Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Happiness is...

Making a fabric hexagon patchwork in the hot sunshine this last weekend and day dreaming about my childhood

Crocheting round and round to make cotton face cleansing cloths for bath time (one for Alice one for me) 

Blue skies and sunshine

Chilling on the roof of the De la Warr Pavilion whilst watching Alice playing some Indonesian drums in a workshop she attended

Stopping and smelling the roses

Meeting Higgins of Planet Penny fame xox What an absolute delight and treasure he is!

A little difficult to demand a still shot of him though, without Penny calling him for me :0) He truly is perfect in every way and I can see why he's such a hit on Penny's blog and facebook! 

A Saturday morning trip to The Owl and Sewing Cat in Eastbourne to buy a pattern for a skirt I've had my eye on for some time now and indulge in some gorgeous cotton printed fabrics. Have a look at their website it's a delight to behold and soooooo easy to spend your cash in a flash :0)

They have such great workshops from beginner's through to the  more experienced and are ever so popular. Even more exciting news is that the Owner of this gorgeous shop has taken a lease out on the shop next door and will be extending her shop into stocking a range of beautiful yarns for knitting and crochet. I can't wait !

My new Amy Butler Barcelona A-line skirt pattern I bought from the Owl and Sewing cat and used to make a skirt on Saturday from this pretty American cotton

Such a fun pattern and good quality fabric (I thought it may eve have a 1950's look about it ? or is it just me willing that?)

A perfect Saturday afternoon project for a hot and humid weekend (note the un-ironed skirt! I don't know about you but when I make myself something to wear i have zero patience to wait to wash, dry and iron it, it needs to be worn as soon as :) 

When i was at University I sewed most of my own clothes as I always wanted to be a little different and have original fabrics. It was such fun sewing this easy peasy A-line skirt especially with the new over locker my mum very generously contributed to for my 40th birthday last year. What a blessed life I have.

Last but not least some of the rest of my weekend photographs.

Here's wishing you sunshine and happy days for the rest of the week ahead xox

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Now where was I?

Helloooo, now where was I since I was so rudely interrupted by blogger misbehaving yesterday? Oh yes I wanted to show you this Madeline Tosh vintage merino yarn I totally overspent on when I went to Loop in London a couple of weeks ago.

Doesn't the colour just want to make you go ZZZZZZiiiiiiinnnnggg?

Like an electric eel from the deepest depths of tropical ocean. I was drawn to it straight away and ummed and ahhed about spending £20 on it, but  felt the fear and did it anyway!

As you can see I did roll the 100g skein into a ball and that in itself is a work of art just to stare at, roll around in your hands .... feed the senses..... OK I'm getting carried away now mad yarn woman. It's amazing how far I've come in my yarn appreciation journey and my self taught knitting and crochet knowledge which is still in it's infancy but continues to grow each day. There is nothing like going to Knit ad Natter at my LYS and instead of just politely smiling or nodding I can now join in the conversation on a certain level. On Monday night I even showed a lovely lady how to knit with the yarn forward. Yay KNIT factor keeps growing :0)

So what does one do with 1 skein of precious expensive yarn? I looked throught 2 One skein wonders books at my LYS and still couldn't decide, I only knew that I needed to have this yarn close to my skin. I eventually decided to make a single loop honey cowl like I made in this post (I made a double loop longer cowl here) and as you can see from the above photo's it creates this lovely honey comb effect on one side which is such a wind proof form of knitting and oh so cosy, but and yes it's a big BUT I don't know if I like it! What do you think should I froggit or nottit? Initially I thought it would bring out my blue eyes more (my eyes like it when I wear blue) and so would be good to have near my face but I'm thinking it's maybe a little too electric.

Help is needed please xox

Quick interval photo before the next topic for discussion. I saw this the other day when I was out cycling and remembered how much I liked the idea of post people cycling about in the countryside delivering post on their cheery way and so I felt a photo was necessary. Talking of postal deliveries I received a lovely little surprise from my friend in Zurich in the post yesterday.

Oooohh I like a little surprise parcel I do

Inside the parcel a funky little bag jumped out at me, such fun colours thanks so much Mandy you are a honey bee to me xox I almost feel inspired to do a crochet blankie in these retro colours :0)

Sunday, here in the UK was Father's day and so Papa got a cricket inspired card from his girly which I wanted to log here for memories sake. We had a lovely meal with Andy's Dad and although my Dad is not near we toasted to all the dad's of the world.

Last but not least, little 6 pound Faith was born yesterday morning, one of my good work mates' daughter gave birth to this l sweet little girl and so I rapidly completed this simple crochet bunting for her which I started a couple of weeks or so ago.

{Eeeek don't look to hard at the dust on those blinds!}

simple granny goodiness

and a couple of flowers too

I plan to buy her a little jelly cat mouse too

New life, New joy!

I best be off before I start prattling on about babies and broodiness!

