Saturday, 12 April 2014

Miss Winkle - SpringKAL

Soooo....a little progress, but not maybe as much as I would have liked......what happened to all my knitting and crocheting and blogging time that I used to have.....if anyone can solve the mystery please do.....


I'm not sure how I will finish this, one of the balls of 2ply is running short, so I'm in a quandary, but as the rest of the shawl has been a bit experimental, I'll tackle it, when it happens!

To see other fellow KAL-ers, pop on over to see Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch who is hosting this lovely SpringKAL.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

SpringKAL

Well, for a moment there, I was quite convincing, "I've made more than enough shawls", "I've got lots of other projects already started", "I haven't got any yarn that really lends itself for this", "There's house work to do"............

Hhhhhmmmmm.............see, you were pretty convinced weren't you?

I finished my Sunny Days Shawlette and within a couple of hours, I was downloading the pattern and looking at my woolly shelves.........



So I've made a start, but haven't had much time to actually knit, so I'm on ten loops, which may stay that way into next week as its a busy weekend ahead with biggest boy's eleventh birthday, bowling, eating cake, singing, eating....you get the picture.

Oh....but this is a lovely knit.....glad I joined in!

To see other SpringKAL-ers pop on over to Crafts from the Cwtch



So last week, I cast off my Sunny Days Shawlette and within hours I found myself pressing download on the pattern and 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Year of projects - 23.03.14

I've been meaning to do a post about my makes for a couple of weeks, but as you can see, it didn't quite happen.

My temperature blanket is on going, I must not rest on my laurels though, as I will find myself with a back-log of 'days' to catch up on.  It does seem that the weather has brightened a lot, so it doesn't look like I'm going to get any freak lows (dark blues) unless I make them up!

My wonderful hubby on his return from South Africa, well trained that he is, came back with two beautifully hand-dyed skeins of Merino...and a shawl pattern to go with.....now what more could a woman ask for....he knows what makes me smile!


I finished the shawl yesterday and blocked it overnight.  It's a simple small triangular shawl called Sunny Days Shawlette, designed by Carle' Dehning. The shawl was made in her own Nuturing Fibres yarn in a blue/purple/turquoise colourway. I used a darker blue for a couple of garter stitch rows at the end to accentuate the design.

I'm not sure I had the whole of the pattern, as there had to be a bit of guess work at the end, but I'm pleased with the shawl, and the simple design sets of the colours perfectly.



A few weeks ago, obviously when I was feeling a little chillier, I decided to make myself a Capucine, a lovely hat with bags of space for a big haired lady like myself!  The design is worked from the rim up, and unfortunately that was my undoing!  There's a lot to be said for something you can try on as you go....mine ended up being pretty big (even for me and my hair!).  I have still got a pom-pom to put on and some plaits at the sides, but with the sudden cheeriness in the weather, I think it may well wait for another season.


A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to a new knitted teddy, the library book that I got the pattern from, also had some clothes, so I whipped up a hooded cardi for him to keep warm, (and to cover up those squonky ears!)

One last make, from a few weeks ago, was littlest boy's World Book Day costume.......its always the boys' choice, and this year, littlest said he wanted to be The Gingerbread Man (thankgoodness not too difficult!)


I was rather pleased with my more methodical approach and the finished costume.  I made this with a cheap fleece blanket, and plenty of patience.....it is now in use as a warm onesie for bedtime.....I'm tempted to make one for myself!

Anyway....I'm on to the next thing......another shawl wouldn't you know!  I couldn't stop myself, although I made a concerted effort for a while there.  I've decided to join in Sarah's (Crafts from the Cwtch) knit-a-long......more about that next week!

To see other Year of Projects work,  check out the ravelry page here.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Wild West

I thought I'd share a few photos of the boys half term hols, all spent at home, and mostly at the beach it would appear!

I'm glad to say that the weather has been glorious for the past few days, very welcome after a few too many blastings of stormy weather.  We (the boys and I) have spent three weeks home alone while my hubby has been holidaying in the town he was born in, Fish Hoek, South Africa....happily he is home now, having had a fabulous time, and missing the worst of the storms.  The local builder looked after us well, and nearly all has been put back to rights.

