Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Owl lurv you xxx

After a particularly hard morning at work ,my mum took me to The Range where I found this little fella.He was just what I needed for my kitchen & after dishing out £7.99 ,he came home with me.

His eyes move from side to side.Doncha just love him!!!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Top down Babies!!

I waited for ages to get the pattern for these little tops.They are knitted from the top down on circular needles increasing at 4 points.I made the pink one in self striping sock yarn by Rico.Its wool & nylon & washes up quite soft.

The orange & green one was knitted in Rico DK which is a microfibre yarn.This is really soft.It also proved that you can use any type of yarn but just adjusts the measurements slightly.I was really pleased with the way they came out.

The boy one is for my friends baby ,Charlie ,who will be one in November.I am going to make his first birthday cake as a present so I am thinking up ideas for it.Really not sure at the moment what I will do yet.Will keep you posted.

I made these scones yesterday using this recipe & Ruth from The Pink Whisk's idea of a sugar glaze top.I was unsure of using the bread flour & added some extra raising agent using Creme of Tartar as Ed on GBBBO thought scones were better with it.They were good but I have to say I have never tasted any scones as good as the ones my ma in law used to make.They were the best!!!Nothing will ever compare with them.

Weekend in Weymouth

Last week as I mentioned in my previous post we went away with friends to Weymouth.We went with our lovely friends Sandra & Tom.We stayed at Preston just on the outskirts of Weymouth .The bus stopped just outside the Haven site & was just a short trip into town.

I love Weymouth & I have to say that each time we visit ,we see something different.This time we saw two yachts who race in the Tall Ships race.That was quite exciting to see them moored up on the Quayside.

On the seafront we came across a sand sculptor who had carved The Mad Hatters tea party.Absolutely amazing!!!!

We also found this little toys shop.I fell in love with the Golliwog's in the window.I had one as a child so they will always be special to me.

We had a visit to our usual tea shop which was a welcome break for a cuppa & biscuits.I cant wait to go back again.
I don't think we will be staying in a Haven caravan for a while as we had a little problem of the hopping type.Fleas to be precise!!The staff were good & moved us straight away but we could have done without having to pack up & then move & unpack again especially with a bad back.I got bitten by the little blighters as well & had to wash & spray everything when we got home.What a lot of work that was!!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Harvest time

I know its been a whole week since my last update.It may even be a little longer.

Last weekend we went away with some friends to Weymouth.I started getting n the mood a few days before by making some Dorset Apple Cake with apples from my mums garden that Mr T had picked & carted home for me.I suppose it should be called Sussex Apple cake as it was made in Sussex but here is the recipe.What a lovely moist cake it is.
I do love to bake as most of you who know me well will know.Are you one of my friends who has sampled my lemon drizzle cake?If I copied The Great British Bake Off .I think that would be my signature dish!I have so enjoyed that programme.The competitors have been absolutely brilliant.Congratulations to the last 3.They were all great as of course was Ed ,the winner.Rachel has her own blog she writes called The Pink Whisk.Lots of great hints &tips about baking.There are also lots of links to other great blogs you may be interested in.
Its been a poor week for blogging for a few reasons.Firstly I went back to work after having been off sick for 2 months.It was quite weird really.I am stuck in the office doing paperwork.I hate that side of the job & having been forced on me (no one wants to be sick) makes it even harder to bare.I dont know if & when I will be doing my proper job which kind of gets me down.I am glad to be back though as its very lonely at home with my boys out at work mostly .If it had not been for blogging & my closest friends & knitting pals & of course the dogs ,I may just have gone crazy!!!
I have also not been able to get on the computer as it seems to have had a virus.It takes time to run the antivirus programme & just when you think its gone ,up it pops again. Agghhhhh!!!!
I have finished two baby tops & have been getting on with my DB Riding Coat.I am now on the front & keeping an eye out for buttons.You should all know my passion for them by now.I so love them.I asked Debbie Bliss about buttons .She let me into a secret that she uses her local knitting shop to get her buttons & quite right too.Our local shop is The Fabric Shop in Worthing & does have a lovely selection.I often find nice ones in the local Salvo Charity shop.In fact they have some real gems in there from time to time.A friend of mine found some Suri Alpaca in the shop a few weeks back & is making some lovely things with it.
I must try to get some piccies taken today of the things I have been doing to show you.I have my mother coming to stay for the weekend though & I am sure to be kept busy!

Enjoy the pictures of some of our harvest & the above one of Dorset Apple Cake & one of the pies I also made.I am sure to be making more appley things.I have loads of apples.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Knitter's Year by Debbie Bliss

A book of 52 simple seasonal knits.

