Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

Happy Christmas to all my visitors. Just a couple of seasonal pictures of the fantastic German market which is held in Birmingham every year. Apparently it is so good that tourists are even visiting from Germany!

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Not much time to blog at the moment, but had to share this wonderful sunset with you, taken from my back garden, looking towards the Clee hills.
Also a picture of a completed project, oh yes! This is Beginners Triangle from a Gathering of Lace. It is about to be wrapped for a Christmas present.

The yarn is a lace weight Merino from Tormentil's EBay shop.

Lots more photos to follow, when I have time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


A day off school for Steven due to this, which arrived yesterday afternoon...................

It looks very attractive but causes me endless problems, one being having to help dig out the school ambulance which, rather unwisely, ventured down my steep drive yesterday. Eventually they made it back to the top and presumably delivered the other pupils safely home. At least the children seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I managed to finish Steven's mittens, so he had toasty fingers when he got in.

I now have a day indoors so lots of knitting time, although I know I should be sorting out some of the chaos that surrounds me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Back home

Another stay in hospital for Steven, back home this morning. This time he had a bad reaction to some prescribed medicine, his tummy is so delicate at the moment it can't take any extra strain.
I've arranged to have my bungalow professionally cleaned, it is in such a state at the moment due to lack of time on my part, that it is even upsetting me ( and I'm the least house-proud of person I know.) So I should have a sparkly clean house for Chistmas.
I've made a little progress on Steven's mittens, but not much time for knitting in the past few days.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Early Arrival

I've just spotted this in the garden.

It looks as if a slug has had a nibble, but despite this it's lovely to see Iris Unguicularis blooming so early. I normally see the first flowers towards the end of January.

This cheered me up after a frustrating visit to the G.P. to get our flu jabs........ they've run out of vaccine. We couldn't go earlier due to Steven's hospital admissions. It cost me £10 in taxi fares, too.

On the needles, I've just started a pair of mittens for Steven in Regia sock wool.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Back to normal......

.......well almost. Steven is now back at school. I've been sorting out some of the chaos of the last few weeks. Had to stay in all day waiting for someone to come and service Steven's hoist, so far no-one has arrived ( 6pm). Did manage to complete some knitting, my Lorna's Laces socks. Sadly, they are too large for me so are destined to be a Christmas present.

I've also finished my first Knitted Babe from the free Rowan pattern. This is Fifi, resplendent in her feather boa. I used mainly remnants from my stash, mostly of unknown composition except for some Sirdar Foxy. I decided to make the arms and legs from I-cord. She is also going to be a Christmas present.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Another Crisis

No blogging for a while as we had another dash to hospital on Monday night. Steven was discharged yesterday with new medicines. I'm now working on when rather than if he has to go back and keep a bag ready packed.
Although we had to move quickly, I found a sock in the bottom of one of the bags so had something to knit when things calmed down. No photos yet as I still haven't got my camera sorted. Now off to get the chaos of the last week cleared up.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Half Term

Not much time for anything this week as Steven's off school. On Thursday we visited the daycare placement that has become available. He was very relaxed and seemed to enjoy himself. He met two young people who used to be at school with him and greeted them with a smile, so I think there was recognition there.
I'm having very little time for the garden these days and have had to resort to paying someone to cut the grass - oh the shame of it!
I've managed a little time to knit but, as I have the concentration of a gnat at the moment, only small projects. I've started a Knitted Babe from the free Rowan pattern, possibly destined for a Christmas present, but can't get the eyes right.
No pictures as my camera needs new batteries.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Completed Project

We came home on Tuesday evening. So far, touch wood, Steven's new medicine seems to be working, on a very low dose at that. He was back at school today but for one day only, day off tomorrow then half term. Where do all these holidays come from? I'm sure I never had so many.
The mittens are finished and delivered. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo. However I can say that they were a successful use of the self patterning sock yarn, and a pleasant change from just knitting socks.
I was hoping to show some photos of works in progress, but my camera battery has just died on me, so here is one of Steven from the archives...............say Ahhhhh.

