Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Santa And The Snowman

I knitted these a couple of weeks ago but as I didn't have any stuffing they have been backwards and forward to the Kings Arms and to Rachael's house. They got mislaid for a week but finally I stitched them up today as I now have a bag of stuffing. It has taken me all afternoon to stitch them up and underlined my hatred of all things amigurumi. I just do not like fiddling about with tiny bits of knitting or crocheting and trying to stitch and stuff them. Give me a big sweater any day. Father Christmas looks a bit weird as he doesn't have a face but that is the way that he is on the pattern. It's not right is it? Santa without a face!

I have spent today washing bedding, throws and cushions. I have hoovered everywhere and gathered up enough hair to jam the vacuum cleaner hose. It's a wonder that Buster isn't bald with all his missing hair!

Today I woke up to snow. Not much by the US standards. Maybe only an inch or so but as we are so unprepared for snow in the UK everything grinds to a halt. It was the bin day and whilst the glass recycling and paper recycling wagons made it up the hill the normal refuse wagon didn't. Luckily I don't have that much in my bin so there is plenty of room to wait until next week. It's hard for the people with families though.

I think that I can safely start knitting and crocheting dark colours now. I might,however, finish off the long on the needles beige jacket that I am making for one of Louise's boys. I only have the hood to knit now. It has been on the needles for so long that it will now fit the smaller boy instead of the larger one. Do you ever have projects that you just completely go off in the middle of making them and take ages to restart them - or am I the only one? I try to knit or crochet things from start to finish. Well perhaps I have 2 or 3 projects on the go. I don't like having too many W.I.P as like the beige jacket they tend to get put in a bag or a drawer and forgotten about. After that happens I lose the urge to ever finish them.

If anyone has received a strange e mail from me yesterday then I can only apologize. My PC apparently got some kind of a virus and sent everyone on my e mail list an link for some kind of fake Viagra! I have now run a complete virus check and have hopefully got rid of it.

Monday, 29 November 2010

More Sale bargains

When it's the wee small hours and I can't sleep I always think that it's a good idea to browse my favourite web sites for wool. Is it so that later I can call it Twilight Sleep Ordering ;-). At the moment I cannot resist E Kemp as they have so many bargains at the moment and all of these things that I bought cost 89p a ball. Such bargains. I bought two more balls of the blue fleck as the site said there was only 2 left so I couldn't leave them there when I had the other 16 LOL.

Unless I go mad before Christmas I only have one outstanding order and that is some pink chunky to make jackets for my great grand daughters. I can't remember if anything else 'fell' into my basket whilst I was ordering that.

I am coming to the end of Christmas Tree crochet ornaments for the Kings Arms Knit Club Christmas Tree. I think that it is being decorated tonight so we will know after that if there is enough decorations or if it still looks a bit sparse. The crochet angel made from an old fashioned wooden clothes peg was something that I doodled up last night. As a young child I used to design clothes for my dolls and when I ran out of dolls (I didn't have many) I used my Mother's clothes pegs and knitted and stitched clothes for them. I painted faces on them and called them my family. My Mother had little patience for what she called my 'doll rags' and I used to be devastated to come home from school on wash days and find that my 'family' was pegging the washing to the line! My Mother was a knitter but for her things had to have a practical use so she didn't encourage me in my 'fanciful' ways for fashion design. My aunt, however, used to help me with this and used to buy me the cardboard cut out dolls with paper clothes that slotted onto the shoulders with tabs and give me sheets of paper and coloured pencils and encouraged me to design more outfits for these cardboard dolls. When I finally got a teenager plastic doll (way before the Sindy and Barbies of this world) I used to be forever knitting and sewing for them. When my nieces grew old enough for a Sindy I used to make all kinds of clothes for their dolls. My sister in law says that she still has loads of them stored in the loft. I think that secretly she is hoping that one day she may be the Grandmother of a little girl so that she can pass them along.

Buster didn't go home until today. With the party and house guests my son didn't have time to pick him up yesterday. Buster didn't mind an extra day with me and although he was overjoyed to see his 'Dad' he kept running back in the house when it was time to go home. Ideally Buster would like the best of both worlds. Me to make a big fuss of him and his Mum and Dad to take him for walks and the other 2 dogs to play with. His ideal world would have everyone in one place. He gets very bored with me after a few days as I can't run around with him as they do.

I am hoping to get to the Kings Arms tonight. I hope to start the black knitted cardigan or the navy crochet sweater tomorrow once I have given everywhere a good hoover. The cushions and the throws are already in the washer. When I go upstairs for my shower I will change the bedding. I love having Buster but there is so much cleaning to do once he goes home. For a short haired dog he sure sheds a lot of hair and it always seems to stick all over whatever I am making.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Not Much Crochet - But Oops I Have Been Stashing Again

I haven't been doing a lot in the way of knitting or crochet these last couple of days as when Buster stays he has a habit of moulting over everywhere so I keep my Christmas present knitting out of his reach. I could not start my niece's black cardigan as I have been waiting for the parcel to arrive.

