Monday, 29 June 2015

Checking In: June

Making : Focussing on a lovely cowl at the moment, see this post :)
Cooking : Not so much at the moment, when I do it seems to be pasta.
Drinking : A lot of tea
Reading: 'Interrogating Ellie' by Julian Gray
Wanting: My final lot of feedback on my thesis so I can move on with my life
Looking: For an excuse not to do the washing. 
Deciding: What to have for dinner, C is away so free choice (maybe not pasta for once ;))
Wishing: I knew what happens next so I can plan fun stuff.
Enjoying: BBQs in the evening.
Waiting: For responses to job applications, no luck so far but hopefully something will fall into place.
Loving: My parents' garden (all photos above courtesy of their lovely plants!)
Considering: A drastic hair cut... 
Watching: Frozen. I'm a self-confessed 28 year old sucker for Disney films.
Needing: A bit more structure.
Smelling: Roses
Wearing: Summer dresses, at last!
Noticing: Just how many summer dresses I actually own
Knowing: It's going to be a hot week!
Thinking: About how to squeeze some sort of a break away into the coming weeks. 
Feeling: Peaceful
Admiring: This cushion from the lovely blog 'She loves to crochet'.
Sorting: A pile of handbags I seem to have accumulated.
Snacking: Yoghurt and honey mmmmm.
Coveting: New yarn. Must. Use. Stash. First.
Wishing: The cat would find somewhere else to sit. It's too hot for black furry cats on your lap.
Hearing: *cough* "LET IT GOOOO" etc. courtesy of Frozen.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Five on Friday

Finally I've managed to get together a Five on Friday post! I've been wanting to join the lovely Amy at Love Made My Home for months now, sharing five things from my week.

This week I've decided to share my assortment of WIPs (works in progress) in the hope of inspiring me to actually finish some of them... There are of course more than five but these are my favourites ;)

1. This cross stitch picture for my niece was originally started as a gift for a new-born baby... she's one year and one month and counting and I need to get a shifty on so she receives it before she's a teenager.

2. This will be a cushion cover once I make those last two squares. I think I'll add a border before joining. C doesn't like the colours and keeps trying to give it away but I got the yarn in Berlin and I do quite like it :)

3. Here is my baby hexie project - originally I intended to make one hexagon a day but now I just make loads in one sitting and will just spread it out over the year.

4. This is my most favourite yarn I've used, it's from the West Yorkshire Spinners, and it's a wool/nylon mix, so light and soft. I'm using a pattern from The Little Room of Rachell that I've had book-marked for ages and I think it will be a cowl eventually :)

5. This is a sneaky wedding present for some good friends of mine who are tying the knot in July. Just the name and date to add and then I'll have to see about framing.

Head over to Amy's lovely blog to see what everyone else has been up to!

Monday, 15 June 2015

The Year In Books - June

I've had a little bit more time to read recently, which has been truly wonderful, so after writing off the month of May I've decided to rejoin The Year In Books in June.

Most of my reading has been done on the train on my way to my temping job, a nice relaxing start to the day. I made it through three books this month, all very different, and I enjoyed them all.

First up is 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' by John Fowles. This is one of those books I've been meaning to read for a long long time (I haven't seen the film). I absolutely loved it! It follows the experiences of Charles Smithson, an aristocrat engaged to be married to the daughter of a wealthy industrialist more than ten years his senior. After encountering the tragic figure of Sarah Woodruff, who stands on the Cobb at Lyme Regis looking mournfully out to sea his life takes a series of unexpected turns. I don't want to give much away, but it's a fascinating book, and kept taking me by surprise. My favourite part of it was the narrator, quite unlike any other narrator I've come across, who is an anonymous figure and narrates the lives of these figures of Victorian England from the perspective of today (or when the book was written rather). So for example one character is compared to the Gestapo, there are several references to prominent literary movements and theorists and the description of our prim Victorian forebears is rather tongue in cheek. It's also interesting how the narrator reflects on how he writes the story, constantly underlining it is fiction, yet includes lots of historical sources about the period and facts. A really wonderful book!.

Then I read 'It's Not Me it's You' by Mhairi McFarlane. This is chick lit at its best in my opinion. A thoroughly readable book about Delia Moss, a woman in her thirties who in the same week quits her job, proposes disastrously to her boyfriend and moves to London. The characters are fun, and Delia really is rather likeable, I could definitely relate to her.

Finally for this month is 'On Green Dolphin Street' by Sebastian Faulkes. It's possibly just me but I thought this was nowhere near as good as his other books that I've read. I still enjoyed it, he writes very well, but the plot was somewhat lacking. The novel is set in the Cold War and follows the experiences of the wife of an English diplomat based in Washington, after she meets a New York journalist. All of the period detail was wonderful, but the main storyline didn't convince me that much, I don't want to say too much as it would give the plot away, but would be very interested to hear if anyone else had a different experience?

So for this month I am going to try and read Suite Francaise, which I tried to read this month and couldn't because it reminded me too much of my research! What have you been reading? Any recommendations?

Linking in with Laura at The Circle of Pines for The Year in Books

Thursday, 11 June 2015

My proudest Ta Dah: The Bonnie Blanket

How is it June already? I'm not quite sure what's going on with the time at the moment but it seems to be permanently on fast forward, I'd very much like it to slow down a bit so I can catch up!

Thank you for the lovely well wishes on the last post, I have comments from one supervisor now and it's mostly tweaking, and adding bits to the thesis here and there, nothing fundamentally wrong which is a relief! So while I await the other comments I'm having a bit of a ploddy along type week, trying to get back into it all but being rather distracted by the sun...

Today I wanted to share with you my finally finished blanket for our camper van Bonnie. Sadly as I wrote here, Bonnie attempted to self destruct two months ago so until she has her visit to camper van hospital won't be taking us anywhere. She's a very awkward van as you can probably guess!

The sun is out for once so I'm not going to complain about it being too bright for my photo shoot ;) I think my neighbours thought I was slightly mad marching up and down the washing line clutching the blanket. It's pretty heavy so it didn't really drape properly!

No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get a decent picture of the edging without it looking warped. I just did one row of double crochet in a dark navy to finish. I'm pleased with its simplicity.

I used mostly Hayfield Bonus Chunky and some yarn donated by my MIL. It's pretty heavy due to the yarn weight but I wanted something nice and warm for chillier nights in the van. In the winter it will live on our bed as a cover. I really like the chunky yarn in a blanket actually, I might make another one for the spare bed one day. But in the meantime I have a gazillion WIPs to crack on with...