Monday, 1 September 2014

Summer Reading

This summer I have read these four books:

Bones Under the Beach Hut by Simon Brett

This book is from a series about two amateur sleuths Carole and Jude, who solve murder mysteries that they happen to stumble upon.  It is very "Rosemary and Thyme" in style and kept me interested but I wouldn't rush out to buy any more in the series. 

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

One of those books that I kept meaning to read one day. Used by many schools in the UK for GCSE English Literature but not liked by former Education Secretary Michael Gove because it is American literature. Being a teacher I have heard the students talk about this book over the years and so I knew where it was heading but that didn't distract me from the tension that slowly builds up over the course of the book. Steinbeck paints you a picture of the setting and the characters that you won't forget. The shear hopelessness of their situation is lesson for us all in so many ways; I for one hope this remains on the GCSE reading list.

Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore

This is the second book I have read by Santa Montefiore as I read The Summer House a year or so ago. There is similarity between the two being that of rich families and their troubles, which might put me off reading any more if I'm honest. Whilst I enjoyed these books and the stories that gradually unfold, I did find them predictable. Anyhow - this book follows Ellen as she runs away to Ireland to escape her forthcoming marriage, she falls in love with the place, her long lost family and of course - a man, Conor! Part of the story unfolds through the eyes of Conor's dead wife, which does give an interesting aspect to the events as you move along. 

One thing I do like about Montefiore's books are the front covers which all have the back view of a woman alone in a large landscape. 

Indelible Ink by Fiona McGregor

I bought this whilst on holiday in Australia and I chose it because it is set in Sydney. I think having been to a lot of the areas mentioned in the book really helped bring it alive for me but if you haven't been to Sydney don't let that put you off reading this book - it's a gem. I should just say though, if you don't like course language then this isn't the book for you. 

Indelible Ink is told through the eyes of Marie King - aged 59 and her three grown up children, but mostly through Marie. It is a realistic and gritty tale of these Sydneysiders and their trials and tribulations. Marie is divorced and finding a new way of life through getting tattoos; her daughter Blanche is a career woman struggling with her ticking hormonal clock; Clark is a single dad in love with a married woman and Leon is in love with a man who has moved on from him. 

A memorable book that leaves me wanting to read more FionaMcGregor (I would love to see this as a film or a mini-series too). 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Knitting Knotes - Twinkly Fibonacci

Twinkly Fibonacci - using Adriafil Giada 

I decided to knit up one my old 1980s patterns and I managed to get hold of my favourite twinkly yarn Adriafil Giada at a good price. Sadly there wasn't enough white to do the pattern itself. So I decided to use a Fibonacci stripe pattern that I had used before. To give credit where it is due - it is based on Candy Stripes by Fiona McTague in the Simply Knitting Jan 2009 issue.

So here it is at the beginning.

Picture with the original rib which I decided was too messy. 


Yarn: Adriafil Giada 
Colour A = 6 x 50g balls - white
Colour B = 2 x 50g balls - grey
Colour C = 2 x 50g balls - pink
Colour D = 2 x 50g balls - green

Needles: 3.25mm 3.25mm circular needle and 4mm and 4mm circular needle.
Yarn sewing needle
Oddment of similar colour yarn without the sequins for sewing up.

Finished measurements

Length:  59cm
Length to armhole: 34cm
Chest:  110cm

Here are my Knitting Knotes for my adaptation of this pattern.


  • Using 3.25mm - cast on 109 sts and knit 10 cm in K1 P1 rib inc 1 stitch on the last row = 110sts.
  • Change to 4mm and knit in stocking stitch increasing 1 stitch each end of every 3 rows until there are 126 stitches. 
  • Fibonacci stripe pattern - over 28 rows - knit twice. 
4 - B - grey
2 - C - pink
6 - D - green
4 - A - white
2 - B - grey
4 - C - pink
2 - D - green
4 - A - white

Do 4,2,6 again and then continue in white to ***52cm - divide for neck.


Knit straight until work measures 59cm.
Cast off 14sts at beg of next 3 rows.

Match other side. 


Same as back to ***
Continue in white to 45cm divide for neck.

42/42/42 - finish as for back. 


Pick up and rib (1x1) using 3.25mm circular needle.

  • Down left front 51 sts - place marker on last stitch - this must always be a knit stitch. 
  • Across front 42sts.
  • Up right front 51sts - place marker on first stitch - this must always be a knit stitch.
  • Down right back 24sts - place marker on last stitch - this must always be a knit stitch. 
  • Across back 42sts.
  • Up left back 24sts - place marker on first stitch - this must always be a knit stitch.
Knit 10 rows 1x1 rib - always dec 1st either side of the marked stitches - keep them a constant knit stitch.

Cast off.


I did these in the Fibonacci pattern. 

Pick up and knit 106sts around the armhole. Knit 2 more rows. 
Decrease 2sts evenly. 
Knit 5 rows.
On the next row decrease 2 sts evenly. 
Repeat until there are 90sts.

Knit 4 rows decrease 2 evenly on each = 82sts.
Change to 3.25mm

Knit 7 rows in 1x1 rib.
Cast off

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Australian Adventure - Beach Baths

I loved the beach baths on the Aussie beaches - here are a few:

Pearl Beach - Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, Central Coast, NSW

Bondi Beach, NSW

Bronte Beach, NSW

Clovelly Beach, NSW

Cronulla Beach, NSW