Monday, December 31, 2007

Dead Computer

Hello and Happy New Year to you all!

It is with great sadness that I have to report that my computer has died again - and this time I think it's really had it. A new one is being ordered as we speak - clever brother is trying to sort it all out. You all know how useless I am on this infernal machine, so I don't know how long it will be before I get the new one all set up. I have a little man all ready lined up to come and help me, so fear not, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

It is giving me chance to knit though - Tipsy is not quite finished, but I will be wearing her later on tonight, just the sewing up left to do. Blanket number 2 is coming along (mum is helping to make the border this time) and I've managed another 'square' of Lizard Ridge.

Oh. Update here. I'm writing this post at my neighbour's house and my husband has just phoned to say that the computer is working. The broken computer. The one that has died. Drat this technology business. It's frustrating isn't it. And how typical is it that my husband, who only knows how to turn the computer on and play cards,manages to get the darn thing working. ARGHHHHH!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What day is it?

I think it's Thursday isn't it? I get so confused at this time of year. I mean I know it's the 27th but is it Thursday? Wednesday? Tuesday? Just incase it is Tuesday and I've got it all wrong here's a picture of Tipsy for 'Tipsy Maybe Tuesday'. She is very nearly done, hoping to wear her on New Year's Eve. But there is one teeny setback. I don't have a 2.25 mm circular needle. Have got to cast on hundreds of stitches for the border and my little straight needle just won't cope. I can't believe I've got this far and am now falling at the last post! We have 1 shop in March that sells needles, so I'm really hoping they come up trumps for me...

Did you all have a good Christmas? I had a very nice time. Ate, knitted, slept. What more could a girl ask for?

Oh, has anyone else out there been to see Enchanted? I read the reviews in the paper and the critics seemed to love it. The trailers on the tv looked very funny, so we decided to go and watch it. It was rubbish. It was very nearly as rubbish as Shark Tale (our only other major cinema disaster). Do not waste your money people - we nearly walked out after 20 minutes to see if we could sneak into one of the other screens to watch something else. It was that bad. But am I wrong? Did you like it?

And last but by no means least - Happy Birthday to my Mum. She has been very poorly over Christmas (flu) but is slowly on the mend, having given all her germs to dad. According to mum, this is the very worst day for a birthday. Everyone clears up today, the sales all start, the rubbish gets sorted and we go back to the same old tv programmes. So we are all going over to cheer her up today - just what she needs to speed up the recovery don't you think? A daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren who are noisy mud-magnets. But at least we're taking lunch (trifle for pudding too which always goes down a treat!)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Over here at the Stash Basket, as we are all recovering from the inevitable pre-Christmas dose of the dreaded sickness bug, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It has been a special year for many of my friends who now have bigger families than this time last year (hello Evie, Sammy, Trinity, Isabel and of course our very own new baby Bartholomew Archibald Bunny).

Here we have made squares, blankets, scarves, gloves, jumpers and cardigans. We have failed in our attempts to get Tipsy finished in time to wear on Christmas Day. OK, enough of the Royal 'WE'. I have failed. Miserably. There is loads left to do, but maybe sometime in the New Year you might see a finished picture. Oh ever the optimist...

So whatever you are doing this Christmas and New Year, whatever your beliefs, wherever you are, may your festive season hold nothing but happiness and fun. Let your New Year sparkle with excitement and let it be a very happy and healthy one for us all.

Thank-you for sticking with me and for joining me if you're new-comers. See you again in 2008 - if not before...


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Blanket has been won!

Drum roll please everyone - the blanket has been won by Elizabeth Durand.

Elizabeth was one of the first people to buy any raffle tickets (I know that because she has white ticket number 64, the first book I bought was white). Congratulations Elizabeth, I hope you enjoy your blanket. (In all honesty I am gutted I didn't win, all that i-cord and I'm giving it away!!!!!)

I have your address, but if you'd like to e-mail me just to confirm, it might be a good idea. I shall post it to America after Christmas. Once I've had chance to save up for the postage (why couldn't I have found one of the few UK tickets in the Big Bag Of Tickets?)

I'm having a rest from blankets for now, but at the rate Kathryn's mum is knitting, I might even have 2 blankets to raffle in the New Year. For all of us unlucky enough to not win, don't despair, undrawn tickets stay in the big bag until all prizes are used up.

And the winners are...

The winners of yesterday's mini raffle draw are:-

M Webb
Karen R
Terasa Perkins
Clara Dorsch

Tune in later to see who's won the First Blanket (if I can bear to part with it!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More prizes

I can't wait to draw some more raffle prizes, so here are some that I'll be giving away later on tonight. First some Regia Bamboo sock yarn which I bought in the summer full of good intentions to knit a lovely pair of soft squishy socks. But I'll let one of you have it instead. Cos I'm nice like that!

Next up is some recycled sari silk donated by the ever marvelous Kerrie at Hipknits (sorry, the link thing isn't playing the game today)

.. and some beautiful thick and thin wooly stuff again from Kerrie. Sorry for the lack of technical terms here, I seem to think it's blue faced leicester, but am not entirely sure.

