Welcome Lord Isaac!

The long awaited birth of Lady Fia’s brother has happened! I got a call early this morning that Lord Isaac is here! I’m very excited. If you are a mom stop reading now because his mum had him with little pain in about 20 min. Apparently, he looks a lot like her Ladyship did so I’m guessing he’s very cute! I can’t wait to go home in a few weeks to see him.

Soooooooooo, I had finished this quilt for Lord Isaac but I’ve changed my mind and am going to do something else. I had mentioned I was working on it but didn’t want to show pictures in case his mummy saw. I’ll post the pics now because I’m working on something else instead…

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That last pic is the back and as you can see I did it quite scrappy with left over material from the front.

To put this together I just used an easy sandwich’d pillow method. I sprayed the back on to the batting first and then put the top on with right sides facing…

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Then pin the layers together leaving a gap in one side to allow you to turn it right side out…

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Then trim the edges and turn…

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Pin the gap shut and quilt…

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Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Weekender Update June 23-24

After chillin’ last weekend John and I were on the move again! We started by playing canoe polo on Saturday morning near where the new White Water Course is for the Olympics. I haven’t played for awhile but got on the water for a bit because it was actually sunny out for a bit!

I entered another Cycletta in Wiltshire which is going south and west from us. On the way there we made a stop at a National Trust property called Clivedon House. It was the home of the Astors but is now a hotel. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a day that they let people in to see the house but we did walk around and get some great pics. It wasn’t as old a house as others we’ve seen but the view was beautiful…

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Historic and listed gardens…

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So….before we came to the UK I thought it would be lovely to be at a house like this and have a picnic with John. Oh how romantic eh! Well the English weather really isn’t cooperating with this dream! Seriously, look at me and it’s the end of JUNE!!!!…

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On the way back to the car John, of course, was looking at the Estate on his iPhone map and saw that by the chapel was a Canadian First World War cemetery. My poor little legs were very tired but John convinced me to walk back and I’m glad we did. I’m not sure how we found it because there was no sign and it was hidden behind tall hedges but when we did it was certainly a magically spot. It was truly a peaceful and respectful place to honour those who have fought for our country…

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After Clivedon we drove to our Farmstay B&B which was about 1/2 hr from my cycle race at Lydiard park. Sunday morning did not start out as the best weather and for a split second I thought of bailing but didn’t and had a great ride. I came 11th out of 104, with a respectable time of 40km in 1hr40min.

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We were very close to a town owned by the National Trust called Lacock and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go after the race. Lacock Abbey was built in 1226!!!!! They filmed some of Harry Potter here as well as many BBC productions…

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Give me a break a was tired after my ride! Good spot for a nap.

Part of the Abbey was turned into a family home at some point in history long ago and was lived in up until about the 1940s…

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The town was even more impressive. The houses have not changed!…

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You could just imagine that you were in a Jane Austin production except with cars parked outside all the homes!

Another jammed packed weekend for us.

Confession!

RIP my gorgeous Dutch bike…remember…

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Soooooo I was pretty excited to get this bike. I ordered it online from Dutchie.co.uk and I promised John that I had researched my choice well, and I DID, I DID!!! But alas, Harpenden turned out to have many many many more hills than I first thought. I could get up the hills in the this heavy beast of a bike, and looked good doing it, but it was a struggle. I felt incredibly guilty for not anticipating this that I forced myself on more than 1 uncomfortable ride.

Finally, I got up the courage to talk to John about it and we decided that I should try and sell it and then get a new one…well he decided I should sell it first. I on the other hand already had my eye back on one of my original choices, the Trek Allant. Really, you can’t go wrong with a Trek right! I posted my old but still brand new Dutchie on a Preloved items website and finally it sold. I delivered it today. It was bitter sweet. Sad to let it go but glad to have the money to put towards the other bike. Which of course I’ve had awhile now. There is no way I could have waited so long and ordered the Trek about a month ago. It came in sooner than expected and I’ve been happily riding the hills for a few weeks now with all my groceries in tow.

Check it!…

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A young teenaged girl named Holly got my bike today and I hope she will be happy with it, it was practically brand new after all!

Aprons!

