:: Year End Review: 2013: Part Two::

So here it is… part two. In some words (but mainly pictures). It took me so very long to get the pictures sorted I have resolved to organise my photo library for the new year!! A New Years resolution I hope to keep! Enjoy :o)xx

•∆• July

July 2013

Camping at the Cambridge Folk festival, finishing my Sunshine Granny Square Blanket, Ta-Dah post here, and new yarn arrives for Festival granny stripe blanket!

•∆• August

August 2013

Rome and Pompeii was AmAzInG!!! Amazing weather, amazing sights and history and amazing company. Our first family holiday without E was a bit emotional but we moved on and we're ok! Plodding on with new projects.

•∆• September

September 2013

E went on his way to Leeds College of Music and so so so proud we are, you can read all about it in my post here! My studio in the HayLoft was finished. School started back and the old routine of life springs back quickly. Weekends are taken up with visits to Leeds while E settles in. We all miss him. :o( However a super special trip to Yarndale cheers me up no end with my friend Fi!

•∆• October

October 2013

Tutti-fruity lampshade is finished see the Ta-Dah post here. J and I have our birthday, and we splash out on a night at the malmaison in Leeds and visit E at the same time. Half term visit to Saltaire was wonderfully relaxing and a bonus visit to E too! :o)

•∆• November

November 2013

Cold, cold, cold… wet and windy too. But beautifully Autumnal, see here for an autumn walk. Bonfire night, busy with my Autumn Wreath and the little details for that. So happy with it's completion- a new challenge having never made one before.

•∆• December

December 2013

With a deeply satisfying sigh we reach the end of the year. E home from College, end of a challenging school term and a joyous time making and creating presents for friends and family. Chilly hands dug down deep in pockets for a head clearing Boxing day walk.

It is so lovely, happy and satisying to look back over my year – finding crochet again around late spring and beginning my blog and Facebook page. It felt strange 'talking' and sharing my life with the great wide world, but that has now become such a blessing when I look back over my year in print and photos.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who has supported me, with comments, likes, and shares- they mean a lot!

I look forwards to finding new 'friends' and learning more, trying more and challenging myself to even greater heights!

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favourite MixTures from the year 

::2013: Year end review: part one::
::Transition::
-Lovely – Sunny Festival Granny stripe blanket!-
- Whilst the weather…-
::It's great to have a catch up…::

::Transition::

It seems so long since I posted anything of any wordage… it has been incredibly busy getting back to school and sending my big boy off into the world of university, but here I am back and ready to share my thoughts with you all.

What an amazing summer holiday; The Cambridge Folk festival seems like such a long time ago and the start of festival granny stripe blanket held such excitment and anticipation. I am loving still being able to pick it up and continue with the security and comfort of the stripes leading me further on and on.


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It is growing and growing…

However with the emotion of my eldest son leaving home in September for University never very far away, the summer was a mixture of feelings. Rome with my youngest was exciting and yet strange, being at home whilst the eldest was away working was diferent but ok.

So what did I do? I launched myself into lots of yarn-i-licious projects to keep my fingers, my mind and myself occupied.

Cushions…


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Bunting…
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And my ta-dah!! of the season… tutti-fruity lampshade which I still look at with total and utter delight and glee.


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and in close up…


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Little balls to decorate the lampshade…


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Little owls…


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and creating my studio space in the Hayloft at the top of the house…


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This is where I was able to organise all my lovely yarns that had been in the attic (I know really sad) for many many years, but were now free to sigh and snuggle up in their new home, ready to be plucked and worked into new projects (of which I have many planned!)

So after a trip to london with all my Y6 children, a fantastic and positive start to the school year, last weekend was the emotional leaving of my son to university.

The whole family are in transistion with him now gone (and I am totally confident that he will be absolutley fine), Little J will miss his big brother having him around to play X-box, football and bike rides and probably the odd little argument. Although on the whole they are very close as brothers which I am very proud of. J will miss the boy talk; football, bikes, F1 etc and also him just being here with us in our family. I miss having him around as he is a sensitive soul and always can tell when I am sad, down or just need a hug. 

