27 April 2016
20 April 2016
13 April 2016
8 April 2016
Way way back in 2012 my friend was pregnant with her first child. We have a wee group of good school friends who all live back in the Carlisle now and we got together to make a crochet blanket for the new baby. We enjoyed the project and the blanket was really well received. The blanket we made can be seen here...
So jump to 2016 and the same friend was pregnant again with her second child, so of course we HAD to make a new blanket.
It seemed to take us an age to pick the colours. We had known for sometime that she was going to have a boy. We tried to pick lovely baby but gender neutral colours and not so much obvious blue and green, as the last blanket was blue and green.
The yarn we used was Lullaby by Stylecraft, my very favourite. We also used a size 4 crochet hook.
So we worked on our pattern ideas, it took an age to agree on a pattern too. After making quite a number of traditional granny square type blankets I've rather fallen out of love with the pattern. I much prefer to try something different.
We came across this square pattern in a book (failed to get name of it, bad Jo!) but basically rows of trebles leaving 2 chain spaces at corners, then doing two trebles into corner spaces of next row... if that makes sense... It was a lovely easy pattern to work with and I found my squares worked up really fast.
So we had our pattern and colours now just to figure out how big each square should be and how many squares each. We decided on 6 rows and 6 completed squares each. The blue was only to be used for edging and joining, leaving 3 colours to work into our squares. The idea being we would do whatever pattern of colour we wanted on 6 six squares but trying to balance out the 3 colours.
The 'tighter' stitchers amongst the group were told to crochet looser, after issues with previous blanket not quite matching. But it is a collaboration blanket made by friends for a friend so a tiny bit of imperfection stitched in adds to the charm!
It was great to meet up with my friends for a project to do together, we could crochet and chat all at the same time.
Once we had all done our six squares (we put strict timetables on these things!!!) we met up round Emma's big dining table for the joining up... This took a lot of discussion too.
At first we wanted more of a flat join, but it meant we couldn't work on it individually... due to busy schedules etc it was easier for us to work on as much as we could individually and join our squares and then join the rows so we we picked the traditional granny join, double crochet stitches into stitches from each square, creating a ridge effect.
Here's we all are (well most of us!) stitching away. I love these photos. We all hold our hooks so differently!
Ah, we were so happy to see it all beautifully joined and laid out on the table. A proud moment for all our efforts.
I ended up taking it hope to add one more row of blue trebles right round the edge to finish it off.
We all got together to visit our friend this week, meet the new baby and present the blanket, she was really pleased with it.
6 April 2016
5 April 2016
This weekend was my Dad's birthday, and as my sister was up this weekend visiting anyway (for a hen do) we decided it would be really nice to all go out for the day together.
We wondered what to do, but in the end asked Dad what he would like to do! We said we could go anywhere (within reason) and we would treat him to travel, food, tickets for things etc. Dad decided he wanted to go to Pooley Bridge and to Glenridding, two of the worst hit areas of the recent floods in Cumbria caused by Storm Desmond. He thought it would be nice to support these small communities and spend some pennies in their shops etc. What a lovely idea!
So we set off for the little village of Pooley Bridge on Sunday morning and had a lovely wander round the shops and streets. There are a few little gift type shops and Jen and I were excited that there was also a local craft fayre on in the village hall.
Pooley Bridge is a little Lake District honey pot area, somewhere that is always popular with tourists as it is right on the shore of Ullswater. It is a picturesque little village with historic buildings and cafes and pubs. The main campsite is lovely too, we stayed there a couple of years ago.
Cute little shops!
Cute little streets!
THE best bit about Pooley Bridge of course has to be Granny Dowbekins Tearoom. It has a large seating are overlooking the river, which is juts lovely on a warm summer's day. We sat inside today and had a lovely early lunch.
and some cake of course!
Pooley Bridge gets is name, from its beautiful ancient stone bridge. Erm this is the bridge today, as the lovely ancient one got washed away in Storm Desmond. The bridge was iconic in Cumbria so very sad. But also very sad that it meant the village was essentially cut off, so the tourism the businesses depends on was threatened.
They have just recently opened a temporary bridge, yes it might not be anything to look at, but at least the tourists can get to the village now.
Dad wanted to visit Pooley Bridge and also Glenridding which is another lovely village at the other end of the lake. To join up the points there is a boat service called Ullswater Steamers that crosses the lake and also stops off another couple of places along the way. Some people, such walkers use it as a ferry service or you can just enjoy a leisurely cruise.
The Ullswater Steamer takes just over an hour to get from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding. It is lovely trip, obviously the views across the lake and up to the fells are just stunning.
The boats are all well equipped with little bars for refreshments and plenty of seats both inside and out. We sat outside for a little bit but it was rather chilly on the water!
Me and Dad inside the boat.
Dad and Jen admiring the views!
So we arrived in Glenridding and had a wander round. We had about an hour here to explore before we got the boat back.
We were warned by the lady in the Steamer shop that Glenridding was a bit of a mess and she wasn't wrong! It was so sad to see. Usually such a picturesque little place you could clearly see the damage caused by the floods.
All along the river the little shops, cafes and homes were empty still and drying out. It was nice to see that the locals had made an effort to make it look better with flower displays!
We were surprised though by the number of visitors still. Obviously a lot of people doing what we were doing and choosing to spend their money in these little villages to help them get back on their feet.
We popped to a super cute little cafe called Fellbites and actually sat outside in the sun! We enjoyed some drinks and scones, yum yum! Failed to get a photo of cute cafe and our scones (bad blogger!)
