Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Another Pair


I've finished knitting the second pair of gloves, Alder Fingerless Mitts by Agnes Zombori. I shortened the cuff length of this pair and the one shown in the previous post; the pattern shows a much longer cuff. I shortened them to make them conform with the other fingerless gloves I make. 

Monday, July 15, 2024



 I've finished the first pair of fingerless gloves for an order. The colour is a bit darker than it appears on my computer, a charcoal colour. The pattern is Alder Fingerless Mitts by Agnes Zombory. I'm a bit locked into the pattern at the moment because someone sees a pair and says, oh, I want some like that. The jeweler doesn't need me to sew bags this week, so I can get on with the second pair for the order immediately. 

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Getting There

 I am making progress. I delivered five tatted lavender, still have to tat another five. I've finished the 30 bags to be delivered tomorrow:

I've spun and dyed wool for two pairs of fingerless gloves:

Yesterday I baked a batch of  biscuits (cookies) for the craft group to decorate. Today I must mix up icing in different colours and do some samples.

My flow was briefly interrupted on Tuesday when a friend asked me to help her with her knitting. She had asked me to help her pick up the stitches for the neckband, but before we really got going, she mentioned that the pullover seemed much too big to fit her grandson. Hmm. Turns out that she was using size 4 needles rather than 4mm needles. UK size 4 is 6mm, so no wonder her pullover was much too big. I explained that needles can be sized in three ways - UK sizing, US sizing and metric. I also told her how to do a tension square so that she can find if she's way off before she's knitted the whole garment! She went away to unravel and reknit it, but I promised to help her with the neck when the time comes. 

Monday, July 8, 2024

Still Juggling

 The morning market went pretty well on Saturday, though I think I sold fewer items than last month. The Nalu gloves sold within minutes of the market opening. I still have the wristlets though. I have orders for two more pairs of fingerless gloves and a pair of socks. 

It turns out that the jeweler needs still more bags. I'm working on 15 at the moment and will do another 15 tomorrow. I also want to tat two more lavender bunches today so that I can deliver five tomorrow, which is half the order. 

Luckily, my sewing pupil isn't coming today, so it should be doable. 

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Order is Done


I have finished knitting a pair fingerless gloves for an order, so I'm pleased about that. I promised to deliver them at the next market, which is on Saturday. The pattern is Alder Fingerless Mitts, by Agnes Zombory. It  uses knits and purls and slipped stitches to create the pattern. The gloves fit well because of the ribbed structure. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Another 30


I've sewn another thirty jewelry bags. I think the jeweler is reaching saturation point, so I may be able to go back to our usual system of sewing 30 bags in the last week of each month. Unless Anne gets another big order of course. 

Monday, July 1, 2024

Left Overs


I had two grey skeins left over from the cowl. Last week I thought I'd use them to whip up a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves before I worked on the order for gloves. Mmm.  They took much longer than I expected, even though I used a pattern I'm familiar with, Nalu by Sparrowhawk. Now the deadline for the order is looming and I still haven't finished the wrist warmers. I've avoided wristlets until now, but a number of people have told me how marvelous they are, so I thought I'd give them a go. I also need to make more jewelry bags and tatted lavender, so I had better go and get on with it. 

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Comfort Zones


Say the word 'decoupage' and I run a mile. But eventually I was going to find myself sticking pieces of paper napkin to a bottle or box. Yesterday was it. This is the project for tomorrow's craft group meeting. It's not my project, but I got to make the sample. The idea will be to put a tea candle inside the bottle.

I'd much rather be filling bottles with piccalilli! Jack has cauliflowers in the garden, so it's piccalilli time again.

For once, I measured the spices and used exactly what the River Cottage recipe calls for. I think I got a better colour than usual. I'm too heavy handed with the darker spices, when I use my guesstimation method. 

Monday, June 24, 2024

More Bags


I'm sewing jewelry bags again. I usually make 30 during the last week of the month, but last week Anne, the jeweler, messaged to say she'd run short of bags. So I whizzed up another batch, in between other tasks, and delivered them on Friday. She still needs the regular order though, so I'm working on that. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024



A friend asked me what I was doing. "Sewing an applique picture of the Taj Mahal". I bet she didn't expect that answer! This is another project for the teacher I did the weather chart and three billy goats gruff for. She's making a display to show iconic images of India. I can't draw for toffee, but I found a tutorial via Pinterest that shows how to draw the Taj Mahal using a grid, so simple that even I could do it. I used a water soluble pen to draw the windows and doors so that I could stitch them. I did a sample and it worked perfectly. On the final picture it turned out to be more difficult to get rid of the blue ink. I eventually had to really wet the picture and be thankful the day was sunny and it dried quickly.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024


