Friday, December 05, 2014

Decisions, decisions.

Sorry about the photos disappearing. Have no idea - how or why. Anyhoo, I have decided, after 10 years of this blog, to mothball it.

I won't delete it for now. As I often check the archives to remember dates and things. But with the stuff going on in my life right now I just don't have the time or inclination to blog anymore.

Thank you to everyone who has read it over the years and put up my with my knitting obsession, my rants and general wittering.

Perhaps in the future I'll start a new blog to go with life as it is now.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Where have you been my lovely?

Yesterday I went to Steyning to go to Wind Up a monthly knitting/crochet etc meet up organised by the ladies at Bessie May and Textile Garden. It is a lovely event. Plenty of space, friendly people, a few well chosen trading stalls and this month the cake was themed around doughnuts (and very nice they were too), good strong coffee was an added bonus.

M was so impressed he intends to have a stall next month to sell some of his wonderful yarn bowls.

Also trading was Kate from YAK who had a delightful table of yarny goodness from our very own The Uncommon Thread among others. I indulged myself in a little Malabrigo goodness.
I've been off variegated yarn for a while but something about this colour just sang out to me. The owl shawl pin came from the Textile Garden.

It made for a lovely afternoon and all three of us (a knitting friend came too) had a lovely time. They have a group on Ravelry and if you are in the area next month (I think it's the 22/11) I can highly recommend dropping in.

Yesterday was a good post day too (actually it's been a good post week). I received this wonderful custom dyed BFL from  the talented limegreenjelly. I asked for a blend of orange that was bright but subtle and Jo nailed it. I can feel my spinning mojo coming back to life just looking at it.

Now we have our little trip to look forward. The boy and Ma are dog sitting. J is swamped with college work so decided to stay home (sensible lad) so M and I are taking a little road trip. Really looking forward to meeting up with one of his pottery friends and have some 'us' time.

Will be back with photos soon.

Friday, October 10, 2014


A month since my last post - how did that happen?

Well it's mainly due to being ill, being knackered and working more.

You've not missed much. Our 27th anniversary came and went. We've eaten out a couple of times, been to the theatre, booked a little break away but apart from that, it has just been life and stuff really.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

End of an era.

As of yesterday I am no longer a home educating Mum. J started college.

He did an extra year of IGCSE's because he wanted to start on a Level 2 course and he didn't have quite enough to do it, but this year he got the exams he needed and that allowed me to pass on his educational baton to the professionals.

Part of me is sad, but most of me is glad. Glad to see him spread his wings, move on and grow as a human being (in J's case I use that term very lightly). It is the right time for all of us. It does feel a bit strange, not to be planning his study every week or discussing course work with him in great detail every evening. It also feels good not be nagging him as well.

I am looking forward to supporting him, watching him and hope he flies high and free from now on.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A decade on (pretty much)

On 31/08/04 I wrote my first ever post on this blog, and as J just pointed out I spelt 'blog' wrong on the title. I still can't spell.

I was giving the whole blog experience some thought the other day, pondering on how I had changed over 10 years of blogging and also on how the family has changed too.

The family thing that came to mind first was J - he was 7 when I started, I was home educating him and he was small.

He's not so small now - he is taller than me and I think he is taller then M. (This was taken earlier this year and he had shaved for once!) His voice is very deep and his limbs long and lean but I am pleased to say he is still very daft.

I then thought about the pets. When I started this blog we had Lou-Lou the Dalmatian and Buster the black and white arsehole.....sorry I mean kitty. We also had a guinea pig and numerous tarantulas. The fur babies have passed on and we have different pets now. We have no small furries at all and only two tarantulas.

Of all of us I think M has changed the least. In the last 10 years he has learnt to play the bass guitar and is even more into his pottery. His beard is greyer but he is a constant, pretty much.

I have changed - my hair style and colour numerous times. My weight still goes up, down, up, up, down, up, up and down again. I always seem to end up in the same place, so think my body is telling me this is where it and I are happiest (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). In the 10 years of this blog I learnt to knit socks, I learnt to spin, I managed to get my degree, play the Ukulele (badly), I am less of a Luddite, I got J through his exams and ready for college and last year the biggest change of all I went back to work (really need to update my profile - lol).

We have had good times and bloody awful times. We have had some awesome adventures - going to Fair Isle comes to mind - we have been happy and have also felt times of total despair. We have been broke more than once and through it all we have stuck together and come out of it all - hopefully - stronger and wiser than before.

