Saturday, January 31, 2015



I always think of myself as an individual and heaven forbid anyone that is similar to me. However, as a crafter I am sure there are others out there who are hoarders (just like me) and who never throw anything away...that's not to say I'm messy,  I have my hoard stashed away neatly in boxes or tins.  Now, every so often I will tell myself I need to go through my treasures and reduce the size I'm hoarding.  However, when I do start I then say to myself "I can't get rid of it I might need it one day."  Well, today Saturday was one of those days, there I was searching through my stash to put into a swap parcel when I came across material, sewing equipment, wool, craft gadgets and other bits and pieces that I can honestly say I haven't seen before or can't remember buying. I always act suprised when I find these little treasures and  I get a warm glow, my mind starts racing and before I know it I have ten projects in my mind.  I also come across projects that I have put on hold but I can't remember why they've been shelved. Well, the item in the photo above is one such project that I shelved in 2010!!!!! I wasn't bored of it, so,  I don't know how it ended up in a box. The item in question is Polar Chullo  a gorgeous looking hat, very cosy for this weather and would be great for playing outside with the children at work.  My version just needs two things the knitted cord and then a wash to partially shrink and felt it. So today I have brought something out of hibernation and back to life and do you know I might just go raking tomorrow again to see what other treasures I can find.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Carpe Diem

Oh my, how time flies...I can't believe that my last post was so long ago...what have I been up to, well it is a chilly day in my little neck of the woods which means snuggling and keeping warm. So much has changed in my life recently, some good and some not so good, so I'm really trusting that 2015 will be more successful and happier than 2014. I am still a crafter at heart picking up the needles/hook and yarn whenever I get the chance... however, this is pretty limited as most of my time is spent driving to and from my workplace...which is an hour and ten minutes away from my home, one way. Which probably explains why I'm tired all the time and haven't got time for blogging or anything else. Although, I have been pretty productive on the crafting front...I have should we say been seizing the day. Since Christmas I have made 2 crochet blankets, 2 scarves (1 knitted, 1 crochet), a felt cat for my mum (pictured) pattern is by Alicia Paulson and 3 hats. The mincemeat pies are a Paul Hollywood recipe  and very delicious.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

And we're off.....

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Today is the first day of the Outfit Along (squee) a challenge that I'm going to be a part of over the month of June.   This is a two part challenge in which I have to make a cardigan and then a dress.  I should be able to manage this even though I have lots of other projects on the go.

Now, one thing has changed since last week,  I have made an adjustment to the yarn; I was originally going to use Cascade 220 but decided to opt for Cascade 220 Superwash. Why? There isn't any difference in the texture of the two yarns, just, the colour choices appeared a better match for the material of my dress. I only sat in front of two different computer monitors for half and hour ummming! and ahhing! over what colour of green I should choose and then when push came to shove I hit another button colour instead and bought Candy Pink. It doesn't go with the big star flowers in the design, but it does match the little flowers perfectly. I don't know if you can see the other feature in the pattern, yes, it's  my favourite insect of all time, a ladybird. 
Also in my previous post I mentioned that this  material was destined for another dress pattern, which I think is now lost in the wreck of a room where I do my crafting.  If I remember correctly the pattern was a halter neck dress, to be honest,  I'm not really a fan of them (I have wide shoulders and biggish boobs, feels like I have a ready made table in front of me) so I don't know why I bought it.   The new pattern, well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it suits my body image, it should look good  once I have lost a few pounds and stopped eating Jelly Tots (this weeks craving, lol) been dreaming about them all week and yesterday I decided to succumb and bought a bag, well a biggish bag.....ooppp's.

Anyway enjoy the rest of your day peeps,  I'm going back to potter in the garden, then I'll maybe watch some catch up T.V. and do more rows of my cardigan. 

Bye for now
Shirley xx

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Much Madness!

Very excited about the outfit along! I've been following Andi Satterlund for quite some time now and have test knitted quite a few designs for her. The challenge is to complete the outfit (cardigan and dress) within one month starting on the 1st of June. I very much doubt I will finish it in time, with travelling two hours a day and working eight hour shifts, but I will give it my best shot, it will be a good motivator. Unfortunately, I can’t get hold of the specified yarn so I was going to use my favourite and much tested; Cascade 220. I will be using the pattern specified and some fabric that I bought for another project that I didn't quite get round to.
When I do start I plan to knit the cardigan during the day; lunch break permitting and the dress at night, so long as I'm not too tired, then again maybe the weekend would be better.

Wish me luck, because I think I'm going to need it.  Oh! And I promise I will take photographs of the fabric and yarn before the challenge begins.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Jar!

