A sock!

Amazing I know, but I’VE BEEN KNITTING!!!  My friend Anne who has recently opened Yarn O’clock asked me to take a ball of one of the new colours of Arne & Carlos sock yarn to knit a sample for the shop.  This is sock 1.  Basic 60 stitches, round and round with a heel flap, knitted top down.


Arne & Carlos sock yarn from Yarn O’clock

I have started the second one from a different starting point in the ball to see how different it might turn out.


A couple of sewn things

I joined a sewing class.  Well it’s not exactly a class.  You take along what you would like to work on and then if there are bits of the process you aren’t sure of or haven’t done you ask the teacher, Rachel, for help.  To be honest there hasn’t really been anything I couldn’t have done by myself but it is reassuring to have someone watch what you do and say that you are doing it right.  I only have one more week left so I want to get zips right and tackle a buttonhole.

At the moment I am working on a simple A-line skirt but over the last few weeks I have made some other things.  I made a Dottie Angel dress (Simplicity 1080), using this pattern.


It is possibly a bit “Little House on the Prairie” but I like it.  At this time pf year I am wearing it as above, with jeans, boots and a long sleeved top, but in the summer I will wear it as a dress.  All the fabrics came from Abakhan and it cost me less than £20 to make.  I need to get some better photos though (where I don’t look so grumpy!!).

I also made some knitting project bags.  These have a square bottom, and I made 6 from 12 fat quarters.

They are going to be on sale at Yarn O’Clock.  I’m very excited to tell you that my friend Anne has opened a brand new yarn shop in Mold, Flintshire.  She has a Facebook page and blog so far and is carrying mostly British yarns.  I went over to help her fill shelves and also to help on her first day of opening.  This is the shop…

She has some Rowan, West Yorkshire Spinners, Jamieson & Smith, John Arbon, Fyberspates, Chester Wool Company, Patons, and KnitPro needles and hooks and other accessories.  She is hoping to get an online shop up too but at the moment is just getting the bricks and mortar shop up and running.  I’m sure she would take a telephone order though.  Please support her, I really want her to be successful.


Poor neglected blog!

Hello, are you still out there!  Yikes it’s been a while.

In the meantime I’ve had my back operation, lost my job, and got a new dog!

And I have more time now for crafting.  But somehow my days do seem to involve the everyday tasks like hoovering, washing and the (very) occasional bit of ironing.

I have very little knitting to talk about.  I have been having problems with my finger joints and a dodgy shoulder which are both made worse by knitting so I’ve been avoiding it apart from once a week at knit group, where I get about two rows done when I can take a break from chatting!!  I still have the Merrimack cardigan as my current WIP.  I am just getting to the end of the second sleeve, after which it is a case of joining all the bits up to go onto the hood.

Sadly I no longer work in the yarn shop.  Stash Fine Yarns was bought by a company in Bradford and they closed the Chester shop making us redundant.  I do miss it.  I only worked there two days a week but since it closed I feel I have lost touch with the knitting world.  They have taken on the running of the website under the same name so you can still order but it won’t be me packing the orders or making the tea & coffee anymore 😦

We got a new doggy in November.  After much searching and agonising at all the rescue sites and centres we finally got a chocolate Lab from Labrador Rescue North West, the same place as  Susie came from.  A boy this time, he is 4 years old called Rufus.


He’s been a bit poorly today after eating a bar of soap!!

I think my craft room is about full now, and that’s without the yarn!  Amazing how you grow to fill a space.  I have been making quite a few cards recently.  Here are some of the Christmas cards I made……

And various birthday and random occasion cards……..

I’ll try to do individual posts for future ones, this is just a catch up.

My back operation was a complete success, I have no pain and am back to full movement. They removed the part of the disc that was protruding and I was up and walking within two hours!  It took a month or so until I felt a lot better and I’m now almost weaned off the painkillers.  I don’t need them but can’t just stop after being on them for a year.

So I hope you all have some lovely plans for 2016.  I plan to do more podcasting with Jane at The Baarmygirls Podcast.  Hope you’ll come over and have a listen.  I can’t guarantee a huge amount of knitting content but we have a good giggle.

See you soon!

Change the banner, I’m a card making obsessive too!!

I’ve been away a while, I hope you will forgive me.  I am STILL having problems with my back and the latest is that I am going to have an operation to remove the bit of the disc that is protruding and pressing on the nerve and causing the pain.  Over Easter I ended up in hospital again, in the most excruciating pain but was sent home with painkillers.  We contacted the private hospital and I had an epidural a day later which worked miracles.  But I am still in pain and still on the awful painkillers, so the op it is.  Hopefully this will be an end to it although I will always be careful what I do in future.

