You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

Well in household news today the big story is the fact that my boiler has broken! Hopefully it should be fixed on Weds as the engineer came yesterday and will be back with a new part. Please keep your fingers crossed for me as it is a very old boiler and I am dreading having to replace it! It broke on Friday so I came home after a day out visiting students with very cold toes to no heating or hot water :-(

Luckily we have a spare heater that usually lives in the garage and a gas fire in the lounge so we have been wrapping up warm (hurrah for fleeces and wristwarmers)  and sitting in sleeping bags. It is a good job we are used to being outdoors and are hardy types but it takes me back to a few years ago when the kids were little and we didn’t have central heating ….. I have really got used to being able to come home and get up to a warm house!  It makes me really appreciate warmth. Thankfully Jake’s shower room has an electric shower in so we won’t smell!

I have actually been very cosy the last couple of evenings sitting in my thickest sleeping bag knitting away and have finished another pair of wristwamers, the moss sitch ones that I cast on last week from Creative Yarns . Here they are in all of their lovely pinkness!

Pink wristwarmers

Knitted in Sublime yarn again

Managed to get to my new Tuesday evening knitting group again this week (hurrah) and met even more lovely people and also managed to get into town to pop in to a new yarn shop in Huddersfield that my friend Lydia has opened up. The shop is called Spun  and as well as wool has fabric! I was bemoaning the lack of pretty fabric  for quilting the other day but look what she had. Lydia is also running workshops on all kinds of textile subjects – check out her website for details.

Spun fabric

I have forgotten the name of the brand but it is very pretty!

I did also buy some wool from her – the black is for a hat for Ellie that I cast on yesterday -she wants one like the lilac one I have just knitted for her friend ( I am resizing it this time as the last one was quite loose) and the lovely green is a treat for me – very luxurious Manos yarn that I am intending to make a hat and wristwarmers with.

Spun shop wool

The hat for me is a bit of a priority as I appear to have lost my Noro beret!

I am not doing very well with keeping hold of my accessories as I lost my lovely thick gloves before Xmas and have yet to find a suitable replacement pair – roll on Summer then I won’t need all these things.

My friend Judy (she of the egg cosies!) came round yesterday for a bit of a knit and natter – or in her case rag rug and natter. She went to one of Lydia’s recent workshops and is making this lovely cushion using the rag rugging technique with wool instead of rags.

Judy's hen

Isn't he cute!

The lack of heating has altered my plans for the weekend as it is too cold to be cutting out quilt fabric in the conservatory so I have decided to treat myself to an afternoon of catching up on blog visiting – that won’t be too much of a hardship!

I have quite a busy week ahead but am really looking forward to another weekend with no marking at the end of it ! Things are slowing down a bit at work so am looking forward to stepping up the craft time again!

I do hope you all have a lovely week and thanks again for visiting and for all your comments, that really does give me a very warm heart.

One of the things I like best about the weekend is Sunday mornings – I like to get up late and have brunch which often does involve eggs. I have posted before about the joys of brunch inspired by a website  365 days of breakfast but today I decided that I would have a boiled egg – inspired by an Xmas pressie from my lovely friend Judy which I will show you a pic of later.

 And you know how they say about people who can’t cook ‘she can’t even boil an egg’ well I can cook, I think pretty well, but I had real trouble will the egg so will have to work on the egg boiling skills. It was still edible but had exploded (think I need to add salt to the water next time) and it was not cooked for long enough. So in the pic below there is a stand in egg model used as my real breakfast would not fit in the egg cup!

egg cosy

My Xmas pressie from Judy - an egg cosy

Interestingly the kids did not know what this was when I opened the pressie – I don’t think that we have ever had egg cosies though we have had boiled eggs. I remember having them as a kid and the egg cup that I am using is a genuine vintage one given to me by my mother as an Easter gift (it had chocolate egg in it) circa 1972. I have a pair (I think the other one belonged to my sister originally).

egg cup

How cute!

I don’t really have much vintage china but someone who really does like collecting it is Hen House – she has loads of vintage things in her houses.Go and have a visit!

I am having a very nice weekend – I have been doing quite a lot of work still as I have a lot of marking but have been also been doing some more  knitting and have cast on for another set of handwarmers. I have finished a set of the lilac ones for me – I haven’t taken a pic as they are identical to the last set. The pair I am knitting at the moment are called Moss Stitch Handwarmers – a freebie from Creative Yarns on Ravelry.

This is the progress so far -

Moss Stitch handwarmers

Knitted in Sublime again

The main body of this is knitted in Double Moss Stitch which I have not tried before but I really like. It gives a really good effect especially in the Sublime which is a joy to knit with as it has such great stich definition.

Moss stitch handwarmers 2

Double Moss Stitch - how pretty!

And not only was there lovely knitting last night but lovely knitting while watching the new series of the Tudors! How fab. Despite all the inaccuracies (Jonathon Rhys Meyers is still looking rather dashing and not at all obese ,gouty and plagued by problems with his abscess as he would have been at this stage in his life) I just enjoy it for the costumes and the atmosphere. My only complaint is I have yet to ever find any info about an exhibition of costumes used in the series and would love to go and see some close up – if anyone ever finds out about one please let me know.