And last of all is a big shawl that I've made using my favourite colour of the moment. It's made with silk, cashmere, mohair, cotton and 'wool' wool.

So do you fancy winning any of these? I will probably wait until after Christmas to post them, would hate any of them to get lost in the madness of the Christmas rush, but I really want to start pulling names out of the hat! Ticket sales have gone bonkers since I posted the picture yesterday of the blanket.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Blanket Number 1

We have a border of i-cord using Posh Yarn's Emily. That's a border of 4 stitch i-cord, a whole 1,250 rows of it. A drag while it's going on, but oh so worth the finished result!

We have mitred squares (that one was mine!), lacy squares, knitted squares and crochet squares. Plain squares and stripey squares. Square squares and rectangular squares (although you'd never tell unless you turned it over).

Squares of silk, cashmere, cotton, pure new wool and alpaca (and one or two 'man-made-fibres'). Lace-weight, sock-weight, double knit and even - dare I say this - dishcloth cotton!!!

And here it is in all its glory. Blanket number 1 is now complete and ready to be raffled off. I shall pull the name out of the bag on Wednesday to give you chance to buy another ticket, but until then, I might just see if I can find another few prizes to tempt you. Thank-you so much to you all for helping in this. I love this blanket and will be very sorry to see it go.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Kitchen

So here it is - what do you think? This top picture is taken from the back door looking towards the oven, fridge (cleverly disguised as a cupboard) and breakfast bar. The bottom one is taken from the dining room door looking towards the microwave and my fantastic gas hob and extractor fan.

My mum and dad have been over today helping do some finishing touches - Dad has decorated and mum has done all my ironing. Love my parents! There are a few bits still left to do and the kitchen fitters are coming back to sort them out next week, but on the whole it is now finished. And I love my new kitchen!

The fitters even sent me a big bouquet of flowers today to say they hope I like my kitchen. Like it? You bet Mr Kitchen Man. Now I have no excuse to sit and knit, I must get on and do some serious baking ready for Christmas.

But first I have a blanket to finish. Soon, people, oh very soon now...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can you spot your squares?

Here is blanket number 2 all ready and waiting! 167 squares sofar, but if more turn up, the blanket will be bigger. I promise to use every one sent. I know that I haven't shown you number 1 yet, but be patient my friends - I'm trying as hard as I can!

This week has been crazy to say the least (and oh dear it's only Wednesday!) School plays, tiling, broken printer, Christmas Cards, grumpy husband, oh it's all happening chez Stash Basket.

I still can't figure out what's happened to Blogger - is anyone else having trouble uploading pictures? Why have they disappeared from the 'create' page but miraculously turn up on the blog page? This is all too much for me on top of everything else.

Still no pictures of the kitchen I'm afraid as it's still not done - the tiler will be here all week doing the walls and floors. Today we are in an even worse mess than ever as the dishwasher, washing machine and freezer have all moved from the laundry room to the kitchen while he does the floor out there. I can't even get to the fridge anymore to find the milk for a cup of tea. Oh dear. What a shame. Looks like being Cointreau today. Two weeks ago I was nearly teetotal. This week I'm clearing the drinks cupboard at quite a rate. Still, it's nearly Christmas isn't it?

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm back!

So my brother was right - I'm back! Many thanks to him for standing in for me (incidentally, my family have always called me Kylie, not sure why, they just have. I do not resemble Ms Minogue in any way shape or form. Except in my dreams!)

No pictures of the kitchen just yet I'm afraid. It looks a whole lot better, but the tiler is coming today so hopefully there'll be some better views tomorrow.

Just a couple of pictures of some squares today. This top one is very blurred - it's early and there's no natural light so I'm blaming that. This is the i-cord edging that I'm doing and it's taking FOREVER, but will be worth it in the end. Sadly it means that Tipsy is on hold for some time - the Christmas deadline has been thrown out of the window. Not a chance of wearing it on the 25th. Perhaps I'll wear the blanket instead!

This little square has been sent by Arianne. She enclosed a note saying 'please have this square, it's not very good'. Arianne, modesty prevails. Your little square is beautiful and your mitring fantastic. Thank-you. Any more 'not very good' ones will be very welcome!!!!!!!

I have a big bag of squares ready to sew up into blanket number 2. Any that you have, please post them to either me or Kerrie asap and I can start sewing up all over again!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm off line for a while :-(

Dear People.

Have I mentioned my wonderful brother to you all? No ... well, let me put the record straight right now!

He's charming, whitty, very intelligent and quite the best person ever, anyway, enough of my wonderful brother why am I posting this ...

My Puter has broken :-(( its gone bang and I will not be around for a while (as long as it takes the little man to replace the fuse I imagine). So, please in my time of silence rest a little because in the words of the great Arnie ... I'll be back!!!!

