Monday, April 30, 2007


I didn't learn to knit until I was 17. I had always sewed, but something about wool appealed to me. Mum taught me - asked me to go out and find a pattern and some wool. I chose a grey raglan jumper with flecks of colour splashed among it, intarsia style, using about 50 skeins of tapestry wool. It was fabulous. I loved it. Mum freaked out. But she persevered, taught me and the rest as they say is history.
Two years later, I went to Leicester Poly to read pharmacy (I had always wanted to be a dentist but didn't quite make the grades, needing 3 B's at A level, I got 2 B's and a D). From the word go, I hated pharmacy, it was difficult, complicated and full of things that were way beyond my level of comprehension. So to help me concentrate while I read endless pharmacology books (yawn!) I knitted. I made squares. I also did a Kaffe Fasset cardigan, 2 jumpers and a scarf, but mostly I did squares.Mum did some too, and my grandma and aunt (the latter 2 both sadly now departed) and even some friends
I kidded myself that I was working really hard. I suppose I was, but not at the pharmawotsitthingy. The knitting took over.
This blanket is full of memories for me. I can remember where I bought most of the wool from, which square came first, who knitted them and so on. It is a very special blanket. It doesn't normally lay on the bed - too many squares with the curtains as they are - but I love it all the same.
It took 2 long years for me to realise that pharmacy just wasn't for me. So I went to learn how to become a cook instead. This I loved from day one and hardly did any knitting at all.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

'How Much?'

Here's the first glove - finished. I'm so thrilled with it and it fits just like a glove. Surprising that really! I took it to school on Friday and was showing it around (only 2 fingers were done by then) One lady, who I felt should have known better, said it was lovely and if I had bought a pair like that in a shop, it would have cost me about £20. She really thought she was paying me a compliment. I tried to explain that it has actually cost me over £30 and that is without all the time involved. She was shocked - 'But why, you can buy gloves so cheaply?' I give up. I shall keep my woolly projects to myself from now on!
So have you seen the new Yarn Forward? It's great, loads of stuff in there that I want to knit as well as a very interesting article by Dee on how to Blog. You want to see where I'm knitting then do you Dee? Well so far today, I've knitted in the kitchen, dining room, bathroom, 2 of the bedrooms and the garden. The garden you've seen, but as for pictures of the rest, well you'll have to wait! (Unless of course you take me up on the Broadband and doughnuts offer!)
I'm now knitting flowers again. Yes, I know, I know, I should really be doing the other glove, but it's the whole casting on something different thing again. The WIP pile continues to grow. If only the family didn't need to eat or wear clothes (especially the ironed sort) I'd be fine...

Thursday, April 26, 2007


So what do you think of this then? Last year in school I ran a patchwork club and at long last I've got round to finishing it off. No doubt all you quilters out there will be horrified by my talents, but hey, I tried! It's based on Kaffe Fasset's 'Circus Tents' and considering most of the children involved barely knew how to sew, I think they did a pretty good job. It will be hung on a wall somewhere along a corridor.

The glove is progressing well - we now have a finger! I've not done Fairisle or Intarsia for ages and am really loving the colour work. So much so that I'm already thinking of what to knit next. (A second glove would be an advantage I feel!) I keep seeing Alice Starmore mentioned on the internet and think I might like to do one of her designs. But do I really want to darn in all those ends? So how about cheat's fairisle using a variegated yarn. Anybody out there got any wonderful ideas?

Sadly no more glove knitting tonight, I've got to make a Spitfire out of icing. Ah the things I have to do just to feed my wooly obsession.

See you tomorrow?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Small World

Oh I so wish you were here at the moment to be able to smell these lily of the valley. They are wonderful and are filling up the whole room with their perfume. We have lots of them in the garden but they tend to hide, so I always try to pick a bunch. You can't tell where they came from in the garden.
And on the subject of you being here, I have been thrilled by the comments from people I've never even met. Yesterday, 'picperfic' (aka Marianne) (yes I did make the cake) joined us from a small village in Cambridgeshire. Hello! We could live in the same village and not even know it. I also heard from Linda in Australia. Let me calm down and say that again. Australia. No, I'm not any calmer. Wow! I've never known anyone from there (except a mad ship broker who I used to work with, he went back home to become a DJ - do you know him Linda? we called him Oz). And then there was a message from Clara in the US. Clara has become a friend since we joined the Colour Swap thingy. So 3 comments from people from as far apart as they come. It suddenly seems like a very small world.
As to the Man Utd score, yes they won 3 - 2, but will be playing the return match next week at Milan. No tears at bed time for us then! Well, at least until next week.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Manchester United

Bit of a trick photo this one. The only football cake I could find on the camera is of Arsenal. And I needed one of Man Utd, but they both have red shirts so this will have to do.

