Thursday, March 23, 2023

Still Here

 I’m still here. I took my laptop to a computer shop on Tuesday. I collected it yesterday and..... It was the same as ever. So I took it back to the repair shop this morning. 

I’ve just finished a pair of helix socks with afterthought heels. They came out well. I had to unlearn my habit of crossing threads when changing colours. Looking at the work thoughtfully I can see why it’s not necessary to cross threads. The yarn is carried from one section to the next. But I hadn’t realized that crossing threads would result in the jog I was trying to avoid. I’ll put some pictures up when I can. I came across helix hat and socks on Pinterest, so look it up there if you’re interested. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023


 My computer is misbehaving, perhaps because it has been incorrectly shut down by numerous power outages in the last week. I have managed to get this far, but I haven't been able to transfer pictures from my phone to the computer. A pictureless post is not ideal, but it's that or no post at all, so here goes.

I've been putting backing fabric on the fiddle blankets that our group in an old age home have made for dementia patients. I had planned to do them all with 'frames', like my one, but after all those power outages I just didn't have time for that.  I've done a simple backing and reinforced each fabric square with the sewing machine. They look really good. I'll post a picture when my computer decides to cooperate.

Monday, March 13, 2023

The Socks Are Done


My Peppermintoes  socks are done, I'm all set for Winter! The original pattern has a longer top and uses triangles to fill in the gaps at the top, but I rather like my zig zag top. 

There were a lot of ends to sew in! If I'd had my wits about me, I'd have knitted the ends in. As it was, I found needle and scissors and had a dedicated sewing session. 

The socks look quite strange when they're not being worn, but they fit me well and are very comfortable.

On another tack, I was sorry to see on Facebook that muskaan is not well. I did wonder if she was alright because I haven't 'seen' her lately and she is normally an active member of the blogosphere. She asked that people don't email or message her, so I'm saying here that I hope she'll soon be feeling better and able to get on with tatting again. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Socks Interrupted


Some months ago, I started knitting a pair of Peppermintoes socks, using scraps of handspun wool left over from other projects. I worked them in tandem so that I could match the two socks. Somehow, life got in the way, I've been working on orders and other projects, and the socks have languished. At the moment I have no orders (though I do need to build up stock) so I thought it was a good time to finish the socks. 
They've moved from being a UFO to being a WIP!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Travel Knitting


I used the time away to knit a second scarf in eyelash yarn. It's easy knitting, garter stitch on large wooden needles, but not so easy that I could knit as a passenger in the car, because you have to be sure to put the right hand needle correctly into the stitch on the left. Nonetheless, I got it done and can give the scarf to the friend who bought the eyelash yarn. She gave the yarn to me, but honestly, I don't want it! 

Thursday, March 2, 2023


 I've been slowly working my way through the fabric I received in December. After the polka dot dress, I made the daisy fabric into a pencil skirt:

I've made two long skirts. First the green:

And then, yesterday, a similar skirt with the peacock fabric, a fabric that deserves a close up:

I had thought I'd wear the skirt with my turquoise silk top with tatted edging around the neck:

But when I put them together, it turned out that the turquoise is too green and they don't look good together:

Hmmm. I sent a series of photos off to my daughter, trying out different tops, and eventually the consensus was that this one works best:

So now I'm set for a trip away for a few days. It's funny how you 'never' go away and then find yourself taking two trips in a month. I'll check in when I get back. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023



I've just finished the third pair of fingerless gloves. The pattern is Fishtail wristwarmers by Alexandra Brinck, a free download on Ravelry.  I made the wrist part quite a bit shorter than the pattern to align it with the other gloves. I'm not a huge fan of the ribbed palm, though it does look better when the glove is worn. I think if I knit this again, I'll use stocking stitch for the palm.

Here are all the gloves together, ready to be delivered tomorrow:

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Fiddle Blanket


The next project we're going to do in the craft group I run is to make fiddle blankets to donate to dementia patients. I've been making a sample so that the group will know what they're aiming for. The idea is to have different textures and different things to fiddle with, which is apparently soothing for dementia patients. There are a lot of examples and hints on Pinterest. 

