A Postcard from August 2022

Hello there! I hope you’re well. It’s the very last day of the school summer holidays for us today… tomorrow Youngest heads off to Secondary school for the first time -eek! Also, since my last postcard post, we have had A-Level results which means that Eldest will soon fly the nest to University… not sure how I feel about that.

In the meantime here’s a little look at what we’ve been up to this last month beginning with something I completely forgot to mention which happened in July … I went to ABBA Voyage!!! How could I possibly forget to mention that?!!

ABBA VOYAGE

ABBA Voyage venue

I know I’m not alone in the fact I grew up with Abba as the soundtrack to my life, so when I saw last year that the new show was coming to London, I applied for tickets. I was hoping to take my parents with me but unfortunately a holiday they were meant to go on in 2020 got rescheduled to the same weekend so I ended up going with a couple of school friends – which was really nice. It was an utterly amazing experience and unexpectedly emotional. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes ABBA, and thanks to the rescheduled holiday, I’m going back to see it again with my Mum later this year too!

Waiting for the show to start…

Vitamin Tree

It was always a tradition when we lived in Gibraltar, that on our annual summer holiday back to the UK we would take a picnic to Marbury Country Park near Northwich in Cheshire and have a walk, play some football or frisbee and then call in for ice cream at the Great Budworth ice cream farm on the way home – sounds like a perfect summer’s day out don’t you think? Well, this year was no different, although we were down to just 2 Little Postcards as Eldest has had a job this summer and wasn’t able to join us for our outing. It’s such a lovely place – which I treasured for the Vitamin Tree I got when I visited.

Just look at the light.

There’s something about a British summer and the way the world looks here which you don’t get in the Med. I think it’s the way the sun shines through the deciduous leaves maybe. Anyway, it’s not something I really appreciated before we moved to Gibraltar and I wondered whether I would begin to take it for granted again now we are back in the UK full time. I can tell you that I don’t! It’s just gorgeous. I didn’t take any photos of the ice cream farm this time – but I did snap the sunflower maze which had been planted for kids to wander through. Don’t those sunflowers look so bright and jolly?

Exam results day

Exam results day. 30 years ago I came to this very same building to learn my fate and find out my exam results. This year I went along with Eldest. I never could have imagined at the age of 18 that I would be back again one day with one of my children to find out how they had done. I’m relieved to say the exams went well and he’s now preparing to head off to his first choice of university later this month.

PARIS!

I had an amazing long weekend away in Paris with Eldest to celebrate his birthday (belatedly) and his exam success. We went on the Eurostar (which was amazing) and packed such a lot into our few days. There will be a blog post to follow with some of our adventures in, so I won’t tell you all about it now. Suffice to say it was amazing to get away for a few days (as we didn’t have a big family trip away this year) although I was ready for a holiday when I got back after all the walking and fun we packed in!

And so it begins… back to the old routine!

And so it begins…. back at football training again last week and a pre season friendly match at the weekend ready for the new season beginning next week. And just like that we were back to normal.

I began writing this post yesterday, and am finishing it off this morning (Monday morning) after having waved Youngest off on the school bus for the first time to take him to secondary. I have two still at home today, but will have a quiet house again tomorrow. I’m off on a shopping trip now to get things for Uni – wish me luck!

I hope August was kind to you! Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2022 : Week 4

So here we are again! Another week gone already. This summer is whizzing by and I want it to stop or the Little Postcards will be back to school and the leaves will be falling and we’ll be heading back into winter – nooo!

It’s been a big week in our house – we were awaiting A-Level results and I’m thrilled to say they were favourable and all is well. I’m hugely grateful that’s over and done with but am all too well aware it hasn’t been the best week for some.

Day 22 : Saturday 13th August 2022

Just look at that fabulous texture as the summer sun shines on the slub base yarn from @the_yarnwhisperer – making progress on my Dragonfly River MAL.

Day 23 : Sunday 14th August 2022

Crochet Sunshine anyone? ☀️

Sunny weather brings out the daisies in the garden! Trying to get something whipped up in time for #grannysquareday2022 tomorrow…

Pattern is the Flora square by Lucy from Attic24 and it’s really fun to make!

Day 25 : Monday 15th August 2022

Happy Granny Square Day 2022!

I was so caught up in the excitement of Granny Square Day that I couldn’t stop making them! Here’s Day 24 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 and it’s all about the grannies!

All of these Grannies are evolving into a cushion cover I think… I’m in love with the Daisy centres to the squares and they work up so fast too! Granny Square appreciation isn’t just for Granny Square Day you know! 😂

Day 26 : Tuesday 16th August 2022

And that’s them all joined up. I joined them initially, decided against my colour choices and placement, so frogged part of it, made another square and swapped the red one out. I’m chuffed with how it’s growing!

