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Sunday Sevens #156

Linking up with Nat from Threads & Bobbins for another edition of Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog series showing your life outside of the blog.

1. With No.2 Son away at school and No.3 Son away on a school trip for four days, The husband and I took ourselves off to Exmoor for the day, primarily to check out a b+b which was new to the market. No, this isn’t it – just a pretty mill cottage worthy of a photo.


2. A quick pint and some pork scratchings to warm up in this 13th Century coaching inn after a walk in the snow. Built in 1290, follow the link to read its fascinating history.


3. The first day of Spring looked like this – note the rhubarb INSIDE the French windows in an effort to save them from the freezing weather.


4. Just the weather for a bread and butter pudding, made from stale bread leftover from the party.


5. Tess sat at my feet as if to say “Yes Mum, you look very nice in all that pink – NOW can we go for a walk?”.


6. With Tess curled up in her favourite place by the wood burner, some friends unexpectedly turned up at the same café, so we had a nice catch up.


7. Our Knit ‘n’ Natter session at The Slipped Stitch in Sherborne is dog friendly, as Dottie here will testify. Everyone actually makes an effort to wear what they’ve knitted as well, including the tank top on the far left. The lady in the centre is wearing her hand knitted jumper and pleated skirt – I am SO going to rock this look when I’m old enough to get away with it!!


8. Mr H-L met me afterwards for lunch at the pub opposite for a mixed fish sharing platter.


9. Last minute decision to make a baby blanket for the imminent arrival of a friend’s baby which was finished with twenty minutes to spare!


10. A tasting session of our home brews culminated in this pretty concoction of Prosecco with Sloe Gin in champagne saucers given to me for my birthday.


11. My sister gave me some old pillowcases to reuse as I see fit, so the first one was put to use as “hats” for jam made with blackberries from the freezer and apples from my mother’s tree.


12. The dresser looks better now it’s restocked.img_4913

13. Finally, the almost obligatory pic of Tess and the husband in our local pub.

img_4911That’s it for this week folks!


styleARC “Jessica” Party Dress

This is the dress I made for my 50th birthday party – you can read all about it and see more pictures by clicking on the link here: – StyleARC “Jessica” Party Dress


Sunday Sevens #155

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing your week outside the blog.

1. On the drive home from our girl’s weekend away in Cornwall, we stopped in this café in an old bus for coffee.

2. While we were away relaxing in a hot tub, Mother’s Day came and went. I opened my suitcase to find this card from No.3 Son – “Happy 27th Mother’s Day” referring to the age of his older sister. It took me a while to work that out! No idea why he’s written “Joe” on it, as that’s No.1 Son’s name – love it!

3. Meanwhile, back home, No.2 Son was back at school, but he had made me this lovely mug, painted both inside and out with nice things.

4. And underneath……!

5. A day out in Bath with my daughter for our birthday – but no photos as I left my ‘phone at home (again) and she STILL hasn’t sent me the photos she took. (If you’re reading this H-R, consider it a reminder!) This was taken the next day at our new favourite café. Yes, Tess is curled up in front of the wood burner as usual.

6. I finally found a pair of navy boots that I quite like so I bought them as they were half price and I love a bargain:)

7. We popped into The Trading Barn just outside Wincanton which supports local makers and traders.

8. I love Tamsin G’s work – check out her shop on Folksy.

9. Our Thursday Knit ‘n’ Natter includes this brave chap who was knitting socks. Check out the ones he’s wearing…..

10. ….I recognised them immediately as the Saxifrage pattern by Rachel Coopey that I have recently knitted in purple. How geeky is it to admit/know that?!

11. I haven’t had time to do much in the way of crafty stuff this past week ‘cos I’ve managed to stretch out the birthday celebrations for ten days, but I did get around to joining the first forty squares of this blanket.

21. Every maker’s dream – knitting books and knitted bits and bobs from my late grandmother were passed onto me to enjoy.

22. The Big Party!

23. I had not one, but TWO fantastic birthday cakes!

24. Far too many photos to share here, but here’s one with my sister who, at just eleven months older, is also 50!

25. Did you spot the necklace in the previous photo? This was from some yarn-mad girlfriends – they know me well and noticed all the love I’d given it on IG, so went and bought it for me! If you want your own (who wouldn’t), you can buy it here.

26. The morning after, we woke up to more snow.

27. There was nothing for it so, whilst waiting for the roads to clear enough for everyone to drive home, we walked to the pub with obligatory snowball fights en route.

28. Brother-in-law was targeted!

29. Refreshments and a warm up before walking home again.

30. No.3 Son curled up by the wood burner with Tess, still tired after such a late night.

31. This face was the result of a huge lick across the face from the new pub puppy.

The husband would quite like to get another dog as Tess is still missing Fifi’s company, but I’m not at all convinced, so watch this space….


Bellagio Shawl – Tadah!

You may recall that I went to the Unravel festival in Farnham a few weeks ago, and these are the skeins of yarn I came home with. Very restrained, I think, considering I could literally have bought something from every single stand had money been no object!

I bought the Bellagio shawl pattern from Debonnaire Yarns and planned to use the yellow yarn for it, which is a laceweight Ainsworth Prin bought from The Knitting Shed, 80/20 Baby Alpaca & Silk.

There’s something special about skeins of yarn as opposed to the balls that are more readily sold. I love the process of transforming it into a yarn cake, too. All part of the pleasure of hand knitting, I suppose.

I used a 3.75mm circular because I didn’t have the 4mm one that it required, so the final measurements were slightly smaller than those listed.

The border was an easy-to-memorise 16 row lace pattern and, unusually, it was an asymmetric design.

After completing the main border, I made a spontaneous decision to change the colourway and add in the navy yarn bought at Unravel. Making it up as I went, I included three golden stripes to break up the navy and add interest.

