Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Little time to craft...

Needless to say, there's been little time to pick up the needles in the last few days.  On Friday, Poppy made a speedy debut into the world, and things have been busy busy busy since then!

I did have time to finish sewing buttons onto E's birthday Gilet...

And since then, I have done little crafting, although I don't think I shall be able to refrain for very long...!

(Pleased to report that the knitted tank-top fits perfectly post bump!)

Until then though, I shall be enjoying snuggles with little heads, and playing trains and diggers with a very much larger lovely boy.

I hope this finds you well.  Back to milk, trains, nappies, snuggles and not very much sleep...!

C x

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

While I'm waiting...

So. Whilst waiting for The Arrival, I have been keeping busy.

As mentioned a few weeks back, I went to a local garden centre, and one of the things I bought was 2 packets of seeds...

We always used to get Sprouting Alfalfa in our organic box (back when we still got one) and so I decided to do some at home.  Today I enjoyed eating some of it with some left-over filled pasta and some avocado. Yum.

I also planted some of the lavender seeds into a little pot which is on my kitchen windowsill.  As I have confessed before, I am totally addicted to the smell of lavender, so I was very excited to see some little seedlings springing up through the earth, and, even though I knew it was ridiculous, I couldn't resist having a little sniff just in case they smelt of lavender already! (they didn't!).

Although it's not strictly crafty, another thing I have done A LOT recently is build train tracks with E!  My husband is much more accomplished than I am in this respect, but today I was quite pleased by my efforts...

I stumbled across another fabulous blog recently- this time by the super-knitter Catherine.  It's full of inspiring knitting, so do pop across to say hello!  Having read her latest post, I couldn't help but pre-order the new Debbie Bliss knitting book- The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits.  I can't wait to get going on it!

It was another day of fabulous weather here today, and as the shadows were being cast later on in the afternoon, I couldn't resist taking a less conventional "bump-photo" for posterity!

Have a good evening.

C x

Monday, 21 March 2011

Little things (part 2)

This weekend has been mostly spent in the garden, making the most of the gorgeous weather.
E has been discovering the wonders of spring flowers

And ladybirds.

I have been enjoying sitting in the sun, watching my family play happily, and continuing with my knitting, hoping that I will get it finished by E's birthday next week!

Hoping you are enjoying good weather wherever you are.

C x

Friday, 18 March 2011

Little things

I've finished the beautiful little cardigan that I mentioned in my last post.  It was a delightful knit- really quick and I think it looks lovely.

Because it's only 0-6 month size, it's really weeny, and mostly done in stocking stitch apart from the little lacy borders.

And, as I said last post, I checked my gauge, so it actually measures exactly what the pattern says!  I particularly like it because I think it looks like a ballet cardi- nice and delicate.


In other 'news'- I am loving this month's Country Living magazine (a subscription which I share with a good friend- SUCH a good idea!) and am particularly gleaning inspiration for garden projects from a lovely spread on an elegant garden make over...

It does make me want to do fabulous things to our little garden, though I know that now is not really the time! There is also a beautiful piece on a lovely Cornish-run hand-stitching business.  Brilliant!

Lastly.  Talking of inspiration, I am so excited by the wealth of beautiful craft blogs out there, and one of my current favourites is Florence's.  Do check it out!

Have a lovely weekend.

C x

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Having learned what it is, I am now blocking my various knitting projects.

The gilet is coming on well, though I've not done any for a few days (hoping, perhaps that the teeny cardigan will be needed before the gilet which is for E's birthday in 2 weeks!), and my other project on the go is (another) cardigan for the bump!  I just couldn't resist this gorgeous pattern from my Little Speckled Chicks Sirdar pattern book.  It's a super-quick knit, and I'm just on the borders now, having started it on Sunday.  Having checked my gauge before hand this time, it's nice to have a sufficiently 'newborn' looking piece of knitting!

I'm doing the little cardi in Sirdar Snuggly DK in the shade "Blush Baby".  Lovely!

