Friday 28 March 2014

FO Friday......Linden Mitts and Happy Mail.


One FO today and that is my Linden Mitts by Jane Richmond, they don't take long to knit and they only use one 50g ball of 4ply yarn!!!!

I used Knit Picks Felici in Building Blocks, I even managed to get the stripes on the second mitt more or less the same as the first one, which made me happy. I know it wouldn't bother some of you but I like things to match and would of really bugged me if they hadn't.

I'm linking to FO Friday over on Tami's blog.

I would like to say a big thank you to Marianne from Ladybird Diaries for my happy mail, this week. It was for a brooch swap organised by the lovely Jo of Three Stories High.

Marianne, made me this beautiful flower brooch in a gorgeous sparkly pink yarn as well as sending me some little extras. The chocolates have gone but were delicious and the lace and buttons will be used in future projects. Thank you so much Marianne and to Jo who organised it.

Have a great weekend.



Thursday 27 March 2014

Camp Aloha Friends.......

Aloha Friends.......

Have you ever wished that you could pack your crafty suitcases and go on a Crafty Retreat....

Spending time with like minded people from all over the world....

Not all of us can do that that with work, family and cost


Camp can come to YOU!!!!!!


Yep, that's right , you can join in with Summer Camp without leaving the house!!!!! It's called "Camp Aloha Friends" and Mel from Singlehanded Knits, has organised a host of activities over the summer including.....


  • animal husbandry
  • tatting
  • crochet
  • embroidery
  • card making
  • scrapbook creations
  • papercrafts
  • knitting
  • yarn dyeing
  • sewing
  • botanical pressing
  • weaving
  • Chinese knotting
  • quilting
  • creating special places for yourself
  • journaling


All the classes are taught by "Camp Counselors" from all over the world, who love what they do and are passionate about their craft. You can check out all their smiley faces, here, if you keep popping back to Mel's blog over the next week, you can see what we are going to be teaching and a little bit about our backgrounds.

From the 15th June, until the end of September, there will be weekly, often daily, inspirational projects, some quick makes, taking an hour or so, then they'll be longer term projects and activities. You can take part live as they are posted or do them in your own time, whenever you are able to grab some time for yourself. Check out, Mel's video about camp, here, the pigtails are optional!!!!!

You now have two options on how to participate, you could be a DAY CAMPER, where for less than a couple of large Latte's from the coffee shop each week, you can purchase just the classes......

DAY CAMPER: You have access to Camp Aloha Friend for the entire Summer. You plan on gathering all your materials yourself! You will happily join in Camp Aloha Friends! ready to make, do and see all that you can! You may chatter on the Campsite & chatter on the Ravelry thread in the SinglehandedKnits group. You have all the same access anyone else, you just like to take advantage of what you have on hand in your crafty resources!

Or you can be a BUNKHOUSE BOARDER, where you get your "suitcase" packed for you.

BUNKHOUSE BOARDING CAMPER: You want it all! “Sign me up for classes and pack my bags for me!” you say! And we will listen and do just that! Lots of goodies are included in your Camp Suitcase:

  • Shuttle for tatting class
  • 2 bobbins with white and natural thread to create at least 2 activities in tatting class
  • wooden crochet hook
  • 1 full size of SpaceCadet Creations skein of fingering weight wool yarn
  • Charm pack of beautiful quality 3.5 inch squares for a sewing project
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Assorted 3.25 inch fabric squares for sewing activity
  • A bit of fleece* to study in class with the name of the Donor Sheep (whom you will meet in class!)
  • A special weaving device
  • Inspiring assortment of various size paper for paper crafting class
  • buttons
  • Mini-Cake of InfiniteTwist Helix yarn
  • An assortment of other lovely treats beautifully collected for you!

*The fleece may not be available in your area, we will contact you if there is a problem with mailing it! And yes, you will get a substitution goody!

