A couple of days ago I was just putting some washing into the tumble dryer when my pile of fibre blends caught my eye

So, on impulse, I grabbed a bag and decided to do some dyeing

The blend was Polwarth and Mulberry Silk, 60/40… total luxury!

I quickly weighed out the lots and put them to soak whilst I searched my dye recipes to find the colourway that matched this handspun

I searched long and hard but for some reason I haden’t written it down :(

So I got out my dyepots and recreated it as best I could

Barry has named it Parklife…the name is perfic, thanks husband!

I have been using that handspun yarn on my Talus Cardigan…it is very nearly done, just one more sleeve to complete

That’s part of the lower piece of the body and the following photo is of the first sleeve

I love how the colours sit, I was a bit concerned about that bright orange patch on the sleeve but now I love it and just hope the other sleeve will compliment it

I have also dyed up four more colourways, that one above is a bit bright and so hard to photograph, it will certainly make you smile so I have named it Happy

The next one above is my Babbacombe colourway, it is more green in real life, less blue…another colourway that my camera took a dislike to!

I added a couple of colours to my Highland recipe and called the one above, Highland Fling :)

and the last one is my Southwold Colourway, one of my absolute favourites!

You can find these beauties in my shop right now

Shop Link

Hope these colours bring a smile to your face on these cold dark winter days….I wonder what I’ll dye up next?!?

Happy Crafting!

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Bag of The Month Club

For some reason, I felt compelled to join this club last year. I’d noticed people talking about the Bag of the Month Club and thought it might be fun. So glad I did if this first bag is anything to go by…

So I took out an early subscription which saved me even more money…$35 for 6 bag patterns from known designers can’t be bad…the price is now $40 but that is still less than $7 per design!! I usually half the dollar amount to work out the sort of GBP price ;)

You can find the details here

Anyway, here is my bag

The Backgammon Bag by Betz White

So clever, if/when I make this bag again I might try paper piecing the triangles to get cleaner points

This is my favourite photo of it, this is the back of the bag, the pocket is the same back and front, they both close with a magnetic snap

I chose a delicious aubergine purple linen for the bag and found a pretty contrasting Tula Pink fabric, the purple matched so well but I didn’t have enough of that fabric for the lining

I love the twist lock on the flap, my first ever, so much easier than I thought it would be

You can see the lining in that last photo, it is a Lewis and Irene design I think, someone might know better? I love the pop of lime green and the little dandelion seedheads make for a cute fresh hope of summer!

Of course, my bunnies, who live at the back of my sofa, just had to get in on the photo shoot, gives you an idea of the size of the lovely bag too.

This bag is for sale, I’ve not put it into my shop yet but if you’re interested then drop me a line…

Last week I made a pile of these cute phone cases

That’s my own one, I love the design by Embroidery Garden

I also love using my Kam Snap pliers, much more fun that those old fashioned metal poppers! The colours really make it fun to choose which one will feature on each little bag!

All these have sold but I’ll be making a new batch as soon as I can…!

So now, I will get back to my tax return….every year, after I send it off, I say to myself, I’ll get that sorted as soon as I can after 5th April, but do I? Nah!! Maybe this year?!?

Oh and right now, I have some sweet vanilla sourdough proving, which will hopefully turn into some cinnamon buns, any volunteers to eat them up? I have lost a few pounds since last June and don’t want to put the weight back on but I love to cook! I am really enjoying the whole sourdough experience….it fits in with my lifestyle, nothing needs doing in a hurry, slow and steady….

Lots of people are struggling in some way or another right now, I had my turn of the nasties at the end of last year, but I do think I am starting to get back to my old self again now…..I just need to see some sunshine and a few Spring bulbs wouldn’t go amiss…

Special love to my friend Sarah….X

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A Comedy of Errors of Sorts

At about 10am today, I set off to visit my lovely friends, Heather and Anna

All was well, the sun was shining and I was making good time

About 2/3rds of the way into my journey I hit the curb of a new to me traffic calming feature. You know, the ones with a  sign that have two arrows on it, a red one and a black one. I could have sworn that bit of narrowing of the road wasn’t there the last time I drove to Heather’s house!

As I approached the area, I had a feeling that I was going to hit the edge, so I did ‘BANG!’

