Saturday, December 29, 2007


So that's it gone for another year. I know everyone complains about all the build up followed by the speedy passing of the day itself but I really haven't found it that way this year. Apart from getting the knitting done I seem to have coped okay somehow. Of course, misplacing the zip for Johnnie's cardigan the evening before the family was coming for presents didn't help - I had thrown it in the bin in it's little plain white paper bag looking for all the world like rubbish. Both daughters and partners and Millie came for tea and presents last Sunday, Dec 23rd then on Christmas Eve we all headed south to Henley-on-Thanes to spend Christmas with my brother and his family. They live in a really beautiful house that we hadn't had chance to visit before and they made us really welcome. Christmas Eve we should have been carol singing in the pub but it was so crowded we ended up doing it on the station whilst waiting for the train into Henley itself.

We were off to an Italian restaurant for a lovely dinner.

It was lovely to be all together on Christmas day. We have always got together at some point over the season but this is the first time for very many years it was on the actual day.
Here is Princess Millie modeling one of her presents

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SP 11

The time is up on SP11 and reveals have been made up and downstream. My final package arrived recently from Dottyspots
Here is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran just right for some new fetchings with matching scarf. Tistie Tostie smelliness from lush and a box of Turkish Delight (half empty to my shame)

My down stream Pal was Gemma aka bendigoblue
I had to be really careful as Gemma is active on the Angelyarns forum so I had to remember not to tell her things in emails which had posted on the forum and vice versa. Then when she put me as a friend on Ravelry I thought I had somehow blown my cover but when I checked her site I realised she had added several forum members, phew! She was quite ill during the last month but I am glad she is well on the mend.

My Christmas knitting is beginning to come together.
Socks for Isabel
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The wool is from Brightdyes and I bought it at Woolfest. The pattern is from Interweave and although it's an easy one it has seemed to take forever.
Tea cosy by request of my workmate Charlie

The yarn is Wendy Fusion from Boyes in Kirkby in Ashfield and the pattern is an adaptation from Tea Cozies

I planned a nice big bobble on the top but realised it would be too hatty so substituted a nice i-cord. Now to finish off the rest. The countdown is on.......

Busy Day

It is a while since Millie and I did anything worth reporting but today we made up for it. This morning we visited Wheatcroft's garden centre where we saw two of Santa's reindeer. They were just outside the coffee shop so we could watch then while we shared my scone and Millie ate her crisps. Then a visit to the man himself which included a 'ride' on a sleigh to get there.

Santa understands little girls and her present was a teenage doll with extra clothes. Her mother's seasonal threats must have taken root though as Millie asked how come she had got a good present when she had been naughty.
This afternoon we saw We're going on a Bear Hunt at the Lakeside Arts Centre

It was really well done but they had introduced some poignant moments as their interpretation was that the mother had died - this was only hinted at, so it escaped comment by Millie who has a small child's fascination with dead mothers as featured in most fairy tales.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Oh dear I seem to have fallen into bad blogger ways and not updated for simply ages. Over the last few days I have been knitting frantically on Christmas gifts, mostly Johnnie's gray jumper and two pairs of socks.
I had a trip to Bakewell and on the way back we discovered a yarn and patchwork shop in an old chapel in Rowsley - what joy. We were in ther for hours. My friend bought some olive green Katia linen yarn for a cardigan but I limited myself to enough for some mitts.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Swap bot swap

My swapping addiction continues but I have it a little more under control. Now, when browsing Swapbot I don't just think 'I could do that' but also 'would I want one?' For instance, ages ago I did a swap based on a fundraising idea we used when I ran a playgroup where the children had to cram as many things as possible into a matchbox. Now as this is fun and cheap it has really taken off and lots are organised by various people with various themes. I keep being drawn to them but STOP! I really don't need yet another cubic inch of bits. However I have just done a European knitter's swap.My fabulous parcel arrived yesterday from Fiona in Edinburgh and what a beauty it is!

Here it all is. Twilleys Freedom Spirit I know is perfect for felting. There is a skein of Noro Iro and 2 different shades of Mission Falls 1824 wool which tone with the Noro - I must try to think of a way of incorporating them all together -any suggestions? There is also a great notebook and 3 toggle buttons who were camera shy and hid while the photo was being taken. But wait...what is that.....