All the above comes in a beautiful sweater sized project bag, especially made for camp.

Mel has full details on her blog, you can find out the prices of the different options, here!!!!! Sign ups are now OPEN, so if you'd like to join in the fun, head over here, to secure your place!!!! Places are limited!!!!

I'll do a separate post soon, to show you some sneak peeks of my class, I can't wait to get started!!!



Wednesday 26 March 2014

Yarn Along.......Hana Hou.

Yay, I've cast on the Hana Hou by MSkiKnits, I've wanted to start this since the pattern was released back in January but I was already knitting the Aureus. I didn't want two large projects on my needles so held off casting it on until my other cardigan was finished.

The Hana Hou is a beautiful, oversized, boxy cardigan using the same Copy Cat stitch used on the Halele'a, giving it texture on the large overlapping fronts. As soon as I saw Mel's latest pattern, I fell in love with it and decided what yarn I'd use.

I'd already got a sweater quantity of Rowan Pure Wool DK in a gorgeous caramel colour, shade 054 in my stash, the pattern actually uses a sport weight but by doing a swatch, I worked out the small size would knit up to my size in the DK. The Pure Wool is very soft and squishy, perfect for this cardigan. I can't wait to finish it so I can wrap myself in it. Hana Hou means "Again Again", I can see why Mel named it that, I will definitely knitting it again, next time I'll try a sport weight, in a pretty Sage Green.

I've been knitting on my Easter Shawl (Miss Winkle), in between working on my Hana Hou and I'm now up to 18 loops. Check out Crafts from the Cwtch blog on Thursday, for everyone's progress this week.

I'm still reading V is for Vengence by Sue Grafton, when I go up to bed but I'm still reading The Diary of a Provincial Lady, in between. It's quite funny and though it's set in the 1930's some of the things that she writes about, could be about the present day, some things never change!!!!!

I'm linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along and WIP Wednesday, this week, Check out what everyone else has been up to this week.



Tuesday 25 March 2014

Upcyled Cantilever Sewing Box.......from orange pine to shabby chic.

I'm back!!!!! It's not like me to blog two days in a row but I really wanted to share my *new* sewing box. I'd been searching for a vintage cantilever sewing box for the last two years so I could paint it, giving it a shabby chic makeover.......

I got my husband on the job too, every time we went out we'd go into charity shops and vintage shops but if we did find one, they were always too expensive!!!!

Last week, I went over to Bridgnorth with my Mom, Dad, Paige and my sister, not forgetting the little ones. They have some great vintage shops in this quaint, riverside town, lo and behold, the first shop I went in, I saw this little beauty, it was only £12 and was in perfect condition. The only downside was that I had to carry it around all day as the car was parked the other side of the town, not that I minded for a minute, I was just excited that I'd found it.

I'd got an Annie Sloan tester pot in Original at home, so as soon as I got back, I got started on it. I gave it a quick clean but the beauty of Annie Sloan paint is that you don't have to prepare the surface, you can just paint straight on to it, no messing about. It's a chalk based paint and gives a beautiful, soft chalky finish, it dries quick and a little goes a long way, I didn't use all the tester pot!!!! After I'd finished painting it and covering the inside with pretty papers, I came to a standstill.........

Until yesterday, that is, when I completely finished it and was ready to use. Mick took me back to Bridgnorth on Saturday to get some Annie Sloan wax which you rub into the paint to protect it. After rubbing in the wax with a soft cloth and buffing up with another one, I took some sand paper and gently sanded some of the paint off, showing the wood underneath, giving it a distressed look. After I was happy with the sanded areas, I went back over with the wax.

I still didn't feel as though it was complete, I'd been looking for some Cath Kidston style decal/stickers to put on the lid, for the past week but couldn't find any.

So, what I decided to do was use some Ikea serviettes that I had in the kitchen drawer. I cut around the flowers, leaving a small white edge, peeled away the layers until I was left with one thin layer and used some Claudine Helmuth Studio multi-medium.

