Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Slowing Down!

Hello All,
Things have slowed down here this week, since Wednesday I've not spent so much time in the sewing room, that's not to say that I'm not 'in the mood', just that I've been doing 'other stuff''. 
Wednesday was a sort of, 'what shall I do next day?' so I did a bit of tidying up in the work space and came across some pretty scraps in a bag, 

I had been given these by a friend (who knows I hate throwing out scraps!!) so after sorting through them I decide to make some 'new fabric', I have been cutting remnants of fabric from the aforementioned bags into squares intending to make a scrappy quilt for Project Linus. Some of the scraps were already triangle shapes and some appeared to be borders and were already sewn together so after a little bit of sorting I was able to chain piece them and cut them into 3 1/2" squares to add to my collection.

The rest of the day turned into an admin day which means that although I spent my time in the sewing room, I used it to prepare for Severn Valley Quilters meeting, this was my first meeting returning as Chairperson so there were a few things I needed to get sorted out, I went through all my old files and added in new ones to my folder etc, and made sure my notes were up together for the meeting itself. 

Our speaker for the evening was Mary Jane Hutchinson of Trym Quilting she came along to tell us all about wadding (batting) and the various properties of all the different brands and types. Well! what that lady doesn't know about wadding probably isn't worth knowing. She had samples of every type you can imagine which she had made up into 12" squares all beautifully quilted, these were passed around for us to see and feel, and when asked any questions she was able to answer without any hesitation. Now to some this may all sound a little obsessive, but she explained, when she bought her long arm machine prior to setting up her business she needed to practice so that she would to be able to suggest or recommend a specific wadding for any project she was asked to quilt. 
In my last post I showed you 2 quilts made by Heather and both of which had been quilted by Mary Jane and Heather seemed most impressed by her standard of work. I took along the 17 Syringe bags for Show and Tell and there were a few more made at home by some of the members so now our grand total of bags made is 80! 3 of us are going along to hand them over on Wednesday next.

So what else have I been doing? Mainly knitting so no surprise there! I've made a another beanie hat and another of the little scarves. I had a 3 smallish amounts left in shades of purple from previous projects (don't we all:-) so first up I made the beanie hat.

Then I made another of the little scarves, Now I only had really small amounts of yarn left so I weighed the first scarf (34 grams) then the 2 amounts of yarn and I had around 45 grams left in total, I had more of the darker colour so decided a stripey pattern would work and by reversing the colours of the 'loop' and the first stripe I'm delighted to say it did and I was pleased with the result. 

Next I decided to make a 'tea bag' hat and for this I used the remainder of some dark green left from my yarn bombing escapade last December, plus a bit of bright green from my oddments stash. Knitted all in garter stitch this proved really quick to make. I started yesterday and finished it this morning, 

sewing it up this afternoon in the company of the lovely Lisa. I had invited myself round to her house for a sewing session and took both my knitting and my embroidery box, I decided to sew up the hat first, but then I did not get any embroidery done as I was too busy nattering while she did all the sewing. I added tassels to the hat after getting home.

I thought I would share this with you before I go, 

I have finally got back into reading each night before going sleep (I didn't read anything while I was ill!) this book was started just after Christmas, and has been on my night table since then, I picked it again around a week ago and now I can't put it down. It's a really good read about the owner of a yarn store in New York, Georgia is the single parent of a pre-teen daughter and it tells her story as well as the stories of the small band of knitters who turn up each week to the 'Friday Night Knitting Club'.


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A Productive Week!

I've had the most productive week, as reported last post I had 17 syringe driver bag kits ready to take to Clock Tower last Saturday. After a sleepless night on Friday (I even brought my knitting up to bed at 2 am 'cos I thought it would help me relax!!) finally getting to sleep around 4 am, I managed to oversleep. Over a hasty breakfast, I decided to set up and start sewing as soon as possible. I set off as early as I could to open up. Kerry (who got there before me!) and I soon had the room ready with the urn on ready for the first cuppa which is always a priority on these days.

