Am I Crazy? 

Right now I’m sitting here with my crochet and Tilly on my lap and a porta potty that has been delivered sitting on the lounge floor debating my sanity! Why? We have bought a tent and hope to start camping. 

Maybe that doesn’t sound too crazy to you but some of you will know that I have systemic lupus and fibromyalgia among other chronic illnesses,which between them, considerably restrict my mobility. I also have raynauds and poor circulation, so I really feel the cold. Now are you starting see the craziness? 

For the last couple of years we haven’t been able to afford a holiday away and Hubby and Josh have wanted to camp for a while but I’ve always thrown a damper on the idea saying I just couldn’t do it. Finally in February I caved and agreed that if they did all the work, I  had a comfortable bed off the floor, a comfy chair and a heater I’d do it. Well Hubs has gone one better and bought me a camping electric blanket. (We’re not so serious about camping as to not have electricity and besides I need to charge my mobility scooter :D). So, anyway, we took the plunge, borrowed some money and have got a really good tent that we’re hoping will last us through Josh’s ten years

I don’t know what you think when you think of camping negatives but to me, apart from lack of comfort and being cold, it’s scrabbling around crouched over in the tent, all cramped up and on top of one another. With Hubs being over six foot tall and not liking being crowded I really did start to feel slightly (or totally) crazy. 

Oh yes, another problem would be putting it up as Abi being older won’t always be with us and me trying to help with my stick in one hand and rubbish balance would have been, well, let’s say, very amusing for the other campers! 

But… when we started looking, it’s just incredible what you can buy.  So we purchased a nine man inflatable display tent. Inflatable!!! Ok, so I’m wondering how many of you are thinking bouncy castle right now ūüėČ

What it is, instead of having poles you have inflatable tubes, about six inch diameter which blow up rigid like a bike tyre. So to erect the tent you just peg out the base and inflate the six tubes then peg out the guy ropes. The man at the shop said Josh would even be able to do it on his own. (Crack open the wine Howard ;-))

We’ve gone big, BIG. Hubs can stand up in it, it has three bedrooms and an extra pod for a fourth although, where they would put two in a room and three in the main bedroom we would only have one in the smaller rooms as it would be rather like playing sardines otherwise!. (Did you ever play that as kids? We loved it.) 

So after all that waffle, what does it  look like? 

Here it is all set up at Camping Works in Horsham. The first window is the awning section, the second and third the living area and the back section without windows, the bedrooms. 

Front view, it looks as though Hubby may just have to duck his head to get in the doorway. 

And two of the three bedrooms across the back of the tent with storage pockets between the rooms.

And looking back from the bedrooms to the entrance.


Yes, it really is a biggy! In fact it has a 4.4 metre by 8 metre footprint. 

So, have we booked anywhere? Yes, and we’re so looking forward to it. We hope to do a trial run in May to Chichester and then two weeks in August to East Runton in Norfolk. And, what is really fun, Howard put out a message on his family What’s app group asking if anyone fancied joining us camping in August not really expecting anyone to come but they’ve all decided to come for at least a couple of days. One of his sister’s is borrowing her in-laws caravan and coming for the two weeks, his brother, camping for a week (three little kids and no electric, proper camping!) and his other sister for four days and his parents have booked a b and b for two days. We should all be together for those two days except Abi and Paul as they’ll have to be back before the last of them arrive. And get this… We are all within four pitches of each other. I’m thinking there will be a lot of laughter as time with Hubby’ s family is always such fun. 

Now, I was also going to talk about what project I have planned for the May break but I’ve waffled for way too long so I’ll be back soon to chat about that. I’ll just say that it involved lots of dyeing experimentation. 

Have an amazing and creative week friends, 

Sharon xx

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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 ¬†ūüôā

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

Wip’s and a Plea for Advice.

Firstly, thanks for all your kind wishes.  I am feeling a lot better now thanks, apart from it bringing on the brain fog associated with both the Lupus and Fibromyalgia!! So if this post is rather rambling and forgetful then please forgive me :-).

