Sunday, 3 December 2017

A winner, the last giveaway of 2017 and the first of lots of little balls of yarn


It's December already! How has that happened? It doesn't seem five minutes since the start of term in September. And pretty soon, people will be counting down to 2018. But the start of December means that it's time to pick a winner for my November Pay it Forward giveaway. If you can remember, the prize was some super-festive jingle bell stitch markers from Fripperies & Bibelots. The random number generator picked post 1, Jo from Through the Keyhole, so I'll be getting in touch with you soon. If you weren't lucky, check out the Christmas shop on the F&B website as Sarah still has a few festive offerings available.




December's giveaway is the final giveaway in my year of paying forward all the kindness I've received from yarny folk far and wide following Mr JK's death and I hope that you'll agree that it's pretty special! There's a notions case made by my own fair hands, two cakes of Freia handpainted sport weight yarn and a very cute Flo stitch marker. These stitch markers were made especially for me by Sarah at Fripperies & Bibelots and I only have a couple left. 







To be in with a chance of winning, you need to leave a comment on my blog telling me what's top of your woolly Christmas list this year. The giveaway will stay open until midnight on December 31st and I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner after that. Please make sure that it's easy for me to get in touch with you by leaving your Ravelry or Instagram name or some other way for me to contact you should you be the winner. If I haven't heard from the winner after a week, I'll pick another one. The giveaway is open world-wide so please do enter.

I have three balls from my Opal Advent calendar (we won't mention the fact that last year's haven't all be used yet, shhhhhhhh!) and it is a bit of fun each morning to see what little treasure lies behind the door. 






This year's calendar is a book. It takes up a bit less space than last year's massive cube!





I've made myself some bunting which is hanging up in the hall and the rustic bunting I sewed last year is festooned across the fireplace. That's about as festive as I've got so far. 






And through all the decorating, Flo remained distinctly unimpressed! Have a great week and do enter the giveaway! Good luck one and all! xxx



Monday, 27 November 2017

Little happy things


Little things that have made me happy this week:

1. Finishing my Squeezebox socks. They are really cushy with the rounds of garter stitch. I haven't written up the pattern but will do so if you'd like it.




2. Sorting through Christmas fabric in preparation for more bunting sewing.




3. Lots of lap time and cuddles with Flo. 





4. A beautiful but freezing cold morning at Parkrun on Saturday.





5. Finishing one half of my Advent calendar Granny square cushion. I still have the ends to sew in. :(




6. Keeping the traditions going by making Christmas puddings, lamb and Guinness soup and soda bread on Stir up Sunday.






7. Making a couple of notions cases as presents. 





8. Casting on a pair of pink stripy socks (I know I'm not supposed to be starting anything new...)




9. Spending a lovely evening with my friend Jules teaching her how to sew some bunting. Christmas music was played and we wore festive hats to be completely daft! But it was so much fun!





What's made you happy this week? 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

And then there was some knitting (and sewing!)


Evening! Thanks for calling in. I wouldn't get too close if I were you though as I have a filthy cough and cold and I'd hate to pass on my lurgy to you. So please retreat to a safe distance and I'll chat with you from here. I hope you don't mind the faint aroma of Vicks Vapour Rub too! It was only a matter of time before I succumbed to the germs circulating around school, but I'm hoping that this means I won't get another cold this side of Christmas (which is scarily only 5 weeks away! How did that happen?!)

Since I've mentioned Christmas, let me share with you the bunting that I've made so far. It's from a printed panel and is a lovely Scandinavian design. Here's the whole panel - there are 33 flags in total and I chose to pick out all the grey ones and some red to make two strings for some friends. 












I'm really pleased with how it looks. I have backed each flag with red sheeting to get maximum use from the printed flags. I'll be making more over the coming weeks, both for myself and as presents. 

And even more excitement, I have finished a pair of socks and am not too far off finishing another pair. Woohoo! My 'Running for Rowley' socks, begun when I travelled up to Tyneside for the Great North Run, and also knit on in Yorkshire and Amsterdam, are done and dusted! The yarn was a ball that Mr JK bought for me in Delft and I love the marled rainbow effect. These socks are going to get lots of love...







My Squeezebox socks will soon be done - they'll be my knitting project after dinner this evening. The yarn is a Debbie Bliss sock yarn and I'm a little worried that it might felt.The colours are lovely so I will have to be careful about how I wash them. They look like they're matching up pretty well - I'm sure that was completely by chance as I usually don't bother with that kind of thing!





I received a rather lovely squishy parcel from Stylecraft this week. They have just added some new yarns to their Batik range - Batik Swirl. I was actually at the mill last Easter when they were putting together various colour possibilities so it's exciting to see the end product. Each yarn cake is 200g and contains a number of colours from the Batik range. 




I have three cakes of Foxglove and I really like how the colours blend so well together. Batik is a great yarn to work with, the 20% wool gives it a very cosy and cushy feel. I'm pondering what my yarn might become and also whether I might add in some extra colours if I decide on a blanket. What do you think?







I will love you and leave you now as I'm actually feeling pretty ropy and ready to crash out on the sofa for the evening. Don't forget to enter my November giveaway here to be in with a chance of winning some festive stitch markers! xxx

Monday, 13 November 2017

Distractions


I have tried to concentrate on my WIPs, honestly, but I may have been distracted just the teensiest bit by a shiny new project! I'm sticking the blame firmly in your court as you clearly haven't been nagging me enough! I have almost finished a pair of socks - just the toe shaping to go - so I will have at least one finished project to share with you very soon, I promise!

So what's caught my attention? Nothing yarny, so at least I can hold my head up and say that I haven't started any new woolly projects! This involves fabric, so is entirely ok! When I was in Norwich with Snoopydog last weekend, we popped into John Lewis as Snoops wanted to get some felt to make a Christmas stocking for her grandson. I was browsing the fabrics when I spotted some rather gorgeous Scandinavian style bunting - each flag separate on a panel of fabric. And even better, each panel was half price at only £7. There were an amazing 33 flags in one pattern panel and the assistant recommended backing each flag in a red sheeting fabric to maximise the number of flags. So far, I've cut out all the flags and hope to sew them together during the week. I'm thinking that they will bring a festive air to my hallway this December. 




It's been getting colder this week and I had to scrape my windscreen one morning. The pattern of ice was beautiful though - there's probably a lace knitting pattern out there somewhere which mimics it!




Today I had a very invigorating walk along Wells beach with my friend Jules and her dog. Benny absolutely loved it on the sand, even though the wind was whipping it up and sandblasting everything in sight. It was the perfect way to blow away some rather gloomy cobwebs that have been hanging around this week.











The sky was very threatening and we were lucky to escape most of the rain! But the wind was strong as you can see from the way it whipped up the sand on the beach. Great fun to be out in and we laughed so much at Benny's antics that it didn't spoil things one little bit! I hope you've done something this weekend that's brought a smile to your face too. xxx




PS Don't forget that there's still time to enter my November giveaway here