Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Posts tagged ‘knitting’

Knit and Natter Friday!

Hello again, grab something nice to drink and let’s have a bit of a catch up. Who would have thought that my oven cleaning plans would generate so many comments last week. Have to say that I now have a nice shiny oven and there are plans afoot today to give the wood burning stove a bit of a wash and brush up, should you be wondering which dirty task comes after oven cleaning.

Meantime life has been busy with nicer things than scrubbing. Monday was the day for my library shift, so glad I could remember what to do after the Christmas break.  Tuesday I attended a talk on the history of Scampston Hall.

If anyone saw the play An Inspector Calls on the TV over Christmas the scenes in the dining room were shot here. I have plans for us to visit again this year to see inside the house, so far we have only seen the gardens.

Wednesday, hurrah I went swimming again. I have bought a pass now for the next three months so I must use it. Thoroughly enjoyed the swim , it’s just making plans on how and when to go. In the afternoon I attended a rehearsal for a presentation to be held in the library for Holocaust Memorial day at the end of the month.

Yesterday I took Mr E for another hospital appointment. Things are still looking good , but more tests etc still to come.

Which means today will be spent chatting here and cleaning…

I have put in a lot of time on the crochet blanket. I am thinking that next time I show it, it might be completed. Hurrah. I so want to make a start on the Attic 24 weekend bag.

I have been able to fit in some knitting too. It now looks like this.

Anyone, any ideas on what it is? I must say it’s quite complicated to knit, so many ror by row instructions, I am just hoping I have read them alright because now it’s a bit of a puzzle!

Big thank you to Christine for telling me about these wonderful plates.

It just so happens I am in the market for new plates this month, so will be buying more over the next few weeks. I really like the quirky animals!

So over to you. Any plans for the weekend? Are you making anything fabulous at the moment?

If you are new, please do leave a comment ,chatting is wonderful. And do just jump in with the comments from others.

Have a great weekend, and Be Happy

Cathyx

Knit and Natter Friday, 2018

I started these Knit and Natter posts last year when Ginny of Small Things gave up her Yarn Alongs. Turns out she missed them too, and she has re-started them as monthly link ups rather than weekly ones,here . Which is a jolly good thing, but you haven’t got rid of my Friday ramblings as easy as that. I have got far too fond of my own voice, more than that I have got very fond of the Natter that always follows. My Fridays would not be the same without our chats.

My son phoned this week to talk over a work problem. I listened, I spoke calmly, but what I really wanted to do was say ” who is this person causing you grief, I will TELL them!” Which of course would do no good. We are often told in the UK we have low productivity. It seems to me that if people spent less time on office politics and more time doing the job they were paid to do , the world would spin a lot faster, why one wants the world to spin faster I don’t know.   ( Alice in Wonderland I believe). Isn’t it so hard when your adult children have problems?

Meantime the great tidy up after Christmas has begun. Just where do all the spiders live that spin so many webs in the house? Maybe it’s just me they have it in for?

Hasn’t it been lovely to see everyone writing on their blogs this week with posts about the last years highs and lows and aspirations for 2018. I so hope to stop adding to my collection of yarn and fabric and get on and work with it.

Oh, and clean the oven, January’s only goal for me. Yes it does need a clean. And I actually quite like cleaning the oven, all that gunk is so satisfying. Today I will do this.

I have been mostly crocheting this week, trying to add one block a night to the final rounds on the blanket destined for a care home.

I have 14 more to go, so in two weeks they should be done and ready to join and add the border. Maybe finish blanket should be another goal for January. That makes two.

I have started with the Jo Baker book on my January reads. Hey that makes three goals, to finish this book. Before I know it there will be 18 of the beggars.

Not only has Ginny missed her yarn along but so also has Ginny at Ginx Craft who has started a first Monday in the month link up. Ginny designs and knits the most wonderful things you can imagine, there is talk of a book, I will pre-order it if I am allowed.

I have done a little knitting on the mystery project, no-one hazarded a guess last week , and this week is no better I reckon.

It will grow, once the blanket is done. Maybe by the end of January, oh my could that be four goals for January?