A couple of months ago I was reading some blogs, and I found an idea I wanted to try. One particular blog had a post about a happy jar - a place where you can put all your happy memories so you will never forget them. Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to write journals, letters, take photos so my memories would never be lost, but alas I somehow start off with good intentions and then lose my way. That was until I read about the happy jar, and I knew I had to make one for myself! And here it is:

Mason Jar with a hand knitted eyelet cover and polka dot ribbon

Anytime I get good news or something memorable happens, I'm going to write it down and fold the paper and put it in my jar.  I want this jar to be fun, not an obligation;  which means I may have four things to write in a day or I may have none.  Both are equally fine with me, after all I don't want this to become a chore, I want to try and keep it going throughout the year. So here are some ideas to get me started:
- Something that made me smile
- A goal I have accomplished
- A healthy choice I made
- Who I spent time with
- A memory or good story
- A lucky break or something that felt “meant to be”
- Nice weather
- A second chance
I'm hoping by New Years Eve 2014 I will have quite a collection to read through and perhaps if I look back on 2014 and feel maybe things didn't  go so well, these happy statements will tell me otherwise.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Trying to Heal


The past couple of weeks has been very hard for Paul and I. We seem to cope okay when we are busy with work but as soon as we have some spare time such as days off, Chievo's passing hits us all over again, so we are trying to talk about our feelings and having a cry if we need to, just generally being there for each other. We are both still trying to find our new routines, as anyone who owns dogs will know they are a big part of the family and their needs come before yours at times. So when Paul is on shifts I'm busying myself with baking, sewing and housework; although I do hate the latter with a passion, but needs must.

On the crafting front I have been very busy, I had a clear out or rather a reorganisation of my craft area (I never throw anything away-I'm a hoarder) where I found some kits; cat and squirrel kit (to be precise) pictured, that I bought quite a long time ago. The cat embroidery was purchased from Nancy Nicholson's website. I originally started this piece on a whim, I needed something to occupy my heart, mind and hands, and this kit brought the peace I needed; the more I progressed with it, the harder it became to put it down. Now, originally I had no intention of giving this piece away, I wanted to be selfish and keep it for myself but then I thought my mum would appreciate this piece more than me, so, I gifted it to her for Mother's Day. The other piece with the squirrel, is crewel embroidery work (I nicknamed it cruel embroidery because it made my hands ache so much) it's staying with me, but it's still waiting for a frame as I'm not sure what colour the surround should be, sigh!

Finally, I celebrated my birthday right in the middle of Easter, it was a very mixed day one minute I was excited (I love my birthday and feel like a little kid) and on the other it was tinged with sadness as I wanted the one person with me that I couldn't have; my dog. However, Paul made sure that he was included by signing my card and gift labels from Paul and Chievs which made me smile. The icing on the cake though was the t-shirt with a picture of a dog on it. It took me a bit of courage to ask Paul if it was Chievs, and to my delight it was my little boy on the front wearing 3d glasses. To top it off the t-shirt had Ridgeback written on the back in orange letters; cause you see I always called Chievs my 'little orange.'

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We'll Meet Again One Day Pupnick!


Quite a lot of crafting has been taking place over the past couple of months. I find that when I am stressed I either turn to my knitting or sewing as a kind of comfort. Why am I stressed? Last November my little boy Dogman needed an emergency appointment at the vets, let's just say he wasn't quite himself and I knew there was something wrong. Our fears proved to be correct when on the same day we were told that Chievs (Dogman) had testicular cancer and that it would have to be removed the following morning. The very same day we brought him home and we nursed him back to full health.

Then in December my other half Paul was involved in a car accident which saw his car totalled when a set of workmen's ladders came flying off their van at 60mph and straight through his car.  If the wind had not pulled the ladders down the police reckon Paul wouldn't be here today. Thankfully Paul didn't suffer any physical damage, just cognitive in the form of reliving the experience and being later diagnosed as suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Christmas arrived and we celebrated it fully and were thankful that we had made it through all the horribleness practically unscathed. Chievs (Dogman) seemed to return to full health only to experience a few minor health glitches in January and February; losing some fur, then being diagnosed with kidney disease. Tablets seemed to stabilise his condition for a while, but, then in March he seemed to be slowing down. He wasn't enjoying his walks, his eating became erratic, so we scheduled another vet appointment. More tablets were given for his condition and they seemed to work, we did notice that he was urinating more and he was having more toilet accidents in the house; we thought it was the tablets. Then one day as we were grooming him we found a solid area in his stomach, near his right hind leg. Again another appointment was scheduled with the vet and this time we were given two possible scenarios, it could be he has an infection or it could be lymphoma. Blood tests and an x-ray were scheduled and on the 27th of March 2014 I rushed home from work to meet with the vet. We were ushered into a room and told our little furry boy had lymphoma and it was spreading through his body rapidly, we were also told he was in a lot of pain and that it would be better for us to have him put to sleep. We were advised to take our little boy home for one night to care for, pamper and tell him we love him.

Paul stayed up with Chievs all night and in the morning we made him a special breakfast, we took him for his last family walk. Then at  8.45am on the 28th of March 2014, our boy died in our arms. We brought him home together and it only seemed right that we said goodbye together. Our little furry boy was so very much loved and wanted, that the pain we feel from losing him at times is unbearable. We loved you so much Chievs, that's why we couldn't bear to watch you suffer, we wanted you to run free and be happy.

                                                    Chievo Chalmers 21/09/2003-28/03/2014 

                                                 We'll meet you again one day Pupnick, I promise.

                                                      Love from your human mummy and daddy

                                                                                God Bless