I got this book at the talk we had the other night.I have been avidly reading since then .

This morning I popped into the lounge & was met with this sight!!

Well Maisie certainly thinks its NO1 on the cuddly stakes & gets her paws up on approval!!!

With Maisie's obvious love of the book I thought it was high time I wrote a review.

I love this book.

I am quite fussy about the feel of a book ,it just has to be right.The Knitters Year has a loose jacket to its hard binding which has a satin effect to the paper.I know its only a minor detail ,but as it matters to me ,it will matter to someone else out there.The jacket is superbly photographed as is the inside of the book & the title is embossed on the cover.The whole style of the book evokes thoughts of country New England /Scandinavian style.Under the loose cover is a very pretty hard cover in subtle shades of pink.

Each project has been selected to be suitable for a period of the year.For example ,a beach bag for summer,bunny egg cosies for Easter.The projects have been designed to appeal to a variety of knitters with varying skills.Non of the projects are what I would call difficult but some will be more challenging than others.

I really like the advice on yarn.So often people don't think to read their ball band for instructions on care.All of these projects are made in yarn which is easy to care for .

I am not keen on the text size,I have recently been having problems with my sight ,doing close work & reading.I found the text size slightly more difficult to read on the pattern but the description size is fine.Its probably just one point on the font size but I think would have been better with a larger font.I am sure there are a lot of people with sight challenges & this would help.You would however lose the lovely airy feel to the book as space would be lost.

This was the only negative about the book as I absolutely love everything else about it.I shall just have to wear my glasses to read it!

The photographic shots have been taken with beautiful props which give each item a timeless feel.

There are many items which I will be making for Christmas presents this year.The first will be those pretty little pom pom fingerless gloves.A gift to myself.With 52 items to make you are spoilt for choice.

The recommended retail price of the book is £18.99 & is by Quadrille Publishing.

Talking of gifts ,I would certainly bookmark this one as a gift for any knitter.I am pleased I have this book & will be making lots of things from it.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Debbie Bliss visits Worthing

Debbie Bliss & her lovely PA,Sharlyne, visited The Wool Bar in Worthing yesterday.I popped down to the shop to capture the moment!

The shop was packed to the gunnel's with ladies for this event & I for one had a great time.It certainly brightened my day .What a nice lady she is with a real sense of vision about what women want from their clothes & craft.When Caroline had a moment I managed to get her to stand still for a minute for pictures then it was back to the important stuff of a chat over a very British cuppa & biccie! You just cant beat it.

I had to dash off to an appointment ,but later joined everyone for a talk Debbie was giving at the Ardington Hotel .Debbie gave a chat about how she works as a designer from the idea through to the end product of us as knitters.She gave some great advice about shaping a garment & tension then answered questions about anything.

I enjoyed the evening so much & took along my Bliss bag which I had lined & made a panel for her to sign.Debbie was taken with the lining fabric .If you want to know where I got it from as well ,here is the link. I had made two of these bags ,one to be for a present for someone but I hadn't managed to get the other one lined completely before the event so just took the panel for Debbie to sign.

The evening was broken up with coffee & a chance to try on her sample pieces.All Debbie's samples are made in a 34" size.I was squeezed into the pleated jacket from her new book "A Tweed Story".I was horrified she was going to put this on me ,but there was a reason.Debbie wanted to demonstrate that we often over estimate the size we need to wear & that in fact she would put me in a 36".I am in fact a generous 38".Often we spend hours making a knitted garment & are unhappy with the end results & can look frumpy when they are too big for us.The jacket was lovely & the tweed yarn very soft.

We also saw the lovely cardie which is featured on the new magazine which will be hitting the shops in the next week or so.What an object of desire this was in all its Fairisle loveliness.We were told the knitter who made this did it in 3 weeks.I think I need to get a bit more weight off before I contemplate a cardie like that but I so am in love with the colours.It kind of reminded me of a beret I was made to wear as a child which my father brought back from a trip to Edinburgh.

If you ever get a chance to go to a meet & greet & listen to Debbie give a talk,you will not be disappointed.I came away feeling so inspired about knitwear & how it fits in to my creative life.
I was reminded that we are not just knitters ,but creative women (& men) & that knitting is our "art" which should be a constant delight to the senses.

Thank you Debbie for coming to Worthing.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

A great surprise

Look what my blog friend ,Helen ,has sent me .The little packet was collected from the Post Office yesterday.Inside was waiting some wooden cotton reels which I will add to my collection & above all some buttons.

These buttons are not just any old buttons ,but old Bakelite buttons.They are absolutely gorgeous.One is destined to go on my very special Bliss Bag which I will be lining today in fabric.

