Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Mollie makes

I've recently taken out a subscription to Mollie Makes magazine and this is my first issue. I've already started the knitting pattern which has to be a good thing.

A dreamcatcher and a bowl

The kits from the latest Craft Creatives box all made up. I think the bowl will sit next to my sewing machine and hold the spare sewing machine feet

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Lavender bags

Some lavender bags which smell beautiful, some for Xmas gifts and some to use myself

Monday, 26 August 2013

Crafty Creatives - August box

This months box has a Western theme and kits to make a dreamcatcher and a rope basket.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


The latest intallment of the small skein society

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Computer problems

Its all a bit quiet on here at the moment due to some IT issues. Just bear with me and things will get back to normal soon.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Playing with my new camera

I did some playing around with my new camera whilst we were away:

A rare sighting of the Husbeast

And he did go off with my camera at one point and got a picture of me with my sock knitting:

Friday, 26 July 2013

New yarn and socks

Whilst on holiday recently I managed to acquire some new yarn, it fell into my bag honest (after being paid for):

From Baa Ram Ewe in Harrogate I got these:

And from Purl and Jane in Skipton I got these:

I also managed to knit whilst I was away a pair of socks for the Husbeast. I've been promising him a pair for about three years so I think I owed him some. You may notice there is a second ball of sock yarn from Purl and Jane, if he's very lucky he might get another pair of socks from these in three years time.

We had a great time whilst we were away and one of the high points for us was going to Whitby, hiring a beach hut and sitting outside it, him reading and me knitting. Doesn't sound like much but it was so peaceful and relaxing. Plus I've always wanted my own beach hut and for the day I was able to have one.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Vintage craft items

I hate seeing craft/knitting items shoved away in a dusty corner in a charity shop, it makes me feel sorry for them. Inevitably I end up buying them which is why I now have two vintage swifts:

And two vintage darning mushrooms:

I have plans for the darning mushrooms, but I now I have three swifts, and I'm quite happy with my newer wooden one. I'm going to have to come up with a creative idea for the old ones I think.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

FO - coloured crochet squares blanket

Here it is, my coloured crochet squares blanket:

It seems to have taken me forever to make this but in reality things just got in the way. Its probably taken no longer than any of the others, I've just had less time to do it. I still have plans in my head for several more blankets but as we seem to be having a little heatwave in Britain at the moment I'm not working too hard on them. Crocheting the bored of this blanket in high temperatures (for the UK) was not fun! I am however in a bit of a clothes mood at the moment so hopefully there will be another FO to post on here in a few days.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Small Skein Society No 7

I think this has to be my favorite so far:

I love red and this is a gorgeous red, so nice I'm worried my knitting won't do it justice. As ever I have no idea what to make with it, to my shame I haven't yet knit any of the SSS yarn up. But as thats true of a lot of yarn I buy I wont let it bother me! It will all get knit up eventually I'm sure.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Crafty Creatives - July Box

Also known as Box 13 which means they have been going for over a year now, how exciting! I'm still not bored of receiving these boxes every month. Some may appeal more than others but I've liked all of them. My craft stash has grown as well, I have tubs of interesting buttons, beads and fabrics. I hope in another years time I am still getting these boxes.

Because I've been getting boxes since the first month there was a little extra added to my parcel:

A lovely tote bag, a notebook and a hand written tag. One of the great things about Crafty Creatives is how the creators interact with their customers, through Twitter, Facebook and by email. This is another example of how well they manage to inspire customer loyalty.

(These pictures are rotated the right way on my computer but not on Blogger, I'm not quite sure what is going on with them).

This box was a bit different this month. Instead of one kit and lots of extras, there are five kits and a few extras. Of course if you don't like one of the kits then you can use the items for something else. I liked the concept though, although I wouldn't want all the boxes to be like this (I don't always get one kit finished never mind five!). As their first box theme was florals these kits are all to make flowers:

The flower kits are to make a felt flower, stocking flower (I've wanted to make one of these for years), french beaded flower, paper rose hair slide and a crepe paper flower bunch.

Here are some of the things needed to make them:

And as always there are a few little extras:

The balloon hasn't been blown up yet because I am one of those people who cannot blow up a balloon, perhaps the Husbeast will oblige when he gets back from the allotment.

Another fab box from Crafty Creatives!

