Friday, 18 December 2009

The First Snow

The first of the snow arrived yesterday afternoon, just a light covering which froze overnight. Despite lovely sunshine this morning, it's still here. Snow doesn't stay long here. The town is built on a marsh so in general we're not too high off the water table, so we do damp.

I've not taken any pix. I'm on slow motion at the moment. However my needles have been whirring and am half way through the last cloth that is going to be gifted. I really can't see presents being posted and delivered in time for Chrimbo. Can't be helped. Must get my chrimbo stocking done next, less than a week to go! YIKES! I do think the festive season will be a blur for me. Come January I shall be wondering what happened!

Also come the new year, I shall have to get a new car. Mine is getting soooo poorly and I need to spend loads on it. As the Nice Man At The Garage says that if I don't get a new car soon, I shall be working only to pay my garage bill. Sober thoughts. As long as she can keep going until I get a replacement, but shhhhh! don't tell her yet!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Round Up!

Okay, so I've been away a while! I shall make concerted efforts to keep updated!

As a round up -

The Chooks are doing fine - Radar and Sunday have started laying again, much to my delight!

I've renewed my membership of the Needle Club at Books,Yarn,More. Take a look their Needles are so unique and beautiful, also includes updates of the antics of the local deer!

I'm still knitting (no surprise there!) I did recently fall in to the Very Naughty Trap of Casting On and Not Casting Off Before I Start Casting On The Next Project...... Needless to say, I've done very little in the way of finished projects. hhhhmmmmph! But what I have finished, I forgot to take pictures of. Sounds like a lot, but at the moment all I can remember is a hat I did for a Swap - 'Urchin' using Rowan Chunky something or another, I shall have to reference that better for you, my head is, as HobbitKeeper said a day or two ago, is like Swiss Cheese. I can't argue with that!

I'm also part way knitting a present for someone, so I can't tell you any more about that, in case it spoils the surprise!

I've also done a Christmas Stocking for HobbitKeeper, which is hanging on the mantlepiece in the back room. It's all in black, surprisingly. I'm a bout a quater way through doing one for me in two tones of purple and will have a fluffy bit on top. Christmas is ooooo about a week away, so need to seriously get them needles whirring otherwise I have been threatened by HK that he will take his stocking down if mine is not ready.......

I have put a list of my WIP's on the right hand side.... This is the total list of what I can remember.... I've not gone into the deeper recesses of my knitting room , which by the way is in an awful state at the moment, shameful! Hopefully it will kick start me in to casting off with the same enthusiasm that I cast on with......

Big Wave to Ann-in-America, who is actually in Cumbria at the moment!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Barker's Bridge

PC Bill Barker lost his life helping others on Northside Bridge in West Cumbria. There is a forum on FaceBook (Barker's Bridge) which is hoping to lobby, with PC Barkers family's consent, to have the Northside Bridge renamed Barker's Bridge. Please have a look and offer support, if only by joining the forum.

Cumbria Police Federation have opened a HSBC Bank Account - The Bill Barker Benevolent Fund - all funds go directly to his bereaved family. The account details are:
Sort Code 40 16 22 Account No 322560042

Cheques can be forwarded to
No 1, The Green
Carleton Ave
CA10 2BA

With Thanks!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Button Buttons Buttons!!

A while ago I bought some Fimo to make buttons and other things. I put it on a shelf in my knitting room, and there, with all the best intention, it stayed.

A week or two ago, my friend Donna gave me some exquisite buttons that she had made. I was motivated!! So today has been my day off, and amongst doing other things (making carrot soup and a loaf of cheese and onion bread) I bought the Fimo down stairs and had my first foray into playing with Fimo!

This is the first lot I made, red and green, a bit Christmassy! Fimo is incredibly easy to use, although I think with a bit of practice and forward planning, it could be a good creative outlet for me! I have seen a picture of a Fimo Chicken on the Fimo box, must try that....... The second lot, inspired by Licorice

Had to include purple-y colours in there somewhere! I'm don't know yet where I will use them, but they will certainly make pretty gifts for like minded people!!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Knit Camp - I'm In!

