Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Round Up

Well here we are at the end of another year (grab a cuppa this is a long one).
I have neglected my poor blog this year but that is something I hope to change this coming year.  My dabble in social media was only ever supposed to be somewhere to document my makes and I must admit to having been draw in farther that I would have liked.  I have found myself absorbed in Instagram and twitter in the past to the detriment of my blog, that will change in 2014.

I have never really been a fan of new year and the associated celebrations I must say I find it quite a depressing time but it does give us the opportunity to look back on the last year and celebrate what has been achieved.
This last year has been a big one in our lives especially this last couple of months we have had lots to celebrate.
First up was our tenth wedding anniversary on 4th December 2013.  We celebrated in style in our favourite place, the Tyneside Cinema.

Two short weeks later it was my birthday....  my big birthday....

I was spoiled beyond measure and received some beautiful cards and gifts.  Oskar (Siberian) was my main birthday present

the best gift I've ever received but my beautiful handmade gifts from kind family and friends (you know who you are) came a close second.

beautiful yarn bowl
 gorgeous hand knitted santa socks
 beautiful handmade needle & scissor case

My beloved made my birthday extra special (as always) and he took me to Edinburgh.  We visited the Christmas Markets and just had the best day.
This 40th Birthday was the catalyst for a bit of a change in me.  Late 2011 when I was coming up 38 I decided that I was not going to be 40 and fat!  I have been overweight all of my adult life (from the age of 12) and some find they can accept themselves and are happy, but I have never been, ever.  I only mention this here as I need to document it for myself.  Since early 2012 with the help of Slimming World and Weight Watchers (which I currently attend) I have lost 5 stone. I only ever wanted to be a healthy weight and I never had a goal in sight only that I wanted to be able to walk into any store in the high street and buy clothes.  When I started this I was 18 stone and size 22 (can't believe I am typing this here in print), I am now 13 stone and a size 14.   
There are very few photos of me when I was huge as I hated myself so much I really didn't want it documented, this is the best I have
 in Kirkudbright October 2011 - 18 stone
December 2011 Size 22
 crap photo but you get the idea
December 2013 13 Stone Size 14
I plan to continue my weight loss and fitness this year to reach a level that I am happy with then work on maintaining it.

Over this Christmas period I had saved up some annual leave to have two weeks off work (mainly to rest my poor back) and I have spent much of that time making gifts for friends and family.

 sewing project cases

 christmas hangings

 pyjama case

The Gigi scarf I started on Holiday back in August.

 peg bag

 gloves, if you are close to me you will have received gloves of some description this year I got a bit carried away.

 a button lamp for my gorgeous god daughter who is mesmerised by mine

I made this for myself from a kit supplied by my lovely friend Lynda (you can grab one here, currently 40% off with the code 2014 at checkout). I have bought a second kit to make another matching one for the other side of the fireplace.
I was also the lucky recipient of some stunning handmade gifts for Christmas this year
 crochet make-up pouch
 lip balm holder

 a needle keeper, a gift from Lynda but made by Karen of Pedros Plaques.

Hand crochet mittens! Squeee!  Spoiled rotten.

Well that's your lot folks I will be back in the new year as I already have a list as long as my arm of things to make this coming year, not least as there are two babies on the way in our family and friend circle so a blanket or two will be my first priority.

Here's to a Healthy Happy 2014 for us all.

(Oskars Christmas outfit, couldn't resist x)

Back Soon

Monday, 4 November 2013

Sewing for Pleasure and Friends

I have not been completely idle these last couple of months; I have been busy sewing up a few samples for my good friend Lynda (Laa Laa Land) as she is exhibiting at the NEC in Birmingham at the Crafts for Christmas on 7th to the 10th November 2013 (this week).  

I got a bit carried away and made Lynda a quilted hanger with her logo inspired by her business card.

Earlier this year I made some mini crochet bunting for the stall.

Can you tell I wish I was going too, this way a little bit of me will be there?

I have been working on some of these for a while now but I couldn't share these until now as Lynda has only recently added them to her online shop.  Some in progress shots.



If you are planning to visit the Exhibition do pop over to see her and say hi, she really is a lovely lady, and if you can’t make it you can snaffle up kits and patterns from her online shop here, there are new patterns being added all the time, including these beauties.


 and just in time for Christmas


How delightful.

Back soon

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Lest We Forget

It is that time of year again when we start to see poppies everywhere, in commemoration of Armistice Day. Armistice Day also known as Remembrance Day is on November 11th each year and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning – the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

Due to many different issues I have not been able to make poppies to sell this year as I have done in previous years, but I have made a small handful to give to friends and to wear myself, giving a donation to The Royal British Legion on their behalf.

There are many free patterns out there for poppies but I made this one up myself as I was sat with my wool basket at my side and a sleeping kitten on my lap and couldn’t reach the iPad for a tutorial.

If you would like to make your own, the pattern went something like this 
(UK Crochet Terms)

1st round: Ch2, In second chain from hook, dc 11, join last dc to first with a slip stitch (10 sts)
2nd round: Ch1, *in 1st dc (dc, htr,tr), in 2nd dc 2 tr, in 3rd dc 3tr, in 4th dc (tr, htr, dc), ss into next dc* repeat from *to* (24 st)
3rd round: Ch1, in 1st st of previous round (dc,htr, tr), in next 10 stitches tr, 2tr, tr, 2tr, tr, 2tr, tr,    2tr, tr,2tr, in 12th stitch of previous round (tr,htr,dc) ss into next dc.  
In 14thst of previous round (dc,htr,tr) tr into next 9 st, into 23rd st of previous round (tr, htr, dc) ss into last st of previous round.
Bind off and sew in ends.

1st row: Ch 6, In 2nd chain from hook, work 1dc, 1htr, 2tr, 1ht,1dc, ch1 at end of row ss into back of second chain from hook to form picot, turn,

this is where you ss into the back of the stitch can you see where I've placed the needle for clarity?
2nd row:, working along the other side of the chain, work 1dc, 1htr, 1tr, 1htr, 1dc.
Bind off and sew in ends, leaving a tail to attach leaf to flower.
Finishing:  I added a small circle of black felt with a small 6mm dolls eye as the centre, but you can simply sew a nice black button in the middle.  Using black cotton add the stamen and add a simple french knot at the end of each stamen.

Attach your leaf to the back and tack in place, add a brooch back (or a safety pin) to the back and you are done.

I covered my button and gave it a spritz of spray starch to set it.

As I said I made this up as I went with a paper poppy as a guide but as it is a standard poppy shape it is likely that there are very similar patterns out there, this is my own.

 Please feel free to use this pattern to make poppies for your own use or to sell for charity. Please do not make poppies to sell for personal profit from this pattern.

If you are planning to make yourself a poppy instead of buying one you can make a donation to the Royal British Legion directly here.

The Exhortation

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, not the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

When you go home tell them of us and say,

For your tomorrow we gave our today

Back Soon

n.b. thanks for the feedback I have made an amendment to pattern 06.11.14 Kandi x