Sunday, 9 April 2017

LOVING THE PATCHWORK.....


This last week has been a week of batik, little squares and another new sewing and quilting experience, alongside some fabulous weekend weather and special walks with my beautiful Oscar boy! 

I am a new quilter and am learning with the help of my dear pal Helen (Josiekitten), who is always willing to share her workshop experiences with me. I love sewing almost as much as knitting, but do less of it as there is always the upheaval of getting everything out and packing it all away again. I know,  I  really do need a crafting room! To be honest, what is there not to like when you have a charm pack of beautiful batiks to work with. 


Having stitched nine charm squares into a three by three larger square six times over,  each large square is then quartered to give twenty four smaller squares as seen above. I usually agonise over the best layout, trying to balance patterns and colours but this little beauty just seemed to organise itself.


After lining, backing and making then sewing the edging............. ta da!!!! Here it is! What do you think? I'm pretty pleased with myself.


I'm loving the colour and pattern mix and so pleased I eventually decided to go with the blue backing and edging. It finishes the quilt off perfectly.


There is still the little matter of actually quilting the finished piece, which I plan to do this coming week. The rows of stitches that you can see are merely securing the wadding to the patchwork top. 


Oscar supervised the entire process, right down to helping to hang it on the linen line in the garden for a photo. By the look on his face, he is so so wishing the quilt will be for him! He's not really a big fan of the pinks though.


This weekend brought glorious sunshine to our days and the younger Miss Snoops home for a visit. She loves walking Oscar and we enjoyed some super sunny, long walks. He sustained a very deep cut in his right front paw three weeks ago and needed stitches. Even though the bandaging was off a week ago, he still had to be kept on a lead for yet another week. For a ball and swimming obsessed boy like Oscar, he's been pretty restricted. So, imagine his joy to find himself 'off lead' again and free to race down into the river or lake for a cool down or sniff a special smell for just as long as he wanted. Heaven!



This place is just a five minute drive from our city centre home and is always a beautiful and peaceful  oasis to spend an hour or two.


I couldn't not include this last photo as these little beauties never fail to brighten my day. Such simple beauty!


This week, the family arrive for the Easter weekend, which I'm really looking forward to. There might an Easter egg or two, perhaps an egg hunt and even some Easter nest cooking for the little ones. We'll have to see. It's just good to be together!


Sunday, 2 April 2017

LONG TIME NO SEE.....


Hello there! I know it's been a while, but that's because here at chez Snoopydog we have been having to get used to getting on with life without our dear, beloved 'leader of the pack' Mr Snoops; dearly loved husband and soulmate, Dad, Grandpa and Gramps! He passed away very suddenly in the early hours of  February 28th from acute bacterial meningitis, after nothing more than feeling a little under the weather for the previous two days.  He was only 62! Needless to say it came as a massive shock for something so sudden and unexpected to have happened. We are missing him very, very much, but in true family Snoops fashion we have surrounded ourselves with family love and supported each other through the last almost five weeks. My pal Josiekitten (Helen) has been a huge support at what is still a very sad time for her also. 

Gradually, each of my elder two children and their families have resumed their jobs and family life and today, the younger Miss Snoops has returned to her flat and job in London. We are a close family and are usually in  daily contact, even though we live in different parts of the country, so it still feels as though everyone is nearby!



Very little woolliness happened for two or three weeks, but little by little my beautiful Advent Calendar cushion has slowly been completed. It is bright and cheery and makes me smile. I love it so, so much! 

Everyone is coming home again for the Easter weekend and I have some sewing planned with Josiekitten and a couple of theatre visits during the Easter holidays, so life is gradually picking up on it's new pathway. 

Normal Sunday postings have hopefully just been resumed!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

GRANNY CUSHION.......


Oh my word! How I do so love these colourful little granny squares; even the brown and blacks have their place in the overall collection. I made two extra little squares, so that there would be fifty, which should make a cute eighteen by eighteen inch cushion cover once all crocheted together. The photo above is the front and the photo below is the back, or vice versa! I don't really care which way is which as I love them all; the little darlings!


I love how the colours splurge and splash across the square; never paying too much attention to their ramblings, just wheresoever the mood takes them.

I have never been a fully fledged crochet addict, as knitting is and probably will always be, my first love. However, I've really enjoyed the three blankets that I've made over the years (all Attic 24) and have REALLY  loved the easy pick up and go of these little squares.

