Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Caudwell, Durham

Well last week we went on our holidays to Hillcrest Park in Caudwell.  This is a lovely farm with cottages, touring caravan facilities and camping pods.  We actually went last year and enjoyed it so much we decided that as we hadn't seen everything we would go back again.
The weather last week was amazing for the time of year and so that made our holiday even more special.  This time we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary too which was lovely.

The scenery in this area is breathtaking and we were able to get to Stanhope which is about a half hour drive from where we were staying.

The scenery as we drove back to Barnard Castle was surprising as we hadn't realised when we set off exactly what to expect.
These photos were taken from the car and I couldn't help but imagine how a felted picture would look with all the lovely shading and muted colours.  Mmm definitely something to consider in the future.

Sunday, 26 March 2017


I am relatively new to needle felting and actually taught myself with the aid of Pinterest tutorials.
It was a lovely friend and customer who encouraged me to start a small class which began on a similar line to my knit and natter groups.
The beginning of a new creation
Basically we just got together and learnt the brand new techniques from a total novice level and over time our skills have developed.  I like trying different things every week where others may concentrate on one thing until they have exhausted the possibilities.

Wet felted bowl with free form machine embroidery
In my previous post I showed you what I had achieved in the weeks starting just before Christmas.  It was very satisfying to be able to give a few members of my family hand felted gifts that showed that I cared and show cased my growing talents.

Since then my love of needle felting and wet felting has grown considerably and I look forward with anticipation to our Monday morning get togethers.
Heart shaped landscape
We have an absolute ball and some of the disasters that are bound to happen from time to time have had us in stitches.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Completed Projects

It's been ages since I showed you my finished projects mostly because many were gifts for Christmas as of course if I had shown you it would have spoilt the surprise for my nearest and dearest family and friends.  Anyway without further ado here goes:
A chunky cardigan greatly appreciated by my son's partner Steph.

A super chunky jumper given to my mother in law for Christmas.  I love how this turned out and will give this another try.

A sample for the shop knitted in James C Brett marble chunky.  A pattern I have done many times and love it's simplicity.

A birthday present for my Mum who loves getting cosy underneath it.  This pattern can be found as a tutorial on line.

A little embroidery and applique picture which I am still to complete even though it was meant to be a quick job.

A holiday project made for my Mum instead of bringing her something back that she wouldn't really want.  This is a pattern taken from Attic 24 and is her jolly chunky bag.

A cardigan made for an order using the Sirdar pattern in the picture.  This was great to do and  I would gladly make this again in the future.

A Christmas present for my Mum using a pattern for the weekend bag from Attic 24.  It was so easy to make.  I have one too!
The easiest shawl ever and a absolute dream to make.  I will post the pattern soon.  This was given to my friend for her birthday earlier this month and she loved it.  She is very much in to lets say, the murkier colour choices.
Well I hope you liked my round up of the latter quarter of 2016's makes.  I always work better under pressure and seem to get everything done despite my self doubts.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

A new year and a new craft

Hello and a very happy new year to you all.
I feel like I should apologise for not posting in such a long time but as this is what I always seem to be doing lately I'm going to skip it and get on with what I've been up to.
Over the past few weeks I have been learning how to do needle felting which I hadn't done before but always fancied, mainly because it looks so creative and there is so much that you can do within what is quite an inexpensive craft.  Anyway it started when a couple of ladies determined to learn needle felting came to the shop and asked if I did lessons.  Obviously I didn't but suggested that if they came along and paid a very nominal amount I would not only learn with them but provide guidance where needed.  Since then it has blossomed and I now run lessons on a one to one basis and have a group booked in in early February which is very exciting.
So far these are a few of the things I have made.
The Wren I gave to my husband for Christmas as wrens are his favourite bird.  The dog was supposed to look like Millie, Steve's Nana's dog.  She loved it. The sheep is mine and is displayed in the shop and the picture will eventually be framed and put in the lounge.
I am really pleased with the results of my first efforts and have found a new craft that I can develop and enjoy for years to come.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Suffragette Film

I decided some time ago that working six days a week was far too much for any sane person however dedicated and passionate said person may be and as a result Tuesdays is my official day off ( I also have Sunday too!)
Tuesday has become the day I try to do absolutely nothing and allow myself a long lie in and stay in bed as long as I can, watching DVDs, knitting, drinking hot chocolate and eating anything comforting.  Today it was chips in chicken soup with homemade brown bread and butter. Outrageous I hear you cry, but until you try it don't knock it..
The film of choice today was Suffragette starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff and a fleeting glimpse of Meryl Streep.

The film was excellent and extremely gripping and gave a compelling view of how women won the vote.  It gave an incite in to the harrowing treatment of women in the early 1900's and made me very grateful that things have been made a damn sight better because of the suffering of these ladies.
I really enjoyed the film although I was told that it was a little disappointing.  That in mind I wasn't expecting great things.
I would highly recommend it.