It is silk, but not just silk...beautiful, beautiful silk from Teo's shop on the Isle of Skye. I really love this and can't wait to finish the boring Grey cardi I am knitting for Rosemary's Johnnie's Christmas present.
Oh and then there was

This card with a rosette made from Scottish tweed with a vintage button which looks perfect on a red cardigan. Thanks so much Fiona.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A week nearer Christmas

A week of knitting on James' black tank top has brought me to the point of picking up for neck and armbands. Yuck yuck yuck. Don't like it. I've knit it on a circular needle and done 3 needle cast offs for the shoulders so there are no seams...but still there is no way of avoiding the pick-up. Well I could avoid it by spending a while on the shawl tee hee.
I am quite pleased with myself as I have already booked for a performance and a workshop for Millie at the Lakeside Arts centre, even though I've only had the programme for a couple of weeks. I have such a dreadful habit of leaving it until it's too late, I just hope nothing turns up! especially as the reason I was at the booking office yesterday was to exchange our Bear Hunt tickets for a later date as Millie's Nursery Play is on the day I originally booked.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Busy days

I seem to have been too busy for blogging lately. Of course there is Christmas knitting to be done, a plain with a capital P black slipover for Isabel's James which is on the needles (well needle as I am doing it circularly) and a cardi for Johnnie which is still in thinking about mode, as well as other bits and pieces.
Last Wednesday we had a trip to Attenborough for a Tots activities session in the woods.

It was pretty good but not as much fun as Millie and my re-enactment of the Three Billy Goats Gruff which opened to rave reviews and 4 encores in the privacy of the Willow garden at the back of the Visitors Centre (yes of course we were the only 2 there) This was followed by a visit to Bardill's Garden Centre where Millie decided the houseplant department looked like a jungle and had me trailing about singing 'Walking in the Jungle what did I see'. Of course there actually where people about here and although I tried to keep it discrete I'm not sure I entirely succeeded. It was lovely to see my old colleague Janet at Attenborough. She and her husband and grandson were just going in to the welcome warmth of the coffee shop as we were setting of in the wind and weather along the trail.
On the way home I talked to Millie about the Christmas Child charity and she was very enthusiastic about filling a shoe box, so we went to a store called Home Bargains to stock up. As well as soap and toothbrush, toys and crayons she spotted an Angel outfit which she just had to have. Her excuse was that I could then take photos of her for Christmas cards like Mummy has already done at home. Okay I did. Unfortunately it wasn't until I uploaded them that I realised how dirty her face was. Do you think she'll let me do it all again???

Speaking of Christmas... I dreamed the other night that we had arrived at my brother's house where we will be spending Christmas and I realised I hadn't got round to buying any presents!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Finished Items

First a shockingly poor picture of my Icarus shawl. I have been wearing this much more than I thought, just slung round my neck as a scarf. It's a lovely soft merino so it's very comforting.

Now, at last, the Tangled Yoke. Eunny Jang's design in the Fall Interweave Knits. I love it but I had some sort of pattern blindness and made so many stupid mistakes, like missing out a row of K1 K2togs that I lost count of the number of times I had to frog all or part of that blessed yoke. Then when I was blocking the finished garment I realised I had left off the last bobble!*$!#!. Fortunately it was easy enough to add it on but I am so happy it's done.

Finally a little light relief. Wine and Roses from Interweave Knits Winter 06 in a yarn from Stroud Wool which I am now knitting socks from the same skein. These are for a swap on the Angel Yarns forum.
This post is brought to you care of a rotten cold which kept me off work on the one day a fortnight I enjoy it. That's when I lead Rhyme Time for about 10 -12 under 5's and their Mums and Grans. Not that I can sing you understand but we have a good time...well they keep coming back.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Millie's Dress

I don't know if anyone would remember Millie's very professional approach to modeling a waistcoat I knitted for her.

Well, she showed a similarly imaginative approach when I asked her to try on a new dress for a photograph.

In case you are as confused by the picture as I was when I uploaded it (even though I only took it very recently) She is lying under the dress on the end of a corner settee unit...

Trying again

Ah, at last Blogger is cooperating and has deigned to upload this picture of my gift from cheekyimp for the Angelyarns Forum Winter Warmers swap. Good isn't it?

