Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More progress

Tell me that I'm nearly done someone please! This seems to be going on forever. I managed to knit 2 rows today when I took the boys to see the Simpson's Movie - sadly no more as the inconsiderate people turned the lights off. I ask you, can't these cinema people realise that not everyone wants to go and watch a film? Some of us like to knit at the same time, and with some patterns, you need light. Ah well, never mind. At least the Simpson's was good, very funny, but then I am very easy to please. Simple minded you see!

Anyway, I have 19 leaf repeats,and am aiming for 21 before I start the border. Am using straight needles which are not quite long enough - the circular ones are just slightly a different diameter so will try and just resort to them when I do the border. It's getting a bit squashed on the needles now. Tell me it will be worth it though someone please. I have tried so hard to keep Startitis at bay and it's getting more and more difficult. Tipsy is calling.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Did you smell it then? I love making marmalade and chutney and as a friend gave me a huge bag full of plums today, I decided to make some chutney. It's great fun to do and so very easy, but it stinks! Boiling vinegar for over an hour really makes the eyes water (to mention nothing of the pound of finely chopped onions!) But it was a sunny and breezy day so all the windows were open. So I stank the village out instead!

I finally got my invitation to Ravelry. I haven't a clue what I'm supposed to be doing, seems like a good way to use up any spare time. I don't have any spare time though. But still I spend ages trying to work it all out. It's getting me a bit cross (with myself and lack of will power) because I'm spending so long on the computer, there's no time left to knit. So I'm going now. I have every intention of finishing Forest Canopy this week and will be very cross if I don't due to time spent on this machine. Bah!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Louise's cake

I'm much happier with this cake than that hideous Ursula one. All I was told about the recipient is that she likes music (plays flute and saxophone) and is a bit wacky. Do you think this will do? I've piped the music to Happy Birthday round all the sides and done a slightly mad spray thing on top filled with coloured ribbons and musical notes. It's chocolate marble cake inside, and if the trimmings are anything to go by, it's a good cake! (Am I allowed to say that about my own cooking?)

Welsh friend has now gone home so have spent today washing and trying to relax. As well as decorating a cake. And ironing. And cooking tea. And changing the beds. And hoovering. Infact haven't managed a single bit of a relax at all! No more cakes now until September so it's knitting all the way boys and girls! Might even finish something off this holiday. Apart from Harry Potter. Yippee!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A walk in Cusworth Park

This is a picture on my kitchen wall. It was done by a very talented friend of mine (Sonia Dobbs, now Sonia Orr), a copy of a photo taken of my grandma and my youngest son when he was 2. I love it - mum had it done for me as a surprise one year for my birthday - I cried so much when I unwrapped it - Grimble as we called her had not long since left this mortal coil. I'm only showing it to you today because I didn't know what picture to put on today and as I like it, thought you might too. I have lots of pictures done by Sonia as well as some sculpture things - sorry, don't know the technical term! Will probably show you more of her work again one day.
You'll never guess what - I've actually finished something! No not knitting related or even cake related. But Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And I thought it was fantastic, the best one yet. It would have been slightly better if my children (who'd sneaked a look at the ending) hadn't told me what was going to happen, but hey, never mind, I loved it all the same. I have never read a book as quickly as this. It was great, love it, love it, love it. Will save up to buy it on cassette I think now. Sadly saving is something that 's not coming easily to me at the moment, thanks to this.
Oh and have you seen this - the prettiest scarf I've ever seen. Want one. Startitis is rearing its ugly head again!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My hat

This is my hat. I have taken it off to all of you with 3 children. Especially those with 3 boys. Welsh friend has now been here for 3 days and already I'm exhausted! How can one extra child make so much difference? The washing, the food, the entertaining... He's really no bother at all, so why on earth I no longer seem able to get into the normal routine is entirely beyond me. But at least my hat has come in useful to Blossom and Alfie! It's actually not a very nice hat, very chilly, bit small, made from Colinette Prism... not a lot going for it really. But they seem quite happy with it!
Eldest son had a bit of an accident last night. He tripped over a piece of flat carpet (how?) and bashed his head on a metal runner. There was so much blood, I seriously thought he'd smashed his head open. His whole ear was full of the stuff and it was pouring down his neck (sorry, not squeamish are you? OK then, I'll stop) Anyway, I cleaned him up and found a 1cm long deep cut in the top of his ear. Decided against hospital as it quickly seemed to heal over - the cut hadn't gone right through so went with motherly instinct - cold cloth on wound, paracetamol in mouth. Seemed to work ok. Today head is sore and ear is swollen and turning purple. He's managed to go swimming and play football so can't be too bad I feel. Known for my sympathy me!
Ooh, managed 3 rows of Forest Canopy tonight whilst watching Heroes. Didn't like it, too scary for me! (I'm a wimp, pathetic, sad, big wuss, but I can't bear things that are a bit spooky and super natural) I thought it was going to be like Superman. Where were the fancy cloaks and padded pants? I liked the little Japanese man Hiro, he made me laugh. Not much else did though!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Castle Rising

