Hello there! I hope this finds you well. It’s November – eek! How did that happen??
Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past month…
October began and ended in a blaze of orange! The first photo is of one of my little Acers which took on a great colour at the beginning of the month, we also enjoyed this sky of fire at the start of October (below) – the second sunset was taken on Saturday evening before the clocks went back to put us on Winter time….. the last hurrah of the summer that was…
Last month, you may have noticed that there were some changes on this blog from Postcard from Gibraltar to Making Stitches Blog. I won’t go into all the reasons behind it, as you may well have already read the previous post, but if you have just landed here and are wondering why Postcard from Gibraltar is no more, you can read why here.
Last month I decided the time had come to finally dig out my knitting needles and have another go at knitting some socks! About a year ago, I was inspired by Christine Perry of Winwick Mum, to have a go at knitting socks for the first time. Now I learned to knit well before I learned to crochet, but apart from an odd cardigan here and there over the years I haven’t done too much so the prospect of knitting in the round, turning a heel and using double pointed needles sent me running for the hills. (It turns out you don’t need to used DPNs after all – hurrah!) After interviewing Christine for Making Stitches Podcast, we got together for a brew and with her help I actually managed to knit a pair!
At Yarndale this year, I picked up a ball of Yarndale sock yarn called Hope (I have admired this colourway for a while). I have done non-stop crochet for so long, I fancied a change and early in October I cast on the first sock. Determined that it wouldn’t take me months to complete this project (as happened last time) I powered on through and had my first sock finished in less than a week!! I’m very pleased to say that on Monday (31st) (with the help of Christine’s fabulous book “Super Socks“) I Kitchener Stitched the toes of my second sock and I own a second pair of hand knitted socks made by me!
Up the Garden Path friends
Two new friends joined the Up the Garden Path gang in October, Oakley the Acorn Tree Sprite and Agatha the Fly Agaric Mushroom. I had loads of fun making these – they had both been in my head since last autumn, and finally I was able to complete the patterns in time to get them out for this autumn. Oakley and Agatha should actually have a couple of other autumnal companions but I’m afraid other things got in the way of getting to the finishing line with them, so they will need to stay under wraps (or maybe that should be hibernation) until next autumn.
I took them with me to the gorgeous Dunham Massey National Trust parkland for a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago on a bright sunny morning. It was so lovely to have the perfect excuse to get out of the house and enjoy nature for a few hours. It was great fun finding suitable spots for them to pose with the gorgeous natural backdrop. The only issue is that as it is a deer park, there are lots of lovely areas you can’t go into because they are exclusively for the deer. Any parts where you are allowed to stray a little from the path are generally rather well populated so there’s a ready made audience for a crazy middle aged lady arranging crocheted little people on tree stumps or next to fungi.
I tried to keep my head down and not make too much of a spectacle of myself but I was sniffed out by a rather lovely little spaniel on a super long lead at one point, and at another, I was asked by an amateur photographer if he could photograph my little people too. Those were just the passers-by I engaged with – with many others I just ducked down behind the ferns and tree stumps and hoped for the best! I think most people were just glad to give me a wide berth as I was clearly barmy.
Downloadable PDF patterns for Agatha and Oakley are available now in my Etsy Shop if you fancy making either of them and if you would like to make both, you can buy the pair as a bundle with a bit of a saving.
As you can see below, it was a truly stunning morning at Dunham Massey when I went for my photo shoot….
The first Great Northern Textile Show
A week or so ago it was the first ever Great Northern Textile Show, just down the road from where I live in Manchester. I stumbled across the event on Instagram and reached out to the show’s organiser Tracy Fox to ask for more details. Once I’d spoken to Tracy it became apparent that not only did I have to go to the show, but that I also had to go to meet Tracy and hear more about her story. Tracy is an artist working with textiles, she dyes fabric to create art cloth for art quilts and can use anything from leaves from her back garden to rusty saw blades to create the most amazing patterns. I interviewed Tracy for Episode 52 of Making Stitches Podcast which you can listen to below. Then, on 23rd October I found myself at my second big show in a month by going to the Great Northern Textile Show. It was fab – I met some really lovely people. I shared my experience of the day in the latest episode of the podcast which went out last week – you can also listen to that below too.
In other podcast news, I got a rather lovely surprise at the weekend. I noticed that there had been a rather big upward surge in my listener figures so thought I’d check on the Apple Podcast charts to see if the numbers had had an impact there – and they did! I found Making Stitches Podcast at the Number 1 spot in the craft podcast charts in the UK, Canada and New Zealand, at Number 2 (then up to Number 1) in Australia and at Number 5 in the USA!! What a thrill! The podcast has made it to number 1 several times in the past but never in so many places at once or for so long. Thank you to everyone who has listened to it, recommended it to a friend or left a review – I am a very happy podcaster!
A return to ABBA Voyage!
If you read my August Postcard, you may remember that I made the trip down to London with a couple of school friends to see Abba Voyage. The trip had originally been meant to be for my parents to join me but their holiday which had been booked for 2020 and had been rearranged so many times ended up clashing with the ticket dates. I was able to return to London this month with my lovely Mum, the person responsible for introducing me to ABBA in the first place. It was super to be able to share the experience with her. (It also meant that I was able to meet up with Eldest – who is now a London based Uni student – for the briefest of times for a quick cuddle before hopping onto the train back home).
Half term football fun
Last week was half term week for the two youngest Little Postcards. Youngest is back in love with football after breaking his thumb and really enjoyed being able to take part in the local soccer school for the week. There was some rain, but they were really very lucky with the weather. The pitches, despite appearances, were rather muddy so I spent a week with the washing machine going almost constantly!
After a busy half term week and a weekend grass roots football match, it was rather nice to have some time at home on Sunday. Sunday afternoon meant there was time for a session of pumpkin carving and pumpkin soup making with the innards. I may have been a little heavy handed with the chilli flakes – the soup is in need of yogurt to make it palatable but never mind. It was fun to do.
And that, is that. October ticked off. It’s been a pretty good month all in all and the icing on my cake was the arrival of Eldest home late on Halloween night for a reading week break from Uni. It was so lovely to be able to get him back home again and look after him. He has been very sorely missed these last six weeks.
That’s all from me for this time, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my October ramble!
Until next time, take care!