Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More prizes

WMK has sent these gorgeous prizes for the diety raffle. This little baby set is so cute, it almost makes you want to start reproducing. Almost, I said, ALMOST!!!! If you don't have babies to knit this for, the yarn is lovely and soft and squishy and would make something very nice indeed.

And just look at these tulips you can make - so pretty, I want to have a go myself. Sadly I seem to be eating too much to be gaining any raffle tickets (had a melon, banana and nectarine smoothie for lunch... and a bag of minstrels for pudding!)

I've just been making things in the kitchen too - blackberry ice cream anyone? Or how about strawberry and banana smoothie lollies? As you may have noticed, the cake situation has calmed right down. Well, it was calm, but yesterday I made a chocolate one (no photo, sent it on its way before I got the camera out), I have one to do for this Saturday, one for Monday and one for the Monday after. It seems to be all or nothing. Whilst I am very pleased for the business, I would really like to get on with the many knitting projects which have been started. I am hopelessly over-started with things - socks, a shawl, hats, mittens waiting to be cast on, bunny egg cosies, blankets. Wonder if I'll actually finish anything this holiday. Doubtful, very doubtful!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday pudding...

... was a very low-key affair this week. Fresh pineapple with home-made strawberry ripple ice cream. Low-key and due to the huge amounts of fruit, it must have been low calorie yes? Humour me here, yes, it was! Must get arse into gear over the diet.

Oh and today's pudding is going to be pineapple upside down cake with custard. I've had a hankering for this for quite a while now, so today is going to be the day.

Someone please remind me what I just said about the diet will you?

Friday, July 24, 2009

It looks a bit like rain...

Well it's the summer holidays. Youngest son has gone to the seaside with a friend. Eldest son has gone on a nice long bike ride. (I'm ironing and baking in case you wondered) When they both left the weather was beautiful - blue skies and not a cloud in sight.

These clouds are now very much on top of us and emptying their contents at quite a rate. Excellent thunder and lightning to go with it too. Oh how I love English summers. At least I manged to get the washing in before it all started.

Hope you're managing to stay drier than my 2 children will be!

Oh, I've just seen The Devil Wears Prada and have heard the best diet tip ever. Don't eat anything, and then when you feel you're about to faint, put a cube of cheese in your mouth. So that's where I've been going wrong all these years. I've been eating!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's Thursday, so it must be weigh day...

Unfortunately so. I knew the scales were going to be unkind to me this morning. Can't imagine why. It surely can't be anything to do with the pizza, chocolates, peanuts and biscuits can it? I have given myself a strict talking to and am now back on the fruit and water, instead of coffee and biscuits.

It has not been a good week. Food wise or anything else wise. Some very miserable person has been using my credit card to help themselves to things which they don't deserve. I knew nothing about this until a Whisky company phoned up to check on my address - as the crate of Bacardi which I'd ordered didn't seem to be going to the correct place. Er, pardon? What Bacardi would this be then? They've had malt whisky at £70 a bottle, goodness knows how much mobile phone accessories and lots of other stuff. I'm just waiting now for my credit card statement to turn up to see what else they've helped themselves to. Needless to say, the card has been stopped, but oh the inconvenience of it all. Hope they bloody well choke on the whisky.

Rant over, now back to calm. Here are a couple more prizes going into the diet raffle - some gorgeous fabric from Rachel and some bamboo sock needles from Mary de B (least I hope that's where they're from, sorry ladies, my head is a bit all over the place this week).

This fabric is beautiful - crisp clean cotton in gorgeous colours - all tied up with a very lovely piece of ribbon too. Must stop eating rubbish. Must lose weight. Must try and win pretty material.

And I've never used such teeny needles before ( all my sock needles are about 10" long!) and I so want to try them out.

Repeat after me, must stop eating rubbish. Must lose weight.

Is DIY liposuction with the hoover a possibility I wonder?

Edited to add this photo. Postie has just called and look what Moogsmum has sent for the diety raffle. Now if this doesn't encourage you to lose weight, then I feel nothing will.

