Fun with friends

Random | Wednesday January 19 2011 | 11:50 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , |

There’s nothing like spending time with friends to make you feel better so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this week!

Have you been to see The King’s Speech?  It’s sooooo good!  It’s really funny which I didn’t expect and it’s also really interesting.  I am fascinated by the period in history between the two world wars too so I really enjoyed that.  Colin Firth was brilliant in the lead role and I can really understand why he is winning awards for it!  Another reason why it was so good to go to the cinema this week… my friend had a free ticket so we shared the cost of the other ticket!  Bargain!

There’s also been a bit of yarn shopping!!  I have been meaning to go to Black Sheep Wools, near Warrington, for ages and Kathy and I had spoken about going before Christmas but it was closed for refurbishment.  It opened again last week so off we went.  Oh, it’s sooooo good!  (yes in this post everything is sooooo good’)  It’s really big for a yarn shop and has a really good range of brands, prices and qualities of yarn.  There are also lots of accessories and loads of embroidery and cross stitch things too.  I didn’t go too mad – well, I’m a girl of limited means now aren’t I!!?  I’ll show you what I bought another time, but here’s a peek in Kathy’s bag, and some pictures of the shop:

And then this afternoon there was cake!  It is my friend Jayne’s birthday today so she invited lots of the girls round and had her 2 teenagers on tea and coffee making duty (I must say they did a sterling job!).  Jayne had made lots of cakes: the victoria sponge was sooooo good and absolutely delicious.  We all had a really good giggle!  In fact after a couple of hours we had decided to set up our own version of the WI and meet fortnightly for carrot growing contests, trips out, reading groups, exhibitions and crafts.  Mad but true!!!

Here’s the cake:

When things aren’t feeling very good for me I can find it too easy to stay indoors and shut myself away.  That was fine when I still had to go to work every day, but now I could go days without having reason to go out.  I’m still not sleeping very well so not 100% but hoping that with a bit of time I’ll start fully enjoying my time not working!  So long as it doesn’t last too long that is!!


Shop local

Craft | Friday October 15 2010 | 4:27 pm | No Comments | Tags: , |


It only opened on Tuesday this week, but my friend and I have been to Purl City Yarnsalready!  Ok I’ll be honest – we went the day it opened!  We just happened to be free after work that day, I’m sure you understand!!

I didn’t go TOO mad with my purchases and I do have plans for all of them:

Austermann Step (bottom left): fingerless gloves for presents – this yarn contains aloe vera and jojoba – yum!

King Cole Riot (the two balls with yellow in them) – more presents – the Circles scarf from current Inside Crochet magazine.

Austermann Grande (the 3 balls in pinks / purples) – I love smooth glossy yarn like this for bracelets and necklaces and these are popular at craft fairs.

Araucania (pink / grey) – this is to make a cosy hat just for me!

I can’t wait to get cracking on new projects but my list of ‘to do’s’ is growing and unfortunately hours in the day do not increase!  Ah well!



Craft | Wednesday October 13 2010 | 5:36 pm | Comments (4) | Tags: , , , |

I was reading a month or two ago on Ravelry about someone who put a lot of time and love into crocheting a baby blanket for a close friends only to have the gift dismissed and cast aside when she gave it to her friend on the baby’s arrival.  Of course there was lots of sympathy on Ravelry as we all put so much into the gifts we make.  I have never experienced that sort of reaction but I would be very upset if I did.

Some commenters were saying that maybe the recipient didn’t know the blanket was hand made for her, or maybe she was worried about caring for a handmade item, particularly given how messy babies can be!  Both completely possible scenarios.

One of the commenters gave a link to an item she had bought on Etsy from Knit, in the form of little tags to put on crafted / gifted items with details of the composition and laundry instructions.  It is a tin of little gift tags that say ‘A hand-crocheted gift’ – there’s no mistaking that is there!!! 

They are so cute and such a brilliant and simple idea, very well executed.  When I gift a handmade item I usually give the recipient a band from the ball of yarn, but that’s not very pretty.

I bought one tin of these and had intended to give some of them to my crocheting friend whose birthday approaches (yes chick, you know who you are!) but I am not sure I can part with any of them!  Maybe I’ll need to buy some more for her.  Knit is currently away from Etsy having a baby herself but due back very soon, so have a look!


Coming soon to Manchester

Craft | Wednesday October 6 2010 | 11:15 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , , |

I first heard of Purl City Yarns a few months ago when its creator, Charlie, had a request on Ravelry for yarnie folks in Manchester to answer her questionnaire to help her get funding and develop plans to open a yarn store in the city.  Believe it or not Manchester does not already have a yarn store that stocks artisan and less ‘mass-market’ (for want of a better word!) brands and it has been very much needed.  I, like many others, buy yarn online or when out and about elsewhere when I see lovely things.  Online is great, but I do like to touch, see and smell the yarns (OK you may think smelling them is a bit weird, but don’t judge me on that!)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a yarn snob and firmly believe there’s room in the market for all sorts and us yarnies love nothing more than a practical bargain yarn.  I personally use a lot of them for projects that need to be easily washed and used and washed and used over and over again.  Especially good for kids things – baby milk and hand wash alpaca are never a good mix!!! 

So back to Purl City Yarns!  The shop is in the Northern Quarter in Manchester and is opening very soon.  I’m quite sure I’m not alone sitting on my hands to stop myself buying yarn elsewhere until its open.

They will be stocking some lovely brands and accessories – here’s a list from their website:

Stock is growing and the shelves are filling up:


I am really looking forward to having a yarn ‘community’ locally with the associated groups, courses and events.  I have a growing number of friends who share my passion for making and doing and I am sure we shall enjoy spending some time browsing the shelves of Purl City Yarns and no doubt spending some £££ too!!

I love the look of all the yarns that are coming but my favourite has to be these Natural Dye Studio yarns – these are all the colours that float my boat!


However, after my recent experience of getting Caveman to hold a skein for me while I wound it into ball I may have to rope in some other help for that task!!!

Fancy checking out Purl City Yarns yourself – opening day is 12th October and here’s all the info you need to find or contact them:

62 Port Street, Manchester M1 2EQ

0161 425 3864


Maybe see you there!!!

I’ll leave you with some more of PCY’s own pics of their yarn (all pics in this post are theirs).  I LUUUUUURVE this first one – pink and green is my fave colour combination, hence the colours of this site:



A surprise in the post

Craft | Tuesday June 8 2010 | 9:36 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , |

I had a lovely, unexpected surprise in the post today when I arrived home from work. A brown envelope was waiting for me which could have contained anything from a bill to some random advertising thing. However, it wasn’t anything as dull as that. It was a lovely treat… £25 of Hobbycraft vouchers!  Whoop Whoop!

The last time I was in my nearest store in Stockport it had had a facelift and they were having a draw to win gift vouchers to celebrate.  I duly filled in my details and forgot all about it.  You see, I never win anything!  I can’t say that any more can I!!

I’ve spent plenty money in Hobbycraft and other craft shops over the years so it’s great to get a bit of it back.  I think I may use my winnings to buy some lovely Amy Butler for Rowanyarn.  Last week I treated myself to 3 balls and haven’t decided what to do with them yet.  I might just pop back for some more and get enough to make myself a bag.  Yes, that sounds like a plan!


Teeny Tiny Teacups

Tea | Wednesday March 17 2010 | 11:30 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , |

‘They couldn’t be more YOU if they tried’ said Caveman as I found these earrings in Accessorize!  They just had to be mine!

teeny tiny teacup earrings on table

teeny tiny teacup earrings hanging

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