Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013

Hello Ladies,

I hope you all had a good a lovely Christmas.
Ours was full of family get togethers, food and drink.
I ate too much and drank FAR to much, but it's only once a year
that we indulge as such and now I'm all Christmased out. So
I'll be back to my Fat Club come the 6th Jan.

I started crocheting again roughly about February/ March 2013
time. The reason being was my son and his wife were going to
have their first baby, our first Grandchild and I wanted to make a
blanket for him. It was a very exciting time.
The last time I had bought any yarn was when my 3 kids were babies
and now I was going to be making something for my sons baby and that was
a good 20+ years ago.I remember going to pick the yarn and just standing
there looking at it all on display in there little cubby holes.
Trying to take in all the different colours.
Some were plain, some were
multi coloured. There was Acrylic, there was cotton, there was
pure wool, a linen blend and then there was all the different textures.
It was like walking into a sweet shop.
Have you ever been somewhere or seen something that so
overwhelms you, that you can't take it all in? That was what I was
like. The lady in the shop must of been used to having people like me,
cooing and aahing over the different yarns. In actual fact I think she
made me worse, by pointing out more lovely yarn that I'd missed.
I remember finally choosing some yarn and getting it home and
wondering if I'd remember HOW to crochet.
Well that was the start of what I now call my hooking addiction.

I've looked back over the last 10 months of crocheting and I'm really
surprised at the amount I have done.
I didn't start blogging till I'd finished my second piece, which was about
June time and I made a Wrap for a friend of mine, so please excuse
the first few pictures.
One thing blogging has taught me, is that I need to try and take a
good photo and take my camera everywhere as you never know
what may catch your eye.
There are 3 baby cardigans in my photos that I knitted as well
and I've included them as feel they were part of my yarn journey
of 2013.
I am really looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings.
I have so many projects wizzing around in my head and see so many
ideas out there in magazines and blogland. I think I've also
learnt loads this year, all the different patterns and motifs
that can be put together to make something special.
Crochet has come such a long way. 20+ years ago.
It was mainly Doileys and Granny Squares and although I love
both, especially the Granny Square I'm enjoying trying different and new
things with my hooks.
Thank you to all of you that sent me get well wishes, I was truly overwhelmed
by your thoughtful comments and they certainly made me feel better.
Take care
Sally
xxx

Monday, 23 December 2013

Nearly Ready.....

Hello Ladies,

We're nearly ready but not quite.
I haven't posted for over a week and I even missed my CAL with Chrissie,
Marianne and all you other lovelies who are in Bloomin CAL.
But I have been poorly. It was a stuck in bed, don't want to see,
do or talk to anyone. Then when I had the energy to move from my bed,
It was just to the sofa.
I did try a couple of times to write my blog, but my head didn't want to
behave and concentrate.
My poor crocheting, I look at it, pick it up then after about 5 or 10 mins
I have to put it down. I really miss not doing any. It always gives me a
feeling of peace and relaxation. Maybe I should just try some in the morning
and some later in the evening.

Sorry if I haven't replied to your comments, but I will try and do a catch up
sometime over Christmas and Thank you for leaving one if you have.

So with Christmas looming, I did begin to worry, would I be fit enough for everyone
to be here Christmas day. The thought of a full house (12), with all the prep and
cooking was quite daunting. But Helpful Hubby decided to take on the chief
Christmas Elf role and with chit chats and lists he decided Christmas would
continue as planned :)
Together, we prepared and made the 3 Christmas cakes that I'd started
( 1 for us, 2 as gifts). I was supervisor, he was gofer.
He measured, mixed and baked. When it came to the marzipan, he
rolled, cut and covered the cakes.
Normally I would make my own icing for the cakes, but this year
we bought ready rolled icing (which actually doesn't taste to bad),
and Helpful Hubby iced our cakes. I was over the moon, I thought
they were never going to be finished. I was able to do a simple decoration
on them, so with Helpful Hubby's help, we had 3 wonderful finished
Christmas cakes.
We shopped together online and got the last of the presents
And now all we have to do is wrap them and get the last of the food
shopping. I now know that we will all muddle through and Christmas will
be perfect :)

I want to take this time to say a big Thank you to all of you who read
my blog and take the time to leave their lovely comments.
I started my Blog in June this year and I have met such a
wonderful group of people, that are willing to help and advise when you are
stuck or unsure about a project, cheer you up on your down or difficult days
and even share personnel tips or tricks that help life or crafting easier.
I have enjoyed sharing my projects and some of my family
joys or sagas with you all, especially the birth of our first Granchild Flynn.
I have learnt tons of new stuff to do with crocheting (and other things
to), that had I not got into the blogging circle would never had
known about. It has given me confidence in my projects and confidence
in mixing with other bloggers.
I wish all you lovely people a Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year and look forward to sharing 2014 with you.

