Monday, 17 November 2014

Putting Christmas to One Side (for the weekend only!)

Confession time - yes I've started knitting a new cardigan, even though I have a mound of Christmas knitting and crocheting to be getting on with.


Look at the gorgeous colour - "heather" - it's so beautiful (the third and fourth photos are a more accurate representation of the colour).


The wool is Shetland 4 ply.  Grace bought me 2 skeins from one of the craft fairs she attended recently.



I don't have enough of the wool to knit a plain cardigan so I'm going to knit plain sleeves and see how much wool I have left and then work a Fair Isle pattern for the body piece.

I've missed Fair Isle knitting and I'm so looking forward to having a play with colours again.

Now, I do have a reason for why I started knitting this cardigan and I shouldn't feel guilty.  We went down to Cambridge at the weekend to see Eve.  Obviously I couldn't take my Christmas knitting with me and, for car journeys, plain knitting is always easiest, so casting on with the new wool gave me something to do on the long drive down.  Now that we're back home, I'm afraid this project will be put away until such time as the Christmas stuff is all done (the night before Christmas probably!)

Anyway, we had a wonderful time in Cambridge.  On Friday when we first arrived we stopped off at the American Cemetery.  This is the only American World War II cemetery in Britain.  It holds the remains of 3812 soldiers, airmen and sailors including 32 civilians.  A further 5127 individuals are remembered on Wall of the Missing.



It was a very peaceful and thought provoking place with an excellent and informative visitors centre.

On Saturday we walked across the meadows to the village of Grantchester.


Excuse me!  I think you're blocking the path.





Virginia Woolf and her friends used to come to Grantchester for afternoon tea, sitting in the deck chairs in the garden at The Orchard.


It was a bit cold for us to sit outside so we made ourselves comfortable in the pavilion and had our own afternoon tea.


We found a lovely old pub in Cambridge with a great atmosphere for a relaxing drink in the evening.

It was wonderful to see Eve again.  The weekend went so quickly but we will be seeing her again soon when she comes home for the Christmas break.

This thought sets me panicking!  I'd better get on with the Christmas knitting, crocheting and over-ambitious making before she gets back.

I hope you had a lovely weekend and that Christmas isn't creeping up on you too quickly.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Imagining

Relaxing Autumn days.

A walk along the promenade watching the waves crashing in at high tide.




Watching the Isle of Man ferry about to enter the port of Liverpool and imagining a boat trip to somewhere warm and exotic.


Where shall we go?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Lucky Me

I've never won anything from other people's giveaways, mind you, I don't really enter that many.  So it was a wonderful surprise to find out I had won the giveaway organised by Ginny at Ginx Craft.

In the post today I received this lovely package.



And inside were these beautiful knitted hearts (my favourite shape) with snowflakes embroidered on them.


The blue yarn has a lovely metallic thread in it so the hearts have a bit of a sparkle.



Our Christmas tree will be going up shortly and I look forward to hanging these up.

Thank you, Ginny for your lovely gift.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A Need for Colour

My Christmas knitting and crafting is coming along nicely.  I've made great advances and I'm really pleased with my progress.  I have, however, felt the need for some colourful crochet diversion.

There's something about colour and crocheting that make them ideal as a pick-me-up when you're feeling a bit down.  So I grabbed a basketful of colours, a crochet hook and de-stressed for a while.


This has been great fun to work on as I'm making it up as I go along - always stimulating and challenging.


There's still quite a way to go and I've put it to one side again now whilst I get back to Christmas makes, but it is destined to be something big and hopefully I'll be able to show you shortly.

Do you have a favourite way to de-stress?  Reading other people's blogs, I think that crochet is a popular way with lots of you.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Fabric Frame

November here already - it's one of my favourite months because it means I'm busy getting stuck into Christmas planning and making.

The only problem is that I like to be very secretive about my Christmas makes - I love the "SURPRISE" element - so I can't share with you what I'm making at the moment as Grace and Eve will read all about them.

[Don't worry Eve, I'm not knitting any more Nativity figures!]

Fortunately, I had a break from Christmas crafts, a small diversion (I do so love a diversion!), so I do have something I can share with you today.

Here it is, inspired by something seen on Pinterest, a fabric covered frame.


I started by finding an old framed print that was no longer wanted.


I stripped it down to basics (I kept the print - it might come in useful the some other project - you never know).


I cut lots of strips of fabric from my rag bag collection.


Then I got really and truly sticky with the PVA glue.  I just wound the strips around the frame, being very liberal with the glue.



Some of the fabric strips had a decorative lace edging which I retained and I think it looks good.



All finished - but what to put inside it?  I thought about suspending something but I haven't found anything suitable yet.


For the time being I've propped it up against the window.


And maybe it doesn't need anything in it - I can just enjoy the view.


I hope you are having a jolly time crafting, whether it's for Christmas or not.  I'm back to my secret stuff but I'll try and find more things to share with you before too long.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Birthday Card

Today is my Auntie's birthday, so I thought I would share with you the card I made for her.

I was struggling for ideas but having tried a few arrangements, this is what I came up with.




It's relatively simple, but I often think that the simple ideas are the most effective.

I hope you all have a good day today, whether or not it's your birthday!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

New Scarf

I love it when we meet up with Grace - at last, someone to talk knitting with.  We made up for lost time this weekend and got up-to-date with each others current works-in-progess.

Grace has been to two craft fairs lately, Yarndale and one in Bakewell.  She seems to have bought herself a lot of lovely yarn.  And being a wonderful daughter she even got some for me!

She picked up for me some RYC Natural Silk Aran that was going cheap - pink of course.


I couldn't resist starting something new with it straight away.  So I cast on for a Louisa Harding scarf.


The pattern is called Cosimo and it's a lovely freebie.  You can see details of the pattern on Ravelry, here.

The pattern requires some concentration - it's relatively easy to follow but very difficult to memorize.  After seventeen repeats of the pattern I still hadn't manage to commit it to memory and had to refer to the pattern.  Nevertheless, it was lovely to knit and it grew really quickly.

And here is my finished scarf.




The yarn has a lovely drape and it's very soft and warm.

It's a very pretty scarf and I'm looking forward to wearing it.  You can see details of my scarf on Ravelry, here.

Monday, 27 October 2014

A Lovely Birthday Weekend

Have you had a good weekend?  I hope so.  It was my husband's birthday on Friday so we've had a lovely time celebrating.

Yummy chocolate cake and delicious banana loaf - no better way to celebrate than to eat cake!



Grace came to stay for the weekend. She had been working in Manchester so it was easier for her to visit us than for us to travel to Sheffield.  We had a great evening on Friday, a meal and a drink in the local pub.

On Saturday morning we had a Skype with Eve.  Not quite the same as the four of us being together, but the next best thing.

Saturday afternoon we drove the few miles north to Formby and had a walk to the beach through the pine woods and the sand hills.






It's amazing how, just a few miles up the coast, the shoreline is so different.  I love the way the beach at Formby suddenly appears between the sand hills and jumps out at you shouting "Surprise!".






The weather across Liverpool Bay over in Wales doesn't look as pleasant as ours - although it was rather cold and windy for us.


We had a little diversion with the outdoor gym equipment - who can resist a play?



I think I would have looked more committed if I'd taken my backpack off!

After that bracing walk, what shall we do next? - time to go home for more cake of course!