Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 30 April 2018

Weekend break.

We spent a couple days in Swansea, staying alongside the old docks.
 A mixture of old and new
 I love the older boats
A beautiful beach, but too cold to walk along it. 
 Friday was not good weather wise
 Hubby outside the castle ruins. 
 Another view
 This city is a complete mixture of styles.
 Could not resist this photo, 
so many of you have bucket list, 
and no we did not go inside. 
Hubby had a reunion lunch on Saturday in Swansea, a place I have never visited, so we went for an extra night, parked the car, and walked around the city.
Thursday we stayed in the dock area, and found the beach, we enjoyed a lovely walk.
Friday was very wet for most of the day, but we were able to get around, it is a city of mixed fortunes, the dock area have loads of new blocks of flats, with lots of tiny eating places, it was lovely there. The city center, was typical of so many centers, loads of shops closed, with another shopping area a little further away. I really can't understand when you have an interesting location, how they do so much work and then allow the center to slip into decline. Everywhere we went it was clean and tidy, there were loads of interesting buildings and artwork, I have gone past the need to shop when we are away, but all the empty shops does make anywhere look poorer.
We did find a fantastic choice of restaurants, our meals out were all really good, there were a couple of places which we would liked to try but we did not have enough days.
We enjoyed our trip to Swansea, but not sure we would go back there.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

New projects

I have completed the inner design
 We have a local charity shop, which has a great craft area, it's a short drive to get there, but always worth it. I try and pop in often, they has stuff for every craft. I purchased the fabric below last week, it's cut long and thin, and will make a couple of shopping bags, lined in black. It cost £2.25, so a nice price, but I have noticed the prices increasing in the shop, still good value, but someone now sees the value in what they are selling. I am thinking of stitching colour into the fruits, just one small bust of colour, in French knots. 
 Well I have everything I need to make my 1st pair of socks, thanks to Jo, for her help and inspiration, I am following her advice and using this pattern from Warwick Mum's blog. I have googled sock sizes, read loads and now I feel ready to knit. 
Postman just knocked my door
 What a lovely surprise, I helped a friend of hubbies and used my sewing machine to sew 7 badges onto a leather waist coat, took less than an hour and I was happy to help. This is his thank you. 
So once again loads of crafts to do, it's exciting to start something completely new to me, every time I mention knitting socks to hubby, he gives me the strangest of looks.
I have been asked to make a mixture of bags, my sister is starting a new craft business, and is looking for local crafters to buy stock from, she will have any sewing I want to make, and she loves the different bags I make.
Yesterday afternoon was another rainy day, and the fore caste is wet for the rest of the week, I know it's April and we should expect showers, but really!
Our lawn was again pink with Magnolia petals this morning. Again I have a head cold and cough, I can't blame Will this time, it's so hard to decide each morning what the afternoon is going to be like and dress accordingly. Nothing to do in the garden, I am itching to plant things, but it's far too early, so I am going to spend the day at Will's house, mummy will pick me up after Will has finished his swimming class.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Knitting finish

It's finished
 Yoke, I changed this design
there should have been grey in the darker brown
 Close up
 Another change
the cast on row should have been mid brown,
 but I thought the dark brown looked better
 I'm not sure if you can see this
it's the cast off rows along the raglan
 I love this design
 Not to waste this grey wool, I purchased a second ball and will make my 1st pair of socks. 
The design of the jumper is a snug fit, which I love, I never wear baggy clothes. In truth it is a bit tight for me, but I am in the process of loosing weight, so by winter later this year it will be good. It is the same size as all my clothes in my wardrobe. I did lengthen the sleeves, I felt this design required a full length sleeve, and I also added a few extra rows on the body of the jumper.
This is the first thing I have knitted for myself in years, I really enjoyed every stitch, and I am planning more knitting, firstly a pair of socks. I am unable to wear lambs/sheep wool, I have an allergy to lanolin, so finding Alpaca wool has been a pure joy for me it is so soft to touch,  trying on the finished jumper without any itching, gives me the confidence to knit more clothes.
I enjoyed stitching on circular needles, the neck was harder due to the reduced number of stitches and using four double pointed needles, I got a longer set, but still felt it was all points sticking in everywhere. I am hoping when I make my socks, the smaller number of stitches will be easier on four double pointed needles. The plus side of knitting in the round was I had almost no sewing together, the arms were also knitted on the round, so the only sewing together was under each arm. I found the decreasing at the neck easy, as it was Incorporated in the pattern, so I found it easy to know where I was at any point. A plain jumper would have made it much harder to keep the decreasing neat.