The things that can't be put back so easily are our beautiful coastlines.....changed.....new beauty.....different...

One morning, quite by chance, the boys and I happened to discover a new world, this is our closest beach, a small cove a stone's throw from our house, hidden down a set of steep steps.




The children spent a long time running through it all...'it's just like wonderland!'......I fooled a few, with my photos, into thinking we had had a freak snow storm....but no, those ferocious winds and stormy seas had made a beach filled with salty foam.....like walking on clouds!

Another walk later on in the week, took us along the coast path, evidence of the storms was everywhere.






The path leads down to a  small beach which sits below the jetty from the refinery....the boys dragged all the detritus laying about, to make boats and dens.





Chester joined in the effort!

The holidays were pretty chokka with meeting up with friends, swimming lessons, soft play, housework, walking....ooh and a disco in a waterpark!

Our last trip of the week, to the same beach in the first few photos, showed us different scenes again.  I haven't got to hand photos of this beach just recently.....before the storms



Actually....Ive just found this one on my picassa album, this is the beach as we know it, with sand.....


.....and without sand......it's hard to comprehend how much the level of the beach has dropped by....the sand washed away, exposing the reef below.



This last picture was one of those 'by chance' moments.....the littlest boy hotfooting away from the waves which were running after him.....magical!


Monday, 17 February 2014

Brecon Mountain Trail Challenge

For those of you who've hung around, you'll remember that last year I spent a lot of time walking, mainly to try and build up my stamina for the Brecon Mountain Challenge  a twenty mile trek through The Beacons taking in the highest peak in Britain  south of Snowdonia, 'Pen y Fan'.  My hubby and I raised £230 for a local food and clothing bank PATCH.


We set off at 4am full of excitement with a few nerves (well I was nervous!) to boot.  We arrived at the startpoint at 6-30am, signed in, got given our maps and then off we went...here am I....just about ready to go!


The beginning was fairly easy going (lulling into a false sense of  security!) and some people went off at an amazing pace with running shoes and tiny bags (where was all their food?!!)


We walked across a large area of bog land which is where my main problem occurred when my boots leaked...these bogs were still very wet despite the very dry summer we had last year, there was more than one walker that said the previous year that a few people had to be pulled out by fellow walkers when they got stuck up to their waists!



This is where the walk became more serious as we started the first climb......



Here I was looking back down to where we had started the climb, you can see the road there in the middle.


.....and the view onwards.....


....and more climbing.....I kept having to stop to get my breath take photos...I wasn't alone, parts of the beginning of the walk were murder and I  found it seriously hard to smile!


Even though we had been climbing for what seemed like forever, there was still a good way to go, (you can see people in the distance).



Get a load of that!


Oh, and I made it!  After getting to the top, all moans and whines were forgotten, and I could enjoy a nice drink and look at the panorama.


And down the other side....we had over ten more miles to go, so no time to dilly-dally!



These mountains literally take my breath away..........so stunning that they make something ache inside...does that make any sense?


After coming down through the mountains, we walked on passing reservoirs, through fields and across moorland.



So near and yet so far!




This is the board of everyone who had returned, our tags were somewhere in the middle there.....my worries that we would be the last ones turning in was totally unfounded!


I sat down on this bench just after handing our tags in....it seemed like a good idea .......I rethought my 'good idea' when it came to getting up again!

Looking at these photos reminds me of a wonderful day, walking in beautiful countryside, the mountains, the big skies, the sparkling reservoirs...it's maybe also not hard to forget my incredibly sore feet, (my leaky boots went straight back to the shop a couple of weeks later when I was actually able to put boots on again). 

When we got to the B+B after the walk, I rather embarrassingly was finding it pretty difficult to walk, in fact I went to dinner that night in slippers as it was all I could bear to put on!

I loved doing this 'big for me' challenge...I even sang a few lines of 'The Hills are Alive'! That's the Welsh girl in me, always a song on my lips!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Year of projects - 02.02.14

This week I have a finished thing, started a new thing and made a flight of fancy.

