Thursday, 28 May 2015

Photo Medley - May

It's time for this month's round up of photos which haven't yet been seen on the blog.

I thought I'd start this collection with Archie chilling out. He certainly knows how to make himself comfy.


Sammy having a nibble at the living rabbit food I've grown for him, it didn't last long once he'd got going on it. I'm pleased to say that he hasn't had any more problems with his leg.


I was thrilled earlier this month when I saw a male bullfinch in the garden. It's the first time I've seen one visit, I'm always glad to see new birds at the feeders. It returned the following day but I haven't seen it since.


I managed to find a lampshade I liked for my bedroom. It doesn't shade the light too much which is what I wanted, and it makes pretty patterns on the ceiling and walls.



Eleanor mid recording.


Another photo of the goose family by the river in York.


I hope you've enjoyed this month's offerings.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Down By The River

We had a trip to York on Saturday, mainly to see Daniel, but the weather was so nice that we had a detour before we went to call on him and ended up by the river. It's such a wonderful place to be when the sun's shining. You can just see the Minster in the background of this photo above the trees.


We love seeing all the different boats moored by the riverside.


How cute is this little goose family. Although the gosling at the back looks as though it has a broken neck, I can assure you that it was fine.


The boat sporting a cow is an ice cream boat, it was doing a roaring trade.


I spotted the bar behind the ice cream boat so we decided to cross the bridge and go for some refreshment.



It was really lovely sitting in the sunshine watching the boats on the river. It's always nice to do something unplanned like this.


As it happened, York Marina had organised a flotilla of 30 boats to sail from York Marina to Clifton Bridge and back so we watched them all go by.



Some of the boats had been decorated and their occupants were dressed up too.






I think if we ever won the lottery, a boat would be the first thing that Mick would buy.

We didn't stay long before carrying on our journey to see Daniel but it was a lovely break in the day and we enjoyed our time catching up with Daniel too.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Eleanor's Recordings

Eleanor's singing lessons ceased at Easter 2014 when her singing teacher retired. She was going to look for a new teacher but has been so busy with first GCSEs and now AS levels that she just hasn't had the time. She still loves to sing though.

It's about eighteen months now since she last recorded a song but she made up for it today as she was back in the recording studio and recorded two songs. I'd love for you to listen.







I hope you enjoyed them.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Backstitch

It's a while since I've done any cross stitch. If truth be known, it's because I'm not enjoying the part I'm doing at all.


I've now completed all the cross stitch and I'm working on the backstitch, I'm finding it tedious. Do all cross stitch patterns incorporate some backstitching?

You can see bits which I've completed in the photo but there's still lots to go. It doesn't help that I'm not that quick at it either.

Never mind, I'll get there in the end.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Room With A View

This is the view from my bedroom window at the moment.


The lilac tree is in full bloom and it's looking beautiful.


I don't know what variety it is, it was already in the garden when we moved here back in 1993, but it's the most wonderful colour, much darker than most lilacs you see.


It also has the most glorious scent. I look forward to it blooming every year.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sockalong - Week 3

I'm joining in with Christine's Sockalong over on her Winwick Mum blog.

My progress photo shows the exact point that I was at last week, I'm still at the same point. I had intended to go at my own pace with this Sockalong and that's exactly what I'm having to do. Events and commitments have left little time for knitting this week.


It's the final part of the sock tutorial on Christine's blog today so there'll be no further updates from me on the Sockalong now until my socks are finished, it could be some time, but I'm enjoying knitting away when I get chance.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Hats For Babies

It was back in September last year when I read a post on Sally's Crafty Northerner blog about some charity knitting she was doing. She wrote in her blog post When To Admit Defeat? about some yarn she'd bought for the charity project she was undertaking but she just couldn't work with it because of the way the colours were falling. I commented on her post that I actually quite liked the yarn and Sally offered to send me the second, unused ball she'd bought.


The yarn is Wondersoft, Stylecraft's baby yarn, so I thought I may use it to make something for a baby. Afterall, it's lovely and soft.

