Monday, 26 September 2016

Halloween's Coming ...

Halloween's coming!

Halloween has come to my Etsy shop! There are cute glow in the dark dpn cozies, a batty bat needle book and a funky orange cat project bag! Why not pop over and have a look?
Cat project bag

Bat needle book

dpn cozies


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Sew happy for hedgehogs!

Mother hedgehog
As you may know through Instagram there has been great excitement (mostly on my part) that we have / had  a hedgehog family. Earlier in the summer we kept seeing an adult hedgehog out and about in the garden in the early mornings and late afternoons. I've always been told that a hedgehog out in daylight is a worrying sign, so at 5pm one Sunday I scoped her up in a box and with Pickle-Lily took her to our local wildlife rescue centre. We were greeted with 'Not another hedgehog' as we walked through the doors of Secret World Wildlife Rescue, but I hasten to add, in a very friendly way! She was taken off to be checked and then returned with the information that she had recently given birth, and she was out looking for extra food and was very healthy.
Mother hedgehog
When we first started to see her out and about I started leaving out some hedgehog food which went each night. As you know, you mustn't give hedgehogs bread and milk, and I've always left out water for any creature to drink. Now that baby hoglets were involved I wanted to make sure it wasn't the local cats eating the food so our lovely neighbours lent us a little wooden house their rabbits didn't use, with a lift up roof. Hedgehog food was put in their every evening and we waited.
During the following weeks we started spotting mother and hoglets out and about on the lawn and when I peeked inside the house discovered there were four babies!
I know it's dark - but there are four hoglets!

After doing more research on the excellent Hedgehog Street site, I discovered that the hoglets don't stay with their mum for long and the siting dropped off, of both adult and young. But I still put out the food and water, and the food is still being eaten so I'm convinced at least one is still around.
Mother hedgehog inspired me in my sewer's kit! I've been toying with an idea for a sewing kit and after finding some gorgeous ribbon and some sketching, cutting and sewing I made a hedgehog themed etui (sewing kit!). She is very cute - if I say so myself - and can be found in my Etsy shop.
Sewer's set on Etsy

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Waterloo

The next stage of our road trip was to Waterloo battlefield. I have to be honest and admit that I thought I was going to spend the day walking around a field, but I actually got a a huge and very pleasant surprise!
Pickle-Lily going up the Lion's Mound

It was the bicentenial anniversary of the battle last year, and to commerate it a huge new subterranean museum was built under The Lion's Mound monument. Still doesn't sound very interesting? It was amazing!
I wish I'd taken my knitting in for an action shot!
 Think state of the art - Harry Potter style moving pictures,
3D with moving smoke!
a guillotine with heads falling in the basket (using screens I hasten to add).
Off with her head!

 A multi sensory battle theatre where the battle happens all around you in 3D with sound, smells and 'shaking' floor. Touch screens, interactive everything and at the end you can record what you've done and send it home to yourself!
Getting ready for battle

We also did The Panorama, Hougoumont Farm where we had a lovely chat to some English re-enactors who were camping there, and during the day marched to the visitor's centre and did displays. I must admit I did not envy them sleeping in traditional canvas tents - maybe the motor homes were all parked out of site!
Camping 1815 style

However Mr P-L decided he would walk the battlefield himself so Pickle-Lily and I got the bus back to the motor home where I enjoyed a cup of tea and some knitting!
If you do go to Belgium and a visit to the battlefield of Waterloo is suggested for the day, don't worry you will enjoy a good day out! A word of warning though, there's no signage to the entrance or that it's even there!
There's no signage be warned!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Happy Hedgehogs

This week is Hedgehog Awareness Week, and as they are probably my favourite woodland creature, they are one of my favourite designs.
Hedgehogs by Pickle-Lily

For this post I had a look for all my hedgehog fabrics for a photo, and after I'd taken the photo and put it all away, found even more!
I do love hedgehog fabric!

Lewis & Irene
I try to make my garden hedgehog friendly by leaving out water and making sure there is a nice gap in the fence for them to amble into next door.
Water to drink
I have let my winter jasmine become a a homely area and judging by the trail in and out something is using it. I have also found droppings and on one occasion tripped over one in the dark on the garden path - I don't know who was more surprised!
A gap to fit under

With the good weather forecast this week-end I am working hard at persuading Mr Pickle-Lily to mow the lawn, but will check all the long grass and my rather extensive nettle patch before the strimmer is used.
Is this is a hedgehog home?