Today (Sunday) I was amazed to get a delivery of 2 parcels. I think that Royal Mail must have saved them up to get in a bit of overtime money before Christmas unless they really are mowed out with Christmas on line orders. The newspapers do say that more people are ordering their Christmas presents online this year.

The first order was delivered on Saturday and that was my patterns from Kay Jones (Kay's Creative Crochet) I do like her patterns and think that I have now ordered almost every pattern of hers that I like. I have quite a collection. They are written out in UK terms which is a bonus for me. I could order them as PDF's and save the postage but as I didn't have a working printer when I placed the order I sent for hard copies. I am addicted to the nice squeaky paper that she uses to print them out on. If I printed them they would just be on normal A4 paper. I have been using my new printer to print out the patterns that I have ordered PDF recently. I do like a paper copy of my patterns. I haven't as yet tried the scanner that is with the printer. I will have to read the manual for that.

The orders that I got today were from Purplelinda and McA Direct. From Purplelinda I ordered the Black Patons Diploma DK for my niece's cardigan. I also got a bag of stuffing for the Christmas decorations, a Sirdar crochet pattern for my great grand daughters, and two double ended hooks by Knit Pro. Each end is a different size. My online friend Zuleika (Life in the Zu) has had double ended hooks for ages and loves them. I am not sure if they are Knit Pros but Rachael (Artyarn) got a hook bought for her for her as a present and she loves it. I will let you know how I get on with these hooks once I have a trial run. I am famous for buying all different kinds of hooks and then going back to my old ones and giving the new ones away. Still if you don't try anything different then you will never know if you like them.

I have not ordered from McA Direct before but they were recommended to me by a Ravelry friend. I ordered from them as I love Regia wool for socks but in the 6ply and not many people stock that. I can get 4ply anywhere but I do like the 6ply as I only wear my socks around the house or when I wear my boots and so I like the thicker wool. Not to mention that they knit up much faster! The recommended amount is 3 x 50 gram balls per pair of socks and it is £3.95 a ball but as I only like very short legs on my socks I can make a pair from 2 balls. The huge knitting needles are not to knit with. I watched a video on You Tube showing Broomstick crocheting. I tried doing it many years ago but this video made everything much plainer than a book does. My broomstick needle is made of wood and really heavy to handle so I have bought two sizes of plastic needles to try the stitches out. I have the patterns in Doris Chan's latest book and also a booklet with baby blankets in that I have had for many years. The metal clasps are for stash. I cannot buy them anywhere so when I saw them online I just had to buy a couple of sets to keep in my stash. They make a nice single fastener for an edge to edge cardigan.

Yesterday I went to the Islington Mill with Rachael. We were carrying on making some more ornaments for the Christmas tree at the Kings Arms. Rachael is going to take a photo of everything that has been made so far and post it on Facebook. I will copy the photo and put it on here for you to see. On Monday we are starting to trim the tree and see whether we need any more ornaments making. Last night I made a couple of snowmen (they are flat, not stuffed ones) and a couple more Christmas wreaths. I was supposed to be going to my daughter in law's 50th Birthday party in the evening but my back and legs were hurting so much I just didn't feel like making the effort. If the weather had been warmer I would have gone as I do like their parties. They are biker events and great fun. I would have been the misery sat in the corner had I gone. It's hard to feel in the party mood when my back hurts. I don't know why my back pain has suddenly started up again. I can only guess that it's because of the cold weather. I don't know what I would do if I had the snow that Beverooni has. I would hibernate! I have the heating on and still feel cold. I am dreading the winter fuel bills despite getting my heating allowance.

Thanks to everyone for your lovely words and wishes for my Birthday. I do appreciate them. I think that the best part of any Birthday is not the presents (although it is nice to get some) or the cards, it's the fact that people take the trouble to wish you a Happy Birthday. I had visitors, phone calls and of course my online wishes. That, to me, makes a Birthday special. It must be awful for lonely people if they have no one to wish them a Happy Birthday or a Happy Christmas as well.

I have now put most of the stash back in the small bedroom after moving it for my son to take the divan bed away. I decided to take an inventory of what was in there and keep a list on my PC for the future. What I did discover was things that I had forgotten that I had ever bought! They were in plastic bags at the back of the shelf along with a couple of partly crocheted tops. I think having a list of the larger amounts will be beneficial to me when I am planning my next projects. I am not listing all the odd balls or sock wool as that doesn't count as stash. Ha Ha - well not in my eyes. I have bought quite a bit of wool recently that was on offer especially to stash so I want to keep a list of what I actually have in the stash room.

