Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Granny takes a Trip

Granny Takes a Trip is the name of the wonderfully colourful jacket that I am making for Lisa a Fellow Knitting Nora Calendar Lady. The pattern is by Ellene Warren and can be bought on Ravelry or other web sites I presume.I have made 6 squares so far so have only got 66 more to make plus 2 halves! This time I am crocheting over the tail ends as I go as the pattern suggests. I am sure that there will still be tail ends poking out of it all over the place but at least they will be secure.

I had a problem with having all the balls of wool spilling over the coffee table and the floor. It's hard to keep them tidy when each square is different. Choosing the colour sequences takes as much time as crocheting the square. I will have to duplicate some eventually but I will see how many variations I can do before that happens. I have pinched the bottom drawer from my craft stacking drawers in an attempt to keep them a bit tidier.

I diverted from the crochet squares last night to crochet a hat and have almost finished it. I still have the brim and the trim to make so photos of that hopefully tomorrow.

I have done a little more on the sock monkey similar to Ladybird Murphy and he almost has a body now. I have chosen grey, red and white as it is for a guy.

I am off to watch Loose Women now and try to finish off the hat.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Crochet cakes for the Knitting Noras

Yesterday was the monthly meeting of the Knitting Noras. I was unsure if I would be able to attend but thanks to a lift from Caroline I managed to hobble along. The knee is coming along nicely. Still a bit tender but less swollen and bending better.

I gave the baby cardigans to our foster mum member although one of them will fit the baby when he is about 12 months old as the wool was a bit thick for the pattern! Never mind. Babies soon grow. Better too big than too small.

There is now a committee (Wheeltappers and Shunters style for those of you old enough to remember) for the Naked Knitting Calendar and the ladies have done a terrific job in finding out tons of information about the technicalities of producing this calendar. For those of you with Ravelry we have now set up a group called The Knitting Noras' Naked Calendar 2010. Please join us and show support. We will be adding more information to this group and the TKN blog sites as things progress. We will be counting on you to spread the word once the calendar is ready for sale later in the year. If you only tell a couple of people the word will spread. It's all in a good cause ladies - Christies Hospital treats cancer patients from all parts of the UK not just the North West.

The knit and crochet cakes are another idea that we have had for fund raising. I found these patterns by Googling 'free crochet cake patterns'. I have put one link in the blog title but there are quite a lot more. Debs has found a lovely knitted cupcake pattern on Ravelry and her cupcake looks far more realistic than mine does.I don't have a photo of this at the moment but perhaps one will appear on our blog or Ravelry site soon. Perhaps I should try to knit a few next time. I have run out of toy stuffing so will have to search out a source as my LYS has now closed down due to redevelopment of the site. That is my excuse for not making any more at the present.

I have started knitting a sock monkey similar to Ladybird Murphy (of Channel M TV fame) for my friend in Kentucky but there is not much to show of that as yet.I will have to buy a bag of stuffing to complete him so than I will have lost my excuse for making a few more cakes! Ladybird Murphy put in a guest appearance at the Knit Out and is now dressed Biggles style in a waistcoat and flying helmet.

I have also crocheted 6 squares for a granny square jacket for Lisa. I need 72 so only another 66 to go! I want to make as many different colour variations on the squares as possible so it takes me as long to choose the colour combinations as it does to crochet the square. My coffee table looks like an explosion in a wool shop at the moment. How people stay neat and crochet many colours is an art I have yet to master.

I have put a photo of the very old Patons SC44 baby pattern on here. I bet it strikes a few chords. Is it the one that you used Ambermoggie? My mother used to swear she used it to knit for me but I doubt that the pattern is THAT old! I used it for my son who is now 40.

Friday, 27 March 2009

A Windy Day in Spring

I hoped that after we had the first day of Spring that we might at least see some sunshine. Today has been very blustery with a few hail showers. The wind has been blowing things all around the garden. The sun is trying to shine but there is very little warmth in it. I was hoping to take a little walk up the street today but I think I will leave it until tomorrow.

I have finished off a little baby cardigan. I used one of my favourite patterns. It is a very old pattern but it has been in print for a long time. I would not be surprised if is still available now. Patons SC 44 was the best selling pattern that Patons ever sold. A little old fashioned looking these days as it is still a small grey pattern but I do find that the patterns fit a small baby well. The wool is baby double knitting from my stash and I can't remember what it was as it had lost it's label. I stitched on the buttons for the blue cardigan.

The Knitting Noras are going to make some knitted cupcakes to sell for charity. I, of course, will be looking for a crochet pattern for cupcakes. I do hope that one of the Noras will help with the stuffing and trimming as that is not my forte. I prefer to crochet items that I can wear rather than toys any day.