Emma, please phone me ... I'd phone you but I don't have your number!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A view of the kitchen from the other side this time. Units are starting to be put into place. We might even have an oven by the end of the week! No Monkee Maker, no stainless steel for me - far too clinical. Our house is over 200 years old, I really didn't want to go all modern in there. Mind you, the oven is going to be pretty modern and I don't think they had microwaves 200 years ago, nor fridges or spot lights, but I have to relinquish myself to the 21st century at some time!

No raffle prize today, but the winner from yesterday is Teri Gaudet. Just as soon as I can get to a post office, I'll put your silk in an envelope Teri. You lucky lucky person!

The blanket is coming along slowly because stupid me decided to do an i-cord border. I like doing i-cord and thought it would be a good idea at the time. Ah well, at least it will look good!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tell me it will be worth it...

This is my kitchen at the moment. Excuse me while I just lie down in a dark room and cry will you. I am a cook. I cook. I practically live in my kitchen. What on earth will I do for the next 2 weeks? The wind farms round here will be going nuts over the next fortnight, as we'll be living off beans on toast until I can get to a cooker! I must convince myself this is all for the greater good. But it's very hard looking around at the mess and the dust. Oh, and as I wanted the oven moving, to be able to sort out the electrics, they've had to pull up our bedroom floor.

Gin. Need gin. Or chocolate. Or both....

So I will remain calm and think about the raffles taking place this week. Well, some of them will be taking place. You'll have to check back on a daily basis to see if I'm being nice or not!

This prize has been donated by the ever marvellous Kerrie. 500g (I think, my scales are lost somewhere in the rubble) of aran weight silk. It is beautiful, a very pretty smokey grey. Yes I know it looks blue, but trust me, with all this chaos here today, you're lucky to see anything!

And once again Blogger is mucking me about. I've uploaded photos, but instead of seeing them on the 'create post' page, all I've got is rows of letters and numbers. And I can't provide a link either. Arghh! Frustrated. Noisy. Dusty.

No gin left. Or chocolate.

Brandy anyone?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another cake

This really is the last cake before Christmas! No, I really mean it this time! I had a 'spare' Christmas Cake ready to be iced, so thought I ought to get it done. But as it was spare, I didn't know quite what to do with it. Naturally I would have sent it to you Clara, but with the post being what it is, I just didn't trust it. And then I thought of you, Monkee Maker but then saw the dreadful cruelty that seems to be going on at your house lately and thought again.

Eventually after much thought I have decided to take it to school (where I work for those of you who haven't read my profile) and offer it as a raffle prize. My work colleagues haven't been very forthcoming as regards the blanket raffles, so let's see what cake will do for them. The response was pretty good when I casually mentioned my idea earlier on today (oops, yesterday - it's now half past midnight).

So we shall see shan't we.

The American Blanket is coming along very well. Kay now has over 500 squares! Good luck sewing them all up! I can't wait to see it - it will be huge. Our Blanket Number 1 had 150 squares in and seemed big enough to me, but this one will keep lots of people snuggly warm! Oh how I wish it was heading my way! For your chance to win any of the blankets, go to Emma's blog and donate on Oliver's Fund.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just a quick one

I've just Googled 'Oliver's Blanket' to see what came up. And I'm astounded, gob-smacked, speechless. Not only am I at the very top of the pile, but there are loads of people who have blogged about this. People who I've never even heard of (and plenty who I have heard of as well).

Thank-you all so much!
The blankets will be wonderful. The American one looks like it's going to be Kaffe inspired, which has left me very excited. For the chance to win this beauty, please donate some money to Oliver's Fund. We have sold over 600 tickets so far - even buying just one ticket will help to buy Oliver's new Flip Flop Blue wheel chair. I'm very happy that this simple idea has taken off so well. I bow down to your generosity.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A growth spurt

Well I've just about managed it - one block of Fair Isle a day. I have been determined - to the extent that twice I was up knitting at 5.30am. Not far to go until the armhole shaping so hopefully the rows should just zip along then!
A brief update on the squares situation. More keep coming in! Yippee! Blanket number 2 could well turn into blanket number 3 as well, thanks in no uncertain terms to Kathryn's mum who is merrily knitting her way through a knitters stitch dictionary. She's done even more than you have Emma! Thank-you Mrs H!
But thank-you everyone else too, it really is so much appreciated. The original dead line was set to the end of October. Then it was moved to the end of November, but if you want to keep knitting over Christmas, then I'm quite happy to sew the squares together in the new year. This is actually quite good fun! Bring them on people! The first draw for Blanket Number 1 will take place next week sometime - just as soon as I pick it up from Kerrie - so if you haven't yet bought a ticket or 2, now is the time to do so! Quickest and easiest way is to paypal on Emma's blog.
We have now raised over £550. I'm thrilled! And I've also had to buy a second book of raffle tickets!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


The great thing about living in the Fens is the sky. Just look at this sunrise - the colours actually haven't come out as strong. The area that looks white was really deep turquoise. It has put me in a calm mood for the onslaught of today.

The man has come to fix the damp problem in our kitchen. All the kitchen units are outside and all the stuff from inside the units is in our dining room. It is chaos to say the very least.