The first thing and finished thing, is a car seat blanket for my cousin who has had a lovely new baby boy.  I was so excited at the prospect of a new blanket, and then suddenly remembered the stars I had started on last year...or the year before?....



I saw this lovely star design on another blog, and on finding out that the pattern for the star square was from a book, I decided to work it out myself.  I did seem to remember (obviously wrongly) making loads of these squares, but when I dug them out from the corner that they were lingering in, there were only just a handful, so I made a few plain ones and striped ones to fill it out a bit.

This is one of those times, that I wish I had written down what I did....but hey, I didn't and I will have to work it out another time when I have the time to do so.  This blanket was made in Stylecraft for ease of washing and drying.

The second item that I have just begun is my temperature blanket.  I have sectioned up temperatures in 3 degree increments and allotted each range a colour. Each day I am using the highs and lows to make these lovely squares, taken from Snowcatcher's blog.  Such a well written pattern and great explanation as to joining as you go (which I am not doing because of the construction of my blanket).


I am enjoying the squares, but just find myself wishing for some freak weather to mix it up a bit...maybe a boiling hot day in the middle of January is a bit hard to believe though.....

Last thing is my flight of fancy, taken from a book I picked up from the library....not sure why....just because.


This bear had the odds stacked against him, as sewn on nose, mouth and eyes were called for, but then to top it all...ears sewn on too.  I think the first mistake was the eyes which looked alright, but were maybe not, and then the ears sewn at a jaunty angle made everything a bit squiffy...ooops!  The pattern also has a hoody, which I hope to make this week...maybe he can pull  his hood up and hide his 'bad ear' day.

Ah...but he's still smiling eh!



Lastly......but not leastly.....I received a wonderful package from across the pond from the lovely Sue from Mrs. Micawber......it was a Saturday late afternoon, so I placed it at the bottom of the table (out of sight but not out of mind) until I could cook for and feed the boys.

It was such a treat to open....the chocolate (yep....all long gone!) the buttons, the felt ornament, the lovely necklace which has a beautiful bird with the words 'wing it' and a fabulous knitting magazine.....it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.  The magazine is a cracker and loads of lovely things to make plus plenty of inspiration for my next jumper project.....

Thankyou Sue!


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Austria - vier


Right at the end of the holiday we decided to go and see Eisriesenwelt, the biggest ice caves in the world. You were not allowed to take photographs inside the caves, and the only light was from the hand-held carbide lamps that you can just see in the background of the photo above.

The caves were amazing, vast, stretching back into the mountains 30 miles or so, but obviously only a relatively small area is accessible to the public.  The people who discovered and made a way through the caves are long since dead, but its amazing to realise what we can now see in the comfort of our warm, robust shoes and clothes is down to the blood, sweat and tears of  brave adventurers who went before, with very much less.








Amazing how this face seems to creep up everywhere!


There was a big climb up to the ice caves, the weather wasn't brilliant, and maybe the fog and mist stopped us feeling too woozy whilst going up!



On the way out from Eisreisenwelt I persuaded the others that we should visit Salzburg, and see if we could see any of the places from 'The Sound of Music'.  The boys had all seen the film and middle boy especially was really enthusiastic to see the sights.  The organised trips were very expensive, but good old Google came to the fore when I found a local's advice on where to go to see the filming locations.



Salzburg was wonderful, we will definitely go back again.  On the bridge that spans the river, there were lots of padlocks, and on closer inspection they had initials etched onto them.  So being the true romantics, we joined in too!

The engraver



There it is....hope we will be able to find it next time!







This was our final supper in Austria....a.goodbye to the beautiful town of Zell am See over a slice or three of kuchen.  

I truly loved Austria....a little bit of me is left there I think....somewhere up there in those mountains.  When I got home I was so fired up I signed up for a Open University course in German so that when we go back (And we will!) I can Sprechen Deutsch.

If hope you enjoyed seeing our holiday snaps....we had a wonderful time, made lots of brilliant memories and challenged ourselves  further in our walking as a family than we've been challenged before.