 I've been knitting diligently and have finished the twice-around cowl. One of the reasons I chose this stitch pattern is that it has a row of all-knit stitches, which made it easy to graft:

I've left the cast on thread to mark where the graft is. Once I hide that, the cowl should, I hope, have no beginning or end. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tomorrow's Project


At the craft group I run on Fridays in a local retirement home, we generally aim to make things that are practical and useful. Last week we made beaded spectacle cords. But I think that sometimes it's fine to be frivolous. Tomorrow's flower fairies are purely decorative and completely useless. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Knit And Purl


I'm enjoying knitting this pattern. I like the effect and it's easy but requires a bit of attention - the knits and purls need to be correct to create the pattern. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Working On Second Order


I've spun and dyed wool for a long cowl. I was generous because I have no idea how much yarn will be needed. It's much easier to use up leftovers than match if I'm short! I ummed and arred about what stitch to use. Eventually I decided on a 'basketweave' created with knits and purls. I started knitting, with a provisional cast on, but my stitch count is off so I'll have to start again. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

One Order Done


This was a quick project because I used yarn that I had on hand. And, of course, fingerless mitts don't take long to knit, especially plain ones like these. The customer is coming today to collect them. 

Monday, June 3, 2024



I did say my waffle square was experimental.  My original plan was to use the three balls of blue/grey cotton, but that would make a very oddly sized square. So I've decided to turn it into a stash buster project and use up oddments until it's big enough for a lap blanket. I've used two balls of the blue and kept the other one to use near the edge, to tie it all together. 

I had a good market morning on Saturday. I sold the balls of wool shown in the previous post, as well as another. I sold all the fingerless gloves and have orders for two more pairs. A pair of socks went, and two puppets. There was interest in cowls, but the preference was for longer ones. I have an order for a longer, lacy cowl. The produce side of the table did well too - I sold fresh bell peppers and bottled ones, as well as marmalade and honey. Now I must get on with orders and restocking. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Two Skeins


I usually spin two bobbins full of wool and then ply them together. But I've decided lately that it might be better to half fill two bobbins, which gives me two skeins and can be completed in an afternoon. For markets, I like to have two matching skeins. Each skein/ball is enough for a woman's sock. If someone wants more than two, they can put in an order. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Easy When You Know How


I made a waffle stitch backwards and forwards square, but have been wanting to try a waffle stitch square that starts in the middle and goes round and round. I had saved the pattern on Pinterest. So I looked it up and grabbed some cotton/acrylic yarn that I was given in 'payment' for knitting the bedsocks. And couldn't make head nor tail of the pattern. After several false starts, I decided to look at a video. I found 'Waffle Stitch In A Square Crochet Tutorial' by OkieGirlBling'n'Things on YouTube. Aha. Now I could see what I was aiming for. I went back to the written pattern and it made perfect sense. I now have the hang of it and it's so easy that it's a good project for taking along in the car or when having conversations. It's experimental, there's no deadline and I'll just do it when I want something easy. 

Monday, May 27, 2024



The socks are a pair; I've finished and delivered the jewelry bags; another batch of tomatoes and peppers has been processed:

 I may even be able to sneak in some tatting before I spin some more wool for Saturday's market. 

Thursday, May 23, 2024


 I'm busy with a number of small projects and tasks at the moment. I'm knitting socks for next week's market:

I've sewn 15 jewelry bags but have another 15 to do. I'll make a start today, but I'm not sure I'll get them finished:

Yesterday I prepared cards and envelopes for the craft group ladies to decorate tomorrow. Someone else has a plan to decorate them using paint and balloons, so I don't need to worry about that.

This morning I remembered that I must embroider teddy faces before tomorrow. Luckily, they don't take long, so I've done that:

Tomatoes and grandmother bonnets (bell peppers?) are ripening in Jack's garden at a great pace, so I need to keep on top of processing them.

I'm giving away some of the peppers too. They make a nice gift and that saves me from having to preserve them! I'm reluctant to give away tomatoes though because I put them in the freezer and use them myself. 

Round 11 of the Spring doily is languishing because I need to do the things that have deadlines first. 