Come August I'm off to Knit Camp!!!! Accomodation is booked, just need to decide on which workshops.......

Monday, 9 November 2009

Das Mauer - 20 Jahre!

Das Mauer

9th November 1989

The Fall of The Berlin Wall

Ich bin ein Berliner!!

Friday, 6 November 2009

UFO's Out-Number FO's

Okay, so yet again I've not posted for a bit. Been a bit busy, you see! It's that four letter word, the necessary evil - work!!

However the needles have still been whirring, although at a slower pace lately as I've been too pooped to knit at every opportunity........

Finished objects include - no photos yet..... - a skull hat for HobbitKeeper, done in time for Halloween, a green and black scarf (my first foray with Katia yarns), a neck thingy, not quite a warmer, just a decorative thing, hhmm what else.... I know! The very first Peaches and Creme project!!

How could I forget that! It is a bath mat, I used double thickness of Winterberry with either mauve or williamsberg blue. It's a good size, it was probably the size that put me off completing it. However, I've put it in the bedroom for now as it just doesn't go with the other bath mats....... I am tempted to do some more, but am also considering crocheting. Reasons being that crochet is soooo much quicker, I should use less yarn, and using a single yarn it may be thicker than knitting. It's not on the top of my list at the moment......

Unfinished objects, always plenty..... another skull hat, must be finished today to give to a friend at work. Nereides wrap, stolen moments wrap (although I have done another 8 inches or so), batty is knitted but not sewn together, and the Ysolda Teague shawl is still in the bottom of the bag........ OH and another Katia scarf, this time in pink/purple and black and another neck thingy in pink. I think that's it. Well what I confess to that is in my knitting bag, I don't want to even contemplate what is in my knitting room!

I'm also trying to get back into letter writing, I forgot how much I like writing and recieving letters!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Work/Knitting Balance

So far this week the work/knitting balance has been tipped in favour of work, little knitting has been done! I'm off this weekend, so once I pick myself up from the floor, have a massive lie in - in fact I shall be having a giraffe rather than a lion because giraffes are bigger.... get it.... lie-in/lion..... I shall be doing some knitting then.

I've cast on a poncho that was a freebie pattern with LK, I might have already mentioned it? Using Big Softie. I've got seven balls and will need 11 (ish) in total. So although I am using from my stash I will still need to buy some more. However on the upside, I do already have a matching slouchy beret and neck warmer!!

I've made some more Fudgy Banana Muffins - shall post the recipe later - they are recommendable. I was toying with the idea of doing some more baking this morning, but..... I'm not exactly full of beans to be doing too much. Then I thought about doing biscuits, the jury is out on that one.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Rhubarb and Ginger Cake

I made this Rhubarb and Ginger Cake yesterday and it is absolutely gorgeous!! Much nicer than the Spicy Rhubarb Cake - even though that is good in it's own right! This one comes highly recommended!! Go on, give it a go!!

5oz butter
5oz golden syrup
4oz black treacle
5oz unrefined light brown sugar
2fl oz milk
2 oz crystallised ginger, finely chopped
12oz rhubarb
12oz self raising flour, mixed with
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tbs ground ginger
Heat the oven to gm 3.
Grease and line a 2lb baking tin
Melt the butter in a pan with the golden syrup, black treacle and sugar, stir regularly
So it will look a bit like this! Remove from heat
Put all the rest of the ingredients (including the sugar/butter mix) and mix it all together!
Pour mixture into the prepared tin
Cook for an hour and 15 minutes, but check after an hour. This one cooked for 65 minutes. Let the cake cool for a bit before turning out onto a wire rack to cool
Then eat!!!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Waking The Dead Slouchy Beret

I finished the beret yesterday! I added an extra repeat of the cable pattern to give it the slouchiness. I think if the yarn was not as bulky, I would have added another repeat, but I think it wouldn't have worked?