My knee continues to improve and I can bend it much better than before the op. If only the weather would improve and then I can test it out with a short walk. Until then it's back to knitting and crocheting with my foot elevated.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

My knee is so much better today

Today I was allowed to shower and take the bandage off my knee. My knee feels heaps better and I am able to bend it better than before. I now have just dressings on over the small wounds and a lot of the swelling has gone down. I went for my first small walk as far as next door's house and it felt so nice to be able to walk "normally" bending both knees. I am so hopeful that with physio I will be walking about better than normal in a couple of weeks.

Before I had my spinal op my goal was always to be able to walk up Pendle Hill. When I damaged my knee again I thought that would be impossible but now I am hopeful that by this summer I will see the view from the top.

I managed to finish off the blue knitted baby cardigan although it has still finished up larger than I wanted it to be. After changing the pattern three times and using smaller needles I came to the conclusion that the wool was a thick double knit and so decided to carry on. It will fit the baby as he grows. He has now reached 10lbs so it won't be long before it fits him.

I still haven't made a decision on what to crochet for myself to go with my dress for my niece's wedding. I may leave it until I am able to get to the LYS to see if I can find a nicer wool than I already have in stash.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Arrow Points the Way

Just in case the surgeon wasn't on the ball they mark which knee with an arrow pointing it out to show the way!

I went in for day surgery yesterday. What a strange experience that was. Organised chaos. The morning patients had to turn up at 7.30am to be ushered into our little beds. I know I am struggling with my weight problems but how on earth a full grown man could lie on one of those without bits of him hanging over the sides I will never know. Just don't try to fall asleep on one as God forbid that you should turn over and fall out! It was a ward with two sides and I was put amongst the guys. Has someone told them about the Naked Knitting Calendar?

There was some dispute as to whether I should be a day patient or not. Once again the sleep apnoea issue raised it's head. Eventually the anaesthetist decided that she would attempt a spinal block. Two attempts and if she couldn't do it then I would have to go home again. At lunch time I was ushered into theatre.

First attempt was no good. I had told her previously about my spinal pins and plate but she attempted too low and of course could not get the needle in. After a discussion she decided to do as I had said in the first place and try higher than the scar area and she managed to get it in.

What a surreal experience. I was wheeled into theatre and before they put up the screen up to shield my view I could see my leg being waved about in the air as they painted it a delightful shade of orange. I knew it was my leg but it was like an out of body experience. First time that I had ever been in a theatre awake.

It all went well. I couldn't feel the operation but I could feel the pushing and tugging on my knee. He said after the op that he had managed to shave off part of the cartilage and did a general wash out of debris around the knee but the majority of my problem is arthritis in the knee joint and he couldn't do anything about that until it was bad enough for a new knee. Jeepers I don't want new knees.

I am home with painkillers and dire warnings about keeping my leg moving about to prevent DVT and a crepe bandage that keeps slipping down. That has to remain on for another 24 hrs and then I am thankfully allowed to shower and change the dressings.

I am off now to knit and crochet and put my leg up. Nice to not have to feel guilty about the cleaning etc that will get left today,

Monday, 23 March 2009

Tall Latte with a difference

The decision of what to do with the too short, but I have run out of sale wool, Tall Latte has been resolved. I am still deciding whether I made the right decision but there was no way I was unravelling it.

As per usual my sweaters look better laid flat on the table than they actually do on me. I debated about an extra motif around the bottom edge but it looked a bit splayed out so I decided on one less and a lot of blocking. Maybe when I have lost weight on my diet (she says hopefully) then it will hang a bit better and not emphasise my boobs and three bellies. The colour is right on the first photos and not on the one that I am wearing that was taken iwth a web cam.

The motif that I used was one that I found in a very old crochet book and I think the circle effect is a nice change from the granny squares look which I have used in the past.

My niece called yesterday with a Mother's day card for an Auntie. She brought the dress for her sister's wedding that I had ordered from her catalogue. I just could not face trailing around the shops to buy one. I now have to decide on a colour for a crochet jacket as I have decided against the openwork shawl as the dress is patterned.

She said the Knittng Noras You Tube Video has caused great amusement in her family. She remembered on Saturday morning that she hadn't turned on the washer and dashed down to do it. She thought no more about it until she came back upstairs. She sleeps in the nude and her husband said Have you been down to the kitchen like that? When she said Yes he said you Buckleys (our maiden name) are all alike. You can't wait to take your kit off - like auntie like niece!

