Friday, 26 July 2013

It's Been a While .....

Well more than a while really - just shy of a year since my last post.  I always set out with good intentions which swiftly fall by the wayside ... but since my fellow Mods on Friendly Stitchers are always reminding me that I haven't done an update lately (at all!) then hopefully this will appease them a little.

I won't make it too long of a post.  Lets just say the past year has been an extremely long and arduous one - got a job and promptly lost it again (but it is less of a loss and more of a blessing) but I have a call back for an "informal chat" for a job I went up for a couple of weeks ago so fingers crossed that all will be well.

I have been stitching and have even have some finishes!  I took part in our annual pilgrimage to Harrogate last November - great fun as always - and also had a day trip to Woolfest at Cockermouth in Cumbria last month.  I've also joined a local book club and a Meetup group - Glasgow Knit n Stitch so I have come into contact with a whole new set of likeminded friends.  I think in the main I have been trying - and succeeding - to keep myself busy.  

At the beginning of the year I decided that since I have failed to finish one single project last year that I would make a concerted effort to finish as many WIPs and UFOs as I possibly could this year.  So far I have finished three of my 2012 Crazies - CCN The Bookstore, Diane Graebner's Flying High and a Traditional Sampler designed by a very good friend and member of Friendly Stitchers (and very talented designer) Nancy Taplin.  I also finished one of my 2011 Crazies - the Crocus Cushion by Sue Page.   That took me up until the end of March - and then I started that job (hiss hiss spit spit) and I went from being prolific to being non-existent.  Lets just say when I wasn't working (just shy of 50 hours a week) then I was sleeping.  If it hadn't been for the Knit and Stitch peeps I doubt I would have been doing any stitching at all!

And speaking of which - I went along to Woolfest in Cockermouth with the ladies from the group - there were 16 of us in the wee hired minibus and some others had driven down.  We had a wonderful day - I met lots of lovely dogs and fell in love with some gorgeous alpacas.  I also bought some wool!  So after 20 years of not knitting at all (my gran taught me when I was 5 or 6 years old) I am knitting again!  You never know you might even see a couple of knitted finishes on here too at some point.

Around March/April I bought one of those walk-in greenhouse thingies - the ones with the plastic covers - and we now have got a whole load of tomatoes and a very prolific pepper plant growing profusely in there.  It is south facing so they are thriving and I can't wait to get my teeth into the first crop of tomatoes which shouldn't be too long now.  i just hope they taste as good as they look!  We've also had a lovely display of flowers out in our back yard overlooking the river.   I've had some close encounters with the wildlife too - three otters, the kingfishers and a family of baby gosanders - needless to say I didn't have a camera to hand when I had those encounters :(

I am off down to Yorkshire at the end of September to the Mouse House for a weekend of celebrations and hopefully some stitching too and then we are off to Harrogate again in November.  This year we have taken a cottage and it looks absolutely gorgeous!  Niina and I are already fighting over who gets in the bath first!  Look out for loads of photos from that when the time comes.

And talking of photos i will end with some photos of finishes and veggies - and one of Minnie May who is celebrating her 14th birthday today.  It would have been my mum's 83rd birthday today so she has been in my thoughts too today.  The piece of stitching Minnie is modelling says it all I think!

Sweet pepper plant


More tomatoes :)

Alpacas mwaaaaaah I want one!!!!

Happy Birthday Minnie May xx

Close up of motif on crocus cushion

Crocus cushion finished at last!

Traditional Sampler

Flying High by Diane Graebner

The Book Store by Country Cottage Needleworks

I am currently working on the latest Friendly Stitchers Round Robin - I've done Mouse's and I am working on Frances's at the moment so will post updates of those next time.

Thanks for stopping by as always and I promise not to leave it so long next time!

Love and hugs,

Ally xx


Gillie said...

Heavens to Betsy, is it really you? You're sure? That crocus cushion was stitched on in the barn, I seem to remember!

Happy Birthday, Miss M!

EvalinaMaria said...

Welcome back and congratulations on lovely finishes! (and those tomatoes too)

DJ said...

Oh, my, you have had a busy year!! Lovely stitching, and Happy Birthday Minnie May!! Love the alpacas, they are too cute! Wish I could be there to sample your tomatoes, there's nothing like home grown! So nice to see you blogging again! *Hugs*

Mouse said...

KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKerplunk ..... wonderful to hear from you and love that cushion still ... don't forget to bring it down with you :)
Happpyyy birthday minnnie hope you got a treat or two :)
don't leave it so long next time :) love mouse xxxxx

Denise SA said...

Lovely finishes Ally that crocus one looks familiar hope you find the perfect job soon

Anne Sans Tete -- Nome de plume! said...

Your work is lovely, Ally! I also have good intentions regarding my blog but tend to neglect it. :o

- Lisa N.

Jo said...

Fantastic stitching Ally x

Jan Gartlan said...

You have been so productive. A lovely post!

MysteryKnitter said...

Nice plants. Nice stitching.