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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Say hello to Hatty

Brrrr it's a cold one today.  We woke to a severe frost and the weatherman was saying it was the coldest night so far!!
DH has the right idea when he gets home from work.  A nice warming cuppa and now he can't potter in the garden as its too dark, he winds down with an hour at the table with a puzzle.  He completed this lovely one last week.
Is there anything that you or your family do now the dark nights are here that you don't in the summer months?
Stitching and knitting always gets more attention this time of year, but there are also secret projects being whipped up to send out, although there are not so many parcels as there used to be when I first started to join forums and blogs.  The postal service has seen to that with it's many increases in prices and weight and size rules.
I sent a little envelope out to Lindsay.  Regular visitors may remember that Lindsay and i did a skill swap last year at this time.  I knitted a little penguin kit for her and she made me a beautiful beaded ornament for my Christmas tree in exchange.
This year at the meet up she asked if we could do it again and asked if i would knit Hatty, a kit from a magazine ....

She knitted up lovely and went off in the post to Lindsay for her grandson.
I'll be sure to share what beaded delight Lindsay makes for me when it arrives.
Other knitting and the socks are complete and wrapped up in nice Christmas gift paper ready to send to Santa.
A little stitching on the Joyful World and October is almost complete, just the little hedgehog to add, so i'll show you that next time.   A little reading arrived with my newsagent.  He is able to get hold of the JCS Ornament Edition for me at a fraction of the cost if I was to order it online and pay postage but it is a little late getting to me.

A few nice ones in there this year.  Some I would have liked to have stitched for my partner in the ornament exchange we are doing at Needlecraft Haven.  All completed and sent out in plenty of time and I have received my return parcel.  December 1st is the opening day, another to share with you next post.   There is also the winter SAL to show you that I have been stitching when the gallery is open on the forum.

Sunday was the reveal of the monthly ornament challenge.  Unfortunately, I only printed off the free design this month and kitted it up, I didn't get round to putting a stitch in, sorry Christine.

I hope you are all staying nice, cosy and warm and finding things in your days to please you.    Sending blessings from my home to yours.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - November

The 15th of the month means it's time for this months Gifted Gorgeousness post, i'm only a day late this month so that's good :-)

Created by the lovely Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching, a way to show what kind and wonderful people crafting folks are with their lovely gifts they send out to others.  The very laid back rules are quite simple and can be found on Jo's sign up page at the top of her blog.
Novembers link up post is here if you would like to see what other folks have had gifted to them and are gift making for others.
The  meet up of the Needlecraft Haven forum was a day full of gifts and giving and I blogged about that in the previous post but here are some other gifts that fit this months GG post nicely.
Sock gift knitting -
Here's the wool I was knitting with last Saturday that I forgot to take a pic of in my post about the meet up. West Yorkshire Spinners 4 ply from the birds collection called Goldfinch.
Christmas gift making - for my granddaughter 
Found this great pattern in the local wool shop.  It uses Sirdar Snuggly wool, it's so soft to knit with.  She loves a short sleeved cardigan with a soft cotton long sleeved t-shirt underneath, so this pattern is perfect. 

Gift of a free chart -
A few stitches make a WIP of Octobers Joyful World SAL chart 
A gift from Mother Nature -
Not a very good picture of this months super moon, too much cloud and a shaky hand!
Gifted myself some hygge time -
The library left a message that a book I ordered was ready for collection, so I picked it up and took the opportunity of using one of the hot chocolate drinks from my meet up goody bag exchange and snook an hour to myself in the afternoon whilst my boys were at work..... how naughty!
The gift of friendship -
Thank you for stopping by to see my Gifted Gorgeousness post for November.   Love and blessings to each and every one of my readers.
Julie x

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Autumn meet up

My second Saturday outing this month was yesterday.

A day with stitching friends from the Needlecraft Haven forum organised by Clare.   The local scout group had kindly let us use their hall for the 9 of us to meet.  Some ladies I know well, others I haven't seen for quite a while and this time we had a new visitor.  It was lovely to meet Justine.

