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Sunday Sevens #124

1. We took The Boys to Yo Sushi in Bath and they loved it. We got through 23 dishes between the four of us!


2. Packing suitcases for The Boys school trip ….. spot the stowaway.


3. The Boys are in the same class at school so were both going away on a school trip for the week.


4. Mr H-L bought me these glorious tulips to prettify the coffee table in the lounge.


5. I figured there would be a lot more time for relaxation without The Boys around, so I treated myself to some long overdue new slippers.


6. Hubby booked us both in to the spa for the day where we also had a couple’s massage and lunch. I didn’t take any photos, so this is one from their website.


7. Fifi is in season and Tess is confused – hence the bald patch appearing on Fifi’s back!!


8. We had a nice quiet dinner á deux in Matt’s Kitchen. Just a guy who opens up the lounge in his house three nights a week as a restaurant.


9. Isn’t it cosy?


10. A friend came around for lunch and I was feeling creative. Just in case you can’t tell, the main ingredients are Sea Bass on Dauphinoise potatoes.


11. We had to pick No.3 Son up a few hours early from his school trip so that he could take part in the football county finals. They came third out of the whole of Somerset!


12. Afterwards, we took them for lunch out at Tambourino Village to celebrate.


13. The next day, The Boys had two friends round for the day so we had fun making pizzas for lunch.


14. They ate every last scrap and were very pleased with their efforts.


15. After lunch, The Boys went out to play and we sat down to watch ‘Déja Vu’ – I’d forgotten what a good film it is. I managed to finish the first sock of the second pair I’m making as Christmas presents, and cast on the second sock. Yes, it is a little long on me as they’re for someone with bigger feet:)


Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series whereby you share sevenish photos of your week. Linking up with Nat at Threads & Bobbins.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


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The Jordan Jacket by Serendipity Studio – aka Bling Denim Jacket!

This month’s project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is now live – follow the link to read all about this challenging make!

Sequinned Denim-Style Jacket


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Sunday Sevens #123

This week’s Sunday Sevens is actually two week’s worth so may have just a few more photos than usual….

1. First week of the Easter holidays saw us spending some time on Exmoor as the warm spell continued. Mr H-L took a week off work so we decided to make the most of it while the weather was nice.


2. Tarr Steps is classified as an ancient monument and has a lovely circular walk starting and ending there that is one of the ‘must do’ walks every time we go to Exmoor.


3. One of the picturesque scenes for which the West Country is so famous.


4. This surely is the original chocolate box image?

5. The Boys had fun honing their stone-skimming skills.


6. No need to carry water bottles when you can drink water straight from the spring!


7. All that fresh air and exercise gave us an appetite for a cream tea.


8. Another day found us at a wetlands and willow centre on the Somerset levels.


9. A blustery selfie during the walk.


10. Tasty lunch back at the café afterwards.


11. Exhausted boys on the way home.


12. Closer to home, this picture was taken whilst walking the dogs in the next village. Don’t you just love the fields of yellow at this time of year?


13. Another day, another walk, this time featuring some inquisitive steers.


14. A pub lunch after the walk – it was so nice that we ate in the beer garden.


15. Plenty of opportunities to have the roof down in the last couple of weeks.


16. It’s not ALL been fun in the sun – the builders have finished the messy work so I spent a couple of mornings painting the sun room. 


17. Back to the fun stuff – another barbecue.


18. Mr H-L took us out for lunch as he was going away on business for a few days.


19. The closest I got to doing any sewing last week was hemming the mister’s new suit trousers. Like most sewers, I loathe alterations of any kind and couldn’t even be arsed to change the overlock thread, so white it is.


20. The Husband looking dapper in The New Suit. Can you see the chain hanging from his waistcoat?


21. You know the way all the pockets in new suits are sewn up and you have to unpick them, well, as I was opening the smallest one we found a pocket watch sealed inside! Has anyone else ever found this before?


22. First night on my own was craft night at mine with the girls. I didn’t do much actual knitting as I was at the stage where I needed to concentrate on decreasing, but a new pair of socks has been cast on.

23. I gave The Boys a much needed haircut!


24.


25. No.3 Son needed new football boots and chose some gold ones. No surprises there, then.


26. Whilst he was at goalkeeper training (he’s made it into the advanced squad) I took No.2 Son out to a nearby pub for pie and mash.


27. Hubby bought me a lovely gift in duty free…..


28. …..my favourite perfume.


29. Meanwhile, I had been meaning to buy another blender since ours gave up the ghost a few weeks ago. This KitchenAid one was half price – bargain!


30. Quick drink in the pub after working up a thirst playing football in the playing field behind. 


31. Progress on the socks went well as I relented and agreed to let them all watch Rogue One, the latest Star Wars film, in which I have no interest whatsoever.


32. My latest piece of sewing has been a real challenge this week. I’m making a denim-style jacket out of some sequinned, pearlescent leatherette. Yes, really!