Well, back to business, after finishing several wips back in July, (see here and here) I was able to start some new projects and I just love starting new projects.

So, what do I have on the go now?  Firstly, some more knitting.

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Yes that’s right, more knitting! ¬†Do you know what, this time I am really enjoying it and have done right from the start. ¬†I am knitting the ‘So I Gather’ shawl. ¬†I saw it on one of your¬†blogs (I have forgotten who, if it was you, if you leave a comment I will put a link to your shawl here) and asked if it was fairly easy and after being assured that it is I decided to give it a go.. The pattern is easy, it has a 12 row repeat but with all the rows being mostly purl or knit with a couple of different stitches at the beginning and end of each row it doesn’t tax he brain too much :-).¬†¬†It uses a lace weight yarn and what with this and my dottie shawl I have decided that lace weight has to be my favourite yarn to work with! ¬†It feels so special and delicate, I love the feel of it in my hands, I just love working with it altogether.

I am halfway through Abi’s stocking pressie and have finished Josh’s so that will be something for the end of the month, which I am sure will be here in no time!..

I have started making my sewing book/case that I have been thinking over in my head for some time.  I am really loving making this.  I just need the time now to sit down quietly and do the next stage.

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I have been doing some stitching for my nieces 21st birthday, a tada post coming soon.

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You have probably noticed that I like trying out new things, well this time it is Tunisian crochet.  I got a hook and decided to just make a dishcloth to try it out.  It is different, crochet with a hint of knitting I suppose but to be honest I am not really enjoying it.

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It is harder on your hands and seems to take a lot longer as you work in one direction adding stitches to the needle and then in the other direction taking them all off again.  It is about like doing all double (single US) crochet but slower.  Having said that I do like the effect of it.  You get a much closer fabric.  I did most of this whilst stuck in traffic!

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I have started using my latest handspun yarn.

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I made a trial shrug with some yarn I had in stash first as I didn’t want to use my handspun straight away in case I didn’t like it¬†but it turned out really well so¬†I¬†have now nearly finished using the yarn I spun for the second¬†shrug. ¬†I really love the way the colour changes are working out.

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I decided to get some more yarn on the go and have started spinning with these rather colourful wool tops!

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I wasn’t sure about it before I started but I am trying to take a couple of colours to spin together and it is coming out a really pretty colour.

There are a couple of other little bits I have made to show you soon and the mice are just waiting for faces!

Looking at that list I am really surprised as I have had very little crafting time since the hols began!

Now comes my plea for HELLLLP!!

Most of you will know by now that I am much more of a crochet person than a knitter. ¬†I persisted with the budgies just because there was no crochet pattern I liked enough for budgies. I enjoyed knitting the slippers a bit more and I am now loving knitting the shawl. ¬†The reason I am trying to get better at knitting is to achieve my unltimate goal…

To knit a pair of socks! ¬†So many of you knit the most gorgeous socks and I¬†would just love to have one pair of socks that I have knitted. ¬†The idea was to gradually increase the difficulty until I felt ready to progress to socks but I have catapulted myself forward by one little comment on a blog post on¬†DaniellaJoe’s Blog.¬†She¬†had knitted some gorgeous socks and I commented about wanting to knit a pair of socks but maybe I should crochet some and she replied she was the opposite way round and she would have to crochet some somewhen. ¬†So I opened my big mouth (or tapped my keyboard) and said that if she was to try crocheting a pair of socks I would try¬†to knit a pair. ¬†And, yes, you guessed it, the challenge was taken up so here I am asking for tips.

I have a beginners book with a basic pattern but any tips would be amazing.  I mean, the book talks about different casting on methods that are good for socks and then needles!!  Do I use three, four, two circular, one circular?

So here I am, hopefully with your tips and a bit of cheering on I might end up with a wearable pair of socks.