Friday, 12 July 2013

June round up

I am very late with this one this time! My main excuse is the sunshine though so I'm not going to feel guilty.

Projects started:

Basic socks - not blogged yet but pictures to follow soon

Projects finished:

Basic socks

Projects in  the WIP pile:

Colourful Crochet Squares Blanket

Diva Tunic

High speed knitting - I think this is going the very opposite of high speed

15 stitch blanket:

Yarn in this year:

10450g - I had to buy another pack of 17 colours of stylecraft for my current blanket, which adds a massive amount of yarn into the equation. That said I've already knitted up the last pack so its not like its just sitting around looking pretty (like the rest of my stash)

This converts into 33472 meters or 20.79 miles

Yarn knitted or crocheted this year:


13167 meters or 8.17 miles

Books reviewed:

Week 22: Maggie Rowan

Week 23: A sisters promise

Week 24: Hornblower and the Atropos

Week 25: The Happy Return

You may notice that June looks somewhat similar to May and I still haven't finished my two blankets. They are starting to frustrate me now but other things seem to get in the way of finishing them. Plus the coloured crochet one is a mass of ends needing to be sewn in at the moment and its amazing how when it gets to that stage how much it slows down. I think overall its been a bit of a boring month, maybe July will be more interesting.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

52 books update

Week 22

Book Title: Maggie Rowan

Author: Catherine Cookson

Enjoyment: 8/10

Would read again: 8/10

Comments: This Catherine Cookson has a very unlovable heroine. Maggie has few forgiving points to her nature and whilst I felt sorry for her sometimes I rarely liked her. Despite that I enjoyed the book, less people died in it than was normal for a Catherine Cookson. Its one of the thinner books and I did find she skimmed over a lot of the story, it felt almost like there were chunks missing, but overall a good read.

Week 23

Book Title: A sisters promise

Author: Anne Bennett

Enjoyment: 9/10

Would read again: 9/10

Comments: I'm not a big fan of books set around WW1 and WW2, if I'm going to read historical novels I prefer them to be a little bit further back in history. However I'm finding my interest in the period growing and this book was certainly interesting. It helped that part of it was set in Birmingham and the surrounding area which meant that I was reading about places I know which always helps. A good book and one I would certainly read again and recommend to other people.

Week 24

Book Title: Hornblower and the Atropos

Author: CS Forester

Enjoyment: 8/10

Would read again: 9/10

Comments: I grew up reading Alexander Kent books, which means that if I am going to read anything of this style then I am naturally going to compare it to them. I realise Horblower is supposed to be the ultimate hero of this genre but for my part I prefer Richard and Adam Bolitho from the Alexander Kent books. Hornblower irritates me a little.
That said parts of this book had me laughing out loud, the exchanged between Hornblower and his wife at the start of the book were very funny.

Week 25

Book Title: The Happy Return

Author: CS Forester

Enjoyment: 8/10

Would read again: 8/10

Comments: Another Hornblower book and this one had quite an interesting villain in it. Its also when Hornblower meets Lady Barbra. This is where for me I find Forester more difficult to read. At no point does he present Hornblower as someone who would interest Lady Barbara and yet he does.

Sunday, 7 July 2013


Its been a little bit quiet on here the last few days, and its been sunny. It is possible there is a connection between those two statements!

On the plus side I have been busy and have quite a lot to put up on here I just need to tear myself away from the garden in order to do it.

What I have done is make a muslin for Vogue 8813:

I loved the idea of this dress but I;m glad I spent £2.75 in a charity shop on a duvet cover so I could do a practice version.

I went off the measurements on the chart. I'd seen people say it came out a little large so I veered on the smaller side of my measurements and did a large. It came out massive! That bit with the larger stripes in the middle? If I took that out the whole thing could still meet across my body. But then the pockets were in the wrong place and the sleeves looked bad.

Unfortunately the smallest size in the packet was large, I'd have to buy another pattern to redo this. So I'm putting it on the back burner for now as I'm not convinced my fabric is drapey enough and I want to so something with the fabric.

So I'm on the lookout for a summery top which will work well in a woven cotton/bamboo blend. If you know of one please let me know.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Well so much for trying to make 12 blankets in 12 months, I think its not going to happen. I'm not that bothered though, it was a passing whim and as I already know I hate to knit/crochet to a deadline or work under pressure it was never something I took seriously.

