Thursday 27 November 2008

Crochet Hook Rolls and Wrist Warmers

Now I told you all how much I love my new knitting needles and this is what they have been making lately:

first some wristwarmers for Mr Locket's birthday inspired by this tutorial

then some for Miss Dotty Locket to match the scarf she is knitting for herself

and then some more for Daisy Locket only these weren't half as much fun to do because they were on squitty thin metal dpns instead of my lovely bamboo ones - they look good though and the wool was really cheap for self-patterning.

No two are identical in length, stitch number or thumb size because I was sort of making it up as I went along (and not really following the very good tutorial) but on the whole I'm very pleased with them!

The other thing I've been making lately is crochet hook rolls inspired by this fab tutorial.

The first was for Charlie P

The second for Thimbleanna

And the third was for Lesley

(Actually the fourth was for Lesley and the third, almost identical one is mine - only mine has all the faults and hers is better!)

They are lovely to make and very, very useful so now I need to make myself a slightly larger one to house all my lovely new bamboo dpns - not just my set from Loop but all these too!!!!

But I will leave you today with the needle case I made for Ally using one of Lynette Anderson's brilliant free block of the month stitcheries.

So a post full of creations and tutorials.

By the way have any of you noticed the fab new item on the side of my blog - my wistlist? It's a really brilliant way to store all your favourite crafty tutorials - there are so many there that I want to make so why do I have to go to work when I have all this sewing and knitting to do? It's so unfair!

Tuesday 25 November 2008

I'm sorry!

I've become a really rubbish blogger lately - not only am I not replying to your lovely comments I'm also getting really bad at writing posts. But I am quite happy to lay the blame squarely on "the new dog" - it has nothing to do with me being lazy. Nothing at all. Really.

To make matters worse I have loads of Thank You's to say for all the lovely gifts I received down in London!

Lesley treated me to one of her fabulous Christmas quilts

Gina gave me a beautiful peg-doll fairy

Trashy painted this amazing pear tree decoration

Ali gave me one of her beautiful origami wreaths and some fab red and white string

Emma made this gorgeous bracelet

and Val made this stunning one

- they go so beautifully together and I have been wearing them nearly every day since I got back!

And Michaela gave me some of her delicious fudge

it looks good doesn't it?


Well it did! And it was scrummy!!!

Thank you all so very much! My presents are lovely and meeting you all was fab!

My sewing production went into overdrive in preparation for the BIG trip to London but since then I have been busy knitting - mainly because I have completely fallen in love with the set of knitting needles I bought in Loop

I don't think I have ever loved a craft tool as much (well, apart from my magic pen, my fabulous notebook of all notebooks and my sewing machine of course) - but these needles are gorgeous! I just want to keep on knitting! Shame I have so much sewing to do!!!

Finally you may also be pleased to hear that my smelly BIG sister has managed to update her blog!

(at last!)

Monday 17 November 2008

A FIRST CLASS weekend!

I don't know where to start with this post as there is so much to tell you about!

The weekend started off on a high with access to the First Class Lounge at Newcastle station

I've never travelled First Class before but I'm sure I could easily become accustomed to it - with the regular supply of free tea/coffee and biscuits throughout the journey. Although my friends did question whether it was normal to knit in First Class!

We arrived at The Country Living Christmas Show and met up with Gina, Lesley, Trashy, Maria and my very lovely, very BIG, sister Ally!

Gina and Lesley were just as lovely as I remembered but I hadn't met Maria or Trashy before - Maria was lovely and Trashy, well, Trashy was completely bonkers!

So please don't believe any of her nonsense about it being me and Lesley that were up to no good because I have photographic evidence to the contrary

I've chopped off her head (well someone had to) so she can't complain at me for putting too many photos of her on my blog, but you can clearly see from the jumper who was actually standing on tables in the canteen showing off the tablecloths! (the ladies on the next table seem rather bemused)

Gina sensibly ran away as soon as she could (not sure if she will be wanting to meet us again??!!!) and after terrorising the stall holders and visitors for a while longer we also departed into the Islington dusk in search of Loop.

I had to grab a photo of this beautiful flower shop on the way

before running with my suitcase bumping along the pavement to catch up with Trashy who was leading the way!

