Monday, 16 May 2022

The one with knitting, (and a tiny bit of stash)

Here we are at the beginning of another week, we are fast approaching my daughter's wedding, three weeks yesterday we fly and I still haven't got a dress, eek!

I ordered three dresses last week, which have arrived today and I don't like any of them, so they will have to be returned tomorrow.  I did order another one last night, fingers crossed that it will be ok because I'm running out of options and places to look now.

The weather was brilliant on Saturday so warm and sunny and not a sign of the wind we had on Friday and I'm so glad as I had a ticket for the Wool@j13 yarn show.  Mark had said he would come with me so I didn't have to go on my own but in the end I said no, I didn't mind going alone so he stayed at home doing a few jobs in the garden.  As it happened I sat with two lovely ladies when I stopped for a coffee and we had a lovely chat about yarn, projects and this and that, like me, it was their third visit to this particular yarn show which is only small compared to some but packed with lovely goodies.

I was quite selective with purchases, I walked around at least four times looking to make sure what I wanted to spend my money on, in the end this is what I bought.


The little flowery bag Is the perfect size to keep in my bag for hand cream, gel and other bits that seem to rattle around in the bottom of my bag.

The other fabric bag, (I think the fabric is Ikea Rosali), is a traveling pouch, I thought it would be perfect for when we go away.  Some essential notions were also included inside and I thought the price was very reasonable at £15, considering the extras.


I've been knitting away on my Whitmoor sweater for the last two weeks, there hasn't been many days when I haven't been working on it.  The pattern is beautiful and so addictive , I'm loving every minute working on it.

I'm not too far from the ribbing now so put it on waste yarn to try on this morning.  It fit's lovely, not so much positive ease as the pattern calls for, but I didn't want as much as that anyway, once it's blocked it will be just right I think.


I just love the lace pattern, it really wasn't hard at all.


The yarn is Stylecraft Recreate in the colour Rose and It's beautifully soft and lovely to knit with, I'd definitely use it again.  

I hope you all have a lovely week, whatever you are doing, take care.

-X-

Monday, 9 May 2022

Wildflowers update and a great book

I only started this piece last Saturday but I thought If I posted regular progress updates it would keep me motivated to keep stitching. 
 I've only stitched on it twice during this past week and so far I'm loving all the bright colours.


It's been a lovely few days and I spent Friday afternoon in the garden cutting the grass and doing a general tidy up.  We sowed grass seed on the bare patches and applied fertiliser to the lawn a few weeks ago, we didn't think the seed was taking but after all that rain last week it's now sprouting up, there are still some places it didn't take but we can try again after the next cut.  The fertiliser worked a treat, I've never seen our grass os green!


We had all the bushes along the fence cut right down at the beginning of Spring, they were all tangled and a bit of a mess, they are starting to come back again now but won't flower this year, I'm ok with that, at least we can now try and keep them under control.

I've been struggling with my book choices again lately, nothing I picked up was holding my interest, a search on Goodreads came up with this author, and this book had really good reviews so I ordered it from the library.  I'm always a bit wary of rave reviews but in this instance they were justified.  

Set in Cumbria, The Puppet Show, a is a Police procedural and is the first book in a series with Detective Washington Poe as the main character.   Poe has been on suspension but strings are pulled to bring him back to help in the search for Immolation Man who so far has killed three men in horrific burning rituals.  When they find Poe's name carved into the chest of the third victim they assume he will be number 5.

The book is very well written, not too gory and with a great twisty plot.  The characters are very likable, especially Tilly Bradshaw, the geeky techie, she somehow lightens the story giving the book moments where you can't help but smile. 

I'll definitely be reading the other books in the series.


-X-

Monday, 2 May 2022

Happy Bank Holiday

 It's been a very busy Bank Holiday Weekend, starting with our meet up at the Nimble Thimble on Saturday.  There was a meet up last year but I didn't go to that one so I haven't seen these ladies in at least two years, maybe longer.  There was ten of us this time and It was lovely to be in the company of like minded people again and just to enjoy some uninterrupted stitching time.

The Nimble Thimble is situated on the Welsh boarder and just over an hours drive away, it's a lovely drive, mostly through beautiful countryside.  The shop itself is in a lovely place by the river, with beautiful views all around.






The shop is packed full of wonderful stitching goodies, you really are spoilt for choice, although on this particular visit I didn't buy anything, can you believe that!  I have been feeling a little overwhelmed of late with the amount of things I have and to buy yet more charts to just put into stash just wasn't sitting well with me, so I came away empty handed this this time.