My New Year's resolution for this year not to buy wool for a few months (unless it is for someone else as a gift) lasted until about July and this coming year I should be able to last even longer now that I have catalogued my stash!

I am still waiting for a couple more parcels containing wool and then I am putting my bank cards away for a while. I had to order more as the wool is for presents. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it. Some wool for me might have accidentally jumped into my basket as I browsed but that's allowed. Think of all the VAT and postage that I have saved by ordering now. That's a good excuse isn't it? I don't count the postage as I usually order enough to make it worthwhile. If I had to go and shop for it personally it could cost me more than the postage money in journey costs especially at the moment when I am not using public transport.

I hope to get to the Kings Arms tomorrow night so will make a couple more ornaments tonight. Once I have given everywhere a good hoovering and washed the throws and cushions tomorrow then I will be able to start the black knitting and the navy crocheting.

Time for another cup of hot coffee and a bit of playtime with Buster before he goes home later.

Friday, 26 November 2010

What A Wonderful Day

I had a wonderful Birthday yesterday. It was the kind of day that I love to have. Not because of the cards and the presents but the fact that I saw so many family and friends and my great day stretched into a lovely evening when my niece and my almost adopted niece Louise took me San Rocco the Italian restaurant in Cheetham Hill. Happiness is a day when I don't have to cook!

The day started with the delivery of the beautiful bouquet of flowers from Sylvia, Jan and the foster babies. Getting flowers is always a lovely surprise as it's very rare that I do get any flowers delivered. The florists make them look so attractive that I always leave them as they arrive with the bow until later in the day. Beautiful autumn colours with a dash of purple as Sylvia had requested. She knows my favourite colour is purple.

My ex husband was the first to call and he and Sue had bought me some toiletries and a scented candle from Molton Brown. I feel very pampered as their stuff is very expensive ( well it is to me) and I am looking forward to using it and burning the candle.

Rachael (Artyarn) called as well and we barely got time to chat before my sister in law turned up. She wanted to measure me for something that she is buying me for Christmas so I had the trauma of having a tape measure stretched across my widest parts. Not something that i wanted to be reminded of on my Birthday.

Whilst Rachael was here I saw the Royal Mail van and as I am expecting 3 parcels from Internet orders I felt sure that one of them would be on the van. I was disappointed when he tried to deliver it to a house across the road. What was more annoying was that early evening the same neighbour came with the parcel addressed to me. As they weren't in her husband has walked all the way to the collection office to get the parcel and then discovered it wasn't for them but only after they had opened it. I have mentioned to E Kemp that the address was so blurred it was no wonder that it went to the wrong address but in fairness the invoice was in a see through envelope and the address was very clear on that so there is no excuse for the delivery person to get it wrong. The wool is one of the presents from myself to myself. Well who can resist sale wool at 89p a ball instead of over £2.50? Stash. Stash and more stash to come. At least after Christmas I will be able to start a no buy policy, for as long as I can, as I did last year. I have enough stash to keep me going for quite a while.

My son is calling today to drop off Buster and to pick up a single divan. He wanted to know if I knew of anyone with a spare mattress as they are expecting guests to stay overnight after the Birthday bash on Saturday. I never use the divan. I was the one that my step grand daughter used when everyone lived with me for a time.It was propped up against the wall in my wool room (AKA 3rd small bedroom). I have had to remove boxes and bags so that he can get to the bed. This will make sure that I do tidy up the stash room as I have been threatening to do for so me time. Then all the new stuff that is in the dining room will have a home until I get around to using it. No bed = more room for stash. Buster doesn't deal to well with a house full of guests so I said that he would be better with me for the weekend. I won't stay out long at the party. I do have a hospital appointment this afternoon but he will be OK for an hour or so. I just hope that Oscar the lodger cat has come downstairs and gone home by the time he arrives otherwise fur will be flying!

My niece and Louise arrived in the evening to take me out for a meal. They brought the family present of a new printer. My old donated printer gave up the ghost some time ago and it has been very awkward not being able to print out patterns that I find on the net. That is basically all that I use my printer for. I do prefer a hard copy of patterns as my PC is in another room to the TV and so I can't read the pattern, knit or crochet and watch TV in my comfy recliner all at the same time. Louise bought me some lovely toiletries from Marks and Spencer so I will be smelling sweet for some time.

We went to the San Rocco for a meal. It has always been one of my favourite Italian Restaurants. I used to go there with my ex. That's how good it is. Still in existence all these years later and one of the waiters/owners is the same person who used to serve us back then. I had a Calzone which is a folded pizza but the peppers in it must have been Scotch Bonnet as my mouth was on fire afterwards. I needed an ice cream to cool my mouth down. Well that was my excuse! It was so nice not to have to cook on my Birthday.

