Scavenger Hunt

Monday, 30 October 2017

Half Term Doings

Hello there.

Half term was quiet for me, a couple of lovely friends came over, I went to see my mum and dad, took the dog for walks and generally pottered around.   

I brought two old pop-up tents home from school, which were no longer too keen on popping-up and were destined for the bin.  A shame to put fabric to waste, I decided to make it into bunting which can be used at school.
 I unpicked the edging strip which turned out to be perfect blind tape
and then started to cut out triangles with my scissors.  I quickly realised it would be quicker and much more fun to cut with my rotary cutter.
I then stitched the triangles into the edging strip and hey presto!  I put it up in our new room and I think it goes rather well with our orange blinds.

A few of the days in half term have been damp, grey and a bit miserable so I made my first hot chocolate of the season.  Yum!
 With the clocks going back I decided not to stay in bed an extra hour but get up and use it.  I did the summer/winter wardrobe swap, pulled everything out of my very untidy wardrobe and colour coded it.  What do we learn from this exercise?  That I like grey and pink cardigans!  It is looking rather neat in this picture, it will not stay like that but at least once a year it is tidy.
On the knitting front I am making another stripy cardigan from Drops Delight and Drops Alpaca.  It is a Drops Pattern, I am not putting the lace bit in.  It's bottom up in once piece and as it's 4ply the rows are long but no sewing up.
And here's a close up because who doesn't like wooly loveliness? 

That's me for now I think, have a super week.
Clicky Needles

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Blind Finished!

Hello Folks

Firstly I'd like to thank you for your lovely comments about my craft room.  I have to pinch myself when I go in, I still can't quite believe it's all mine! 

I've been working on the blind.  After a not very fruitful Pinterest search on how to make a Roman Blind I had a dig around in my (very) old patterns and came up with this one. I pulled it out of a magazine ~ Prima possibly ~ and made a blind for our flat we had when we lived in London 25 years ago.  A lot of patterns I saw used blind tape sewn onto the lining, this pattern however, makes the channels with the lining fabric which you then insert the rods in ~ for me wooden dowling.
The new kitchen island was the perfect place to cut and measure the fabric, no kneeling on the floor.
The instructions were easy to follow and I was soon congratulating myself on a job well done.  I hung the blind, tied the cords and pulled it up.  The centre hadn't come up that well.   I puzzled over why, did I need and extra cord in the middle?
Then I noticed that I hadn't stitched through all the dowling channels and the fabric was loose.  So down it all came, battening out, sewing machine back out the box.

That's better.

I love that the fabric matches the clock and oh! the wallpaper ~ I'm still excited by it.

I noticed that there is another Drops Sale on all their alpaca yarn ~ now until Christmas in case you were wondering ~ and the combination of alpaca and 30% off was too much to resist.  The folks at Wool Warehouse are super efficient at sending out their orders and this lovely combination arrived on my doorstep a few days later.  This is a new yarn, Nord which is a combination of 45% alpaca, 23% wool and 30% polyamide.  I got 3 balls of each colour thinking I'll make some socks and something else.  

It's a 4ply yarn similar to their alpaca yarn, but the addition of the wool gives it a bit more structure.  I can't wait to use it. 
Also this cute Knit Pro needle sizer dropped into my basket, I couldn't find mine anywhere when I needed it.  Of course a day after a new one arrived I found the old one.  Hey ho.

It's half term with me right now, the weather is distinctly autumnal and not in a good way.  Damp, foggy and grey. Meh!

Right, that's me for now, have fun.
See you soon.......Clicky Needles.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

My New Craft Room

Hello Folks!

The very exciting news that I need to share with you is that over the last few weeks I have been working on making my new craft room just right.  The craft room has been created from what used to be the dining room, which we had knocked through to make a kitchen diner, eight years or so ago.  Our new extension gave us the space we wanted, so the wall that had been removed, was re-instated.  

The starting point was this rather fab-u-lous wallpaper that I found.  It is slightly raised on the knit section of the rib so it looks and feels really realistic.  Mr Clicky and I put it up, the first time I had hung wallpaper, and I have to say I'm rather pleased with it.
We papered the two long opposite walls and the two smaller short walls I have painted white. 

On one side of the room I have a tall unit with a door that was our pantry unit in the old kitchen, an even older Ikea cube storage unit, a new Ikea Kallax cube storage unit, which just leaves enough room for Maisie (the Mannequin) in the corner.

The coloured fabric boxes are all from B&Q ~ Ikea ones are quite muted tones at the moment ~ and the low unit means I can sit on it and knit/craft/contemplate if I need to, and also have an area to display things for bright pops of colour.  You'll see that Albert the Alpaca has also taken up residence here. He was a present given to me by Miss Clicky in the summer.  She told me he was 'not to go outside' but I told her not to worry I knew just where he would go.
On the opposite side of the room I have my workspace.  A lovely new Ikea desk top with a five drawer Alex unit which is brilliant for storing patterns in.  My sewing machine is living underneath so I can pull it out easily when I need it.
I really want to put shelves on the wall above but I can't bring myself to drill through my lovely  wallpaper, so for now I'll wait. The orange chair is also from (you guessed it) Ikea; one of our new dining set.

I am really happy with what I have so far, but the eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted I have no window dressing yet.  I am in the throws of making a roman blind in a fabby fabric called Great Spot from Prestigious Textiles in Olive Oil colourway.  I'm loving the colours, the blind will really liven things up.

I'm so so happy with my room and I know that I am incredibly lucky to be able to create it.  Mr Clicky is also happy because he says I have stopped leaving projects all over the house.  As I walk past the door I pop my head in, my heart does a little skippy beat and I smile.  Result.