Monday, May 20, 2024

Stained Glass Cross


I bookmarked the stained glass cross when I saw it on Lilliantatlace's blog. My granddaughter's confirmation was the perfect opportunity to try the pattern. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

I Lost


Unlike yesterday, I lost my game of thread chicken. I knew the ball was a bit shorter than usual, but thought there was enough for a pair of fingerless gloves. There wasn't. Plan B required. These are for an order, so I hope the customer will like my solution. The pattern is Nalu by Sparrowhawk, a favourite of mine. I had a pair in natural wool on my market table, but the customer thought they'd look dirty too quickly and asked me to make a pair in this brown/green wool. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

A Pair


Well, the plan worked and the socks are done, ready for the lady who wants them to come and collect them. I played yarn chicken with the mauve for top, heel and toe, but got there with about 20cm to spare, phew. 

Monday, May 13, 2024



I'm making progress on the socks. I hope that with coordinated shades and two socks the same, it won't look too much of a hodge podge. 

Thursday, May 9, 2024

I Have A Plan


One of the problems with the  cotton yarn I showed in the previous post is that each ball is a different colour. I used to sell packs of coordinated colours, and these balls are obviously left over from one of those. How to make two identical socks with such a variety of colours? Yesterday I remembered the helix socks  I knitted last year. Aha, that could be the answer. I'll knit the legs of both socks using the helix technique and then decide whether there's enough yarn for both feet, or I should use the fifth colour plain. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A Blast From The Past


This handspun cotton yarn was bought from me more than twenty years ago. It has been returned to me, with a request that I knit bedsocks with it. I wouldn't have spun it myself. At that time I employed a number of women who spun and knitted:

The photo is from an article I wrote for Spin Off magazine, Spring 2003. I did do the dyeing myself.

 I've been procrastinating about the bedsocks, but winter is rapidly approaching and I had better make a plan. The request was for ordinary socks, but long. Cotton lacks elasticity. I hope the length will prevent the socks falling off in the middle of the night. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Working on Round 11


I've lost my momentum on the Spring doily. That's because I'm no longer trying to keep up with Renata. I plan to do one more round after this one, which is round 11, and then stop. I contemplated doing this round using all three colours, but eventually decided to use just the yellow, to echo round 4.  There are some fabulous multicolour versions out there, particularly Renata's own one, so it was tempting to follow suit. 

Monday, May 6, 2024

More Wiggling


I've just finished knitting the second Just Wiggle It cowl, pattern by Susan Ashcroft on Ravelry. I used the multicoloured skein I dyed last week, with natural. Interesting to see how the long colour changes work out. 

I didn't sell any cowls at the market on Saturday, but I did sell the scarf, the one I thought was going to be too expensive to sell. I'm happy to be proved wrong!

Wednesday, May 1, 2024



The tamarillo/tree tomato jelly is a lovely colour. I thought I'd aim for that colour when dyeing the wool I've just finished spinning. I thought I'd need to add grey to the pink dye to get the right sort of colour. Rather than just mix grey powder with the pink, I soaked the skeins in a grey dye bath and then poured pink dye over half of each skein, to get long colour changes:

I put them in the oven to set the dye, rinsed the skeins when they were cool and then put them on the veranda to dry:

 They're more or less as I visualised. I dyed two skeins in one batch, for the market, and another skein that I plan to use for a zig zag cowl, which is why I wanted long colour changes.

Monday, April 29, 2024



Aside from sewing winter sheets for a friend, a time consuming and tedious task, I've been making marmalade and jelly. The grapefruits were given to me, but the guavas come from our garden. These are ready for my market table on Saturday. I may have time to cook a batch of tree tomato jelly too, though I need to spin a batch of yarn first. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024


 I need to prepare a project for tomorrow's craft group meeting. I had in mind some sort of woven basket using ribbon, to put sweets in. (Sweets, candy, lollies, whatever you call them!) Yesterday I experimented with skewers and cardboard, but the results were not very neat, won't work. I remembered seeing on Pinterest weaving around cut yoghurt cups. I don't have any yoghurt cups, but I do have some 1 litre milk bottles. Would that work? I think so.

I'll prepare the bottles. Weaving shouldn't take much time, so I'll take along felt in case people want to make felt flowers or something to decorate the baskets further. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

Another Cowl


I thought I'd add a lacy cowl to the collection.  I adapted a hat pattern that I've knitted before, Fishtail Hat Pattern by Gail Bable. I added a few repeats to the circumference and, of course, didn't do any decreasing. It's an easy pattern to memorise and I think effective.  Using a short circular needle, it was very easy to knit round and round