Saturday, December 24, 2011

Waiting for Santa

Merry Christmas everyone! And breathe! Everything that can be done is done anything that isn't well too bad. It is all done presents made, knitted I didn't do to badly Winterberries Vaire there is a hat too. Delicious Fudge and the raspbery vodka of early in the year has been packaged, bottled and gifted. The turkey has been stuffed and we are just waiting for Santa. I hope he brings you everything you deserve.
Arianwen xx

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Taking photos in the dark

Hello, how are you all?
I decided to treat myself to a lie in this morning. I am not saying that I don't do this regularly but this morning I really wished I hadn't. By 9.00 am it was already trying to go dark! Which was a real pity as I was hoping for some really fantastic photos of Aaren. Aaren is a great pattern and I was lucky enough to have enough yarn to make both the body and sleeves a little longer than recommended My twelfth sweater of the year! This has been a long slow job to finish it, I think because I had already made it once. It has rained almost continually all day 'cept for when it tried a a little sleet! It has been an indoor day. Elenya took a few photos on my camera but it wasn't a great success then she got out her posh one which worked out a lot better but we were a little low on motivation for photos by that point. So that's it, a couple of indoor photos of a really fab sweater and none of my goodies from Harrogate.

The yarn is lovely and warm and cosy I just wish that it wasn't trying to burr up already! I have quite a lot of cashmerino in stash but I don't think I will be buying anymore it is a little frustrating to spend loads of time knitting something and see it start fluffing from the get go.


Well I also finished something this week. A bag. I started it two years ago, put the handles on a year ago and then it has taken another year to make the crochet flowers and the lining. I think it has turned out pretty well though I can't imagine that I will ever use it so I think it will go into my present stash.

Felted Bag

My latest knitting is for Elenya, Creature Comforts, the yarn was bought for me by my Auntie Sandi to make me a dress but I think the colour is fabulous on Elenya so she gets it. It is a great colour bright and cheerful just perfect for a dark winter's day.
Creature Comforts

Arianwen xxx

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Not Harry's

how are you? Bet you didn't expect to hear from me again this week.
It's not Harry's it's mine!
Well I do like the element of surprise and I felt I had better get organised and show you Inigo's new sweater either before it is in holes or he has grown out of it. He loves it!!! Probably one of the most successful things I have ever made for him. I was a little worried about the itch factor but I washed it in conditioner(lots of conditioner) and he tells me that it is soft warm and cosy.
It's not Harry's it's mine!
I finished it just as Inigo was finishing the last of the books. It is kind of sad I have had great enjoyment listening to him recanting the stories to me with such enthusiasm or chanting spells with such enthusiasm. I did toy with idea of putting an H on the front of the sweater but then decided that as Mrs Weasley made different letters for all of the boys in her life that I would do the same.
It's not Harry's it's mine!

The I, as everyone knows, is for Inigo but it is interesting how people see the letter I. One friend's husband told Inigo that there was no I in team. Inigo was totally bemused he had no idea what he was talking about!
Enjoy the rest of your week

Arianwen xx

As a postscript I will say that the other lovely model in this post is Georgie. She is the same age as Oriana and Inigo and tries to act like a sensible grown up until my children are around and then chaos ensues! I bet you want to know aboutthe Harrogate show? Well wasn't as good as it has been in previous years which doesn't mean that I came home empty handed. I will try and photograph my loot at the weekend.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Whip it up quickly!

Helloo how are you all?
Did you miss me? I have been chaotically busy, no time for blogging, though I have been planning posts in my head if I had managed to get near a computer you might of seen some of them:)
In amongst work, visiting lovely friends and all the other bits and bobs that fill up my life, I have been trying to be crafty and I have to confess I have had a good couple of weeks. The creative juices really started to flow with an invitation to a christening.
Emilia's Quilt
I am not really that bothered about christenings, weddings, yes those I really like - any excuse to wear a hat. Mario and the rest of the family really like christenings and I must confess I love babies, there is something truly wonderful about those lovely,warm,sweet smelling bundles. They are like a promise for the wonderful human being that they are going to become. So when we were invited to Emilia's christening, the family started to jump and down full of excitment and I started wondering what would be the perfect present.
Emilia's Quilt
Hmm from me? It has to be a quilt! Many years ago I made a Chook Shed quilt pattern called Edward and Bess for a christening. I adjusted it slightly so that became more personal. After that I made the quilt a whole lot of times for a whole lot of making other peoples's designs these days so I decided to design my own. So here it is one little bear for one little girl.
Emilia's Quilt
It turned out very pink! But as all of the fabric and the wadding came from stash I was pretty pleased as it meant low cost and getting rid of all that wadding was very good for clearing drawer space! Just in time as tomorrow I am off to the Harrogate knitting and stitching show and I am sure to find lots of things that I want to fill drawers with!
Bye for now

