Friday, 31 December 2010

New Additions To The Family

I though you might like to see a picture of our two new twin springers.  They really are beautiful, quite ladies.  Like me a little mature in age (7 1/2) that's the dogs!  They came to live with us yesterday and have been absolute gems.  I couldn't have thought of a better way to ring in the new year than with two new companions.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Busy Bee - Busy Me

Well I'm still working through my list and fortunately I have been able to knock a few more items off. I have just finished a crochet blanket I made for my cousins new dolly. I hope she likes it !

It was a good way to learn new stitches and I really enjoyed making the flowers. I'm sure I saw a book recently that had instructions just for crochet flowers. I will have to get on line and see if I can find it.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Christmas trimmings.

We have decided to go minimalistic this year with the trimmings.  This is the porch decorations.  A joint effort. I cut the branch from an Acer in the garden, when it was dry enough hubby sprayed and block mounted it.  Katie and I made the stars from salt dough. and the baubles were approx 50p's worth from a local store.  We were pleased with the outcome. I hope you like it too

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sick and feeling sorry for myself

Well I have left so much to the last minute and intended icing a cake today for a party on the weekend and all my plans have gone out of the window! Yesterday I came down with some random bug and spent the day sleeping.  Today my stomach still hurts and I've been left with no energy or inclination to do anything.  So its on the sofa with a blanket and a DVD me thinks. Happy days!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Cup or Mug ?

Through the week tea is made directly to the mug to save time and mess.  However come Sunday morning I look on it as a bit of a treat to get out my vintage Iris Woods teapot and Royal Dolton.

Alan Dart - Toy Patterns

I have just been directed to the above web site by my daughter who knows of my passion for knitting.  It is really worth a look and is currently offering a free pattern download. This is one of just many Christmans themed patterns I cant wait to start knitting. Alan Dart

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Another Christmas item to knock off the to do list.....

I enjoy making smaller items and decided to make a cowl for a lovely little girl who lives in the next village  for Christmas.  The inspiration and design came thanks to Helen who made something similar.  I decided to use a mohair trim and the body of the cowl was in two ply.  I hope it will be well received.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The socks that became leggins.....

After promising my daughter that I would make her some winter socks I downloaded a pattern from one of the many blog sites offering their own patterns. Unfortunately when I reached the stage of creating the foot area I found I had far too many stitches.  I re-checked the pattern to discover I missed a short sentence.  Decrease of rows.... Unfortunately it didn't tell me how many stitches to decrease per line or overall. I'm sure the writer had made these socks many times and quite successfully.  However without the addition of a crystal ball i was snookered.   So the socks became leg warmers... Ah well beats unpicking them and starting again

Thursday, 18 November 2010


I'm a real blog tart, I get enticed to one site (usually by a photograph...) and then jump onto another link within that case it has something even more interesting.  Anyway that's how I found Mrs Twins and her wonderful work with SIBOL.  Take a peek and see some of the blankets she has been making up with the help of blogs from all around the world.   SIBOL  I have made a few squares and the are ready for posting and adding to her second Eaton blanket.

While in the mood to make squares I did a few more.  This time for a healing blanket.  The organiser and assembler can be found at Channelle's Crochet Creations Lets just hope they have room for a few more!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

To Tenerife and Back

Well only been back a week and the tan is already peeling.  Had a great break though and managed to get a coat and two hats made while away.  I changed the button choice several times but ended up with  the heart ones. I bought the wool off ebay. (It was sold as double knit but was definitely an aran thickness).

It is for a 6 year old (looks a bit out of scale on the photo).  It has bell sleeves which I thought would make a change. Lets hope Willow likes it !

  I telephoned the airline before I went to check if I could take knitting or crochet on the plane. I was told both were banned and had to put everything in the hold suitcase.  What a waste 8 hours in total (plus airport waiting time of around 5 hours (yep flights delayed).  I appreciate that the needles could have been used by another passenger to do some harm but a plastic crochet hook? come on that's taking it a bit too far.  Instead I had to use the time reading the latest Kate Mosse going out (The Winter Ghosts) and finally got around to reading Labyrinth - Kate Moss coming home, two brilliant books. 