Enough, I shall go and clean the oven. Do please tell what you are making, could be anything, a bird house, a widget, a jumper, a blanket, a picture, a cake.. I shall be making greasy gunk this morning!

Be Happy

Cathyx

 

 

Knit and Natter Friday!

Well Gosh is all I can say. And that’s a fib for a start as I have lots to say,, but hasn’t the last week just gone by in a great big flash, and gosh again, it will be 2018 next time I write a Knit and Natter post. So, did you all have a super Christmas? I have loved seeing all the Secret Santa posts this week. It’s clear we all love the research and the plotting and planning and making every bit as much as the anticipating and squealing and squishing and being bowled over by our gifts. And did your nearest and dearest love everything you gifted them I wonder.

Baby J does not look too impressed with my contribution, and as for that dog Coco, he of the unmentionable smells

He had pulled the beak off the duck by tea time, not that I made that but.. well honestly. Dogs!

We were in London with my son Mr J and family and had a jolly nice time. A lovely walk on Christmas Eve on Epsom Downs followed by a Christingle service, which was nice but so crowded, still I did get to sing my heart out and was thrilled that Master H appeared to know all the words and sang like a trooper. But when did churches decide that prams were a fire hazard and all babies had to be removed  from their snuggly nests. Baby Jesus, they sang had a bed of hay, but not so the little children of the congregation, they can just freeze. I mean honestly how unwelcoming is it to be told babies are a fire hazard. Never mind the d**m candles they can be lit, but ….. sometimes you do just have to wonder.

One of the joys of being the older generation is you don’t have to cook the turkey. Oh you can lend a hand with the table, and the sprouts and give an opinion on whether something is cooked, but you get to sit down and relax and then Voila a feast is set down before you. I thought I would miss being in charge and the centre of the steam, but no , not one bit. Being the older generation , and “you just sit there”, turns out to suit me well. I taught my sons well, as the chef was my boy Mr J.

Gifts, did you receive something divine? Mr E had listened to me, which might be a first.

I had really fallen in love with this book from the RSPB, and then I had this too

Oh my, from Attic 24, I have gifted these to others but had never received one myself, so happy.

But first to finish the two crochet blankets. First the one from left over yarn which will be donated to the Repair Cafe as a raffle prize. The speed I was going just in the cafe itself it wouldn’t be finished for ten years, so I have got on and done the granny squares at home, now they just need joining together, after which I shall do the border and sew in the ends at the cafe.

Happy with the red, now not certain about the two yellow squares bottom left.

Last year I rather succumbed to making a lot of yarn purchases, mostly I blame the gremlin in the computer, but some of them were definitely just me. I thought I was over the tinsel yarn madness, turns out I am not.

You will not believe me if I told what these were for. So I won’t, but you can try guessing each week from now on.

Over to you now for some nattering, love to know if your hand-made gifts were appreciated, and if you received something that brought on a happy dance. What are your plans for creating this weekend? I read a blog a week or so ago which suggested we plant more flowers.

That sounds good to me, I have some primroses to put in tubs, am I mad in these temperatures? We have a sprinkling of snow and more forecasted. Never mind I shall just have to sit down and do some knitting or crochet or cross stitch, well someone has to..

I want to thank you all for joining in with my Knit and Natter posts, it is the natter that has made them so pleasurable to me to write and I hope for you too.

All the best for 2018,  remember the night is darkest before the dawn if the year is not starting out as you would wish, and if you are on a high right now, enjoy it every bit .

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

 

 

 

Stitching Secret Santa-to

My Parcel went to Kim who blogs as The Material Lady, and if you don’t know her , she is an amazing and very talented lady. She sews divinely and knits socks and all manner of wonderful garments. So what on earth to make for her as she had been a very good girl this year.

Reading her blog I discovered she feels the cold , and last year had been thrilled to receive a shawl. So I made a pair of gloves and a matching hat.

