Sunday, March 29, 2009

In which we talk about gin, dancing and puddings.

I went out last night. I actually had a social life. With people, real live people. No children. It was so exciting that I forgot that I was teetotal.

I have now decided that I am not teetotal after all. Drank copious quantities of gin. Got somewhat squiffy, so squiffy in fact that I danced. Me. I don't do dancing.

When I woke up this morning, it was to find that I was quite clear headed. No head ache at all. Didn't want much to eat, but that won't do me any harm. All in all, a good night out with the girlies from work.

I wore my Forest Canopy shawl last night and decided that it needed re-blocking. I don't do conventional blocking - don't know how to and don't have any of those big wires, so I used a duvet cover that looks like graph paper and a big box of pins. It looks a whole lot better now...

...and such pretty colours...

... that I think I need to go out again, just to confirm that I really am not teetotal.

And in case you thought I'd forgotten again, here's Sunday Pudding (Saturday's got eaten before I could take the photo). Blackberry and apple grunt - good old Nigella!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What went wrong?

When I first got my new kitchen just over a year ago, I vowed to keep it so tidy, not even Mr Stressy could have cause for complaint. It would always look like this. No clutter. Nothing out of its place. Clean open space in which to bake and be the Domestic Goddess to which I strive.

Ah. This was my kitchen this afternoon. Needless to say, Mr Stressy was not coming home tonight!!!!! He would have completely done his nut had he seen this! In all fairness, I am in the middle of baking here and I do like to have everything out when I'm using it. (Does anyone out there use, say, flour, then put it away, then get the sugar out and use that then put it away? Is there such a thing as a tidy cook?)

I have now tidied up. The washing up remains unwashed, but at least the work top is clear.

Well, clear apart from 2 cooling racks with this on...

... and this...

Anyone want a piece?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another square, another rabbit.

Finished this square last night. I've already made one of these, but in different colours. Last time I didn't enjoy making it and it really dragged. But this time was so different - I loved it! Amazing the difference a change of colour can make!

I gave mum her little bunny egg cosy on Mother's Day and as predicted, she thought it was gorgeous. Also as predicted she wanted more - well, at least one for dad (so his egg wouldn't get cold). So here is egg cosy number 2. Must give them names - any suggestions?

If you haven't yet bought a copy of this pattern, I really think you should. Beautifully explained and photographed throughout. You need one of these believe me! Available from here.

Major stress levels here - Mr Stressy was away in London and not due back until Thursday. He's just phoned to say that he's home in about an hour. Change of plans. Oh flip. The house is a TIP. Well, it isn't really, but by his standards it is. Anyone free to help hoover and cook tea?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Pudding

Following the dreadful state of Saturday puddings over the past few weeks (ie non existent!) have a Sunday Pudding instead. This is a chocolate ripple cheesecake made by my mum. All I need say about this is that it tasted even better than it looked. And it looks mighty fine don't you think?

I've been knitting mystery blanket squares for the past few days - a slow process because as soon as I seem to sit down in the evenings lately, I just fall fast asleep. Not conducive to a good night's knitting!

I have decided that despite this being The Year Of The Sock, I am going to have to have a month off during April. It will be The Month Of The Blanket. I have lots of felted jumpers awaiting transformation - those very nice people at Lands End have sent me another big box full of non usable jumpers. I now have mountains of jumpers! I have promised them that I will not use them for personal gain and all things made will be used for charity. Quite looking forward to this particular challenge - some lovely colours have turned up recently. Must do this while Mr Stressy is out at work though. The fluff reaches dangerous levels when cutting out!

There are still the outstanding St Dunstan's blankets too. Typical of me that as the weather improves, my thoughts turn to blankets!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I have escaped from school (we're in the middle of an Ofsted inspection) because I just had to show you this. Julie is having a little giveaway over here and you could win a pattern to make this egg cosy.

Now I am under no illusions whatsoever that this version made by me is anywhere near as wonderful as the real thing, but it's still really rather cute don't you think? Having finished the knitting of her last night, I needed some toy filling, but what do you know, I didn't have any. Needs must when you're desperate, so I sliced open a cushion and used that! It's not right though, far too springy, so when I make the next one (and oh boy will I be making many more of these) I promise to do it properly and buy the proper stuff.

Maybe tonight I'll get on with the blanket - either the mystery one, or the St Dunstan's one, or maybe finish a sock or maybe even cast on another sock.

