Friday, 31 December 2010

Twas the Night Before .....

the New Year Begins!!!!

and......only 2 sleeves to sew up, and 11 rows of 550 sts in KidsilkHaze and all 2010 projects are finished! Hooray!

The ironing is done (well, some of it)
Friends have been seen (briefly)
Bedding has been changed (almost)
Texts have been sent
Emails have also been sent
Facebook has been updated
Cats have been fed
Tea is cooking
Wine is chilling
Bubbly too (for later)

all that I need to do now is to

Wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, Contented and Rewarding New Year!
Thanks again for all your love, friendship, support, advice, loan of ears, helping hands and comments here on my Blog!
I really do appreciate it, more than I could ever say here!
and

 Msg to Mum and Dad - Love you lots and miss you loads - see you in January!xxxx


My New Year Flowers

 




Thursday, 30 December 2010

Fenwicks Christmas Window

Every year Fenwicks put a very special display in their windows - The Christmas Display! Over the years with both Euan and Sarah we have always made special trips to see it, and gaze in wonder. Not so, this year, children growing up, hardly ever in town together has meant that today was the first time we had seen the display for 2010.
The link above is to a lot more photos but the little creature below was my favourite! A bit like me doing my Spring Cleaning!

and another, beacause she moved!

She is very sweet, isn't she?

Also on our walk tonight - the trees in Old Eldon Square - very twinkley!



And finally, because I love this tree, and I love the Blackfriars area, and The Knit Studio - The Walnut Tree - all dressed up for the festivities.


My challenge tonight, is to finish something I am knitting in order to start the New Year with a New Project!
Tomorrow I shall be sewing up a couple of projects (fingers crossed) and that will mean I will end the year with empty needles. Actually, as I write that I can't quite believe it - I may use part of my spare time tomorrow just to double check project bags etc for forgotten items! Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

It's Official, sadly...

After, yet another long conversation with my mum, we have decided it would be best if they do not attempt to travel North until the New Year. This makes me sad for a number of reasons, I miss them, and Christmas just has not been the same, at all, without them. BUT we have been and still are, chez moi, ill with colds, flu, runny noses, hacking coughs and not really a suitable environment for OAP's (sorry mum and dad)! AND mum and dad are not in the best of health just now, and really, we have made the best and most sensible decision. BUT this does not make me feel any better, or make me miss them less, and now I have to break the news to Euan and Sarah - who for the first time have experienced Christmas and Sarah her Birthday, without the comforting presence of the Grandparents!
Maybe I feel their absence more because I am not 'myself' and usually, mum takes up the reins in these situations - you know - 'It's ok, I can do that. You sit down, I'll get you a cup of tea, medicine, Lemsip etc'. and I could sit back in the knowledge that it would all be alright.
Anyway, enough of this self pity! On the plus side it means that when they do come up, the weather may be better, we will all be germ free, the crowds and tourists will have gone from our usual haunts. and.....having missed them so much, we will appreciate their company much more. Bring on 2011!!!!
I have now, placed their suitcases out of sight as just a glimpse of them brings on sadness! (We arrange for the luggage to be collected and delivered here so that mum and dad travel luggage free!) I may have to return the cases though, as according to dad all his 'best' clothes are in them and he's doing a good impression of Compo from Last of the Summer Wine!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

More Knitting!

At the end of every year it has always been a family tradition to tidy up, finish off projects, change the sheets on all the beds, and generally get ready to herald in the New Year!
In keeping with this, I am posting more photos of projects that have been completed over the last few months and....I have actually been adding them to Ravelry too! Go me!


Blossom Flower - Crochet Gift - Kidsilk Haze Stashbuster


Blossom Flower - Crocheted Gift - Regia Sock Stashbuster



Blossom Flower - Crochet Gift - Kidsilk Haze Stashbuster



Citron Shawl for Me - circa Oct 2010


Fingerless Mitts - Pattern for new yarn at The Knit Studio


Marvin, the Festive Bunny Nugget who came all the way from Canada! (thanks Glenda) with Robbie the Robin and Snowman Sam, two Christmas Workshop Projects for 2010



Snowman Sam - outside the Knit Studio December, 2010



Robbie the Robin 
Fooling around in the trees outside The Knit Studio

And for those of you who were wondering.... the Seasonal Challenge package contained a wheel of unspun Icelandic - any suggestions/help on a postcard to........
I will need to get my serious thinking cap on to decide what to do with it!


Monday, 27 December 2010

Knitting Content!

I thought, as it getting near the end of the year - I should post some knitting, textile, fibre related things for your perusal!
Some quick projects I  have knitted over the last couple of months -


Fetching Fingerless Gloves
Leaving present for a favourite teacher of Sarah.


