Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Projects since June

Spring Thaw in Ranco Aurocania

Martha Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply

Saroyan in Alpaca

Annis in grey silk laceweight which was rather too thin.

Coquille in Noro sock yarn

28th June??

I knew it had been a long time since my last post but couldn't believe it when I came back and saw the date of my last post was June 28th! I seem to have missed the whole summer.
Of course I had lots of trips out with Millie during the school holidays. We went to Conkkers with Auntie Isabel, Drayton Manor with Mummy, Bluebell's Maize Maze, Make It! in Mansfield, Manor Farm Donkey Sanctuary, Rufford Country Park, Shipley Country Park and I'm sure there were others I have forgotten

Ah yes, a check in the photos reminded me of Cadbury World. Here is Millie, enjoying the playground.

We took Grandad to the Heights of Abraham in Matlock. This is reached by a cablecar and this is Millie in the exhibition of how it works.

It was the summer of the crystals when Millie started a collection so we took her to the National Stone Centre where she had a lovely if damp time panning for gems. It was terribly stressful though as she was traumatised at the thought of loosing any of the chips over the side of her pan!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Catching up (yet again)

Again I have been neglecting the blog! Where have I been? What have I done? Struggled to tame the garden which is a mass of geraniums and alchemelia. The roses have done extra well this year, they are flowering their socks off. The vegetable beds (new this year) look as though they are doing something but the proof will be in the pulling.
I have had a lovely pair of packages from my Secret Pal. They both arrived on the same day so here is a combination picture..

The book Knitted Gifts came directly from Amazon. What a lovely treat. It is full of great little projects. It the big parcel was Juvel yarn, Viking brand Dpn's, handcream, a sweet little heart decoration, a notebook, ceramic buttons and see those great sock yarn slippers! Some paper napkins and a needle guage.There is also chocolate but that is hiding in the fridge!

It's Isabel's birthday tomorrow. Her main present was chicken wire! This has been used to build an enlarged rabbit home for the outdoor ones.It seemed a bit of a poor pressie, although it was received happily, so I added The Rabbit Problem An awsome book which is like a vintage calendar taking us through a year in a rabbit's field, starting with a lonely rabbit looking for a friend and ending with a rabbit explosion in December. I think it is February when it is the cold rabbit problem month with a little pattern to knit arabbit suit complete with ear covers. It is a delightful book. She also got a Sambucus Nigra which we both fell in love with when we visited the open garden trail in Ladybay last weekend. I bought myself one too and it smells amazing. I knitted her a Windmill Bag from various organic cotton leftovers.

We had a lovely aternoon with her and James yesterday. The menfolk were watching the England/Germany match while the rest of us enjoyed the sunshine.

It's been so hot again today. Millie had an inset day off school so Rosemary and I took her on a trip to Bakewell. We had a lovely day, the market is still thriving, unlike a lot of them. I bought myself a hat, mainly for gardening, although I wore it all day. No pictures!

What have I been knitting? I don't know. There must have been something. I do have a Ravenscar knitted in the Freedom Organic cotton I bought on holiday.

I have also just finished a shawl knitted in some sock yarn from Skeins but I am a bit worried that when it is worn it will leave a turquoise tidemark. My bamboo needles had a tinge as I was knitting and I had a line across my tensioning finger. I have washed it well but it still seems to be bleeding colour. I'll have another go at rinsing it sometime but I'm not very impressed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Late Birthday Present

I was in the Ravelry birthday swap and largely because of the volcanic ash cloud which grounded so many planes, my package from mullub in Ontario only arrived today. It was worth the wait - there is Koigu in there and Sublime.

Also 2 of my favourite indulgences, a new magazine and some of those fancy extortionately priced tissues. Missing from the picture, I'm not sure why it got away, is a shiny green tape measure. Do you remember the cbbc programme where the characters were rewarded for correct answers with a 'shiny'?

Millie's new cardi

When Millie was 3 I knitted her a little lacey cardi in lilac Sirocco. I hated knitting it. The yarn feels quite harsh. But Millie loved it and has been struggling into it until a couple of weeks age. I remembered I had bought some pale green to knit myself a top but had been put off by the feel of it. I have knitted the same cardigan 3 sizes larger but I'm not sure the colour will be as popular. We'll find out tomorrow.

