The Big Knit

I heard of this campaign last night, The Big Knit 2011 and thought I'd post it for all knitters. 
Age UK and innocent have teamed together and are asking knitters to come up with little woolly hats which then are put on innocent smoothie bottles and are sold across UK stores. For each hat, innocent then donates money to Age UK.
 I have seen these little hats on innocent bottles when I've been doing my food shop but never knew they were made for charity. I think its a great way to use up small amounts of wool and will be making some to send off.

A Day Out To Chester

Today we all jumped on a train and spent the day in Chester. Though we have been on numerous occasions to shop I realised that the children had not seen anything else in the area so the day was spent mainly having a nice wander around.

Our first stop was Grosvenor Park which was only a 10 minute walk from the train station. It has a miniature railway which we all went on plus a mini tram on a short length of track just for Little L size people. We had a hard time trying to convince her to get out of it.

We took a picnic with us which we ate sitting next to the pond so we got mobbed by ducks and moorhens.

The first thing we noticed on entering the park were the number of squirrels running around and how tame they were. 

They just kept running up to us so my husband and the boys started feeding them some acorns then we noticed at a shop in the park that they were selling bags of nuts for the squirrels. That explained why they run up to people and wait. They must be the best fed squirrels in the area. 

After the park we heading to these ruins so I could take some snaps.

There were quite a few others there armed with cameras, snapping away.

The children found this extremely boring so we then went for a stroll along the river and fed more ducks

Then we quick wander in the town centre and a couple of shops. Little L was becoming tired and niggley so we headed off back to the train station and home.

We timed the return trip just right because as soon as we arrived home the rain started and looking out at the moment it looks as though it will be here for the evening.

A Nice Evening Stroll

This evening we all went for a walk along the canal. I armed everyone with bags as I wanted some blackberries to try and make some jam.

While there were lots of brambles along the path there were hardly any berries, certainly not enough to pick but just look how laden with fruit this damson tree is.

The hedgerows are lined with damson and hawthorn trees.

My helpers hard at work.

We picked damsons, hawthorn berries and elderberries so it will be a busy day in the kitchen for me tomorrow.


Yesterday the sewing machine made another rare outing and I made some quick drawstring bags but what I am working on mainly at the moment is this blanket which I started back in March. 

At the snails pace I'm working at it seems to be never ending.

Also I started the feeling stitchy August stitchalong but I'm not doing too well with it. I think I've made the mistake of using threads which match the colour of the fabric and trying to fill every part of the print. I just keep getting it out of its bag and looking at it. One day I like it and the next I don't so I don't know if I should just persevere with it and see how it turns out or just start again.

Cool Wallpaper

I saw this wallpaper being used last night on a house make over programme. 

I think its great. Your room would like one giant colouring book. When the boys saw it they immediately wanted it for their bedroom. Starting at £35 for a roll, I think not. Still a cool wallpaper though.

Crochet Pillowcase Edge

This weekend I rummaged out some odd pillowcases which I had and treated them to a crocheted edge. I made the pattern up as I went along and I have put it below incase anyone wants to use it.

Foundation Row - Edge the pillowcase using blanket 1cm down from the edge and the stitches 1cm apart
Join wool into any blanket stitch using a sl st. I always joined at one of the seams.
Row 1 - 3dc into each blanket stitch, join row end with sl st
Row 2 - 4ch, skip 2dc, htr in next dc, * 2ch, skip 2dc, htr in next dc. Continue from * to end , sl st in ch2 of beg 4ch
Row 3 - As row 2
Row 4 - 3ch, sl st into the sl st made to join the end of the last row, * 2dc in 2ch space, sl st in htr,   3ch, sl st into previous sl. Continue from * to end.

I hope this makes sense to anyone trying to follow it and if you find any mistakes please feel free to let me know . I've discovered that it is so much more easier to read a pattern or go into autopilot and do your own thing than try and write down instructions. Hats off to all the pattern designers out there.