He is using a big circular saw to slice through the 200+ year old walls to insert a waterproof layer. Or something like that. All I know is that it's very noisy and the dust cloud is as thick as any pea souper from Old London Town. It is quite, quite horrible.

So I must just keep looking at the pictures of the sunrise and think calming thoughts. It will all be beautiful soon. It will all be worth it in the end.

Perhaps I'll go and do some of today's 1500 Tipsy stitches. I didn't do any yesterday, so with my superb maths skills, I make that 3,000 stitches today.

Nervous breakdown approaching.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tipsy Wednesday?

I've had a few enquiries as to the progress of Tipsy. Well here she is. This is the back and I'm now beginning to regret saying that on Christmas Day I would be wearing her. I've worked it out roughly, and I'll need to complete at least one band every day to stand even the remotest chance of finishing. That's on average 10 rows, equivalent to 1,500 ish stitches. I'm not sure if it sounds better or worse like that!

But I'll keep plodding along, grasping every chance I can to knit a stitch! I am a painfully slow knitter!

I am also beginning to realise that I ordered way too much cashmere. WAY too much! There's going to be nearly enough yarn left to knit another Tipsy. Not that I'll do that. Got any ideas what I can do with the 'leftovers'?

And on the subject of ideas, I need help please. One of our members at Knitting Club has now completed her first scarf - it's pale pink. long and is just garter stitch. Very good job she's made of it too! But she's now itching to get her teeth into a proper pattern. She likes the look of my cable and bobble scarf from Debbie Bliss, but I'm not sure if she's quite ready for the 12 row pattern repeat. Got any ideas for something simple, that a very keen 7 year old girl could follow? I had wondered about a feather and fan type scarf that would only involve 4 rows of pattern. Help? Kathryn? Anyone?

Oh and I forgot to say - I'm well on my way to emptying the kitchen cupboards as you can see from the picture. It doesn't always look like Old Mother Hubbard's place!

Some more squares have arrived today. And 3 rectangles! Don't worry, they'll be nipped and tucked and made into 4" squares very soon (just fold over an inch or so!) Kerrie has more squares over at the shop but we still need more, so please keep them coming. Officially you have only 9 days left to get them sent, but if you're a bit late, then I don't mind. I'll be sewing up blanket number 2 over the Christmas Holidays. Because Tipsy WILL be finished by then won't it?

And good news on the raffle ticket front - we have sold over 450 tickets so far. If you would like to buy some tickets, they are £1 or $2US each. Either cash or cheque (payable to Emma Magnago-Prime) or Paypal on Emma's blog . Many thanks to everyone who is joining in with this

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I don't understand...

Sorry Kay, but I have tried to get my e-mail address on the side bar, but seem unable to do it. The link button won't work and when I just type in my address, you can't click on it and go straight to me. I have tried before to do this and hit a brick wall every time. As you all know, I am very useless on the computer, I try my best. Is there anybody out there who can tell me how to do this in very simple terms? Please? My e-mail address is in my profile should anyone care to contact me.

It's at times like this that I feel totally stupid and very frustrated. Think I'll just stick to knitting in future, and decorating cakes.

This cake is going to be my last for some time now. The kitchen is being ripped out soon, so I won't even be able to make tea let alone cakes!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

More Penguins and a blanket

Here we have another Christmas Cake - sorry Monkee Maker, but this one isn't coming your way either. If you lived a bit nearer and wanted to collect one though, it would, of course, be a dfferent matter. Don't fancy putting one of these cakes in the post. How would I wrap it up? Does anyone have any idea how to send things like this, or would I just have to rely on personal collection? Having seen the damage a small boy can do to a cake, I dread to think how Royal Mail would fare!

I treated myself to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the other day (it was on offer in Sainsbury's). I hadn't seen it at the cinema and had been eagerly awaiting its release. Well I wasn't disappointed. I love everything Harry Potterish and am pretty much word perfect on all the films. That's what comes of staying in the kitchen for hours on end decorating cakes. (Incidentally, I often listen to them but don't watch them all that often!)
Anyway all I can say is that Allison Hansel has now got ample opportunity to make Charmed Knits II. There is so much in the way of hand-knits in the film that I got all inspired just watching it. That grey jumper with the stripes on that Hermione wears is gorgeous, and all those scarves and other jumpers too... but look what's on Hary's bed... I know it's a rubbish photo, but you can just make it out.
Harry has got a blanket made of knitted squares. Blankets made of knit are now obviously very cool. The whole world must want one. Now how long will it take to knit one? Ooh ages and ages. Unless of course you happen to enter the raffle for Oliver's blanket and win it! It's only £1 a ticket (go here to Paypal to Oliver's Fund) We still need more squares for blanket number 2, so please continue knitting 4" squares. Please! I'm asking nicely here!
As to the Friends Reunited man, good idea Marianne, I did google him. All I can find is that in 2003 he left his job as a Leisure Centre manager as he was called up as an Army Reservist. I've e-mailed the leisure centre but have yet to hear from them. I really want to know if he still has his moustache and bushy 1980's hair!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