Take care
Sally xxx

Friday, 13 December 2013

Bloomin CAL

Hello Ladies,
I went away on Holiday with projects to hand and in mind.
I'd finished my Mums blanket and had really enjoyed making it.
When I came back I wasn't happy with the projects I'd taken, I kept
laying them out, trying to get motivated. But they ended up being
undone or shoved in a basket to deal with later.
Then I decided to do some Christmas motifs.
I sat and did them on
and off for a few days, but even them I couldn't settle too.
Even though I'd made enough for some bunting I just put them away
In a Baggie.
I wondered if it was because I had too many projects wizzing around
in my head and I had crochet overload. I even went and got all
my yarn out and sat in front of it. Pondering.
I looked at all my yarn, I have so much, all different colours and
textures. I needed to make something with what I had and there
be no buying involved ( well maybe a little if I have to add to it).
Then I remembered that when I joined Crissie and Marianne's CAL
they originally started Bloomin CAL with a hexagon flower motif from
Nicki Trench's book "Crochet with a Flowers".
So I went and dug out my copy, found the flower motif and made one.
This was it, this was what I needed to crochet. They are so lovely to do
and they look amazing.
I would like to make enough for the double bed, in the girls old room.
Haven't yet worked out how many I would need, but I would like to think
I'll stick at it and finish it.

Have a good weekend everyone.
Sally xxx
 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Deck The Halls

Hello Ladies,
This is why I love Christmas and the lead up to it.
First it was my Mums birthday on Saturday and as some of you may
know she has Alzheimers. She's not at the stage where she
doesn't know any of us yet, but she does have the most oddest
of ideas and come out with the weirdest of comments.


I made her a Lap Blanket for her and backed it with fleece,
because at the moment she believes if it's not fleecey it's not warm.
And I'm glad to say it passed with flying colours. So pleased with it in
fact she wanted to throw her other one out, but we managed to convince
her it might be needed at a later date. We quietly folded it and put it
away in the cupboard.
 Secondly, I put the tree up Saturday afternoon whilst watching Muppets
Christmas Carol. This was always the kids favourite Christmas film
And every year it went on while decorating tree and house with mugs
of hot chocolate. Now they're grow and have places of their own, but both my girls
own a copy of this film and on it goes when they put their tree up. The only
difference was I had a large glass of red wine instead of hot chocolate.

Sunday I was up early making my Christmas cake.
Quite a few years ago, my friend gave me a recipe for a Christmas cake that
could be made last minute and it has become a huge hit in the Hill house.
The fruit is soaked in Cointreau for a couple of days and the cake mix is a light
mix instead of a dark fruit mix. Which I find much nicer as it's not so rich.

Then late Sunday morning my Dad came to visit. We don't get to see my
Dad often as he lives quite a distance to us, so it's always lovely when we do
get together. This time was also extra special as this was the first time he got
To see his Great Grandson Flynn, who is now 14 weeks.

We booked a table for Sunday lunch and  all the kids and
their partners were able to come as well.
So at the table was this family of 4 generations.


At some point through the meal, I sat back and watched my family
and realised that no matter how much crap I have to deal with
and we all know that life isn't perfect, how lucky I am to have such
a loving, caring family.
And that is what I love about December, we all make that extra effort
to see family or friends, that for some reason or another we haven't seen
for a while.
See you all soon
Sally xxx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Bloomin Scarf

Hello Ladies,
Bit behind on this weeks CAL.
The days are rushing past and it's as if I lost some, one moment it's Monday
then the weekend is here again.
So for this weeks Bloomin CAL I have a scarf to show you.
I wanted to make a scarf for my son as part of his Christmas
presents, but couldn't really see anything I liked out there that
seemed manly enough. Then while I was out I spotted a scarf thar was grey,
black and purple. This was the scarf I needed. So I came home and dug
out my yarn. I had it all except for the purple, which going online and
ordering doesn't take long. 
So after undoing this, which was my holiday flop.