Then the road sounded really noisy, erm no the road was not going to get any smoother which was strange as it hadn’t sounded so loud before. I thought I’d better stop and have a look at the damage, I pulled over, put my hazard lights on and cautiously looked at the wheel from which the loud bang occurred

I said a big swear word inside my head and got back into my Mini and phoned Barry

Luckily I had my knitting with me…

He was with me within an hour

My mini doesn’t have a spare wheel/tyre/whatever it just had a jack and spanner and some stuff to inflate a puncture enough to get you home

When I told Barry what had happened, he said that the stuff would be of no use as I’d probably burst the tyre.  I had burst the tyre, he showed me by putting his fingers into the hole

He suggested I knock on the door of the nearest house to ask if they minded us reversing the Mini into their driveway so that Barry could remove the wheel and then we could go and get a new tyre fitted.  Of course, said the lovely man that came to the door, he told us where to park it, he had a big driveway, covered in gravel, so Barry reversed it onto the only bit of grass on show there, I gesticulated to him about the grass and he then amended his position

Barry found the little jack and proceeded to raise the mini until it bit, then he removed the bolts, meantime the lady of the house came home and was quite surprised to see a strange Mini in her driveway.  I explained the problem and told her that her husband had given me permission. I also told her that my husband had come to my rescue and was removing the wheel. She then walked around to where Barry was doing his stuff and said ‘Hello Muscles!’ Then when Barry turned and smiled at her she blushed and told me that she thought I had said ‘her’ husband had come to my rescue. The poor woman backed off and went in her house, popping out a short while later to ask if we’d like a cup of tea, so kind

Anyway, Barry could not get the wheel off, and was getting frustrated so I phoned Mini Breakdown and explained the problem, they organised a pickup truck to come to my aid within the hour. Whilst I was on the phone the man of the house came out and was chatting to Barry. I finished my phone conversation and then the man of the house told me not the look and he bashed the wheel with a large piece of 4×4 wood! Not once but a couple of times, it worked! The wheel was free…I didn’t need the pick up truck now so I phoned them back and cancelled

We made our way to a tyre fitting place

As the new tyre was being fitted, I had a text from Heather telling me that they had made their way to the pub for lunch. It was then that Barry and I realised we were both really hungry so he said it might be a good idea to meet them for lunch. So we did! Hurrah, I got to see my lovely friends.

Anna and Heather had already got a drink and the menu, when H realised that we’d arrived she looked surprised, my text hadn’t arrived, no signal! They were sat at a table for two in two lovely comfy armchairs, we needed a bigger table but there wasn’t one..anyway, a table for four was eventually found after we’d dragged a couple of chairs into position at a table for two, such fun….

Barry asked me what I’d like to drink, I asked for a diet coke…he came back to our table with his drink and said that the coke was too fizzy and would take a while to sort out…here we go again thought I. My coke did eventually turn up though and we ordered our food. I decided on a Salad Nicoise with some poached salmon. Then Barry came back and said that there was no salmon. Why was this happening to me? I decided I would have the aubergine and beetroot curry, good choice, it turned out to be delicious :) I really thought it was not going to be good, but thank goodness it was very yummy indeed!

After lunch, Barry said why didn’t I stay with the girls and he would go back and fit the tyre then come back and get me, no wonder I love that man! I said I needed my knitting out of his car, he went and got my project bag and went on his way

Anna, Heather and I walked back to H’s house and we all were chatting and laughing whilst a pot of tea was made

We made our way from the kitchen to the sitting room and I got my knitting out of the bag when my phone rang…it was Barry

Barry said he was on his way back to H’s because he didn’t have the keys to the Mini, erm, yep, they were in my handbag!

So I put my knitting away, not having knitted one single stitch, I finished my lovely cup of tea and went back with Barry to the mini

The new tyre/wheel was put back on and as I was not in love with my Mini it was decided that I would drive the Freelander home.  I wasn’t sure it was the best decision but thankfully the journey was uneventful apart from some petrol cards attacking me when I pulled down the sunshade!

I cannot tell you how happy I was to make it home, and how flipping exhausted I felt!

What a day…..guess what I’m doing this evening?


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Fusion Sourdough

My flour supplies are running low but I did have enough of the type 00 flour and jumbo rolled oats needed to make another Rolled Oat Sourdough Boule

This post is really so that I have a record of how I made this delicious loaf, sorry if it rambles a bit..

I always half the ingredients to make a smaller loaf, halfing 75g can be a bit problematic so I round that measurement up to 40g


Yesterday, I made a conscious effort to buy the ingredients needed to make the Muesli Loaf in the brilliant book by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, Making Bread Together

I had the flours needed, Rye and Wholemeal, I added these in the quantities suggested in the Muesli Bread recipe and made up the difference to the 500g used in the Rolled Oat Boule recipe with the type 00 flour. This is the fusion part, 2 recipes 1 result :)

When I added the water I also added 5g of Diax Malt powder, this has made the bread sort of sticky, in a wonderful malt loaf sort of a way

I kept back 25g of the water and the salt until I had done the autolyse of the levain, water and flour, after 30 minutes I added the salt mixed with the 25g water and all the other add ons in the recipe, toasted hazelnuts, whole almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a handful of golden linseeds. I couldn’t find the type of coconut called for in the recipe so that was left out (not sure I would like it in the bread anyway, I spent ages looking for it too!)

