Sunday, 24 June 2012

Year of projects - 24.06.12

Well after the past couple of weeks of slow-plod knitting on my shawl, I've gone up a gear and been partaking in some bish-bash-bosh hubby likes to call it, whereupon I decide I am going to make something and then make it in record-breaking time. 

I finished my cat from the brilliant tutorials at Annaboos House, I highly recommend taking a look at the patterns as they are super-easy to follow with loads of pictures if you're not sure, or just beginning in crochet.

Yesterday, Small and I had a party to attend, of the Scoot and Skate variety, so we went along with relevant means of transport and a pressie for the birthday boy.....but in true 'Faith' style, I decided to make a small pressie for his baby sister, a few hours before the big bash.

This was supposed to look like a rabbit, but turned out more like a that is was the plan right?

The key-chain fob which was supposed to look like a lamb, ended up looking more like a mouse......

And, not to stop at brought a new challenge as Small and I attended a 'Ruff and Tumble' party and I decided last night I was going to make the little birthday girl a doll to go with the rest of her gift......well as you can see, she didn't get it, as I was early to church today and the doll remained hair-less and for another occasion I think!

I have been knitting this week too, but as it is, at present, shapeless and boring to look at I will leave it for another post.

The weekend has come to end all too soon again, but the sun has been shining this afternoon so we've been wood walking, getting very muddy after all the heavy downpours.  Middle didn't take part in any photos today as he has been under-the-weather all weekend, but Small and Big always finding a photo opportunity, found this tree with a weird hole in it, so couldn't resist pressing their faces against it!

Hope your weeks have been full of crafting and fun.  Looking forward to reading all your progress after supper is done....tonight, jacket potatoes and chili, which is probably sticking as I am typing!

There's still time to get your name down for my giveaway, which I hope to announce  a winner in my next YOP post.

Have a great week.x

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 pick...or not to pick?

I was reading Little Macaroon's most recent post a few moments ago, and wowing at her photos of a visit to London where she had seen peonies en masse....gorgeous!  I was just commenting that my peony in the garden, had always failed to produce anything more than just leaves, and then remembered when taking a wander around the garden the other day  (the type of wander where you pretend not to notice all that needs doing) I spotted a bud....just the one, but a bud indeed!

Anyway, looking up from the ipad whilst commenting on the lovely photos, I spotted  a splash of red in among all the weeds wildlife area of the garden, so I finished writing my comment and then went to go see, but as I looked out of the kitchen window, it was gone!

Now explain that one would you?

Inexplicable I would say, oh unless that is you had taken in to account a three year old three year old boy.....

So.......I was a little alarmed that I was going a little loopy at was there....and then it wasn't ......then there was the happiest smile coming through the back door with a dandelion and the peony grasped firmly in sweaty hands......

To be honest, who could blame him for picking it..........I don't tend to pick flowers from the garden as it seems a little frivolous.........he wanted me to enjoy it, and probably it may have  quietly flowered  and I would have been too busy ticking off the to-do list to notice.......

I have made no secret of the fact that I am a lazy gardener, sometimes having a splurge, feeling like I've made some headway only to find, the next day, the weeds are twice as big......

The thing is, I also tend to feel a little overwhelmed by it all, which rather than motivate, puts me into 'stop-mode' and then it all gets positively jungle-ous.

But......there are  some things which just happen in their own miraculous way inspite of my gardening skills!

Maybe there's a lesson to be learnt for me, taught by a little boy who wanted me to see something beautiful in our garden that I had clearly missed......'wake up Mum and smell the peony'

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Year of projects and a 100th post giveaway!

Well, there's no denying it now, we are very near the end of this Year of Projects.  I discovered about it just a few weeks into beginning blogging, and boy am I glad I did!

I am so pleased with what I have achieved during this year.....I know I wouldn't have without the YOP blog-a-long.

I have finally finished my Colour Affection....YAY!  I thoroughly enjoyed making this shawl, but the end was a little telling and I was becoming more and more worried about the dodgy edge! I'm pleased to say that the blocking has helped it a little, but it is still quite clear that its not quite right.....the tight increases and the twisted carrying of the yarn did it no issue I expect, not the patterns, just too tight, giving it a different shape to other peoples......I have learnt a lesson though..... to check out others' modifications before ploughing in!

To be honest, it is a tad shorter than I wanted it to be, but again, I think this is my tight knitting, not a poor pattern.

My shawl and I have demanded a night out with my summer dress for a slap-up meal!

The yarns used for my CA shawl were all purchased from this years Wonderwool, the lightest colour is a lace weight yarn from 'The Old Piggery' which is a silk and Blue Faced Leicester mix in colourway Seascape.  The other two yarns used were slightly heavier both Blue Faced Leicester/Nylon mix from Freyalyn's Hand-dyed Fibres in colourways Baranduin and Steelsheen.

On to more exciting news!  As this is my 'too..tooo..tooo.toooo' <trumpet fanfare> 100th post, I wanted to announce a giveaway , open to all no-matter-where-you-be........

Up for grabs are a 50g skein of hand-dyed  Merino wool also from The Old Piggery.  A ball of DK weight Kingcole Riot and a copy of Knitting Brioche.  Now for those who followed me as I did the Knit and Crochet Blogging week, I tried out a small amount of Brioche knitting and found it stretching for my basic knitting skills, but giving gorgeous results.