If you have not seen it here is the trailer to tempt you – look at all the fab textiles in this! I have just learnt how to embed video into my posts which is very useful!

Well I am off to do a bit more work now then hopefully more knitting this evening – what a nice way to spend a day!

Thanks for visiting.

Snowflake ornie front

A little snowy scene

No this time not real ones thankfully – we having lots of wet rather than snow at the moment. I have just finished the first of my winter ornies for my ‘decorate my house collection’. I have adapted the JBW stocking design that I did in red for the Xmas tree and made it into a little hanging pillow to complement the snowflake stickers on the conservatory doors.

Snowflake ornie back

Nice sparkly fabric to go with the sparkly Aida on the front

I chose to stitch it in two different Silk Mill blues to go with some very lovely fabric that I have had in my stash for a couple of  years. I am pleased with the way it turned out though could have made it a little bigger as it is not that obvious that it is a stocking shape as the edges got hidden once I stuffed it. However I do love the way it co-ordinates with the ribbon (that again has been in the stash for a while).

Snowflake ornie side

Pretty little ribbon!

I have also finished the set of Lilac Sublime Wristwarmers and am half way through a pair for me. This was the second attempt at these. They are from Ravelry – a free pattern called Blonde Wristwarmers. The original pattern had garter stitch for the main part and I changed that to stocking stitch but when I  had finished the first one it was too loose around the wrist so I re-did it on smaller needles and added a 6 stitch garter stitch band at the wrist edge – because the whole thing is knitted sideways it acts like a rib. I also shortened them. My finished pair was knitted with 30 stitches on 3.5 mm needles with the last 6 stitches on alternate rows as knit rather than purl if you want to adapt the pattern as I have done.

lilac handwarmers 1

The real colour is much prettier - this looks a bit dull

 

lilac handwarmers 2
A side view – I like the garter stitch rib as it goes well with the lace pattern at the fingers

 

I am very pleased that I managed to adapt the pattern so much and to re-do it. I have got a lot more confident with my knitting and now understand more of the technical side which makes it easier to visualise what a pattern will look like. I particularly like the points or waves at the wrist on these and think I will be knitting a few more of these.

When I get time that is – term has started again and I have been ridiculously busy – I have been working all weekend (which I really try not to do but I have a large pile of marking to get done!) I did make my evening knitting group this month but only for 3/4 hour due to having to work late and have not made any of my other groups for ages :-(  Thankfully I really enjoy my job and have a great time doing it but do wish it left more time for crafting. My new quilt cutting mat and ruler arrived on Thurs but I have not had time to play with them yet – maybe next weekend.

Well I do hope you have all had a good week and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone and welcome.

Hope you are all wrapped up warm and cosy, I am busy knitting woolies at the moment, luckily my LYS opened again yesterday after the hols so I was able to cast on for the last of my knitted gifts – pics of those later when finished. I am making a pair of wristwarmers. That being the item of choice round here at the moment. I have just finished a pair for me yesterday in the nick of time as look what happened again this morning!

Rib wristwarmers 1

Modelled against a backdrop of my snowy garden

I was not expecting snow again – was only thinking the other day ‘oh this was the really bad weekend for snow last year when me and Jake only just got home as they had closed lots of airports’ and lo and behold it is here again. The wristwarmers will come in very useful, we have a conservatory on the back of the house and it provides a lovely view of the garden while I am sitting working (or blogging!) at my computer but it does get a bit cold in winter and I do have very cold hands a lot of the time.

I was looking on Ravelry for some more patterns the other day and found this very lovely site  CreativeYarn  with lots of wristwarmers among other things so do go and visit – all patterns are free. This very talented lady (sorry don’t know her name ) lives in Rome – fab city, went once a few years ago and would love to go back. Here is a peek at one of the patterns I am planning to do for me soon.

emerald_handwarmer2

Moss Stich handwarmers - pic by Creative Yarn

 I have recently been reading  ThimbleAnna’s  brilliant blog (am still going through all the archives which has been a lovely antidote to the marking I have been doing!) Be warned before you visit her – not only is her blog wonderful but she has links to so many other fab people as well , this could take up serious amounts of your time – well I suppose one of my resolutions was to spend more time on fun stuff on less on housework so I can justify ThimbleAnna as a form of therapy!

Well hope that you are keeping warm and happy – thanks again for visiting!

Hello again

I am luxuriating in the last day of holidays still sitting in my PJs and enjoying the luxury of a day to do what I want (though I have done a couple of hours work this morning). I do love the week after Xmas – we had a lovely time with all the family here but it has also been very nice just to do nothing (well nothing much that is tedious – lots of crafting of course!).