This is Kerrie's Christmas cake before Cameron fell asleep on it! Many of you may have already seen the 'after' shot! As you can see, even the penguins are knitting squares - please don't stop knitting, we still want more! (Incidentally, I'm having to be super-organised with Christmas cakes this year as we're getting a new kitchen in a few weeks and I won't be able to do anything in there for ages. Stupid time to get your kitchen ripped out. Hopefully I'll manage Christmas dinner.)
Now I need some advice please. I've already had one opinion on this matter, but feel I need a vote, so it's over to you, people in Blogland, I trust your judgement.
A couple of days ago I received a message from Friends Reunited to say that someone had left me a message. This someone is a man who I knew in school, and who I fancied like crazy. Well, no I didn't, but he was the first person ever to send me flowers Interflora (an arrangement of freesias) so I had a soft spot for him shall we say. Anyway, he wants to know what I'm doing now, and as my membership has expired with FR, I have to pay £7.50 for the honour of telling him what a fantastic person I am. So do I reply or do I not reply?
Anybody else ever got back in touch with any long lost friends? Strangely enough, I only ever sent messages to men on FR - and they all replied!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tipsy Tuesday

Progress at last! Here's a picture of Tipsy so far. The colours all seem to clash a bit here, but in real life, they honestly don't. Perhaps it's the fact that she's laid out on my bright red carpet! I checked the tension at the very start and it was all ok, so I knitted the size that came out as 41". But my Tipsy is now 44" - ooh goody, room to eat a few more chocolates (note to Monkee Maker - made some Hedgehog yesterday and poured melted crunchie chocolate on top. You would like it, but sadly it's all gone. Pigs at our house)
Going back to Tipsy, I am so very glad that I weave all the ends in as I go (she says very smugly!) as there's no way I'd want to tackle this lot. There's got to be at least 5 million of the things!
I think I might use some of the left over yarn to make some squares for Oliver's Second Blanket. Pure Cashmere. Nice and soft. Do you want to win the second blanket? Aspects of cashmere will be in it. If so, pop over to see Emma and donate some money to Oliver's fund. All done with the click of a button. Quick. Easy. Painless.

Monday, November 12, 2007

First blanket

Well can you see your square here? Kerrie and I spent ages sewing them together on Saturday and this is the result so far. I'm hopeless with a crochet hook so Kerrie very stoically offered to crochet a border for me. Bet you're regretting that rash promise now eh?!
It's going to be backed and bordered and will then be raffled off for some lucky person to win. Would you like it? I know I would. Tickets are priced at a mere £1 or $2US - send cash or Cheque (payable to Emma Magnago Prime) or Paypal via Emma's blog . All money will go towards Oliver's new wheel chair. Whoever wins this fabulous blanket won't even have to pay postage. I will pay that for you, so for just £1 you could be nice and warm this Christmas....
We still need more squares! Just because this blanket is finished doesn't mean that the dead line is over. You have 3 weeks left! We need more! The hope is to make another blanket to raffle in the New Year - all tickets will remain in the hat until such time as there are no more prizes left. And on the subject of prizes, I'll be delving into the Stash Basket to offer something else up. Anyone else out there feel like donating a raffle prize? Not that I want to pressurise any of you, I hate scrounging, but it is all for a good cause.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


After much speculation, Saturday was THE DAY! This is a picture of the tree strapped up ready to be felled. That's our house - our bedroom being the top right window.

Here's the very nice tree man with his very big saw (he actually had about 6 very big saws!). We all got very nervous at one stage when the straps pinged and the tree wobbled the wrong way, but we need not have worried. The very nice man knew his stuff and it fell exactly where he predicted. Big sigh of relief all round!

It was actually quite sad to see it go. It must have been very old and it seemed such an undignified way to go. But it was dead. Very.

Thank-you very nice tree man with the very big saw. You were wonderful!

Soon after all this excitement, Kerrie came round to help sew up the first blanket. Note that I say 'First Blanket' - I'm planning on doing at least one more, so please keep on knitting squares for me. The deadline remains as the end of November, but you can still buy raffle tickets a week after this. So far we have sold over 250 tickets, great news, but more would be nice. Will post pictures of the blanket tomorrow when Kerrie sends them to me - she's very kindly offered to back it and crochet a border. I'm very eager to see it, so hurry up Kerrie, get the little hook working fast!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Poorly Computer

This blinking machine keeps freezing on me and the only thing I can do is turn it off at the wall which I've heard isn't good for it. So it's proper poorly - must be quick before it goes again!

Squares and money are literally pouring in now - thanks in no uncertain terms to Kay at Mason Dixon. She has volunteered to make an American version of Oliver's blanket. I am in awe - I want to win that one! Sight unseen! Oh to own something by one of the goddesses of knitting. Would anybody mind if I won?

You would? Oh very well then, I'll do a proper draw and won't cheat! I'll let you know at the weekend exactly how it's all going - amount raised and number of squares received. You might even get a picture of the blanket sewn up! If Kerrie and I get a move on

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tipsy Monkees

OK, OK, so it's Tipsy Tuesday. But progress has been so very slow (again - Christmas is not looking likely at this rate!) that Tipsy just has a little look in at the back.

