28.11.11

countryside boy

Dear Annie,


There were all sorts of changes for our family when we moved. One of the key ones was the shift from city living to country living. It has been a new experience for all of us, particularly D who has been a real city boy up until now.



S and R are thriving here, and within days of arriving, S had pronounced with great certainty: "Mummy, I am a countryside boy now!". He certainly is. Wellies are his footwear of choice and he is at his happiest when searching for toads, or encountering somewhat larger creatures. Foraging for conkers, pine cones and sticks is his favourite activity and he likes to be well-equipped for a ramble with rucksack, hammer and staff.





I have been foraging too- for the last sloes of the season, which were swiftly pricked and popped into a kilner jar to be shaken with some sugar and gin and hidden away in a cupboard to mature. We've been relishing walks with and without friends and just taking deep, deep breaths of the Autumn air, sweet with the scent of bonfires and damp leaves.


Finally, an update on the Totterdown yarnbombing project. Much to my disappointment, I wasn't very well and so I didn't make it there to see it myself, but it really did all look completely fabulous. The pictures below were taken by my friend Emily - thanks, Em! If you would like to see more then you can also find some here.

 

Love from,

Laura 

Edited to add: I have actually managed to find a photograph of my own garland in situ in the cemetery! The picture below was taken by fellow knitter Violetta, who posted a link to it on Ravelry.You can see the rest of her lovely pictures here.


26.11.11

Copy Cat

Dear Laura,


I am a big fat copy cat. Last christmas you made an awesome coffee/tea mug holder as a last minute christmas gift (click here for a reminder). I thought it was just about the bees knees and have been dying to copy that owl pattern ever since. Now with a little bit of confidence after learning the new style of knitting (as an aside here, I haven't mastered purl in the continental style yet, it does seem a little more tricky but I think I would look like I was a knitting wizard if I could get it right), it was time to tackle the Owl.



This is actually a christmas present so I am not going to give too much away, but I did manage just about to get the owl right. I didn't know where the pattern came from so I had to make it up using just the picture of the mug cosy. This meant a couple of unravellings, a few bad words and some concentration. But then there he was, he just appeared as if by magic. I am terribly pleased with myself. 



So much so in fact that I decided to knit another one underneath. This actually led to me knitting backwards. I am not sure how that is possible but I started the round going the wrong way and ended up knitting inside out. So back to the unravelling and and muttering under my breath. I managed to right it and I think I will just stick with two owls from now on.


(beginning of Owl number 2 second time around.)


Lots of Love 


Annie

23.11.11

Cafe Knitting

Dear Laura,


Holidays are great, so far I have been to the dentist, on a lovely walk in the Autumnal sunshine and, treat of all treats to a cafe to do some knitting and crochet.
This also seemed like the perfect time to show you the new knitting style I have just learnt. Glen who is one of the awesome three cooks who make those great meals we have sometimes, told me about german style knitting. German style knitting who would have thought. Now this might not seem revolutionary to you, and in fact it might be how most people knit and I have just been knitting in the weirdest way ever but take a look it is ace.


So the first video is of me casting on:



This is my old style of knitting:



and here is the new German Style:

I still need some practice but it will save a lot of elbow pokes for the people who sit next to me whilst I knit.


Happy Thanksgiving


Lots of love


Annie

21.11.11

stitched sweetness

Dear Annie,


One of my priorities when we moved into the new house was setting up my crafting space. I definitely feel that my sanity and my crafting are closely linked and so it was crucial for me to get my fabrics and yarns, my sewing machine and knitting needles out of the boxes as soon as I could.


I haven't yet had the chance to do much of anything, but a new home is always full of potential projects. All that I have done so far is to make a couple of little curtains for the loft. Hardly any sewing was involved because the windows are small and they are the sort that hang on a wire. I enjoyed rummaging through my stash for suitable fabrics, though. The yellow and pink curtain is made from sari fabric that I bought whilst we were on honeymoon in India, and the pink Sanderson roses were a charity shop find.




There has also been a new addition to our home. I have named him Gerald after the mouse in the Pink Floyd song.


He was a gift from our lovely friend Tess over at Driftwood, who made him and who very sweetly offered to send him to me after I admired him on her blog. She has posted a rather fab tutorial, if you fancy making one yourself.
He is proving very popular with the smallest member of the family.




Tess also surprised me with some fabulous bunting. "Oooooooh!, bunting!", S exclaimed as I opened the parcel. That's my boy- too little to tie his shoelaces but he can spot bunting at fifty paces...

Thank you so much, Tess, you are kindness personified. We have curtains, we have a mouse and we have bunting. Now we can really call it home


 
Love from,

Laura

19.11.11

Old Things and Memories

Dear Laura,


Sorry for not keeping you up to date with what has been happening, mostly this is because nothing has been happening except for work. That is all about to change with a weeks holiday coming up yipppppeeeeee! So instead of some new projects that I am working on, I am going to show you some old things some of which you might remember...


A couple of years ago I made these mitts.




I was experimenting with patterns and cables, the patterns were more successful than the cables. If you are wondering where the cables are, they are supposed to be in the pink part, but I didn't know how to do cables then so it just ended up being purl and plain in different orders. I have since discovered the two pointed needle.


