Thursday, 28 February 2013

Knitting group

I go to a knit and natter group every other Wednesday in a local pub - a drink, great friends, expertise when you need it and crochet and knitting show and tell.

Last night we were full of parenting angst, job cut worries and general woe but after half an hour we all felt much better for each others company. I continued with an ongoing project of flower crochet.

You can get a tutorial here. Aren't they fantastic! Each one is about the size of my hand.

I have no idea what to do with them as I bought some yarn from Ebay and the seller did not mention that the selections she had photographed were different gauges so there is not enough to make a full size blanket. I am thinking maybe a wall hanging from a pole? Any ideas?
Lucy from Attic 24 made here flowers into a rather graceful scarf but mine is a bit chunky.
Thanks for looking and thank you to all who have viewed my blog in it's first three weeks.
Jo xx

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Look at these

Please pop over to Cherry Heart and look at this blog, it is fantastic. There are lots of inspirational photographs and some great tutorials. My favourite is this:

I am all out of scraps at the moment but when I have accumulated some more these are at the top of my hit list. I have put them in my favourites on ravelry.
Happy Wednesday! Jo xx

Monday, 25 February 2013

Head dress

My knitting has been getting on my nerves this weekend - I am trying to adapt a pattern from this book to make it easier and it is actually making it harder so I put it down and returned to my current Tribal Belly dance obsession.

I went to a great workshop on Saturday with Pauline and Asif practising my Tribal combination Bellydance moves. Got home for a hot bath and yes... I did take my camera but not the memory card so I didn't take a picture of my dance scarf!! Today I was inspired to finish my dance outfit. Here is a little peak...

I used my trusty glue gun to attach random bits from my sewing box, scrapbooking desk and anything else I could lay my hands on. It is so wild I love it. I will get one of the lovely ladies to take a photo of me in it later at my dance class.
I have also crocheted a bra top but I am not brave enough to wear it on it's own so it is a good job Tribal lends itself to layering!
Annnyway, back to that knitting. Jo xx


Friday, 22 February 2013

Recorder tube tutorial

This is my first ever tutorial which I have written down so forgive me if there is anything I have forgotten to say that is still in my head. Let me know if you make one and how it goes.

Crochet in one colour or use up bits to form stripes. For stripes, 2 rows each of the subtle colours with 1 row of a strong colour makes a good combination. Use either all acrylic or all cotton fibres. I used DK cotton on a 3.5mm hook to make it a tight fabric texture.

Chain 60. (foundation row)

Ch2, miss first 2ch then dc into next stitch, dc into every stitch to end.

Continue dc in every stitch with a single turning chain at each end. Change colours if you wish and don't forget to crochet the ends in as you go.

Continue until you have made 20 rows and your work looks like a rectangle. Fasten off.

At one end, which will be the opening, do 22dc across the end.

Turn work, ch1, dc 11 sts, ch2. These will be the lid/flap and you will be working on these 11 sts thus:

Miss the first chain, dc9, ss in the last st.Ch2 turn
Miss the first chain, dc7, ss in the last st. Ch2 turn
Miss the first chain, dc5, ss in the last st. Ch2 turn
Miss the first chain, dc3, ss in the last st. Ch2 turn
Miss the first chain, dc1, ss.

Chain 8 to make a loop (or however big your button is) and ss into the first chain to complete the loop.

Add a button and sew up the sides catching each stitch with its opposite one to make a neat edge. Turn the right way, insert the recorder and hand to a small budding instrumentalist.

Let me know how it goes, modify it, make it your own but I hope you have had some inspiration to get started. xxx

Last day

It is the last day of the holidays (for those whose lives revolve around half term UK holidays) and it was super cold. We visited friends and a local market to collect crafty bits and the girls spent some Christmas money on the dolls house stall.

I have blocked this:

What is it? I hear you ask - well tomorrow I have the whole afternoon to myself to indulge in one of my other hobbies - Belly dance. I am attending a Tribal belly dance workshop and this is a hip scarf to tie around my waist and shake my stuff! just the tassles to go now and then it is ready for tomorrow. The pattern is on ravelry (not free) so you need to be quite keen to pay for it but it was really easy to follow and I did it in a black velvet chenille. The pattern is here. The designer has done matching tribal armlets and a bra top thing too.

This morning I also finished a quick chick flick read called 'Divas don't knit' by Gil Mcneil which was a light frothy read - any book that can throw in the words Rowan, pom poms and tea cosy gets my vote. I have ordered the sequel and await it's arrival. I can't quite manage the read and knit/crochet manoeuvre at the same time that others have mastered (cozy things)but I can but persevere.

Have a lovely weekend. More on the dancing if I remember to take my camera. Jo xx

Thursday, 21 February 2013

We liked...

It was so cold today Bbbrrrr! We had a great time at Blists Hill Victorian town.

I liked this:


and this in the haberdashers. Such beautiful craftmanship.
I also liked this:

and this in the railway house:

The children didn't much go in for the textile eye candy but they liked this:

and these:
and these (but not the smell!)

We walked along the canal, ate chips from the victorian chip shop and warmed ourselves in each of the town's houses by the fires that were lit in each grate.

I hope you have all kept warm today, wherever you are. Jo xx


Thank you

Made a few thank you cards this morning, which sounds very civilised but I am thanking friends and relatives for presents I received for my birthday on the 19th January, so I feel a bit guilty really.

