Sunday, 28 September 2014

Cable & Cream

I cannot believe the response I have had from the blanket I am designing.  Here is a little teaser of the progress so far.....


It's progressing slowly because unfortunately, I work full time and would much rather be designing at home than going to work. However, it pays the bills for now so I just have to put up with it.  It took me ages to think of a nice name for the design and it occurred to me whilst not sleeping very well that I should keep it a simple name for people to remember.  That is why I came up with Cable & Cream.

I said to Frank that I wanted to stay home today so I pottered about this morning doing the mundane housework tasks while Frank started pruning and tidying in the back garden and then my son popped over to see me.  We had a chat and a cuppa and then he was telling me about what is expected of his third year at Uni.  He seem's quite confident about it and I am so proud of his achievements and sensible thinking.   He then went off to meet his partner and I cooked an early dinner.

We have just got back from walking Tammie over the park and am now relaxing writing this post.  Frank is reading, there's nothing on the tv and I decided I am going to spend an hour doing some more knitting and then am going to have a go at making a swiss roll.   Never done it before, so watch this space.

I think I may have to find a podcast to watch too......have a good evening everyone.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Visit to Regents Park

We was up and out by 9am today and got the District Line Train to Mile End.  Then we got the Hammersmith & City Line to Baker Street.  We turned left and walked along past the Statue of Sherlock Holmes..

We then walked a few more minutes through a crowd of people queueing up and then we realised what it was.....Madam Tussauds.  The green globe is the best picture I could get 
We crossed the road and walked down past Madam Tussauds and then turned left down York Road where the Academy of Music is on the right.  After a few minutes you are completely away from all the noise of the traffic and it feel's like your in a village.  There is a small bridge you walk over and this is the sight of the lake...the green is not a road, it's duck weed but the ducks don't seem to be bothered with it.  It's such a lovely photo........


We kept walking along and then entered a small part where there were tennis courts and a small cafe.  We came to the map of Regents Park and it's amazing how big it all is.  


You just could not see it all in one day and we only went around a tiny bit.  Here are some of the photos that I took and it's just lovely.





After about an hour we stopped off at a small coffee hut and had a blueberry muffin and coffee which was over £8 but, it was well worth it.  The photo directly above is the view from where we were sitting to eat our snack.  It reminded me of Greenwich Park a bit.  We sat there for quite a while watching people walk past, dogs running around chasing the squirrels and the birds chirping.  There was a lot of American visitors too, and tons of joggers.  I just wish I had my knitting because I could have stayed there for hours.

After half an hour we started walking again and walked out of the park to a sign that said Camden. It is so nice the part we were in.  There were little boutiques and trendy shops. It didn't feel like London at all.  However, after about 10 minutes it then got a bit more crazy and crowds of people so we hopped on the Northern Line to Waterloo Station where we went into Lower Marsh Street and my favourite yarn shop, I Knit, London.  

Now because it is our long weekend we decided to go to our favourite restaurant called Ecco which is a few shops from I Knit and let me tell you something.  If you want a 11" vegetarian pizza that is so tasty that even I ate a whole one to myself, then you really need to go there.  The pizza was £5.50 each and we had a black coffee and I had a cola.  Well worth the £14 because I couldn't eat anything else for the rest of the day.

Am now off for some rest and I am not going anywhere tomorrow, I really need to get more done of the blanket I am designing.  Bye for now.....




Friday, 26 September 2014

The Trio

I completely forgot to post a photo of Billy the Bear completed.  He was finished the next day and I think he is perfect.......


I only used about 25g from a 50g ball of acrylic yarn that I bought from Wilkinson Store at Heathway, Dagenham.  I always get a bit frustrated when positioning the limbs and I am really happy with the position of the arms however, the amount of times I positioned the legs and it looked ok which was then completely changed because after sewing on the 2nd one, it didn't look right.  I got fed up with it in the end and Frank said it looked ok so I decided to just leave it at that.

Here is a photo of the three toys I have crocheted in September and I can honestly say, I really do like crocheting animals more than knitting them.  They are quicker, less fiddly and unique.


Obviously, Bonnie Wee Mouse is knitted and was done a while ago.

I also had a bit of a surprise the past week.  I am a member of a knitting group on facebook where you post pictures of your current knitting projects or completed projects (just to show off really).  Anyway, I am currently designing a blanket for a cot and I posted this picture of it on to the groups page......


just to see what feedback I might get.  Well, within a few days I had over 360 hits and around 60 comments.  Some of which are wanting the pattern..so I have been frantically knitting away and writing the pattern as I go to get it done.  I was about half way completed on Wednesday this week but realised I made an error and had to frog it back to which I said a few 'curse' words.  However, I kept saying to myself  'if your going to take designing seriously, you need to do it properly'.  Today is Friday and it's 6:30pm and I am still trying to get more progress on it.    I only wish I didn't have to do the mundane tasks of going to work and housework, then I might get more things designed.  