Sally had intended the yarn to be used for charity knitting so I decided that I'd knit something for a baby charity. I had a look around the internet to see what I could find and I came upon a plea from Norfolk and Norwich Hospital: NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). They're in desperate need of blankets and hats for the babies in their care. To give you some sort of idea, they need 900/1000 hats in the coming year. I thought this was a good charity to knit for.

I started with a pattern I'd found on Ravelry for a Basic Baby Hat by Heather Tucker.


I then remembered the Easy Bright Stripes Newborn Baby Hat by Marianna Mel which Alison from Life At Sylvan House wrote about on her My Gift For A New Baby Boy post, and knit one of those too.


I used a range of sizes, afterall, babies come in all different sizes.


I managed to get six hats out of the one ball. It's interesting how the patterns from the variegated yarn form. A different hat results in a different pattern.


If you fancy doing some knitting for charity I found the UK Hand Knitting Association website very helpful. If you look under the Directories tab at Knitting for Charity, there's lots of current projects which need your help.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Study Leave


It's Eleanor's last day at school today before her study leave starts. I thought being away from school for a couple of weeks would allow her extra time to revise for her AS Levels but the school are still putting classes on for those students who want to take advantage of them. Eleanor will be one of those students, she's worked so hard this year taking advantage of any extra classes she's been offered and working under her own steam out of school. It doesn't come naturally to her as it does to some kids, she has to work to get her grades, but work she has so I hope she's rewarded with the grades she deserves.

She's already taken one of the Psychology exams on Monday and one of the Sociology exams yesterday and she thinks they went ok. Two down, I think there's another eight to go. She's taking four subjects, Psychology, Sociology, English Language and Biology as well as sitting exams in General Studies.

There'll be no rest for her when the exams have finished, she's straight back to school to start on Year 13 work ready for her A Levels next year.

Daniel's also taking exams at university at the moment. His first one was on Monday and he thinks that's gone well. He had another one at 6pm yesterday but I haven't spoken to him since so I don't know how that went. His next one's on Saturday. They do sit them at odd hours and on funny days. I think he's got about five or six exams in total.

It's a busy time for exams at the moment, GCSEs, AS Levels, A Levels amongst others. Good luck to everyone out there who's sitting them.

Thank you for all your good wishes for my dad. I'm pleased to say that it wasn't as serious as we thought at first. It turns out he had appendicitis but with his other ongoing health issues we do worry and fear the worst. He underwent an emergency appendectomy at midnight on Sunday night and he was allowed home last night.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Sockalong - Week 2

I'm joining in with Christine's Sockalong over on her Winwick Mum blog.

After a week knitting the first sock, this is where I'm at. You can see the pattern of the yarn starting to emerge now.


I'd hoped to have reached the heel flap ready to knit along with the next part of the pattern but unfortunately, my dad was rushed in to hospital so lots of things have taken a back seat. I shall plod along with the sock at my own pace, which I'd intended to do anyway.

We're not sure how long my dad's going to be in hospital for so things are quite busy around here at the moment, but I'm trying to keep up with my blog and also reading other blogs, but I may not have time to comment as often as I usually do, I hope you understand.

Friday, 8 May 2015

An Update On Sammy

I thought I'd give you a little update on Poor Sammy.

Sammy is Eleanor's rabbit and last month we noticed that he'd got some hay caught around his back leg. He'd bitten his leg trying to get it off, but he carried on biting once we'd removed the hay and he ended up having to wear a collar to stop him getting to his leg.


I'm pleased to say that the collar did the trick. He ended up having to wear it for quite a while as each time we took it off, he'd start biting again and we were back to square one, but he didn't seem to mind the collar and managed really well with it on. His leg is now fully healed and he's a very happy bunny again.


You can see the little bird bath in the photo above. This is one of two bird baths I have in the garden, the other is on a stand but this one is quite low. The birds love this as it's quite deep and holds a lot of water so they get a really good bath in it. The blackbirds especially like it. Sammy has realised it holds water so it's the first place he goes to when he's let out of his hutch and run for a scamper about on the grass. He manages to stand on his back legs and has a drink.


He's such a cutie.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

My New Bedroom

It's not actually a new bedroom, we've lived in this house for over twenty one years now and this has always been my bedroom, it's my newly decorated bedroom.