It is lace weight (I think) alpaca from Nimu Yarns (no link as Mrs Nimu has just had a baby and is doing baby things rather than yarny things) and this bright pink and green sock weight yarn from Thistleknits. I am now giving serious thought to cancelling the whole raffle, refusing to send back the donated prizes and doing a runner. I need this yarn. I must win this yarn. It is wonderful!

Monday, July 20, 2009


It has been yet another of those stressful weekends here at the Stash Basket. Most of them seem to be that way now and I am fed up of them. So there is no Saturday Pudding, no pictures of knitting completed (no knitting has been completed) and no exciting review of the Harry Potter film - mainly because I was the only one of the family who enjoyed it, and 3 complainers sort of put the dampeners on things.

I am going to decorate eldest son's bedroom now with my dad. Maybe he can cheer me up!

Oh, and the diet is going so appallingly badly that I have put on 3 pounds this weekend. (Yes, in just 2 days!!!!!) Will try and work them off by Thursday weigh day.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lavender Pod

While browsing Ravelry the other day, I came across this little treasure. It's called a Lavender Pod and has been designed by Crobbles (incidentally, if you follow this link, I suggest you go and look at the Extreme Knitting part - very funny). Isn't it gorgeous? I used the very last metres of Esme Riband (which mum saw, loved, took and knitted into a scarf). I've used lavender from the garden and it smells so delicious, it was just begging to be put in something beautiful.

Now Crobbles was very clever and knitted hers in the round - no way was I going to put those few stitches on dpn's or 2 circulars or any other combination - I knitted mine flat then sewed it up. Far the easier option I think - but then I'm not good at knitting in the round (socks are different, they have lots of stitches!) I know lots of people who hate sewing up but love knitting in the round. I have already cast on for my second pod. I can see many more of these in my future...

Two more diet raffle prizes have arrived, but more on those another day (Rachel and Mary de B they were from you). Oh you're going to like these, so stop eating the chocolates everyone, lose weight and get in with a chance to win them.

Very excited because tomorrow I'm off to see this. Can't wait! (I am a big fan)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In a hurry...

Can't stop - got some very interesting knitting on the go (courtesy of this lady), it's nearly bed time and I want to finish it before I go. Just stopping by long enough to tell you that I've lost another pound this week (but have just made some raspberry cheesecake brownies for the staff leaving party lunch thingy tomorrow and have scoffed all of the trimmings. It would be a waste to throw them away wouldn't it?) So do not expect so much as half an ounce next week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Emotions running high

I know this photo is nearly the same as the last one of Soho, but I love this pattern and am going to bore you all senseless with it! It is soooo easy and mindless (my favourite sort of knitting) but is soooo pretty! Gorgeous yarn too. I think you were all very mean not suggesting I carry on and knit it when I asked you on Saturday (except you Kathryn!). That will teach me to ask though I suppose! It is proving very addictive knitting.

Whilst this is not very addictive! By the time I needed to knit on Saturday evening, there were 2 votes to start a new pink sock, one for Soho and only one for a new sock. So I did as I was told. Grudgingly. However, it's growing fairly quickly so maybe one day soon I might have another pair of socks.

Yesterday in school was the prize giving day - awards being given to the child who has achieved the most and the one who has tried the most. Extra awards are also given where appropriate. I hate this whole thing - not because I think it's wrong you understand, but because I am an emotional wreck and always end up in tears.

Well yesterdays started with an award for a little boy in our class with cerebral palsy. When he first started with us in September, he could hardly walk, had no speech and wouldn't even tolerate holding a pencil, let alone making marks with it. Now he walks (no, runs) so fast, we have to run to keep up with him, he will sit still for up to 20 mins while the register, dinners and calendars are sorted, he can trace his name and is one of the most popular children in school. We all love him to bits. So when he toddled up to get his award, there was barely a dry eye in the house. I cried. Lots. Then one by one other children got up to receive their awards too - all their parents shed a tear. I shed a bucket load.

And then the choir got up to sing. Oh dear oh me. Whether it was all the pent up emotion from Saturday, I just don't know, but I really and truly got very upset in deed. It is such a pain being an emotional person, especially when work colleagues sit pointing and laughing at you. That just made me angry - do people think I cry because I like being a laughing stock?