I have to go the children have gone into full meltdown over a pair of gold ballet shoes from the dressing up box....
Back now - This card design is one I fall back on all the time. Four small squares on a big square with something in the middle. I always use it when I NEED a card quick and don't have lots of time to experiment with layout and all the super creative stuff.

It is made especially quick because when I have got some paper bits left over from scrapbooking. I use a square punch to cut out four squares and I paper clip them together then chuck them in a drawer for when I need them.

What about squares on top of squares which is my other option if my focal point is a bit bigger liked this stamped image of a birdie.

On the thank you theme, a little thank you to everyone who has commented on my new blog so far. I am gradually adding bits every day to the layout (all new to me!) but it is really heartwarming to know someone has read my ramblings.

I am off for some half term kiddie fun today. We are going to Blists Hill for a bygone wander and a visit to the olde sweet shoppe. Ironbridge is less than a mile from us so see you later xx


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Sunshine Flowers

Everyone has such lovely pictures of their spring flowers on the crafty blogs at moment, the sunshine has really lifted everyones spirits and photograph conditions.

As I sat knitting a new jumper project (more later) I watched the sun behind my orchid. We live in a three story house where my sitting room is on the second level so light pours in because we are high enough up to avoid any shadows from other houses.

I don't know what sort it is. My friend gave it to me for my birthday in January and I am really proud of myself for keeping it alive and the buds that were on it have come out over the last four weeks so I must be doing something right.

Beautiful colours, patterns and shapes.

After this little photographic interlude I got back to my knitting. It is a jumper for me from a book called Knit two together I bought the book in 'The Works'- I always like a good poke around in that shop.It called for a yarn I could not find and many forums later, turns out to be a yarn hardly anyone else could find either unless you lived in Australia. So I plumped for King Cole Twist Aran from Black sheep Wool I did a tension square (Shock horror, I never do that) and it was fine on 5 mm needles. Here is the colourway, it is a bit out there and could possibly clash with my orchid if I wore it in the same room..

See how warm my kntting space looks on the end of the sofa? It is so warm there in the day when I have a sneaky half hour to myself while watching balamory DVDs with Little M.

So thats the yarn, more on the pattern tomorrow. Enjoy this brilliant weather and get out there, anywhere, but soak it up! Jo xx

Christmas in February

I have finished the Christmas wreath I started two weeks ago this morning. As soon as I saw this on attic 24 in December I had to send the picture to someone. I sent it to my best friend Lisa and she sent a reply saying 'this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.' I saw her on the school run the next morning and I said 'don't get excited I have not made you one, I have run out of time.' She replied 'you've got all of next year though!'

It felt so exciting to be making something that you know the person will love.

So yesterday I blocked the elements:

Had a little fiddle around with the layout (twice!)

I tried covering all around the ring but felt a bit disappointed that I was covering all of those lovely stripes so I went for a big cluster and an accent cluster.

After reading Lucy's post and anguish about sewing it all on I decided to get out the glue gun (sooo lazy!)

Are you ready...

I love it and don't know how I am going to keep it under wraps for 10 more months.

Because I glued the buttons on, I tied ribbon through the centres to finish them off.
Thanks for the inspiration as ever attic 24. Would love to hear your comments. Jo xx

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Our Sunday was full of nothing yesterday but seemed jam packed by the end of it...

Some kiddie crafting in the morning:

Some blogging and photographing inspired by bunny mummy:
Some crochet inspired by attic 24 I know a Christmas wreath in February, what am I doing?:

Then we went to see Grandad#1. We returned home and Gran and Grandad #2 were there and stayed for casserole followed by mincemeat shortcake meanwhile nanny turned up to borrow chalk to mark up lambing sheds!! The children had a slight melt down by 7pm and all is calm at 8.30pm.

How can a quiet day turn into such maddness?!!

Life is full of surprises. Jo xxx

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Muddy walks

The weather has been lovely here and it has really brought people out. We love going geocaching but have not been lately with it either being wet, snowy or way to muddy for little wellies.

In a nutshell geocaching is when you collect a set of co-ordinates from this website and you use a GPS or your snazzy phone to find a location somewhere in the world. When you get there you will find a box, container or cache and you sign it to say you have been successful in your hunt for treasure! They can be very well hidden but great fun to find.

We found four today, taking us to 194 found since we started 5 years ago but that is pretty slow compared to some hardcore geocachers. We introduced some friends to it today and they found some around their new house. This one was very cleverly hidden inside a log but Big Sis spotted it. It is a great way to motivate the children on a walk, they both walked for over 2 hours today.

We spotted lovely things on the way too... like these:

and this orange peel fungus:
I am a bit obsessed with photographing fungi, in fact I keep a little scrapbook of all the ones I have spotted - I know, I know, we are all different, but more of that madness in the Autumn!
It's a stay at home day tomorrow so maybe sometime for some yarn craft - well that's what I am planning anyway.
Enjoy the weather. Jo xxxxxxxx

Friday, 15 February 2013

Cooking day

This morning I have been very busy trying to get ahead of myself for the half term week. So Little M and I made cake mixture and turned it into three things but they were really just different shaped cakes. Lemon squares, butterfly buns and jam upside down puddlings to serve with warm custard. I also went all out and made a bolognese sauce and a chilli. Phew! very busy but at least the house is warm now.

She is three but we have cooked so long together now that she is actually quite useful rather than making the task take longer.
Her icing choice was a bit creepy but they are butterflies with beady eyes I was told so I am sure they will be fine.
The weather has really perked up here so we are going out for a walk to make way for some calories when we eat these beauties.
Hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you are up to...Jo xxx