SpaceCraft Rotating Header Image


The End of the One Year Blogging Challenge plus 11 years of SpaceCraft…

So, this time last year I pledged to blog every Monday for a year. Why? Well, because my blogging had pretty much dried up. The last few years had come and gone with only a few posts to show for them. So to herald the eleventh year of this blog – yes, that’s right eleven years, I thought I would see if I could commit to writing another 52 entries.

I’ve been strict and I’ve held to it although it’s been difficult at times. Some Mondays I’ve only just managed to get the post up before midnight….

It can also be hard to generate the energy for writing. Content can also be a problem. This is primarily a crafty blog but, like everyone else, I go through periods where I’m just not doing anything crafty. That can be for a whole raft of reasons, I might just be busy with something else like my garden or decorating a room. With gardening I can take a photo and I guess I could of the room but that green paint stubbornly refuses to allow itself to be captured in pixels.

So this week I’ve been moving furniture back into my bedroom, sorting through old clothes, reading, going to the cinema and watching tv. Oh and of course working at my dayjob. I’ve looked longingly at my knitting several times but haven’t knit a stitch.

The things that I want to work on are these two cabled Ysolda berets. Both of them have been WiPs for a few years.


So hopefully I’ll be able to sit down and work a few rows on one soon.

Now that my Monday blogging challenge is at an end I probably won’t be blogging every week. I think I’ll only blog if I have something that I feel is blog worthy. I say that but I may feel differently next Monday, I may still blog then. Time will tell.

Meanwhile the indoor hyacinths are starting to bloom.




Gardening Season…

We’ve had some great weather this past weekend so we’ve been busy in the garden. Nothing there to really photograph just yet as much of what’s been done is clearing, mowing and weeding and it’s not all sorted. I can raise nettles and brambles without trying 😉 I’ll be planting veg and flower seeds in peat pots (not really made of peat) later in the week. I also have two extra raised beds courtesy of my neighbours, they’ve given up on growing food, so I’ll have some extra growing space. Hopefully I’ll get a glut of something that I’ll be able to share with them. I’ll be growing red onions, peas, beans and tomatoes in addition to the corn, squash and leeks. If I get time I’ll get some potatoes going too. But I may have left it a bit late for that.


But this is where I am with the colourwork on She’s Electric.


I’m about nine rows in and I’m not really sure about the look of it, not sure if I’ve made some mistakes. I’ll need to do a few more rows before I’m sure.



Making Monday – Finishing

I’ll admit it, this is a bit of a rushed blog. I’m particularly dissatisfied with the photos which are far darker than I would have liked because they’ve not long been taken.

I’d hoped to space things out a bit more but I’ve been feeling pretty miserable with a chest infection for nearly a week. I’m asthmatic so they tend to hit me hard.  I realised that something was wrong during my pilates class last week, as I was getting out of breath a lot. By Thursday it felt as though something was pressing down on my chest. That pressure feeling has only just gone. Thank god for antibiotics.

Although I was feeling rubbish I did get some more rows done on She’s Electric.

Too dark photo of She's Electric progress

On Saturday night I sewed in the ends of my Cosmic Pluto Top Down Raglan. Here it is blocking on towels.

Another not perfect image of my top down raglan blocking

It’s not quite that bright in real life. This is, though –

Amaryllis in full bloom

I’m a bit of a sucker for amaryllis and have had several of them over the years. Getting them to bloom isn’t an issue but remembering to store them properly afterwards, is. I’ll see if I change that with this one.

And I have a final piece of hip news – I had my follow up appointment at the hospital today where I was told that I didn’t have an impingement at all and wouldn’t be needing any surgery.

Of course, this is brilliant news but I can’t help but be quite angry for the time I lost worrying over a surgery that I never needed to have. Several months have been lost and my muscles became weak and I’m still in the process of building them back. I will never get that time back. It’s an anger that can’t go anywhere. People make mistakes and what if there had been something wrong and it had been missed? That would have been worse. But I have gone through a very emotionally wrought time and I need to process it all.

I can’t just buy flowers…

…and put them straight into a vase. I have to check first to see if I can take any cuttings from them.


Wish I'd grown these!


So from this bunch of chrysanthemums I also have a glass full of little cuttings that should root

Chrysanthemum cuttings

Plus this

Chrysanthemum heads

Although some of the flower heads had popped off I couldn’t bring myself to just throw them away


In hip news I’m still in limbo really. Still waiting to hear when I have appointments with the hospital. I’ve also had some blood tests done since I seem to be bruising a lot since taking the anti inflammatories. Will get the results of those next week.


I bought a yellow climbing rose today. Hopefully it will climb the arbour. Before I tell you its name I will tell you my history with this rose – my grandmother used to grow it in her front garden or green as it’s called in some parts of Cardiff. When I was in primary school, every so often she would cut a bunch, wrap them up in newspaper to form a sort of bouquet and give them to me to give to my teacher. Our teachers varied but I can remember giving Mrs Dickens at least one of these. The people who now own the house I grew up in have long since paved over the front garden. Sad but they’re obviously not a fan of roses. Now the name of the rose, don’t snigger, but it’s called Golden Showers.

In my first garden I tried to grow them a few times but without much success. The main reason for this, I think, was because I was trying to grow them in a container. The new plant, in my second garden, will be eventually be planted directly into the soil. I’ve bought it as a bare root plant but it will have to live in a pot for a little while until I get a base for the arbour. But I think those golden blooms will look striking against the blue of arbour. This isn’t the first of my Nan’s plants that I’ve wanted to grow in my garden. She would grow Japanese anemones and “ever lasting”, perennial,  sweet peas. I’ve grown sweet peas before and I have some “old fashioned” sweet peas that I’m growing from seed. They’re not exactly the same as my grandmothers but there’s always next year for the ever lasting.