Loop was the most beautiful shop, full of gorgeous yarns,

incredible crochet and knitting

and, once we arrived, a bunch of very strange individuals

just click on the photo for a better view!

Having said good-bye to Trashy and Maria, Ally, Lesley and I gathered our picnic from Fortnum and Masons Sainsbury's and went back to the Ritz where we proceeded to laugh and chat and eat and drink and laugh some more until we told Ally it was time to stop messing about and go to sleep.

After eating the MOST ENORMOUS ALMOND CROISSANTS that you are ever likely to see for breakfast we set off to Covent Garden to this lovely restaurant where we met Michaela, Domesticali, Val, Emma and Baby Pebble and Vicious Chicken and the NBM! Everyone was really lovely and we had a fabulous time laughing and chatting and discussing knitting

and stopping half of London from getting a seat in a very popular restaurant (oops!)

There was also a lot of gift-exchanging but I am going to make you wait until my next post before I show you all my lovely presents!

The only bad thing about the weekend was that it all went so quickly and I didn't have enough time to talk to everyone - but I'm already trying to work out when I can come down again!

Finally, Domesticali has tagged me with a "6 Things" meme so I am going to follow her example and tell you the 6 best things about the weekend:

  1. Two very comfortable and fun train journeys with my good friends from home
  2. Meeting up with my BIG sister and getting to have a mini-holiday with her - even if she did whack me repeatedly with the TV remote control for no good reason at all! (surely she wanted me to push her off the bed, poke her in the ribs and generally be annoying? Isn't that what little sisters are meant to do???)
  3. Spending lots of time with my very lovely mad Leslerley friend - we may talk to each other half a dozen times a day but nothing beats being able to laugh and chat face to face
  4. Meeting all my wonderful bloggy friends - some for the very first time
  5. Finding out that Trashy really is as mad in real life as I had hoped
  6. Having a long cuddle with the adorable Baby Pebble
I'm not going to pass the tag on to anyone but instead could you all go and visit this very special new "almost blogger" - she just needs the encouragement to get going!

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Exciting Edinburgh!

A couple of weeks ago I had a very exciting trip up to Edinburgh for a bloggy meet up - a very, very exciting bloggy meet up too!

Because this was my chance to meet a very special transatlantic blogger - one I had never imagined I would ever get to meet

the one and only THIMBLEANNA!!!!!!

We've talked so often about how we would love to be able to pop round to each other's houses and sit and chat and sew and laugh but she is so far away that I had always imagined it would be impossible.

But HURRAY for blogland and very sensible people who go on holiday and need cat-sitters!

Anna, TheManOfTheHouse and I met up in K1 Yarns in Edinburgh's Grassmarket (I got lost on the way!) and it was a lovely shop with armchairs and tea so we could chat and laugh and swap gifts to our hearts' content (and we did buy some wool too!)

Anna was one of my mini-quilt swapees and we had agreed to do the swap in person. She has a tradition of only appearing on her blog in a "Wilson pose" and I have to agree it does mean I have a photo of myself that I actually like for once!

Anna made me the most beautiful mini quilt inspired by the larger one she made for her house-sitter-hostess - the fabrics are beautiful and I love the little stitchery! It is backed with the softest flannel - I wish I was teeny-tiny and could snuggle up underneath it!

I couldn't decide what kind of quilt to make for her though so I decided to leave it in the hands of the little Lockets. I was inspired by this post where Anna's EmptyNestChild decided to help her with her sewing one day. Daisy drew the initial picture of the cat at the sewing machine (although I used Dot's sewing machine drawing because it was slightly bigger) then Fred added the larger quilt on the wall, the speech bubble and the "diner". Dot contributed the shelf and it's contents (except for Daisy's little doggy), the mini-mini quilt and the clock. I then stitched it all and then copied Jodie's idea for the border.

I also made Anna a crochet hook roll and took a few crafty bits and bobs because she was the winner of my 200th post giveaway - or something like that and I had never got around to sending her anything!!!