Day 27 : Wednesday 17th August 2022

So that red square which got jettisoned yesterday hasn’t gone to waste! Here it is surrounded by more granny clusters. Not sure whether it will be the back of a cushion or become a second cushion cover… I had been at sixes and sevens all day as I did a bit of this, then went off to do something else – I just couldn’t settle knowing that A-Level results were due the next day.

Day 28 : Thursday 18th August 2022

After the drama and excitement of an early morning trip to school to get some good news (thank goodness) I was back onto my Dragonfly River MAL. Getting closer to the end of part one… I’m itching to get cracking on part 2 – not long to go….

Day 29 : Friday 19th August 2022

Excuse the straggly ends… I promise I will weave them all in once I’m finished on this section of the Dragonfly River MAL! Those of you familiar with the MAL will be able to spot the mistake I made early on but decided I could live with… If my calculations are correct I’ve just got 7 rows left to go!

Thanks for stopping by to share my Summer Craft Challenge – it really is a lot of fun and keeps me busy making during the holidays when there are so many other distractions.

I hope it’s been a good week for you. See you next time!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2022 : Week 3

Hello there, how are we at Saturday already? This was meant to be published last Saturday but there’s something about the school holidays when routine goes out of the window and I completely lose track of what’s going on! I have a feeling I may not be alone in this!

Here’s what I’ve been up to craft-wise lately…

Day 15 : Saturday 6th August 2022

Day 15 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 and thankfully I found some time for crochet at the end of the day! Progress is being made on this lovely #dragonflyrivermal project. I’m loving it! 💙💚🤍

Day 16 : Sunday 7th August 2022

You know when you realise you are only 2 rows off finishing a project but you can’t find the pattern so decide to wing it?! Well about to frog the last 2 rows for the second time… I’m off to look for the pattern! 😂

Day 17 : Monday 8th August 2022

There are days when football training is pretty bleak and miserable, but there are also days when it’s brill. Today was one of those days, sunshine, lovely parents to chat to and a spot of crochet in the evening sunshine ☀️. Making progress on my #dragonflyrivermal – I reckon I’m about a quarter of the way through. Still loving it!

Day 18 : Tuesday 9th August 2022

More alfresco crochet today! Our annual picnic at Marbury Park in Cheshire… I even saw a couple of dragonflies although they were too fast to photograph.

Day 18 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 was very pleasant working on my #dragonflyrivermal from @kcaco.uk & @the_yarnwhisperer in the sunshine & dappled shade of the Northwich Woodland.

Day 19 : Wednesday 10th August 2022

No time for crochet today… it’s be a day filled of utility sewing – name tapes and school trouser hems. I did give the neighbours a treat though as I dragged the ironing board out into the sunshine in the back garden so my long standing WIP and finally finished scarf/shawl could block in the sun! They’re used to watching me pose amigurumi dolls about the place, but they must’ve thought I’d gone properly bonkers to be contemplating ironing in the hot sun ☀️ 😂.

Yarn by @woollywumpkins
Shawl Pattern : Easy One Skein Crochet Shawl by @anniedesigncrochet

Ta-dah!

Day 20 : Thursday 11th August 2022

Nocturnal crochet for me this evening and back to the #dragonflyrivermal – Day 20 of my #summercraftchallenge2022

Day 21 : Friday 12th August 2022

Crochet in the garden this evening whilst admiring my new solar fairy lights… Day 21 of my #summercraftchallenge2022

And that’s last week’s crochet adventures complete! I’m off now to write the latest installment!

See you soon!

Lindsay x

A postcard from June & July 2022

Sorry for the lack of postcard from June – it was a very hectic month with exams and school stuff in our house – very little of it photo worthy so I opted to tag a bit of June in with July’s postcard. So here goes…

Garden news

My front door pots

One of the joys of having a postcard from two months is that I can share the progress of my garden in that time. Last month I set about planting up two new pots to live either side of my front door – they looked a little sparse to begin with but blimey look how they’re doing now!

Also I love agapanthus, I have tried many times over the years, both in the UK and Gibraltar, to grow them but with rather lack lustre results. This year though, I was given some established plants by my parents who were thinning out their substantial agapanthus patch. Just look at these beauties – I didn’t expect them to flower after being disturbed and moved to my garden!

Football, football, football…

The calm before the chaos!

