Wednesday, 29 February 2012

009: Handmade is best!!

I was so excited this morning when a pink package came through my letterbox.  I love supporting 'handmade' so I had been waiting eagerly for this to arrive.

So what was in it?  Let's take a look........

Can you guess what it is yet?

It's a handmade bag from the very talented Hen from Henhouse (Hen House Blog).  Hen has the most beautiful blog which showcases her fantastic handmade quilts and her love for everything vintage.  I've been reading this blog for a couple of years and thoroughly enjoy reading about her latest makes and her regular trips to her West Country Cottage.  Have a read ... you will be hooked!

Do you want to have a closer look at the handbag?  I've chosen it for my Mum, with Mother's Day soon approaching it was the perfect spring gift.

It's a perfect size to carry over your shoulder but with its delicate and vintage style shaping it has a very stylish look about it ...I'm hoping my mum will love it.  It has a lovely lilac and pink striped lining and is beautifully made, Hen is a very talented lady. I really want to keep it myself now I've seen it!

Anyway, all this talk about handmade makes me think about my crafting progress this week.  As you know I've been working on an Easter Commission, a delicate little cardigan based on my Spring Basket Cardigan .  Knitted in the same Patons Cotton DK, it is in white and has the block design only on the edges of the bodice and sleeve, which are then hand embroidered with pretty blue and lemon flowers.  Here's work in progress:

I'll hopefully have it finished soon and will post the finished pictures.  So I'm off to do a bit more now........................

Goodbye for now

Monday, 27 February 2012

008: Getting the 'Spring' into my steps

Spring is in the air, and with that comes a feeling that we should be out in the fresh air making ourselves fitter and healthier too. After the dark and miserable days of January we look for signs of spring and as a runner I have the perfect opportunity to notice the small changes around me as I run. 

Running isn't just about the physical exercise for me it's as much about the mental relaxation it gives me, it provides me with space to think, to digest the day, to mull over any worries and it also gives me chance to enjoy the changing seasons around me.  In the four years since I started running, I delight in all the small changes in every patch of field and woodland that I run through.  Even as I pound the pavements I notice the shoots and buds on the trees around me, the crocuses and snowdrops appearing on the grass verges and I start to see the signs of life in everyone's front gardens.    

In fact you could say that running has been a revelation to me, I have found nature in the most unlikely places and nothing beats the quiet stillness of running at dawn or dusk.  Perhaps that is why running has become such an essential part of my life.......

Goodbye for now

Thursday, 23 February 2012

007: Knitty Knatty Tales : Spring Basket Cardigan

This morning the sun is streaming through my french doors and combined with the daffodils on my kitchen window sill and the barmy temperatures outside I have to say it feels like SPRING!!

So I think this morning is the perfect time to show you the little baby cardigan I have been knitting this week.  You may remember that I showed you the cream Patons Cotton yarn last week ... and hey presto here's the finished item:

I call it my Spring Basket Cardigan. It's the perfect weight and design for spring, it has a jacket style shaping with a cosy collar ....for as we know Spring days can still be chilly.

It uses a simple block pattern of alternating knit and purl which is worked throughout except for the cuffs, collar, button band and edging which are worked in moss stitch.  The block pattern reminds me of a basket which gave me the idea of embroidering the small flowers on the edges of the bodice, sleeves and collar.
Here are a few more photos:

I have been asked to knit the same pattern but with just a band of blocks at the bodice and sleeve edges and the rest in stocking stitch.  The cardigan is for an easter present so I am doing it in white and embroidering the flowers in lemon and blue. I'll let you see it when it's finished ..... only just halfway up the back at the moment... so have got to get those needles clicking!

Goodbye for now
Fleur xx

Friday, 17 February 2012

006: Holiday Hiatus

What is it about the school holidays that can actually cause all the normal crafting to go out of the window?  The change of routine always seems to throw me off kilter.   The needles haven't been clicking much this week, every time I think I've got five minutes to spare something happens and I get carried off in a whirlwind with family activities as both the Postie and the Curly Wurlys are off this week.

So up to now we have been mostly : shopping, baking, swimming, lunching out, film watching at the cinema, cooking (we seem to be cooking alot!) going to the library, meeting friends, standing in the freezing cold in the park and swimming again!......... I long for a few daylight hours with my needles but it doesn't look as though I'll get many chances.  I love these family times but I do find that the week long half term holidays seem to go by so quickly, trying to cram everything in.

I am determined to get my needles out tonight as I have a date with some scrummy new cotton yarn. I love this yarn it's an old favourite, it is relatively cheap for a 100g ball and comes in both Double Knitting and 4-Ply, and as spring is approaching it is a perfect weight for baby and toddler cardigans.

