Monday, 25 April 2016

Crochet comeback


Oh, how I've missed this...all the usual excuses...well you know how it goes...the thing is I have probably gone into procrastination over the really pressing things, such as the big German exam I have next month, so what am I doing ....anything but revision!




This small baby blanket above was a total re-make after beginning a very similar blanket  and finding I didn't have enough yarn to finish and then frustratingly, being unable to find the same yarn again.  Baby blanket #2   


We had two nights away in our little caravan, the sun shone on us and our day-out was simply 'wunderbar'!  Llansteffan Castle and beach, Carmarthenshire.


The latest project....guess what I'm making?  It will always be a blanket.  I'm pleased to be taking part in the 'Last dance on the Beach' CAL 

(As many of you know, this CAL was designed by the late Marinke Slump ( aka : Wink) from www.acreativebeing.com and was the final design she was working on at the time of her passing. In accordance with the wishes of Marinke’s family, 12 of her online friends and bloggers have completed her unfinished design to present this beautiful and sensitive CAL in Marinke’s memory and as a tribute to her work.)

I am here....I am still crocheting, knitting and sewing...although admittedly, a little less.  I'm beginning to be bored with my less-productive self....I'm getting fed-up of thinking about projects, but not actually doing them....so I'm doing something about it! (although I am by no means promising to finish off the hundreds of unfinished projects lurking!)

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Time

Well 2016 so far has been pretty much me thinking and not really doing!  I'm definitely in a reflective mood.  


I think that probably every blogger has a whole host of things that they should be doing....things that that they want to do....and its probably not worth adding the things that you'd like to have a go at!

It turns out I have rather less time than I thought I had and even then, its probably less than that.

My crafty endeavours, German learning and running come way down the list of things that are part of my everyday, and yet they are important, as they probably make the essential things possible.  If I didn't do some of the 'me' stuff, I would soon not be me.

Last weekend I should probably have been catching up on my German (I have fallen behind in my studying) but we all did a Parkrun instead....and do you know what it was exactly the right thing to do.  I had a clear head, I felt more balanced and not quite so panicky that I wasn't ticking everything  off the 'to-do' list.

So the big list didn't shrink any really, but I was happier.

I would like to be blogging again....I would like to know the method of making all the new German  vocabulary, I look up everyday, actually stick so that when I go to use the word, it is still there (where does it go?)

I would love to know what on earth the coloured ball of acrylic that I was mixing in, with the pale pink, in the above baby blanket was..........I have been back to the shop, I have picked up what I thought it was twice and come back to realise it is nowhere near.....that's a small frustration in the scheme of things, but hey its not asking much!

I would like to be able to combine all the things I want to do into one activity...so I can listen to German TV while I run, but can I blog and knit at the same time?  Maybe I could find a group of German runners who are also part of a knit and natter group....maybe I should start the group....I would.... but I have no free time ;-)

Monday, 4 January 2016

Zwischen 2015 und 2016


So for another year, all the sparkly decorations have been packed away.  Christmas 2015 has been lovely......relaxed, good company, good food and happiness.  It has been pretty difficult to 'snap out of it' to be honest.  The run up to Christmas with school age children (in three different schools) is busy to say the least.  We picked up the children from school on the last day of school and took off to Cardiff for the night.  It was such a big treat for us 'countryfolk'!  Hotel, meal out and shops....a welcome break from the same four walls and routine.


Away has gone my advent calendar that I made some years ago.  Despite the lack of chocolate the children still seem  keen to see what will come out next.


New to our family traditions is a big portion of  Sue's Caramel Popcorn (recipe from  Mrs. Micawber blog)  Along with the batch of Ruth's coconut mince pies.

(These are not the only favourite things from other bloggers....one can't blog and not be affected!  )



I've rattled through a few makes, some of which were presents.  The christmas tree hat was for a friend who runs a food and basics bank and at Christmas also manages to give out presents to children who would otherwise have nothing in our county.  Anyway after promising a  hat, this was my offering




This shawl was a happy skein of yarn from Mothy and the Squid and the pattern was 


The painting above was a commissioned gift for a young lady who has been doing charity work in Durban, South Africa with young mums and children.




