Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Blue Stag Collection

The Blue Stag Hat

Using Basque Hat with Cables and Rowan Silk Twist I made a delightfully warm beret that I think I shall be wearing for years to come:)

The Blue Stag Scarf

Using Staghorn as a basis I used up all of my leftover Rowan Silk Twist to make the scarf. I did:

K2 P2 K3 P6 K3 P2 (K16 - using the staghorn cable) P2 K3 P6 K3 P2 K2

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Crochet Notes - Kata Cushion and Harriet Cushion

Two more cushions for my living room:)

Harriet Cushion

Kata Cushion


2 x £3.75 cushions from Tesco
Left over yarn in purples and oatmeal. (4 ply and DK)
3.75mm hook
yarn sewing needle

Yarns gathered and awaiting transformation. 


  • Using the Kata Square by Penny Davidson (beautifully written instructions) make 4 squares. 
  • I left out the last round and sewed all four squares together.
  • Crochet a round of three treble clusters.
  • Sew on to cushion - job done:)

Harriet on the left and Kata on the right.

The Harriet Cushion is exactly the same but using the Harriet Square by Carolyn Christmas and the final edge round is 1 treble into each treble below.

Both patterns are extremely easy to follow as they are very well written and they use American terminology. 

Close up of Harriet

Close up of Kata

An excellent way to use up odds and ends of yarn - very satisfying.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Knitting Knotes - Rustic Pru 2

After knitting Rustic Prudence back in February 2012, I found that I had a whopping 360g left over - this was because James C Brett - Rustic Aran comes in 400g balls. 

I have worn Rustic Prudence a lot - but it is quite a big over-sized garment, so I wondered if I could make a smaller version with the left overs.

And the answer was yes I could:)



Yarn: 360g James C Brett - Rustic Aran
Needles: 4.5mm and 4.5mm circular and 5mm
Measurements: Chest - 124cm and Length - 61cm

  • Cast on with 4.5mm - 106 sts, K2 P2 for 20 rows.
  • Change to 5mm and decrease to 90 sts.
  • Knit 35 cms in stocking stitch.
  • Cast off 4sts at beg of next 2 rows = 82 sts.**
  • Dec 1 st each end on next 5 alt rows = 72 sts.
  • Continue until length for armhole is 25 cms.
  • Cast off 8 sts at the beg of the next 4 rows = 40sts.
  • Put sts on a holder.
  • Same to **
  • Next row - Dec 1 st at beg - Divide for front - knit 40sts turn. 
  • Dec 1 st at neck edge on alt purl rows as well as ........
  • Dec 1 st at arm edge a further 4 times = 31sts
  • Continue with neck edge decrease until 16 sts are on the needle.
  • Continue straight until arm is 25c ms.
  • Cast off 8 sts at the beg on the next 2 rows. 
  • Match shaping on the other side. 
Join all seams.


Pick up 118 sts using 4.5 mm and knit 3 rows in K2 P2 rib - cast off loosely. 


Pick up 58 sts down one side of the neck, pick up 2 in the middle (ensure these are K2) pick up 58 sts up the other side and 40 sts from holder along the back neck. 

Knit 10 rows in K2 P2 rib.

Middle sts - 2 sts before middle 2 - K2 tog and 2 sts after middle 2, SSK. 

Cast off loosely. 

Weave in ends and block!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Chick Lit Review

Guilty Pleasure Reading

Sometimes it is nice to just sit and relax with a simple story that is not challenging or demanding, just plain and simple romance and drama and humour. 

And if you're in that mood then these three books fit the bill.

Milly Johnson - It's Raining Men ***

Three over-worked career women go away for a break and find more than just a relaxing time. They find themselves in a small village and clearly unwanted by some of the locals - but not all. Things are not quite what they seem in the village and the women are soon trying to work out a riddle. In addition they have to work out the riddle of their own love lives. 

Thoroughly enjoyable, with some very memorable scenes. 

Kate Harrison - Old School Ties ***

OMG - Tracey Mortimer, we all know someone like her and she is thoroughly unlikeable but you do keep wanting to find out more and this is a real page turner. Tracey is the subject of a reality TV show about a school reunion but her rose coloured glasses are a different shade to everyone else's. Helen Morris is the heroine, a thoroughly delightful character and one that we all want to know. 

I read this very quickly and enjoyed it all. 

Sheila O'Flanagan - Connections **

A collection of short stories about a group of holiday makers in the Caribbean. Each self contained story is enjoyable but being a collection of stories the depth in the characters is not quite as good as the other two books - understandably. Some memorable and touching moments from life, that we are all familiar with. 

