Monday, 29 September 2014

Chocolate and checks

Morning all! 
This cake has all gone now. To be honest it didn't last long! I made it for my #2 fourteenth birthday a few weeks ago. She requested any cake but she wanted the raspberries on top (she adores raspberries and could easily eat a punnet to herself). I fell back on the old favourite again - Nigellas chocolate fudge, with the added 'Fabulous' chocolate fingers holding fort around the sides. I do tend to play it safe and stick to the same 3 or 4 recipes, but I know they work and the family love them.

Saffron in her cake and coffee shop 'Fancy'

My friend Saffron has been baking the technical bakes that are featured on The Great British Bake Off and has been doing the write up on her blog. She's got some great recipes on there and this tiramisu cake one looks divine! If I'm feeling brave some time I might try it. Either that or I might just head over to Fancy to have a catch up chat and test out her freshly baked wares!!!

I've finished off the chair cover for my other (also very talented) friend Linda:

I tried styling this photo with a casually flung crochet throw but not sure it works at all really!
She has this gorgeous hand-made chair and she asked me to show it some love with new foam and cover. She choose this smart dog-tooth check upholstery fabric and the plain grey used for the piping is left over for the curtains I made her last year. I ordered the foam from here - it's a brilliant site that you can type in your foam dimensions and they cut to size / shape. Loads easier than trying it yourself with an electric kitchen knife - I know this, it was a massacre.

I made a envelope type flap at the back to help keep the cushion on the chair and stop it from falling forward. There is some fabric left over that I will use to make a scatter cushion or two. 

You may remember I told you how we swap skills - I do sewing for Linda and she does garden design and planting for me. This is what we were up to last year.
I'm looking forward to her coming to plant up another border, even more so to next spring when it will bloom to all it's glory!

and talking of the garden, the Michaelmas Daisy is certainly the star of the show at the moment.

“The Michaelmas Daisies, among dede weeds, 
Bloom for St Michael's valorous deeds.
And seems the last of flowers that stood,
Till the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.”
(The Feast of St. Simon and Jude is 28 October)

Apparently the act of giving Michaelmas Daisies symbolises saying farewell so I will say ta-ta for now,
'till next time...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Lady Kina

I'm loving how Lady Kina is shaping up. It's just a case of 'keep knitting'

Work is demanding right now. I'm doing extra days, which of course has an effect on home life and how organised, or rather how disorganised I am.

There isn't much time for crafting and I'm so tired too. I am enjoying the mini series 'Cilla' but as I start to knit a new row half way through my arms relax and I find myself staring at the TV, holding my bamboo needles mid-stitch and getting no-where.

Having just washed the kitchen floor I feel slightly better. It was a health hazard.

Mission of the day: get my house in order!!

'till next time...

Friday, 19 September 2014

All washed out

Hello my friends, it's been a while since I had a washing disaster.

Do you remember I made this set of cushion covers for my living room?
Oh how I love the grey!

They were constantly slipping down flat as they were on the leather sofa and cat insisted on sleeping right on top of each one, leaving her smelly fur behind, so I wanted to give them a wash.

Did I check the wash instructions on the yarn band which I still have and so is easy to reference?


I just shoved them into the machine and washed at 40 degrees.

The grey colour has gone, and a beige is left!

If you didn't know any better you would think I had used a beige yarn right from the start as the colour has gone so evenly.

The 2 shades of pinks have survived okay and they are the same yarn as the grey.

Serves me right I suppose, I should've checked the wash instructions. It does say cold hand wash.

I prefer the grey colour but the cushions still look fine in the house so they can stay

'till next time...


Friday, 12 September 2014

Châle Français

Yes of course this is my Nordic shawl, but as I made most of it while on holiday in France this summer it does have French blood in it too!

Now many of you I know have also purchased this pattern from Annette and may even be on your second or third version. I think she released the pattern probably about 10 or so months ago and so I guess I'm a late comer to the Nordic Shawl party. I had the pattern and yarn sitting around for a while and decided it was the one to pack in my suitcase as I thought it would be a good holiday hook.