I am still undecided on the fate of this blog. For now I'll keep it up and just see how it goes and how I feel. Still 10 years isn't too shabby - is it?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rainbow Scotties

We have just had a couple of weeks off work for a family stay-cation. It's been lovely. Very relaxed. M got loads of pottery done and I fancied doing some stitching. What started out as trying to make a design of a Scottish Terrier shape, grew into a plethora of little rainbow scottie dogs with bows.

After finishing the panel I had no idea what to do with it at all but out shopping yesterday I found these......

The panel seemed perfect to be edged by bright cotton and turned into a cushion. The result is a wonderful additon for my favourite chair in the bedroom.

The rest of my time off was spent in reading, spinning, knitting and eating and drinking delicious stuff. M cooked up a storm including scallops and streak and a visit to the wonderful cheese shop in Lewes resulted in a fabulous lunch.

I went back to work for two days last week which was a pleasant way to ease my way back in and M goes back Monday. We loved having so many lazy days with no time strictures or demands on our days. I think we all benefited from it - even J- who is making the most of his summer holiday anyway.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Pebble Beach in a seaside garden.

I took part in a KAL (knit-a-long) on the Curious Handmade forum to make this lovely Pebble Beach Shawlette. The pattern was included in the Unwind programme and was designed by Helen Stewart.

I finished this last week but have been waiting for right light to take pictures as bright orange (like bright red) can be a real bitch to photograph.

As we can see the sea from home the idea of photographing this in our 'seaside' garden amused me and today the light was perfect. Not only to show the true orange of the yarn but also the stitch definition as the pattern.

This is a lovely pattern to knit, quite simple and beautifully written and is now available to buy on Ravelry.

Details of the yarn used etc can be found either on my Rav project page or via an earlier blog post.

I also finished a bobbin of spinning today. The fibre is from some I purchased at Unwind. I am spinning it by gradient and have already started bobbin 2. Holidays are great for getting on with craft stuff that you have put off.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Flash fiction.


Sometimes I hold my breath until my head starts to swim just to see if I can see fishes in the air.  And sometimes I spin around and around until my balance is gone and pretend I've just got off of the worlds fastest merry-go-round. Sometimes I smother myself in my  duvet from head to toe and lie still not breathing and wonder if I am dead. Sometimes I look in the mirror  and I don't see what others do. Sometimes I walk down the street and I know I am not there and my reflection in the windows is just an illusion. And sometimes I look for the person I was but I never find her. Sometimes I balance on the very tip of my toes, way up high and wonder if I will ever be brave enough to fall. And sometimes I wade out to sea, almost out of my depth, but I always stop and swim back to shore. Sometimes I wander through cemeteries and look for my grave. Sometimes I run down a hill really fast towards a busy road but I always stop in time. Sometimes I touch myself to make sure I am still here.

Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes I am no longer sure if I am just a figment of someone else's imagination.

Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes, I'm not sure I am real.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I could moan about the heat (I dislike summer as is well documented) but why cover old ground? No, today I shall moan about nothing at all and try to make a positive summer time post, just to mix things up a bit.

In the summer I like..............................................................................nothing.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Storm Clouds

Taken from the window tonight. The storm rolled in across the sea.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Living in a free country, with freedom of speech? Why does it sometimes no longer feel like that? You can talk about a 'Nanny state' when decisions about our everyday lives are now taken away from us. You can talk about how what used to be seen a personal parenting choice are now being dictated to us by national and local Government. Everyday it appears that George Orwell was a prophet when he wrote '1984'.

All of the above seriously annoy me. I find a large percent of it ridiculous, that the adult population are seen as so useless we have to been given guidelines on how to live our lives, from what we put in our children's lunch boxes, to when we can have our children out of school for appointments or heaven forbid that demon 'the family holiday'. Obviously some people out there in the big wide world must be as thick as shit and unable to think for themselves, but when authority sets their plans in action they deal with lowest common denominator every time. So if 3% are stupid it appears that they set dumb rules for the other 97% as well, who are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves. Well 'Doh' I might as change my name to Homer right now.

But my personal gripe today is when I feel that I am unable to express a general opinion without it being questioned. It is an 'opinion', my 'opinion' and as long as it isn't hurtful, cruel, damaging or breaking any laws, then I am pretty certain I can express my personal 'opinion' wherever I like, in what language I choose without having to justify to anyone.

I truly believe that I have the right to say what I like in the confines of my own home, on my blog and in any conversation that I happen to be involved in (subject to the list above).  I am sure that the great and good haven't banned personal opinions yet? So I will continue to speak as I find, express myself as I see fit and generally use whatever terms, words or phrases I want to, until some over eager twat decides that we are no longer fit to speak for ourselves and restricts another personal freedom.

