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?