The mixture felt a little dry, I will add a bit extra water next time, perhaps another 25-50g

When I did the stretching and folding of the dough it didn’t have a lot of movement to it and tended to break if I lifted it too high , another reason for adding a bit more water

The dough rose easily and it was fun to keep popping back to see that it had risen a bit more!

The muesli loaf calls for honey to be added to the mixture, I decided to hide the honey by drizzling it over the gently flattened dough prior to shaping

When attempting to do the final shaping of the boule, the dough didn’t want to play much and so I just plonked it in the banneton and hoped for the best

Once risen to the top of the banneton, I cooked the dough in La Cloche after slashing the top in a most pleasing way, in fact it was the most successful of my loaf slashing episodes ever haha!

After 30 minutes I removed the lid of La Cloche and noticed that the loaf had split quite a lot, in fact, it was split down to the honey layer and this is what caused the loaf to char slightly

I couldn’t wait for the loaf to cool much before slicing it and have a taste…absolutely scrummy and definitely one to be made again and again!

Love how the nuts look when they’re sliced through


Now I need to do some sewing but the day is nearly over…where does the time go?!?

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Last of the Summer Sunshine

I’m feeling really pleased with myself, I managed to find a moment to get out in the garden with my camera yesterday (Sunday) as the light on my pots of plants was so beautiful

These wonderful Cosmos plants showed little sign of flowering until these last couple of weeks, I really thought they were never going to flower!

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The next photo is my favourite, I just love everything about it :)

It was the light behind the pretty flower that got me outside..

Today is has been very dull and drizzly, I spent my morning writing a shopping list and then visiting the supermarket..I used a handheld device to scan my purchases, it was so much easier than putting it in the trolley, taking it out of the trolley and then putting it back in the trolley before loading up the car and then unpacking it..will definitely be doing that again

We took my son Laurie and his lovely girlfriend Rosi and their gorgeous little girl Indi back to Southampton on Thursday. They had spent a few days with us and weren’t we the lucky ones with the weather!

Barry had to work so it was up to me to think of something to do each day, so much easier when the sun is shining

On Monday we went food shopping and did a bit of settling in, then on Tuesday we went to Peckover House in Wisbech

Indi and Rosi checking out the contents of the Chest of Curiosity in Peckover House

Indi wasn’t too impressed with the house but she did enjoy going through all the drawers of the Chest of Curiosity

Reading Mummy and Daddy a story

Reading Mummy and Daddy a story

We were all kept smiling from the funny antics of my youngest Granddaughter, she is so loveable and gentle and kind and polite…and clever! Indi even remembered the toy box from the previous year when she was only 22 months old, Barry had to go out to the garage to find it for her…I must put it back in the garage when I get a minute



On Wednesday we went to Hunstanton and had a happy walk along the beach, sunscreen was definitely needed

It was hard to take them back home and I’m looking forward to their next visit… :)

On the knitting front I have finished clue one of the Mistral KAL

I am determined to keep up with this one and now have two weeks to knit other things before the next clue is released

The yarn is absolutely beautiful and lovely to work with

My husband is in Paris for a few days this week…so it is VERY quiet here right now, I am hoping that I am going to get some good rest as I’ve been feeling a bit like I’m always playing catch up at the moment

Time for my evening meal, mushroom omelette and salad

I might knit a few more stitches of the Rowan jumper that I’m making for Barry…

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EeBeeGeeBee…or Supersized Bionic Gear Bag

My husband named this new size of the amazing Bionic Gear Bag the EeBeeGeeBee as he was used to hearing me saying BGB instead of the full words…

Anyway, this bag is for me and I love it!

At a show a few months ago, I bought myself 5 very lovely Liberty Tana Lawn fat quarters with the intention of making myself a new BGB. These got put aside and I got on with all the other sewing that I’ve been doing over the summer

You can see the lovely prints that I chose in this photo

First I cut out all the pieces that I needed for the pockets and then I could work out what i had left over

Even though the Tana lawn is wider than standard quilting cotton, the pieces that I had left were not big enough for the outside piece of the bag :(

So, I had a look through one or two of my quilting books for inspiration and for some reason the Bargello Quilting kept calling to me

I’d read about it in the past and sort of understood the technique so with my info at the ready I proceeded to cut the precious fabrics into 1 1/2″ strips. These were joined together and annoyingly they biased a bit but I managed to press them into submission :)

Then I read that if you alternate the direction of the sewing then this helps to keep the biasing to a minimum haha…too late!