Baktus for me - to keep off the chills


My Mobius from my Mobius Scarf Workshop at The Knit Studio


Scribble Lace Scarf using up left over Kidsilk Haze and Colinette Point 5


Slippers from my One Skein Knits Workshop at The Knit Studio




Mini Knits - Garments knitted in the tiniest scale and to perfection by my talented friend Elaine - the buttonholes actually work!
The 50 pence piece added for scale. They are truly amazing aren't they?


 

Advent Calender -
made by the Embroider's Guild -
who used the Knit Studio for a meeting early in December.


And.....
last but not least......
Do you remember I went to Edinburgh recently? This is what Lindsay gave to Janice and I to take home with us. A little parcel of yarn and a challenge!!! I shall keep you updated!
So, as you can see, I have been knitting up a storm in amongst the usual things one does at this time of year.


Sunday, 26 December 2010

Happy Birthday

Yes, things change quickly in the Makepeace household at this time of year! Christmas yesterday - Birthday today!
Happy Birthday Sarah!


We got up early and did that mad thing - yes, we hit the Sales!! Bagged ourselves some bargains, Euan bought a ticket to today's Newcastle United football match - everyone is happy! Hooray!
Hope you are all enjoying your Christmas break.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

How times change! It is 9.15 am on Christmas Day and I am the only person awake in the house! I may have to let the cats into the house to wake everyone up!
In the meantime, I shall take advantage of the peace and quiet to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Thank you to everyone for all your love, support, encouragement, humour, patience and for just being there! I couldn't have achieved all I have this year, without you!
Off to wake up the house now, I want to open my presents!!!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Plans Thwarted

Yes, I know, it has been a while since my last Blog post! Things have been quite hectic here, and things are NOT going according to plan!
I spent a fab day in Edinburgh last Tuesday and met up with Lindsay, who lives there, and Janice from Aberdeen. We had a great time catching up and had a little 'show and tell' with our current knitting projects.
And after that, well it all starts to go downhill I'm afraid. We have all caught this awful flu' that is doing the rounds, and quite frankly I have felt terrible. One night I did not even knit! so bad did I feel!
We have had incredibly cold temperatures and more snow and it certainly has not put us in the Christmas mood!
BUT
The biggest disappointment has been that because of the weather and Rail problems we have been unable to get my parents to Newcastle for the Christmas festivities! Sarah and I left on Tuesday morning and the plan was to meet mum and dad in London then travel back with them later in the evening. However, electric cables across the railway tracks put paid to that. With all trains out of Kings Cross getting cancelled and hundreds of people getiing stranded at Peterborough, who were heading South. Fortunately, I managed to stop my mum and dad making a useless journey to London but we are all, as you can imagine very sad and disappointed. Christmas will not be the same at all, without them.
I know I should think positive, and think well, at least we all all safe in our own homes, and warm and dry and yes, they can still come up early in the New Year but it's not the same is it? Really?
Mum and dad if you are reading this - We miss you already!!
I have more to post, but will do that later when I may feel a) warmer b) more positive  c) find the photos I want to upload.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

An email from School

In these days of modern technology, the school that Sarah goes to sends all important letters by email. This suits me fine, as I no longer find old letters, forms and notes crumpled at the bottom of school or kit bags!
Yesterday, I recieved an email with a photograph attached, and thought you might like to see it.
Sarah (on the right) and her friend Emily.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Cats Playing Pat-a-Cake



Your smile for the day!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

OK you can go now!

I really love snow, I do, honestly but....now I have had enough of it.
Yes, it is beautiful, clean, scunchy is great for sledging and snowman building and icicle watching but now it needs to go. I have, like countless others around the UK spent this last week clearing snow, slipping in snow, clearing cars of snow, driving with my heart in my mouth in snow, clearing up after snow escapades, been unable to get the food shopping I would like to because of snow, waiting for the text to say Sarah has a) got to school safely walking through the snow or b) got home safely walking through the snow. And now, I want to feel safe when I walk along the streets, get my daughter to school, let the cats out, get some decent food in, not feel cold all the time!
Please, someone send some warm weather fronts over - maybe a little bit of heat from the Ashes matches? maybe?
On a brighter note, it does seem to have brought out the better side in people - much more smiling and helloing, helping push cars, clear paths, open doors, or oops! are you ok there, do you need a hand? isn't this awful, great, beautiful? It seems the adverse conditions has got perfect strangers talking to each other - marvellous!
I caught a bus home last night that I don't normally catch, the driver assured me he went near the bottom of my road and off we went on a magical mystery tour! I have to tell you he was dressed in a bright red Santa suit and everyone who got on or off the bus, had a chat or a quick joke with him or anyone within earshot - nearly everyone on the bus was smiling! The children thought it was great! I did wonder if I was being whisked away to the North Pole to be a helper, but no such luck! and....I have to admit to feeling a little sad to get off at my stop 'Here we are Pet!' and step into the dark, cold and slippy street and leave the 'Happy Santa Bus' and all it's warmth and humour!

