Thursday, April 30, 2009

Startitis Sock Club

What is a girl to do?

The second Posh Poppy Sock is this much completed

The second Monkey remains unstarted, as does the second Zig Zag Anklet.

But honestly, no, HONESTLY, could you leave this lying around loitering in the Stash Basket? Every time you walk past, it calls to you, pleads to you, begs you to let it grow up into the sock for which it was destined?

This is Posh Yarn's Laura in 'Homecoming Queen' and is the closest thing to perfection you are ever likely to find. Believe me, I know! I was all set to make this, then came across this pattern instead. I love the fancy top. I love the fancy rib, the clever decreasing to disguise the gusset.

I will be casting on tonight. After all, the founder member of The Startitis Sock Club must have plenty of socks on the go mustn't she?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I love it when children use their phonic knowledge to sound words out, when I saw one child yesterday writing Tuesday as Choosday, I knew that it would never be the same again. Tuesday has been re-christened! I wonder what they're writing today - I'm off poorly as dear old Mr Stressy has given me his bug (did I tell you he was home ill all last week?). I am not pleased about it, but at least it means time at home on my own, sleeping, knitting watching TV. In fact, come to think about it, I am quite pleased. I have also lost my quite considerable appetite, can't even face chocolate. Which means, as my eldest son told me, that I ought to consider going to hospital. Bless!

Kathryn told me about this book, so I thought that I really couldn't do without it. And you know what? I'm not sure any of you can do without it either. It is one of the best cookery books I've seen, if you like cakes, which of course I do. I want to make everything in it. Expect many Saturday Puddings to have a very cakey appearance over the next few months!

I really think that first up will have to be raspberry cheesecake brownies, or black bottom cupcakes ('dark chocolate sponge with a dollop of cheesecake baked into it, topped with cream cheese frosting') or maybe rocky road bars made with mars bars, marshmallows and maltesers.

Ooh, I can feel my appetite returning already!

I had a lovely surprise yesterday from Trashy - a birthday present all wrapped up in very pretty strawberry fabric. The most lovely necklace that everyone in school was very jealous about and some teeny cup cake cases, decorated with even teenier cakes! I am so lucky, thank-you Trashy, you made me feel almost better!

Whilst lying in my sick-bed this morning, I finished off Monkey. I decided to use a different shade for the toe, hoping that I will have enough to do the same on the second sock. It's similar, but different, not too noticeable, but anyway, I'll be wearing shoes! I have weighed the remaining yarn and it seems that I might just scrape by with enough. As much as I love all their sock yarns, I really think that Posh Yarn's Emily is my favourite to knit with. Lambswool, cashmere and angora - what's not to love?

And just in case you thought I'd forgotten about Saturday Pudding, here's what we had, not a recipe from my new best book, just ordinary chocolate buns, topped with chocolate fudge icing and Mars Planets. They did not last long!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I'm not going to bore you with all of my birthday presents (cos there were sooo many.... yeah, as if!) but I just have a very memorable few to show you.

First up is this rather delicious bag from mum and dad (they also bought me a fab cardi which matches this very well). It looks a bit tan like in the photo, but really it's a very lovely soft orange. Orange is my new best colour (I don't do black, or grey and rarely brown, I do colours!)

Next we have a knitted cup and saucer from Kathryn. This is so cool, so beautifully knitted and so wonderfully pointless that I love it! Mr Stressy looked at it and raised his eyebrows. He just doesn't understand!

I broke a personal vow never to buy Colinette again. But on our way to Wales, we pass their factory shop and Mr Stressy said, go in and buy something from the boys, so of course I did! Stubborn I may be, but not that stubborn! Again showing how little he knows about the world of knitting, he felt that £20 ought to buy me enough yarn for a jumper at least.

Haven't decided on a pattern yet, but am liking the idea of more patterned socks along the lines of the Poppy ones. What do you think of (all rav links) these, these, these, or even these or maybe I just couldn't be bothered and will stick to one colour, one sock.

This, again from Kathryn - the writing is small so I'll translate:-

The Power Of Cake

To Be Said in a MAD Voice

CAKE is your FRIEND, I mean,
I know you have OTHER friends
- REAL friends but, hey, CAKE...
...mmm... CAKE!! CAKE!!!

And now CALMER

Eat cake. But do NOT eat your friends

Kathryn knows me too well!

And finally for today, I have cast on another sock. This is a Monkey in Posh's Emily. How could you not love this sock Trashy? I have one very, very large concern though. I'm pretty sure I won't have enough yarn. I've made the leg shorter, but I am still worried. Looks like I really will be wearing odd socks here! (Have just checked on the pattern and the yardage - seems like I will be about 100 yards short! Ooops!)

Well tonight I must get on with a cake, with little or even no knitting taking place. Bum. Life is just not fair!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And the winner is...

No random number generators for me. I wrote each and every name on a piece of paper, carefully folded them all and put them into a little dish.