Arianwen xx

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh lovely weekend.

well tomorrow is back to everything. It kind of makes me sad when I realise how few school holidays there actually are left with my children. Elenya pointed out, at dinner, that she only has 24 more weeks at school. How did that happen? How did she get so big? We have had a lovely weekend though with lots of very special friends.
I decided on Friday that I needed a quick midless knitting project that could be done between chatting and wine drinking and wandering around Bretton Sculpture Park. I chose Knotty but Nice as I had a lone ball of cascade 220 calling to me from my knitting basket. It actually isn't for Mario though he was a good enough sport to model it, though it kind of suits him so he might get one for xmas shhhhh! Dont tell him!

A Hat For Matt

I would have been quite happy just to have finished that but it gets better. My BF's eldest was transfixed so I asked her if she wanted to learn. A trip to my LYS on Friday morning for provisions and the yarn and needles were stashed away until we could get a quiet moment. Oriana, Elenya and DMAB cast on this morning and all three had a mitten before it was time to go home.

Knitters of the future.

Another knitter joins the ranks, even her mother was inspired, and it made for a perfect end to a lovely weekend. I hope yours was as good.

Arianwen xxx

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Time Marches On

Hello, I can't quite believe it, but another month has past. I have spent it temping, doing the domestic and surprise, surprise knitting. Though now I am writing this I realise I am a little short on photos. Oh well! I seem to need the knitting more when I am over stretched and tired. A little something for me when life is a little much. First up is Aaren by Kim Hargreaves. My mum bought me the yarn for this last year for my birthday. The photo's don't do the colour justice it is a lovely rich plum colour.
Aaren Take Two
My last Aaren is white - I love it but was a little disapointed that mine didnt ever seem as long as the models in the book so this time I have extended it and knitted it in the round so that I can try it on. There are two more diamonds before the waist shaping. It was all going very well until I realised I had mucked up the central cable over the tummy so really obvious so I had to rip a big chunk out. It is back on target now and I am nearly to the armpits.
Aaren is a little too complicated to carry around with me so I thought I would knit something for Inigo. I asked him what he would like and I got an instant response of a Harry Potter Sweater. As he is avidly reading each of the books in turn and quoting spells at me I wasn't surprised. I got the yarn and pattern on line from the New Lanark Mill. Apparently it is the original which is strange as I always thought the letter gold rather than beige though I actually think this is better - a bit more masculine. It is quite rough/ rugged. I have finished the back a mindless stocking stitch that can be done when standing outside classrooms.I started the arms earlier and I am hopeful it is going to make a lovely warm sweater.
Anyway I have a few more hectic days and then we are to half term yippeee - a few more hours to myself and maybe I will have a Ta-Dah moment or two:)
Enjoy your weekend

Arianwen xx

Monday, September 19, 2011


I have been planning this post for a few weeks conjouring it in my head hoping that my thoughts don't make me sound to superficial. But then when I logged in I realised that blogger has changed. I am writing this in the new blogger form and I have to say I quite like it, the clear form and pale blue background are pleasant to type on little bit undecided about the peach icons I presume they tried to match it to the blogger one but really the same colour would have been better.though the proof will be in whether or not it posts properly. As I am about to post I have noticed it is without a spell checker so that is not good!
Ever so often my email company tries to change the look of my email and I change it back, it is too violently coloured and the icons are in the wrong place, it doesn't appeal to me.
It is not just graphics that draw and repel me it also photographs. A few months ago one of my favourite designers decided to use an outsize model, for her latest knitwear range. I cannot tell a lie it put me off. Rowan did the same a couple of years ago they haven't done it again and I wonder if they realised that many people were put off the designs because of the shape of the model in them. Luckily, there are lots of talented knitters out there( of all shapes) modelling their gorgeous knits which can redeem any styling that the designer has fallen down on.
 Magnolia Bakery
Then for my birthday I got a cookbook , More from Magnolia, without any photographs to speak of. In the centre are a few pages of gaudy looking cakes and the whole thing has mint green and black text.
Apple Cake from the Magnolia Bakery
It really is a visual atrocity and I nearly shelved it without more than a cursary glance but first cake used ingredients that I had in the house and I had a spare hour so thought I would give it a go.
Apple Cake from the Magnolia Bakery
All I can say is YUM! It was delicious and lasted less than twenty four hours. I have subsequently made the second cake Banana , Coconut and Pecan bread which disapeared equally fast - so fast I didn't even get a photo. Both cakes have been made again yesterday and maybe because I couldnt see what they were supposed to look like I have felt confident enough to tinker with the recipes. I probably won't talk about this book again on here but I have decided to make everything in it at least once. I am trying for a cake a week and you can see the results on Flickr.
So as I write, I realise that it not that I am truly superficial( though perhaps a little bit) but more that I have a strong sense of what is visually appealing to me as I guess we all do.

