Monday, 31 December 2012

Bye, bye 2012!

I've pondered how to sum up 2012, and after much beginning and then backspacing, I've decided to just keep schtum......We got to about five weeks ago and then .....well, it really doesn't deserve the blog-space. It is sufficient to say that my family and I are dearly looking forward to the New Year.

Amongst the rubbish there have been a plethora of are some recent ones.

(I giggled nervously as we drove through the monkey enclosure.....not sure I really 'enjoyed' it as I was feeling a little stressed that this cute monkey and his friends would make mincemeat of our car!)

Looking back at my last  new year's eve post, I see we went for a wood walk, and today we were also up to our ankles in mud and rain, trekking through my favourite walk in the trees.....lets hope there is far more of that in 2013!

In 2013..........

I am hoping to find  our things which are still waiting to be discovered in one of the many boxes we moved but haven't  yet opened. 

I am planning to over-do the sparkle that was somewhat sparse this Christmas.

I will make it my personal mission to discover whether a traditional English trifle should be jelly-less (this one has caused some debate in the most unlikely of situations).....please feel free to add your two-pence worth.

I will wear vests.

I will read.

I will again contemplate the idea of swimming in the sea everyday........contemplate.........

I will knit socks

D'you know.....I've cheered myself with the endless possibilities that 2013 holds....I've reminded myself how much I love being part of this little community.....thank you for making my year!


Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas ornament swap 2013

You may remember some time ago (in October?) I joined in with Christina Lowry's lovely ornament swap with much enthusiasm and excitement as Christmas IS my favourite time of year.

I had an idea of crocheting some baubles and went about looking at various people's patterns for making a ball.  I settled on this pattern here, as it sounded to make the firmest, most spherical ball.  The jury's out actually as to whether that is true, as unlike the pattern writer, I found the halves hard to match and sew together invisibly.....probably my bad maths (increasing), losing count while trying to listen to children's natter and yep, not using a stitch marker...will I never learn!

I used Kingcole Riot and the jewel colour changing suited the project well I thought.

I made about five of these, but in all honesty, the others are still languishing at the bottom of a project bag somewhere.....ah, well, just think how far ahead of the game I will be for next year!

So, as all good swaps go, as I made something, I also received something....I was not disappointed and received a beautiful patchwork tree from the clever  Elisabeth of  Sharks Dinner.  She has a pretty blog, and is brilliantly talented at all things sewing.....check it out.

Thank you so much Christina  for organising such a lovely swap!  My new decoration is just gorgeous!

(I am not ignoring the fact that I haven't blogged for over a month, just choosing not to clutter this post with 'other stuff')

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Back in five.....

Contrary to popular belief, I have not exploded, although I may have come fairly close to popping a couple of times. We are finally (sort of) moved. We are between houses, but not so much in the new house that I know where my camera connecting lead is. I have not picked up any crochet or knitting for three whole fact I don't know where all my project bags are (ouch). But we are eating and doing some laundry, so it's all good! Looking forward to hitting normal again sometime very soon.....until then.x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Year of projects - 11.11.12

So here's the thing.........I've suddenly realised that Christmas is only two weeks away and I haven't finished all my presents........well, that's not strictly true.......but in relation to the number of things I have to finish (and even start in some cases) it may as well be two weeks.

Somehow, in among all the panic, I managed to start another blanket.....but there is some method in this, as I need it finished to wrap and give in a week or so, rather than posting something heavy and bulky.

It's a simple pattern found on ravelry here, and I am using two chunky yarns held together and also some silver cotton to give a subtle far, so good....and it's a quick grower, so perfect for the job.

I also joined in with Christina Lowry's handmade ornament swap, which is due to be posted out in the next week or so.....I have the's just they are all stuck in my head!

And then, when you think it couldn't get worse, you are quite innocently browsing a blog when you get you arm twisted (....ahem...) into joining in a CAL.  You see, who could have known that Meredith from Mereknits would be so persuasive!