And Anna inundated me with presents

beautiful fabrics (that I know a certain friend will be drooling over - good job I plan to share some with her!)

a really lovely sewing kit/card

sweeties for the children - like these - sorry I didn't get a photo of them before they were munched (although I actually think this is a photo of the very ones that arrived here!)

Smores ingredients like these - again lots have been gobbled up!

and wonderful pillow cases for the children with both their REAL names and their BLOG-names on so they can choose who they want to be!!!!

and she used special "smores" fabric too!!!!

It was so amazing to meet Anna and the wonderful ManOfTheHouse who was incredibly kind and patient and long-suffering as we dotted around Edinburgh talking non-stop and diving into pretty shops! I just hope they both come back very soon - or even better, decide to come and live here instead!

And now I must get back to the sewing machine as I still have some things to finish off in preparation for this weekend's BIG BLOGGY meet up!

Tuesday 4 November 2008

I'm in love...................

Totally and utterly in love...........................

with a PEN!

Aha, but this is NOT JUST ANY PEN! This is the most whizzo-prang-fantasmagorical pen in the world!

My Sulky "Iron-on Transfer Pen" (although it seems to have a rather sunny disposition to me despite its name)

I can happily say that this is the biggest revolution in my crafting life since my quarter inch foot on my sewing machine!

I absolutely LOVE IT!!!!

So do you want to know why? Or have you all been using these for years?

I'm going to guess you haven't and tell you why it is so fab. What you do is this:

1. Choose a stitchery pattern (this one is from Rosalie Quinlan's beautiful book "Gift")

2. Trace it with the new pen onto a piece of paper (which makes it really easy to get all the fine detail - although obviously you would have to reverse any writing/numbers etc)

3. Lay it face down on your piece of fabric - and it can be anything from cotton to linen to thicker osnaburg type stuff or even canvas I guess (which would be impossible to directly trace onto)

4. Iron it with a hot iron

5. Remove paper and gaze in awe at your newly transferred image

6. Be really, really impressed that you can use it again and again on lots of bits of fabric (I did at least 6 prints from one tracing)

7. Have the horrible realisation that you now have to stitch all these copies!

It really is the most fantastic invention and opens up loads of possibilities for stitching on patterned or heavy weight fabric.

So I am definitely in love.

I am also in love with something else.............................

Or rather someONE else............................

which is a good job because we will have been married for 14 years tomorrow

(and I do feel so sorry for the poor man!)

At least it was an easy date for him to remember!!!!

So Happy Anniversary for tomorrow Mr Locket! Thanks for putting up with me for so long!

Lucy x

Sunday 2 November 2008

Halloween Photos

You'll have to excuse me today because I am going to bombard you all with photos of Friday night's party at my friend's house (because I want a record of it!). We go each year for Halloween and we always have a fantastic time - which is especially good as I'm not a huge fan of Halloween on the whole!

So first of all here are the little Lockets in their deliberately not very scary costumes

Dot as a witch (in a borrowed-for-the-photo hat)

Daisy in her fabulous Dare-Devil costume from Gina

and Fred as a very cuddly Sully monster.

Next I need to show you the pumpkins.

The children got to carve ones that we had grown at the allotment. I took 5 over to my parents' house with the children when I dropped them off to stay for three days so I could go to work and left MY BIG SISTER Ally (who was up visiting with her family) with the task of helping the children carve them! (I'm nice like that!) Three of them were normal round ones but two were weird courgette(zucchini)/pumpkin hybrids - which made for interesting carving apparently!

Dot's original one turned out to be rotten so she and Fred shared this one - with her date and his stars

and Daisy carved this one.

Here they are with all their friends' pumpkins at the party - they all look fabulous and spooky!

There was loads of fabulous food

with this message in the middle

and lots of silly games including this one where they had to feel their way through a bowl full of cold spaghetti trying to identify the hidden objects

Dot looks like she loves the feeling of cold spaghetti between her fingers doesn't she?

Sadly I was a mean (and very tired) mummy and made the children come home before they had the chance to play this game

but we all had a really lovely time and I thought I'd leave you with a photo of a very witchy pair of legs belonging to Dot's friend - perfect tights!

Come back next time to find out who I got to meet up in Edinburgh a while ago - she should have returned home by now so all can be revealed!

Lucy x