Monday, 31 December 2012


What is a friend? Is it someone you see everyday , smile to and say "Good Morning"? Is it someone you see once in a blue moon and yet it's like you've never been apart? Is it someone you've never met, never spoken to directly, but with whom you share something dear?

Over the last year I've come to the conclusion that all of the above are true and more! Friends come in all shapes and forms and some have no physical form in our lives at all! The World Wide Web has given me the opportunity to get to know many people who have enriched my life.

I'm not the world's best communicator as my family will attest! All those late or non-existent birthday cards tell all. While my family are important to me, I find life gets in the way of timely communications!

This weekend I received a postcard from a woman I'd hope to class as a friend. I've never met her, never spoken directly to her and geography makes both of these actions highly unlikely. The fact that she took time out of her day to write to me made me smile. She takes time to regularly communicate her passion for life via her video podcast and her blog.

In the last 6 months of "knowing" her I've taken stock. Her passion, zest and delight for life is infectious and I want to take this moment to thank her for that. Here I am blathering to myself (!?) with a renewed vigour for my crafting, my job and life in general.

Today is New Year's Eve. I have a 9 year old with no respect for a hang-over or the need for a lie-in, so I'll probably be in bed by 11pm! BUT I'd like to commit my goals for 2013 to virtual paper. I want to spin, to design, to publish, to blog. I want to support, to encourage, to nurture. I strive to do these things with good grace - most of the time!

To my friends virtual and physical I wish the best for 2013. My you all enjoy the year and each other.

Knitty things also progressed this week

I continued to work on my log cabin blanket. It's starting to take a while to get through a row and it's no longer easily portable; so it's become my default "veg on the sofa" project

I've finished one of my socks. I've called them Zig-Zag Vine socks. I've also started to write up the pattern. I'm excited to get it finished and up on Ravelry

Tomorrow is the Great Cast-on for my Evenstar KAL. I'm so excited. This week saw Santa bring me a swift, so the risk of yarn barf while caking is now greatly reduced! I tested it out with my Scrumptious Lace for the shawl. Preparations for the KAL also saw me knit a swatch and practice cast-ons. I've decided to go with Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-on with a crochet hook. I produced a clean cast on and it worked for me. All hail YouTube I say! My project bag is armed and ready. It contains 2 sets of DPN's of different lengths, a circular needle, a crochet hook, beads and dental floss (wishful thinking there!) and tons of stitch markers.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

All things crafty -contains spoilers Laurie!

The last few days have been epically crafty and yet I've knitted not one stitch! I finally admitted defeat on the Advent scarf. At this time of year, there just weren't enough hours in the day to work, run the house and knit on the scarf! I'm disappointed, but not overly surprised. I'm going to finish the project, but I think it will be later rather than sooner now. I can see it becoming a gift for next Christmas.

I decided this weekend to make a drop spindle for my pen-pal. I'm hoping that she doesn't see this before her package arrives! I had originally hoped that my talented other half would turn a whorl for me, but sadly his lathe had other ideas on the matter and broke! So I had a re-think and went to my local craft shop and bought some FIMO. I've never used this before, but I had fun making the whorls, but I managed to burn them, and the colours went a bit squiffy!

While I was burning the whorls, I set about making stitch markers. I'm pleased with them, and I hope the recipient is too.

On the crochet blanket front, I've been beavering away at it all week. I discovered early on that the original idea of six rows and increasing six stitches on each turned edge wasn't going to work as I kept winding up back where I started and I wasn't going to work around each side of the blanket. So I changed it to five rows and five stitches and I was away! It's now big enough for me to snuggle under while I work on it.

I've also brought Whenu out. Whenu is my spinning wheel. She is an Ashford Kiwi 2 and her name is Maori for spin. I've had her for about 6 months now and on the whole, we get on well. I aim to spin a laceweight yarn and knit a shawl I've designed myself. Last night I spun for about an hour. I'm working on some Forrest Fibre Marino silk blend in the damson colour way. I love how it's spinning. The Marino gives a lovely soft yarn and the silk makes it spin like butter.

Today has been mainly cooking for christmas - flapjack, chocolate cake, ginger biscuits, sausage rolls, roast ham. The sausage rolls were an epic fail - soggy bottoms and the sausages weren't very nice either! Boo!

But now, I'm relaxing with a sock. I'm hoping to design the pattern. I hope it goes ok. I can see what I want to achieve. I just hope it works out in the sock!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I hope that everyone out there has a joyous festive season and I'll write again on New Year's Eve.

Thursday, 20 December 2012


Today is a windy, rainy, miserable day!

At home we have a wood burning stove which heats the living room and also water to heat radiators in the rest of the house as well as feeding the shower.

Sadly, the weather is against us today. The wind is eddying around the valley and the fire is belching smoke back into the living room! This means the house stinks of smoke and is freezing. It also means that tomorrow I have a tepid shower to look forward to! Nice!

In a desperate effort to stop frost bite I've started a log cabin blanket. It's my take on a log cabin as I have a nasty aversion to weaving in ends and colour work in general. So my cunning plan is to use one colour for a few strips, then change it until I'm bored again! I'm crocheting because of the speed. It's a simple 12 chain base and half treble stitches. Work a square of 12 rows, then turn 90 degrees and crochet 18 half trebles along this edge. Work 6 rows, turn and repeat adding 6 new stitches each time you turn your work. Continue, changing colours as you see fit, until the blanket is as big as you want or you get bored!

After a few hours, I still have cold feet, but at least my lap is starting to get warm!

Start as I hope to go on

Hello all,

I'm currently at work (don't tell the boss I'm online!), I'm in the eye of a storm at the moment. Things are unusually quiet considering that there are only 2 1/2 working days to go before Christmas. The past few days have been manic, and I have a horrible feeling that tomorrow and Monday could be as bad. But today, is calm and tranquil, so here I am starting to blog.

I rather feel that this may be somewhat cathartic for me, but I'd be delighted if someone else out there found this blog and enjoyed it.

I should tell you about me.

I'm the wrong side of 35, I'm a mother of one boy 9, the partner of another boy 37, a full time pharmacist, and a very part time house wife.

I love to knit and spin, I dabble in crochet and photography and I love to cook and eat the results!

So that's me in a nut shell.

Why am I blogging? There are, after all plenty of folk out there with more interesting things to say! Well, I hope to share my year in craft with you. I hope to start designing my own patterns, but we'll see how that pans out!

Any how, I hope that I can produce regular(ish) posts detailing the highs and lows of crafting. I'm pushing for many more highs than lows, but life throws all sorts our way, so we'll just have to see!

More than anything, I'd love it if people read this and reply. I'm all for conversation. In my life, I find it very difficult to find the time to actually go out and meet folk, I've found Ravelry and other Podcasts have brought me into contact with many wonderful crafters and I enjoy interacting with them via the world wide web immensely!