So this is the beginnings of joining in Stitchy's CAL for a gorgeous star table runner......I thought I had plenty of this white four-ply cotton, but I realise that the other ball is actually ivory......

I can't not picture this beautiful runner on my table at Christmas.......

So as you can see, I've switched in to 'mad-dash' mode and my YOP work is going to be varied, frantic and haphazard for the coming weeks....

I am dangerous around anything vaguely christmassy at the moment, don't remind me about those cute mitten advent calenders, or those gorgeous crochet nativity scenes....I may well finally explode....

Anyway...I have just returned from a scoot and skate party followed by a  birthday tea....I am going to sit and read blogs in front of the fire if you don't mind.  Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to this week....please no more christmassy crocheted must-haves....I couldn't take it!

Have a lovely week.x

Friday, 9 November 2012

Upping sticks

This week, I have mainly been.....

....Sewing..... I do enjoy a sewing machine project...I am dreadful at preparation and really always sew slightly faster than I am comfortable going.....but then there is nothing like a last minute idea that makes you sew faster.

Littlest's best friend celebrated her birthday with a tea party and we bought her a lovely story about a slug that wanted to be a  snail, complete with sparkly pictures (I can never resist a sparkly childrens' book)

Anyway, on the day of the party, I got it into my head that I was going to make a snail......a search on ravelry and a good dose of being realistic later, I decided that sewing one was the the way to go.  I saw some lovely ideas, but alas, all of them were way beyond my sewing I went to a shop bought a big fleece blanket and made something slightly less ambitious.

I cut out some letters and shapes from fleece in my stash and after some careful pinning (this is impressive for me) I sewed away.

I was really pleased with the end piece, something useful and snugly which tied in well with the book and didn't cost a small fortune.

....... enjoying the good bits about the winter......I love bonfire night and although we didn't actually go to a display this year, the boys had fun with some sparklers....and I had some fun with my camera so it seems.

.........Knitting....ooooppppps, I may just have started ANOTHER blanket.....but in my defence it is a Christmas emergency....well, that's my excuse!

...............But actually.....I have been mainly....packing.....

At the end of last year, we knew this would probably be the year for moving, and I thought it may just wait until after Christmas......but I was informed last week that we have three weeks.....well, now we have two!

I am not dreading moving, we are moving to a lovely's just we've been very happy here, and with a move comes a lot of changes......our animals are nearly all sold...and we can no longer call ourselves farmers....but hey, new adventures lie ahead.

In the meantime....I am packing.....there is no way of making it fun, and its only at times like these, you discover how many things you actually own..........I have a lot of yarn and fabric!

I wish I could pack my house on my back and off we long as there was room for kids, hubby, yarn and I come to think of it, I'd want the sewing machine, my paints, my piano...............

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Man V. Food

If you have an aversion to gluttony.....or if the sight of greediness makes you quake with rage....look away now.

Living in a house of boys, I am often subjected to can be painful for me on occasion.....maybe that is why I like pink and sparkly things so block out the boy-stuff-overload.

All my boys (hubby included) have a fascination with the American TV programme Man V. Food......if you haven't seen it....maybe give it a miss.

Well, my hubby has always been a connoisseur of burgers, but last weekend he took it to a whole other level, when he decided to do a Man v. Food challenge


Four half-pounder beef burgers, packet of streaky bacon, portion of beef-chilli, mushrooms, onion rings, cheese and a big roll loaf to put it all in.

Assembled in a scientific-way

 You'd think this would be more than enough already.....but oh, no......forgot the chilli.....

Need I say more?  Have you run for the hills yet?

And afterwards.......

I hasten to add that my hubby is normally a more considered eater......I think it was a one-off personal challenge....although actually he got to the last tiny morsel and the food maybe it will re-occur just to prove his MAN-liness

The very same hubby celebrated his birthday yesterday....and on the menu?  A burger cake of course....which he still had a healthy appetite for.