This is a painting  of Chester our beagle for a competition, unfortunately I did not place, but I enjoyed the process!



We've enjoyed some lovely walks in the past week or so, despite the dreadful British weather at the moment.  We have somehow got out of the habit of doing longer family walks, we must get back to it.

Apart from more of the above, I hope that 2016 is filled with  a few more challenges.  I somehow managed to pull off my first race, which was a 10k in September....I ran the whole lot, which I was fairly smug about....not bad for a lazy girl.  I am hoping that this year might hold a half marathon.....although I am realistic that I may not have the time to train.

I am still pressing on with my German (with far too many major wobbles just recently)  I have never found anything more difficult or nerve wracking.  I am supposed to travel to Jena, Germany next month and the idea of it makes me feel pretty queasy!  If I have an hour to work out what I want to say and a notebook I'm ok.....but conversations don't generally work like that!!


Anyway....if I can do these things then so can anyone....

All the very best for you and yours in 2016!!


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Blanket love

Well, you might think you could get bored of doing the same thing.....but you know, no matter how many blankets I make, I still want to make more!

About three months ago, we bought a caravan, in a bid to make family holidays a little more affordable, having three school aged children and dogs makes for an expensive getaway always.

Our first caravan holiday went swimmingly, it was so relaxing.....yes, we forgot things, but it was lovely having all your own things to hand.....and who knew that you could carry so many crochet/knitting projects when you have a whole caravan to fill ;-)

Well, it wasn't long until there were 'caravan blankets' being crocheted frantically!



This is middle boy's blanket who has a liking for  yellow and blue....and was so excited when I finally sewed in the final lose ends....doesn't that make you so warm inside when something you've made is so wanted?


This is biggest boy's (as seen on the last post)....far more grown up and sophisticated!




This is littlest boy's....I had already made this, so it has been re-purposed as a 'caravan blanket'

And if I haven't made enough, I find myself making another at the moment, this one a car seat blanket for a new baby girl....I am really enjoying it, as it's a totally different design to the ones I have made previously....I'll show you next time.



On other yarn news, I bought the above from a lovely etsy shop Mothy and the Squid.....it looks amazing, you can't see all the rainbow colours in it, but it is called Summer Skies Rainbow.....I think it will be a shawl....hhmmm shawls, just mini blankets eh?!  The delivery was next day and I got some lovely stitch markers to boot!  How thoughtful is that!




On non-yarny news, this is my mad hubby, finishing his first Iron Man....that's 2.4 mile swim, 122 mile cycle and 26.2 mile run....I was too stressed at the time to take it all in, but I've shed a few tears since.  He raised £500 for a local food and clothing bank.....MY HERO!


Just to leave you with more happy thoughts, here's the caravan blankets, littlest boy, middle boy, biggest boy and mummy blankets....hubby denies needing one.....will it stop me???


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Summer



Well, as ever, my life can hardly be described as uneventful.  These school holidays have been filled with all sorts of bits and bobs.  I often think I haven't done much until I look back through my pictures.  It must be the sign of a blogger (up-to-date or not!) who always takes photos of everything!

So a quick look at just a few makes, the above ripple is for biggest boy, and actually is now finished, ends sewn in, border added and in situ on bed (I must go and rescue it to take some pics before it is too lived-in)

The below toe up socks are Lousie Tillbrook's Have Fun Socks, and were started rather haphazardly, ripped out after realising I wasn't concentrating and have gone so far and been put down in favour of crochet....I'm sure they will come back in to their own when I am back on the school runs again next week.  It is nice to have a take-a-long project.



Biggest boy has been away on a church camp with friends and was part of a nativity dress-up (he was dressed as Michael Jackson....don't ask!) and a last minute non-delivery of wings meant that I was rustling up these at midnight before they left early the next morning.  I love a challenge....I also love the fact I have one of everything in my craft cupboard!  