Next it was time to fill the stocking I made for some smaller gifts

A crochet pot, a lavender filled owl  and lemon pin cushion from leftover yarn

A Santa sack for

some useful accessories and finally my whole £10 budget went on

West Yorkshire Spinners yarn and a pattern. In went a card , and as Kim also blogs as The Old Bat at the Back, as she runs as well you know, on the back of the envelope went a hand-made

Once again thanks go to Sewchet for her inspiration in thinking this up and her remarkable organisational skills so we all have wonderful squishy Christmas presents. And there is to be another one in 2018 Sewchet wrote yesterday. What a way to start 2018.

 

 

Knit and Natter Friday

in which I am a complete numpty!

Last Friday evening there was a social event for the library volunteers. Off I toddled with my dips and veggie sticks as my contribution to the shared feast. The main door to the library was closed as it was after hours , so down the dark side alley to the back door I went. This is a bit spooky I thought , starting to compose a detective story involving muggings and dark alleys in my head whilst hurrying on to get into the warmth.

Next thing I know my feet have a mind of their own, I am grabbing for the hedge to catch myself and then wallop my face appears to be on the pavement. I sheepishly pick myself up and take myself into the ladies at the library, couple of grazes to the face which I wash and relief floods through me as I see number one best trousers appear unscathed. I emerge rather Bridget Jones like to the gathering and begin socializing with what I hope is the amusing anecdote of my misadventure. You know says Lorraine my co volunteer your forehead is beginning to swell. A little later Sue informs me I shall have a black eye by tomorrow.

Well of course they were both right, and Saturday morning was spent in A&E whilst I was checked out. A waiting room is conducive to the most incredible conversations. The chap opposite wanted told me about his operation on his prostrate, as he said not enough men talk about their prostrates.

All the world passes through A&E you know. I was very touched by a professional carer who was there with an elderly lady, she was so gentle with her and held her hand and stroked her head and talked softly and reassuringly with her while they went in and out of cubicles and back again.

One elderly lady told us that she had survived Lung Cancer and now she was Eighty. In part she attributed it to the fresh coastal air and the lovely people in the town.

So the two and a half hours passed quite quickly really. And I was pronounced ok too. But oh boy do I have a right good black eye. Only it’s the left one.

And the moral of the story is, when walking down dark alleys watch where you are putting your feet and do not spend the time pretending to be Agatha Christie. Although the dark alley would make rather a good location…

Enough. Let’s have some knitting, which is why you are here.

So we have the super cute baby flower grab toy. See the cabling. I groaned when I saw it, but it was done in a trice, well two evenings, turns out I can manage 14 stitches and two repeats of cabling without getting myself in a tizwaz. And the other side looks like this,

Bobbles! I can do bobbles too and not get lost on seven stitches. I shall just have to knit patterns in long thin strips. What next you ask, well I did ask for something yarn related for Christmas and I did happen to notice a squishy parcel arrive which wasn’t opened by Mr E on arrival. Maybe , maybe something for me…. In the meantime this came for me

Secret Santa came, I have not opened it, I am sitting here just loving the box, a Christmas box, I never saw a Christmas box, my cup is over flowing already. Oh the treasures I can keep in it.

I posted off my Secret Santa too , I so hope it has arrived safe and sound. I can actually feel a bubble of excitement just looking at that box. A huge big thank to Sheila for organising this.

Are you busy cooking, or baking, I am baking, it’s so good to have the time to make homemade deliciousness.

Mr E requested homemade peanut butter biscuits. He even found the recipe on the internet. The mix made 58  biscuits. Fifty Eight! He says he shall eat them all. I think the words greedy wotsit might be appropriate.

I am off to bake some ginger chocolate coated Florentine biscuits now, much more to my taste.

So my lovely friends I wish you a very Happy Christmas, may the family not squabble, the dinner be perfect, your dreams come true, your parcels be squishy, your efforts be appreciated  and the tree remain upright.

Be happy,

Cathyx

 

 

Scrap Happy, Knit and Natter Friday.

Kate hosts the Scrap Happy Posts on the 15 th of the month, and as my knitting/ crochet this week has only used leftover yarn I thought I would share the link with everyone.

I am still knitting the baby toy. It will be finished before Christmas

It will be a flower grab toy!  I have to concentrate on the increases and decreases and the pattern and after three petals my brain seems to melt down, so I have been adding some crochet squares for the Repair Cafe blanket which was making slow progress when I only did at the cafe sessions.