But look at this bag! Vera has, of course, adopted it, as it holds an image of her heart throb 007.

It is lined with lovely flowery fabric, has a pocket which once upon a time held some chocolates and is hand-made by the ever talented (and ever so slightly insane) Monkee Maker. It is now my new knitting bag for Lizard Ridge (that's my school and football knitting). Not only do I embarrass my children by knitting at their football matches, I now have a monkee bag to embarrass them in style! It's my turn to supply the half-time oranges this weekend. If they think they're getting oranges with all this monkee business going on, they can think again. It's bananas all the way boys!

More squares have arrived, and more ticket money has arrived too. Many thanks to everyone joining in this project! It's not too late if you still fancy knitting me some 4" squares, or sending me more money for tickets!

What is going on with the blogger spacing lately? Yesterday it wouldn't do double spacing and today it will only do triple spacing. It is so frustrating being a technological pea brain.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Two more cakes

This one is for our school caretaker who retired last week. (I don't know what she's going to do with it as she's diabetic and doesn't eat cake, it was cut at the party but not sliced, so nobody got to eat any!)

And this one is for a friend's dad who apparently likes computers, making model aeroplanes and model boats.
The squares are now arriving thick and fast for the blanket - thank-you all!
Just a quick reminder about the finer points-
- 4" square in knit or crochet using sock-weight yarn
- any colour, any pattern
- deadline for squares is at the end of november though if you're a bit late, never mind
- send completed squares to address on the side bar
- raffle tickets are £1 each - cheques made out to Emma Magnago-Prime or paypal to Oliver's fund using Emma's blog
- ends woven in or left loose - I don't mind either way.
It's looking good so far. You will want this, I know you will!
Oh, and by the way, the tree is still not down, we have yet another date though of this Saturday at 9am.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Oliver's Blanket

Well here are the squares that I've received so far. Don't panic if yours are not amongst this mini-blanket, Kerrie has lots ready and waiting to bring over next weekend. We're planning on sewing them all together then, so if you have any to send, please try and get them sent asap. We will of course be still collecting them until the end of November (and beyond if you want) ready to sew up into blanket number 2, so no need to panic!
These squares have just been laid out on my dining room floor, so any particular design (I really hope you were joking there Emma!) is not yet set in stone. I like the randomness of patchwork blankets though, not really a fan of all things ordered and tidy. I get enough of that at home, please don't make me conform to strict and rigid regimes here!
If you want to buy a raffle ticket or 5 (!) just go to Emma's blog and donate using Paypal on the Oliver's Fund button. Emma will tell me how many you've bought. You can still send me cash or a cheque, but I know that doesn't help anybody not living in the UK.
I'm hoping to make this blanket about 4 times bigger than it is in the picture - which means I need another 126 squares. Anybody? Please? (Just a thought, but we don't seem to have any blue squares yet.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lizard Ridge

Let me introduce you to my 'mindless knitting'. This is what I do at the side of football pitches, in the car on the way to football matches, in the coach on the way to football stadiums (is that stadia I wonder?). I love my little Lizard Ridge - have got lots more balls of Noro in the stash basket just waiting to become bumpy rectangles. Looking around in Blogland, some people have actually made theirs in a matter of weeks. My first rectangle was made about a year ago (Kathryn bought me a ball of Kureyon from her Honeymoon and started me off on the obsessive Noro hunt!). This is such a fun knit and so clever - and very easy too. Anyone else out there making one? Anyone out there got any spare balls of Noro they no longer want but would like to sell/swap? I want this to be a big blanket!

On the subject of blankets, more squares are coming in now for Oliver. Still not enough though, so keep on knitting! I want this one to be big too, well, I actually want 2 big blankets. Greedy you see! Optimistic too. The first one is being raffled before Christmas. This is a very busy time for me (pretty much everyone I think) - especially this year, as on December 3rd, we're having a new kitchen fitted. I'm dreading this as well as looking forward to it. Of all the stupid times to have your kitchen ripped out. (And it gets worse - 2 weeks before that , someone is coming to do a damp course in the kitchen too). The kitchen will take at least a week apparently. Better start trying to clear out some of the cupboards soon. Strange how much rubbish you collect over the years isn't it?

Got any spare bin bags anyone?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No update

Sorry, but there's no Tipsy update today - progress has been very slow and the second front is too tiny to warrant a picture.

In fact there aren't any pictures today - I hate a blog without something nice to look at, but this post will be short and sweet.

- Thanks for the good vibes about the tree. It still hasn't been chopped down.

- Two days into this half term, and I've not had a shitty day. Yet.

- More squares have arrived at Kerrie's, but I still need lots more. And loads more money for raffle tickets please.

- The moth repellents appear to have done the trick, but they smell so bad I'm throwing them away and replacing them with cedar wood. Which doesn't smell too good either if I'm honest!