I wonder if the Ofsted Inspector would mind if I sat and knitted this afternoon and let the children get on and play. After all, that's the way to make them learn better according to last night's Horizon (which Mr Stressy made me turn off because it was so boring - hmm, bet he wouldn't have said that if the programme had been about cars!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystery blanket square

Just finished this square and I've discovered something. I love knitting with beads but I hate knitting with sequins. Far too fiddly and sticky together. But I will put up with it because look at the finished square. Isn't it lovely?

Can't stop long today - whilst I would love to chat, I need to go and keep my mother in law company. And maybe cast on another square...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Postie has been very good to me this week. Look at what he brought yesterday - a box all the way from America with 10 beautifully knitted squares inside, a bag of chocolates (soooo delicious!) and a very pretty butterfly card. Thank-you so much Pink Sky. I really must get round to doing the final squares blanket for St Dunstan's. I'm so slow though - seem to have started one too many projects as ever!

Postie also dropped this round for me - he knows not to bring yarn round when Mr Stressy is at home, just to save my marriage!!! This is Charlotte (Posh Yarn of course) in Will O'Wisp - such an aptly given name. Will be casting on a sock fairly soon with that one! The photo does not do it justice - lovely subtle colours, so, so gorgeous.

But look here at this will you. The first Posh Poppy Sock has been done. I had to change the toe (it would have been an inch longer if I'd followed the instructions) but I love it so much. The pattern is bonkers. Stark staring bonkers. I love the bobbles, I love the 'poppies', I love the top ribbing, the line round the heel, the fancy heel, the thick chequerboard sole, the mad toes... it's great! Fits well too - I went up a size with the needles, which may be why the foot was long, but smaller needles would have made it too tight.

Anyway, for now, I just intend to admire the sock. It will not be getting a partner for quite some time. I have 5 Mystery Blanket squares to do this month - very quickly before the next month's squares turn up!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Drum Roll Please...

The children were behaving for once so I let them choose who was going to win the blanket.

The tickets were all written on and put in a Sainsbury's margarine tub (empty).

We shook the tub.

We scattered the tickets on the table.

We put the tickets back in the tub.

We shook the tub again to make sure they were well and truly shuffled.

And the Winner of the blanket is


Sorry everyone else, but the raffle was really and truly fairly drawn by eldest son, so if you have any complaints, send them to him please.

Whilst I pass all of your complaints onto him, Kathryn, would you be so kind as to send me your address please.

Last Chance

Did you donate or pledge something last night on comic Relief that you haven't already declared? If so let me know very very quickly! My mother-in-law is coming to stay later on today so I'm charging round the house like a loony trying to tidy up. Just as soon as I've finished I'll be drawing the raffle. And just in case you're interested, I've written out over 300 tickets, so well done you! And thank you.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


I've spent the past 4 hours baking in the kitchen (hmm, where else would you bake?). Do not worry, there is lots more cake than this, but I just put a bit on the plate. Chocolate and cherry flapjacks, cream cheese and white chocolate cookies, cherry scones and a cherry bakewell cake (recipe courtesy of Caked Crusader). At the time of taking this photo, I also had 2 mincemeat loaves and a batch of brownies in the oven. Not happy with the brownies though, I committed the ultimate sin and left them in the oven too long. Not up to your standard Trashy. I blame this man. I was too busy watching him on a dvd, laughing myself stupid, that I never got round to thinking about cooking times!

I felt it was a good idea to watch something funny whilst doing the whole baking for Comic relief bit. I have always liked Jasper. So ridiculously funny and wonderful facial expressions. I think it's a case of love or hate with him - myself, I'm in the love campus, but Mr Stressy far prefers Ken Dodd (who irritates me to death!).

Bit like Marmite really - love or hate. I love Marmite. How about you?

Raffle tickets for blanket are still available if you haven't bought one yet.

Happy Comic Relief day everyone, and just be careful, it is, afterall, Friday 13th.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Comic Relief Blanket

Raffle is now closed!!!!!

Don't forget will you? You have until next Saturday, 14th March to 'buy' a ticket to win this blanket. All you have to do is donate something here - £1 per ticket. I will also let you put something in a collecting tin, but you must let me know how much so I can give you that many tickets. It has to be said that WMK, Wonderwoman and Monkee Maker all have very good chances of winning as you are almost the only ones to buy any tickets!

As I've said before, the blanket is made from nearly all cashmere felted jumpers and is so very soft and snuggly. It will be difficult parting from it, believe me. I will post to anywhere in the world and all money will be going straight to Comic Relief.

Good luck!

Oh and just in case you wondered, Mr Stressy's keys were located. I found them in his work bag alongside his wallet. As predicted, I had nothing at all to do with their disappearance. Men. Pah.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Going, going, gone.