Congratulations if you have made it this far in my ramblings! ¬†Just to give a bit of notice, I have some goodies to giveaway and I hope to post about them on Saturday, so if you are interested just keep an eye out for it.¬†¬†ūüėČ

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, the weather is gorgeous here, hopefully for you too.

Happy Crafting

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

Busy and Creative Hols!

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A rather varied week.   A wedding,  cousins round to play, homework, dentist, hospital appointment and buying super cars for £80 million!!

As you can see above all our cereal boxes get recycled by Josh. This week it was a Super car garage.  We bought extremely expensive cars and then had challenges to see which was the best.  Josh kindly let me pick first but I am obviously not very good at choosing the best as he won all except one challenge!

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There’s been a lot of homework too. ¬†Long days of coursework for Abi and a small start on a project about the history of¬†our town by Josh. ¬†He is¬†a great ideas boy and a poster or power point presentation as suggested by his teacher is just too boring so this time it is monopoly with facts on the cards. (He still has most¬†of that to do tomorrow, I’m expecting that quite a lot of encouragement will be needed!!)

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Abi has taken over the dining table and conservatory floor for the week with her textiles coursework. ¬†She is studying birds and together we managed to adapt Lucy at Attic 24‘s crochet fern leaf to a feather.

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I finished my shawl the afternoon before the wedding!!!!! ¬†I absolutely LOVE it. ¬†It is so swishy and feels amazing to wear. I haven’t had a chance to take any photos yet, it has rained all day long here! so hopefully I shall be back with some soon.

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My Cellini bracelet is also finished. ¬†I had it all done once but then realised that the last quarter had some different beads mixed in. ¬†I had been doing it in the evening and accidentally used a very similar but slightly darker bead ;( ¬†so I had to undo that section.¬† I just got it finished Wednesday evening ready for Thursday!! ¬†I really don’t like things being that close to the deadline but that has just been how this month has gone. ¬†I am very pleased with it and it was easier to do than I thought it would be so I am thinking of doing some more. ¬†I used this tutorial.

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I hung my first load of washing outside for this year, Yay!!! I love getting my washing outside.¬†We don’t have a tumble drier and I really do NOT¬†like having it all hanging around inside.

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On Tuesday we had Pancakes and Pancakes and Pancakes, and they were all delicious.

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We had cousins round, My niece has just learnt to walk, aren’t her shoes just adorable. ¬†Josh has also spent quite a bit of time round theirs too, ¬†coming home in need of a bath every time!! ¬†Either from playing football at my brother’s or at my sister from helping the builders in the garden mixing and barrowing cement! ¬†He has just come home again with a bag of extremely muddy clothes!! ¬†(I have learnt to send him with at least one change of clothes and shoes!!)

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The wedding was brilliant. ¬†This brother and sister were so cute. ¬†Just Hubby and I were initially invited but this week Abi got a last minute invite, she was so happy, dancing round the lounge with excitement!! ¬†Josh was more than happy not to be coming. ¬†I was at a lovely venue and the food was very good. ¬†It was great to catch up with a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while. ¬†With 170 guests there was a lot of people to chat to!. ¬†I am paying for it today with the lupus, I always do after a big day but it was worth it.

Talking of my Lupus and fibro, I saw my local rheumy consultant this week, more of a chat than anything. He said that there is not really anything else that they can do and that it is just a case living with it.  Something I have got used to doing anyway!!  At least if I am a feeling rough but not too ill I have got lots of creative things I can keep my mind busy with!!!

I also went to the dentist and had a large filling this week. ¬†I asked not to have an injection as I have reacted to them before, ¬†I think it went a little close to the nerve as it twinged rather as she drilled deeper but I managed¬†to get through without her realising!! ¬†hopefully there won’t be any more for a while.

I have been thoroughly spoiled this week by Abi, she has cooked all the dinners for me as an early birthday treat.  I will try and post about it soon.

Congratulations if you have stuck it out through reading all my waffle! ¬†I hope I haven’t completely bored you. ¬†Hopefully back soon.

