Saturday, 24 May 2014


I'm really enjoying my garden at the moment. Spending time outside, the above photos show the gorgeous plants that grace our patch. We have had some fantastic weather recently and it's been so pleasurable to be outside. Not today though. I've been standing at my back door, wrapped in a crochet blanket for warmth and cuddling a hot mug of tea watching the rain. It's pouring and I'm mesmerised by it. I've got a lot on my mind, I wish I could sort my thoughts.

This week I picked up this cute shelving unit from Bargain Alley for £12. I'm not really going to display wool in it as at the moment it's situated in our dining area, I was just having a play and fantasising about a dedicated craft room all to myself, somewhere I could have a cutting table and my sewing machines set up permanently, so I don't have to commandeer the dining room table only to have to move everything to make room for my daughter who needs to revise for her English lit GCSE exam.

Aldi have a fine display of succulents on sale right now. This little lady was so pretty I bought her home with me. I like the fact that she is going to be undemanding on me, not needing too much attention - I feel at bit stretched in the attention giving department right now.

I had a few 'Alan' hours booked in this week. The lovely man pressure washed the crazy paving at the top end of the garden, revealing the pinks and yellows of the slabs and bringing the area back to it's original beauty. Honestly, it's come up really well after years of dirt covering it.

He also put up my wall hanging...

This is my version of spools. I had downloaded the thimble blossoms pattern but upsized the dimensions as I wanted a bigger wall hanging. It started off quite well although I did encounter problems along the way and had to unpick a lot of the quilting stitching (not a problem with the pattern I hasten to add), leaving me feeling annoyed with it for a while. I got over it though and finished it off and like it now I've 'stepped away' from it.
I really love the sewing machine quilt hanger I bought from here, it's a fun way to display mini quilts.

We have had sunshine and showers throughout today. I hope the weather is good for you wherever you are

'till next time


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Picnic Blanket

I've come down this morning to find a spider had spun her web from the corner of an upper kitchen cupboard to the edge of the work surface, right where the kettle is. A perfect piece of work. My daughter insisted I move it (I had made my tea around it), so I gathered the spider up in a tissue, wrecking the web in the process and put her outside on the garden bench. I apologised to her and said she would have to start again.

I'm still knitting. Thanks for all your encouragement, I'm halfway up the left front so although quite slow I do feel like I'm getting there.

It's a beautiful day today, we had thunderstorms yesterday evening and it has obviously been raining in the night, but this morning the sun is shining and the sky is blue and I hope my spider has found a more suitable place to spin a new web and has started to crack on.

This is the picnic blanket I finished last week. We were blessed with gorgeous weather the last bank holiday Monday and I managed to finish this off that morning so was very excited to use it. I packed up a picnic and me and the children headed to one of the town parks near the river. We needed to do the 'park-swing-slide' thing for my youngest but the park was heaving with people (good weather + bank holiday = very busy play park) so we stayed a while then decided to take a walk along the river. Still fairly busy but not too bad we ambled along at a (nearly) 2year olds pace and had a very enjoyable time indeed :o)

A lady on Instagram (@mycraftlife ) sells yarn in colour packs and I bought her 'CK Inspired' pack a while ago.  The yarn sat around for a bit as usual and then I suddenly felt inspired to make some granny squares , which turned into a picnic blanket with a wide border and a fun pom-pom edging that you can find the tutorial for here. I have to say the edging had to be like that, no other choice would do, it was asking to have a pom-pom edge and I was happy to oblige!

I've seen many crochet blankets this style and colour way around, 7 round granny squares with round 4 and 7 in the base colour of sky blue. I joined them so the strong red colour was alternated - one square with it on any one of the first 3 rounds and then the next square with the red coming on either round 5 or 6.

This blanket now lives in my car and I love to catch a view of it in my rear view mirror. It will accompany us on all our day trips and holidays from now on.

and of course on the many picnics we will have this summer :o)

FYI: the yarn is New Fashion double knitting by Woolcraft, quite widely available I'm sure but here is the contact email for where I purchased my yarn pack:

'till next time...

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Cherry 3341

Hello there, how are you doing? It's a nice sunny day here and I have just opened the back door to the sunshine and sound of the church bells ringing. I may try and get out in the garden to do some tidying of the borders. As usual the days speed past so fast and there is always so much to do - both what needs to be done and what I want to do. The trick is to do bits of both of course.

So I'm here today to show you a skirt I've made. I have been hoarding collecting fabric for a while with the intention of making a simple a-line skirt to wear in the summer. I had the daft idea of drafting the pattern myself with the help of my old pattern cutting books from college. Even if I had managed to drag from my hard-to-reach memory banks the knowledge of how to do it, because it's such a time consuming process I wasn't that keen to get started so when lazy daisy brought to my attention McCalls 3341- a simple skirt pattern in different lengths, I had to do a little purchase of the pattern as it's exactly what I had in mind.

My cherry print fabric. I have had it for ages and love it soooo much. I can't remember where on earth I got it from, I really can't. I have in the past just put the word 'cherry' in the search box on Ebay or Amazon to see what comes up as I love all things cherry, so it probably was one of those moments :0)

Back to the making process. It wasn't as straight forward as I thought though. When I took my body measurements and compared to the chart on the back of the envelope I found my hips were around the size 14 but my waist measurement was off the scale! I'm not kidding, it's bigger than the biggest size on there! I know I have a weird body shape - a muffin top of mammoth proportions and I certainly could do with shaping up, but what should I do? 
After some pondering (and thinking it was all going to be about elasticated skirts from now on) I decided to cut the size 16 and I altered the skirt as I went along (and did the same to the pattern) I am however not entirely happy with the fit, believe it or not it seems a bit loose. I had to take the hips in quite a bit and even at the waist I made adjustments to the side seams and darts. I think the amount of ease the pattern makers put in is quite generous!

Nevertheless, I do still love this skirt, especially the green ric-rac trim at the hem - it's all the rage you know!

Here's me posing in my brothers kitchen when we went up for a visit during the school Easter holidays. I hate photos of myself - especially this one which illustrates my pregnant looking stomach so well. I bet though, in ten years time I will look back at this picture and think I look okay, I find this with photos. (The crochet flower brooch I'm wearing was made for me by my 9 year old niece)

As you can see I have a red cardi that I wear with my cherry skirt, but the shade is not quite right and I fancy having a green one. I have looked around and apart from a expensive, but no doubt gorgeous one from Boden I've had no luck finding one. So guess what? 

...I've started to knit one! Please don't leave a comment on how I can improve my knitting - I know it's not brilliant but I'm determined to get it finished as 'done is better than perfect' and I want to stay in my ignorance is bliss bubble on the knitting front so as not to be discouraged. I of course will be back to share with you my progress of the green knitted cardi, it is a huge project for me and I'm convinced it is the same amount of work as a king-size crochet blanket!

And did you spot the cute crochet coat-hanger?

I've wanted to make this sort of thing for ages (this particular pattern is from a book called Crochet with Color by Kazuko Ryokai) However, I hadn't been able to find any wooden coat hangers the right shape until I spied a pack of 5 for £2.99 in Dunelm and snapped them up! This is the only one I've made so far but will make more as they are fun to do!

The whole time I've been typing this post my little girl has been grabbing my hand and trying to pull me away from the computer so I'm off to get dressed and get out in my garden - I'm sure she will love to help with the digging :0)

'till next time...