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Showing posts from July, 2014

summer giveaway - Crabtree and Evelyn Gardeners set

Summer is here and we've been so lucky with the weather in the UK haven't we? To celebrate the summer and with gardening in mind I have a fab giveaway of Crabtree and Evelyn Gardeners Hand Recovery Scrub 100g and two 25g handbag size hand therapy cream. I use it all the time and love it so thought I'd share in something I know that works and smells wonderful. Keep it by the kitchen sink for when you've been working in the garden or allotment.


to enter ....

1. leave a comment with your name and Blog if you have one 2. share on your blog for an extra chance

That's it, nice and simple to win a lovely Crabtree and Evelyn package.  I'll keep this open until the end of August. I will post Worldwide. Good luck - Amanda x



disclaimer: this competition is not supported in any way by Crabtree and Evelyn

Baby Beanie (free knitting pattern)

My hairdresser Abbie is pregnant with her first baby (girl) and I was looking for a cute Baby Beanie knitting pattern when I came across this at Knit-O-Matic. It's really cute and I have the wool so that's another weekend project! You can find the pattern link here. It states to knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (and Prints) but I guess you could match the gauge and use another similar yarn although you only need 2 balls so its not too expensive. And the pattern gives 3 sizes.

cables without the cables (Birch Trees scarf)

Earlier this year I came across this lovely Birch Trees Scarf knitting pattern over at Hand Knitted Things. Its one of those patterns that you just have to try because its so pretty and very practical and looks far more intricate and complicated than the 4 row pattern suggests. I like to call it cables without the cables, such a clever pattern thank you Julia Marsh.


 I'm knitting mine on vintage no. 7 needles (kindly given to me by my mother-in-law) and using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino charcoal out of my yarn stash that was meant to be for Ian's scarf! shh don't tell him! I use DB yarn all the time, picking up bargains in John Lewis and eBay but its the first time I've knitted with Cashmerino, and it isn't going to be the last. It gives you great stitch definition and the softest yarn ever, I love it. So here is my scarf in progress. It has been sitting in my car waiting to be loved again after I accidentally knitted the moss stitch border wrong. I know how can you ge…

Pretty in pink

I seem to be having a pink phase at the moment. It all started on Monday with my new kindle Fire HD cover, Wednesday my new shellac nail colour, lovely pink post from The Pigeons Nest with my toadstool magents (they are so cute) flowers in my front and back gardens, a new baby blanket pattern, pink knitted wash cloths and flowers at my sisters villa rental in Spain.

The baby blanket is an easy pattern, not really a pattern, just cast on 130 stitches and knit until each ball of yarn is finished a join a new one, seven in total hopefully. But because I am using Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (soft merino) it will be a squidy blanket to use from baby to toddler, a lovely hand made gift for a November baby.
I'm not normally a pink person but this week I am surrounded by pink! I hope you enjoy the photos and pattern links

Christmas in July (hand-made swap)

I recently took part in the Christmas in July swap hosted by Lisa at Sprouting Creative Wings. I've never taken part before but I did complete the stationery swap earlier this summer and that was great fun too. I received my first gift package with a lovely vintage inspired Christmas stocking from Joanne at A Whole Plot of Love also some craft supplies including lovely hand-made ribbon real and Thornton's chocolates last week followed by a lovely hand made Christmas pudding from Louisa in Australia. It feels quite funny making and receiving Christmas gifts in this hot weather but nothing like getting started early and its always lovely to receive happy post instead of bills.

I have a confession ....... I've already bought some presents and put them in a box in the loft on Sunday night each with a sticky heart post it with the recipients name! So I was already thinking ahead, way too ahead.

For my gift parcels I sent Joanne's first containing a shabby chic Christmas tree…

Granny stripe blanket and crochet flower garland

A busy crafty kind of weekend with some swimmng too. My happy post arrived from Bianca in the Netherlands on Saturday whilst I was sitting adding another border round to my now huge granny stripe blanket. She made me some lovely gift tags and included some stickers too. I took some inspiration back in Sept 2013 from this lovely blanket at the Happy in Red blog


I decided to crochet one round in pale blue then another in bluebell and I think I will finish it with another in bluebell but scalloped edges. Then that is it. It's sad really because although I finished the main blanket a couple of months ago I realy don't want this one to end because its been a lovely project. But since I started this my crochet skills have improved and I'm now working on two granny square blankets, one baby present and the other my sister's Christmas present.
In between I'm finding small projects to practice, like the flower garland pattern I found over at The Crafty Mummy and I started …

swimming (finding time to get fit)

I've recently started swimming again; last Friday to be exact and I can't believe how great I felt and the achievement at getting back in the pool. I gave up smoking 10 months ago and that was easy but putting on weight and trying to loose those extra pounds hasn't been and I've been plucking up courage to get back in the pool to swim myself fit. To be honest I don't know why I was making such a fuss (in my head) because lots of women of all ages, abilities and sizes were doing just the same as me on a Friday night. No one looks at you so I felt at ease and just got in. I set myself a goal of 30 lengths in about an hour and I was amazed that after the first 20 I felt so much better and went on to do 40. Stopping to have a chat with some other swimmers although socialable isn't a good idea because I started to get cold. So without being rude explained I was on a mission and had to complete my target. The other ladies were quite amazed that I'd completed my …

Knitting a neuron

For the past 21 years I've worked for CRS Ltd who are involved in Vision research (that's me on the first page with my head inside a headcoil used in a scanner!) My hobbies and job don't normally merge but when I received this picture from Moorfields I just had to share it with you. Moorfields Eye Hospital London and the Institute of Ophthalmology are long standing customers of CRS; their research work is vital for treating eye conditions. I didn't know that they had a team of knitters who have recently completed this masterpiece, isn't it great? I got in touch with Susan Sandford Smith at the Institute of Visual Neuroscience straight away and she sent me further information on their project. Not only have they produced a work of art but some of the group couldn't knit two years ago, just shows what can be done when you put your mind to it!



Here's what Susan had to say about the project

The idea of knitting a neuron isn’t new, in fact it was because one of …

a little thank you

Just quickly popping in to say thank you to all my new blogger friends. It's always lovely to see a new blogger has taken the time to pop by and to read my stuff and to join my readers list. I'm going to have another give-away shortly and this time it will be some lovely Crabtree and Evelyn, I use the hand cream every day and it keeps my hands moisturised after gardening or cleaning; and the smell is great too! Just what every gardener could do with by the kitchen sink. Enjoy the sunshine. Amanda x

B is for Broad Bean

If you thought broad beans were not worth growing, think again. One packet of dwarf variety about 20 plants (some sown later) and I had enough to make this recipe. There are still lots of little broad beans growing. They were delicious and I've added Broad Bean Sutton to my seed list to sow this autumn for an earlier crop next year! I've also used them in a stir fry and they are so versitile.