So this is me modelling the beret and neck warmer, with hair tucked in. Can't wait for the cold weather now!
View from the back. I like the way the crown decreasing is done.
Rear view again, with hair tucked in to show the neck warmer. It is a lovely pattern to do and best of all, doesn't take long to do at all - ideal for a present that is needed in a rush, or if you don't have too much time.....

I found the pattern on Ravelry, the link is here!

Minted Pea Soup

Makes 4 portions


All ingredients are approx
2 pints of water
2 Oxo stock cubes
2 small onions - or one med/large one!
500g peas
Mint - to taste - I used mint sauce as I didn't have any proper mint, worked just as well
Seasoning to taste

Crumble the oxo cubes into a big pan
Chop and add the onions to the pan
Add the water
Add the peas
Cook until cooked, as such, perhaps bring to the boil, then simmer, for however you usually cook your peas for
Turn off heat and allow to cool a little

Blend until smooth, reheat till warm.
Serve, season to taste

May be even more scrummy with some of your favourite bread!!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Waking The Dead Neck Warmer

The Neck Warmer is completed! It took approx an hour and three quarters. I was knitting slowly, watching the TV, drinking tea and taking my time!! When completed I didn't think it would fit, but it does. If I did it again, I might make it slightly larger and perhaps a repeat longer. Roll on the cold weather so I can wear it! Tomorrow I shall make the beret, again this is another 'it only takes an hour to do'. I've got two more episodes of Waking the Dead to watch, so I have an appointment with the sofa and the TV! It is an easy pattern to follow, without a doubt!

The pattern is The Speedy Cabled Cowl, take a look!

The Hour Challenge!

I've found a pattern for a cowl/neck warmer and matching beret, done in Big Softie, of which I have ten balls of (recently frogged). The patterns says the cowl can be done in an hour. I'm up for that, fits my criteria today. To appease my guilt of starting another project, I have cleared my table in my knitting room - it has not seen daylight for a few months. I even found reciepts from March at the bottom of the pile.......

So, a cowl in an hour? Whilst watching 'Waking the Dead' I think - hurrah for V+! Batty is going to be finished tonight (hopefully, not counting the sewing up!).

Right I'm off, tea has mashed, needles and yarn are on the sofa, and that is where I am heading!

Sense and non-sensibilities!

I am having urges to cast on lots of projects. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. The sensible side of me (sensible - yerwot??!!) says not to. But then the Naughty Knitter (yay for Naughty Knitter!) says it's okay to cast on one or two small projects, seeing how I'm on leave this week......

Since starting Batty, I've only cast on one thing, sorry two things. A square for Macmillan Cancer and a shawl/cape thingy. The cape was inspired by the green eyed knitter in me. My friend Linda was wearing hers. I wanted one. It seemed provident that Linda had given me a few balls of the very same yarn for my birthday last year, that she had done hers in - Noro Silk Garden..... drool. It didn't take me long to decide to make one. So at the last Knit Chicks, I heavily picked Linda's brain..... how many stitches, how long, how wide, how many balls.........

I'm thinking of adding an edging to it. But I need more yarn. Noro Silk Garden, colourway 87, lot F, check your stashes!!!!!

I'm also tempted to cast on another hat. I've seen one in a magazine, I'm not a totally 100% of it though, perhaps that should hold me back. Then again, I've time to have a look for another jaw dropping one...... then spend more time digging through the ole stash to find a suitable yarn.....

......or I could finish Batty, and not feel so guilty about starting something new.......

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Spicy Rhubarb Cake

Spicy Rhubarb Cake

5 oz softened butter, plus a bit more for greasing
10 oz/300g self raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
4 oz /100g dark muscovado sugar
9 oz/250g golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of Soda
2 eggs, beaten
10oz/300g rhubarb cut into short strips


Heat oven to gm4/160-180c

Put the kettle on

Butter and line a deep 20cm square cake tin
Sift the flour and the spices

Beat the butter and the sugar, (I used a food processor) until light and fluffy, then beat in the golden syrup.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of Soda in 200ml of boiling water, then gradually add to the mix.