I could see my natural tendency to stick to the same tonal range of colours was rearing its head again so added in some red which should liven it up a bit if it doesn’t completely wreck it.

Meantime while the rest of UK had snow we didn’t, which is just as well since we had a great big hole in the wall on Monday while the new door was fitted.

So much warmer now.

The Boxing Day Chutney was made on Friday, rather a lot of it. I wrote out 27 labels, but the jars are small. Here’s a link to the recipe.

Sorry about the picture , but you can see how pretty and pink it is. Just make half quantities!

Mr B came and sorted out his belongings. The dustbin is full. The shredding bin is full. I have been to the recycling centre, what else can you do with video tapes, and on Wednesday took 7 boxes of teenage paraphernalia to the charity shop. I have four bin bags of teenage t-shirts etc also to go to a charity shop, and for our pains we have a few empty shelves in a wardrobe and a bit of space on a bookcase. Not certain how he crammed all the stuff in.

Meantime I had a happy package in the post from the lovely Claire. Thank you so much Claire, so very kind of you.

Meantime thank you all so much for your kind words re Mr E, the medical appointments continue, but so far so good.

Today will be a day of little jobs about the house, bed linen changing, washing, a bit of shopping and so on.

One of the favourite things I undertake at this time of year is choosing the photos for our calendar and the ones which will go into our photo albums. It reminds me of all the happy times we had, from the big events of holidays and weddings to the lovely walks we took. My calender arrived this week and a big mountain of photos, so my happy task this weekend is to put the pictures into albums, I have separate ones for all the grandchildren, so that one day I will be able to give them an album of their childhoods. I love being able to look back on the year and recall the good times.

Hoping that amongst the business of this time of year you too have time to reflective  too.

Have a great week and Be Happy

Cathyx

 

Knit and Natter Friday.

I have had a busy week as we run up towards Christmas. The visit to Wales was lovely, so nice to have someone coooking for me, and my brother is an excellent cook. We visited Mum and she was in good spirits. Mum has Alzheimer’s, and we went on one of her better more lucid days. She knew we were her children and was able to tell us that she loved us very much. I think this will help us no end in the future, as she had become very bad-tempered with us as her health deteriorated. A happy memory to treasure.

The French Windows have been rescheduled a total of four times  now. Currently due for installation 8.30 on Monday. Humph!

Mr E is under the weather, we have  few medical appointments lined up for him, please keep us in your prayers.

Mr B and Ms G should be with us tomorrow for the all important de clutter!

I met with June and using the appointment numbers we had dished out at the repair cafes had a little draw for a prize, namely a £20 voucher for a meal at the Penny Bank Cafe in Kirkbymoorside, here being drawn by Phil the proprieter , and ably assisted by your truly. I don’t often appear on my own blog. Picture by June.

I have finished the secret santa knitting with the pink hat and an owl shaped lavender bag, made from the leftover wool from my Dartmoor lamb.

Soon have that ready to post.

Now on the needle I have a baby toy.

A last-minute Christmas gift for this little chap, here sporting his Nana made blanket, picture by his Dad Mr J.

Hard to believe he’s only 7 weeks, quite a bruiser!

So, time for me to press on, I have some Boxing Day Chutney to make. Turns out it is a Kirstie recipe. I think you know you have arrived when you just need a first name for people to know who you are.. Nigella or Delia for example.  For non UK readers that is Kirstie Allsop who is  a property guru come crafty type TV person, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith are TV chefs.

Anyway, enough chatter from me, over to you. If this is your first visit then please just jump into the comments, feel free to chat amongst your selves while I stir the cranberries, and get on with some knitting.

Have a great weekend and

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

 

 

 

Knit and Natter Friday!

We had snow yesterday.

Not a lot, but enough to keep me indoors, in my “office” reading and knitting.  The  Secret Santa knitting is going well.

Gloves are done, a bit plain in this picture but do not fret , I have added some pretties, however the first person to see them will be the lady who has been a good girl and deserves a nice squishy Christmas present.

