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Monday, 23 February 2015

Challenge reveal already ... well it was the last Sunday of February!

Last Thursday February 19th was my wedding anniversary.   It was also the start of the Chinese new year in 2015.  This year we are the year of the sheep (or goat as some say). 

I don't have a goat finish, but I do have a sheep design that has been made up.

CCN Winters Eve
from Just Cross Stitch Ornament 2008
Whilst the sewing machine was out I decided to finish up two more little ornaments.
LHN Winter Sampler
from JCS ornament 2009
I had put the final stitches into Let it Snow in the parlour with Barb and the ladies on Wednesday evening so that was ready.
 CCN Let it Snow
from JCS ornament 2008
It was getting close to reveal day for the monthly challenge, that was yesterday (Sunday) so wanting to be good and on time that got finished. 

There are a few finishes in the gallery this month, all different and very lovely. Well done ladies.  This lovely stag chart Christine chose from Luli.  You can see Christine's version on her blog.

UFO stitching at the weekend (or as Jo calls it, back to being a WIP as its getting attention each week).  Irish Garden had the top left borded filled in with Smyrna stitches around the edge.  Can you guess what's going to happen to the other 3 borders?

I managed a trip to the wool shop, such a chore it was too :-)  Pink wool purchased and the back is now knitted on Isabelle's aran cardigan (and I've almost completed a sleeve too).  More knitting happening this past week than stitching.

I did get round to starting the Spring SAL and putting a few stitches into that, such a lot of charts with seasons on to choose from. I found a lovely set in my stash so still no buying this year of charts for me.

No craftshare work to show you this week as there is something exciting happening there.  It's going to be a year old soon and to celebrate there is to be a 'hands on' workshop for the day on Saturday 28th February so we've been organising for that.  Anyone in the community can come along and try out different crafts during the day.  One lucky person will win a brand new sewing machine in the raffle.  The knitting group is going well with another new person coming along last week and I've added 2 more little prem baby hats to my months tally.

Thank you for stopping by, its nice to see you ...

Love and blessings to you all


Monday, 16 February 2015

Spreading a little love...

This weekend was Valentines day, did you receive a valentine?

DH and i exchanged cards and we shared a little box of choccies whilst watching a nice film.  I was having a blog reading catch up this morning and saw lots of lovely valentine exchanges that have taken place.  Beautifully stitched and finished cards and gifts that were sent with love to stitchers across the globe, well done everyone.

Last week I received a parcel in the post.  I was lucky enough to win a giveaway from Cathi on her blog.  Snowman goodies and a beautiful stitched ornament.  Thank you so much Cathi for your kindness.
I sent a little RAK gift out to a fellow stitcher myself a couple of weeks ago.  Jacqui has been really poorly and in hospital so I thought a little bunny would bring a smile to her face as she is always ready to send one of her smiles out to other bloggers.  It was nice to read that Jacqui is back home and recovering and my bunny had arrived safely.  What will you call her Jacqui?
Another little envelope i sent arrived safely last week as well.  Barb celebrated a birthday at the weekend and I can now share with you the stitched gift I made for her.   Dear Friend by JBW made into a pinkeep.
I'm still practising with the sewing machine, last week I quilted some fabric and was shown how to use bias binding for the first time.  A little case was completed.   Just an offcut of pretty fabric costing pennies, a bit of wadding and some backing fabric and voila .....
It's turned out really well and I'm so pleased with it.
Knitting needles have been smokin' and Amy's socks are finished.  A perfect fit and she was pleased with them.
I was asked to crochet and make up a little brooch from a cover kit on a magazine, that's gone off to a new home.

My two SAL WIP's have had some attention.  A couple of friends and some snowflakes added to my little snowman on CCN Let it Snow ornament for the Parlour evening SAL on Wednesdays.
The final top left inner border filled in on Irish Garden in the UFO weekend SAL.  Time to start and fill in the outer border next week. 

I've also added another 3 hats to my tally for the charity knitting, they are so easy to knit and only take an hour to make each one.
It's not until you upload the photos on the computer you get to see just how much progress you have made during a week.  This week I've knitted, crocheted, stitched and sewed.  With having 2 crafting sessions at the community centre each week that is 4 hours worth of things getting done with crafting friends.  Together with the Wednesday and weekend online SAL it does make a difference when stitching along with friends and showing each other progress each week.  
A new stitching start this week.  There is a Spring SAL happening, choose a chart for each of the seasons and stitch it up.  I've found a set of 4 in my stash, so time to put fabric on frame and put in the first stitch.
Next Sunday is the final Sunday of the month so that means reveal day of the monthly challenge design.  I better get that finished off and made up before the deadline.  I'll add that to this weeks plans and I need a trip to the wool shop as Isabelle has chosen another cardigan pattern she wants me to knit for her and I don't have any pink aran wool .... oh dear what a chore a visit to a stash shop!!
Hope you have a wonderful and craft filled week.
Love and blessings to you all

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Knit, stitch, read... snooze

Good morning blog readers... or perhaps its another time of the day where you are?

That's the wonderful thing about writing a blog, you never know what time of day someone will stop by for a little nosey into your world and see what's been happening.

This past week I've still been nursing the germs, just when you think they've gone, whack! they hit you again.  Seems that so many are suffering too... {a big get well hug} to you if you are.   Hope you are resting under the snuggly blanket and getting better.

I've been knitting quite a bit this week, its easier and doesn't take so many concentrating brain cells with the added stitch or two.....

A finish - the cowl was completed, here's my daughter modelling it so I could take a photo.

It looked a bit weird when I laid it on the table to take a pic.