I get al busy in winter crafting and completely forget that when it comes to summer I'd prefer to be out in the garden gardening etc and so I don't get as much done.

Still I am getting somewhere with my blankets. I'm working on the last strip of my colourful crochet squares blanket. All I will need to do next is sew them up and crochet the border. (All? thats the worst bit!)

I've still got a skein to go on my 15 stitch blanket:

I'm still really enjoying this knit, its going slowly because I'm spreading out the knitting because as much as I love the acrylics for blankets there's nothing like knitting with some beautifully dyed yarn. I miss the subtlety of colour when I knit with commercial yarn.

I very much doubt that either of these will be finished by the end of the month, but as I'm enjoying myself who cares?

Monday, 24 June 2013


I don't post much about my health on here, I've mentioned ME/CFS a few times but thats about it. I don't intend on turning this into a blog about my health, there are plenty of better ones out there that explain various things far better than I ever could.

However in the last few weeks everything I thought was wrong with me has been turned on its head. After being ill for about four years and being told there was nothing wrong with my thyroid and that it was ME, it turns out I have a goiter (swollen thyroid gland).

So if there is anyone out there with ME type symptoms please spend a bit of time doing some research into iodine deficiency, selenium deficiency and adrenal insufficiency, because there are a lot of conditions out there which the general health profession just doesn't bother to look for.

Luckily I have a fairly open minded GP who is going with iodine supplementation for this rather than the surgery which was the first option and one I wasn't sure I wanted to take.

Unfortunately treating this with iodine kicks up all sorts of nasty detox symptoms and has left me feeling very rubbish. Its starting to pass but its not been a fun few weeks.

To cheer myself up I might have bought some yarn on Saturday:

This picture in no way shows off the loveliness of this yarn, it was impossible to capture.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

FO - Let them eat cake part 2

I mentioned yesterday I wanted to do something with the little canvas to go with my cake embroidery, well here we go:

Its was my first time using stamps so please excuse the imperfections! Its cute and I think they are both going to look great if my craft room.

Friday, 21 June 2013

FO - Let them eat cake

A quick little FO - my kit from my Crafty Creatives Box 6 is complete. You may notice (if you have been paying attention) that these aren't actually the colours which were included in the kit. Those colours were nice and vintagey, but I want this to go in my craft room and these colours will work better with the blanket in there.

There weren't supposed to be beads on there, there were supposed to be green crosses but I thought the beads would give it a 3D feel.

This only took a couple of hours to complete and I'm very happy with it. I have plans to do something with the mini canvas from the blue box to go alongside it.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Small Skein Society - No 6

Its shiny and sparkly and some of my favorite colours - what's not to love?

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Crafty Creatives - June Box

I can't believe I've been getting these boxes for 12 months, normally I get bored of this kind of thing after only a few months. I have to praise the Crafty Creatives team though, 12 months on and their boxes are still the same high standard as they started and their themes and still diverse and appealing.

In this months box the theme was "treats", so it was fitting that the art card was covered in drawings of sweets, my favorites are pink shrimps and yellow bananas, both of them have something in the colouring that send me slightly loopy:

The kit this month is a cute little embroidery kit. I like the pictures that come with it to embroider but I am toying with the idea of doing something with this and the little canvas that came in the blue box.

Also in there were charms, beads buttons and more:

There were little extras like the biscuit cutter, tags and two lollipops (the Husbeast looked happy at those!):

There was a fat quarter of this lovely fabric which would look great on an apron or perhaps covering a notice board in a kitchen, or just as a little bag to hold biscuit cutters in.

Then there are some cute crafty papers and a recipe card from Cathryn off Great British Bake Off. Cathryn was out favorite to win it, we were disappointed that she didn't. Although she was the Husbeast favorite because he has a thing for redheads, but I am assured he liked her baking ideas as well. Hmm....

This is possibly not my favorite box because its a lot of pretty pastel colours which is not really my thing. Having said that I love the kit, the fabric and the card. Now that I have 12 cards I have plants for them as well.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Why I hate lazy manufacturers

Working in a more traditionally male industry I am surrounded by products that are perhaps perceived as being more masculine. What irritates me is when manufacturers of traditionally male products decide they need to spread their market and start aiming their products at women as well but they don't do their research. Instead off they go and make a product which is slightly more flowery/fruity/curvy and to make sure that we women realise that this is for us they brand it pink or a pastel colour, because we all know women would be too stupid to realise they were supposed to buy something if it wasn't pink.

