Tuesday, August 21, 2018


I have been on a much-needed two week holiday from work and have spent my time reading, attending Edinburgh Book Festival events, walking, sewing and knitting. It has been FAB.
I made the Merchant and Mills Fielder dress and I absolutely love it. It was such a satisfying make, partly because, finished, it could easily be a Toast creation, which sell for £80+. This cost me £16 in total in materials. The fabric was from Ikea, two metres at £4 per metre, and one metre of funky ribbing from the Merchant and Mills website, which cost just under £8. I'm already dreaming of making more. I'd like a black one next.
The blue is actually more of a petrol blue than the photos have captured. Warmer. And the photo doesn't show, but it also has side pockets. Actually, that's the only thing I would change next time I make it. I will insert the pockets slightly higher in the dress. They are about an inch too low, though still perfectly workable.
I also finished this pair of socks. I don't remember the make of the wool but perhaps I mentioned it in my last post? I will be buying more of it because it was also good value at £8 a 100g ball and I expect to get two pairs out of it. There is nothing like hand-knitted socks. They are the ultimate in cosy.
As a silly, quick project, I also sewed myself reversible bookmarks. I'd like to make more as I often use bus tickets or a post it note as bookmarks and it somehow detracts from the reading experience. I love both of these.
My edge-stitching was better on the second one I made (the snowman/skater one). It's (silly) fun choosing the ribbons for the top too. 
I'm looking forward to Autumn, though for the first time in years I properly enjoyed the warm summer. I went for a walk a few days ago and noticed the cooking apple tree had begun to drop its apples already. The apple trees in our garden are still holding onto all of theirs. The next day I returned with a bag (and my friends and their daughters as helpers) and collected LOADS. We barely touched what was there. I hate seeing home-grown stuff go to waste. I promised the girls I'd make them apple pies, so will do that sometime this week. Part of the objective was having a project for the girls to expend energy, because they have a LOT of energy.
We have LOTS of plums on our plum tree this year, and while I'm pleased to have so many in its third year, I'm disappointed with their size. They're barely bigger than large grapes. Maybe next year.
There are lots of brambles forming, but I found one wee patch that were ripe already, so I picked them and had them with yogurt. Delicious.
I always take the Book Festival off work, and I spent most of the first week attending events. I couldn't get tickets for a few events as they'd already sold out, but I took it as an opportunity to branch out and I'm so glad I did. Val McDermid was the most mainstream writer I saw. I've only read one of her books and should try a recent novel, I think. She's such a good speaker and is always intelligent, good-humoured and insightful.
Hagos bought a 10 foot pool and it was a huge hit with all of our child friends. Even though the water was COLD, they were in the pool for hours! I mostly enjoyed floating on the lilo when it was really hot.

Heading into Autumn I'm looking forward to the new Kate Atkinson novel, Transcription, that is published in early September, as well as Strictly being back on TV, and Bake Off starting.