I managed to finish off the huge scarf for Louise's birthday and also made a matching hat. Her birthday is on the 8th December but I won't see her before then so I gave it to my niece to smuggle it into her boot and then give it to Louise on the right day. Louise is only tiny so it will wrap around her a few times. She does feel the cold though so I hope she likes her big scarf.

Today I have to get my CPAP machine checked out at the hospital but after that it will relax, relax and hope that the parcel containing the wool for my niece's black cardigan turns up today and then I can start it. I just hope that it doesn't arrive whilst I am out. Luckily yesterday I didn't start crocheting my sister in law's sweater. I had a feeling that she would call and didn't want her to see me making it.

I had better get showered and dressed. I bet that either my son or Royal Mail will ring the bell the minute that I get under the water. It never fails.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Long Long Scarf

I feel like I am knitting a mile long scarf. This has been my going to physio project. I have knitted it whilst waiting for the ambulance to give me a ride home. The scarf isn't actually going to be a mile long that's an exaggeration. I have knitted approx 70" and it is supposed to be 100" long and then the fringe is added to make it even longer. Louise's birthday is not until the 8th December so I still have time to knit the final 30".

I haven't started anything else as my wool orders should arrive this week and when they do I can start to knit my London niece's jacket.

I smiled when I read the comment on my last post from Ailsa (Mad about Craft). She has given me a brilliant excuse that I can use to persuade myself that ordering more wool is not a crime. She says I should tell myself that I am saving money by buying now as the VAT tax is set to go up after Christmas and so the prices will rise because of this. Thanks Ailsa for giving me a perfect excuse for ordering again before Christmas. See I am saving money!

I did pay another chunk off my credit card today so I am feeling very virtuous anyway. OK OK so I know that at my age and with my resources I shouldn't be building up a credit card bill but hey it is almost Christmas and a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

I crocheted 3 holly leaves and berries last night for the Kings Arms Christmas tree. Not the best looking leaves that I have ever made and for some reason the spikes on the holly leaves want to point in the wrong direction. Perhaps no-one will notice once they are on the tree.

I had my lodger cat Oscar sleeping the night. I went to put out the dustbin last night and he dived in through the open door and straight into the spare bedroom. Hey Oscar - you live next door remember. He went home this morning and when I came home from shopping he darted in again whilst I was parking my scooter in the garage. He is getting very cheeky. He doesn't wait to be asked in any more he just pushes the door open with his nose and dashes in. He doesn't like this cold weather and wants to spend as much of his life indoors if he can.It must be tea time at his house as he has just asked to be let out. It's a cats life alright.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Granny Square Angel - I Think Not

I have been making a few more ornaments for the Kings Arms Christmas tree. I found a lovely pattern on Ravelry which was called a Granny Square Angel. That sounds easy I thought. 2 granny squares and 3 pipe cleaners (or chenille stems as they are now called). Making the bits was quite easy but as for crocheting over the stems whilst crocheting the squares together proved to be a bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time. I have decided that I am not artistic and my angel looks more like one of the gargoyles with a ring on it's head. Ah well. I did my best but I definitely won't be making any more. I was muttering all kinds of naughty words under my breath and I am sure that it raised my blood pressure.

I have never been one for crocheting small things and the mere mention of amigurumi sends me into shock. I would rather crochet a whole garment than fiddle about with a crocheted doll.

I joined a group on Ravelry about how much stash do people have. Through that site one of the members introduced me to two more wool sites that I hadn't visited before. The fatal thing is that I took a look and there were loads of bargains. I will show you what I have bought and where from when they arrive. My stash is growing to the point of stupidity now and I will have to stop buying while I crochet some more to catch up. Bargains are bargains though and I can't miss them. I argue that I have saved so much money by buying it now and so justify my overspending. Hey a girl can never have too much stash! I could be drinking heavily or smoking like a chimney or even gambling with online Bingo. At least my spending has some tangible results.

My London niece has asked for a black doubled breasted jacket for Christmas and my other niece has a lovely suitable knitting pattern so I have ordered the wool for it. Boy am I going to have an untidy dining room for a while. I could make myself a woolly divan bed and sleep downstairs for a while.

Buster has gone home. My son and daughter in law came to get him yesterday and brought my grand daughter and her two little girls. Every time I see the great grand kids they seem to have grown another few inches. At least I know what they want for Christmas. Mum has decided they have enough toys and would like the money to buy them something in the after Christmas sales. They are still at the age when Father Christmas brings everything so they won't miss a present from me and they need more clothes for the Spring.