I don't even understand where this pink thing comes from. Sure most little girls go through a girl phase when they are about six, but here's a hint manufacturers, most of them grow out of it! Most little boys go through a dinosaur phase when they are little, why don't manufacturers put pictures of dinosaurs on the front of all products aimed at men?

Admittedly there are some grown women who love to wear lots of pink, however I know a woman who only wears red and black (and looks stunning in it) or women who wear lots of purple, or blue, or green.  You only have to look through the shops, or a fashion magazine to know that colours come and go in fashion, but there is always an abundance of choice. As for black, have none of these manufacturers heard of "the little black dress"?

On top of that I know very few women who want to only have things in pastel colours. They are pretty enough, but again we like a choice, we don't want to go to buy something and be confronted with pastel pink, pastel blue and pastel purple, because we're women and what more could we possibly ask for?

It makes me wonder sometimes if these items which are marketed at women, are marketed by people who haven't done any research into what women actually like. In their heads all women still want to be a fairy princess and dress like a Barbie doll.

So to all those manufacturers out there guilty of this, if you are trying to make a traditionally male product more appealing to women, real ale for instance or shaving products, then please don't put some fruit in it or put some glitter on it, package it up in pink and say its for women unless you are deliberately trying to patronise and irritate the very people you are aiming it at. At least have a quick flick through a few women’s magazines and find out what other colours are out there. It may surprise you to find out that women do love black, red, green, yellow, orange, turquoise.... 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Anniversary presents

In case anyone wondered after my post of earrings, I did give the Husbeast a present back!

This was what he got:

No its not a clutch bag! Its a 1970's gentleman's leather dressing case which I got off Etsy here. It has sat unused in an outfitters for years. I have added a few bits to it but here's whats inside:

You might notice the edges of the case are blurred, that because it couldn't stay flat long enough for me to open it up and take a photo.

I added in the toothpaste, from Muji and very dinky although the taste is not 'traditional', the shaving soap and the shaving brush.

Speaking of the shaving brush isn't that the cutest shaving brush ever, its tiny!

The Husbeast prefers to use a shaving brush when he shaves so he was delighted with this kit. I will admit I was a little nervous about buying it for him as its more a "me" sort of present than something he would pick out, but luckily he loves it. Its already beed on its first outing and hopefully it will go on another one soon.

Now I am on the lookout for a brown leather toilet bag which would go with it for his deodorant and shower gel etc.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


Every year for our wedding anniversary the Husbeast buys me a pair of earrings as a present, and I then wear them for the majority of that year. I love this because it means even if we don't have much money at the time I still get a lovely present, and I can look back at them and remember what year he bought them for me and where we were at the time.

Normally we go away for our anniversary and he buys me something from wherever it is we are staying. This year though due to a combination of a funeral and a busy time at work all we ended up doing was going to the cinema.

Literally a couple of days before our anniversary I spotted a pair of earrings on Etsy that I loved. We knew they wouldn't come through in time for our anniversary but because we loved them thats what we went with.

So when I saw this land through my letter box today I got very excited:

It could only be one thing, my earrings! Inside I found a very professional looking parcel:

I love it when things come through looking pretty rather than just bunged in a jiffy bag.

Also included was a little cleaning cloth which I thought was a nice touch and a card thanking me for my purchase. One of the things I love about buying through Etsy is the personal touch you get.

Because my earrings had taken a little longer to arrive than they should have done, as Emily at Silken was moving at the same time (poor thing!) she put in some extras for me:

The earrings at the bottom are "my" earrings, the other two pairs are little extras, which I thought was very generous of her. If she's been moving I'm sure she's had plenty of other things to worry about.

A close up of my lovely earrings. I always go for studs for my anniversary present, so that I can wear them every day without them getting in the way. I love things that are simple but beautiful, and I think these earrings fulfill both criteria.

If you would like to see any more of Emily's lovely jewelry then here Etsy shop Silken is here. Emily is still off at the moment, but you can sign up for an email to tell you when she is back.