Can't remember if I mentioned that we have a friend staying with us this week - he's a friend of Son number 1 and is from Wales. He can speak Welsh too, very impressive! (I can manage yacky dar - well I can say it but not spell it - husband is fluent in Welsh but is not here to ask for correct spellings!)

Today we went to Castle Rising in Norfolk. Now I don't normally like history and old buildings, but this was different. Some of the stonework is from the 13th century and is lovely. Not too grand and ostentatious. I could just imagine all those warriors of old shooting arrows from those little arrow slits (someone enlighten me and tell me their proper name) and the servants putting logs on the fires. I'm trying not to think of all the hardships they would have had to cope with (such as not being able to go to Sainsburys when the milk ran out or even, horror of horrors, no Sunday sale over at Posh Yarn). I wish now I'd bought a guide book. Maybe next time. Drat, never thought Clara, perhaps TBG would have liked a booklet if it had any stone masonry history in.
I promised you the cake photo. Now be polite! It's what the customer wanted (Ursula from The Little Mermaid) but is most definitely not one of my favourites. The marbled icing looked so pretty before she came and sat on the cake! It wouldn't do if we were all the same now would it?
(Blogger you are seriously winding me up now, we have a mixture of single and double spaces in this post - why? Why? WHY?)

Monday, July 23, 2007

HP, K and W

Have you got your copy then? Or are you not a fan? Me, I'm a big, big fan of Harry Potter. Love the books, the Stephen Fry audio cassettes and the films. Oh, and Allison Hansel's Charmed Knits too. I'm a Potter freak. Some would say I'm just a freak! I'm not very far into the book so far, but am really enjoying it. Not a fast reader you see. Not a fast anything come to think of it.
Kathryn too is a big Potter fan, so how appropriate that her baby should arrive on Saturday just as the postmen all over the country were starting to deliver copies of the book. I won't divulge new baby's name - she's a girl and no it's not Hermione - Kathryn can do that here if she wants to. It's a very pretty name though - unusual, but then we wouldn't expect an ordinary name from you and W now would we?!
Should be icing another cake tonight, but it's going very slowly - trying to read at the same time - picture of cake tomorrow, but there's a little clue in the bottom left hand corner. Must get on with it as it's being collected tomorrow.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Calling South America!

Looking at my map, I see someone from South America has called in to see me. Hello! How are you? Who are you? Today's photo is especially for you, so please stop by and introduce yourself!
And on the subject of this World Map, why does it only show half of the world? Does anyone have a whole one?

Going to have a much needed sit down now and do some knitting... I'm coming Tipsy, just a minute...

Friday, July 20, 2007

And so to bed

It's got really late again, so must go to bed, but just thought I'd share this cake with you. I've done too many cakes lately and not enough knitting. But only a couple more weeks left and then I can start Tipsy (must admit to having cast on , and am already wondering if I've made a wise decision - 178 stitches on 2mm needles and that's only for the sleeve. This will take a long time!)
Night night sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thank-you, I love you all!

Wowee - many thanks to you all. Lots of comments, beat my record! And everyone's from such different places, this internet lark really makes it such a small world. I tried again with the map thing, but every time I tried to copy and paste the address, the 'edit' button on the tool bar went grey and wouldn't let me do it. So I had to write the whole thing down and then type it in. So you see Monkee Maker, you are obviously far more intelligent than me! (Not difficult!)

Wonder if we've gone back to double spacing or if Blogger's still playing silly buggers!

The latest arrival of Posh came today. This is all the cashmere put together ready to cast on for Tipsy. I just love the pattern. Hope it all goes OK, I'm getting hot and cold sweats thinking about the cost of it all. It's Dee's fault. Well, hers and Mr Posh's, if he didn't dye such beautiful yarn in the most gorgeous colours, I would be quite happy just knitting away with Sirdar and Patons. They have turned me into a Yarn Snob. Incidentally, there is still one skein of that red left in Sophia 4-ply, please someone go and buy it as I can feel my resolve weakening again...

