Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays is the name of the yarn Iam knitting my Christmas Eve sock cast on with, but I do hope you are all enjoying the holidays too. I finished work on the 23rd and then before I knew it Christmas had come and gone! Have spent the last two days visiting family but we have no plans for the rest of the holidays other than chilling out and pleasing ourselves which is rather a nice thought.
My daughter picked this yarn out for socks for herself so I cast them on last night would love to have them finished before the holidays are over.

This shawlette Spindrift Shawl by Helen Stewart was started at the end of November but I've only recently just got round to blocking it and weaving in the ends. I used yarn from The Wool Barn called  Pebble Beach and it is just sooo warm, soft squishy and cosy love it!

Just love this shawlette so much I've already cast on another of Helen's patterns, Hundred Acre Wood  which Iam about 3/4 done already yeah!

I have been on a bit of a finishing spree lately, had a bit of a tidy up for the holidays as you do and realised just how many projects are in progress or nearly finished or just waiting to be properly finished off. I have been following the lovely Vona of a Twisted Stitcher fame for a few years now and recently discovered her  Vlogs. I have really enjoyed watching her step by step finishing tutorials which encouraged me to have a bash, it was like having Vona there beside me each step and I did it. Oh my I can't quite believe it but I did it I finished two small pillows. Woohoo go me! They are not perfect and I just went for the simple pillow finish (baby steps folks, baby steps).

The stitching on this Sampler House by With Thy Needle and Thread was finished years ago and now I get to enjoy it displayed in my finished bowl rather than stuck in a plastic bag waiting to be made into a pillow.

After completing these little pillows I decide to finally tackle my sons cushion which I have posted about before. Well folks it's done and dusted and I now have one happy wee boy. Phew! I will not be rushing into anymore tapestry cushions in a hurry although I do have a kit in the attic for a cat one *sigh*.

I also finished two small scissor fobs from Sue Hawkins which I think are just soo adorable. I have a couple more kits of Sues still to do.

Finally I made this Tilda Sleepy Angel from a book I borrowed from my local library called Christmas Crafts or something like that I don't have the book anymore to double check. I think he turned out rather ok for my first project and I've gone ahead and bought a Tilda book with gorgeous quilts and stockings in though when I will ever get round to making anything from it is beyond my comprehension right now.

I really do want to continue on my finishing spree before buying or creating new projects as I feel a bit like Iam sinking under so many projects at the moment. Iam not one for new year resolutions but I really do think for the sake of my sanity that I need to stop buying new projects till I clear my horrendous stash as it is making me feel a little ill just thinking about what I have. Maybe I need to go through them in a stronger moment and have a purge we will see.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Catching Up

Goodness me, it's been a while since I last popped on here. No excuse really it certainly wasn't  intentional.....just life I guess. I have been busy craftwise though making and creating but just never found the time or the urge to blog really. I think part of the reason is because I discovered vlogs and podcasts over the summer and frankly became hooked. I found I could listen/ watch and still do my knitting or stitching at the same time. It just became easier to tune in and create than to write my own blog. Although I enjoy the vlogs and podcasts that I watch I have no intention of joining them. I think they are very brave but not for me. So my wee blog is long overdue an update. (eeek! I've just noticed I last updated in April)

Right what have I been up to......
It seems so long ago now but Marmaduke is finished.

I think I will just pop some pictures on here to show what I've been doing.
Sorry they may seem a bit random. I've become hooked on sock knitting any info about these socks can be found on my Ravelry page just click on projects to see the others.

Some other knitting projects.

A crochet pot to hold my crochet hooks which I manage to keep loosing.
Stitching hasn't been forgotten.
This is a little teacup pouch. 

A couple of long overdue birth samplers.

Some new projects to start and some I've finished but not got photographed yet.
To be honest Iam not sure how often I will be posting now as this post has taken over two hours to get to this point. Blogger doesn't make posting easy. I think it may be time to look at other social media platforms I don't know maybe instagram? Never used it but I do like the idea of not spending hours trying to post a few words and pictures.  If anyone has read this and has any suggestions I'd be most receptive. 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Look what arrived in the post

What a lovely surprise to recieve in the post this morning. I couldn't think who would be sending me flowers, hubby assured me it wasn't him and the cheeky blighter asked why anyone would want to send me flowers! Just as well were out for tea tonight or he would be cooking lol. The flowers were from my lovely wee sister so thank you Cate x they were a wonderful surprise and have made a great start to the day.

I have finished the little house kits that I bought from Glasgow. The stitching was pretty much straight forward with these kits. 

Those little windows are so cute.
My favourite is the little apple tree with the little red bead apples or at least I think they are meant to be apples.
but I am having terrible problems with one of the beads on the red house as you've probably spotted.
This is the third time it's fallen off, it's a real pain in the bahooky to stitch on now the roof is on.
Would welcome any suggestions for reattaching apart from glueing which will be my last resort. All other beads are attached nice and firmly.
Love the snow on the roofs and the silver thread adds a little bling which I hope the Xmas tree lights will pick up as I do like a little sparkle! 
I love the little hinges stitched onto this door.
I always underestimate how long these projects are going to take and yep majorly underestimated these. Sheesh! they looked so small and straight forward too. Oh well live and learn! They were incredibly footery to stitch together and I majorly messed up on the felt bottoms the red felt bottom was originally stitched onto the plastic wall of the green house, did wonder why it was so tight stitching it in ....arghhhh! Didn't notice till I came to putting the green house together *sigh* oh well it's all sorted now....apart from that dratted bead!

