Wednesday, 22 October 2014

On Edge

The end is now is sight for Eleanor's Ripple Blanket. The main body of the blanket is now finished and all the ends have been sewn in. Actually, I sew the ends in as I go, I would hate to have so many to do all together at the end. Here it is, waiting in my basket for the edging to be added.

The first row of side edging will be pomegranate to match the first and last rows of the blanket but I'm unsure as yet what other colours I shall edge it in. I think three or four rounds should do it so I won't need to use all six colours.

The edging is my worst bit of blanket making but I wouldn't leave a blanket without an edge as I think it needs one to finish it off. It can look a bit messy without.

Eleanor's looking forward to getting her hands on her blanket. It will be finished at just the right time now that the cooler weather is here.

I'd just like to thank everyone who left a comment on my last post. All your good wishes must have worked as my mum was allowed home from hospital yesterday. She's got an appointment at the Warfarin Clinic this morning and an out-patient appointment at the hospital in a fortnight. Her arm and side are still black and blue and she's still in some pain, but I'm sure she'll feel better just being in her own home. I shall pop round and make a fuss of her this afternoon.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Black And Blue

My poor mum was taken in to hospital on Tuesday. She'd noticed the top of her arm starting to swell up on Monday and by Tuesday morning, it was twice the size it should be and bruising was starting to show. It was very, very painful.

This is how it looked last night. It turns out that the Warfarin she takes has caused a hematoma, clotted blood outside the blood vessels. During the week, it has slowly crept right the way down from the top of her arm right in to her hand, though most of the swelling has now gone. It's still very painful though.

She's got a big birthday coming up in a couple of weeks, she'll be eighty, so I hope she's better for that so that she can enjoy her celebrations.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Yarn From Skeggy

You may remember my post back at the beginning of September about A Birthday In Skeggy. What I didn't tell you in that post was that I splashed out on some new yarn whilst I was there.

We were walking along the front when I caught sight of a small craft market down a side street. There were a few stalls selling all manner of crafts and to the side was a yarn and haberdashery shop. I couldn't resist going in to peruse their wares, I couldn't just pass by, and I'm so glad that I did as they were selling Stylecraft Special DK at the bargainous price of £1.35 per ball. To let you know just how much of bargain this was, the same yarn which I bought from The Fent Shop in Skipton when I went to Yarndale was £2.00 per ball.

I had a look at the colours they had in stock and a few just jumped out at me. It was the beginning of September, autumn was on its way, and the copper, gold and spice reminded me of the shades of autumn leaves. I couldn't resist. Then a few blues/greens happened to jump in to my basket, turquoise, teal and petrol. To bring everything together I chose stone. I bought two balls of each, it should have cost £18.90 but the friendly shopkeeper let me off the 90p so it cost £18.00.

When I got home and laid the yarn out, I realised that the teal and petrol are very similar and there isn't a great difference between them, so I probably won't use them both together. I'm very happy with the other colours I've chosen though, I think they work well together.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to make with this, probably another blanket of some sort, and I might yet add more colours to the mix, what do you think?

I'm coming to the end of Eleanor's ripple blanket now, there's only a couple of rows to go and then the border to add. I'm looking forward to starting a new project but what it'll be, I've yet to decide.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Cider With Rosie

Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee has been on my to read list for a long time now. I saw on Mitzi's Lazy Days & Sunday's At The Willows blog that she'd recently reread the book and when I mentioned that it was a book I'd like to read, she kindly offered to lend it to me.

Laurie Lee was born in 1914 and the book tells of his childhood in a remote Cotswold village before electricity or cars. It has a gentle pace, which I prefer as I like to read in bed before I go to sleep, so I don't read books which make me think too much. The writing is vivid and descriptive and it transported me to the time Laurie Lee was writing about.

Thank you for lending me the book, Mitzi. I enjoyed reading it very much and it will be winging its way back to you very soon.

I came across Daniel's copy of To Kill A Mockingbird whilst packing away his books when we decorated his bedroom earlier on this year. I studied this book for my English Literature O Level, I enjoyed it then and thoroughly enjoyed it again when I recently reread it. It's such a wonderful book, it's hard to believe that this is Harper Lee's only published book.

