Tempus Fugits! 

Tempus Fugits… Time flies. Being the daughter of a watchmaker this expression was often used in our house and haven’t the last few weeks just flown by? 

My good resolutions to once again try to blog weekly didn’t even get off the ground but instead of keep apologizing, I’m going  ask your opinion.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time then you know that the content of my blog is in the title… Creativity and family, but since my Etsy shop has become busier nearly all of my creative time and energy goes into that and I feel that I’m left with very little personal creativity to share. So the question is, would you be interested in seeing some of the things I’m making for my shop and getting some peeps behind the scenes? 

Here’s a little taster for you.

As a teen, I used to do a lot of calligraphy. As hand lettering is making such a come back I decided to make some canvas signs for the shop.

First I drew the design onto paper, 

Traced it onto a canvas

And then using masking fluid I created a resist.


I then added layers of ink

Before removing the resist to reveal the writing! 


I’ve also been working on a custom order of some bags for a lovely lady who has a shop in Switzerland.

I love the fun colors of this fabric, perfect for spring! 

My sewing space is busy in both senses of the word but I love it that way…most of the time! 

These bags are my own design for a round bottomed Japanese knot bag and they are my favorite bag for taking out and about as they hang on your arm perfectly while you work, although the round bottoms aren’t the easiest to sew.

The long handle tucks into the shorter one to close the bag.


Then there’s the dyeing, I LOVE dyeing. That would sound awful if you didn’t know what I meant! I always say it without thinking and then end up shocking people. I went into the Chemist the other week for some acid, nothing awful, just the same strength as vinegar, but it was behind the counter and the assistant asked me what I wanted it for, I said ‘to dye’… You should have seen her face, I hastily added ‘to dye wool’!! After some laughing she let me have it. Then a friend rang while I was in the middle of dyeing yarn and asked if it was convenient to chat to which I replied ‘well, I’m just dyeing at the moment’. I  think I’ll have to start calling it coloring wool or something.

A dying rack full of brightly colored yarns is becoming a familiar sight in our house especially with all the damp weather and mist we’re having lately, it’s taking its time to dry.


My favorite part is thinking up and experimenting with new colourways.  Here’s a couple of my latest with coordinating mini skeins, 


And a lovely bright rainbow of minis

And my African sunset that may just find its way into my stash instead of the shop.


So, what do you think? Would you like more frequent posts with shop creativity or only the personal content as and when I’ve got things to show and say? 

In family news, first of all, thanks so much for all your kind thoughts, messages and enquiries about Abi. She’s recovering slowly and has started a phased return to work. This week she’s doing three six hour shifts, four the week after and five the week after that. She’s managed so far but only just and comes home exhausted. It takes her the next day to get over it so she’s a bit worried about how she’ll do two in a row. The trouble is, working in a residential home is hard work and even harder when all fifty three of them have dementia! It’s not only extremely busy and physically tiring, it’s also mentally exhausting.  Her tummy pains had gone before she returned to work but they do come back after a shift at work. She did have an appointment with a hospital consultant coming up so we’re hoping they might get to the bottom of it. We’re also really hoping that it isn’t anything that she’ll have to live with but we have to keep trusting God with that one. 


Here she is with a very chilled out Tilly.  Tilly has some news for you, she became a thelady at  beginning of the month!! Thankfully she kept herself very clean.  She keeps us all well amused and on our toes. Below is her new favorite position! 


I think she’s a bit confused between how dogs sit and how humans sit! 

Josh is off ill with a flu like virus that’s going round, we’re just hoping the rest of us don’t go down with it. Here he is with His new blanket.


How have you all been? Have you managed to avoid all the illnesses at this time of year? 

I’ll leave you with a very unusual sunrise we had recently. 


Happy crafting folks!! 

Sharon xx

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A Creative Catch up! 

It’s been ages since I did a really creative post, for various reasons there had been less creativity around here. There’s been so much going on but things are settling back into some sort of a routine now. 

Abz still works shifts so spending time with her on her days off still affects things but that’s good, she won’t be at home forever and I want to make the the most of  extra time with her now. 