And adding my other colours, I made this.

It's made using 4ply Merino and half trebles.
As I wanted the stripes to go length ways I made a chain of 380 and just
half trebled away, making my stripes various widths.
It was lovely to work on, not a lot of concentration needed.
So with this probably being the busiest month of the year, it
was nice just to sit down of an evening relax and watch a bit of T.V.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Sally xxx

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Woo Hoo for December

Hello Ladies

It's December, I love December. This has to be my most favourite month.
I love the lead up to Christmas.
Getting my cards and wrapping paper and any present decorations
that are needed.
Getting all my tree decorations and all my house decorations.
Inside lights and outside lights.
Getting them all together and seeing if they still work or are still
in one piece. I try every year to be careful with my wrapping and putting away
of the decorations, but there always seems to be one casualty.
There are also a couple of birthdays to celebrate.
It was my eldest daughter Jess's birthday at the weekend
and she lives just over an hour away, so it was really nice to go
visit and have dinner with her and her partner.
I even made her a birthday cake, which to be honest I was a bit disappointed in.


It's a recipe that Sue from Sweetpea Family posted about one time,
called Lime and Coconut cake. It comes from the Carnations condensed
milk website. Now I've made it before and it is beautiful, so moist, sticky
and yummy. But...... this time round I didn't take into consideration
that I have a lovely new oven. I have always had gas hob, gas oven,
but when we had our new kitchen put in, back in the summer, I went
for gas hob, electric oven fan assisted. And this lovely new oven cooks
a bit quicker than my old one. So my cake came out slightly darker than
I wanted. But my Helpful Hubby, assured me that once I'd drizzled it
and put some decorations on it, it would be fine.
And to be honest it tasted no different to the ones I made before.
Jess loved it and was cutting into it, 10 minutes after us turning up and
there wasn't much left when we left her, later that evening :)
One of the presents she got was some Yankee Candle goodies.
When we walked in, her house smelt beautiful. I do love the smell of scented
candles and Yankee Candle do have such a lovely range of bits.
I already have some of their oils and a couple of their jar candles, but Jess had these.



Now I have always thought that these were just little candles, similar to the tea lights.
But not so. Many of you probably already know this, but this is new to me and I was impressed.
They are called Tarts and you put them in the top of your oil burner, light a tea light
underneath and the wax Tart melts, giving off whatever beautiful smell you have
chosen. It's a brilliant idea, so much less messier than the water and oil
method. So I came home dug out my oil burners from the back if the cupboard
and on Monday went shopping and treated myself to some Tarts.

Now my house smells all Christmasy and tonight my Helpful Hubby will go up
In the loft and get all my decorations and lights down.
And tomorrow I can spend the day decorating the house.
:)
Take care everyone
Sally xxx

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Bloomin catchup

Hello Ladies

I've got a couple of weeks catchup to do for my Bloomin CAL,
So For my week 5 I managed to get my Pink and Green scarf finished.
It is supposed to be what is called an infinity scarf and I have joined it, but
It's quite chunky and I don't think it sits very well, so I'm thinking of undoing the join,
and maybe adding a bit of fringing or some small pom-poms.

For weeks 5 and 6, I was away but did take some crocheting with me.


 
This was meant to be a wrap, but I discovered that my tension was quite noticeably
different from when I crocheted on the plane to crocheting at the apartment on holiday. I don't know if this is because of the heat and the humidity makes holding the yarn tighter, but I didn't think I would get away with just leaving it. Also it would be different again, when flying home or crocheting back at home, so it then became the bottom photo :(
 
I also took this,

I bought this yarn, back at the beginning of summer. It's a beautiful lace yarn 
And it reminds me of cobwebs. What I originally bought it for I decided
 I didn't really like, so it's been sitting in a box waiting to be used
Then I found a pattern for a scarf that looked lovely and I thought 
would suit the yarn.But the pattern is just made up of Chain st and
 DC st and after awhile I got bored.
 And because it's such a fine yarn it was taking an age to grow.
 So that project went out the window.

