Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for January, 2018

Scrap Happy January

Very nearly caught on the hop, thought tomorrow was the 15th. Anyway here I am joining in with Scrap Happy hosted by Kate.

First up the crochet blanket from leftover yarn destined for the Repair Cafe raffle.

Still not certain about the yellow. I have the ends to sew in and a border, probably in black, because I have most of it.

And a piece of creative embroidery which has been at least two years and three winters in the making.

In close up

All the fabric is scrap, all the threads were ones I already had, the backing card was from a shirt packaging from Mr E. The only new thing is the frame. My favourite bit is the fence!

Please pop by Kate’s blog to see what clever people can do with their scraps!

 

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Autumn Falls!

I have at last completed that crochet blanket. I took the designs for each block from the book 200 Crochet blocks by Jan Eaton. The blanket design began as The Golden Glow on Page 27, but I wasn’t happy with the colours, the whole thing looked dull. And that’s where this wonderful blogging community came to the rescue. A big thank you to everyone who helped but especially to The Contented Crafter  for explaining so well about colours going together almost too well and how I needed to look at tone as well as colour.  The result is this

All good blankets deserve a name so I have named this Autumn Falls.

The yarn used is by Stylecraft and the colour shades are

Cream

1824 Cyprus

1099 Grey

1835 Buttermilk

1708 Petrol

1823 Mustard

1711 Spice

The blocks that I eventually used are

3 Square Target

61 Nine Patch Granny

100 Pastel Delight

197 Fretwork

209 Marigold.

All I can say is phew! I am glad I have finished this. The colours are so not the colours I would normally choose. But I learned a great deal about colour and tone, and am glad I came out of my comfort zone for this. The blanket will go to a care home for the keeping warm of the old knees. In the meantime I shall just sit and look at it.

Once again bloggers thank you. This was a communal effort. You are lovely.

Knit and Natter Friday!

Hello again, grab something nice to drink and let’s have a bit of a catch up. Who would have thought that my oven cleaning plans would generate so many comments last week. Have to say that I now have a nice shiny oven and there are plans afoot today to give the wood burning stove a bit of a wash and brush up, should you be wondering which dirty task comes after oven cleaning.

Meantime life has been busy with nicer things than scrubbing. Monday was the day for my library shift, so glad I could remember what to do after the Christmas break.  Tuesday I attended a talk on the history of Scampston Hall.

If anyone saw the play An Inspector Calls on the TV over Christmas the scenes in the dining room were shot here. I have plans for us to visit again this year to see inside the house, so far we have only seen the gardens.

Wednesday, hurrah I went swimming again. I have bought a pass now for the next three months so I must use it. Thoroughly enjoyed the swim , it’s just making plans on how and when to go. In the afternoon I attended a rehearsal for a presentation to be held in the library for Holocaust Memorial day at the end of the month.

Yesterday I took Mr E for another hospital appointment. Things are still looking good , but more tests etc still to come.

Which means today will be spent chatting here and cleaning…

I have put in a lot of time on the crochet blanket. I am thinking that next time I show it, it might be completed. Hurrah. I so want to make a start on the Attic 24 weekend bag.

I have been able to fit in some knitting too. It now looks like this.

Anyone, any ideas on what it is? I must say it’s quite complicated to knit, so many ror by row instructions, I am just hoping I have read them alright because now it’s a bit of a puzzle!

Big thank you to Christine for telling me about these wonderful plates.

It just so happens I am in the market for new plates this month, so will be buying more over the next few weeks. I really like the quirky animals!

So over to you. Any plans for the weekend? Are you making anything fabulous at the moment?

If you are new, please do leave a comment ,chatting is wonderful. And do just jump in with the comments from others.

Have a great weekend, and Be Happy

Cathyx

Five Favourite Reads from 2017.

It’s usually hard to choose a top five favourite reads from the last year , but in 2017 five books made my top 100, so the task is easier.

5 Susan Hill- In the Springtime of the Year – an early novel from this author. A very young bride looses her husband in a fatal accident. Deals with the themes of grief, survival, but I loved it for its lyrical qualities in describing the countryside.

4 Joanne Harris- Blackberry Wine-an utterly charming book in the vein of Chocolat. Young boy Jay befriends an old man Joe, an ex miner, a whizz of a gardener, herbalist and wine maker. Years later Jay writes a best seller based around Joe. Then Jay moves to France, nearly spoils the idyllic life he finds there and discovers his soul.

3 John Boyne- A History of Loneliness- Irish catholic church, the abuse of power and the dangers of submission and wilful delusion. Excellent.

