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A Playstation for …

So instead of getting on with all the projects I currently have on the go at the moment, yesterday I disappeared into the garage in search of chip board, wood, old carpet and string.  I had an idea that I could make a Playstation.  At lunch time I finally emerged, triumphant, with a Playstation fit for … a kitten!

The kitten hasn’t arrived yet, but she has been reserved and will be coming home soon.

Meanwhile her Playstation has pride of place, awaiting her arrival. But somebody’s nose is slightly out of joint!

‘Bye ‘bye, DeeDee

For the first time in a very long time there is no one purring in the house.  DeeDee, who came to live with us when she was just six weeks old, is now forever snoozing in her favourite sunny spot in the garden and in our hearts.

Good girl, DeeDee – 12. 06. 97 to 23. 05. 16

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.

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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Introducing … Doody-doo

Ailbe loves soft toys.  It’s part of his morning routine to bring them through from his bedroom to start their day with us. It gives me an excuse to visit lots of charity shops, on the pretext of finding him a ‘new’ teddy to love.  He’s taken to rooting in my bag when I come home, to see if any new little friends are lurking.  I’ve learnt not to keep my woolly hat in my bag, after it was once mistaken for a toy.  Today, though, I remembered I had some fur fabric in my stash.  It’s left over from my school days, so I guess that makes it vintage!  Back then I made a teddy for my new baby cousin.  But now the remaining fluffy material has been transformed into a supply of Doody-doos, for Ailbe to play with and love.  Each Doody-doo has a cheeky face, made from felt scraps, some have a squeaker, and, the best thing is – they have no stuffing.  So when Ailbe gets a-chewing, the carpet won’t be covered in white wadding.

Ailbe's new toy - Doody-doo

Ailbe’s new toy – Doody-doo

Please remember to watch your dog when he’s playing with toys, in case of accidents or choking.

Watching the eclipse made my Happy Friday

One of the reasons it’s so great to be back living in Lincolnshire is being able to enjoy the wonderful big skies.  We were not very hopeful, though, of seeing much of today’s solar eclipse, as it’s been a bit overcast all week.  This morning, however, was a picture perfect bright Spring day, so, armed with my home-made pinhole camera, I headed for the garden.

In good old Blue Peter style I used a cereal box for my camera and screen.  My pinhole was made using a number 12 knitting needle – of course!

Then I popped inside to see how everyone else was getting on with their sightings on Twitter and found this amazing idea of using a colander!

The light was eerie as the eclipse reached its climax and it did get very chilly for a while.

I was reminded of the eclipse in 1999, when the children were little and we watched with our pin hole cameras from our Kent garden.  That was a warm summer’s day, but the birds fell silent as the skies turned darker and a cool breeze blew.  Sadly, my son won’t have seen much today down in London, though my daughter, who is currently skiing in the French Alps, may have caught a glimpse from the top of her mountain.

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Today's eclipse through a colander

For those who didn’t manage to see the eclipse – enjoy the photos and maybe consider moving to Lincolnshire?!

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s made everyone else smile this International Happiness Day over at Planet Penny.

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Secret Santa knitting

It’s the same every year.  I spend my whole time knitting this and that and then suddenly it’s December and all those lovely things I’ve thought of knitting for people as Christmas gifts suddenly come to mind.  Then it’s one mad knitting dash till Christmas eve.  I have been known to be sitting up late on Christmas eve, still finishing off a knitted jumper or scarf.  The sensible thing would be to START EARLIER!  But who wants to be sensible?  And who wants to be knitting Christmas jumpers in February?!

This year my Christmas knitting has consisted mainly of lovely soft chunky beanie hats.  They were quick and easy to do and made great use of some amazing wool remnants I had in my stash.  Just about everyone I know will be finding one in their Christmas stocking.  Let’s hope we get some nice frosty weather so the hats get a good road testing.

Here’s one I made for myself!  Great for dog walking.  Happy Christmas x

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handmadebysoo launches the Fenton Knitting Group

Knitters and stitchers of all abilities are warmly invited to join the Fenton Knitting Group.  Residents of West Lindsey and beyond are welcome to join us on Tuesday evenings, 6pm to 7.30pm from 2 September 2014 onwards.  Please contact us by email: enquiries@handmadebysoo.co.uk or telephone 01472 717862 to register your interest.

Bring along your knitting or stitching projects to share with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  While away an hour or so and feel yourself unwind.

The knitting group takes place in Soo’s home in the heart of Fenton.  Soo is a lifelong knitter and happy to help you with your knitting project, teach you new techniques or help you master a new stitch.

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Meet the hand knitted pink sheep!

A contribution of just £3 per session is requested to include tea, coffee and delicious home-made cake.