I did save my new start for Saturday though,  Wildflowers by The Blue Flower is a chart I purchased last year, the fabric I got at my visit to the NEC in March and as part of my Christmas present my daughter, Jenny had bought me all the threads for it.

I managed to get the first five words stitched while at the meet up plus a bit more over Saturday evening.
My fabric is 28 count and I think it's looking on the large side, the recommended fabric is 40 count, there is no way I would see the holes on that high count, an alternative was 36 count, which I can see but my eyes get tired when stitching on it and I'm not a fan of 32 count.  I'm hoping it will look better when I start adding the flowers.


Stevie and Darren's wedding is getting ever closer, only a little over four weeks until we fly now!  The girls had organised a hen party for her on Saturday so I drove straight from the Nimble Thimble to meet them all at a local Greek restaurant where we had a lovely meal.  Following the meal they were all going on to a cocktail bar, I opted out of that part of the night and left the younger ones to it.




Day two of the Hen weekend was The Bear Grylls Adventure at the NEC.   As the name suggests it's a place to take part in various activities and challenges, there's rock climbing, an assault course, swimming with sharks, zipwire, and indoor sky diving, plus others.

Stevie had said she would like to do some kind of activity but some of the 'hens' couldn't be persuaded to join this part of the weekend so just six of us went yesterday.



The activities are pre-booked and some of them we couldn't do because they were booked up, I would have liked to try shooting, but there were no places available yesterday.  The girls opted for the height ropes.  I'm not a fan of heights so sat and had a coffee while they did this one.

Standing at 65 feet this is the tallest high ropes course in Europe.  It really didn't look very high from the ground but the girls said it certainly did from the top!!




We did archery next and guess who excelled at that, lol.  I really enjoyed archery and would quite happily have carried on for longer than our allotted time.


The girls did hammer throwing next which I sat out but wish I'd done now as they said it was really good then lastly we did the escape room challenge.  I thought I might like this but in reality It was too many people with ideas all talking at once, it wasn't for me.

In between we went on the assault course and I've confirmed that my legs are no longer as strong as they once were, lol, although the instructor said we were the best group he had ever had and had given him a laugh, and we all had a great day.

-X-

Thursday, 28 April 2022

How does your garden grow

Some of these photos I took a couple of weeks ago when we had lovely sunny weather, today has been the complete opposite of that,  only 10°C, overcast and quite cool, very different to earlier in the month.

The camelia, azalia and acer are well established, they were already here when we moved in and still do well each year




The acer is Mark's favourite but mine is my hosta, it's gets bigger and better every year.  I don't have a problem with slugs as there is a copper band around the pot which does a great job keeping them away.  I did have two but last year we split the other one and I sold on a fair few plants.


I kept only one of those we split and it's grown quite a lot already although I seem to have two varieties in one pot, I'll have to split it again next Spring.


The tulips are still giving some colour, I didn't plant as many last year, of those I did plant only the pink ones came up, that blue container you can see was planted up with a dwarf variety but only two produced anything.



Strawberry plants from last year are coming back, I only put a couple of plants in a hanging basket to see how they would do,


I bought two small pots of herbs from the vegetable section at Aldi a while ago, basil and parsley, they were only 59p, I didn't use them all so planted them and put them outside, they are doing really well, behind those is also mint, chives and rosemary.


The wild flower seeds I planted are doing ok, I probably sowed them too soon really because the weather changed after, I did them so I covered them with bubble wrap for a few weeks at night to protect them.  It's the first time I done these so fingers crossed for some lovely colour.


At our other house we had raspberry bushes all the way down one side of the garden, we only put in one plant but in a few years they had spread that much.  Mark picked this up when we went to the garden centre recently, It would be nice to have fresh raspberries again but I'm keeping it in a pot this time.


Most of the seeds are doing very well, I have an abundance of marigolds, I planted marigolds for the first time last year and I loved how long they lasted, plus the slugs and snails hate them ;-)


More marigolds and lots of poppies


The nasturtiums are ready to go out now really, just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit more


The only seeds I sowed that have been a disappointment are the black eyed susan, some failed completely.


Fingers crossed the weather will warm up enough for me to get some things planted out soon, I don't want things left in trays when we go away at the beginning of June.

-X-

Monday, 25 April 2022

Yarny temptations

I haven't bought any hand dyed yarn in a long time but I've been lead into temptation and treated myself to three skeins this month.

I haven't got any self striping yarn so when I saw this from Stripey Cat Yarns I just had to have it.
It's a 50g skein with a 20g mini for contrast heels and toes, this is the colourway Alice in Wonderland.


