Mid Feb…

This time of year can be very Jekyll and Hyde with the weather, don’t you think?  One minute grey, with fine drizzle, then down pours the next, changing to brilliant blue skies and sunshine!  That’s the weather for you in the UK.  Its true, you can have all four seasons in one day.  It does make planning for half-term activities a challenge.  You constantly have to have a back-up plan.

My kids were supposed to go to a karate course for the week, during the mornings, to use some of their energy doing whatever it is they do in Karate!  This went by the by when it all got cancelled at the last moment.  Not the organisers fault, these things happen, but backup plans had to be evoked.  This also meant kids and normal jobs had to be done together, which any mother will now pull a face and nod her head, do not go together well.  Especially when they had previously told they wouldn’t have to.

The only way to go is – with bribery!

So our week was a mixture of visits to the library (not really a hardship), the toy shop to spend their pocket money, visits with cousins and grandparents and time at home just being.

We did manage a quick visit to a local Eco Park that is opening soon.

Goat at Eco Park Feb 2015

Cockerals at Eco Park Feb 2015

We met these characters.  The goat was VERY food orientated, to the extent of eating the paper bag that a little boy was holding.  The cockerels all stood in a line to give us a chorus.  They were fantastic, but I am glad that they don’t live next door to me!

The site is still being finished off so there was little for my two to do, but for under 5’s, there is a great indoor play area.  The larger, outdoor playground has a lovely looking climbing frame, which my two were very keen to try out.  But as the diggers were still levelling the surrounding ground, I thought it best that we return another day.

It was lovely to have the chance of catching up with family and friends, but there was not so much on the crafting front.  I have though managed to finish my socks!

My first pair of socks!

They are lovely and warm and I am feeling quite smug, sitting here, writing this wearing them.  I finally understand the madness and addiction to knitting socks.  I want another pair.  In another colour, any colour, I don’t care.

Stripes lined up.

I didn’t manage to line up my stripes and make them identical.

I know it can be done by pulling through the yarn and finding the pattern repeat on it, so you can start in the same place.  This does make me think a bit of stuffing cherry tomatoes.  If I was giving a pair as a gift, then I would probably, maybe, make them identical, but as they are inside my boots the rest of the time….  No-one else knows and I can live with that, particularly as my feet are nice and toasty inside said boots.

Despite pondering the next ball of sock wool to buy and put in my stash, I am being good and working on a WIP. My Happy top is short sleeved in a 4 ply for the summer.  I started this on holiday two summers ago and as we booked our summer holiday this week, I realised that this “top” has been to the Isle of Wight twice!  It should really be finished so it can be worn there, instead of hiding in a project bag.  Does everyone have well travelled WIPS?

The other reason there has been a lack of crafting this week, was the discovery that Sweetpea has been tidying her room by scooping everything up and dumping it into her wardrobe!  Breathe holding was done, by me, to prevent rude words being issued at this discovery.  Several deep breathes later, we discussed the situation and found she has too much stuff for the space allocated to storing it, nor is she sure where to put some of it.  So sorting, re-organising and recycling the contents of her room started.  Yes started, I haven’t finished yet!  Now she is back at school, it falls to me to finish up.  Isn’t that the way?  Some things went in the bin and others are going to new homes.  The rest need new storage solutions, so a cup of tea and a legitimate chance to look through pinterest!  This has resulted in a trip to Ikea yesterday.  So now I off to build a Kallax unit.  Wish me luck!

What are you doing this week?

Building or crafting?

Fiona

Snowdrops!

Spring is trying here.  There are green tips and shoots appearing through the ground.  On the way to school this morning, we spotted various clumps of snowdrops, but these were the best.

Snowdrops 15

Sorry its out of focus.  I think the cold was giving me camera shake.  I will try for a better one later at pick up time.

However the thrill of seeing the newness of spring helped put a spring in my step this morning.  Do you find that sometimes something small like that, can put a smile on your face and make you feel better?  Nothing has actually changed in life, but it just feels better!

Well, off I went to do my jobs this morning.  Getting through them quickly, I gave myself the treat of a visit to the library.  I am a book person!  I love them.  All different kinds about all sorts of things.  They are fab.  So to a person like me, who could spend a fortune on books (and does), the library helps my bank balance stay healthy.  And I lucked out today.

Look at what I found!  No reservations needed.

Can you spot the influence of the Sewing Bee?

Library books 12.2.15

A couple I have borrowed before and wanted again, like the “Little Quilt Blocks” book.

Its full of little blocks, I know it says so on the front!  But they are gorgeous.  Each block measures between 4″ and 5″ finished size.  Its a great book with all the cutting sizes to make each block.  I particularly wanted to try this one for my son.

Plane block

So watch this space!

Two of the others, I have flicked through in the book shop before were “Edward’s Menagerie” and Lisa Lam’s “Bag Making Bible“.  So I was super pleased to find them on the shelf.

I could not resist having a look while having my lunch at Edward’s Menagerie.

