Saturday, December 8, 2007

Avoiding Burn Out

First - the knitting: Slouch Socks by Sue Morgan of GK knitted in an Opal sock yarn thingy who's ball band I cant find LOL. Then the real reason for posting:

I have decided, reluctantly, to stop blogging until the new year. FIL is still in hospital and likely to be there for a while. On Monday MIL goes into hospital as well for treatment and further tests. Unfortunately they are 2 different hospitals 12 miles apart!!! In the interests of everyones sanity DH and I are cutting out anything we can time-wise, so the blogging has to go. They only have DH and I. MIL is an only child and FIL is the last of his line so its us or no-one. Its so sad when age and illness creeps up on people and they have so little family for support. I am sure many of you have been there, or are there now.
I hope you all have a Joyful Christmas-time and wish you a peaceful and happy new year : )

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Glub

I got my first yarn from the Glove Club at and I couldnt wait to cast on for these. The pattern is in 'Not Just Socks' and the colours will be just right to go with my new black duffle coat : ). I'm casting on the second glove today. Its been a hectic week so its great to get some knitting time this weekend.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Favourite Mug

I have noticed in Blogdom the interest shown in one's favourite mug and what it tells others about oneself, so I thought I would put a photo of mine up. It seems to sum up my view of dieting, and life in general somehow LOL

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Back to the Knitting

I finished by Summer Fruits socks on Monday and still had some yarn left, so..........
I made a totally frivolous mobile phone cozy for myself. It was a great way to get some practice at fair-isle knitting on dpns. I also did the 3 needle cast off for the first time. This new love affair with pink, lilac and other girlie colours is getting out of hand LOL

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Son's Birthday.

OK, soppy mother alert here!!!

My miracle baby, the one doctors said I could never have, is 13 years old tomorrow. If I still kept up my fathers faith he would be having his Bar Mitzvah. A trainee adult.

He is a sweet natured child. Sometimes wilful of course, but always open to reason. He is a cheerful person with a very good sense of humour and a strong artistic streak. I love him so much and he is very precious to me and DH.

I cant imagine him as a man at the moment...he is small for his age and still very much a child....but one day soon he will shoot up and his voice will break and he will be trying out his wings.

It is as it should be, but he is the last baby, my youngest child (3 surviving children out of 11), and I feel quite ambivalent about it all. I have enjoyed the last 13 years and hope he will have a happy future as he begins to slowly find his independence and make more of his own decisions over the next few years. Here's to the next 5 years of puberty and arguments !!!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A bit more spinning

A bit more spinning on my drop spindle. The pencil rovings in the jar are from the Yarn Yard and spin like a dream. It is 100% organic merino and I have 1 spindle full already. Very soft with a gentle lustre.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Next Generation

Firstly - this is my son on a church organ. It isnt any old organ however.......this one was donated by, and played by my son's Great-grand Father nearly 80 years ago.

My son is the 4th generation to use it, now that he is big enough to reach the pedals. It was quite a weepy moment when the tradition moved on another generation last Friday.

And this is the knitting shot - a simple hat for said son. Its the basic hat pattern by Anne Budd.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Strawberry Sorbet

200g of BFL from the Yard Yard. Isnt it scrummy? Thank you Natalie : )

And I finally finished my Breast Cancer socks. The yarn was dyed for me by Brightdyes - thanks Chrissy - and it is the Opal basic sock pattern from Get Knitted. The fluffy bunny is a present from my son : )

Monday, October 22, 2007

New chickens, a cat.....and a sock

Yes, we have 3 more chickens. They are minature bantams, and tiny as the gratuitous foot shot shows. Their eggs are the size of quails eggs and the chickens are very tame. A neighbour got them for his son but they were a bit too much for him, so he came round with these beauties in a cat basket and gave them to us : )

These are Silvia and Cocoa - our full sized bantams. I know you have seen them before, but I didnt want them to feel left out of the photo-shoot LOL

This is Pompette - our black Silkie bantam. Her brother (see posting a few days ago) had to go back to his breeder as his crowing was a bit too loud, so we just have her now.

The front minature bantam is Twilight, the middle one is Dawn and the one at the back is called Stormy.

My boy cat - Ebony - he is a rescue cat and very soppy. Can you tell I love him ???? He lies down in the chicken pen and the hens just come right up to him and shoo him away.

And finally, a knitting shot. I have finished one of my pink socks for Breast Cancer Awareness month. And I have checked my breasts.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

We have Eggs!!!

