Thursday, December 24, 2009


A few weeks ago rosemary and I were having coffee and scones at John Lewis and each had a tiny jar of jam. We were discussing how we always felt we should find a use for these and the idea emerged that we would challenge each other to decorate our jars and present them to each other on Christmas day. Isabel got involved too. I finally did mine and was asked to do one for Millie so she doesn't feel left out.

This is the one for Isabel who keeps rabbits;

Millie has a bit of a thing about Frosty the Snowman;

It's a bit of a squidge but he does fit inside.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Look at this....

I had my Christmas present from Isabel in November. It was a willow basket workshop.Whoo Hoo! We went together to a Wildlife Trust nature reserve near Newark where lots of willow grows. We cut lots of willow and then were told to use the withies provided by the leader cos ours weren't long (they meant good) enough. Well we had a fabulous day. We had wrapped up warmly but had to take off a few layers as it was a lovely day and here is the result;

Yes, it's a proper basket with a handle and everything!

Well I never!

ever since I started using this laptop instead of the big computor which is slightly unwell I have assumed I would have to do something tricky to post pictures WRONG! I just attached the camera and it did it by itself. Who knew??? This means I have not recorded any knitting for ages and have given most things away being socks for Rosemary and mitts for Isabel. Oh well at least I know I am back functioning again and so all I need to do is remember to take the pix.
What prompted the picture loading was receiving a box of Christmasness from bluenail in Canada for the ravelry Christmas Swap.

See all that lovely yarn and all that yummy chocolate. There is also a bag of interesting coffee beans, a gingerbread man cutter with a suitable recipe a decotation ot put on the tree and a present to put under it. (I haven't opened it Honestly) A handmade item was part of the swap and here are the mitts bluenail made for me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Knitter on the block

Here is Millie when she was about 3 years old, trying on a new waistcoat. She is now 6 and wants to learn to knit.Last night the penny dropped and she took off with her little kitten head needles flying and some pink wool turning ito goodness knows what. She says we can now be knitting buddies and I have to get her a knitting book and buy her some more wool for Christmas.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm still here!

I was reminded by Janiannie that I have not posted for absolutely ages. She is quite right but her last one was June 25th so I think she should practice what she preaches!! My excuse has been that I have been spending a lot of time helping Rosemary cope with 2 broken arms but she is now out of plaster and back at work so that excuse is no longer valid! The next excuse valid for one week only was an excursion to Norfolk for me him and the dog. We stayed in a cottage in Syderstone near the beautiful north coast and the weather was fine enough for several visits to various beaches which was very restorative. We visited the Woad Centre which was very interesting. Ian is such an enthusiast. I had got it mixed up with indigo but managed not to embarrass myself by going on about the properties of a completely different plant. I visited Knit Wits in Dereham and bought some grey tweedy yarn for a cardigan in the current Designer Knits.
Friday being the day of the Macmillan Cancer Carity biggest coffee morning Janiannie and I went to Nottingham John Lewis where Clare the Rowan design consultant is organising a blanket from squares which we were all knitting. I have managed to do four in total. Not, of course on the morning but before and since.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A parcel arrives

Tonight I arrived home exhausted after 2 days of trauma with Rosemary who had a really bad accident on her cycle, no other vehicle was involved, just tram tracks, to find a package arrived from America. My Secret Pal has sent the Nora Gaughan booklet I wanted and love along with some wonderful Alpaca and Cotton yarn in a beautiful blue along with a pack of chocolates with caramel. Photographs have been taken and I promise, promise, promise as soon as I am less tired I will sort out getting them on here, promise.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Well yes, the front was done and then the back, then I unknit most of the front and redid it. I have started the neckband but I am saving it to take to the Rowan coffee morning at John Lewis next Saturday. I have finished another pair of socks and carried on with the simplest cardigan in the world aka Windsor. It was plain before I started it but I even forgot to divide for the pockets and couldn't be bothered to tink it so it is even plainer. Has anyone noticed a certain dearth of photies? No? Good. Well it's because I am using a laptop and have not yet sorted photo adding.
Today i have been mostly wrestling with brambles at the bottom of the garden. At least I didn't find an enchanted castle....just a frog. The plan is to grow vegetables in that area but first the hard work as it is rather overgrown.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just one week later

