Monday, 24 April 2017

Bleary of eye and weary of feet.

Ooher Missus, did I have a good day out. With all the bells and whistles.
We set off in a small convoy and arrived at Builth Wells showground in time to park in the first row. We had a quick leg stretch and "paid a visit to the necessary" before winding our way up to the entrance gate for  10 minutes or so waiting in the queue.

We made no plans, it was a given that we would bump into each other every now and then, and we did. I spent most of my time, wandering aimlessly or striding out with a goal in sight, with one of our group. We discovered that we share very many, far too many, interests in a myriad of crafts.

Although we did have a good look at the spinning booths and groups we were hooked by the weavers, particularly the Brinkley Loom Weaving on the Plant Dyed Wool stand. More research is about to happen on that particular front. 
The SO is happy to make a copy of the loom, cutting my expenditure by a considerable amount, he is also happy to make one for my companion.

I got everything on my list and much more besides I will be taking photo,s once my eyes are fully awake.

I did the draw for the giveaway last night just before I collapsed on the sofa with my knitting after a delicious dinner of spicy noodles and veg with lots of bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, two of my most favourite veggies.

In no particular order the winners are.

Julie, of KC's Court.
Vera, of The Threaded Lane.
Jackie, of The Land of the Living Skies. 
and last but not least....
Sheila, of Life's too short to iron tea towels.

Drop me a comment with your snail mail addresses and I will get them off to you asap. None of these will be published of course.

Photos will be up tomorrow, I did not take any at the show, the lighting was terrible and it was so busy that most shots would have shown the backs of shoppers heads and arms outstretched trying to grab something or other.

I made purchases from all of my destination stalls, gorgeous yarn from Rosies Moments, wonderful stitch markers and progress keepers from Owl About Yarn to name but two. 

We had a delicious lunch from No Bones Jones, a catering family team, who have vegetarian and vegan food to tickle the taste buds and satisfy the salivary glands. It was delicious, I did not make a pig of myself........well not till a little later when we stumbled upon a stall selling brownies with banana, peanut butter and sea salt. 
OMG I ate mine so fast I could hear my Granny saying "do you have to shovel that down like a workhouse kid?"

I am stopping here to get another brew on the go.

See you all tomorrow. It is the SO's birthday and we are off to look at wooden model kits, he's a bit of a fan of them. We may drop into a certain well known DIY shop to look at wood for a loom or two as well. he he.

                        TTFN                                           Pam

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Too Late Ethel

Oops, would you look at the time. I am in bed ready to get some shuteye before an early start in the morning.

I am off to Wonderwool with some of the knit and natter girls, be still my beating heart. (not too still mind)

I completely forgot to do the draw,but I have got 6 bags ready, I am sorry but it will have to wait till tomorrow now, or possibly Monday if I am shattered or on a massive yarn high when I return home.
It has been a super duper summers day here, but the wind was a bit chilly on Ben's first walk. No coat required after 10:00 this morning and by 2:00 a parasol would have come in handy. It was T shirt weather.

I have made a list of what I want to look for, I have new batteries in the camera, which is in my bag. I have a sock on my needles for when I sit down for tea... Oh My There is an area called Coffee and Cake, swoon swoon. I just lurve cake.

I have printed off the floor plan and circled all the stalls that I must call at.

I have a calculator , to work out anything that I need to, yardage and so on. 

I have comfy shoes ready, tissues, Werther's sweeties (sugar free of course) a bag for purchases and a bottle of water.

Most importantly I have cash, the plastic is staying at home safe and sound.

So now all I need is some sleep, my alarm is set early enough for a shower and my clothes are laid out ready.

All that remains is for me to bid you all goodnight.

                  TTFN                                                Pam

Friday, 21 April 2017

Disaster Strikes

 I had a disaster this morning and am lamenting for a little while with some chocolate.

I was knitting away on my new jumper, the one with 2 charts, when it took on a life of it's own (or maybe I sat on the circular cord!) and it came off the needles #~**""!! Sooo after a bit of nearly tears and a hot strong cuppa I picked up the rats nest. Stitches had run every which way and I just ripped it back to a good spot and started picking up to find that 10 whole rows had gone. I don't care (well maybe I do a bit) it is only knitting and as the song goes "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". 

see me in the next strong man event.

Anyhoo, it is all done and set up for row 7 I just needed to step away for a little while. It will be easier this time as I found a line magnifier and it has arrived plus I now understand how the pattern is formed instead of just blindly following the charts.

I will be putting names in a hattish thingy later and pulling a few out so tomorrow I will publish winners and if they have blogs will let them know, if not they will have to contact me with their details. All my comments are moderated so no addresses will be published.

I am much better today but am still taking it easy, I do have washing on the whirly thing but after all pegging out is not arduous.

The weather is warm and dry but cloudy so I am certain that it will get dry. 

I found a new podcast to entertain me this morning, Woolly Elephant, run by a mother and daughter team a bit further North in the UK than me. I watched the first episode and will be having a bit of a binge later on.
 I may even make a rhubarb crumble and a drop of custard to enjoy with it. I have to listen to my body and it thinks that will hit the spot quite nicely.

