Sunday, 2 August 2020

Monthly Meanderings - May 2020 No.02

V.E. day fell during the UK's lockdown. This year marked 75 years since the end of the second world war and in the 'old normal' times we no doubt would have been having street parties and going to themed events, but due to Covid we were restricted from gatherings of any kind. To celebrate in a small way I chose to relive my own past by dressing up in one of my 1940s outfits and making a wartime dinner!

V. E. Day & A Woolton Pie ~


Things Mentioned:

Wendy x

Friday, 31 July 2020

Monthly Meanderings - May 2020 No.01

I took my foot of the gas with sewing scrubs for the NHS in May. Mentally I needed a little time to focus on something a little less intense and so turned to bit of gardening, a little knitting and riffling through my Sewing UFO pile!

A Knitted Yoda & an 80s UFO ~


May started with a bit of gardening I was still trying to use those old seeds up, with mixed results, I also began my knitted Yoda (my predictive text keeps changing that to gourds) journey and delved into the wasteland that is my sewing UFO pile there are more projects in there than I feel comfortable admitting too, oh and I made some Banana bread - hasn't everyone at some point during lockdown? - mine while it looked good, was as dry as toast, ah, well I tried!

Things mentioned:
Wendy x

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Monthly Meanderings - April 2020 No.3

I got a bit of a surprise towards the end of April when I became furloughed from work, part of me was a bit miffed as I love my job and was obviously anxious about what this might mean, the other part was delighted to have a few weeks of essentially free time, where I could spend my days sewing and doing anything, inside my home, that I wanted to.

Audiobooks, Sewing & Scrubs... lots of scrubs! ~


 I was spending most of my furloughed waking hours sewing and listening to listening to Audiobooks - a perfect combination I think, well apart from the regular need for machinery which usually meant the only sounds were heard were those of clattering mechanisms. Pauses in my listening pleasure aside I did manage to make an impressive dent in my audio book library!

Wendy x

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Monthly Meanderings - April 2020 No.2

Easter fell in early April, so it meant a lovely long weekend without work. I don't know about the rest of the world but here in the UK the weather was utterly glorious (there has been many a meme about the UK weather and 'Lockdown') it seems that since we put the pause button on daily life, it has been endlessly sunny!

~ Easter Excavations & Sewing Solutions ~
So with the glorious weather lasting through Easter, it meant the chance to get out in the garden as much as possible. Whilst doing this Benn stumbled upon some interesting things beneath the soil, so that unexpected revelation had to an endeavour to find more, which ended up taking a lot of the weekend and though it was an unplanned way to spend the weekend it wasn't an unwelcome one!

Only 18 meters to go // Nosy neighbour // Treasure beneath the soil
Excavations commence // Scrub Sewing begins in earnest!
I had also got my sights set only own endeavour, which was to get behind the National effort from sewers to help the NHS by making scrubs. I joined For the love of Scrubs Facebook group and set about trying to elevate my feeling of despair by focusing my mind on something productive.



Take care & stay safe.
Wendy x

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Monthly Meanderings - April 2020 No.1

So April, seemed indeterminately long and at the same time to have whizzed by in a flash, being 'locked down' meant most days not at work were spent at home, which if I am really honest with myself isn't very much different from my 'old normal' anyway.


~ Blomin' Old Boxes of Seed & Bird Table Building ~
Allotment Planting Plans 2020

So what a year to pick start getting your gardening & veg growing mojo back! Me and one million others, which is wonderful, everyone should be able to enjoy the thrill of growing something, however with a limited supply it meant that a lot of us had to reflect on what we already had (my eco head is really happy about that, to be fair) before we could look forward to anything new.
Rhubarb, glorious Rhubarb! // Blooming old box of seeds // Benn Bird house building
Beetroot planting // Evening gardening






So as you might of guessed from my title, this episode includes, a very old box of seeds, Benn building a bird table, me deliberating over what to plant sandlots and lots of planting, oh and some very, very embarrassing potatoes...you'll see!


Take care & stay safe!
Wendy x

Monday, 4 May 2020

May The Fourth Be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day! 

In honour of today I have just re-watched The Mandalorianhow good is that show!? it has got to have been one of my favourites shows of 2019, along with Good Omens...oh and His Dark Materials, that was a corker! Anyway, I digress, as soon as I saw 'The Child' I was, like most of the internet, hooked! How flipping cute, and mischievous and such a great start to the series!

Please note, if you make this little tike, you gotta keep both eyes on him at all times, it's not only Mudhorns that he likes to play with!


As much as I was in love with 'The Child' my knitting of this pattern actually happened by chance, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a crochet version of the infamous 'Tiger King' (see it here) and jokingly suggested to my friend and colleague Steve, that I could make him one, as it was a show he had been enjoying (like most people it seems, me not so much) and I had lots of time on my hands due to being furloughed, he countered with this Baby Yoda pattern, and to be honest it was a pattern I was much more keen to actually knit, and so I ordered some yarn and got going!