I will and I do miss him. But my week was made this week when I picked up the phone and there he was… Do I need to thaw this frozen chicken Mum before I make a chicken curry? !@$%@!

We'll be fine. 

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::Summer Holiday part 1• Cambridge Folk Festival::

It's a very long time since I've been to a music festival, and I've never been to a folk one, so wasn't sure what to expect at The Cambridge Folk festival! Arrived at Cambridge , at the campsite at Coldham's Common with our friends D and K with Little Em and their lovely campervan Dora. Camp was made, boundaries and territory set, then the beer was opened! 


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You may remember I was starting my Festival Granny Stripe blanket here and it came out of the packing quite quickly!


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There were such an abundance of flags to mark out where each camp was, so that they could be found in the dark, later when either walking back from the festival, or in the night with our torch wandering back from the toilet facilities!!


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The organisation for the event is fantastic, buses running from the campsite to the actual Arena area at Cherry Hinton Hall. Catering for kiddiwinkles (play areas, storytellers, foody bits, creche, activities galore), adults (music, food, beer, cider, music, food, beer, cider!) and even retail therapy with an abundance of incense, kaftan''s, musical instruments, and many other clothing and jewelry stalls.

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Impromptu musicians playing… such a happy sunny feeling about it all.


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It was lovely to wander around on Thursday, when it wasn't quite so busy, and OH BOY, did it get busy!


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We set camp at the arena near the main stage (see above), with our chairs, and blanket and sat in the blistering sunshine, chatting, relaxing, listening to music and drinking cider, ginger beer and beer. Quite a lot of falafal was consumed too!


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And let the crochet begin…


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We had an amazing frst night Lucy Rose was beautiful, lovely and amazingly shy! Her music is so new and interesting and I loved being in my own little world singing along in the stage 2 arena. A lovely way to end our first day, before snuggling into my sleeping bag and dreaming of bacon butties!! Yum. 


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Day two, had a similar feel: lots of crochet, Crabbies, falafel and greek wraps which were lush! I had a lovely quiet interval in the afternoon listening to some amazing storytellers in the duck pond area of the site, Little Em and I munched on marshmallows and absorbed the wonderment of the children's faces as they listened to tales of dragon's, princesses, princes, evil witches and good kings. Amazingly they are all oral stories and well acted out some of them, many drama students do a turn here and I was amazed how intriguing they were, in story and how animated they made the captivating stories. No chance of falling asleep…. I wanted to know the endings!

However E, (who by the way I was loving spending mum and grown up boy time with) had obviously enjoyed his ciders, having tried a number of the varieties on offer!


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 The levellers were my favourite act to see and I wasn't dissappointed AT ALL!! Took me back to my sixth form days and days of being 17 again! Aaaahhhhhhhh…


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and of course more of Festival Blanket completed during the day…


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I did get many admiring glances and comments, when packing up at the end of the day, the guy in the next 'camp' asked me if I'd finished it yet, when I replied no, he did say it looked complicated!! I'm loving making this blanket, it grows quickly and I love how the colours are rainbow-like but not in a rainbow.

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They compliment each other so well. Anyway, sleeping bag beckoned once more…

On day three the weather forecast was ominous: having had 100% sunshine, very, very, hot sunshine, we were promised some rain later! 


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And it rained and rained … just when we were waiting for my other highlight K.T. Tunstall. I only got a bit of "Suddenly I see.." sung and the heavens opened…


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and of course you do what every self respecting festival or open air concert-goer does…. yes you put on a large coloured carrier bag type thingy poncho!!!  Tres attractive!!

End of day three, but this time hot chocolate, marshmallows and brownies in the tent were calling. The whole family and our good friends enjoyed the rainy, wet, squelchy ride and wlak back to the camp, knowing that something warm, chocolatey and friendly was waiting.

Finally….. on the last day we had another gloriously sunny day, The Mavericks on Headline and more storytellers, magic shows, duck pond adventures and crocheting. The festival was great, the entertainment fabulous and overall the weather did us proud, us Brits!!

