Category Archives: Family

Easter Fun in Dorset

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We spent a few days in Dorset in the Easter Holidays enjoying the fresh sea air and sunshine….

Staying at a lovely chalet at Eype, walking over the cliffs to West Bay with our dog, enjoying Fish & Chips, admiring the jaunty brightly coloured boats and going crabbing down at the harbour, a spot of knitting (I’m knitting Stainsby in granite & garnet from the Rowan Yarns Alpaca Colour book – that yarn is so soft!), a spot of reading – anyone else enjoyed reading The Yarn Whisperer by Clara Parkes?), making campfires with driftwood down on the beach and toasting marshmallows (sandwiched in between chocolate digestive biscuits – yum!), eating wood fired oven pizza at our favourite café down on the beach – The Watch House Café and Purbeck Icecream, paddling in the sea, admiring the pretty beach huts at Lyme Regis and munching fantastic pain au chocolat with fresh coffee at the Town Mill Bakery.  Thanks for joining me XX

P.S Clue 2 Nordic Stars is available to download now for FREE from the Rowan Website…. How are you getting along?  Check out my progress on Instagram and Facebook 🙂  Happy Yarning!

Birthday Owls

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January was a VERY busy month:- 4 family birthdays and the launch of the new Spring Summer Season for knitwear!

A MIRANDA birthday cake was made for my 11 year old and a birthday sleepover with friends arranged; there was much EXCITEMENT over the new ROWAN Yarns SPRING SUMMER 2014 season launch; I finished knitting Kate Davies OWLET for my 4 year old in Knoll Soft Donegal and a RAINBOW FAIRY MAGIC cake was made.  I also celebrated my birthday and my 11 year old made a yummy birthday MOCHA CAKE from Jane Brocket’s Vintage Cake Book for me and my dad to share (it was his birthday the day before mine).  I knitted myself a super warm rib snood from the Erika Knight Collection using her MAXI wool (pictured above in Mallard).

I also got a NEW JOB which has taken up a LOT of my time, hence the lack of blogging around here recently…  its certainly been a challenge to go from being a stay at home mum (which is a full time job in itself!) to working some long hours in a new job with a young family to look after but at least I have my knitting to keep me sane! 😉 and at least I might occasionally have some money to treat myself to some (shhhh….) yarn now and again 😉 well maybe…..

Somewhere in there, I also passed my blog first anniversary and a whole year of being an ambassador for Rowan Yarns.

Hope you’ve been enjoying the warm SPRING SUNSHINE if you’ve been lucky to find some (I’m so over all of that winter rain!)

More catch ups coming soon xx

Postcards from Dorset

Our holiday home for the week in the little village of Loders in West Dorset:

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Gorgeous hydrangeas in the village – I couldn’t resist taking some photos of these!:

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Relaxing morning walks with our dogs along the nearby disused railway track:

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Dorset Sheep:

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Wildflowers:

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Making crocheted pebble cosies (see some tips and a link to a great tutorial at the end of this post):

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The perfect beach day at Burton Bradstock (my fave beach and home of the wonderful Hive Beach Café):

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Beach crochet in Rowan’s handknit cotton’s best seaside colours (a square from the Made with Loops Homely Blanket Quest):

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Paddling and having fun in the waves:

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Beach windmills at the Hive Beach Ice Cream Parlour:

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An awesome evening trip to Eggardon Hill Iron Age Hill Fort:

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Amazing 360 degree view of the county:

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Gorgeous views of the countryside in the evening light:

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Walking back along the footpath from Eggardon Hill:

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Finishing my crocheted scarf made using Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour and a pattern from Churchmouse Yarns (more about this in another post):

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Driving though the village of Wool (great name for a yarn addict!) on the way to Lulworth Cove:

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Purbeck Ice creams at beautiful Lulworth Cove:

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Looking down at the famous Durdle Door from the cliff tops:

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Admiring the jaunty boats at West Bay:

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Super scrummy wood-fired pizza at the amazing Watch House Café:

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A spot of evening mackerel fishing:

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Beautiful evening light down at West Bay:

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Dorset Cream Tea at Mangerton Water Mill:

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Sweet little ducklings discovered by the lake at the water mill:

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And free range hens:

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A trip to West Dorset wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the wonderful Bridport Yarn, where some small purchases were made (more about this in a later post)!

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A little bit of knitting with a morning coffee in the garden:

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Something sweet for the journey home!

Emily's Seaside Sweets

Goodbye Dorset, we’ll visit you again soon!

If you’re interested in making your own pebble cosies, there is a great tutorial here.  Alternatively you can just crochet your own motif, measure it against the pebble to ensure that it is roughly the same size using increases to adjust the fit, place the pebble inside, then decrease in, gathering the cosy around your pebble.

Happy Holidays! x

pebble cosies

Pebbles

Iced Bun Weekend

The girls have been baking again 🙂

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I’ve been squeezing in a spot of knitting:

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I’ve picked up my Louisa Cape project again from Rowan Studio 30 ~ so cute!

There has been barbie crochet & a fashion shoot :

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Walks with the dogs in the sunshine:

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And rope swing fun!

