Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year everyone and let's have a Giveaway!!

I was awake in the small hours last night.So I had another little think about my blog and a Giveaway.

Just a little way of welcoming 2013 and saying a big Thank You to all my followers.
Your encouragement and support mean a lot to me. I also value being a part of such a creative community that is Blogland.

So please leave a little comment and if you feel like sharing your first project for the New Year I would love to know about it. Then I will choose a winner and send some goodies off to you in the post.What a lovely way to start a brand new,shiny year.

I have just started my rainbow blanket which really is helping me rise above the greyest days ever. I will hold off blogging about it for a few days to give this little Giveaway time to be blessed with lots of lovey comments.

Happy New Year everyone. Love from Linda

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Still thinking!

This morning 150 followers had grown to 151. That little ripple effect is working.

I will soon have to come up with something creative,hooky and interesting to blog about as I realise pictures of the gorgeous William may keep me happy all day but as cute as he is .... Well you know what I mean. This Grandma malarkey is just gorgeous.

Now I had a little sleepy think in the night last night about my forthcoming Giveaway and something to do with the New Year is definitely on the cards. I was thinking something to do with the number 13,but some people are suspicious .... So I will carry on thinking.

The Sporty One and I actually managed an hours walk this morning without a drop of rain. Bliss!
Bliss to be out,bliss to be dry and bliss not to be in a hospital visiting. We shall go later of course but I really do not like hospitals at all. Still, I should be grateful we are just visiting my dear Mother In Law and not there in bed!

Yesterday I had to get my hook out and banish the grey skies,rain,sadness etc. I can not believe what comfort a stick of metal and a ball of wool brings me. I love Granny squares best of all and I am loving this new creation. I was inspired by the lovely Bunny Mummy's blog. Pop in to her blog if you have not had a peep before,it is lovely.

I have spoken about the Stylecraft pack from Masons before. Oh the joy of working with a selection of wool which blends and tones no matter how you hook it. 100% enjoyment without any self doubt. Perfect!

Now, I just need to adjust the tension slightly to make sure the squares do not have unwanted Madonnas type protrusions. So annoying.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Woo Hoo the magical 150 followers!!!! It really must be time for a New Year and a giveaway!

I was so delighted when the lovely Twinkle Star became my 150th follower. A special thanks to her but also a very special vote of thanks to all my followers who give me so much support and encouragement.

I have started a new hooky project to banish the grey clouds and the endless rain. It is bright and colourful and will keep me calm as news seems so variable about my dear Mother In Law.

My oldest daughter is moving into a new house and I have promised her a bed.To me a bed never seems complete without some Granny loveliness. So, the new colourful blanket is just for her. I am using a pack of wool from Mason's which is a mixture of Stylecraft double Knit in colours which all blend and tone. I love it as I often worry about my colour choices. I wish I was more confident when I move away from my seaside colours!

I will take a picture tomorrow and show you how it is going.

Now, I am going to bed and have a little think about my Giveaway. What a lovely way to start 2013. I often get inspiration in the early hours when I am having a little think... As you do!

I had to post about it tonight though because by the morning someone may have unsubscribed to my blog and I will have gone down the proverbial snake to 149 followers again. That has happened so much lately. The "sporty one " thinks it is really funny! Non crafty people have such a strange sense of humour!!!

Just before I go I recently posted about the delightful Blue Chair Diary Blog and my lovely internet friend who painted a picture of William's monkey. All she asked in return was a picture of William with his monkey and her picture. I was so happy to oblige and William loved his picture. So cute and such a kind gesture all the way from America.

Friday, 28 December 2012

A sunbeam!

Things have been so difficult over Christmas with my Mother In Law so poorly in hospital.
How wonderful to also have someone shiny,new,full of life and fun to balance things out!

Now all the family have gone and we are left with happy memories of such a happy little chap. He is obviously totally unaware of the challenges advancing years bring.

One of the hardest things about being the "filling" in the generation gap sandwich is that you are made painfully aware of what may be lying in wait for you!

So gather those rosebuds whilst you can,sniff the perfume long and hard and make the most of every minute.William certainly does.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Everything has had to come to a stop!!!

The progress with the socks was going amazingly well.
We were all ready for Christmas,our first with William and then disaster struck!!!
Dear Mother In Law fell down the stairs and an ambulance had to be summoned .Sadly the X ray showed a broken hip and all this two days before Christmas.

Oh! to be 1 with no worries! William is blissfully unaware of everything.

So,it's take a day at a time and try and fit in some sock knitting.I am finding it amazingly soothing but I fear progress will be terribly slow.