2 Ian McEwan- Atonement-  1935, a single very hot and languid day which takes half the book to describe, ends in a crime. Part two concerns a group of soldiers trudging towards Dunkirk in WW2. Part three, a London Hospital coping with the returning soldiers, so powerfully written. Part four- how it all ended. A very good read indeed.

1 Gerald Durrell- The Corfu Trilogy The trilogy of books on which the TV series The Durrells was based. I read this on holiday in Greece during  the” 30 days wild challenge ” in June. The books are laugh out loud funny. The nature content is superb but it must be remembered that the book was written in the 1930’s and Gerald was a naturalist, not the conservationist he is portrayed as on the telly. This was the perfect book to read in June, on holiday during the challenge. It was very Funny, and my absolute number favourite from last year.

Does anyone else have an absolute favourite book they read last year? I love suggestions for a good read as you know.

Knit and Natter Friday, 2018

I started these Knit and Natter posts last year when Ginny of Small Things gave up her Yarn Alongs. Turns out she missed them too, and she has re-started them as monthly link ups rather than weekly ones,here . Which is a jolly good thing, but you haven’t got rid of my Friday ramblings as easy as that. I have got far too fond of my own voice, more than that I have got very fond of the Natter that always follows. My Fridays would not be the same without our chats.

My son phoned this week to talk over a work problem. I listened, I spoke calmly, but what I really wanted to do was say ” who is this person causing you grief, I will TELL them!” Which of course would do no good. We are often told in the UK we have low productivity. It seems to me that if people spent less time on office politics and more time doing the job they were paid to do , the world would spin a lot faster, why one wants the world to spin faster I don’t know.   ( Alice in Wonderland I believe). Isn’t it so hard when your adult children have problems?

Meantime the great tidy up after Christmas has begun. Just where do all the spiders live that spin so many webs in the house? Maybe it’s just me they have it in for?

Hasn’t it been lovely to see everyone writing on their blogs this week with posts about the last years highs and lows and aspirations for 2018. I so hope to stop adding to my collection of yarn and fabric and get on and work with it.

Oh, and clean the oven, January’s only goal for me. Yes it does need a clean. And I actually quite like cleaning the oven, all that gunk is so satisfying. Today I will do this.

I have been mostly crocheting this week, trying to add one block a night to the final rounds on the blanket destined for a care home.

I have 14 more to go, so in two weeks they should be done and ready to join and add the border. Maybe finish blanket should be another goal for January. That makes two.

I have started with the Jo Baker book on my January reads. Hey that makes three goals, to finish this book. Before I know it there will be 18 of the beggars.

Not only has Ginny missed her yarn along but so also has Ginny at Ginx Craft who has started a first Monday in the month link up. Ginny designs and knits the most wonderful things you can imagine, there is talk of a book, I will pre-order it if I am allowed.

I have done a little knitting on the mystery project, no-one hazarded a guess last week , and this week is no better I reckon.

It will grow, once the blanket is done. Maybe by the end of January, oh my could that be four goals for January?

Enough, I shall go and clean the oven. Do please tell what you are making, could be anything, a bird house, a widget, a jumper, a blanket, a picture, a cake.. I shall be making greasy gunk this morning!

Be Happy

Cathyx

 

 

Photo Challenge 2018- Sparkle

Some sparkly pictures to start the year.

This light in my brothers home , not only sparkled, but also cast rainbows on my book at bedtime.

Sparkly Christmas Lights at my sons home where we spent Christmas

And the best sparkle of 2017 when Ms G said Yes to Mr B’s question.

Think Mr B took this as a selfie. But see that sparkle in their eyes!  The  best kind of sparkle to a Mum’s mind.

Wild Daffodil created this challenge this year so please visit her site here for some more sparkles.

 

17 was for 2017.

Happy New Year everyone. Before I start the new year I thought I would review my 17 for 2017 and explain if only to myself why there will be no 18 for 2018. Although I am delighted to see that others are taking up the 18 for 2018 challenge, please feel free to leave a link to your 18 for 2018 in the comments.

17 swims- 14 only. There is no excuse for having failed with this one. I like swimming I just didn’t go. I still want to get into the habit of swimming regularly, and was more successful last year. So sometime in January I shall buy myself a quarterly pass which includes 15 swims to be swam in 12 weeks. That will teach me!

16 hour long walks- in 2015 and 2016 I set walking challenges that failed, this time I succeeded. I enjoyed lots of lovely walks right through the year, aided by buying an annual pass to the local forest and 30 Days Wild in June. My biggest joy was finding that Pickering had a millenium wood.