Here are some photos from my week of snow

Part of the walk to Sarah's school at approx 7.30 am Thursday morning.

View accross the other side of the field, same time, same morning.

The milk wearing its' hat! Bring back memories for anyone?

The Knit Studio Friday morning.

Fire Watching!




Did you say something?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Sing A Long, Smile and Forget about Snow!

I am just about to brave the awful conditions to catch a bus down to The Knit Studio but checked my emails first. My brother in law Tim, sent me this - I am still smiling and singing the song - see what you think - Enjoy! I particularly like the leg movements.

video

Altogether now - Everybody, aaah, aaaah, everybody...........

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Quick Snow Update

Sarah has been sledging with friends today, and on her return made us all laugh with her descriptions of makeshift sledges! Sledges are a very rare commodity in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland at present - with parents scouring shops, department stores and internet sites to no avail.
Enter the North East Inventor, and wonder about the urge to travel down a snow covered hill on anything!
Items used today as sledges - a dustbin, cut in half! a tray, a dustbin lid (sans handle), a suitcase, a For Sale sign, and last but not least, for a very small person - a plastic washing up bowl. No photos I'm afraid, but we will be checking the local press tomorrow.
Can you imagine looking at your suitcases, and trying to decide a) which one you would fit into or b) more importantly, which one would travel faster! Classic Brits!


Today I have also been trying to ensure that this does not happen again!


This was taken in January this year, and although really beautiful could have been deadly to man or beast!
I am, of course, assuming that at some point all this snow will melt! Ha Ha

And yet More Snow

Breaking news from Newcastle!! We have had even more snow - my trellis has fallen over with the weight of the snow, the cats are very perturbed and reduced to bunny hopping across the garden, the road outside is sheet ice covered in 4 inches of snow, and total inches fallen is about ten!!! It is absolutely beautiful to look at from indoors but so inconvenient and dangerous for daily life an commuting!
Anyway, enough of the ranting!
Here's a few photos


The trellis to left of this photograph is now broken and lying sadly on it's side. Who knows what will become of the Clematis and Honeysuckle that grew around it!

My One Skien Knits Workshop at the Knit Studio yesterday, went ahead with half of the people booked managed to get through the awful weather! Interestingly, everyone (including me) had brought slippers! A clear indication that The Knit Studio is a home from home!!!

These are the Christmas Robins from the Knit Studio's first ever Christmas Workshop -


Aren't they cute?

I cannot find the photographs of The Continental Knitting Workshop tutored by one of my bestest pals Heike. But you can read all about here and look at the fab pics!
So now I am off to clear the front path of fallen snow - and maybe make another snowman???

Saturday, 27 November 2010

More Snow

Much to the delight of children and cats - it snowed again quite heavily last night. It is snowing as I write!
I am sitting in The Knit Studio and looking out at this very pretty scene.
The kettle is on, the cups and biscuits are on the table. All I need now are some hardy, intrepid Knitting Group members to join my Winter Scene!
Are you free?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Cats, Coats and Snow

This is the view that greeted me this morning from my bedroom window!
A ten minute school run today took over half an hour! It's crazy, we get snow every year, why don't people know how to drive in it?

And this is what I would like to be doing today.........


And this is the £1300.00 Ralph Lauren Coat, I will NOT be buying for Christmas! Although it looked and felt fabulous when I tried it on!!!!
It appeared to made of a patchwork of old jumpers cut up, then overlocked together! Simple, but very effective. But £1300.00 ?? I don't think so.



Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Normal Service Resumes!

After quite a gap in Blogging, I am pleased to say that, as life is now a little less chaotic, I shall have time to Blog again! Hooray!
It has been a busy few weeks, both personally and with The Knit Studio, so over the next few days I will try and get everyone up to date with all the news.
In the meantime, I leave you with Sam the Snowman!
One of my Workshops - A Knitted Christmas, has, as the star of the show Robbie the Robin.



However, as this is the 2nd year of Christmas Workshops I needed to design something for the people who had already added Robbie to their Christmas Decorations - and Sam was born.
You have to admit, he is very cute, and with his quirky smile guaranteed to to brighten your day!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

What a Difference


My mum and dad have been staying this week (half term) and have seen The Knit Studio for the very first time. Over the past months they have seen various photos, heard my long lists of things to do and finally....last Monday actually got to see the place! And they love it - as I hoped they would. Over the last few days they have met and chatted to my knitting friends, drank cups of tea, glasses of wine, ate cake and biscuits, compared yarns, patterns and garments. I have really enjoyed having them stay and sharing my place with them.
On the home front, Euan and Sarah have enjoyed seeing their Grandparents and spending some time with them. We even had a family trip to Morpeth on Wednesday. The cats too, have enjoyed their company. Mittens loves my mum and plonks himself on her knee at every opportunity - the only problem with this is : he is 7 and half kilos and a BIG cat and my mum is quite small and cannot move when he is sitting there.
I travel back to Sussex with them on Tuesday to return to Newcastle on Wednesday and you know something? The journey home, alone, will feel twice as long!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Dogs!