Saturday, 21 March 2009


It appears that I posted a photo of a Blathers understudy on my last blog. Apologies to the handsome Blathers. Let me present the real Blathers who is currently on his jollies in NYC

Ladybird Murphy on Channel M

Since many of my friends at home and now world wide have viewed the Knitting Noras on You Tube there have been many conversations about our performance. Most of the comments to me centred around the travelling woolly sock monkey who stole the show (see first photo). She is Ladybird Murphy and her knitting mum is HappySunshine(Emma). Lady bird Murphy is living with foster mum Bev for a month before setting off on her travels again wearing a new outfit. My friend in Kentucky wants me to make one for him. I have said one sock monkey for him is worth some Kentucky publicity for our calendar.Thanks Ladybird Murphy for generating some more publicity for our Naked Knitting Calendar. We will have to start a fan club for her soon. Maybe we should say that if you want to join her fan club the price is a pre order of a calendar (or two).

Bit of promotion now - This is the commercial break

If anybody who reads my blog and would like a calendar when they are finished and on sale later this year could you please visit our Knitting Noras web site (link TKN - The Knitting Noras on my favourite blogs) and fill in a pre order form. You don't have to pay yet. It will help us to gauge how many calendars we need to get printed.

Thank you.

If you want to know more about the travelling sock monkeys and their adventures and are a member of Ravelry then look on the thread entitled 'TSM Gramma's When Monkey's Fly Chat group' and it will tell you all about it. If you want to make a travelling sock monkey then click on my blog title for a link to purchase the pattern from YvonneKnits. You may have to be a member of Ravelry to view this page but I am sure that YvonneKnits has a web page with her patterns displayed if you are not a member of Ravelry.

The second photo is of Bev's travelling sock monkey Blathers who is residing with his foster mum in NYC at the present moment. Bev is hoping that he will be back from his travels in time to be included in her photo for the calendar.

After I had my spinal operation last year the Knitting Noras bought me a lovely bouquet of flowers and a plant from the orchid family. I will have to rely on Vicky to tell me the name of it. It had beautiful velvety purple flowers for a long time and after they died I kept watering it and it has produced many leaves. I noticed today that it seems to be producing another stem so I am hoping that it will flower again for me this year.

With all this excitement and our Knitting Noras site going into overdrive with a plethora of e mails I haven't made much progress on my crochet or the knitted baby jacket. The last photo is where I am up to with my ideas for lengthening the "too short and running out of wool" Tall Latte. Hopefully I will get some crochet done tonight. Last night I nodded off in the middle of crocheting - well they do say it is relaxing!

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Knitting Noras on You Tube

Bev has put the video of our Channel M slot on You Tube. When I watched it I was stunned. Not by Lisa and Bev who were extremely eloquent on it but by myself. To quote the words of Robert Burns - O would some Power, the gift to give us. To see ourselves as others see us.

I knew, of course, that I had put on a lot of weight but since I retired, and more so since my spinal op, I live in sweat pants and loose tops and glance at myself in the mirror merely to brush my hair or occasionally put on some make up. When I was working I always gave myself the once over in the full length mirror before leaving the house. I did get a big clue this week when I tried on most of my "best" wardrobe and hardly anything fitted.

After seeing myself on You Tube I have come to the conclusion that everyone who is gaining weight should be videoed by their doctor who then plays it back to them. If that doesn't bring them to their senses then nothing will. It was an eye opening shock for me and from now on I shall be taking my diet far more seriously. I will also be seeing my doc again about my cough after hearing my croaky voice in the video. I lost my voice for a couple of weeks but I hadn't realised just how deep and rough is still sounds. I sound like a hardened smoker and I have never smoked. I think a another trip to the ENT is next on the agenda.

The Tall Latte crochet sweater has grown a little since the photo above and I have decided to use the two other colours pictured to devise some way of making the sleeves and body longer as I have no desire to unravel it and make something else. I did some work on the sleeves last night and am quite pleased with the result so tonight I will work on the rest.

I have a lot of housework to do today as my house is looking untidy even to my eyes and I know my son is coming on Sunday for Mother's day and possibly bringing my great grand babies so I had better make sure nothing lethal to children is lying about. Put away my sharp pointy sticks, scissors and stitch markers etc before little fingers get stabbed or stitch markers get swallowed.

