28.2.13

birthday number badges

Dear Annie,





Last night, for the fifth time so far, I made a felt number badge  for one of my boys' birthdays. It is a tradition that I am so glad to have started. A little simple stitching, usually the night before, and the next day there is a mama-made badge to make the birthday boy feel extra special. 

This year, S wore his badge proudly to school, which made me smile. I wonder what age we will reach before a felt badge is just not cool enough. Hopefully there are a few more birthdays to go first...

Love from,

Laura

PS: The original idea for the badges came from Whip Up.
PPS: Your blanket is utterly gorgeous! I am so impressed. xx

26.2.13

A 3 Year Love Story Part2

Dear Laura,

I am back, the blanket isn't blocked, we had 24hrs without water, not so good, but I am going to show it to you anyway.








There it is, I am so happy with it, it was a long and rocky road. I won't lie there were times during those three years I wanted to give up, there were times I just got so bored of the same stitch again and again. But there were also so many times where strangers and the friends I have made here on the blog helped me, motivated me, or just kindly and simply said that they liked something about it. I have the melancholy that falls when something that has brought me so much joy has come to an end, but then I remember that really the blanket has just come to life. I like to imagine the people who will be warmed by it, who will laugh at the pom poms, who will be cheered by its very presence.

And now when I snuggle under it, it reminds me of those 3 years, it reminds me of you, it reminds me of the quiet time I have each night with R, it reminds me of my mum who helped me with reading the pattern, it reminds me of carrying it to England, of the land which I have left, it reminds me of my nephews and nieces who were transfixed by the individual squares and their little fingers gripping tightly to them not willing to let them go, it reminds me of this blog, of all the people I have met through it. Everytime I snuggle under it, it will remind me of all of that, of these last three years, it will remind me of love.

Lots of love

Annie

A 3 Year Love Story Part1 can be found by clicking here

25.2.13

guest posting: Queenie and the Dew


Dear Annie,



I am guest posting this morning, over at Queenie and the Dew. I'm talking about why I blog and what blogging means to me. Do pop over and have a read!

{Completely unrelated photograph of our Magnolia tree in bud, taken last week on a rare day of blue skies.}

Love from,

Laura

23.2.13

A 3 Year Love Story Part1

Dear Laura,



As I am pretty sure you remember, two and a half years ago you suggested that we embark into our first ever crochet projects. Always willing to learn new things and to follow your lead I dived head first into my very first crochet blanket. It wasn't as easy as I thought. Actually learning how to crochet was hard enough, then once I had got my colours sorted out and my squares underway, I realised what an enormous project I had just taken on and had no idea whether I would be able to complete it.

And so every night whilst R was preparing supper, I would sit in the kitchen with a glass of wine beavering away on square after square. I love this time, it is so quiet, he works away at whatever delicious creation we are lucky enough to have on that day and I sit there, sometimes entertaining him, sometimes just working away at my knitting or crochet. It is the time of the day when I feel most at peace and I look forward to those 30 minutes everyday.

At times I just closed my box of squares for months on end, unable to ever bare to look at them there were so many left to so. Occasionally I would ritually lay them out to make a blanket shape and once again realise how few I had made and how many more there were to go. Then finally before christmas I decided enough was enough grabbed a colour and started to join them, fairly unsuccessfully at first, I began to hate my blanket again but soon I was flying and now all I need to do is block it. Which I will do this weekend so I can show you the blanket in all its glory. For now, here are some of my favourite bits...


Crochet in a lovely cafe in New Mexico
 Playing with my squares rather than actually doing any crochet
Packing everything away for months on end
Attempting to make myself feel better, the distance between the squares is telling here
 First blocking, from circle to square
Joining the squares
All it needs now is a final block.

I am so excited to show you the finished product.

Lots of love

Annie


20.2.13

Emily's Fetching

Dear Annie,



As you may remember, I recently made a hat for my friend Emily's belated birthday. Given that I had some yarn left over, I decided to make her a pair of Fetching hand warmers to match.

I am a big fan of hand warmers and have knitted various patterns over the years. This has to be my favourite, though. It is quick and simple to knit, hardly uses any yarn (less than half a skein of Cascade 220) and the hand warmers are both pretty and practical. The cables also coordinate nicely with Emily's cabled hat.

Now that they are finished, I can get back to knitting my blanket. So far this year, it's been all about the Cascade 220...

Love from,

Laura

PS: Details on Ravelry.

