Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for March, 2014

My first Tote bag!

Making this tote bag has quite simply filled me with admiration for the sewers on the Great British Sewing Bee. How they make anything in the time allowed  is amazing. It takes me three hours just to get my head around a pattern and the instructions…

I fell in love with these fabrics when I stumbled across this website at  African fabrics

So when Mr E asked me what I wanted for Christmas I pointed him in their direction and a BIG HINT that I would like to make a bag.

So I was very happy to receive this

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unpack it a bit more to reveal

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some gorgeous glass buttons. The instructions were adequate, but as a bit of a novice I needed a bit of thinking time. You have to wash the fabrics before you begin, which proved to be highly necessary as the indigo fabric was very stiff before washing, but frayed quite a bit in the machine. There was sufficient fabric but not an over generous amount.

By February I was finally underway.

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And this week I got my TAHDAH moment

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The bag is reversible and indeed mine would be but that would have meant that the strap was just tied in place through a button hole which didn’t seem very secure to me. So after I had used the pretty buttons on the flap

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I used one to secure the handle

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What I hadn’t realized when I started was that the pattern fabric side is also quilted. I have never machine quilted so opted to hand quilt- proved ideal when watching said sewing bee.

Final touch is a matching purse

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Thoroughly enjoyed making the bag  and would recommend the kit.

Joining with Handmade Harbour to day. Do check out the other lovely makes there.







Taking stock!

I read Patch’s taking stock post and followed her links to Pip’s who was taking stock last month and thought that if I took stock right now I might clear the haze from my brain which is in overload and heading for melt down.

Here goes:-

Making- one knitting project on the go for Little Miss F

Cooking- lots of vegetarian food but today I made a chicken and almond curry and it was delicious

Drinking- I am a tea drinker- Earl Grey in the Spring and Summer, Lapsang  in the Autumn and Winter. And at this  time of year am in the change over from one to another depending on mood and temperature outside.

Reading- have just finished my book and am in a happy stage of indecision as to what to read next. Anything rather than the half completed Power of Attorney documents my brother left me to finish off for our Mum.

Wanting- the fog to lift from my brain

Looking- at the birds in the garden as they select a nest site and suitable building materials.

Playing- happy that I finished the Sudoku in the TV mag today.

Deciding- that I will have to be firm with my Dad and tell him he can’t run a holiday cottage from a hospital bed aged 90! Especially when he had already said he had cancelled all bookings… and now it turns out he may not have.

Wishing- that Mr E was not still working away- only two weeks to go and he will be home

Liking-the sunshine

Wondering-why on earth people fuss so much about a few wrinkles, they are aging anyway!

Loving- my family

Pondering- should I go and make some tea right now

Considering- which sewing project to do next, finish a doll I am making or start a wall hanging. You will all know which has the greater appeal

Watching- the Great British Sewing Bee- still haven’t decided who I think is the front runner

Hoping- for lots of hot sunny days this year

Marveling- at the human desire and will to live

Needing- a hug

Smelling- the hycaynths which have just come into flower in the garden

Wearing- comfy jeans and jumper

Following-Run around ranch who may be taking on the Friday Fences meme. Yippee.

Noticing- these jeans feel a bit on the tight side- OH NO

Knowing- that no man/woman should be an island

Thinking- how much clutter we still have to go through, will it never end

Feeling- a bit over whelmed at the moment

Admiring- the hospital staff who are taking care of my Dad and the Social Worker who is helping us keep Mum safe

Sorting- CLUTTER

Buying- the bare essentials only, but a new pair of shoes would be nice…

Getting- it takes me ages to get a joke, but I did this week and I will tell it to you in May

Bookmarking- I am trying to go through my books too and I am amazed at the number of book marks I own. I bookmark a lot of recipes in recipe books with old postcards and photos. Brill. Last thing I bookmarked blogging wise is this

Disliking- myself quite a bit at the moment- guilt is a hard thing but I can’t be in four places at once!!

Opening- hopefully we will be opening a new chapter in our lives this year

Giggling- a little at myself right now for being a bit of a Moaning Minnie! Now wouldn’t that be a great blog Moaning Minnie? Yeah just Googled it and it is a shop on Etsy!!

Feeling- better, taking stock was a good idea thanks

Snacking- Ginger Nuts…jeans/tight? Connection?

Coveting- nothing,well maybe stretchy jeans, or non fattening ginger nuts

Wishing- I had gone and made that tea

Helping-Next week Mr E and I are painting the front door- I am definitely the help.

Hearing- the radiator as the boiler clicks into life

Enjoying- the times I can get into the garden and weed with my friend Spot the blackbird

Waiting- any minute now, for the kettle to boil for that tea.

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Feeling a bit  better, taking stock is good from time to time.










Crochet cottage garden blanket COMPLETED!

I finally put the finishing touches to the crochet cottage garden blanket from the Cal I took part in last year. All the blocks were taken from Jan Eaton’s book 200 crochet blocks. We crocheted all the blocks in the book.I used some of the left over wool to make some flowers to add onto the blanket. What do you think- is it a cottage garden blanket?

