Sunday, September 30, 2007

A busy weekend with Vera

There were important jobs to do this weekend. First of all (actually this was Thursday evening, but it was nearly the weekend) Vera helped me to make son number 2's birthday cake. I had to explain to Vera that it wasn't really his birthday, that was in August, but I've only just got round to organising the party, so it didn't really matter that she hadn't bought a card. (Phew - she was worried!) Vera had great fun doing the decorating...

Next there were new friends to meet - I took Vera to school with me. These are the Class 1 teddies - Willoughby and Weatherby. She was very good and provided excellent care for the little ones - fortunately no wet clothes to change. Or anything else much worse...

Then on Saturday it was party time - she's never been bowling before but thought it was great fun. Loved sliding around on the floor - it's so slippy!

Coudn't decide which ball to choose - opted for the pretty pink one in the end.

And then we bought some 'Sahara Nuts' for us all to share, but we had to get in quick as Vera thought they were very delicious!

And before we went home, she chose her very own Party Bag which Weatherby was quite keen on sharing, but Vera wasn't feeling in a particularly generous mood!

And today being Sunday, we're all having a nice quiet day knitting. Monkee Maker you have taught her well, look at that pretty mitred square she's done for Oliver's blanket. A perfect 4" square. Good work Vera, now she's off to play with Bartholomew, as he's been getting a tad restless!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lucky lucky me!

Oh how bad have I been? Three more skeins of Posh Sophia for Tipsy. Three. Yes, I know, I'm greedy, but Dee has this effect on me! But look at that box that Bartholomew is sitting on. Not a Posh Yarn Pink Package. Oh no. Something very different.

Vera has arrived everyone! Monkee maker did not shoot her after all. She has arrived safe and well, just a tad hungry and thirsty.

Tucking in to the Minstrels - I offered her fresh bananas , but no, like all intelligent females, she opted for the chocolates instead. And as to the Stella? No thank-you very much, this lady is all about class, er sorry - Class. It must be something to do with arriving in the post with the Posh Yarn. She took one look at the champagne and instantly went for that instead. Note that Bartholomew is reaching out for chocolate too. She's proving a very considerate nanny, as she only let him have one - mustn't rot those baby teeth now must we?

Vera loved climbing up into the Stash Basket. She's less keen on the 2 chameleons (sat on those) but is getting on very well with all the rabbits.

Now just how lucky am I? Thank-you so much Monkee Maker, she is wonderful and is fitting right in here. When I go back to work this afternoon, I dread to think the escapades she'll be getting up to. Might even have to take her in to school one day, I could do with an extra pair of hands...

And enclosed with the package is a square made of knit to go on Oliver's Blanket. Many, many thanks. With all this goodness happening, I can only think that I'll be in a good mood for the rest of the day. Or at least until I get back to school!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tipsy Tuesday

The thing about Fair Isle is that it looks lovely on the back too - especially when the picture's a bit blurred! This is the second sleeve, like I've said before, I'm not a fast knitter. I would, however be a bit faster if I didn't spend so long on this computer.

Hope you're all knitting me a square by now. Come on, I need to start sewing them together! If you know my home address, please send them here, but if not, use the address on the side bar.

I've had a bad day today (a very shitty one in fact if you get my drift Kerrie) so I won't dwell on it. Going to cook tea now. Take care all and get those needles clicking - 4" is really quite small...

Monday, September 24, 2007

First Square

So here it is then - the first of what I hope will be many squares for 'Oliver's Blanket'. Bartholomew has taken quite a fancy to this square and has requested that he hold on to it for a little while.

Just in case anyone apart from Minxxy wondered, there are 26 stitches and I used 3.75mm needles. Oh and I used Posh Yarn's Emily - a very lovely yarn to knit with if you've not yet tried it - it was a little bit left over from 'Bump's Blanket'. The address to send squares to is over there (I'm pointing, can you see?) along with any raffle ticket money. We're going to try and sort something else out regarding money so you don't have to just send cash, but I'm slow at things like this, so please bear with me for now.

We're all a bit excited over here at the Stash Basket today, we'll shortly be having a new addition to the fold. Vera . Bartholomew can hardly contain himself! Alfie is a bit worried about the impact a monkey will have on his offspring, while Blossom just raised her eyes patiently to the ceiling and started looking for Banana Cake recipes!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A small Request...