So, I do have a love for aprons being the domestic type that I am. I have many aprons but have only ever made 1 and it was for John’s mom. But…yesterday I made another using some of the same fabric that I had used before. This is how it happened…John’s parents go on many caravan holidays so I found some fun caravan fabric and made an apron using this pattern…

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From the book…

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Apparently, it is a big hit at the caravan rallies they go to and she asked me if I had fabric left to make one for her friend. I thought she just wanted the left over fabric but one thing lead to another and I found myself commissioned to whip up an apron…it turned out to be a fun creative challenge…here it is…

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I jazzed it up with ribbon on the pockets and summer looking buttons randomly placed. I even used some of those fancy stitches on my machine to do some top stitching…

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I have to say that mom inspired the embellishments on the apron because she used buttons and ric rac to fancy up the 3 aprons that she made for me as wedding shower presents 3 years ago. I absolutely love them and they are worth showing off. Especially my strawberry one. She used a special transfer to put copies of my favourite pie recipes onto fabric. On one side is my signature strawberry birthday pie recipe and the other the family Pumpkin pie recipe…

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She also made this most worn apron from hens knitting fabric! Classic eh…

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And of course the Cinderella apron…don’t ask!…

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Fabric Stash

The stash is growing! I ordered some on sale packs of fabric from Green Fairy Quilts and they arrived yesterday. I seem to be collecting Christmas fabric. I need to get sewing. They look so cute when they come all tied up…

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This baby Christmas fabric is quite cute and some of the smaller prints will go with other things…

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I have been making quite a few quilt tops with Aneela Hoey fabric so I thought I may as well get her Apples pack as it was on sale!…

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One of the pieces unfolded, adorable…

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You also have to love Oliver + S for their kids patterns and now fabric. Here’s a peak at the Jelly Roll but I didn’t want to take it too apart sorry…

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If you haven’t seen Oliver + S sewing patterns here is an example of one that I got to do for Lady Sophia but unfortunately I think I waited too long and it will be too small for her now! Apparently her mum says she already into 4 year old clothes and she’s 2 and a bit. A tall beauty she will be!…

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Bayside Update

We have a bit more sunshine here but still it rains and rains! I was out on my bike today and the heavens just opened up and I got soaked!

I have had some time to work on my Bayside Pullover. I was so worried because it looked VERY VERY small on the needles, like for a 6 year old. BUT it seems to stretch amazingly. I also had the sleeves held on safety pin type holders which kept it tight looking. I took these out and put the stitches on a long piece of yarn which allows them to stretch out…

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After taking the sleeves off the pins the sweater still looked very small. This picture doesn’t quite capture it but it is tiny…I’m doing the second 36″ size…

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Yet it fits and is seems comfortable. I need a bit more room under the arm but I can probably fudge that when picking back up for the sleeves…

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Mom and Little Red’s last days together.

Go Go Little Red and Mom have had a great two weeks together touring all over the English countryside. They have seen lots.
On Friday they spent the day with Little Red’s in-laws driving through the countryside south of London and visiting Chartwell, the country home of Sir Winston Churchill.

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Little Red got to sit on a Coronation chair. It was originally a royal blue but has since faded. Anyone who attended the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 were able to buy the chairs for £20 each.

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A pond in the garden that was full of gigantic goldfish.

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A view of a small lake on the property.
On Saturday Mom and Little Red decided to take it easy. They went to John Lewis, a really nice department store and purchased some gifts for Mom to take home. They also visited a quilting store. The day was finished off with Little Red making a delicious risotto with carrots, broad beans and asparagus for dinner.
Sunday was spent at Woburn Abbey, the estate of the Bedford family. It is now a sanctuary for deer.

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Mom and Little Red have never seen so many deer at once. There were thousands of them on the grounds.

Monday was another quiet, lazy day. Mr. Little Red arrived back from Miami early in the morning. Little Red made fresh biscuits so that Mom could have a final cream tea before she left for home on Tuesday. The afternoon and evening were spent with Mr. Little Red’s sister and family in Dormansland, Lingfield south of London.

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Could Little Red be looking sad because Mom is leaving soon?
Even though it has rained pretty well every day over the two weeks that Mom has been at Little Red’s, she has had a great vacation. She is looking forward to enjoying the warm weather at home but can hardly wait to visit again.

Time to Knit

Well, the day is almost here, mom leaves tomorrow. I can’t believe how time flies! We are taking it easy today and going to John’s sister for dinner. It is a torrential down pour outside right now so we are watching the Tudors mini-series! Very appropriate eh! I think my next visit should be Hever Castle, the home of Anne Boleyn.

