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….. We make
….. We explore
….. We nuture

Three children (16, 14, 12)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

You can find me here

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

Thank you….

  • Carol Not only is your bag practical, it is also very cute. Most reuseable bags aren't very attractive but I use them anyway. 16 Jul
  • Crummy Mummy We've been up at our allotment watering every day too - could really do with some meaningful rain now, although I'm not complaining! #MMBC 16 Jul
  • Kim Carberry What a fantastic idea and a fab looking bag. So pretty. I love your sewing machine too. x 15 Jul
  • sam What a well timed shot X #mmbc 15 Jul
  • Craft Mother I really hope you do get the gardening bug. Wonderful way to spend your time. 15 Jul
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Sticky

knitting

Yarn Along – July

I am loving this gorgeous weather we’re having in the UK, at the moment. I spent my lunchtime outside today, sitting on our swinging bench which is covered in honeysuckle. Bees were buzzing around me and the Hound was close by. He loves it when I’m outside with him.

I have a small bag set up with my current knitting and a book. I can grab it when I’m rushing off in the car and also when I’m going out into the garden. The bag has the most gorgeous, painted footprint on the front, that youngest made when he was three. I can still remember his sweet, little giggles as I painted his foot. He was just as surprised that I popped him up on the table, which I never usually did, to make it easier for me to paint the underside of his foot.

Anyway, enough of reminiscing. He’s 12 now and I’m not sure he’d appreciate it! I still love that footprint.

My current book is Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen. We watched the 6 part series on Amazon Prime and loved it, so I couldn’t resist reading the book. It is equally good to read, if not better. Perfect nonsense and “quite right” moments with it. I like both authors and it is interesting to see how the story meshes together so well.

My knitting, in the bag, is the red version of a cardigan I made earlier this year. I absolutely live in the purple version, so it seemed a bit of a no brainer to knit it again in my favourite colour, red. Not as fast progress now we’re in the growing season and the garden needs more attention. Slow progress is fine. It will be ready when I need it.

Seeing as it is #PlasticFreeJuly, thought I’d mention how pleased I was to receive my yarn for this cardigan, through the post in a cardboard box. No plastic. It’s good to know it can be done.

The cardigan is King Cole 4076 and the yarn is King Cole too. So easy to knit.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. Including my current knit and book. Two of my favourite things to do. Along with gardening, of course. And maybe painting feet, now I think of it.

Eco crafting

I’m very much still on my eco friendly living journey. Little changes where I can, with my eye on the bigger ones I can make at some point. Every now and again, I give myself a review, to see how it’s going and what I can do. A nudge.

One area that I know I need to look at closer is my crafting area. I’ve cut out buying any more man-made materials. Partly to cut down on the micro fibres I might be adding to the environment. With other natural textiles, I use what I have, before I buy anything new.  I source second hand. Sustainable when I can. Even then, I know I could do better. I worry about the production of the materials I use. Polluting dyes, toxic fumes, pesticides and water grabbing practises.

It’s not pretty.

Giving up?

Crafting is my therapy. The repetitive act of small sewing stitches, knitting rows or spinning fibres, grounds me. Concentration overriding all. I’m sure my breathing must change and chemicals are released. Wrongs are righted. In my head at least. I can cope. The world is a better place when I craft.

I will not be giving up crafting, anytime soon. So, that is not an option.

Source

I’d like to delve more into its source.

For instance, I love when I buy wool and the name of the sheep is printed on the label. I have a fleece, at the moment, waiting to be spun, grown by a sheep called Nicola from Hampshire. I like that. I imagine her skipping off after being shorn, feeling lighter and ready to munch more grass. No dye involved.

Packaging

Another area that I have been looking at is the packaging. It is cheaper and less polluting if I buy on line. I like to buy in real shops or straight from the producer, but I don’t often get the chance, living in the country (unless it is a sheep’s fleece, of course). Plus, searching for the right yarn or material could lead me to several shops which are usually in different towns. If I buy on line, the postman brings it, cutting out any journey I would make. He was delivering my letters anyway. I can shop around for the best price too.

The only downside is that my house is inundated with packaging. Most yarn or fabric is sent in a plastic bag. I understand. I get it. Who wants to receive potentially wet or otherwise damaged fabric through the post? I re-use the bags as I can, but I’d prefer not to. I’d prefer not to receive them.

The thing is, I remember parcels before they were sent in plastic bags. Brown paper, knotted string and sealing wax. Hugely exciting, as a child, when a parcel like that was waiting for you after school. With your name on it! Yes, some did get damaged, but my childhood was not blighted by the memory, so I’m guessing it didn’t happen often.

What’s more, Amazon seem to be managing quite fine to send books and so on, in cardboard. They send out millions of boxes and doing quite well for themselves. So, why can’t others?

I’ve started to check the delivery details on line, before I order. How it will be packaged. This is not an ad, but a heads up for anyone else who buys yarn on line. I’ve had two deliveries now from The Knitting Network. Each time they have arrived in a cardboard box (shown in first and last photo), with brown paper inside to pad it out. No damage. No plastic. Yarn is perfect.

Question now is, which other companies are doing the same? Please let me know if you’ve had any craft materials delivered in eco friendly packaging. Also, have you any other eco friendly crafting tips? I’d really love to know.

Yarn Along – May

Happy May 1st. I’ve been enjoying walks in our woods. The wildflowers are making their presence felt. Carpet of bluebells with sprinkling of wild garlic and wood sorrel, which sounds more like a recipe than anything.

I started my new yarn project last night. I’m making another King Cole pattern. In fact, it’s a long cardigan again, but this time with pockets and a zigzag hem. Pockets make me feel like I’m giving in to my sensible side, while the yarn colour is a riot and makes me smile. I do love bright, strong colours. The yarn is called raspberry and is probably a closer match to the contents of an Angel Delight or Kool Aid packet, than anything I’d grow in my fruit garden, but that’s OK.

I’m using King Cole Merino Blend again, because, quite frankly, it’s my favourite wool at the moment. I love knitting with it. I love wearing it. I can’t think of a better reason to use it on this latest project.

The pattern is King Cole 4750. I’ve knitted the pocket linings and the start of the left front hem. I’m not sure about it yet. It is a little bit loopy in parts. I’m tempted to start the right side and see if I can get it tighter. If I can then, the left side can be unravelled and started again. If you look at the photo of the finished cardigan, it does look a lot tighter, compared to mine. Hmm.Still with the yarn projects. I finished the front of my daisy cushion (top photo). Just need to sew on the fabric back and it can join the other one at the kitchen table. The is a scrap buster and I’ve finished the white and the blue balls of yarn. I’m tempted to do another cushion cover, but this time just use the green as a background for the daisies. So long as I can find another ball of white skulking around.

I have finished my jumper, since last Yarn Along. Reblocking as the hem is still curling. Makes me appreciate a ribbed hem, at times like this.

Finally, seeing as it’s the first Wednesday of the month and Yarn Along time again, I’m sharing my latest book……which is the same as last month. I have been reading it. Spring means I have less time to read. Between work, the garden and different after school activities for the children, somehow reading time is squeezed and I’m asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow at night. I am enjoying the book and love the moments when I can pick it up.

I hope May treats you well and you are able to enjoy the scent of a walk through a bluebell wood. Our bluebells will soon lose their race with the surrounding foliage and be more hidden , so I’m enjoying the sight while it lasts. See how they droop and the edges of the bells look like they have been curled. A sure sign of native bluebells and not the invasive Spanish variety.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. What are you reading at the moment? Have you anything on your knitting needles?

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don’t just take. Written permission only. Don’t pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It’s not nice.

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