By the way you can view the You Tube video. I did try to add it to my blog title as a link but Blogger didn't like it. I am rubbish at posting links as you know so you will probably have to cut and paste to be able to view it.

http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=d0wzyHg7FIc

I shall hide away doing my housework in my over sized sweat pants whilst you watch.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Knitting Noras were on Channel M News today

Today I had an early start. I was so afraid of over sleeping and missing the alarm that I kept waking up all through the night. I met up with Lisa, Bev and Eadaoin in Manchester as we were being interviewed by Channel M News. Channel M is Manchester's local TV channel and they wanted to interview 3 of the Noras about the Naked Knitting Calendar. It was all very tranquil and not at all scary but I still managed to be the fat one looking scared (or should that be scary one) on the end of the sofa. They say TV puts pounds on you but when I caught sight of myself out of the corner of my eye on the screen I think it put 2 stones on me. No wait a minute, that really is the way I look. Memo to self must stay on my diet!!!

We just had to sit on a sofa and be interviewed. Luckily they only asked me one question but Lisa was animated as usual and managed chat away to the presenters without any signs of nerves at all. Bev and Lisa managed to get most of the details about the calendar across and thankfully the interviewers didn't dwell too much on the naked aspect and make fun of us. They dealt with us very professionally.

Bev had brought sock monkey with her and he was on the table whilst we sat on the sofa being interviewed. He stole the closing shots as the camera gave him his big close up. Sock Monkey is something that Ravelry started. Apparently people knit a sock monkey and post it off and it stays with it's new owner for a month whilst you knit it a set of clothes and then pass it on. Bev's sock monkey is in New York at the moment. The sock monkey we had today was knitted by a lady in Ireland. I think in the end you get your own sock monkey back again but I am not sure about that so I must ask Bev.

Eadaoin came with us and has taken some more photos of us whilst we were in the studio. Hopefully I can post more on here later. The top that I finished up wearing had rather a low neck and so I was wearing the necklace and bracelet that Eadaoin made for my birthday. Now Eadaoin can put "as seen on TV" on her Etsy site (link is on my favourites) The photo of the four of us outside Channel M was taken by Lisa's son. He did well. Most children his age would have chopped all of our heads off!

Bev is going to see if she can post a video of our interview on You Tube later. I will post the link tomorrow if she managed to do that.

My knitting and crochet has rather been over looked this last few days so now the excitement is over and my five minutes of fame have gone I shall have to settle down to a bit of normality.

I need a lie down now as my knee is aching with the walking about in Manchester. I hope that they manage to fix it for me next week. It makes a change from saying my thumb is hurting. That will be when I start crocheting later. I still haven't decided what to do with the sweater to make it longer as I will have to introduce another colour to eke the wool out. I got the wool in a sale ages ago and so cannot get any more.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Where are you Gok when I need you?

Since my spinal operation it is no secret that I have stacked on quite a few pounds. Today I decided to try on a few outfits from my wardrobe. How depressing. Not even a pair of Gok Wan's huge bodyshaper knickers could heave me in enough to fit into my few staple outfits that I drag out whenever I am invited to an occasion. Luckily I had already decided to buy something new for my niece's wedding as my "posh" outfits won't go anywhere near me!

I knew I had put on weight of course but still stupidly thought that I could fit into at least some of my wardrobe. Thank goodness I had a try on before I needed them. I have managed to find something that fits but I still bear a close resemblance to an overstuffed sofa. What makes it all the more sad is that I have been trying to diet for the last couple of weeks!

The knitting has not grown by a stitch despite going to the Kings Arms knit club last night. My crochet has grown but I still have the dilemma of only having one ball left and the sweater is still not long enough and the sleeves are too short. Hmm thinking cap on to see what I can improvise.

Monday, 16 March 2009

The Knitting Noras are in the newspaper

The Knitting Noras are in the Bolton Evening News today. Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows that we are in the process of making a Naked Knitting Calendar and if you click on my blog title it will take you to the article in the Bolton Evening News web page featuring some of the members. I am not on the photo as it was taken on one of our evening Knit Outs which I didn't attend as I no longer have a car and I am such a wimp about travelling after dark on public transport on a couple of buses and a tram.

I hope that all of this publicity will help us to sell loads of calendars once they are published. Some of the members are working very hard behind the scenes to publicise and attempt to get some sponsorship to keep any overheads down to a minimum.

My Tall Latte is progressing slowly. Yes Zuleika I am turning into a Doris Chan groupie. I like the fact that her designs have no seams to sew after I have finished crocheting. I don't know if I have enough wool to make it the same size as the Tall Latte which you can see underneath the one I am now crocheting. I have a few ideas on how to eke out the wool but it may have to finish up with the shorter sleeve and not the long one that I prefer. I haven't done any more on the baby cardigan. I will finish it off soon.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Back to Crochet

As my thumb has still not recovered fully I decided to start some crochet to alternate with the knitting. It's another one of Doris Chan's. It will be a Tall Latte but probably with long sleeves if there is enough wool.

