Thursday, 14 October 2010

Startitis and kind Mummies

Oh dear.

It appears that I have completely succumbed to that terrible disease........

Woolly Startitis :o(

I think I keep buying more wool and starting new projects in a vain attempt to solve other more tricky problems but it's just not working and I have far too many things on the go.

So I thought I'd share them with you all.

Along with the new sock wool I bought yesterday - even though I have only 1 Polly Jean, 1 Rhodie Gus, 1 9-5, 1 Monkey and 1 Circle Sock and various other solitary plain socks plus a few halves on the needles. Oh, and the wool for a crocheted Queen Anne's Lace scarf that I frogged yesterday. And the teddy bear that I bought the wool for then passed over to Dot to knit instead...................

It seems I cannot be cured.

But here are some beautiful flowers from my wonderful Mummy

and my lovely Mother-in-Law

to distract you from all that wool......................

P.S. The projects are:
1. Flowers in the snow blanket
2. Some chunky alpaca wristwarmers
3. My first attempt at my own design for long 4ply wristwarmers (which are taking ages hence the speedy ones at no. 2)
4. Ishbel

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Pretty Happy Things................... Again!

It's funny because I was wondering what to call this post and thought to myself, well I've got pretty things to show and they make me happy so I'll call it "pretty happy things" but as I started typing the title it popped up so I've obviously written another post fairly recently with the same title!  Never mind.  It still fits!

Now I've clearly developed a passion for all things Cath Kidston (probably because her things are pretty and they make me happy!!)  So I spent some of my birthday money from my lovely in-laws on some more mugs and a teapot to go with the cherry mug that my mum and dad bought me a couple of months ago.  

I love how nice tea is from these mugs and although the teapot is a pretty bad pourer the tea tastes absolutely perfect.

When we were on holiday we regularly made pots of tea and it reminded me of how much I love the ritual of sitting down together and pouring out mugs of tea rather than just sticking teabags in a cup.  It's got something to do with the "being together doing the same thing at the same time, sharing, family type of thing".  Uh-oh! That makes me sound really mushy! ;o)

Anyway, moving swiftly on, when we were on holiday I bought a plain brown teapot so Dot said she would make me a teacosy with some of her lovely birthday fabrics as her first project on her new sewing machine.

I love it - although the children seem to think it is a hat!  Dot has blogged about it over here.

I went to my lovely local wool shop Ring-a-Rosie a couple of weeks ago and bought some lovely new goodies - including a fabulous "Nadel Box" - now every knitter needs a nadel box you know!


So I have been busily multi-tasking with various different knitting and crochet projects and have just finished off another bright cushion for the new sofas using these lovely cotton glaces from Rowan.

I managed to find the perfect charity shop jumper for the back and have just finished it all off this afternoon.

And now I'm not sure whether I like the front or the back best!

I've also finished my first "Monkey" sock using the lovely wool I bought in Hay on Wye - and I've even cast on the second although I make no promises about actually finishing it any time soon! 

The lovely blue Rialto 4 ply is for an Ishbel which has unfortunately been pushed out of the way by crochet plans.  Sometimes I want to knit and other times I just have to crochet - especially when these beautiful stripes start appearing...................

But now I have to go and  make an Egyptian costume for Daisy.

For a school play?


For a history day at school?


For a 10 second photo shoot for the PTA calendar! 


Do they not realise how much time and hassle parents have to go through to produce costumes for a Roman soldier and an Egyptian just for a calendar photo?  

Fortunately a friend has all the Roman gear we need for Fred but I've had to spend a fortune on braid and gold ribbon to make Daisy's dress.  Can you tell I'm not exactly delighted?

Sorry - shouldn't have ended the post on a non-pretty-happy subject! So here's a picture of three very pretty and happy things back in June!

'Til next time, Lucy x

P.S. the quilt in the previous post fetched £95 at auction last week - I'm so pleased somebody else appreciated it!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Skill Scale

I have just made my first cushion for our new (very smart, and not like us at all) sofas.

I used my gorgeous Cath Kidston fabrics from my birthday and did a very simple 3½" square patchwork which has worked really well and I love it.

I've backed it with a Greengate tea towel that I bought at a Country Living show a couple of years ago so I could use the fabric for something - I never had any intention of drying dishes with it! ;o)

Daisy has been really funny because when we first got our very grown up, brown leather sofas she was totally horrified that I was planning on making bright and happy CK cushions for them.  "NORMAL" people don't have cushions like that on their sofas.  Normal people have cushions that blend in.  Did you know that?  Now when have I every tried to be normal???  I had to explain to Daisy that banning bright patchy cushions from the sitting room and making it "grown up" would be like banning ME from the room.  I'm afraid I'm never going to be subtle and stylish!

Anyway, when I brought the cushion in from the sewing room last night she agreed that it was lovely.

I hope she agrees when she sees the Granny square cushion I'm also making..................

Because I know she isn't going to approve of our plans to build a whole wall of bookshelves in the sitting room like these above Dot's bed in their new shared bedroom.