Oh well, I guess I should get off this computer and get some more done.  I noticed Episode 10 is ready now of the Bakery Bear Podcast so am going to enjoy that until my Gardeners World comes on channel BBC2.  Then it will be off to bed to read some of my John Grisham book.

Have a good weekend and I hope to be venturing off to Wimbledon tomorrow so will take some pics for you.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Another toy started.........

Hi, yes it's another post.  That's two in one weekend, I must be crazy except there's nothing on the tv, we took Tammie out for her walk to the park and fed hungry geese and then cloud's were getting darker and nearer and particularly chilly so we headed back home.

After blogging yesterday I decided to start another toy called 'Billy the Bear', I have only done his head so far and he is absolutely adorable.  Here's a photo of him so far but with the magazine showing what he will look like...........


He is so cute....I started crocheting his body this afternoon whilst I was waiting for my hair colour to work it's magic to rid grey hair.  

I posted on a group that I am a member of, via Facebook, the picture of my afghan I am working on and I have had over 300 hits on it already and 54 comments from people saying how much they like the design and some saying they want to buy the pattern.  I was overwhelmed and I wanted to get more knitting of it done but got really frustrated because of having to do the mundane tasks of things like housework, washing and tidying.  I am determined to finish it now and try to work out how I can get my patterns up for sale on my blog as well as on ravelry.  There must be a way to do it, I just got to wait for my son to come visit me to show me.

I had a terrible nights sleep last night and ended up coming down stairs to finish my book, I was rather annoyed at the ending. Now I have to sort out what I can take to work with me to do at my lunch break.  I only have a 4 day working week this week, we booked a long weekend again so can't wait for that.  I do hope this week is going to be easier and not so stressful, it's so true that stress does not do your health much good.

Anyway, enough of my moaning and more about my crafts.  Remember my Primrose Afghan that I made, well I stuffed it in the washing machine today to get it washed and put away for the winter and here it is hanging out on the washing line ....

It looks so pretty and it smell's just like flowers after adding a little extra Comfort Fabric Softener to the wash.  You can see in this photo it was warm and sunny this morning with a nice breeze but now it's dull and grey and rather chilly.

Oh well, I'm off to try and keep awake so Billy the Bear's body is next on my agenda.  Hope you all have a good week...........



Saturday, 20 September 2014

Podcast & Saturday

Hi everyone,  I have had a really stressful, horrible week and am glad it's over for now.  Today is Saturday and we had a little lay in and got woken up with some Thunder so I had a cuppa and cooked scrambled egg on toast for me and Frank.  It then decided to chuck it down with rain so we waited a short while and then popped out for a couple of hours.  Treated us to some Thornton's chocolates and then Frank wasn't feeling too good so we came back home again.

I have been watching one of my favourite podcasts 'knitting den' and working some more on my next design afghan ...........


I haven't been taking my knitting to work this week, I decided to take the book I am reading instead.  I haven't been too well the past few weeks with ear problems and been getting some terrible headaches of a morning and thought it might be because of reading in bed and I don't want to stop reading this book, it's brilliant.  It's called 'The Testament' by John Grisham.

Anyway, I did manage to finish another stuffed toy yesterday and here he is........

This is Winston the Ardvark.

The pattern is from a book called 'Edward's Menagerie' by Kerry Lord.  I have had it quite some time on loan from the library but am now finished with it.  I have found another stuffy to crochet and can't wait to get started on it.  

On the subject of weather, what on earth is going on with it.  Colorado had some snow, there's tropical storms going on in other countries, we in UK have got the humidity back again. Mind you, the storm we had the other night was brilliant and the rain was coming down really heavy, it was great to watch it.  The mornings are 'autumnal' and you can see the tree's are turning their leaves to the golden colours which is great.  I can't wait for autumn to come along, in fact, I will be glad to see this year go. 

Oh well, I am going to do a bit more crafts and possibly make some more fudge.  I will leave you with a photo of Tammie sitting cosy on my bed.







Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Epping Forest

Hi, I am so thankful that my viewing numbers have gone up very quickly, especially since I had slackened off from my blog for a while.  I now have over 13,000 views and it's so pleasing to know that at least some people are interested in my crafts and ventures.