Still excited about Wonderwool, I really need to chose a project and search for the yarn to make it. I don't want to just buy random skeins and then have to search for a pattern to match. One of the knit and natter girls is hell bent on finding the yarn for the Pavement sweater, I do like it but am not sure that it is far enough away from the Flax sweater that is on my list. I do have a couple of shawl patterns that I love...I will make my mind up at the last moment I am sure. If not I could be stretching my arms by a fair few inches. hehe.

Time for tea now and a little walk with Ben, he is loving all this couch potato time, I may have to call him chips or mash soon.

                  TTFN                                                    Pam

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Turn that stopped me.

I got up to a grey drizzle, almost a different world to yesterday.

After my usual cuppa, swiftly followed by another, and a little podcast watching, Relatively Crafty,  scooped my wits about me and got Ben out for his first walk. I went a bit early as I had planned to pick Jess up and show her where I get my wild garlic.

I was absolutely fine till I got back home, I got just inside the house and had what my Granny would call "a bit of a turn". I couldn't get my breath and just sat on the stairs feeling completely out of sorts. I got the SO to call Jess and cancel then made my way to the sofa.
And there I stayed until about 4:00 when I felt well enough to move about a bit. I slept on and off during the day and feel much better now.
This is the first bad day that I have had for a while and came out of the blue, I have decided to blame it on the shock of such a wonderful sunny day yesterday.

I have done a little knitting on the socks, another yarn that I am not in love with, but they are not for me so I will finish them.

On to something happy.

I have a small stack of project bags, some drawstring and some zippered. I also have some fabric that I washed, dried and ironed on Tuesday morning, that is clamouring to be made into something.

Until I move the bags I can not make anything else, so to cut a long story short, I fancy having a giveaway.

leave me a comment and I will find something hattish and someone to dabble around in it and pull a few names out. I will post anywhere in the world and there will be around half a dozen bags of various sizes. I will allocate them quite randomly so you may get a sock size or a sweater size.

I nearly forgot to tell you that I got some happy post, The Knitter's handy book of top-down sweaters by Ann Budd. I heard Tilly Trout praising it and decided that an early birthday pressy to myself was quite a good idea.

I will be taking it very easy for the next 2 days as I am off to Wonder wool on Sunday. I am really looking forward to it, my first yarn Feastival, and no that is not a typo, I fully intend to feast to my hearts content.

                     TTFN                                      Pam(greedy guts)

PS thank you for the sweater comments, I will look at it for a few days and see if I can learn to like it.

Sorry to whoever,s comment that i just clicked on to publish it has disappeared, if you repeat the comment I will endeavour not to lose it again.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

No Gremlins after all.

It was just a total memory failure on my part, I completely blanked out taking the camera to the wool shop for photos of the windows.

My finally finished wip sweater, I loved it when I cast it on but now I am not so keen. I will wear it though, waste not want not.

I had intended to replace the sleeve cable with the lace pattern from the front but put that idea aside for the sake of speed.

Now for the window shots.

Easter in yarn.

A sample of some new yarns and garments knitted from them, such a good idea. It is great to see how a yarn looks in garment form, I 
have had a few disappointments over the years.

Knit and natter went well yesterday, we were low on numbers but not on chatter. Jess and Ivy came along and Sophie was there as well, once she woke up and started to move about Ivy was fascinated.

Dinner was a quick stir fry, I basically sliced everything from the salad drawer that was suitable and made a sticky sauce with soy, mirin and some maple syrup, with some thread noodles it made a very fast and tasty meal. There may have been a naughty trifle for pudding.

This morning the sun is shining bright and I have hand washing on the whirlythingamajig, I had an hour in the garden and had to come in for a cold drink. Once this is posted I will be going back out, it is far too nice to be indoors and there is far too much to do.

On that note I will wish you all a good day, wherever you are and whatever you may be doing.

                     TTFN                                                      Pam

PS, talk about pride going before a fall, I had to tink back 3 rows of my new knit as I had SSK,d when I should have K2TOG Right in the centre front yoke. DUH I am all caught up again now though.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Snowflakes and Gremlins, oh my.

The Gremlins have hidden my camera, I am in the Tidy up stage of knitting. The WIP sweater, duly photographed, has been blocked and is folded neatly in a drawer.
The "Posh" scarf is done and delivered, and properly enthused over.

All the odds and ends of yarn, Mmm nothing left from the scarf but 138 grams left from the sweater, have been put in the " One day I will make something from this lot" bag.

The patter has been filed along with the notes that I made.

I have treated myself to more yarn, and that also has been put in it's niche along with the patterns. More of that later.

I thought to myself, time to do a quick blog post, I'll just get the photos on the lappy. No camera to be seen, even though I had it in my hands last night just before going to bed. (better look in the bedroom soon)

As for snow, some of the new yarn is for the Snowflake sweater from Tin Can Knits, a paid for pattern. It has a lace yoke knitted from 2 CHARTS!!, my first charted sweater pattern knit in the round. it's a good job that I have umpteen stitch markers in different colours. I have knitted 1/3 rd of the yoke, in a soft purple, and the only problem that I have is focusing on the correct row to follow. My eyes like to wander a little, at the moment I am using two bookmarks to isolate my row. I need to find a proper clip on gadget that magnifies as well as blocks the adjacent rows, I will have a trip up the Amazon later.
The sleeves will be in the purple while the body of the sweater will be in Sand.