Monday 23 April 2018

Sunny garden

A newer view of our garden, 
Tulips ready to bust into flower
 Our Magnolia is looking good,
sadly fewer blooms this spring
 My Acer is looking it's best this year
 My Peony, loads of buds
I moved this last year, so I'm pleased it's doing well
 I had most of Sunday on my own, hubby was on a ride out with ex army friends, this will happen once a month, it was a perfect day for them, they visited Salisbury, which is not too far from here.
I had planned to use my sewing machine, but the sunny morning changed my mind, and I went into the garden. In truth I had very little to do, but I took my time and had an enjoyable morning. I have planted my 1st cucumber plant into the raised bed in the greenhouse, I also made a support for it. My lettuce is doing well, also in the raised bed, I can start cutting leaves this week. I still need to plant my tomato plants, my 50p plant is really healthy with flowers forming, it is a tumbling plant, I have a tall pot I will plant it in, and place it on a stand in the greenhouse, the 2nd plant will go outside. I do not have any compost, so they will be done later this week, I intend to pop to garden center on Wednesday. The lettuce seeds on the tea bags are growing, next time I will open the bags and empty the tea in the tray, when I watered the seeds they washed to the side of the tray, photo next time.
My fruit bushes/plants are all looking healthy, I have loads of new growth and flowers forming. I have already sprayed my gooseberries to stop saw flies, again last year they stripped my bushes, this year is the last chance, I know I said that last year, but my garden is so small, everything has to earn it's place.
Today I have Will, I love Mondays, we play together and have so much fun. We will pop to our local village shops.

Sunday 22 April 2018

First trip 2018

New Forest, Hampshire 
We saw loads of these
 Did a bit of this
 Some time on these
We have been away in our camper van, we returned to a campsite we visited last year, loads of other sites were closed to vans due to the wet ground, click on the link above if you want to see more. Both hubby and I commented on how much standing water there was everywhere. It will take a couple of weeks before the ground is back to normal, but on the flip side, everywhere was lush, so many shades of green and beautiful blossom.
I was pleased with our cycling, doing three and a half miles, ending at a tea room, lovely coffee and cake, and then back to the van, it was hot, but breezy, and whilst the hills going up were a chore, going down was just bliss. We stayed on the road whilst cycling, not wishing to get stuck or muddy trying off road, plus it is so easy to get lost and make your journey back far too long.
We are extremely lucky to be so close to the New Forest, it's a perfect place for a couple days break, plus being so big, we hope to go to different camp sites and see much more of the area.
Our van was completely dry, no over winter issues, everything worked, it is set up so all we require is our clothes and food. We take our own food, this time I just transferred some of the stuff from our house fridge to the small fridge in the van.
We are now planning a couple more short trips and then a week away in June, going further up country, we both would like to return to Lincoln, with the possibility of taking our small car as well, to get about once there.
Last night we had a few thunder storms, one at 8pm, a huge storm at 10pm and another in the early hours this morning, again heavy rainfall, our poor grounds will take ages to dry out. The middle storm was spectacular, we sat at our bedroom window watching, we had sheet lighting across the sky from the east, and in front of us over the hill there was fork lightening, which silhouetted the huge tree in the garden behind us.
This morning it's blue skies again, I will have to pop to the garden our lawn is pink with Magnolia petals. We are truly lucky our area does not flood, I hope if you had the storms you enjoyed their show and everything around you is alright.

Friday 20 April 2018

Reasons to be cheerful: Part 1

I am blessed with a loving close family, as we grow older my siblings have all become closer, I am one of nine children, with 6 of us left. My youngest daughter is a pure joy. Kev's sons are also very loving. Our 6 grandsons complete our happiness, having Will once a week on a Monday is pure pleasure.
Hubby and I celebrate 32 years of marriage and 34 years together, for both of us, it's a second marriage, he makes me so happy, I am a truly lucky lady (he also makes me swear at him at times).

I have always had two cats, now I am home all day, it's fun to have them close, they follow me into the garden or where ever I go, I get lots of snuggles.

We have worked hard in our garden, made mistakes, but now it's our happy place, less hard work, just pottering around and enjoying the space, our sun loungers are ready to be brought out.

I have time now for sewing, cross stitch, knitting and other things, I have a couple of hobbies I want to try, plus I get plenty of time to read.