They brought my birthday present and I opened it early as I knew what it was. It is one of those bendy neck and body cushions. I took it to bed with me last night and curled it around my neck and had a brilliant night's sleep. My neck has never been right since I had a couple of whiplash injuries when young and I am always waking up with a sore neck.

My lady gardener came today and tidied up everything for the winter. She is not calling again until the Spring. I may be able to maintain it myself by then so I said that I will let her know how I feel once she resumes for the Summer.

I have had enough of the ornaments now so I need to finish off the knitted long scarf next. I will start the black jacket once the wool arrives later in the week.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Buster Is A Bed Hog

I had a very broken sleep last night due to a big furry dog who insisted on lying next to me, on me and hogging the pillow. My son always says don't let him sleep on the bed but he always crept on the bed when he lived with me so it is a hard habit to break now. I just think that it's only for a couple of days and I can catch up with my sleep later. Sometimes he gets fed up with me as I toss and turn a lot and goes and sleeps in the spare room and then we both get a fairly good night's sleep.

As promised yesterday I have included a few photos from the 2 knitting books that I got yesterday. The Patons one has some jackets that I like. I quite like the multi way wrap as well but as I am short and stout I wonder if I would look like a badly tied paper parcel wearing one of those. They do look so smart on tall willowy women. I like the cardigan done in several different lace patterns as well. I am not going to start my sister in law's Christmas knitting until my niece has taken a look in the book and decided if she likes any of these patterns better than the one that we chose last week. She has a better idea of her Mum's taste.

The Turtleback jacket book is one for me really. They don't look that attractive but I find the shape so easy to put on in the house over a sweater when I get cold. Not having a long sleeve means that I can knit and do chores without having to push sleeves up out of the way. I like a couple of these patterns and will make myself one or two after Christmas when all of my Christmas present knitting and crocheting is finished. Until then I will be working the night shift to get everything finished in time. Every year I say that i will start earlier and every year I leave it until the last minute.

My knee seems to have got over it's hiccup of yesterday. The pain has subsided this morning and mobility is back to what it was. It really shocked me yesterday as I have been doing so well that I didn't expect such a painful set back. I can only think that I either twisted my knee as I got up from the chair or I had been sitting at a funny angle. I was hoping to have tried a short walk with Buster yesterday but decided to leave it and try today instead. I didn't want to push anything too far and regress in my physio.

I have almost finished one of my Christmas presents but I am afraid that photos will have to wait until after Christmas. I will only be able to show the projects of the people who I know don't read my blog. I am going to try to make another couple of Christmas tree ornaments for the knit club. I think that I may be able to go this coming week and as Rachael is starting to dress the tree on Monday I want to give her some more things as what we have already will look rather sparse on the tree. other people are starting to make some things for the tree so I hope that the tree looks nice and full when they are all finished and on the tree.

The weather is crisp and cold but dry. I have to walk up to the village today and will take Buster with me. It won't be the walk that he is used to but I don't want to chance a fall on the slippy ground in the woodland as everywhere is on a slope and will be full of wet leaves. Buster likes to come out with me even if we aren't going far. He will get a good walk once he gets home to the other dogs tomorrow. He gets plenty of exercise as the young dogs chase about all of the time and he tries to keep up with them. He doesn't do bad for a 10yr old dog. The vet said he was remarkably fit for his age at his last check up and vaccination.

Friday, 19 November 2010

I Have A Furry Shadow

My Fur Baby is here for the weekend so there won't be much knitting or crocheting done until he goes home again on Sunday eve. He sticks that close to me that I feel like I have a furry shadow. He is behind me at every step.I have lost count of the times that I have almost fallen over him. I just wish that he wasn't so large though as he wants to sit on my knee all of the time or wrap his paws around my neck. The minute that I get off my recliner for any reason he gets on it. It's going to be a long weekend but I do love him so much that I don't mind that much. He will settle down a bit by tomorrow and stop clinging so much. Buster found his squeaky ball within 5 mins of arriving and has staked a claim on the 3 seater sofa when he is not trying to sit on my knee.

I have had another two deliveries in the post today. I ordered some shawl pins from Pavi Yarns. I ordered one ages ago in black but as it doesn't go with every shawl that I have I ordered 3 more in different colours. One of them is a perfect match for the long crocheted jacket that I have just finished. The jacket is only fastened by a belt and as it is a bit on the smallish side (until it gets washed) the exact colour shawl pin will make a good fastener for the jacket.

The other delivery was from Purplelinda. I needed another 2 balls of the Patons Classic cotton for my sister in law as I have decided on a pattern that takes more yarn than I first ordered. I also ordered some Black double knit as I have a couple of shawlettes and fingerless mitts to make for Christmas presents. The two booklets are knitted ones. I am going to see if either of my nieces likes any styles from them or if my niece thinks that my sister in law would like one of them better than the pattern that we chose last week. I haven't started it yet so there is plenty of time to change my mind. I will post photos of the designs tomorrow.