Bank Holiday

I've had a lovely time over the weekend. On Friday I had a day out with janiannie We had been invited to a sale at Heath's Country Store and it would have been rude not to go, or not to take advantage of the discount Offered. I didn't spend so much but we carried on to Thorsby for lunch in The Bay Tree and a quick browse around the lovely shops and the especially good plant shop ...that was where the money went but I did get lots for it!
Saturday was work so we will gloss over that and go straight to Sunday which I spent trying to take in as many venues as possible in the Derbyshire Open Arts event. We started at Skeins in Glossop and that was far too tempting! Grey silk laceweight, Fabulous sock yarn, Noro sock yarn half price. Oh dear! We went to several other places too, ending up at Cromford Mill for coffee and scones. I was so tired I accidentaly ordered cream with mine but I'm sure I'd used the equivalent calories going up and down steps.....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

On the needles

On the way home from Wales we stopped off at Abakhan which was astonishing! I bought some Freedom Organic cotton at half price (1.49) and have been knitting Ravenscar from Rowan 45. It's going very well but I am taking a quick dalliance with a Lacy Baktus which is becoming a bit addictive! No wonder it is such a popular pattern on Ravelry - free too. It's an 8 row pattern which I am knitting in a stripe producing sock yarn so double the reasons to knit another row, or 2, or 8! I have however noticed I have no socks in progress. This could lead to a panic attack later as I am going on a spree with my friend and she is driving. Must remedy lack of travelling project immediately.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunflower Sunday

Today was Sunflower Sunday at Attenborough Nature Centre and as Rosemary was doing an art workshop making a giant sunflower I went to take care of Millie. This was not much of a challenge as for quite a lot of the time she was happy with the paint and paste involved in the sunflower. We also searched compost for mini beasts, tasted (and bought) local honey and made a butterfly peg and a badge. I bought some plants and Millie made a willow pyramid plant support which meant I had to return to the plant stall for Morning Glories for her to grow through it.


I resolve to pull up my blogging socks (not hand knitted - the daughters claim all of those) and update more regularly as the next round of Secret Pal has finally got started.
We have just returned from a lovely week in Anglesey. We were all there. Mr M and myself, Both daughters and their menfolk and Millie. We spent time on various beaches
and visited Foel Farm Park which we were all very impressed with.
It was my birthday while we were away and we spent the day in Beaumaris. I had hoped we could all take a boat trip to Puffin Island but it was too windy so we had ice creams in the Red Boat Ice cream parlour (highly recommended.)An evening meal at The Ship in Red Wharf Bay began a week long love affair with that little place. I loved Moelfre where I found this tiny but very friendly Wool Shop.

On the way home we stopped of at Abakhan What a wonderful place! I bought some Twilleys Organic cotton at half price with which I have started knitting Ravenscar from Rowan 45. It is really soft and is knitting up nicely. I also bought a length of cotton fabric to make a skirt for just over £2.00. We then went into Chester which is really beautiful. I haven't ever been there before.

I did very little knitting while I was away being too busy playing word games and drinking wine and too dozy after days in the fresh Welsh air.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Millie's New Outfit

Millie was very pleased with her new top today. It is Tait a hooded top by Sarah Hatton in Rowan Cotton Glace with the addition of a Hello Kitty from an old Chinese knitting book that used to be in the library. It must have been withdrawn - sorry I missed that one but I had photocopied this motif which I used on a sweater for baby Millie.

Unfortunately for Grandma's wallet, it apparently needed a whole new outfit to show it off. Thank goodness for Tesco's sale rail!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Once again time has whizzed by with no record making. Too much time is spent lurking around Ravelry. Yesterday I received a package from the Ravelry Secret Scarf Swap (#2 Whimsy) It is a lovely cowl, happily not too whimsical but knitted in the softest of green Malabrigo with a jaunty red rose.

This is the one I have sent off for the same swap. This probably only just scrapes by as whimsy. It is Myrna knitted in Knitpicks gloss in purple. Beads curtesy of the leftovers from the bridesmaid's wraps. The dangle at the other end I took from a necklace.

Although I thought a cowl wouldn't suit me because of my lack of swan-like neck, it actually sits cosily around the base of my neck and has been very welcome in this cold snap.

I have been mostly knitting kidsilk Haze in the delightfully named 'Drab'. I bought 6 balls of this in the January sale in John Lewis and have managed to knit 2 Lacy tops, one for Isabel and one for me although you may notice mine is distinctly unlacy. I forgot to photograph Isabel's before I gave it to her as usual.

I have also knitted Travelling woman #3. It's for another swap. Maybe I'll make one for myself one day. It is a good satisfying knit.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ravelry Spring Swap

When I saw the size of the parcel that had arrived I thought Susan may have smuggled herself over in it - I hoped so, she sounds nice.

Well there was no Susan but there was all this;

The wool was dyed for me in such lovely colours, perfect for a small shawl. The mitts are knitted from hand spun wool and Susan sent the rest of the lot. Will it be a little hat or a small something to warm the neck - not sure yet. See the beautiful green pottery leaf - love that, a silver journal a beautiful bauble which I have hung in the conservatory as it is too pretty to save and can you see that needle case at the back? Well inside was this;

Soap and a bath bomb, notebooks, tea towel, chocolate x 2 and coffee.Also a bookmark and postcard from her library.

What a fabulous parcel. Then after pouring over everything and taking the photos I read the letter and realised there was something else....I checked the needle case again and there in the pocket I found this pendant with stitchmarkers that Susan made for me herself. These are the best stitchmarkers ever, really efficient. I have some in use already.