Then of course there’s been Tilly. She’s settling down now and is quite happy to snuggle down near me or follow me about the house and we only get the occaisional mischievous moments. ….speak too soon, she’s investigating the coffee table right now but a stern NO! generally does the job these days unless she’s feeling extra naughty.


And she’ll take every opportunity to snuggle down or get a bit of attention.

Then of course there’s inspirational yarns, my Etsy shop. That means a lot of creativity but I don’t like to bore you with all the bags I make, yarn I dye etc but if you want to pop over have a look at my shop just click here. 


Also I’ve been reading a lot more again this year. I don’t think I read more than couple, I was so busy creatively . This year I’ve gone back to reading whenever I can snatch a moment. Now that Amazon offer audible on a lot of their ebooks I’ve started using that and it’s fantastic, I can’read’ and craft at the same time😀. 

Ok, so get to the point girl! Just what have I been doing creatively? Well, having been rather monogamous this year, which is really not me but something I’m enjoying, I  only have a couple of bits to show you. There’s this little nightdress I’m making for my niece’s crochet doll, it just needs prettying up. 


Then there’s the crochet cardi. The back and two front pieces are done so just the arms and hood and then so many ends to sew in. 


That’s gone onto the back burner though for a bit as I’m currently knitting a leg warmer. Yes, just one! It’s for a lovely friend on Instagram. She has a really painful nerve condition and keeping her bad leg warm makes the difference between her being able to walk or not. So with the winter coming I’ve dyed up some yarn special, hand painted a verse on it and I’m knitting up the leg warmer. 


I found this gorgeous pattern by drops design on Ravelry and I ummed and aahed about whether or not to give it a go as I’ve never knitted cable before and it looks so difficult but it actually isn’t, in fact it’s really quite easy and I’m enjoying this the most of all my knitting attempts so far. I feel as though I’m really starting to’click’ now.


 I even managed to fix a cable that I had missed and didn’t discover it until a couple of rows later. I didn’t frog, I just worked those four stitches back down and re did them without any help our tutorials.


 That probably sounds easy to you seasoned knitters but it felt like a huge achievement for me! I’m loving the look of it so far. Soon it will all be knit with just one cable running down the back. 

For my next project I’m already planning a knitted shawl. I’m thinking of the Karise by Karie Westermann. Ericka Eckles has persuaded me to give this one a go after seeing her gorgeous creations. If you have a minute you can read all about her knitting journey over the last year. She writes the most interesting posts with great word pictures. 

I think that’s about it on the creative font. Still no Christmas presents made which feels rather a failure after last year but I’m not putting any pressure on myself this year. If I make anything that’ll be great, if not, that’s fine too. Although, having said that, I have had a request for dolls clothes from my niece so I’ll need to find time for those. 

I got you’re all enjoying the transition into Autumn/spring. haveHoping you  a lovely and creative week! 

Sharon xx

Exclusive Creativity. 

Hi folks, this is going to be a post with very few photos because all my crafting time lately has been exclusively given to Josh’s blanket. I have finally found the mojo to crack on with it and only have 29 more rows to go :mrgreen:.  

I’m particularly pleased with the effect the ban and front post trebles give where I have joined a new colour.  

It seems crazy to think Josh only has a week left at primary school :(, the following week he has 3 days at his new school.  I’m still not sure how I feel about that.  It could be really reassuring and he won’t be spending the whole of the holidays worrying about the move up but if he hates it we’ll have six weeks of dread!  He’s a fairly sociable kid so I’m hopeful that he’ll be fine but It’s just another step of letting go and I seem to be doing too much of that lately!  

Bekki over at Dartmoor yarn company has been talking goals and it’s got me thinking about how last year I did a stocking pressie each month for the kids plus other gifts throughout the year. This year has been so different.  I know how quickly time flies both during the hols and the autumn term so I need your help to think of some quick makes that won’t cost too much so I can start to get some gifts made.  With the size of our family I need to get started soon!!  I need ideas for all ages,  male and female.  I’ve got plenty of stash yarn,  fabric,  card craft bits and beads.  

I hope you’re all well and have a fantastic and creative week 😀

Sharon  xx

Creative Drought!!