- Cake in the oven smells done, so I'm going and will save you reading any more waffle.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Pound House vs Horse Chestnut

This is the back of our house. Can you see the big tree with no leaves on? It is dead. It is about as dead as a tree can be. It has been dead for several years now. It is not on our land, but in the field next door to us. We have been asking the farmer to have this very dead tree chopped down for, ooh, about 6 years now. In fact , ever since one of his other dead trees blew down in a gale and squashed our 2 cars. Flat.

Saturday was supposed to be the day that it came down. Then when it didn't come down, it was supposed to be Sunday. Then it was definitely going to be first thing Monday. And look everyone - IT'S STILL HERE!!!

Now I'm not normally a pessimist. In fact I'm never one, but just look at the size of this thing. If it fell over, we would not have a roof - at the very least. Our bedroom would probably be a little draughty too.

We are also a bit concerned that when the tree man comes along with his chain saw, er just what if it falls the wrong way?

So if you don't hear from me for a while, the tree has either

1. Blown down in a sudden gale and squashed the house.
2. Been pecked so much by the wood-peckers that it's fallen down and squashed the house.
3. Become so rotten and fungus infected that it's fallen down and squashed the house.
4. Been incorrectly felled and it's fallen the wrong way and squashed the house.

Keep everything crossed for us please. Pray for a home victory.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Old Trafford

As part of the boys' football club, we went on a tour of Old Trafford - Manchester United's home ground (note to Monkee Maker - Man U are the Red Devils, Arsenal, several hundred miles away, are the Gunners. Apparently!). Vera of course came on the trip, much to my children's embarrassment. She had a good time and is looking forward to becoming the first primate to play for the team.

This was her going down the tunnel onto the pitch. Come on boys, where's that ball? I need to show you how it's done!

Now this big cup had a glass cabinet all to itself - someone enlighten me, what's it for? All I could think of was how long the blessed thing would take to polish. We all had a good time at Old Trafford, but 9 hours in the bus for a 3 hour visit was a little excessive. Imagine the horror of it all - a bus full of football crazy children all bored... the noise levels were quite high!

Returning momentarily to Oliver, I think we might end up being ok for squares - Kay over at Mason Dixon posted about it and the number of people viewing this blog have increased by about 10 times. Hello America! Nice of you to drop in. Get knitting please - and send any squares asap so I can at least have one blanket made by Christmas. Address is over in the side bar at the top.

The clocks have gone back today - am I the only person who really hates this? Why can't they just stay the same? It takes me ages to get my body clock re-adjusted, which is why I'm writing about football and monkeys at 5.15 on a Sunday morning.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I have just laughed myself stupid over a film - Anchorman, The Legend Of Ron Burgundy. Anybody else seen it? Is it really funny, or am I just as stupid as the film? I'm cooking at the moment (more Christmas Cakes) so am off to watch it again. Thank heavens for those little portable dvd players.

Got any good films you want to share? Do tell, my Amazon list is getting short and needs topping up.

Added later....

Deb in Kansas, and everyone else who hasn't knitted Oliver a square yet - for some foolish reason I extended the deadline - you have until end of November to get your 4" squares to me. And don't forget the raffle tickets - £1 or $2US each. There may very well be more in the raffle than just a blanket, the Stash Basket is over flowing and will need thinning out a bit...

Oh, and Kathleen, I have tried in vain to contact you - Blogger is not letting me view your profile. The address to send squares to is over on the right hand side of the blog --->


Not all my knitting is for me - most is (I'm greedy like that) but some is for mum, some for dad, some for the children, some for complete strangers and even on two occasions for my husband.

The first thing I ever made him was a lovely dark turquoise jumper, complete with collar, pocket and contrasting trim at the cast on edge. Very lovely - warm (it was an alpaca blend), cosy and a lovely fit. He didn't like it, so I undid the collar, re-worked it and made it so he did like it. He actually wore it. Miracle! Yes, but he wore it when creosoting the fence. It stank. So I hand-washed it and it still stank.

Husband - 'Put it in the washer'
Me - 'No way, it will shrink'
Husband - 'No it won't if you do it on a cool wash'
Me - 'Yes it will'
Husband - 'You never listen to me, I'm going to do it'

Readers, do not put your hand-knit alpaca jumpers in the wash. Not only do they shrink, but they go very fluffy and fill the washer with fluff for weeks to come.

The second jumper was made in secret for a Christmas present, using a dark blue Rowan chunky tweedy wool. Again lovely. He never liked this one, but wore it to please me. Then guess what? He creosoted the fence again, put it in the washer, and lo and behold it shrank.

So one year I decided that enough was enough and I bought him a jumper from a very nice gentleman's outfitters in Ely. He loved it. Hurrah! Wore it lots, got it dirty and then let me wash it. Tee hee!

Whoopsy daisy darling, your favourite jumper seems to have shrunk in the washer!

So I cut it up, knitted a flower, assembled the lot on one of those Sainsbury's jute bags and hey-presto, a Christmas present from the children to my mother-in-law.