You need to be very careful when you glue the thin layer of tissue as it will rip, also if you add to much glue it will disintegrate the paper. How I did mine, was by placing the flowers where I wanted them on the lid, dabbing a little bit of glue underneath so it held the flowers in place. Carefully, with a soft brush, I painted a small amount of medium over the the flower, making sure I went over the edges so it wouldn't lift. Once dry the medium is waterproof so your flower will be protected and you'll be able to wipe over with a damp cloth.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out, it looks so much nicer than I thought it would and will be a great addition to my craft room. I'm now filling it with my vintage sewing bits and bobs.

Before I go I want to mention something that is going to be happening this summer for all you crafters out there. It's going to be so much fun and I'm lucky enough to be part of it!!!!!

Have you ever wanted to attend a Crafty Retreat but have never been able to go due to the cost, work or family commitments? Do you like to learn new crafts and techniques? Would you to connect to like minded people from all over the world? How would you like to do this without leaving your home!!!!!

If you're interested and would like to find out more of what's going to be happening over the summer, check out my blog on Thursday.



Monday 24 March 2014

A Day at Sewing for Pleasure.......a couple of makes and new stash.

Hello, how is everyone? I hope you all had a good weekend!!!!!! I'm back today to share my day out at the NEC, with you. My friend, Lyn and I caught the train, early on Thursday morning (well, early for me) to the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in Birmingham. The train was full, so standing room only, full of people commuting to work and fellow crafters on the way to the NEC. Perhaps you are wondering how I know they were on their way to the craft show, well, they'd all got trollies or large bags, in anticipation of filling them by the end of the day, with all the wonderful treats on sale over the four days!!!!!

We grabbed ourselves a cup of coffee to take on the train, to keep our energy levels up through the day and arrived at Birmingham International at about 8.50am. We then trekked from the station to Halls 11-12, it seems to get further away each year and takes about 15 minutes to get there or maybe I'm just getting older!!!

When we reached the halls, people had already started queuing so we joined in line with them, we all got talking to each other, finding out what people were interested in. One lady had travelled all the way down from Carlise for the show. There were workshops to attend over the day but it was on a first come, first serve basis.

There were two free workshops, that we wanted to attend, so when the doors opened at 9.30am, our plan of action was set in motion!!!!! Lyn went one way to book a workshop and I went the other way to book the other one!!!!!

The first workshop we attended was at the Sizzix stand, where we got to sew this beautiful needlecase as Sizzix now sell dies for quilting. The needlecase was a very simple construction, great for a beginner like myself. The large butterfly that we appliquéd onto the front is one of the Sizzix dies, especially for appliquéing.

One of my first purchases were some Sizzix Hexagon dies, I've been wanting to do some English Paper Piecing (EPP) for some time now, but have put it off as I haven't had the time to start all the cutting out. These Sizzix dies have different sized hexagons, just for this purpose, so you buy one to cut the fabric, which gives you a seam allowance and one to cut out the papers. It is so much quicker, you can cut out up to 32 hexagons in one go, depending on the fabric plus they have different sizes that you can mix and match, I went for the 1 1/4" and 1", giving me a 1/4" seam.

After the first workshop, we started looking around the stands, there was so much prettiness in one place and was spoilt for choice. I picked up these gorgeous fabrics at only £2 per fat quarter, I thought these were great value for money and great for Patchwork or EPP.

One of my larger purchses was a large self healing mat, a grid ruler and a rotary cutter as I want to get more into sewing. I've been collecting bits of fabric over the years and I'm going to be taking a Patchwork Quilt workshop, next month, so hopefully will get to use my fabric, over the next few months.

By this time, it was time for my second class, Lyn chose to do a different class to me but I chose to make a baby's bib. The reason, I decided to do this class, is I've recently found out, I'm going to be a Nanny, for the first time!!!!!