June was super busy for us with football. Our local club hosted two weekends of tournaments, youngest played in one of the home tournaments then another elsewhere the next week. The money raised from staging the tournaments, to which teams from across the North West of England come, means that they are able to keep the joining fee for young players affordable – some teams I have heard of charging literally hundreds for kids to join!

I was on bacon butty duty for some of it. I could still smell the bacon days later 😂.

From grass roots to top of the tree! Earlier this month I was lucky enough to take number 2 and number 3 sons to Old Trafford to watch the opening game of the Womens Euros – England against Austria.

Wow! What an atmosphere and their first game at Old Trafford. I’m so pleased I was able to do this and now they can say they were there at the start of the Lionesses Euros journey!

And then down to earth with a bump!

Nothing like sitting in a puddle on a deckchair on a very wet Sunday afternoon watching your 11 year old play! Utterly saturated!! We dried out eventually!

School play

Youngest’s school were able to put on their first school production in 3 years this year. Someone caught wind that I could sew so I was drafted in on the costume making. It was gorgeous fabric – rather like the type you would use for a wedding dress or bridesmaids dress which the school had been gifted. It was lovely to sew but not quite big enough for what they wanted… two cloaks with hoods. Sadly there wasn’t enough for the hoods and one sleeve was made of a patchwork of 5 different pieces but I got there in the end!

Foxy Loxy

We have a few neighbourhood foxes and they are so cheeky! Since we moved here 2 years ago I have encountered one or more on my evening strolls but blimey this one was cheeky. I was walking home one evening and stopped in my tracks when I caught sight of this cheeky money stretched out at my neighbour’s driveway! He / she sat there quite happily looking straight at me as I took photos and then vanished!

Crochet news

There have been a couple of crochet pattern releases since my last monthly postcard. Daisy (above) is my most recent floral inspired pattern and the pattern has yet again been illustrated by my very talented childhood friend Emma Jackson. She was inspired by the daisies popping up on my lawn!

You can find Daisy’s pattern here.

School days pattern

Next up was my ‘School days’ pattern which was prompted after I made a couple of crocheted school children for Youngest’s school summer fair along with a load of crocheted friendship bracelets.

I thought that maybe someone else might like to make a school child for their local school’s fundraising efforts or for a young person who’s about to begin their own school adventure soon.

You can find the School Days pattern here.

Podcast news

It’s been a busy couple of months for Making Stitches Podcast. There have been 5 episodes released in June & July. Clockwise from the top left of the photo above there was Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project, Kitey aka The Yarn Whisperer, Sally Wilson from Caterpillar Cross Stitch, Emma Munn from Emma Knitty and finally Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum and Juey from Juey Jumbo Craft Tools.

You can listen back to any of the episodes by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or via this link.

And that just about brings this latest postcard to a close. I hope June & July we’re kind to you and your August is going well too. The tension levels are rising in our house as the dreaded A-Level results day draws nearer…. Eek!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Take care,

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2022 : Week One

Well folks it’s that time of year again when I challenge myself to do something crafty every day of the school summer holidays, take a photo of it and share it. It’s become a bit of an institution round here. Being a stay-at-home Mum, and especially when we stayed in Gibraltar where they have longer school summer holidays (8+ weeks some years) I clung to my craft as a little routine to get me through!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but often the things I like to do would get cast aside in favour of family stuff. But by carving out as little as 5 minutes some days meant I had a little slice of time in the day to focus on my hands and unknot my brain.

So, last weekend was the first of this summer’s break and I thought I’d pick up the summer craft challenge baton again and run with it… here goes:

Day 1 : Saturday 23rd July 2022

Why not start with a WIP I was working on in last year’s summer craft challenge? This Daisy hexie blanket was a kit from Yarn Lane. The pattern and most of the yarn is by Marriner Yarns but I’ve decided it looked too samey so am alternating the penultimate round with varying pastel shades from my own stash (predominately Stylecraft Special DK). We’ll see if my plan works in about six years’ time when I finish! 😂

Day 2 : Sunday 24th July

More hexies today, but done with bleary eyes. Do you spot the balloon? It was Youngest’s birthday very recently but as it was very hectic with end of term excitement on the big day, his party was last night – including a ‘not-very-much-sleep… over’. I managed to find a few moments before dropping off after the post party clear up for a bit of crochet!

Day 3 : Monday 25th July

Just before the end of term, youngest was invested into one of the local scout groups. I had been putting off sewing the new badges on for a couple of weeks but decided to crack on before the new school uniform began arriving with all the required name tapes and hem alterations. Not exactly ‘fun’ sewing, more untility sewing but more colourful than what lies ahead!