The cat card is coming along slowly I seem to do a lot of stitching with not much showing but it's nearly there now.
Marmaduke (yes I've named him) looks so much better with his back stitching done.
However I think his whiskers look kinda like spiders legs eeek!
Look at those pretty flowers.
Dad popped round for a cuppa and a natter as he's been away. Pippa (dads dog) enjoyed finding all the sun spots in the lounge.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Over the Irish Sea...part 3

last instalment of my trip to Ireland.

Continuing from yesterday's post we are still on Sunday afternoon and doing our whirlwind tour. After leaving the Argory we headed of to a place I really wanted to see. While researching places to visit I had found a linen mill museum which I really really wanted to visit but sadly it was shut on the Sunday so instead we set off for Cookstown to see Wellbrook Beetling Mill. It is the last working water powered mill used in the manufacture of linen in Northern Ireland. Beetling is a process that involves linen being dampened and wound round a large roller. The roller is turned and the heavy wooden blocks drop onto the linen as it is turned. This produces a flat surface with a bit of a sheen to the fabric and makes the holes in the linen less apparent. Thankfully nothing to do with little beetles as in the insects!
The mill appealed to me because of my love of cross stitching and I prefer to stitch on linen so found the tour rather interesting finding out how flax is grown and processed to get the product we know today as linen. However I think hubby was getting a teensy weeny bit bored hence being silly in the photos and twirling his arms about honestly he doesn't have three arms lol!
Took this from the car park the mill is nestled into the countryside and looked quite dramatic against the dark skies.

Thankfully not a busy road as the mill entrance is right on the edge of the road.

The building is a NT property and is a working mill, it was amazing to see the beetling process in action. The trust are only allowed to run a couple of the rollers at a time due to noise levels and honestly the noise from just the two running was loud enough! The workers originally working in these mills must have been deaf by the end of their working lives.
The wheel that drives the beetling engines inside.

It could get a bit wet standing here when the wheel got going. 
The noise from the water was very loud but I found it rather therapeutic and stood here for quite a while listening to the thundering roar of the water running down. It doesn't look as steep a drop in the pictures as it was in reality.
Up at the back of the mill there is a lovely riverside walk with the river flowing on one side and the diverted water for running the mill on the other side. 

One of many small lock gates to help control the water. 

Back down at the mill you can see where the water is diverted to run up to the mill and flow down to turn the wheel. 

Wow what a racket! The wheel is turned on and off during tours as I think everyone would be deaf if it ran all day lol. The linen had to be carefully rolled onto the rollers to ensure absolutely no creases as any creases would be made permanent and would cost the mill dearly. We were standing in the loft space where the linen is hung to dry out to watch this a fabulous birds eye view.
We were the last tour of the day and it was sad to think that this mill is the last of what used to be hundreds dotted all round the landscape here. Time to head off.

Monday morning and our last day in Ireland. We only really had the morning as we had to be back at the airport early afternoon so it was an early rise and off we headed to our last stop of the trip. The Giants Causeway, ever since I was a geography student this has been on my bucket list and I finally made it yeah!

One of the bay's we passed on the walk down.
Irish folklore has it that the Ginats Causeway was formed by the giant Finn MacCool who had an ongoing feud with the Scottish giant Finn Gall from across the channel. On one occasion Finn MacCool was so annoyed with the taunting from Finn Gall he tore bits of rock from the cliff and hurled them into the sea to make a land bridge over to Scotland. However on sneaking up on Finn Gall he realised the giant was far bigger than him so he retreated and his wife hid him in a crib. The Scottish giant enraged came across to Ireland but upon seeing the giant baby in the crib thought if that was the size of the baby then how big is his dad? He made a hasty retreat! 

However as much as I love the Irish legend the geographer in me knows the causeway was the result of volcanic activity and water. The causeway is made up from several lava flows that cooled in between flows. These rocks in the pic above were caused by the lava rapidly cooling due to gas escaping quickly they are aerated and crumbly looking easily broken up over time. The lava beneath this cooled much more slowly forming the basalt columns.

The cliff that Finn MacCool tore chunks from to make his land bridge.

As the lava cooled slowly it contracted causing cracks to appear on the surface and as it cooled and contracted further it caused the cracks to run vertically. This massive basalt cliff was amazing to look at. 

We were told to avoid walking on the dark coloured rocks as they were lethally slippy!

It was extremely windy when we were there and the waves were huge! 

That's me huddled up against the cold it was freezing!

Well that's the end of my trip to Ireland and what a high for me to end it on. The NT manage the causeway and have a fascinating exhibition centre full of information and they also do a brilliant coffee and coconut cake which was very much needed and welcomed when we came back up from the causeway. The hubster and I certainly got our money's worth out of our NT membership on this trip lol. 
Normal services will shortly resume as I do have some stitchy stuff to share with you!