33. I told you it was a challenge – before I’d even got to the sewing bit, I had blisters from cutting out!


34. A good friend stayed with us this weekend and we went out for Easter lunch today.


35. I was saved a job this year as the hotel put on their own Easter egg hunt after lunch and The Boys were happy to join in. I reckon the Easter Bunny would have been sweating his n**s off in this get up!


Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for a somewhat extended version of Sunday Sevens.


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First Christmas Present Hot Off The Needles!

Exactly one month ago I popped into Sew Vintage in Wells, looking for nothing in particular and happy to just drool over all the lovely things on display.


Amongst all the yarns, I spotted some lovely self striping “Regia” sock yarn, designed by Arne and Carlos for Schachenmayr. There was also a pattern for knee-high socks complete with two labels to sew in to the finished socks. How cute? I couldn’t resist it, so bought both the pattern and four balls of yarn.

(I still can’t find any see-through wellies, though!).


When I got home and put on my glasses to read the pattern, I discovered that it was written for DPNS – and I only know how to use circulars. To be honest, I think I would have had a go on circulars if the instructions had been more straightforward, but they seemed overly complicated to me so I chose a pattern from “Coop Knits Socks”, by Rachel Coopey. I bought this book at Yarndale a couple of years ago and have made several different pairs from it already.


These are the “Brighton” socks and feature a stunning fair isle design in three colours. I decided to follow the pattern for construction without following the charts for the colourwork, so the style would be the same minus the fair isle – knee-high socks with a deep ribbed cuff.


That evening, I cast on using the long-tail method as usual for a nice, stretchy top.


I love my row counter which was gifted to me in a Stitching Santa parcel last year – it makes keeping track of where you are a piece of cake.


Of course, The Dogs like to be close by when Mummy’s knitting at night. 


I’ve taken these in the car with me whilst The Boys play football. I love that socks are such a portable project.

I also LOVE this yarn!

The body of the sock is in stocking stitch and just look at how different the stripes look from the deep ribbing. The combination of colours are really lovely, too, and they’re quite accurate in this photo.


I tried it on for size just before I started turning the heel and this is when I noticed just how good the yarn is.

It’s quite expensive at £5.49 a ball, meaning that this pair cost £22.00 to knit, but they feel expensive, too, and surprisingly soft for such a high wool content (75% wool, 25% polyamide). As they are destined to be a Christmas present I felt it was worth it, especially after feeling how nice they felt against the skin.


One sock down and the second one almost finished, when I made a mistake and had to frog a whole evening’s work back. Poo!


Finally finished and ready to put away for Christmas – my first present made and it’s not Easter yet!

I’ve a feeling they’ll be worn over trousers as welly socks, hence my modelling them as such.


I’m very happy with the pattern matching as it can be tricky to find the exact spot in the ball at which to start the second sock.


As with all Rachel’s socks, the fit is absolutely perfect.


The extra deep ribbing will mean that the socks will hug the leg without slipping down.


Nice neat heels – the frogging was worth the effort!




Next up, some pink ones – another Christmas present in the making, but with some much cheaper yarn. I wonder if I’ll regret it…?


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Yarn Shopping In Amsterdam

I was just catching up on some blogs when one particular post by Zeens and Roger struck a chord. Rosina has just come back from a weekend in Amsterdam and it reminded me that I never blogged about my trip there back in December, so I thought “Better late than never” – and here it is!

Mr. H-L works for a Dutch company which is based just outside Amsterdam and he travels there on a regular basis. Back in early December I decided to join him, but with plans for something a little more exciting than business. I contacted a fellow blogger, Marianne Dekkers-Roos who blogs at MaRRose, and we arranged to meet at my hotel about half an hour after our flight landed. She was already there waiting for me by the time we got to our hotel!


Marianne is just lovely – and very tall, as are all the Dutch so it would seem! After a quick coffee, we hopped into Marianne’s car and drove the short journey into Amsterdam.

I gratefully accepted Marianne’s offer of the scenic route past some of the more historic parts of the city. A dull day doesn’t show the palace off at its best, but what struck me was how it blends into the other buildings (it used to be the town hall) and isn’t sealed off from the public at all. I know it’s not a place of residence for the Dutch royal family any more, but official occasions are still held there and I would have thought security would be more of an issue.


Having been before, I didn’t take many photographs, but still admired the distinctive architecture that tells you that you can only be in The Netherlands.


The Amsterdam Light Festival had started the previous day, running until mid January. Described as “A Winter festival of light, art and water”, we were treated to some fabulous displays on our walk through the city.


As it was the 2nd of December, Christmas decorations were everywhere, but this one was particularly spectacular, spanning as it did through three floors of a shopping centre!


On to the main purpose of our visit – yarn shopping!

Of course, the first stop HAD to be the famous Stephen & Penelope’s, run by Stephen West and Maria Joseph (no, not Penelope!).

What a shop!! 

Skeins of luxury yarn in every shade imaginable and in row after row of highly organised colour. Stephen’s inimitable designs were showcased and, tempted though I was to buy this book, I knew the likelihood of my making anything from it was low.