New knitting start - boot socks for said daughter, the ones she has are getting a little worn out.  Some nice bright and jazzy Regia 6 ply wool, just the thing for a dark damp February to be knitting to brighten up the day/evenings.

It's a pattern I have knitted before and is a free one from Ravelry.  Its called Blueberry Waffle Socks. They knit up quickly and are an easy pattern to follow if you are thinking of trying to have a go and knitting socks.  Thicker needles than used for the 4 ply usual sock wool too.

WIP/UFO weekend stitching - Irish Garden came out to play this week and the top inner border on the right was filled in.  One more inner border then just the outer border to fill in.

New stitching start - Parlour evenings on Wednesday with Barb and the ladies at Needlecraft Haven, so that means a CCN, LHN or Sampler Girl design.  This time I chose the CCN Let it Snow ornament from the JCS Ornament Edition 2008.  Stitched over 1 on 22ct, I'm trying to use up some of the fabrics that I have this year and this lovely mustard colour just seemed right for the colours in this design.

Book finish - Read the final page this morning with my cuppa so this one can go back to the library today when I go off to the Book Borrowers this afternoon.  I was recommended this one, not something I usually read.  I'm not a fan of fantasy books but I have to say I did enjoy it.  It's nice to try something different now and then. 

This is how amazon describe it -

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defence is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

Their wording makes it sound very sinister and spooky, I didn't find it so  (if I'd seen this before I read the book, I'm not sure I would have read it lol).  It's a story about a man who remembers being a seven year old boy and some unpleasant happenings in his family life during that time and the farm at the end of the lane is where he finds help and love and a whole lot more, but yes there are some weird out of this world creatures that happen to be in it as well.  Neil Gaiman has written scripts for Dr Who and also collaborated with Terry Pratchett so if you enjoy these type of things perhaps this book would suit you.

Time to sign off and get a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit, the best medicine when you have germs lurking about and the cat needs to go out so he's walking all over the keyboard to get my attention, he's telling me this post is long enough and I really have nothing else to say......

Take care, love and blessings to you all

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Time to open the exchange envelope ....

February 4th, that means today was opening day for the bookmark exchange from our meet up way back last November.  There was no organiser for this exchange so everyone had a surprise partner.  We each filled out a card with a favourite flower, colour and type of cake we like and an envelope was chosen by each of us.

I chose Clare's card and she wanted pink and roses, this is what I sent off to Clare

There was a little bit of a problem as one lady had lost her card and wasn't sure she could remember who she was to send to.  She asked for everyone to put their details up on the forum for her to try and guess.  Funnily it was my name she had chosen.  Thank you Lindsay, a beautiful bunch of freesias you stitched for me and the Six Strand Sweets threads will come in very handy.

I've spent a lot of the past week under the fluffy blanket.  That'll teach me to say that I seemed to have escaped the coughs/colds that have been around recently.  I've been full of sympathy with those who have had it, but wow... when you get it you sure know you have it!

I read the January book choice for the readers over at Needlecraft Haven.  This month it was chosen by Maggie a fellow blogger.  She chose Daughter by Jane Shemilt.  Soon be time to see what the others thought of it, a mixed review on amazon. 

I did manage to finish off Isabelle's cardigan ....

Another finish too, just a little stitching with Barb and the ladies last Wednesday in the parlour SAL, I finished stitching my little ornament Winters Eve by CCN.

No UFO stitching on Irish Garden this week, the brain cells were just not up to counting and concentrating on that.  Oh dear only just into February and I have lapsed already on the UFO weekend stitching, but i do have a good excuse, the body was willing, the brain full of yeuck and cold lol.

A new start and something to learn too.  I've never used a circular needle to knit and its something I wanted to try.  This kit was bought at the knitting and stitching show in November.  A lovely cowl using Blue Faced Leicester aran wool.

I wound the hank into a ball with the help of one of the craftshare ladies and here's where I have got to so far....

Talking of the craftshare, the winter wall hanging is up, my snowballers are having fun, although they do look a little lost on it ....

The community centre had a new group start last week.  In conjunction with the self service library (they advised us most of their libraries have their own knitting groups) and funding from the NHS a new knitting group started on Friday mornings.  The lady who runs this has plans for us to do charity knitting for a local care home and also the hospital neo natal department for premature babies.

I've knitted up a little hat in 4 ply according to the pattern given.  You can hardly believe a little head will fit into this, its so teeny tiny.  Look how small it is compared to a 100grm ball of wool.  I also knitted a 6" square to make a start on the collection of squares for lap blankets but that was left at the group on Friday so no pic of that - you all know what a plain knitted square looks like.

A short walk at the weekend to blow the cobwebs (or nasty stuff) out of my head and I found myself handing over cash for this beauty ....

Bagged my self a real bargain, not sure if its handmade but the lovely crochet felted brooch that was on it definitely is.

I loved it when I saw it in the window and almost ran into the shop, delved into my purse and handed over a few coins totalling £4 for it.  You would have paid way over that just for the beautiful brooch alone at a craft fayre.  This is now my charity knitting bag as its from a charity shop and will be knitting goodies for the charities in the Friday morning knitting group.  DH just rolled his eyes, I guess he was wondering why I NEEDED yet another bag to add to the **cough, cough** 'few' I already have.

I hope you are all safe and well with the recent cold snap we've been having and the snow showers have not caused too much havoc for you all.  I see some of the USA ladies are staying home and making the most of it with lots of updates on their blogs of wonderful stitched and knitted creations.  The winter weather does have its bonuses for some things.

Thanks for taking time to visit, I do appreciate it and assure you this post is germ free, I didn't sneeze once whilst typing it ........

Blessings to you all