The ‘feel’ of the original pattern has totally changed but, as I wear mustard and navy together, this combination in a shawl made perfect sense.

The construction is slightly unusual, but I like the asymmetry of it which is enhanced by the three stripes.

A little under two weeks, and it was nearly finished.

I really must get some blocking pins, but until then, I’ll continue to use dressmaking pins and a towel on the dining table.

Here’s the finished shawl, laid out over the back of the sofa.

I did make several mistakes in the lace – not that you’d notice as the pattern is very forgiving.

Being laceweight, the shawl has a light texture and drapes beautifully.

It’s nice and warm around the neck, without being constrictive as it’s so light that you don’t really notice you’re wearing anything!

It’s already drawn lots of compliments (shawls do, don’t they?) and goes well with my Stag’s head dress – a favourite which is bearing up well considering how often I wear it.

The thing about hand knitted shawls is that you simply can’t buy them, which is why they get noticed, I suppose. I love having something unique….which is why I can’t wait to cast on another one with some more of that lovely yarn from Unravel:)


Sunday Sevens #154

Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for this week’s Sunday Sevens…

1. We awoke one morning to a digger scraping back the verge and making exiting our driveway a whole lot safer.

2. Tess went missing…..this is where we found her!

3. Cheeky little Chinese with No.3 Son.

4. Coffee and cake at Thyme After Time.

5. Just two hours after bringing home two new hens, one of them came into the house, hopped onto my lap and laid an egg!

6. Our second Air B’n’B room was finished, and we already have two bookings for it.

7. I finished off the Belaggio shawl and blocked it.

8. The second sock of this pair was cast on.

9. Back to Thyme After Thyme for lunch because…..

10. …..they do a Full English for dogs! With Tess having lost her appetite since losing Fifi, we thought we’d give it a go and she ate about half.

11. Thursday morning was Knit ‘n’ Natter at The Slipped Stitch in Sherborne.

12. Walking with Tess revealed that there are still pockets of snow resisting the thaw.

13. A pint at our local.

14. Friday saw the start of a girl’s weekend in Cornwall. Let’s just say it was nice weather for ducks:)

15. A log cabin in Deerpark Forest near Liskeard in Cornwall was our destination.

16. The next two photos pretty much sum up our weekend.

I’m lucky not to be nursing a hangover……


Beaded Crochet Wine Glass Cover – A Tutorial


Following requests for a pattern after this blog post here, I finally have one for you! Click to open the printable PDF pattern, or it is written out at the bottom of the page.

I’d love to see any that you make, so please share pictures:)

Beaded Wine Glass Cover PDF Pattern



Beaded Wine Glass Cover



Sunday Sevens #153

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing your life outside of the blog in seven-or-so photos, as devised by Nat from Threads & Bobbins. There are no rules, so why not join in?

1. I picked up a friend from the village and took her out for coffee for a change, as we usually call in unannounced for coffee at hers any time we walk past her house – which is often. So often, in fact, that Tess sits down and refuses to walk by without going in for her biscuit!

2. I think the Poinsettia is past its best.

3. Hubby replaced it with the first daffodils of the season.

4. How to blunt your best dressmaking shears…..

5. As the temperature dropped well below zero with clear blue skies and ice everywhere, we went for a walk around Stourhead.

6. It doesn’t look cold, but my bum felt the after effects of sitting on this rock for a photo for twenty minutes!

We hunted down a nearby pub in which to thaw out and have lunch.

7. As the temperature plummeted to around -7C, we had a warning flurry of the white stuff. No.3 Son went outside in his pants to see how cold it was!

8. Cold enough to light a fire and block a shawl that has been finished for months and languishing at the bottom of my bag.

9. I cast on another shawl with yarn I bought at Unravel last week.

10. Only a few of us made it to knit ‘n’ natter as the forecast was bad for travel.

11. At the last minute, I decided to add navy to the shawl for a bit more interest. No, the biscuits weren’t gluten free so I just looked at them for two hours without touching.

School closed early at 1pm so I picked up No.3 and three of his friends whose mothers couldn’t leave work to collect them. They alternated playing board games with snowball fights – the perfect afternoon for four boys all under ten!

12. The next morning was a whiteout.

13. I waded through about eight inches of snow to let the hens out.

14. But they refused to leave their coop for the next couple of days.

15. Another snow day, so we made the most of it with a walk.

16. Snowball fights en route to the pub.

17. Pretty!

18. Although we get a dusting every year, a decent amount of snow is a once-in-five-year event which disappears as quickly as it comes, so we don’t have chance to get bored with it.

19. Tess was decidedly unimpressed with her first encounter with snow though.

20. She knows where we’re headed and just wants to get there and curl up in front of the wood burner.

21. Faggots, peas and mash warmed No.3 up nicely and Tess found out she likes faggots.

22. Pudding!


24. More snow overnight meant the long johns came out again.

25. I made some hot mash for the hens to entice them out to eat. They hated the snow underfoot, so we cleared a path to the food and they took turns to stand in the hot mash and warm their feet in it!

26. We’ve ALL got our long johns on underneath! This was on another walk to the pub in the next village (our village has a church but nothing else). You can just see the white gable end of the pub behind the church tower in the background.

27. Lunch by the wood burner again – we always seek the cosiest spot in any pub. Yes, No.3 had a mouthful of food at the time I pressed the shutter.

28. Tess’ favourite place to curl up and pretend for a moment that she doesn’t have to go back out in the snow in order to get home.

29. Our latest b&b guests cancelled due to the blocked roads, but hubby managed to dig the car out of the driveway and get to Morisson’s as some friends were coming for supper instead. He was met with empty bread shelves, which is bizarre considering their bakery is instore.

How was your week?