Any suggestions as to what husband can have for Christmas this year?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tipsy Tuesday

Ladies and gentlemen - we have a front! I am so very excited. At this rate I'll have it done by next year - a first for me! Or shall I really stick my neck out and say I'll wear it on Christmas Day? Again it's blurred, but I say again, my photographic skills are rubbish.
I wish you could all feel how soft this is. It's knitted up more like a fabric than a piece of knitting, if you know what I mean.
Did I mention the bag-packing? If any of you are ever unlucky enough to be asked to do this in the name of fund-raising, run a mile. At least. And if ever any of you go into a supermarket where some poor souls are doing this particular 'job' be nice - offer them a sweet or piece of chocolate. Two and a half hours standing in the same place with not so much as thank-you from many. Admittedly, it raised lots of money, but blimey it was horrible!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nothing much to say...

I think the Stash Basket is getting a bit full - need to knit faster. Either that or find a bigger Basket! Vera, however is quite happy, more yarn makes for a softer cushion! She is less than happy with the chameleons though - has managed to shove one to the side and is busy thumping the other in the head.

Well it's now half term, and boy do we need the rest. Must catch up on some yarn projects. Note that I said 'some'. I'm lying. Tipsy is taking all my spare time. Not even thinking about all the other projects, which for me is most unusual, the fickle being that I am. Isn't anybody else out there going to knit this cardigan? It is really the most fun thing I've ever made (with maybe the Nautilus poncho from Nature Knits coming a close second) (but that was just in one colour). I'm itching to show you progress, but will be strong - come back tomorrow for more news.

Sorry if I've been a grumpy old bag lately, harping on about the 'shitty' days. I love my job, but when I say 'shitty' it really is meant quite literally. Teaching assistants have to do much more than just assist the teacher you know! I'd say that for 99% of the time, it's great fun, and the children are fantastic. They make me laugh so much - I was making pancakes with them once and they so wanted me to try flipping the pancakes. I explained that I wasn't very good at that, they always end up on the floor. One dear little boy proudly informed me that his dad was a great tosser. I can no longer look at that particular father without laughing. He must think I'm very odd. Me?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Two cakes

It's very difficult when you don't have the foggiest idea what to put on a cake. You don't know the recipient or if they're a laugh or if they're boring. Whether they like the colour green or detest it. All I was told about Frank - apart from his name - is that he likes steam engines, and in particular steam tractors. This is what I came up with - what do you think?

And Malcolm apparently likes going shooting. No idea what the poor guy looks like, but I guessed (I did this once for someone and guessed completely wrong - I gave the model a head full of brown hair when in reality he was bald. Quickly made a small bottle of miracle hair restorer - fortunately he saw the funny side of this!)

These cakes have taken a lot of time although it doesn't really look like it. I've not been to bed before 1am all week, up again at 6.30. As a result, I am now very tired in deed and starting to feel a tad poorly. No lie in tomorrow though, eldest son is going bag-packing in Sainsbury's and has to have a parent with him at all times. Trying to raise money for his football team.

The things you do as a parent eh? Three hours of packing other people's shopping into carriers. Then I have to go and do it for myself, otherwise it's stale bread and cheese again for tea.

Good luck in the rugby tomorrow England. Hold your heads high, whatever the score, you've done us proud (not that any of you will be reading this of course!)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Little pile of squares

This is it so far. 33 squares. Not a very big blanket yet and certainly not enough for 2, but there are another 6 weeks left I suppose, so I mustn't get down-hearted. Hopefully Kerrie has a few over at the shop along with a bit of money. (Have you Kerrie? Do tell.)
As it stands at the moment, I've had money from just 2 people, so Sara or Pam, the odds are looking good for you to win a very small blanket!
Julie Cotton Rabbit is also doing a bit of fund-raising, so pop along to her site and bid for a wonderful big rabbit called Rose. Julie is doing much better than I am and already has bids of nearly £100.
Must go, late for work. Wish me luck for this afternoon - I'm getting fed up of Shitty days...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tipsy Birthdays

Well here she is then - progress on Tipsy is not as good as I hoped. I have pulled it back so many times - just a few rows at a time you understand (mind you, 20 rows of fair isle is heart-breaking to pull back!) The colour combinations have not been going well, and I know some people may still not agree with my choices (sorry Dee, the red and green combo just had to stay - I love it!) But if you don't like it, never mind, I do! I took this picture outside to try and get a good likeness of colours, but it really hasn't come out all that well. When it's all done, I'll try and get Marianne to take a reasonable one of it. Her photos are fantastic - go and check out her slide show from Ally Pally. And look for that one of the tree with the light shining through the leaves...
Happy Birthday today to my dad. He's coming over tomorrow along with mum - the boys have requested a big chocolate cake for him, so we bought lots of chocolatey things to go on top. Sadly we couldn't resist the temptation and have been eating them already. Oops, don't worry dad we'll get some more!
Don't ask me anymore about the price of the qiviut. I'm still reeling with the shock of it all. Suffice to say that I could have bought quite a lot of Posh Yarn Cashmere for the same price. Guilt. guilt, guilt. (But it really is very nice!)
News tomorrow on the squares (or rather lack of them) for Oliver's blanket. Come on everyone, get those needles clicking!