 Having only ever attempted stripe or ripple blankets before, I have had to find out how to join my lovelies. It seems they can be sewn or crocheted together, from the front or from the back. I have to say, crocheting just has to be the right way for me and so having read up and found different tutorials online, I plumped for Lucy's really clear and picture heavy instructions over at Attic 24. Perfect! It works and I'm well on my way. I love that the stitches match one for one exactly, so there is no need for adjusting or tweaking. It just works and, I have to say, it's another pretty addictive little activity.


Here we go! Looking sweet, aren't they! Above you can the top view with the squares neatly nestling together and below is the underside, with a slip-stitch ridge forming. 


I'm not totally sure that I shouldn't go with the ridge side being on show. Having checked the squares joined so far, I could just as easily use the ridged side, as there are no sewn in ends showing and the crocheting looks identical from both sides. Hmm, another decision to be made!


Think I'll go the overkill now of gorgeous, colourful photographic yumminess. Here you go!




Pop back next time and hopefully you will be able to see the finished thing in all it's loveliness!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

GRANNIES........


It's been a pretty relaxing half-term week here chez Snoops'. There's been time for knitting, time for crocheting and time for sewing. Whoohoo!



I finally managed to complete the Opal Advent calendar project, with the twenty-four mini skeins making six colourful socks and forty-nine small granny squares (one extra using up a few remnants). I've made one more from some other remnant Opal yarn so that fifty squares will make a lovely five by five square cushion front and back. 


I've just loved working with the array of colours and pattern mixes and never tire of wondering what the next little bit will turn out like. I have to say I haven't been disappointed with any of the outcomes. Some of the mini-skeins seemed to work seamlessly into the next with little obvious evidence of colour change, whereas others needed to make a statement as they made their entrance!



Choice of colour for the borders and joining was the next consideration and after trying a blue, red and grey, I finally settled on this Opal neutral solid to best show off the beautiful colour pops. So far, it's looking good. 



This little grannies are so, so pleasing I could go on forever with them. I'm about halfway with the edging, so pressing on over the next few days with a little bit of hooky here and there interspersed with little people fun and play.


 There's also been time for another contact print cushion. To say I'm a teensy weensy bit hooked on these would not be the whole truth. This is a second cushion for my youngest daughter; the first one having been very well received! ;-) I'm liking the introduction of larger spots this time!


 It's also been a week for occasionally photographing my feet!


The pair above were the first ones I made when I began knitting again in 2008, 'encouraged' by Josiekitten, who had already spotted the future potential of some very, very beautiful yarn online and across the pond! I used some Opal sock yarn and......... they're still going strong!


These 'Monkey Socks' by Cookie A were my second pair. I'm guessing the sock bug had already bitten as these were also completed in 2008. The yarn is also by Opal and, as you can see, they are still very much in the prime of their life.


In 2010, these were my first pair of Magic Loop. I'm still not the greatest fan of the technique I have to say and still turn first to my DPN's for sock knitting. 

It's been lovely to relax and not actually have too much planned for the week! Happy, happy!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

SOCK DRAWER


Good evening! Sorry to have missed you last week, but I spent a very lovely weekend in Manchester visiting two of my children and their families. I have to say there has not been an awful lot of knitting going on chez Snoops' over the last week or so. My Advent socks are almost there, with just the last sock to complete. I'm loving the great colour match between yarn and needles! 


I've been dipping into a rather unusual read this week. It's a surprisingly interesting read by Marie Kondo, called 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying'.......... hmmmmmm! So, in true Marie Kondo spirit, I gave my sock drawers a makeover. I'm rather liking the fact that you can see every pair, as you make your selection for the day.


I've also managed to make space for a few more pairs!!!


We woke to a reasonable covering of snow this morning, that had  fallen upon us silently overnight. It has been bitterly cold and rather dull and miserable today, so a very rare stay 'indoors day' materialised.


There was time to get some sewing organised and started. So, a bit of measuring and a little cutting and the pieces were ready for another contact cushion. I really must move on to try other things, but at present I really love making these gorgeous covers.


I played around for a while with the colourful squares, but still change things around as I began the sewing together.


Here we go! This will be a second cushion for my younger daughter's flat.