Last Sunday I wrote that I wanted to knit Stockport (you need to scroll way down and you still won't be able to see it because of the arty photograph) from the new Rowan magazine but needed to acquire 6 balls of Cocoon. Done it! Six of Mist a lovely soft blue snaffled from ebay. It arrived so quickly and is knitting up just as fast. The front is already done. Yay!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rowan 46

The new Rowan magazine has arrived, full of lovely things. I really want to knit Stockport but must first acquire 6 balls of Cocoon. In the meantime I am contenting myself with Windsor, the simplest Kimono shaped cardi in the world, in the double knit I bought from the Colinett workshop

It's wonderfully soft and is knitting really nicely.

School's Out!

The school holidays have started and it's gone crazy at the library. We are getting lots of children signing up for the summer reading scheme which is good but is making us extra busy.
After long discussions on Wednesday morning Millie and I decided to go to the science museum at Snibston but about 10 minutes into the journey we changed our minds and went on to Conkers. We had a good time although we had to dodge a few showers.
Millie discovered the principle of the Archemedes Screw.


Here then is Rosemary's cushion cover, completed in good time before her August birthday. Now I just have to find a cushion to fit it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Progress (of sorts)

The Union Jack cushion cover is knitted and blocked and waiting to be sewn up. It's only two seams. Come on get on with it!
The Glace cardigan is almost to the point of separating the sleeves. The rows are endless but soon will be more manageable. Come on what are you waiting for?
The shawl is pretty and a simple lace but I've left it for a while and forgotten the pattern. Come on you could easily re-establish it!
The Kidsilk Haze cardigan languishes in a bag left off when it was too hot to knit fluffy stuff. Come on it has cooled down now!

So I am knitting vanilla socks.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Secret Pal 14 Questions

Here is my questionnaire for SP14

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I really prefer natural fibres. I don't like the fancy eyelash type ones.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a really old knitting bag bought by my older daughter and my mother many years ago, plus a vase I made in a wet felting workshop

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting since I was about 6 years old. The avatar on here really is me.
I am pretty competent I think.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have one on Amazon

5. What's your favorite scent?

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Unfortunately I do. I love dark chocolate, coffee flavour things, Turkish delight.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don't spin. I wet felt occasionally.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I'm afraid I don't listen to music much

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like greens and blues, also pinks and plums. I'm not keen on acid colours.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my long standing, slightly faulty husband and Lily-the-Dog. We have 2 grown up daughters and one grand-daughter

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves yes, hats not so much, mittens yes, ponchos no way

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
At the moment shawls but also socks and cardis

13. What are you knitting right now?
A shawl, socks and a Union Jack cushion cover

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
It depends on the project but always as short as I can get away with.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
An inefficient vintage winder no swift

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
24 years

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?
Christmas and Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Besides knitting stuff Pottery baskets

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I subscribe to Interweave knits and Yarn Forward.
I'd really like the Berroco Norah Gaughan leaflet 3

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to improve my colourwork

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I knit socks but mostly for my daughters. I wear size 37 shoe

23. When is your birthday?
May 2nd

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I am. Mazzam

New Shawl obsession

I have received a parcel from a Secret Pal swap swap on Ravelry. It is from rdodo and here it is

There are lots of rosey things in there, coasters, address book, candles, chocolates, post-its, a tiny knitted sock on a keyring with some stitchmarkers hidden inside, bamboo sock yarn and some lovely Fyberspates lace weight. It was such a pretty tempting summery colourway I just had to get started on a new shawl and having sworn off Icarus had to look for another pattern. I found the North Roe on Ravelry and decided this was the one. Here it is so far

and yes, it is the one!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Last week was Isabel's birthday. This coincided with an inset day for Millie so the birthday girl decided we should pick fruit.

We picked yummy raspberries, strawberries. gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. I couldn't believe how busy the fields were as it was a weekday but when we had our fruit weighed it was really cheap so people were probably stocking up for freezing and jamming. We were just doing it for eating.

I really don't like colourwork. This is why I have a pack of beautifully coordinated Jamesons shetland sitting on a shelf which has been there for about 5 years, suposedly waiting until I find the perfect pattern. Well it will have to be perfect for me to tackle it. However when Rosemary suggested she would like a tapestry cushion for her birthday I baulked at the £50 price tag when a day later I found the perfect pattern in a magazine, knowing I already had the yarn in the stash. Amazingly I have quite enjoyed watching the emergence of the design which will match the painting Rosemary did and hangs on her wall.