Day 4 : Tuesday 26th July

An odd day with appointments and shopping, but still time to begin another project! A little head for another school child to be gifted.

Day 5 : Wednesday 27th July 2022

Leg number one done after a busy day chasing round on the hunt for new school uniform!

Day 6 : Thursday 28th July 2022

And then there were two!

Day 7 : Friday 29th July 2022

And finally a body! Just needs his head, hair, tie & jumper….

I’m feeling rather pleased that I haven’t fallen at the first hurdle and have managed a complete week! Here goes for week 2…..,

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

The Class of 2022: crochet, school days & the end of an era

Today is a bit of a milestone in our home. It marks the end of a 14 year-long period of time when at least one of the Postcard children was at primary school. Today, Youngest says goodbye to his primary years and looks ahead to secondary education. It’s going to be an emotional one for everyone involved – the Leaver’s Assembly will be awash with parental tears I’m sure.

Photo borrowed from my ‘Back to School’ post in September 2015 – eek time flies!

For some of Youngest’s classmates it’s the end of 8 years at the school – those who began in Nursery and then Reception before moving up the school to Year 6. For him though, it marks the end of a very happy 2 years settling into a new life in the UK after starting out in Gibraltar. My three boys have in total been educated in 7 different primary schools between the three of them – starting out in West Yorkshire, then to Gibraltar and now in Manchester. For someone who spent the entirety of her childhood in the same house and went to three schools in total, my boys have had a rather ‘interesting’ time of it. I hope that the new people and experiences they have encountered along the way have enhanced rather than detracted from their learning and life experiences.

I felt that I had to do something to thank the school for all their help settling Youngest into life here and so, last month when they were able to hold their first summer fair in three years, I contributed something for their fundraising effort….

This cheeky pair are inspired by a couple of young people I know and helped raise more than £50 towards the sum raised by the parents association for school equipment. We asked people to guess the number of stitches used to make each school child. The guesses ranged from 60 to tens of thousands!

Once I’d stared crocheting though, I couldn’t stop, so made a load of crocheted friendship bracelets and hair clips to add to the stall as well. The hair clips are decorated with Lucy from Attic24’s Teeny Tiny Flowers you can find the link to that pattern here.

The bracelets I made up myself – they are super easy. Just chain 31, then make 1 double crochet (Dc) in the 2nd chain from the hook and along the remaining 29 Chains. Then chain 15, slip stitch into the 2nd chain from the hook, and back along the remaining 13 chains. 1Dc into the first of the original chains and make 1Dc into every chain along to the other end of the row. Then chain 15 again and slip stitch into the 2nd chain from the hook, and back along the remaining 13 chains. Make 1Dc into the first of the original double crochet stitches, and every other one along the row before finishing off at the end of the row and weaving in the ends.

By the time you have made a few, they rattle off your hook in no time. There is no end to the possible colour combinations. I bought some variegated yarn in a couple of colourways to prevent the need to change colours, but for the Manchester United (red & black or white) and Manchester City (pale blue & white) themed ones I made the original chain and first row of double crochet in one colour before changing to make the edging and ties in the main colour.

I have no idea how much these other items raised in the fair, but the ones which were left over were kept by the school to sell at lunchtimes in the playground, so they didn’t go to waste.

All laid out and ready for the fair opening…

Once I had made my little crocheted school children, I suddenly thought, someone else might like to make a little school person for a child or a school in their lives too, so I wrote a pattern for it. Meet the School Days Class of 22…

School Days Class of 22

If you would like to have a go at making one of my ‘School Days’ dolls, you can find the pattern over in my Etsy shop (the link to the pattern listing is here). The pattern is written in such a way that you can make a doll who wears a skirt, trousers or shorts, a long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt or polo shirt and with a jumper or cardigan. In fact the cardigan could also work as a blazer if you add a lapel to the edge too. The colour combinations are entirely down to you to match your own school uniform colours, so every one will be unique just like our young people themselves.

I’m off now to lie down in a darkened room to prepare for the emotional day ahead and the long summer break….. did I hear someone say Summer Craft Challenge??

Thanks for stopping by, and happy crafting!

Lindsay x

A postcard from May 2022

Hello there! Happy new month to you. I’m just dropping in for a quick post today as, when I looked back at my photos for May, they seemed very dull and not post worthy.

So here’s a very quick round up of what I’ve been up to lately…

Crochet news…

Well, I seem to have been crocheting non-stop lately but I’ve not been able to settle on anyone thing for long! I began the month crocheting a rainbow hat for a future ‘Up the garden path’ character but got distracted by another project which you can see below…

Youngest’s school is holding its first summer fair in 3 years this year and I was racking my brains as to what to do to support it… I hit on an idea and will hopefully be able to share it with you next month!