Happy Crafting. xx

It finally came…..and went!!

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We finally got it!!! ¬† When I came down yesterday morning it had just started snowing! I called the children and by 6.30am Josh was dressed and playing out the front. ¬†He was soon joined by several other children in our Close and they had a great snowball fight. ¬†A couple of the Dad’s got pelted too when they went out to clear their cars!! ¬†Abi followed shortly afterwards with her camera and got some great shots. ¬†She had to go in to college early so we were rather worried about her as she only passed her test a few weeks ago. ¬†Lots of prayers for her to be kept safe and¬†thankfully once she got out onto the main roads¬†it was fine. ¬†By lunchtime the snow had all melted, I was so pleased that the children got just a little time to enjoy the snow¬†before school. ūüôā

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I have managed to get back into making my Owl and Flower blanket.  Last week I had got a bit overwhelmed with it.  I had decided to finish it before I go on to crochet this gorgeous oversized cardigan and it just seemed so much to do still!  But I really got back into it and all the beaks and eyes are now sewn on. I now need to see if I can find 30 pairs of buttons for the eyes!!  I also discovered I still have another 24 flower squares still to do but I have made a start.  I tend to do them production style so that I can just keep doing the same thing and not need to keep looking at the pattern.

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Do you find you sometimes lose motivation¬†partway through a project?¬†The only other really big crochet project I have done was a blanket for Abi’s bed for her birthday last year. ¬†I really loved that project. ¬†It started out with rows of tulips but after a couple of rows I changed tack and pinned loads of different crochet stitches, afghans etc and then every few rows changed to another stitch and ended up with a sampler style blanket. ¬†She really loves it and I must admit I do too!! ¬†I learnt loads of new stitches and it didn’t get boring at all! ¬†I have the yarn to make a blanket for Josh but I feel the sampler style is a bit girly!!! ¬†My thoughts are waves or ripples but I haven’t settled on a pattern yet!! ¬†Any suggestions folks?

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I’ve also made a start on my Blessings Jar (more on that soon abw).

I’m off to chill now as my Lupus is really playing up and my body is screaming for rest!!

Happy crafting!!

A Lazy Weekend with Gateaux and Crochet!!

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     Hope you all had a lovely weekend.  It was a fairly quiet one here. On Saturday Abi was busy all day with her photography coursework and Hubby and Josh were round my cousin and her fiancés new house helping them decorate.  They have just bought a house around the corner from us.  She was one of our little bridesmaids and at 21 is now hoping to get married herself next month.  It will be lovely having her so close.  I am so favoured and have just over 100 relatives living within a 10 mile radius.

I really didn’t feel my best so apart from making a quick gateaux for Sunday¬†desert and preparing my Sunday school lesson (and a¬†nice nap in the afternoon), I didn’t do much other than crochet!!! I always try to make a nice desert for Sundays as since Dad passed away last year Mum always spends the day with us and I love the opportunity to spoil her a bit as she does so much to help me especially on my bad days. (I have SLE (Lupus) and Fibromyalgia among other things)!!

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I have started to make a shawl that I hope to wear to my cousins wedding!  So only about 5 weeks to make it!!  Thankfully it is made using super chunky yarn so it grows really quickly.  I am using this pattern from Ravelry.

It is not as holey as the picture on the pattern but I am preferring this look.¬† the yarn is quite loopy so not the easiest to work with and rather difficult to see where to insert the hook, I’m having to go more by feel!¬† having said that I am really enjoying making it, it is a very simple pattern.¬† I love the subtle colour changes in the yarn.

Josh was poorly yesterday (Sunday) with a high temperature and I only had half of my usual Sunday School class!!  Seems to be rather a lot going around down here!  I spent all evening reading to him a book about a girl from a Maasai tribe.  He now wants to grow some gourds to make containers with!!  After being delirious in the night, Josh is a lot better this morning. We have ordered gourd seeds and are planning on doing some wet felting later!

Happy crafting all!!