This would be good on a half hour commute as you could get through a whole story in that time. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Knitting Knotes - Purple Puff

Purple Puff using - Puff Daddy

For this project I used:

2 skeins of Hoooked Spagetti
12mm needles
4 pillows
3 bags of toy stuffing
1 single sheet
Darning needle

and the fab pattern available on Ravelry - Puff Daddy by Anna and Heidi Pickles

I used 40 stitches and knitted almost all of the 2 skeins - I just left some for sewing up.

Upon cast off it was 55 inches long and 14 and a half inches wide. 

To gather I threaded yarn through the edge. 

1 end gathered.
Some of the stuffing and the sheet. 

I gathered one end and sewed up the seam. Then I lined it with the sheet and put the stuffing in. My last task was gather the other end and tighten as I went. 
My Purple Puff :)

My thoughts:

I love this yarn and love the pattern too - and I will definitely be thinking of some more projects to do with this yarn:)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

WIP Report 35

How many WIPs? 3

Shadow Sox
Summer Garden Sock Blanket
Purple Puff

How many WIPs started since last report? 2

Bargain Bucket
Purple Puff

How many WIPs completed since last report?  1

Bargain Bucket

 Frogged WIPS? 2

Lacy Flower Bag - changed my mind.
Bargain Bucket Top - quite frankly - disgusting!

Hibernating WIPs? 2

Twinkly Pink:in hibernation because I won't need it now until next summer and I might change my mind about the project I make with this yarn. 

Rustic Pru 2: 
in hibernation because I'm not sure I want another sleeveless pullover. 


There's not much to show really as I have frogged the main project I worked on - the awful Bargain Bucket!

However I have begun a Puff Daddy in purple Hoooked Spagetti. Here is my progress so far:

I love this yarn and I'm definitely going to use it to make a new bathroom mat.

I have done a bit more to Shadow Sox but I'm still on the first sock.

I have also made more squares for my Summer Garden Sock Blanket - which is destined as an extra layer for my bed in winter - so I'd better get a move on with that. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Garden Diary - 7th September 2013

Late Summer Floral Display

This time last year my garden was virtually depleted of flowers and I had to go and buy some Cosmos, Dahlias and Asters to brighten it up for a garden party we were having. I vowed then to ensure that I had all three plants in abundance this year - and what a fab choice - take a look..........

A display dominated by Delphiniums and a Gladioli but look at the pretty Cosmos and Asters. 

At last an Aster is out - I grew these ones form a packet of seeds - gorgeous and worth the wait.

Lovely big Dahlias lead the way but the Hollyhocks are coming to an end now.

Dahlias - Mero Star and Sir Alf Ramsey blending in with the Cosmos.

 Such a difference to my empty garden this time last year. I grew the Cosmos and Asters from seed and Dahlias from tubers, so all good value for money too.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Dahlia Mero Star

This is what I call a flower.......................

I bought the tuber for this Dahlia at a local garden centre - I shall definitely be returning to see what other gems they have. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Garden Diary - 25th August 2013

Delightful Dahlias.........

At last my Dahlias are blooming beautifully, I grew most of them from corms so I'm quite proud of them, take a look. 

Sir Alf Ramsey

This is quite simply the biggest Dahlia I have ever seen - it is called a Mero Star. 


However I'm still anticipating the Asters which are all in bud but taking a painfully long time to bloom. 

Some are annuals grown from seed.

Some are grown from last year such as this Aster Chatterbox.

Some are new plants from the nursery.

And this beautiful blue Aster which I bought last year is budding but much smaller than last year.

Lastly, it has been a brilliant year for butterflies and here is a Peacock one. 

Monday, 12 August 2013

WIP Report 34

How many WIPs? 5

Shadow Sox
Summer Garden Sock Blanket
Rustic Pru Two
Lacy Flower Bag
Twinkly Pink

How many WIPs started since last report? 3

Retro Zig Zigs
Lacy Flower Bag
Twinkly Pink

How many WIPs completed since last report?  3

Twinkly Fern
Thai Palace Cushion
Retro Zig Zags


Retro Zig Zags

This top is a conflation of two 1980s patterns. I like the zig zag pattern of the vest top with the style of the string vest! I did make both of these back in 1985 for my holiday to Crete, but sadly couldn't find any decent, focused snaps of them. 

For my Knitting Knotes see here.