It doesn't seem at all possible, but this was the photo taken when Oscar first arrived in our lives seven years ago today. He was the sweetest little pup on the planet and I can't begin to tell you how much joy and love he has brought to our family over the last seven years. He is smart, playful, loving and such a beautiful boy! 


This week has also seen me trying to choose a replacement tree for our back garden. Our magnificent Weeping Willow sadly died last Spring, after contracting HoneyFungus. The tree was enormous and very old and succumbed after being pollarded the previous year; essential for such a large tree in a city centre garden. I felt ridiculously sad about it's demise, but cheered at the prospect of another lovely tree gracing it's spot. The new tree has to be of a variety that will be unaffected by any fungus left in the soil and so, I think my choice will be this beauty. It's a Malus (Crab Apple), but just look at that beautiful blossom. Roll on Springtime!


Sunday, 29 January 2017

FIVE TO GO.......


So near and yet so. I've been a bit slow with the needles this week, for no particular reason, although I really don't want this little project to end. I've loved the mix and match of crochet and knitting with each pretty little ball; filled with eager and excited anticipation with every round, to see just how the colours will work out.

It's been a relaxing and colourful journey from the very beginnings way back in July, when I received a little box containing twenty-four teeny tiny hand wound skeins and a cryptic clue, as part of my birthday treat from my dear pal Josiekitten!!!

The first twenty-four days of December each began with the slow ceremonial opening of the day's Advent calendar door to sneak a peek at the treasure wishing and then to photograph the little ball of loveliness.

Eventually, Christmas Day arrived and the long awaited cast-on began!!!! I vowed to stick to the day colour order and to that end I marked each ball band with it's respective number. I had to get my crochet eye and hand back into gear and readjust my tension a fraction and then we were away.

So, here we are with four and a half socks complete and eighteen mini-balls usefully employed. That just leave five more little treasures to go and one and a half more socks to complete, along with ten more crocheted Granny squares.

Then that will be it............................ until next year! :-)


I felt I had to share this lovely doggy collage with you, as Oscar had such a fun afternoon last Sunday with these two beauties, seventeen week-old Alfie and dearest Nellie who, at almost fourteen was very very elderly lady. Oscar spent his afternoon exploring the garden, playing with toys and generally doing what he loves to do ( anything yellow tennis ball related). Alfie spent his afternoon romping around behind Oscar, trying to impress and begging him to play. He really is the cutest little boy! Darling Nellie looked on, with a gentle wag of her tail; her soft, kind brown eyes still shining with enthusiasm for life, despite her frail body. Sadly, dear Nellie finally went to sleep for the last time on Thursday and crossed over the rainbow bridge. She had a long and happy life and is now at peace. So glad we got to see and stroke you one last time lovely lady!



Sunday, 22 January 2017

SIMPLY COLOUR........


My Opal Advent calendar twenty-four mini-balls of loveliness are disappearing fast! I'm on a roll! I'm just a teensy-weensy bit addicted! I'm pretty much totally addicted! I'm in love! This colour blast is simply amazing and just what is needed on cold, dark January evenings.


These little beauties are not quite uniform in size. My tension when crocheting these has clearly not been consistent, but with a little bit of blocking I'm sure they will be fine. I'm planning on completing in another round on each square and joining as I crochet. It will be a new venture! Wish me luck!


Oh my word! How I love these! 


I've used sixteen balls on the first four socks. Each sock takes four balls, right down to the very last few inches. How luck is that! I'm now onto sock number five and mini-ball number eighteen, so not many more to go. Every last inch of gorgeousness will be used to complete six socks and forty-eight Granny squares. 


Then what!!!!!!! Well, there is a hidden away secret stash of all the sock yarn remnants ever used chez Snoops' with the added addition of a fair few swaps from Josiekitten and other mini-skein additions. These tiny lovelies are hibernating and awaiting a warm caressing hand to gently welcome them back.................. yep, they need some tender love and care. Sock Yarn Blankie your wait may be over!


Colour has not only been in evidence on Snoops' needles and hook; our Norfolk skies this week have been ablaze with colour. This shot was taken on Wednesday evening at around 4.30p.m. It doesn't really do justice to the stunning natural beauty that slowly paled and disappeared as the sun went to bed.


Then there was this little pop of colour that burst forth yesterday morning. How I love these sweet little early reminders that Spring is not too far away!