The blue wool has been unravelled so is not looking so good re knitted. I am sure it will recover once it has been washed. I have started an old pattern but will make it without the tie fastenings as I think they can get in the baby's mouth. Whether it has a hood or not depends on how much wool I have left when I have finished the main body.

My Staghorn Sumac tree is slow to start budding with it's leaves this year. Today the sun has been shining but there has not been a lot of warmth to the day. Two birds decided to make it their perch for a few minutes. I am not well up with birds so not sure exactly what they are. Possibly wood pigeons? The photo is not very clear as it was taken behind glass. I thought I would scare them away if I opened the door.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

More Bootee Photos

I have given you some more bootee pattern photos to look at as my knitting got unravelled last night. I thought the sleeves looked a bit on the large side but when I started the body which was done all in one I realised that the baby would be wearing it to pre school and not in the near future. I have knitted that pattern before so was a bit mystified as to why it was coming out so large.

I have restarted with a different smaller chest pattern, less stitches and a smaller pair of needles and it is still coming out larger than it is supposed to but at least it will be wearable soon. The wool must be a thick double knit as the other cardigans I made worked out to size.

I decided to invest in some new foundation and some collagen eye filler as I haven't bought any make up for ages and I have my niece's wedding in April plus the photo shoot for the calendar. I am going to dab on the eye filler and hope for a miracle but I secretly think I should have saved my money and bought a tub of polyfilla instead. The visible lift foundation reminds me, when it dries, of my old maiden aunts with their matt over powdered papery cheeks. I am not convinced that this look has visibly lifted anything as it seems to have dried and emphasised the crepey eye skin. Maybe this is where the eye filler comes in. It is supposed to work it's magic before I powder (sorry put on foundation that dries powdery) my eye area. I shall update you as to whether I suddenly look 10 yrs younger with my elastin, collagen enriched visible lift ( with serum inside) foundation. I suspect though that I have just spent more than I should have on an overpriced product that promises me the world and actually gives me nothing. I could have bought some wool with that money!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Crochet is so much quicker

I find crochet so much quicker than knitting. It has rather spoiled me for knitting. Certain things look far nicer in knitting but they take me so much longer to make that I find I am avoiding them. I have finished off the blue crochet cardigan for my friend's foster baby and have started knitting another cardigan. I knitted all last night and only managed to make 2 sleeves. Pass me my hook!

I have put another 3 photos from the baby bootee book on the blog today but as there are 50 pairs in the book I can't put them all on one blog page. I will just post more photos on days when I have little crochet or knit to show to you.

My thumb is still paining me which is slowing down my knitting. I am keeping it warm and using Ibuprofen gel and hoping that it is just a touch of arthritis and not a dislocation.

The Simply Be catalogue arrived today so I am hoping to be able to chose an outfit for my niece's wedding and then decide if I need to crochet a shawl or a cardigan to go with this outfit. I am a bit limited as I will have to wear flat shoes or sandals and a lot of the dresses will not look right without heels. I am not going to risk heels so soon after my knee operation scheduled for 24th March. I decided on catalogue shopping as I lack the patience to trek limping from shop to shop trying to find the right outfit. Roll on summer as I should be a new woman by then.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

New Bootees book

I had to order gifts from Amazon for one of my niece's birthday present and of course a book for me jumped into my basket. 50 baby Bootees to knit by Zoe Mellor. I have this involuntary reaction whenever I go on Amazon to order something for someone else. Well that's my excuse anyway.

I haven't had chance to really look at the book as yet but at first glance there looks like quite a variety of lovely bootees, shoes and socks. The review on Amazon was slightly disconcerting as one person found mistakes in the patterns. I will update on this after I have knitted some of them. I will post a few more photos tomorrow.

Not much to report on the knit/crochet front. I have been busy with other things and my knitting and crochet has rather taken a back seat. I have now finished the blue baby crochet cardigan that is shown on here. I just have the buttons to stitch on now. Finished photo tomorrow.

There has been lots of interesting news on the Naked Knitting Calendar scene with interviews and photos of Lisa and the Noras who met up on Tuesday which will hopefully appear in the Bolton Evening News. We also have other interviews and possibly a TV appearance lined up which I will update about later. All of this has resulted in more time on the PC with e mails flying back and forth and less time doing any crocheting or knitting.

The last bit is from a letter sent to my GP from the consultant that I saw about my knee. Isn't that sweet. What a good bedside manner he has. I must say he was very patient and answered more of my questions about my knee, spine and general bone condition than anyone ever has in the past.