One of the highlights of designing my own patterns is seeing someone else’s interpretation of what I’ve created. My fundraising Sophia the Sunflower for Ukraine is still available in my Etsy shop and I was thrilled to spot this Sophia made in the Ukrainian national colours – she is to be gifted to a Ukrainian girl who recently arrived in the UK. What a lovely thing to do.

Football crazy

Early in the month we had a very big game – well when I say we, I mean Youngest! I have been a football Mum for many years and never before have I seen one of my offspring play in a final…. Until this year. And guess what? They only went and won! Cue: boundless joy in our house for a few days as we all floated about on cloud 9!!!

The birds….

One day while I was alone at home getting on with jobs I heard a racket coming from the back garden, when I went to investigate I found it full of starlings. I counted over 30. There were parents and chicks and all sorts of squabbles and shenanigans going on! The photos don’t do it justice. Suffice to say, the bird feeders took a battering that day!

Messing about on the water

Last weekend we had an invitation to join some very good friends for a kids sailing session at a nearby reservoir. Youngest had never been sailing before but he’s always up for something new and jumped at the chance. It was absolutely fabulous. They were given brilliant instruction by the leaders, monitored at all times, got full use of wetsuits etc and were on the water for a few hours – all for £10!!! We will definitely be going back!

The added bonus was a bit of peace & quiet for waterside alfresco crochet…

That was on Saturday, then on Sunday we spent most of the day on a local playing field having an impromptu football session with other families from his team. Another opportunity for alfresco crochet, however I did find myself being roped in to play. I am rubbish in goal – I let 5 in, but I was told I’m pretty good in defence, so I’ll take that. My aching muscles though, haven’t forgiven me. I’m still stiff as a board today! 😂

Podcast news

Lynne Rowe

May saw two episodes of Making Stitches Podcast released. The first being a chat I had with knit and crochet designer Lynne Rowe from Knit Crochet Create & The Woolnest. The second episode last month featured a trip I made to the Peoples History Museum in Manchester where they have the biggest collection of Trades Union banners in the world. I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes peek at the fabric conservation work they do there. It was fascinating.

You can listen to all Making Stitches episodes by searching for Making Stitches Podcast on your favourite podcast app or via this link.

Khloe, a conservator at the Peoples History Museum

And that just about brings this quick post to an end. I do hope May has been a good month for you, and whatever you’re up to this long Platinum Jubilee weekend, I hope the sun shines for you!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by & take care!

Lindsay x

A postcard from April 2022

Quarry Bank Mill at Styal

Hello there and welcome to this latest Postcard from April – if a little late! It’s a teeny look back at what I got up to in April and as spring has sprung well and truly round here, it meant spending a lot of time out in my little garden.


Where we live we are surrounded by streets and roads filled with trees. I believe the local town planner back in the 1930s believed that there should be a tree planted for every person who lived in the district, so we have him to thank for all the lush greenery around here.

One of the side effects of having so many trees about is that they drop their seeds in autumn and as I discovered last spring (our first in this house) those seeds produce dozens and dozens of tiny seedlings in our pebble driveway. This is just one handful of seedlings picked during about 10 minutes one afternoon – there are approximately 124 seedlings there. I reckon in total I’ve pulled up at least 200 – which would have left me with a jungle or even a forest between our front door and the pavement! It’s no trouble really and rather therapeutic, although they can be hard to spot against the pebbles, and are easy to miss.

Fence panel painting before & after (left panel is painted, right panel isn’t)

Also in the garden, I decided that this year, it was time to give the fence panels a treat. Thankfully the previous owner had left a partially used pot of fence paint, so I was able to set to work straight away once the mood took me. Once I ran out of the original stuff, a quick trip to the local DIY shop had me back to work. One day over Easter weekend I managed to paint 15 fence panels. I was a little tired that evening!

I also thought the shed could do with a treat, despite painting it last year, it was looking a little tired. So that got a coat of paint too along with a new trellis and a new honeysuckle which I bought from the local allotment which was having a plant sale. It’s more than doubled in size since this picture was taken!

Birthdays

There were two birthdays in the household in April. One was a big one as Eldest turned 18 – eek! I have no idea how that happened. I’m just mentally preparing myself for the fact he’s going to be leaving home (all being well) in September to go off to University. Not sure how I’ll feel when the time comes….

Another birthday I celebrated last month was the 2nd birthday of Making Stitches Podcast – but more on that later….

