Hello there, this time last week I was driving north to Scotland so didn’t get round to posting before now… so here’s a look back at my last 2 weeks of crafting.
Day 8 : Saturday 29th July
It was Black Sheep Wools’ 40th birthday party yesterday & today, so I popped along to join the celebration.
Eek, there I am… I may have made one or two purchases while I was there…
It didn’t leave much time for making though…
Day 9 : Sunday 30th July
I just felt inspired to make a daisy, can’t say why – it just leapt off my hook!
Day 10 : Monday 31st July
I ended the month on a high, almost exactly a year after I started it, I finished my Dragonfly River MAL shawl by Heather at Keep Calm & Crochet On and Kitey The Yarn Whisperer. Isn’t it lovely? I have no idea why I left it almost finished for so long!
Day 11 : Tuesday 1st August
Sticking with the circular theme…
Day 12 : Wednesday 2nd August
A very uninspiring circle was all I managed today…
Day 13 : Thursday 3rd August
A very busy day today, work, housework and preparations for a family holiday (yay!) meant not much crochet time…
Day 14 : Friday 4th August
I’m trying and trying to square my circle but my brain won’t work and I’m not giving in and looking up a pattern. That’s enough for today.
Day 15 : Saturday 5th August
I didn’t manage much ‘craft’ today it was a long day of driving from Manchester to the west coast of Scotland. It was a day of firsts as I drove onto a car ferry for the first time!
Day 16 : Sunday 6th August
I felt inspired by the Scottish sunshine in the garden of our holiday let to make a sunflower. What a fabulous spot! There’s a very good chance I won’t want to leave…
Day 17 : Monday 7th August
Sock knitting with a view today… our holiday let had the most amazing views.
Day 18 : Tuesday 8th August
It was such a beautiful day, I felt inspired by my surroundings and wanted to create a little crochet square to celebrate it. It also gave me the perfect excuse to visit a lovely yarn shop called Jinty & Baa in the village of Kirn near Dunoon to buy some yarn to make the water/loch section of my square.
If you ever find yourself in the area, I would highly recommend a visit. It’s really well stocked with yarn, fabric and other needlecraft supplies.
Day 19 : Wednesday 9th August
Nothing to see here… just an embarrassing mother sitting on a historical monument knitting socks 😂. A cruise on the Waverley Paddle Steamer brought us to Tarbet, and we climbed up to see the castle.
Day 20 : Thursday 10th August
Beach day meant sock knitting on the beach – ignore the grey sky – it was deceptively warm even the water was! It was beautiful.
Day 21 : Friday 11th August
Our last full day in the Kyles of Bute before heading onwards to Glasgow. The boys decided to have a kick around on the neighbouring shinty pitch near to where we were staying (I managed a few rows before being roped in as goal keeper). I imagine this will be last of my spectacular backdrops for a while!
That’s it for this week, I look forward to sharing more summer craft adventures with you soon.
Hello there, can you believe it’s the last day of 2022? I can hardly believe it and am shocked I’ve been away from my little blog for so long.
Life (as always) has been rather busy of late and blogging found itself at the very end of the to-do list. This time though, blogging felt quite unattainable – I didn’t have the words to write or anything interesting to say either. So here goes, the jolt of moving from one year into a new one might just be the impetus I need to get me going again!
When I looked back I was shocked to see I hadn’t posted for so long. When I changed from Postcard from Gibraltar to Making Stitches I assumed I’d be back again very quickly but hey ho, I’m here now. Here’s a little jaunt through the past two months in my world.
The main headline I guess from the last two months is that I’ve managed to secure the impossible – paid work for my crochet. I have rather excitedly been commissioned to design some things for a craft magazine. This has taken up a LOT of my time. Solid crocheting from the moment the Little Postcards leave for school in the morning until they come home! I’ve loved it, but it has been a lot of hard work.
The old spectre of self doubt popped into my head on many occasions during this work but I’m pleased to say, the first commission was gratefully received and got a stamp of approval so I’m thrilled about that. I have 3 more projects to complete by mid January and I’m in the midst of those right now.