So Quinn, if you'd let me have your proper address please, a pressie or 2 will be heading your way very soon!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Birthday Presents

Today is my birthday

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me-eee,
Happy birthday to me.

I have decided to turn the tables though and today I shall be giving someone out there a present. This little bunny egg cosy is part of it and another part of it will be a surprise - as in the case of all good pressies. But it could very well involve something from the Stash Basket.

Just leave a comment on this post by the end of today and tomorrow I'll pick a winner. Simples.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Scarlett's cake

Now before you wonder what on earth this little creature is on top of the cake, let me enlighten you . It's Scarlett's Bunny - she takes it everywhere with her apparently. It is already looking very well loved in real life!

I can't bear plain sides on a cake. Even when decoration is minimal, you just have to put something on the sides please! This worked out really well, very easy and quite pretty - little yellow flowers joined by a string of pearls. I'll be using this idea again methinks!

Continuing with the bunny theme, I've just completed another bunny egg cosy. This one is heading off to my auntie. I think she'll like it, well, I know she likes boiled eggs, so I'm sure she'd like them kept warm!

It has occurred to me that despite this being the Month Of The Blanket, I haven't done any blankets. Oops. I've been a little busy with other things (like hats and bunnies and cakes). And neither have I cast on another sock. Dare I tell you that 4 (!) skeins of Posh yarn arrived earlier this week? All sock yarn too. I am so bad, so very bad. And so very keen to cast on one of several socks (am I the only person in the world not to have knitted these? Not for much longer I'm not! They are in 8818 projects and in over 4000 queues)

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Whilst in Wales, eldest son decided he wanted to buy a hat. One of those ear flappy things that 'they all seem to be wearing nowadays' (how old am I?). Of course he went for the most hideous, most lurid, most acrylic hat he could find. Just awful.

I could make one of those, I rashly promised. So as soon as we got back home, I started scouring Ravelry for a pattern. Hunted around in the Stashbasket for some long forgotten yarn. And hey presto, a much more tasteful hat was born. I had to make a lining for the flaps because they just rolled right up.

He likes it. A miracle. Excuse me while I sit down and recover from the shock.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Finished Project!!!

Well I promised you knitting news today - and here it is. Look at what got made in Wales.

The second Posh Poppy Sock was started

The pink Hipknits sock got finished

And a whole pair of socks got done too. Well, really it was only the second sock, the first having been done ages ago, but at least I now have a pair. (That's eldest son modelling the socks, my legs are oh so much bigger than that!) I love this green pair, so soft and comfy.

But look what else I found. Went for a coffee in a little tea shop in Barmouth and found some knitting patterns for sale. There was a teddy and a couple of hats and a little dinosaur. He needed 60g of Noro Kureyon, and I just happened to have a bit of Silk Garden left over from Rosedale, so of course I just had to buy the pattern.

Meet Stig The Stegosaurus everyone. I now want to make a whole family of Stigs using different yarns. He was great fun to knit, lots of separate pieces which ingeniously came together at the end. Patterns can be found by contacting Amanda over here.

But for now it's back to the Month Of The Blanket. No more Stegosauruses (Stegosauri?) just yet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Did you miss me?

Well I'm back. I've been to another country, or so it seems. The locals talk a very funny language. There are very big hills (here in the Fens, a mole hill is considered big). We have had every sort of weather. But we have had a lovely time.

The weather man said we would have rain nearly all week. We arrived in what can only be described as summer. Glorious warm sunshine, blue skies, birds singing. So we went to bed that night convinced the weatherman was wrong.

When we woke up, it was to discover black clouds and gale force winds. So what do normal British people do in such weather? Yes, that's right, we head off to the beach! Here is Mr Stressy himself and the 2 boys at Barmouth. I tried hard to push them all in, but they were just too darn big for me!

The waves were great - it looked so cold in there! (I did not try it out!)

Grey skies and sunshine - how insane!

The very next day however was a complete contrast. Summer had returned, so while the boys all went off fishing, I went for a walk, taking my knitting with me of course. The roads in North Wales are just begging to be walked down - or up as I soon discovered! I went through forests, watched buzzards chasing crows, lambs playing in the fields and flowers gleaming in the sun. It was so peaceful - no traffic noise, just birds singing and gentle breeze blowing the trees.

When it's lovely in Wales, it's very, very lovely.

I could have sat here all day knitting and listening to the water.

We travelled home again in the sunshine and as we got nearer to home, it became more and more cloudy. By the time we drew up at our house it was positively cold.

So the weatherman had got it wrong after all. We spent a few days in Wales getting sunburned and came back to Cambridgeshire to put the heating on.

And because it wouldn't be right and proper to not give you chocolate pictures, here are some little Easter nests. Hope you all had a good time without me - knitting news tomorrow, and there is actually a finished project to show you!!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Going away

We're off on holiday tomorrow to Wales. The weather forecast does not look good. It's going to rain until at least Saturday apparently. Marvellous. I shall come back some time next week - unless I've dissolved in the water, or grown fins instead of hands and thus can't type.