This class was sponsored by Vilene but the tutor was Laura from Made Peachy, she was a great teacher and I believe she's going to put all the patterns and instructions for her workshops, on her blog soon. So here's baby's first bib, keeping in mind this was a free class, we were each given a goody bag with a fabric marker, a vintage style mini sewing kit and some iron cleaner!!!!

Speaking of irons, I also bought this table top ironing board and travel iron, the bit of sewing I have done, when I come to iron seams, I have to get the full size board out from downstairs, so spend half my time running up and down. I thought this was a great idea, it tucks down the side of my desk, when it's not in use.

The only yarn I bought was from New Forest Mohair, it is so soft to the touch. They are a lovely couple who keep Angora goats on their small homestead. Last year I bought a skein of 4ply, so this time, I went for a DK weight, I love the colour and can't wait to cast on a project. They also had some mini skeins, all about 20g and at 50p for each one, I couldn't resist, you can see what I picked up in my lace bowl. They will be perfect for co-ordinating borders.

It was a long tiring day, we didn't even sit down for lunch, there was just too much to look at and I ached when I got home but it was a fun day out, I learnt lots and can't wait for the next one!!!!

Have a good week, my friends and thanks for stopping by.



Friday 21 March 2014

FO Friday.......My Aureus.

Happy Friday, my friends. I hope you've all had a great week. I went to the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC, yesterday with my friend Lyn. We had a great time with lots of great stands, demo's and workshops. I will share more about it, in a separate post but it's worth going too, if you like sewing or knitting, it finishes on Sunday.

Now back to my Aureus, I finished it on Wednesday evening, I'm so pleased with how it turned out and have been wearing it since.

The pattern is by Michele Wang and is in Pom Pom Quarterly magazine, Issue 7. I knit it in Rowan Felted Tweed DK, I made the size 42 and used 10 balls. It's a nice loose fit, like a boyfriend style and very comfortable to wear.

Check out Tami's blog for more FO's, this week.

Have a great weekend, whatever you're up to, I'll be back soon with my crafty buys and makes from the sewing show.



Wednesday 19 March 2014

Yarn Along.........Miss Winkle.


Hi there, I'm back today with a new project!!!!!!! I did promise myself, I wouldn't cast on anything new until I'd finished one of my other WIP's....................but when I saw on Instagram, that Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch, was starting a new Spring KAL on the 15th March and the pattern was Miss Winkle, I couldn't resist!!!!!!

The original pattern was knit in a variegated yarn, which looked really pretty and I had some A Stash Addict in Mermaids Hair. I'm never sure which patterns look good with a variegated yarn so this has been sitting in my stash for ages and thought it would look good for this shawl.

I've named it my Easter Shawl, as my blog friend, Stephanie, commented that the colours reminded her of Easter M&M's. The pattern is easy to memorise and is great to take with you when you're out and about, I knit what you can see, in the car over the weekend. I love the loopy edge and it only takes 100g of 4ply yarn, you just knit until you've run out of yarn.

I've finished the first sock of my First Time for Everthing and have casted on the second one, I will add the Afterthought Heel, when I've finished both socks. I've also tried a new to me bind off called Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off which gives a really good stretchy cuff.

I've also finished one of my Linden Mitts..........

and have cast on the second one, this pattern knits up really quick and I love the stripes. I think these will go towards my niece's Christmas present.

Last but not least, I've only got to pick up the stitches for the collar on my Aureus, so will be finished by Friday. This week I've started V is for Vengence by Sue Grafton, I use to read these series of books, years ago and read up to about M is for..... I stopped seeing them in book shops but saw this the other day so picked it up.

I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and WIP Wednesday, thanks for stopping by and enjoy the week.



Monday 17 March 2014

A Weekend in Wiltshire and Somerset....