Psyduck (minus his tuft of hair/feathers)

I was invited to a special 21st birthday party last month too. Special in that it was 2 years late. A very good friend of mine has a lovely son who turned 21 in April of 2020, at the time a party had been planned and of course lockdown happened so he had no celebration at all. In fact his parents only managed to deliver a cake to the driveway of where he was living and sang happy birthday from the car, before driving home.

Unlike certain other people, he didn’t have a party….. that was until this year, when, two years later than planned, family and friends were able to get together for a better-late-than-never celebration. Oh, and the amigurumi I’m holding above is Psyduck (a Pokémon character – in case you didn’t know). This young man was a huge fan of Psyduck when he was younger, so I made him one – albeit with out the tuft of hair he’s supposed to have because I left it to the last minute and forgot to in the rush! But the recipient was happy and the party was a great night.

Easter holiday trip out

We are very fortunate to have a few really great National Trust properties close to where we live. One of those is Styal Mill near Manchester Airport. Our great friends and neighbours across the road were going for the day, so I took youngest along with me (the other two were otherwise engaged) for an Easter treasure trail and picnic on a lovely warm and, at times, sunny day.

We hadn’t been for a few years – it’s so easy forget what’s down the road isn’t it? But I’m so glad we had the invitation to join our friends. The kids had fun and ran off some energy whilst learning about the industrial revolution and leeches (on the tour of the apprentice house). It had particular resonance for my young man because the mill was actually used as a location for the filming of the new CBBC drama Dodger, which he had very much enjoyed watching.

The grounds were looking gorgeous and the picture of spring with tulips galore and azaleas too – the rhododendrons were just about to explode into colour too.

A trip down to London

As mentioned before, Eldest has his sights set on University for later this year, and last month was invited for a look around one of the Unis on his list. I tagged along so I could see where he might be disappearing off to. Blimey, universities have moved on a lot since I was at one! The services and support are so much more sophisticated than I can remember, which certainly put my mind at rest as a slightly anxious parent. Another positive of the day trip was plenty of time for hooky on the train!

Podcast Update

In podcast news, as well as celebrating 2 years of Making Stitches Podcast, I released a couple of new episodes. Episode 42 was ‘Crochet-tastic’ and packed full of crochet chatter featuring a conversation I had with Hannah Cross of Hanjan Crochet and another with Amanda Bloom formerly of Little Box of Crochet and now from Cosy Life Boxes about her amazing fundraising efforts for Ukraine with her ‘Blanket of Hugs’ for Ukraine appeal. You can find a link to the episode here.

Hannah Cross of Hanjan Crochet (l) & Amanda Bloom (r)

Episode 43 was bright and colourful (if you can do that with sound) and featured the lovely Clare Albans from Hello Hooray Blog about her creative journey from music teacher to hand-embroidery designer and small business owner. Last year, Clare was able to open her own bricks and mortar studio and haberdashery shop thanks to a Kick-starter campaign. You can find a link to that episode here.

Clare Albans from Hello Hooray Blog

And that’s just about it from me for this month. I have been working on a few crochet projects behind the scenes but I hope to be able to share them with you very soon, and I’m still working on up-coming episodes of Making Stitches too.

I hope you have enjoyed this little look back at April in my world and that it hasn’t been too boring for you! I hope you’ve had a good month too.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time, bye for now!

Lindsay x

Is it too late to say ‘Happy New Year!’?: A postcard from December

Hello everyone, happy New Year! I know it’s a bit late but you know how it is, post Christmas and New Year business got in the way of planning this post. Better late than never – at least I managed this while it’s still January…….just!

I hope your festive period was ok. I know it’s still not completely how it used to be and for many people in particular it will have been difficult.

Here’s what I got up to at the end of last year…

New pattern releases

Holly from Up the Garden Path

Following on from my patterns for Flora the Gardener and Hope the Snowdrop, in December I published the next two patterns in my Up the Garden Path collection. They are ‘Holly’ and ‘Ivy’.

Ivy from Up the Garden Path

They are both available to buy from my ETSY shop….

… and feature more beautiful illustrations by my very talented friend Emma – aren’t they adorable?!

Holly as drawn by Emma Jackson
Ivy by Emma Jackson

I think Ivy has a look of Rula Lenska don’t you think?

Start as you mean to go on…

Slightly blurry in-motion snap!

Last year’s New Year’s resolution was to try and design my own crochet patterns for the first time – which I’m thrilled that I managed to see through.

This time though, I don’t want to risk failing or setting the bar too high, so I haven’t made any resolutions as such. However, in late November I reacquainted myself with my Couch to 5K app. Throughout December I carried on with my thrice weekly runs, and was lucky enough to enjoy some beautiful, sunny mornings.