I was so pleased with my success that I have printed off the Knotty glove pattern by Julia Mueller, it is a free pattern on ravelry. I was watching Tilly Trout and she has knitted it up several times and that was recommendation enough for me. I haven't knitted gloves for a good few years, at least 15 and possibly more, and if all goes well it could become as addictive as socks.
Oh yes, I do have a pair on the needles, vanilla is the new black using a West Yorkshire Spinners  sock yarn from their Bird collection. Unfortunately I have lost the ball band and as it is deep stash have no memory of the name.

I did buy an attic 24 pack to make a bag and a cushion cover as my crochet mojo has started to nag at me. I just need to print off the pattern, or perhaps just make my own up as I go. Now that I think about it a lap blanket in that lovely chunky yarn may be the way to go. I'll get back to you on that.

If I find the camera I will get some photo,s and share.

It has been a mixed bag of weather over the past few days, bright sun, grey clouds, black clouds, cold wind and smeary drizzles. I haven't been in the garden for 3 days and doubt that I will get out today. I don't mind too much I have my knitting and some more "tidying" to do. Note, in this context Tidying is meant to cover stroking, oohing and ahhing and matching yarn to pattern. Along with a quick look at my fabric and patterns for various makes in the planning stage.

It has just occurred to me that tomorrow is knit and natter, these long weekends mess up my internal calendar even though I don't work any more. I will rephrase that to Even though I am no longer in paid employment, because of course I work. The house doesn't clean itself and dinner and bread don't magically  appear, oh for a bit of Hogwarts magic with dinner just showing up on the table.

Now I am in dire need of a cuppa, I hope that your weekend has been all that you wanted and that you all enjoy this last day of it to the full.

                   TTFN                                                   Pam

Friday, 14 April 2017

Woo Hoo, I managed it.

The cake that Jess made for me, isn't it magnificent. It smells even better than it looks.

My lappy had an automatic update and all has changed, now I have to find everything and learn all the changes. Anything that I can not figure out will be passed on to Francesca when she is here next. I will make do with what I can find on the dratted thing.

Today has been chilly, grey and windy, Ben was okay on his first walk but the second one was a different kettle of fish. He hunched down went just as far as was necessary and turned tail for home. I didn't complain as the wind was creeping into every gap in my clothing, my scarf just surrendered and shrunk with the onslaught letting a minor gale blow between scarf and skin. Brrrrrr.

I am knitting the neckband on my WIP sweater, once it is on the dummy I will endeavour to post a photo.  I need to get a pair of socks cast on, I couldn't understand why this WIP was taking so long  to get done, then realised that I had nothing else to work on for a change. At one point I looked at my hands and thought that any slower and I would be frogging rather than knitting.

I watched the latest podcast from Sew Sweet Violet this morning, very very early, and found 2 new ones to enjoy. Bumble Stitches and Tales From Cuckoo Land, I watched just enough to know that I would like them and subscribed. Then it was time to start the day with the first walk.

I made 2 loaves of bread, they smell fantastic, and am happy with how they turned out.

Once they are completely cold I will slice and freeze them, I may have to do a taste test of course, just in case. 

Dinner tonight will be the very last of my Maple Syrup roast Gammon with sweet potatoes baked in their jackets and some salad. I look forward to it and may have to make a little wholegrain mustard mayo to have with it.

I watched the massively hyped up final episode of Bones and felt that the door has been left open for a return, although perhaps with some cast changes.
I am still enjoying Elementary but think that Blindspot is being stretched a bit too far. I don't watch a huge amount of telly but like a bit of detective stuff and am loving the total fantasy of Grimm, whereas Once Upon a Time bored me rigid on the most recent series so I stopped watching.

Right now I have the telly on with reruns of ancient episodes of Floyd on Britain and Ireland, the food is so dated but Floyd is always chuckle worthy and I can listen without having to watch to enjoy it.

Wonders will never cease, now that it is too late to do any good, the sun is starting to gleam through the murk and it is brighter now than it has been all day. If it keeps it up I will be taking Ben out again for half an hour or so.

That's all for now, I want to get that neck ribbing done and set the sleeves in this afternoon. Tonight I will be casting socks on, I may try the Turkish cast on and knit toe up for a change. Wish me luck.

                        TTFN                                      Pam

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Hell and set fire to it.

That is a direct quote from my Granny, it was uttered in ringing tones when some task or other would not go right.
I just said it 3 times, I have tried to transfer photos from camera to 'puter with no success. I will try again later....maybe ,or maybe I will use lots of naughty words and jump on the 'puter.