Friday, March 19, 2010

SP 15 Questionaire revisited

What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?Natural fibres, not usually thicker than aran..

What fibers do you absolutely not like?

100% acrylics, eyelash, boucle

What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

A rather elderly knitting bag bought for me by my mother as a gift from my daughter 20 years ago

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 for many years, I can't remember how I learned. I know we had lessons at junior school but I think I knew how before that. I think I am a good intermediate

Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

What’s your favorite scent?


Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite

Yes, I have a sweet tooth. I like dark chocolate and turkish delight

What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

sewing, gardening, wet-felting

Do you spin? Dye?


What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your
buddy wants to make you a CD)

I don't play music much

What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?

Blues and greens, rose pink and plum

What is your family situation?

Married with 2 grown up daughters and a 6 year old grandaughter

Do you have any pets? Are you allergic to any pets?

One dog. I have a slight allergy to cats but it seems to be getting better

Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or

Scarves yes usually in the shape of shawls, hats if it is really cold. Mittens yes, ponchos NOOOOOO

What is/are your favorite item/s to

Socks and shawls. I knit cardigans because I like to wear them

What is on your needles right now?

A bag, socks ( always my travelling project) Martha by Sarah Hatton, one of my favourite designers. A shawl which is currently resting because I've stupidly lost my place in the pattern.

Do you read knitting books? What kind of books i.e. technique, pattern, fiction?

Yes, all of the above.

Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

yes, very much

Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I like bamboo straights but aluminium circulars, depending on what I am knitting.

Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I have a vintage and inefficient swift

How old is your oldest UFO?

About 5 years old

What is your favorite holiday? What
winter holiday do you observe?

Christmas is my answer for both

Is there anything that you collect?

Beside yarn I collect stoneware baskets

Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Made in Brooklyn

What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Vogue Knitting ,Interweave Knits, Piecework, Knitting magazine

Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?

I'd like to improve my fairisle

Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I knit socks but mostly for our daughters and their partners. My foot is size 4 / 37

When is your birthday?

May 2nd

Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID?


Are you on KnitPicks Knitting Community? What’s your username?


Friday, March 12, 2010

Scarf swap

I went to get the car out and found that once again there was a package there! The post lady kindly slides things under the door if there is a gap as Lily-the-Dog likes to check them out for any enclosed sweeties.
This is what I found inside.....

You might be able to guess where it came from thanks to the extras but mainly it is the scarf! It was woven by Heidi and the weft was actually spun and died by herself. It is lovely to have something I would never have done myself and I shall wear it with much pleasure and new socks!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It's obviously genetic - check the black and white to the side.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The disappearing shawl

I was putting on my Icarus getting ready to go out with Millie and she asked if I would knit her 'one of those fleece things'. When we arrived at my house there was Travelling Woman lying around waiting to be blocked. 'Do you mean something like this?' I asked. 'Oh yes! I like that one. I like those colours. I will have that one, thank you.'
I had to convince her to block it which we did together but it wasn't quite dry by the time she was leaving so it isn't quite as blocked as I would have liked. Millie is quite happy with it though. It is knitted from some lovely soft yarn I got in the Christmas swap on Ravelry.

I just hope the person for whom it was intended will be just as happy with the replacement I had to quickly knit!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

International Shawl Swap

I have had the most amazing box of loveliness from wonkydonkey for the Ravelry International Shawl Swap.

There are toiletries and lip balm which Carrie makes herself. How did she know I really needed new lip balm. These smell wonderful. There are post-its and notelets and fabulous chocolates- coffee flavoured (my favourite) caramels garnished with roasted salt (how fabulous) and a little bow of truffles so special that one is even gold! A stainless steel water bottle because somehow she knows I need to drink more water.

There is some grey hand spun, enough for a hat. How did she know I wanted to knit a grey hat? Is she hiding in my wardrobe?

And the shawl..................................

This is Percy and not only is he extremely handsome but he smells delicious too!

Remember the grey merino Carrie spun for me? Here it is now..

Just in time for this second spell of winter we seem to be having right on time for half-term holidays.

Lots of Thanks to Wonky Donkey. It's a truly great package.

Valentine Swap

Here is the Valentine heart swap from Rachael on the Phoenix Knitting forum.

As well as the knitted heart there is a felt bag, chocolate eggs and some red heart stitch markers.

My Cardi's

This is my current favourite cardigan. It is the Textured Cardigan from Rowan Studio 8 but after 2 attempts at getting the cabled sleeves to a fit I liked as they are rather wide, I decided I didn't want to introduce a 3rd texture so I used the seed stitch from the yoke. The clover pink isn't a colour I would normally choose for me but the Felted Tweed was half price in the last John Lewis sale and I have had lots of compliments.

This kidsilk haze cardi is also from a Studio booklet. I knit it some time ago but forgot to photograph it. It is another favourite.

I have also been wearing Stockport but perhaps not as much as I would if I had knit it an inch or so longer. I did alter the neckband slightly. I found it was standing up rather so I re knit it with some short row shaping and it now sits better.