I wish I could tell you more and show you photos of what I’ve been working on but sadly I can’t for now – just some of the yarn I have used for one of the projects (above). I will investigate further on whether I can share them once they are published.
New article published
Within the last week the latest issue of Simply Crochet magazine popped through my letter box complete with my latest article for them. It was prompted by the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the outpouring of support I witnessed in the online craft community. The main photo is of Amoami bears. This amazing social enterprise helping Ukrainian refugees featured in one of my podcast episodes too. You can listen to it here.
Inspired by their work, I ordered my very own mini Christmas Amoami bears. They were made by Yuliia. They look gorgeous on our tree this year!
A trip to the Lakes
A very dear friend of mine and her husband moved away from our home town earlier this year and settled in beautiful Grasmere in the Lake District. It’s been something they’d been talking about for years, and this year ended up being the right time for them.
I don’t know this part of the world very well, but I have a feeling I’ll be getting to know it a whole lot better from now on!
In November we were invited for a visit to their new home – and boy what a move they have made. They have lost their old decent sized back garden but blimey with this on your doorstep, they have all the greenery they need!!
We took a walk from their front door up to Easedale Tarn. There were butties and crisps at the top to give us the energy to walk back down… what a picturesque picnic spot!
The weather was so kind to us!
It was wonderful to be able to share this with the two Littlest Postcards – unfortunately Eldest missed out by being away at University but hopefully he will be able to join us another time. It was remarkable to see a real change in the youngest two though, from their usual slightly grumpy teenagerish (11 & 15) demeanor to being full of life and scrambling over rocks as we undertook our walk.
We had one whole day of sunshine before the weather turned a bit grey and damp. We were so lucky to be able to truly see the beauty of their surroundings. We most definitely will be back!
November in a nutshell
Throughout November I took part in an excellent daily photo challenge on Instagram run by The Yarn Whisperer and The Pigeon’s Nest. It was called ‘Yarnovember’ and was lots of fun. That kept me rather busy on social media and reminded me just how much crochet has been in my life for the past few years which was such fun.
Also in November I competed my second pair of knitted socks. I picked up the ‘Hope’ yarn from Yarndale in September and used the Winwick Mum basic sock pattern to knit them. I love the colours – they are so autumnal.
I also had a lovely morning walk with Eldest to see the deer at Dunham Massey National Trust park early in the month. He managed to get home for a few days during his University reading week, and we headed out for a walk one day, coffee cups in hand to enjoy the greenery.
The big painting challenge
At the start of December I set myself a tough challenge – to redecorate our lounge in time for a surprise birthday party just over a week later. It was a tough one, but I managed it, despite 4 coats of paint to kill the pattern of the patterned wallpaper on the feature wall.
I’d been living with wallpaper I disliked for 2 years, and the surprise party was the kick up the behind I needed to get busy. I’m very pleased to say I managed it (with a bit of help from the unsuspecting party recipient). We were all ready in time to welcome party guests to my lovely Dad’s 80th birthday party!
Whilst it’s been rather mild recently, earlier this month, it was decidedly nippy. We had a proper cold snap in mid December which made the early morning school runs a bit on the cold side. I believe it was minus 9 one morning when my friend’s husband left for work. I walked with Littlest to the bus stop that day to keep him company as his friend was ill and I can confirm it was COLD! It had warmed up slightly when I drove son Number 2 to school (see below)…. It’s so hard to comprehend that a few months ago, parts of the UK were burning in the heatwave!
Back at Old Trafford
I managed to get back to Old Trafford to watch the Manchester United Women’s team play against Aston Villa. I went with my youngest two and my Dad. It was brilliant – the atmosphere is so lovely in women’s football. As you can see, the sun shone and they got a win too – a perfect trip out!
