Thursday, 23 October 2014

The holiday project . . .

Things were a bit busy around here with just one day in between getting home from The Knitting & Stitching show in London, and getting on a plane heading for Venice, but being a fairly seasoned traveller, I knew it wouldn't take me long to get the suitcases sorted.    What I hadn't thought about however, was what to take along as my holiday project.  Now, I don't know about you, but in my world, a holiday crafty project is de riguer .  Like other travellers and their American Express cards, I just don't leave home without it. 

So what's a gal to do ?
A quick rifle through my yarn basket revealed several half-done WIPs . . .

The pretty lacy Louisa Harding Noema poncho ?  Nope - the lacy pattern in the round requires too much concentration.  Not suitable for picking up & putting down at short notice.

The latest addition to Edward's Menagerie, Bridget the sweet elephant ?  Nope again - despite being an easy one, the various elephant body parts require to be stuffed as you go along, and taking a bag of toy stuffing with me on holiday didn't seem like an option.

The Wingspan shawl pattern & yarn that a lovely friend gave me for my birthday ?  Another one that will require a bit of attention, so it's a no for now too.

How about the yummy Plump yarn & scarf pattern from Mrs Moon that I bought when we were in London in the summer, and have been dying to get stuck into?  Another nope - just way too chunky & bulky (albeit delicious) to stuff into my bag.

Or something warm & wintery made up in the chunky Debbie Bliss Roma yarn that was on sale at Tangled Yarn, way too much of a bargain not to buy and add to my stash for a rainy day ?

Sigh . . . some inspiration was needed . . .

Why, oh why had I not thought of this earlier ?
And then, in the ultimate ta-dah moment, it came to me . . . the perfect holiday yarny project . . . a simple stripy buggy blankie for the latest little addition to our clan, born a wee bit ahead of schedule, just days before.  So with pattern in hand and postcode in SatNav, I headed out to nearby Bournville (yes, not only famous for its chocolate &  home to Cadbury World, but also the location of the lovely City Knits yarn shop that I'd been meaning to visit for ages.  The lovely, friendly ladies were very patient as I humm-ed & haa-ed over all the pretty colours, eventually deciding on the Debbie Bliss Rialto yarn, which would go nicely-thank-you with the Rooster Almerino already in my stash.

So, that was that.  Phew . . .

It's a great easy pattern from Nicki Trench's book " Crocheted Baby Clothes" -  I do so love her books which are always full of fabulous project ideas.

Needless to say, we had a lovely holiday with just perfect weather and smooth sailing so I didn't really get as much crochet done as I'd anticipated, but I made a good start and hopefully I'll get it finished soon. 
And then I really must tackle the rest of those above-mentioned WIPs too  ; - )

And as I'm linking up today with Ginny's Yarn Along over at Small Things, I should tell you my latest reads too:  The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange - both of which I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

Do pop over and have a wee peek at what everyone else is making & reading too.  I'm laid low this week with a sore throat, snuffly cold & a very croaky voice, so I'm off back to snuggle under the blankie on the sofa & have some yummy hot chicken soup for lunch. But it's good to be back, and I'm looking forward to catching up with you soon.

'til next time,

Friday, 10 October 2014

Another wee break . . .

Back from London, just long enough to unpack & re-pack my suitcase as it's holiday
 time here again . . . 
yes, the Big Birthday celebrations continue  : - )
This time we're off on a cruise with my lovely family - can't wait . . .

So see you all in a week or so, and I'll look forward to catching up again.

'til next time,

ps.  Had a fab time at The Knitting & Stitching Show at the beautiful Ally Pally - and I promise to tell you all about that when I get back too.

Karen, Jules & moi

Sunday, 5 October 2014

This week & next . . .

 Thanks sooo much again for all your kind and lovely birthday wishes.  I fully intended to spend some time this past week catching up, but time seemed to just fly by and here we are at Sunday again.  The new week ahead promises to be a busy one too - but more about that in a moment.

So, besides the happy continuation of Big Birthday celebrations, I have also squeezed in
 a little bit of sewing . . .

a spot of crochet,  and some knitting.

But if truth be told, it's mostly been about the birthday : - )
(I did warn you that I was planning to stretch it out for as long as possible . . . )

So on to the week ahead . . .

I'm heading down to London this week for The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace with my lovely colleagues at Sew Me Something.   We'll be at Stand F21 so if you're planning a wee outing to the show (I'll be there on Tuesday setting up and all day on Wednesday), do pop by and say hello.  Oooh, and the three new hot-off-the-press Sew Me Something patterns will be launched at the show too, so all you local knitting & stitching peeps out there - it would be so lovely to see you.

Right, I'm off to pack my bag . . .

Have a happy new week,
'til next time

Friday, 26 September 2014

Ooh -la-la . . .

This "big birthday" malarkey is oh-so-much fun . . . Just how long can I spin it out for, do you think ?