I have always felt other people's emotions - if I see someone sad, I feel sad too. I wish I could harden myself off a bit, toughen up, but sadly I seem to be getting worse. I'm far better off pretending to be an ostrich and shutting off the outside world by burying my head in the sand.

But then in the evening, I watched a film. Anything with Maggie Smith in it is wonderful. The fact that Rowan Atkinson was also in it made it perfect. I laughed nearly all the way through this film and have even laughed today just remembering it. My work colleagues must think I'm mad - crying one day, laughing to myself the next.

They're coming to take me away ha ha, they're coming to take me away...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday pudding

Rhubarb and Ginger Fool

A year ago today, this happened, so today's pudding is dedicated to my father-in-law. This was rhubarb from our garden, the plant that he dug up quite a lot of years ago now from his garden and gave to us. There can be few other puddings which are so very English (sorry Non, who came from Wales!). I mean, who else would even consider calling a pudding a fool?

I've been working on this lately - Soho in Posh Yarn's Martha. What a great pattern. So easy and mindless and I just know I will love it when it's done - like a big scarfy wrappy thing in the prettiest of colours.

With all this mention of blankets and indeed scarfy wrappy things, I don't want you to think I've forgotten about the Startitis Sock Club. That is still alive and well. Look at all these socks without partners! I finally cast off Ensnared (the one on the far left) this week - what a chore it's been. Apart from the pretty patterned band near the top, the whole thing is knitted in twisted rib.

I'm wondering if it's about time to cast on another one - what do you think? Or should I perhaps maybe think of completing a pair?! The decision lies with you! Please vote
  1. new sock
  2. 2nd ensnared
  3. 2nd monkey
  4. 2nd zig zag anklet
  5. mystery blanket
  6. Golden Wedding blanket
  7. Soho
Think carefully when you make your choice!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How's it going then?

The progress? The diet? Stuff? How is it going? Or isn't it? On the whole subject of losing weight, I'm still going in the right direction - lost 1lb last week, Dotty Cookie is down another 2lbs. (That's nearly half a stone Dotty!!!!)

As to progress, well the colours haven't come out too well on this photo. I think this is my favourite square so far (yeah, yeah, yeah, I say that every time!) - loving the colours on this and really like the sequins. Shame they're such a palaver to put on, otherwise I'd be knitting sequins into everything!

I've got another square done for the GW blanket too, and of course I just had to lay them all out again! I like the way this is coming together, just awaiting new supplies of Posh Yarn now so I can add in some different colours - still yellows and golds, just different shades.

There are a few bloggers out there who need our thoughts this week. WMK's mum is very poorly. Mrs Locket's mother-in-law is also similarly ill. And Mrs Posh Yarn herself has got a nasty virus. Hope everyone gets much better very soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Progress part 3

I'm going to be quick today - yesterday I ended up losing a good few hours to Ravelry and not getting on with the knitting. Here we have another Mystery blanket square - pink sequins got to go on the top, as yet not knitted, stripe. It's a pretty square this one, I like it. (Please note the Monkee Maker bag, it holds all my little bits for the blanket - beads, sequins, scissors, cable needle etc. Are you jealous?)

And completed last night the latest one to go on the Golden Wedding Blanket. I'm not sure about this one - the outline is a bit too brown. But no way am I going to unpick all that Swiss darning, I'm sure in the whole blanket it won't stand out as being odd.

Right, I am now going to turn this machine off. Must cook tea then knit. No more browsing Ravelry! But before I leave, just let me tell you about a new group I joined last night. It's all about knitting that you've done for other people that hasn't been well received. Some of the stories are unbelievable - can you imagine one poor woman when she split up with her boyfriend, he took a lovingly made hand-knit jumper and cut it up in front of her? I seriously think I would have been in prison for murder had it been me.

Yes, I really am going now. Don't forget it's weigh day tomorrow...