I have finished the first of my Xmas cast ons – these should have all been done well before Xmas so Ellie could give them out to her friends at Uni but there was no way I could finish them by the last posting date due to lack of time. Well actually I did allocate lots of time but failed to factor in that one of the scarves would take 6 weeks altogether. You may remember this WIP -

Spain - knitting

Started in Spain in Oct - finished early Dec!

Well it took a long, long time to do, a very complex pattern not helped by the back injury that meant I was very fuzzy for a few weeks and could not do more than a few lines at a time. It was finally finished in early Dec which did not leave enough time for the other items. A lovely pattern but not one I will be repeating any time soon!

Finished lace rib scarf

My longest knitting project yet!

Anyway I have now completed the lilac hat in Sublime which goes with the lace fan and feather scarf knitted earlier in the year. This is one of my fave wools, it is so soft to knit with and the stitch definition is great. The pattern was a freebie from Ravelry,  the Lace Edged Women’s Hat by Julie Hentz and it did not turn out quite like the illustration but I really like it – it is a lot looser but I love the way the decreases give a swirly pattern at the back. Another one I may knit again for me.

Lilac hat 1

Lilac hat showing the lace pattern on the edges

Lilac hat 2

The back of the hat with the lovely decreases

Lilac hat 3

Side view showing lace pattern again

I have been looking for some more wristwarmer patterns as I need to complete the lilac set and have found some lovely ones so as soon as the wool shop opens again (tomorrow!) and I can get some more Sublime I will be casting on for those. Am also going to knit myself a few pairs as I get very cold hands when using the laptop in the winter. I have made a start on a ribbed pair using some lovely wool that I picked up from my LYS Woolly Minded and Beady Eyed before Xmas, it is called James Brett Marble Chunky in a gorgeous mottled blue and purple shade. I have also bought the brown/burgundy colourway to make myself a new hat and scarf set. It was very good value at only £4.99 for 200 g and I also bought some for Ellie and my friend Judy as Xmas presents.

Blue chunky wristwarmers

Isn't that pretty wool!

I thought I would also have a quick look at what I had accomplished in 2010 craft wise and make some resolutions for 2011. My general New Year resolution is the same as always – more fun and crafting, less work and housework which I am achieving slowly (amazing what a difference having grown up kids who can clean their own rooms has on my time!)

Looking back through all my archives for 2010 I made the following items -

Knitting – 3 hats, 2 pairs of wristwarmers, 2 scarves, I teddy with clothes and bag, 4 little flowers, 2 baby cardigans, 1 set of baby bootees, I baby blanket

Stitching – 4 exchange pieces (1 Valentine, 1 Spring and 2 Autumn), 2 scissor keeps, I scissor pillow, 2 reindeer ornies, 2 stocking ornies

Quilting – 20 patchwork trees, 1 tree skirt, 1 Xmas hanging

Xmas ornies – 5 gift bags, 6 Xmas stockings, various pine cones and baubles (didn’t keep count and sold most)

Costume – 4 pairs braies, 1 pair of hose, 2 coifs, 1 dress

Not bad but wish I had time for more! In 2011 I plan to work on my quilting skills and want to make 3 play quilts and cushions for the youngest members of the family and make a start on a double bed quilt for Ellie. I aim to make 11 more stitched ornies for my tree (1 is already done) and will do assorted exchanges and birthday gifts as required. Knitting wise 3 pairs of wristwarmers, a new hat and scarf for me. Costume I know I have 3 dresses planned and whatever new clothes Jake needs! And of course lots more Xmas things for sale at craft fairs.

That should keep me busy – will review at the end of the year to see how I did!  

Hope you enjoy making your own to do list and thanks once again for visiting.

Hello there and a very happy 2011 to you all.

I got this e-mail from WordPress last night which shows how my blog did last year so thought I would share it with you and say a big thanks to all of you for visiting and especially to those people who have linked to me (you get a special mention a bit further on!) I am very pleased that the Blog Health o-Meter reads ‘WOW’ and thank you all for making this happen.

Like most of you who blog I started this little venture 3 years ago not knowing what would happen, I have met so many wonderful, creative people through the blog and visiting other people’s blogs and absolutely love being part of this community. It spurs me on to finish things knowing I need something to post about each week and I get so many ideas from everyone! I have also participated in lots of exchanges so I have lots of lovely new creations in my home as well as all the virtual pleasure from seeing what you all do. Thank you to everyone who makes blogging such fun!

“The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 38,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 67 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 173 posts. There were 470 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 59mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was August 10th with 223 views. The most popular post that day was Project Nepal.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were littlecottonrabbits.typepad.co.uk, elmsleyrose.blogspot.com, loopylousadventuresintohandicrafts.blogspot.com, ifreestores.com, and facebook.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for nepal, maria doyle kennedy, houppelande, elizabeth 1st, and goldwork.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Project Nepal December 2007
1 comment

2

Medieval Peasants’ costume – women September 2009

3

Medieval Lady’s Costume September 2008
9 comments

4

Medieval re-enactment December 2007
10 comments

5

Medieval Costume Making – the surcoat February 2009
1 comment

Thanks for visiting – all 38,000 times!!!!

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