Monthly Archives: October 2012

Operation Christmas Child

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A few weeks ago my friend announced that she didn’t want presents for her birthday this year – or at least, not presents for herself. Instead, she asked for donations to a shoebox. You may remember (if you’ve been reading long enough) that I started making a few things for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes earlier in the year.

Well, I have to say that all my ideas of stocking up on hats, gloves and scarves over the year didn’t work out quite how I imagined it would. Basically, I got distracted! So by this point I don’t have nearly as many goodies as I had once thought. But my lunchtime knitting has been going rather well, and just this morning I finished the scarf I’ve been working on over the last couple of weeks.

I also popped into the wool shop in town this afternoon to see what they had, and found some lovely chunky wool. I started knitting with it almost as soon as I got home, and 35 minutes later I had another scarf! I’ve decided that chunky wool is definitely the way forward!

Last week I decided that a hat or two would be good to include too, so started looking around on ravelry (what a great place!) and came across a pattern for this hat.

I was also inspired by several other patterns to make this one. The flowers are from an Attic 24 pattern.

So now I have a lovely little pile of woolly goodies ready to take to my friend later ūüôā

 

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Christmas Swap

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I’ve spent some time this morning catching up on blogs. I had more than 130 updates just waiting for my attention in my inbox! I’ve still got 93 to go, but am slowly getting there.

Anyway, one of the blogs I follow (noelleodesigns) mentioned a Christmas swap. How exciting!

I’ve seen a few swaps around, but never quite got around to doing one. But I just love Christmas, and making Christmasy things, so I thought I’d take the plunge and join in! The swap is hosted by Faith Hope and Charity Shopping (what a great name!) and you can find out all about it by clicking here, or by clicking on the link on my sidebar.

These are the rules…

  • You will need a regularly updated blog and be willing to post when you receive your items from your swap partner. Sorry to non-bloggers, but the swap is done on trust and some online presence does make things easier. Please don’t sign up and then disappear, it makes things very difficult.
  • Bloggers are welcome world-wide as usual. I will try to assign partners within the same country/continent but please let me know if you would be willing to send abroad if necessary.
  • As usual, you should send your swap partner a minimum of three items, a maximum of five.¬†
  • There is a maximum spend of ¬£12 or the equivalent in your local currency.
  • At least one item – though more if you can – should be second hand, and ¬†sourced from a charity shop, car boot sale, jumble, estate sale, eBay or similar.
  • At least one item should be handmade. If you are not crafty yourself, it’s fine to provide a handmade item that someone else has toiled over instead.
  • And this time, one item MUST relate to a Christmas carol or song. How you interpret this is up to you!¬†
  • One item could fulfil several categories. A home-made white fluffy pom-pom garland made from thrifted wool could count as handmade, second hand and represent ‘Let it Snow’, for example.
  • Sign up will close on 28th October and I will assign partners on the blog soon afterwards so please keep an eye out.

 Go on, have a look yourself!

In the last 10 days…

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… I have attended our annual carnival.

Because I grew up with this, I thought it was something that everyone did. As I got older I realised that not everyone had carnivals like we do! As a child I remember being bundled up in all my warmest clothes, walking into town early (to get a good space) then standing around freezing for what felt like forever. But it was all worth it when that first wonderful float came trundling towards us, dazzling us with hundreds of light bulbs and playing music so loud we could feel it through our feet.

I still love carnival time, although the wonder of it isn’t quite the same as when I was a child. But I still love wrapping up warm, finding a good spot with my friends and marvelling at the creativity of some of the ideas.

Some of the carnival clubs go for really energetic routines – it amazes me how they manage to keep going for the whole route. Others (like the one below) go for a still life. I always think they must get so cold just standing there in one position for so long!

There were five or six majorette groups this year. They had some amazing dances, but were impossible to get pictures of because they kept moving! Each group had a really wide age range, including some really tiny girls (they must have only been 3 or 4 years old) who mostly looked like they had no idea what was going on, but looking incredibly cute!

… I sent off a blanket to some friends.

This was¬†a blanket I finished a few months ago. I started it after I found out my friend was pregnant, then added the pinky colours when I found out they were having a girl! Just a couple of weeks ago she gave birth to a super cute little girl, and I’m hoping it’s arrived in the post by now!

… I was given a thoughtful gift.

When my friend was on holiday in the summer she came across this cross stitch in¬†a craft shop and bought it for me. Last week she remembered that she hadn’t given it to me! I haven’t done much cross stitch in years (with the exception of this Union Jack) so I was really excited when I saw what I’d been given. I’ve made a start on it already, but as I’ve only done cream stitches on a white background there’s not much to see yet!

… I have nearly finished a blanket.

Although this looks very similar to the baby blanket (and in fact the colours were based on some of those in the baby blanket) I assure you that it is a different one. This is the one my friend asked me to make for her Nan for Christmas. I only have 2 more rounds to go, not including the border, so the end is in sight – hurrah!

By the way, I haven’t yet decided what sort of border to do on this blanket, so if anyone has any suggestions I’d love to hear from you!

Look what Helen made!

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You may remember that my friend and I ran a crochet evening a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was the kind of thing that people would come to just to be sociable, drink tea, eat cake and maybe look at some pretty wool. But at least 2 people (that I know of) have been crocheting ever since!

This is the circle that Helen started on the night. She managed the first 3 green rounds on the night, then added the white round at home.

She then decided to make a hat and started another circle.

However, it grew so quickly that she decided to make a bag instead!

This picture was taken a few days ago, so I’m pretty sure it’s grown quite a bit since then. And today Helen posted her latest creation…

I’m so excited to see her enthusiasm for her new skills – well done Helen!

Autumn colours

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This evening I came across a most glorious display of autumn colours.

I’ve noticed one or two trees this week starting to show signs of changing, but none quite so lovely as this. I just love the contrast of the green…

…the golden orange…

…and the deeper red.

And where did I come across this vision of radiant beauty glowing in the early evening sun?

In a supermarket car park!