I have also recently completed another baby blanket. I hope you like it.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Winners of my First Giveaway

We got back into cold and wet UK the early hours of this morning so I'm just catching up The winners of my 1st anniversary give away are:

Teri at Hooks & Books
Hookin with Mr Lick Lick.

Please get in touch with your email address and I will send the e book to you.  Happy crocheting.  I know you wont be disappointed with the book and look forward to seeing some of your completed work

Saturday, 23 October 2010

My First Give-Away

I missed my1st blog anniversary which was September. So all-though it's a little delayed I though better late than never. I enjoy crochet but nothing too intricate (just basic stitches really). However my give away is an e book which takes crochet to another level.  So whether you have an occasion to wear the grand coat below or just want to do some intricate flowers..... this is the book for you.(Sorry image didn't come out too well but the books quality is much better).

The book is in PDF format and has 115 pages.  I am away on holiday for a few weeks but will select 4 followers on my return early November.  To qualify just follow my blog and if possible direct your followers to my giveaway.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Winter Warmer - Roast Vegetable Soup

Vegetables all chopped and ready to roast.

3 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 8ths.
2 medium onions peeled and cut into quarters
1 small – Medium butternut squash (don’t peel but cut in half and scoop out seeds etc.  Cut into cubes similar size to sweet potatoes
A good glub of Olive Oil.

½ -¼ tsp ground cinnamon,  ground turmeric, ground cumin.
2 chicken stock cubes. Mixed into 2 pints of stock.
Additional warm water to add if too thick.

Put some olive oil in a roasting tray add vegetables and sprinkle over some more oil.
Place in a hot oven and roast until just turning.

Meanwhile make up stock and add spices stir through.
When cooked spoon in the roasted vegetables try not to add any of the surplus olive oil.
Blend all the ingredients with a hand blender and if necessary add some more hot water to make a smooth consistence.

Stir in some single cream for a special occasion.  Serve with hot bread.  Yum.

If you make too much this soup it  can be frozen before the cream is added. 

If you have vegans/vegetarians in your house (as we do) substitute the chicken stock cubes for vegetable stock cubes and omit the cream.  It still tastes really good

Sunday, 17 October 2010

My Grandchildren - My Little Beauties

It can be quite manic when Nadine and Laura (my two eldest daughters) meet up for family events, especially when they bring along their children.  This is a recent picture of nine of my eleven grandchildren.  The event was Baileys eleventh birthday party. As you can see from the picture, our family is dominated by girl power.

Season of Plenty

A Bramley tree we planted several years ago must have heard my disenchanted mutterings under my breath last year.  "If that tree doesn't come up with the goods next year its comming down"Well it made up for the lost years with abundance this year. As penance I have buckets of apples to distribute to friends and family with a few of the choice ones for us to cook up and preserve.

Today I made three apple crumbles and two apple wedge cakes.  One for now and one for the freezer.  However that didn't quite happen, two of my daughters turned up around lunch time and the first cake was a distant memory by mid afternoon.  As it is such an easy recipie I thought I would add it to my blog as no doubt there are many of you with surplus apples this time of year.
The Finished Apple Wedge Cake
Apple Wedge Cake,

8oz self raising flour
Small pinch salt (optional)
4oz margarine or butter
4oz raisins or sultanas
10oz cooking apples (after peeling, coring and dicing)
3oz granulated sugar.
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
Scant 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
Small quantity castor sugar for sprinkling on top.

Mix flour salt and margarine to fine breadcrumb consistence.
Stir in sugar raisins and apple
Add egg and milk, mix into a dough.
Firm into a tin.
Bake towards the top of the oven for 50 -55 minutes. 180 degrees.

