Thursday, 31 March 2011

Spring Blossom

On my early morning walk today, I noticed for the first time that the blossom on the trees was out. 

I'm sure it wasn't there yesterday

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Tiny Heart Box

Some time ago, I bought a little plain cardboard heart-shaped box - for no reason other than I like heart-shaped things. 

Yesterday I got round to decorating it.  I spray painted it gold and stuck on some leaves and a fabric flower from my card-making stash. 

It didn't take long to do and I think it looks quite sweet.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Naughty, Naughty

I'm having a lazy day today.  I'm putting my feet up, eating lots of sweets and chocolates, plenty of knitting and I'll watch a DVD this afternoon.  Easter holidays are fast approaching - everyone will be home and I'll be on call to answer all their needs.  So today I'm treating myself - no housework today.

Why not!  I deserve it!

Enjoy your day, whatever you are doing.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Peaches Beret

I decided I needed a new hat for the Spring. I wanted something light and fresh.

Peaches by Kim Hargreaves (from the book Breeze) is a crocheted beret that is very quick to make. I have made it before. Last time I used some cheap leftover grey DK yarn. This time I have used Sirdar crofter DK. The Fair Isle effect of the yarn makes the beret look more interesting than the previous plain version. It took only half of a 50g ball of yarn and I made it all in one evening.

I like to wear a hat when I go for my very early morning walk – mainly to cover my hair, which is vertical when I first get up in the morning. This new hat is ideal for the warmer weather.

Pretty Lacy Bunting

PDF version
Spring has arrived, the sun is shining and I've made some cheerful bunting to decorate the house.

The bunting is made using DK weight yarn in four different colours. I made 15 flags for my bunting which has a total length of approximately 2 metres (80 inches).

English terms are used throughout the pattern.
dc = sc in American terms
tr = dc in American terms


With 3.50mm hook (US size E) and 1st colour, work 4ch join with sl st into a loop.
1st round: 1 ch, 12 dc into loop, sl st into 1st dc.

2nd round: 10 ch (counts as 1 tr and 7 ch), miss 1st two dc, 1 tr in next dc, [3ch, miss 1 dc, 1 tr in next dc, 7ch, miss 1 dc, 1 tr in next dc] 2 times, 3 ch, miss last dc, sl st into 3rd of 10 ch. Fasten off 1st colour and join in 2nd colour.

3rd round: Sl st into 7 ch space, 3 ch (counts as 1 tr), 3tr, 7ch, 4 tr all in same ch space, [3 tr in next ch sp, (4 tr, 7 ch, 4 tr) all in next ch space] 2 times, 3 tr in next ch sp, sl st into top of 3 ch. Fasten off 2nd colour and join in 3rd colour.

4th round: 1ch, 1 dc in same place, 3ch, 1 dc in next 2 tr, 3 ch, 1 dc in next tr, (1 dc, 3ch, 1 dc, 4ch, 1tr, 1ch, 1tr, 1ch) all in next ch sp, (1 tr in next tr, 1 ch, miss 1 tr) 5 times, 1 tr in last tr, (1ch, 1tr, 1ch, 1tr, 4ch, 1dc, 3ch, 1dc) all in next ch sp, 1 dc in next tr, (3 ch, 1 dc in next 2 tr) 5 times, (3ch, 2 dc, 3ch, 2 dc) all in next ch sp, (3 ch,1 dc in next 2 tr)3 times, 3ch, 1 dc in last tr, sl st into 1st dc. Fasten off. Neaten all loose ends.

To construct the bunting, with 3.50mm hook and 4th colour, ch 40,[ holding flag with RS facing and point downwards, work 1dc into right-hand corner ch space, work 1dc into each tr and ch sp to end, ch 6] repeat for each flag until all have been joined. End by working 40ch. Fasten off and neaten loose ends.

Hang your bunting where it will look jolly and will be noticed.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Cardigan for Eve

I can now show you the cardi I knitted for Eve for her birthday.

The pattern is Nancy by Kim Hargreaves from her book Touching Elegance.

Eve loves it - she hasn't taken it off yet. It's lovely and warm and comfy - I may well borrow it whilst she's out at school!
I used Sirdar yarn - my favourite brand. It took less than five 100g balls of Countrystyle DK . Each ball is a very economical 318 metres (348 yds). Full details can be seen on my Ravelry page, here.

I started knitting it early in January - thinking I would have it easily finished for her birthday. However, knitting it in secret meant that I didn't have as much time as I thought and so I only finished knitting it the day before her birthday.

I have to admit that it was very boring to knit. Plain stocking stitch for the back seemed to go on forever. Because of this, I couldn't face knitting my own cardi in the evenings.

Thankfully now it's finished I feel all inspired again. The black cardi is still hibernating but I've started knitting a dress! This has the potential to end up being boring but I've added a small textured detail to the skirt and the bodice will be a lovely colourful Fair Isle pattern. I'm designing this one myself so details may change as I progress.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Pug Finger Puppet

PDF version
Eve loves Pugs.

So I made her a little finger puppet.

It's knitted in the round. Very quick to make - here's how I made it.

With beige DK yarn and 3.25 DPNs, cast on 12 sts.

Work 16 rounds without shaping.

17th round - k2tog to end (6 sts)
Break off yarn, leaving a long end. Thread this through the 6 remaining stitches and pull up tight. Fasten off.

For the ears I used dark brown DK yarn and 3.25 straight needles.