Crystal Palace yarns kid Merino in great autumny colours with a pattern for a perfect lacy scarf
2 skeins of Mirasol Hacho in a shade I almost sent to my partner
a ball of Anchor Machicline cotton for some cheery dishclothing
a set of row markers which pleased me no end - they are going to be so useful.
Hotel Chocolate hot chocolate
Hotel chocolate chocolate spread - I can't tell you how delicious this is.
Now by some twist of fate I have to knit fingerless mitts and send them with something fabulous to the same cheekyimp for the current (Mitts) swap!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I arrived home yesterday afternoon to find a post office van blocking the garage. Well that is quite a good sight in these days of postal strikes but I was even more forgiving when he handed me 3 parcels. The first was this year's Lilliput Lane members' cottage, the other two were gifts, one from my Secret Pal in this round and the other from my 'Winter Warmers' Secret Pal swap on the Angel Yarns Forum.

First, and packaged in excellent Cath Kidston bags, we have Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora, some in soft pink and one in a brighter shade, two skeins of blue wool in mixed shades, a lovely smelly bath bomb from Lush and dark chocolate yumminess.
Now Blogger seems unable to post the other picture so I will have to try again at a later date! Oh well I think it's the first time Blogger has given me any problems since I had to change provider, so not too worried.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunday catch up

Here is a little bag I made for a swap. It is in Rowan Handknit cotton in a dark turquoise, no longer stocked. The pattern is from 25 Bags To Knit although I reduced the size a little as I wasn't sure if I had enough yarn.

I am trying to knit a cardigan for myself at the moment but am suffering from pattern blindness or something and have had to frog part of it so many times I have thrown it out of the pram and settled down with some Wine and Roses mitts which I have been meaning to do for ages. This is a pattern from an old edition of Interweave knits and is very pretty.
Meanwhile with Millie; last Wednesday was Attenborough again. We were looking for minibeasts and found millipedes and ladybirds and all kinds of lovely things

From the park we went to TK Maxx where Millie chose this cardi and hat set which she is modeling in Bardill's Garden Centre - our next port of call.

Sure I could have knitted one but not for £7.99 and not when I have to finish my $%&*^$@ cardigan and knit 4 pairs of socks, 2 men's jackets and a dress for Millie and one for baby Annabel - oh and mitts for a swap. Yikes do I have time to go to work?
Isabel has come back to working in the library, just a couple of Saturdays a month as a casual but it was so lovely to have her there this week. She has worked there on and off since she was 16, First as a casual then 2 part time stints in between career changes and I really missed her when she took up her post with the Wildlife trust but after working full time during the summer vacation she is now back to part time work there, University and the library too.
Rosemary is unwell at the moment so Millie came for a sleepover with the promise of a visit to Heage Windmill as she didn't really want to come. Of course when it was time to take her home she wanted to come back with us! We had a lovely time scrambling up the ladders and having a go with a quern and testing how pulleys help to lift weights. Here is a picture Millie took;

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

White Post Farm

We haven't been to the White Post Farm in over a year so we put that right with a visit today. It was pretty bleak at times but the sun did shine and there's quite a bit indoors, including play areas which Millie really enjoyed. Of course there were goats to be fed

(Cardigan in Wendy Fusion)
and groomed-

Yes, I am knitting honestly!

At the moment I am mostly knitting the tangled cable cardigan in the current Interweave knits but it is in a dark aubergine which I don't suppose will show the cable in a photograph.
I have just finished, in 2 evenings and 1 lunch-break a blanket for Baby Annabel, only once again I forgot the picture, maybe I can sneak one later while Mummy-Millie isn't looking

This is Millie with her new baby on her 4th birthday which was last Sunday. She thought it was a huge coincidence that it was her birthday, she was four and it was her birthday, all on the same day. Here is the ridiculous cake I made at her request.

She asked for a Sleeping Beauty cake and instead of buying a cheap doll which would come apart at the waist and stick in the top of a cake baked in a pudding basin I bought a real Disney Princess which not only doesn't come apart but is incredibly tall, needing not just a bowl but also 3 sandwich cake layers to provide the length of skirt needed!
As well as pass=the parcel and musical bumps there was competitive balloon modeling

What do you think? Should I be holding some sort of poll?