Updated to add...
... whilst leaving a comment on a blog this evening, the word verification was a rude word (I'm too polite to repeat it!) - has anyone else had rude ones?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Progress part 2

Today I had the afternoon off. No children to worry about - be they in school or at home - no husband to worry about, empty ironing basket, tea was sorted, I had nothing to do! Well, I had plenty to do really, but nothing I wanted to do. So at 12.30, I settled myself down in front of the telly and prepared myself for two and a half hours of uninterrupted quality knitting time. I opted for The Blues Brothers (oh I'd forgotten just how funny that film is) and set about the mystery blanket. It is now much less of a mystery of course - the laws of symmetry more or less tell us what's happening where.

It doesn't really show up all that well does it against the red carpet. I managed to sew lots of the squares together today and cast on for the top left sequin one. I can hardly wait until it's all done, then I can show you a picture outside in decent light. The colours sing, the light on the beads is beautiful and the sequins give it an almost electrifying zinginess!

I was having such a glorious afternoon that it was 3.15 before I realised. Peace and quiet shattered. Children home, arguments and fighting started, the constant 'muuuum can I have....'

Oh heavy, heavy sigh. It was nice while it lasted.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I'm determined to do lots of knitting this week. Here we have the last red lacy square from the mystery blanket - it's taken over a week to get this little square off the needles. I hate knitting it - cables and lace are not my forte. This other one however is right up my street - will finish that tonight and hopefully cast on another one. Or I might get some of them sewn together. Or maybe not.

My diet has hit a huge blip today. Hopefully things will go better tomorrow - it's cooler today and right now I could kill for a hot chocolate! Anyone else want to join me for a virtual pretend big steaming mug of chocolate? Marshmallows, cream, chocolate sprinkles? Make mine a double...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Pudding

There was no Saturday Pudding this week - it was Carnival day here yesterday and to be honest, everyone was very lucky to get anything to eat at all, let alone pudding! But today I made a creme caramel - did less caramel (in the very likely false assumption that it would be better for me!) and stuffed it full of fresh raspberries, loganberries and strawberries. Mr Stressy had lots of cream on his, I was good and didn't have any! (cream that is, not pudding!)

Glad to see the diets are going well everyone. I'm trying, but it's so difficult. People who say 'oh it's far too hot to eat chocolate' are either lying, insane or plain wierd. It is never too hot for chocolate - a mars bar straight from the fridge? Yummy, scrummy for my tummy!

I am starting to feel a bit bogged down by all the knitting I have got to do. There is just so much - loads of half finished stuff, the Golden Wedding Blanket is already falling behind schedule, oh so many single socks, the Soho wrap, the little bunny egg cosies promised as presents, a new pattern for a hedgehog which is just desperate to be cast on and of course the Mystery Blanket. I think it's time for another WIP week. I shall try very hard and get some stuff completed this week - will also try hard to blog every day so you can see what I'm up to. Have no cakes this week, husband is away, no visitors, I should manage tons of stuff. (But what's the betting I end up spending hours browsing through Ravelry instead?)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Irene and Nora (and diet news)

It's just too hot for me. Too much sun. Too much heat. Too many sweaty bodies. For the first time in quite a while I've had a cake to do - the icing does not like hot weather, it becomes very soft. Making models is really difficult - all the icing wants to do is make a big sticky shapeless blob on the board. This cake is for a work colleague of Mr Stressy - twins, and all she gave me was a very old black and white photo and said she wanted it 'pretty with the twins on the side'. Why do people do it to me? So I have been up until 1am every night this week trying to get this decorated in the cool of the evening.

And I am now rather tired.

But anyway, enough of all this, sorry it's a day late, but how are all the diets going? Dotty Cookie let me know straight away on Thursday (weigh day) that she has lost an amazing 4lb! Great stuff Dotty, I'm obviously up for competition with the raffle. Oh, and me? I've lost 3lb. What about everyone else?

It is not too late to join in with this. All you do is send me something fabulous and crafty that you really love, pledge to lose weight and for every pound you lose, you get one raffle ticket. Even if you put weight back on next time, it still doesn't alter the fact that you have your tickets. I will do a raffle draw sometime like New Year's Day and see who wins which goodies. But be warned, I'm a woman on a mission, I don't want to lose my Posh Yarn! (And I need to fit into some of my clothes rather than buying a bigger size - again)