Gradually (or pulse) add the flour, then the eggs.

remove the bowl from the processor and gently add the rhubarb. I had to put the mix into another bowl before adding the rhubarb as my processor bowl isn't too big.

Pour mix into the prepared cake tin

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the cake feels firm to the touch and springs back when pressed.

Leave to cool in tin for five minutes before turning out

If you don't eat it all on the day, it may only last up to three days, due to the rhubarb.

Either eat in it's own, with custard, ice cream or some spicy cream!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Succumbing to Alan Dart

I've been brainwashed. I used to have Simply Knitting on subscription, now I just buy it every now and then. Every issue they feature an Alan Dart project. Every month I think 'pffh!' But now I'm in the predicament that there are now two, yes two projects of his that I want to do!! What is happening? Is that I'm (take a deep breath) 41 now and my head is changing with out any say so from me?

I was so took up with the latest project that on Sunday I went through to Hobby Craft in Wolverhampton to get some yarn to cast on with - 100% acrylic at that!! Got home, sat in the garden and cast on......

The projects - Batty Bat and Wilhemena Witch..... watch this space for photos......

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Water That Runs In The Wrong Place

We've sprung a leak in the gennel (the entry) between us and next door. It's water this time. So last night HobbitKeeper and Mr & Mrs Neighbour started digging. I looked on and kept the workers in tea.

This is the offending pipe, now temporarily lagged with an old tea towel. The water was turned off at the mains, but that doesn't seem to have made too much difference to the water flow, such is the quality of Severn Trents taps. HobbitKeeper and Mr N went out yesterday evening to get a new joint, or elbow in plumbers speak. But to no avail. The problem is that the pipe going into the elbow is an old metal one (just can't remember what sort of metal...) and the pipe going out is a relatively new (about 15 years old) blue plastic one. On top of that metric and imperialistic stuff, I managed to glean that one part of elbow is female - to the old pipe, and the other end is male.
Here are some interesting buckets of sludge that came out of the aforementioned hole.
It's a bit tricky without running water. Or water that is running in the wrong place. I went to the Big A this morning after dropping HobbitKeeper off at work and got 6 2litre bottles of their best cheapest water - 13 pence a bottle. I've two unopened bottles left. The Chooks had one bottle - I told them they were Very Posh Chooks today as they were having bottled water. Good job they can't read as they would realise that it isn't posh water really, just cheapo water.
Another bottle went down the loo. This doesn't work like flushing. It only dilutes. I am considering going back to the Big A to use their facilities, unless I can hold on till I get to work this afternoon.......
But I have water for tea! Rhinog has a full bowl of water. I can wash the pots after heating the water in the kettle. And The Chooks have had some peas and corn.

This is the hole about a yard and a half away from where I took the first picture. I must mention that Mr & Mrs Neighbour are very well equiped for all sorts of domestic disasters! They have an electric light on a long cord (the wire of which can be seen on the picture). Also the blue thing is a suction thingy which they normally use to suck all the water out of their ponds. Along with a square of carpet to kneel on!
HobbitKeeper did unearth a bone whilst he was digging. Only one mind you. No Victorian Murder Mystery in our gennel. Not that I know to anyway any way! I think that may have effected getting the water back on again if there was. But it would have been damn interesting if there was a Victorian Murder Mystery!

This is Rhinog telling me telling me that something is happening in the gennel. He's a sharp one!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Ziggy and Birthday Socks

Here is a self portrait of one pair of my Birthday Socks. They were made for me by my special friend Lee (Luneray). They are wonderful!! I finished my Ziggy hat last week. I'm very pleased with it and has spurted me on to make more hats! Ziggy is designed by Woolly Wormhead.