As I was photographing the pieces pinned out above, I was admiring again my beautiful calendar that I was given for Christmas.  I've loved my Mum's calendars for the last few years, and this year we were lucky enough to be given our own.

It's produced by the immensely talented Ed Collacott, and every year they are just spectacular!

In other news, I recently happened across this beautiful blog by Aimee.  It has some fabulous patterns available, a fascinating blog, and some very thought-provoking writing on faith and marriage.  I highly recommend it!

Wishing you a lovely week.

C x

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Our local craft shop

Our local craft shop is rather beautiful.  There are actually three of them linked to each other, all run by the same people. There's a card making, jewellery making and ribbon shop, a fabric and general haberdashery shop, and a yarn shop.

I am a particular fan of the latter two, and yesterday, a friend and I were both lucky enough to have two baby/toddler-free hours to go for a little mosy around the shops.  I didn't really need anything beside two zips, but I came away with several goodies!

I'm not going to show all of what I acquired here now, as I hope to make some pretty things and then show some results!  However, I did acquire an interesting magazine- "Cloth"- I'd heard about it in another fabric shop, and have been interested to peruse it.  It's got lots of practical little projects and tips and advice for those interested in crafting.  Check it out sometime!

In the afternoon I made a little drawstring bag to feature the embroidery (see last post) as I knew if I didn't do something with it soon, I'd lose it and never get round to doing anything with it.  A friend I saw a few days back had a handy little drawstring pouch for her wallet in her handbag, so I thought making something of that size would be useful!

Right.  Now on with a spot of knitting, before (making the most of evenings before there's a little newborn to feed) Al and I go out to the cinema!  I may possibly have now got two projects under way again... I can't seem to do just one thing at a time.  But, I was good and checked my gauge- again!

Anyway.  Happy Sunday evening- I hope you enter the new week well-rested!

C x

Friday, 11 March 2011


There's something fabulous about flowers isn't there? Having a little vase of them brings a ray of sunshine into the house.

Yesterday, on a little jaunt into a nearby town, I saw this beautiful bunch of anenomes sitting outside the flower shop.  They look a little wild, and they caught my fancy!

They made me want to draw flowers, and do some floral-themed stitching...

Flowers are springing up everywhere- yesterday E and I went for a walk and said hello to all of the lovely Daffodils and Narcissi.  Fabulous splashes of yellow on a slightly grey and windy day.

Today, with my Mum we visited a lovely garden centre, and I bought a few herbs so that I could start a little window herb-garden.  I was particularly excited by the lavender (one of my absolute favourite smells!) and the little alpine strawberry plant- I love the idea of growing my own little strawberries!

I leave you with a picture that makes me smile so much- the sight that greeted me when I asked my little 'un to lie down on the changing mat for a nappy-change!

As a history teacher, I'm so proud! (I should qualify that there were several pages on steam trains inside that he was particularly taken by).

Have a lovely weekend, wherever you are.

C x

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Busy (almost spring) days.

These past couple of days I have been...

Making a favourite recipe from my Wagamama cook book...

Admiring my son's very cute pyjamas that we were given over a year ago, but which he's just about grown into...

Posting a little portable gift to a friend...

And making fairly rapid progress on E's zipped Gilet- a really fast knit after the more complicated things I've been attempting recently!

That, hanging out with an enthusiastic toddler, seeing a handful of friends and trying to fit in the odd bit of housework has kept me fairly busy!

I hope you are having a lovely week!

C x

Monday, 7 March 2011

Nice things from today, and checking my gauge.

Today has been sunny.
That meant I could hang my washing outside... and it actually dried. So lovely!
I have started a new knitting project... Always nice! This time a Zipped gilet for Elysée from Debbie Bliss' book "Essential Kids".