Sooooooo, in the meantime I haven’t knitted a great deal.  I now have a craft room in the small bedroom but rather than filling it with my yarn I have filled it with fabric and card making supplies.  I’ve been learning to colour with alcohol markers, blending colours together and making shadows etc.

Here are some of the cards I have made lately.  I will try to put a single card per post in future but just wanted to get these up all at once………

………this one I made for Janey who does The Baarmygirls Podcast with me


This one for Melissa, my friend’s daughter


This is an interesting one, I posted a card on the Passionate Paper Creations page on Facebook and a lady asked me to take part in a contest by sending in a card.  So I made this one as it was also her 40th birthday.


My mum gave me the fabric bees on this one and said “perhaps you could use them on a card?” so I did and sent it to her!!


The next one has to be my favourite so far.  I have made it for my friend’s other daughter who has recently taken her GCSEs.  I know she is going to do really well so there were no worries about making this in advance.  The image is a digital stamp from Tiddly Inks


I used Card-io Majestic stamps for this one, and stamped in different colours then embossed with clear powder


When I posted that one on Facebook my step-sister messaged me to ask if I would make her one in autumnal colours that she could put in a frame!  I was very flattered and made one for her straight away.  I posted this off to her this morning……


I have made a card this morning but it is for a contest so will need a separate post.

I have managed to knit a pair of socks for work.  I used the new Arne & Carlos sock yarn from Regia.  I bought the yarn myself and made them in my size so when they are not needed for display in the shop I can have them back!


Talking of work, we have a summer sale on at the moment, if you spend over £10 and quote HEATWAVE at the checkout, you will get 35% off your entire order.  How good is that?  I think I might get the yarn to make another Moon Pulls jumper when I get my mojo back.

So there you have it, a quick catch up, sorry its a bit photo heavy!!

Sadness and creativity

Oh dear, nearly three months since my last post!!  I hope you are all still out there…….

It’s been eventful.  Firstly I still have a bad back/hip/leg.  I put it like that because I really don’t know which bit it is that is causing the problem.  I am still waiting for a physio appointment on the NHS(!).  I am so thankful to the NHS for so many things but really, 4 months until I see a physio for something that really should be gone by then.  I was originally told it was sciatica, and it would clear up in about 6 weeks. Humph!  I went to a private physio at first but no relief.  Then an osteopath, no relief, and am now seeing a chiropractor.  A bit of relief but only because I am still on the pain killers.  I tried to cut them down a bit recently but the pain worsened so I went back on them again.  It’s very frustrating, all from a simple action of holding a small child!!

Anyway, let’s get the rest of the doom and gloom out of the way.  My laptop died, but that was easily solved by buying a new one.  A lovely MacBook Air.

Then sadly we had to make the horrible decision to say goodbye to our beautiful girl, Susie, our golden labrador who we had from the rescue 6 years ago.  She just suddenly went off her food which is not like any labrador but especially not her – she used to inhale her food and it never touched the sides.  Following test it turned out she had metastasised tumours on her heart, spleen and the whole of her liver.  There was nothing they could do for her so we had to let her go.  It was only three weeks ago and we are still heartbroken.  I had a meltdown yesterday when I saw a dog the spitting image of her on the way home from work.  It just brought back so many memories.


Well, moving on…………

I have become multicraftual!  Just before Christmas I decided to make Christmas cards.  However then the back went and I only managed to make a few for the closest friends and family.  I have been making since then though, but it does mean accumulating more stuff (more news on that later……).  I bought myself a Sizzix die cutting machine and have been playing about with that.  I’m not realising anywhere near it’s potential but I’m having a go.  Here are some of the cards I have made recently……

On the knitting front I haven’t really made much, my fingers are quite stiff at the moment and the middle finger of my left hand keeps clicking and getting stuck.  But I did make a little Tubby Tabby for my friend Mel for her birthday

IMG_2188I’m currently trying to get a pair of socks out of the way so I can move onto a larger project.  I’d really like to start one of the projects from Kate Davies’ book Yokes.  The Epistrophy, but I’m going to have to face my knitting nemesis to do that, the dreaded STEEKING!!!  Yikes! not Yokes!

I have offered my very limited sewing skills to a friend whose daughter will be going to a school prom in Jume.  She is happy for me to attempt to make a prom dress!!  (I have warned them to have a back up plan!)  So far I have made a mock up of the skirt portion using an old bed sheet and it seemed to fit ok.  I am using Burda Kids pattern 9499.  In the meantime I practised my skills on a cute bunny.  I’m really pleased with it and am going to make another in some more flowery fabric.


