Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Bavarian Crochet

My very good friend Sonya came to see me at the shop, bright and early yesterday morning.
Now if you knew Sonya you would know that with every visit she brings with her a brand new crafty project.  Up until recently this was always knitting but just lately she has got the crochet bug and when I say got the bug I mean this is viral!
This is my attempt at Sophie's Garden/Universe

She would be the first to admit that she can't crochet although she is currently happily and easily crocheting along with the Sophie's Garden CAL and the brand new only launched on the 7th April Lily Pond CAL (Crochet A Long - for those not in the know).
She really knows how to push my buttons and always challenges me to have a go.  I have been crocheting since I was about nine and even I struggle with the things she brings to tempt me with.  Unfortunately she knows me better than I know myself and takes great pleasure in persuading me to try yet another form of crochet when to be honest I would happily go to and frow doing granny stripes for the rest of my life left to my own devices.
Needless to say yesterday she asked "Have you ever done Bavarian Crochet?" "No" I replied innocently.  She then thrust a brand new book in to my hands and said "Happy Easter".
I must say I was pretty pleased even if a little apprehensive but after she left I had a go, as she no doubt knew I would, and produced this quite lovely square.
Bavarian Crochet

I wouldn't say that this is my favourite type of crochet however the results are stunning and once I got the hang of it it did become quite easy.  There are a lot of double trebles involved (Double Doubles for our US guests) but in its favour it certainly uses up the spare wool stash very quickly in deed.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Newark in the evening

Hasn't the weather been glorious this week? Such a change from the horrible freezing cold we have been subjected to recently.
After work last night hubby suggested a quick run into Newark for a walk along the river.  Needless to say I jumped at the chance to stretch my legs.

As you can see the sky was lovely and clear and believe it or not I wasn't even wearing a jacket, it was so mild.
There were some canoes on the river.  I think there was a lesson going on.
How the other half live!

As a treat we decided to stay and have a meal at Pizza Express.  Wow we were a bit stunned at how expensive that little impulse turned out to be, however it was delicious and the odd indulgence can't hurt once in a while can it? It was lovely and we felt as though we were on holiday. Back to work today though and looking forward to our next excursion.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Rose Flavoured Cupcakes

I don't get that much time off nowadays but when I do I still love to bake.
Like many people I have been watching the Red Nose bake off over the last couple of weeks and as a result I decided to make a few little buns.  Not red nose ones but even so I really enjoyed making them.
I always use the same recipe given to me by my good friend Lucy Murray.  We worked together for about six years before I quit to run my own wool and haberdashery shop.

The ingredients I used are as follows:

6oz Margarine or butter
6oz caster sugar
3 eggs
7 oz self raising flour

Cream the margarine and sugar together. Beat in the eggs and fold in the flour.  That's it.

I added 1 teaspoon of rose water to the mixture to give them a lovely unusual flavour.



I got a bit carried away with the decorations.I made a butter cream icing using 8 oz of icing sugar and 3 oz of margarine.  I didn't use as much margarine as usual because I didn't want the icing to be too sickly.
I also added half a teaspoon of rose water to carry through the Turkish delight flavour.




The flowers were made using fondant icing and flower and blossom cutters.


The cupcakes tasted gorgeous with just a hint of the rose flavour coming through.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Happy 2015

After promising to blog more I seem to have actually blogged less which is very annoying as blogging means so much to me and did at one time seem to take over any spare moments I had.
As ever life gets in the way.  I am however determined to get back in touch with this wonderful pass time as I do love it so.
After a short walk along the Chesterfield canal and the brief taking of a few photos I resolved to start again and try to be a frequent visitor.
I have missed looking with the eye of a blogger at the scenery around me.  I have rarely bothered even to remember my camera lately which is not like me.  In my defence I haven't actually managed to get out much what with the shop and all.  However that should change as my very good friend Catherine has volunteered to work the odd Saturday for me so maybe I will be able to go further afield in the future months.
The newly renovated house at Top Lock
New Years Day was a bit murky but we were just happy to get out in the fresh air having been cooped up for far too long.  We had my 91 year old Mum over for Christmas.  Unfortunately she fell backwards off the last step on the stairs on Christmas Eve damaging her knee ligaments.  We spent boxing day in A & E as the pain got gradually worse.  She then had a TIA (slight stroke) a day later but being a tough cookie she is recovering much better than we could have hoped for and has remained at her home rather than go to hospital.
This has been the house of my dreams for a long time and has recently been rented out. No amount of arm twisting could persuade hubby that we should take it! Obviously there is something better around the corner.  I can but hope.
As you can imagine it has been quite a traumatic time for all of us and therefore we are welcoming in the new year with a little trepidation.  However onwards and upwards as they say.
Happy New Year x



Sunday, 14 September 2014

Our Visit to Newark

I have always enjoyed Sundays apart from when I was a teenager that is.  Then Sundays were the day I had a major lie in coming downstairs just in time for a massive Sunday dinner followed by endless hours of nothingness.  Oh how I wish I had realised then how precious weekends were.
I only get Sundays off now and I guard them with my life.  As an added bonus I get the house to myself every other Sunday since my son has a new girlfriend and prefers to spend weekends with her and not me!
I always get permission from my hubby (not that it would make any difference) to take it easy and do absolutely nothing on my Sundays off but that is easier said than stuck to.  I have already done 2 loads of washing and the washing up left from last night so I have been quite busy actually.
As far as food is concerned I have just eaten a gorgeous plateful of easy prepare snackiness and have a coffee laced with Hazlenut syrup standing by so the day is looking good.