This is an excellent book, with lots of techniques, photographs, diagrams and beautiful patterns.  (In fact, I want to include some of these patterns in my next YOP list). 

There will be a couple of other things in the mix, most probably something to munch whilst you knit ;-) and maybe, if I get my act together something hand knitted to amuse you!

My giveaway is by way of a huge thank you for all the lovely people who pop by and add an encouraging comment on my posts.......your words are precious and make my day! 

The rules are simple enough, just leave a comment on the bottom of this post, making sure to leave your blog link or email so I can get back in touch should you win! 

I will draw the winner and announce it on Saturday 30th June.....If you would like a second chance in the draw then feel free to blog about it and/or put a link on your sidebar (I gotta say, this always dumbfounds me a little, but just cut and paste the picture above if you like)  please then pop back and let me know so I can enter your name again.......I'm quite blonde so spell it out!

I will leave you now, with a quick pic of our weekend mud bath walk with kids and dogs in the woods yesterday.

Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Year of projects - 10.06.12

We've definitely seen some unseasonal weather this week with rain, howling winds and low temperatures, even flash floods not so far away.  I guess that none of this comes as a surprise when you know it is the children's half term break.

I haven't seen a huge amount of progress on my Colour Affection shawl, although I'm sure I have been putting in the knitting.  The rows are pretty long and I still have another 16 to do before I get to the border, which I am itching to get on with and see my shawl off the needles.  I am finding it hard to see what it will be like as it is currently scrunched up on 80cm cables.

It seems pretty small to me....but then who knows!

The only thing I have outstanding on my YOP list I think is my boring blanket, which even now has proved too boring to be finished, when I get the shawl finished, I will add a few more hexis to the blanket, but I'm afraid it will not be completed in time.....ah, well, one for next year's list!

Well, after a week of downpours, yesterday turned out to be a good'un and we took ourselves off on a family walk to make the most of the sunshine.

Lush grassland and pale sand, picture perfect!

The beach was full to bursting with picnic-ers so we decided to march straight off so we could keep the dogs (well, Chester really) away from all the tempting food!

We had to tie the dogs while we ate our sandwiches, but otherwise they ran and played all day....made lots of new friends and jumped in lots of water!

Onto the bridge and a scenic walk over the lily ponds.

We went to the lily ponds last year, but it was all so different with the lilies in full bloom this time was a beautiful for remembering!

And the reason I am so late the weather was not quite so wonderful, but duty called in the form of a football tournament for biggest boy, so we set off full family support......I do find it hard to be a shrinking violet when I'm on the sidelines, but my goodness we met some scarily-loud shouty passionate parents/coaches today.  Our junior side are in their first season and going by today, I think we are going to have to put them all on protein shakes and weights. The boys were pretty much floored in each game apart from one, but they all came away with smiles and another good day!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Red, white and blue

So how did your Jubilee celebrations go? We had a full-on adrenaline packed weekend with something for everybody! 

There has been sun, cake, tents, parties, rain, BBQs, sewing, sandwiches, wind, baking, bright colours, puddings, red, flowers, gazebos, white, zoos, camping, blue, mention it, we did it!

As ordered, the sun (mainly) shone on Middle's seventh birthday tea-party and the kids were able to play outdoors.  Bunting was hanging in the apple tree as I dreamt of, and I also managed to squeeze in making a picnic blanket, with a jubilee theme.

When I was dreaming big the other day, I wished for weed-free borders which unfortunately did not materialise, but on Ruth's suggestion I did rock the 'wild-flower meadow' look!

In among the jungle of weeds, the flowers were doing their own personal 'nod' to the celebrations.

And cake?  Well if you recall, I imagined a three teired cake in the celebratory colours.....and.......

.........not bad eh?  It tasted scrummy and made our lives more colourful in ways that you couldn't imagine ;-)

So all, in all, I do think we've experienced the jubilee on many levels and middle's birthday coinciding with it all, only made it all the more exciting!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Year of projects 03.06.12

Well, as I write this, I am sitting with iPad on knee after a full on day at a mini zoo and then doing a batch of baking for the you read this, I am either at church, at a four-year-old's 'scooter and skate' party with small or at my in-laws enjoying a jubilee BBQ.

Knitting has been a little sporadic this week with so much else to do, but I am slowly pushing on with my colour affection, and the more the dark stripes build up, the more I love it, I will wear it with my summer dress.....soon!

I am just beginning the seventh sequence repeat and there are nine to do in total, then the dark colour to make a deep border, by which time, they will be very loooonnnng rows.

Having described the colour of the lace weight for my shawl as 'peacocky' I took a picture of this guy above yesterday who took an instant liking to us/our lunch....isn't he stunning?

My cat is growing and still remains a cat I think, my biggest boy reckons it looks like it has been hypnotised! To follow this CAL pop over to Annabooshouse to follow the great tutorial.

I'll leave you with a picture of the birthday boy sat on the zoo's super-friendly rhino.

Looking forward to reading what you are all up to as well.......thank you for your lovely comments and advice.......and hope you are all having a lovely weekend and that those in the UK are enjoying a great long weekend!