Friday, 4 March 2016

It can't be that long ago!

For ages I have kept thinking that I must get back in touch with you all, that is if anyone is still bothering to drop by.  I wouldn't blame you if you didn't.  When I finally opened up my blog I was absolutely flabbergasted at how long it had been.  The last thing I wrote was Happy New Year for goodness sake!
I haven't been lazy though in the time I have been away and have managed to complete lots of crafty things including some lovely Mother's Day cards which I can't show you just in case a sneaky Mum pops by.
This wavy blanket is an ongoing project which is much further forward now.  I will reveal more shortly.

I love this shawl which eventually was given to my friend Susan for her birthday.  It was supposed to be for me but she loved it so much and found the pattern a little too taxing to do for herself, so off it went to her and she was very pleased.
My son gave me a gorgeous set of Faber Castell pastels for Christmas and this was an angel picture I drew.  There is a little bit of watercolour in there too. I have this on my wall in the shop and quite a few people have admired it.
I also discovered a brand new craft of making baskets using newspaper. Hubby made me one for Christmas and put my favourite sweets in it.  I was so amazed that he had done something that brilliant and insisted that he showed me how it was done.  We spent a lovely afternoon getting to grips with the tricky weaving process but I thing the finished result is brilliant.  I have since painted the basket white with some acrylic paint and it looks very professional.
Well there you have it.  I have a few more things to show you but they will have to wait as I don't have the right cable to get the other photos off my phone.  I am at home today having decided not to go to the shop following a heavy down pour of snow this morning.  The unfortunate thing is that it seems to have stopped now and looks likely to disappear. Also I have been told that Worksop didn't get snow today so that makes things even worse.  I haven't been a hundred per cent this last couple of weeks so was hoping to recuperate today but now feel rather guilty!

Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 Round Up

Well here we are again.  This year has flown by. I can't believe it is a week since Christmas Eve.  Where does the time go?
I am feeling all reflective today.  Is that the correct word as it sounds like I am wearing mirrors or something which I'm not of course.  I am looking back on the year that has just gone and have been reflecting of what I have and haven't achieved.  We all make resolutions and most of us fail to even try to stick to them let alone actually do what we promise ourselves we will do.  My resolutions are usually pretty standard.  Do more of this thing, do less of that, eat less, exercise more blah blah blah.  Well on the whole I haven't done any of them! Oh I did join the gym and I have lost weight, I have also gained it again so that perhaps doesn't count.
I will however make my list of new year resolutions again today and this time I am going to go easy on myself and make a more general list.  Maybe "try to eat healthy meals" would be a better resolution.  "Go to the gym twice a week" would be achievable, "blog once a week", "concentrate on one or two projects at a time", I think I could stick to those kind of resolutions and instead of trying to be a saint all the time just be a bit of a saint when time allows and stop worrying when things go wrong maybe.
I did manage to get all my Christmas presents finished on time though which was a major achievement and something I was definitely proud of achieving.
This was a scarf I made on behalf of my Mum for one of my aunties.  It was out of a Louisa Harding book.
A hot water bottle cover made for my friends little girl.  The pattern is Wendy 5849.  I omitted the pocket and made the back the front so the buttons showed.  It is knitted in James C Brett Party Time chunky yarn.
Socks for my friends husband.  These are knitted on two needles in aran and are so easy.  I made some chunky ones recently and am a convert to two needle patterns, they grow quick too.  This one is Sirdar 7181 and I used Cygnet aran wool. 
A scarf for another friend.  This was a pattern recommended to my and can be found on Ravelry.  It is called a Multi Directional Scarf by Karen Baumer and can be downloaded for free.  The pattern is very easy and looks really effective when knitted in variegated wool.  Mine is done in James C Brett Marble double knit.  I actually made four scarves and in total.  I very rarely repeat patterns so you can imagine that I enjoyed making these a lot.

I made Steve's Nanna this scarf and hat which I hope she liked.  I don't usually get any feedback and I will probably never know.  I made her a gorgeous applique bag last year and for all I know she could have put it in the bin.

 The hat pattern is from The Bumper Book of Accessories by Sirdar number 460.  I also did a hat in little squares out of the same book but unfortunately I forgot to take a photograph.  Silly me.

The wool I used for this was another James C Brett one called Woodlander and contains 20 per cent wool.  The scarf only took one ball which makes it excellent value.
Finally I made this lovely chunky hat.  I actually had this for sale in the shop and my Mum bought it for Steph my sons partner.
So as you can see I was extremely busy during the Christmas build up.  I enjoyed actually finishing things which is something of a novelty for me.  I realised that I prefer making small things better than the usual cardigans and blankets I am known for so maybe that should be a resolution too, to make smaller projects in the coming year.
Who knows what we will all have achieved one year from now and on that note all that is left to say is