Check out my Finished Items on the second page

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Well this is embarrassing!

When I had my loft insulated at the end of last year, it needed to be emptied. It was - all into my 2 spare rooms.  Now I have to admit at this point, that I have a huge problem with throwing stuff out. Not because I am emotionally attached to any of it, but because I have a guilt complex about landfill.  But really the time has come - don't you think???

I don't understand though -  why, when you decide to tidy up and clear out - all you seem to do is make more mess? - I could get in the rooms yesterday morning - today they are declared health and safety hazards! - You need a hard hat to enter.  it turns out I haven't really thrown any clothes out for around 15 years (some of those things I am never going to get into again!) and I have an abundance of old computer cables. As well as obvious yarn stash and other crafting type equipement, accessories and notions.  I have now reached a point of stalemate as I've run out of bin bags, and having continue to make "throw away" and "for the charity shop" piles of stuff, it took me some while to negotiate a way out of the rooms!  Still I know when I get rid of it all, and get some shelving and other storage type furniture that it will all be better for it. At the moment though it feels like a bit of a disaster!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone. xx

Hope everyone had a wonderful day. Mine was filled with much merriment (and food!)  Today Spot and I are going for a lovely long walk along the river to work the Christmas lunch off a bit!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Gosh a month has gone by

Time is moving just a bit too quickly for me at the moment - I'm about 2 weeks behind myself. Christmas is looming, and there's still lots of knitting to be done. Britain has been in the grip of a large amount of snow for the past week, and the VAT was due (!!)

So, blogging has and will continue to take a back seat for a while. I haven't even been round and read any for a while. But they're all saved in my google reader, so they'll be there when I have a chance.

Hope all your Christmas preparations are going well and no one is too cold!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Sundays are normally reserved for F1, but today I am missing THE LAST RACE OF THE SEASON (you have no idea how hard that was to type - like it's a reality now or something).  I'm going to see TJ Johnson and his band up at Ronnie Scotts. It's a sell-out which is so exciting for him, and I'm thrilled that they're doing so well. (even if it does mean missing the F1)

And as for the race - well personally anyone but Alonso would do! ;-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm bad aren't I

It just feels like nothing much is happening to blog about lately. Of course that's not strictly true, I've started knitting Woolly Wormhead's Mystery Hat Knitalong which I obviously can't tell you much about cos it's a mystery! (well I can tell you that I have started it in Cherry Merino Plus from Yarnaddict yarns! and the brim so far looks like this

I can also tell you that I've nearly finished my sweater dress - except I think I will need more yarn, so that's kind of on hold at the moment. I've done the body though.  it's this pattern Here and I'm knitting it in dark grey fabel.

I've also popped some silkie eggs under Mother hen this morning. SHe's broody (again!) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try to think about a replacement for her as she's getting on now. It's too late in the year really, so I'm not totally expecting anything to happen, but as she's broody we may as well have a go.

I've also finished the front panel for the third window quilt.  I haven't taken a photo yet tho' as it's been too dark. Now I just need to quilt them all!

So there you have it, a bit of a catchup.  ;o)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Not sure if this will work. But freckles is trying to crow

There was just the one attempt right at the beginning, I kept recording in case he had another go, but he was only interested in whether I had brought breakfast or not! ;)  Cute tho' eh?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Latest crafting accomplishments

A quick roundup of my latest creations

Firstly 2 of the 3 window quilts I need to make for my conservatory.. These are only the front panels, they need to be actually quilted yet - but as I'm new to sewing I'm pretty chuffed with these so am showing them off now (before I ruin them by getting the quilting wrong!  I've tried to edit that bra out of the background but Photobucket is having none of the cropping today (it may miraculously crop at some point of it's own accord because the original has been) But I'm saying that I did it on purpose as my final salute to Breast Awareness Month, and you'll never know whether I'm telling the truth or not!)

And my Girasole Blanket. Pattern by BrooklynTweed, (available here under home and accessories)
This is the aran version (as I guess you can see by the size) and it's glorious. Just what you need on an autumn night to keep the chills at bay. The little gap at the bottom is where I ran out of yarn (*doh*) I was seriously considering undoing the border and the last pattern repeat and then reknitting the border - but it was 2 weeks worth of knitting all told, and in the end my common sense prevailed - It's a blanket!!! No-one will ever know when they're snuggled up in it.

It was knitted in Forsell Touch of Silk, 1 cone in colour Basalt, on 6.5mm needles (I think, I've taken them apart now as I used interchangeables, but I think that's what they were) and it's already one repeat short of the final pattern chart, so if anyone else is making it in that - beware!!