This year I’m taking part in the Betwixtmas Makealong by Black Sheep Wools. I have had a skein of Yarn Whisperer hand dyed yarn waiting for the right project to come along and I think this is it. I took it along to Black Sheep wools and picked out two contrasting colours to make up this ‘knitted’ – yes – knitted shawl. It’s pushing my abilities and a bit of a challenge but I have enjoyed putting my hook down for a while over the last few days. I wonder if it will be finished before next Betwixtmas?!!
That’s all I have for you this time, but it’s been lovely to be back and sharing my comings and going’s with you. I hope you have had a restful Christmas – I know it’s very difficult for so many people. I wish you a new year filled with joy and creativity.
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!
Way back in the summer of 2015, I set off on a blogging adventure. Inspired by the likes of Lucy at Attic24 and several other craft bloggers, I decided that I would have a go at sharing a few snap shots of my life on the Rock. At the time, I had a the unique selling point that I was based in Gibraltar, and at that time, there were no other craft bloggers active on the Rock. I thought that even if no one was interested in what I was making, at least I could share beautiful photos of my sunny surroundings way down in the south of Europe.
I felt compelled to share some of the quirks and beauty of where I was living at the time – a much misunderstood place from the outside. There is so much more to Gibraltar than the day trips from cruise ships and bus tours from along the Costa would have you believe. There’s much more than red phone boxes and fish & chips, British bobbies and Marks and Spencer in the sun. It’s home to a diverse group of people with origins from far and wide, the fortunate byproduct of it’s geographical location at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsular and just a short distance across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco and the African continent beyond.
Soon I began sharing a series of blog posts called ‘A stroll around Gibraltar’ as I took my camera and later my phone along on walks around the narrow streets and back alleys of Upper Town and into the Nature Reserve of the Upper Rock – in fact my post about the ‘facts and figures of the Med Steps’ remains my most read post to date. I posted more than 200 Sunday Sevens posts and hosted a Friday Photo Challenge on Instagram one year as well.
I also used Postcard from Gibraltar to share what I was making, from the dressmaking and watercolour classes which I was able to attend once all three Little Postcards (my three sons) were old enough to all go to school, as well as a number of community crochet projects I joined in with from Yarndale worldwide appeals for crocheted bunting and mandalas to Eleonora from Coastal Crochet‘s Seaside Stashbusting blanket and Changing Tides blanket crochet-alongs.
As our family went on trips around the place I would blog about our travels in my ‘A Postcard from…’ posts which included Rome, The Algarve, Carcassonne, and skiing in the Dolomites, as well as UK destinations like Manchester, Cheshire, and Suffolk.
Postcard from Gibraltar also opened doors for me and I began writing for an online parenting magazine in Gibraltar which now no longer exists sadly, I also got articles published in print for the Calentita! Gibraltarian food festival magazine. In short, Postcard from Gibraltar gave me the confidence to venture back out of my domestic set-up after many years being a stay-at-home Mum.
In 2020, along with everything else which was happening in the world, close to home for us, change was afoot. We found ourselves moving back to the UK after 11 very happy years in Gibraltar. It was a big adjustment, which wasn’t made any easier by the pandemic, but we survived! At the time, I wondered whether I should continue with Postcard from Gibraltar as it would no longer be ‘from Gibraltar’. I had begun my new podcast project ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ by then, and whilst it brought me very welcome creative distraction – especially during lockdown, I felt I would miss Postcard too much if I just finished it, so I kept it going in a slightly less regular, less sunny and blue skies kind of a way!
More than 2 years on from our move though, I think the time is right to say goodbye to Postcard from Gibraltar. I won’t be saying goodbye to it completely though. This blog and all of the previous posts will still be available to read and if you should search for Postcard from Gibraltar online, it will still lead you here. Postcard from Gibraltar is evolving, just as I have, and from now on, will be known as Making Stitches.