I do want to say a huge "thank you" to my followers. I love your comments, I love your support and I am so hoping that I will soon reach 150 ... Surely it's time for a Chalky Giveaway to welcome 2013! I can guarantee it will not be a pair of socks!!

Happy Christmas to you and your families and my very best wishes for 2013!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Help! I want to learn to knit socks!

No words,no pictures, just a desire to learn how to knit socks. Lots of childhood memories of darning woollen socks. Now I want to learn how to be patient enough to knit the warmest,cuddliest pair to welcome 2013.
I hope there is some help out there

Monday, 17 December 2012

Oh! Baby it's cold ...inside. Hooky warmth to the rescue.

My oldest daughter is moving into a new house in January. By that I really mean a new house to her and her partner. They have managed to find a 1930's bungalow in a big garden which has never been altered,extended or developed in any way. Now, this is pretty perfect for them as our future son in law is a builder and they have such plans.
It will be,in the future,wonderful,modern and full of homeliness.

But,right now in December it is wonderful,full of potential but absolutely freezing. The old back boiler just about takes the ice off the inside of the windows.

So,I decided what she needed was a big,cuddly,warm,cosy Lappycuddlyghan.

I have been hooking every stitch with love and hope for their new home and I think it will just about be perfect for January days and nights.
I hope it is big enough for two!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Tangled Happy and Fibre Flux I love you. William's stocking Tah Diddly Dah!

I have been wanting to craft a special stocking for William's First Christmas. He was actually six days old last year!

I wanted it to be uber special. I wanted it to be home made. I wanted it to reflect me,his Grandma and I knew once I had found the right pattern I would hook it with love in every stitch!

But,I could not find the right pattern and I was beginning to get a little bit stressy.I knew once I saw the right pattern I would be off with my trusty hook!

Never fear, Tangled Happy came to the rescue by showcasing a Granny Square stocking made by Fiber Flux. I loved it straight away. It was exactly what I had been looking for and I had enough wool in my stash.

I doubled it's size.... Well Grandma's are allowed to spoil their Grandchildren a little bit at Christmas!

So here it is. Thank you so much Tangled Happy and FiberFlux.hope you like it

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

She's gone! Woolly comfort to the rescue.

Like many fellow bloggers my ramblings on my blog are a real mixture.
Family,yarn.hooking,charity work and the ebbs and flows of life.
Our youngest daughter used to be so nervous she would not even stay at her Grandma's as she thought the cottage had a resident ghost. Now, we seem to spend a lot of our time saying tearful "Goodbyes" to her. Our tears I hasten to add.

Yesterday she flew to Miami to continue her work on the high seas. It will be her third Christmas away, and this year she will miss young William's first at our house.

My antidote to missing her is to clean,sort and tidy her room from top to bottom. Everything put straight. Everything just right. When I woke this morning and looked in it looked straight alright. Tidy,organised and straight. So different than the haphazard appearance it has when she is home. No hair straighteners, no shoes,no make up,no clothes any Mum knows exactly what I mean!!!

This morning straight and tidy made me miss her more than ever. So I turned to the one thing I know will always make me feel better.... Woolly goodness. Out came my special blanket. A present my dear daughter in law made me when William was born. I instantly felt better. And then when I looked on the Internet there waiting was a message from our daughter to say all was well and she was in a lovely hotel and the sun was shining.

Lovely, just lovely and very soon we will adjust to her being away once again and enjoy hearing about all her adventures!

I think the blanket may just stay on her bed until her return though. It fits the bill perfectly.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Woo hoooo! I have managed Amigurumi! I thought I was allergic to singlecrochet.

I am still managing to keep a gentle rhythm with the flurry of Christmas preparations and hooky yarn.
I love the Tangled Happy blog. It showcases wonderful ideas and projects. I usually pass over any Amigurumi ideas and my patience with single crochet is non existent.

However,these cute little owls made me try one more time and I did it. I followed a pattern and managed to go round and round with ease. I left a long tail of wool after the magic loop bit and used it as a stitch marker to recognise a new row. This was like a revelation to me. Just by weaving it backwards and forwards through my work I could easily see when I was starting a new row.
An Amigurumi Eureka moment!!!!

If you fancy a Eureka moment all of your own here is the little pattern. Hank you Tangled Happy and Thank You Hopscotch Lane.

Here are my cute little owls. They are off on a little twist of twisted Willow to Hannah's. Perfect for that last minute stocking filler.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Countdown begins but you are not too late!!