The cake went down a treat, complete with butter-icing 'ketchup' and royal icing 'cheese'

Like father, like son!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Year of projects - 28.10.12

Well, as you can see, I have finally finished Oor-Flap Muts, modelled here by my biggest boy.

I used Sirdar Click with wool (aran weight) and used just over a skein of each colour, which as it was in the bargain bucket in my LYS, I feel it was money well its very cosy for the cold weather that seems to have landed in these here parts.

As it is Brioche knitting, it is fully reversible, a two sided thick and toasty fabric.

The light in the photos is maybe not the best for seeing the project at its clearest, however, I couldn't stop taking pictures as my biggest boy looks so beautiful in the light from the fire......maybe beautiful isn't a word that should be used about a boy....but he's just that....set to break a few hearts I think!

Biggest boy is not the only one enjoying the fire....we call this pose upside-down-head....I think it means she's relaxed!

Right, better get going on boy's bedtimes, which are a little later than normal but as its the start of the half-term hols tomorrow (YIPPEE!) that's not too important.

Looking forward to catching up with y'all....have a great week.x

Friday, 26 October 2012

Left behind......

So biggest boy and hubby have gone on a cub scout sleepover....where does that leave me......?

Ummmm....knitting....crochet....unread magazine....tea.....crisps...dips....roaring fire................

Hhhhmmmm....I think I may cope.......

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Year of projects - 21.10.12

Well, being Sunday, it's the time for my progress report....and despite achieving a few new goals, I don't really have anything spectacular to show.

This is my  start on Oor Flap Muts....I won't lie....I'm afraid there's been a lot of holding my breath and..... ashamedly..... some swearing.  The ear flaps (oor flaps) were a relative breeze, ooh, and I learnt how to knit i-cord ....but making the hat with a two-colour Italian cast-on off the pre-made ear flaps, was fairly dreadful, and getting the first row into the cast-on was like nothing else.....but I made it out the other side unscathed!

Because it is brioche knitting, it is totally really quite clever.

That's it for YOP related work....I am chuntering along with a few other things, but they aren't really project work.

We went out for a glorious walk late this afternoon, I took loads of photos to try and catch the colours, but it was sooo hard.  The evening sun just made everything glow, and I even did a little tree-hugging which I've become accustomed to on a weekend.  Some of the trees were totally moss-covered and were so soft to touch.  

And just to finish, these are the legs of middle who represented his school in a county cross country running competition....he did well.....and he got pretty muddy too!

Hope that you've all had good weeks, thank you so much for your constant encouragement and general 'loveliness'....its like having your own personal cheerleading team....much appreciated!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wrapped up in blankets

I've never hidden the fact that my great love in life is making I'm making one (or a few!) I am thinking about the next one.

I like them baby sized, keeping warm sized, king sized.......I just can't get enough of them.

I love to make them for gifts, knowing something I've crafted, is  keeping someone warm.

I thought I would share the new, the newish and then the 'should have been finished ages ago' blankets in my life at the moment....yep, there is more than one of them!

This is my newest blanket........this is going to be a Christmas present, and if I can really get on with it, I may make two for my nephews.

I totally fell in love with the idea of this blanket when I saw Emily's ( Unravelled) gorgeous blanket that she made for her son.  Her blanket is what caught my eye, if I had seen the original I think it would have passed me by.  I think I was first to comment on her tah-dah post and said that's my next blanket!

In the words of my cleverest crocheting friend I have reverse-engineered rather than bought the book, so mine will not be as perfectly formed as Emily's stunning blanket, but hopefully a little blocking and 'all will be alright on the night'.

Next up is my Little Woollie CAL blanket.

I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying this is a dream to work on, and yep, I do think I have actually dreamed about it!  It is garish and gaudy and not as beautiful as Little Woollie's mixed stripey blanket.....but I don't care I AM IN LOVE!

This is a blanket I started at the beginning of the year and despite being a really quick pattern, I am trying to follow the colour sequences in the pattern and it has really slowed me down, getting it out to photograph made me realise how much I love it, so I must get my felt pens out and figure a better/quicker way to see the next colour.

