Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Previous to October

And just like that, we are in October, I have no idea what happened to September, It seemed to be here and gone in the blink of an eye.  There has been so much going on that I have not blogged about and to catch up in one post would be too much, I'll have to try and catch up over a few posts.

I did eventually finish my Whitmore sweater.  You may remember me saying at the beginning of July that I only had the sleeves to knit, well they were done during July and it was washed and blocked while we had all that lovely warm weather.



The light was fading when I took these photos so the colour looks a little washed out, it's a much nicer colour in real life.

I'm really happy with it and would love to knit another one sometime.  We're not quite into jumper wearing weather at the moment, but I'm sure I'll get the wear it pretty soon.

I also finished two more pairs of socks.

These are knit in West Yorkshire Spinners, the colourway is Goldfinch with a contrast heels, toes and cuffs (also WYS).  I didn't bother trying to match the pair, I think the saying for this among seasoned sock knitters is that they are sisters, not twins 😉

Incidentally, this was the first commercial sock yarn I ever purchased, quite a few years ago now, I saw Julie, (from Julie's stitchyknitter journal) knitting it at a meet up we both attended.  I loved the colourway and bought it soon afterwards, even though I had no idea then how to knit socks!



The next pair were for my daughter, Stevie.  She chose this Regia yarn when we went shopping one Saturday, it's the colourway Strawberry from their Tutti Frutti range.  I didn't realise when we bought it but the yarn is 72% cotton, 18% polyamide and 10% polyester.  It was beautiful to knit with, although when I washed them the colour did run a little in the water.


I knit one sock then there was a period of time before I started the second one, the eagle eyed among you will notice my mistake right away.
I knit 2 x 2 rib on the first sock and 1 x1 on the second one!  I didn't even notice until I had washed them.  I pointed it out to Stevie when I gave them to her and she said, mum, I wouldn't have even noticed if you hadn't told me!


Following on from my last post saying that I feel like a recluse, I've been making an effort to get out more.  Weather wise, the last three weekends have been lovely and so on one of the Saturdays when Mark was at work I decided, rather than have a whole weekend rattling around the house by myself I would to take myself off for the day.  I'd been looking at places online and decided on Frome.  It meant a journey of just over 2 hours, but the weather was nice, the roads weren't too busy and It was quite a pleasant and straight forward drive.


Frome town itself is not that big, It's described as a bustling, creative market town, but even though there was a small market on the day I went, It wasn't really bustling.  Apparently there is a larger independant market which happens on the first Sunday in the month, perhaps the atmosphere is different then.  
It does have a couple of quirky streets, namely, St Catherine's Hill and Cheep Street.  Both of these have various independent shops selling a variety of things and are quite picturesque to walk through, you have to mind your step in Cheep Street to avoid stepping into the little waterway that runs down the middle.




Millie Moon is on Catherine Hill and I spent some time in there looking at the lovely fabric, patterns and notions.  I made a small purchase whilst there, which I will tell you the reason for in future blog post.
The lady serving in the shop that day was so lovely and helpful, I'd highly recommend a visit if you're in the area.


After a couple of hours looking round I'd seen all I wanted to so headed back to my car.  I'd passed through Bradford-on-Avon on the way, about six or seven miles from Frome so thought I'd stop off there on the way home.

Not somewhere to go if you want to shop but a really lovely place to take in the scenery.  I walked up to the canal where there is a coffee shop, you can sit outside and watch all the coming and goings of the boats, there were lots of people making the most of the beautiful weather, and I suspect there is also a very pleasant canal walk, although I didn't venture on that as I was alone.



There is also a lovely walk along the River Avon, again I didn't venture too far along, but there were at least a couple of pubs with views of the river.
As I said the town it'self was not somewhere you would head to if you wanted to shop but there were a couple of nice vintage shops I had a browse round and there were a few coffee shops to choose from.  I'd been fancying a jacket potato so I stopped at one around lunch time.  Amongst other things their menu had jacket potato with two fillings, great.  Until I saw the price.  £11. 