Arianwen xx

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tip Toe-ing Back

Back to School
Sorry it has been a while but somehow the summer seems to precious to spend anytime in front of the computer when there are so many other things to do. Everyone went back to school today and I have spent the last couple of weeks in a knitting frenzy of blue. The last of the school sweaters. It really is the end of an era.
Back to School
It doesn't seem like five minutes since I was making the first of them for Elenya just before she started school. In reality that was nearly 10 years ago. On this blog I think there have been at least three lots! Inigo's was fairly bog standard to knit. Oriana's was fun. I found the pattern on Ravelry for free I lengthened both the arms and the body and also added button holes every two inches. I was planning on more conservative buttons but there wasn't really anything that took my fancy at my local button shop and Oriana liked the spots. I think she made a good choice they make the cardigan. Back to School
I swore the last two were the last, I made them large enough, but the king cole yarn has burred and fluffed so much that they look like furry monsters when they wear them. So this time these are made in cheap acrylic. I am assured they are warm and cuddley so hopefully they will last the year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Snow Globes for Adults.

after my last post I have to tell you I was feeling pretty smug after all my jam making. The cupboard is full, well at the moment it is but, the children are going through the first couple of jars pretty fast.

Anyway I had little pop around blogland and saw lots of other yummy foody things I spotted lots of lovely potatos and beans which all looked delicious but, if I wanted beans I should of got busy ages ago. Then I popped into Hen House and she was making cherry vodka.

Well,although I do have a cherry tree it would be a mamouth task to go to pick them as the tree is larger than the house. So as a rule I just leave them to the birds. What to do I really wanted pretty jars like Hen. But then I had an idea, what about raspbery vodka? I found a recipe on-line, juggled it a bit to fit my jars and voila! Very pretty jars and unlike the jam it lends itself to hours of entertainment as you need to shake them in order to disolve the sugar the perfect adult snow globe.
Raspberry vodka

Enjoy the rest of your week

Arianwen xx

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hello how are you all on this wonderful, sunny Friday?
Well I am great! Though totally frustrated with flipping blogger as I have just written a post that it has now chewed and lost half of including all my photos that I had painstaking cut and paste from flickr! I have had a good couple of weeks. I am now officially a teacher, of course that would be more impressive if I could tell you that I had a job but those seem to be in short supply. So as of September I join the ranks of supply teachers - wish me luck.
In the mean time I am realising (like many others out there) it is actually a nice easy life being a stay at home mummy especially when all your children are at school!
I should have been able to give you a Ta-dah moment on my blanket as I crocheted like a fiend. Unfortunately I ran out of the purple. I have about another 50 little circles to go so had to order more yarn from the States and it hasn't arrived yet. Probably as I get back from Canada, typical!!
So anyway I picked up another wip, an Aestlight shawl that I started way back in February, when I was doing my bus commute.
The yarn is wollmeise. I struggled to capture the colour but let me tell you it is even more wow weee than it looks in the photo. I am onto the edging so may finish in the next day or to if I can keep up the motivation.
Then a few days ago I came across a new blog -well to me at any rate The Royal Sisters. I have to say I am a little bit in love. Michelle has a refreshing, quirky style and has lots of great crochet ideas.
Granny Tissooo
I have been intrigued by the idea of crocheted tissue box covers for a while and decided to have a go at Michelle's version. It was very quick and totally straightforward. This one was for a present but, looking at it I realise that I really needed one in this colour way as it goes perfectly with my table cloth!
As you might have already been able to tell my other main activities of the week have been berry picking and Jamming .....and Jamming and dyeing!
Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow but never jam today
I do love making jam. My grandparents bought me my preserving pan a few years back for my birthday. I don't think it even got used last year so it has been fun to dust it off and spend the afternoon stirring the lovely sweet smelling liquid.
I still have a ton of raspberries that need attention but I have run out of jars. I have made strawberry, gooseberry, Blackberry and apple and lastly Blackcurrant Jelly. The Jelly was definitely the most time consuming but I had a bit of a light bulb moment after I had hung up my Jelly bag.
The currant picking was back breaking and originally I had been going to make jam though when I realised it was probably going to take about ten hours to top and tail all of them I decided to make jelly but the idea of throwing all of that fruit out made me feel a bit faint so I thought I would have a little go at dyeing.
So after the jelly was in its jars cooling I ran hot water through the jelly bag.
Then put the purple water, salt and yarn in the microwave for 15 minutes. Most of the colour had left the water and then I rinsed the yarn. I have to say I am super pleased with the result.
I haven't quite decided what to do with it but I am thinking about a little shawl maybe citron, what do you think? Let me know.
Well enjoy the rest of this lovely Friday and what looks to be a warm sunny weekend.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Out of Sync.