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And freshly laid eggs from happy hens :

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Our little cockerel was quite poorly last week but thanks to some major TLC and great tips from Little Poppits he has made a miraculous recovery 🙂

I also managed to squeeze in a little trip to my LYS to admire the Rowan Fine Art Yarn (loving Kingfisher & Waxwing : on my wish list!) and drooled over the new pattern book ‘Spirit’ from Kim Hargreaves for Rowan.

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We picked up some fab Stylecraft DK to make an end of year present for my daughters teacher (I have Lucy to thank from Attic 24 for introducing me to this great inexpensive yarn).

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Here’s our sweet dog having fun in the woods:

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It was great to make the most of the bluebells, then home for fresh apple cake ~ the recipe is from Jane Brocket’s Vintage Cakes book ~ it was so easy to make & can surely be classed as healthy because of the fruit (and spelt flour that I substituted!)

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It’s a long holiday weekend here in the UK and its been so lovely to have some sunshine. What have you been doing this weekend? I hope you’ve had a great time too!

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Hardly a cloud in the sky…..

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Wooly Weekend Wanderings

We’ve been on a couple of fun wooly weekend family outings recently that I thought I would share.  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you might have seen some of these photos already 🙂

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In April we went to the free Secret Garden exhibition organised by the Milestone Trust at the Paintworks in Bristol which was designed to “bring the outdoors imaginatively indoors, and explore the way in which people interpret and play with green spaces”.

Entering through the enchanted forest of hanging trees, we followed the needle-felt sculpture trail,  through the graffiti tunnel to the beautiful secret garden with its knitted and crocheted plants.

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Look at these sweet sunflowers and pom-pom tree:

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A treehouse city:

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Knitted vegetables and a knitted fruit tree:

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As we left the Paintworks, I admired these Airstream Caravans and the cool urban landscape:

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Stopping for a picnic lunch, we popped across the road to Arnos Vale Cemetry to discover it’s famous yarn bomb trail.  Arnos Vale Cemetry is steeped in Bristolian history – it was established by the Victorians in 1837 providing 45 acres of heritage and a rare wildife haven in the city.  My great great grandparents are buried there.  The cemetery is open every day all year round with “visitors being free to wander the site’s extensive network of paths, watch seasonal change and nature, discover the fascinating stories told on gravestones, pay respect to lost loved ones or heroes, follow a themed trail or sit and contemplate in a tranquil setting. Visitors can also take advantage of an ever-expanding range of exhibitions, self-guided trails, guided walks and events”.

As we set off, the start of the trail looked really quite promising….

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Squeals of delight could be heard as my girls discovered the various wooly delights on display on a pretty primrose lined path that led down to the Atrium Cafe…..

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Before our journey home, someone I know who really likes to crochet might just have left a little something behind…. I wonder if its still there!?

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Our other wooly adventures in April took us to beautiful Wales and an annual visit to Wonderwool Wales.  Another great family day out.  I didn’t take quite as many photos as I did last year.  Here are a few favourite snaps from our day:

Shetland Sheep:

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Inspiring crochet:

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Obligatory welsh icecream from Llanfaes Dairy in Brecon (Blackcurrant flavour incase you are wondering!?):

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Giant knitting needles and kits available from Abergwenllan :

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A fantastic crocheted ripple blanket incorporating wool from 44 British Sheep Breeds from Eden Cottage Yarns (there are more details and photos on the ECY blog if you are interested):

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An adorable ‘knit your own fox’ from BomBella Knit Kits:

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And lovely vintage knitting accessories:

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There was also an amazing knitted garden on display:

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We drove home through some spectacular scenery in Mid Wales:

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And headed home over the Severn Bridge:

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April was certainly a yarn-filled month.

Have a great weekend; I’ll leave you with a photo of some cheery Spring daffodils!

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Easter Preparations…

This weekend I have been eating mini-eggs preparing for Easter….

I’ve been working on a little crochet basket/bowl inspired by designs in this lovely book, using some pretty Rowan pink handknit cotton from my yarn stash.  The pattern starts off with a few rounds of simple trebles (UK) to form the base of the basket, followed by some rounds of bobble or popcorn stitch to form the sides and double crochet (UK) to finish off.

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Today I made a floral lining out of a scrap of Liberty Tana Lawn “Betsy” that I purchased from EBay.

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To be filled with eggs from our chooks:

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Thank you ladies:

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Or Easter delights:

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I think after Easter, my little crochet bowl might find a nice home in the bathroom or bedroom as a tidy for bits and bobs:

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This weekend, we’ve also been enjoying the pre-school puppet show and getting Easter tattoos:

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And I’ve been trying on my new sandals:

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With fingers crossed for some sunshine instead of the wintery showers and hail that the UK has been experiencing this afternoon!

Have you got any Easter projects on the go at the mo?

I’m possibly off to knit some bunnies from Made by Ewe here and Rowan’s Easter Collection here &/or these cute little chickens ‘Esther, Ernie & Enid’ from Rowan (pattern here).