1 April 2016
SO... I'm changing it up a little bit with my regular monthly posts. I used to have two, 'This Month...' and 'Favourites', with this month discussing things I've been up to and reflecting on my goals and faves being things I've been liking, blogs I've been reading etc.
This month I have started a new series on my blog called 'Wonderful Wednesday', this post is weekly and will now replace my favourites post. I will be posting my happy list each week, so will obviously include some of the same things I would have talked about in faves.
I would still like to have some sort of monthly reflection post, so it will be a sort of amalgamation of faves and this month.... Let me know what you think in the comments...
What I've been up to this month:
Mother's Day was spent with my sister and mum and baby nephew James at The Halston, a new posh aparthotel in Carlisle. It was a lovely afternoon tea. Now my sister, mum and I are all experienced cake eaters (lol!) but even we couldn't get through this delicious lot. Yum yum!
The flowers all came out this month! And what a pretty sight to behold in our local park. I don't walk through here regularly, so they were a lovely surprise one day. The next time I went back later in the month they had all gone. Got to appreciate them whilst you can.
But following the crocuses came the daffodils, just look at that happy colour! These were at the University of Cumbria Lancaster campus when I popped down for meetings.
The best bit of March has to be our weekend at Tilly's Barn with both mine and Mark's sisters (and Phil and Neil and Scruff The Dog too) it was so lovely spending time with them in beautiful Borrowdale, and it didn't rain!
It was Mark's birthday this month so his parents took us out for a meal to a lovely Indian, it was super yummy, check out the size of the naan breads, droool!
Another big fave this month was a little day trip to Whinlatter, one of my fave places ever to ride my bike. The Red South Loop had been resurfaced and was super duper fun!
What I've been reading, listening to, watching this month:
Nashville One of my very fave programmes ever returned this month and I have been loving it! When you are caught up with a programme right up to date, its SUCH a chore to have to wait a week before any new episode, ugh!
Walking Dead Yep, still enjoying this one. Gosh it makes me so tense each episode... last one of season next week, can't they all just live happily ever after already!?
Geordie Shore Yes, and I'm not afraid to admit it! I've been watching since it started and I'm a big fan! Their behaviour is still quite shocking and I would hate anyone I actually knew to act like this, but still... very entertaining! hehe.
The Queen at 90 Really enjoyed this lovely programme about our Queen. Check it out before it disappears off the internets...
New Girl in Toon - Never Have I ever Newcastle Confessions I really enjoyed this blog post. I like to think I know Newcastle fairly well, its so close by, my sister lives there, Mark went to uni there and I have visited countless times. I know of all the places Chloe confesses to not have visited and I must admit I've been to very few too! hehe.
The Dainty Squid - The Cult of Fitbit Kaylah got a fitbit, I love my fitbit so this post made me chuckle. Also I'm pretty sure I never got the choice of that snazzy turquoise colour when I bought mine, NO fair!
A Beautiful Mess - My new (Pineapple) Tattoo Emma got a new tattoo and it's so pretty! It makes me badly want a new tattoo, I've always got so so many ideas...
Emma Gannon's Newsletter Do you read Girl lost in the City blog? LOVE it! Well Emma has a new newsletter, you can sign up on the left hand side of her blog... do it! It's packed full of super interesting, cool bits to read.
More Zoella - Vlogs I really really enjoy all Zoella videos, I think she is fab. I do prefer her vlogs ot main channel vids though and I was super happy to see her back vlogging this month, after a break since Xmas. Watch them, she is super funny!
Sprinkle of Glitter - Huge Beauty Haul - Watch this Louise is actually hilarious! Her little rant about Polly Pocket here is so random and funny, I was lolling a lot!
Blog posts from the month:
Catch up on any new posts you missed this month right here....
Wonderful Wednesday Number 3
A Return to Tilly's Barn
Almost up Scafell Pike
My monthly goal reflection:
Well I'm not 'unhappy' but think I could have tried a bit harder with this one this month. I'm def getting there, I can talk myself out of bad moods these days and I really try not to focus on the negative. But I have let my meditation slip and I think I need to re-focus...
Oh dear oh dear, probably a major contributing factor to not doing so well with the above, I have run a grand total of... drum roll please.... 6.03 miles this month. Poor effort Jo, just poor! Bother!
Ok, so I snook a look at my fitbit stats after feeling super awful at my lack of exercise this month, but I walked 181.93 miles this month, averaging about 5 miles per day. This makes me feel a little better about myself. It's not like I was sitting on my bum all month! (just some of the month!) hehe.
Cycled 24.93 miles this month, not so great! But at least I cycled some. Will have to do much better in terms of exercise in April.
Sort out a car and drive it lots
Well well well... a goal I actually feel good about this month! I BOUGHT a CAR! A brand new, sparkly, fresh from the garage car! She's SOOO freaking pretty and I'm super excited! I'm way nervous to drive though, so I cannot claim to have met this goal completely. But I am glad I actually came to a decision and got on with it and bought one. I will probably share photos soon...
See my friends and family lots more
Yes! Was a super fun family weekend at Tilly's Barn, I love hanging out with a bunch of people, makes things lots of fun.
spend less time looking at screens
Well I haven't really tried with this one much, but over the Tilly's Barn weekend I was without TV and internet and loved it. Also my internet at home was off the best part of the week (grr!) so I did actually read a book and got some house work done instead.
What have you been up to this month?