I was scooting round this morning, washing up and so on, eager to get out into the garden when there was a knock on the door.
Too early for the Postie I thought as I scuttled through, and it was Jess, bearing a gorgeous cake. Not just any gorgeous cake but a proper Easter cake, complete with Almond topping and 12 Almond icing balls for the Apostles. Jess, Will and Ivy are off to Wills parents for the festive weekend and I am overwhelmed that she found time to make a cake for me.
It is definitely a case of  "what goes round comes round" as the first job on my list was to pot up some Ladies Mantle plants for her garden. I also had some to pot up, for a forthcoming plant stall, for one of the knit and natter girls.
Job done and it is coffee break before I go outside again.

The day started bright and warmer than yesterday but has greyed over now and it looks and feels as though we maight ( I will leave that typo in, my brain said may and my fingers said might.) see some rain later.

I have just cottoned on to the fact that it is a double holiday this weekend (DUH) so have decided to do a shop later today. The roads will be mad and the shops will be heaving with peeps shopping madly for food and drink for garden parties and picnics.

I forgot last year and ended up abandoning my plans and made do with what I had until the Tuesday. I would do the same this year but I didn't shop for anything but fresh produce and dairy for the last 2 or 3 weeks. Ben,s food shelf needs replenishing and some of my staples are running lower than I care for. Plus just as importantly I need rubber gloves for the gardening. I am trying to look after my nails better, they are quite disgraceful right now, and aim to persevere with gloves at all times.

I think that,s all for now, my coffee mug is empty and I want to have at least another hour outside.

                              TTFN                                         Pam

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Frozen Fingers and Droopy Lids

The temperature has plummeted and my circulation pump is a bit slow this morning so my fingers are rigid with cold and my eyelids seem to think that they have worked a double shift at hard labour. I almost need 2 matchsticks to prop them open.

I have managed a little knitting though, in short bursts while watching Tilly Trouts Podcasts. I have seen them all before but felt a wave of nostalgia for the Norfolk accent.

I am ensconced in the corner of the sofa with lap blanket and Ben to keep me warm, I did try the heating but it made me too hot. I think that a cup of tea is in my very near future while I work sporadically on those blessed sleeves.

I have decided to juggle my knitting plans around and make a couple of short sleeved tops next. I treated myself to some King Cole Smooth in sand yesterday at Debs shop and a pattern book with some amazing designs.
 I really wanted some brighter colours to mix in with it than Debs had so today I found 3 other colours on line and ordered them. Fingers crossed they will arrive by the weekend when the current sweater should be off the needles. I like my summer tops to sit just below the waist so combined with short sleeves it should make for a quick knit. Fingers crossed I may get 2 different tops out of it all, one striped and the other colour blocked.

Before I forget, AGAIN, I want to welcome the new readers and thank all those who comment. I do try to answer but sometimes it is just a step that my mind and hands can not manage to get in sync for. I am certain that sounds quite inane, but it the only way that I can describe it.

The need for that cuppa is quite pressing now so I am off to the kitchen, I better check the washing machine as well. I changed all the throws and cushion covers this morning, and they can go out on the whirlythingy and freeze dry.

                    TTFN                                                Pam

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Should've known better.

Yesterday was spent helping SO finish off the first of his house decorating project. Lots of snagging, touching up of paintwork, cleaning windows, polishing wood (only a little) and cleaning the kitchen. One of the labours of Hercules without a doubt. 
A nasty layer of grease and/or nicotine over every surface inside and out of the cupboards, of which there was a plethora.

Then the final labour was The Kitchen Floor!!

The only way to remove the grime was on hands and knees with an old fashioned bristle scrubbing brush.
Lots of hot water, soap and plenty of elbow grease.

Once home it was a case of feed Ben, shower and feed us. By 9:30 I was nodding off so went to bed, and of course I have had my sleep and am wide awake. DUH. Should have known better indeed.

On the bright side I placed a bid on the Bay of E for a pair of brand new boxed Hotter sandals and got them for £21 including postage. HOWZAT for a bargain.

Driven by my success, I have placed bids on 2 more Hotter items both new and in their boxes.
I only looked the first time out of desperation, I ditched my old, and much loved, strappy sandals as they were in danger of disintegrating on my feet and had not found anything similar. Trawling the hotter online shop was a futile task, that I had performed several times. It was during a casual chat with Jess that I was reminded where else to look.

Knitting has taken a bit of a back seat but I have finished the front of my newly rediscovered WIP and made a start on the sleeves. I needed to keep up with the work in my own house so something had to give. 

It is knit and natter later, much later, today and I am looking forward to my afternoon.

What about the weather then, we sweltered on Saturday and then on Sunday which should have been hotter than hot it was overcast and quite cool.Then yesterday was really sunny but with a cool breeze.

I plan on getting out into the garden on Wednesday and hopefully get the raised beds cleared ready to plant up. I am bang up to date with household chores so the remainder of my week is garden playtime.

I hope that I haven't just put the mockers on the weather, you never know when the Gremlins are watching and listening to your plans.

I think that I will have a couple of rows of knitting on my sleeves and see if that drives me back to bed, sleeves are sooo boring, onandonandon......remember that Ad?

Night night.

               TTFN                                                    Pam

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Move your bottom closer.

That's not something I expected to hear from the tasty young man who did my echocardiogram (?) yesterday. I was lying on my side (facing away from him and the machines) with my top half almost encased in a hospital gown. I had to squiggle as close to him as possible so that he could press the "whatever it was" right down to the bone. It was just like having an ultrasound apparently. 