It’s old history now but I Nan and I didn’t have the best relationship. But when I garden and think of growing her flowers I am remembering some of the best bits of her and continuing them. And that’s all that matters really.


That Old Sew and Sew

Before I became more than a little obsessed with knitting, I used to sew. I made lots of things; trousers, tops, shirts, dresses etc. And at some point I became more interested in my knitting than my sewing. I haven’t sewn more than one thing a year in probably at least five years. In fact, aside from a dress I began last year, and which I still haven’t finished, I don’t think I’ve even posted any blog posts about constructing a garment.

Last weekend Doug suggested that I make a dress. He has a sewing machine at his so I chose fabric and a pattern which took a couple of hours, came back to his and prepared to sew.

I chose Burda 7698, an empire waisted evening dress cut on the bias. The bias, plus gathering of course, helps create a lovely curved drape at the bust. It’s simple but elegant.

Notice I said that the pattern was simple. The hardest part of the pattern is the insertion of the zip and the gathering at the sides but I’m still quite rusty so to be honest, the whole thing was a challenge for me. Firstly, I didn’t realise that the front and back bodice had to be cut on the bias so I had to cut those again. Then I managed to sew the bodice front to the skirt front upside down and didn’t realise my mistake until after I’d trimmed the seam! Ripped out the stitching and tried to fix it but should have just cut a new front bodice piece since I became so frustrated trying to fix it that I ended up bending the needle on the sewing machine. My next mistake was when sewing the front and back together at the right hand side not to match the waist so on one side it was noticeably out. Argh!

I do want to sew more but I find that I’m either too cocky when reading a pattern and go wrong or I misread something. I need to try again because I would like to find my sewing muse again. I’d quite like to try and make at least one dress a month. As summer gets underway I’ll no doubt be busier and busier in the garden but the prospect of having something new and unique to wear every month is appealing. Plus I’d have twelve handmade dresses over the course of a year. 🙂

BurdaStyle is a great sewing resource and through it today I found this site – The Sew Weekly I love it! It’s by Mena Trott, one of the founders of TypePad, and I used to read her original sewing blog Sew Wrong years ago. She started her current blog about a year ago with the aim of sewing a new garment each week. It’s now more of a sewing community/group blog. I’ve only had a little look at it but there are lot of people making some fab stuff from vintage patterns and fabric that they’ve mostly bought in charity/thrift shops. It’s very inspiring and I certainly think I’ll be looking out for old sewing patterns in charity shops in the future.

Here are some of my favourite dresses so far – The Obedient Seamstress Dress, The ‘You Can Do it’ Dress, The Support of my Friends Dress

I’ve joined their community The Weekly Sewing Circle so feel free to add me as a friend if you’re on that site.


Knitting & Daffodils

It’s St David’s Day today so here’s an obligatory shot of some daffs I have in a vase

Daff close-up

and some more

More daffs close-up

They are the national flower of Wales but they’re also one of my faves. I particularly love the cute little Narcissus ones and always have a few pots of them. This year I have about six pots in the garden. Some of them were destined to go into the tubs in my front garden but I’ve not yet had the energy to plant them. They’ll get in there ready for next year though.

I have managed to knit one thing while I’ve been ill. It’s the Starving Artist hat by Laura of The KnitGirllls videocast.

Starving Artist with Flash

Starving Artist - Close up with Flash

This is a great pattern and very easy. Normally I could have made one in a day but this one took about four days. It’s currently in my study, laying on a towel blocking on a dinner plate.

Blocked Starving Artist with flash


It seems a bit big. I should have gone down a needle size while knitting but couldn’t find my 6.5mm needles. I really like the colour and the yarn – It’s an odd skein of Colinette Graffiti in Alzarine topped up with a tiny bit of Colinette Skye (worsted/aran weight yarn) in the same shade. The ribs make it look a bit like the spines of a sea urchin to me. Once it’s finished blocking I’ll try it on again, I hope it’s not too loose.

Starving Artist Blurry

Blurry close-up

Belated 9th Blogiversary or Late, Late and an Update…

I’m behind in blog entries, no surprise there and sadly not a surprise that I’m again blogging when ill. Really must get into the habit of blogging when I’m well. The short of it is that I have a chest infection which has effected my asthma. As a result I’m really tired and have low energy levels. So, Pip, you have your answer 😉

Now, normally having over a week at home away from work would be fabulous because I’d be able to finish the last bit of tidying on the house – rather crucial now because one of Doug’s pinball tables is going to reside here! – weed the garden and ready it for spring and also, make some stuff.

Instead I’m finding it difficult to do anything without getting really tired.

Fortunately it doesn’t take much energy to watch my hyacinths begin to flower on the windowsill.


Pink hyacinth in flower on my living room windowsill



I have four, two pink and I’m assuming two blue, although one hasn’t shown its colours yet.


Blue hyacinth just starting to show his colours...


One of my Xmas gifts from Doug was a Magimix le micro food processor. It’s perfect for making up batches of fresh pesto. At the moment I’m having to buy fresh basil leaves but I’m hoping that these little basil seedings will grown soon so that I can can have home grown pesto over the summer. 🙂 I grew a lot of basil last year but it wasn’t successful because of slug interference. Hopefully this year will be better!


Basil – Spice Boys Mix