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Here are some of the little flowers

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This is the first blanket I have made which hasn’t just been an enormous granny square.

Joining with Woolhogs made it challenge, believe me it was quite a challenge, see  here

Yarn Along!

Fortunately before the drama of last week I had completed most of the top for Master H’s 6th birthday, and so I was able to give it to him at the weekend, ready for his big day tomorrow.

Here it is

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And I just had to get some trousers to go with it.

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Mr E watched me most carefully as I knitted this, then came a wistful ” I would love a jumper in that wool”! WHAT? Never ever in all the years we have been married ,and there are quite a few of them ,was there ever ,ever such a request. So come Christmas Mr E you just may be in luck.

And if that endorsement wasn’t enough apparently Mrs T’s sister in law has been coveting this which I made for little Miss F.

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So I think I shall take that as a request too.

Anyway it is onto the next little garment for little Miss F for her Autumn apparel. Thought for once I should show the back…

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which is what happens when I knit with three colours!

I had planned a more serious book after Joanne Trollop’s” the Daughter in law”,which was a good read,but I wasn’t up to that this week, so instead I have a John Grisham, you just can’t beat him for a court room drama. Perfect.

Do check out Small Things for some more good Yarn Alongs

Lessons Learned!

When Dad became really poorly suddenly and with very little warning last weekend I was totally unprepared. And shocked that I got so exhausted in just five days. There are some lessons to be learned if your parents are getting elderly and less able to look after themselves.

First up I didn’t know how to operate Dad’s stair lift so when he said it was broken I took his word for it. Had I known how to work it myself I would have known it wasn’t broken but that Dad was not able to use it correctly as he became ill. And if I could have laid hands on the instruction manual it too would have helped. The same was true of his burglar alarm. So lesson one, know how to use things in your parents house and where to find all instruction manuals.

Second I had no idea who delivered his papers , milk, did his garden, washed his windows or even that a mobile car washer did his car. Finding out all that and making suitable arrangements took time which could have been used in seeing more of Dad and significantly added to the stress of the situation. So know who does what and have contact details.

As a result of this experience we have now got all our instruction manuals in one place in our home. Most of the people we deal with are in my mobile phone but Dad had not done this. His mobile only stored immediate family numbers.

Dad is a very private and independent person who is more than capable ,when not in the grips of a pneumonia induced delirium , of running his life himself. I tried to protect his privacy by doing everything all by myself. So the hardest lesson I learned was to let other family members and friends help.

Once I had admitted that and the need to stay calm I tried to remind myself to “stay in the moment”. To look after myself in small ways. Because the real trouble is you don’t know how long the situation is going to continue.

I found that ordinary every day things could really sustain me and get me through each day. The daffodils all came out last week and the lambs were  in the fields as I drove to the hospital.

When the sun shone one morning I made the effort to sit in the garden for 20 minutes with a cup of coffee, feel the sun on my face, listen to the frogs in the pond.

Mr E made sure I went out on Saturday and Sunday for a walk, just being outside with the breeze blowing through the trees was just blissful.

One evening I knitted two rows in the jumper I was making H. The rhythm of the needles and the feel of the wool was just so relaxing. The next night I did some hand stitching, simple running stitch, no thought needed.

When I couldn’t get to sleep at night or woke up too early Radio 4 and then the World service lulled me off again.

And rather strangely going off to work every afternoon and just doing my job took me to a ” normal” place which became soothing in itself.

I wonder what ordinary things have attained others in difficult times.

Dad is doing well and hopefully will be home at sometime. He’s “back” and making his own decisions. For that I am really thankful.





Indescribably Happy!

Just got back from hospital visiting my Dad who tonight is heaps and heaps better, not out of the woods but getting there. I am just so happy. You don’t know what you have till it’s nearly gone.

Family were amazing, and you dear friends, thank you for your kind thoughts.

I will leave you with a picture that sustained me this week of my beautiful garndadaughter who is in love with fabrics already!! That’s my girl.

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Not superwoman?

As a Daughter,Wife , Mum,  you become everything- cook,cleaner, nurse, teacher,playmate, friend ,lover, you know the score.You love your family dearly and you try to care for them.

Yesterday I realized that I am not superwoman. I am exhausted.

Worse than that in my effort to be everything for everyone I was denying  family members a role. Trying to spare people pain…

How could I keep my commitment to visit my son and grandson this weekend and be here for Dad…

It took my son J ” Mum we will come to you, he’s my Grandad remember and you need a hug…” Yes I do.

It took my stepbrother Mr B ” We will visit Dad tomorrow, how about that?”

It took my husband E ” You must look after yourself and save some energy for what comes next”

It also took dear friends the lovely comments you left me yesterday to finally reach me.. I am not superwoman.

I have wondered about the wisdom of saying these things here, but nearly two years ago I choose the tag line for my blog- Life and Thyme- that means not just the good, fun or easy times, but all the times.

Last night when I visited Dad he recognized me for the first time in 48 hours. He is still very very poorly but at least last night he was Dad again.

And strangely my Mum with whom I had not had a coherent conversation for some time has spoken to me each night at an appropriate time and has been supportive.

I am learning a lot.

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