At the moment I'm reading Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. I'm about half way through but it's a gripping novel, focusing on Sibyl Danforth, a midwife who becomes embroiled in a legal battle when one of her patients dies following an emergency caesarean section.

I haven't been buying any books just lately as I'm trying to wind down my pile of books to be read as I've got an e-reader on my Christmas wish list. I must admit that I do like to have a proper book in my hands when I'm reading, however, I'm a terrible sleeper and an e-reader will be great when I'm awake during the night. I don't like to put the light on when I wake up as it disturbs Mick, but some e-readers have a backlight which allows you to read in the dark, so this would be perfect for me.

I hope that Santa reads my list.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Bloggy Meet Ups

I started this blog back in September 2010 and I started The Good Life blog in April 2009, yet until recently, I'd never met any of the friends I've made through blogging.

It seems funny that the first blogger I should meet would live on the other side of the world, but when Susan from Granny Smith's Quilting emailed me to say she was coming over to England and would I like to meet up, I jumped at the chance.

It was the beginning of September when we met for the first time. Susan suggested we meet at Temple Newsam, a place I've mentioned on my blog many times, and it was a beautiful day. Her hubby was with her, but as it was midweek, Mick was at work so couldn't make it. Eleanor was still on holiday from school at this time so she came with me and we took Archie too.

It was a bit like going on a blind date, having never met, or even spoken before, however, there was no awkwardness at all, we got on like a house on fire and it was as though we were old friends, which of course, we are really after all the chats we've had online.

Susan brought me a wonderful gift, a beautiful crochet hook holder which she'd made herself.

There's plenty of room for all my crochet hooks.

The crochet print fabric is so appropriate, and it makes me smile just looking at it.

Whilst she's been over here, Susan's met up with quite a few bloggy pals and one she was eager to meet was Anne from Marmalade and Catmint. As Anne lives fairly close to me, Susan suggested that we all meet up together. It was arranged that we'd meet on the Sunday just gone at Temple Newsam again, but this time, as it was a weekend, Mick managed to make it too. Anne brought her hubby too, so there were six of us altogether and we all got on really well.

We were lucky with the weather again, a lovely crisp, autumn day.

We had coffee accompanied by lots of chat in the tea room and then we went for a walk down by the lake, passing some gorgeous donkeys on the way.

Thank you, ladies and gents, for a lovely morning, both Mick and I really enjoyed it.

Susan is jetting back to Australia later on this afternoon. I wish her and her hubby a safe journey home. It was wonderful to see you both, and terrific to meet up with Anne and her hubby too.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Thank You, Sally

The bloggers I've met here in Cyberspace really are the most kind hearted, generous people I've come across. Take Sally from Crafty Northerner blog, she recently blogged about some yarn she'd bought to knit squares with to make a blanket for a charity which is helping children in Syria. Sally wasn't happy with the way the colours were falling, it's a variegated yarn so you can't really see the pattern it will create before you start knitting with it. I commented that I liked it and the next thing I knew, Sally was asking for my address so she could send me the second, unused ball she'd bought.

It's Wondersoft, which is the name of Stylecraft's baby yarns. It's lovely and soft and I'm now on the lookout for just the right project to make with it.

Not only did Sally send me the yarn, but also in the parcel were some lovely magnetic bookmarks and the cutest little granny square brooch. Sally has only been crocheting for about six months, but the square is so neat. I pinned it to my top straight away.

The smaller, heart shaped bookmarks are just the thing to use in my Filofax, and I'm quite short on actual bookmarks to use in books so I'm very pleased with the larger one too.

Thank you, Sally. It was a lovely parcel to receive.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Yarndale 2014

I didn't go to Yarndale last year, I wanted to but it was the weekend that we were moving Daniel to university so I couldn't make it. I've had the dates for this year's show in my diary since they were released, though I wasn't sure I'd be able to go right until the last minute as we always seem to be busy on a weekend and something could always crop up right at the last minute.

Anyway, I did manage to make it, however, none of my friends are crafters and Eleanor didn't fancy it so I had no one to go with. I considered going on my own, but in the end, Mick came with me. I thought he'd stick out like a sore thumb but there were lots of other men there so he didn't feel out of place at all and actually, I think he quite enjoyed it.