16.2.13

Friendship Pyjamas

Dear Laura,


 (you will notice that the underside is the wrong way up, I didn't at this point)
 (marking on the pattern with biro, a bad habit I must get out of)
(Salvaging two legs from the scraps)

Gosh for some reason I feel like its been a while since I spoke to you, which of course isn't the case at all, I think this week has just been extra lenghty! I wanted to show you these PJs that I made for Ksenia. They might look a rather similar to some that I made last year. When I saw the giraffe material I immeadiately thought of Ksenia, but I wanted some pijamas for myself, so I made myself some and then rushed back to the shop to see if they had anymore of the material. Luckily they did and I bought up another 3 yards. 

I don't normally make clothes for other people as sizing is really hard if they are not around to measure and fit too. I got Ksenia to send me her measurements and attempted to make the pattern to fit. I was a little over confident the second time around and happily cut my pattern out and then realised that I had one side of the leg with the giraffes facing up and the other with the giraffes facing down! I swore a little and huffed and puffed at my own stupidity and then, much to my relief, managed to salvage two pattern pieces from the left over scraps. So here is my tip... before cutting think about what the pattern is for and if you are doing two sides of something, instead of folding the material in half, cut it in half and make sure the pattern is facing in the same direction.

I will finally send these PJs to Ksenia, she has been waiting over a month, I hope they fit and she loves them as much as I love mine!

Lots of love

Annie

14.2.13

fresh yarn

Dear Annie,


With a loft full of baskets of yarn, I have been trying very hard lately not to buy any more unless it is for a specific project. However, when I visited iKnit London for the first time this week, a couple of balls of wool did find their way into my bag.

I couldn't resist the Wensleydale DK, longwool spun in Yorkshire. My much-loved Granny lived just outside Wensleydale, and much of my childhood was spent visiting there. 

I think I shall use it to make yet another Milo tank top. I have been meaning to make a boy-sized one, so I really should get cracking before my boys outgrow the pattern sizes!

It's hard to resist the lure of fresh yarn, but I do have a couple of projects that need casting off first. Hopefully I will be able to show you one of them next week.

Love from,

Laura

9.2.13

Gloves the Colour of Ancient Ice

Dear Laura,



A long long time ago I was wondering through the white house farmers market, where I stumbled across two lovely ladies selling wool they had dyed and spun themselves(you can read about that here). Their wool was so lovely I couldn't resist but buy some. I liked it so much that I wanted to find just the right project to use it on, this has taken two years, but finally at thanksgiving I started to knit. I wanted try to figure out how to do thumb holes in fingerless gloves by myself so it was a bit of an experimental knit to say the least. In general though it was nice an easy, I went for rib stitch in the round and then increased a little around the thumb holes, held the stitches with safety pins as I finished off to the fingers and then went back and finished the thumbs. 







They have been keeping me warm ever since I knit them. The perfect accompaniment to winter and all the lovely hand knits I get to snuggle into at this time of year.

Lots of love

Annie

6.2.13

The Simple Things

Dear Annie,



I am rather excited to tell you that one of the photographs from my personal blog, Circle of Pine Trees, has been included on The Simple Things blog as part of their Wordless Wednesday series.

You can see it here, on The Simple Things blog, and you can read more about The Simple Things magazine over on  Circle of Pine Trees.

Love from,

Laura

crafternooning

Dear Annie,






A friend of mine has recently set up a weekly crafternoon for a group of fellow mums. I can think of nothing better than meeting up for a cuppa, some cake and a little light knitting or crochet. To date, there has been more chatting than crafting, but after last week's knitting lesson, the list of projects on the go is growing and we are beginning to get into our stride. Needless to say, I am all too happy to have a regular slot of sociable crafty time in my week!

Love from, 

Laura

2.2.13

Computer Case

Dear Laura,



I have been sewing and sewing, what with my self imposed one woolen project at a time (see here), I am finding sewing projects to distract myself with. I found this lovely bird material in the shop the other day and couldn't resist it. It is flannel which is a little odd but I bought a ton of it anyway. I am hoping to make a dress with the rest of it. I am not sure how that will turn out but it is super soft and nice and warm. I had an old computer case which I chopped up for the inside soft spongey stuff. It wasn't ideal and if I was to make another one I would get some fresh padding as it could be cut to size a lot more easily. I also recycled the zip, that was much more successful.








Lots of love

Annie

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