Monday, October 17, 2005

More hospital

Another spell in hospital for Steven (and myself). He has to stay in another couple of nights for them to try out a different drug on him. I've come home this evening for a chance to sleep in my own bed after two nights on the fold out bed in Steven's cubicle, not the most comfortable sleeping accomodation.
Knitting wise, I've had a request from school for mittens for one of the children so am using up the yarn left over from some self patterning socks, they're turning out quite well, and are a good project to do in hospital, lots of time waiting for doctors to turn up.
If possible, I hope to get to Beattie's Knit-Chat tomorrow, but may have to give it a miss as the consultant said she will be seeing Steven and I never know when she will appear.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Teddies to Go

Well, the Teddies are "plumped up" and ready to go due to a generous donation of toy filling from a fellow knitter. (You know who you are, many thanks!) I'll be taking them into school tomorrow.

I also completed one of my Lorna's Laces socks this weekend. Must cast on the second sock this evening to avoid SSSyndrome. Other WIPs are making slow progress. As a visitor said this week "do you ever finish anything?" Personally, the act of knitting is satisfactory in itself, without the need to see a completed project, although that is good on occasion!

I used a new pattern for the sock Denise's Toe-Up with a few adaptions of my own. They've come out a bit on the large size, however.

I should have plenty of time to knit tomorrow morning. I have to go into school for Steven's annual review, his last as he leaves this year. This will probably involve a lot of sitting around waiting as they are always running late. Then on to Beatties for our Tuesday lunchtime Knit-Chat. When I get back, it's a serious tidying up session as I have a visitor coming to stay, so not much knitting time.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Busy Week - again

Not much time to Blog this week (and probably less next). I visited Steven's proposed Adult Day Centre, which seems ideal for him and I'm sure he will fit in well. Two of his schoolmates who left last year are there so he will see someone he knows.

On Tuesday Rose, at Beatties Knit-Chat, gave us some odds and ends of yarn for a project she's planning, and so far I've produced these ................

........... more to follow. It's been a good opportunity to try out some of Barbara Walker's patterns.

I've a friend visiting next week, so will have to do a serious tidying of my house or the poor soul will have nowhere to sleep. The last thing I need at the moment is more yarn, but I couldn't resist this, from Linzi at The Alpaca Spinner.

............... which will probably become a scarf, possibly the famous Clapotis. I love this yarn, and the Alpacas have such beautiful faces.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Well, the teddies are knitted but not yet completed due to a lack of toy stuffing in my area. I've tried three outlets so far, but no luck; they're all awaiting delivery in the next couple of weeks. I'll try Hobbycraft on Monday.
I can now get back to my other projects. Managed a few rows of the Beginners Triangle this afternoon.
Steven came back from school this week with a beautiful flower arrangement which he had "made at college", no doubt with a lot of help!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Uncomfortable day

My turn to visit the hospital today, to have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor fitted. The cuff is so tight, it's difficult bending my arm to knit, although I made a little progress on the sock in the waiting room. I'm not looking forward to trying to sleep tonight. At least it can come off first thing in the morning.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Busy Week

I didn't realise how long it is since I last posted. This week has been pretty frantic on the whole. Steven saw his consultant on Tuesday and she made various suggestions regarding his morning sickness (well, at least he can't be pregnant!) One idea is to sleep him in a more upright position........

but so far this hasn't worked as I can't get him comfortable. He's mighty fussy about his sleeping position. Medication might help to stop him feeling so nauseous.

I've also had news that there may be a daycare placement for Steven when he leaves school. The snag is that it is available from October which means he won't complete his last year at school. It is going to be difficult coping with new people and routines but I've no doubt I shall get used to it! Steven, I expect to take it all in his stride.

Most of my knitting is on hold at the moment, the school nurse, Chris, has requested some Trauma Teddies for use in school. As she says, they often have to do unpleasant things to the children and it's nice to give them a reward afterwards, so I've been using up my odds and ends ( funny, they never seem to get any less.) This is Teddy no.1..............

.............more to follow. I've also made some progress on my Lornas Laces sock.............