A Blurry Snap

Yesterday the weather here was a bit dismal. The boys managed an hour of fishing before the rain forced them to return home but they did catch two little tiddlers so they were still pleased with themselves.
In the afternoon Little L was having her nap while I was blog reading and found these tips on self portraits Now I really hate having my photo taken. My most recent one was taken when Little L was about three months old so I thought while we were kept prisoner due to the weather I'd have a go at snapping myself. 
The biggest issue was lack of light. This house is pretty dark anyway and the sky being so overcast didn't help so I tried snaps in three rooms. Another thing is I must shake a lot when holding my camera out at arms length because my photos were really blurry plus I don't seem to have any idea of where my face is. I had quite a few pics of a blurry eye and if I was lucky a bit of nose.

I was happily keeping myself entertained when poof .. the batteries in my camera died. This is the best blurry pic which was taken. I'll have to have another go some other time. Maybe by then I can figure out where my face is.

Recycled Skirt

Last night watching the news it all felt a bit surreal. Watching all the damage being done to communities mainly by people no more than children. Facebook and Twitter were kept on most of the night to keep in touch with friends regarding what was happening in our own small town. There were a few rumours but I think they were just that. I was still slightly wary of letting my boys in town this morning even though they were only nipping in to buy some maggots for fishing. Anyway they were there and back in a flash and now gone off to catch so tiddlers. 

On a brighter note I managed to drag my sewing machine out yesterday and I mean literally drag as it is stored under our bed.

A couple of weeks ago as I was walking down the garden a gush of wind blew my skirt and it snagged on our old rabbit run and ripped a pretty big hole in the side.

It has now has a new life as a tote bag. 
This is the first one I have ever made and it was so quick to put together. I can see why so many people make them.

Getting Ready

My fabric arrived today which I ordered to participate in this months feeling stitchy stitchalong. Augusts stitchalong is to embellish a patterned fabric. I haven't decided which fabric I'm using yet, I love them both.

A Nice Little Break - Llandudno Pt 2

On our second day in Llandudno the first thing we did was a bit of shopping in the town where I managed to bag some bargains in the sales.

Next we went to the Great Orme.

We traveled to the top by tram. 

It was the first time either of us had been in one.The views were great and there were some lovely quaint cottages along the way. I kept my eyes open for the Kashmiri goats which roam the Great Orme but only managed to see a few from a distance.

When we reached the top we saw that the queues to return to the bottom by cable car were quite lengthy. Now even though I'm really scared of heights I did have a bit of a think whether to travel back by cable car or not but it would turn in to one of my ' seems a good idea at the time ' times. I've never been on one before that is why I even contemplated the idea in the first place but then I got to thinking once I was actually on one I might cry, scream, pee my pants or all three so I gave it a miss even though my husband was saying it won't be that bad and I wouldn't have to hang off one like James Bond.

I've seen some great photos taken from the top but the day we were there it was a bit overcast so my pics aren't so good. We walked down to Saint Tudno's Church which was kind of hard going because I was wearing flip flops. I was doing a lot of oohing and trying not to slip and knock my husbands legs from under him like a skittle. When we had almost reached the church my legs began to feel jellified and wobbly. I was telling my husband this and started to say that I felt like .... he piped up ' what a geriatric ?' ( such a charmer, isn't he ).. what I was going to say is a jelly baby or Mr Soft (from the old soft mint ad). 

I love the architecture of churches and the carving on old tombstones but graveyards give me the heebie jeebies. I have never be keen on the places but when I was little I was in a graveyard to put flowers on a relative's grave and some of the old graves covered in gravel had started to crack and cave in. One of my uncles who I was with at the time turned and said ' Hey up, someone tried to get out last night '. 

So when my husband said,' safety from what exactly ?' regarding this sign on the church yard gate that set my jitters off which doesn't take much coupled with my lively imagination and the fact I'm reading Zombie Apocalypse at the moment.

Never seen one of these before. It is where outdoor sermons are held.
After scaring myself enough for one day which was helped considerably by my lovely husband comparing all the jackdaws (and there were loads of them ) to the ravens in the film 'The Omen' , I was ready to move sharpish.

Looking back to the summit I didn't fancy attempting the climb back up in flip flops just to get a tram back down. My legs and slopes are not the best of friends and I had visions of me grabbing little tufts of grass just to drag myself up it so I suggested to walk down.

