Saturday, 31 December 2022

December 31st - The last Hurrah of 2022

Suzannah - Carriage House Samplings
Started beginning of April 2019, completed December 30th 2022

Yes, it has taken me three years and eight months to finish Suzannah!
In my defence I haven't done a lot of stitching this year, but still, that's an awful long time on one project.  I've stitched three girls now, just Molly left to do and will have the set.





I know these are not to everyone's stitching taste, but I just love the quirkiness of them.

The Rain Fell by Little House Needleworks

My daughter bought me this chart in 2020, I stitched it earlier this year, afterwards I put it to one side as I didn't know how to finish it, then I re-discovered this DMC box in my cupboard, the lid was designed to hold a stitched piece and this one almost fit.  There is a scroll at the top and bottom of the stitching but the opening wouldn't accommodate both, so I positioned the piece so that only the bottom scroll was showing, I think I turned out ok



My last finish of 2022 is a cardigan for Bonnie.  
The knitting was finished over a month ago but with everything else going on in early December I put off the actual finishing.  The body was knit in one piece to the armholes, the sleeves knit flat and then attached to the body, then the whole yolk section knitted in one piece, leaving only the sleeves to sew up.  
Excuse the awful photos, the colours are a little washed out because I took the photo at night, the main colour is purple, the whole thing is a lot brighter than shown here.



So those are my last finishes for 2022,  It feels good to get some things out of the way.  
Next year I'm going to be joining Martina and Manuela  in their Stick and/or knit 6 in 2023.  I've already chosen my six charts and they are mostly kitted up ready to go, I will start with No. 4 tomorrow, (that is the number that has been generated).  The idea is to work on this one now for the next two months.  If you would like to find out more about this SAL hop over to either Martina or Manuela's blog where they explain in more detail as there are two variations to choose from, I'm opting for the easy version one.

Thank you to everyone who has visited, commented or just scrolled though my posts this past year.  Blogging has fallen out of favour with so many people in recent years but it's still my favourite form of social media, you really do meet the nicest people in blog land 💖

So I will wish you all a very Happy New Year, may 2023 bring you all that you wish for.

Have a good one
-X-

Thursday, 29 December 2022

December 29th - Christmas Eve Wishes Blanket

We are enjoying some quiet days at home, I did venture out yesterday, I needed to get a birthday present and a card, I managed to find both at a local garden centre.  I haven't ventured to any shops to look at sale items, I'm not great at rummaging and there is nothing I need anyway.

It was my birthday on Tuesday, the girls came round together with all the grandchildren in the afternoon and I was spoilt with some lovely gifts.   Jo also sent me some thoughtful gifts too, thank you again Jo.

We had planned on going out for a meal on the night but I felt as though I was coming down with something and didn't feel like making the effort to go anywhere, Mark cooked and we had a quite night in instead.  Now I'm 61 nights in are much more appealing than nights on the town, not that I was ever much of a party firs anyway, lol.  I felt much better yesterday and today, whatever the 'something' was didn't develop into anything.

I finished my Christmas Eve Wishes blanket the week before Christmas, I fell a little behind on the CAL what the other things going on but I did want it finished for this year otherwise it would have been stuffed in a bag until next year.





I'm quite happy with how it turned out, it's the first time I've attempted tapestry crochet, it's not hard, the stitches used are basic ones but I did find it a bit fiddly holding two strands of yarn, one working and one being carried.   At first I didn't like how the snowflakes looked, you can see the white yarn that has been carried but actually now I think they look very effective, almost like fair isle.  The hats and bobbles I loved doing, the gingerbread men not so much, I think my tension was too tight when working them but perhaps it will all loosen up when it's washed.  The gingerbread men will remain faceless until I feel like doing them, by the time I'd finished the boarder I was ready to call it done.  

I'm happy that I did it but I won't be making another, some people in the fb group made 2, 3 or 4 of these blankets in the run up to Christmas, goodness knows how!

The pattern is by Madebyanita and is on her website.  Its a free pattern and the instructions and video tutorials are excellent.  

There are a couple of things that I want to try and finish before the end of the year, so hopefully I can get those done and get another blog post up before we ring in the New Year.