Especially (according to her) as they will be opposite the window of all things!  NORMAL people don't have walls of books.  And passers-by are going to be able to SEE them! How horrific! ;o)  She does make me laugh and I totally love her for her sense of style even if it is the opposite of mine (and secretly I think she is probably right some of the time).

Anyway, I'm digressing......

The title of this post is "the skill scale" because I wanted to contrast my lovely but very simple patchwork cushion above with this amazing tumbling blocks quilt top that is going up for auction next week at our local auction galleries.

It has been completely hand pieced using old clothing and still has all the paper templates in the back with lovely copper-plate handwriting from letters, lists, bills etc.

It's HUGE and really impressive so I hope it sells well as it deserves to be appreciated by someone who may even be able to finish it.

I know that whatever skills I have now or learn in the future, I will never hand-sew something of that size and technique because it really must have taken years to do and I know I'll never be that patient or dedicated!

Right! I'm off to make some more simple patchy cushions.........

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Happy birthday to meeee!

Not long after Dot's birthday it was my turn - although I didn't get a trip round Hay for my birthday treat!

I DID get lots of gorgeous presents though - partly because Mr Locket let me choose what I wanted so I stocked up on some new sewing books (obviously)

and had a very excitable spending spree in the Cath Kidston outlet shop in Bicester near Oxford on the last day of our holiday.

Because it was an outlet shop the fabric was reduced to £12 a metre and I was able to buy half metre selections 

and I increased my choice by buying some tea towels and napkins as well as some odd scraps that they were selling off cheaply.

But to make things even more fabulous my lovely Mummy and Daddy gave me 3 metres of CK fabric that they had chosen for me in Edinburgh!  

So now I have enough to make all the lovely patchwork cushions and curtain borders that I had planned and also some bags!  Fab!

I also bought some lovely fabric in a gorgeous shop in Cirencester that I will tell you all about in a later post.

And then there were all the wonderful presents from my friends

as well as this gorgeous Janet Clare mini-quilt from the lovely Trashy!  :o)

And guess what?  I've still got some birthday money to spend!!!!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Bookworm's Birthday

 So where do you take a complete Bookworm for her 13th birthday?

Does this sign give you a clue?

Or this?

Of course - we took Dot (and the rest of the Lockets) to the wonderful town of Hay on Wye just over the border into Wales.  

Hay is internationally famous for being crammed full of second hand bookshops - I think there are at least 30 - and so it was the obvious place to take Dot to spend her birthday money.

Although our cottage in the Cotswolds was relatively close to Hay it still took us 2 hours in torrential rain and partially flooded roads to get there but fortunately the rain dried up as we arrived in the town so there was nothing to interrupt our shopping spree!

Mr Locket and the littlest Lockets went off on their own adventures leaving Dot and I to play in all the bookshops :o)

and we had fun!  Dot bought 14 new books (to add to the 9 she had already been given for her birthday!) including classic children's literature like the Little Princess and Heidi, two different editions of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales, some Georgette Heyer regency romances and Daphne Du Maurier's Jamaica Inn along with Jane Austen's Emma and a recent biography of the author - among others!!!

So, seeing as Dot has inherited her love of books from me and Mr Locket, the next question must surely be: did I buy lots of books?


Did I buy one book?

So what did I buy in this town full of bookshops????

Sock wool of course!


Tuesday, 31 August 2010

We're back!! Did you miss us???

Hello everyone - sorry for the absence, but we've had a very rare thing in the Locket household.......... a proper week's holiday!  We don't often get away but one place we really love is this little cottage in the corner of a field, at the end of a farm track in the Cotswolds.

Mr Locket and I first stayed at Westley Farm about 15 years ago when he had a job interview at a nearby Roman Villa and we loved it and always hoped that one day we would be able to stay in the hidden away cottage at the end of the track.
 (this is the view from our front door)

Ten years later we managed it - this time with 3 Little Lockets - who also loved staying in this perfect little cottage in a field with badgers and foxes and freedom to run around and play.

Another five years on and the Little Lockets are not so little - but the fun was still there and we had a lovely time in this lovely little house with the tea table set for our arrival

- and we amused ourselves by recreating some of our earlier photographs:
(this one is actually a totally unintentional recreation of the earlier photo!)

We spent most of our days just messing about in the field (the rope swing was a favourite past-time) or reading or going for walks or knitting 

or going for walks AND knitting!

And one of the surprising highlights of the week for the children were the regular visit from these fellows:

The children carefully named the cows:
there was Henry, Frankie, Archie, Goalie (see the muddy knees), as well as Pirate and Lonely (no photos of them sadly)

and then there was Fred..................
"this" is Fred

 and so is "this"

in fact, all the black cows with white faces that didn't have any outstandingly different features, were called Fred - all 30 of them! ;o)

It was a really lovely holiday and we were very sad to leave - but hopefully we'll be able to go back again soon.

Next time I'll tell you about a very special birthday outing that we had while we were away!