Happy days to you all, thanks for popping in and see you all soon
Penelope xox

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Ten minutes ago I was getting ready to settle down to writing a really colourful post about my Madeline Tosh {1 and only at £20.00!} skein I bought in Loop, London a couple of weeks ago and CRASH-BOOM-BANG, Blogger has decided that I am not worthy of uploading a photo or two. It also seems that Blogger has been causing hastle with lovely people trying to comment on some of my posts, so sorry about that and I really appreciate your efforts at trying :0)If you do want to contact me feel free to e- mail me at violetsandvelvet@gmail.com

So, needless to say I am feeling a little irate, let alone frustrated as Wednesday late afternoon is my guaranteed time on the computer. Alice is in an after school club and Andy is not home from work yet, so there are no queues for the laptop!

Ho hum, I guess I'm going to have to go for that cycle I was umming and ahhhing about and release my frustrations in my pedals and the blustery day we are having today.

I hope your world is not colourless today and hope to be back as soon as blogger behaves. Take a deep breath Penelope....

ed. Oh my goodiness I've found another way to upload my photo's but I have run out of time to tell you about it! I'll just have to keep you waiting with this sneak peak :o)

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Tired of waiting

Hellloooooooo, this is a quick and friendly post just to say hope you are having a relaxing weekend so far and to say that I wanted to tell you about my second purchase from Loop in London

View from a cocktail bar in the OXO tower on London's South Bank 

I could not resist this STUNNING book by Jane Brocket which many fellow knitting bloggers have already featured on their blogs. I was desperate to get my grubby paws on a copy and since my LYS didn't have it I ordered it to loan from my library, paid 80p for the pleasure and have been waiting with bated breathe for it to arrive for 4 weeks now. I normally like to 'study' a book before I purchase it but this time I got tired, so tired and impatient, tired of waiting, waiting , waiting  and so when I was in London a week ago it simply had to go in my basket.

Here it is...

It's difficult for me to express how very much I L-O-V-E this book, my very FIRST knitting book ever and I could not have asked for a more gentle and beautifully orchestrated knitting book to build one's confidence and knowledge together with quirky ideas for what wine to drink with your knitting or cake to have with a cuppa and your knitting. You will not be disappointed if you buy this beautiful book of sheer knitting (and two heavenly crochet blankets) pleasure.

Go on you know you want to spoil yourself xox 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Footloose and Fancy Free

A sweet hello to everyone from me, how has your week been going so far? Joy of joys it will be Friday tomorrow and I can breathe a sigh of relief at having a rest from such a chaotic, yet fulfilling and enlightening week at work.

Thank you for popping in and all your lovely encouraging and kind comments they really do make blogging complete! Welcome if you have commented for the first time and may have added your name to the followers list. I always try and pop in to your blogs to say hi and nice to meet you if I can xox

Back to today's post, Do you like the colours of the above photograph? I like taking pictures of my feet, in fact I have always liked my feet in comparison to having met people who really hate or intensely dislike their feet and never wear flip flops or sandals or go bare foot. Something I find hard to relate to as I was mostly bare foot as a kid growing up in Sunny South Africa where it was completely normal to not wear shoes. Anyhow, I wanted to show you my feet in Loop in London (see previous post for details of my visit there). I loved the carpet and thought my shoes rather suited it, hence the photograph despite having a few interesting peeks / looks from other customers. The staff in Loop ignored me, ignored me in a good way that is, maybe they are used to people being loopy in their shop :0)

Stick to the subject Penelope!

Ok, so this post is about my feet first of all and then a little more on Loop. On the way up to London last Saturday I knitted on the 2 hour train journey there and back and a little on the underground tubes too. I started knitting myself some socks on two needles (yes only TWO...no DPN's for me at the moment)with the yarn I bought in my LYS in their May bank holiday sale shown here

What a sheer delight to knit with Manos 70% merino wool and 30% silk. So soft and so swift to knit with these socks took me no time at all and required little knowledge and experience as a knitter. I found the pattern in a great Erica Knight book called Classic Knits which you can access on Amazon via this link. I found it in my library and you can request it from yours too if you don't want to purchase it. It's full of simple yet classical knits and has socks on TWO needles for silly billy's like me who fear DPN's.

Here they are, ta dah....

They are not perfect by any means but I am rather pleased with my 'Slouch socks' and after finishing sewing them up a couple of nights ago I haven't wanted to take them off in view of their softness, comfort and warmth not to mention just having a lot of foot appreciation in this house. Poor Alice and Andy have had enough of me dangling my feet in their faces! Needless to say a request or two has come my way from a certain little lady :0) for autumnal socks please.

What a pleasure and sense of achievement making your own socks can bring, I've always been able to sew my own clothes if I desired but socks have remained out of the equation of fabric uses. Just love them and I am sure many more 1 skein wonders will appear from this pattern in the future.

Do you want a peek at my Loop yarn I purchased on Saturday? I'm already onto a new pattern I found in Loop and although this is quite ambitious for me I hope I haven't gone too far out of my depths with it. I'll show you what I am making very soon. So here's a peek at the yarn first.

Such heavenly, girly colours don't you think? It's very lightweight and I am being a bit ambitious here but hopefully I'll succeed.