My children are both avid Man U supporters and apparently they're playing in some semi-final tonight against Milan. Tough opposition I understand. Anyway, come on Rooney and Ronaldo, my children are depending on you to win. Please don't make my life hell tonight. I need them to be good so I can carry on with the glove, and if you lose, I'll just spend the evening drying tears!

Monday, April 23, 2007


This is a view of a bit of our garden. I don't do the garden. I knit. I bake. I wash up. I iron. I'll do pretty much anything else, but I really don't do the garden. This is my husband's place. I live in the kitchen, he lives in the garden. I tease him about some of the plants - they're not allowed to look like plants, but spheres, boxes, anything neat and tidy. That's another thing I don't do. Neat and tidy is not for me. But I do love the garden! It's all very blue and green at the moment, which I like best. I like the way the little hedges change colour, like the lawn meandering in curves, like the way the cherry blossom looks like snow... yes, today I like the garden.

In school, each class has a little plot and it was my very dubious pleasure to weed it today with some of the children. Some of whom had never even held a trowel. We planted some cornflowers once the bed was ready. Most of us got covered with mud. How inappropriate of me to wear a cream cardigan! Wish my husband didn't have to go work, I could have used his talents today!

I'm off to knit some glove now. Have I mentioned before how much I love my glove?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

Anyone for a piece of cake? I've never much enjoyed the idea of making my own cake, but such is life - no-one else volunteered to do it. Had to make 2 cakes as well - one for school and one for home. We all like chocolate. We all like chocolate a lot!

I've had the children in school guessing how old I am today. It ranged from 16 to 100. I love the way that when you're 4, 16 is such a huge number. However, when I told one little boy that I'm 41, his reaction - 'woah, that's really old, not even my dad is as old as that' - had me rushing home ready to start digging a big hole! And the teacher got them all counting and clapping to 41 (it's apparently good practise). You don't realise quite how old you are until you hear how long it takes to clap that far. It's a long time I can tell you!

The champagne is in the fridge ready for later and pudding is sorted, but what to make for tea is the next problem. Is Champagne and Birthday Cake enough for tea? Or have I really got to cook something else? I just want to carry on with my glove!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Scarves and gloves

Isaac let me borrow a couple of his teddies to model one of this years finished objects and one of last years unfinished ones. Mr Snuggles is wearing the Cable and Bobble scarf from Debbie Bliss' book 'Special Family Knits'. (You know, the one with that most gorgeous of Supermodels on the front, Miss Brooke Allman) The scarf was great to knit - haven't done cables in years - and the yarn was a dream come true, silk and cashmere mix.

Less fun to knit is Scribble (that's Raffles wearing it) from Mason Dixon. It's just never ending and oh so boring and it keeps springing off the needles and it's self-frogging and it is driving me nuts! However, I've just had an e-mail from Ann Shayne (wow! I must be going up in the world if famous people are e-mailing me!) to tell me to stick with it. So I will Ann, honest...

Oh yes, and Alfie wanted to join in the photo too but as he didn't have a pretty scarf to wear, I gave him a chocolate egg instead. He was quite happy with that!

Yes but look what I'm knitting now. I've joined in my first ever kal - -not only is it my first ever kal, it will be my first ever glove. I am LOVING how this is turning out. It is, however, very addictive and nothing, but nothing is getting done . Some people have described me as 'potty' to be knitting gloves in spring - hope you're reading this Mrs Posh. Potty? Me? I'm as normal as they come round here! Again Alfie wanted to join in. He likes the camera does this little bunny....

I must go now as it's nearly bed time and I have a chocolate cake to decorate, 30 biscuits to bake , washing up to do and just a few rounds of a glove to knit. But first let me say a big thank-you to all the kind people who are leaving me comments and the strangers who don't even know me. Let me know where you're from, I really am interested See you tomorrow

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Disaster in the kitchen...