We walked down till we reached the Marine Drive road. It was a nice walk along the coast where I stopped now and again to take photos of flowers and my husband seemed to be being attacked by some red flying ant type bug. He was wearing a white top so I think that was attracting them. Whilst walking along the path now and again he would tell me to look up at a bird or plant and it made me go all woozy. I started swaying on the spot and as we were on a cliff edge with what I would say is a short wall, I told him to not tell me to look at anything as my jelly legs and weird woozy head would make me take a nose dive onto to the rocks below.

When we were almost on flat ground we walked through the edge of Happy Valley. We didn't explore it but my in laws have been to the gardens and say there are some lovely wooden carvings depicting Alice In Wonderland characters.
Anyway that was enough trekking about for me for one day and I think I did well considering my footwear.  I did comment to my hubbie that maybe I should invest in some rambling boots for our next excursion as its not the first time with him that I have walked a hill / mountain in flip flops. The last time he took me traipsing up and down a hill / mountain wearing the same unsuitable footwear, the path was littering with signs 'WARNING - Be Ware Of Adders'
Home the next day and back to the kiddies who I missed enormously.  

The Big ' 4 0 '

Today I reached the big '4 0'.
I had a bit of a stress about my age when I was around 35, thinking once I'm past this point I'm heading out of my 30's, examining my face for new wrinkles and looking for new grey hairs but everybody ages, I'm never going to look as I did at 20 again so its not worth worrying about.
My husband booked the day off work and I had visits from my parents, sis, niece and nephew. My niece made me some yummy cakes though Little L ate most of them and I must admit Chelsea's cakes are gorgeous and taste better than mine. I was spoilt rotten and was given some fantastic gifts. My sis bought me a real star in the constellation Leo which is my star sign. I've just got to spot it now and with my failing eyesight its not going to an easy feat. 
I've had a fantastic day. I think that I quite like being 40 and four is my favourite number too so when 44 comes along it will be doubly great.

A Nice Little Break - Llandudno Pt 1

This weekend my husband and I enjoyed a nice kiddie free couple of days in Llandudno, North Wales. This happens very rarely and we know that the children are safe, sound and probably being spoilt rotten by both sets of grandparents so we love it when the opportunity arises to get away. We traveled by train and stayed in a lovely Victorian B & B.

I love this porch on the front of one of the houses on the way to our B & B with all the little nik nak's and plants on display 

Our first stop was the pier which is the longest in Wales. I love piers, the ornate ironwork and buildings, the sounds coming from the arcades and smell of foods that I associate with the seaside. Having said that I also have a little niggling fear that they will collapse the moment I step on them ( I'm the same with bridges ) and I found out this afternoon that my mum in law feels the same, must be a pretty common irrational fear then.

Back to the pier and seaside food. I have a couple of things which I only eat when I'm at the seaside even though they are readily available in any supermarket (or fishmongers for one of my seaside favs ) . The first one is cockles and can you believe there was nowhere selling seafood, at this seafront ?. I just think that is really odd. My other seaside food is doughnuts and this is because I think they are tasty hot, still have to knock about a bag of sugar off them as I don't  like sugar but they are still scrummy.

The weather was sweltering in the afternoon and the pier busy which means more food around and more of these things - the flying rats.

They were everywhere, swooping low and snatching peoples food. Actually I don't know if I was more scared of one pinching my hotdog or unloading on me, I wasn't keen on them all the same.

After the pier we headed towards the town centre where I took photos of this column. 

Made from steel, stone and bronze. 

All the designs depict scenes from Llandudno's history.

Then to the beach for a stroll in the sunset.

 Ok maybe in my case it was more like trying to work my way through an obstacle course. Its a pebbly beach so I was giggling away slipping and sliding every time I moved.

The arcades next which meant back to the pier. The only machines we ever go on are the soft toy grabbing ones and we came home with 2 cuddlies .

Next it was fish and chips on the promenade ( keeping one eye on watch for the flying rats because the things never seem to sleep ) where we could see there was still a small group of children paddling, with parents near by I should say as it was 11:30pm by now then we heading to our bed for the night.