My creature time seems to have disappeared! I do spend half a day a week or so creating for my shop but last year I spent hours and hours creating!  Last week there was a custom order for some of my Scripture Yarn for a community project which was great fun!  Excuse the dodgy pics, Abi has the camera atm.

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Would you be more likely to buy the yarn before re-skeining (top) or after (bottom) ? 
Abi doing shift work has probably made the biggest difference to my creative time as she often has a couple of days off during the week but it’s a good exchange, it’s so special being able to spend so much time with her even though she’s in full time work and has a boyfriend! 

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A pic she sent through when they arrived! 

They’ve gone down to Cornwall for a couple of weeks so I planned a lot of creativity for this week but Josh decided it was his turn for some Mum time and is off school with earache and dizzyness! 

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So the creativity has been more a case of bringing the outdoors inside!  He’s created a live small animal basket trap out of sticks! I’m not too sure what he hopes to catch but we’ll see, it kept him occupied for a while anyway! 
And this is what happens when he flies hus drone too close to me!!

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I did manage a couple of rows on my ‘ waiting room ‘ socks but they just don’t keep me waiting long enough to get much done!

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My shawls hang over the side of my knitting /crocheting chair and are in and my shoulders day after day.  They’re so easy just to sling over my shoulders when I feel chilly:D.

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It’s Abi’s birthday on Wednesday so we had a birthday gateau on Friday evening before she went away. I didn’t even get to make her a gift this year but I did find time to draw her a card, I’ll try to get a photo for next time!

I’ve started reading more again too although a lot of the ebooks have an audio option now so I’ve tended to listen while I get my jobs done! 

Before I go take a look at this,  Father-in-law saw it in a museum recently,  can you read it?

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H4V3 4 CR3471V3 W33K!!

SH4R0N!! xx

Shawl Reveal and Wips

Hi again.  Life seems so busy these days and I feel as though I’ve neglected this little space recently.  I’ve spent the last few weeks with at least one coffee date a week trying to catch up with all my friends.  Also Abi has had a lot of 12 hour shifts lately which means that she only works three days in the week.  It’s meant a lot more time together and I’ve been making the most of it!

A couple of weeks ago on the way to an appointment we called in at Ashburham Place for a photoshoot of my Shawl.  Yes they’re both finished and I’ve worn one or other of them nearly every day since.  Although we live fairly near to Ashburnham Place I had never there before and we’re definitely hoping to go back for a longer visit.  This time we just admired the house from the front and used the beautiful gardens for the photos.

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It’s crocheted in 4ply yarn in 2 or 3 colours.  The purple one is made  using yarn that I’ve dyed myself and the Blue version is using the yarn I received in the Knitting Expat yarn swap.

The pattern is being tested at the moment and I’m to release it soon.

I have finally finished the socks I started for Abi in January!  She likes them scrunched down!  The previous two pairs were a mock fairisle pattern, these were just plain stripes in a self striping yarn and I’m not so keen on how much the jogs show in them.

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These were my appointment waiting time knitting but all appointments were on time so it was slow going at first,  but then…WARNING, don’t wish for more time to knit when waiting for appointments. I waited 3 hours at the hospital to see my Lupus consultant in London on Friday then another 2 hours waiting for blood tests and an xray!  I signed in fine and had the initial tests done by the nurse and then I waited and waited and waited.  They were warning that they were running very behind but after 3 hours I decided that I had been patient enough and went to ask how much longer I would be waiting.  I had got lost on the computer, somewhere between seeing the nurse and my appointment!!  Still, it gave me plenty of knitting/crochet/reading time and Abi had a lovely wander around London where she was asked for money, saw various sights, came across of a massive queue and realised that she was outside the immigration centre and took some beautiful photos!

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Other bits I’ve been working on are Josh’s blanket,

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slow progress there, I haven’t stuck to the 1 row a day rule I set myself.

I’ve also now started a bag with the yarn that Abi’s boyfriend gave me for Christmas having ripped out the shawl I had started (and finished)!

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And  I have some new socks started but this time they are crochet.