Anyhoo, all went according to plan and then another ECG and more bloods and I was free.

I had a lift to and from the hospital and had an hour to kill while I waited for the return trip, out came a second sock and that was done.

No photo, the batteries are on charge, next post.

The posh scarf is well on the way to being finished, just 60 grams left to knit up.

When I got back yesterday I was a bit bushed, stale air and sitting around is hard work. Soooo rather than waste my time doing nothing I polished off a task that has been waiting for ages. The sun was shining and there was a lovely breeze so I dug out my cotton fabrics and washed a load. They looked great blowing in the bright sun and were soon dry enough to be ironed (boo hiss) I took my time and now they are all ready for me to choose patterns and start sewing.

This morning is as bright and breezy so once Ben had been walked I set to in the hall,stairs and landing, all the paintwork has had a birthday and the carpet had a VERY good vacuuming. A few days of having the doors open had left a wonderful layer of fine dust everywhere. Yes, I know that it will soon return but it looks good and smells really fresh.

I have tucked some of the winter woollies away, not all because it is Wales and only April, and had a general sort through. A few pairs of thick tights have gone to the recycle bag along with some shabby leggings that should never have lasted this long.

I have a little hand washing to do and then it will be time for another little walk and maybe some lunch. Nothing is planned for the rest of the day although I have some plants to pot on and there will be a patch of sun in a perfect working area around 2:00.

I have pulled one of my 2 knitting WIP,s out and made a start on it again. it is a summer sweater and should have been finished last year. I can not for the life of me remember why it was set aside. I just have to finish the front neck and armhole shaping, knit the sleeves and do the sewing up and neck ribbing. I hope to get it done in the next week or so.

That,s all for now, Francesca just sent me a text saying that she will be phoning in 10 minutes, and that will be an hour gone.

                          TTFN                                             Pam

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Sprinters, Crawlers and Freezers.

Spiders, that is, little teeny tiny ones, small ones and medium. No big fat hairy ones thank goodness.
My Significant Other, (hereafter to be referred to as S.O.) has a contract to decorate and maintain some rental properties.
 Now I am not claiming to be bored, far too busy for that, but it is nice to do something different for a change. So I actually volunteered to help with the prep work. Cue cleaning, scrubbing, sanding, making tea and sandwiches,rounding up spiders etc. etc.
Today I spent several hours "cutting in" 2 of the ground floor rooms. Different? Oh Yes. Stimulating? Oh No. But lots of time to plan sewing and knitting and possibly a bit of crochet.... Oh and maybe a spot of decorating at home.

Tomorrow I am excused painting/cleaning duties as, happily, I have arranged to take Jess and Ivy into Neath. There are a few things that I want to get from The Works, and I may pick up a tin of white gloss paint while I am there, little steps don't you know.
 Then when we have a few clear days I can suggest a spot of decorating AND show the paint all ready to go. There will be no "wriggle out of it room"
I have emulsion and brushes/rollers/trays and so on. I might want masking tape, must check.

I am still knitting in the evenings,although last night I did throw in the towel early.
 I was tired after a busy morning and then knit and natter in the afternoon. I knitted on the homespun scarf apart from when I had Sophie in my arms, she was in full on Dora Explorer mode and wanted to be walked around so she could see everything. I am sure that the bright colours are mega attractive to her, it will be interesting when she starts to toddle about.

Our member who is learning to knit socks is doing very well, and is already planning the next pair. I did warn her that they are addictive. I am as bad, I have a pair on the go one down to the toes and the other ready for the heel. There is another skein of wool and a pattern ready for the minute those are finished.

My next planned knit is a Flax Sweater, I have the pattern, yarn and needles all ready but want to finish the scarf first, the socks are to give me a change of needle size. I don't want my hands to start aching, well that is my excuse and I am sticking with it.

I just had a discombobulating experience.
 I put my hand out to pick my tea up.
 And There Wasn't Any.
 I haven't made it.
 I must be hallucinating on the paint fumes.

There is a tray of Mary Berry,s Roast Sausage Supper ready to cook, and I have Cherry Pie and cream waiting in the fridge, you can't work and not build an appetite. 

Now the need for tea is overwhelming. back soon.

                      TTFN                                                 Pam

BTW I am hospital again on Friday for another raft of tests, I think this lot includes being wired up to a monitor and doing a session on a treadmill. 
Sounds like fun!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Lions, seduction and pins.

Wow, March really did go out like a Lion, or rather like a full on hunting pack. The rain came down so hard that it was bouncing back up almost 6' and the wind whirled it round the garden like a group of Harpies.

Still, mostly I was oblivious to it for the most part. I have not finished the scarf and my fingers did not fall off.
They didn't have time.
I was in the throes of washing the splashes of pasta sauce off the splash back and cooker hood when an uncontrollable urge swept over me.

I Had To Sew. Right Now.

I did finish the cleaning first.

Then I answered the seductive siren call.

Then out came my Orphan Annie quilt , finished many months ago and basted several weeks ago.