Do you all know Oliver? If not, he is a wonderful little boy (I'm assuming that, as I've yet to have the pleasure of meeting him in real life!) who has Cerebral Palsy. He is often featured on his mum's blog. If you don't read this blog, go and do it now, it's worth it.

Last year you may or may not know that we organised an e-bay stash auction, which actually turned into about 20 auctions, raising not far off £1000 to go towards much needed new equipment. (Sorry Emma if I'm getting any of this wrong). Well he's now in need of a new car seat. I went to Halfords to buy son number 2's car seat for less than £20. Oliver's will cost around £1700. So I'm asking for your help...
Whilst looking through the Stash Basket, I found lots of scraps of sock yarn. Too small to do much with. Too nice to throw away (throw away yarn? Never!) So I've come up with the idea of asking EVERYONE I know to knit me a square in sock yarn and send it to me. I will then sew all the squares together and make a beautiful blanket and then raffle it off.

So what do you all think? I'm asking for donations of squares (4 inch / 10 cm please) If you know anybody else who would like to join, please ask them - the more the merrier. And if you'd like a raffle ticket or two, I'm pricing those at £1 each (because of the exchange rate, I'm saying US $2 which I feel is near enough) I promise you that I'm very trustworthy and all money raised will head straight to Oliver's Fund. If enough squares turn up, I'm hoping to have the blanket finished and sent out before Christmas. Don't forget to include a name and contact address when you send your squares in!
Many thanks. You are all very nice people!
Providing the squares are near enough to 4", I don't mind what stitch or style you use. And please get them to me asap - but let's give end of October as a cut off date.
Another update!
If you don't have sock yarn, don't worry (I'm just obviously greedy!) It's just that I'd rather stay away from the lace weights and really chunky stuff. So 4-ply, double knit and maybe aran, but nothing thicker. Hope this is OK.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Drum Roll Please...

Now I know you're all going to think I cheated here, but honest I didn't. The winner of the grand prize giveaway is that completely barking mad Monkee Maker. A shoe-box of goodies is on its way as we speak - hope you like them. You'd better, the blooming postage was a fortune!

Just in case you don't trust me though, I pulled another random name out of the hat (actually it was a glass dish) - so Daisie if you send me your address, I can put prize number 2 in an envelope (no Daisie, I am not sending you my FCS, you need to finish yours!)

And you all know how I love clever knitting don't you? Well this little bag is cleverness itself. Shadow knitting. I love it, but blimey, it was a bit of a nightmare remembering how and when and where. I made this ages ago, pretty don't you think? (No Monkee Maker, this is not in the shoe box. This is mine. All mine.)

Has anybody out there bought the new Kaffe Fassett book? Or the new one from Martin Storey? If so, let me know what you think, I'm wondering whether to treat myself as a blog birthday present. Or should I just stick with the wild and wacky needles from Harmony? Will they be available at Ally Pally, or do I sweet talk Clara into posting me some over here?

Decisions, decisions. I'm too tired to be decisive tonight, someone else please choose for me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

All in a day's knitting...

OK Monkee Maker, this one's for you. This was my Sunday knitting and the places in my house that I did my Sunday knitting. Above I managed to do a row of Tipsy whilst waiting for the kettle to boil for my morning cup of tea.

I hate ironing. I hate ironing so very much that the only way I can bear to do it is by saying 'iron 5 things, knit a row' so the latest square for Lizard Ridge was very soon nearly complete. And no of course I don't just stick with one row! I try to be very strong willed though.

Following the mammoth wash up after Sunday Lunch, I decided to have a few moments with Tipsy on the settee. You can't see, but behind the big orange bag is a basket full of yarn and behind that is a blue bag with another half-finished project in. And on the table is a little wooden bowl filled with oddments of Posh and Hipknits sock yarn.

So after bath time for youngest son, it was bed time - he does his reading book and practices spellings while I knit. No monkey made of knit, but a furry friend instead. And then it was back downstairs to do more Tipsy.

It looks like I've done loads of knitting, but I haven't really. I'm very slow. Oh the chocolate cake was finally collected next day with a great many apologies!

As to the grand prize draw for the goodies, I'll be doing it later on tonight, so come back tomorrow to find out if you've won. (And Monkee Maker, don't hold your breath on this one, the sack of stunt monkees still hasn't arrived...)