I've had my sewing machine out a few times recently and have rustled up a number of cushions, which is a great short job that I enjoy.  Cushions that I have made for our caravan.


This is a patchwork cushion cover made up with wool blanket remnants from a local woolen mill.  I made this for an old Welsh friend who now lives in America.  The word 'Hiraeth' is a welsh word for a homesickness for Wales.  I really enjoyed making this....such an enjoyable make.


I have done loads of baking, actually, I think I've truly bought up much of the baking section in our local supermarket.  We've had friends to stay and I've baked until I've dropped a few times for various get togethers.  This cake below was a requested pig birthday cake....hhhmmm...


What with all the baking, there has had to be a bit of activity too.  I have taken up a bit of running again, although the term running  is used loosely!  As a family (even the dog) we have done a couple of Parkruns which have a weekly 5k run about an hour away from us.  My hubby is a runner and a nutter so he cycles the 30 or so miles to  the parkrun and then runs at snails pace with me at the back, and then cycles back home....impressive on his part, less so on mine...but hey, its an effort in the right direction!

Middle boy wanting to be like his Dad in everything has done a couple of kid's triathlons and this is him after the most recent one, which was a mudbath but much fun was had despite taking a good slide along a muddy field and landing flatout....up he gets, grinning from ear to ear and came in third in his small group.


And here he is, the hubster himself after completing a middle distance triathlon Ocean Lava Wales. This is a pre-cursor to The Big-One which is Iron Man in three short weeks' time.  The Iron Man is a 2.4mile swim, 112mile bike and a 26.2mile run.

I'm so proud of him, its only 18months since he did his first run, a half marathon on a foggy beach.

If only I had some of that determination....can you imagine how many things I could crochet and knit!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Catching up....again....

It always seems to me that I'm trying to catch up....ever have that feeling too?

We are now a week and a bit into the children's big holidays, and everything is passing-by even quicker than it was before.

But I figured rather than try and cover all the news, I will at least show you my latest finished shawl.



Der Querdenker  by Petra Neumann....translated into English from German (I think my next German pattern I should try in German, could make the knitting so much more of a challenge!)



The yarns were ones I had on my shelf (I was sorely tempted to splash out though!) the blue and the green were both bought in the Waterfront in Cape Town, both spun and dyed by Nurturing Fibres. The Pink was a bought from Perran Yarns left over from a previous make,,.,,,and there's yet more still to make something else too!


This was a lovely shawl to make with a swing knitting short row technique that I had not done before. The technique made sense, was easy enough and actually to me, was a better way to do it than I've done previously (which was always a bit hit and miss).  All in all, a really nice project.  This is now packed up and winging its way across the pond to a lovely German teacher in America who helped me so much in my recent German exam......but that's another story!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Make-along #2

So two weeks and a bit into Crafts from the Cwtch's Make-along and I am making fairly good progress, I can't tell you how lovely it is to be knitting again....it seems like I've been away for years (which isn't true of course) but it's a happy reunion.  I've even managed to do some knitting-on-the-go, the best thing about doing a small project like this is I can chuck it in the car and hope that I'll find a spare few minutes  to fit some knitting in....and I have!


Der Querdenker


It isn't exactly the best choice of colours, and actually the photos don't really show them as they are....but I am enjoying the design and the colours work with it I think.  I wanted to show you my inspiration....when I first started with the blue and green, they so made me think of the bluebells, although try as I might, I have not managed, on many occasions, to capture the real deep blue I could see.  Anyway....the pink made me think of the pink campions as it started to work in.....




I'm enjoying this one....I'm also looking forward to doing another shawl as soon as this one is off the needles....I think I have certainly discovered my weakness.....I've always had a huge blanket obsession, but shawls are just mini-blankets right?  Comforting, warm, pretty and quicker to make than blankets.....what could be better?