Kathryn, good to hear from you - send me an e-mail then I'll know your address rather than boring the entire world with my messages to you! Kathryn's baby is due very soon everyone - Sunday I believe - wish her luck!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Best Teacher

Another cake. Youngest son designed this for his teacher, so I hold no responsibility for it. When I was at school, we never bought teachers a present - I think this is an idea we have imported from America. I wish we hadn't, I would far rather have spent this evening knitting or catching up on some sleep (darling son had me awake at 3.30 again last night...) However, the cake will make a change from the vast number of scented candles and mugs, and I know this teacher is a big cake fan.
I feel like I've been on a bit of a cake splurge lately - 3 more to go in the next 9 days then I can have a rest. And blimey do I need it!
I'm getting very excited by all the comments from people who I don't know, especially those of you from far away. How many of you lurk I wonder and never tell me you're there? Do me a favour please will you, leave a comment to say hello and where you're from, and if you're feeling really co-operative, how did you find me? I'm aiming on making a map to see how far afield we all are. Tried to do one of those map things like Marianne, but failed dismally. I'd love to get comments over 9, my previous record! (But then maybe only 9 people read me - how can I tell, what's this stats thing I keep reading about?)
Still technologically inept.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blue Beads

Remember ages ago I needed some blue beads? Well this is what they were for. I like the way the light catches them and makes it all a bit sparkly. With the weather we're having at the moment though, it's about the only thing that does sparkle!
It's now 10 to midnight, and I have another cake to ice before I can go to bed. Youngest son wants to give a cake to his teacher as a 'thank-you-for having-me' present. Wish he'd just settle on giving her a bottle of wine! Ah well, on I march. Maybe see you tomorrow if I'm awake for long enough!

Monday, July 16, 2007

I don't believe it!

A while ago I bought some Earth Faire Bracelet kits from Kerrie and here is my first attempt at one. It's also the first time I've ever knitted with beads. And know what? I'm hooked! This took less than 2 hours start to finish and is one of those 'could do it better next time' projects. I was waiting for a friend to turn up for a lunch date and started it then - but as friend forgot me, I managed to finish it before collecting youngest son from school. Are you all impressed? A finished project!
Now I'm just awaiting the arrival of yet more cashmere then I can start on something else. No more finished objects for a very long time now. Incidentally, forest canopy is getting very boring now. If it wasn't for the amazing yarn, I would have given up a long time ago! But I'm sure it will all be worth it when it's done, whenever that may be...
(Oh hello, back to single spacing again Blogger?)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The best laid plans...

Did I really expect a 'relaxing weekend' working in the kitchen watching all those dvds and listening to all those tapes? I might have known a spanner would be put in the works somewhere along the line. Saturday was spent hoovering, dusting, acting as taxi to children, washing, baking, icing... you know the sort of day? By 9pm I felt I deserved a sit down, so sat with knitting ready to watch Bride and Prejudice on tv. Managed one row then fell asleep. I awoke to see the last 5 mins of film (was it good anyone?) then started watching another film, determined to do more knitting. The film had Denzel Washington in, was ok, bit violent, but at least managed more of Forest Canopy. But then it was 1am. What? How did that happen? OK, Michaela, bedtime.

Then at 4am, youngest son (he's 8 next month) woke me up to tell me he was awake. Go back to sleep. 4.15 am 'I'm hot and still can't sleep'. Yes you can, just close your eyes, think of something nice and you will sleep. 4.35am 'It's not working mum'. Have a drink, take duvet off, close your eyes and go to sleep. 4.55am youngest son shouts and cries 'It's not fair mum, I'm just awake and my eyes hurt'. Tired mother cries too 'JUST SHUT YOUR EYES AND STOP SHOUTING ME PERLEEEESE!'. That seemed to work.

Then in the morning (oh all you lucky people who manage a lie-in on Sunday mornings) I had to quickly put the washing out, empty dishwasher, sort breakfast, make packed lunches, tidy house and take eldest son to a football tournament, where we stayed until 4.30pm. In such a blind rush, forgot to take knitting to do in the boring parts of the day.

Returned home to find husband back from the wedding wondering what was for tea and how long would it be. So I made tea, left him with the washing up, sorted bath time, then decided to finish decorating the cake I started yesterday.