When removed from oven lightly sprinkle the top with castor sugar

Enjoy warm with custard, ice ream or cream or simply on its own.

You are welcome to post this recipe and picture on your blog as long as credits are given to the author. However it is not to be used for personal gain or commercial use.

All Mixed and ready for the Oven

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Well, frantic knitting has kept me away from my Blogg for a while but I just don’t seem to have the time to do both at the moment.  I have been busy knitting bolero’s for the grand children.  I followed the same pattern I used for Willow’s bolero pictured below and using poetic licence adapted it according to wools available. I hope you like the results, just one more to make before Christmas.  

 Thinking of the cold frosty mornings on the horizon I found a great pattern for an easy knit cowl. I did the grey ones in Jaegar it takes 2 x 50 gram balls and a great xmas gift matched with fingerless gloves.

I have decided to join a knitting group and after lots of questions and Google searches I discovered there is one alive and well in the next village so hopefully next Tuesday I can go along and see if they will have me.  I’m rather lazy when it comes to knitting.  So I thought perhaps a little like minded company will spur me on and get me out of my comfort zone.  Have any of you got any experiences of running or joining knitting groups in your area?  If so I would love to hear from you.

How I love wandering around knitting stores just looking at the array of different colours and textures stacked on the shelves.  Wool is so tactile.  It’s nice to be able to match buttons and wool together.  I was sad to find that Derry’s in Plymouth has now closed.  A store I always visited during regular trips into town.  More and more of these stores are closing and while you can buy anything craft related on the internet today the joy of coming out of the store with a big bag of wool, new pattern and buttons is slipping away.

The Forest in Autumn

My favourite season, it musters up thoughts of log fires, crisp mornings and autumnal colours.  We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of the Forest alongside an ancient woodland splattered with beech trees which are just beginning to turn.  I tend to do more craft work this time of year too.  Despite good intentions during spring and summer there is always something in the garden that requires my attention.  I suppose it’s also a practical issue that thoughts turn to the onslaught of winter and warm woollies to keep out the draughts !! 

Nature really is wonderful, We saw our first wild bore last week, a young mum with 6 babies trotting behind he.  She decided to risk the road (strolling in front of our car at a leisurely pace) She took them onto the periphery of the sculpture trail (obviously out for an educational trip!)..  They were a sable colour with chestnut spots and stripes.  As soon as she had taken them back under the trees it was difficult to make the babies out, they blended perfectly with the browning ferns and leaves that had fallen below a horse chestnut tree.  I can see why nature is such an influence for so many designers.  I have some lovely Rowan beige and rust wools that I have yet to knit up.  Perhaps now is the time to get it out.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

In my quest to work through some of my wool stash I have committed to knit up or crochet at least 2 x 100gm balls a week until xmas.  This started off really well and the above hat was completed last night. The pattern came from 'Knit One Embellish Too' by  Cosette Cornelius-Bates a great book with the onslaught of winter with patterns for hats, mittens & scarves.

I have decided to have a go at making my own buttons using Fimo.  The initial results were used on the hat.  Not too bad but still a long way to go as far as finesse!!.

I made this cardigan which was adapted from a very simple pattern using one of my  current favourite books 'Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots' - Zoe Mellor. So all in all I have met my challenge this week.

The down side was a visit on ebay last night and I purchased 2 lots of bargain wool amassing a further 14 balls to my stash.  There are rumblings in the camp and threats of banning me from ebay so this next lot will have to come in via the back door!!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Purple Princess

I recently finished knitting a bolero for my grandaughter using Peter Pan velvet touch.  What a lovely wool to knit with.  It knitts up so soft and reminds me of the texture of a candelwick bedspead. Willow has chosen and dressed herself since a very early age and has (as you can see) no inhabitions regarding colour mixing.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

la dolce vita

So just returned from another break. This time we spent 5 days in Rome.  What an experience.  Katie (my number 4) decided she wanted to do something different for her 21st.  The weather was kind to us, though a little too hot at times.  We met some great people and visited some amazing buildings and archaeological sites.  So here's just a few pictures.....
                                                    Katie and Boo outside the Coliseum

Piazza Novano Typical.  Hubby was asked to take a picture of myself and mother-in-law in front of the water feature.  if you look closely you can just see the tops of our hats.  Intentional me thinks!!