It felt right to adapt what I’m already doing to compliment what I have been working on with Making Stitches Podcast. In the last two years, that has gone from strength to strength and is now in it’s 6th Series with more than 50 episodes featuring interviews with creative people from many different disciplines including crochet and knitting (including my old friend Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet), dressmaking, embroidery, textile art, weaving, yarn dying and more. In addition to this, I have made a foray into crochet design myself with the launch of my amigurumi crochet patterns. My life has changed quite a bit from what I was doing back in Gibraltar and it’s time this blog caught up with me.
I will still post my monthly Postcards (because I would miss writing them too much) although I can’t guarantee I’ll be any more prompt with posting them (!) and I’m pretty sure I will have another go at a Summer Craft Challenge again next year, so in a way nothing has changed, just the name.
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts, liked them or commented through the years and a special thank you to those of you who have become friends through this medium too. Your support, although virtual, has been very much appreciated over the years and it’s that which has kept me going. Who knows what lies ahead?
Hello there! I hope you’re well. It’s the very last day of the school summer holidays for us today… tomorrow Youngest heads off to Secondary school for the first time -eek! Also, since my last postcard post, we have had A-Level results which means that Eldest will soon fly the nest to University… not sure how I feel about that.
In the meantime here’s a little look at what we’ve been up to this last month beginning with something I completely forgot to mention which happened in July … I went to ABBA Voyage!!! How could I possibly forget to mention that?!!
I know I’m not alone in the fact I grew up with Abba as the soundtrack to my life, so when I saw last year that the new show was coming to London, I applied for tickets. I was hoping to take my parents with me but unfortunately a holiday they were meant to go on in 2020 got rescheduled to the same weekend so I ended up going with a couple of school friends – which was really nice. It was an utterly amazing experience and unexpectedly emotional. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes ABBA, and thanks to the rescheduled holiday, I’m going back to see it again with my Mum later this year too!
It was always a tradition when we lived in Gibraltar, that on our annual summer holiday back to the UK we would take a picnic to Marbury Country Park near Northwich in Cheshire and have a walk, play some football or frisbee and then call in for ice cream at the Great Budworth ice cream farm on the way home – sounds like a perfect summer’s day out don’t you think? Well, this year was no different, although we were down to just 2 Little Postcards as Eldest has had a job this summer and wasn’t able to join us for our outing. It’s such a lovely place – which I treasured for the Vitamin Tree I got when I visited.
There’s something about a British summer and the way the world looks here which you don’t get in the Med. I think it’s the way the sun shines through the deciduous leaves maybe. Anyway, it’s not something I really appreciated before we moved to Gibraltar and I wondered whether I would begin to take it for granted again now we are back in the UK full time. I can tell you that I don’t! It’s just gorgeous. I didn’t take any photos of the ice cream farm this time – but I did snap the sunflower maze which had been planted for kids to wander through. Don’t those sunflowers look so bright and jolly?
Exam results day
Exam results day. 30 years ago I came to this very same building to learn my fate and find out my exam results. This year I went along with Eldest. I never could have imagined at the age of 18 that I would be back again one day with one of my children to find out how they had done. I’m relieved to say the exams went well and he’s now preparing to head off to his first choice of university later this month.
I had an amazing long weekend away in Paris with Eldest to celebrate his birthday (belatedly) and his exam success. We went on the Eurostar (which was amazing) and packed such a lot into our few days. There will be a blog post to follow with some of our adventures in, so I won’t tell you all about it now. Suffice to say it was amazing to get away for a few days (as we didn’t have a big family trip away this year) although I was ready for a holiday when I got back after all the walking and fun we packed in!
And so it begins… back to the old routine!
And so it begins…. back at football training again last week and a pre season friendly match at the weekend ready for the new season beginning next week. And just like that we were back to normal.
I began writing this post yesterday, and am finishing it off this morning (Monday morning) after having waved Youngest off on the school bus for the first time to take him to secondary. I have two still at home today, but will have a quiet house again tomorrow. I’m off on a shopping trip now to get things for Uni – wish me luck!