Mental note to self. Do not stay up to watch a film that finishes so late ever again. Hope your weekend was more relaxing than mine (but at least I managed to buy more Posh Yarn - shhh!)

Friday, July 13, 2007

A relaxing weekend ahead?

Husband has gone away for the weekend to a wedding. I was invited too, but due to other commitments (loads of cakes next week) I just couldn't go. It's in North Wales and will be jam-packed full of loads of old school friends and army friends, so I feel he'll be better without me! So I intend spending all weekend in the kitchen (in between running the boys to football etc) watching the above and listening to some of these...
Then I'll be making one of these as well as 3 other birthday cakes...
Eating plenty of these (must keep up energy levels) And maybe even in the odd spare moment, knitting some of this. Oh don't you just love these colours? Scrumptious by name and Scrumptious by nature. Forest Canopy is now growing very slowly...
Oh Kathryn, if you're reading this, we're all thinking of you! Knitting Club is going well - C actually managed 3 rows today (she did say that you'd be pleased!) but only because I said I'd teach her how to do bobbles if she made some effort!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Today's post

Now isn't it exciting when you get something good in the post? And isn't it even more exciting if one of the good somethings is wrapped in pink? The dvd is Night at the Museum - perfect timing as youngest son was off from school poorly today, so we watched it together this afternoon. Not one of the best things I've ever seen, but hey, it meant that I sat down and did some knitting for a change!
This necklace is from Made - all about sourcing jewellery from very poor areas of the world, paying the makers an honest price and helping them out of the poverty stricken life they're in. Some of it is beautiful, I wanted to spend loads there. This necklace has been made by Moses apparently. Well Moses, you've done a great job, I love my new necklace! And here is the cashmere. Words fail me on this one. Softest of soft yarns, beautiful colours, so very Posh. I am now even more determined to make myself a cashmere cardigan. Only thing is, think I'll need lots more... and afterall, we're all being encouraged to go green, and it seems that I'm having a green phase at the moment. So that's that! I obviously need more green cashmere to save the planet. Get the dye pot out Mr and Mrs Posh!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Well at least it's not raining.

As if to compound the Startitis problem, look what arrived in the post for me this morning. I entered a competition on Clara's blog and won this great book. Now you all know what I think of Ms Epstein (my mate Nicky who admired a scarf of mine once) and having seen this book, I'm as much of a fan as ever. There are so many bags I want to start NOW and lots of them are in double knitting wool - which happens to be what I have most of, so watch this space, you may very well see my Sainsbury's bag replaced before long. I'm very unsure of the Swan bag though, it looks a bit too realistic, as if you're lugging a big dead bird around, especially with all the chicken feathers attached to the top...

So, items to cast on this week include a fair isle cardi (fortunately the yarn hasn't arrived yet), a bag with rows of little people on, a beaded bracelet and a long stripey sock, oh, and the other slip-up sock to match the one already made... Did I really say this week? Somebody help me, I am suffering with a severe case here.

Which means that items to complete include (note the word 'include' as in this isn't all of them!) Forest Canopy Shawl, rib and cable cardi, scribble scarf, second sock, lace competition thingy for Kerrie and so on and so forth...

Monday, July 9, 2007


It's happened again. I need to cast something new onto the needles. Startitis has reared its ugly head yet again. I've told myself that I really need to finish something first, but no, heart has won over reason. I found myself desperately grabbing cashmere last night on Dee's sale. Is there going to be a world shortage I wonder? Must panic buy just in case.

But just look at this pattern. I love it! I've always enjoyed Fair Isle knitting and very much like the idea of doing cheats Fair Isle using variegated yarn. So think I will delve into the depths of the Stash Basket and see if I can unearth some more 4-ply cashmere just so that I can make this. I want a new Cardigan. I need a new Cardigan. I need a new Cashmere Cardigan. Not being greedy am I? (The Forest Canopy shawl is coming along - very slowly - now have 11 pattern repeats and it's almost big enough to be a head-scarf!)