I took the opportunity to try out a tutorial by Shabby Fabrics, a video called How to Make a Self-Binding Placemat. I'm pleased with the result, though I was concentrating so much on the process that I put the backing inside out! It's a shame because the fabric is pretty, but I'm certainly not redoing it. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Cardigan Progress


I have made progress on my cardigan, in spite of having yarn and glove orders. I tend to work on one project at a time, but I've been working on orders during the day and on my cardigan in the evenings and it does seem to be working. It should be finished in time for winter!

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Second Pair of Gloves


For the second pair of fingerless gloves, I used a pattern called Augusta by Lena Marie Gjerald, a free download on Ravelry. It's a straightforward pattern without a thumb gusset. That looks a bit odd when the glove is lying loose, but because it is a ribbed fabric, it looks fine when worn:

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Fingerless Gloves


I have an order for three pairs of fingerless gloves. Luckily I have suitable handspun wool in stock, so I can just get on with knitting. This is the first half of the first pair. The pattern on Ravelry is called Salonqa, by Kirsten Kaae, though it doesn't say either of those things on the printed version. It feels like the old game of patting your head while rubbing your tummy, because the thumb gusset increases every third round, the cables are crossed every fourth round, and the eyelet pattern is a ten round repeat! But the pattern is very clear, so I just have to keep my wits about me. 

An Alien


Well, the tat it and see has come to an end for this year and it IS a little green man from Mars. Mine is rather a scruffy fellow, but there you go. I like using my silver shuttle for the TIAS, though in truth it is a bit too heavy to be practical. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Day 13 And The Wool Wound


I really think he's a little green man from Mars. 

I sent the customer a photo of the yarn and she says she's happy with it, so that's good. 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Day 12 And Spinning


I was thinking a Ninja Turtle, but I don't see any shell, so I'm saying a little green man from Mars.

I've been spinning wool for a yarn order. It's in the oven now, setting the dye. The purple stripes are a bit bigger than I intended, the green are better. I hope it's going to fulfill the brief. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Day 11


Well, we're on the second part of the item, but I still can't tell you what it is. 

Monday, February 6, 2023

Holiday Knitting


I enjoyed knitting Jack's pullover so much that I decided to buy some more 'Classic Wool' (80% acrylic, 20% wool) to knit myself a top down cardigan. I had thought I'd adapt the same pattern, but Jane Eborall's comments about using German short rows to shape the neck gave me pause for thought. Perhaps I'd be better to use a dedicated cardigan pattern. Finding a pattern took me down a rabbit hole, but I eventually decided on Namdalen Jacket by Drops Design. I cast on before we left, but did most of the knitting you see on our trip. 

I couldn't for the life of me understand the instructions for the decorative section. If I'd been at home, I might have done further research, but as it was, I fudged it and created the honeycomb pattern with a needle and separate thread. I think I have now mentally figured it out, but haven't actually tried it. The cardigan will be fine as is. 

The colour of the yarn is 'marmalade'. I suspect that in an earlier era it would have been called 'tobacco', but that's no longer PC. 

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Days 9 And 10


I missed day 9 of the tat it and see because we were away, but we're back now, so I did day 9 at the same time as day 10. It looks like a body and limbs, so I guess the head will reveal what sort of creature it is. 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Day 8 And Dyepot


Mmm, well, day 8 looks like another arm waving, but the whole piece could be upside down or sideways or something. Jane is tricky with these things! 

We are going away for a few days; I've been working diligently to finish a yarn order before we go. It took me all day yesterday to spin wool enough for 6 skeins. I plyed it this morning and then dyed it. I'll rinse it when it's cool, hang it up to dry and wind it into balls tomorrow. It is quite finely spun, so I'm petrified of felting it. Spinning matters, or perhaps fibre matters, always have opposing forces - to dye evenly you need to stir the dyepot often, but stirring leads to felting, so you must stir as little as possible! 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Day 7 And A Dinosaur


Day 7 is just one ring. I hope I have it right!