It will be a quietish weekend for me and Buster. I had planed to try and walk him today but I got up from my chair and my knee gave way and was really painful. I was worried for a while until the feeling passed. I thought that I had done some damage to the knee but I think that I must have been sitting in a funny position because after I rested it I tried a few tentative stretches and all seems to be well although it is a lot stiffer and less bendy than it was yesterday. It did worry me for a few minutes though. I am hoping that after a night's sleep it will be back to normal again. I do hope that nothing untoward has happened as I really feel that I am making good progress with my mobility.

Buster has gone very quiet in the other room. I hope that now he has been fed and watered that he will have a nap for a little while and let me get on with some crochet. I can't tell you what I am making as it is a Christmas present for someone who sometimes reads my blog.

Happy Weekend to you all.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Christmas Ornaments

These are just a few of the crocheted Christmas tree ornaments that I made using the book that I ordered from Purplelinda. Whilst I was at Knit Club on Monday night at the Kings Arms I made another couple but I didn't take photos of them. I made another wreath with a different pattern and another mini sweater in red with silver trim. People in the pub were quite interested in them and wanted to know if they were for sale. Rachael is thinking that maybe really near to Christmas we could sell the ornaments and put the money in the box that we have for Breast Cancer donations. I am going to try and make some more in and between my other Christmas projects and have bookmarked quite a few free patterns from Ravelry to try.I also want to try a snowflake pattern with some of the white or the silver metallic yarn that I bought.

The tiny Christmas Pudding with the holly trim on was one that I got given by a friend. She bought it at a craft fair. Inside it is one Ferraro Roche round chocolate. My niece thought that they would make table decorations for the Christmas dinner table and so I tried to copy it. My attempt is the one without the silver leaves. I will have to search to get something similar. Someone suggested a shop that sells card making stuff would have something like that.Meanwhile I will continue to knit a few more. they literally take minutes to make.

I have started work on a Christmas project so I can't show you that. I am still working on the grey knitted scarf for Louise's birthday on the 8th Dec and it is now around 50" long. I measured my niece's scarf and hers measured over 100" so I have still got a lot to knit before I can fringe it. From now on I will only be able to show you the things that are not destined for people who might read the blog.

Today I went to the hospital for my physio exercises. I am doing so well that I don't have to go for 2 weeks and then will possibly be signed off from the exercises. I tried one of the pedal machines. They are not an exercise bike (which I can't yet pedal all around) they are just a set of pedals to use whilst seated in an armchair. I managed to pedal these and the physio thinks that I could benefit from getting one to use at home to increase the mobility in my knee. My son was asking what I wanted for Christmas and so I think that I will tell him to get me one of these. It would be ideal as the pedals take up very little space and are quite inexpensive compared to an exercise bike. I have nowhere to store an exercise bike. It would be just something else to fall over once the novelty wore off.

The physio put on some music for us all to exercise to and I think someone has a bizarre sense of humour as one of the tunes was the Can Can! I might be improving on my mobility but I am not ready for the Can Can as yet.

I have just had a phone call asking if I want Buster for a few days as my son and daughter in law are going away for a long weekend and their daughter can only manage to look after the other two dogs. It will be good company for me and might encourage me to try walking that bit further to take him for a walk. He is used to my walking very slowly so that will be OK.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Eve's Jacket Finished On Time

Today I went out for a very enjoyable lunch with my two nieces and one of their husbands (the other one had the man flu) and a couple of friends. I managed to not only finish off the jacket for Eve but also a crochet cap to match. My niece and her husband are now en route back to London as my niece and her husband started the drive home after lunch. Eve may get her jacket later tonight or next weekend. It all depends on what time my niece gets to London.

The pattern for the knitted jacket was a free pattern from Garnstudio Drops and I have included a link into the blog title, It has made up fairly quickly especially since I got my new craft light although I do hope that the front band does stop curling upwards once it has been washed. The hat is crocheted and comes from the new booklet from Leisure Arts called In All Caps by Drew Emborsky aka The Crochet Dude.

The yarn that I used was Woolcraft Aran which comes in a 400 gram ball and I used 2 balls although there is a little bit left on the ball even after making the hat.

As I enjoyed a full lunch I won't have to make an evening meal and so I am going to settle down to making a couple of ornaments for the Kings Arms Christmas Tree as all being well I should be going to Knit Club tomorrow.

Today is cold. Not cold enough to snow but cold enough to make my legs ache. I went shopping on my scooter yesterday and when I got home I could not feel my legs. I think that I am going to have to go all grumpy old woman and take a lap blanket with me next time to ward off the icy wind. It's not even winter yet so I am going to need to get one or make one very soon. A nice cozytoze with a fur lining that babies have in their strollers would be great. It would be a bit awkward if I had to get off my scooter in a shop though I would have to bunny hop unless they come with a zip! Either that or a pair of fur lined trousers as I already have my winter knickers on. I don't feel the cold when I am walking but I certainly do when sitting on my scooter.

