being spoiled

I’m a little behind in sharing a few photos with you . . . of some surprises which came in the post.  Postman is always a frequent visitor at this house, as I do a lot of my craft-shopping on-line . . . but recently, 3 parcels arrived for me, that had nothing to do with me spending money lol.  First, and this was just before the end of October . . .

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A lovely hand-stitched card and a packet of special drinking chocolate chunks, from Mummy Viking.  She had wanted to take us to visit the Bean to Bar shop when we visited in September, but it was closed on the Monday we headed to the shops.

Avis, wanted to cheer me up, and help keep my mind of my shingles in October . . . so she sent this

from Avis amigurumi

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Lots of lovely designs inside to inspire me!  And with this book, I now have numbers 1-7 of the Zoomigurumi collection!

And then another surprise package, this time from Lilubelle in France.

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Lilubelle makes the most beautiful jewellery with beads.  Since she enjoys reading about our three hens, she made a little brooch, a cute chick “pin’s” and decorated the front of a notebook, with a very clucky hen and her 2 purple chicks! 

So many thanks to all three ladies . . . I thoroughly enjoy being spoiled! 

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ScrapHappy # November (black & blue)

I don’t know about you lot, but I’ve managed to write myself a very long “to do” list, with lots of crafting ideas for Christmas!  Although I do buy gifts for our small family and a few friends, I also try to make a few surprises to wrap and pop under the tree each year.  So, with Christmas pressies in mind, I am busy crocheting and sewing, in my usual race against time, as I realise I should have begun earlier in the year.

Saying that, I’m on track!  And since I have been doing a few sewing/patchwork projects, I’ve made more scraps.  Which means, more fun and more ideas of things to make!

scraphappy November

For today’s ScrapHappy I link up with Kate and Gun.  All I can show you for now is the above.  I found myself with lots of scraps of blue, black (and some grey) after quite a few F2F ladies asked for blue blocks . . . and I remembered I had some leftover fabric with a lovely large cat print on white. As you can see, I was busy trimming up some 1.5” strips to assemble into a larger piece.  I won’t show you any further progress now. It’s unlikely the recipient of this WIP gift will stop by on my blog, but I’ll be keeping the outcome of this scrappy project a secret until after the festive gift unwrapping.

I’m now going to do some blog-hopping and see what other members in the group have been doing with their scraps.

Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne,Jon,Hayley and Dawn

SAL update: Bag Ladies #2

Hello everyone!  It’s time to take photos and see how much progress was made on our SAL projects.  Hope you’ve all been busy?  I most certainly have.  Starting a new project is always very motivating, and I’ve been busy in the evenings, with a cat on my lap, with needle and thread.  Last time I showed you a first bag stitched.

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For this time, I concentrated on working in four different colours, and covering as much fabric as possible.

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So I have the beginnings of 2 new bags and all the black stitched for the first cat.  Eveything is somewhat beige & black for the moment but, by next time, I should have a finished cat to show you.

Time now to click on the following links, to see what other SAL members have been up to.

AvisGun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Tony, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare

And I’ll be back on 2nd December.

what the husband made

During the nice weather, my husband keeps himself busy, and happy, outdoors working in his veggie patch or doing other “stuff” outside.  During the colder, autumn & winter time, he has other occupations that keep him busy indoors, in his little workshop.  What he enjoys doing is renovating objects, especially wood. 

I was sitting knitting the other evening, cursing & swearing as my ball of yarn rolled off my lap for the umpteenth time . . . then proceeded to continue rolling and unravelling on our tiled floor, getting covered in dog hair in the process . . . and then being chased under the sofa by a cat!  I had tried keeping my ball of yarn in my knitting bag, just pulling gently on the yarn, so it unravelled inside the bag, as I needed.  But then Ducky (also known as “6 kilo of cat” decided the bag made a nice bed.  And you try unravelling yarn in bag when a cat is lying on it!  You can tug all you like, nothing happens.