Here are the clever girly chickens who laid them: Cocoa is the brown lacewing, Silvia is the silver lacewing. They are both wyandots. Pompom is the fluffy silkie in the foreground who just wouldn't get out of the way - a real diva-chick LOL

And here are the magnificent eggs. They weren't all laid on the same day, I hasten to add. The chickens had been laying for 3 days before it occurred to small son that a photo might be a good idea before we had them for tea.
And yes........they were yummy to eat : )

Monday, October 15, 2007

Alpaca For Sale

I have 3 whole Alpaca fleeces for sale. I have white, honey and a rich chestnut brown. I have put the fleece into 100g bags and am selling them for £4 per 100g plus postage. If you would like some, please send an email to: replacing the AT with @

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ryton Organic Gardens

I am a complete numpty when it comes to naming flowers - so I wont attempt to catalogue them. Just enjoy these beauties and remember - it is the middle of October !!!!!

This carved totem pole is in the Childrens garden along with a carved sheep and a wendy house just like Sleeping Beauty would have had.

It was a lovely day and brought lots of inspiration for next year.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Green Tomato and Onion Chutney

The fruits of our allotment. I found the recipe in a Readers Digest magazine. I have made 4 lbs of this and now I just have to resist it for 6 weeks until it has matured. Watch out cheese and ham - the chutney is on its way!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Lazy Kate Cover

My poor Lazy Kate has been gathering dust for weeks. We are waiting for the walls to be re-plastered in my spinning/sewing area and the bare brick sheds dust like there is no tomorrow. No matter where I put it or how often I dust it, the next day my Lazy Kate is covered in dust again. I had put a plastic bag over it, which did the trick but didnt look very nice.

The wonderful Franney from the Crafty Threads 'n' Yarn forum makes beautiful knitting bags. I ordered 2 from her and, voila - one of them fits over my Lazy Kate perfectly!! No more dusty bobbins and yarn and no more grotty plastic bag : ). The other bag is being used for my current knitting project of pink socks. It definately adds to the knitting experience to use a hand made, beautifully finished and lined knitting bag!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Body Hair - Unfeminine?

I have just watched the program on channel 5 made for women, by women, about body hair.

The words used to describe normal female hair growth were 'disgusting', 'revolting', 'unacceptable', 'dirty' etc. These are WOMEN talking about normal, natural female bodies as nature intended.

Are periods disgusting, unacceptable, dirty or revolting? Is it 'unfeminine' to menstruate, sweat, pass wind, get dirt under ones fingernails?

We fought for our daughters right to equal opportunities and access to the jobs of their choice. Our mothers and grandmothers fought for the right to stop damaging their bodies with corsets, stop wearing hampering skirts and restrictive clothing, and the right to compete equally with men on every level.

Where have we got in 100 years if the basic human female form - hair and all, is decried by women themselves as 'unfeminine' and 'dirty'?

ALL women are Real Women, no matter how fat, thin, tall, short, hairy, etc. and are acceptable. I wonder how European women watching this program feel to know that their culture of natural body hair is seen so negatively. Hopefully they have the sense to dismiss the premise that natural womanhood is somehow 'unwomanly'. IMHO!!

A Look Can Say It All

Many of you know that my FIL is terminally ill and at the palliative stage of his illness. Recently I have found myself becoming irritated and resentful of the amount of time I seem to spend being 'Secretary'. I got annoyed at having to make phone calls, type letters and wishing he had got his affairs in order months ago while he was able to do things himself.

Today I whizzed in to the farm to 'get my orders' and, for the first time in over a week, I actually looked at him, directly - you know? My FIL has beautiful eyes which DH and son have inherited. They are deep blue, almost sapphire, big eyes, very striking. They look as if they can see into your soul. We sort of connected and just hugged and cried together and for the first time I felt like his daughter. I realised that the grief and loss is two way. He is having to let go of us, just as we have to let go of him.

I knew then that he was keeping going for MIL. He was tired of this life and longing to stop fighting, but he wanted to leave his affairs in order so that MIL will be financially taken care of for the rest of her life. We never said a word, but I knew.

No more irritation and resentment from me. It is a privilege to help this man bravely tackle temporal problems through his pain and grief at leaving us. I hope that, when my time comes, I can live up to his benchmark and show as much courage.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lollipop Socks

This is my latest venture into sockdom. The pattern is 'Slouch Socks' by Sue Morgan - but modified for my more shapely (fat) ankles. The yarn is a discontinued Opal Lollipop. I wish I could get some more of this shade as it is beautiful. Anyone out there with some shade 1015 they would like to sell or swop?

