Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stitching Spring



Hello there everyone! It has been a bit of a while hasn't it? More than a month???? Where has the time gone? Well, I have been busy celebrating my 15th year anniversary and I have been out and about like crazy but I also have some crafty bits and bobs to share too.

Due to my stitching mojo which went missing some time ago, I decided the best way to deal with it was to do a little exchange. So of to HOE I went to see what exchanges were on offer. There was a spring exchange so I signed up immediately. Unfortunately, there was a little problem as my details hadn't been sent to the moderator and so after several emails back and forth, finally my name was down and I then began the search for the bestest, nicest little spring stitch I could find. I eventually found it via Pinterest and it is a cute little freebie found on a French site. Today, my partner received the exchange I sent her so I can now show you the result of my handiwork.




I stuffed it full of lavender and made a little pillow! I sent along some extras too and so glad to hear the recipient got it safely in the post today.

My Willow Squares blanket is now all joined but I need to work out the edging. I think I might need to order more wool for the edging too as I only have a ball left so it will either be a pretty small edging or I will have to fork out for some more merino. However, I couldn't go a month and then not leave you with a few pictures of it. It looks fab even now without the edge. Gorgeous. Love love love.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This last photo really shows off the continuous flat braid join. This is a great You tube tutorial by Beth and works really well at joining squares. It is quite tricksy but once you get the hang of it, it is easy peasy. I really like the prettiness of this join. It gives it an almost lacy feel which suits this design I think. This blanket was a pleasure to make and I am quite glad I still haven't yet finished it. Now I need to find a suitable edging for it.
 
And that's not all...... I have got my stitching mojo back a little after doing the exchange. So I continued to work on the Elisabeth Lillie design. Now please forgive me for all the crumples in the fabric. For those who know me, know that I NEVER iron a project until it is complete. I just don't trust that the iron won't do it some heat damage or weaken the colour or something. So please don't look at the crumples. I have done a fair bit since last time and I am determined now to finish this piece soon; at the very least - before the end of the year.
 
 
 
 
Now for some non stitchy, not crochety business. School hols started for us a week ago and so we took the opportunity, as well as having lots of coffee from various outlets, to visit a place not too far from me called Cannon Hall Farm. This place is wonderful for both children and parents alike and much fun and fresh air was had by the four of us. There are lambs and piglets galore and all sorts of other breeds of animals that you can touch and stroke to your hearts content. There is a great café and wonderful adventure playgrounds for the children too so I highly recommend it for a day out if you are close.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

No - that's not a real cow!
 
Right then I am off to look at the border of this blanket and make my mind up. Have a wonderful Easter break everyone.
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Colour therapy

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I had the privilege of attending one of Lucy's workshops last Saturday at her lovely studio in Skipton. Nine different people from al over the UK came to meet Lucy and crochet up one of her Bower Birds. The studio is above a lovely cafe which served up the most amazing coffees and pastries. We were hugely spoilt and I was very very good and only had a few pieces of cake! Fortunately they were cut up into edible mouth sized bites so I thought five pieces was good going. Lunch was served - tuna/cucumber/olives on brown bread which I can only describe as being like a miniature loaf! It was huge but oh so lovely. Without much further ado, hooks were out and fingers got busy. Cappuccinos were provided to help keep up the momentum and by the end of the day, we had all completed a little Bower Bird. 

 Bowls of colour to entice and delight!
Lucy's beautiful studio. What a privilege. 
Beautiful merino yarn to make our birdies.

More studio shots.

 And here they all are. Nine little Bower Birds. Mine is third from the bottom. 
Here's yours truly with Lucy herself. 


And after that, we all went home and made a home for our birdies. Here is mine finally finished!





That was last Saturday! What a great trip. I would thoroughly recommend it. Lucy was very helpful and on hand to offer advice and tips. But get in the queue as I believe there may be a waiting list for the next one. 

Okay so that was that. I have been meaning to get these next pictures to you for some time but just have not had the chance to blog. Here is my Elmer blanket - finally!!!!!







I absolutely adore the crochet pompom edge I made for it which can be found here. I used 17 colours of Stylecraft Special DK. I am incredibly happy to have this finally finished at last. It seems to have taken a long time from when I first started it although I have had breaks from it to stitch and do other projects. I still haven't completed my Willow blanket yet as I still haven't decided on how to place them. 

Finally, my lovely friend Tracy helped me to choose some nice colours for a new blanket. I wanted to try out the new Stylecraft colours - they had a mustard and an orangey one so wanted a palette to incorporate those. Here's what she came up with:


What do you think? Starting with the gold colour at the bottom and going clockwise we have the following:

Gold
Mocha
Camel
Teal
Petrol
Grey
Parchment
Cream
Stone
Copper
Spice

I think that's correct! 