Biffsugar Yarns have some lovely colourways, it's hard to choose a favourite but this selkie zebra stripe one appealed to me, this colourway is Luckdragon.


I watch Caz's podcast, The Wee Sew and Sew on you tube.  On her last episode she showed the new colourways going into her etsy shop, when she held up this one I had to pause to go and buy it right away, I thought it was so pretty.  This one is called Watercolour Garden and is on a sparkle base, I'm not usually a sparkle girl but I loved the colours so much that I can live with the sparkle.  Caz's etsy shop is called Gardeners Cottage Yarns, the last time I looked there was none of this colourway left but she does have some other beautiful skeins and notions too.


It might seem a bit indulgent to buy myself three skeins in a month but I haven't treated myself in a while and sometimes you just have to don't you :-)

I might have wound one of them up already and cast on some socks, so watch this space ;-)

-X-

Friday, 22 April 2022

 The second week of the Easter holidays has been another busy one, I've had both Oliver and Bonnie for three days and they have both slept over too.  

On Tuesday we went for a lovely walk around Haden Hill park again, the house was closed this time and the ducks must have been fed a lot because they just weren't interested in our offerings at all but, the weather was better there was lovely blossom on the trees, an abundance of garlic and we heard a woodpecker, although we couldn't spot it.



The trees are starting to fill out with leaves, I took a photo from this spot about three weeks ago and you can really see the difference.



On Wednesday we went to Bewdley and took a picnic to eat by the river, we also had a browse around the charity shops and came home with a few books for the little kids and one for me, there was nothing that took Olivers fancy this time.

More blossom, I do love to see all the blossom on the trees this time of year, this is in the little park in the town where there is an orchard.


We sat and ate our picnic by the pond, it's such a pleasant place to sit and just watch the world go by.


Yesterday we had a slow start, well as slow as you can with small people.  We needed to make a birthday cake for my youngest daughter, Stevie-Leigh, she was 28 yesterday.  Wow those years have gone so quickly, it's hard to believe that my youngest child is 28, in my head she is still a teenager, lol

It's become a tradition that I make the girls a cake on their birthday, Stevie had tagged me in a post on fb with a photo of a (professionally made) Battenburg cake a few weeks ago, saying 'this years birthday cake'  Well, I had to have a go at making a copy cat one when the challenge was made!


I think she was pleased with my effort, it tasted good anyway :-)

I put the house back in order last night after the little people had gone home so that I could get up today and have a day for myself, I've caught up with some podcasts and watched a couple episodes of Life after Life on BBC iplayer whilst knitting, it's been lovely after a full on week.

Mark will be back soon and we are taking Stevie and Darren out for a birthday curry later, It's been ages since we went out for a curry, I'm looking forward to it.

Hope you have a lovely weekend

-X-

Friday, 15 April 2022

Easter Birthday

 Yesterday was Arty's 4th birthday.  Because of the Easter holiday he had his party last Saturday with his friends from nursery.  Jenny organised a forest school party at a local primary school for him.

All the kids seem to love forest school, they get to play in the dirty, build dens, hunt for bugs and generally have a great time getting dirty.

All Arty could talk about all week was his party and was really looking forward to it, unfortunately on the day he wasn't very well, he was sick just before and only played for a short while, his, daddy had to hold him while he slept for the rest of it.  


Bonnie and Jacob playing in the mud kitchen.


There was face painting, Bonnie couldn't have hers done because she had just got over chicken pox.



They got to toast marshmallows and eat them around the camp fire


Me and Jacob made giant bubbles, he was very impressed


And he got the hang of it and made some himself :-)


Getting small kids to all look at the camera at the same time is a nightmare, lol


Poor Arty missed out on all the fun waking, up just as it was all finishing


He did perk up enough to open the presents his friends had bought him once they got home


He was much better the next day, just one of those 24 hour bugs. 

Yesterday, on his actually birthday we went to the zoo.  Joanne was at work so I took Bonnie and Jacob, although yet again one of them was sick, this time it was Jacob's turn.  Poor thing only managed to get halfway round before he fell asleep and I had to call his daddy to come and get him because he woke up crying for his momma and seemed like he'd got a temperature, fortunately  the zoo is only a short drive from home so he didn't have to wait for long.  
Joanne ended up taking him to get checked out at A&E because he was really hot and very lethargic.  They got home around midnight, his temperature had come down and it was put it down to something viral.  She said he seems much better today.

Honestly, these kids are a constant worry to me!





The remaining three had a great time at the zoo, nanny was absolutely shattered though last night and has spent today recovering, lol

Wishing you all a Happy Easter
-X-