                    Trevi Fountain - Beautiful and it was like a magnet to all the visitors both day and night

Sunday, 11 July 2010

No holiday to Cornwall would be complete without a trip up St. Michaels Mount. Though I must admit as the years roll by I take a little longer each time to get to the top!!

But what a view, well worth the huffing and puffing!!
Last time we visited they were repairing the roof areas. This now looks really good and as well as the roof/floor the stone work has been cleaned and re-pointed. It all looks so good. And how many other historic buildings are there with a church on the top terrace/roof? It is small by quite cosy.

Some spectacular seed heads

I just loved the texture of this moss covered bark. The tree was very old and gnarled.

The above were taken in the National trust gardens at Trellisik on our recent trip to Cornwall. What a great time we had, beautiful weather and we just beat the hustle and bustle of the summer school holidays.

Balmy Booting Day

It was such a nice day we decided to have a ramble around our local car boot. It is very much a social occasion for both sellers and buyers alike. We always manage to stop and catch up with friends and neighbours.
Today I purchased some books for the grandkids at 25p each quite a snip. My eagle eyed daughter managed to buy several sewing and knitting magazines so ample reading for us as well. My favourite buy this week though was this box/canister. It is made primarily of ply The seller advised it is quite old (I think around early 70's which makes me feel old now) and confirmed she bought it in France. I really like it and thought it would be ideal to store my crochet hooks so it now has pride of place on the top of my study shelves.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Study or Store Room !!

Last weekend was spent chasing around for some new shelves to match existing ones in the study. Fortunately a 60 mile round trip and 5 minutes before the store closed we located some.. So for a few days, at least I have a few empty shelves... rarely known in a house of hoarders!! This also gave me the opportunity to re-arrange my wool stash which is now displayed and waiting to be transformed.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Emergency Surgery

Meet Pandy. He has been my soul mate since 1957. I have had guilt feelings about his inability to see the world as we do for quite a while, but time has been against us. Last weekend I decided enough was enough and after a visit to ebay to get a new shinny set of eyes I decided to go all out and perform open head surgery. I think the result was reasonably good and although I am not an expert Pandy can now enjoy television and simply watching the world go by........

I have been spending most of the winter knitting beanie hats. The two above are my latest. The one on the left has a brim made from 100% silk. The silk is the remnants from a silk factory. The threads are collected by Nepalese women who hand spin the fragments to make the yarn. It is quite heavy to work with but I was happy with the results knowing that it is unique and will not only make a friend warm but contribute to better conditions for the women who work hard to provide for their families in difficult conditions. I hope you like the results.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Ethics and wool purchase.

I have been quite stringent as regards to purchases (not only wool) but food and supplies. Its not a new thing with me, since I married in 1974 I have always insisted: buy british and only further afield if the product wasn't available locally.
However, having watched Kevin Mcleouds programs based in India and the standards of living and conditions the people are living in I wonder if my policies have been correct. To see how these people work for £1.00 a day and their conditions, makes you reconsider priorities in life. Perhaps we should re-consider the whole ethical principles currently adopted by the middle classes of the UK and look at the whole picture ?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Well I had intended putting a picture of our new roller blind just finished with a little help from himself, however I got a little diverted by a beautiful Orchid which has just come into bloom. This was bought as a birthday gift June 2008 for me and it flowered continually for around 12 months. After a few months rest it has blossomed again.
Anyway back to the blind. Having looked around at the prices for a 2mtr roller blind (and the 365 day challenge) I decided to buy the material from ebay (£17.50) and have a go at making my own. We cannibalised the existing blind and a few hours later a new dotty blue and white blind. Unique and a third of the price.