Thursday, May 29, 2008

It is so very pleasing when your teacup co-ordinates with your reading matter.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recipe for success

Take 8 assorted children and 6 adults, put them in one house on a wet bank holiday weekend.

Place children around table and feed lunch of pizza, send children off to play while adults eat their pizza and an apple pie bakes in the oven. Produce apple pie from oven and adults quickly decide best not to share it with children. Guiltily and speedily consume apple pie.

Sprinkle children with music, toys, nintendos, imagination and the "wall of goodness" (cushion related warfare). Give the adults a table, tea and cake.

All afternoon a pot of ragu bubbles lazily on the Aga.

Place children around table, feed lasagne and peas, water with milk and weak squash, finish with fruit. Put to bed.

Place adults around table, feed lasagne and chips, water liberally with champagne and raspberry wine. Hosts then produce Hotel Chocolat Dip to squeals and whoops of excitement. The lack of an hotel which is actually made of chocolate was lamented greatly by all. Adults put themselves to bed, just.

An excellent weekend with friends and of course, Hotel Chocolat, who thoughtfully make chocolates disguised as buttons, meaning that this blogger can hide them amongst her button collection to consume secretly and selfishly.

The chocolate buttons were a gift from my dear friend Kate and delighted me exactly as she knew they would. Whilst writing this post, I suddenly recalled that I had come across these buttons before..... Jane, of course!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More linen, more sewing

I have been knitting of late and exploring fabrics other than linen but for now I bring you more sewing with linen.

The lovely Cassie, a reader who resides in Arizona, kindly offered me a sweater's worth of lovely Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a pretty duc
k egg blue in exchange for something sewn. Cassie has been so very kind to me in the past, gifting me gorgeous sock yarns and Tilly's lovely bubblegum pink cashmere scarf which has featured here before so I was blown away by her very generous offer and also a little anxious about my part of the bargain. You see, I rarely sew for others and my sewing skills are very much self-taught through a process of trial and error so I was very worried that my sewing would not be up to scratch.

I knew I wanted to use linen (after all, it is that sort of linen time of year) and I eventually decided on Amy Butler's Madison Bag pattern. I made this pattern a while ago and was eager to revisit it in linen.

This time I used a much stiffer interlining which does give a lovely firm result but was hell to work with, there was much cursing and the fact that my machine has never been serviced (it is 12 years old) was never more apparent. I used some stashed Amy Butler fabric for the lining and dived into the button bowl for some adornment. Sewing this pattern for the second time reminded me that Amy Butler's patterns really are very well written and the attention to detail is excellent.
This was also the chance to finally get around to sewing something from the wonderful Bend the Rules Sewing which has been sitting by my bed for weeks. I think I need to make several of these for myself, they are the perfect size for organizing all those bits and pieces that get lost in the vortex that is my handbag.
I was very nervous about sending off my parcel, especially as the finishing on the Madison bag really isn't as neat as I would like but I was delighted to be able to pop in a skein of Sofia 2ply which I knew would be well received and hopefully is the right sort of weight for knitting in Arizona.

Now what to knit with the gorgeous duck egg blue yarn? I have been pondering this, it may be time for me to have a go at my own design of sorts, I know just what I want but cannot find the perfect pattern so perhaps I need to get over my maths fear and jump in. It will probably be some time before I make a start as I am hoping it will be too warm for knitting with Cashmerino Aran for a several months so for the moment there is plenty of time to consult Mrs Zimmerman for advice and courage.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sunshine, Portmeirion and a little linen

An unexpected hiatus in blogging but I am back now. My father came to visit last week, he brought Spring sunshine and tomato plants and we visited Portmeirion once more.

I love Portmeirion, such a magical place and it seems the sun always shines (or at least it always seems to shine when we visit). Many of the nooks and crannies of this village are instantly recognisable from various television and film appearances, most famously being The Prisoner, of course.

We lunched in the warm mid-day sun and spent some time on the beautiful sands, the tide was out and the sheltered water was perfect for paddling. We soaked up, sunshine, colour, warmth and scents, such a lovely day.

A strange combination perhaps, Portmeirion and linen but this little skirt was sewn last week, grabbing odd mo
ments here and there. The pattern came from Girly Style Wardrobe, ISBN9784579111329, blogged about here. Simple folds at the front and elastic gathers at the back.

Lovely linen with a pink cotton voile underskirt peeping out below.

A painted pocket.

A simple, pretty, skirt for Spring.