So I'm off to be fancy free on my bicycle, new socks and birkenstocks on and off I go. Hope to catch up with all your lovely blogs over the next few days and bring you more news of my creations xox

Sunday, 12 June 2011


*{Loop = Something having a shape, order, or path of motion that is circular or curved over on itself.}

Hello to all of you, it's wet and grey and windy here and I have just awoken from a sneaky under the granny blanket sleep after a delicious big vegetarian roast dinner and upside-down pineapple pudding and custard made by my beautiful husband.

I slept little last night having arrived back from a jam packed day in the city (ie. London) yesterday and a 2 hour train ride home eventualy led to getting my weary feet into bed at 1.30am. Boy was dog tired but boy was it worth it!

Yesterday was a day of reunions with a dear long time friend from University back in the late 1980's, a day of catchup, nattering, laughter, meaning, checking out each other's wrinkles(hee hee) and just girly frivolity ad decadence. To end it all we had a beautiful high tea at the Landmark Hotel, followed by cocktails at the top of the OXO tower and "staying strong" au revoirs back home again. Just beautiful to see you again Amanda, your strength and beauty as a mother of 3, your courage and intelligence. We must not leave it so long next time (it was 6 and half years since we had seen each other), we must make that LOOP* again.

It always is good fun to visit London but I like coming home, I'm not a city girl and like a slower pace of life... oh dear I am getting old! Enough of that i also wanted to share with you what my first 2 hours once I had arrived in London consisted of, prior to my reunion with Amanda.

A little sparkle of a dream, a loopy, threaded one, a big desire held in a little place inside of me to go to Camden Passage (Angel tube station) to visit here...

I was in such a state of inner excitement that initially I walked right passed it!! but this too had it's benefits, I discovered Camden passage vintage and antiques markets, shops and cafes ... too beautiful, it brought out that bohemian side of me and I was transported to a different world of memories and life when I lived in London. Loved it all xox

There is a stunning shop called Fat Cat Face and it was full of all things vintage and retro, I found it hard to pull myself away to go and find Loop {have a browse around their website, it's sumptuous}


Ok then back to Loop,

What a window display, stunning don't you think? with Julie Arkell's whwhimsical little papier mache and knitted sculpture suggesting we all just knit more.

Inside this indescribable shop was row and shelf after shelf brim with colourways of yarn that would make your heart melt, that is if you a a yarn lover, stroker, admirer like I'm becoming and I know most of you who pop into my blog are so I'm preaching to the converted. So here is a little taster of the inner depths of loop

I feel speechless and overwhelmed looking at these photo's again. It was a truly one off experience for me, the staff were so lovely and helpful and the books and tension squares and ready knitted patterns were all perfect. A little part of my soul was colour filled again and an injection of bubbly enthusiasm was gained.

I heart you Loop xox

By default I found out it was public knitting day and I felt a little chuffed that I had without knowing been knitting on the train up to London and on the tube :0)
Did you do some public knitting?

Needless to say they had a 10% off all sales in Loop and I did me some shoppin'
I'll show you very soon, hope you have all had a weekend of the loopiest kind x

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Ribb-it, Rabb-it, Frogg-it, Make-it

Hello again, thanks for stopping by, your comments are great and I really appreciate them and I do try and pop into your blogs if you have one. It makes me smile when I switch on the laptop and see a new comment, such simple pleasure so Thank You once again.

Anyone for some ice-cream? Strawberry, mint, vanilla?

Do you remember my ice-cream colours of Debbie Bliss yarn I was making into this ?

Well, my plan for it turned out rubbish and I was not at all happy with my hooking results so I decided to frogg-it or
rabb-it(ing) as the lovely Alice calls it in her house. There was no means of rescuing my 'trying to be fast at making a cushion cover', 'thinking how clever am i' alter ego mania. Hence, the little balls of cotton ice-cream all frogged and popped in a 40p charity shop find. A find of one of my favourite kind....

The tin kind that is. Ooooh I love a little bit of tin crockery I do, especially with a pretty flower pattern painted on it and a pretty place to pop my wee balls of cotton xox

A lovely beginning to my evening yesterday especially when I came home and found this month's ed. of Country Living on my door mat.

Simplicity... it ain't gonna take much to please me!

40p for the tin bowl + 40p for a wooden spoon, vintage needles and hook = one happy bunny

Now that I have ribbited, rabbited and froggited I need to be mak'in it, so I have decided to make a long wanted and much lusted after pretty pastel baby garland which I hope to share with all you lovelies soon. 

I hope you have all had a marvelous week so far and are looking forward to some R & R this weekend. I am off for my girly pamper day in London on Saturday with a very special friend who went to Uni with me and has always been an important part of my life, she is flying over from Zurich for a few days and I can't wait. 

I'll leave you with a practical solution I came up with on Monday when we went to Brighton (with crochet in my bag of course). It's a simple solution if you have access to a cork or two and if you are disorganised like me and just chuck all your knitting/hooky stuff/equipment into a big old bag to carry over your shoulder when you go out.

Ta dah....

This was a much needed solution after all those months of having a prickle every now and again from my little scissors!

Remember what I said about simplicity!

till next time
over and out
Penelope xox