-X-

Monday, 26 December 2022

Boxing Day




I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas Day, however you chose to spend it.  
After all the stress of preparations, wrapping countless presents and house cleaning, Christmas Day was quite a relaxing affair.  We ate out so didn't have the hassle of cooking, it was lovely to get up and just enjoy time with the children and watch them open their presents.  Santa left Arty a stable with lots of horses, you can tell how happy he is with it, lol ,  Although Oliver is now ten he still loves his stuffed toys, his favourite animal is a sloth and Santa left this one at nanny's for him.   Usually you don't get much of a reaction when he opens presents but he was thrilled with the sloth, who's name is Dave by the way 🤣


Bonnie and Jacob came back to ours after dinner for present opening.  There was no frenzied opening with Jacob, he opened each one and looked at it properly, even stopping to read the book he opened, bless.  He hasn't been very well this last week and had to go to the walk in centre yesterday afternoon, his throat is red but they don't think is tonsillitis  but have given him some antibiotics anyway, hopefully there will be a chemist open today to collect the prescription.  

I managed to make some stollen on Christmas Eve.  Jenny, Joanne and James love it so they each had a box on Christmas morning.  The recipe came from the same Sainsbury's magazine I had the granola recipe from which I shared last time.  
(If anyone is interested in either recipe I will put it on the recipe page at the top of my blog sometime this week)

I also found time to sew together the pieces for this star mat.  You may remember that I bought the pattern and the fat quarters when I visited the Creative Craft show in November.  I'm happy to have been able to make use of these this year instead of them sitting in a drawer waiting for next Christmas.


My lovely blogging friend Jo (http://jo-throughthekeyhole.blogspot.com) sent me a something to open Christmas morning.  Thank you Jo for your kindness.


We are having a lazy day today, we had a lie-in this morning and I did a bit of ironing, now I'm going to sit down and treat myself to a new stitching start.

speak soon
-X-

Friday, 23 December 2022

December 23rd A magical walk

It was Jacob's 3rd birthday on Wednesday, Joanne had booked tickets months ago to the Enchanted Garden walk at Webbs garden centre.  At the time I said I would go with them I wasn't expecting much of a show, sometimes these light shows are a bit of a disappointment.  Not so this one, it was truly magical, I think I enjoyed it as much as Bonnie and Jacob.

The theme was fairy tales with wonderful scenes created along the walk, here are just a few of them









The walk through the enchanted forest was amazing, they had managed to create a great atmosphere with the sounds of birds and animals and the trees all looked frosted, I took the photo of the trees looking up and you can see the effect the light has on them, so beautiful.


There were beautiful light displays all the way along.






Santa was there at the end, waving and talking to the children, when he found out it was Jacobs birthday he got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to him which was lovely.


Today I have been trying to get the last few things wrapped and the stockings filled, I'm happy to say that everything is now prepared, the spare bedroom resembles Santa' grotto at the moment, with four grandchildren you can just imagine it can't you, lol

I found some time while I was cooking tea to make the some gingerbread granola, I made it for my daughters last year, and It went down really and they, (and my one son in law) have been dropping hints about getting it this year.  I've made loads so hopefully I may get to taste it this time.


The recipe was in this Sainsburys magazine from 2021, although if you know how to make granola the only other thing to add is the rind and two tablespoons of the juice of one orange and two tablespoons of black treacle.  
Homemade granola is so much better than shop bought and it's just so easy, I first tried making it while we were in lockdown and it's not very often I don't have a jar of it in the cupboard.


I've got one more thing I want to make but that depends if Mark can find some soft brown sugar tomorrow, I went to two shops today and neither had it.  Fingers crossed because I would really like to make this, it's a favourite of mine and the girls.

-X-

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

December 21st -The socks of 2022

The last two pairs of sock for 2022 have been finished, a pair for each of my son-in-laws.
I haven't gifted socks before so I hope that they like them and that the fit will be ok.

Both were knitted in The West Yorkshire Spinners signature 4ply in the Blue Tit and Mallard colourways with a contrast colour for the cuff heel and toes.

Blue Tit Colourway


Mallard colourway


That brings the total number of socks knitted this year to nine pairs.  
I'm quite happy with that.  

They have all been plain socks, so next year I think I will have to challenge myself to try some simple patterns, I also want to use some of my lovely hand dyed yarn in 2023, all except two of the ones knitted this year have been made using commercial sock yarn, which is great, but now I've got more confident I would like to try something else.

