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Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Three preemie hats...




Here are three more hats that I have just knitted from the Andycrafts pattern which is fast becoming my favourite preemie hat pattern. That's because it is small but perfectly formed. You can find it on page three if you go to the above link and download the patterns. There are some lovely patterns for preemie cardigans, hats, mittens and socks.

This is very easy to knit and knitters who shy away from knitting in-the-round will be pleased to hear that this one is knitted flat. Personally, I like to knit in-the-round but have to admit that it wouldn't be very easy to do with tiny hats. These will eventually go off to PreemiesUK. This month they especially need:

Teddies
Octopuses 
Knitted blankets 
Crochet blankets
Hats


This pattern called for 4 ply yarn. I'm on a mission to use up all my 4 ply. I have very little left but, because it goes so far, it looks like taking me the rest of the year. Watch this space...

PS: I have lost count of how many times the words "knit" and "patterns" are repeated in this post. I must try harder to think of alternatives!


Thursday, 31 August 2017

A quick welcome and fifteen minutes of fame...



My blog received a mention in a well-known women's magazine this week and I can already see from my visitor statistics that many more people than usual have looked at my blog. So, welcome to one and all and thank you for sharing my fifteen minutes of fame.

I am still bemused as to why my blog was chosen for a mention. Hopefully, you will take the time to visit the many other excellent crafting blogs listed in my right hand sidebar. The common theme is knitting and crochet. Apart from that, they are as different as the individuals who write them. 

My own personal style is to keep things simple. I originally started blogging as a way to record my creations.  Here are just a few:

small animal nests:

glove puppets:
                                                   

preemie/angel dresses:

baby dress:
                                     

hedgehog:

baby cardigans:

lap blanket:

 hat and scarf set:

There are hundreds more. You can see them in my photostream in the left hand sidebar. Some have gone to family. But most have gone to various charities that you can see listed at the top of my home page.

Gradually, my blog evolved as it gathered regular readers. I know that from the visitor statistics (an amazing 337,107 page views so far) and from the frequent comments.


My settings mean that I receive notifications and see all comments before they are published. In that way, I can't miss anything. I read every one, even if I can't always think of a witty reply. Please keep them coming!

I would especially love comments from anyone who knows me from outside the blogging world. You can either leave a comment on this blog post or contact me by email via my profile in the left hand sidebar. I thought I didn't know anybody who read this woman's magazine. Well, somebody proved me wrong and contacted me on the day of publication! 

The photo in the magazine was taken at the end of a very hot day. I'm wearing a jumper because I didn't know when the article was due for publication and a t-shirt would look a bit odd in winter. Consequently, I look about a stone heavier than I really am. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I won't repeat the photo here. If you read the magazine, you've seen it. If not, you aren't missing anything!


Sunday, 20 August 2017

A preemie blanket and two hats...



The fairly atrocious photo above definitely does not do justice to my latest knits. I finished the preemie blanket that I blogged about recently. It measures 15" square which shows up the tiny size of the preemie hats that I knitted with the remnants of the same 4 ply yarn. 

The smaller hat is for a baby angel of 20 weeks gestation. The larger hat should fit an older premature baby. The pattern came from Andycrafts. There are some lovely premature baby patterns on the website. This hat is at the bottom of page 3 if you go as far as downloading them. My items will eventually go off to PreemiesUK.

All three items above are pale blue. The photo was taken in poor light on a cloudy day in a busy city. Look how it is put to shame by the beautiful photo I took last week. This is Port Gaverne in North Cornwall, England. It is very close to Port Isaac where the tv series "Doc Martin" is filmed. 


The scenery all along that part of the coastline is spectacular. The air is clean and the daylight has a quality of its own. No wonder artists make the effort to travel there for painting holidays or even to live there permanently. I could drink in these colours all day.

The Cornish hedgerows are currently blooming with an orange shrub that I later found out is Crocosmia. You can see it in the foreground of the photo. We had plans to plant some at home until I read up about it. Apparently, it is invasive and will even travel underground to come up through concrete. I don't think my neighbours would be too pleased with me if I planted it. Luckily, I took lots of photos.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Housekeeping...







I have just been doing a little housekeeping on my blog. It seemed like a good time to check all my links to make sure they actually lead somewhere.  Everything should be working fine now.

I also noticed that P*********t wanted me to pay to keep my blog button in my sidebar. I decided on Plan B and removed the button. Blogging can become a little cottage industry.  But this blog is really just for enjoyment and is not meant to be a money-earner. In the past I have flirted with including adverts. But it didn't feel right. So, I removed them.  I know some people downloaded my button and I think that it will probably no longer work. Sorry for that. It was good while it lasted!

I am adding my own picture of my "Keep Calm and Pick Up Stitches" design and I have set it up so that it links back to my blog. It is in my sidebar.  If anyone wants to borrow it for their blog, that is fine by me and there is no charge!!