~ The Child ~
Pattern:
Baby Yoda created and kindly shared by Kim Konen

Yarn: 
Worsted weight Cascade 220 in - Antiqued Heather
Worsted weight Cascade 220 - Pesto

Careful, the force is strong with this one!
I have made a few little changes to the original pattern to make it a little more realistic to the version in the show, please don't see this as a criticism in any way of Kim's pattern, its just that I had plenty of time to tinker, partly because I could and partly because I was using yarn that was quite different in thickness and behaviour to that used in the original pattern.

BODY
Knit the body as pattern instructs.

EARS
Knit Ears as pattern instructs.

Only thing I did differently was to weave floristry wire through the outer edges of the ears to add structure to my floppy yarn - this means its is not suitable for children.

ARMS
Knit in green only, following what the pattern instructs for the measurements.

Instead of rolling the arms up, I seamed them along the hand and up the long edge and stuffed them with stuffing, before attaching them to the body - Wait until you have sewn the cloak before attaching the arms as you can use the cloaks holes as a placement guide.

Sew three knots on the ends of the arms, to create a hand - I did this by oversewing in one area a few times and then securing, then threading the loose end of the thread into the body to hide.



CLOAK
This is where I varied from the pattern the most, work as follows.

On 5mm Needles Cast on 42 stitches.
Row 1: Slip 1, knit to end
Row 2: Slip 1, knit to end
Row 3: Slip 1, purl to end.
Repeat rows 2 & 3 (essentially stocking stitch) until work measures 3 inches ending on a purl row.

We now need to make some arm holes in the shawl, this is super easy to do
Next row: Knit 10 stitches, bind off 2 stitches, continue knitting until you are 12 stitches from the end of the row, bind off 2 stitches and then knit to the end.
Next row : Purl 10, wrap yarn around needle twice to create 2 stitches, continue until next hole and wrap yarn around the needle twice, purl to end.

Continue in Stocking stick for another 2 inches.
Bind off.

SLEEVES (make 2)
Cast on 12 stitches.
Work in stocking stick for 2 inches, ending on a purl row.
Next row: Slip 1, inc 1, knit 4, inc 1,
Continue in sticking stitch for another 1.5 inches.
Bind off.
Sew the sleeves together along the longest edge, to create a tube.
Attach sleeved to cloak but inserting them into the hole and over casting the two pieces together.
Roll end of sleeve back up the arm, increase row should be approximately where it folds.



FACE
Work as pattern instructs.

I only had 1 cm black buttons, but I think they worked well. To give him a little more definition in the eye, I sewed an upper and lower lid, by stitching each side of the button, creating a long thread which ran across the eye, and then securing the strand (couching might be the correct term) a couple of times into the face until it was secure, then repeating this until it looked about right, it was not a precise art. but it does give the option of tucking the buttons behind the lids, to close his eyes a little  you know when using 'his hand'.




So there you have it, my tinkered with version of 'The Child' just in time for Star Wars Day, The pattern is a lovely one to work with, hats off to Kim for creating it! I think he has turned out very cute indeed and I know I will struggle to part with him - however I have plenty of yarn left so I will start on my own version very soon!

I hope wherever you are in the world that you are safe and well and are able to enjoy a little bit of escapism today, no matter what galaxy you choose to find it in!

Wendy x

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Monthly Meanderings - March 2020

So, then there was march 2020, and what a month that would turn out to be! If anyone had told me at the beginning of March what would be happening by the end I would have though they were bonkers.

- Plants, Pharos & Panic Buying -
So I started my March vlog on a bright sunny day preparing for a trip down to London with my family. Corona Virus was very much in the news at the time, but the governments advice was, as long as you wash your hands as often as humanly possible and don't touch your face, it was safe to travel around as before.
Benn & James at Kew // Greenery at Kew // Dad and mum on the tube //
Pharos tomb tresures // My wonderful friend Alan // Beautiful Mosaic at Chingford STN
Then there was a comedy of errors involving a early morning incident on the main drag in to Hinckley, which meant that we couldn't get the bus to the station and so we missed our train, even after ordering a taxi which didn't show up (I tried six companies before one agreed to even try, Uber is not a thing round here). So rather than spend another £90 on replacement tickets we resorted to driving down. I was already hesitant about our trip, I don't need much to set my panic sensors blazing and the news had been seeing to that, so the extra stress of missed trains, I will confess to have been anxious as hell! I didn't convey any of this in my video.