I bought the yarn from Joyce Cook at WonderWool Wales 2009. It is hand dyed and very scrummy! I bought two other skeins in a purple colourway, so watch this space!!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it lights in the sky? Certainly ain't superman!

I went out onto the street on Saturday evening to take some pictures of the sunset. I promptly downloaded them and of course looked at them. Initially nothing untoward. But have a closer look. I enhanced the images to find unidentified lights in the sky !! You can't really see much at this size, but have a look at the dark object in the sky just above the tree line, to the left. Too big to be a bird? The right size to be a Stealth Bomber? And the other things - enhanced looks to me like a curved line of lights. Stealth Bombers - which officially have only landed once in England, for a matter of the aircrafts wheels touching terra firma for a few seconds - usually are accompanied by three Tornado planes, well the lights don't look like tornados to me.

Take a look and tell me what you think? If you want me to email the images, ask. I think the images will only go to a certain size on here. One image has three lots of lights the other has two, that I can see. It's a mystery.... or is it?!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Spiral Hat

I spent a few hours in the garden on Sunday. I'd found a hat pattern - a Spiral beanie type - with corresponding Noro Kureyon... I cast on and happily knitted away, accompanied by a bottle of Green Goblin and a bar of Cadburys Almond Chocolate (happy days!). I was pleased witht the progress of the hat. I fetched another beanie to compare measurements for length to the crown. Only to find that the blooming thing was about an inch too small - in width not height! Bugger! Hats are not something that I can allow 'room to give' across the forehead, due to regular tenderness/ puffiness around the ole eyebrows (don't ask, I'll moan about it another time...) So the only thing to do was to frog it. I didn't want to complete it as I knew I'd never wear it.

I didn't have the heart to cast on again with a few extra stitches. With the pattern, I would have to add another 8 stitches and I'm toying with this amount - is it too much or will it be just right?! Only one way to find out I suppose!

Not to be dis-heartened, I had a look around as to what else could I do with the yarn, it's so damned gorgeous - it is Noro after all! I found a lovely shawl with a picot edge, but unfortunately I didn't have enough yardage for that. I descended on another pattern, one that I have queued. And I thought I had enough yarn - Debbie Bliss 'SoHo' this time. I Cast On. Did a few rows, completed one pattern repeat. And it just didn't look right, y'know what I mean?! No point faffing about. Off the needles it came.

I shall do a little more hunting for suitable patterns to match up with my stash. I do however have some lovely Italien yarn and a suitable shawl pattern..... and a couple of WIP's. But seeing how I was good and finished off one WIP - my Ziggy Hat which is as CAF, and has been worn a few times, I thought I could permit myself to cast on another project..... obviousy not the right time to!

However I did enjoy sitting in the garden, enjoying the September Sunshine, the chocolate and the Green Goblin!

Friday, 11 September 2009


Rememberences to All x


The Sock bug has moved a little closer to me........ I am considering making (and completing!) my second pair of socks. It won't strictly be the second pair that I have cast on.... I think the sock scorecard looks like this:

Completed - 1 pair
Cast on/WIP - 2
Frogged - 1

My thing now is....well threefold (it's never easy with me......)

1. Find my needles - I have a lovely set of Knit Pro Harmony (the multi coloured ones) DPN's for socks....... I also have a pair of circular needles, although I think these are engaged with a WIP

2. Decide which yarn to use - how long is that going to take??!!

3. Decide on a pattern

Sounds easy to the uninitiated! Now I don't want a totally Basic Sock Pattern. Basic Sock Pattern (BSP) is a jolly good place to start, but... yes but.... I've made my first pair (and completed) so now I want to go a step up, so lets agree with BSP+1. I think I can manage that. Individually I can do the individual processes that make up a sock, so I want to be a little adventurous and not do it in plain stocking stitch. I think I'm ready for BSP+1.

BSP+1 is a pattern with a little bit of lace or a little bit of cabling.

