Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


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Re-fashioned Cashmere Jumper

To see what I did with this shapeless, holey old jumper, click on the link to head over to the full blog post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network: – Cashmere Jumper Transformation


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Wedding Anniversary Mini-Break

We made a conscious decision to spend as much time as possible together after Mr H-L was ill a few years ago, and going away for our wedding anniversary every year is part of that. This year, we chose to stay in England and booked Wilton Court in Ross-On-Wye, close to the Welsh border, a five star Elizabethan hotel dating from 1500.


Being a good husband, Mr H-L insisted on the best room, so this was our bedroom for three nights. All low beams and creaky floorboards, it was lovely and cosy and very hard to force yourself out of bed in the mornings – good job breakfast was served until 10am!


Situated right on the banks of the River Wye, the views from our room were breathtaking. Watching a pair of swans fly in and glide on to the water in absolute synchronisation was a treat. That’s out hotel, just right of centre.


A bit of a grainy mirror selfie on our first night, but you get the idea. We made it even more special by dressing up to the nines every night for dinner – I actually took three different frocks so I didn’t have to wear the same one twice!


Suffice to say that the food was incredible – here are a couple of the starters, just two of the many dishes we devoured over the course of three days.


Venison and Black Pudding Scotch Eggs – wow!


Mr H-L’s shirt matched the flowers at breakfast the next morning.


We decided to leave the car at the hotel and explore on foot after breakfast. It was just a twenty minute walk into Ross-on-Wye and, luckily, the rain held off all day for us.

This notice made me laugh – not much of a display to boast about at the moment as the flowerbeds were totally empty!


How’s this for a tiny front garden to make you look twice? Pink cushions and matching pink gravel.


There is lots of interesting architecture in Ross, if that floats your boat like it does mine. All fascinating stuff – and this pub had a huge piece of art outside the front in the form of a fish sculpture.


No, not the crumbling walls of ancient city walls at all – this was built in the 19th century to look like ruins!


If you like browsing through antique and vintage shops, you’d love the ones in Ross. ‘Elizabethan House Antiques’ was the perfect building in which to house antiques, being over 500 years old itself.

Yep, that’s me about to go inside as the Mister quickly hides his wallet.


On the first floor, the floors and walls were all over the place. Can you see how the window is leaning out? It’s not just the camera making it look that wonky – it really does lean that far from upright.


A glass of fizz and a prawn cocktail at ‘The Royal‘ was all we dared eat for lunch, knowing that we would be having three courses for supper.

Relaxing in the library back at the hotel. It’s a small room with not much natural light, but doesn’t the black make it feel cosy as opposed to gloomy?


Champagne and canapés before dinner. Well, there were canapés, but we’d eaten them at this point!


The following day Mr H-L drove us forty minutes to the other side of the county to visit the Chase Distillery as he’s a fan of their gins and vodkas. It was a Sunday and he hadn’t rung to see if they were open. 

They weren’t.

So we headed to Hay-on-Wye instead, a town we’d been planning on visiting anyway. Of course, we had to sample the cider and fizz in a local pub, as well as the pork scratchings!

As we’d saved ourselves for dinner again by not having lunch, we were ready to demolish all that was laid in front of us that evening, including these five local cheeses.


A record, even for us, to each have five different drinks on the go at the same time!!


Heading back on Bank Holiday Monday, we took the scenic route following the River Wye and stopped to explore Tintern Castle, which is actually ancient monastic ruins dating from around 1100.

In order to delay going home for as long as possible, we picked The Boys up and took them out for lunch with the family.

The Boys recently decided that they’d like suits “Like Daddy’s” – how cute?!


This was just a starter!!


No, I’m not bored of champagne yet:)


Finally, it was back to normality on Tuesday…….but just for a day!

Our actual wedding anniversary was on Wednesday, so Mr H-L insisted on taking me out to Holbrook House for lunch on the day itself.

My red dress has been out a lot this past week.


More amazing food and a wonderful way to end a fantastic few days.


Or so I thought, until we got back home to find these on the doorstep.



I assumed they were from the husband, but it turns out he was as surprised as me to see them sitting there.

On reading the card, we found out that they were sent by the jewellers from which my darling hubby had bought me an incredible anniversary present.

If you love watches, then you’ll know what was inside this iconic green box.


I’m one lucky lady, that’s for sure!!


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Sunday Sevens #125

A bit late with this week’s Sunday Sevens as we’ve just come back from a few days away. Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins who thought it up initially, Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing seven-ish photos of your week outside the blog.

1. The Bluebells are at their best everywhere now, covering shady wooded areas in a glorious carpet of colour.


2. May is the month for Wisteria in England and it is beginning to flower on many a house locally. These are just a few I snapped whilst walking the dogs earlier in the week.




3. Lighter and sunnier evenings mean that riding is more fun for The Boys.


4. Ali from Thimberlina put a pic on Instagram of a really pretty top she had made. I tracked the pattern and fabric down and ordered it straight away!


5. Our Ascot Ladies’ Day tickets arrived! Now I’ve got to start thinking about making a frock….


6. The only crafting I’ve managed this week is this crocheted lily for a young lady called Jenny who is terminally ill. She requested crocheted flowers for her coffin and the IG community rallied around immediately to make her final wish come true, pledging flowers with the hashtag #aflowerforjenny.


7. Mr. H-L took me out for breakfast to ‘At The Chapel‘ on Friday as the start of our weekend away. Then we picked The Boys up from school and dropped them at my brother’s before driving on to Ross-on-Wye – more about that in a separate post.


Hope you had a good week – in fact, I’m just going to sit down and catch up on some blog reading now to see what you’ve been up to in my absence. Ta-ta for now!


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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…?