I find it very easy to knit with and have been using it for quite a few years.  It comes in a large range of colours, this of course is cream, although a basic neutral colour it knits up beautifully and can look stunning, depending upon the pattern of course . The pattern I will be following is one of my own designs, and is a jacket style cardigan that I have knitted and sold at baby fairs for a number of years.  My stock is low at the moment so I need to get a few knitted up quickly.  As I know the pattern like the back of my hand, this is the perfect knitty project to be getting on with as I sit on the sofa in the evening. 

Anyway, my little hour of peace has finished and I have to get on with all the normal things as it's feeding time at the zoo!  Hope you all have a nice evening of crafting too.

Goodbye for now
Fleur xx

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

005: It must be love, love, love...............

Good Morning and Happy Valentines Day to you all.

Just enjoying a lazy morning and endless cups of coffee in my new valentines mug!

But it hasn't been a totally fruitless morning, the needles have been clicking.
Do you want to see the knitty knatty bundle of love I've created this morning?  Well it started with a box of chocolates all wrapped up in gorgeous shiny papers - rich reds, light cappuccino beiges and rich dark chocolately browns, which got me routing in my never-ending stash. And then.................. .................................... the needles started clicking.

Do you like it? My little Valentine's Cufflet.......whipped up out of a few odds and ends.

Hope you all have a day full of love xx

Goodbye for now
Fleur xx

Friday, 10 February 2012

004: New Year Resolutions Going Well!

This year I made a few New Year Resolutions, but unusually my first resolution was to actually make my other resolutions achievable!  Each year I regurgitate the same ones, lose more weight, keep off the weight that I lose, stop eating chocolate get the idea?  Of course each year by mid February those resolutions have all been long forgotten, the cold weather combined with a stinking cold usually means that the diet has to end for 'medical' reasons (my mum always says ' feed a cold, starve a fever' and 'mum' always knows best!).  The chocolate resolution fails every year and I think that I just have to face the cold hard fact that "My name is Fleur and I am a chocoholic"'

So 2012 started with achievable objectives:
  1. Learn to crochet before the end of the year - I may have been knitting since I was 6 years old but believe it or not I've never picked up a crochet hook.
  2. Read the 3 Stieg Larson books from the Millennium Series and finally see what everyone else is talking about - are they really as good as everyone says?   
  3. Run a half marathon in under 2 hours and a 10k in less than 52 minutes - I love running though I'm not a natural born runner.  I came to the sport late in life, my first 10k race was in 2009 at the grand old age of 38, but I got the bug and have been running ever since, in that time I've raced in countless 5ks, 10ks, 15ks and five half marathons.  So this year was the year to set achievable but challenging targets for myself.
It's now February and for the first time my resolutions are still going strong, they may not be complete but at least they haven't crashed and burned before January was even out.

Progress is as follows 
  1. Crochet Book and Hooks bought - not actually done any hooking yet though. 
  2. First Stieg Larson Book started (thanks to the Postie who ordered the book for me) and 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' is proving to be a page turning read, 80 pages in.
  3. Can't believe how well I'm doing with the third goal!  Ran a half marathon at the end of January, an atrocious day weather wise, strong winds made a PB (Personal Best) look out of the question so I started the race with no expectations and amazingly crossed the finish line in 1:59:50 - a whole ten seconds under 2 hours - Whoa !  Just the 10k to aim for now but that's going to be a hard one to crack, 10ks are a much faster shorter race which for me is a higher mountain to climb.
Anyway, I'd love to hear throughout the year how your resolutions are going, so let me know.

Goodbye for now

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

003: Keeping Promises

I did it!  Finally after the snow cleared so did my brain!  So let me sum it up.......

                                                             A beautifully sunny morning
                                                          + lots of enthusiasm
                                                           - the curly wurlys (the girlies)
                                                           - the postie (the other half)
                                                          = peace & quiet and a new blog banner !!!

Goodbye for now
Fleur xx

Friday, 3 February 2012

002: Brain Freeze...

Well temperatures here in Cheshire have finally turned wintry!  Minus 5 this morning on the school-run.   It seems that the cold temperatures have frozen my brain too and rendered me totally inactive.  My long list of blog jobs this week have not for my blog banner are still waiting to be taken....and the more I think about my banner the more I change my mind!  What do I want visitors to see when they click in? What will hold their attention? and more importantly ... what images reflect me and my life?  Hopefully next week I can reveal all.

Snow is forecast here in Cheshire early next week so it looks like the weather will continue wintry for a few days yet, let hope the brain freeze doesn't last as long!

Keep warm

Goodbye for now
Fleur xx