I'd like to go again next year, it' the 50th anniversary, so I think there'll be some amazingly awesome music, sights, sounds and stories. 


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The thought of camping in a field, sitting in a field and being around soooo many crowds and people for the whole festival, had I must admit seemed daunting and I wasn't sure how I would feel. Smelly, grubby, tired and in big need of a hairwash? OH YES!!! but content, happy and so lucky to have the amazing family ad friends to share the experience with…. as that bank card company say… PRICELESS!!

Part 2 of our little family holiday coming soon… Roman Holiday… see you soon.:o)xx

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•Lovely – Sunny Festival Granny stripe blanket!•

It is a bit of a marker point for me this blanket, sunny, gorgeous colours, lovely, festival feeling, rainbow hues and super soft DK yarn. But it will be the rainbow colours that will remind me of the sunshine and rain of being a parent. My big boy will be leaving home for University this year, and I'm feeling … well… I don't know really!

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I've chosen the pallette for my next project Sunny Festival Granny Stripe Blanket, which is the stash I have left from my lovely Sunshine Granny Square Blanket.  I'll be getting on with whilst away at The Cambridge Folk Festival this week. I'm soooooooooooo excited about going to a music festival and staying in •BIG• tent with J, E and little J. D, K and little E kiddiwinkles are looking forwards to their trip in Dora the campervan and it'll be an amazing start to our holiday. •RoMe• and •PoMpEiI• trips booked too. Uncontainable lovely glee at the thought of travelling. 

A tinge of sadness at leaving E in England doing his own thing for the summer after Cambridge – well he is 18 now and it's great for him to be so independent – can't help feeling sad that he will not holiday with us for the first time this year on our Roman Holiday trip.

So another blanket I shall make, to keep my mummy mind busy and distracted from the inevitablity of my eldest son leaving for university after this summer break. I cannot tell you how much I am so incredibly proud of him. xoxoxoxox soooo much love!!

So the blanket…


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Right, the beginning… I used yarn markers to mark out every 50 chains in my foundation chain, all 210 of them. I did take a peak at Lucy's blog for her Granny Stripe blanket over on Attic24, and followed her very good, sound advice about checking and rechecking. And guess what? No cussing or bothering, happily I got it right first time!! 

And boy, does it grow! Once you're past the tricky first couple of rows…


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…and you keep triple clustering into the third spaces, it really does begin to take on it's own personality!! Such a happy blanket, and incredibly satisfying.


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It's growing rapidly and although it's just another blanket, it will be the one I do at The Festival with E and the family, and therefore it will always remind me of this time. My last summer holiday with my boys all together for the next few years. There will be family times, but our rhythm of life for the last 18 years will change…. and that's ok!!

I realise this could all sound a bit mawdling, as my Granny would say, but really truly I'm not. I have a wonderful, happy new relationship waiting for me to blossom with my soon-to-venture-off-son, and I'm going to embrace the changes.

 Sooooo, many happy good times ahead this week with very close friends and family with changes to our little life as we have known it. But, it's all good, just keep hooking and life will go on as normal. A new normal. ;-) 

 

Happy thoughts :o)

Night. Night.

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:: Ta-Dah!! Sunshine Granny Square Blanket::

Ta-Dah!!!!!!!


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Here it is in all it's wonderful colourful glory and I am soooooo chuffed and happy with it. Only taken 5 weeks to complete, which is great considering I have a full time job, and I have loved every minute.

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I have spent the last few days taking photos of the process so that I can remember how I did it. 

If you remember I got the inspiration for this beauty from the tulips I found for the garden called Everlasting Mixture.

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They were also the inspiration for my Blog title too. So really this first-in-a-long-while-blanket, is the flagship of my new ventures.


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I hope I got the balance of colours , the mixture of green yarns, with the brighter notes for the tulip heads in the other coloured yarns. The pallette I chose seemed to suit it perfectly.


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I will post a tutorial for it, complete with yarn, stitches and compilation. 

I've created a photo album of the progress of this project and it's really lovely to see it imerging and growing, evloving and turning into something wonderful. Ahhhhhhh…..

