14 February 2017

Dog Walking in Winter

Since I wrote about my discovery of the joys of Dog Walking in Autumn, I've had it in my mind to do a little post to accompany each season.  A sort of dog-walker's year if you like.

I was waxing lyrical last time about how much you take notice of the change of season when you actually venture outside for longer that the time it takes to scrape the ice off the car and also how owning a dog and being obligated to walk them, forces you to do just that.  Except I don't feel like I'm being forced out at all, I've found that I really enjoy this time taking a stroll.

I'd say that our winter here has been pretty mild this year, although I daren't write that without adding a 'so far', for this is England and she can do winter in almost any month without notice.  But really, we've not had too much cold other than a few weeks here and there and there's been only one very brief flurry of snow, much to DD's disgust.

It's meant that our walks have still been very much a pleasurable activity.  It hasn't taken too much bundling to protect from the cold and wind and the exercise takes care of any last chills.  Some precautions against mud are necessary though and last year's wellie purchase is now paying dividends.  
Although poor Bertie doesn't fair quite so well.  He has a brand new coat for the purpose but being so low to the ground, he prefers to avoid as much of the dirt and wet as he can.  One false slip of the paw could mean being up to his armpits in the brown stuff.

Despite that, the majority of our walking trail is still fairly dry and easy going.  It's still looking amazingly green going through the woods due to all the ivy growing up the trees and the large amount of holly bushes around.  The trees are mostly bare now though and so everywhere seems a lot lighter and brighter on our path up to the field, which helps compensate for the fainter, faded light of winter.

The view as we reach the entrance to the field is very clear and open now.  You could barely see what lay beyond through the leaves a few months ago but now they are all over the ground.  It's usually at this point where I might catch a glimpse of a squirrel rooting around in the leaves.  They scarper as soon as they hear us coming of course, and they always run around the other side of the tree trunk so you lose sight of them as they climb up and scurry away.

We quite often get a nice clear sunny day by the time we get up to the field.  Usually the morning mists have cleared and the frosts have melted away, but occasionally we crunch as we make our way around.

What you notice most of course is how everything starts to disappear in winter.  The leaves are gone, the long grass has died back and it didn't take too long for all the berries to go too.  There are a lot less birds flitting around and the light doesn't stay so longer either.  If we're a bit later than our usual lunch time walk it'll often already been getting lower in the sky making the long shadows stretch out even more as we walk around.

Our friends the sheep are still here though.  More exposed than even now that the plants have given up for winter.  The grass has been mowed too, or maybe they've just chewed it down.  Either way, we get a clear look at them on our way round now.  Bertie still doesn't bark at all though, much to my relief.

I'm wondering how long they will be staying here and if it'll be too much longer before I start to see signs of spring...

S x



09 February 2017

Podcast Episode 25 - Giveaway Winners!

You Tube Link

Ravelry Episode Thread
(For comments, questions, discussion)

Show Notes


Thank you so much to everyone who entered.

And our winners are...



Please do get in contact with me to claim your prize!


: :


Share your stash busting and sorting:


From 1st February to 8th March

For more information and chatter:  #BetterOutThanStash on Ravelry

To enter: #BetterOutThanStash - Finished Objects Thread


A pack of 5 silky/bamboo yarns in an aqua ombré colourway
kindly donated by Marlené of One of a Kind Yarns

A pack of 5 silky/bamboo yarns in mixed colourways
also kindly donated by of Marlené of One of a Kind Yarns

A beautiful project bag with handle
kindly donated by Debbie of Daisy Stitches

Two lovely patterns, the Blandala and Sea Breeze shawl patterns
kindly donated by Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats

 Each of the above prizes will also come with a free Cherry Heart pattern! (Your choice)


If your stash is on Ravelry and you'd like to share what yarns you have that you are willing to sell or trade, try this thread on Ravelry:

#BetterOutThanStash - Stash to Sell or Trade

: :   DONE   : :

Granny's no Square

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino
Pattern:  From my head!

Dark Rainbow Socks
Ravelry Page

Yarn: Twinkle Toes Sock  (OOAK) by Hedgerow Yarns
Pattern: Slipt by Claire Devine

Spinning/Crochet Skill Swap

Bunch of Flowers
Ravelry Page

My beautiful new fiber
Spun by the talented Ellen!
Stash Page

: :   DOING   : :

Party on My Needles
Ravelry Page

Snowflake Socks
Ravelry Page

: :   PIP'S   : :
(Patterns in Progress!)