Having reported my enjoyment the back of the cushion will deffinately be stripes!

You'd think I'd be sick of Icarus by now but here's another;

I am going to try something different next though honestly.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Today Denby Pottery was celebrating the bicentennial. I thought I would like to see what was happening so, after baking and filling macaroons and whipping cream to cover a 'Dougal cake' (this is a line of chocolate chip cookies dipped in coffee and stood on end then covered with whipped cream so looking rather like Dougal from the Magic Roundabout) and walking Lily-the-Dog and before going to Sainsbury's to buy Soya cream for the vegan daughter's variation (naked Dougal;ginger biscuits dipped and stood with single cream poured over on serving) and going to Isabel's for a birthday lunch, I went along. It was great fun and I was very excited by the craft tent and food market with locally made chocolate, cupcakes, bread, cheese etc until I realised I had dashed out with £2.75 in my purse. Well I flexed the plastic in the gift shop as everything was 20% off and then heard an anouncement for someone to return to their car. Oh the shame and embarrassment! I don't know why I felt like that....nobody knew it was me. Apparently in my hurry I had left the window completely down! So I never got to see most of it as I realised time was rushing away. I'm sure everyone else enjoyed it though, there was a Victorian fairground, Pinxton Puppets and a charity stall staffed by a nice lady in Georgian costume complete with authentic anorak. (It was a chilly spot she was in)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Home again

Well we are back. Lily has been sprung from doggy jail and is snoring on the setee.
What a wonderful place we stayed in! This picture really does not do justice to it. You need to go round the back to see the view over the valley and sit out at breakfast on the decking to watch the finches, tits and woodpeckers feeding in the garden. We drove miles to the Llyn Peninsula to this beautiful cove

We walked all around a lake up in a mountain

Millie drove a train

We went to an Edwardian stables which had been converted to a craft centre. In the folly was a swift's nest with the mother flying in and out of the window feeding her young.

The wall inside was painted with farm animals

Llandudno was fun

On Wednesday I took James to the Wool & Willow festival. It was rather a long drive through the rain and I'm not sure it was really worth the trip but I'm glad we went or I'd have been wondering what I'd missed. On the way back we called in the Colinette Mill shop where I bought a skein of Jitterbug and some bargain skeins of Cadenza in Mist colourway.

It was really fortunate I bought the sock yarn as I got to the neckline of Millie's top and finished the back of my cardigan and could go no farther due to lack of appropriate needles. I did have some dpn's though and there was a pattern on the yarn band so I was able to crack on with some socks whilst Rosemary and Johnny discussed who should wear the results!

There was also wool at Trefriw Mill

Friday, June 12, 2009

Excuse me for a while

My new Cath Kidston knitting bag is packed with W.I.P's and random things I think I need and tomorrow we are off to North Wales for a week.
No one believes that I didn't realise the Wool and Willow Festival is on but it is and I hope, although it is quite a drive from where we are staying, that I'll be able to make a visit.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

One named Peter....

Me: I think I'll knit some seagulls.

Anne, a work collegue: I don't know anyone else who would ever say that.

Well here they are, ready to help at the seaside themed Totstimes we are planning for some of the summer Thursdays at the library.

'Two little seagulls, sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul.'

Icarus Flies again # 4.5

Icarus is my favourite shawl knit. It si quite straightforward and enjoyable but no less impressive for that. This is in the sage silk/merino from Black Cat Fibres. Lovely yarn, I think this is my favourite one, shame it's for a gift!

Blogging resolutions.

So.....despite deciding against joining Secret Pal 14 at the end of the 13th round there has been a nice break before the next one and as soon as I saw sign-ups were on I dived straight in again. This means I have to pull up my blogging socks and make sure I post at least weekly.