I’ve now (in January) completed all 9 weeks and am running 30 mins without stopping, which I’m thrilled about – I was built for crochet not speed!!

Booster-tastic

December also meant booster time for me. The previous time I visited this vaccination Centre, there were daffodils around the place. It was funny to be back again with the leaves which had just begun appearing last time now on the floor.

Podcast Christmas Special

My guests for the first Making Stitches Christmas Special (Clockwise from top left: Heather Griffith from HG Designs Crochet, Sara Huntington, Editor at Simply Crochet Magazine, some of the staff from Black Sheep Wools in Warrington, Kate Blackburn from WhatKatieDidUK, Louise Armitage aka Gini from Gini’s Dorset Buttons, Adam Brooks from Great British Sewing Bee & Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou.

You can find the podcast episode webpage here if you want to find out more.

Christmas crochet makes

A dinky Christmas tree from a Molly Makes pattern

As always it was a busy time for my hooks in the run up to Christmas… I made a couple of gifts and a new top for myself.

A Cinderella doll for a special friend

And… you know when you set yourself a slightly unrealistic target and have to burn the midnight oil to get it done? Well I decided at the last minute to make a Christmassy tank top…. I did get it finished in time, but the ends weren’t woven in in time for the day in question…. I hope no one noticed!

Tank Top modelled on the Vintage Granny Stripe cardigan by Fran Morgan from Simply Crochet Magazine.

Happy Post

The latest book published by Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective

I bought myself a little early Christmas present in the form of this gorgeous book by Sarah Corbett all about the Canary Craftivist movement which got under way last summer. It even includes a photo I took of the Manchester Flock working on crafting their canaries sitting next to the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in the centre of Manchester back in July.

A Festive Walk

Dunham Massey, Cheshire

It was lovely to be able to return to Dunham Massey National Trust park and gardens over Christmas. It’s a fab place and just a short drive from where we live. It’s a place which instantly takes me back to my childhood and I love taking the Little Postcards there for a walk on a weekend or during the school holidays.

We got a great view of the resident deer and even spotted a couple of pure white ones.

Podcast New Year Special

(Clockwise from top left) The Crochet Sanctuary, Sarah Corbett from The Craftivist Collective, Gemma and Evie from the Manchester Flock, Mary Jane Baxter, Amanda from Mrs G Makes, Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum, Black Sheep Wools & Yarndale 2021.

I ended the year podcast-wise with a second Christmas Special which was released on New Year’s Eve. It featured my chats with Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective, as well as Gemma and Evie from the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists, Mary Jane Baxter also made an appearance speaking about her epic trip around Europe in a camper van called Bambi stitching as she went. I looked back at my visit to the Crochet Sanctuary in Spring and to Yarndale in September last year, and heard from some of the staff at Black Sheep Wools in Warrington. I also included chats with two new friends of mine who I met last year; Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum who helped me on my sock-making adventure and Amanada from Mrs G Makes.

You can find the podcast web page here if you want to take a listen.

New Year’s Eve walk

Fields outside Wigan, Lancashire

We were treated to a stunningly beautiful and warm day on New Years’ Eve, and made the trip to Wigan to visit my brother and his wife. Just a short walk from their home is open countryside and it made for a very picturesque walk.

It was just the perfect way to end the year. In lovely company and enjoying lovely weather in the fresh air.

And that brings this rather late December round-up to an end. I promise I won’t be as tardy with my January post!

Thank you so much for stopping by and making it to the end of this rather epic post. I promise I’ll be back again soon!

Until then, take care,

Lindsay x

A Postcard from October

Well, here we are in November already. I really don’t know where the past month has gone. October has been such a busy month with day to day, nose to the grindstone kinds of things that I feel like I blinked and missed it. It’s only when I looked back at the photos on my phone that I realised what I had done and achieved – sadly I can’t share all of that with you, but before too much longer I will be able to – hurrah!

So here goes, here’s my postcard from October!

The beginning of the month began much as September ended, with children in school and me busily trying to get my ducks in a row for a deadline of the end of the month. As the calendar flipped into October the realisation dawned that by the end of the month, we would have been living in our ‘new’ home for exactly a year. It was Halloween last year that I hired a van, and with the help of two very strong friends, we moved from our rented temporary house into our very own home. That meant that twelve months had passed and there were still quite a lot of boxes sitting around the place hiding under crochet blankets….. they have many uses! I set myself the target of getting rid of the boxes by the end of the month. Did I manage it? Well, I’ll reveal all at the end!