OK, I thought you'd have enough photos with the above, but here's progress of Tipsy - first sleeve done, second only just cast on! Happy now Clara!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007


Here I am at Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, knitting, as ever. You wanted to see places where we knit Monkee Maker, so here you are! I'll put some others on - the sort you really wanted (ie having a good old nose around my house!) another day.

So here it is. I'm officially 100 Blog Posts Old today. My husband has just said 'what are you on about?' He doesn't understand about the blog. In fact he doesn't understand very much about me, but happily he now just accepts me and gets on with life! He long since gave up asking questions.

So it appears that I have to organise a Give Away. Why? It's my birthday, you lot should all be sending me presents, not the other way round. Ah well, so be it. Only thing is, I don't know what to give away. My husband springs to mind, but you're all very sane people, you wouldn't want him. Besides, he wouldn't fit in the post box. No, it will have to be something else. Maybe even more than one something else.

Maybe something from the Stash Basket.
Maybe something to eat (bear in mind that the cakes really wouldn't survive in the post...)
Perhaps something to read.
Or something to sew.
Or maybe, just maybe, something of all the above.

Just leave me a comment between now and sometime next week (shall we say Tuesday?) and I'll put your name in the hat.

Oh by the way, I'm glad you all liked yesterday's chocolate cake. Despite calling me to arrange for collection, the recipient forgot to come and pick it up. So it's still in the kitchen. Waiting. Sad and lonely. Might go and have a slice now. Mrs Forgetful wouldn't mind would she?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chocolate Cake

Remember the 7-tier Wedding Cake? Well the Bride didn't get much of the cake apparently (it was enormous, where the heck did it all go?) and has requested another cake. Chocolate almond, like before, but she wanted it chocolaty on the outside as well. Hope she's not on a diet. There's about six trillion calories sitting on that there board. Chocolate, butter, cream, chocolate, almonds, sugar, Thornton's chocolates, more butter and a bit more chocolate in case there wasn't quite enough in the first place.

My diet is going very badly. Is it any wonder? There are cake trimmings to be had and bowls to lick. Toblerones are half price in Sainsbury's and I'm a greedy pig. Life is just not fair.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cold feet and warm toes

It's very difficult to take a photo of your own feet isn't it? Following the outcry (by one particular blogger) about the cruelty involved in making an 8-year old boy wear a pink girly sock, I thought I'd better try on the pair myself. Besides, he's in bed and I don't feel like waking him up just to try on the socks.

These are for mum and dad as a new home present. I know, I know. Strange new home present, especially for dad, but there is a reason. Mum has been really worried about the move, so I made these in case she got 'cold feet', but if she really did get cold feet, I made them so that she could wear the socks rather than making dad suffer with her icy tootsies.

Glad to see you're making as much sense as ever Michaela. But I'm just so excited. Now these are done, I can pick up Tipsy again. Yippee! Or as my American friend Clara said, 'Happy Happy Happy Dance'.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sober Tuesday

Well, today being Tuesday, it's supposed to be Tipsy Tuesday. But I haven't picked poor old Tipsy up all week. I've been doing cakes, finishing mum's Ruffled Garden - or is it Garden Ruffle? - sock and horror of horrors, finishing off someone elses knitting.

This last one is proving a real labour of love. A friend started knitting a Guernsey for her grandson, she got stuck with the neck gussets and asked me to help. The 'help' has turned into a full scale finishing off. It's a hopeless pattern with very minimal instructions (to cut down on printing costs I presume) on how to do the blessed gussets, on neck and underarms. The wool is 'pure wool' but is so scratchy, I can't imagine the grandson will ever want to wear it. Which is a shame as it's been beautifully knitted by Granny. I'll take a picture when I've finished sewing it up.

But all is not doom and gloom. Some lovely new yarn has arrived today from Kerrie via Marianne. it's the all new 'Coast' and is wonderful - can't wait to start knitting with it, but for the moment, it will just be stroked a lot! Yet more sock yarn, and I'm not really a great sock knitter, but this just has to be my favourite yarn weight. The Stash Basket is over-flowing with the stuff.