We parked at the park and ride at the Skipton Building Society which had been organised for the event. There was a bit of a queue for the mini buses which were transporting people to the Auction Mart but we didn't have to wait too long. Transport for Yarndale was very well organised with parking available on and off site, the park and ride at the Skipton Building Society and special Yarndale buses ferrying passengers to and from the train station.

Many photos of the bunting were posted on blogs after last year's show and I was looking forward to seeing it for myself, it didn't disappoint. It was hanging in the Hub and all around the show too.

I was also looking forward to seeing all the mandalas which had been sent in from around the world, 1182 of them in total. I didn't manage to photograph them all, but I got quite a few.

Some of the mandalas were laid out on a table with a bit of information about them and there was a list of all the countries they've been sent from.

We didn't walk through the park so we missed the bikes which had been decorated in local schools with the help of the Yarndale organisers so it was nice that a couple were in the Mart for us to see.

I didn't know anything about The Egg Cosy Challenge. Apparently, Yarndale teamed up with The Tempest Arms to set this competition. The idea was to make a set of four egg cosies from yarn or fibre of any kind. There was a great prize for the winner, a one night stay for up to 12 people at the Lumley Fee Bunkhouse in the Lake District. The entries were being sold at Yarndale, aren't they fab?

There were so many yarny things to see, I could have spent a week there and still missed so much.

One thing which really appealed to me was all the felting on show. I loved this owl from Alula's Garden.

These felted animals were fabulous. They were from jennymade and I was very nearly tempted by a hare kit to have a go myself.

If I were a better crocheter I would have definitely succumbed at this next stall. These animals are from the Edward's Menagerie book by Kerry Lord on the Toft Alpaca stand.

I really need to learn more about crochet just so that I can make this fabulous giraffe.

In fact, there were lots of knitted and crochet toys on display. I loved these from Sue Stratford at The Knitting Hut too.

I've made a few crochet blankets now but never a knitted one. I've been thinking about this for a while now, but a blanket I saw at the show has really given me inspiration. Isn't this beautiful? It's from Gwennol Designer Handknits.

I had to get a photo of a Lucy creation. I'd seen this Autumn Wreath on her Attic 24 blog, it was a little surreal seeing it in the flesh so to speak.

I also spent a bit of time admiring the beautiful animals which had been brought to Yarndale to show where some of the fibre we use comes from. These alpacas were brought by County Alpacas.

There were angora rabbits too.

This gorgeous sheep loved being stroked so much that it closed its eyes and drifted off to sleep, but I didn't get a photo of the one which wagged its tail every time you scratched its head.

I didn't buy much for myself, just a couple of balls of Creative Cotton Print:-

some pretty buttons:-

and I subscribed to Simply Knitting and Simply Crochet. They were offering a trial offer of three issues for £3 on five different magazines so I chose these two. They gave me a free copy of Simply Knitting which just happens to be the Christmas issue so I'm looking forward to finding a bit of time to sit down and enjoy it.

To be honest, I found it all a bit overwhelming. I don't know what I was expecting but I didn't think it would be as huge as it was, there was so much choice. I read a few reviews from people who had attended last year and they said the same so I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way. I did manage to pick up a few Christmas presents though, none of which I can show you, but I'm very pleased with them and I'm sure the recipients will be too.

Mick wandered off on his own a few times, noticably after I'd expressed an interest in something, so I'm sure some things I admired will appear in my Christmas stocking.

Having been to Yarndale once, I'm now looking forward to next year, however, I shall be more organised next time. I think it would be good to go with some projects in mind to shop for, but I feel I was very cautious this time when deciding what to spend my money on, even though Mick was urging me to treat myself. A little more frivolity is called for next year I think. I'm starting saving now.

After we left Yarndale, we wandered around Skipton for a while. The market traders were just starting to clear away their stalls but the town was still busy. I hadn't seen anywhere in Yarndale selling individual balls of Stylecraft Special DK so I visited The Fent Shop to pick up some more yarn for Eleanor's Ripple Blanket.

As you can see, I was running quite low.

My basket is now replenished and I'm hoping that this will now see the blanket finished, I haven't got that much left to do.

I picked up quite a few cards and leaflets at Yarndale so I intend to visit lots of websites over the coming weeks.

One thing I've certainly taken away from Yarndale is inspiration, I've got so many projects buzzing around in my head that I don't know where to begin. Perhaps finishing the projects I've got on the go at the moment would be a good place to start.