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend. The sun was shining here in the UK and we spent the weekend in Wiltshire and Somerset. My husband finished work on Friday lunchtime, we jumped in the car and headed to Wiltshire, this isn't a place we're familiar with but we will definitely exploring more of this beautiful part of the country. We stopped in this pretty hotel called the Old Manor House, situated on the edge of Bradford on Avon, which is a beautiful, quaint, historical town.

The hotel was bought last summer by a couple and has been lovingly restored to it's former glory. I couldn't fault it, I felt so comfortable there, the staff were very friendly and helpful and made you feel right at home.

The lounge/ bar area was very cosy with log burners and comfortable period chairs and sofa's, there were fresh flowers in all the public area's and unusual knick knacks, like old telephones and Singer sewing machines.

The outside area was just as pretty, with a walled garden where they grow their own produce, they also have beehives and chickens and their own Smoke House, where they smoke the meat and fish, they serve on their menu.

Talking about food, we had the most amazing dinner, again in a gorgeous setting, the restaurant is called The Milking Parlour and is open to non-residents, I recommend eating there if you're in the area. The chef is Matthew Briddon, formerly from The River Cafe and the Michelin star, Heathcote restaurant, the food was second to none.

Breakfast was just as good, again in the Milking Parlour, we enjoyed a substantial farmhouse breakfast. I loved how they set the breakfast table up with fresh juices, cereals, dried fruits, yoghurt, fresh crusty bread and homemade preserves. I decided to go for the smoked salmon which was hay smoked in their Smoke House and scrambled eggs, it was delicious. In fact, I could just eat it again, right now, I've gone hungry just thinking about it.

After breakfast, we spent the morning wandering around the town, it's full of independent shops including some great vintage ones, I picked up some lovely vintage buttons. There are also some great riverside walks, one that leads you to Tithe Barns, a great little shopping area for arts and crafts.

On the afternoon, we went on to Frome, another pretty town, full of artisan shops and cobbled streets.

I found a yarn store, where I picked up some locally dyed yarn, you can tell I was pleased, can't you? There is also a great haberdashery shop opposite called Millie Moon, they have some great fabric and it's free p&p for the UK.

Our hotel for the night was in Midsomer Norton, so on our way we stopped off at Wells, a small cathedral city in Somerset. This was the first time we'd been here, we didn't stay long as it was late afternoon but what we saw of it has made us want to visit again, very soon!!!!

Saturday night we stopped at the Best Western Centurion on the outskirts of Midsomer Norton, though this is a chain, it was very well appointed and looked as though it had been recently renovated, everything looked very new and clean.

The views from the restaurant.....

The garden areas......

We decided not to have dinner at the hotel but to go for a walk into the town. We were very disappointed when we got there, I expected a pretty village with lots of country pubs and restaurants, like you see on the tv programme, Midsomer Murders!!!! Don't get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with the town itself, it was a very good High Street with lots of High Street shops but not a lot of pubs or places too eat.

We were both getting hungry by this time, so we jumped into a taxi and went back to the hotel restaurant. I'm so glad we did, again the food was exceptional, they obviously used good quality produce. I had the most amazing crab and avocado starter. Sunday morning breakfast was a very enjoyable Full English in the conservatory overlooking a parkland golf course, a perfect way to starg the day.

Sunday was another beautiful, sunny day, we travelled to Bath and sat outside the Abbey, having a cup of tea, deciding on what to see and do. Again, another beautiful city but we need to go back as my husband's back was giving him a lot of pain. I could see he was struggling so suggested we come again and see the sights when he felt better.

Instead, as the weather was so nice we drove to Weston Super Mare and sat on the pier, people watching and eating chips. This was my husband's birthday treat, we both had a fabulous time and can't wait to do it again. We both want to see more of this area.

Have a great week, my lovely friends.



The Handmade Sock Society 3 by Helen Stewart

Hello there, I just wanted to let you all know that Season 3 of  The Handmade Sock Society  is available for pre-sale  here  with an Ea...