All in all i've been quite productive of late. ;-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sooo much to tell you....

I had so much to tell you, and then my internet connection went westward! Isn't that always the way!!  So starting with the most recent and working backwards here is a quick summary of what's been happening in the last couple of weeks.

Last week we went to hayling Island. It was a bit of a last minute decision (sorry Lin, I know I need to bring down those bookeeping files for you, but we'll be there again soon) But it was such a beautiful sunny day and the tide was out at a good time. I went to the huge Tescos just before you get on the island too, and also bought a sack of potatoes from a farm shop I go to on the island, so a very productive day all round.

The Sunday before that I went to see the Fantabulous Sheepwash Playboys at the Preston Cross hotel in Bookham. They have jazz there most Sunday lunchtimes, but I can't afford to go every week (shame!) but I can never pass up the opportunity to see the Bennett Brothers in action. They just lift your spirits and make you smile your biggest smile. Fantastic fun, and flippin good music to boot!

Then, the week before that I went to Ally Pally for the Knitting and Stitching show. Now up until this year I have only ever been interested in the knitting part of the affair. But this year there seemed to be a bit more patchwork and fabric about, and I got lulled into a false sense of security ambling along looing at all the pretties....... and then BAM!
I'd bought a sewing machine!!! - obviously then I had to go back around and buy fabric (oopsie) and now I have a whole new obsession!  Here are my other Ally Pally purchases:

A subscription to The Knitter and Simply Knitting (purely for the free gifts - one of which was the Cath Kidson sewing book on the left) A pack of Rowan Wool Tweed from Black Sheep and three bundles of fabric - 2 packs of 5 x Fat Quarters, and one roll of 5 x 1/2 metres.

The weekend before that had been my Grandma'a 90th birthday party! A surprise party of 100 or so guests (and I was related to every last one of them - WOW!), pie n mash for lunch, and a jazz band led by the inimitable Gentleman Jim Mcintosh. Mama (my Grandma) led the dancing pretty much all afternoon.... she is an incredible lady. There was an umbrella paradefor the kids too (a jazz tradition, I have no idea why but maybe someone will tell me?), and Mum had bought special little umbrellas for them all, and the mothers had feather boas (so the kids didn't have to do it alone!), and our final dance/song was a big round circle holding hands and singing "When the Saints" (sooo many childhood memories in that)

Lastly, and by no means least, When I had just returned from Scotland, I went to see Stephen Fry at the Royal Albert Hall.  He took questions from twitter and made a whole evening of story-telling around them. A true raconteur in the same way as Peter Ustinov used to be, complete with voices and jokes. Very, very funny and a little serious too, A very generous man, by which I mean that he shared his lifetime stories with a "no-holds barred" attitude. A lovely evening.

So there we are about up to date. I  have completed Girasole too, and started sewing my window quilts that I bought last year, but I'll pop photos of those up tomorrow or sometime this week. I really must get on with my work now! ;)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Three things

There are three things I have to tell you about

1  - Stephen Fry at the Albert Hall
2 - My Grandma's 90th birthday party
3 - Alexandra Palace Knitting and Stitching Show

Unfortunately I haven't got time! - but I will, eventually!


Monday, October 04, 2010


Noo's Knits has gone Pink for October.  So go on ladies - check your boobs!! ;-)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Why “being prepared” always means the inevitable won’t happen

Look at her little innocent face -

You’d think butter wouldn’t melt wouldn’t you!

Well I can assure you it would not only melt but it would probably cause belly upset and other unfortunate instances.

My Little Spot-dog is not so much of an angel – this photo taken this morning is her waiting for her morning biscuit (half a bonio if you’re interested) and that look is always present when there’s food about. To put it mildly the army of Spot walks on her stomach!