Now I know prices have gone up, but £11 for a jacket potato! No way.  I got up and walked out.  Admittedly I waited until the waitress had gone in the back before I made my hasty exit, thereby saving us both the embarrassment of  me being honest and saying it was over-priced.

You will be happy to know though that I didn't go hungry that day, I found another, more reasonably priced coffee shop around the next corner and enjoyed a lovely goats cheese and caramelized onion quiche and salad :-)

-x-

Monday, 19 September 2022

A final goodbye

 It's been about five weeks or so since I last wrote a blog post proper, I won't bore you with all the whys, just to say that I had a good few weeks when I felt quite down.  You would think that I'd have gotten used to staying at home by now, I've always been quite happy in my own company, but, there are still times when I miss the routine of going to work and mixing with people and having a purpose to my day.  I'm not going to dwell on my woes though, I will just say that I am making an effort to get out of the house more, and I feel better for it.

I've still been doing my knitting, and even stitching again and I'll share everything over the next few posts rather than bombard you with everything at once.  

I might as well start with one of my older finished pieces which was recently fully finished.

You may remember that I stitched Happy Christmas by Prairie Schooler during December 2021, I shared my finish in my January 1st post this year. 


I took it to my local needlework shop to be framed at the beginning of July, they are very busy at the moment and I only got a text to say it was ready to be picked up last week, and so here it is.


I chose a frame that will stand without support and I'm extremely happy with how it turned out.

The frame is showing a little brown here but it is black to match the aida and has a subtle grain which is more defined on this close up photo.

I'm going to enjoy having this one on display come Christmas.


A final goodbye


Of course today is the State funeral of our Queen, Elizabeth II. 
So many thousands of people made the journey to London to be part of this historic event and it's been wonderful to see everyone paying their respects in a quiet and dignified way.  
For those that couldn't make that journey the coverage on TV these last ten days has been outstanding, so that even sitting at home we have been part of it.

I've been sitting here this morning paying my respects in my own way and watching the proceedings on the TV, both the procession and the service in Westminster were very moving, she was truly a remarkable woman and will be greatly missed, not only here in Britain but across the world too.  

With the passing of  Queen Elizabeth II the New Elizabethan era ended, It's now time for King Charles to step into his mother's shoes, carry on her good work, and take us into the Carolean era.  I'm sure he will do a grand job, he has been in training for so many years and seems to have the same values as the late Queen, so I think we are in safe hands.

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Sad day

So sad hearing the announcement that our Queen died this afternoon.

21st April 1926 - 8th September 2022


On Tuesday she appointed our new Prime Minister, Liz Truss.  Queen Elizabeth II really did honor her duty to her country right to the end

God Bless
-X-

Friday, 12 August 2022

Making hexies while the sun shines

 Back at the beginning of July I started a birthday project thinking I had given myself plenty of time to get everything completed for today, August 12th.   

In hindsight, (isn't hindsight a great thing), I should have started it earlier but, I sure many of you can relate to last minute gift making, as crafters we tend to do that to ourselves don't we?

The first task was to paint this little Ikea dolls cot and make a mattress for it, I got both of those jobs completed before the end of July and I was feeling very pleased with myself for being ahead of the game.


The mattress is reversible and I was pretty happy with how it came out


I fell down the Pinterest rabbit hole of dolls cot bedding and that's when I made more work for myself, I decided that a little patchwork quilt would look lovely.

By the time I'd sorted and cut out fabric, ordered the hexie papers and attached the fabric to the papers It left me with just over a week to hand sew everything together.  

I've never attempted anything like this before and haven't hand sewn anything in years, but I really enjoyed the process of sewing all the little pieces together.  
Now, If you're a quilter reading this, please don't look too closely, technically I've probably gone about it all wrong and it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination,  but I think the end result is passable,

The binding was, well, a bind, again, first time binding anything, I managed, again, it's not perfect but then neither is my eyesight, lol.


Below is probably more true of the colours


You can't have a quilt without a pillow and a sheet, so I made those too, I also made a pillowcase for the pillow so it can be taken off to wash.




I think the end result is pretty cute, and best of all the recipient loves it.