So help me out with this!! What pattern fits the crietria for BSP+1??!! There are simply tons of patterns on Ravelry and every where else. Any suggestions??!! The yarn will be mulit-coloured rather than a solid colour.....


Fingers crossed... I think I've finally managed to sort out a counter for my blog (it will boost my ego to see how many folks call by!) so here goes...... lol

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Not a Happy Bush Baby!

This was taken yesterday, early evening. I like it as I look so pissed off and unimpressed - nothing like capturing real emotion!! Trying to smile, but not quite achieving it! Something to do with being called a Bush Baby, due to mega fluffiness and volume of just conditioned hair!!

August Was A Month For Cloths!!

For the last month or so, all I've knitted is cloths, all for swaps. So this is what I've been doing. There are another 4 completed..... All these are done on 4.5mm needles, using Peaches & Creme yarn. The patterns are designed by Maile Mauch, look on Ravelry, K1,P1 Keeping you in Stitches Studio and Cloth of the Week - Yahoo group

Garden Lattice - colourway is Manderin Slice

Oloolo, in Morning Glory

Lace of The Times
Medallions of Lace - in Teal

Rip Tide in a shade of Green
Box Step

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Summer Spa Swap

I recieved my Summer Spa Swap from Lessie a day or two ago. Lessie sent me two cloths - a white one with feet on, a chocolate coloured one with a paw print, two sachets of foot scrub and cream, toe dividers, chocolate colour nail varnish, a milan file and a tub of foot cream. Now I can't wait to give my feet a good pampering!! Thank you very much from me and my feet!!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Birthday Day Out

The 6th of August saw my Birthday. I was ThirtyEleven, if you're curious! We went out for the day, with a picnic and headed off to the Peak District in Derbyshire. We stopped first at Dovedale. Dovedale is very beautiful and was very full of children having fun and splooshing in the water.

As it was lunchtime when we arrived, we had the picnic in the car. It was a good job we had it there really as if we'd carried it to the Stepping Stones then there would have been nowhere to sit on the ground as it was very busy!This photo slipped in! Nothing to do with the day out, just pressed the wrong button! The cloth is called 'Baked With Love', in Peaches & Creme 'Butterscotch'. I made it for the Cloth and Cookies Swap.

One of the views down Dovedale. This is before the Stepping Stones. They were actually flooded, so techinically they couldn't be safely crossed and so you couldn't access the rest of the walk.
The flooded path, the water was clear and cool to walk in, needless to say I had a good paddle in it......... Derbyshire Ducks on the River

Three crows in a tree
Me! I did want to totally stand on the rock, but it was very wobbly so tried to keep one foot on a soggy terra firma, I was expecting to fall in!

Coming out of Dovedale, heading up hill towards the Ashbourne Road, Cows!!

From Dovedale, we drove to Bakewell, being mindful that the Bakewell Show was on. Luckily Bakewell wasn't that busy at the time we got there. But for some reason, probably best known to the gaggle of Civil Enforcement Officers who were stood by the main car park in the town, the car park was closed. There is limited parking here anyway. So why close a car park on the busiest day?? I don't know. I was therefore denied my trip to the Pudding Shop and the Needlecraft Shop.
From Bakewell, we headed down the road to Caudwells Mill for a mooch round. The gift shop seemed to have changed most of the lines they sell (read behind the words!), so I didn't part with any of my Birthday Pennies! However we did see the ducks and ducklings and a big fish in the river!
After that we headed home, as I was getting quite tired. It was a lovely day out and the weather held good. Smiles all round!

Garden Harvest

The garden has been quite bountiful of late! Even the Tomatoes have just started to ripen. HobbitKeeper was quite worried that all the fruit wouldn't see the sun, but some of them have and have since been eaten!!

Here is Nogs on the front path. He likes being out the front with us, seeing the world going by! Cheese and Onion Bread made for a picnic, very scrummy!
One of the biggest courgettes of the year, with a few spuds on the background.

Rhubarb, Rubarb Rhubarb!