Oh and finally if you want to know if there is any hidden meaning in what I say -then no - I am normally pretty upfront and honest with people but feel free to ask - but if you question me too closely you might be told to go fuck yourself.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Brighton, bright orange pebble beach.

This is one of the free patterns in the Unwind programme it is by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade and is the Pebble Beach Shawlette. Loving it so far. I've joined the KAL on Rav too.

I am using one of the skeins from Unwind in an uber bright orange -  have I ever mentioned how much I love orange? - It is from easy knits (link on previous Unwind post) on his Mesmeric base the colour (I muted it in the picture because it is so bright all the photos went blurry) is called Solar Erruption.

I plan to make the other free pattern as well but this one called to me being a Brighton girl who spent her teens trying to get comfy all summer on the pebble beaches by the pier.

P.s I know eruption only has one 'R' but I spelt as it is printed on the label.

Monday, July 14, 2014

After Unwind 2014

Wow! What a weekend. Unwind 2014 passed in a blur. It was very hot, my feet still ache but all in all it was pretty awesome. Really well thought out and organised. I caught up with a lot of old friends, made some new ones and met a lot of lovely and interesting people on the stall and off it. I didn't encounter one unfriendly person all weekend.

I made a few (cough, cough) I mean a lot of lovely purchases. Yarns from EasyKnits, Triskelion, Skein Queen and Juno Fibre Arts. Fibre from Sweet Georgia -this is meant to help me find my spinning mojo which has been awol for ages. A lovely owl and hedgehog decorated project bag from KnitRunDig and finally some yummy smelling wool wash etc from Soak. All the magazines were total freebies about £20's worth - lovely to have some crafty reading matter. **links at bottom of post**

Although we were very busy there was time to chat to customers which was nice. The packed lunches provided were pretty awesome and I think once I have recovered, the heat was really draining, I will cherish some happy memories. My co-workers Isabelle, Kate  and of course Ce were good fun. And all the other helpers just made our lives so much easier. Even the stressy moments are fading overwhelmed by good ones.

Here's hoping that the wonderful Unwind team do it all again next year.

The other wonderful person who needs a mention and a huge thank you is the wonderful Mr M who kept the home fires burning - he did all the housework, laundry, dog walking and made sure a very tired me came home to delicious food both nights - he even ran me a foot bath and didn't bat an eyelid when I zonked out and went to bed at 9.30 ish Saturday night. He drove me where I needed to be and worked for The Uncommon Thread lifting, carrying and heaving around shelving and huge boxes of yarn. He is my Mr Wonderful.

Links;Skein QueenTirskelion YarnSweetGeorgia YarnsJunoFibreArtseasyknitsKnitRunDig and of course The Uncommon Thread

Sunday, July 06, 2014

This time.....

next week we will be half through Unwind. For those of you who don't know Unwind is a knitting show taking place in Brighton organised by a local yarn dyer Dani of Lioness Arts. The event is taking place at the Corn Exchange, Brighton on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July and looks be one of the best knitting shows around. Lots of info on the event can be found here.

Although I will be working, because The Uncommon Thread has a stall there  teeming with a whole caboodle scrummy yarn to buy, I am looking forward to seeing lots of old and new faces and treating myself to some lovely yarn too.

It is well worth coming along - there is also a spinning surgery at The Friends Meeting House in Prince Albert Street which is included free of charge in the entry ticket - which looks interesting to anyone who would like to know more or has questions. Expert spinner Jay Kendall will be on hand to share her vast knowledge of spinning and fibre with all.

So maybe I'll see you there - come and say "Hi' or just give me a friendly wave - it would be lovely to see you.

One last link to the Unwind Shop for anyone who wants to purchase their tickets online or look for last minute spaces in any of the wonderful and exciting workshops,

Saturday, June 21, 2014


I have decluttered my bits of our bedroom and got a place for my favourite Anthony Trollope books (along with a couple of other authors) and my elephants. I love collecting this little old books, with their thin pages and small print. They fill me with the happy. They are a joy to read too.

I purchased 3 large storage boxes today and 90% of the bear collection and my Blythes have been stored away now in two of them. The other one helped me organise my over flowing yarn/fibre stash. It so needed doing.

Two posts in one day....I am spoiling you all (lol) with my waffling - but the declutter felt like such a relief.