There was lots of lovely work on show for us to drool over ...

My own bits...
Justine and Gill (no blog)
Angi (no blog)
Lynn (no blog I know of)

A table for stash to be sold/gifted/swapped ...

The morning is spent with lots of lively chat and laughter and catching up with everyone and what they are working on and looking at their project they have brought to stitch on.  I'd taken October of the Joyful World to work on but that didn't get a stitch put in as I had also taken sock knitting and Maggie and Tina are both keen to have a try at that so I was able to show them the heel turning part - I've forgot to take a pic of the new pair that are on the needles, the wool is from West Yorkshire Spinners and Maggie was very impressed with it, she'll be getting some of that ASAP lol.
Clare made us a lovely lunch ...
After lunch it's time for some fun and the exchanges to take place.

The book exchange is always fun and causes giggles, there is always one lady who pulls out a ticket for their own book so a little swap has to be done.

I chose the book donated by Angi, an author from Cambridge I had never heard of and will look forward to reading over the dark winter evenings.  Thank you Angi.

The book I donated was by a local author who lives in Nuneaton where we were meeting, Rosie Goodwin's Ribbon Weaver was my choice and went to Tina.

We have a goody bag exchange - the theme of which is given to us a month or so before the meet up date.  This time the theme was a favourite film.  It's not compulsory to take part in any of the exchanges and some choose not to.

A raffle ticket is placed under each bag ....

and it's partner is placed under one of Clare's fabulous cakes that she makes on the theme of the bag.  I didn't get a pic of them all, but, as I brought my cake home for DH to enjoy, here is one of them.  Isn't it brilliant - a film reel and popcorn topped cupcake...
Each of us open their bag in turn and we all try to guess the film that's been chosen. Lots of fun and giggles during this event.  It's interesting to see how each of us interprets the content of the film with various gifts.  Great choices the ladies had made, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Moulin Rouge, 101 Dalmatians and West Side Story.
I chose the bag filled with lovely goodies by Clare. Her favourite film was The Holiday.  There was even a DVD of the film inside so I will be able to watch it.  Thank you Clare.
Gill got the bag I made up.  She guessed it after the first parcel inside was unwrapped.  I was really surprised as I thought I had picked a film no-one would know.  Here's what i put inside - my film being an old one, The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby.
We each take a prize for the raffle table.  The monies raised from this goes towards paying for the forum to be advert free for us all. 

I made a knitted bunny (forgot to take a close up pic of her before I took her) and also took some notebooks and pens.
I was lucky and won a prize ...
All too soon the day comes to an end and we have to say farewell till the next time.
Thank you ladies for your company, I had a lovely day.
Looking through my photos to do a blog post I realise I didn't take any of the group this time.  My mind must have been elsewhere as I seem to have said 'I forgot' on a few of these pictures....  must be my age, or it was the excitement of the day puddled the old brain cells lol.   Perhaps some of the other ladies who were present got some snaps if you visit their blogs.
Blessings to you all this remembrance Sunday

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Additions to the stash pile

Novembers calendar shows plans for two lovely days out on Saturdays to look forward to. 

The first was last Saturday, the 5th, a visit with our craft group to the NEC at Birmingham to the Craft and Hobbies show.  A lovely but tiring day, it was very busy.  

I did buy a couple of new things.  No stitching stuff this time but I did treat myself to something a bit different which I have wanted to try.

A Latvian mitten kit complete with wool, needles in size 1.5mm (so thin) and the chart to have a bash at knitting in different colours.  Never having done this and after a chat with the Latvian stallholder, I plumped for one of the easier designs with only 3 colours.  The red goes round the cuff and the main part is navy and cream. 