Forgive the parlous state of blogging this week - I have spent the whole week being mum, taxi-driver, cook, nursemaid, housewife and general dogs body. It's been a busy one.

Have I ever shown you this tree at the front of our house? We have nurtured this tree over the 12 years we have lived here - it was a scrawny unsightly tree when we first came here, but it grew into a very majestic looking one - especially at Christmas when it was decorated very tastefully with lights. Even when a different tree fell over into our garden, squashing both cars, I was more concerned for the well being of This Tree. (It has to be said that Mr Stressy was more concerned about the cars).

Anyway, for some time now, The Tree has looked poorly. It has got that disease that seems to affect leylandi. It looked less than perfect, so Mr Stressy said it had to come down (we don't want it to suffer) I must say at this point that only perfect things are allowed in our garden, nothing is allowed to be out of place, whilst I can have yarn and all sorts of mess inside, nothing like that is allowed outside. I have nothing to do with the garden. I am a very messy person, neat and tidy are not words I associate with!

So out came the chain saw...

... and down came The Tree.

It has left a big gap in the front garden, but one which I think we will get used to. I think.

And just in case you think no knitting has taken place this week, here is the progress of the sock. I have not enjoyed turning the heel. It is different to any others I've done. Not so easy - not that I find turning a heel easy anyway.

And I think I have a cake to do this week, then Mother-in-Law is coming next week, so I can see very little knitting taking place now for a fortnight. Not good news!

Has anyone seen Mr Stressy's car keys? He seems to have lost them - but surprise, surprise, he says he gave them to me and that I'm the one that's lost them. Hmm...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wasn't it Oscar Wilde...

... who said 'I can resist anything except temptation'? Well so it is with me. I fully intended knitting the blanket last night, seeing what squares were next on the list. But the pull of The Sock was just too much to resist. Forgive the rubbish blurry photo, but the light wasn't great and unlike many of you very clever people, I don't know how to improve it or even use Picassa - whatever that might be.

Anyway, here she is. I am totally, 100% in love with this sock. The yarn (Posh Yarn's Laura - 80% merino, 20% cashmere) is now my favourite yarn ever. So soft, so beautiful to knit with, quite, quite delicious!

Forgive me for not providing a link to this pattern though for all you brave souls wanting to join me - it's from Ravelry and is here . Please let me know if you're doing it.

I have also had requests for easy patterns, well, I'll try and oblige, but I'm really not too good at this. One person's easy may be one person's difficult and vice versa, so just bear with me.

You could always go over here and try the Pull Up Socks from Posh yarn (scroll down the page) I have a pair of these, and love them. They really weren't difficult.

There are some patterns that use 2 needles for those of you too scared of dpn's -here's one that looks pretty good - seams on the side so I think they'd be fairly comfy.

I could spend all day here hunting for sock patterns - there are thousands of them out there. Knitty has a load of them, as does Ravelry. But for now I need to go and knit my own sock. The pull of the computer is not as strong as the pull of the sock!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Oh, Saturday Pudding if you insist.

Let's get this over with quickly shall we? Saturday Pudding - creme caramel with strawberries and oranges. Right, there's that little formality over and done with isn't it?

Because here is the exciting news. The Sock. Not just any sock, oh no, The Posh Poppy Sock.

I know there isn't much progress for 2 days knitting, but please bear in mind that you cast on 145 stitches, then decrease straight away, then that bobble row - oh that bobble row - took over 2 hours to knit. It would not have taken quite so long if I had knitted instead of purled half of the time and if the light had been better. But would you just look at it? I am in love with my new sock. This pattern is free people - come on, someone else join me on this quest will you? It is brilliant, I am loving it so much, but it is a bit lonely all by myself.

Come on Sussex Yorkie, put the spinning wheel down for a few days (OK, weeks!) - you really do need a pair of these socks! Locket? Mrs Moog? Trashy? Dee? Kitty? WMK? Anyone? Please?

But as it is March 1st (Happy St David's Day) and officially I can knit the next lot of Mystery Blanket squares, I must curb my enthusiasm for socks and play at squares instead. Somewhat begrudgingly so, it has to be said.

And why do my family need feeding? Why do they need clean clothes? Why do they need ironed clothes and a clean bathroom? Why does the hoovering need doing and the dishes need washing. Why must I go to work tomorrow? Why must I waste 7 hours valuable knittng time fast asleep in my bed? All these distractions are not good for the knitting.

And on the subject of distractions, have you been over here yet? Jelly Belly, Jelly Brain is having a give away of a very beautiful watch. If you win, you even get to choose what colour your watch will be (providing it's not gold, Mrs JB has run out of gold watches!)