To this end I do have to be careful when we’re out walking. We walk in a large area of common ground, littered with wildlife (and strangely empty coke cans?) and as unfortunately nature does sometimes have a cruel course…. Some of the wildlife is sometimes – well…… dead! When I first got Spot she was partly trained as a gundog, and as such would bring me a dummy (cutely wrapped in a rabbit skin to mimic the real article) and drop it at my feet, sit nicely, and wait for me to throw it again. At some point the rabbit skin fell off, and whilst we still play the fetch game (particularly with my nephews who love throwing it and making spot bring it back) it is now a plain green dummy. I think this is possibly where my mistake lies? You see there was a time when if Spot found, how can I delicately put this? A portion of wildlife? She would bring it to me….. not the nicest thing to have to deal with but lob it deep into the woods, and tell your dog to walk on in the other direction and no harm is done. At some point tho’ and I’m not really sure when, the sequence of events changed. She picks up the “portion” I call her to me, she ignores me and runs in the exact opposite direction trying to avoid me and eat her prey. And thus it was last week….. only this time it was feathered, probably a pigeon (or what was left of one after presumable a fox or something had had their fill).
So I called her, she looked in my direction…… I called her a little more sternly…. She made a slight move towards me….. and then…… Swallowed the whole dam thing in one gulp. At this point I am thanking all that is good in the world (and my own common sense) that I have pet insurance, as I am pretty sure that an entire feathered wing swallowed in one go is going to have a pretty drastic effect on Spot’s stomach, and is likely to make an unannounced re-appearance at some time. Or possibly not, but cause an obstruction or illness (my mind was racing a bit!) I shouted! She knew she’d been bad and lay down looking up at me with her ears dropped – fat good it did being repentant then, as well she knew!...... I swear I actually saw her tail wag at one point!

Anyway, we came home, and I waited, I had my own dinner (which she showed more than a passing interest in!)……. And I waited….and I watched the tv,…. And I waited……. And I let her out for her late night ablutions, and I waited………. And I went to bed and barely slept as I waited….. and I got up the next morning… and she greeted me with a wagging tail and asked for her biscuit!

This was a week ago! She is fine and has been all that time. No upset stomach, no belly aches, no loss of appetite (!!), a little extra water drunk for a day or two, but that was all the evidence that something out of the ordinary had happened.

I think the moral of the story is, that if I hadn’t kept up the insurance, then surely all hell would have broken loose (possibly almost literally) and as she gets older and the premiums gets higher it is a hard decision to make sometimes. It’s not just about the illnesses that they can get, but for this kind of eventuality – an accident or something that isn’t really an ongoing problem…….. you can’t beat having that reassuring knowledge that any treatment would have been covered. I mean a dog is a dog and as well trained as they might usually be, they all have a weakness (in her case feather and fur!) and that can so easily get you all into trouble!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Spotley came too! ;)

I forgot to say - Spot came to Scotland too:-

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Hi Everyone, Freckles here. Just thought I'd show you how much I have grown while Human Mum was away. I'm nearly as tall as my silkie chicken mum now, and look at those feathers. I'm getting pretty handsome! I haven't fully decided whether i'm a boy or a girl yet, but look at the way i'm standing today - that's very boyish....... but then yesterday I was standing quite girly ! ;) It's raining today and I'm not terribly impressed, but at least there's a roof on my run so I can still get out and run up and down which I really like doing.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Hi Honey I'm home!

Well I've been meaning to blog the holiday since I got back at the weekend, but you know I just don't know how? It was a lovely quiet, relaxing, quiet, chilling, quiet, wet, quiet, sometimes sunny, quiet kind of a week and we travelled around 2000 miles around and about, but .... well there's not much to tell really. We hardly saw anyone, we saw a few herds of red deer, no eagles, no puffins :( and a few dolphin. But oh my it was the most awesome, incredible, dark, fantastic place ever. So, just a couple of photos and I'll leave the rest to your imagination!

I think this was Loch Hope, right up in the top North West corner

Who can sing a rainbow? - I bet any children that live in Scotland can, I've seen more in a week than I have in the last decade - and they were all perfect!

The Back Garden at Herbie's Cottage

Plenty of time to "stand and stare"

Monday, September 06, 2010

3 weeks now ;)

Hey everyone, it's freckles here again! I'm now three weeks old, and just at my ugly stage (although i think I look like a hawk or something posh....... not just a chicken!)

Mum says I have beautiful colouring tho'
I still like to stay close to Mum tho', even tho' I'm really grown up now.
And I've learnt how to perch (sorry about the unfocused wire in the shot, but I'd be all over the garden without it! ;):

Now my human Mum says she's really busy at the moment doing stuff to get ready for a holiday or something. But she will have lots to tell you when she gets back, so in the meantime..... well just keep popping back and looking at me, I'm handsome enough!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I am a week old!

My name is Freckles and I am a week old today.

The way I am standing here makes me look like a boy - but I'm not letting on yet whether I am or not.

Because I am a week old, Dad made me a little run so I can see daylight and run around a bit.