That's all from me for now.
Have a super week........Clicky Needles.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

A Few Finished Things.

Hello there.

With our extension nearly finished I'm hoping that normal blogging is to return, I've felt quite out of sorts not doing a weekly post.

Going back to school wasn't so easy after six weeks off but I have moved from a Key Stage 2 class aged 7-9 to Reception, mostly 4 year olds.  This is a big move for me as all of  my 12 years in the job have  been with the older children.  Wow! a bunch of 4 year olds are a very different kettle of fish.  My 'teacher voice' has turned very Joyce Grenfell.   So far it's proving quite good fun.

I've not got as much knitting done as I would have liked, also not had many days sitting in my steamer chair knitting, due to painting but I do have a few bits to show you.

Firstly the pair of socks which was my plane knitting.  This was my own hand dyed yarn made several years ago.  I was trying to make the yarn come out striped rather than a meld of colours and I'm pleased to say they came out as I had hoped.
Nice and stripy and not pooled or a multi-coloured blur.
With those finished I had two balls of Drops Fabel in my bag, one plain, one 'normal' sock yarn ~ you know what I mean ~ to make a fair isle pattern.  It's a Drops pattern called Rock Socks.  Every fourth row the yarn is stranded, every other stitch.   Clearly I was going to have to conquer my nemesis ~ continental knitting.  I have tried this before with the 'help' of my knitting pal Romain but we really didn't get very far.  We'll leave it at that.  I sat in the hotel room while Mr Clicky was at work and tried lots of different ways until I got it right.  It felt very strange using my left hand for knitting at first, but I think I've got it sussed now.
These are my current on-the-go socks.
I hooked on? a crochet shawl with some random sock yarn out my stash for a friend of mine who is poorly at the moment.  The yarn had some fair isle type bits in it but I didn't really liked them in crochet, as the repeat was quite small I took them out and joined the ends with a Russian Join.
This has made the shawl slightly smaller than I would like. 
Maisie was happy to model.
 I first saw this shawl on the Midwinter Yarns stall at Wonderwool in 2016 and managed to find the pattern last year.
I packaged it up along with some other goodies that my friend might need whilst she recuperates and posted it off.
The last project I have to show you is another wedding blanket, this time for my reception class teacher.  She's getting married next year and has dropped some pretty large hints that she would like an heirloom blanket, so I'm making this.  Not small granny squares this time, they have 11 rounds and I will be edging and joining with cream.  I'm really enjoying this, those granny squares are quite addictive.
Well that's me for now, the builder should be finishing up next week so we might get our house back at long last.
Have a great week.........................Clicky Needles.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Chicago Part 2

On the weekend we took a train to the city.

The trains were unlike anything I had encountered before; big, smelly, noisy
and they had a top deck!  Our guard suggested we buy a weekend ticket "they only cost 8 dollars for the whole weekend, so you really don't want anything else."
My Clicky and me opted for the top deck ~ of course ~ but they were a little different to what I was expecting.  If you are sat up there you can look down onto the passengers downstairs.
We had a rattly hour's ride to Chicago Union Station.  
What a magnificent building, just as I imagined an American train station should look like.
It is huge.
I'm sure it has been used in films that I've seen.
A short walk and we came across sunshine and the Chicago River.
We walked further, making our way towards Lake Michigan. 
This is 'The Bean', well it's actually called Cloud Gate but that's it's nickname.  From the outside a lovely shiny thing you can spot yourself in
and on the inside a whole different experience.
We walked on through Millennium Park and came across some sculptures,  which had been visited a few weeks earlier by a blogger I follow Gill from An Elegant Sufficiency.  The artwork left her cold and I have to say, us too.  We were instructed not to climb but we didn't know much more about them.
They were made from old tyres but no signs about why.
I am however, pleased to report that there were some children climbing on them!
As we walked on I marvelled at the skyscrapers.  I love the old four story building against the massive new ones.
It had a water tank on the roof, still in use?
We had a break for a cup of tea and yummy cake and then set on our way again.
Before long we had reached our destination.  Navy Pier.
Now, I know that this is Lake Michigan but everything I know tells me it's the sea.
We sat for a while and watched the tourist boats go by 
and then headed back up The River Walk, still marvelling at the size of the buildings.
More boats with weekend trippers on, the music was very loud!
These two are called Marina City and are apartments 
with car parking underneath.
These boats were moored outside a bar full of party goers, each was playing different music ~ very loudly!
We turned into the city again with it's trains of the 'Rapid-Transit System' nicknamed 'L'.  

Some places they are overground, others underground, and they  clattered and clanked around, we didn't venture on.
Walking back to Union Station we came across Willis Tower.  It is 1353 feet tall, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.  
On the 103rd floor you can step out 4 feet in a glass 'pod.'  I zoomed in so you can see the people standing in them.   I'm sure the views are spectacular but I haven't really got a head for heights so we gave it a miss.
We caught our train back and had a well deserved rest after all that walking.  
We spent the next few days visiting local towns and having an explore in between Mr Clicky going to work.  A riverboat casino on Fox River.
My waffle breakfast.  Yum.
It was time to go home.  We had a night flight, we left at 6 in the evening so I had a gin (or 2) with my sock knitting.   I was hoping the gin might help me sleep, but it didn't!
 The moon soon appeared.
 and the light shone on the wing tip.
We landed at 7am UK time which still felt like the middle of the night but luckily we were picked up from Heathrow by a car and delivered home so we didn't have to drive.  The next day or two I slept when I needed to and got back into UK time.  

That's me for now, I have a few knitted items to show you next time.
Have fun...................Clicky Needles.