Camper van
The enjoyment of our van is huge, we have it summer ready, so all we need to add is clothes and food, we are away on a lovely site for a few days, sun shine makes everything feel so much better.

I have been feeling good for a while, I have lost half a stone and hit the target I made to myself for the end of the month, I am now my pre Christmas weight. I still have loads to lose, lots of my lovely clothes in the wardrobe are a bit tight, and I am NOT going up a dress size. My fitness levels are improving, still not up to the steps I set every day, but I am much more active. We have our bikes which we are now using, it's no fun to cycle in the rain.

Plus the sun is shining and it's warm.

Happiness and contentment are such a precious thing, often they are so close we can almost clasp them. After this long damp cold 'Spring' season, when I have at times felt so blue, it feels good to be so upbeat. 
I am lucky I am well, I do have health issues, mainly small things I can live with, leftover from my struggle with cancer in 2010, but as my mum used to say 'pull your socks up and get on with it'. 
Finishing work last year was the best thing for me, now I have time, all my life we were short of time,  having to fit in work, family, relationships,  it was a struggle for so long.
So tell me your reasons to be cheerful......

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Sew complete

I made this carrier on Sunday, but waited until yesterday to take a photo, it's looks better with a plate of food in. 
 Made with 2 tea towels, a long handle attached to 2 opposite corners, on the other 2 corners huge loops are attached, place the plate in the center, pop the loops over the handle and I have a dish carrier. This was lunch for sign language class.  
 It takes a 10" plate, so I can carry large pie, cake ect
 I have finished reading this book, I could not put it down, I love mind games and the author sent Finn everywhere. I thought it was better than Behind Closed Doors. 
 My plastic lids came, and they will work perfectly, I know I have more plastic in my kitchen, but these will replace stretch and seal, a one use plastic. They are all round but they do fit over square and oval dishes.  
It was fun to make my plate carrier, I cut the two tea towels into squares and pinned them together. With the leftover fabric I made the wide handle and the two thinner loops, pinned them in place and double stitched all around the square. I had seen this on Pintrest, and thought it would be useful. Tea towels work well as the linen will protect my cooking.
I now have two single quilt covers from our old kingsize covers, which we replaced when the corners were getting thin, both are pure white, so the leftover fabric I have kept in my stash. I did not require to make pillow cases, we already had the matching set.
I have done some more knitting, I am not enjoying the rib on the neck use 4 double ended needles, it's 12cm long, so it is taking a while, I will show a photo once it is finished.
I was asked if I had a pattern for the bags I make, no pattern, I just cut out square or oblong in the size of the front and back, when using tea towels they decide the maximum size the bag can be, I cut the front and back to size and shape, I measure along the sides and bottom, and cut a strip of material long enough, the width I decide by eye, the bigger the bag the wider the side and bottom strip. I cut the linings the same size and sew. Handles I make as strong as I can, I make each bag a different size, always dependent on the fabric I have. Most of my inspiration comes from Pintrest, where you can get patterns. 
We have the promised bright sunny start to the day, I am out with Will and mummy this morning.
It's a busy few days, as we are away in our camper van on Thursday for  a couple of nights, praying the weather fore caste will be right.

Tuesday 17 April 2018

One finish and another almost there

Final stage of knitting
 This is better than I hoped
 Not fully followed the pattern, sorry for the fuzzy photo
Hubby is very happy with this new bag
 Red lining with a phone pocket
 Black sides and bottom, this is a bigger bag.
 Pleased to have enough fabric for match handles
I am knitting at every spare moment, I don't enjoy watching TV, neither does hubby, so often we spend an evening quietly together, he reads and I knit. I am really good at picking up the pattern for each row, so knitting so many repeats I find relaxing. The blue row marker on my work is the start/end of the row, this helps me to keep things neat. The design is not too tight, with having so many stitches I have room to allow the threads at the back to be correct. The decreasing rows are done in pattern, so again it was simple to follow.
In truth I have not picked up my cross stitch, but I have started reading a book, Bring me back by B A Paris, but the enjoyment from seeing my knitting grow, keeps me picking it up. I have 2 x 50gms of grey 4ply Alpaca wool which I will knit into a pair of socks, but nothing new will be started until I have finished this jumper.
Sunday was dull all morning, so I did all the housework, my floor steamer was not working too good, so hubby took it apart and descaled everything, we have ordered a new hard water filter. We also found online some plastic stretch pot covers, these are reusable and the hope is they will replace stretch and seal, we have a pack on order, another one use plastic removed from our home.
I enjoyed making the guards bag for hubby, it is much bigger, but with the lining it will take a full load.  I have other things cut out, just need another sewing moment (day).
Monday was Will's day, so at home all day, we did pop to the village and through the park, but as the children are at school, it was empty, but we did enjoy the sunshine.
Today I have sign language class, yes I remembered this week, later I am having my hair cut. I hope to have a bit of time in the garden, but I do have a sewing task, I am sizing a kingsize quilt cover down to a single size, for use in our camper van, another money saving job.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Eat,shoots and leaves.