As always, we started with some Show & Tell... here is Heather (on the left) with 2 of her latest finishes ably assisted by Mollie.

Eager to get going, I set myself up a little 'production line', setting up my iron and machine to prepare (turn in and press) all the seam allowances and stitch the handles (quite a feat as they are 55" long!) but hoping I may get them all done in the day. Well dear readers, not only did I get all the handles stitched, BUT I also managed to sew around all the bags and get some of them turned through and pressed too.

This gives you an idea of what each prepared bag kit looks like.
A small selection
Yesterday DH and I had to attend the funeral of an elderly friend. Now if you are anything like me you spend hours ironing little pieces of fabric for your quilt projects but don't actually get round to things like shirts. So while enjoying my first cuppa and indulging in some knitting, a plan began to hatch in my mind. DH's shirt, the one I just knew he would want, was in the ironing pile awaiting my attention, now he does own more than one shirt but, I thought if I 'volunteered' to iron this one I might get few more bags pressed at the same time AND it worked! In a little under 45 minutes I got the rest done (and yes I did the shirt and some handkerchiefs too!)

I was on a roll, so today with the lunch prepared and after visiting Mum, off I went to the sewing room and joy of joys, by 4 pm with a break for lunch I had them all done making a total of 25 bags made in just under 2 weeks, here is the last one on the machine.

and here is a selection of completed bags!

Not only has it been very satisfying to make these and take part in the project, (St Peters Hospice was where my Brother spent his last few hours with us) it's been so nice to finally feel like sewing again, after not picking up a needle of any type during my 6/7 weeks of illness. So long may it continue... NOW what's next???


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A Quick Post

I've had a lovely day today, being Wednesday I don't visit Mum so had the day to myself apart from the usual chores.
Getting up around 6.30am. I came down to have my first cuppa of the day (always the best one don't you think?) The washing machine had been on overnight so despite grey skies the Laundry went out on the line. Back indoors, I picked up my knitting to continue the project started yesterday at DD's. I had completed the green Beanie hat mentioned last post, I worked a reducing stripe pattern, 8 rows Dk Green 4 rows pale green then 6 Dk Green & 3 pale green and so on, I was quite pleased with the result.

The new project was mostly in Garter stitch so no much concentration required, this gave me time to ponder, and it was at this point I realised that I was a day out on the Wedding Anniversary stakes, and it was in fact TODAY not yesterday as previously reported here lst week, now a slight feeling of guilt sets in, 'cos if it had been DH who made the mistake I would have been really 'miffed'. When DH finally made an appearance, he produced a pretty card then after his breakfast was eaten he quickly disappeared to his 'man cave' at the end of the garden and came back bearing a pretty bunch of flowers, which I much appreciated.

As I had the day to myself and was now almost at the end of my new knitting project, I decided to finish it before heading off to the sewing room. I had made several of these little scarves many years ago while filling shoe-boxes for Operation Christmas Child. 

These are shorter than usual and are designed to wrap round a child to fit nice and snug, Usually there is a bit more length (28 rows) between the end of the shaping and the loops (the ribbed area) but as I was a bit short of yarn I didn't do them and it seems to be OK, This is what it looks like when the end is tucked into the loop (the ribbed areas). I would think it will fit a toddler

By the time I had finished knitting the sun had come out and I spotted some different daffodils in flower. these look really pretty on the rockery and the contrast of white petals around the bright yellow trumpet makes them look more delicate.

The sun has also brought the little hyacinths by the wall out in flower and these too look very pretty.

Finally around 10.30 I went off to the sewing room, and with the radio on (I'm Radio 2 fan!) I set too to cut some more syringe driver bag kits, a friend popped in around lunchtime which made a natural break to get lunch, and once we had been fed up I went again.
Next I knew it was 4pm and I had cut 17 kits, at this point I realised that my neck and shoulders were now killing me so I decided to start sewing but after making one bag I called it a day.

The kits

a completed bag.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will make a few more and the aim is to get them all done by the time we go to hand them over at the hospice on 29th March. A girl can dream eh?

