Check out my Finished Items on the second page

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Well earned break (if I do say so myself)

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but like everything in my life it has gotten sidetracked.  That's kind of why i needed the holiday in the first place. I needed time for me!
It was a late booking and I went to trip advisor to get some ideas.  I had a checklist!  I wanted a sea view, and a bathtub! Possibly an odd combination, but after a year and half of living at Mum n Dad's with only showers, I wanted to wallow in hot water for as long as I chose. And as for the sea view, well I find it calming and grounding. Looking out to sea is something I often yearn for in times of stress (and yes to be fair I was stressed)
It didn't really matter where in the UK, although at then end of the week we were going to the Dove Holes Jazz festival so the far north of Scotland would have been sightly inconvenient but other than that I had no agenda.  

Eventually after a bit of searching and comparing and fussing around I found this property:Parth-y-Gwyddwch, and it ticked all my boxes.  Secluded, a sea view and a bath!!! The cottage is beautiful.  We were met at the gatepost by a buzzard, who continued to entertain us all week. And there was a red kite now and again too.  We travelled to Barmouth, Tywyn and Aberdovey in the days to have lunch (boy did we eat some amazing lunches) and settled back in our cottage in the late afternoon armed with our binoculars to watch the evening wildlife.  We tried out our new Cobb oven one night and made a good effort of roast chicken, veg and potatoes.  And ate more ice cream in a week than we normally would in a year.  We walked, talked, stayed quiet. Sat on beaches, sat in woods, sat by rivers. Met sheep! MrNoo went fishing once or twice in the evening, and left me to the peace and quiet of the cottage, and I knitted and breathed and didn't have anyone calling my name. The week was everything I needed it to be. 

Full of good food, peace and no demands. I would go back in a heartbeat.

So here, in no particular order is a brief photographical synopsis of our week.
Our home for a week.


Another perfect sunset

A little stroll

8am view. Fantastic

Roast dinner on the patio?

Early evening view from the cottage


Barmouth view from the welsh coastal path

Took a photo to identify this little one, beautiful song. 

Best kind of neighbour

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Hoodie (Craftsy Sewing with Knits Class first pattern)

*All Craftsy Links in this post are affiliated, and I may receive compensation if you click or buy from these links*

(Phew what a week we've had! - luckily as I am so far behind on the blog I don't need to tell you about it, but in summary, 2 days in A&E, 2 hospitals, 3 wards, and ITU. Mum's fine though, mostly precautionary and she's now home and resting well)

So to backtrack a little. I recently noticed that Craftsy had some sewing classes on sale. (They often have sales, they are worth hanging out for).

I signed up for the Sewing with Knits class (*ahem among others but we'll come back to them)

The reason I liked the look of this class was that it seemed quite "complete" in that I would receive a number of patterns for different weight knits and be talked through sewing each of them. Now I should add at this point that I've only got through the first garment, because mother seems to have other ideas! (See above!) but here is my review of the first few lessons.

The introduction and summary of knit fabrics is quite interesting and worth watching one evening when there is nothing better on the TV, or while you are cutting out your pattern pieces, but personally I dived straight into the hoodie lesson ;) (impatient? Moi?) The lesson was super easy to follow and I had managed to cut out all the pattern pieces before settling down. The idea of patterns in PDF form for you to print and re-print is genius! (I know many people do this now) To be able to print off another size next year or make a pattern for someone else without re-buying it is such an amazing idea.  It did take me an hour or so to print it out and tape it together but in some ways it was good as I learnt a bit more about the construction of the pattern because I needed more concentration that to just hack my way through a tissue pattern.