Next years plan is to try and leap out of the comfort zone and give this a go and hopefully it will lead to more adventurous knitting in the future.
Another stall that caught my eye was Home Farm Wensleydales  This lovely lady breeds her own sheep in the Cotswolds and has some fabulous wool and patterns on offer.  I chose the rare breed brown Wensleydale wool and she is the only breeder of this here in the UK.  How often can you say that about your knitting, what a special treat.  
A pattern for fingerless mitts together with a skein of the gorgeous wool hopped into my bag.

There seemed to be a mitten theme happening on Saturday!

My friend and I purchased a kit each to share.  I bought a needlefelting kit so we can each make a blue tit as we have not tried this craft before.

She purchased a beaded bauble kit from Spellbound similar to this for us to work on together. 
There were so many wonderful things on show and gifts to buy, lovely food to try and cake decorating to inspect.  Unfortunately, my camera stayed in my bag so no pics of the event itself, it really was too busy to get any decent pics.
A little stitching happening and last week I added the final stitch to the Joyful Word September, still way behind on these but catching up slowly.

Hubby asked for some cosy socks to keep his feet warm in his wellington boots in the garden as the colder weather arrives.  These knitted up quickly being 6 ply and just a plain blue, you don't need fancy stripey socks inside wellies.

This Saturday is the other event on the calendar, the ladies from Needlecraft Haven are meeting for the autumn get together.  I'm looking forward to meeting old friends and new and seeing their work up close and having a fun day out.
Hope all is well with you and life is being kind to you
Blessings to you all

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

How many sleeps?

We've stumbled into November, the clocks went back at the weekend and temperatures have dropped.  Autumn leaves are falling from the trees - quite late this year but what a glorious sight the trees are and today we woke to our first severe frost.  I was awoken to my neighbours scraping their car windscreens as they got ready to leave home this morning. I, on the other hand, snuggled under the duvet and thought "I'm so glad that's not me and I can have another hour in my cosy bed".
Frost, Winter, Ice, Autumn, Holidays
"Christmas is fast approaching, we need to get organised" so I was told earlier today by a senior member at my tai chi class, "I'm ok with that I said, things are moving along nicely"..... 53 sleeps as of today they said!
Crafting wise i'm happy with gift progress.  I showed you the start of something warm and cosy in a previous post, and here they are completed.  I hope the recipient of this Christmas gift will feel the comfort of them during the winter months.
I've made a lot of handmade gifts for a particular friend over the years, she is not a crafter herself and enjoys receiving something handmade.  This year as we are getting older, I thought perhaps a useful gift, so three covered wooden coat hangers Santa will be delivering to her. 

Another KEEP YOU WARM project has been knitted.  My granddaughter asked for a red hat and scarf for her journey to school each day.  Glad to oblige and she's taken home these at the weekend.   I couldn't get a good picture of the true red of these, this is the best one I took!
I was listening on the radio the other day to a Danish lady being interviewed about hygee (pronounced hoo-ga).  Have you heard of it or read about it?  There are lots of books around at the moment and online things telling you how to experience it in your own life.  Apparently there is no English translation for it but they use the word a lot in everyday life for times when they are having comfort with family and friends and also when being alone enjoying the moment with comforting things.  Hygee is summed up in a sentence by ToveMaren Stakkestad  -  Hygge was never meant to be translated - it was meant to be felt.  I'm hoping my granddaughter will experience hygee with her hat and scarf and all the love that went into me knitting it for her or perhaps the handknitted socks will give a bit of hygee to their wearer?
Picture of this book courtesy of Amazon
A little stitching has been done too.  Sunday was reveal day for the monthly challenge over at Needlecraft HavenChristine chose a lovely holly design for Octobers stitch project from Luli.  My ornament ended up with little red jingly bells adorning it, I thought they looked a bit like big holly berries.

I've also almost finished September of the Joyful World SAL.   The last few stitches will go into that tonight as I stitch along in our Wednesday evening online stitching parlour with Barb and the other ladies working on unfinished projects, i'll show you my finish next time.
I'm going to have a blog reading session and catch up with what you have all been up to now, but first I think i'll make myself a hot chocolate, grab a biscuit and have a little hygee time....
Blessings to you all