Blonde again....well kind of

Hated the grey with dark bits - so now dark bits are a pearly honey blonde. Much happier with that. I didn't like the Badger look at all.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Time flies

Just realised that in a couple of months time this little blog will be 10 years old. Where did that go?
J was just 7 when I started, he's 17 later this month, he shaves, has a very deep voice and very hairy legs and is taller than me. Lou-Lou, Buster and Petley were still with us and Conkers, Lottie and Fergus have joined us - along with assorted rats, a rabbit, guinea pig and spiders - some here still, most gone.

The two main constants are my love of knitting, reading and crafts and my marriage to M. They have remained  unchanged.

I have gone through weight gains and losses. Had long hair, short hair and multitude of colours. Until now I am grey and nearer 50 then 40.

We have had family losses too and health scares - mainly all M. We have home educated throughout that time and now J is preparing to embark on a life at college.

And through all of the above. I have tried to blog - with the odd break.

The question now is; do I carry on or has this little blog filled its purpose? I'm not sure of the answer yet.

Work takes up more time right now and I have less time or inclination to knit etc - often just too damn tired. I am going to mull it over for now. Will continue to post until we reach the actual anniversary, may even do a give away. But is there anyone to give away to? Not even sure if anyone even reads blogs anymore?

So my last question - to help me mull it over......Is there anybody out there?

Friday, June 06, 2014

I love my view

I took this out of my lounge window this morning, before 9am. For the first time this week I was at home (working) but home. It has been a frantic week, busy at work, busy at home and gearing up for J's last IGCSE today -it went well, I am informed.

It was nice this morning to stand with my coffee and just look out of the window. Everyone was out, the dogs were asleep, and all I could hear was bird song and the wind rustling the leaves. It was one of those moments. I took a break from what I was doing and just stood. Lovely.

I never get bored with the view. It entertains me all year round as the seasons change. I love watching the ships on the horizon  line, the white sails of yachts closer to shore. I revel in the life cycle  of the trees that abound in local gardens and the lives of the birds that inhabit them. I watch  the horses on the downs loose their coloured coats as spring progresses and most of all I enjoy the vastness of the sky and its changing moods. I love the warmer blues of summer, the cold ones of winter, I even like the blankets of sea mist and fog. Our view is a daily blessing and one I never take for granted.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I woke up yesterday with a need to do some weaving.

I wanted to test the yarn before I warped up. Saw an idea on Pinterest and adapted it to make a mini loom out of a cardboard box. I think it is rather dinky.

The yarn worked fine so I got out my knitters loom and warped up.

Am quite pleased with it so far. The yarn is British Alpaca except for the wee bit of green which came from the USA and is an Alpaca/Silk blend.

It fabric is coming out really light and airy and once my back stops aching - I'll do some more.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

And the prize has been won

Last autumn I was asked by a friend from the world of Border Terrier owners if I would  crochet a throw as a raffle prize (online raffle drawn at the Spring Borderfest) to raise funds for Border Terrier Welfare. I happily agreed, as the previous one had had a ceramic prize donated by M and I thought the whole idea was rather lovely.

I choose colours that I thought would have more appeal than what I would choose for myself and using Jan Eaton's book '200 Crochet Blocks' set to work. It was a labour  of love as, although I like crochet, it isn't my first love. Once finished, it was photographed, blogged about and packed safely away.

Earlier this month the raffle was drawn and a winner announced. The throw is now with her and she seems happy (which is quite a relief). You can never really explain to people who don't knit or crochet just who much work goes into something like this or with prices of yarn how much you actually financially invest in a project  - especially if you add the cost of your labour! So knowing it has gone to a good home and will be appreciated does give me a happy glow and the addition of helping a charity that is close to my heart adds to the feel good factor.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Luddite is dying

I have finally given in and decided to fully embrace modern technology. I don't find adapting to new things easy. My poor little brain sees something new and different and launches into hedgehog mode, curling into a tight ball and hoping the scary stuff goes away!

But today, after just over a year of wrestling with Windows 8 and hating every second of it, I decided enough was enough. The swearing that was required just to complete a simple task, after what seemed  like a life time of waiting for anything to load/work, just got to me one time too many. I put on my big girl pants and went to visit those nice people in the Apple Store.

A very helpful bloke answered all my Luddite questions for example....."will this work with my hotmail account?" And other assorted idiot mutterings. He refrained from any signs of impatience at my total ignorance (even though I have occasionally used the Bosses Mac at work - I still knew nothing) and then he sold me a lovely, sleek, shiny new Macbook Air.....t'was love at first click.

He even helped me set it up, right there in the store and got me organised enough that I felt confident that I wouldn't need my L plates long.

Have spent a good part of the afternoon fiddling about and finding stuff. Still got a couple of creases that need ironing but I have to say, compared to the lumbering of Windows 8 and IE it is a dream.