The walking has continued since then, I took a walk in the snow on Saturday.

What a contrast!

15 books read from the heap by the bed- this has remained on 13, the question is Why? Well volunteering at the library means I have so much choice and the ones in the heap just don’t inspire me to pick them up. So really I should just give them away, except they make a very useful pile on which to place the bedside light to bring it up to the right height for bedtime reading. On the plus side I have not bought any new novels in book form, and only three or was it four for the Kindle?

14lbs lost- now this was going so badly that 14 was expunged from the 17 for quite sometime. Then in December, yes before ,during and after Christmas I decided enough was enough and re-instated it. Result 7 1/4lbs lost. Which is an achievement, especially if I can keep going. I will let you know if I ever make the 14 and maybe even what happens to the swims and the books.

13 cards made-13 completed. But not as many as I would have liked.

12 Posts about local villages- only four. I even drew up a list of villages to go too. Not quite certain why it didn’t happen, never mind, maybe next year there will be some more.

11 days out- achieved. York in November below

10 new things tried- achieved with  things including wild boar sausages, wearing a fascinator and writing for the local history group magazine

9 Knitting/crochet projects completed- with ease

a little mermaid

Bagpuss

A book for a baby

chunky jumpers

crochet blankets

Gloves

A dartmoor sheep and two

Christmas stockings. That might be why there was not much time for other things do you think?

8 craft projects tried- over the years I have acquired a lot craft making stuff, and the idea was to use some of it. Well I managed three things, some needlefelt but then I broke the needle mid session, but managed to buy more, but failed to complete what I started. I did make some pressed flower cards. I did have a painting session, had great fun and threw away the mess. Not a resounding success story!

7 completed sewing projects- Achieved.

My personal favourite the cats and the elephant from scraps. The one on the left apparently is called Caty and the one on the right is Kitty , the elephant has no name. They were named by their new owners.

The wedding bunting

Cross stitch puffin

The cowboy placemat

And the big skirt with the first zip I have stitched since leaving school back in the dark ages.

6 Non Fiction books read- Achieved, but it transpires that I am now more given to buying non-fiction books then fiction books. So that I have now finished the year with even more half read non- fiction books. Oh well got to be good to educate myself! And maybe I have to adjust my way of reading non- fiction, am I supposed to start at the beginning and go to the end?

5 Family History questions answered yes achieved. I have recently traced two branches of the family back to their roots. My Fathers back to a small village in Northumberland and part of Mum’s to Wales. I have done an Ancestry DNA test and no surprises I am British through and through with a tiny bit of Scandinavian thrown in. Hoping to do a lot more in 2018. Glad I included this in 17 for 2017, it helped re awake my interest.

4 Sort outs- achieved with the grand finale with my son Mr B clearing out his wardrobe of teenage tat. I have since done some clearing out of middle-aged lady tat, it’s sitting in the car boot to donate to a charity shop.

3 Interesting things found- achieved , but they weren’t very interesting!

2 picnics- yes achieved.

1 Boat ride- totally failed to organise myself to see the puffins or the whales. The whale boat ride is 4 hours on the North Sea. Then I recalled that I am the person who can be sea sick before a ferry leaves port, and thought  better of that. The puffins must be seen , maybe 2018.

0 craft supples bought-  Oh Dear. Abject failure, far too much yarn bought and the cowboy fabric which I had to replace. But as for general craft supplies I did ok, goggle eyes, needles for needle thread, double-sided tape, that sort of thing to complete projects or to replace things I used up. The secret is when I go to a shop to buy buttons I do not come out with yarn as well, and I keep well away from yarn on-line shops, because then the gremlin takes over the computer.

So on the whole probably not too bad. There were just too many things to think about . And life. Life happens. People get engaged, married, need bunting, have babies, NEED baby clothes and toys, and new things grab my attention like 30 Days Wild and the Repair Cafe, both so enjoyable. So for 2018 I am going with the flow, I shall be chilled, I shall be less manic, I shall enjoy life and the process of creating and forget the need to tot things up. I shall swim and walk and loose those 14lbs. I shall knit that yarn and make things from all that fabric and craft materials. I shall keep sorting things out and passing on or recycling unused things, can someone please tell me why I always have so much paper to recycle. Where does it come from?

Above all I will keep blogging. This has been a wonderful year for blogging, so much fun and so many lovely blogging friends. Thank you all for being so marvellous. I shall leave you with one more photo from my Winter walk. The first took me up short as I climbed, well gently strolled up the hill to see what looked like an alien invasion.

Floodlights on the school playing field.

Happy New Year,

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

 

 

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