There has been a definite autumnal chill in the air this month, and in case the changing colours and falling leaves didn’t give us a clue about the season, our neighbourhood squirrel (or maybe even squirrels) certainly let me know as they planted my newly cleared pots with all sorts of treats to sustain them through the winter!

Stepping far outside my comfort zone!

Early in the month, I was invited to do something utterly terrifying. I was asked to speak to a my local group of the WI about my podcast and crafts in general. Blimey it was a nerve wracking thing to do. I’m very happy to speak into a microphone in a room on my own but to speak to a room with about 100 pairs of eyes staring back at you – that’s quite another thing!! I debated long and hard about whether I should do it or not, but friends encouraged me to and I’m so glad I did. The ladies were lovely and didn’t bite! Not sure I’d do it again in a hurry but it was a bit of a high to know I’d managed it!

A lovely trip out

Christine and I outside Black Sheep Wools

Back in September I interviewed the lovely Christine Perry from Winwick Mum for Making Stitches Podcast (You can hear the episode here). While we were chatting online we realised that we are actually not that far apart geographically so we arranged to meet at one of my favourite places for a chat and a brew – Black Sheep Wools. It was so lovely to speak to Christine and get to know her a bit better, and she has helped me get over my fear of knitting in the round. As the ‘Queen of Socks’ (I hope she doesn’t mind me giving her that title!) she has helped thousands of people learn how to successfully knit socks with her ‘sockalong’ which you can find on her blog. At the last count, over 15,000 pairs of socks have been knitted by people using her technique and that’s just the ones she knows about. Incidentally Christine has just completed a whole month of daily blogging – phew what a feat! The above photo features in one of her posts!

Christine guided me (and another lady who happened to be in the shop at the same time) on what yarn to buy and what needles were needed to get started. So using her blog and her brilliant book, I have set off on a sock-making adventure. My initial momentum has been dulled by some necessary work on some crochet related items, but I’m back on it, and about to begin decreasing on my first toe!

In crochet news, my Making Stitches wreath which I made from a pattern in issue 96 of Simply Crochet Magazine actually got featured in the magazine itself. What a total honour! Thank you Simply Crochet!

I’ve opened a shop!

Also this month, I launched my Etsy shop called the “Making Stitches Shop’. I decided to try and see if I could sell a few bits and bobs to help support my podcast activities. Whilst I would not want to put the podcast behind a pay wall, it does cost quite a bit to keep going with hosting fees and other things and I thought that if I could raise some money via the shop, it would help me keep going. In the summer I bought a custom made screen with my podcast logo on it, and began screen printing cotton tote bags. It took a lot of trial and error and advice from others, but in the end I successfully printed enough bags to open the shop.

The wonderful Amanda from Mrs G Makes also helped me with advice on running the shop and postage etc. Then, she became not only my first ever customer, she also gave me a glowing review and showed the world her new bag in an episode of her Vlogtober YouTube series. Thanks so much Amanda!

In that first month of being open, my shop completely sold out! Thank you to everyone who supported me! I had to get my screen back out and print a load more on a sunny day just before the Little Postcards finished school for half term!

2nd batch drying on the line!

Half term holidays

Half term was a bit of an odd one for us this year, Littlest had soccer school for most of the week and Eldest was away most of the time on work experience too, so it was just me and Middle Postcard for a lot of the time. Being a teenager, most of that time was spent in his bedroom and I made the most of the peace and quiet by beavering away on something special I’m working on for this month…. (I will reveal all very soon!).

In amongst the hard work, we had a trip to the Etihad campus in Manchester for a teenaged Covid jab. So that’s all bar Littlest done. I feel a lot happier about that now.

Anniversary of moving

As we were celebrating our first anniversary in our home, I decided to have a soirée to celebrate our first year on Saturday evening with the two families who helped us with our move a year ago. As it was Halloween weekend, we had to make the house look the part, so we had a go at pumpkin carving. I think we did pretty well.

I even had a go at carving a squash myself and crocheted one too for good measure!

The innards were used along with some Butternut Squash to make some spiced soup for our soirée and the pumpkins are now out in the garden so the birds and other creatures can enjoy them.

And that pretty much brings my October ramblings to a close. Apart from those boxes. Do you think I managed to get rid of them all?

Well no, but my excuse is that I need a new cupboard to store some of this stuff in, and I can’t find the right one, in the right colour and the right dimensions to fit in the space I want it to go in…. is that a good enough excuse?! I did get rid of about 12 others though – so it wasn’t a complete failure!

I hope October was good for you and that November is even better!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x