Yesterday was a reunion for a toddler group I used to go to about 100 years ago. I was really excited when I first heard about it - then totaly went off the prospect. Well it was yesterday and I made myself go and I had a really good time . The years disappeared and we never stopped talking. It helped that there were not many there and some had kept in touch and I knew one as she works in the library service too but it was good to catch up with the weddings of the tots we knew back then.
Earlier in the day I went to the John Lewis Rowan coffee morning in Nottingham. This was not as busy as usual and we guessed some had gone off to the Ravelry day in Coventry. It was good though. Not much knitting seems to get done but lots of chatting coffee drinking and danish eating. We always seem to get lots of interesting tips though, a free pattern and a look at everyone's projects. It's only bimonthly which is a shame, especially as I sometimes miss it through work intruding.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where's the knitting??

I have just started Icarus number 5.5. (The .5 refers to the wedding shawl I abandonded in favour of the fancier one in VK)
I recently completed one in a sage merino and silk dyed by Cinders from her Ravelry shop. This is a present for a friend who is about to reach a notable birthday. The one I'm knitting now is for another friend at the same life stage. This is in yarn also from etsy
They will both be revealed post blocking.

Bank Holidays

On Bank Holiday Monday I had arranged to go to the Draycott Arts and Gardens Festival like we did last year but when I checked the times I discovered it was held over the May Day weekend! We remembered the Derbyshire Open Arts event was on though and had a wonderful day at Cromford Mill and Denby Dale. There was some interesting textile art at the mill and we were inspired to rush home and start sewing - we managed to resist though and included Cauldwell's Mill and the Peak Shopping Village in our itinerary instead!
Half term week meant a sleepover for Millie. We made use of a free child entry voucher to go to Sherwood Farm Park where we fed lambs and goats

rode a miniature steam train and did quite a lot of climbing.

Wednesday we went to a Wild in the City event at the library where we cuddled a baby guinea pig which shot straight up my coat sleeve and made a willow withey lantern which was quite as difficult to make as it is to say. After lunch we went to see Horrid Henry Live and Horrid at the Theatre Royal.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I finally succumbed

The newlyweds are honeymooning in Australia and have chosen to keep in touch via Facebook so I have finally given in and joined.

The Wedding of the Year

Millie knew she was going to be the most beautiful bridesmaid but my neice, Anna, came close

and here is the full set. Rosemary was the chief bridesmaid so had sleeves, the other two are Eve and Rachel, friends of the beautiful bride.

Here comes the (very smiley) bride........(photo curtesy of janiannie)

Here I am (in the hat!) with my friends 'The Girls'

and with janiannie.

The reception was at Sutton Bonnington Hall which I would recommend to anyone looking for a venue. The hall was beautiful and we had full use of it. The staff were so helpful and the food was wonderful. The gardens were fabulous.
Here are Johnny and Rosemary who is wearing the wrap.

Rosemary with Mr M (who scrubbed up pretty well)

Cutting the beautiful cake made by James' mother.

Millie sayed up way past her bedtime- and has cried every morning since because she wants Auntie Isabel to have the whole wedding again every day!

Oh and Lynn made a friend

Monday, May 4, 2009

what a weekend!

While I was out on Saturday I had a text from my husband 'If you are shopping we don't need any bananas or any flowers'

These from himself

These from my brother

These from a friend

and these from another friend

and these from a colleague who I have worked with for several years

Why all the floristry? A very big birthday.
I also had presents! A coffee machine from the dear daughters, a Cath Kidston Knitting bag and picture frame from a friend, a cheque from 'the girls' a group of friends one of whom I have known since my first day at school the rest from Art college. From Janniannie a Touche Eclat and a very significant pendant. Mr M is buying my wedding shoes and bag (he doesn't yet know how much they cost) and also paid for Rosemary, Isabel and me to have a bronze day at Lakeside. What a wonderful day we enjoyed, swimming, sauna, a very lovely lunch, a manicure, a facial and a back massage. We managed a stroll around the garden too.

On Sunday, lunch had been booked at a pub in Swarkeston. I arrived expecting the family but I was delighted to find the afore mentioned 'Girls'. It was a complete surprise. Apparently I almost caught them having a drink outside, they had to move very quickly for old people to take cover inside! Also Isabel's James commented on a sports car parked outside."My friend has one of those" I told him...

Now we have the countdown to the wedding. Last night was the rehersal. The vicar fell up the step, Mr M fell down the same one, Rosemary is doing a reading and has a very sore throat. The pews on our side are really small so there isn't room for all the bridesmaids and Millie cried when we left her behind to pretend to sign the register. I'm sure it will be fine won't it?