I am going to have a nice hot coffee and settle down with my crochet and my lapghan as since my operation my knees really feel the cold. Perhaps I could do with a bit of WD 40 or antifreeze in my artificial joint to stop it seizing up in the cold.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Wish That I Could Knit A Bit Faster

I think that Eve's jacket will be ready for the deadline of Sunday lunchtime. That is when I am meeting up with my two nieces for Sunday lunch and as the jacket has to go to London for Eve's birthday then that would be the ideal time to hand it over. Bev you are so right about the new craft light. Once I had found the best place to stand it then I was knitting merrily away despite the wool being navy blue. I am not losing my sight after all the light I was working under was just too dim!

I now feel more confident about finishing off my Christmas knitting. It will soon be the time when I won't be posting much on the blog due to the fact that what I am making is a surprise for someone who might read my blog. Most of my Christmas knitting is usually dark colours so I think that the light was a good investment.

I still have a sleeve and a half to knit but decided to block the body of the jacket to save time later. It isn't patchy by the way that is just the layer of water where I have sprayed it before patting it into shape. Now you see why the band took me so long to knit. I am glad that I didn't leave it until the last now.

Last night it was so windy that I thought that tiles would be blown off the roof or I would lose a tree or some garden furniture. I had to prop the porch door shut as the catch isn't working too well and high wind opens the door. As the door is all glass I thought that it might smash like it did once before in a storm. I had to tape the letterbox shut or it would have been banging all night. Fortunately on inspection today I can't see any tiles on the floor and I seem to have all my bushes, trees and garden furniture. The local news on TV shows many trees blown down and bricks and chimneys on the floor or worse still on top of cars. Luckily I don't think anyone has been injured in the storm. When I think of all the places in the world that have hurricanes I know I am such a wimp to be cowering in my house when high winds (well they are for the UK) blow all around the house. Our winds probably wouldn't raise an eyebrow in some parts of the world.

A surveyor came today as I am eligible for free cavity wall insulation. Anything that will help to keep the fuel bills down this winter is a plus for me. I am having it done now whilst I am on the Disability Living Allowance because once my other knee has been replaced then I might not be eligible for free insulation if the DLA stops. Today is quite chilly but I tend to put a shawl on instead of turning the thermostat up any more. I am ever mindful of the fuel bills especially if the government decides to cut the fuel allowance for pensioners altogether. What they give us now doesn't pay the winter fuel bill but it does mean that I am not afraid to put the heating on when the weather turns cold as I have the extra money to put towards the bill.

I was going to do some shopping today but I had to wait in for the surveyor and after he had gone I wimped out of going out. I will wait until tomorrow to do a bit of shopping. My niece is calling tomorrow morning to do my roots. I haven't had my colour done since just before I went into hospital so they badly need doing. I want to look nice for my Sunday Lunch.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Another Craft Light

I ordered a plug in craft light for when I am knitting and crocheting in the electric light. This lamp is described as daylight suitable for craft work and also a S.A.D light. As I already have one S.A.D light I can now be sad in more than one room now without having to find and plug a light in. I can't tell the new light's full potential until it is dark which won't be long as the night's are getting really dark around 4pm. I did buy a craft light a while ago but I could not direct the beam anywhere near me as it made my hands almost burn as it got so hot. It has now broken as I knocked it off the desk. I do hope that the new light doesn't have the same problem. I like a bright light for crafting but I don't want a burned neck and hands.

I got fed up of sitting with my head practically under the lampshade of my standard light in order to see my work when I am using a dark colour. Last night I was knitting with navy blue and even with the head light I couldn't see what I was doing. I am hoping that when tonight comes I will have this lovely bright light to illuminate my old eyes. The only snag with this light is that it has come attached to a very short length of flex so it will be tricky stretching it to where I want to stand it even with an extension cable.

The out of stock Christmas Ornament book arrived from Purplelinda today. The reason that it says 3 ways on the cover is that inside there is a choice of making the ornaments in different thicknesses and therefore different sizes. I haven't had a good look at it yet but I think that there is quite a few patterns that I will use for the Kings Arms Christmas tree project.