                                     But since being home, I have found this.





              This is a scarf or wrap that is made up of motifs that you join as you go.

                                    This one I think I will be able to finish.
                                     Now onto my Week 7 of Bloomin CAL.
                                          I found this pattern on Ravelry
                             
                              It is a pattern for some Christmas Bunting.
                When we got back home, I realised it was only 4 weeks till Christmas
              and I really wanted to have some crocheting strewn round the house, so
                  I thought these and perhaps some stars and snowflakes would look
                pretty darn good. Not sure whether to decorate them with some beads
                                      and twinkle or just leave them plain.
Anyway, it's good to be back and looking forward to see what you are all doing.
                                                       Take care
                                                        Sally xxx



Sunday, 24 November 2013

Mexico and back again

Hello everyone,
I'm back from my holidays and what a fantastic time we had.
I don't want to bore you with loads of photos, but I do want to share with you the beatifullnes
of where we stayed in Mexico.
First we have the start of our holidays and that's going to Gatwick.
I love the airport, I don't know why and my kids think I'm a loon.
But I love the atmosphere and the excitement of getting sorted to get
you on the plane, that's going to whisk you away.
The flight was 11 hours, which I was a little unsure about. How do you keep
yourself occupied sitting down for that length of time. So I went armed with iPod, iPad,
kindle and crocheting. I did plenty of reading and crocheting and watched a couple of
good films on the TV and before I knew it we was getting ready to land.
These are piccy's of our hotel, the view from our room and the beach.
Everyday the sky and the water seemed to be a different colour. I'm not a very good
photo taker, so trying to capture the so many colours of the sea and
sky I found quite hard. A couple of days we had rain, one moment the sun
would shine, then the heavens would open and it would be like a bucket
being poured over you, then it would stop and the sun was out again

These are a few pics in and around our hotel.
I took loads, but choosing what ones to share
without boring you was difficult
We went on a trip to a place called Xcaret, which is a Mayan Eco
archaeological theme park. We spent the day there, swimming the lazy river at the beginning
of the day and wandering back through the park afterwards.
I know we missed so much and I think you need a good
couple of days to be able to see everything they have there.
We stayed for the 2 shows in the evening
which helps explain a bit of the Mayan history.
If you do ever get the chance to visit Mexico, then this is one trip I would
recommend you to go on. It is suitable for all ages, whether you have little
ones or elderly ones with you.
Our time there went so quickly, but I was ready to come home and looking forward
to seeing everyone.
I was prepared for it to be cold and us to feel the cold more so, as we had been in
warmer climes. But the cold, damp foginess is still a shock to my body.
Once back indoors, the heating and the fire went on and I think it will be like that for
the next few days.
I have some Bloggy catching up to do, so bear with me and I'll do my best
to get back up to date.
Take care
Sally xxx

Friday, 8 November 2013

Bloomin week 4

Hello Ladies,
This is my 4th week of Bloomin CAL and to be honest I haven't really done much this week.
I did go to my local wool shop to get some size 8mm knitting needles to have a go at making the kit of a Throw that I bought at the knitting and stitching show and ended up buying some lovely yarn in colours I seem to be going for at the moment, Pink and Green.
I have never been a Pink girl, whether it be decor, clothes, nail polish or lippy. But suddenly I seem to like Pink and Green together and this yarn just shouted at me from across the shop. So I bought some and have been making this scarf.
I won't be around for the next 2 CAL's either as I'm off on my Holibobs to Mexico. But I won't be idle as our flight is 11 hours, so I've sorted out 3 crochet projects to take with me. I thought 3 would be good as I could alternate between them. With it taking 11 hours there and 11 back, I'd like to think I would have something completed for all my sitting time.
Now Mr.S can sleep on a plane and he'll probably have a good few hours sleepage, while I, can't sleep on a plane at all, no matter how tired I am. So while he's sleeping I need entertaining. So I have plenty of books, plus I bought seasons 1 to 4 of "The Vampire Diaries" ( my guilty pleasure), music and of course my crocheting. That should be enough to keep me occupied I hope.
 
Take care everyone and I'll catch up with you all in a couple of weeks.
Sally xxx