The Hoodie is a very simple construction, only 5 pieces. Front, back, 2 x sleeves and the hood.  The video walks you through the order of construction and you are given an idea of what stitch and setting to use (given that you would likely be making the hoodie out of a fleece type material)

My only criticism of the course is that a little more could be explained about zig zag stitches and how they should look and what might encourage you to change stitch width or length. As it happens the stitches suggested seemed to work fine with my fleece, but I'm not sure I really had a handle on how to adjust them if I hadn't had enough stretch or if it puckered or some such.  Maybe by the time I have finished the other lessons I will have grasped the fundamentals a little better, or maybe they anticipate someone having a little more sewing experience than I do (Which would be practically none)

Anyway, in only two hours I had transformed a pile of fleece into this:

I'm thrilled with it.  In fact I was so thrilled I made another ;)

The next pattern is a round neck and then v-neck tee shirt. I'm really looking forward to making them, although I'm not quite sure when that's going to fit into the schedule. I have some knit fabric which i originally bought for a pair of trousers for mum but isn't really suitable.  It'll work well as a tee shirt or two though ;)

Craftsy's BIG Summer Sale: Save Up to 50% On All Online Classes!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sewing with Mother

Well OK not exactly "with her" more being told that I was doing it mostly wrongly.  (For someone who is cognitively challenged, Mum is still apparently very able to correct mistakes that other people make LOL)

Firstly we have made a few pairs of pull on trousers.  I got so fed up of seeing Mum in tracksuit trousers. And to be fair, she was always a very elegant dresser and moping about in trackies (whilst there is a good time for them lazing around the home) wasn't doing her self esteem any favours. So we chose a viscose and a reclaimed sari and made two pairs of wide legged, elasticated waist trousers.

The top photo is on my birthday last week when Mum wore the green pair, which are the ones made out of the sari.  The paisley style above are a viscose from an Ebay seller.  We have two more saris, although one may not be suitable as it seems to crease a lot. And we also have a viscose jersey, but in hindsight that may be better suited to a cowl top or tee shirt or tunic top or some such. Watch this space for what they become.

I should add that I had a little help with the cutting out of the Sari pair:

They didn't have this kind of problem on the Sewing Bee.

Next post I'll tell you about the Craftsy course "Sewing with Knits" and show you my hoodie.

T'il Soon ♥︎

Monday, May 12, 2014

Unravel 2014 (A little late!)

It's been so long since I posted there's little point trying to summarise the last 4 or 5 months. There's been good and bad, ups and downs, giggles and tears. But rather than dwell on that I want to tell you about Unravel 2014 (Which was in *ahem* Febuary!) at the Farnham Maltings.

I go every year to this wonderful wool and fibre festival. And this year it was a bit special as I decided (with a couple of friends) to make a weekend of it and stay in the Travelodge at Aldershot and take a weekend away from caring for Mum.

Unravel is my favourite festival. It's pretty local to me when i'm at my house, and even from Mum n Dad's it's not too far (although it's very very close to the Aldershot Travelodge! just saying')  It's full of indie dyers and shops.

I was fairly restrained:

 I failed completely on Saturday - it was very crowded and I just couldn't settle to look at anything (yes the small hangover may have contributed slightly to that)  So the only things I got on the Saturday were are the spindle bag (far right in the picture above and from Hill Top Cloud to protect the spindle I bought from there last year) and the T pins which I needed more of. 

However we went back on the Sunday, and altho some stock was quite depleted, it was so much easier to look and concentrate and I saw loads that I just hadn't seen the day before, consequently: 
BFL from Jilly bean to try to understand the concept of dividing colours and making spun yarn that doesn't look like a muddy puddle - well that's the idea - but luckily i like muddy puddles anyway so either way it's a win.: 


Sparkly fluff in a batt just because it's pretty: 


Fyberspates faery wings - which is more expensive than i would normally treat myself to - but it's to knit the infinity scarf song of the sea that I think we all bought (?) and i love the colours: 

And altogether with Rachel's book and the spindle bag and t pins from yesterday: 


It was a fabulous weekend. I laughed so much I hurt and my friends made sure that I enjoyed every minute of our time away.  

I am still here

Life as a carer has taken over just a little. But I am hoping to get back on track with blogging really soon.  I have a lot of craft to show you, and a few little product reviews.  Stick with me, I'm still here ;)