Perhaps I'm getting ready for a de-stash. And on the subject of that, according to the post thingy on the side, this will be Post Number 97, yet on the Dashboard, it will be number 100. Who do I believe? Think I'll go with 97, gives me more time to organise a give-away!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Anyone for pudding?

For tea tonight it's our favourite, known in our house as a 'Pig's Picnic'. All sorts of things bought from Sainsburys, so I pretty much have the night off. We've got kebabs, chicken wings (bugger, just remembered that they're still in the freezer) Indian nibbly bits, sesame prawn toast, garlic bread, salad, carrot sticks, cheese.. (note how I put the salad in just so that you don't think we're really unhealthy!) and anything else I can find lurking in the fridge.
And then there's pudding. Anyone want a piece? Raspberry and strawberry lemon tart. With chocolate of course! You'll need to be quick though. We're pigs at our picnic!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Emily's Cake

Oh look, here we go again. It's tomorrow already and I still haven't been to bed. My back and feet are killing me (sounds like it should be mentioned somewhere in a Madness Lyric Warren, but haven't the energy to find it!) but I just need a few minutes to unwind before bed time.
You know how you sometimes get too tired to fall asleep? Well I'm at that point now. Body's exhausted but brain won't stop chatting to me.
Sorry Mad Monkee Maker Lady, the car cake has been collected, so you can't have it. You may, however like to pop over one day next week when it's my 100th blog birthday. Maybe something edible will be offered up as a birthday prize... (nothing fancy like the above as it wouldn't survive in the post, but maybe something else...)
I've mastered the staying dry thing at school. I just send the poor little boy to the toilet every 10 minutes! I really shouldn't have said that should I? Tempting Fate and all that. Someone's bound to do it again tomorrow. Then I'll be back home for dry things. Luckily I only live 2 mins walk from school.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rob's Cake

I like driving in my car,
Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, diddle, iddle.
It's not quite a jaguar,
Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, diddle, iddle...
Good job it's not quite a jaguar really as it's supposed to be an MG(F).
It's late. I'm tired. I'm cracking up. Kitchen's a mess, haven't made the lunches for tomorrow yet, not sorted the washing out, or the dishwasher. And we're already half an hour into tomorrow. Must go.
Oh, nobody weed on me today if you're at all interested. No, didn't think you were, but you know now.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tipsy Tuesday

Tipsy Tuesday here and I've not had a drop to drink all day, but I have to say I'm gasping for a cup of tea! Here's the sleeve so far - it's sped along thanks to the summer holidays, but as I'm now back at work and the cake orders are rushing in, knitting time is very limited. I love everything about this knitting and am so excited. Hope it will fit!
Well it was the first day back at school so we had to cope with all the tears and tantrums! I had a particularly distraught child at the end of playtime (he's 4) who just didn't want to go back in to school. I tried everything and in the end picked him up and cuddled him - instant relief, he put his head on my shoulder and stopped crying straight away, snuggling into my neck. Poor little soul. It was only after a few minutes that I realised why he was so upset - he'd wet himself and all this wee had gone through his clothes and onto me. So once I sorted him out, I went home to get changed myself! Oh I love my job, but these first few days in Reception are very trying.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


When we went on holiday to Yorkshire at the start of August, my parents joined us for a few days. Mum didn't have any knitting to do, so I took her something along - the Invisibility Shawl from Charmed Knits (designed by my very good friend Kerrie). We'd neither of us done a provisional cast on before, but thanks to some very clear instructions, managed it just fine. Anyway, mum brought it round yesterday nearly finished and left it for me to complete. And would you just look at it - isn't it beautiful? We used Schaeffer Anne Sock Yarn - well I think that's what it was.

I've had such fun all day being invisible. At first the boys didn't quite understand the game, but once I explained, they got the general idea. 'Mum's just having one of her funny turns, if we go along with it all, maybe she'll make us a nice cake and not chuck it on the floor this time'. (In case you're wondering, the disaster that was yesterday's blackberry cake all went in the bin - I once worked in a pub kitchen for a few days and saw the chef scoop up some poor soul's lunch from the floor and send it out to be eaten. Anything on the floor? Straight in the bin!)

So as a treat, I decided to make a raspberry tart (pate sucree base, creme patissiere filling, fresh raspberries on top and apricot glaze). And you know what? It tasted rather good. Even extremely fussy youngest son ate it.