Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The past week has been mostly about...

...wondering where the time is going. I mean, really?! I drop Little Girl off at school, come home and then all of a sudden it's time to collect her again!

...planting out some raspberry canes! I was lucky enough to be given these by a friend and spent one morning last week (and I seemed to pick one of the coldest days!), took a deep breath and made a trench in our new lawned garden. I'm hoping they'll do really well and that the birds won't eat all of them - I'm very excited about the idea of strolling down the garden to pick some fruit for my breakfast!

...spending the weekend catching up with friends.This involved quite a lot of travel time in the car which made for some perfect Mara knitting!

...meeting with friends at a pub in the centre of Avebury. The sky was ominous but we managed a short stroll and got back to the car literally minutes before the rain came down!

It is a really impressive site to visit, and difficult to give an idea of scale. Upclose, the stones themselves have fantastic texture, colours and shape

One of my favourite bits was rounding a corner and coming across this tree - the tangle of roots was just amazing!

...jumping on the Bloglovin bandwagon! Google reader is disappearing in July so to keep up with all my favourite reads I've signed up, and if you like you can follow me here. It really is easy - took mere minutes!

...I've also been working away on organising my sewing space. It's nearly there now, I'm very excited! It's involved painting and decopatch. Can't get much better than that!!!

See you all soon,

S x

Todays sky ● quite overcast but there have been snippets of blue

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Pondering and an award!

Thank you all so much for all the visits and love for the Sky Blanket. I still can't quite believe that it's all finished! I walked in the other day to find Little Girl snuggled right under it - I do so love walking in to a room and finding the blankets that I've made being used, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling!
Sky Blanket by fabric&flowers

I do now feel at a bit of a loss though. There was something very meditative about sitting down and hooking with a finite goal of just one row of crochet for each and every day, even if it only took ten minutes: it helped me to feel centred and calm and gave me a sense of accomplishment. So I've been left pondering my next challenge. There are lots of quilts that I want to make (I've got everything in to make a Farmers Wife Quilt) but these will mostly be done on a sewing machine, and really I want a hand-based sat on the sofa craft, so I'm mulling over a few ideas.

In the meantime, I've started another Mara shawl. You may remember that I made one back last year which I really enjoyed and it's quite a mindless knit which is what I'm in need of at the moment! I've also got loads of sock-wool in my stash so it seemed a good way of using some of it up and the colours seemed perfect for Spring (although the sun seems to have gone on hiatus for the time being!)
Beginnings of a Mara shawl by fabric&flowers

I hadn't fully considered just how stripey the yarn was but I'm hoping that when it's done the stripes will soften a bit and that it will look lovely with a plain t-shirt!

In other news, I feel very honoured to have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Elita. This is the second time I've been nominated, my first time being back in April last year by Lynne when I didn't do anything about it as I was very new to the blogging world.

The Liebster Blog award is given to bloggers that have been going for less than six months or who have less than 200 followers. You link to the blog that nominated you and then nominate other blogs that you enjoy reading or have recently found, and provide some random/little know facts about yourself so that other people can all get to know you. Some also ask you to answer questions. It's a bit like a chain letter, although not everyone likes passing on those! 

I'm not going to do it entirely by the letter but did want to share some amazing to me blogs with you. So, in the spirit of Liebster here are some things that you might not yet know about me:

✿ My first real job after uni was selling fork-lift trucks
✿ I didn't enjoy selling fork-lift trucks but did enjoy meeting one of my customers who I later married (we've been together nearly 14yrs now - eek!)
✿ BC (before children!) I worked in market research. Even now, I still love walking around supermarkets, checking out new packaging and products. 
✿ For our honeymoon, Mr f&f and I went to America and toured around on a Harley Davidson for two weeks: it was the best time ever
✿ I had each of my three children at home in a pool using hypno-birthing and no pain medication. Yep, I'm nuts!
✿ I love hearing my kids laugh
✿ I always get my words mixed up, espeically when I'm tired.
✿ I have so many ideas of things I want to do and never enough time to try them all out!
✿ I think my fabric collection is very modest, although Mr f&f disagrees
✿ I get overly excited when seeds I plant in the garden start to grow
✿ Sometime I laugh so hard I cry, especially if it's one of those animal videos from You've Been Framed - they get me every time!
✿ I'm not a morning person. It takes me at least two cups of tea to wake up. I once put chilli on my porridge (instead of cinnamon) because I wasn't fully awake!

