Thursday, 26 June 2014

Christmas Planning

Every year, when it gets to December, I always feel that I could do with more time to plan our Christmas celebrations. It's my favourite time of the year, but, there's never enough time to make all the things I want to make, to come up with ideas for entertainment and to plan menus.

So this year I thought I would be amazingly organised and have a Christmas planning day earlier in the year so that I can start formulating my ideas.  And what better date for such a day than 25th June - exactly six months to Christmas.

So yesterday, I dug out all my all Christmas magazines...

...and immersed myself in thoughts of Christmas.

What a wonderful day.

Pinterest gave me lots of lovely ideas for cards and decorations.  Here are just a few of the images I've collected for inspiration.

I've written in my Christmas planning notebook all my ideas and I've even drawn up a schedule of when I want to start making things so that it isn't all last minute.  I am so well organised, I've impressed myself!

And glancing through my Christmas magazines, in one of the copies from 2008, I came across a photo of my niece in a toy advert that I had forgotten all about.

I'm particularly keen to knit a little pixie...

I might just start one sooner rather than later.

I'm also planning on testing some new recipes - for cakes of course.

This year Christmas is going to be so awesome!!!!!!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Decorated Stones

Just some pebbles from the beach, paper hearts cut out using a paper punch and lots of PVA glue.

I think they look quite effective.  Inspiration from Pinterest - where else?

Monday, 23 June 2014

So Far So Good

I should have my cardigan finished shortly.  It's looking good so far.

This hot weather has slowed me down, but now the end is in sight so I'm having a burst of energy and knitting away despite the sticky heat.

I'll have to have a break from knitting after this because I have so many other crafty projects I want to do.  Knitting always ends up pushing other craft projects to one side - a bit of a bully?

Monday, 16 June 2014


We're overwhelmed with sport at the moment.  Obviously there is the football World Cup, but we're also watching the cricket test match between England and Sri Lanka, the US Open golf came to a conclusion last night and there's always a cycling event somewhere that can be watched.

Thank goodness for Sky plus - we can record all the overlapping sports and pace ourselves accordingly.

The good thing about all this sport is that I have a great excuse to sit in front of the television all day.  Which means 24 hour a day knitting time!

I've put this time to good use and I'm well on the way to finishing another cardigan.

At this rate by the end of the World Cup I'll be reaching, not just sport overload, but also cardigan overload.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Church Stretton, Shropshire

Last week was one of the best holidays I've ever had.  The weather was perfect, the scenery amazing and it was all so relaxing and peaceful.

We went to Church Stretton in Shropshire, a lovely, picturesque town surrounded by stunning hills.

Thursday is market day

Apart from one day in Ludlow, we didn't use the car on the holiday, which made for a lovely relaxing time.

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow town centre

There were so many interesting walks all around - and some quite scary climbs up into the hills.

The red car is ours, outside our holiday accommodation

My favourite spot - so magical

Waking up to the sound of sheep just outside the front door was a novelty for us city folk.

And the squirrels in the garden were an endless source of amusement.

We had some quiet evenings in this pub, drinking the beer from the local brewery.

And to top it all, I got loads of knitting done - but more on that in another post.

Lots of lovely sunny weather certainly helps

I was quite sorry to have to leave on Saturday as there are still lots of walks we didn't have time for.  I have no doubt we will be back before too long.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


And so, our World Cup Rabbit for 2014 is named after the Brazilian footballer


the scorer of the first goal - unfortunately it was an own goal - but they all count.

We've just got back today from an amazingly wonderful holiday.  I'll tell you all about it shortly, once I've got myself organised.

In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The World Cup - Again

I can't believe it's four years since I wrote this post about my World Cup rabbits.

Well the Football (soccer) World Cup is again upon us and following our family tradition, I have knitted another rabbit - obviously as yet unnamed.

Here are the previous rabbits - from 2002 - Papa Bouba Diop

From 2006 - Philip Lahm

From 2010 - Siphiwe Tshabalala (what a wonderful name)

And all four together

The first match of the 2014 competition is tomorrow between Brazil and Croatia.  Who will score the first goal?  I'll let you know the rabbit's name in due course - although I can't believe the name will match up to last time's first scorer.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Kate - Fair Isle Cardigan - Finished

So here it is.

I've called this pattern Kate - for no particular reason other than that was the name that came to me when I was deciding what to call this cardigan.

It is a remodelled version of the blue Fair Isle cardigan I made, here.  I've adjusted the sleeves, making them slightly wider in the arms and reduced the volume of the sleeve head.  I've also raised the neckline and made it slightly narrower.  Other than the change in colours from the original blues, it's the same pattern.

It still has a lovely 1940s, vintage feel but this colour scheme is more vibrant.

Here's the original colour scheme, which as you can see is more muted.

I've really enjoyed knitting this pattern - both times!  There is such variety in the patterns and they make an interesting combination.

Details of this pattern can be found over on Ravelry, here.

The pattern is of course free and you can download the PDF here.

I hope you enjoy the pattern.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Nearly There

The needles have been clacking away today, and my latest Fair Isle cardigan is on target for this evening's completion.

Give me a few days to block the cardi and take some photos and then I'll publish the pattern.

Can't wait to try it on.

Must get off now and sew on those buttons.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Getting Ahead of Myself

I do this every time - start planning the next knitted cardigan before I've finished the last.  The Fair Isle cardigan which I started mid- May is almost completed and I've set myself a deadline of tomorrow evening to get it sewn up and finished.  The pattern is written up apart from the last few details.

So time to think about the next cardigan.

Here are the colours I've selected.

The cardigan will be part Fair Isle and the pale lilac colour on the right hand side will be my main shade.  I'm using Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight wool - my new favourite.  Can't wait to get started.

And then, thinking even further ahead, I've selected some odds and sods and leftovers to make a Fair Isle waistcoat.

The colours in the photo are poor but basically the colours are blue, blue-green and pink shades.  I need at least one extra pair of arms, then I could knit them all simultaneously.  Until then, I'll have to settle for one at a time - and just knit faster!

PS.  Here's a photo from our wonderful family get-together at the weekend to celebrate my Mum's 80th and my Step-Father's 90th birthdays.

This is them with six of their seven grandchildren - unfortunately Eve couldn't make it home from Cambridge as her exams started yesterday - but we did think of her.