Tuesday, 27 December 2022


 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! We have been busy, busy...of course, but nothing too stressful.

Catching - our last few lettuce except one before the first frosts of early December but I am pretty proud that we were still eating homegrown salad until at least the 1st December.

Trying - a game pie for the first time ever. It took three days! Marinating the meat first in port, constructing the pie and then leaving it overnight to cool down before adding aspic the the third day. It was delicious.

Working - my last edit for Minerva before the Christmas break. I made a bunting tutorial with Christmas fabrics.

Sewing - a Winter themed Rosa shirt dress. It was great for Christmas day and many events during advent. It took me a long time to make because of the piping detail which also hampered me being able to fit it easily but I like wearing it. I also made a simple jacket in boucle which feels more like a cardigan so I can wear it with my jeans too.

Watching - Panto at Shrewsbury theatre. I wore my winter outfit and enjoyed an afternoon out with the girls. I thought they might find it a bit odd being older but we all enjoyed the performance.

Admiring - the decorations and skill involved in producing such creative installations on a mansion visit to Attingham Park. Each room was decorated in the theme of a craftsman, trade or service associated with the house. Lots of artefacts not normally on show were used in the displays. Just a couple to tantalize you; the upholsterer and the carpenters tree.

Recreating - a few little things which inspired my girls at the Mansion. Big teen worked out how to make the paper Christmas trees we saw in the library decorations and made a few for us.

Decorating - our own Christmas tree and the house. We don't have outdoor decorations and our decs are pretty low key - mostly little things we, or our friends, have made.

knitty things...

Crochet things...

handstitched things...

wooden things...

Receiving - a beautiful door wreath from Beth who grows her floral display flowers on my small holding. She makes such wonderful individual wreaths every December and she always makes me one as a thank you for the year. This year I had cones, pheasant feathers and ivy.

Baking - Christmas cakes for Gran and Grandad, Uncle and a small one for me. Little Teen decorated her grandparents one with royal icing and ribbon. I'm all about the actual cake so Big Teen glazed mine with fruit and nuts.

Walking - with our dog Beano in all weathers. Spaniels need soooo much exercise otherwise they go even more loopy than normal. 

Eating - Christmas dinner with my husband, girls, my mum and my Aunt. Then playing a few games in the afternoon.

Checking - in with the view for you folks. The frosty weather threw up some superb views including one with the moon and quite a few with a warm purple/pink haze.

Relaxing - today with some blog reading, spot of crochet and and an afternoon cake bake. Where did all the other cake go???

Jo xxxx

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

I knit a really ugly thing...

  I have knit the ugliest, most disastrous thing ever.

I chose the yarn at Woolfest way back in April and in my head, it was going to be a colourful, unique tank top.

If only I reaslised by taking a closer look at the picture, after so much unpicking, that it was asymmetrical. The little fan was only on one side and the shoulders are not equal in size until you add the side panel, which incidentally is knit horizontally. Blah! Blah!

I carried on because a) I am a capricorn and b) I was actually enjoying the colourwork and how the yarn was knitting up. After sewing it up, I thought it might be better; but it was worse. In the instructions it suggests not even finishing the large grey shoulder and only adding rib to the smaller colour work shoulder?? 

It had a 100% chance of actually going in the compost bin until I tried it on. The sizing was pretty good. It looked better on, so for now, it has a 50% chance of survival. I have had to put it away for a while because I couldn't give it any more of my enthusiasm. Maybe in the new year I will work on the armholes.

On the plus side, my mum has been coming up with some amazing knits. She made me this Kate Davies sweater which I love. I have enjoyed wearing pink for a change.

Mum has also knit me this tank on request. It is Sirdar 9306 which I knit for myself quite a few years back, but after lots of wear it went too bobbly to wear in the end and didn't make our house move. It is a fantastic garment for putting over the top of virtually anything. Cord shirts are notoriously difficult to put a sleeve over the top of comfortably but with these mahoosive armholes it is not a problem.

I made the babycord shirt from Newlook 6449. It is a dress pattern, but I like the fit and the details so it works well as a pattern hack for a shirt.

Lastly, here are the snowflakes I showed friends how to crochet at craft club. It is true...every snowflake is unique...even it is from the same pattern!!

Thanks for dropping in. I am off to cast on a sock or add to my new crocheted jumper. Maybe I will finsh some success. Jo xxxx

Tuesday, 29 November 2022


Can I just squeak in here with a November...ing post by checking through my phone photos just in time? I have been so busy working this month but that is all good.

Walking - I have been trying to remember to walk more. Since freelancing with a sewing job, I am finding I am stuck on my backside more than I would like to be and because I am like a dog with a bone when I start something - I just want to plough on with my projects. Thank heavens for our dog Beano who makes me get up and go for a walk.

Baking - with yeast. Meg loves making these cinnamon buns but they take soooooo long. It is a special treat and she has to catch me on the right day for me to say, 'Yes! you can spend virtually all day making a bun!'

Loving - the Dahlias from Beth's wedding garden. They just kept coming until mid November. She picked so many which she dried after she had used them in her last wedding booking of the year. The dried ones appear in her Autumn and Christmas wreaths. They are stunning.

The white ones are passed on to me as they don't dry to a good colour. I have the too light and too dark rejects! The ones below were just beautiful.

Twinning - with Megan on the train on the way to the NEC Birmingham for a craft show. The girls and I really had a fab day out. They enjoyed spending their pocket money for doing farm jobs and I loved having a browse.

Crafting - up a zip necklace. I saw these zip pulls at the craft show and the vendor let me rummage through a tray to find 18 in different colours. We negotiated £2.50!

Buying - some fabric at said show. Meg bough the blue one for PJ's (it is so soft) and I had a metre of the vintage simplicity models for.....something.

Bottling - up more homemade wine. These are my blackberry, quince and damson batches. I have 26 now that I have made this year...maybe 25 by time of posting!

Helping - my big girl who wandered into the studio wanting to know how to put a zip in. She had sorted her craft drawer and wanted to make project bags for each type of craft. If they ask I help, if they don't ask to craft I leave it. 

Starting - a craft group in our local village hall. It is called the Schoolroom (because it once was) Lots of happy crafty people.

Leaving - you with the view from my kitchen table as ever. Lots of low-lying fog in beautiful ethereal layers lately. 

Thanks for dropping by. You can catch my sewing video tutorials on YouTube here if you fancy it. Jo xx