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Steven started back to school today, so I treated myself to a day out, in Birmingham (about as exciting as it gets for me these days!) Spent the morning at the library doing some family history research then walked down to the Bullring. The old Bull was getting another clean-up, someone had stuck a large sticker on his nose and the glue was proving hard to remove.

This gentleman was bringing a flavour of Scotland to the midlands..........

........and I went to Borders and bought this which should come in useful in adapting patterns to different sizes.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Grape Harvest

.........or not this year. My vine had a drastic pruning this spring and has yielded one tiny bunch of grapes. Usually I get a good crop, although it takes a hot summer and autumn to ripen them. Even so, I like to see them there, if only for decoration.

Re knitting. I've completed another pair of socks which have been hanging around for a while.

The beginner's triangle has been causing me much grief, I seemed to be one stitch short, then found I had dropped a stitch two pattern repeats back. Hopefully it is now corrected and I can forge ahead.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Back home and Sock Yarns

Well, we came home yesterday afternoon after a rapid recovery. No tests done, and so far no explanation for these vomiting episodes. Hope to be seeing the consultant soon for a longer consultation.
To change the subject; the postman knocked the door this morning with these from Get Knitted

I've never used Lorna's Laces before but am keen to try. Mind you, I don't need more sock yarn as I have all this to knit up ............

.........and no doubt more in the Stash. I do like to have a sock on the needles so we should all have toasty toes this winter!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hospital again

Steven was admitted to hospital again yesterday evening due to severe vomiting. A little better today but still not able to tolerate his normal feeds. Tomorrow they are going to inject barium through his gastrostomy tube to see if there is a blockage in his digestive system. All rather worrying.
Took the Beginners Triangle in with me but have knitted and undone it three times so far, very difficult to concentrate. One bit of good news, I can access the internet from the bedside television so can keep up to date with everyone and have something else to think about.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I haven't had much time to blog in the past week nor have I made much progress with projects. The Beginners Triangle is growing, slowly ............

...........and the Booga Bag is complete with handles. I'm pleased with this, my first attempt at felting. Unfortunately, I under estimated the amount of yarn required for a tote bag and it's ended up handbag size, a bit too small for carrying projects around in. I shall know to buy extra yarn next time.

I've also started another top for Steven, I haven't decided yet whether it will be a jacket or a sweater, but as I've started with the sleeve, I can make the decision later. Despite the cable, it's a pretty mindless television knit. The pattern is 'Jack' from Rowan Junior but I'm using Sirdar Denim Tweed. Although Steven is nearly 19, he is still small enough to fit into children's sizes which saves a bit on yarn and it is far cheaper to knit for him than for myself!

This afternoon we joined Rose and the others at Beatties' Knit-Chat club. Steven's school nurse Lisa was passing by with her new baby James, and kindly took our photo. I think Steven was feeling the heat in his knitted sweater!

Monday, August 22, 2005


Now I've completed a couple of WIPs, I felt entitled to start something new. This is A 'Beginner's Triangle' from 'A Gathering of Lace'. I'm using Hand-dyed Laceweight Merino from Fiona at Yarnwise . This is progress so far .........

I must say I've been finding following the charted pattern more difficult than I expected. The first few rows were redone several times. I think this is because I'm not used to working from a chart and found counting the tiny squares rather trying. However, it's getting easier now and I'm not needing the pattern very often. I don't knit lace very often these days as I find it needs too much concentration, however it's worth it occasionally.

I've found this stitch counter useful for keeping track of the rows............

We had lunch out at my cousin's yesterday and spent a pleasant time sitting in her garden. The flowers in the border were looking particularly brilliant and the sunshine was very welcome. Steven was chilling indoors as I couldn't get him down the step.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Butterflies and Booga Bag

First, the butterflies in the garden. Not as plentiful this year as they usually are, the Buddleia seems to be attracting only Cabbage whites. I did manage to snap this Gatekeeper on the Marjoram.

On the knitting front, I've finished knitting the Booga Bag. Now for the frightening bit, felting.