I hope all of you going on the Big Bloggy Easter Picnic have a great time. How I wish I was coming with you.

Just finished this last cake before Easter. Must now go and iron, pack and tidy the house. Oh how exciting life is at the moment.

Added later. Just wondering what knitting to take with me. Either of the partners to the 2 socks already finished, the sock already started, or a new sock. (Not taking blanket as that would take up too much room in the car...) When answering this question, please bear in mind that I have some wonderful new sock yarn sitting on top of the Stash Basket, lots of new sock patterns I'm itching to try and a severe case of Startitis. Also I am the founder member of the Startitis Sock Club. So choose your answer wisely! Thank-you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Never again...

... will I take my 2 children shopping together. I foolishly thought they would enjoy it, after all, I was going to be buying clothes for them and not me. They usually enjoy shopping for themselves - though hate it when I look at things for me. It took moments before there were squabbles in the car. So for punishment I told them that my first stop would be the knitting department of John Lewis. Not, as it turned out, one of my better moves!

Eventually we went to their shops and bought bags full of stuff (none of this was achieved without arguments) then I took them out for lunch thinking that would improve the mood. And as soon as we had lunch they started again. Arguing, tripping each other up, shoving, pushing, generally being those nightmare children that you see other mothers struggling with. They are, let me remind you, 9 and 14!!!!!

By this time, my stress levels were on a par with Mr Stressy's (thank God he was at work though, he would have been arrested for murder had he been with us). To calm down, I headed back to John Lewis, deposited youngest son - who complained to anyone who would listen that his feet hurt - on some comfy chairs and looked round the ladies clothing department. I had long since stopped talking to eldest son, letting him peruse a sports shop. I tried on lots of clothes, bought lots of clothes (gulp, had guilt trip about that) and was much calmer. So it was then back to the car and come home.

Oh and I forgot to mention that I got lost on the way there and on the way back - my sense of direction is so very, very bad.

I needed chocolate and tea on my return. Then I had to decorate a cake - youngest son is going to a party tomorrow (ha, bet his feet won't ache there!) so I've made a cake for a birthday present. Not all the sweets ended up on the cake. Many of them went in my mouth.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Month of the Blanket, part 1

This being the Month of the Blanket, I thought I ought to start work on the felted jumpers. So I spent all yesterday afternoon cutting a vast pile of jumpers into 'blanket pieces'. This pile is all that I managed to get done - I have another huge pile yet to be cut up. It's quite time consuming, but they look rather good all stacked up like this don't you think?

From an idea I saw on Mrs Locket's blog ages ago, I decided to play and make a little Christmas Tree, all ready for next December to hang on the tree. I'm pleased with the way it turned out, but it will be easier and quicker next time round I think. How bizarre that as spring has finally arrived here today, I'm thinking of Christmas.

Saturday Pudding actually happened for once as well. Chocolate mousse layered with fromage frais and toffee sauce, topped with grated chocolate and marshmallows. The boys and myself loved it. Mr Stressy did not.

He left most of it and the conversation went thus:-

Me - Oh. Didn't you like that.
Him - No.
Me - Don't mince your words dear.
Him - Well if I said I did like it, you might make it again and I don't want it again.

Mr Stressy has obviously not heard of tact.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Now you all know that I adore Posh Yarn don't you? Yes you do, and if you have yet to discover it, I can only suggest you go over here right now and take a look for yourself. Their colours are stunning, words cannot describe how truly beautiful it is. I have used a lot of their yarn and have yet to find one that is less than perfect, a dream to knit with and oh such a delight to wear. Admittedly it isn't cheap, but believe me, it's worth every penny. And let's face it, if you're spending hours and hours knitting something, you want it to be good don't you?

Look what arrived today. 5 Skeins of Posh Helena. It is the start of a project which I have yet to tell you about.

In September 2010, it will be mum and dad's Golden Wedding and I have decided to make them a blanket. I shall be trying to amass lots more yarn - some cream (undyed) a little bit of green and a little bit of pale blue and more yellow/gold. The blanket will be based on Debbie Abrahams' Flower Power, with a few 'me' squares added for good measure. (Hmm, mental note to self, don't recall seeing this blog before - looks interesting)

We have a very good bead shop nearby, so I'll be heading off there in the very near future in search of gold beads.

This is, after all, the month of the Blanket.

And just because I don't want you to think I've been doing nothing all week, have a pudding. I know. Friday pudding indeed. Oh I'm so good to you.

This is a strawberry and white chocolate meringue roulade. The meringue is a bit chewy and slides down a treat. Mr Stressy is most upset because this pudding is going out with me tonight (twice in a week - makes up for staying in for the past 14 or so years!) - we are having a celebratory evening tonight because of our Ofsted Inspection.

I have told you about that haven't I? No? OK then, time to gloat. We were classed as Outstanding! It is now official. We are brilliant! (But then I knew that anyway!)