I hope August was kind to you! Thanks for stopping by,
So here we are again! Another week gone already. This summer is whizzing by and I want it to stop or the Little Postcards will be back to school and the leaves will be falling and we’ll be heading back into winter – nooo!
It’s been a big week in our house – we were awaiting A-Level results and I’m thrilled to say they were favourable and all is well. I’m hugely grateful that’s over and done with but am all too well aware it hasn’t been the best week for some.
Day 22 : Saturday 13th August 2022
Just look at that fabulous texture as the summer sun shines on the slub base yarn from @the_yarnwhisperer – making progress on my Dragonfly River MAL.
Day 23 : Sunday 14th August 2022
Sunny weather brings out the daisies in the garden! Trying to get something whipped up in time for #grannysquareday2022 tomorrow…
Pattern is the Flora square by Lucy from Attic24 and it’s really fun to make!
Day 25 : Monday 15th August 2022
I was so caught up in the excitement of Granny Square Day that I couldn’t stop making them! Here’s Day 24 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 and it’s all about the grannies!
All of these Grannies are evolving into a cushion cover I think… I’m in love with the Daisy centres to the squares and they work up so fast too! Granny Square appreciation isn’t just for Granny Square Day you know! 😂
Day 26 : Tuesday 16th August2022
And that’s them all joined up. I joined them initially, decided against my colour choices and placement, so frogged part of it, made another square and swapped the red one out. I’m chuffed with how it’s growing!
Day 27 : Wednesday 17th August 2022
So that red square which got jettisoned yesterday hasn’t gone to waste! Here it is surrounded by more granny clusters. Not sure whether it will be the back of a cushion or become a second cushion cover… I had been at sixes and sevens all day as I did a bit of this, then went off to do something else – I just couldn’t settle knowing that A-Level results were due the next day.
Day 28 : Thursday 18th August 2022
After the drama and excitement of an early morning trip to school to get some good news (thank goodness) I was back onto my Dragonfly River MAL. Getting closer to the end of part one… I’m itching to get cracking on part 2 – not long to go….
Day 29 : Friday 19th August 2022
Excuse the straggly ends… I promise I will weave them all in once I’m finished on this section of the Dragonfly River MAL! Those of you familiar with the MAL will be able to spot the mistake I made early on but decided I could live with… If my calculations are correct I’ve just got 7 rows left to go!
Thanks for stopping by to share my Summer Craft Challenge – it really is a lot of fun and keeps me busy making during the holidays when there are so many other distractions.
I hope it’s been a good week for you. See you next time!
Hello there, how are we at Saturday already? This was meant to be published last Saturday but there’s something about the school holidays when routine goes out of the window and I completely lose track of what’s going on! I have a feeling I may not be alone in this!
Here’s what I’ve been up to craft-wise lately…
Day 15 : Saturday 6th August 2022
Day 15 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 and thankfully I found some time for crochet at the end of the day! Progress is being made on this lovely #dragonflyrivermal project. I’m loving it! 💙💚🤍
Day 16 : Sunday 7th August 2022
You know when you realise you are only 2 rows off finishing a project but you can’t find the pattern so decide to wing it?! Well about to frog the last 2 rows for the second time… I’m off to look for the pattern! 😂
Day 17 : Monday 8th August 2022
There are days when football training is pretty bleak and miserable, but there are also days when it’s brill. Today was one of those days, sunshine, lovely parents to chat to and a spot of crochet in the evening sunshine ☀️. Making progress on my #dragonflyrivermal – I reckon I’m about a quarter of the way through. Still loving it!
Day 18 : Tuesday 9th August 2022
More alfresco crochet today! Our annual picnic at Marbury Park in Cheshire… I even saw a couple of dragonflies although they were too fast to photograph.
Day 18 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 was very pleasant working on my #dragonflyrivermal from @kcaco.uk & @the_yarnwhisperer in the sunshine & dappled shade of the Northwich Woodland.