Anyway . . . my little brain started wandering and I remembered having read about knitters with snazzy yarn holders or yarn bowls.  I googled a few images, to see what they looked like, and was thinking of ordering a yarn holder, seeing it as a necessary gadget rather than a waste of money.  However, when the husband looked over my shoulder, realising I had some interesting objects made in wood on screen, we got to talking about how easy it must be to make one.  Now, I have to add here that the husband doesn’t have a proper woodwork workshop.  He doesn’t have any special tools for furniture making/wood-turning (I think that’s the term?) . . . and seeing the cost of yarn holders on line, we agreed it wasn’t worth the cost of buying any special supplies in, since it would be cheaper to buy one ready-made.  Saying that, the previous owner of this house WAS a professional woodworker, and he left lots of “bits” upstairs in the attic.  When I say “bits”, I mean wood, not tools. 

After a scout around in the attic, getting covered in dust, I unearthed an old round wooden coffee table, and a couple of half-finished wooden knobs.  No idea what the knobs were for. Maybe bedknobs or even feet for furniture.  Whatever . . . the husband had a good look at what I’d found.  Asked a few pertinent questions as to what it was I needed, and set to work.

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And this is what he came up with.  The base was originally the base of a rickety round coffee table.  Then there’s a giant knob.  And the spike, is actually a (broken) piece of rod from an old black powder rifle (the rod originally being used to ram black powder and ammunition down the barrel).

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Husband had understood that the thing needed to swivel on an axe.  So . . . recycling a few metal parts, the underside of base looks like this.  And some adhesive felt to protect furniture.

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The metal rod holding another metal piece in place upon which rests the middle section of the holder.

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And voilà!  I discovered, when using my new yarn holder for the first time, that the husband went to a lot of unnecessary trouble working out the swivel mechanism.  The ball of yarn is so light, it actually swivels on it’s own, when I give a gentle tug on yarn.  But husband doesn’t mind.  He enjoyed the problem solving process and the fact that middle section swivels on the base whether I need it to or not.  So, husband was happy because I gave him an interesting recyling/upcycling job to do.  I’m a happy bunny because it’s exactly what I needed.  Husband is doubly happy because I’m happy . . . and I’ve set him a new challenge, to make me something useful with the round top of the rickety old coffee table! 

so many projects, not enough time!

I’ve made myself a really long list of projects to make before Christmas.  Which means I’ve got less time to spend on my WIPs, but am still trying to fit everything in.

Cross stitch has taken a bit of a back seat for now (apart from regular sessions on my SAL project) as I try to make headway with my knitting. I showed my two sleeves last month.  Since then, things have progressed.

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Am working on the back.  It’s not as skinny as it looks lol . . . I can’t flatten it out anymore for now or it’ll fall off my needle.  But you get the idea.  I’ve reached the shoulder shaping part, so shouldn’t be too long now before I have a finished back!

I’ll be doing some crocheting over the coming weeks too, which will mean less time to knit.  Here’s a big bundle of yarn that I ordered in recently

xmas prep

Lots of Stylecraft Special Aran and a fresh bag of stuffing.  Colours don’t look like my usual bright choice, but there’s a reason.  Reason I can’t reveal until after Xmas, so you’ll just have to trust me.  New crochet projects are going to be lots of fun!

best layer of the month # October

egg photo

After an incredibly long, hot summer, autumn really is upon us.  With October, we had a few nice weeks, but also a fair bit of rain, and even some early snow.  I thought the damp and cold would put the hens off their laying  yet nothing seems to put them off.   This month we collected  a total of 84 eggs.  24 from Miss Moneypenny, and 30 each from Miss Plumpton and Mauricette. 

off to a good start!

I am pleased to say, my second “real” knitting project is off to a good start.  This is the project

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Pattern being “Rue” by Martin Storey for Rowan. A free instant download available on-line.  I’m not using Rowan yarn though, but a cheap acrylic.  I should have done a swatch before I began, but didn’t.  Which resulted in me knitting about 1/3 of a sleeve before deciding it was going to be too small.  So I unravelled and began again on needles the next size up. 

I then managed to make a mistake with my increases on second sleeve, so that set me back lol.  But never mind!  I will learn to be more careful next time.

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What’s important . . . I didn’t allow myself to be discouraged, and I now have 2 sleeves – yay!  They are the same size, even if they don’t look it from photo.  I feel I’ve now got the hang of increasing and decreasing both knit wise and purl wise.  I’ll be casting on to knit the back next, which could take a while.  In case I needed motivation . . . I’ve already ordered in (and received) yarn and pattern for the next knitting project!  Talk about being optimistic!