Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Put your feet up, have a rest!!!

I would love to say we are a keen cycling family, but it would be an exaggeration. 
We do enjoy cycling but it always involves 'getting the bikes out of the garage'. This can be difficult and very stressful (the garage is full of stuff and spiders)

Preston has nearly finished a 21 mile cycle path around the city, The Guild Wheel.
On Saturday the weather looked OK, so with two bikes in the boot and two on the back of the car we set off.

With a rucksack full of waterproofs and a small boy attached to the back of my bike I didn't manage many photos. After doing some of the guild wheel we cut across the city along the canal and back to the car.

In total we did 11.5 miles. With a few snack stops and one pigeon rescued from the canal, we where all ready to get back to the car.

Hopefully I will have some crafty projects to show you when the weather improves enough to take some photos!!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Knitting, Hamsterbean and Lego ! ! !

So when did you learn to knit? I definitely can't remember, but I'm sure I would have been around ten. Following that question, have you ever taught someone to knit ?

The question last night was 'Can you teach me to knit?' I thought, I don't know, can I?

Miss (my daughter) selected some wool and some needles and I attempted to show her how to cast on. This was abandoned, it seemed difficult and I didn't want to dampen her enthusiasm. I cast on, then started to show her, 'in the house, around the house, through the house.....' you get the idea. Several rows later (and one or two holes) she was discussing how people knit without looking - so they can watch TV, time to stop for the night I think.

The supervision continued this morning. I started a small project of my own. The finished item looked great in the photo, but knitting in the round is not my thing, practise that's what I need. So cast on, juggle the needle, curse (under your breath) but continue. The pattern is free on ravelry, Hamsterbean, but if you are not yet a member you can see the finished items on etsy.

So do you want to see my Hamsterbean? what do you think he is called?

Adopted by Miss, he is now called - Oly Tom Berry  (Olympic Tomato stawBerry)

How do you entertain a small boy when all this knitting is going on? (well really you leave him too it with his Lego)

What will he produce, a union jack flag of course! ! ! what a clever boy.

Hope your weekend has been full of fun.
Onto the next project for me, maybe something a little bigger!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Are we there yet???

So Thursday was my birthday treat, did it start with a lie in? no. It started with an argument about shoes under the stairs (best not get started on that again).

We bought the tickets, then onto the train. Liverpool isn't far from our home town, but going by train is a lot more stress free, the kids love it and there is no car parking hassle.

Our main destination was the Rolf Harris Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery which finishes on the 12th August. Liverpool is a lovely city, with a lot on offer for all the family from shops to museum's. We had lovely weather so after Rolf we had our lunch at Liverpool One then walked down to Albert Dock.

We saw the 'big yellow aquatic bus thing' go into the water but didn't have time for a ride, exhaution was setting in and everyone was ready for home.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Doing a bit of this and that.

So today we took a short trip out into the country to visit some family. Sadly now my children are both at school, family catchup's normally happen without the children, so its always nice to include them. I put out my washing before we went (very organised) and it rained all morning!!

Yesterday my parcel arrived from amazon (not fabric! !). This was purchased for the upcoming good weather. The boys would then be able to play out in safety.

Although they enjoyed the plentiful grass we thought they might like a little house. So using all my creative skills, a bit of wire and some pliers we made a 'house'. Not maybe my finest work but I didn't get any complaints.

Well according to my daughter there was something missing, have you guessed?  No!
A campfire of course, what does a Guinea Pig need when out in the 'wilds'

Well its movie night at our house (moved from Friday, to any day now its the school holidays) so on with the popcorn (out with the knitting).

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Fire, painted nails and knitting !

Today we had an informal Birthday gathering (just family). The weather was great so we all drank tea and ate cake outdoors. The Birthday boy attempted to light fire (like Bear Grylls) while my daughter painted her nails, lovely colours don't you think. The smallest and newest members of our family tried to keep the grass short. (They'd like to send out a special hello to two special girls over in Sweden)

So back to the knitting. Progress has been made. The hat was easily completed, with a added row of pink wool ideal for any little girl.

The shoes, well what can I say. I'm not very patient and try to avoid any project that requires making two (of anything) so attempting shoes was quite a leap. So I cast on and knit the first shoe, only to realise that I had misread the pattern and would need to take it back.

Not wanting to knit it all again and then again, I chose another pattern. This one was featured (then saved) in Lets Knit, but taken from a book 'Cool Knits For Kids' by Kate Gunn and Robyn Macdonald. But once again patience wasn't with me and my tension wasn't right, so onto Ravelry.

If you haven't yet joined Ravelry I can highly recommend it. I put in a search for free knitting patterns for boot and started to ogle other peoples work. Many patterns later I made my selection. The pattern is on ravelry but can also be accessed at StitchNation

So above is the finished had and two (nearly) finished boots. Sadly I didn't have two suitable pink buttons so had to go for purple.

The next small project is some Hamsterbeans, another pattern off ravelry. If they work I'll get a link to the pattern or search yourself on ravelry (allow lots of time to look, its easy to get sidetracked looking at patterns - most of which are beyond my skill level)

P.S. Please don't compare my finished boots/shoe with the originals ! !