Day 19 : Wednesday 10th August 2022
No time for crochet today… it’s be a day filled of utility sewing – name tapes and school trouser hems. I did give the neighbours a treat though as I dragged the ironing board out into the sunshine in the back garden so my long standing WIP and finally finished scarf/shawl could block in the sun! They’re used to watching me pose amigurumi dolls about the place, but they must’ve thought I’d gone properly bonkers to be contemplating ironing in the hot sun ☀️ 😂.
Yarn by @woollywumpkins Shawl Pattern : Easy One Skein Crochet Shawl by @anniedesigncrochet
Day 20 : Thursday 11th August 2022
Nocturnal crochet for me this evening and back to the #dragonflyrivermal – Day 20 of my #summercraftchallenge2022
Day 21 : Friday 12th August 2022
Crochet in the garden this evening whilst admiring my new solar fairy lights… Day 21 of my #summercraftchallenge2022
And that’s last week’s crochet adventures complete! I’m off now to write the latest installment!
Sorry for the lack of postcard from June – it was a very hectic month with exams and school stuff in our house – very little of it photo worthy so I opted to tag a bit of June in with July’s postcard. So here goes…
One of the joys of having a postcard from two months is that I can share the progress of my garden in that time. Last month I set about planting up two new pots to live either side of my front door – they looked a little sparse to begin with but blimey look how they’re doing now!
Also I love agapanthus, I have tried many times over the years, both in the UK and Gibraltar, to grow them but with rather lack lustre results. This year though, I was given some established plants by my parents who were thinning out their substantial agapanthus patch. Just look at these beauties – I didn’t expect them to flower after being disturbed and moved to my garden!
Football, football, football…
June was super busy for us with football. Our local club hosted two weekends of tournaments, youngest played in one of the home tournaments then another elsewhere the next week. The money raised from staging the tournaments, to which teams from across the North West of England come, means that they are able to keep the joining fee for young players affordable – some teams I have heard of charging literally hundreds for kids to join!
I was on bacon butty duty for some of it. I could still smell the bacon days later 😂.
From grass roots to top of the tree! Earlier this month I was lucky enough to take number 2 and number 3 sons to Old Trafford to watch the opening game of the Womens Euros – England against Austria.
Wow! What an atmosphere and their first game at Old Trafford. I’m so pleased I was able to do this and now they can say they were there at the start of the Lionesses Euros journey!
And then down to earth with a bump!
Nothing like sitting in a puddle on a deckchair on a very wet Sunday afternoon watching your 11 year old play! Utterly saturated!! We dried out eventually!
Youngest’s school were able to put on their first school production in 3 years this year. Someone caught wind that I could sew so I was drafted in on the costume making. It was gorgeous fabric – rather like the type you would use for a wedding dress or bridesmaids dress which the school had been gifted. It was lovely to sew but not quite big enough for what they wanted… two cloaks with hoods. Sadly there wasn’t enough for the hoods and one sleeve was made of a patchwork of 5 different pieces but I got there in the end!
We have a few neighbourhood foxes and they are so cheeky! Since we moved here 2 years ago I have encountered one or more on my evening strolls but blimey this one was cheeky. I was walking home one evening and stopped in my tracks when I caught sight of this cheeky money stretched out at my neighbour’s driveway! He / she sat there quite happily looking straight at me as I took photos and then vanished!
There have been a couple of crochet pattern releases since my last monthly postcard. Daisy (above) is my most recent floral inspired pattern and the pattern has yet again been illustrated by my very talented childhood friend Emma Jackson. She was inspired by the daisies popping up on my lawn!
It’s been a busy couple of months for Making Stitches Podcast. There have been 5 episodes released in June & July. Clockwise from the top left of the photo above there was Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project, Kitey aka The Yarn Whisperer, Sally Wilson from Caterpillar Cross Stitch, Emma Munn from Emma Knitty and finally Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum and Juey from Juey Jumbo Craft Tools.
You can listen back to any of the episodes by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or via this link.
And that just about brings this latest postcard to a close. I hope June & July we’re kind to you and your August is going well too. The tension levels are rising in our house as the dreaded A-Level results day draws nearer…. Eek!