Well it's 11.30pm so I'm filling my 'Hottie' and I'm off to bed.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A quieter week!

Hello All,
As the title suggests things are a little quieter this week, I returned to DD's on Monday to help out while she got ready for work (it's her admin day!) in the evening after H was asleep I managed to complete the crochet 'Nest' for the Disney Aristo-kittens (H reported that they fit and so does Snow White!!!) Then after a night on the settee I spent Tuesday morning on various tasks. First thing, with the wheelchair on board we set off to the shops to purchase some more jogging trousers, navy blue this time for school. Grandma then set to with scissors, and cut off the left leg, hemming it round so that they resembled 'lop sided' shorts. Once lunch was over it was entertainment time for DGD. We made coloured spinners from some card which H though were good fun. 
We had a difficult time with her becoming tearful and very upset at the slightest thing during Monday and Tuesday and think that now the shock of the accident and the novelty of having a large cast on her leg has worn off she has become very frustrated at her lack of mobility, has realized just how incapacitated she is and how reliant she is on us adults. However she was able to return to school (mornings only to start with) on Wednesday, much to her delight she was greeted with a hero's welcome by the class, who have been 'educated' in H's absence of how dangerous it is to not sit on chairs properly. The school have been very helpful, she is allowed to arrive a few minutes after the bell and use the Main entrance to avoid the 'crush'. As they are not able to provide a full time 'carer' she is not able to go outside for morning break or lunch but can 'invite' a couple of friends to stay inside with her and have lunch in the classroom or the library. If she needs the toilet a child is to be sent to the office with a special 'red card' and as soon as they see that, an adult will come at once to assist even if it's the head teacher or a secretary, that bit made us smile! but it is good to know that all bases are covered. Apparently H is really delighted to be back but is quite exhausted once she gets home.

Once back home life returned to normal, Being a bit fed up with crochet after all the little 'wildlife nests' (now delivered and gratefully received at the Vets), I started some knitting in readiness for my return to the Museum to carry out my custodian's shift on Wednesday afternoon, I wanted something simple (I'm finding that although I am very much better, my concentration is still not good!) so cast on a bobble hat which will be given to a homeless charity, I frequently make these, knitting them in the round as they are easy and quick to make and use up oddments of DK yarn. I'm using up 2 shades of green and knitting stripes.

I got quite a bit done then realized that I had dropped a stitch (Oh *****) so Thursday morning I got up and frogged it back to the rib so I have only have this much done. This picture was taken last night so the colours are not very 'true', the darker colour is Bottle Green and the lighter one is Emerald Green.

The garden continues to 'burst forth' in colour and we are getting sunnier warmer days (today it hit 12 degs!) apart from the daffs and crocus we now have a few 'ex' indoor grown hyacinths coming through and showing signs of colour against the block wall (a warm spot)

and further up the garden under some large bushes are some beautiful clumps of primroses, 

in truth though, these have been flowering all winter in the sheltered areas (our seasons seem to have gone haywire). The Camellia has been in bud for several week and burst forth during this last week.

We received this as a potted shrub for our 15th wedding anniversary, and once it outgrew the container DH planted it in the garden between some Conifer trees, it is now around 6ft high and flowers profusely every year, I love the contrast between the dark glossy green leaves and the waxy Cerise flowers. 
Here's a close up!
Another shrub I love is this one,

I haven't a clue what it's called (or where it came from) but there are lots of them all round the garden and again the contrast between the bluey/olive leaves and the Lime green flowers is lovely, if anyone out there knows what it is please tell as I would love to know.

Today I have been out ALL day (first time for 8 weeks!) Severn Valley were having a 'Charity Sewing Day' to make Syringe Driver Bags for our local hospice (www.stpetershospice.org.uk) 10 willing ladies came along including one who is not a member but wanted to help, (aren't people kind?)

Busy at the ironing board.