-X-

Monday, 19 December 2022

December 19th

 This week is going to fly by but I would like to find the time to get at least a couple of posts before Christmas is upon us.

Bonnie came to spend the day today.  School has finished and she said it was boring staying with daddy while he worked and could she stay with nanny instead.  She's no trouble at all so I didn't mind, although I had planned on wrapping the last of the presents today, that job has now been added to tomorrows list and I'll be glad when it's done because It's not something I really enjoy doing.

She was excited to help me ice and decorate the Christmas cake I made a few weeks ago.  I was late making it but I used a fruit mix that is already soaked in brandy so that eliminated the need for weeks of feeding.  I've used it before and the cake turned out lovely, I'll report back on the verdict of this one once we have tasted it next week.


I used both the ready to roll marzipan and fondant icing, they are so easy to use, and why make work for yourself at this time of year 😉 
Bonnie cut out some stars for decoration and rolled snowballs from the icing for the penguins to have a snowball fight.  I think it came out really cute.

Can you spot the penguin who got a snowball in the face, (oops, that was nanny's idea 🤣)


Mark isn't keen on Christmas cake so I hope there will be some that will like a slice, otherwise I'm going to put a stone on over Christmas!

-X-

Monday, 12 December 2022

December 12th - How I knit my mitered square blanket

I promised last time to time to tell you more about my mitered squared blanket.  Whenever I have shown it on here I get questions about where the pattern can be found, so today I thought I'd share how I'm knitting mine.

There many different variations on the mitered square blanket, most patterns  are really just a basic recipe so that you can get the idea of how they are constructed.   The one I found on Ravelry is by Martine Ellis, but like I said there are many others out there - mine Is a mash-up of several I came across.

These blankets are often referred to as memory blankets too.  They are great for stash-busting and by using up those scraps of yarn left over from your knitting projects you would eventually end up with something practical and beautiful with lovely memories attached.  

 I'm knitting mine using 4ply yarn and since I haven't knit that many things in 4ply yarn and only this year got into knitting socks, I didn't have and scraps to use up.  That's when I started buying mini skeins to use.  Over the last three years I have amassed quite a collection of minis, some through swaps, some through yarn advent calendars and some I've just purchased especially for my blanket.

I hadn't knitted on my blanket at all this year until this month and I've loved doing a bit each day.  Each square takes just less than an hour to knit and a small amount of yarn, 5g is sufficient, less actually as I find for the size I'm knitting there is still a little left over from 5g.  

So this is how I construct my square, I hope it will be of use to those who have asked about it in the past.

The pattern is just 2 rows, one row knit one decrease row.

(Each of my squares are 48 stitches and I'm using 2.5mm needles)

 (for the decrease row, right side facing)

slip the 1st stitch purl-wise 

Knit to 2 stitches before the center maker then knit those 2 stitches together

Slip the marker, knit the next 2 stitches through the back loop

Knit to end- knitting the last stitch through the back loop.

Slipping the 1st stitch and knitting the last stitch through the back loop on both the knit row and the decrease row creates a nice neat edge which makes picking up stitches for the next square much easier.

For the direction of the decrease I'm using one of the templates by Ellie of Crafthouse Magic which you can find on her Cosy Memories tutorials (part 3), on youtube. 

I feel no particular rush to finish my blanket, it's been in the making for at least two years and although It's been very neglected this year I still love it and enjoy knitting on it as much as when I first started it, half the fun is choosing the next yarn colour.


-X-

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

December 7th




I awoke to a beautiful frosty morning, our first this Winter.  I quickly got my jobs done inside and went out in the garden to collect leaves, there are still quite a lot to fall but the job is so much easier when they are not wet.  I've filled the green bin yet again, I'm so glad I opted to pay for extra collections this time, it's saved me so much time not having to arrange trips to the council tip every week.  

Most of you will have seen my stitched ornaments before but as they only come out once a year it's worth showing them again.  This is just a selection of them along with some new glass baubles I bought this year too, this tree is bigger and needed a bit more bling.  The Range had a great selection and they were reasonably priced too.  I think my favourite is the Santa in the last photo though, he is from The Range too, hasn't he got the cutest face!

I've had some questions about my mitred squared blanket I showed a couple of posts back, I haven't forgotten, I will put a post together for next time and share everything I know about the pattern and how I'm knitting mine, (there are several variations).

I hope you all have a lovely rest of the week.

-X-