A quick practice and I was off, I sewed quite brainlessly, hither and thither, filling section after section. Then Ben told me, in no uncertain terms, that not only had he missed a walk but dinner would not go amiss either. OOPS.

We walked, he ate, I ate, I drank tea and gave a guilty look at the scarf and walked away.

I sewed, I pulled basting pins out and dropped them willy nilly.

Then with stiff shoulders and a mouth like the inside of a budgies cage, Bone Dry, I threw in the towel and made more tea.

This top section is done.

There are still pins in the bottom, but parts are quilted.
This quilt is made from orphan blocks, practice blocks, total mistakes with points chopped off or missing each other by a mile. They are just about tied together with some pale green sashing in random strips, I used what was left from another project. But is is bright and cheerful and will make a great garden quilt for a small person to skedaddle about on.
I have pulled my box of 2 1/2" strips out for a random binding, if I don't have enough I will just slice a few more.

In appreciation of his walk and Dinner, Ben treated me to a mad moment.

He calmed down once he noticed the camera.

My box of delights from Francesca, as promised.

Lovely passion fruit curd, 2 jars of each. mmmmmm. Together with a selection of my favourite chutneys and pickles.

I have not tried the spicy garlic and wasabi, I think that I will make something special to have it with, and possibly a cucumber and mint dressing as a fire extinguisher.

That is all for now, it is not raining, the sun is trying hard to get out to play and there are some tiny touches of blue up there. Ben has had a walk today and will have his next one on time.

Before I go I must tell you that I found a new Podcast, Craft House Magic. The hostess with the mostest, (Who remembers that add then) is Ellie from Norwich in Norfolk, my home city and county. I have only watched part of one while I drunk my early morning tea. but have subscribed and will try to binge watch later And Knit That Scarf.

                         TTFN                                                   Pam

Friday, 31 March 2017

A Monkey's Uncle.

March has been a busy and happy month, I gained new friends, learnt new skills and knitted up a storm. 
I am most of the way through a "right good turn out" of all the hidey holes in the house and best of all.........

My sewing mojo has come home.

Jess and Ivy came for a little visit yesterday afternoon and while we were chatting the words " I will make a wall hanging for Ivy,s bedroom" popped out of my mouth. 
Fast forward a few hours and I found myself, with a small teetering pile of fabrics, sitting at the sewing machine and sewing a few scraps together to test the stitches. It has been a few months since she was switched on, luckily I always clean her and cover her up before putting her away so no issues there.

I have a few whispy ideas floating around, including a stretched canvas with ribbons and buttons and a wall hanging of possibly a garden scene. Then there are pom poms to be considered, not to mention dogs, cats and elephants.

Next Thursday I have planned to collect Jess and Ivy and go off to Neath for the morning. A visit to The Works for a few crafty bits, a look round the town and market and home when we have had enough, or Ivy decides for us.

Jess is hoping to knit herself a sweater, I printed off a pattern and hopefully we will manage an hour or so of knitting here and there. It is very difficult to carry through made plans when a small person is involved, so all of this will happen as and when Ivy is agreeable. I do have a few knitted and crocheted bits and bobs that she found agreeable to play with, and I may just have enough stash yarn to make a few more.

Anyhow, on to the monthly round up.

In March I again bought in more yarn than I knitted, but again all of it is earmarked for projects. Indeed it is all in project bags with pattern and needles ready to grab and go.

I bought 2900 grams and have knitted up 1800 grams, I have cheated a bit by including the new gorgeous handspun in my knitted total.
 I am more than halfway through the scarf and will finish it today if my fingers don't fall off. I have not touched any other knitting since I cast it on, it is so lovely to knit with and is flying along.

April will begin with a massive yarn addition number as I am going to knit a Flax sweater in Aran weight. I am subscribed to Simply in Stitches pod cast and she is doing a tutorial knit along using the free pattern from Tin Can Knits, I have plans for a 4 ply version for myself one of these days.

Then there is the Hotel of Bees Shawl crochet along planned for the middle of April by Sandra of Cherry Heart and Sam of  Betsy Makes, not to mention the Bee Along from Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet.

Sleeping and eating may have to take a break, although the shawl can be "double dipped" into the Bee along, but I do have some honeycomb fabric and some with bees on and you can never have enough project bags......

Oh Yes, the sewing mojo back with a vengeance, but it has to wait until tomorrow as that scarf is off the needles tonight, or I'm a monkeys uncle!

I did drag out my bag of odds and ends of acrylic yarn yesterday and make a few pompoms, some were very big and are for Rufus who has a bit of a thing for them. I couldn't find my very biggest maker so he has to settle for second size down, which are still substantial.

Now I feel the need for more tea and perhaps a slice of toast smothered in Passion Fruit Curd. 
I nearly forgot to tell you that a box of goodies from Francesca arrived yesterday, it had 2 jars of the wonderful curd and lots more besides.
I will take pics and post tomorrow, right now I have a severe case of "rumblies in the tumblies" as Pooh would put it. Ooh and I have to tell you about the cake that Jess brought with her, still warm from the oven. I may have to ask about adoption.