Tell me how dense can partners be? I received a catalogue from The RSPB this week, full of goodies to do with birds. OH LOOK , I said thrusting it towards husband. They do a book of Knitted birds, how lovely is that, I would love a copy.

Three days later. Mr E says, ” Have you had any ideas for something you would like for Christmas?” Some days I realise I am just making noises and talking to myself.

Not only did we have snow but I am also full of a cold right now, and so hoping I will be well enough for the four and half hour drive to Wales to see my Mum and brother tomorrow. I am leaving Mr E in charge of the house, I have scheduled Tuesday for fettling said house on my return.

The crochet blanket has taken a bit of a back seat this week, as I am half way through knitting a matching hat to go with the gloves. Once again thanks for everyone’s help with the blanket project. It shall be done this year.

This Year- how quick did that vanish?

Meantime  the lovely Kate had a giveaway and this came through the post, thank you Kate,

Two lovely pieces of fabric. I must not just look at them and save them for a rainy day. I must make something with them, maybe cloakroom curtains or a cushion or a bag for my beach towel and paraphernalia. At the moment they are adorning a chair so I can look at them. Any ideas? Part of me does not want to cut them, but that is just silly.

The new French Windows should have been put in yesterday but this was put back to Wednesday next week. Oh life  has such a way of throwing plans out of the window. Tis only a door though, and worse things have happened, especially as it would have been very chilly with the snow and all that.

Meantime Nephew and Wife are expecting baby number 2 in June. Whoopee, more yarn required! 2018 will be ok.

Hope you all have a great weekend, please do share your plans, especially seasonal plans, above all

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

 

Knit and Natter Friday!

Two trips to the theatre in the last week, both were very enjoyable. Turns out plays are just like buses. That will be it for months.

Jill at Nice Piece of work wrote a lovely post this week in which she said it was good to be thankful but it was beneficial to have something to look forward too. And she is so right. If you are having a tough day/week/month/year(s) as I have had in the past, (fortunately I am enjoying a quiet year worry wise in 2017 )then it really helps to focus on something to look forward too.

Christmas is nearly upon us, no good kidding myself that I am going to knit three jumpers, 10 scarves and an elephant in time to post them ( wasn’t actually but artistic licence and all that). Christmas for many of us is a joyous occasion, but bad things happen at Christmas, I have done hospital visiting on Christmas day, so I speak from experience, and there are our memories of people and Christmases past too. So I reckon having something to look forward too is a jolly good idea.

So have you something to look forward to? I am off at the start of December to stay with my brother and visit my Mum in Wales. The weekend after that young Mr B and Ms G his partner are coming up to and DRUM ROLL, clear out his bedroom which he has not slept in for nigh on 10 years. I don’t mind things going in the loft or having to take stuff to the charity shop , but it’s time t-shirts I bought him aged 15 went! And Buzz Lightyear, and cds of Marilyn Manson, and replica football kits going back to the first when he was 7. I have been very, very patient over this. I now have stuff from Mum’s house and my Dads and my FILs and I am in danger of looking like a mad hoarding type of person. There is stuff everywhere.

Jan at the Snail of Happiness wrote an equally interesting post about someone who had pared his belongings down to 111 things. He said he didn’t have a storage unit, but I noted he said nothing about his parents house and his old bedroom.

It’s terribly hard to move your children out. Part of me loves having his things occupying one bedroom, but part of me thinks it’s time he dealt with the stuff. My Mum had no such problems with me, when we got married and started to buy our first home, age 21, she just packed up all my belongings and put them on a removal van.

What finally prompted Mr B to come was when I told him we would be bringing a load of stuff down to him, he doesn’t want that!

Enough!

The Contented Crafter explained to me brilliantly in the comments last week why I was having such problems with the crochet blanket. I have copied it  here for you

I really like the centre square of your blanket. I like the buttermilk on the white background much more than when you team it with the orange – I think the orange is my least favourite colour here. Do you see how the colours become brighter when paired with the white, but when placed together they tend to become dull and heavy? It’s because they are all the same tone weight – which means there’s no light and shade to lift and move the eye across the pattern. Having lighter colours beside deeper shades makes it more interesting for our eyes. The orange, green and mustard are your same tone colours. Change any one of those up with a lighter brighter version of the same colour and magic will happen – or just insert a row of white between those colours and see what happens….. Or you could just choose your favourite colour and make the final squares and edge it all up in that same colour.