I should have taken some before photos but I didn't think at the time, you'll just have to imagine it, lemon walls, blue carpet and blue soft furnishings. We have fitted furniture, which may not be trendy or fashionable, but it gives us lots of storage space which is something I love in such a small room so we decided to keep it. There's three double wardrobes, one with three drawers at the bottom, and a run of nine drawers underneath the window.


We had wallpaper on the walls before but as we decorate each room, we're having the walls plastered so that they can be painted rather than us having to hang paper each time. I've gone for ivory walls which gives the room a clean, bright, airy feel.


We've got a new bed. I've always had a divan in the past but I loved this natual oak bedframe as soon as I saw it. It was rather more expensive than a decent divan would have cost but my mum and dad bought it for us as a gift. We're very lucky.


When I first thought about the new bedlinen I wanted, I thought I'd go with a small flower design but I saw this bedding set and knew immediately that this is what I wanted. It's embroidered with pretty flowers and little bees and butterflies. So pretty.



I wanted a second set of bedlinen and though I was tempted to buy two sets the same, I decided on a change. This time I've gone for a floral design with a contrasting polka dot.




The room isn't completed yet, I'm still looking for a lightshade and I want a picture for the chimney breast and a shelf for the wall to the side of it, you can see how bare it looks at the moment.


I also want a picture for above my bed head, that's quite a large wall so it will need to take up quite a bit of space. I'm not in any rush though, it will all come together eventually.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Sockalong - Week 1

I'm joining in with Christine's Sockalong over on her Winwick Mum blog.

I got my yarn wound in to a ball ready for today's start day. I must buy myself a yarn winder, my arms ached by the time I'd finished winding.


The first part of the Sockalong is the cuff and leg so I've made a start. I'm using double pointed needles but a short circular needle can be used or the magic loop method on a longer circular needle. I always find the start quite fiddly, joining the knitting to knit in the round and making sure that it isn't twisted, but once that part is over, it's all plain sailing, and the benefit of knitting in the round is that there's no sewing up at the end. I take a size 6 shoe and my tension is quite tight so I've cast on with 72 stitches even though the pattern states 60. I don't often knit a tension square before I start, naughty I know, but I'm quite confident after a few years of knitting socks that casting on 72 stitches will ensure that the socks will fit. If you haven't knit socks before I would definitely recommend knitting a tension square before you start.


One of the joys of knitting with a self patterning yarn is watching the pattern emerge as you knit. I haven't got far enough yet to see what sort of pattern this yarn will produce but it should be obvious by next week.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Sockalong

I've been knitting socks now for about five years and I often get comments from readers saying how they'd love to be able to knit a pair of socks themselves. Well here's your chance.

Christine over at Winwick Mum is starting a Sockalong on Sunday. It's aimed at beginners so the sock pattern is very easy, something which anyone who can knit and purl will be able to handle, so I would urge anyone who has ever wanted to knit their own socks to have a go. Christine will be on hand to answer any questions if you get stuck and she's even set up a Facebook group for everyone who's taking part to join if they want to. I don't actually use Facebook so I'll be sticking to the blog. This is a great opportunity to learn something new and have people on hand in case you get stuck, which I'm sure you won't as Christine explains everything so clearly.

There's a tab at the top of Christine's blog, Join The Sockalong, where all the Sockalong posts will be grouped together. Here you can find all the posts Christine's already written about the Sockalong including Sockalong - needles. I know that many people are put off sock knitting because of knitting in the round and using double pointed needles. If this is you, there are other options, go and have a read.

I can already knit socks but I'm still going to join in the Sockalong as I'm sure it will be fun to knit along with everyone else. I've already got my bits and pieces together and I'm now waiting for Sunday to come so that I can start.


I've chosen some yarn I already had in my stash, I bought it nearly four years ago and wrote about it in my Knitting And Crochet post. This is from Wharfedale Woolworks.


The yarn is in Neon Iris #1 colourway and is 75% British Bluefaced Leicester wool and 25% nylon.


I just need to wind my yarn in to a ball and then I'm all set to go. Will you join me?