                     TTFN                                       Pam

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Feel the shine

Rain, rain and more rain but life goes on. I wasn't bothered at all about the rain today, I was out helping to deep clean a house. I didn't exert myself too much, a little window cleaning and wooshing through cleaning paintwork, my white vinegar, water and washing up liquid spray works wonders.

I am going back on Friday to help do the kitchen, there is painting going on tomorrow and I have my visitors coming.

The boot socks are finished and more are wanted, another 2 pairs, later on. I have cast on a new pair but they are for knit and natter, I will share once they are finished.

I used the new heel construction and it was highly rated by the recipient. I should have taken a closeup, I will do soon the next pair.

Tina, from Loobylouyarns was at knit and natter yesterday, she brought me some wonderful homespun, Merino and Silk, in a peacock colour. It is eye candy of the 'nth degree. I wish that she had a sweaters worth.
Any way, after coming home and cleaning up and changing I set the swift and winder up.

The yarn is greener in the flesh, but just look at the shine, it is a shame that you can not feel the softness.
I have cast on a simple  1 row reversible pattern. There is a nice lot of texture but no so much that the yarn slides into obscurity.

There is a deal of Alpaca fleece being washed at the moment so I am hoping for a sweaters worth in the not too distant future.

When I did my Sunday shop I was just in time to pickup a stack of RTC veg, courgettes, mushrooms, peppers, celery and carrots. As well as cooking a roast I cooked for the freezer. I now have a pile of chilli, chunky pasta sauce and curry packed away. Once the garden days start I will be able to eat without worrying about cooking.

Now I really need to get back to the scarf, it will be a gift for a birthday next month.

Tea wouldn't go amiss either.

                       TTFN                                                 Pam

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Tuesday again Woopee.

I like Tuesday, the washing and ironing is bang up to date, the house had a good going through on Monday and an easy dinner, salad tonight, is planned.

All because the Pam likes knit and natter.

I am all set, my knitting is sorted, a new sock cast on, I
am going to  help one of our group to cast on her very first sock. I will go step by step with her as I think that visual learning, one on one, is so much better than any book or even video tutorial.

I have printed a copy of the easiest free pattern that I have. There are some spare needles just in case she can not get on with the set she has bought. 

There will be tea and biscuits to help, I had hoped to make cake from my new book but ran out of time.

It will not matter, the time will fly by, as usual, on a tide of chatter.

I have had to cut a few of the flowers from my white hyacinths but the remainder are still glorious, as are my flowers from Fran. The balloons are still floating on their ribbons. Ben totally ignores them but Rufus found them a challenge to live with, and kept a weather eye on them.

Yesterday I had another rootle through the bedroom storage and more "stuff" has been jettisoned. I feel so much lighter each time I move things out.
Then in the next few minutes I found myself stashing some leggings away "in case I want them". I have not worn them for ages as quite frankly they are too thin, too short and too dark. Just like the Monty Python Parrot, they are no more.

The next area to have the Eagle Eye cast over it is that cavernous home to a plethora of treasures past, AKA Under The Bed.
When we took the Christmas decs down they went into plastic boxes, straight under the bed, to be sorted through at some unspecified date. The old tree went out and we plan to have a smaller one this year.

I am out tomorrow and on Thursday Ivy and Jess are coming to visit.

So Friday will be The Day for slithering under the bed and fishing every single thing out. I really hope to reduce it by 50% at least.

Then after a weekend off for good behaviour it will be the turn of the other bed.

 Ooh Er Missus, I have no idea what is lurking in the dark there.
Perhaps I should have a sign saying "Here be Monsters" like the maps.

On that cheerful and uplifting note I am off to make a brew and search out a tasty morsel for lunch.

                      TTFN                                        Pam

Monday, 27 March 2017

Highs and lows.

Fran arrived on Thursday afternoon and I have just returned from seeing her off home, I managed not to sniffle until she was on the train. It has been a lovely long weekend with her, even if we did eat far too much.

On Saturday we went to Le Petit Boulle in Neath for afternoon tea

She had arranged for flowers on the table, for me to take home, and a balloon.

This was booked by Fran some time ago and promoted by the company with fabulous photos of tables laden with eye candy goodies.
The reality was far from that. The cake stand arrived 15 minutes after we sat down, it held some sandwiches, made with white ready sliced bread, there were chunks of cucumber, wafer thin sliced ham and very thick cut smoked salmon. The sweeties were scones that had been cut in half across the top? wafer thin slices of Bara Brith and all of 3 Welsh Cakes, some considerable time later some slices of sponge cake appeared. When the cups and plates arrived they were thick white "transport cafe" style. The cream and jam came in assorted dishes and when the tea finally arrived it too was in a heavy white pot. BUT it was a breakfast pot and held exactly one and a half cups, I should say here that there were three of us.
Fran was very not amused and asked for more tea, cream and jam, minutes later 2 more pots of tea arrived, but it was a shambles.
The food was not good, the whole affair was mismanaged and a disappointment.
The owner will by now have had a missile in email form from Fran who is in the white cold stage of anger.

We put it behind us and had a very good dinner at home later.

On Sunday these arrived in the morning. beautiful flowers

with a little box of chocolates and a card with knitted bees.