Peachy Geometric

Versions in UK and US terms

Ready to be released!
(Will launch around the 23rd February)


Free Blanket Patterns

Patterns in US Terms

: :

: :   GOODIES   : :

Love Luna in Pax Sock by Havirland Yarn

Molly Weasley on Trusty Sock
Yuletide on Spark Sock
Both by Nomandic Yarns

: :


I'm going!  Are you?

Pop over to the Ravelry group and share your plans!

: :

S x



07 February 2017

Stylecraft Blogstars Meet Again

I broke out of my usual solitary little blogging bubble last week to go on a jolly jaunt to Yorkshire.

Being one of the Stylecraft Blogstars, I was lucky enough to be invited back to the hub of the Stylecraft world to meet up with my fellow yarn lovers once again.  What a lovely treat it was too, to venture out of my usual surroundings and see a little of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, spend a little time knitting and crocheting with very like minded souls.  Sharing our projects while all the time there was lots of fascinating chatter about our crafts and our little online worlds.

It was an absolute pleasure.

If you're not too sure who the Stylecraft Blogstars are, let me show you...

(Photo used with thanks from Sophie at Stylecraft)

From left to right: Jane of Janie Crow, Phil of The Twisted Yarn, Sarah of Annaboo's House, Heather of The Patchwork Heart, Julia of Hand Knitted Things, Lucy of Attic 24, Helen of The Woolly Adventures of a Knitting Kitty, Emma of Emma Varnam, Me, Lucia of Lucia's Fig Tree, Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats and we were just missing Sue of Susan Pinner

And below, although you can't see them too well, are our International Blogstars, Angela of Get Knotted Yarn Craft and Zelna of Zooty Owl being made comfortable in the front row seats by Juliet and Annabelle.

 (Photo used with thanks from Helen

Goodness what a treat to get to spend some time with these ladies.

Heather's Blanket

It would be quite remiss to go all the way to visit Stylecraft HQ and not play with some yarn while you are there, so as well as having a little squish of all the tempting samples, we also tried our hands at a little tunisian crochet.  A few knew the ropes, but like me, I think most of us were new to the technique.  Here's my little offering...

Forgive the pins, but my little test pieces is curling up like nobodies business!

It was fun to try something new and I do love the very ordered look of the simple crochet stitch at the bottom.  It did seem fairly time consuming though, with a lot of work needed to achieve just a small row in comparison to regular crochet.  But, I know I have a stitch dictionary hidden away somewhere that has some tunisian crochet stitches in.  Now I know the basics, I might have a bit of a deeper delve into that section and see if anything sparks the imagination.

How about you, are there any tunisian crochet fans reading and if so, what's your favourite thing to make using this technique?

 (Photo used with thanks from Helen

Concentrating on Tunisian!

We were also got let into a few tasty tidbits of secret insider information while we were there as well as walking away with a bag of delicious goodies.  I'm almost bursting with the things I'll have to share with you very soon, so stay tuned!


S x



02 February 2017

Not a craft room

I made quite a bit of a hoo-ha about the fact that I moved from my craft room to our little garden room last year and I shared much of it here with you.

What I never did get around to showing you though, is what became of the room I left behind...

It has been turned from the girly, flowery, crafty haven it was, into a white (extremely white) and streamlined man room.  To briefly re-cap - we were going to move last year you see, and although we got pretty close to calling an entirely new house home (the packing had begun), unfortunately it seemed that things weren't meant to be and we ended up staying right here.

I think it's turned out to be the very best thing that could have happened as it turned out but it did mean that we wanted to make some changes with our faithful old abode and having a little room shuffle was priority number one.  So, I went from the small room in the house to the garden room outside and he came indoors.

Luckily for him most of the 'girly, flowery and pink' left when I did, as most were additions too, rather than the main focus of, the room.  So he was left with a fairly blank canvas.

Which, to be blunt, I suppose he has essentially maintained.  He is a streamlined kind of soul style wise, naturally gravitating towards more modern and sleek designs than I would choose.  This space is his home office and he is a tidy and ordered sort when it comes to work. 

But, he did like the idea of a shot of bright orange to give the space something of a lift and so a few bright touches have been added.  I was most graciously requested to provide a little something too.  As always, my twosome impose very little on my valuable crafting time and so it is always my pleasure to provide.

So I created this set of accessories for his room.  Curtain ties to offset that expanse of orange draping the window.  A mat for the keyboard, to stop the horrible clonking keys clattering away through the household and a couple of matching coasters, which obviously, every discerning home office really should have if at all possible.

It isn't always easy to find fabric choices suitable to his taste from my rather ditsy and cute collection but it turned out I have just enough of the right sort of thing to suit this room and his tastes.  Not a huge feature of the room, but just enough to tie things together and to add a splash of colour.

It's nice that I've been able leave a little crafty touch behind in this old room of mine.

S x



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