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Twelfth Night knitting

As Twelfth Night falls on a Tuesday this year and coincides with the first meeting of the Fenton Knitting Group in 2016 we shall be knitting tonight by the Christmas tree.  Time to reflect, perhaps, on all the lovely family time we have enjoyed this holiday and to start planning all those crafty projects we have resolved to complete in the new year.

The cake this evening is by way of a celebration too.  It was Soo’s birthday yesterday (yes, 27 AGAIN!!!) and to mark the occasion she will be sharing her birthday cake.  The recipe is courtesy of Mary Berry.  The cake smells delicious and promises to taste just as good.  Enjoy!

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Mog’s Christmas

My children may be well into their 20s now, but we will all still share our favourite Christmas story this Christmas Eve – Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr.  I’ve found our story tape (yes, we still have a cassette player!) and I’ve also knitted two ‘Mogs’ to join us.

I knitted my ‘Mogs’ by adapting Kath Dalmeny’s Four Knitted Cats pattern.  Find her collection of knitted animal patterns on Ravelry.

Ignoring Black Friday

handmadebysoo has resolved not to spend a single penny this Black Friday.  Why not join me?  So what if you didn’t get one of those stuffed toy cats?  Is it really the end of the world?  Don’t fall into the trap of buying one on-line for a ridiculously inflated price.  Give your loved one something unique and handmade instead.  There’s still plenty of time to get crafting before Christmas.  No need to go spending lots of money either as we all have loads of festive goodies, I’m sure, hidden away in our stash.  I for one am currently knitting a little grey cat for my daughter (Oops! Please don’t tell her and spoil the surprise!)  I’m also spending lots of quality time today with our real-life cat, DeeDee, who has been part of our family now for more than 18 years.  Watch this space for some spectacular photos later!

Back from Manchester … fuelled by cake

Soo and Lynda travelled up to Manchester at the weekend for Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Fair.

As we had hoped, it was a riot of crafty inspiration and left us full of ideas for hours and hours worth of makes.

The beautiful tweedy and flannel patchworks will send us searching through our fabric stash.  I’m already eyeing up Mr handmadebysoo’s Harris Tweed hacking jacket and wondering how many patches it would make!

With thanks to Richard for his recommendation of Home Sweet Home, we enjoyed an inevitable (though very large!) slice of cake before setting off back to Lincoln.

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A very special pomegranate

My sister currently lives in Baku, Azerbaijan, but she pops in to handmadebysoo towers quite often, considering the distance involved.  You might almost say it’s her second home in the UK.  On her last visit she brought a very special gift, a china pomegranate, symbol of Baku.  This now has pride of place in my kitchen.

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The other thing she revealed is that she has finally (re)discovered her creative side by joining the Baku ladies’ craft group, which is the cause of much rejoicing here!  The Baku ladies work all year creating wonderful crafty things to sell at their Christmas bazaar to raise funds for underprivileged children in Azerbaijan, like these gorgeous felt gingerbread houses.

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Are you joining Kirstie and me at the Handmade Fair?

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As a lifelong crafter and huge fan of La Allsopp, handmadebysoo has been given an exclusive preview of the Handmade Fair 2015.  Here are the details:

The Handmade Fair is back! Following on from an incredible first show at Hampton Court Palace in 2014, Kirstie Allsopp will be returning this September once again to run the country’s most exciting craft event.

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This isn’t your average craft market – it’s a long weekend of hands-on workshops, entertaining interviews, ‘make and takes’, and all the shopping and fabulous food you can manage! Plus Kirstie will be there every day to host some of the sessions and, of course, craft!

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Take a look at the full line up over at www.thehandmadefair.com

PS. Did you know they’re also running a Christmas Fair this year?

handmadebysoo will be there!  Join me!  I have a free ticket going spare!

Taking place at Manchester Central from 20-22 November, The Handmade Christmas Fair will include all things crafty as well as all things Christmassy! Find out more at www.thehandmadechristmasfair.com

My happy Friday moment with Ailbe!

Since our big move northwards to Lincolnshire from Kent we’ve been gradually adjusting to a new way of life.  The house needs lots of work, but is beginning to feel like home, particularly as we had lots of space for the children and their partners to come home for Christmas.  I always dread the post-Christmas blues and that awful empty-nest feeling when everyone has left and the decorations have to come down.  But this year is different.  On 30 November we brought home Ailbe, our rescue Irish red and white Setter.  He was skinny and shy, with a poorly leg, but how he has blossomed already.

On twelfth night, with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye I was busy unwinding the fairy lights from the stairs, thinking back on all the laughs we had over the Christmas holidays and wondering when next we would all be together again, when I looked down into the hall and saw this gorgeous face ‘smiling’ up at me.

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With Ailbe, every day is a happy day.  I just need to teach him to respect my knitting!

Come and join us for knitting tonight

The Fenton Knitting Group will be meeting tonight at The Barn in Fenton from 6pm till 7pm.  Bring along your Christmas knitting or sewing projects, share your hopes and dreams for 2015 and knit the post-Christmas blues away.  And if all that doesn’t whet your appetite – tonight’s cake is Blackforest Gateau, handmadebysoo of course!

My current knitting project is an aran cable throw.  I’m knitting it in rows on 2 circular needles because of the huge number of stitches.  I soon won’t be able to lift it so you may find me marooned on the sofa at some point, cocooned in aran wool.  How lovely!

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