This one is a slow-burner, but easy to pick up and down, its just I've been putting down more than I've been picking up....ooooops!

The Kingcole Riot is just amazing as the colours unfurl.

The last blanket, is the first I ever started....unfairly named the Boring Blanket.

When I took this out of its bag, I hadn't realised quite how many hexagons I had made already.....I really should press on, as it is very pretty....and also pretty boring!

It was my birthday last weekend and my cleverest crocheting friend, who is as clever at sewing and  crocheting as she is at being my friend, made me this.....

A big project bag, how well does she know me eh?  Perfect for blankets....problem is, I could do with a few more!

So....a few things that are making my world colourful at the about you.....what makes your heart skip a beat?  Somehow I don't think I will ever tire of making blankets....why would I?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Year of projects 07.10.12

Guess what?

Collar done, cuffs added, ends sewn in, buttons sewn on............

It's not too fact, I wish it were a little more fitted......maybe the waist shaping was a good idea after all...........

I am over all quite pleased, although I did want it to be a little neater, the sleeves seem a little bulky....the fabric is a bit 'bumpy' but I'm figuring that will come out in the wash......<sharp intake of breath>.....yes, I know I sewed it up before blocking.......I'm too impatient and probably always will be!

Anyway....this is a biggy for me to tick off my list, it has been slow going as it was done in four-ply on 2.25 needles....this is Stylecraft Baby which is beautifully soft and beautifully cheap, the pullover was made for less than £10!

So what next on my list....I think some brioche, maybe the hat - Oor-flap keep one of the boys 'oors' warm with the colder weather.

I have started another crocheted blanket, but I will wait to bore you with that for another time.

Hope you lovely bloggers have had a good week....look forward to catching up sometime this evening!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Year of projects - 30.09.12

Well....despite the fact for the past three (I know totally unrealistic) Sundays I've wanted to show you my finished remains unfinished.......again!

 Plain and simple pullover

So I've done the button bands on the left shoulder, I have another three inches of neck to do, and then just a short cuff on the sleeves........I will be finished by next week right?  I'm still fairly nervous about the fit and decided against the waist-shaping that some ravellers have done, wanting it to go over other things.....I do hope I've not made a stripey tent though!

I have other projects burning on my mind, but I have been one-tracked in a desperate attempt to get this done........I am sooooo excited to move on.....I have a bundle of new stylecraft with a blanket in mind ;-)

I've just returned from a ruff and tumble party with littlest boy and the weather is just dreary and rainy.  We ran our oil out at the beginning of the year to rehouse the tank, and with work being done on the house at the moment, it is still empty.  It was such a lovely suprise to come home and find hubby had cleared the fireplace and lit a shivering under blankets tonight!

As I was otherwise occupied with bouncy castles, I wasn't quick enough for prime position.

Well....what with having my knit head on recently, I am totally behind with will be rectified I promise.....but I must not have another half-baked jumper picture next week!

Hope it is warm and snugly where ever you are......speak soon.x

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Birthday boy

On request, birthday breakfast was at MaccyD's .....I must admit, I didn't complain at the pancakes and syrup ;-)

Sustenance is all important when you have a full day ahead.

Here's the birthday boy....he was four this birthday.....he says he will be thirteen next birthday.....

Here they are the three amigos....horses at the ready!

Middle boy has an impressive ability to fit in tiny spaces........other visitors to the park looked on disapprovingly........but hubby, biggest boy of all, encouraged all the way and would have got in himself if he wasn't a little too big.

Giving you some perspective

Bigger brothers are always worth copying!

Biggest brothers haven't always got what it takes!

Relaxing in the sunshine.

Yet more relaxing!

Chocolate cake was on the menu.....Nigella's Quadruple Chocolate Loaf cake....and it didn't hang around for long! tasted that good.

It was of course, a day out at the wildlife park and apart from the monkeys shown above, we did see a few other animals too.

What a perfect way to spend your fourth birthday I think!