Carys had pre-cut and packed 50 'kits' from fabric donated by the group, I took 11 pre-cut kits plus others had prepared some at home too, in total we made almost 60 bags between 10am. & 4pm. RESULT!! I am going to try and make a few more before we go along to hand them over at the end of the month, here is a random selection of the ones made.

Well that about rounds it up for this time, Tuesday is our 42nd wedding anniversary so I wait to see if DH remembers, if he does, I may celebrate by making pancakes as we missed out on Shrove Tuesday due to the 'accident' and he does love em! 


Saturday, 4 March 2017

What a week!

Hello All
I'm back again to share the latest events for this family. Last Thursday I drove to DD's to be available to do 2 school runs on Friday as DD had to attend to a meeting which lasted all day. This was a long standing arrangement and determined not to let them down, off I went. I had a great day, once Little H was delivered to school, back I went and as I'm still not quite fully recovered (see last Post) I had promised not to 'do anything', so cuppa and snack in hand I went off to the lounge to put my feet up. I had originally planned to make this a sewing day but couldn't face getting all the 'equipment' in the car so, I took my crochet instead, I made good progress on the large 'nest' for H's 'Disney Kitties'.
I came home on Friday evening and over the weekend more progress was made and I was thinking that it would be finished this week.

But NO! On Sunday I get a text from DD to alert me to the fact that DGD had had an accident, by falling off the office chair!!! After a phone call to the out of hours  GP service a badly spraining ankle was diagnosed, and I get a photo of H with frozen peas on her ankle looking very sorry for herself.

Monday am. Another text, after a sleepless night for all concerned in Gloucester, DD & hubby decided that H should go to A&E, and could I go up to, A) dog sit. and B) sit with H while DD goes to work later in the day. So crochet in hand off I go again. I arrive and make a cuppa then receive a message to say the diagnosis is - it's broken. When they arrive home some time later H is in plaster from toes to thigh and hopping with the use of a walking frame, and I am informed that its the large bone in her leg (the Shin bone) that is broken not her ankle. It seems that she was sat with her leg over the arm of the chair and on leaning sideways the chair fell over causing her whole weight to be on the chair arm as she hit the floor. The break is a clean diagonal break with the ends separated but thankfully not out of alignment, around 2" above her ankle and there is a possibility that her knee could be compromised as well! The advice given is that under no circumstances is she to weight bear on that leg, so I offered to stay over till Thursday when she had an OP appointment at the Ortho clinic. This was gratefully accepted as H will need help to go to the bathroom or move from room to room when required, as well as trying to keep boredom at bay, fetch drinks etc etc.The only way we could get her down or up the stairs is for DSIL to carry her, so she comes down around 7.30 before he goes to work and stays down till he gets home and they have had dinner.

Thursday. After hauling H in and out of the car, we attend the OP Ortho clinic, another X-Ray thankfully confirms that the knee is not damaged, but the break itself is VERY serious, the plaster has to stay as a full leg cast (which is set slightly bent so her foot cannot reach the floor!!!) and they need to see her for checkups and X-rays every 2 weeks for at least 6-8 weeks, Oh! and they do NOT supply wheelchairs. DD has been to see H's school, they will take her for lessons but only if she has a wheelchair so they have had to hire one (which was NOT cheap!) Quite how she is to have a shower or wash her hair for the duration remains to be seen/worked out. 
Throughout all of this H has not lost her lovley sense of humour, (except when in pain, which is still pretty often) and as you can see the cast is of course 'Disney Princess Pink'

DD bought some Jogging trousers and I opened up the leg seams so that they fit over the cast before coming home on Thursday evening. Today I have been out and purchased a selection of 'crafty supplies', reading books and a few sweeties in the hope that when I am on 'duty' I can keep her entertained, thank goodness for Pinterest! 

The crochet nest now looks like this...

The base is around 14" and the sides are 3"- 4" high, I still have some yarn left but will finish when I run out, I just hope all 3 Aristo-kittens fit!

The garden continues to burst into colour, we now have lovely purple crocus's in flower, and so, on that note I will sign off with a spring flower picture.