Despite it all we had a wonderful few days first visiting Kew Gardens for my little brothers birthday and then on to Tutankhamun Exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery and V&A on Sunday. On Monday before heading home. we made a little detour to Walthamstow for some fabric shopping and for Benn to taste the delights of 'Pie & Mash' in the wonderful victorian L Manze, a true Cockney must.


The trip was wonderful and turned out to be a very poignant way to start the month, as merely two weeks later and we were about to enter an unprecedented time of restrictions to our movements here in the UK in the form of the governments Lockdown. I am so grateful that I was able to see some of my friends and my family just before it all began in ernest, and also for having this video to look at to remember the happy times as well as the monumental things that happened in March. Stay safe and stay at home!


Wendy x

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Monthly Meanderings - Feb 2020

So what did February have in store!

~ Sewing & Growing Plans ~

It was a stormy old month February, I did my best to get outside when I could but rain stopped play more often than I would have liked!
Benn spent hours sanding and fixing the stairs // I finally get to do a bit of digging!
// Tracing // Garden planning // Suits you Sir!, sewing plans!
It did mean however there was plenty of time to spend plotting a big sewing project, which is always fun, speaking of fun Benn  decided that a prank was in order!



Wendy x

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Monthly Meanderings - Jan 2020

~ Woman about the house ~
January was a very quite month,which means that it gave me the chance to do a bit of an early spring clean and slowly build some motivation, for 2020!


I even started sewing again, something I haven't done properly since I moved in with Benn!

Wendy x

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Monthly meanderings - Nov-Dec 2019

having had weeks of sunshine in 2020, it seems strange to look back at frosty mornings and crisp days of November and December, but here is my 2019 vlog from those months, with a little reminder of the winter and a more 'normal' time.

~ Brilliant Birthdays & Green Gifting ~

Liverpool museum and soup to warm the soul! // A painting from the Lady Lever Gallery // GMRC at Warley
// Finally a dining table // Sunset over the water
November we made another, trip to see my dad on the Isle of Wight, it was a short and sweet trip and we enjoyed some gorgeous sunny spells! My crochet game was still strong and I was still joining those squares together! 
My Birthday, day, we stopped at Crown Street to look at the park // Eco Gifting // Terrarium time
// Liverpool your gorgeous // Sunlight and Xmas Stockings // Beau and some Baubles!

December involved birthday for me, which mean a little trip 'oup north' to Liverpool for a few days being a tourist, visiting the city and then a little trip out to Port Sunlight and the Lady Lever Museum.
Then christmas rolled in and had me making Eco friendly Xmas gifts to help kick start the clan into a less plastic way of living, a girl can try!


Wendy x

Monthly Meanderings - Sept-Oct 2019

This is a plant heavy episode, I bought a lot, killed a few and then bought some more!
I also finally got some crafting going with Granny Square plans.

Plants, plants, plants... oh and some Crochet ~
Crochet Squares // Loo paper by the mile
// Jamin' // Sansevieria Trafiscata



I bought a lot of grant squares from eBay as I had grand ideas of making something very 70s!
I also did a spot of Jam making, a very tiny bit of decorating, we ordered our first 'Who Gives A Crap' loo roll order! And then there was a lot of plant potting and fingers crossed saving!


Wendy x

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Monthly Meanderings - August 2019

August has rolled around and it is full of things to be done!

Gardening, Island'ing & Vegan BBQ'ing ~
Beautiful Butterfly on the Budlia // Benn and my Dad enjoy a pub dinner
Dom came to visit and inspired a Vegan BBQ // 'Somewhere over Shanklin'


In this episode there is a little catchup on the garden, which includes some surprise potatoes, some of which were eaten as soon as they were dug up! 

There is another little trip to the Isle of Wight  where we he'd to Dimbola lodge and see the Bowie Photo Exhibition I wanted to see the last time we were there! I have to say the weather was particularly fierce and certainly added a sense of drama to the occasion!

And some gorgeous cows which we saw on our way home from Shanklin!

Once back on the mainland there is some house plant repotting to do and a very exciting trip to the compost heap (what do you mean its not exciting) oh and a little Vegan BBQ, which went a little bit wrong...no vegans were harmed don't worry!


Wendy x

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Monthly Meanderings - July (Part Two) 2019

Part two of Julys vlog is all about getting things done at home

~ Sewing Room Tidy ~
In this episode I spend my time, trying to fit all my stuff into my Sewing room, Spoiler, I didn't quite manage it, there is still lots to set but its a start and thats something!
A Billy Bookcase to make the sewing room neater!?! // Me pondering my tan // Yarn stash!
// The burning bin from Hades // Benn's secretly built compost heap!
We also get our very first doorstep milk from Milk and More, Benn builds a Compost bin, and then sets light to some stuff, I'm not sure the burning bin will ever be the same! 
Oh its all riveting stuff I'm sure you'll agree, haha!


Wendy x