I mentioned accumulating more “stuff”.  Well the decluttering went quite well but things are spilling out again, especially craft stuff, so Colin decided that he would move his office stuff out of the small 3rd bedroom and we’d make it into a craft room for me!!  Yay!!!  It’s currently in the being emptied stage so I can’t really get an idea of what it will be like but it’s going to be so nice to have everything in one place rather than in corners of the living room and kitchen extension.  I’ll get a large-ish sewing table so the machine can stay out and lots of storage for fabric, yarn and card making supplies.  I am a bit excited.  And hopefully there will be room under the table for a four legged friend if one should happen to come along!



………… at this flipping pain!!  And it is getting in the way of my crafting!!!

I am taking about 15 minutes to get out of bed and hobble around until the pain has gone down enough to get dressed. Mornings are the worst time because the painkillers have worn off over night, and I have been inactive for at least 8 hours.  Once I am up and about though it is fine as long as I stay up and about.  If I sit for any length of time I stiffen up again.  I have managed to get back to work which has been ok because I am on my feet and nothing is too heavy to lift in a yarn shop!

But I had plans for making things for gifts on my days off.  Knitting and sewing gifts.  But I can’t sit down to do them, it’s very frustrating.  I could have had several things made by now, but so far have managed about 20% of a knitted gift for a friend who’s birthday was 2 days ago.  I did devise a way of knitting and walking, by hanging a project bag off my arm with my yarn in, but this current project uses 3 colours at once so it all gets a bit mixed up in the bag.  Sigh….

I do have a finished project to show though.  I managed to finish my Rivulet shawl and get it blocked.  I love it, it is really soft and warm in the Mirasol Sulka Legato and the fringing is fab.

Rivulet shawlKnitted on 3.75mm circs, it is very lightweight so doesn’t feel all bunched up around the neck.  You start knitting at the point and increase to 261 stitches by the end so it isn’t too many (not that you think that while the rows are getting longer and longer!), and the pattern is very easy to memorise.

Pattern: Rivulet from Road Trip by TinCanKnits

Yarn: Mirasol Sulka Legato shade 13 – approx 80g

Needles: 3.75mm 80cm KnitPro Harmony interchangeable circulars


Pain – it’s not big or clever!

It is in fact EXCRUCIATING!!!!  A few years ago I had an ear infection and it was, at the time, the worst pain I have ever had in my entire life.  That was NOTHING compared to the last few days.  I did a very innocuous thing of putting a friend’s baby on my hip 10 days ago.  I must have stuck my hip out and twisted at the same time, but thought nothing of it.  Over the next couple of days I started to get pain in the hip and shooting down the back of my leg.  I saw the GP and got some painkillers, carried on as the pain got worse.  Early Friday morning we had to call the on call GP as I was screaming and crying in pain at 3am.  They didn’t come out but told me to take more painkillers and ring my GP in the morning.  I did that but by mid afternoon I started to be sick so had to get to the GP quick who then sent me to hospital because I couldn’t even keep water (let alone painkillers down).

The diagnosis is sciatica, and there is no time frame of how long it is going to last.  I can walk about, in fact that keeps it moving and loose, but as soon as I stop and sit down, or god forbid go to bed, the pain just builds, and it is the most excruciating pain to get up again.  I spent Friday night in hospital getting IV fluids and painkillers and was sent home Saturday afternoon after proving I could keep food down.

So I am currently spending all day standing up!!  Not the easiest thing when the pills are making me drowsy and I want to sleep.  I have done a little bit of walking-knitting!

On Thursday I had started the process of dyeing some yarn.  It finally got completed yesterday after sitting in the dyepot for two days while I was incapacitated in the Countess of Chester.  It was originally Debbie Bliss undyed Rialto DK and I dyed it with madder chips.  I would have liked it darker, but am still really pleased with the variegated result.  I love the fact that with natural dyes you really don’t quite know what you are going to get.

DSCN2423 DSCN2424

There are 6 x 100g skeins there, all from the same dyepot but all slightly different, so 1200 metres total.  I originally wanted to make Sirdar 7187 with it but I might reconsider and make a Lush cardigan instead.  I think I need to swatch a bit first.

When I am feeling better I am going to start taking Pilates classes to strengthen my back and core muscles.

Take care of your back everyone, cos when it goes wrong you really know about it!!!