Everyone knows how hectic December is....
The lists begin, with countless alterations and amendments.
BUT ...
I really do try to keep calm and maintain a rhythm. A rhythm that works for me.I  like being single minded and I will not bow down to the commercialism that threatens to swamp everyone from September to December.
I do love Christmas though, and my answer is to try and make as many things as I can for everyone. They know I am quirky, and there is a sense of expectations from my parcels.Of course I am sure some of my presents will be greeted with a kind smile but  perhaps they do not contain exactly what is wanted.
An accompanying trusty cheque covers that scenario!
But, back to quirkiness. I always accompany my home made gifts with a little poem.which says if they are not exactly right to please pop them in my Charity Collection Box before they go home and languish in  a drawer.

Unbelievbly nothing has ever been left yet. Nor have I found anything tucked in drawers!

Of course one of the biggest challenges is thinking of new ideas every year. Thank goodness for the internet and my best friend Mr Google!

Well, this year I have been busy, busy, busy.

Cookery programmes have everything to tempt us. I really like to add simple little touches to the Cheffy members of the family. Here is a really simple idea to tuck in a stocking.

If you fancy making some flavoured salts here is a link.
It takes about 2 minutes and it really looks pretty with a home made label and brown string.

The sewing machine has been out and I wanted to send something "across the pond" to our nephew and his American wife. They love decorating their tree and I thought these little patriotic hearts were perfect

I am making William's first stocking. Just little things filled with love and this little apron seemed perfect. If you want to make one you can find the pattern here

I just added the little pocket with a "W" just for William. I love the elasticated strap making for a quick escape when things get messy!

Of course my list of last minute jobs would not be complete without some hooky yarny stuff and I loved this pattern from
First in a chunky yarn and a soft blue.

And again because you really do have time, in cream.

I love the little brown luggage labels which make a lovely finishing touch. They are from a little independent stationary shop locally.
I adapted the pattern to make a little one with cosy ear flaps for my great niece.Hope she likes it!

I think there may be some other home made goodies already packed but as always I have forgotten what they are! 
I hope you find 2 minutes to make something special for your loved ones or maybe just for you.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Chocolate and Coffee and Cream!!

When I am excited I often just want to get on with projects and can't be bothered with the mundane!!
This morning was such a time. I stayed in my PJ's way too long but nobody was here so,no worries.
I was excited because we are going to Bideford tomorrow. A visit to our son and daughter in law and of course the delicious William! Now, he is still too young for chocolate cake but his Mummy and Daddy are definitely not.

Then, with that done and dusted I decided to make Delia's Chocolate Torte to tuck in the freezer ...just a little forward planning for Christmas.

Part of the reason for all the early morning chocolateyness is I am never tempted to lick the bowl or beaters early in the morning!!! But, actually it is really because of the creamy part of this post. For years I have wanted a Kitchen Aid mixer and I am so pleased with my new creamy friend.
Wonderful. I wish I had splashed out years ago,but,then other things were always higher on the list!

The one thing I find amazing is that whatever else I am doing woolly love always creeps in. Overlapping all my other endeavours, as I was working I was thinking of a new Lappycuddlyghan.

I just had a short break before leaping in the shower and could not resist making the first square.

It really has captured my lovely morning perfectly. Chocolate, Coffee and Cream.
I am going to be very disciplined and sew in the ends as I complete each square and save all the little tails for the birds in the spring. Perfect colours methinks for a bit of chocolate nest building.

I am still struggling a little with blogging on my IPad. When I choose the photos to post they simply choose which order to make an appearance. It is never the order in which I select them. That seems without logic to me but I have no idea how to get round it.

Perhaps the answer is to eat chocolate cake and not worry!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sharing the love!

My family smile when I talk about my internet friends. They smile indulgently like I used to when they asked me to lay a place at the table for one of their imaginary friends.
But, I smile for an entirely different reason. My friends are not imaginary, and the kindness they bestow actually makes me feel like whooping, not just smiling.

Little parcels plop through my postbox filled with little flat hedgehogs just waiting for stuffing, a name and handsome features. These are sold at the Wildlife Centre nearby to help swell their funds and help within my Charity posting costs. So kind!

When William was born Suztats sent the most beautiful card made with tatting and love.
My friends on the MSE knitting thread crocheted Baby Converse trainers that were beyond me.
Cards arrived,welcoming our Grandson and I am always left with a warm feeling from such generous contact.

Now, William has a favourite toy, a monkey called " Narnars," even when he was tiny he only had to see the sweet little monkey and a wide smile would light up his face.

Alexandra, of the Blue Chair Diary blog and I have been such "friends" for a couple of years and if you have never seen her delicate,pretty,quirky artwork pop over to her blog and feast your eyes.