So there you have it. Me in a nutshell, hopefully you'll still want to follow me after all those revelations!!! The blogs that I would really like you to go and check out are.....

✿ Sarah at Duck Egg Threads who I discovered through the BOM and is on a very exciting journey designing new products for her soon to launch business
✿ Ange at Heart of Charnwood - makes things at an incredible pace and her posts nearly always make me giggle
✿ Jennie at Jennie's Threads - does some amazing piecing work, and is even being brave enough to do a Dear Jane Quilt!
✿ Chrissie at Made by Chrissie D again does some amazing modern quilting, just check out her Something New Sampler!
✿ Elizabeth at Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse does beautiful crochet (and the odd crochet too, potato jackets come to mind!) and also writes some very thought provoking posts
✿ Lynne at Ozzy Blackbeard is on a dress-making mission at the moment and is making the most amazing clothes at the most incredible rate, just check out her Mathilde blouse and Thurlow trousers

Some of these may have already been nominated for a Liebster but they're blogs that I really enjoy, and I hope that you will to ☺

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend, and if you're a Mum that you're being spoilt. I had a lovely roast cooked for me and will soon be settling down with a glass of wine. Yum!

S x

Todays sky ● overcast and grey. Yuck!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

2012 in crochet

It seems a little bit silly writing this now, in the third month of 2013, but it's time to (finally!) reveal my 2012 Sky Blanket!!!
2012 Sky Blanket by fabric&flowers

It seems ages ago since I first started this as a scarf only to then rip it out and restart it as a blanket a few days later once I'd done a few tension calculations!!!

If I think about 2012 I mostly remember rain and grey skies, but in actual fact there were quite a lot of blue skies, or blue with clouds. There were also some amazing skies. Here are my favourite pics from each month... 
Favourite sky of each month in 2012 by fabric&flowers

It was a very eventful year: from a craft perspective I started dress-making and quilting which has been the beginning of what I think is going to be a very long and enjoyable journey! On a personal side, most of the year was spent building up to moving over a hundred miles: we bought a new house off-plan in April and because of all the bad weather didn't move until the end of September. Despite the upheaval, everyone seems to have settled in to our new home/life really well and I've been enjoying being closer to my parents, especially as my mum has been quite poorly since August.

It's been really interesting for me to 'journal' the year in crochet. One of the things that I came to realise was that my progress on the blanket was very much a barometer or how calm/hectic my life was at that point in time. Case in point being that when we moved I got about a month behind with myself!!!!

When I first started the sky blanket, one of the things I was very keen to do was to mark each month. Quite early in the year I came across a tutorial for making your own buttons out of shrinkable plastic, which seemed the perfect solution as I could personalise them however I wanted! I don't know if you've ever used this but it's like the coolest stuff ever!!! I initially thought of drawing a picture to symbolise each month but eventually decided that simplicity was key and just wrote the month on each button following the instructions in the tutorial and ended up with 13 (mostly round!) buttons
Making shrinkles buttons by fabric&flowers

So, enough of my rambling and retrospective musings......would you like to see the blanket?!

2012 Sky Blanket by fabric&flowers

It's fair to say that it is a huge blanket, and one that I don't feel I've been able to fully capture in photos. The last seven days of 2012 make up the border, and each border row took about 2hrs!!!!!
Sky Blanket with 'Jan' button by fabric&flowers

I only used six different colours, but got lots of variation from using a couple of varigated colours which helped to keep it interesting. I kept the border quite simple, doing a little picot edging to break up all the monotony and because I felt that it complimented the ripple waves.

So, details - and I've gone all out here because I'm a bit of a numbers geek at heart! - as well as including details of all the yarns and I used and what sky they represented to me;

Pattern: Attic24's ripple pattern

Stylecraft Special DK Cloud Blue (1019) - blue skies, spring/autumn
Stylecraft Special DK Aster (1019) - blue skies, summer - hot!
Stylecraft Special Twirl DK - Sky (1654) - blue sky with clouds
Stylecraft Special DK White (1001) - snow
Stylecraft Special DK Parchment (1218) - overcast/cloudy
Stylecraft Special Twirl DK - Slate (1655) - rainy days

Amount of yarn: 17 balls

Size: 42" x 75"

Approx. number of stitches (!): 37,500

So there we go, 2012 is finally wrapped up!

Thank you all so much for following me on this journey - it's been so much fun and I love all the memories that I have woven into my diary of 2012.

See you all soon,

S x

Todays sky ● overcast. Meh!

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