I am impressed with the machine, I am impressed with the shop/staff and I am impressed that it even seems fairly Luddite proof. The only thing I am not impressed with is why did I wait so long?

Monday, May 05, 2014

A Phi of relief

This is a Phi shawl by Jennifer Dassau. It soothes my inner geek as the stripes follow the Fibonacci sequence. It's a nice knit - garter stitch - but the shape and the stripes stave off the boredom factor.

The yarn is from The Uncommon Thread (I mentioned it on a previous post) it is called Sunday Best and the colours are Into Dust (pink) and Plata. I'm not pink person (these days) but I just love the combo of these two colours so much. It has knitted up beautifully and is so soft and plooshy. The photo is pre-blocking it has grown a little but not too much and I can't wait for a cool spring/summer evening so I can wear it.

Little Boggart cameo too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Little summer tango cardi

Wispy cardigan pattern by Hannah Fettig. Second time I've knit this. This one has longer sleeves. I love Malabrigo Lace, so soft. This colour is Tigerlily and if a really bright, summery orange. The pattern has a nice construction and you can try it on as you go. Am really happy with it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How now brown cow?

I do like cow noses. In fact I like cows.
I also like gulls. Not sure if this is Squeak or Squawk. But this will be the 3rd year they have adopted me.

I like ducklings too and am also partial  to........
sheep and .........


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer colour crochet with added sockness

Have made a couple more since I took this but have been a lazy blogger. I love the patterns and colours and they work really well on  this great cotton.

Just starting a week off, so who knows, I might get a few more made. But I am feeling very lazy and have been on a bit of a sock knitting thing.
These were having a second sock hiatus but last weekend I found my sock mojo and the second one, which had only had 6 rows knitted, flew off my needles in about a day.

Love this Swedish inspired pattern from Stephanie Van Der Linden's book 'Around the World in Knitted Socks'. The photo is pre blocking and I have to say that after blocking the pattern just jumps off the sock and is lovely. I so enjoyed making these that I am making another two colour pair from her book and am already over half way through the first sock. This pair were made with Regia Uni in cream and red and knit on 2.25mm dpns. Nice pattern, easy chart and quite nice construction.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hot knife through butter

This is a new yarn from The Uncommon Thread called Sunday Best. It's 115g (345m) of 70% Superwash Merino, 20% Cashmere and 10% Nylon - sport weight. The two colours above are Into Dust and Plata. I am knitting Phi shawl with it ( non Ravelry link).

It knits beautifully. It is so soft but with enough sprongy-ness that it feels plush and full. The stitch definition (even on this garter stitch pattern) is lovely. It makes me long to pick up my needles even if I only have time to knit one row. Been a while since I have felt such instant yarn love. Bliss.

N.B. I chose this pattern over all the other two colour shawls because I am a total Fibonacci geek.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Pretty delicious

Bought a little treat for me and the boys today.

Almost too pretty to eat....almost.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mother's Day

My son knows me so well. My recent rediscovered love of crochet has been catered too. The yarn came from The Wool Bar in Worthing which is a lovely and welcoming little yarn shop. The book we found on Amazon.

A couple of weeks back I finished this crochet bag (only started it last summer). The colours are not my usual choice but they work well and feel summery.

I love the flowery buttons on the straps.

The pattern comes from Lucy at Attic 24 it's available for free and is well written with lovely clear photos. The floral buttons are on a separate pattern, which is also free. Her blog is colourful and chatty and if you love crochet then it is a good place to visit.

I am planning to spend the rest of my Saturday deciding which crochet motifs to use from my new book to make a new project.....because I don't have enough of them already.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


His n hers. I have had Uke envy since Mike got his. So I've been learning on his (making sure I like it - and I do) so today went and purchased a little soprano Uke of my own. Can't stop playing it. It makes me smile.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Raffle Prize

A while back a FB friend asked me to crochet them a raffle prize for our favourite doggy charity. She runs an online raffle and a real life (at a spring meet up) every year to raise funds. I couldn't refuse.

Today it is all finished, washed, blocked and lovely.

The yarn used is Regia 4 ply sock yarn - so it's all washable and I used a 2.5mm hook. The patterns and design comes from this amazing book by Jan Eaton. I cannot praise this book enough. Anyone who loves crochet would adore this book, it is well written with great photos, clear instructions and wonderful colour palette ideas.

I hope whoever wins this. Loves it.

p.s if you want to purchase a ticket - comment and I'll point you in the right direction. They go on sale in early March.