This is before felting ---

and this is after, stretching on a box. Wiil probably take a few days to dry. I used up every last scrap of yarn so will have to have a think about handles. Maybe matching cord?

Also completed is yet another Baby Surprise Jacket. I used Sirdar Sunseeker Cloud 9 which was a charity shop find. I'm not quite sure that it works for a baby jacket, but it is very soft and I love the colour.

Monday, August 15, 2005

WIP no longer!

At last I've completed the dreaded school jumper, and not without problems despite such a simple pattern. I joined the shoulders with a three needle cast off, fine. Then I thought I might try the same to join the sleeves. As this involved picking up stitches round the armhole, making sure I had the same number as the top of the sleeve, undoing several times, dropping stitches etc. it took about three times as long as if I had sewn the sleeves in after all! However it does make a neat join.
I then found the neck border was too small to fit over Steven's head(and he has a very small head) so that had to be reworked. Well here is the result which is going into the back of the drawer to await next term. BTW royal blue is not an easy colour to photograph.

I then felt I was entitled to start a new project a Booga Bag in Adriafil Baba. This is progress so far. It will be my first attempt at felting.

I've also been busy this weekend creating another Blog purely for my family history research. Anyone interested should go to FamilyGen This is because I have had several contacts from distant cousins on both my father and mother's sides so this seems like a convenient way to keep every one informed of my research. Also, I'm not boring them with knitting in which they probably have little interest.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

New Camera

Sorry Steph, I didn't take your advice; there was no way I could make my old camera take the close-ups I wanted and editing would not increase the number of pixels so I have invested in a new camera. This means I can take pictures like this of my Japanese Anemones. The camera still needs a bit of practice and I haven't worked out all the bells and whistles yet.

Time for knitting has been somewhat limited, although it was good to join the Beatties' group on Tuesday and see so many there.

I've been sorting through my stash and this is a
small sample. The Adriafil baba is hopefully going to be a felted bag ( I have three balls) and the sock wool, socks. I love using natural fibres but am not so proud that I won't use synthetics especially for childrens clothes and if I particularly like the colours. The ball on the left bottom row is a case in point. I saw this in Beatties sale and loved the colours. No ball bands but the bag said 'mixed fibres'. No doubt if I had access to more choice, the amount of natural fibres would increase.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Denise Interchangeable

I was having a problem with a scarf I'm knitting in Kidsilk Haze . I've been using some metal needles in old size 7 which were far too heavy for the yarn. Then I remembered my Denise interchangeable needles , much lighter, being plastic, and much more suited to the yarn.

The scarf is progressing much more quickly now.

I'm noticing that the quality of my photos is very poor compared to other people's. It's frightening how quickly a camera becomes outdated, what was mid- range a couple of years ago is not even a beginners camera now. Looks as if I will be spending a bit to get a new one

Monday, August 01, 2005

Tagged and Flowerpot Man

I've been tagged by Steph. Here are my five idiosynchrasies.
1. Never looking at the new moon through glass-bad luck.
2. Cannot function first thing in the morning without a cup of coffee.
3. Always take my tablets in the same order otherwise they won't work properly.
4. It doesn't matter how many important jobs I have to do, the computer and knitting always take priority over housework.
5. Try to get all 'work' finished by 7.30 in the evening, then I'm 'off duty'. Harks back to my working days in a residential nursery.

Steven spent the day at his summer play scheme and came back with a Flowerpot man which he had apparently painted himself. Judging by the paint on his hands, he probably had!

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Visited Chester Zoo yesterday with Steven's summer school. As you can see, the knitting came along too!

I couldn't get close enough to a real elephant, so made do with this one.

The weather was kind to us, so we ate our lunch outside. The facilities for the disabled were very good, they even had a portable hoist in the toilets.

On the return journey, it looks as if we brought some of the zoo back with us!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Managed a morning in the garden. Free mornings will be in short supply for six weeks when school holidays start. 'Self assembled' my new garden bench, an ideal seat for some alfresco knitting.

The WIP is a waistcoat in 'Polly' and 'Truffle' Limited Edition British Alpaca from Linzi at the Alpaca Spinner.