New mittens

Fox mitts

Space Invader mitts I love making gloves (it’s totally taken over from making socks, which I never wore for fear of getting a hole in them!) but all of mine were fingerless and lately it’s been really cold. I needed warm fingers and when I found these Fox in the Snow mittens I decided they were the ones.

I tweaked the pattern a little, and they were quite faffy to make, requiring lots of concentration, but now they are finished I’m really happy with them, so cute!

Boy also needed new mittens, he chose these lovely Space Invader mitts, I tweaked the design again, as he too needed warm fingers, and he loves them, yay.

Now we just need some proper snow!

More lovespoon designing

Swallow design

Pyro spoon start

Pyro spoon finished I have been designing more lovespoons to carve, and while I’ve been waiting for new lime wood to carve with, I’ve been playing about with a quick pyro of my craft spoon design.

I really enjoyed doing this, and I like how it turned out, it allowed me time to work out the best way to go about the carving of the craft spoon too.

Still, the real thing I’m itching to start is the carving of my Swallow tattoo spoon – it is my favourite design to date, and one I think that I will end up keeping for myself 😀

Custom order Knitting Roll

Red flower custom order Etsy I have just completed my first order through Etsy’s ‘Request Custom Order’ button, as opposed to through private messages.

The order was from a lovely customer, who had seen a crochet roll in my shop in a fabric she liked, she asked if I could make a knitting roll in the same fabric. A quick look through the fabric cupboard and I found just enough left to make one, phew!

Having never used the ‘Custom Order’ process before, I didn’t really know what to expect but it was nice and simple, and I’m pleased to say it all went smoothly, and now I’m off to the Post Office with it!

Learning Crocodile Stitch

Crocodile stitch cushion cover I love finding new, unusual crochet stitches to add to my general granny-ing, and crocodile stitch was definitely on my list of new ones to learn. As it heads towards Autumn, the yearning to fill my home with soft yarny warmth increases, so I settled down to really get my head around this pattern.

I tried a couple of times just by following written instructions, but it just wasn’t clicking until I read this post, the video linked within it really helped me to work it out.

It is quite slow going, and uses a massive amount of yarn – this one cushion cover took about 400g of aran weight – but it produces a dense, tactile fabric that works really well to hold it’s shape. I backed it with a pale grey woollen fabric so both sides are equally soft.

Here it is at the start, and the end, together with my Blooming Flower Cushion, pattern by Attic24, and a quick teal blanket.

Lovespoons

Twospoons Continuing with the family tree leads me to search out ever more things, the latest has been finding that I have ancestors who worked in Penrhyn Quarry, so a trip to the Slate Museum at Llanberis was planned.

It was a lovely day, very interesting with lots to see, and watching my Boy participate in the demonstration, and split the slate like our ancestors would have done, was fantastic and gave me goosepimples along with a big grin!

Aside from all the wonderful, atmospheric old photos and tools, I also spotted a lovespoon made of slate, which I was absolutely smitten with – such a beautiful object! I have always been interested in Welsh traditions, and never moreso than since I started researching our family history, and always happy to take on a new craft, I decided I needed to make a love spoon, as you do 😀

I set about researching how to do this, and along the way met a very talented woodcrafter – Bryn Jones, of Bryn Jones Woodcraft who helped me enormously. My first spoon was made as a house-warming gift for a very good friend.

My Uncle then took the challenge one step further, and made the absolutely beautiful slate spoon shown next to my wooden one. With over a hundred hours in his, I don’t think I’d have the skill, knowledge or patience to try slate, but I’m bowled over by it!

Family ties

Over the last year I’ve been looking into my family history and researching my ancestors. It has been such an interesting thing to do, has given me a deeper sense of belonging, and an appreciation of just how many hundreds of years of Welsh-ness I have behind and within me 😀

I’ve loved tracing generation after generation of my grandfathers who were blacksmiths, and am hoping to have a go at it myself sometime. I also found grandfathers working in the slate quarries, so The Boy and I visited Llanberis slate museum, where he was chosen to participate in the demonstration – watching my Boy working and splitting the slate, as our ancestors would have done, was just lovely!

And these little beauties in the photo came to me from my Nain – Millie. They were passed down through the family and were originally her grandmothers, so my great, great grandmother. I love how the paint is worn on the darning mushroom, imagining the hands that have held it over the years. The snips are prettily decorated on the handles, but totally blunt, they sit together on a shelf looking beautiful though.

It has been such a pleasure discovering the lives of the men and women who have gone before, and finding new relatives that I didn’t know existed until I started this. I’m looking forward to finding out more.

My new cute kitchen!

The latest project 😀

I’d been toying with the idea of making our kitchen much prettier, and more functional, for a while now, but have only recently got round to making it happen. We have a long kitchen with space for a table at the end, but the enormous table I had there previously meant that there wasn’t enough room for chairs all around it, only a bench at one side, not the ideal for a nice relaxed meal – sitting in a row, facing the wall!

I had an idea of what I wanted – a small square drop-leaf table, so I could have it all different sizes, to accommodate various things – small for sitting and sewing, or a meal for two, or much larger for family get-togethers. Topped off with pretty gingham tablecloths, jugs of flowers, candles and general twee girliness 😀

I’d looked around a few charity shops, with my specific wants in mind, and saw a couple of tables, but nothing was quite right, so off I went to the local Thursday flea market, with a feeling I’d get what I wanted there.. and I did! I found a beautiful old oak table, with gorgeous carved legs, which extended to the size of our old table, but also could be made very small (shown in the picture with one side open). On the same stall there was a set of four chairs, tatty, but with such a gorgeous curvy shape to them. I got both the table and chairs for £20! Oh I do love a good bargain!

I recovered the chairs in bright, bold patterns, hemmed a quick tablecloth and it’s all good to go. It makes the space much more useable, and looks pretty and fresh in the daytime, and cosy and welcoming in the evening, when it’s lit by candles and fairy lights. Perfect.

Happy New Year!

Hi 😀

Hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas, it was an enjoyable one here, but hectic, and every day felt like a Sunday for weeks!

There was a bit of sadness that the custom order Little Red Riding Hood set went missing for about 6 weeks, but the customer was lovely, and very understanding, and thankfully it turned up just after New Year – phew!

I’ve been looking into my family tree this year – with some very interesting and unexpected surprises – and on my (email) Christmas card list, I had an extra eight distant relatives to send to! I’ve met, and am lucky to be related to, some of the most lovely people in my search for the past.

And then to top it off, we had a bit of snow, announced to me as I woke, by B singing ‘It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas’ (on the 18th January :D) so yesterday was spent with him scraping up everything he could find (we don’t get much here) to make a stash of snowballs – and I love the snowflake shot I managed to get – happy days!