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I have just started on the rib and I love how the rib is working out.  I’m using Drops Delight.  I bought several balls of it recently but being a singles it’s not very forgiving of mistakes.  Frogging is not easy at all, in fact, I started the rib and made a mistake and ended up having to throw away what I had done as it was determined NOT to be undone!!

I’ve also made several new bits for my shop

including stitch markers and basket bags.

basket bag animals, letters

I’ve also been working on a new design for something for my shop, I’ll hopefully be able to show you that soon  🙂

So here I am with several wips once again but that’s the way I like it, lots of variety :-).

I hope that you’re all having a lovely and creative week!!

Sharon xx

Lovely packages and a KAL

I have so much I want to talk to you all about but at the moment I seem to be struggling to find the time to post!  Today I have a few minutes spare so I wanted to hop on and tell you all about the most wonderful package I received in the post last month. (if you follow me on Instagram @inspirationalyarns you will already have seem a peep!)

I took part in the yarn swap organised by Mina from the knitting expat podcast (Interruption here to go and clean cat mess off of Josh’s football!!!  Cats are lovely all the time they do not use our garden as a toilet.)

Back again, that was totally disgusting. So, back to the yarn swap, it was such fun.  The rules were that you were paired with someone from another country and that you sent each other yarn local to you and some other local goodies.  I was paired with a lovely lady called Linda from  California. I was so excited packing up her goodies that I completely forgot to take photos but I sent her various local bits, chocs, fudge, notepad, fridge magnet and a few bits I had made, a project bag, herb sachet and yarn dyed in her favourite colours and I can’t remember what else! What I really wanted to share though was the amazing package Linda sent me!

I have to start with the yarn, she was so generous and sent me two super-soft merino 100g skeins.  The brown one is from a local dyer to Linda in California and the other was from Linda’s stash and came from Dubai when she lived there which I thought was really exciting as I now have yarn from two different countries.

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Then of course there are the other goodies!  The chocolate bars and See’s candies chocolates were again local and the See’s candies were just the best chocs I have ever tasted and the bars weren’t far off! Also some ‘original’ jelly beans which are made local to Linda. Then there was a very special notecard of handmade paper that Linda had bought from a local artist while she was abroad just two weeks before the area was hit by an earthquake which was rather special to receive and I just can’t bring myself to use it.  There was also another notebook, two pencils and some sticky flags which are already proving very useful and two lovely bags, one with I love knitting symbols and a Trader Joe’s bag which started in California and is just perfect for my grocery shopping. Lastly there was a lovely soft hand knitted washcloth and soap saver.  These are just brilliant.  I have crocheted some for the children but I haven’t yet made any for myself so I was thrilled to get these.  I have seen patterns for soap savers but never made one but they are fantastic, I love using it in the shower with my favourite bar of soap!  Linda was just so generous and the package was just overwhelming.

So, what am I planning to make with the yarn?  Well, I am hoping to design a crochet shawl pattern for them.  I have just ordered a silver grey to use with them so as soon as that arrives I shall get started.  I have a few ideas sketched out so I think my current design will go on the back burner as I would like to join in Mina’s yarn kal – knit along (or crochet along for me).

All you need to do to participate is to knit or crochet something with yarn from another country.  Oh yes, I also sent a package to Mina as a thank you and included some yarn and a project bag for a giveaway and on her podcast last week she said that these would be used as a prize for the yarn kal.  The yarn is the same colourway as the one I dyed special for Linda and is called ‘Linda’, so if you fancy joining in you have the opportunity to win some of my hand dyed yarn and a project bag.

I have my sister-in-law coming soon so I must dash but I hope you all have a lovely week and if you could spare a thought for my dear Uncle who had a severe stroke yesterday, less than two years after his brother (my Dad) died from a massive stroke.  He appears stable at the moment but is unable to move one side or talk.

Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx

 

Challenges, crochet spinnning knitting designing!

I have quite a bit of creativity to chat about this week.  Wips, to do’s and help me’s!!

Firstly Josh’s blanket (I am keeping this project in the fabric basket I got at Portsmouth in the summer).