We're in the oldest house, and it's pretty rickety, but it will do for now until I am bigger and can go and play with the other chickens. Mum is keeping me warm anyway!
There's this other weird creature that comes and watches me for ages too? - I expect when I'm older I'll understand more, but I like fidgeting about and scratching and running and jumping and climbing, but this other creature just lays down and watches as still as a statue.
Weird huh?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Chick on the Block!

My Nephew seems to think that Freckles is a good name - so freckles it is. We don't know if Freckles is a girl or a boy, but it seems a pretty unisex name really (as luck would have it!)  Only 1 hatched, out of 6 eggs, but to be honest I wasn't really expecting a good show.  I had to leave broody mum in with some of the other hens for quite a long time whilst the broody house was de-red-mited (several times! - and they're still there a bit) and then another hen went broody too so they shared the duty a bit. but that also meant a little fighting and at least one egg got kicked across the hen house! Plus it could well have meant that the eggs went cold while they were squabbling. Who knows. But this little one is a fighter - I had to help the hatch after watching for over 2 hours and all there was was the first little hole. A pair of tweezers came to my aid and I helped open the shell in much the same way as the chick should have done, and when I popped it back done Mother hen yanked it out of it's shell, so she obviously thought enough was enough too!.  Fingers crossed for this little one. I know it's common to loose one or two in early days, and obviously I can't really afford to, so we are just hoping this one will be ok!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Down by the riverside

The level of water at the river is well down due to the distinct lack of rain lately. This apparently changes everything in a dog's view of the world. Spot was scared stiff. Really I haven't laughed at her so much since she was a pup. Daft girl!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Latest update, 20 squares done

I'm not blogging about much else at the moment am I?

I'm trying to be really random with the colours, but it's funny how difficult random is when it comes down to it!

In other news, I have silky sitting on a few eggs, poor love keeps going broody and it seemed only fair to give her a chance to be a mum again.  I don't hold out a lot of hope on these tho' as I'm not sure the cockerel has been doing his rounds lately!, but we'll see what happens. Heavens knows where I'll put them if they hatch, they may well have to come indoors in a box for a while!

There's not much else to tell you at the moment, life is ticking along as normal. The veg patch is doing ok, but i've had to stop watering all my pots and window boxes. It's coming to the end of the season anyway and they did so well early on, but I'm on a water meter and we haven't had any decent rain since early May (and even then it wasn't really a lot) so my water butts emptied a long long time ago. So now I'm just finishing off my veg then I'll call it a day for this summer. I've done well, courgettes, bean, a few peas, and plenty of potatoes. So no complaints and definitely cheaper than the supermarket!

Spot and I haven't walked quite as much as usual, it's really incredibly hot for a dog with a long fur coat, and she still hasn't learnt that she'll last longer if she doesn't run round like her a*s is on fire. But we have walked a few evenings along by the river where I did my 5k training and that's lovely, and usually ends up with me rescuing her from the river where she dives in and then realises it's too high to get back out!  I swear she'd jump off a cliff face without a seconds thought if that was what took her fancy at the time!

All of these walk photos have been taken during July - very late for little ducklings (which probably explains why there's only one) I expect it was a second brood?

Right another coffee, and then.............. well who knows, the sun is trying to peek through so maybe a walk if it's not too hot, although I really should do some work................. sometime!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mayfield Lavender Farm

Yesterday Spot and I met Franney  and Lukey at a lavender farm. Free entry and a little tea van..... you can't go wrong really can you? We took sandwiches and sat on a picnic table in the middle of the lavender field..... glorious!

Friday, July 23, 2010

12 down 18 to go

It must be a good thing when I have to stand on a chair to get them all in a  Still hoping to get thirty squares from the pack .… we'll have to see if i make it. I'll need to buy more anyway for an edging as I don't think I'll be able to decide on an edge colour til I've seen all the squares. But I'm hoping for 30 to make it 6 squares by 5.  I still think it's sunshiny!

An unheard of occurrence is happening this weekend. I'm missing the grand prix!!!! This is because my friend and damm fine musician TJ Johnson and his band are playing at Ronnie Scotts on Sunday lunchtime. It's such a coup to get a gig there and I can't wait to be there to support them

Have a great weekend everyone xx

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blanket of Sunshine Part I

The first 5 squares are done

Doesn't that just make you smile?? (or is it just me?) ;)

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Well I'm obviously on a bit of a roll lately! Here is the newest finished article from the Doris Chan Everyday Crochet  book.