Hello there! Happy new month to you. I’m just dropping in for a quick post today as, when I looked back at my photos for May, they seemed very dull and not post worthy.
So here’s a very quick round up of what I’ve been up to lately…
Well, I seem to have been crocheting non-stop lately but I’ve not been able to settle on anyone thing for long! I began the month crocheting a rainbow hat for a future ‘Up the garden path’ character but got distracted by another project which you can see below…
Youngest’s school is holding its first summer fair in 3 years this year and I was racking my brains as to what to do to support it… I hit on an idea and will hopefully be able to share it with you next month!
One of the highlights of designing my own patterns is seeing someone else’s interpretation of what I’ve created. My fundraising Sophia the Sunflower for Ukraine is still available in my Etsy shop and I was thrilled to spot this Sophia made in the Ukrainian national colours – she is to be gifted to a Ukrainian girl who recently arrived in the UK. What a lovely thing to do.
Early in the month we had a very big game – well when I say we, I mean Youngest! I have been a football Mum for many years and never before have I seen one of my offspring play in a final…. Until this year. And guess what? They only went and won! Cue: boundless joy in our house for a few days as we all floated about on cloud 9!!!
One day while I was alone at home getting on with jobs I heard a racket coming from the back garden, when I went to investigate I found it full of starlings. I counted over 30. There were parents and chicks and all sorts of squabbles and shenanigans going on! The photos don’t do it justice. Suffice to say, the bird feeders took a battering that day!
Messing about on the water
Last weekend we had an invitation to join some very good friends for a kids sailing session at a nearby reservoir. Youngest had never been sailing before but he’s always up for something new and jumped at the chance. It was absolutely fabulous. They were given brilliant instruction by the leaders, monitored at all times, got full use of wetsuits etc and were on the water for a few hours – all for £10!!! We will definitely be going back!
The added bonus was a bit of peace & quiet for waterside alfresco crochet…
That was on Saturday, then on Sunday we spent most of the day on a local playing field having an impromptu football session with other families from his team. Another opportunity for alfresco crochet, however I did find myself being roped in to play. I am rubbish in goal – I let 5 in, but I was told I’m pretty good in defence, so I’ll take that. My aching muscles though, haven’t forgiven me. I’m still stiff as a board today! 😂
May saw two episodes of Making Stitches Podcast released. The first being a chat I had with knit and crochet designer Lynne Rowe from Knit Crochet Create & The Woolnest. The second episode last month featured a trip I made to the Peoples History Museum in Manchester where they have the biggest collection of Trades Union banners in the world. I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes peek at the fabric conservation work they do there. It was fascinating.
You can listen to all Making Stitches episodes by searching for Making Stitches Podcast on your favourite podcast app or via this link.
And that just about brings this quick post to an end. I do hope May has been a good month for you, and whatever you’re up to this long Platinum Jubilee weekend, I hope the sun shines for you!
Until next time, thanks for stopping by & take care!
Hello there and welcome to this latest Postcard from April – if a little late! It’s a teeny look back at what I got up to in April and as spring has sprung well and truly round here, it meant spending a lot of time out in my little garden.
Where we live we are surrounded by streets and roads filled with trees. I believe the local town planner back in the 1930s believed that there should be a tree planted for every person who lived in the district, so we have him to thank for all the lush greenery around here.
One of the side effects of having so many trees about is that they drop their seeds in autumn and as I discovered last spring (our first in this house) those seeds produce dozens and dozens of tiny seedlings in our pebble driveway. This is just one handful of seedlings picked during about 10 minutes one afternoon – there are approximately 124 seedlings there. I reckon in total I’ve pulled up at least 200 – which would have left me with a jungle or even a forest between our front door and the pavement! It’s no trouble really and rather therapeutic, although they can be hard to spot against the pebbles, and are easy to miss.