Well, she kindly offered to do something for me, and I thought of William and his love of the cute little monkey.

So,I was totally delighted when a little parcel dropped through the letterbox. When I opened it there was a watercolour picture. I framed it straight away and it is ready to pop on the wall in William's room.

What a lovely friend,a real friend!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Hooking in the rain!!

The news is right it has not stopped raining for days.

Last year we undertook an extreme makeover on the house we have lived in for 25 years.
So many wonderful things are better,warmer,easier just lovely.
We moved to the back of the house and I love this view.

We married, and all our children were christened in the village church.
 I never tire of looking out over the fields and seeing the church nestled among the clouds.

But it has been very different this week!

Grey and wet. 
Relentless rain.

The little stream that trickles through the field next door started to flood the field!
We have seen it cover the whole field so no need for concern as yet!
Well. a bit of rain does not get me down.
As I get older I accept the faces of the weather as just a part of life.
A part I do not want to waste.
So my therapy is to get my trusty hook out and work with bright,zingy,sunshiney colours.

I have not made a chevron blanket for ages, and I am loving this one.
Soft cotton yarn and random stripey loveliness.

It is not finished yet and I have not been sewing in the threads as I have hooked!
But I don't mind sewing in so that is fine.

If you want to make one here is how I worked mine with a size 4.00 hook and double knit soft cotton. 

Tips on stitches .. tr3tog = ( Yarn over hook, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over hook and draw through, yarn over hook and draw through 2 loops on hook )3 times, yarn over hook and draw through all 4 loops on hook.This took me a while to get when I first tried a Chevron blanket. The answer for me was to realise you are working across 3 stitches -- I kept trying to work the decrease in the same stitch.

1.Work 163 chain.
2. Work 1 treble 4th chain from hook ( this counts as 2 trebles ) Work 1 treble in each of next 8 chain,(tr3tog, 1 treble in each of next 10 chain, 2 chain, 1 treble in each of next 10 chain )6 times, tr3tog, 1 treble in each of next 10 chain and turn.
3 . This is the pattern row. 3 chain (counts as 1 treble) 1 treble in each of first 9 stitches,( tr3tog, 1treble in each of next 9 trebles, work 1 treble,2 chain and 1 treble in the 2 chain space, 1 treble in each of next 9 trebles) 6 times, tr3tog, 1 treble in each of next 8 trebles, 2 trebles in top of 3 chain.

That is it ! Just work as many rows as you want and enjoy the zig zagging of colour , especially if it is raining with you too!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Cataract Operation done and dusted!

I think every person in the whole world would like to live with excellent,trouble free health all their life. Then, after a perfect meal, the best bar of chocolate and a glass of champagne topped off with a final cuddle with your loved ones fall asleep for ever.
That sounds pretty perfect to me especially if you have had a happy time along the pathway if life.

Well next year I am 60. I am not worried about numbers,there are enough funny cards around to bring a smile about that. I am, however puzzled as to how I have got to such a big number,but hey ho.

To get to the heart of this post yesterday I had a cataract operation. I was dreading it. I felt I was too young for such an operation and with the best of intentions everyone had a story to tell of someone who had a problem or they feel they have to make a gruesome comment about having something done to your eye. But, I wish I could stand on the highest rooftop with the biggest megaphone and shout that it is absolutely awesome. I felt no pain,I saw nothing and now my whole world feels shiny and new. I feel as if I have the cleanest and shiniest window out to the world!

So if you know anyone who is worrying about having a cataract operation show them this post.

I am just going to enjoy looking at beautiful things in a whole new light! And I think my Craftwork might be a bit neater than of late!

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Generation Game!

When we arrived back in the UK we caught the train to Devon. As we travelled we thought of our youngest daughter far away in Italy and soon to be much farther in the USA.
Imagine our surprise when she was waiting for us at the station. She has been given some leave from her job whilst the yacht she is working on is shipped to Miami. Well, I cried. And then as we came into our house who came crawling to meet us but young William. Now,we were not expecting to see him until next weekend. So of course I cried some more. Such happy tears. Happy family tears.
Of course everyone gathered around and just loved being together.Perfect!!!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Happy Birthday with a difference!

Tomorrow it is a friends birthday. She is 21 again!!!!!!
She loves savoury food and not a fan of cake. Well it is a very special birthday .. You know one that ends with a big fat zero and a birthday where you try to ignore the preceeding number! Well a cake is essential!
Well, look what the other friend in our merry threesome has made for her. A perfect cake for a pretty perfect friend!
Layers of different cheeses and "iced" with grapes and dates.
She will love it!
Happy Birthday!