Well that is all from me. Hope you have enjoyed reading today. I'll be back soon, hopefully with a Willow finish.
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Love........

Sorry I couldn't resist taking a snap of this heart in my coffee today. I see loads of blog posts dedicated to finding hearts in everything but I never seem to so when I saw this I just had to snap it. 

See....


Yes I guess you have to look closely to see it! This was my lovely latte - a weekly treat from Libby's which you can read all about here. This time, served up with this little beauty!


Now to be fair, I did not eat all of it by myself - way too much - so I shared it with my other half. We have made it a weekly treat to go to this little cafe? Bistro? Bakery? I'm not sure what you would call it. However, this week, we have the Littlies off school so we thought we would take them too and see if they liked it. They both had huge slabs of Rocky Road and ate every last morsel. 

I thought I would do a quick update on my blanket situation. I have made all the squares for my willow blanket and here is how they look. I was thinking of joining them like this - kind of winding the colours together snake like back and forward but now I am not sure and think maybe I should just go random?








I began to join them using the continuous flat braid join which looks fantastic but I ran out of yarn on the second row! Grrrrrrrrrr so I might unravel, buy more yarn and then try a random style. What do you think??? I really love them. Such pretty squares. I really enjoyed making every one of them. I thin it will make a nice sized blanket once I have joined them and done a border around. Yes I will have to think of the prettiest border for this.

I also thought I would send you a quick update of the Elmer blanket I am in the process of making. This seems to have been going on since forever as I have left it and picked it up and left it and picked it up etc...



Rather rubbish pic of it but you get the gist of it right? I think I could be ready or almost ready to do the border on this one as I am plain getting bored of it. I don't think it's going to make double bed size and so may be relegated to the couch or the kids' beds. Not decided yet. I promise to take much better pics once it is complete. 

So that's me for now. I will update soon on the Elizabeth Lillie sampler as she is coming along nicely too. 

Thanks for reading today. 
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Come Spring Come...




The Spring

Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;


But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.


The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
Welcome the coming of the long'd-for May.
Now all things smile, only my love doth lour;
Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power
To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold
Her heart congeal'd, and makes her pity cold.


The ox, which lately did for shelter fly
Into the stall, doth now securely lie
In open fields; and love no more is made
By the fireside, but in the cooler shade
Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep
Under a sycamore, and all things keep
Time with the season; only she doth carry
June in her eyes, in her heart January.



17th century poem just to brighten these oh so dreary days. 
Images courtesy of Google. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Feast your eyes.....

There's a little bakery/cafe not too far from us so we have taken to driving there every Thursday on my day off. It is called Libby's and it has the most amazing atmosphere not to mention the fantastic food baked in the cellars of the premises. They specialise in cakes and breads but do all sorts of meals. It is in a place called Marple Bridge in Stockport, Cheshire so if you ever find yourselves ending up nearby then it is definitely worth checking out. The marble brownies are to die for and the best brownies I have ever tasted. 






Okay, well guess what? I think my stitching mojo has come back from its travels and is ready to rock! Finally, finally stitching has come back into my heart and I am really enjoying working on my Elizabeth Lillie reproduction piece. I think starting a cross stitch after school club has helped tremendously. I began to rummage through all my charts that I hadn't seen in years and started to remember all those charts I had bought but never stitched. What a waste! Well, it spurred me on and got me going and now I just want to stitch all day! I wish I could actually but those days of stitching all day long have truly gone but I still have a few evenings and the odd weekend. 



Sorry for the crumples but you can see I am making great progress on this piece. I have also joined an exchange! Yay! I haven't done one in years so I am quite excited at the prospect. Whilst rummaging through my stash I came across all the cards and exchanges I had received through the years and it was very moving actually. I really do cherish all those wonderful stitched pieces. 

Next up is a crochet shawl I made using King Cole Riot DK. The pattern is the South Bay Shawlette which is a free pattern on Ravely. It is only a two row repeat and once you get it into your head it is very simple. I love this shawl. It is so snuggly and warm and the colours just blend beautifully. I made it quite big and used two and a half balls on it. I made up the edging myself based on one I had seen and I am really pleased with the result. 





So that's all from me for now. Hopefully in the next post I will have finished my Willow Squares blanket. All the squares are made up now and just need to be joined. It is going to  look gorgeous - I hope! 

All else is well - except the British weather, yack yack!!!!! When will it stop raining??? Hope you are all doing well too lovely people. Catch up soon. xxxxx