Wednesday, 1 July 2015

DEDHAM VALE

When England gets it right  it couldn't be finer.

The last day in the month of June when the sun shining brightly in the cloudless sky lingered on well into the late evening.

It was our wedding anniversary, only 36 years and with us both being so busy recently, me with my parents and grandchildren and he at work we wanted to head to somewhere quiet and peaceful to eat, chat and while away a couple of hours.


We found the perfect place, The Boathouse at Dedham to do that very thing.
Doused in insect repellant,
(I have to say driving up their with the air conditioning on the pungent smell was unfortunately  a little intense for my liking.)
we managed to get a table outside right by the river.
There were swans and their cygnets to see but by the time I'd got my phone out of my handbag to take this photo they had passed and were probably half way along to Flatford Mill.
We always enjoy being in Dedham and the surrounding area and we had such a nice evening here, the food and the service at this restaurant was lovely and I would definitely recommend it.

Today, Michael is off to work again and I'm ironing!!
Yes, ironing on the hottest day of the year.
However I'm also taking time out to write this post, eat my lunch and watch a little tennis.

I have finally put buttons on my 2 finished cardigans.


This one is for Alfred
and this one is Jack's.

Jack's is quite thick  so will be ok for later in the year.
I really like the yacht buttons 
but ........


I also liked the football buttons that I bought originally for it, but bought five instead of six.
I'm always doing that!!!!

Thank you for all your comments, I really appreciate them.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Monday, 15 June 2015

A CRAFTY WEEKEND WITH THE LITTLE ONES!

 It's school sports day today and I've just returned home for a short break between junior and infant races. With a cup of coffee by my side I thought I'd just keep you up to date with my blog before heading off again.

The life of a busy grand parent!

We've had little people staying with us for the weekend. We collected the two girls straight from school on Friday and Jack earlier in the day.  Pre weekend I'd made my mind up to ensure that I'd got lots of things planned to do either indoors or out and a fridge/cupboard full of a variety of things that they might like to eat.

I didn't want them to get bored and I didn't want them to go hungry either, I needed them to be three happy children and for the most part they were so, I think I should get a star for that!

I popped into my local Hobbycraft the other day hoping to pick up some nice things for them to do and saw these knitting and crochet basket kits, half price. They were a must have as I knew the girls would love them and was really pleased that Charlotte had a good try with a hook and yarn and learnt to chain and DC stitch.


They brought nail varnish with them to decorate stones, that kept them busy for an hour or so, making ladybirds. 


Grandad was kept busy too. Alas, he had no time to work on his boat this weekend


but I ensured he had a little boat project to make for Jack.


We planted four sunflowers, one for each grandchild and while I headed to the park with Jessica and Jack, Charlotte and Grandad made these wooden labels. The nail varnish came in useful again!


While Jessica was happy to play and draw Charlotte sewed this pencil case together. 


When the little people went home last night, everything was again quiet in our home.
We had a really lovely weekend but boy, were we shattered.
Our bed beckoned early and we overslept this morning.

I think I need another coffee!

Friday, 29 May 2015

MY MAY DAZE!

Before my daughter's baby was born in March I would never have believed that once Alfred was born I would spend so much time with them both. He is eleven weeks old today and I don't think there's been that many days where we haven't seen each other if only for a short while. As Kate is returning to work in September it's been really great to spend so much time together. I've had lots of cups of tea, quite a few lunches and endless cuddles with Alfred so how can I not be happy.

May has just flown by so I thought I really must get back to my blog and give a quick update of other things I've been up to.

We've been talking about taking my parents for a sightseeing drive around London for sometime and as it was my mum's 91st birthday last week we thought it was an ideal opportunity to take them on a tour. They both were born in East London, Dad in Plaistow and Mum in Stepney so we headed off in that direction and then on to Stratford so they could see the Olympic village, they were quite amazed. 
From there we headed into the city and parked so that Dad and I could walk down to the bank where he used to work. He found that quite nostalgic I think but was pleased that we went.