Cast on 2 sts.
Knit 1 row.
Purl 1 row.
k2 tog.
Fasten off.
Attach these to the side of the head - catching the ends down to form the curled ears.

For the face, use dark brown to embroider the snout with satin stitch and then sew on two small black beads for the eyes.

The tail is made by using beige DK yarn to form a small twisted cord.

Quite simple - and very cute.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

The Three Little Pigs

It's Eve's 17th birthday tomorrow. So I've been hectically knitting and making for her. This week as a surprise I have put a little pig in her lunchbox each day. Here they are.

They are very small and cute. They are knitted in one piece, bobbles make the ears and the legs. Nice and quick. The pattern is called Chichester Pig and is by Helen Shine. It's available for free, here.

I'll let you see the other things I've made for her in the next few days.

Tonight we are going to watch The Sound of Music - just so that she can sing "I am sixteen going on seventeen"!!

Last night we went to the pictures to see Rango.
We enjoyed it , quite funny but some of the characters were difficult to understand - they spoke too fast.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Birthday Continues

I've just got back from a lovely weekend away with my DH as part of my birthday celebrations. We went to Conwy in North Wales. We visited the castle and walked around the town walls and enjoyed some lovely pubs. If you ever go to Conwy, I'd recommend the George and Dragon pub for its extremely friendly staff and great food - the homemade chips were delicious.

Here's some photos - but the cold damp weather doesn't show Conwy at its best.

For my birthday I like to give little gifts for my little darlings. This year I made my jolly little goody bags and filled them with surprises.
The bags were made with double knitting weight yarn. I added hearts to the ends of the ties for extra decoration. I used the pattern from my Sweetheart earrings but used double knitting yarn instead of thread weight yarn.

To add to our growing collection of woolly wall decorations I made 12 crocheted butterflies.

I originally planned on making 50 for my 50th birthday - but the other 38 will have to wait for another time.

These are based on the pattern by Lisa Hamblin, which is available free here. It's nice and easy to follow.

Just to finish off, here's photo of the pretty flowers my sister sent me for my birthday.
Once again - thank you Lyn.
Now it's time to concentrate on finishing all the surprises for Eve's birthday on Friday. I had suggested she moved her birthday to a more convenient month like June - but she wasn't interested!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

What a Wonderful Day

Wow! What a wonderful day I had yesterday. The best birthday ever.

And yes, my Teddy Bear is also 50 years old.

My DH and I went for a lovely walk around Sefton Park in the morning.

A bit windy but enjoyable. We saw some cormorants on the lake.

Last year, when we went to London I wanted to see the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens, so we made a large detour to visit it. I found out shortly afterwards that there is a replica in Liverpool - in Sefton Park - so we saw that yesterday as well.

Later in the day we went for a meal.

In the evening we watched a DVD I have just bought - Paper Moon. The film was originally released in 1973, and Tatum O'Neal received an Oscar for her performance.
I had to buy a German import because the film has been deleted from the UK DVD list! I can't understand why because this is an amazing film - funny, sad and very good. I had seen the film twice before but Grace and Eve were watching it for the first time and they loved it. We ate lots of chocolates while we watched the film - and drank champagne.

It was a lovely relaxing day. I received lots of wonderful surprises that made me laugh - and made me cry!

It was the best birthday ever - and I've still got a weekend in Conway and a holiday to Madrid as part of the celebrations to look forward to.

Finally, I'd like to say Happy Birthday today to Dee in Coventry. I hope your birthday is as enjoyable as mine was. Best wishes.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

One Day to Go

I went down to Breakfast this morning and found this wonderful note from Eve.

It's going to be a busy day but once I've done the shopping, changed the beds, loaded the washing machine etc. I plan to put my feet up and watch the DVD of Alice in Wonderland.

I've already seen the film twice but I couldn't resist getting the DVD - so that will be my treat for today, while I wait to become fabulous and fifty!

Here's a picture of my goody bag pattern made by Jisha Madhu from Oman.

You can check out her blog, Lovely Life, here. There's some lovely embroidery work on it.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Miss Mouse

Here's a picture of Miss Mouse made from my Monica Mouse pattern by Lace Top Designs. She's very cute and I like the whiskers.

You can see more pics here.

Lace Top Designs is a great blog and has lots of really lovely crafty ideas and inspiring designs - so why not take a peek.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Another Doily

Continuing the Doily theme, here's one I made on Tuesday evening.

The pattern is called Apples for the Teacher and it's by Denise Augostine. The pattern is available free, here.

I'm not sure my apples look like apples, maybe more like hearts - but it's a nice doily anyway.

Despite looking complicated, it only took one evening to make. The finished size is 7 inches in diameter.

Right now I'm busy working on secrets and surprises for my birthday - only 6 days to go!!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Happy March

March already - Everything suddenly seems so much more sunny and happy. Not long now to my birthday - I'm starting to get quite emotional already.

I can't seem to settle to anything at the moment - so much to do - but feeling very fluttery!

Here's a little distraction I made at the weekend.
The pattern is called Spider Web Doily and is by Coates and Clark. It is available for free here. The pattern says it is about 10 inches across but mine is only just over 6 inches - so maybe my thread was a lot thinner than theirs.
It only took a couple of evenings to make and was a very straightforward pattern to do. I've found some more lovely doily patterns - so I suspect the house will soon to over-run with doilies!