And knit some more of my big project

Happy Easter crafting!

xx

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Beside the Seaside

Miss F and I had the chance of a little impromptu trip to the seaside today (Miss E is away on school camp so there was no school run) and I thought I would share some photos with you.  We don’t live near the sea so it was a special day out for us (combined with a work trip for my husband).  I love being by the sea at all times of the year and there’s something particularly nice about going out of season and having virtually the whole beach to yourself …..

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Time for a short jaunt along the pier….

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A spot of treasure hunting: I love heart shaped pebbles!

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And we HAD to stop and admire these Beautiful Rainbow Coloured Beach Huts, aren’t they gorgeous!?  They remind me a little of my crocheted Ripple Blanket!

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Oh I do love a beach with beach huts…..

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You’d never guess would you!?

We’re tired out now, particularly as it was a long drive, but we are home having had a welcome dose of sea air and a change of scene for the day!

Do you like to visit the beach during the winter months too?

I love Dorset.  Do you have a favourite place to visit?

Goodbye seaside: hope to visit you again soon x

A Lido Day Out

To celebrate my husband’s birthday yesterday we decided to treat ourselves to a Lido day out.  We’ve known about the Lido for a while now but rarely get a whole day to ourselves (work, children, pets etc.!) so a birthday on a beautiful blue skied February day seemed like the perfect excuse to check it out.  Look at this pretty pink blossom that we passed on the street: Spring is definitely in the air, don’t you think?

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We were very excited about our day out, having looked at lots of pictures of the Lido on the internet and having been inspired by Kate Rew’s book Wild Swim.  We planned our visit to include the swim and lunch package. You can read about the history of this once abandoned very special Victorian pool if you are interested here.  The Lido is tucked away from view, a hidden gem in the City.

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Doesn’t this water look inviting?

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There were outdoor changing rooms for those who wanted the authentic Lido experience and some lovely natural body washes to use : the Lido runs a strict policy that requires all guest to wash before using the facilities and by ensuring that all swimmers enter the pool squeaky clean, the need for chlorine has been greatly reduced.

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Are you ready to take a dip?

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There is something very special and exhilarating about swimming in an outdoor pool or the sea….

Time for a warm up in the outdoor hot tub, then shower and change.  There was a lovely little boudoir room upstairs where you could dry your hair, overlooking the pool:

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Next, a much appreciated cappuchino to warm up (!) and a fantastic lunch in the restaurant overlooking the pool:

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We savoured every moment and hoped fingers crossed for the chance to return another day soon….

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Knit Your Own Sheep and Wonderwool

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This weekend I have been knitting up an adorable little sheep called Pearl.  Project Ravelled here. I bought my Knit Your Own Sheep kit from Made by Ewe at Wonderwool Wales last April and she has been waiting very  patiently since then to be brought to life.  Pearl is a sheep helping to support British farmers, being knitted from 100% pure British Wool.  Her removable fleece is knitted in beautiful blue Shetland yarn and she is stuffed with soft natural fleece.  I have a feeling Pearl will be keeping her hooves crossed for some more little friends to join her flock soon…

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your own flock of sheep and produce your own wool to spin and knit with?

Talking of Wonderwool, I was very excited to see the event being advertised again for 2013.  Hooray for wonderful yarn events to look forward to throughout the year.  Last April my family and I spent a very enjoyable day at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells at this fabulous festival of Welsh and British wool and natural fibres.  When we visited, we were fairly new to such events and both my crochet addict daughter and I were overwhelmed by the wonderful displays : a feast for the eyes…

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So many stalls of wonderful yarn and accessories in every texture and colour of the rainbow…

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Look at this amazing crochet:

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Gorgeous natural fibres….

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Some amazing local produce (make mental note to return to Wales and sample the award winning icecream from Llanfaes Dairy and Ralph’s Cider & Perry again: yum) and of course lots of fun for the little ones…

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We came home full of inspiration and totally buzzing with ideas; each with a bag of highly prized and carefully chosen yarns (and in Miss E’s case, materials for needlefelting) for projects to try out in the coming year.

Which wool shows / yarn festivals are you going to this year?  I’m hoping to go to Yarndale: it sounds fantastic.  A trip to the Rowan Mill in Holmfirth would be pretty amazing too don’t you think!? I’ve just been reading about the designer Kate Davies collaboration with Rowan and a visit to the Mill would be the icing on the cake for a yarnfilled 2013, I think.

I hope you are enjoying making crafty and yarny plans for 2013.  Happy weekend!

Spa Birthday Party

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Continuing with the birthday celebration theme here at knitpurlgarden, a belated party for my daughter who turned 10 in January but was too unwell to celebrate at the time (January birthdays in peak bug season = never a good idea!). Here are a few snaps from the Spa themed party including the pastel swirl spa themed cake that I made, inspired by the sweetapolita.com blog.  A fun afternoon of much laughter, hot tubs, hair styling, toe nail painting, yummy nibbles and birthday cake.

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And before I go I’ll just sneek in a couple of photos of the other birthday cake that I made in January, for my younger daughter…

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Phew – birthday season over for another year!  All parties successfully planned and enjoyed by all! Maybe I’ll have some free time to knit and crochet again now…  Does anyone else have a run of family birthdays like me? Who has an inpiring Spring project on the go?  Do tell. xx