The Pattern is Cameo, made in 5 1/2 balls of  Drops Cotton Viscose (very splitty yarn :( ), on a 4.5mm hook.  If I made this again, or any of the variations on this pattern, I would stop the body just below the bust, and go back and do the armholes and straps as it'd be  much easier to get a good fit and try it on along the way then. I made it longer than the original pattern, and added one set of hip shaping as in the pattern Somnambulista which is based on the same design.(and which I think may be my next "must-have") I also needed the straps way longer than the pattern - an extra 10 stitches, and it still could have been longer. (But then I have always known I was a bit "thick set" around the shoulders!!!!)   All in all very happy with the finished article. The yarn had been frogged, and I also had to re-do a few bits of this (mostly the straps to get them the right length), and it became very very splitty because of that. But it's made up nicely.

Finally,  I have made my first sunshine square:-

After a few false starts I have decided on the Willow Square from the 200 Crochet Blocks  book.  I should have enough yarn to make 30 squares, which will make a throw 48" x 40" - It's going to be a slow process tho' so I'll just mosey along with this as and when.

Now I'm off to watch the British F1 Grand Prix - I won't be moving from the sofa for a few hours!

Thursday, July 08, 2010


My Lucy Colour Pack of Rico Creative Cotton has finally arrived. Doesn't it just look like sunshine in a bowl? I think the girls at First4yarns have done a sterling job, they have been totally inundated (which I'm sure is a good thing) and have depleted both theirs and the manufacturer's supplies several times over. But patience has won the day and I think most orders have been completed now.  Now, what to make in it??! LOL

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sock Blockers!

I have been promising myself a pair of sock blockers for a long, long (long?!) time! - I never have the money - because I spend it on sock yarn!! But then I make my socks and look longingly at how lovely everyone elses look, all properly shaped and photographed on their blockers, whilst mine are all crumpled and don't show their gussets off nicely!

So, Now I have some,....

it's not easy to find sock blockers at the moment - I have no idea why not. But here is where I got mine from:  Whorldropspindle

I have to just tell you that whilst I am typing this, I am watching a female blackbird have a proper wash in our make-shift bird bath/drinker.  We have a big plastic tray that is used for mixing cement on so as not to ruin the garden, and I filled it with water the other day in the hope that Spot would lie in it as she is feeling the heat a bit this year. Unfortunately she has all but ignored it (depsite me standing in it and calling her!), but the birds love it, and often bring the children for their evening baths! - They even wash under their wings! LOL

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Evening Walk

On my evening walk today.......................

I noticed that the wild foxgloves are out.  Now I have a bit of an aversion to foxgloves (I think I may have been poisoned by digitalis in a previous life ) but I have to admit these shocks of colour look amazing amongst the green and brown of the dry woodlands at newlands corner.

Also just a quick photo of the natural swimming pool that gets made at Hayling Island when the tide goes out - I had a little swim with Spot last week! ;)

Sorry photos aren't great, they're just taken on my phone. But you get the idea I'm sure!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Jewel in the Crown

This is Jewel (Ravelry Link) by Doris Chan   (blog link!).  Fantastic pattern and the first quite complex crochet pattern I have followed.  It's crocheted top down with raglan sleeves. i had a bit of trouble to start with as I was over complicating the pattern, but once I understood the way it was written I was well away.

This won't be the only pattern I make from this book!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The one about the Patio

Every year on race for life day, I have an BBQ and invite family and friends over to cook for themselves (well come on, I'd have just run 5k all things being equal) on the firepit, and have a giggle together.

This year, our race for life (as you all know by now!) was on Sunday 20th June.  On Tuesday 15th June MrNoo and I decided it would be nice to have a patio to have the BBQ on. - We do set ourselves some tasks!! ;)

So what was this:

by Tuesday night was this:
(notice how Spot is already checking it out - although she doesn't look overly impressed does she?)

And finally on Thursday night

The wood is there at the front at the moment as we need to build a proper wall all around the edge, as the garden slopes away incredibly (and I have a mole who is currently enjoying digging up the outskirts!) so we'll build the edges up properly in the hope that it will hold it together a bit.

A little late for the BBQ, but this week I bought a lovely little patio table, it also has a black parasol, but I haven't got it out today as it's a bit cloudy. (please excuse the towels hanging up in the background - God I'm so tacky sometimes!)

Not bad for just a couple of days work, especially in the heat we had - lots of sunburn! (bit of a botch job, obviously, but I'm good at those!) and it is so nice to be able to sit out at night on the patio with my dinner and watch all the little birdies feeding and taking their evening baths.

I hope my next post will be about a completed crochet sweater! ;)