After blogging I intend learning how to use Netflix which is a new addition to our family, introduced by my son and not us you understand.
We do manage to get out and about occasionally when Steve gets a Sunday off work and last week we went to Newark.

What a surprise that was.  Although it isn't that far away for us we have never visited apart from when we went to the theatre there.  The problem was that we entered Newark from another road and I was under the illusion that it consisted of a couple of merky shops and a theatre and that was it.  No No No I tell you.

We entered the town this time and immediately found a Waitrose supermarket.  Now that in itself is quite amazing as neither Doncaster, Retford or Worksop have one of those so I was immediately impressed.
Further down the road we discovered the most amazing castle.

Now from the road this does look very imposing and beautiful.  We later found out that the castle had been dismantled/demolished by invaders at some time or another and as a result there isn't a lot to see from the other side, however this was still impressive.

Before reaching the castle we walked through a very pretty park and came to the river running between both.  There was a lovely big lock which was manned by the lock keeper and as the weather was so lovely we were able to watch several boats passing through.

We stopped at a little river side cafe for a light snack before discovering the town.  There were all the usual shops but also some wonderful little boutiques and gift type ones too.  There were also three vintage shops, unfortunately only one was open.  I must point out that Sunday is not the best day to visit should you wish to enjoy the full Newark shopping experience.
Back to the river to listen to a lovely chap singing his heart out by the floating barge bar and a good walk before returning to the car with our batteries fully charged.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would recommend you all to go and have a look for yourself. We will definately be going back soon.

Monday, 11 August 2014

I'm back after being away for far too long.

Hello everyone and a big thank you to anyone who has visited over the last few months only to see that I had disappeared.
Life has and still is hectic and as I now work six days a week in my relatively new shop I unfortunately don't seem to find the time to blog.  However I intend that to change as there is so much I can now involve you all in.
Hayfield Bonus Buzz Double Knitting yarn - £2.79 per 100gr ball

I have had a great six months since the shop opened.  I know it doesn't seem that long but it is.  The shop has been very successful so far and the stock of wool, and now fabrics has increased immensely.
My new fabrics from £4.50 a metre

I have enjoyed choosing and re-choosing all the beautiful items to stock and hope that I have struck a good balance of quality goods which are reasonably priced.

Needlecraft Corner, 19 Ryton Street, Worksop, Notts, S80 2AY
It is a dream come true I can tell you.
Also what's great about owning my own wool and haberdashery shop is that I get to try out as many products as I want.  Well it would be rude not to wouldn't it?
Wendy Roam Sock Wool in Fosse - £5.99 per 100gr ball (75% Wool)

I have some gorgeous sock wools.  This one is a Wendy 4ply called Roam in Fosse which as you can see is a variegated yarn changing from green to blue with a number of other colours intermingled in it. It is fantastic to crochet with as it doesn't split.  It is quite firm and perfect for the lovely shawl I am making in a corner to corner stitch.  Each row increases from one original stitch which means that it immediately becomes a triangle which just gets bigger.  You are supposed to start decreasing when you get to the right size so as you progress the triangle then develops into a square but I wanted a shawl so will keep going until I reach the right size.  I thought it would be perfect for when I go out on a cool summer evening or alternately when I sit in bed knitting I can look like a granny!
James C Brett - Double Knitting with Merino - £2.75 per 100gr ball
Above is a cardigan I have started in James C Brett double knitting with merino which is the nicest wool ever. It feels so cosy and soft. I just love it.
Cross stitch in an embroidery hoop which has been crocheted round

Hand stitched heart of my own design
 As you can see, I have been busy making wall decorations.  I love just deciding what to make and then having all the equipment readily to hand.  I can then plod along and finish things in my own time and in between customers of course.
Below is a picture of our recently finished craft classroom.  It is so bright and fresh in there and painted in a vibrant sky blue which according to our research is the perfect colour for creativity. 
Our new craft classroom is available to hire.
Well I hope you have enjoyed my quick resume of what's been happening in my life.  Of course I will keep on blogging now I have finally broke my silence.  I have truly missed stopping by and it is lovely to get back on the horse as it were.
I hope to speak again soon.  Best regards, Paula x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Update

Hi everyone. Just a quick note to let you know that I am fine just extremely busy.  I will be back very shortly so please bear with me.  I am having a fantastic time working six days a week in the shop which is still extremely successful. 
We went to see the Sheffield leg of the tour de France at the weekend and will post the photos in the next few days.
I have missed you all very much and regret not having blogged for soo long.  Will be back soon I promise x