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Isabel and I went to this unheard-of-before show at Newark which is only about 30 minutes drive from where she lives. If we were paper-crafters we would have been ecstatic as, as usual at these things, that was what it mostly was. In fact only 2 knitting stands where there. Black sheep (which can always be relied on) and Knitting 4 fun which was great. There was also the Notts dyeing spinning and weaving guild which was interesting, a bead stall and lots of ribbons. We quite like looking at all the other crafts though so we did enjoy it and we took a workshop in Tunisian crochet which was good. There was an inspirational stall of Morsbags where we bought 20 labels and set off to save the world. My Mum was way ahead of her time, she always had a clutch of tote bags she had sewn herself. While we were having our second coffee break Isabel mentioned how we had enjoyed the Christmas preview evening at Wheatcroft's Garden Centre last year so as we finished looking round by 2pm we decided to drive over there for a late lunch to see if anyone knew yet when it would be........what a good thing we's a week on Thursday.How can it be already? Oh well, we are really looking forward to going again anyway.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My turn

I had a big surprise when I checked my emails invitation to step into Ravelry
How exciting! So I don't have to remember even more stuff I am using mazzam as my name there too but I have a different avatar, namely:

This is Millie trying on a waistcoat. A perfect fit!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

100th Anniversary

Look at what set Lily-the-Dog barking when the delivery man arrived this morning;

Flowers from my dear husband. Actually although I told them at work when I was booking the day off that it was my 100th, it is only 36 years now.Was I a child bride? Perhaps by today's standards. We were wed in the Baptist church at the top of the road. The reception was in the church hall then a few close family and family friends came back to my parents house whilst we set off for a week in the caravan in Buxton. My Dad wanted us to marry on a Wednesday as it was his half day closing, but I insisted on it being Saturday because I thought no one would come to a weekday wedding. In the event it didn't cost him as much as he expected so he bought us a second hand record player with the change. It must have been a warmer day than today as I remember being perfectly comfortable in the Swiss lawn dress my mother and I made between us. I had made no provision for it being chilly anyway. The optimism of youth! I had covered a Juliette cap with lace flowers and refused to contemplate a veil until Mum produced her own which she had 'got up' (washed and ironed with consummate care) and I realised it was the finishing touch I needed.
We went to Buxton for the day today. Some parts have changed, as everywhere but the arcade is still there, the Opera house in the park and even the caravan park under the viaduct. We have changed too. We have gained two wonderful daughters and a grandaughter we adore. We have lost both my parents and James' mother is in a nursing home. Three brain operations and bouts of epilepsy have taken their toll on my bridegroom. I have grown stouter but my hair style spookily has gone back to pretty much what it was then. And hey we are still together and I am still knitting!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Janet has left the building...

My friend Janet retired last Tuesday. No one believes she is 60 next Thursday. She must sleep in some sort of preservative. On Friday evening she and her family threw a bit of a do for present and past colleagues. It was like a time-line of the library service. People dating back to the days of Browne issue and addressing work mates by their title and surname, people from the time of Bookplus, Unicorn and Orfid (computer programmes). As Isabel put it 'It was like the last scene in Titanic when everyone is there'. Janet is so well thought of that people travelled up from Devon and down from Beverley to be with her. You can see how she will be missed.

Janet is the one in the patterned top.
now here are Isabel and Charlie. I'll leave the caption to you.

This was my gift to her, a little alpaca Flower basket.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Yesterday my bag went off to my swapee and today one arrived from my swapper from the Angelyarns forum.

Isn't it pretty? it's resting on it's tassel which is the same yarn as Lindamay used in the edging. It contained 5 stitchmarkers, a notebook and pencil and a lavender candle which smells fabulous.
I finished a cardigan for Millie today.
Here she is wearing it, hot off the needles.

It is in Wendy Fusion self striping yarn, a bargain from Boyes in Kirkby in Ashfield.
I wanted to reknit the neckband but she wouldn't let me and insisted on wearing it to go home where she took it off and threw it on the ground, just like any of her clothes ( Rosemary pointed out that she should respect it - at least until I left :) )

Yesterday my dear friend Janet retired. She has been working at the library for ages, even before I started there and I had known her for years before that as our children, my 2 and her 4, were young together and we went to the same church. now we have grandchildren the same age too and I will miss her lots. I know she reads this and I hope she will continue to call by. She has just restarted knitting so, Janet, now you have time you could start a blog yourself so I know what you are up too! Well, there is always email.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Finished object