The strips were joined into a ring and then keeping them as straight as possible, I cut those  joined strips into 1 1/2″ loops. Depending on where you want to place the colours, you unpick the relevant seam and then sew those strips together. I just winged it and moved the colours as I went along, I loved seeing the pattern emerging

I decided to add a chambray border and some pretty machine embroidery along those seams. The variegated quilting thread looks so pretty

I really love how this looks! I added some quilting lines along 2 of the prominent colours

So, after a couple of days of working on this bag, I could fill it up! It holds so much stuff, truly, it is more than amazing. When it is full and zipped up, nothing falls out and I can carry it by one of the handles created by the clever way the zip is inserted. Perfect for taking to my sewing group and to sit beside my sewing machine as I work in my sewing room

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This photo shows how I packed the bag ready for moving it around, everything is totally secure

Notice that cute little dish? Sally (the clever designer) named it the Dumpling Dish and I had all sorts of problems sewing them together in the past. However, as I had made everything a bit bigger including the dish, I decided to give it another go and I managed to sew one! I don’t know why I kept having that mental block about making them, I want to keep on making them now haha. I love how it poppers into position to create a space to stand up all the tools I most frequently use

This one is holding both sizes of my Wonder Clips easily

It zips closed even though it is full of clips

The last picture shows the base of the little dish and the patchwork square that is used to hold one end of the zip tape in place…oops, wobbly stitching alert!

So, all in all I am love <3

I did make another which you can see in this album

That one sold not long after I added the listing to my shop yippee!!

The design is by the very talented Sally Thompson and if you fancy making yourself one of these amazing bags, you can find the original pattern here

I’m not sewing in the evenings, well not usually. I did sew last night as Barry was watching the Rugby, think I might get a fair bit of sewing done over the next few weeks haha

Usually I am knitting…

I have finished a test knit for Purl Alpaca Designs, oh my it is lovely, I’ll post photos when the pattern has been released

But for now, I have been knitting a hat which is the tension piece for the Mithral KAL by Stolen Stitches. The actual KAL starts on the 1st October but you get the hat pattern free if you buy the pattern and yarn during September

The yarn is the most delightful Cumulus by Fyberspates, I don’t like knitting in the round on small needles much, it makes my thumb joints hurt, the actual sweater is knitted on a larger circular needle so my thumb joints should be fine when I make a start on it….

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Where I’m From

I came across this post just now and thought I would share it again…love the photo of me with my two older sisters and my very lovely parents…xx

Picperfic's Blog

Anna’s post was so lovely to read, I just had to have a go myself and writing this has brought back so many memories, I feel moved and quite drained somehow, I hope you find this interesting. By hitting back links I found a template to work from, it was easier than you think to do this…I look forward to reading about where you are from.
I am from the never ending sunny days of childhood, school holidays, from pancakes with lemon and sugar that Mum couldn’t cook fast enough for four children and noise and laughter and worries about money….

I am from the house that had ice on the inside of the windows in the winter, which was fun to breath on and draw faces in…the house that has lino on the floors and the mop that had a swivel head so Mum could dust under the bed…

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Loretta Tassel Bag

Minus the tassel!

I recently had the pleasure of testing another delightful bag design by Delinda Boutique

I found this to be a relatively simple bag to make, even though it looks tricky. An adventurous beginner would have no problems sewing this bag as long as they were careful to match the points at the side seams :)

I used some beautiful Fabrics, for the outside I used some yummy textured fabric, Time Warp by Jessica Jones – Barkcloth by Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics and for the lining I chose a toning quilting weight cotton

The bag measures 15″ W x 12.5″ H x 2.5″ D ( 38cm x 32 x 6.5) so it is roomy without being too big. The straps are long enough to fit over my shoulder but can easily be made longer. I like the idea of using the straps to carry the bag over my arm too, so the length is perfect for me :)

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There are 2 inner pockets, on slip pocket which has been divided into a pen and a larger pocket. The other pocket is zipped for your more precious items…

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So, if you’d like to make this bag for yourself hop along over to Delinda Boutique where you will find all her designs, including this one

Never worry about there being too many pages to these designs, this is what makes them perfect for all levels of sewing abilities. I never print off the whole pattern, just the pattern pieces. I view the instructions on my iPad :)

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If you click on the photo above, you can see the gorgeous texture of this cloth, as you can see, it had a lovely roomy pocket on the front, held flat against the bag by an elastic casing

This bag is for sale, you can find the listing in my shop here

Right now I am testing yet another of Delinda’s designs…I’ll be blogging about it soon



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Oasis Quilt Sewalong Day 4

I have diamonds!

Here I am on step 6, using my very old rotary marker to show me where to pin….we are told to use a pen marker but this caught my eye so i used it. I bought it many years ago when Burda sewing patterns needed a seam allowance adding to them

so I have completed step 7 and I now have the diamonds all joined together

I am really loving this project!

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Oasis Quilt Sewalong Day 3

Step 5 done…. I’ve also nearly completed step 7 but I have to wait to show you

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