Today I decided to make some ice cream - ok so the picture looks pretty horrible, but it was actually not at all bad. Brown bread ice cream. I'm trying to be healthy (ha ha) so thought that brown bread in anything must be good news. Never mind the 4 raw eggs, half pint of cream and 4oz of sugar. It's got brown bread in. It must therefore be good news for the diet. The first problem was I didn't have any demerara sugar, no matter, soft brown sugar must be similar. So you toast the sugar and breadcrumbs under the grill until 'lightly golden'. Well it didn't say to watch the crumbs with eagle-eyes. So I didn't. I hung the washing out instead. Next thing I knew, black smoke (and I mean Black) was pouring out of my kitchen door, the smoke alarms were going beserk and the children were asking if I'd burnt something. Moi? I am Cordon Bleu trained. I don't burn things. I hastily threw the whole lot in the bin using my super-thick oven gloves and started again, this time watching very carefully and turning the crumbs at 10 second intervals. Naturally I denied all knowledge of the incident and blamed the smoke on the poor farmer next door who must have had a bonfire.

So tell me please, am I truely the only person who can make ice cream and nearly have to get the Fire Brigade to rescue her?

Back to wooly stuff tomorrow. I feel safer with 2mm needles, some fantastic Posh Yarn and a pattern that is even more complicated than this whole blogging thing...

(Like why have I got a huge space here?)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Alfie's Pad

Back to all things wooly today. Here is The Stash Basket. I keep all my favourite stash in here. Well, I keep all the stuff that I'll let my husband see. The rest is secreted throughout the house in various cupboards, drawers, ottomans (hmm, should that be 'ottomen'?) where he won't ever find it. Why doesn't he understand? A girl can NEVER have enough yarn. So what if I won't be able to use it all this side of my 100th birthday. It looks nice, feels beautiful and really, if the worst I can do is buy too much yarn, then I think he's pretty lucky don't you?

Actually, The Stash Basket has recently been given a new name. The more observant among you may have seen a little bunny sitting happily on top. He is called Alfie and is one of those fantastic Little Cotton Rabbits from Julie ( ) He's a very opinionated Bunny, but oh so polite and friendly. He gets on very well with his new friends Chameleon and Teddy (who he says need new names) He recently came on holiday with us and behaved impeccably. Alfie's a bit of a dare devil and tried lots of new things for a rabbit, including fishing, tree climbing and building sand castles. Only problem came when he saw the buzzards flying though and hid in my pocket. I never knew rabbits could move so fast.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Custard Cream

Ok, ok, I give in! I was going to show you this on Wednesday, but as ever, I bow down to popular demand! This cake has gone to a work colleague of a friend. Apparently every day at about 11 am this man unwraps 3 custard cream biscuits for his elevenses. Never changes, always the same, so for his birthday, they thought that this cake would be a good idea. I did wonder about making a bite out of the corner, but hey, who would then eat the 'bite'? Any volunteers for next time? (Sorry Dee, you're out of this one, unless of course I use up all that gluten-free flour I've got...)
Today was back to school day for all the staff (I'm a teaching assistant for a reception class for all of you who don't know me). And hooray and hallelieuia, my own children go back tomorrow. Ah. slight draw back there. I lose 2 and gain 30. Hmm. Should I really be celebrating? Yes of course. How much trouble can 30 four and five year olds be?
I had to take my own dear children to football training tonight. As it was only for an hour, I decided to stay - took my knitting of course to while away the tedium (not really boys, I love to watch you train). I made a flower today. I love making flowers - this one is to go on a cardigan (rib and cable jacket from Debbie Bliss's new book). Have now finished the back, just the sleeves , fronts and collar to go. Wish it would knit as quickly as the flower. Maybe will show you a picture of that another day... if you're interested, you'll have to come back tomorrow.
But of course, if you're not interested, bye bye and it was nice knowing you!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My first post.

Well, hello and welcome to my everso slightly insane world.

I knit, I bake, I knit a bit more and then I have to do all the boring things like ironing. Ugh, I so hate ironing. I hate it so much I'm not going to waste any more time on the subject.

We (husband, children and me) have just spent a few days in North Wales visiting my in-laws. It's a beautiful part of the country and so peaceful. Whilst there, I managed to escape for a solitary walk in the sunshine - with the knitting of course. And just look where I sat and did a few rows of Lizard Ridge... dappled sunshine, babbling brook, peace and quiet.
I'm really enjoying Lizard Ridge, but have now run out of Noro so it's ground to a halt after only 4 squares! Good job I've got plenty of other stuff to be getting on with. But more on that another day, if I can work out how to post (I'm pretty much computer illiterate so please bear with me...)