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Steam trains and boats all in one day!!!!

So another day with no knitting update. I have knit all I'm knitting, but now I have buttons to sew on and ends to so in (not to mention photos to take).

Today started with normal saturday jobs, followed by an early lunch, then a trip into the city (Preston - a city but not very big!!!)

This year is Guild year in Preston, which only comes around every 20 years. So the normal Riversway festival was bigger and better than ever. On route from the car park we saw the steam train (www.ribblesteam.org.uk) which departs from the museum on a three mile round trip passing the docks.

Then onto the docks, luckily the weather was great and we got a great spot to view the dragon boat racing. In the lower photo you can see the winning team give the runners up a drenching!!

The highlight of the day was the arrival of HMS Charger (its name sounds fast and boy did it move). The City of Preston adopted the boat as part of the Guild celebration. Following HMS Charger into the dock was canal barge after canal barge all decorated for the occasion (our very own flotilla). HMS Charger toured the dock, then accompanied by James Bond music moored ready for the formalities of  'boat adoption' to take place.

For the children (and me) the best bit was seeing our old favourite Rosie and Jim on there own canal boat (in the above photo). The police car is a bit random but who could resist photographing that cute car.

Fingers crossed for knitting progress tomorrow.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Baking !!

Sorry, no knitting update yet. The hat is done but boy 'o' boy the shoes. . . more of that to come.

So today is baking day (for the third week running I'm baking for a birthday).

All I'm baking is a Victoria sponge cake, with birthday decorations and some fairy cakes.
So all you need is basic ingredients and a cup of tea to wash away the taste of cake mix and butter cream. Yes that's right I can't help myself, I have to lick the spoon and clean the bowl. The bonus of baking when the children are at school is I don't need to share!!!

The two sponges are cooling and the fairy cakes are in the oven. The fairy cakes are to decorate tomorrow, so the children can help. The first baking week was for my daughter, so the cake was 'suppose' to look like a grassy hill with flowers. Then today I did the pirate cake to go with the party bag from my previous post. Just in case you need help, its a desert island with a greeny/blue sea !!

Now due to cake mix and icing I need another cup of tea. Maybe there is time for a little knitting before school pickup. Last day of school, Yippee

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A little bit of knitting.

Yesterday we had a lovely trip to Cumbria to see some friends. They had just increased there little family with the safe arrival of a little girl. It's over ten years since my little girl was quite so small.

So today after all (well most ) of the jobs where done I began the job of collecting my knitting stuff. When I do any craft, the last job is always to put away my stuff, this is not my favourite job. My things are often stuffed into a cupboard, bag, box etc.

With the sun shining I took my things into the garden to start a simple hat. The book I use is 'baby knits for beginners' by Debbie Bliss. The book is well used, I've made several hats for friends and family and book has been lent to family for a little knitting project or two.

So pink and white wool at the ready and cast on. The little shoes, I've never attempted but maybe this time. Hopefully I will show you the finished hat tomorrow !!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Hello Mister Postman!

When I buy fabric, I mainly buy on impulse, from a selection of local shops. I have many potential projects floating round in my head (along with the mundane what’s for tea, what clubs are on tonight, etc.). This explains the quantity of fabric I have and the diverse colours etc.

But last week I ventured into online fabric shopping (years behind everyone else). The web site is one I’ve ogled for sometime, fabric rehab. The charm pack, ‘a walk in the woods’ by Aneela Hoey for Moda,  jumped out at me saying  'buy me, buy me'. So this is what awaited me when I arrived home.......

What was inside, shall I show you?

and maybe some more. . .

Sadly the lighting for my photos (nothing to do with ability of photographer) was not great.

So what to do with this charm pack ?

What would you make?

I have a few ideas, but not much time!!!

P.S. go have a look at Fabric Rehab, for a novice shopper it was simple to order and standard delivery only took a few days.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Birthday, Birthday and another Birthday!!!!

So July is a busy Birthday month at our house. Three out of the four Family Birthdays fall in July. For my daughters birthday I made the party goers wash bag / party bags. But for my son I thought standard draw string bags on a pirate theme.

So here we have the basic black cotton bag with a skull and cross bones motif. The motif is made from felt and hand stitched into place. (It would have been much faster on the machine !!)

After sewing along the top edge (shown in the first two photos), its then just a case of pushing the insides... inside. Adding the red ribbon brightened up the bags ready for filling.

The contents of the bags where chosen by my son - snakes, water pistols, pencils, rubbers and the compulsory cake.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Can I mention the weather?

Well, what a day. Here in England we like to talk about the weather and so far this summer we've had lots of rain. The weather forecast said we would have a months rainfall over the weekend and boy where they wrong (so far).

Friday, 6 July 2012

So this is the start. This is something I have been meaning to do for years, start my own blog. My name is Sarah and I live in the beautiful Ribble Valley, England. I share my home with my partner and two children. I'm going to post about my current craft projects, large and small, so save me to your favorites and see how I go on.