Also in the garden, I decided that this year, it was time to give the fence panels a treat. Thankfully the previous owner had left a partially used pot of fence paint, so I was able to set to work straight away once the mood took me. Once I ran out of the original stuff, a quick trip to the local DIY shop had me back to work. One day over Easter weekend I managed to paint 15 fence panels. I was a little tired that evening!
I also thought the shed could do with a treat, despite painting it last year, it was looking a little tired. So that got a coat of paint too along with a new trellis and a new honeysuckle which I bought from the local allotment which was having a plant sale. It’s more than doubled in size since this picture was taken!
There were two birthdays in the household in April. One was a big one as Eldest turned 18 – eek! I have no idea how that happened. I’m just mentally preparing myself for the fact he’s going to be leaving home (all being well) in September to go off to University. Not sure how I’ll feel when the time comes….
Another birthday I celebrated last month was the 2nd birthday of Making Stitches Podcast – but more on that later….
I was invited to a special 21st birthday party last month too. Special in that it was 2 years late. A very good friend of mine has a lovely son who turned 21 in April of 2020, at the time a party had been planned and of course lockdown happened so he had no celebration at all. In fact his parents only managed to deliver a cake to the driveway of where he was living and sang happy birthday from the car, before driving home.
Unlike certain other people, he didn’t have a party….. that was until this year, when, two years later than planned, family and friends were able to get together for a better-late-than-never celebration. Oh, and the amigurumi I’m holding above is Psyduck (a Pokémon character – in case you didn’t know). This young man was a huge fan of Psyduck when he was younger, so I made him one – albeit with out the tuft of hair he’s supposed to have because I left it to the last minute and forgot to in the rush! But the recipient was happy and the party was a great night.
Easter holiday trip out
We are very fortunate to have a few really great National Trust properties close to where we live. One of those is Styal Mill near Manchester Airport. Our great friends and neighbours across the road were going for the day, so I took youngest along with me (the other two were otherwise engaged) for an Easter treasure trail and picnic on a lovely warm and, at times, sunny day.
We hadn’t been for a few years – it’s so easy forget what’s down the road isn’t it? But I’m so glad we had the invitation to join our friends. The kids had fun and ran off some energy whilst learning about the industrial revolution and leeches (on the tour of the apprentice house). It had particular resonance for my young man because the mill was actually used as a location for the filming of the new CBBC drama Dodger, which he had very much enjoyed watching.
The grounds were looking gorgeous and the picture of spring with tulips galore and azaleas too – the rhododendrons were just about to explode into colour too.
A trip down to London
As mentioned before, Eldest has his sights set on University for later this year, and last month was invited for a look around one of the Unis on his list. I tagged along so I could see where he might be disappearing off to. Blimey, universities have moved on a lot since I was at one! The services and support are so much more sophisticated than I can remember, which certainly put my mind at rest as a slightly anxious parent. Another positive of the day trip was plenty of time for hooky on the train!
In podcast news, as well as celebrating 2 years of Making Stitches Podcast, I released a couple of new episodes. Episode 42 was ‘Crochet-tastic’ and packed full of crochet chatter featuring a conversation I had with Hannah Cross of Hanjan Crochet and another with Amanda Bloom formerly of Little Box of Crochet and now from Cosy Life Boxes about her amazing fundraising efforts for Ukraine with her ‘Blanket of Hugs’ for Ukraine appeal. You can find a link to the episode here.
Episode 43 was bright and colourful (if you can do that with sound) and featured the lovely Clare Albans from Hello Hooray Blog about her creative journey from music teacher to hand-embroidery designer and small business owner. Last year, Clare was able to open her own bricks and mortar studio and haberdashery shop thanks to a Kick-starter campaign. You can find a link to that episode here.
And that’s just about it from me for this month. I have been working on a few crochet projects behind the scenes but I hope to be able to share them with you very soon, and I’m still working on up-coming episodes of Making Stitches too.
I hope you have enjoyed this little look back at April in my world and that it hasn’t been too boring for you! I hope you’ve had a good month too.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time, bye for now!