Helen also popped in two fridge magnets of Monkey & Darrell.You really need to visit their blog & see all the great things the duo get up to over on Mums Monkey.They are so funny.

All this was wrapped in a little organza bag.I forgot to put the bag in the picture ,but I will fill it with some lavender I have dried from the garden this summer & pop it in with my wool to ward the moths off.Smells so much nicer than moth balls!

Thank s Helen.So very kind.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Big Knit 2010!

Its that time of year when Innocent fruit drinks ask for donations of knitted hats to top their bottles.Each bottle sold a percentage will be donated to Age UK.

They desperately need you to help.All you need to do is knit some little hats & send them in to a collection point at Fruit Towers ,Innocent offices.Isn't that a great address!

This year they are hoping to smash the million pound mark.

All donated money will help the more mature generation in our country.It may help someone you know.Age Uk run many different services.I myself know of one in my local community which is a Handyvan service for the elderly not able to do things like fit a door chain or put up a curtain track .
I shall be making a few tonight.I will be using all the little oddments I have that I cannot use for things like the prem hats.I can also put my pom pom maker to good use as well.
If you would like to get involved as well just click on the link here .There are instructions on how to make them & free down loadable templates to help you host an event.
We have until the 20th October .
My needles are gonna be hot!!
On another note I started making a Debbie Bliss bag last night.Its lovely & is knitted in moss stitch with a big chunky cable running through the middle.The pattern is from the book Home.I have yet to knit the handles & sew it up & line it.Its a bit of a last minute knit as Debbie Bliss is visiting Sunny Worthing on Wednesday & going to The Wool Bar.She will be at the shop in the afternoon .I plan to ask her to sign the lining of my bag.Hopefully on wednesday there will be some pictures to show you all.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sock it to ya!!

I picked up a ball of Rico Superba Mexico sock yarn from The Wool Bar the other day.No ,I am not going to make another pair of socks but a little baby top.

Its such pretty yarn & is self patterning.I am using this pattern which is knitted from the top down on circular needles.Apart from having to completely frog it as I had misread the pattern(Doh !!) ,I am loving it.It is a very easy knit,being just knitted in the round with a few increases for the shaping for the raglan sleeves.

The yarn is very nice & comes in a number of colourways.You could knit this for a little boy but I loved the pink & green.
It is quite a firm yarn ,having a high wool content but I know it washes up into a lovely soft & durable fabric.Its great to knit with & I find it does not split.I love watching the little coloured dots & dashes evolve into a fabric that mimics Fairisle.

I am feeling guilty as this is the 9th project I have on the go at the moment.I am not the only one though as my knitting pals have fessed up to their projects.Its all about being creative.The whole experience from the choosing of a pattern ,needles & yarn right down to finishing the piece & the receiving of it should be a lovely experience that gives you pleasure.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Preemie Knits

A friend of mine from K&N told us about the desperate need for bonnets & blankets in the Special Care Baby Unit at Brighton.They have been so busy of late & they get through a lot of little hats & blankets to keep the babies warm.These items usually go with the baby when it leaves the unit as it is a familiar item for the little one & also a memento of how tiny they actually were.I know this has been echoed at our more local unit in Worthing as well as I have a friend who is the Chaplain at the Hospital & sadly he often works on the unit.

There are some great patterns available for free on the net .Our local units requested some ventilator bonnets .These are the ones with a buttoned flap on top.This allows the babies heads to be scanned without the need to remove the bonnet.The holes help with positioning the little tubes that are often attached to the babies to support them.

I have knitted 2 blankets & 4 little hats this week in time to hand them to my friend at K&N to take up to the unit.They are only knitted out of cheap acrylic ,but this is ideal as its light & soft on the skin & it can be tossed in a washing machine & tumble dried. The blankets should be 35cm x45cm in size.I added the little heart as they looked so plain .The hats come in a selection of sizes from tiny teacup size to larger baby.Often a full term baby needs support in a special care unit.

If you have any spare time & some yarn that would be suitable please consider these units.Often these babies entry into the world is not planned for & there are no clothes to fit these babies.Your local unit will be just as needy as ours.It will be so appreciated.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Priscilla the Poodle & the pom pom maker.

I am sorry about yesterdays blog.That Maisie Magweed is more clever than I realised.I don't know how she managed to psych my computer password from me ,not to mention work the self timer on my camera!!

