Friday, 13 January 2017

Moving house

8 years ago we moved into our lovely flat.
For a first property it was pretty great and we’ve really enjoyed our time there, but sometimes you just have to move on.  And this is why the blog has been so quiet for the last 6 months.
This time moving was not such a smooth journey.  We found a lovely cottage in August which would need a bit of work but had a massive garden and when finished would be amazing.  We started packing and the fish were sold.
A lovely cottage but with major roof issues
And then we found out the roof was in worse repair than first thought.  £60,000 worth of repair in fact.  Money we just didn’t have and so sadly we had to walk away from that one.
With our flat sold the pressure was on to find somewhere else.

We visited many properties but none were quite right, until finally, at the end of September, we saw a semi-detached Victorian house.  

A lovely open plan downstairs with 4 bedrooms above and a 100ft garden that backs onto woodland.  It’s not perfect but it ticks a lot of boxes.

My study come craft room
'im outdoors office

The bathroom needs a little work

The main room has a wood burner
As does our 'snug'

The bird feeder got put up the day after we arrived and almost straight away we've had birds visiting. We've had blue tits, great tits, coal tits, long tailed tits, robins and nuthatches so far.

The woods behind the house

Just a footbridge away

We’d been hoping to move in Dec and finish the year on a high, but in the end it was a good start to 2017. We've spent the last week unpacking and its starting to feel like home. Of course there is a list of things we'd like to change, the garden for one, but there is time for that.
Here’s to at least another 8 years of happiness.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Crochet Basket

 I recently downloaded the LoveKnitting app to see what all the fuss was about.  Actually it's a really nice app which allows you to keep track of your knitting or crochet in a really well thought out way.  You can tell someone who knits and/or crochets was on the design team.  (the only problem being it forgets everything if you force close the app!)

Every week they give away a free pattern.  The Crochet Basket caught my eye and I decided I wanted to have a go.  The beauty of this pattern is that you can make it any colour your want and as tall as you want, and it's a really easy pattern to follow.
The other good bit was I could do the odd row here or there as I had time.  Repetition can be boring, but it can also be soothing.

I gave it to my Mum for Christmas and she seemed really chuffed.  She loves purple so that was always going to be a win, but she could see straight away how useful it might be too.  She might not have lots of wool to fill it with, but I am sure she will find other things.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Knitted Mice

Recently I've needed some quick knitting projects to fill the odd couple of hours.  Something which is easy and quick to do and means I have a finished thing without too much effort.

These knitted mice are the perfect thing.  I can make a complete mouse in an evening if I want or take a little longer without it being a major effort or too complicated.

And once I have a good collection I will be sending them off to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where they will go towards helping some poor abandoned cat feel a little loved.

I think they change the patterns on a regular basis but you can find patterns to make and donate on the Battersea donate page. There is a pattern for a dog blanket too, but that feels a little beyond me right now.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Crochet poppy

Last year I knitted myself a poppy.  I was very pleased with the result.  The knitting pattern came with a poppy crochet pattern, so I thought I would have a go this year and see how that one turned out too.
Although in a way this one was easier to create than the knitted one, I have to say I think the knitted poppy looks better.  I'm not sure if I did something wrong with the petals but they don't look quite right and I'm not sure about its black snout.

Like the knitted one its too heavy to wear, but looks good on my bag. I might not be over joyed by the end result, but it has still taught me lots and was an interesting project to complete.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Another knitted bear

Normally at this time of year I am busy collecting things to go into a shoebox to be sent to a child somewhere who won't receive anything this Christmas. But due to another project we're working on I've not had as much time or money as normal.

However, I have just started a new job, much closer to home, which has cut my commute by half and means I have more time in the evenings for things like knitting.  So rather than put together a shoebox, I have knitted another little bear.

 He will be sent out to Knit For Peace who will be able to pass him on to someone who needs a hug this Christmas.  They are an amazing organisation, who will take any knitting and pass it on to those who needed it, be it in the UK or abroad.

I would have made him a jumper too, but as always there is never enough hours in the day even when you get 2 of them back!  So instead I crocheted him a scarf (using leftover wool from my cardy).  I'm sure that will help to keep him warm, wherever he might end up.  I send him with love and hope he gives someone comfort when needed.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Felted stars

Last week I was back at the Farnham Maltings for their annual Thread event. I haven't been before but was glad to go this year.  I was in nice and early before the crowds which meant I got a good look at everything!

 My favorite thing were these felted stars.  But what to do with them?  It suddenly occurred to me that they could make great badges.  And what about a cocktail ring?  I'm not 100% sure how that would work, but I'm going to give it a go.

Meanwhile the pink star has found a home on my blue jacket.  Its quite striking I think.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Giving blood

When I was 10 I ended up in hospital after an accident with some hot water.
At the time there was talk of me needing a blood transfusion, but in the end I thankfully didn’t need it.  However once I’d recovered a bit and finally understood just how ill I’d been I vowed that once I was old enough I would donate blood.  I think as a 10 year old that was all I could think of to repay the services of the staff who had looked after me for a month or so. (The running/walking/skipping long distances for sponsorship thing didn’t seem so prevalent in 1991.)

In 1998, when the National Blood Service turned up at my school and gave a talk to the 6th Form about giving blood, I realised I was now just about old enough to, at last, donate. There was a session in town the very next day and off I went to give my first ‘pint’.

And I’ve kept going back.  I don’t particularly like the bit with the needle, but knowing that blood was there if I needed it all those years ago, and wanting to make sure there is still blood there if anyone else needs it, keep me going.  That and the free biscuits.

And so this summer I hit 50 donations.  That’s a lot of blood. My only wish is that it has all gone to help people who have needed it and it has improved their lives.  For such a simple thing, just an hour of my time, it has such a big impact.

I’ll keep going, maybe you’d like to join me?  And maybe I can get to 100 before I have to stop.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Tree fern paper

What better use for a Bank Holiday weekend than to make a little paper? 

 I haven't done any paper making for ages, but 'im outdoors had collected some fronds from the tree fern in our garden last year and I thought I'd have a go using these.

They turned out to be a lot tougher than I'd thought they'd be (even after boiling for a couple of hours) and so the fibers didn't really break down in the way I had hoped.  But it still made some pretty paper with little bits of the fronds still being visible. 

 I didn't have time to make as much as normal, but its still good to keep your hand in and I quite like the result.