The shop goes back around the corner as well so this is just a portion of what’s on offer.


In fact there was SO much that it was a bit overwhelming and, as I didn’t have a project in mind, I didn’t actually buy any yarn.

BIG mistake – I have regretted it ever since!!

I did, however, succumb to the charms of this beautiful book about brioche knitting. It certainly is a lovely book, although I have yet to try the brioche stitch, let alone make a scarf out of it.


I also bought these needle gauges – they were on my list before I left England. How cute?


Obviously, I needed to buy a project bag to carry them home in.


Our next stop was Hooks and Yarns which had not been open very long at the time of our visit. If you go, don’t be put off by the Dutch language website as they speak good English and are very friendly.


The style of decor was very modern – stark concrete and exposed steelwork which contrasted brilliantly against the softness and bright colours of the yarn. Resident dog behind the stair gate!


I can’t remember the names of the owners, but they were so friendly and hospitable that they insisted we stayed for coffee and we ended up chatting for over an hour!


Marianne dropped me back at my hotel later that afternoon and we said goodbye. Did I mention that she has a book on crochet coming out soon? Look out for it – it’s sure to be fantastic.


The following morning I ventured out alone whilst hubby went to another day of meetings. The local shopping mall was festooned with all things Christmassy – Sinterklass’ companion Black Pete being a Dutch tradition.

I found some crocheted stools for sale.

I wasn’t tempted, but isn’t this display a good one?


I found a quiet spot for a nice cup of tea.

Look at the selection I was offered!


This was my little haul from the shopping mall – did you spot the buttons that I put in my Stitching Santa parcel?


Back at the hotel again, I sampled a few G+Ts whilst waiting for the husband to finish work.


Finally, at the airport we had supper before our flight. See the tablet on the table? That’s how you order nowadays, apparently!


You make your selection which you can add to at anytime, and it’s brought over to you. Simple, but brilliant.

A few days at home, then we flew to Lapland…..another trip that I must get around to blogging about eventually….


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Sunday Sevens #122

1. Last Sunday, 26th March, was Mother’s Day in the UK, and I was given these beautiful tulips by my children.


2. They came in this lovely jug with a rustic heart motif on the front which, unfortunately, hasn’t photographed very well.


3. A lovely Sunday roast with the family at our local pub.


4. I’m ferrying No.1 Son to and from his physio appointments since his knee op. Progress is good and he should be able to drive again in a week or two. Luckily, his job allows him to work largely from home otherwise he would have had to take six weeks off.


5. Did you spot a dog curled up on a cushion in the photo above? Apparently, a soft velvet sofa isn’t quite good enough for our two Yorkies. They prefer to fashion individual nests out of the feather cushions. 


6. Mr. H-L choosing something appropriate from the wine menu to go with his fish pie and my blade of beef when we went out for a pub lunch midweek.


7. Friday night was my nephew’s 18th birthday and it just so happened that a band was playing in their local pub.


8. The day after the night before……pie and mash to soak up the previous evening’s excesses. 


9. I went in to buy three 50p sheets of felt and then saw this set of garden furniture in the garden centre…….


10. ………yep, quite happy with the way it now looks in our garden!


11. Mr. H-L put on his best pinny and did himself proud with a barbecue.


12. The perfect way to christen the new furniture – invite some good friends around to enjoy the barbecue with us!


13. You may have noticed the lack of anything crafty in this week’s post. In fact, progress on the socks went backwards as I had to frog a whole evening’s work back to an earlier mistake before picking up the stitches and trying again – infuriating.


Linking up with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins, Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing your week in seven-ish photos.


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Sunday Sevens #121

1. I always love a good rummage through the box marked ‘fabric scraps’ in charity shops. This week I was lucky enough to find some good quality, unused lengths of upholstery weight cotton drill…..

2. ….and some black denim, which I’m thinking of turning into a classic denim jacket for No.2 Son – for just £1.00!


3. Looking ahead to Ascot Ladies Day, I’ve pretty much decided on View B, but in navy and cream instead of black and white.


4. Midweek, we had lunch out at one of our favourite haunts, Holbrook House.


5. Usually it’s me taking the photos, but I managed to sneak on the other side of the lens as well, this time.


6. Carpaccio of venison – yum!


7. The Boy’s school presented their biennial production. This is the enitire school on stage for the finalé!


8. The teachers are good sports, too – here’s the headmaster and the reception teacher doing their bit.


9. No.3 Son’s football team won 5-4 in an exciting match. We took them out for Fish and Chips on the harbour at Weymouth.


10. Spring arrived on Saturday and the whole day was spent tidying the garden. Hubby did the first mow of the lawn and we flung open the French windows to let in the sunshine and warmth. Lovely!


11. After supper, we popped down to the pub for pudding! Even though it’s warmer now, there’s nothing quite like a cosy fire after the sun’s gone down.


Linking up with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog post showing your week in seven-ish photos.