Then in the afternoon a huge box turned up full of balloons.

I feel very spoilt, and in truth very happy for it.

Then of course we had Rufus for the weekend, and the manner of guests the world over he hogged my seat at every opportunity.

Ben was in full support and took the other corner.

My Fran's new sweater, that she wore all Sunday, and sweltered in, looked very good on her. But as she is shy here it is on the model.

Now for a serious topic, sometime ago I had a lengthy whinge about tights. I managed eventually to find a brand and size that were perfect. At the end of last summer I bought 2 boxes ready for this year. As it has been Summer Holiday weather for the past few days I dug them out. JUST LOOK!!!

This was after 5 minutes wearing them.
Needless to say the rest are now in the CS box and I have to start a new search. The Nora Batty look is not for me.
 And on that footnote (he he) I am off to get another load of washing hung out while the kettle boils for tea.

                 TTFN                                                         Pam

I just want to add that even though the afternoon tea was a shambles the best and most important part of my weekend was that not only was Fran here but she was here for virtually 4 days. Everything else, while mostly lovely, was by the by.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Busy, busy, having fun.

Yesterday was glorious, bright sun and blue skies, Fran arrived on Thursday afternoon and was amazed as she usually brings the rain with her.
We also had a guest come to stay yesterday, Rufus is back with us until Monday. He settles down instantly and at the moment is keeping Francesca's place on the sofa warm for her.
He and Ben had a good walk yesterday and have been out this morning, perfect weather for them and us.

The random sweater is all but done., all the seams are sewn and ends woven in. I am knitting the cowl neck and have around 16 rows to do. It is lovely, I will put a photo up later, but it will not be going to knit and natter on Tuesday.
It will be off to Kent with Francesca on Monday, she took one look and asked if it was for her. We went through the stash and she has picked the yarn and pattern for another.
While we were stash diving we picked some more sock wool and patterns, I am getting a good list together.

Once this weekend is over, and all my guests have gone to their respective homes, I will be casting on the Flax sweater. Unfortunately my lovely yarn shop in Llandeilo does not stock the yarn that has been requested, I rang to check. So I had a quick trip to the Wool Warehouse online shop on Thursday, found the yarn and ordered it, the postie delivered it Friday. Now my fingers are twitching, but it has to wait, I have a pair of boot socks on the needles to finish first.

My white hyacinths have opened fully and are pumping their perfume round the house, I am looking forward to the garden ones sending their flowers out.

We had a late breakfast today, at Francesca,s request, this afternoon I am being whisked away with her for a treat. There is also something being delivered tomorrow morning.
I am, possibly, the only woman around who has seen all the goodies, stacked high in all the shops, and not twigged that it Mothering Sunday this weekend.

It is lovely that Francesca has spent time arranging this weekend but in truth all I need is to have her here.

On that subject it is time for me to get a wiggle on, I have to get some decent clothing ready to wear,and check that my shoes are shiny.

I hope that all the Mum's out there have a lovely day or (even better)  weekend.

                           TTFN                                         Pam

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Random Oh Yes!

I thought that it was time to share my new sweater with you, it isn't finished yet but is not far off.
I was intrigued as to how the colour pattern would turn out as the sample picture on the ball band looked as though two different yarns had been used.

I wasn't sure how the finished sweater would look but loved the colours

The first ball striped beautifully, then when I started the second it was completely different.

The front is different again, the colours are not true but not too far out.

I did consider trying to match the sleeves, but realised that they would be far better as brothers than twins.
I still have the sleeves to finish and once sewn together there will be the collar to knit. 
Once I got used to the randomness of it I love it and am hoping to be wearing it to knit and natter next week.

Francesca is here tomorrow and will be choosing her new sweater pattern and yarn, that will be my next garment knit, and she will probably decide on her next socks as well.

I have 3 more pairs of boot socks, a Jones Cardigan and a Flax sweater, both patterns from Tin Can Knits, in the queue. all the yarn is ready in stash.

This is the latest pair of boot socks, they came off the needles a little while ago and the next pair are cast on.

I use the Blueberry Waffle pattern by Sandy Turner but changed the heel slightly. On the new pair I am going to use the Vanilla is the New Black pattern, from Anneh Fletcher on Ravelry, it has a completely different heel construction. I have had the pattern for ages and completely forgot about it. I found it while sorting through my pattern files this morning.

It has been a glorious day here, no gardening though as the ground is saturated, I am hoping for a few windy days to dry it out.

I was in Neath this morning, yet another dentist visit, and whiled away the wait by popping into The Works, I gave in and bought 2 books. Knitting from The North by Hilary Grant and Life is Sweet from the Humming Bird Bakery. 
There may well be cake to take to knit and natter next Tuesday.

On the subject of cake I had a play session this afternoon. I made a 2 egg all in one mix, I used coconut milk instead of cows milk, a heaped cup of desiccated coconut and about 100 grams of chopped dark chocolate. It is lovely but a bit crumbly, we had some for pudding with a dollop of yogurt, mmmmm.

Now I am back to those sleeves, they won't knit themselves.

                       TTFN                                                Pam