And what were these lying on top of when I saw them today...
I still have this a decade later, it is a group picture we all did in Thailand.
and of course this one, a picture that a friend of ours drew in order to try to explain a dream he had had. Genius. I thought it might make you smile.

lots of love

Annie

17.11.11

garland

Dear Annie,


I've finished crocheting the flower garland for the yarnbombing project. I can't wait to see it in situ at the arts trail this weekend. I would have liked to have contributed more, but moving house has made the past few months rather busy round these parts. The lovely ladies running the project have worked incredibly hard and it will be so exciting to see everyone's yarny handiwork.

If anyone is in Bristol, do head over to Totterdown and take a look...


Love from,

Laura

PS: You can read about the project from the beginning by clicking on the yarnbombing category in the sidebar, or by looking here. As usual, there are more details on Ravelry.

15.11.11

home sweet home

Dear Annie,

We've made it. A new home, a new town, a new life... and eventually a new broadband connection. After months and even years of research, house-hunting, soul-searching and stresses, we walked through our new front door last week. 

R made full use of his vocabulary on moving day. "Man! Box! Hiya!" was his refrain. S arrived at his new home with whoops of delight and cries of "It's perfect, I love it!" and now that we have unpacked most of the boxes and begun to settle in, I have to say that I agree with him.


One of my top priorities was to find a new space for my sewing machine. Once again, it's up in the loft. There is a pretty view there but some very naked windows so some simple curtains are first on my list of new-home projects.

I'm also enjoying finding spots to enjoy a cuppa- the garden bench, and the chair at the kitchen table with a view of the hill are my current favourites.

Thanks so much to Kate and Tess for their cheering from the Twitter sidelines on and around moving day. Tess's top tip of cake for the removal men was almost certainly what spurred them on to lift the extremely heavy oak dresser up eight steep steps to the front door!


Love from,


Laura

13.11.11

Normal service will resume shortly

Dear Annie,
I apologise for my absence over the last week or so. As you and my Twitter followers know, we have moved house. A big, adventurous move from the city to the country.
We're hoping to have broadband connected in the next few days so I promise to to come back then and tell you all about it...
Love from,
Laura

12.11.11

A Russian Feast

Dear Laura,


R decided that it was time to cook us a Russian feast, it was fantastic. He had some help in the kitchen from  R and G and yum is all I can say...
Smoked Halibut
Smoked Salmon and Caviar (yes that's right caviar wooooo oooo)
Borsht, although I am not a fan of beetroot (due to being fed pickled beetroot at school, ulllrrrk!), I am being won over by borsht and of course that incredible pink colour that they make everything.
The obligatory cabbage (this is a Russian meal after all)
 More caviar, yes thats right, turns out that only some kind of fishes caviar is expensive other types really aren't that pricey.
One of our guests was chinese and brought this delicious soup
The meal began and ended with "genuine Russian vodka with natural flavor". In the traditional style we were all supposed to drink the shots down in one. Well I am an old lady these days and have learnt that shots mean the next day is spent feeling sorry for myself under the duvet. I sipped but still I think we can all imagine I wasn't terribly alert when I woke up the next morning.

Lots of love

Annie

10.11.11

A Mini Hibiscus Dress

Dear Laura,
Do you remember how I made a dress for my niece from some lovely bird fabric? Well I liked the fabric so much that I wanted to make a matching dress for myself. Luckily for her, her style remained hers as when I went back to the fabric store, it was all gone. I love having a niece as dresses are so easy to make and you can use the best fabrics for them, so when I had some leftover from my Hibiscus dress I could resist but make a little mini one for her.
It is in the same style as the pillow case dress I made here, these dress are so super easy it is unbelievable. 

I think the colours are a perfect match with the Autumn leaves which are currently peaking in DC. The bright blue skys and yellow and orange and red leaves are about to give way to the cold cold winter but I can be snuggly in my hibiscus dress knowing that maybe on the other side of the Atlantic my niece might also be wearing the same dress.
Lots of Love


Annie

6.11.11

Birthday Giveaway WINNERS!



Dear Readers,


Thank you all so much for your lovely comments and your support, we were both touched by all the lovely  things you said. It looks like most of you are romantics because one of the most popular posts was "the story of a sewing machine
Which was of course given to Laura by her then boyfriend and now hubby D. How could you resist a man who bought you a sewing machine! You were all very kind and mostly said you liked the blog the way it is, so we will take that as a sign to keep wittering on to each other and showing off our knitting, sewing and thrifty finds. 


And now after all that, I have been taking my time haven't I... drum roll please.... the winners are....


PJ who can be found at Knit and Go
and
Tess who can be found at Driftwood


The Knitted Home along with the woolen goodies goes to PJ and Scandinavian Needle Craft along with the material goes to Tess.


PJ wrote: Hi,I'm Pj, Happy blog birthday! my fave post is: Autumn Boneyard (this was actually written by Kelly at handmade at home we are big fans of Kelly, so although we would love to take credit, it was all her!) I love these books, I would like to win the Knitted Home book. Thank you for the chance to win!

Tess wrote: happy happy birthday. I hope there will be cake, birthdays always need cake. and congrats on the followers too. I've just had lots of fun looking back at some of your posts, how can I possibly choose just one, I am awe inspired by the dress making, drooling over the knitting, reminded that I Must make the beetroot brownies today, and happy to have found your friendship through your blog.

Below are some of the other posts that you mentioned
Cranford Knit a Long Series
  
The Great Untamed Octopus                       Half Way

Thank you so much for your support over that last year, we have had a lot of fun, met lots of new exciting people and are both looking forward to another year of crafting and blogging.

Lots of Love 
Annie and Laura











  
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