I want to make this.

Emma the bunny

Isn’t she beautiful?  She’s called Emma in the book and I can see her helping to deliver some Easter eggs this year to the small people in this family.  So stash rummaging is needed as soon as I post this.

As I did promise before Christmas, I am trying to finish WIPs.  So here is one I made earlier.

Aran cable hat

I wanted a new hat, (this cold weather does that to you) and I had some Rowan pure wool aran (discontinued) left over from a scarf I made my mom, in a lovely teal colour.  The camera is not showing the true colour and unfortunately nor does it allow for a squeeze, as this wool is soooo soft.  So cable hat pattern was found that uses one ball.  However this is the medium and as you can see it is being modelled by my 6yr old.  Not big enough for me, so I am still hatless!  She however is very pleased and my mom wants one to match her scarf.  I’ll put those requests on the list!

Also on the list is a Shaun the Sheep.  The other half came back with the paper on Saturday with some free wool.  Rowan wool!  Wool with the paper?  Tell me more I said!  Rowan has provided a free knitting pattern for Shaun the Sheep and the wool came with the paper!  So hence now said sheep needs to be made.  This list keeps getting longer!

Here is a sock update.

2nd sock progress

I have turned the heel and am shaping the gusset, which is the bit around the ankle.

Well off to find something suitable for the bunny and work on the sock so I can justify starting something new.

Keep warm and have a good half term.

Fiona

Sorry again!…..

Sorry, again, I know I disappeared from blog land.  Life got too busy and something had to give.

I can tell you that working in a fabric and wool shop is fantastic and a nightmare at the same time.  How???  Well now that I work even just part-time, there is no way near enough time to make all the ideas that arrive in my head.  And the new arrival of stuff at work does not help, just puts more on that to do list in my head.

I am trying to be good and stick to one project at a time not too many projects at any one time.  My ripple blankets has gained more ripples and I was good and did not start a cosy blanket on the CAL that Attic 24 was running.  I did almost.  I went and sat in front of the Stylecraft DK selection to see which colours I didn’t have, when a customer asked if I had finished the ripple yet.  That made me stop and think, maybe I should do a bit on that first.  So I did a couple of ripples and bought some Debbie Bliss Fez on special and started a jumper!

Debbie Bliss Fez

Look at that colour!  Isn’t it gorgeous!

At £2.00 per ball I could not leave it on the shelf.  I was good and did a tension square as the pattern I am doing uses Rowan Lima, so I had to drop my needle size (listen to me sound like I know what I am doing!).  But the colour!  That’s what sold it to me.  I had been thinking of a nice grey.  There is a lovely silver grey in Lima, but that pink just sold itself to me.  And… and the wool is sooooo soft!

But…. I have been good and have finished my Teal cardigan.  I LOVE IT!

I finished it well before my birthday (so vouchers were received! Result!) but did cop out big time for about a month with the sewing up.  I felt daunted.  Didn’t want to mess it up.  I had this bundle of knitting, which had taken me ages, in beautiful wool and really didn’t want to make a mess of the final step.  So I did my normal procrastination, which involved lots of research about sewing up.  Eventually a friend at knitting group said she would do it for me.  Ironically this spurred me on, as I didn’t want someone else to do it for me, just for me not to do it wrong.  Do you know the really stupid thing?  It took me two days and once I got the hang of mattress stitch and easing the shape together, It was an absolute doddle.  I don’t know why I was so frightened.  But hey, there are lots of situations in life where we do the same thing.  You would think that by my age I would know this.  I keep telling my kids to try new things.  Most of the time they are not as hard as we think they are going to be.  But as parents we often “do as I say not as I do” don’t we?  As soon as I take a picture I will post it.

These were all done before Christmas, so there have been other makes.  Some were presents, decorations and just because.  I will post them as it seems fit.  I won’t bore you with a complete download of all crafting makes, that would be a bit much.

However like many people, I wanted to plan for the coming year and be better organised.  The other half would really like me to be better organised!  On the creative side, there are some techniques that have been on my to do list for a while.  So why wait?

The first was to use dpns (double pointed needles) and knit socks.  This cold freezing weather that the UK is having has prompted all of us at work to knit socks.  Two of us have never used dpns, but my boss is an excellent knitter and gave pointers.

Socks

As you can see I have finished my first sock!

My boss has knitted two pairs in the same period of time!  Never mind.  I have been surprised how easy it is to use dpns, once you work out how to join without twisting the stitches.  Its great.  The short rows mean that there is not a problem with children interrupting, as each needle only has 20 stitches on it.  I am not the fastest knitter so fewer stitches are better for interruptions.  I had a week off between finishing the first and not wanting to suffer from one sock syndrome, cast-on at the weekend.

2nd sock

You can see, I am out of the rib and doing the cuff.  Its great for watching TV.  So tonight I plan to do more rows while watching the new sewing bee.

I am hoping/planning on being better with posts, so see you soon.

Fiona