Yesterday was a perfect day, we spent our time in the garden, firstly we moved this table and chairs down to our decking area, it captures the first of the sunshine. 
 The empty space outside my greenhouse, I filled quickly, I have moved the blackcurrant bush here and have a huge pot for our outside tomato plant, plus a few smaller pots. 
 Our wooden table and chairs are often in the shade through out the day
 Even the cats came out to play
 These are grown from seeds and cutting, on the left is a kiwi, on the right a passion fruit. In the middle I'm not sure, I think it could be a pomegranate, I will have to wait until the leaves to form. 
 Right photo, is my new Clematis, Lovely yellow flowers, middle sweet peas, right is the grass plant, I decided to put it in front off the hedgehog pot,  once it grows it will give cover to the space, this pot was used last year by our local hedgehog. 
Hubby cleaned his motorbike (loads of chrome to polish) and then our car, I just pottered, it was so lovely and warm, I am loving the extra space outside my greenhouse, I will miss having the table to use, but I have a tall stool in the shed I can use. My shed is tidy, and looking good. I have planted out a few stronger plants, the bedding plants won't be ready until next month.
My walnut twig has new shoots and is out side the greenhouse, but both my citrus plants look sad, I am going to keep both in the greenhouse for a bit longer, my olive bush is also still inside the greenhouse.
The area along the front of the greenhouse now has more space, we pushed the huge pot with the rhubarb in the corner by the raised cut flower bed, we had the blackcurrant bush here, but I was worried about harvesting the fruit in such a small space, it won't be a problem with the rhubarb.
We had a late lunch early dinner at 4pm we had our first BBQ of the year, we sat outside until almost 6pm, it's a perfect prelude to summer, and like so many other I can't wait for it to come.
Last night I watched Monty for an whole hour, I love this format, we also watched a Viking York, shown on BBC2, last week it was Roman Chester, these are very interesting to watch, we have visited both cities and could relate to where they were filming.
This morning, we are dull, loads of mist, which should burn off in time the the fore caste rain!

Saturday 14 April 2018

How many stitches

I now have both sleeves on the yoke and I am decreasing at 'raglan' 
 Quite simple to do, I have two central stitches I decrease either side, 4 times each decrease row, either side of the sleeve .
 There are almost 300 stitches on this circular needle, it's not too heavy.
I have found some time for stitching, I will finish the center next, this is really pretty, the shades of the colours I chose from my stash, they are quiet close the the design. 
Another tea towel cut ready for a bag
hubby was in the Welsh Guards, so he will be happy to carry this bag. The red panel with pocket is for the inside red lining, front and back are the guards men, the bottom and side I will use plain black fabric. 
I only used my sewing machine for mending this week, our dining room table still has loads of fabrics on, I have done some cutting out, I have spent most of my time knitting, I can't wait to start the colour fairisle work again, the saddest thing is once this is finished, I won't wear it until much later in the year.
We popped to Asda as our olive/butter spread was on special, I did say I would not purchase any more tea towels, but hubby did like this set, I did get a couple bits for the garden including a yellow clematis which is already planted.
Yesterday we went to Ikea with youngest daughter and Will, we don't go often, maybe once or twice a year, we required nothing big, I always get paper napkins, I love their funky designs, we passed the glasses and candles, not requiring any this time.  I got blankets, they were £1.75 each, I got four. I always cut each blanket into quarters and wrap around the cushion in the bottom of the cat basket. When they are dirty I never wash them, I don't want to clogg our machine up with cat hairs. Will and mummy came back to our house for the afternoon, loads of fun, these warmer days Will walks around the garden with me, I can't wait until I can leave the doors open and we can play outside.
Nothing planned for the weekend, it's already sunny and warm, so I'm off to water the greenhouse and potter outside.


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