She is so right!

So now I have orange (Stylecraft call it Spice) and Cream together to brighten up the green, and mustard and grey with the Marigold block to dampen it down a bit. After that I will just do a DC border in the various yarns. Never before has a blanket caused so much hassle. Thanks to everyone for you help and support. In future I will think about colour and tone! Now all I have to do is crochet 14 blocks of each square.

Meantime Secret Santa has been hard at work.

A stocking for the Good Girl, and

one of Bekki’s Santa Sacks to go in it, which will be filled with all manner of good things. I went to a rather nice yarn store on Tuesday to buy some rather nice yarn and a pattern, Ohoh I blew the whole budget there, no matter, it’s quality not quantity for this lady. And you will never guess what, but some more rather nice cotton yarn for a rather nice bag just happened to fall into my shopping basket. I think the Gremlin that normally lives in the computer on yarn websites had come with me.

Seriously I think I might have yarn buying problem. Is there a self help group for me I wonder.

Knitting you ask? Well Secret Santa has been knitting some gloves.

I am taking rather a lot of care with these!

I have a quiet weekend in front of me. If it stops raining there are still jobs outside to be done, but other than that I foresee some yarn related activities on the horizon.

What about you, anything you are really looking forward to , some lovely things on your weekend agenda maybe, please join in I love to chat on Fridays.

Be happy,

Cathyx

 

Knit and Natter Friday.

We put the clocks back on Saturday/Sunday. I don’t like drawing the curtains at 5 pm ready for the night, thoughts of the dark days still to come. It was still quite dark at 7 am this morning, so hard to see what is gained by all this clock changing.

We had one of those conversations you have. It occurred to me that unless I had been taught at school that the earth went round the sun I would never have questioned the sun going round the earth. I wouldn’t have worked out that the earth isn’t flat, I am not even sure I would have thought about gravity. I asked Mr E would he, and he is a bit of a scientist, and he reckoned that he wouldn’t. Would you? I no longer feel the same incredulity towards our ancestors. I am no cleverer than they were, and possibly a great deal more ignorant, having none of the acquired wisdom say on plants and medicine.

Enough. Each year I think I will treat myself to a magazine on Christmas crafts. I begin by seeing what I have already and realising in some cases I have not made a single thing from previous issues. It’s the same again this year.

Hmm, more than enough to keep me going between now and the last posting date, and they don’t include projects yet to be decided for my Secret Santa. Can’t wait to see who I am drawn.

I mentioned in my last post I had a birthday. Bit of a big one, let’s just say that my private pension has finally started to cough up. Would you believe that they took off income tax pending having my tax code. Income tax? Chance would be a fine thing!

Anyway I had a lovely family meal, having departed from London to Swindon, with the rest of my family. It was Greek and wonderful.

L-R. Little Miss F, Ms G, Mr B, Master T, Miss J, Mr T, moi,and Mr E. Picture by my lovely DIL Mrs T.

And CAKE

I had help with the candles. Can you guess from whom?

Thanks for everyone’s thoughts on my crochet blanket last week.

That’s how it looks this morning. Loose concentration on those marigold blocks at your peril, the amount of frogging has been unbelievable.

I need one more block design to go round the outside. I was thinking something orangey. What do you think? The yellowy block I was toying with last week has gone.

All designs from the 200 crochet block book.

Meantime there has been progress on the matinée jacket.

On the second sleeve now. I may have a finish next week. I need a finish to begin the Christmas knitting, which once again I suspect I have left too late.

Right, I am off to have my haircut this morning. I found a split end on Tuesday. I haven’t had a split end for years. Time for a trim for sure.

This afternoon I have a friend coming round, which is jolly nice, but it’s valuable knitting time. She doesn’t knit. Would it be rude to knit while she is here? Inclination is that I have to bite the bullet and not knit, but it’s a tough one.

Have a great weekend. Look forward to all the natter. I do love these Friday chats, you help keep me real.

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

 

 

 

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