I really MUST invest in a new camera. Mine is one of the earliest digital cameras and only has 2.1 mega pixels. My 12 year old son will be advising me on my next purchase. Any suggestions of a good one out there?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cascading Colours

Look what my Postie brought today - the last of my Kureyon destashing money stash (if that makes sense LOL) It is 22 skeins of Cascade 220, 1 skein of each of my favourite colours. Thank you Get Knitted for fast service and some sweeties as well : ) I also had arrive 15 balls of Alaska from Scaninavian Knitting Desings, they are all black to set off the vibrant rainbow colours.

Finally I got the basket. It is already lined and only cost £4.99 from I'm just going to leave this basket full of goodies out for a few days to admire it : )

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Green Tomatoes

My tomatoes plants have burst into action in the last 2 weeks. The race is now on to see if any of them ripen. If not - has anyone got a recipe for Green Tomato Chutney? I'm sure I had a recipe,, but I cant find it - the perils of tidying up and sorting out!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

All Better Now

No photo today I'm afraid. I must change the batteries in my camera. I'm a lot better now, thanks for all the good wishes. The Dalek has gone back into son's room to frighten the cats and I'm busy knitting my 10th pair of socks this year. Progress piccy tomorrow : )

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I have the Lurghy

I have the dreaded lurghy (Goon show fans will know what I mean), and Colonel Bloodknock (AKA DH) has insisted on my having bed rest and copious cups of tea. While I recover, to keep you all amused, I have put up a photo of one of the knitted Daleks I made for my son. I'm hoping it will exterminate the germs LOL

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back from the NEC

I went to the NEC on Thursday and Friday this week. It was wonderful to see so many beautiful things and meet so many interesting people.

The exhibition seemed much smaller this time. None of the big knitting manufacturers had a stall and there were far fewer card crafting stalls.

On Thursday I went to browse and found these wonderful bags of rainbows from 21st Century Yarns. The one in the middle is small skeins of Shetland wool - approx 4 ply - which will make an interesting pair of mittens. The other 2 bags are short lengths of pencil rovings in all different colours approx 10-12" long for playing with : )

I had a lovely time in the Relax and Knit corner run by the UK Handknitters. They were really busy teaching lots of people how to knit. I admire their patience and dedication. Its funny to put faces to names of people I 'know' from the Internet.

On Friday I was on the stand of the Association of Guilds of Weaver, Knitters and Dyers. We were very busy all day. I took my drop spindle and demonstrated with it. People seemed fascinated by the way the fluffy stuff sheep wear turns into soft, beautiful yarn to make things from. The idea that a simple spindle could produce yarn captured their imaginations. I think my handspun, hand-knitted bag has been fondled to death LOL. We sold lots of CD spindle spinning kits as many were inspired to try for themselves. I came home very tired, but also elated that such interest was shown in our crafts, and happy to have spent 2 days in the company of like minded people.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mohair De-stash - 3p a gram plus postage!!!

I have 18 x 25g balls of this. It is 95% mohair and it has a thread of shimmery rainbow in it too.

I have 8 x 25g balls of this in jet black. It is 75% mohair and 25% wool.

I have 2 x 25g balls of pink, 2 x 25g balls of yellow and 4 x 25g balls of blue. It is the same type as the black above.

I have 10 x 50g balls of this. It is 100% mohair.

All these yarns are the same weight/needle size/ gauge and are 16sts x 22 rows on 5.5mm needles. I am selling them for 3p a gram, plus postage.

If you are interested in buying, please email me at: replacing AT with @

Thanks, Claire

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sublime Spindles are 1 Year Old

We are celebrating with a new spindle. This one is a silk spindle, 1 oz in weight, made of Pear with a Beech shaft and a Mahogany tip. The support bowl is deeper than our previous style and is a layer of Pear and Mahogany. It reminds me of White and Caramel chocolate.
Many, many thanks to all our customers and to all those who have supported and encouraged us throughout our first year. Thanks also to the shops who stock our Sunflower Swifts and Sublime Spindles and those who have allowed us to showcase our wares on their websites. You are all wonderful and we appreciate your faith and kindness.
I had better stop there as this is beginning to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech LOL. Happy spinning and swifting to you all - here's to next year!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sunday Spinning

A basket full of dyed rovings, another basket full of Jacobs wool washed and ready for carding, an empty lazy kate and my choice of spindles..........can it get any better?