We drove along the embankment pointing out the Shard and other new buildings and then headed to Canary Wharf where I'd booked a table for lunch. We were lucky the rain held off until the afternoon so we were able to to have a pre lunch drink sitting outside. Mum and Dad reminsced about their younger days and told us many stories, some we'd heard before but others we hadn't.


We all had such a good time, it was a perfect day.

Unfortunately both Charlotte and Jack were under the weather over the bank holiday weekend so on Monday Jessica came to us for the afternoon. Her Grandad was working on his boat in the garage (I shall post a photo next time!) and after watching me for a while sewing she headed outside to do some woodwork herself. Between them she helped create this little table which she was very proud of.


This week we've had a family day out. Our plan was to go to Walton on the Naze but with the children recovering from their ailments we decided just to head for our park by the river in Maldon.
Carter's Steam Fair  is there this week so Charlotte and Jessica loved that and along with Kate they enjoyed flying high. Jo and I took the easy option and watched them while minding the babies. That was thrilling enough for us!


Encouraged by everyone's comments regarding Blossom the rag doll, I made Tom.


 He was a rather difficult little man to make. The week before last it took me 3 hours to make 3 arms!
You may be questioning 3 arms but, even worse there wasn't a matching pair amongst them. I was so frustrated with it all I gave up. A whole week later, I picked him up again, undid 2 of the arms and remade them.  He did eventually turn out ok but I think he's quite delicate and will need plenty of TLC.

And finally, having said, no more yarn until Yarndale, I have just received my order of Drops Muscat to make the girls little jackets for their holidays. They are very excited as I emailed the colour chart to Charlotte and let them choose the colours for themselves. Mint green for Charlotte and the orange for Jessica.


Message to self: I must not start these until I've sewn up the cardigans for the boys!!!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

HERE I AM!

Yes, I am still here. Although we gained a day last bank holiday weekend I feel I've lost one this week, if you understand my meaning. I thought I really must this afternoon catch up with my blog, thank everyone for the lovely comments in my last post re: Blossom and give you an update on what I've been up to.

I'm really pleased to say that my cardigan for baby Alfred is on the verge of completion. Unfortunately though, it has been at this stage since last Saturday. I've since started knitting a new cardigan for Jack and if there's a choice to be made I'd rather pick my needles up and knit than sew a garment together and finish the button hole edges. A stumbling block for me but, one I must rectify in this coming week.


At last I've finished the cushion I've made for Kate. It only needed filling but every time I've been to her house to pick up an old duvet for this very purpose (she seems to have an abundance in her airing cupboard), I've been so distracted by my cuddling and cooing over Alfred that I've come back home without it. This morning, I did finally bring home the duvet and it's done, finished!


I've also cut out the pieces of fabric for Blossom's playmate so now I've got to get on with some stitching.


I'm really pleased that we now have a Knit Natter and Stitch group in our village and we're going to meet every fortnight. On the first afternoon I took Alfred's cardigan along to knit and there was just a handful of us there but at the next gathering the word had spread and there was quite a turn out. Some ladies had come along to learn how to crochet and one thing led to another and I was asked if I could teach crochet. My crochet skills are self taught so I was a little concerned that I might not teach them correctly and as the afternoon progressed we laughed as I told them that I was actually a swimming teacher and they had more chance of going home and swimming butterfly than using a hook. But we muddled through making chains and the odd dc and by the end of the session we agreed to return in a fortnight and have another go. I suggested that we should try and make a granny square.

Over the bank holiday weekend, I found an easy to follow video of how to make a basic granny square as I just wanted to check that I would be teaching them correctly and armed with a step by step pattern I went along to the group for our next meeting on Tuesday. Though a little daunted at first     and after a few false starts they did eventually all make a granny square which I thought was brilliant. Not because they made it, obviously that was great but, that I'd actually been able to teach them how to make it.

Hopefully now that they've made something, they'll be keen to come along and give crochet  another go. Who knows they might even get hooked!

Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend, tomorrow is supposed to be warm here. My plan is for gardening and sewing, let's see how I get on with that.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

BLOSSOM

There is blossom on our cherry tree which we planted against our garage wall last autumn. We're hoping to train it into a fan shape as time goes on. This is the small area in the garden where we have grown vegetables in the past, mainly being courgettes and runner beans. We had decided against growing any this year but we found a packet of courgette seeds in the garage and Michael thought it a shame if we didn't give them a go so they've been sown into pots and are currently in the greenhouse.
If we get a couple of good plants from these we'll have them in pots on the patio through the summer and hopefully we'll eventually have some nice homegrown courgettes.


Last Sunday afternoon we went for a long walk along the seawall and Michael took his new camera along. We found plenty of blossom in the hedgerows too!


And I finished the rag doll for our grand daughter Jessica this week. Lots of names were bandied around, Rosie being one of them but Jessica finally decided that she would be called Blossom.

Hasn't Blossom got huge, bold eyes?


In the book where I got the pattern from there was also a boy doll and when Jessica first saw the book she only wanted the girl . However now she has her she has told me she can't wait for Blossom to have her friend so good old Granny has got another one to make.

I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend and wherever you are you find some sunshine!


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A QUICK KNITTING PROJECT UPDATE!


This was supposed to be a "quick" update today. I'd uploaded my photos via the desk top earlier (for some reason I'm never that successful doing that on the iPad) and then planned to write my post sitting in the garden with my morning coffee. Unfortunately the person responsible for my broadband had most probably had the same idea and headed off into the sunshine leaving my broadband to flounder as it has been intermittent for the last hour or two.
However now that is working and I'm sitting under my gazebo with my iPad enjoying the most glorious hot sunny day I will get cracking with my post.

It all started with one ball of Debbie Bliss cash merino in brown that I found in my stash and this pattern. I only needed one more ball of a contrasting colour and I could knit this little cardigan for baby Alfred. Off I went to my local shop in the town to find that they have stopped selling Debbie Bliss yarn but fortunately they had a couple of balls left over, in these two shades of green. This has resulted in my one ball of brown returning to my stash for another day.


The pattern in the book is shown for a little girl but I will be swapping over the button edge and I want to crochet his initials in the contrasting colour to stitch on the front. I think that'll look good.


I'm also nearing completition this cushion for Kate which will match her pouffe. Like the pouffe this is also knitted in Drops Polaris but unfortunately I have run out of yarn,  needing two more balls. I've been trying to get the same dye lot but to no avail so I've taken a chance, ordered from a different dye lot and hope when it's knitted up it'll be ok. 

Enjoy your day, I'm going to spend the rest of mine, quickly finishing the ironing and then heading back outside with some stitching, I need to create the face for Jessica's doll that I am making. If all goes well you may see a picture of that very soon.

Monday, 6 April 2015

HAPPY EASTER!

I hope however you have spent your Easter you have had an enjoyable time. 

We were able to spend a lovely day on Friday with our family, quite a lot of time in the garden and yesterday we had a very long walk along the coastal path by Felixstowe ferry.


The tide was in as we set off and the sun had just broken through the cloudy skies.
We saw lots of very much loved boats, all shapes and sizes


and some that others had fallen out of love with.


As we walked along the well trodden and used path we had beautiful views of the river Deben on one side


and plenty of green open fields on the other.


We did walk quite a way but no where near the 14 miles or so we would have had to have done to reach Woodbridge. With our tummies beginning to rumble we headed back to the Ferry cafe and sat outside eating fish and chips.


At the start of our walk I noticed this abandoned windsurfer and questioned why it had been left attached to this buoy.
However on our return it was quite obvious why it was there.
As the sun shone down it became a resting place for seagulls wishing to do a spot of sunbathing!

We really enjoyed our day out and will definitely go back to walk a little further along that path. There's a lovely little village called Waldringfield en route to Woodbridge and a nice pub down by the river to have lunch.
That's another day planned in the calendar!