It turns out that it's no easier for my customers to find good quality towels in the right colours than it is for me.  Plan B was to make a brown dinosaur with features in bright felt. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023



Last week, a friend brought me two batches of eyelash yarn. Rather churlishly, I said I didn't want it. It would just go into my stash and never be used. But I offered to knit Grace a scarf with the yarn and she accepted with alacrity. So here's the first one. I knitted it in garter stitch on very big needles. I think it came out rather well. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Day 6


I think it's looking like half a gnome, but I'd expect a gnome to involve more colours. Jane has us puzzled as usual!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Jack's Pullover


I've finished knitting Jack's pullover so he's set for next winter. The pattern is Rain Sky by Drops Design. It's knitted top down in the round, which means I didn't have to sew anything together and done knitting was done! I used Magic Loop for the neck and sleeves, which was new to me and well worth learning. 

Day 5


I redid the first five stages of the tat it and see. So I could correct my mistake on day 2! The thread I was using was labelled as 20, but I think it is 40. It was too thin, too dark and too twisty. I know it makes more sense to complete the tias and then redo the motif in another thread, but messy Catherine Wheel joins were the final straw. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Day 4


I've done day 4. It looks like a question mark, which is appropriate enough. 

I"m making good progress on Jack's pullover. I'd like to get on and finish it and go on to the next woolly project.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Rabbit


I've been working on a hooded towel order, a pink rabbit. It should be collected this morning. 

I've run into a bit of a problem with towel orders. The towels like this one come from a towel factory shop that has good quality towels, in a very limited colour range. If I need another colour, I buy towels somewhere else. But...I've had complaints about the quality of those towels. My solution is to tell the customer to bring their own towels and I will turn them into creatures. In the meantime, I'm going back to bath puppets! 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Day 3


I concentrated very hard on day 3 and didn't make any mistakes, as far as I know! 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Day 2 Spot The Mistake


I made a mistake on my Day 2 of the tat it and see. If I was a perfectionist, I'd have started again. I'm not, so I didn't. I'm sure the eagle eyed among you could find it easily enough, but I don't think it'll matter in the overall scheme of things. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

And We're Off

 Today is day 1 of Jane Eborall's Tat It And See for 2023. A fun way to start off the tatting year. I found my silver shuttle that I like to use for the tat it and see. And wound some Milford thread as per instructions.  Whether green is the right colour for what we're tatting, I have no idea. That's part of the fun. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023



Jack has a very good crop of sweetcorn in the garden. We've been eating fresh sweetcorn most evenings for weeks. And giving away a fair bit. But cobs were in danger of getting overripe. Rather than let them go to waste, I decided to freeze some of them. I followed this tutorial . I packed the corn from two cobs into each packet:

I'll be able to use it in dishes where I usually used tinned sweetcorn. 

Jack's flower garden is looking good too. The lilies on the veranda are slowly opening:

The Flame Lilies are magnificent:

And dahlias on the veranda are providing work for bees as well as brightening up the place:

Monday, January 9, 2023

Procrastinate Not


One thing about having a lot of power outages, you learn to get on with the job when there is power! I finished the 10 puppets for Sarah's order over the weekend.

Of course, there is the question of priority - should I sew while the power is on, or write emails? 

Friday, January 6, 2023

Knitting, Yes; Sewing, No


On Wednesday I sewed four puppets and thought I was well on my way to fulfilling the order for ten, and restocking. Alas, no. Our electricity was off all day on Thursday and all day on Friday, there was no chance to keep sewing puppets. Instead I knitted Jack's pullover. Once I was past the yoke, it was very easy knitting, round and round, all knit stitch. 

This is how it looked after I'd used two balls. It's clear that five balls of yarn will be ample to complete the garment. So I abandoned my plan to knit the sleeves before finishing the body. I won't have to put all those stitches on a holder if I do the body and then go on to knit the sleeves. 

The electricity is on, so I had better get back to my sewing machine.