Thursday, 22 October 2020

The Great Outdoors

 We have been trying to get outside as much as we can while the weather is still pleasant, the hedges are still full and the nights are light.

This is the Lawley in south Shropshire, the hill you see from our house when I show you the view. We tried to find our house from the top but we could only see the general direction rather than our actual home.

At the top there is a 360 degree vista of glorious Shropshire countryside.


It is one of those walks where you think you are at the top, then there is another little hill...

...but it is not strenuous or too steep, just a lovely Sunday walk. 


We roped in a fellow walker to take a family shot. 


It has been a bit more rainy of late but walking with the dog is one of life's little pleasures which we will be indulging in this week while we are on a half term break.

Jo x



Saturday, 17 October 2020

Aster Crochet

Aster is a crochet pattern I purchased from Ravelry after receiving some beautiful matt cotton yarn from a friend as a gift. The yarn was hand wound and there were no labels so it was all a bit risky...as usual. 

It was a quick make made over about two weeks of evenings. The pieces are made individually: front, back and sleeves.

The border, after reading the pattern, turned out to be worked as a narrow band and sewn on separately. This was a problem because I couldn't incorporate the grey and blue yarn I had as the balls diminished. I would have been in danger of running out of a single colour to make the hemband.


I did what I always do when I am faced with this type of scenario - I made it up!


I just kept adding more rows in familiar patterns to the hem, switching between grey and blue to use the cotton as economically as possible until it ran out. The satisfaction is immense.


Of course you get a little rippling because it is hard to get the stitch count completely accurate when you are making it up but I am happy to wear it...




...this happy to wear it in fact. 


This top is working well over a long sleeved T-shirt at the moment but I am hoping it will be a year round top depending on the under garment. Thank you to my fabulous friend Mary for the yarn.

Jo xxxx

Sunday, 11 October 2020

October...ing


Loving - walking the dog in Autumnal light.


Waiting - to see if my friend has a boy or a girl but super happy with this pale grey unisex yarn. The buttons can be last minute.

Laughing - at how differently our girls approach a modelling shoot. Teenagers keep it cool right?

Making - two sweatshirts from this beautiful fabric and cuffing.

Capturing - sunsets every evening. Some are orange; some are pastel; some are purple, but they are all beautiful and now part of our everyday life.

Looking - at nature all around us. Look at these morning cobwebs.

Patching - this months patch repair is a stray half square triangle I found in the bottom of the scraps box backed with a piece of denim. The hole was quite big so this was perfect.


Wondering - why it is only my thighs that need repairing. What am I doing regularly that wears this part out in particular?? They are becoming quite unique but I will continue.


Eating - noodle soup and crispy King Prawns.


Preparing - for some batches of sloe gin. It is a bit soon to pick them yet but there are quite a few around our field hedges.


 Hoping - some grass will grow on our new lawn creating a seamless green view without a boundary. There is a 1.5m drop at the end of the lawn to keep the sheep out.


Celebrating - the birthday of our 'little' girl who is eleven with a rainbow cake.



Treating - ourselves to chocolate fudge. Meg Made it to give to her three friends in a party bag.



Collecting - conkers. Don't they look so perfect when you open them?


Deciding - which dress to make with this beautiful Georgette fabric.


Enjoying - the changing of the seasons.

Thinking - of my dad on his birthday. He would have loved living at this house.


Ending - with another of those wonderful sunsets.

Thanks for dropping in. Jo xx

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Seemed so simple...

 In my head, this top seemed so simple. I had made it before, I knew it would fit, I had a wearable print of top quality fabric but oh my, the stress of it all!

I bought the fabric from the Sea Salt sale last year and went all out on the accessories. It is a cotton lawn which I thought would be easy to sew but I won't be buying any again.


The cotton was very thin which didn't bother me from a wearing point of view but my sewing machine would not sew it. It just kept skipping stitches and refusing to sew. I knew this was a needle size issue from my experience sewing lingerie fabrics but I didn't think it would happen with cotton.  After a frustrating and 'sweary' afternoon trying to make it with various needles from my tin I decided to throw it across the room and order some 60/8 needles.


Yes, it worked straight away when I put the 60/8 needles in but by then I just wanted it finished; it seemed so simple.


Finally, success with angst. I thought I would share my pain with you so that if you are sewing a very lightweight fabric don't be fooled into thinking your machine has lost tension. 
Change the needle.It is so simple!


For any crocheters out there, here is the link on ravelry for the button necklace I made a few years ago, a superb way to use up tiny buttons.


Thanks for popping in as ever. Keep it simple folks. Jo xxx

Friday, 2 October 2020

Secret Hidey Hole

 In continuation of showing you around our new place I have something today that will float some boats, I am sure. I have a studio all to myself!

Our new house is actually smaller than our old house so we knew that we would not have a spare room for all of my crafting tat. I even tried to give lots away to make it seem smaller but there was not a room in our new plan for it. My late father designed the new house and he didn't have a sewing machine!

My cousin laid a concrete pad ready to build an insulated log cabin way back in April. 

My brother-in-law, Andy and I built it in the sweltering heat of May lockdown. It became so hot that we actually had to stop laying the felt on the roof because it it was just too hot to kneel on. 

I painted it, had some carpet fitted and then dumped everything in there while we moved our house contents. 

Everyday in August, I emptied another box until I found a home for all of my things. The wooden wall blocks have insulation built inside them and the floor is also insulated so that things will not get damp.

Andy added electrics so that everything could get up and running.

Our old kitchen table makes a fabulous cutting table which I can only blame myself for if it is always full! I used to moan at everyone that the kitchen table was never empty enough for me to lay out fabric.

I have gradually added more pictures and things that make me happy.

There are little places for everything.

It is a wonderful place to hide for an hour or so. I have never wanted a flash car, or a luxury holiday - give me a shed with all my stuff in any day.

Of course, if you are truly creative it mostly looks more like this...

Thanks for dropping in. Have a good weekend. Jo xxx