Hello my lovelies,
for the first time in well forever I have nothing to do. Well nothing of great importance. I have just finished my teacher training, I find out next week if I have passed. The children are at school, the washing and ironing all done. So in theory I have lots of free time that I could commit to crafting but, for whatever reason I just can't get up any real enthusiasm. So I have decided to wip the wips! Don't you just love this photo? I think it pretty much sums me up!
My life summed up in a photo
First up is the blanket that I have been making for nearly a year for my mum. I am not actually sure that I have shown it to you before. I bought the yarn last year when I was in Canada. It is Red Heart Cheap as Chips Acrylic, without dye lots. Your surprised aren't you that I am using acrylic as I really am a yarn snob! But, actually it is really warm and soft and I will use it again. Anyway I have been chugging away on it for a week and I am just onto the 10th strip of 15. There are 15 Hex per strip so it is quite a task. Though I think I will definately be worth it when it is done as it already lovely and snuggly!

I was lucky enough to go to Woolfest at the weekend, it was Mario's treat for finishing my course, and met up with a huge group of online friends from the Rowan Tree forum on Ravelry.
All of the yarn was totally gorgeous and as for the animals ahhhh! The children had their eyes on this little lovely, four days old, I am sure they wanted to bring him home.
I just love the looks of concentration on their faces whilst they hold him.
I went armed with patterns that I would like to make in the next little while including the one I am going to make for this years Rowan Exchange and I have come back with some very yummy yarn projects that I will let you into over the next couple of weeks!

Arianwen xx

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today I am really hating Google Accounts.

I read a lot of lovely blogs that are on my sidebar and I would love to be able to comment. But, I can't Blogger will sign me in to write my own posts but I can't post on any of yours. This has been going on for weeks it is soo frustrating. I guess that might be the same for many of you. Though if you can comment on mine and know why I can't comment on yours, please let me know.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Half Term and Another Little Rama

Hellooo, how has your half term been? Ours has been pretty uneventful as I still am not feeling 100% but, we have been enjoying the sunshine. Our little guinea pig Sanka usually lives inside but, even he has been outside enjoying the warmth. Him being outside has provided extra entertainment for both the kids and the Cats. Molly has sat for hours watching him like t.v. though eventually got bored when she realised she wasn't going to be allowed to eat him. Even Azrael has had a little look.
In the Garden
There has been building. Fiddling with motors and trying them out on different surfaces to see which one will make it go faster. It is funny to see Inigo playing with the mechano that was my dad's. Three generations have had so much fun from a few nuts and bolts
There has as I predicted been baking. Two different versions of Flapjack and Chocolate chip muffins! Yummy!
Chocolate Muffins
Even better as the children are now big enough to do it all by themselves - including the washing up!
Esha's Rama

I have been busy again this week making another little Rama. This time for my neice Esha.
She came to visit last week and I asked if she would like one. The wide eyed yes was worth casting on immediatley for. The yarn was sirdar Snuggley Bamboo that I bought last year to make Alice. Alice ended up hitting the frog pond because this yarn was sooo badly behaved and to be honest if it hadn't worked for this it would have ended up in the bin. Anyway it worked, it is out of my stash and now I can start looking for something to make Alice out of.
Esha is a little older than Oriana and a little smaller. Which is great as I have made the same size for her as I did for her cousin. Though I knit like a nutter and had it finished in two days which is a little extreme for any knitting project I enjoyed making this again.

I sent it off today so hopefully she will get it tomorrow or Monday and I might be able to update this with some modelled shots

Esha's Rama

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Say Something Sunday -Good Customer Service.