Oh, have you seen Monkee Maker's blog lately? It is just the funniest thing ever. It seems to be updated every day, there are loads of photos, and it's just completely bonkers. It also seems to be written by the tallest woman in the entire world, looking at one of the camping photos!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Cake

It has been a long old week and I'm exhausted and here's the reason. The Cake. The Bride had requested a big cake that made an impression and as she was getting married on 07.07.07 I suggested a 7-tier cake. It seemed like a good idea back in February. It seemed much less of a good idea this week. This top picture is of the top 3 tiers sitting happily in their box ready for transport.
Mum and Dad came with me to the Hotel and helped carry it in. I couldn't lift the bottom 4 tiers, they were so heavy! We managed to get the top rested on the bottom, but I knocked one of the frills off, so had to do some on-the-spot repairs. (Note to self - stick with the diet, those spare tyres are not very attractive!)
And here it is in all its glory - what do you think? I was just very relieved that I didn't have dismantle it to cut it! That honour was given to The Pastry Chef in the restaurant! The bottom tier was fruit cake and all the rest were chocolate almond.
So this week will be all about knitting and sleeping. Well, at least today it will be, as I have 2 birthday cakes and a 3-tier Wedding Cake to do in the next fortnight! Silly season at the moment you see!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Slow but sure...

So here's the progress of Forest Canopy. It's growing very slowly now, not only are rows getting bigger, but the only chance I get to knit is when son number 2 does his spellings and reading for me. Roll on Saturday evening I say!

Bride-to-be has been to look at her Cake today and loves it so far. Big sigh of relief there then! It's about half done now so only have 2 more nights left to do it. All you brides out there, think of us poor decorators when you ask for a sponge cake. Fruit cakes can be decorated in advance, but sponge cakes need to be as fresh as possible. Which is all very well when you buy them from Tesco's - so jam packed with preservatives, there's no room for any flavour! Ah but the result is so worth the effort and late nights (early mornings). Home made cake. Yummy! With or without gluten apparently.

Oh have you seen Dee's photos today on her blog? That yarn is just wonderful - I will be there on Sunday! On second thoughts, no, don't go to look at the yarn. You wouldn't like it at all. Go to your nearest Woolworths and get 500g of nice pink acrylic instead. Much better than cashmere. Or silk. Or merino. Who wants hand-dyed Posh Yarn, when you can buy enough yarn to knit a jumper for the price of a mars bar?! Me, me, ME!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

More rain...

Anybody want to join me in building an Ark? This is the field next to our house with the poor old donkey sheltering from the rain yet again.

I had a lovely surprise visit from Marianne (aka Picperfic - can't seem to get a link to work here, yet the one at the side is ok) and Barry this evening. They brought me a cd of the soundtrack from Oh Brother Where Art Thou. It's such a good film with a brilliant soundtrack. Love it! Thank-you both. Hopefully it will help me stay awake into the early hours of the morning whilst I ice The Cake. Wish me luck one and all for this. I might be too nervous to post again until it's done and safely delivered, so until next time I'll love you and leave you.

Oh, and 'Mr Kathryn' you are more than welcome, the blanket project was a pleasure to do. A great many of us wanted to keep it for ourselves, but it was intended for you 3 all along. Just keep it away from the cat!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I wish...

This picture was taken a couple of years ago, but I like it so thought you might too. Memories of a holiday in Wales. They fish, I knit. Perfect!
So Kerrie wants me to list 5 things I wish I could learn not do. Only 5? Every day I think 'oh I wish I didn't keep doing that', but here goes just a few...
  1. I wish I didn't say yes to everything. I have real trouble saying 'no'. This particularly applies to cakes. I love doing them, but 2 birthday cakes and a 3-tier Wedding cake in one week is just too much. I know I'll be tired and ratty, but still I do it! Bed at 1.30am and up at 6.30am is just not enough sleep.
  2. It's sunny and I'm going out for a couple of hours so I leave the washing out to dry. Why don't I believe the weather forecast? They said it will rain. It can't possibly - look, blue sky, no clouds. I go out. It rains. Washing is wet and dirty all over again.
  3. When my husband comes home from 5 days work in London, stressed out and short-tempered, why do I try and hold a conversation with him? Why don't I just pour him a large whisky and leave him be for half an hour?
  4. I so wish I could finish a knitting project before starting on another one. I have loads of UFO's dotted around the house, all of which I really like. I would just really like to finish one some time...
  5. I wish I could learn not to open the biscuit tin and eat a biscuit. One invariably leads to another, or puts me in the mood for cake (have been making chocolate almond cakes all week, and they are very good ). I am trying to lose weight. Biscuits and cakes are not helping!

So how about you? I'm throwing this out into the blogisphere. What do you really wish you could learn not to do? And how about the opposite, what would you really like to learn to do?