Anyhow, as you know ,Priscilla dropped by .Well OK ,I made her!!!
She is from a pattern here & is a replica of her vintage counter part. Quick & easy to make,she consists of a crocheted tube which slides over the air freshener & then another tube/oblong ball made into the head.The pom poms were a pain to make as I didn't have a pom pom maker & didn't want to use the two ring method.Its so fiddly.What I needed was a Clover pompom maker.This clever device comes in two halves which clip together.I couldn't get one at my local store so settled for these instead .They are by Classic Knit.

I have to say that for the price they are extremely good.The 3 sizes come in a pack.They seem quite durable i that unless I mislay them(lose) they will last me for years.There are no moving parts really to break.The plastic is durable & will withstand accidental snipping with scissors.

I found the instructions on the back of the packet are way too small.My eyesight is not bad ,but I just couldn't read this & the pictures with diagrams are not very clear.Once I got some magnifying glasses on ,all was much better!!

If you get these type ,the yarn wraps around the bottom in an s-shape.Why didn't they just say that instead of putting little teeny weenie arrows on.If you are reading this Classic Knit company ,please change the instructions.

Apart from this slight hiccup which resulted in much mess of the cut snippyness of yarn all over my lap & carpet.I can laugh now!!!!!!

The long end of yarn that is caught in the notch is snipped & the two lengths are tied very tightly across the wrapped yarn.
You then turn the template over & snip!!

I like these pompom makers even though the results are a bit loose for me.I think that's my technique though.
I still want a Clover one but I can wait till Christmas(did you read that Mr T?!).

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Magweeds Sunday......

I had just had a sausage Mum & Dad brought back from Weatherspoons Sunday breakfast & was day dreaming about playing with Monkey & Darrell ,two friends my Mum has made. I like to do this lying on my back having my tummy stroked.

I had been laying there for about half an hour when there was a knock on the door.It was quite a co-incidence as we had been chatting about French stuff like Cancan yarn, but in walked Priscilla the French Poodle.

We greeted each other in our usual doggy way of kissing noses & sniffing bottoms.

For a while I was quite besotted!

It was quite a shock when Priscilla was upended & let rip!!!Thank goodness her fart smelt of flowers.Mum has never said that about mine....!!!!!!

It certainly brought me to my senses.I know Priscilla is going to live with Auntie Robin & her poodles 2 doors along but I cannot associate with a dog who smells so poofy!!

I feel so ashamed......

Although Monkey & Darrell live in Wolverhampton & I wont see them much ,if at all ,I would still rather be friends with them .I can catch up with their antics on the net with Mum when I sit on her lap.Their blog is great .They are learning to knit at the moment.They liked the strawberry basket & are making one so they can get their 5 a day!

Mum is a great fan of Its all a Fiddle Fart!A great blog which has inspired her no end.Its all about crafting with items bought from either places like Poundland or car boots.Its great .

Mum today bought herself a hole punch from Lidls along with some more sock yarn.I think she is going to make me a new collar & coat for the winter.I am not sure it will be as warm as the Debbie Bliss one she is knitting but I will look posh on the prom.I wont need silly Pom Poms to make me stand out in the crowd!!!

We had better not let on to Nanny we have been having all this chat about farts.....she wouldn't be amused.....he he he!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Sun shiny day......

I ventured out from home yesterday into town.That may not seem like much ,but for me it was quite an event as I have been unable to walk very far or drive at all due to a back injury.I got a lift halfway & then slowly strolled the rest of the way.It was so nice in the warm sunshine.
I only went as far as my favourite yarn store......and then sat & had a catch up with my lovely friends over a cup or two of coffee & did a bit of knitting. Customers popped in to make purchases & some of them showed me what they were making.Truly a place to be inspired.

Many came in to say how much they liked the strawberry basket & some wanted one too!!! I have to say I have been overwhelmed at the comments this little group activity has generated.I have had so many emails from people ,sharing their thoughts & thanking me for giving them a little something.I have to actually say that it is I who should be thanking you all for taking the time to contact me .To be part of the blog world has certainly helped me whilst I have been trying to recover with my back.Some days have been better than others & on those which have not been quite so good ,it is my family (especially my LSH, that's long suffering husband!)friends ,crafting buddies & the blogworld which have seen me through and taken my mind off the pain.Thankyou guys xxxx

My day was made yesterday when on the bus home ,(which was turning out to be a very long 5 minute journey) the man in the seat behind me tapped me on the shoulder & said ,"My dear ,what are you stitching?" pointing to my half finished sock I was working on.I told him it was a sock .He then said "Really?" .I whipped out the already finished partner from my bag & in true Blue Peter style said "Yes , here is one I made earlier". The gentleman exclaimed "Oh, how very British!!" I chuckled all the way from the bus stop to my house.