Please help to keep our hedgehogs happy!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

If it's Thursday it must be Belgium

We're off!
For many years I have always wanted to go to Paris. For many years Mr P-L has wanted to visit Waterloo ( as in the battle of ) and WWI Western Front. So after a year of planning Mr P-L made this all happen.
We started our road trip very early with a five hour drive in our rented motor home to Dover for a crossing on the Channel Tunnel - something else I had always wanted to do! I even managed to get some knitting done much to the amusement of the people walking past!
At Dover
My knitting project for our road trip was A Certain Darkness shawl using my Narnia yarn from Rosie's Moments.
Knitting in the tunnel

When we got to Calais, there was a brief stop to fix the headlight reflectors and many reminders to drive on the right and then an hours drive to our camp site in Ieper ( or Ypres the French spelling ) Belgium. There were some minor detours on the way - you try reading Dutch road signs - but we arrived at a lovely little camp site. I can highly recommend Jeugdstadion camping, it was was small and friendly, very warm clean shower facilities and a real mix of nationalities staying there. We were also within walking distance of the town itself.
Tyne Cot
The next morning we drove to Tyne Cot cemetery - the largest Commonwealth war cemetery. Beautifully kept and very sobering. After the rows of headstones are the names of the missing. Even as I write this now the sheer number of names we saw over the next three days overwhelms me.
In the afternoon we went to Passchendaele Memorial  Museum.
Passchendaele
Many of the places we visited had been or were being 'improved' to commemorate the hundred year anniversary of the 1914 to 1918 war. Passchendaele Museum on the outside was a pretty, old house and inside was a modern, huge museum.
Just one of the displays
As we walked from exhibit to exhibit there were interactive displays to engage children and clear uncluttered displays, clearly labelled in Dutch, French and English. there was an extensive underground tunnel section giving a flavour of what it must have been like in the tunnels, and these then led to the trenches outside. It gave me a sense of how awful trench warfare was and how brave the men were who lived and died here were.
In the trenches
When we returned to Ieper we parked in our spot and then walked into town. Mr P-L wanted to visit the Menin Gate Memorial. Again so very many names of young men who had died and couldn't be found. The lists seemed to go on forever with overwhelming sadness.
The chocolate shop we had to visit
Pickle-Lily and I were allowed a lovely wander through a beautiful town. We had to visit one of the many chocolate shops and I even found a fabric shop! After pizza in a local restaurant we went to the Last Post Ceremony that is held at the Menin Gate.
Just a few of the names
This is a daily act of homage to the fallen that is so poignent. It was packed, so if you plan to go, go early. There was a group of American school students there who were so beautifully behaved and a group of English school pupils who weren't until silence fell, there were families and coach parties, there were vetrans proudly wearing blazers, badges and medals. As silence fell it was everyone together listening together.
The Last Post

Having the motor home was wonderful - a place to rest and reflect, and after years of tent camping a bed to sleep in! I slept well that night after so much walking and there was a lot more to come!


Monday, 28 March 2016

dpn cosy

Many of my makes at the moment seem to be centred around the actual process of crafting  - project bags, notebooks and needle books for example.
dpn cosy

I've also been drawn into the world of sock knitting. I belong to this amazing sock knitting group on Facebook, where knitters parade socks knitted in the most beautiful yarns and it just tempts you and ensnares you, and what do you know .. there's a sock on your needles. There are several ways to knit socks - if you want to start can I direct you to this lady's blog, Winwick Mum who explains it all very clearly.
Keeping them safe and snug!

I like to use dpns or double point needles to knit mine and I needed to keep my stitches safe on the needles. My knitting goes everywhere with me and I usually have a couple (well quite a few actually) projects on the go, and I like to knit what my fingers feel like doing, so the knitting can get shifted in and out and about sometimes. So after a little research I found this tutorial for a dpn needle keeper by The Nome Knitter, and ta-dah I made my own to keep everything safe and cosy.
Being me I got carried away, so my extra ones are in my Folksy shop if you're interested!
dpn cosy
You may have noticed it's the same pair of socks on the needles for some time, and my challenge for the Easter holidays is to finish them!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

White Rabbits

White rabbits
Recently I have been reading the story 'Alice in Wonderland'. Way back in January I received my first mystery yarn box from 'Rosie's Moments over on Etsy, based on the story, and so I decided to read it again.
bunny bunting

It has inspired all sorts of white rabbits for Pickle-Lily, from needle books to bags to bunting!
Find these in my Folksy shop!

The theme also happens to fit into Easter rather neatly! (The bags are for sale in my Folksy shop)
And this is my finished 'When Alice met the Caterpillar' shawl!