It's Tuesday today and it's about 11:20am and I have been in a lot of discomfort the past couple of days and today the pain has got worse.  I woke up for work and my ears and headache were terrible so I went back to sleep and woke up about half an hour ago.  I took more tablets which has eased the headache but the hearing is unbelievable at the moment and not in a good way.  I can't wait for my audiology test in October.

As the title of this post says, we went out yesterday (Monday) for a few hours to see what it was like at Epping.  We got on the district line to West Ham, got the Jubilee Line to Stratford and then got on the Central Line to Epping. It took around an hour all together and when we got off at Epping Station, the flowers and shrubs on the station are everywhere.  It looked just like a pretty village station and here is a photo .........

It's not a great photo because it was a bit dull at first and the clouds were coming over but you can see the huge sunflowers, begonias and coconut tree.  This was displayed on both platforms and the photo that we didnt take was of the huge hanging baskets everywhere of begonias and the colours are just so bright and beautiful.    Here's another photo of the station....

These pictures don't do it justice, you have to be there to see the station.

When you walk out of the station, there is a large car park to the left and opposite are some large wood selling companies and you have to turn right and walk up the small narrow road. You then come to a small junction and you do a left where the sign says 'town centre' and walk up a wide road which is full of detached houses and beautiful gardens.  After about 10 minutes you come to the high street and it was packed because there was a market on.  There's an old church that was built in 1908 and apart from that, it's just like any normal high street.  We went for lunch in a small cafe and then walked right down the end of the high street to see what was there.  Loads and loads of trees and the edge of a forest, we crossed over the road and turned round and took this next photo....

On the left of the sign it has three swords which mean 'Essex' and on the right is St George's Cross.

We then walked back on our self up the high street and had a look in a few of the shops, mainly some charity shops and then the market.  Here is a photo we took just as we started walking back on ourselves.


By the time we got to the end and walked back to the station it was around 2pm.  We made an error coming back though, the train's were a little messed up so when we got to Leytonstone which is where the train stopped, we decided to get the 145 bus to home and oh boy, wish we hadn't.  We use this bus a lot where we live and sometimes take it to Asda which is where the route finishes so we thought let's see what it's like at the begining of the 145 route.  It took flipping one and half hours to get home which would have only taken about 30 minutes if we had waited for the trains.  The traffic was horrendous, flipping school kids on the bus and by the time we got home we were so thirsty and poor Tammie had been alone for longer than  we expected.   

We sat down and had a drink and then Frank watched some tv and read his book and guess what I finished...............

Christmas Present No. 1 completed and Tammie approves.

I am off back to bed with some paracetamol and a cuddle with Tammie........


Friday, 12 September 2014

A Productive Day

We are having a long weekend, a relaxing break doing absolutely no work.  Today I woke up at about 8am and we had to wait in for the council to come and do a little repair in the bathroom.  Then I did two wash loads, hoovered through, made a Gluten Free Victoria Sponge Cake.........

and it's very sweet and delicious with a cup of coffee!  Did all this before 12 noon.

After clearing up and putting the washing on the line, I decided to make a start on a project that's been sitting and waiting for about 2 months.  Frank's Mum asked if I could cover a large seat pad for a telephone bench and I said 'yes, i will give it a go'.  She went and bought some expensive upholstery fabric and I saved it to do this weekend.  After a lot of thinking about how I am going to cover a large seat pad namely 44 inches long and 24 inches wide, I set about having a go.  After 3 hours and some tweaking I finally did it.  Am not 100% pleased with it because I would have liked to put a zip in but I was more worried about the cost of the fabric if I messed it up so, I made a flap of fabric and hemmed it so when it's placed onto the bench, it will be at the back.  Here is a picture of it completed and I will take a photo later of it in situ...........


It's not perfect but I am glad I had a go..

My next project to complete will be to finish the crochet blanket and then that will be a christmas present completed.  I am hoping to make some more toys once it's done.  

I have been feeding Crooked Billet almost every day and it's so lovely to see him or her, he flew over the fence yesterday and got right up close to me. I am going to leave you with a photo of him and I will be back again very soon.......






Monday, 8 September 2014

Billet is back......

Am absolutely excited because on the way home tonight I met Frank in the park and look who decided to show his face...............

Crooked Billet is BACK!    Frank was talking to me and I rudely interrupted when I saw Billet and I shouted like he was a long lost friend.  He is, I have told him all my worries every morning and cried my eyes out too but he was always there to say hello (with a bribery of bread of course).  He disappeared for about 4 months and I thought he was a gonner, but Frank insisted he may have flown over to Match stick Island to sew his oats (that's if he is a he and not a she) and I thought I wouldn't see him again.  But he is back, and I hope he will be there tomorrow for me to give him a treat.