Hello my lovelies,
I hope you have a had a good week. I have had a better one. But, I am afraid there aren't any pictures as I haven't got around to taking any. The house is filled by the scent of lilies from my gorgeous bouquet of flowers. There is no better smell it always lifts the spirits. I am still not well but, I am better than I was which is good! The knitting needles have been busy and I have produced quite a lot of knitting this week. Mainly because it is a sedentary activity which is pretty much all I have been capable of. I have started and finished a couple of things which I will show you when I have the energy for modelling and photos. Both purple! One of which was the gorgeous purple madelinetosh yarn cake of last week. I still have a skein and half left of that which is a bonus! So still thinking what to make with it. if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.
Anyway being tied to the house I have spent quite a bit of time Internet shopping. It seems to me that shops( both Internet and otherwise) seem to fall into two categories; those who make their customers feel special and those who think their customers are a meal ticket. I still haven't had a response back from a certain crochet company about a pattern and I am assuming now I won't get one. So I have decided that if I get good customer service I am going to tell you about it. That way hopefully giving back a bit of the ahh feeling to the shops that I got when my stuff arrived. Anyway, my interweaveknits magazine came through the door and although it didn't have anything I wanted to make in it there was an advert for laura Chau's valentines cardigan if you are interested you can find a picture here. Now I am only stash busting at the moment but I really like this and decided that I would buy the pattern. There is only one shop in the whole of England that sells spud and chloe so I thought I would check them out first. £4.80 was the price for the pattern from them, I thought it was a little steep but, I figured that I was used to ravelry patterns that are very competitive. Then I looked at the postage - £3.80! For a pattern??? Daylight robbery! I love to be able to support the local LYS or at least the ones on this side of the pond but I have to say I bought the pattern from Jimmy Beans the price and postage costs were cheaper in dollars than I would have paid in pounds. It was here within a couple of days - fantastic service Mr Beans I will definitely use you again.
Next I went looking for buttons. I needed buttons for all of the yarn cakes, something unusual, something that wasn't too much money. Textile Garden, wow what can I say a fantastic selection of buttons, buckles and pins and fastenings all really reasonably priced and nothing like what I would get at my local shop. I ordered a selection on Thursday afternoon and they arrived Friday morning beautifully wrapped in deep pink tissue paper that match the lilies. Lovely it felt like a present.
Anyway this coming week is half term, the kids are planning a baking fest. They made chocolate cake yesterday which I am assured was delicious but, it was all gone by this morning. The next cake I will get a photo of even if I don't get a taste!
Hope you have a great week
Arianwen xx

Monday, May 23, 2011

Feeling Fragile

Knitting, sewing, life are all taking a back seat at the moment.

Flowers in May
Luckily I have friends,family, flowers and yarn cakes to lift my spirits!

Flowers in May

Flowers in May

Flowers in May

Special yarn

Yarn cake

So what is lifting your spirits this week?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

well so much is going on what should I tell you first.

Hello my lovelies,
yet again time has slipped through my fingers and so much is going on that I feel a bit overfaced with it all. First of all please excuse the state of the photos in this post I am not sure if it is the camera giving up the ghost or greasy fingers on the lens either way all of them seem a little blurry!
Over the last few weeks there has as always been lots of knitting.

Elenya turned 15 and requested a version of liesl. It was yellow cotton from stash( I am all about the stash at the moment). It was kind of strange to think that I bought this pattern several years ago for me when Elenya was a little girl and now not only is she big enough to wear it but, she carries it off with more panache than I would have ever managed.

Next is my second version of Audrey again from stash but easily identifiable as Rowan wool cotton. I probably should have gone down a size as it is a little baggy in the arms which I think makes it look a little old fashioned. I changed the lace pattern on it and I think that it is a pretty change. So although I don't think it will ever be a favourite it will be a useful addition to my work wardrobe.
Next up is Miette now this was a real slog to knit.

The Nautical cotton by Louisa Harding was really hard on the hands and I don't think I will ever use it again.

However I love the cardigan! It was top down and I think the bust darts are really stylish. I could just do with some summer to go with it.

Last on the knitting front I have cast on shimmer from Kim Hargreaves Misty. yet another green from stash.

On the Crochet front I have made this.

I saw a similar version by Sarah London loved it and thought it would make a perfect Birthday present for a very dear friend so bought the pattern. Unfortunately she didn't send it,even though I sent several emails. So I made it up. Then the day after it was finished and sent off. She deigned to send the pattern. I wrote back and asked if I could change it for another pattern as it was too late - that was several weeks back and I haven't had an answer. Great customer service? I think not! I have learnt something though, I really don't need to buy crochet motifs again.

Then there is my Heart Quilt.

The top is finally finished Yeah! I can't wait to finish this though I know that is going to be a long time as my hand quilting is quite slow. BlueTortoise is really cracking on with hers, if you want to see how it should look, take a peek here.

Tomorrow my babies are a decade old. It doesn't seem possible. But I guess time flies when you are having fun. We have spent the weekend with a houseful of children, sleeping bags and extra tooth brushes! A good time was had by all.

Well that is my catch up for this Sunday. Hope you have a very good week see you next Sunday


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