Thai Palace Cushion

This cushion is destined for my patio. For my Crochet Notes see here:)

Twinkly Fern 

For my Knitting Knotes see here. 

Lacy Flower Bag

A chance to use up leftover yarn - always satisfying. 

Twinkly Pink 

This is basically another version of Twinkly Fern - except for the fact that I am doing a different Sirdar Sunseeker lace pattern on the top. 

Shadow Sox, Rustic Pru Two and Summer Garden Sock Blanket

No changes to these at present since the last report (they are wintery projects).  

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Knitting Knotes - Retro Zig Zags

Completed Retro Zig Zags


Yarn: Stylecraft Cotton Classique (4 x 100g balls) Tropical Paradise
Needles: 3.25mm 3.25mm ciruclar needle and 5mm
Yarn sewing needle
3.75mm crochet hook

22 sts and 30 rows to 10cm

Finished measurements

Length: 24 inches / 60 cm
Length to armhole: 16 inches / 40 cm
Armhole to shoulder: 14 inches / 20 cm
Finished chest size: 48 inches /  122 cm

This top is a mash up of two patterns that I first made in about 1985 for my holiday to a sleepy little town called Malia on the gorgeous island of Crete. Malia is no longer sleepy - in fact no one sleeps there, it is a party town full of drunk Brits - not my cup of tea at all these days.

I bought this yarn to make a short sleeve cardie - but looked at weight not yardage and didn't have enough - really I should know better at my age. So I decided to make a summer top and began thumbing through my old patterns. I wore the white lacy top a huge amount during the summer of 1985 but I didn't wear the vest top much because the pattern had gone a bit wrong, although it doesn't show too much because of the textured yarn. When I began knitting it this time I realised that row 8 and row 10 are in the wrong order - aged 19 I might not have realised that.

Also this time I decided to do stocking stitch but the actual pattern is in garter stitch. 
You can use any lacey pattern of your choice:)


  • Using 3.25mm cast on 113 sts and knit 12 rows in 1x1 rib.
  • Next row - decrease 4 stitches evenly across the row. 
  • Change to 5mm (I love the drape of this yarn on 5mm needles).
  • Begin 20 row lace pattern and continue until * 6 pattern repeats have been completed. (120 rows)
  • Divide for neck and complete one side at a time - 30, 49, 30
  • Keep pattern correct - dec 1 st at neck edge on every row until 25 sts.
  • Knit to row 10 of the pattern (130 rows in all).
  • Cast off


As for back until *
  • Begin 20 row lace pattern and continue until * 5 pattern repeats have been completed. (100 row)
  • Divide for neck and complete one side at a time - 40, 29, 40
  • Keep pattern correct - decrease at neck edge on alternate rows until 25 sts.
  • Knit to row 130 ( or row 10 of the 6th pattern repeat). 
  • Cast off.

Sew up shoulder seams and side seams leaving gap required.


  • Pick up and K1 P1:
  •  - along the back - 10, 49, 10
  • - along the front - 40, 29, 40
  • Knit 12 rows in rib pattern.
  • On rows 4,5,6,7,8 - decrease 2 sts - one either side of each shoulder line (4 sts in total per round). This gives the neckline a nice round shape. 
  • Cast off in rib.
  • To add further shape to neckline and make it sturdy - thread a piece of the yarn through the rib pattern on the wrong side all the way round - but don't pull this too tight. 


Using 3.75mm hook - do 3 rounds of double crochet (US = single crochet).

Weave in all ends and block. 

A bit boxy when lying flat - as it is holey I wear it with a white vest top - overall I'm very pleased with my mash up of 1980s' patterns. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Garden Diary - 3rd August 2013

Blooming Marvelous in Suburbia 

In my August garden are some fabulous blooms and I still have the Asters and Dahlias in bud. 

Hydrangea - with some electric blue and deep pink blooms - looking stunning in the dappled light of my woodland glade. 

Bourgonville - recently purchased and has a fresh bloom already. 

The Jewel Bed - newly planted with the addition of a Lobelia and a Phlox. 

Cosmos - grown from seed. 

Lynthrum - purchased at the Eden project two years ago. 

The Hot Bed - loving the Gaillardia at the front:)

Pansies - from last years pots and tubs and a chrysanthemum regrown from last year.  

Crochet Notes - Tudor Rose, Cappuccino Lace and Daisy Loop Bed Topper

Using Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky and Rowan Aran Cotton with a strand of lace added. 6mm hook. (8 balls of blackcurrant and 1 teal.)...