It came to the beach with me, and by the pool (I was very aware of a young boy staring at me fixatedly while I crocheted as if he was trying to work out what on earth I was doing...) It also was lovely to pick up in the evenings - after the day out but before getting ready for dinner. The children played and joked with each other, and I laughed at their holiday banter. We made up stories about the other families that were our neighbours - from Mr Bonjour who sat at his garden table with his paper and his smokes to The Perfect Family who's children would each have a bowl of soapy water outside their chalet to wash up their own dinner dishes. My, how I envied their parents discipline!!

I loved the lacy edging, it was fun to crochet. I would like to use this edging on a blanket one day, perhaps? My colours make me happy too, but with guidance from Annette's original colour choice I couldn't go far wrong.

Before blocking

I have experienced my first blocking miracle with this one. I have heard talk of such happenings, and certainly have found blocking improves most natural fibre crochet. But my coloured area came out a tighter tension than the plain parts, and therefore it didn't lie flat. Blocking most certainly sorted this out, and now the shawl has a fabulous drape too. I am very much in love!

The lacy edging has really come into it's own!

Gorgeous drape-ability!!!!

I have treated myself to a pair of Swedish clogs. I have longed to have some for a while and these were priced cheaper than others I've seen in the past. I could not resist.

They are a bit hard on the feet to start with, but after a few days wearing them around the house with socks on they soon soften up and become comfy. They go well with my shawl and I feel I have embraced the Nordic look whole-heartedly :o)

This shawl pin keeps it all in place nicely and makes it easy to wear. It stays put on my shoulders and doesn't slip about. 

Someone else likes it too :o)

FYI: you can buy the pattern here if you haven't already.

The yarn is King Cole merino blend dk. The main colour is silver (036) and then I have used white (001), cranberry (703), raspberry (907), kingfisher (771), turquoise (018) and mustard (855).

I really must log into Ravelry and update my projects page and add this on there, I haven't been over there for ages.

Right, I'm off now to see what is on TV tonight and to snuggle with my dual nationality Châle Français / Nordic Shawl.

have a happy
 ❤ hooking  ❤ stitching  ❤ baking ❤ knitting ❤ snuggling ❤ loving ❤ laughing  weekend my friends

'till next time...

Monday, 1 September 2014

Happy Hexies!

Hey there, how are you all?

I feel that my crafty offering today is an erratic choice. I mean in several of my previous posts I've mentioned various things I'm working on and this isn't one of them. It's one of those long timer projects that sits waiting patiently for me to give it attention, and then suddenly, for some mysterious reason I decide now is the time for me to finish it off and I pick it up and do just that!

All starts off well with the making of the hexies. Love doing that. I have experimented with using a glue pen but I prefer to tack with needle and thread, I don't go through the paper though and just tack the sides down at the back of each shape with a double stitch at the corners.

Luckily, I've had a lot of help with this project.

I always feel I'm about to do a magic trick when I'm quilting. Free-form again, and no my technique hasn't improved, I'm still getting various stitch lengths. I'm not sure the gloves help at all really!


I bought a stamp and a fabric ink pad from The English Stamp Company. I cannot tell you how deliriously happy I felt sewing on my label, although I will look for the fabric ink in a pretty colour I think. I'm hoping by using this special ink it won't wash out. Certainly is ok after the first wash.

and I always like to wash my quilts as I finish sewing them. Freshens and softens them up and and I adore the vintage crinkle effect it gives.

This quilt is for my little ones' cot bed. It's a good size although I think it will be better when we take the sides off the cot to make it into the little bed and it can drape over the edge. Not quite ready for that stage yet though, not for a few months.

Do you like EPP patchwork? It has a charming old fashioned feel to it doesn't it? I have a fair few of these hexies left over and I may at some point make some plain white ones and use the coloured ones as the flower for a grandmothers garden design. The hexagon size I've used is 2" (that's the measurement of each straight side) which in the world of EPP seems quite large, but I needed to give myself a cat in hell's chance of finishing. And for this I'm happy with the size.

So it's great to complete a long-standing WIP but it's only replaced by another, from where I sit on the sofa I can see 4 projects that I've got on the go, that's without opening the cupboard in my craft corridor. 
I have a long and happy road of crafting ahead of me, and it's cheaper than therapy.
(well a bit)

'till next time...