Just in time, before I packed it up for it's journey swapwards I remember to photograph this bag:

(It's okay everyone.....I have sorted out that rogue handle which was so glaringly obvious in the photo but unnoticed (by me anyway) in real life)
It is knitted in Noro Kureyno to a pattern in an old Knitter's magazine. It's a very easy mitred corner pattern but it shows off the stripes in the wool. It is felted too. Twice around the wash cycle. I think it's felted enough, I didn't want to kill it. The nasturtiums underneath were grown from seed by Millie. They are taking over the garden. I kind off forgot when I gave her a corner to plant them in that they would trail, and they are doing, all across the path and up the shed door. They are so pretty though and a constant source of delight to the little gardener. we went to theirs for tea today and were planning her birthday party which is in only 2 weeks. She will need 4 candles on her cake which somehow I find myself making.

Last Wednesday was Tot's at Attenborough again. It's ages since we went to one of these activity mornings and it was good to be back exploring the woods again. We were investigating and gathering seeds.
Time to start looking for a cottage in Wales for next April. I want to go to Wonderwool but I may have to go alone as Isabel my usual partner in these jaunts is hoping to spend a month in Australia when she graduates next year and she and James won't be able to afford the time or money for an extra holiday. Rosemary and Millie are definately up for it though and when Rosemary was telling Johnnie what we were planning he was asking if we might have it's off to browse the cottage sites for something cheap but roomy and preferably all on one floor!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Lost Mitts

I have just realised that I posted off the Wine and Roses mitts which I had knitted for a swap without photographing them so now they are lost to me forever and I quite liked them. They were in varigated pinks and the pattern was from Interweave knits/ Hope you have a good imagination to conjure up a picture! It's not the first time I've done that either. I shall make a resolution to always photograph a project on completion!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oooops I forgot

How rude of me. I can't believe I forgot. It's just I read the comment late one night and didn't feel up to doing anything about it at that point. I've just read it on someone else's blog and now I must deal with it. What is it? THIS

I was nominated by Riggwelter (Angie) from Jazzycrafts as thanks for being her Secret Pal in the last round. So with apologies to her for my apparent lack of appreciation I in my turn nominate Chris of Christina's Creations


A few days ago I received a swap parcel from this kind person. The swap was just for yarn and a pattern for a pair of socks but in my parcel was;

not just sock yarn in the sort of colours I would have chosen myself along with a whole bunch of patterns but also a ball of beautiful pink Jaeger Alpaca to make something for Millie, a tablet of strawberry soap, a great sheepy mug and some really pretty lilac stitch markers. How lovely was that! I hope she gets a good package back!

Bank Holidays Rock

I love it that we who work in Nottingham City libraries still get an extra day off at Bank holidays. They keep saying it's going to change and the day will be added to our annual leave which would be okay but it's kind of nice to have to take a day off.
On Sunday we went to Trent Lock to have a birthday lunch for Rosemary. It's a lovely place, barely half an hour away and I haven't been since I was a child. I don't know why it sort of disappeared from my consciousness.
Monday was the day Millie and I were looking forward to as it was Moorgreen Show The weather was lovely and the show even better than last year. This is an overlooked occasion. I have lived all my life within a few miles of the site and only actually went to it last year. With hindsight it may be that no-one was willing to accompany me before Millie. Well there were rides and Tombolas... observe Millie and her prize leopard on an AA rescue truck.

The animals were restricted because of the foot and mouth problem but the Shire horses walked proudly in their rig outs

There were lots of craftspeople to watch, a flint napper, wood turners, basket weavers, glassblowers and a knitting and spinning guild with the knitted farm that fascinated Millie last year. We watched a re-enactment about Robin Hood and had a crisis about whether we dare ride a donkey or not (no). I got a free cotton bag by pledging to take the bus to work once a week (Mmmmm) Millie tasted local honey (3 sorts) and decided she does like it after all, well, as the woman on the stall said, it's quite different from supermarket stuff. Then a final doughnut

and home to collapse in front of Ceebeebies until poor Mummy, who doesn't even get one Bank holiday day off from work, got back. We have already made a date to go next year!
So today was my extra day off and leaving the weeds in the garden and the dust on the shelves James and I spent the afternoon in Bakewell just pottering around, watching the ducks on the river that runs through the town

and enjoying coffee and cakes in the Old Bakewell Pudding Shop