Not only this, but I also checked my gauge! For the first time ever before embarking on a project, I took inspiration from Fay's blog and thought I would just be good and knit a tension square. And. Lo and behold I am a loose knitter! So I adjusted down my needle size, and am now happily ensconced in the project.  Had I not checked, I'd have made a gilet considerably larger than necessary!

My little pile of crocheted Granny squares is steadily growing.  It makes for a nice thing to do when one only has a little time to spare... The basic Granny square pattern says "you might also want to block the granny square"... Does anyone out there know what this means?

Last night I made chocolate soufflé.  Again- thank you BBC Good Food for an amazing recipe!  I read the comments and reviews below the recipe before starting, and decided to reduce the cooking time as a few people said it was a little dry.  That was definitely a good move, and the resulting dessert was wonderful- nicely risen but that little bit gooey inside.  Perfect!

I hope your day has also been a lovely one.

C x 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

I've done-knit! *

So I finally finished the cabled cardigan- started on December 25th, and completed yesterday on March 4th!  It was quite a labour of love- given how long some little-person clothes take to make!

The finishing always takes far longer than you think it will, so a good deal of yesterday was spent knitting borders, sewing pieces together and weaving in loose ends...

Some was completed outside whilst E played in the garden, a friend's baby slept in the garden and my friend continued on with her cross-stitch...

So there we have it. It's huge- I did 3-6 months size, but I reckon it'll fit for about a year! It's also really quite heavy because the knitting is pretty dense- 3.25 needles and Cashmerino wool.  But for something that's taken this long (along side lots of other projects, naturally!) I'm glad it will last for a while!

I modified a few little bits and bobs (as I am now a little prone to doing as my confidence grows) such as slightly reducing the size of the border as I wasn't convinced I'd have enough wool to complete the project otherwise.  As it was I had a very small amount left- not quite enough for some matching booties, unfortunately!

What shall I do next?! Answers on a postcard! (in all seriousness- any ideas?!)

For the immediate future (i.e. after finishing this post) I need to go and put on a Boef Bourguinon (again à la Julia Child) for a belated Birthday dinner party for my Husband.

I hope you have a restful weekend.


* p.s. I would like to unreservedly apologise for the pun in the title of this post.  Upon remarking to my Husband that I didn't know what to name the post, he suggested the pun, and I couldn't quite resist!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

In 1509....

... Henry VIII became King.  Did you know that? I'd imagine a number of you did.

I like dates, being a History teacher.  I also like mugs.  The other day I dropped one of my favourites.  One which bore the above fact, and which was given to me as a gift from a colleague after organising and executing (excuse the pun!) a school trip to the Tower of London.

Picture taken from the HRP shop

Many who know me and my family would say that it's not really a big shame to have one fewer mug in the cupboard, but I like that so many of them are of particular sentimental value.  So, I thought I'd share the date, and remember my lovely mug!

In a similar vein, and knowing me well, Al made me this mug for a birthday or Christmas past...

It has run a little in the dishwasher after many uses, but it has a comprehensive list of all the Kings and Queens of England and Britain from 829 to present day.  It's quirky, and I like it.  (Incidentally if you want one, you can buy these particular ones on the website where Al designed it!)

Today I made potatoes gratin à la Julia Child (have you seen Julie and Julia? I do so love that film!).  I thought I should be 'good' and try out another recipe, as I can tend to stick with a few meals that I know well.  It was yummy though- I recommend it.  We had it as a main meal rather than a side, and I cooked the version with eggs and ham (using the second half of a smoked gammon joint I'd frozen a week or so back).  Simple, thrifty and tasty!

This afternoon was one of those beautiful, cold and clear ones that smelt of the approaching spring.  There's something about seeing sunlight streaming in the windows that lifts the spirit, and Elysée loves any opportunity to race around the garden.  Lovely.

I'm now on my last centimetre or two of the hood on my cabled cardi, and then begins the long task of sewing it up, weaving in the ends and doing the borders.  I wonder if I can finish it tonight... 

Enjoy your evening, whatever you're doing!