I have managed to finished off one side of the button band on Eve's jacket. It doesn't sound like I knitted much but the band is 6" wide and has shaping for the collar. It is in a rib and I had to stare at what I was knitting so that I didn't go wrong. I have just picked up the stitches for the other side of the band and have also cast on one sleeve. Hopefully I will be able to see the second button band clearer with the new craft light. All being well it will get finished by the weekend.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

My Knitting Head Light

My newest Knit and Crochet aid came today. I am not modelling it as I do look like a miner who has lost his coal pit but it will be very useful when working in a dim light. I love going to the Kings Arms Knit Club but the lighting is a bit dim in there and my eyes are not what they once were so I have bought this light to wear when I am in there. I just hope that I don't get too many giggles when I am wearing it and that Rachael doesn't have her camera handy! I have bought a wind up version so there is no having to go out and buy new batteries, I just wind the little handle of the blue box and I have light for another 30 minutes or so.

I have ordered a plug in craft light but that hasn't arrived yet.

I went to physio at the hospital today and I have graduated from crutches to a walking stick. They wanted me to start going to classes every two weeks but as I have a hospital appointment on that particular day I am going next week and then starting to go every 2 weeks after that. I have reached my goal with the angle of the knee bends but I still need to work on the leg straightening. Slowly but surely I am getting there and I am pleased with my progress. I still can't pedal all the way around onthe exercise bike yet. I did one revolution last week but pedalled backwards. This week I could not even do that.

I took the scarf knitting to the hospital with me and managed to knit almost another 100 grams into it. I have gone well past the half way mark now so it will get finished in time for Louise's birthday, I have finished the back and two fronts of Eve's jacket and have now picked up the stitches for the band. I still have both sleeves to do but the band will take far longer so I thought I would do that bit first. Hopefully the jacket is on target for being finished by Sunday.

I have been trying to make my list of things still to do for Christmas. As usual I should have started knitting and crocheting far earlier than I have. Every year it's a mad rush and every year I swear that I won't let it happen the year after. Good job I work well under pressure. I will have to get serious about my crafting this next month and stop messing about! I will have to make it like a job and have set hours for knit and crochet and set hours for housework and shopping etc. I am just not a very organised person and time just seems to slip by while I wool gather (not literally) and daydream.

Time for a bit of dinner and then back to the knitting. I will have to find my whip and give myself 20 lashes every now and again. I just wish that I could stop nodding off in the middle of the day like some old biddie!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Gas Man Cometh

I am waiting for the Gas Man to arrive. The central heating is working but the hot water keeps going off. I tried to get a shower 3 times this morning and every time the water went cold just as I was about to get into it. I have tried resetting the boiler but it only works for about 5 minutes. Luckily I have insurance for this sort of thing so hopefully it can get fixed today and I can have a shower later today. I had to use a dry shampoo on my hair as it was greasy and now I look like I have fallen headfirst into a vat of talcum powder. I feel like one of the dandies with their powdered wigs.
I have had 3 parcels delivered today. I have been going through my stash and decided that I needed some extra balls in a few colours if I was going to make something with the stash that I already have. The odd balls are to match up with stash that I already have. I ordered some from Texere and some from Purplelinda.
The metallic yarn is destined for Christmas tree ornaments for the Kings Arms Knit Club and I will start something when I finish off the knitted jacket for Eve and also when the crochet ornament pattern that I ordered from Purplelinda arrives as it is out of stock at the present.
The assorted photo is of the goods from Purplelinda. I have treated myself to a green frog row counter that I can wear around my neck. I knit with my needles under my arm so the row counters that fit on the needle can get turned around by my armpit so they are not reliable to tell the right row.
I ordered a flower loom. I used to have one years ago, but can't find it, and no doubt I will find it now that I have ordered another one. This one has pins that I can put in different places to make different sized flowers. The one that I have lost had rigid pins and only made the flowers in one size. I thought that I would try out a flower or two in the metallic yarn for the Christmas tree.
The plastic rings are to use when I make crochet buttons, I also need a couple for making some of the Christmas ornaments. I already have some smaller rings lost in the house somewhere. I am sure that I have a mischievous pixie living with me who hides the things that I am looking for. The hat pattern is to try and make myself a new hat for this winter. Every year I make several and they don't suit me. I am still looking for THE pattern that won't make me laugh out loud when I try it on. I also want to make a hat to go with the knitted scarf that I am making for Louise. As it is physio day tomorrow the scarf will be coming with me to the hospital so that I can work a few more rows as I wait for the transport to bring me home again after physio.
The Sit Right seat is something that I saw on the TV and thought might be useful for either my recliner or this PC chair. When I recline my chair the back goes down when my legs come up and I feel like I am leaning too far back and in the wrong position to crochet or knit. I am hoping that this aid will correct my posture by sitting me more upright. If that doesn't work I can use it on the computer chair to support my back whilst I am typing and browsing.
Coffee time and back to Eve's jacket. I have got up to the armhole shaping on the second front so am hopeful of it being finished in time for Sunday. I do hope that the Gas Man comes soon and can repair the boiler so I can shower.