Spotted this little cutie outside the bank - well wrapped up for the Newcastle weather!


The coat did remind me that when I first started to knit, cables and bobbles were my 'thing'! I have finally finished sewing this fabulous coat together - all it needs now are buttons. Isabella is wearing my coat (for now) in The Knit Studio but I think I may be borrowing it back pretty soon!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Cats

Okay, I don't have much time for housework at the moment, but on Sunday I realised that the cats had started to regard the sofa as their bed. Springing into action I hoovered all the cat hair away, plumped the cushions and then admired my work (as you do).
Realising that this would not stop the cats sleeping on there, I then piled lots of things onto it, not a bit of space to spare - or so I thought.......
Here is a perfect example of how clever cats really are, and how they can squish a cushion down and get really, really comfortable in the smallest of places!








Sunday, 17 October 2010

A Poem

Have you ever noticed that, when searching for one thing you almost always find another, forgotten or 'lost' thing? Today I found this - a poem written by Sarah over two years ago to help while away the 360 mile journey South to see her Grandparents. It made me smile and I hope it makes you smile too!

MY MUM

She's as mad as a hatter
She knits and she natters -
It's hard to believe her brain is made of Wool!
She travels to towns
To relieve peoples frowns -
She is THE knitting guru!
She untangles their knitting instead
Of them sittitting
Reading their patterns again and again.
No tantrums or knitting thrown on the ground
Anything is possible while she is around.
From jumpers and socks
And shawls and tops,
Blankets and cushions are my favourite things.
She is incredibly bright and very polite
And works on her notes very late in the night
To get them 'just right'!

I wonder, I wonder when I'll ever get my jumper?

Sarah M


PS Readers, did you notice the hint?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Jasmine Tea Fairy

I have always had a bit of a thing for tea and coffee. My dad, a great tea and coffee lover, is obviously the one who has influenced me. From a young age, I knew it was better to warm the pot first, to use fresh tea leaves, to pour the tea first, always drink from a china cup etc etc. I only really started to drink coffee in my twenties and always preferred filter or percolated to instant. Fast forward a few years and I entered the world of flavoured teas and real chinese tea. My kitchen cupboard, as you can imagine, is full of packets of teas, coffee, coffee beans, tea pots, coffee pots, cafetieres, percolators and a fab coffee grinder.
I always prefer any hot drink in a china cup or mug, and again, have a collection of these (some of which have moved to The Knit Studio). I have a friend in Edinburgh, who brews the most fantastic strong black coffee in a stainless steel pot on the cooker. A most welcome drink after a long journey, I can almost hear it percolating as I type!
It's interesting that the smell of various teas and coffees can take me back in time to many places and events in my past.   
Recently, one of my favourite teas has been Jasmine Flower Tea, normally only taken when dining at Nudo in Newcastle. This lovely restaurant just happens to be next door to Andy's business and just around the corner from mine! Very handy, indeed.
I shall try to describe Jasmine Tea Fairy - I think it starts life as a flower head, which is packed with tea leaves, dried, tied and then flowers are threaded onto the tie. It looks like a dried seed pod, but when you drop it into a glass of hot water, it sinks and the magically opens up and the flowers float up towards the surface. Quite beautiful, and very tasty. You can also refill the glass at twice - so good value for money too!
As you know it was birthday last weekend and I was surprised and delighted to receive a whole box of Jasmine Fairies!!! Bliss! Here's a photograph to help all the previous waffle make sense.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Choirs,Birthdays & Cake

I have just celebrated another birthday - yes, I am 21 again!!! It was a weekend of contrasts and I have had a brilliant time.
On Friday I attended my monthly Arthritis Care Social Evening (I am Treasurer for the Newcastle branch). We had arranged for The Tyneside Ladies Barbershop Harmony Chorus to entertain our members and they were brilliant.


and then.... I headed off to the Night Life of Newcastle Quayside to meet up with some girlfriends for a drink or two! They had been out since 7.30 so by the time I arrived were well ahead of me in terms of alcohol consumption! I had driven down so just enjoyed one small glass of wine before waving them off to the next pub! It was great to see them all again and catch up with the gossip!

La Tasca, Newcastle Quayside

On Saturday I enjoyed the company of over 20 members of the Knitting Group that now meet at The Knit Studio - some of whom, left, shopped, had their hair done and then returned for more tea and biscuits.

When I got home this enormous cake was waiting for me, along with presents and cards.


Anyone like a piece??

Anyway.... I have had a loverly, birthday weekend - thank you!