I have been able to finish the little Boheme sweater for John’s friend’s baby in Canada. I am mostly happy with how it turned out. I have an old version of the pattern which I find a bit unclear at times but I’m sure the new version that you have to purchase is much better because many people are still knitting this cute little pattern. See more examples here on ravelry. I don’t like how far away the buttons were placed from the edge and that the picot edging rolls so much but minor things I guess. I changed the first 4 stitches to a garter stitch to give it a nicer edge…

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To stop the rolling at the bottom I decided to block the sweater out a bit. For a quick fix like this I tend to block by spraying the garment with water and then I weight it down with books. Works like a charm. (I sometimes remember to put a tea towel on top first.)…

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It will be ready tomorrow to pack up and mail back to Canada. Hope she likes it and that it will still fit in the Fall because I hear Canada is getting MUCH MUCH MUCH warmer weather than here! (We have been lucky if it gets to 15!)

Sorry, Mom, you can’t take that home with you!

Mom has been having a great time with Go Go Little Red. They have been busy, busy, busy!
Here are some things Mom wishes she could take home with her but won’t be able to because of the luggage restrictions on Air Canada.

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Mom would love to have this little green house for her backyard. She saw it at the Hert’s Show.

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This is Little Red’s new bicycle helmet. How cute is this? Go Go Little Red is styl’n! Why can’t Mom, too? Won’t fit in her suitcase. Dah!

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A Graze box. Little Red gets a Graze box delivered through her mail slot twice a week. Each box contains four different healthy snacks. What a neat idea. We have been laughing because this would not be possible at home because mail delivery is so slow. It would be stale by the time it got to us. Too bad.

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A great stone wall. Now this would be really silly to bring home. Mom just likes looking at them and thinks they are amazing as they are built without a single bit of mortar and are hundreds of years old.

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A Giant Rhubarb plant leaf. A different plant from the rhubarb we know in Canada. We saw this at Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill’s country estate. Another silly thing to bring home but a nice picture for the blog!

Rowan Surprise

A big thank you to Julie, yes Needle Emporium Julie, because she was able to hook mom and I up with a fabulous meeting at Rowan headquarters in Holmfirth up in Yorkshire…

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I’m wearing a felted tweed sweater which was the 3rd thing I ever knit after meeting Julie and the store. I thought it appropriate for the occasion. We were quite the privileged guests because we got some very sneak peaks at the new winter line up.
We started in the reception area and the lady working there was lovely and I think has been with Rowan for about 18yrs?…She was working hard after the Bank Holiday weekend…

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Things to see in the lobby too…

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We did see the room where most visitors hear talks and do workshops but it was in quite a state because they are getting ready for their yearly garment sale so we got the go upstairs!

On the way up we saw the wall where they frame and hang all of their covers…notice top left, the first cover!…

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We saw sales and market support for the UK, there were a lot more people than I thought working here. Then we went into the office where the special decision making people work. There is someone that coordinates the photo shoots, a liaison with the knitters who keeps on top of patterns etc. Sorry I can’t remember names and extra job roles but I remember the guy at the front of the picture looks after the website and computer related things…

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Everyone seemed extremely nice.

David, design room manager, was super kind enough to show us around and took us upstairs to give us a bit of a history of Rowan and their design process etc. They are designing 18mths in advance so they weren’t really thinking of the new issue I don’t think! We did get to hold a copy hot off the press though, very cool. We also saw many of the new garments from the new book and got the touch them. They are going back to their roots for this issue. I really love one of the colour worked cardis. Very traditional and timeless looking. I know I’m being a bit vague but we were sworn to secrecy!

We even got goody bags that we were very excited about. David was funny because he thinks it’s cute that everyone gets so excited about visiting because he works there everyday! After meeting with us he was going to a university fashion school fashion show. I think it’s really cool and smart to invest in the newest up and coming talents. This helps to keep Rowan at the couture end of knitting I’m sure.

In our goody bags we were pleased to get a ball each of the new winter yarns!!! I have them all here in my hot little hands but sorry promised not to show them yet! When I hear from Julie that she’s got them in the store I’ll show you what we got. I did get a few things I can show, the new Rowan baby book, sooooooo cute and some pamphlets and posters etc…

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