Soooooo excited, I must go and make a Ta-Dah!! section now to put in my lovely finished project.

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• Whilst the weather…•

Whilst the weather has turned nastily wet, soggy and miserable I'm able to continue with my lovely •Sunshine Blanket•. I decided after my last blog, to make blocks of four, and have almost completed each block. My next task is to edge them into tiles and then join all the tiles together. I was thinking I would use the variety of greens in my pallette, for the overall edging as then they will have the true colours of the inspiration for this blanket- the Everlasting Mixture Tulips.


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When I laid out the yarn, I was thinking of the green leaves an the heads of abundant colour of the tulips.


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So, having got myself very tired at work, and having had a nasty migraine for the last few days, I've been able to save my soul and do lots of crocheting and building up my granny square stash without making my head feel any worse. As I haven't been able to read, or listen to music (makes my head feel fuzzy and dizzy), it has been lovely to sit in the peace and quiet and do some hooky.


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I will neeed to look carefully at how I place them, so that the colours are shown at their best, to watch out for similar colours together and get an overall eveness about it. I'm very excited, as I haven't crochetted a big project like this in a while. Its been, knit, knit, knit!

I've finished some more Granny-bunting for Yarndale, and will be sending it off to Attic24 very soon. (I'll post pics soon too.)

Just when I really needed it, my new book arrived, freshly delivered from Amazon with lots of lovely new ideas in, for me to adapt, recreate and generally peruse. Also I decided to buy a couple of Crochet magazines, on the hunt for one that I may want to subscribe to. Not sure if maybe following and keeping an eye on other blogs isn't more productive and inspiring, especially Lucy@Attic24, who is such an inspiration to many and hottly recommended. She is even mentioned in Crochet magazine and Simply Crochet as a blog to follow.


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Yes… if you have looked carefully you will notice the other amazing delivery that has cheered me up no end. Our tickets for The Cambridge Folk Festival arrived today too! Ta-Dah!! I'm very excited to be going, meeting up with D, K and little Em. We'll be able to get •BIG• tent out next to Dora the Explorer Camper van, and have falafel, artisan beers and ciders and sit around the various campfires whiling away the evenings listening to glorious music. I can't wait!

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Granny Bunting Fun and Crochet for Children

:: Tulips::

After a difficult week at work, followed by an even more difficult weekend as a result, my lovely hubby brought me flowers home, and knowing how much I •adore• tulips he brought a •Mix•Ture•


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Aren't they beautiful? What I can never understand is why they droop so quickly. I filled the vase up with as much water as possible, as someone once told me that they need it up to the top of the stem if you can. Anyway, they got me thinking about the beautiful tulip fields. I looked some of them up, if you Google Tulip Fields there is an array of amazing images, equally as inspiring as they are lovely. Such an inspiration for blankets, crochet and knitting, the colour combinations and ratios of the patterns are stunning!


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I can just see my next Afghan Blanket!


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Such a range of ideas and beautiful colour pallette.

I'm looking forward to Woolfest this weekend and the array of fantastic crafts people that will be showing. Last year I made my bunting, red, white and blue (for the Jubilee of course), and overall there were over 200m of crocheted and knitted bunting made and lovingly donated by the public. The Woolclip have provided much of the support in West Cumbria and the Lake District region nearby,with skeins and skeins of naturally dyed yarns from local farmers and small businesses.


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I always feel so inspired yet so inadequate when I visit, as there just isn't enough time to do all the projects I want!


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Such a contrasting colour scheme to the strength of colour in the tulips and the tulip fields, but still as beautiful and natural in their own way.

Sunshine blanket is coming on so beautifully, I'm hoping that it will be ready for when we go to The Cambridge Folk Festival in about a months time. We will be taking •BIG• tent and all the camping gear for our jaunt down south, meeting up with D, K and Little Em. I can't wait to see them and also to relax and take a well earned break from the busy life I have at school. It will probably be our last holiday together before E goes off to University and off into the •Big• wide world. Oh well not to dwell on that before bed; too much sadness and happiness mixed up together. Thinking happy thoughts!x

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