It's Monday, almost finished and I just finished the last pink squares on my first big christmas project,  I have only got 18 more squares to do in a wine colour and then it's a few rows of white around the edge and I can call this project FINISHED!!  


I'm off, am too tired to keep writing. Have a good week......



Saturday, 6 September 2014

Highbury Barn, Islington & Fudge

Saturday morning started at 7.30 with a nice cuppa and then we popped out and got several trains to a small yarn shop in Blackstock Road.  The nearest train station is Arsenal, yes, Arsenal which although during quiet times it is lovely there, once the football fans fill it to see the latest match, it's packed like sardines apparently.

We went inside the yarn shop and it's run by a lovely family and they sell stacks of Rowan Yarn as well as your Acrylic.  I absolutely love acrylic yarn and the choice of colours.  I also asked if they sell safety eyes for toys and she had a load of them stacked in tubes on a top shelf.  I paid 15p for the orange ones and 18p for the black ones.  Even Hobbycraft don't stock them and I think I may have to come back to the shop again.

We then went to a cafe for a breakfast and then walked to the left and came to this funny coloured clock tower.......
This is Highbury Barn and it's quite busy with traffic.  Can you see the bus on the left, well it turns round there to start the route it takes.  We walked past the bus and thought I should take a photo for my blog friends so here you are........


We then carried on walking and came to an entrance called Church Path, or I like to call it 'Jack the Ripper Walk'....here's a few photos including Highbury Field's Cafe which is £1 for a can of coke.




We then headed home with a diversion to Stratford's Mark's & Spencer's so I can get some Clotted Cream for fudge making.

I won't bore you with another photo of how its made, I shall bore you with a photo of a Kilner Jar filled with Coffee & Mixed Nut Fudge.  I made so much that we have enough to give as a gift to Ma tomorrow.

Oh well, I am off to do more crocheting and to watch the quiz programme The Chase.  Bye for now....



Thursday, 4 September 2014

That Thursday Feeling

Am I the only one who realises that the day's just fly past and suddenly you think, 'blimey it's the weekend soon...hooray'.  Only to get the hump when it's Sunday morning and you know it's back to being a robot again the next day.  I cannot tell you how many times a day, each and every day, I have thought about packing it all in and sticking to my designing.  I go to bed dreaming about owning my own yarn shop with a gorgeous flat upstairs, a garden out the back, a few spare rooms for workshops and tutorials and a large table for knit/crochet nights full of chatter or even just quiet, enjoying a cuppa and a nice home made cake.    However, reality hits me the next morning when I wake up at silly o'clock hour.    Nan always said 'the day's seem shorter, the older you get' and when she said that I was in my early 20's with two young children thinking to myself, 'yeah, but that's a long way away'.

Suddenly, 20+ years it's suddenly become true and as much as I love being independent and kind of enjoy my job, I would still love to eat, sleep, drink, dream and do my crafts all day, every day, 7 days a week. Oh well, it's best to stop dreaming and get on with reality.....but I wonder how many of us are truly doing the career we really wanted.  The sad person that I am, I always wanted to be a Secretary and well, I've done that.  I think I am going to get a t-shirt printed with on the front 'pass me my tea and my knitting, and back away SLOWLY'.

The craft's are going ok, the crochet blanket I am making as a Christmas Present is about 85% complete.  I have started the pink rows which consist of 18 squares and then I have to do 18 wine coloured squares.  Here is an updated photo........


I am excited at the fact that i get to crochet all the way around it to complete it. I know it's sad, but I just love doing that.  I'm not sure whether to do a row of each colour all the way around or to just do white. If anyone has got any ideas, please let me know.

It's been a pleasant six weeks of walking through my local park whilst the school kids are on their summer break but today, the quiet has kind of gone now.  The noise three teenage kids can make in a large park is horrendous.  They were talking above each other and getting louder and louder and I felt like saying to them 'be quiet and enjoy the flipping birds singing' but I bit my tongue and just hung around till they were off in the distance.  Then I fed the ducks and geese and blimey, the two large swans came up to be fed and I fed them by hand...the lady swan was so gentle taking the food out of my hand but the male, he must have been starving.  

Here's a photo of them.  They did have a baby a few months ago but we saw it a few weeks old and I did post pictures of it here, but it's still not been seen so I am only hoping the park rangers took it......here is its Mum and Dad though.


They are huge birds and their wing span must be at least 6 feet wide.  They make me laugh because when you see them walking towards you they waddle like they have just had a three course meal.....

Oh well, I'm off to bed to dream of my shop, and hopefully, in the morning I can do a bit of crochet before I head off to the PIT!!!