf that's made from the same yarn is all done and dusted too.

I like it, but I just wish it was fatter and I wish it was red. I'll have to make another because I can't get out of my head the red one that started me making this one in the first place.


I'll just leave you with this cheeky shot of Miss Rosey. After all that Darling Buds of May wallowing I got quite housewifely and whipped up a big fat choccy cake for afternoon tea. Lack of a table was overcome with the ironing board under which my girl popped out from as I took the photo. I have to be quick to get any pictures of random stuff here. I can see how odd it seems saying hold your cake eating desire a moment longer as I need to take a photo of it first.


This cheeky girl is one of a pair that belong to a girls school that I am very proud of. Last week they had their annual November Market at school and Miss Rosey's class won first prize of £50 for their stall. They wanted to donate it to give aid to the Phillipines rather than pay for a party. The whole school asked what they could do, so a collection was taken after Friday's assembly and they raised £1,500. The most amazing part and something that really makes a difference is direct action. A former pupil at the school has parents who own a haulage company. They offered a lorry and a driver to take essential building tools and clothes straight to the Phillipines as long as all donations were at the school by the end of Friday. When my man walked in with our bags it turned out the first lorry had already left and they were sending another as there was far too much for one. That along with the amazing support from the rest of the UK makes me feel really proud to be part of a society that cares for one another irrespective of which race or religion we are from. 

Good people thankfully outnumber bigots (that's as far as I will go with airing my social beliefs on here in case you were wondering as I have enough political debate at home to last a lifetime).






Tuesday, 12 November 2013

And so it Goes .....

I've missed writing my posts. It's only been a week and a half and yet it feels like an age since I last put words to pictures.

For some reason or other I couldn't think of one darned thing to say. That is apart from really really boring stuff, moany stuff, indiscreet stuff and what the hell is she on about stuff.
 
I've also been off fighting battles and they sure are tiring.

For crafty sanity I've been reaching for yarn type things. In my head are a few felty projects, quilts and clothes I plan to make. I'm slowly realising that that time of year is coming up and I need to get a wiggle on if I'm actually going to get my gifts done and dusted.


 First though it's all about me. I had an idea of a scarf troubling me so I just had to get on with it almost as soon as the idea had plopped out. I saw a selection of hooky scarves on Pinterest and I fell for a granny stripe one in reds. Somehow the colours changed by the time I got to the making part.

 I gathered up some cream, green and pink yarns before work one day and even managed to start the first few rows before the day got chugging along.


My scarf is really steaming ahead now. Just the final colour repeats and I think perhaps a fancy  border before it'll be snuggled around my neck all cosy cosy.


I also had a eureka moment the other night which was very exciting My man was snoring away as usual and when I couldn't take it any more I yelled SHUT UP, which I reckon is far kinder than caving his head in. He woke up a bit moany and then I lay there all chilled and in peace.

While it was quiet and I got more sleepy a storm of a new idea swirled in my head. I tried the idea out on my man the next day and he thought it perfect. I'm always searching for plans to keep me sane around my teaching and I think this one will keep me happy for a while.
 


Over the weekend I finished hat number two. It only needs a stitch together and a try-on to see if it's as lovely as I hope it'll be.

I do have a slight hat addiction at the moment because there are a couple in Inside Crochet that I can't stop looking at. One is easy peasy crochet and the other is a textural and trying out new things type of hat.


It's simply the time of year that draws me to the yarn more I know. Warm fires, good drama on the TV and a blanket to snuggle under while I hook another few rows.


Lily our tiniest cat is easing into the season by finding all the cosiest places to curl up. This was how she kept me company while I painted the landing outside the girls rooms.


It's also been a time of firsts recently as my man and I headed off to a Burlesque show. It was lovely to go to such a dressy vintage style event (and I mean the audience of course) where the humour was just plain saucy and rude. We had a blast as the MC was really entertaining.

I struggled to find something to wear as my going out clothes have seriously dwindled since being a mum. Now it's time to start being me again more and more as they grow up. The only thing I found that seemed just right was the top I wore on the night my man and I finally got it together after months of fannying around. I finished it off with my favourite velvet trousers that fit some winters and not others. Seems this is a leaner winter as they zipped up no problem.


The day after it was time to put on as many clothes as possible as we were going to a fireworks party.

My job was sparkler lighter. The season of sparkly lights and cosy times is well and truly upon us.