We started the celebrations two weeks ago with a gathering of lovely friends and family for a yummy soiree & dinner at one of my favourite restaurants, then flitted off to the Cote d'Azur for a few days (an awesome birthday gift from my lovely sis) exploring & savouring the delights of Nice, Monte Carlo, Cannes & Antibes with one of my BFFs & her hubby who flew in from South Africa to celebrate their "big birthdays" too.

We wined, we dined, we walked, we talked, we shopped, and there may or may not have been quite a lot of ice-cream too . . .

It was sad to say goodbye again, but just so special to spend this memorable time together.

Then the celebrations continued this week beginning with my actual birthday . . . cake, lunch with lovely friends & tea with another, both of which called for more cake . . . and that leads us nicely into this weekend and the celebration of the Hubby's birthday : - )  Not a "big" one for him, but equally as special.

Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes, lovelies - I am very blessed.

There hasn't been much time for any making in between, and I'm way behind on blog reading but normal service will resume soon and I hope all's well with you. 

So, 'til next time . . .

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Back soon . . .

Just popping across to la belle France for a few days - all part of my BIG (eeek. . . ) Birthday celebrations (merci beaucoup, lovely sis).  

So chat amongst yourselves, keep the home fires burning, and I'll be back soon
 to catch up  : - )

A bientot mes amis,

oh, and ps.  to my lovely fellow bloggy friends and family in bonnie Scotland - please vote wisely tomorrow.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

My OWOP days . . .

One week, one pattern ~

This was a fun sewing challenge hosted by Handmade Jane,
a whole week of wearing one of my favourite patterns.

Now regular readers will not be at all surprised that my current favourite pattern is . . . 
yes, you guessed it . . . The Kate Dress from Sew Me Something. 

So seeing as I have over time already made four Kates, it seemed only natural that I picked this pattern for the OWOP challenge - and of course, it gave me an excuse to make another one too. 
 Five seems like a nice number, don't you think ?

So, without further ado, here's my OWOP week that was . . .


Tunic length, with pockets and plain short sleeves.

Teamed with leggings and my oh-so-comfy Sketchers. I took a sewing workshop in the morning, and taught a "Learn to Crochet" workshop to a delightful bunch of peeps in the afternoon (more about that soon) and it was a beautiful warm sunny day, so the cardi was discarded early on. 


Dress length with pockets, cap sleeves and a placket.

Another lovely sunny day, so out came the legs and the FitFlops,  we had a barbecue and enjoyed this lovely late summer weather we've been having.  
This was my first ever Kate - as you can see in the pic on the left, I got the neckline a bit squiffy so I unpicked and redid it, and it sits way better now. 


Dress length, with straight short sleeves,  lace-edged pockets and a frill.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go . . .  in my favourite Kate teamed with my favourite cropped cardi.  My favourite pups don't get to come to work with me, but the Jerry-dog seemed to want to be in the pic.

Tunic length, 3/4 sleeves, pockets and a lace zip at the back.

 Had a Pilates class in the morning where, quite frankly, wearing a dress would be entirely inappropriate, so I only changed into my Kate after class when it was time to head off to Book Club.  In case you're wondering,  the basket contains some yummy choc-chip shortbread, and my books of course ; - )
Oh, and I feel the need to add that whilst those are the exact same navy leggings I wore on Saturday, they were indeed laundered in between ; - )


Tunic length, cap sleeves, no pockets with a lace-edged hem.

Teamed with jeggings and a scarf, Wednesday's Kate took me to my French class in the morning and a hair appointment in the afternoon.  


See Saturday above . . .

I spent the day home alone on Thursday - so it had to be a selfie in the mirror -  but I had a fun time making place cards & table settings for my upcoming big birthday party.   Wearing Saturday's Kate again, this time with jeggings and a scarf.  'Twas another warm & sunny day, but a wee bit cool indoors, hence the scarf.
Oh, and when I was all done with the party planning, I did some sewing,  and finished . . . yes again, you guessed it  . . . another Kate. 
(am I really that predictable ?)
Which brings us nicely to Day 7 . . . 


Tunic length, cap sleeves, lace-edged hemline.

Ta-dah . . . my newest Kate - teamed with grey jeggings and a coral pink cardi which picks up the exact same colour in the fabric, and accessorized with my other favourite pup (see Monday above), the Ben-dog, who thinks that if you are in the garden, you must be wanting to play. The perfect ensemble for a morning spent running errands and arranging flowers, and an impromptu afternoon tea with a lovely friend.

So there you have it - my week of wearing The Kate Dress.
It's a lovely pattern that is quick and easy to make, and equally simple to wear in a variety of lengths and styles so I had fun changing it up this week.
All the Kates are made up in various gorgeous collections from Art Gallery Fabrics (I do sooo love all  their pretty fabrics),  except for the green floral one which is a Riley Blake cotton.

And my challenge for the new week ahead ?  I really want to finish Kate Dress no. 6  - a navy needlecord version I started last winter that's been sitting in the WIP pile since then.
Yes, it seems six is actually a nice number too  . . .

Thanks again to Handmade Jane for organizing and hosting this fun challenge, and of course thanks to Jules at Sew Me Something for designing the Kate in the first place !

'til next time,

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