Happy August to everyone!

                                                                                                        



Saturday, 22 July 2017

Summer knitting...




This is all I have to show for the last few weeks. 
  • A heatwave (welcome, but too hot for knitting), followed by 
  • a "meet-the-inlaws" family barbecue (a great day) followed by
  • a Cliff Richard concert (swoon, though he said he is unknown in America. So, many of my blog readers won't know why I'm swooning), followed by
  • 2 weeks of Wimbledon tennis (had to concentrate on it more this year as I was lucky enough to be given tickets for the Ladies' semi-finals), followed by 
  • a week up a ladder painting ceilings (my least favourite diy job

put the brakes on my knitting and crocheting. I managed just a few rows of a little preemie blanket most evenings (when my clingy cat would allow it)  and here it is.

I started this blanket in the heatwave. It was too hot to hold anything thicker than 4 ply wool. So I decided to use up a ball of pale blue 4 ply on a small corner-to-corner blanket. It will eventually go off to PreemiesUK

This is an easy, mindless pattern. The difficulty is in knowing when to stop increasing and start decreasing. I started with 95g of yarn. So, I intend to stop increasing when I have 50g left, just to be on the safe side. But I would also like the blanket to measure 15" x 15" which is one of PreemieUK's preferred sizes. I am currently at 14.5" and 62g of yarn left and have reached the stage of weighing my ball of wool after every couple of rows. At the moment, I wouldn't stake any money on my reaching 15".

I finished the decorating yesterday and planned to treat myself to a trip out today. But the weather had other ideas. The rain is pouring down at the moment. That is very welcome in the garden after the hot, dry summer weather; so, it isn't all bad. In fact, it is the perfect chance to catch up on blogging and other small tasks.

I am sitting at my desk now looking at thick grey clouds that are so low they are almost touching my windows. But tomorrow's weather is forecast to be dry and 21 Celsius....my all-time favourite temperature....woo hoo! Where shall I go? Decisions, decisions!


Saturday, 1 July 2017

The cat sat on the mat...




Someone gave me a ball of very coarse black and silver wool several months ago.  I wondered what to do with it until I realised that I have never knitted anything for our cat Fleur. How remiss of me!  She sits next to me patiently when I am knitting and is usually very good about not playing with my wool. Sometimes, however, she will try to pull on my knitting needles. That is her way of saying that she is hungry or bored. Generally, though, she is a very good audience member and companion.

Fleur was a rescue cat and is now about 14 years old.  She was found by Cat Protection volunteers locked in the back room of a squalid flat whose owners were intending to use her for breeding. She had already had her first litter of kittens at a very young age. They were also taken away and rehomed.

She started off as my daughter's cat, but became mine when Daughter grew up and left home.  So far, she has been a very fit cat. But last winter I had to take her to the vet a couple of times to get her claws trimmed. There was a lot of cold weather and she wouldn't go out into the garden which is where she normally exercises. Both visits to the vet were traumatic for Fleur, me, the vet, the people and pets in the waiting room, and (possibly) the next door neighbours.
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Desperate to avoid regular vet visits, I bought an expensive scratching post which Fleur sniffed disdainfully and has studiously ignored ever since. I then bought a small, cheap raffia mat with a cat toy attached.  This has been a success. Typical!
Fleur immediately claimed it as her own special place to sit. I've decided that she likes the texture as it is very similar to our front and back door mats where she can also sit happily for hours.

We recently bought a lovely faux leather sofa bed for our spare room.  Fleur has discovered it and often jumps up if I am sitting there watching the spare tv. I decided that the coarse black wool would make an ideal cat mat. I combined it with some pink that needed to be used up and knitted a simple corner-to-corner square. I also attached a small pompom which is barely visible in the photo, but might be a nice plaything.

I just emailed this photo to Daughter and to the person who gave me the wool. Their reply was "Awwwww". So I think everyone is happy.


Friday, 26 May 2017

Still knitting....



I decided to end a really dreadful week with something good.  I know I haven't blogged for ages; but I have been busy with lots of things including knitting. I used up the last of the donated Peter Pan Cupcake yarn by knitting a preemie blanket. The yarn is thicker than I would normally use for preemie items. But on the label it advertises itself as "deliciously soft" and it really is. That is surprising as it is 50% acrylic and 50% nylon. But whatever way those ingredients are combined, the result is a little cloud that would wrap a baby beautifully.

I haven't been able to take a decent photo. The colour is a pale green and lilac, so it should suit any baby.

The next photo has been more successful. This is the pile of items that will soon be flying off to PreemiesUK There are seven small blankets and a cardigan.


Hopefully my little pile of goodies will make the world a slightly better place. We can only do our best.....