I bet you've guessed who this is for haven't you? 

Yes, it's for my beautiful granddaughter Bonnie, she turned 5 today.

Here she is dressed for her birthday party, look at the gorgeous smile  💖


She had a rainbow themed party with all her school friends last Sunday, Joanne had booked an entertainer who was just brilliant and they all had a wonderful time.  Joanne also did a great job making the rainbow birthday cake.




As you can imagine not much in the way of other crafting has been going on I been pretty much sewing every single day, sometimes all day, for the last two weeks to get all that bedding done but tomorrow I shall pick my knitting up again, I have just one cuff to knit on my jumper! 
 
The heat wave is set to continue over the next two day and then rain and hopefully cooler temperatures for next week, thank goodness.   Like a lot of others peoples gardens ours is not fairing too well, everything is dry and faded and the grass is turning brown, it's not a good look, I much prefer the Spring and Autumn when everything looks fresh, lush and green.  The only thing this weather is good for is getting the washing dried super quick, although I do have an ironing mountain growing in the laundry room,  you could not pay me enough money to tackle that at the moment!

-X-

Monday, 25 July 2022

Lovely Llandudno and Beautiful Bodnant

No makes to share this week, I've been trying to get the sleeves of my jumper done and also the last in the trio of socks cast on in June, both seem slow going at the moment but, the end is in sight.  

Heritage Hall, (I'm sorry I don't know your name), commented on my last post and asked about the pattern for the corner to corner baby blanket, It's a free pattern by Lion Brand and can be found Here, I have always been asked about where to find the pattern and should have mentioned it last week. 

So, this weeks happenings.  We went on a little weekend break, from Friday to Sunday this weekend to one of my favourite places, Llandudno, in North Wales.  Bodnant Gardens has been on my list of places to visit for a while and as it's only about 6 miles from Llandudno we thought we would combine the two visits.

After all the fine hot weather of last week the forecast wasn't that good for the weekend but we were lucky, at least until we were going home on Sunday.  

We didn't arrive until around 3pm on Friday so just had a mooch around the town and later a walk along both beaches, Llandudno has two beaches, North shore is where you will find the pier and all those lovely Victorian buildings, the West shore is much quieter.  We walked down towards the West shore as the sun was going down and were treated to a wonderful sunset.


The weather was a bit unsettled on Saturday morning but the forecast said it was going to be better in the afternoon, so we explored the town some more before taking the tram up the Great Orme in the afternoon.  



We decided we would walk back down and stop to visit the mines, which are at the half way point.  These Bronze Age mines were discovered in 1987 after work was started following planning permission to build a car park.  There are around 4 miles of tunnels under this area, a small section is open to the public and the work is still on-going to discover more about the area.  It was an interesting place to visit, although Mark's not keen on confined spaces and was glad to see daylight at the end of the tunnel!

We carried on walking down, back towards Llandudno, which wasn't as bad as I thought It would be, although we did take one of the easier routes, but I can now claim to have walked the Orme :-) 








The weather was beautiful when we got up on Sunday morning, really warm and sunny and I was pleased we had decided to wait until today for our visit to Bodnant Gardens.   After breakfast we packed our bag and set straight off.  Bodnant is around 6 miles from Llandudno but we did take the scenic route along Marine Drive, around The Great Orme, so it was more miles but well worth it for the views .  I've shared photos of this route before, Here , we didn't stop to take any on Sunday.  We did stop at the church of ST Tudno to enjoy the view for a while though.



There is a beautiful Manor House in Bodnant Gardens, unfortunately it isn't open to the public, the grounds are stunning though with different walks and gardens to explore, I loved looking at all the different plants and shrubs and in the garden centre on the way out I did buy a couple of plants for our garden.











Unfortunately the good weather didn't last long enough for us to enjoy all that was on offer, the rain started and at first it looked as though it might blow over but then it quickly got heavier and we had to head into the coffee shop.  Such a shame because there were another two walks we could have done if it had stayed nice.  We will definitely be back in the area again though and will plan a future visit.

Have a good week all
-X-