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I ripped back the blanket in January and started again with a more mindless pattern so that it could be my ‘no brain power needed’ project but I’m still going so slowly with it!  I think a lot of the problem is Josh!!  Poor Josh, it’s not his fault directly but he is having a real job getting to sleep in the evenings so he is not going to bed so early.  By the time he is asleep (anywhere between 9 and 10)  I am ready to hit the hay myself!

Also, to be completely honest, I am just not enjoying it.  I just have so many ideas for other things and other wips I would rather be doing that I overlook it! I have been mulling it over and decided to challenge myself (appealing to my competitive spirit usually works 😉 ) so, I will aim to work on it either for 15 minutes or work 1 row a day five days a week.  Probably Monday to Friday but if I miss a day I will catch up at the weekend.

While I am challenging myself I may just add 10 minutes of spinning a day to the challenge.

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I have hardly touched my spindle this year and again it’s because I’m not enjoying it.  I just don’t enjoy the colour I am spinning.  Abi loves it though so there will be a use for it so maybe if I aim to spin it for a birthday gift for her (June) I may just have the incentive to get back on my spindle.

I am also thinking that my spindle could do with a case of its own.  Maybe with a separate pocket for the fibre?

Also on my hooks I have another crochet shawl that I am designing. This time I am using the yarn that Abi’s boyfriend gave me for Christmas.  It is a lovely soft cotton, I love working with cotton but the only downside is that it can be rather splitty and this one is very splitty, so much so that if I don’t keep on top of sewing the ends in I end up with tassels!

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Despite this though I am loving working with the yarn and enjoying how the design is working out.  I am using the gorgeous bag that Jane made that was in my Stitching Santa swap.

I have made some bits and dyed some custom yarn for a yarn swap I have entered that Mina of the Knitting Expat Podcast is hosting but I won’t show them yet as I have told my swap partner about my blog!  I love the yarn colourway that I design for the swap and shall show you all the bits once my partner has received them 🙂  Oh yes, and while I’m on the subject of dyeing…

I’ve been thinking that the lilies Abi gave me for my birthday would make a great natural dye, so I may be trying that one out next week!

I have also made a couple of project bags and done some more dyeing so there are a few more bits in the shop.

The socks I am knitting for Abi are also only coming along slowly, this time it’s the doctors fault!!! 😉  I am keeping them for knitting when I wait for appointments as they are so portable, (especially as I keep them in my Japanese knot bag which hangs perfectly on my arm as I knit).

Anyhow, the reason it is the doctor’s fault is that she has been on time lately!  I always have to wait ages at the doctors and suddenly she decides to be on time! – I mean, it’s wonderful that she’s on time but what about my knitting?  I shall just have to start arriving extra early.

I did decide to buy extra ‘Big Softie’ yarn with my birthday money, lots of!!

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Hopefully enough to make a lovely oversized sweater. I am thinking of doing my own design so it will be interesting to see how that goes!  I’m not too sure how easy it will be to frog as it’s a singles, I think there will have to be lots of planning and drawing first!

Now to my knitting dilemma.  I am wanting to knit a shawl.  I have some  yarn that I dyed that I would love to use.

And maybe this one to twin with it!

But I just can’t decide on a pattern.  I have a couple I have downloaded, the latest being Mina’s brioche shawl.  I love this design but I am really not sure if my knitting is up to two colour brioche.  So if any of you have tried it I would love to know how easy it is? I have watched Mina’s tutorial which is really clear and helpful and has given me a bit more confidence but I’m still wavering!

Also do you have any other knitted shawl patterns to recommend?  I will be using 4 ply, each hank being 400m and I would like to use one or two colours and also try something new, like the brioche or maybe some simple lace?

I’m not sure why I haven’t started a pattern yet as I’ve been wanting to do this since the end of last year.  I’m sure if I was looking at crocheting a shawl I would have started it by now, maybe it’s just my lack of confidence in knitting that is putting me off!

So with that lot on the go I think it’s time I sat myself down in the sun and got on with it, yes we actually have some sun today, enough for Abi and her cousin to try out sunbathing in the garden, I’m not too sure how long it will last!

I hope you all have a creative and lovely weekend.

Sharon xx