Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me : )

I can't get my photos to load in order so this could be a bit confusing.

Above is the herdy mousemat from DS. Below are some 'old lady' slippers I treated myself to as I wanted a warm pair big enough to wear with my handknitted socks.

It was my birthday yesterday and I got some super-duper presents and a hand made card from DS.

I always hankered after an Aga. Living in a tiny terraced house in a city, its not looking likely that it will happen so...DH bought me a Teapot shaped like an Aga. The kettle is the lid. Isnt it clever : )

Close up so you can see the words on the front of the card DS made me.

DS also bought me a herdy mug and mouse pad, and DD2 bought me The Knitters Year which has lots of lovely patterns in.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meet Philomena

A new friend has arrived at my house. She is called Philomena MacMoore and is very chatty and slightly scatter-brained. I cant think who she takes after : )

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Photos of Winter magic

Arent I Blessed?

This is the view I had from my back garden last week.

I am so lucky to have an old Victorian cemetery at the back of my house and no-one overlooking us. We also a balcony to stand out and look out from which is big enough to have a table and chairs on and I can see over the back garden and into the landscaping of the cemetery, just like a country park from yesteryear.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back Online

I'm back online again. Dont know how long for, but its a relief.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I'm afraid our internet is down at the moment. According to aol, it is due to 'atmospheric conditions' and they dont know when it will be back on. I am not impressed.

I am typing this on a friends computer and will be popping in when I can until this is resolved : (

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Its official: We have Snow. Only 1/2" but still, the snow has settled and its real!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

3rd Forest Canopy

This scruffy looking bundle of knitting is actually going to be a Forest Canopy Shawl. When it is finished and blocked it will miraculously transform into a thing of beauty (I hope). I am using 5mm needles and Patons Diploma Gold 4 ply in a solid Burgundy colour in real life. The screen wont do the colour justice. I am going to do 18 repeats of the pattern and 12 edging repeats so it will be approx twice the size of the other two.
In other news: I have finished the socks : )

I have a rotten streaming snuffly cold and sore throat - the first proper cold I have had for nearly 10 years. I think it may be Piglet flu as its not bad enough (just) to be Swine flu.
Its going to be a cold Winter. The squirrels at the end of my garden are wearing hats and scarves already. I hope they haven't been at my stash!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Strange Vegetable

I give you - the strange Parsnip, as grown by DH : )

Does anyone remember That's Life and their Oddly Shaped vegetables spot?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Naive or just Stupid

I voted Lib-Dem. I did so because they had the policies I believed in and they went so far as to publicly pledge to honour their promises. I didn't expect them to get into power on their own. I expected them to have a coalition with Labour and temper Labours policies to find a middle ground to steer us through this financial minefield.

I honestly never even gave the idea of a Liberal/Conservative coalition a thought. And I certainly didn't think for one moment that the Liberals would do a U-turn on everything they promised in such a total and blatant way.

Naive or stupid? I don't know, probably both.

If there was an election tomorrow, I wouldn't know how to vote. There is no party I trust now, and none who reflect my ideology.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Its amazing when time, effort and bit of magic turns this:

Into this:

And this:

Into this:

Crafting is so rewarding : )
I get depressed easily and used to hate getting up and starting work, housework etc. So now I get up and use my first hour of the day to spin or knit. It makes getting up so much easier and brings a smile to my day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Green Cardigan-Knitting

Yep, I have actually finished my cardigan. Its taken about 4 months on and off, but I got there in the end.
I am reconciled to looking like a Teletubby, so I might as well be a pretty one! I used Sirdar Escape DK in the Euphoria colourway and I really like the way the colour changes lend themselves to the pattern : )

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ouch!!! Mastication Misery.

I have a small mouth. My nearest and dearest may not believe it, but its true. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in speed LOL. My dentist has to use children's tools to work on my teeth. My anaesthetist said my jaw only opens a bit, not the full amount it should. I have had several fractures on my left side and the joint simply doesn't work properly.

So it seems inevitable that, during my operation, the anaesthetist dislocated my jaw when he was trying to get the tube down. It was put quickly back in place and that should have been the end of it.....expect it wasn't that simple.

It still hurts to chew. The pain has been getting worse and worse. I went to my dentist who said my teeth are fine, its a jaw thing. So I went to my doctor who recommended painkillers and a return trip to the dentist as jaws are dental

I returned to my wonderful dentist who is a darling and very patient and gentle and isn't bothered when I panic or cry because of my dental phobia. She knew exactly what to do. She pats my hand and gives me a tissue and stops until I am ready to continue. She said I have Strained my Muscles of Mastication......which made me giggle a bit cos it sounds naughty : )

The upshot of all this is that I cannot eat anything even slightly chewy for 6 weeks - starting yesterday. Minimum talking (DH and DS are so happy) and take anti-inflammatory tablets. If it doesn't work, then she will refer me to a Consultant.

Good job chocolate melts, isn't it!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Slow Bread

Last week my eldest daughter came over to learn how to make slow bread. This is bread made the old-fashioned way with traditional yeast and stoneground flour. No improvers in the yeast, no additives and no machinery. She learned to knead the dough like a professional in 60 seconds flat. perhaps its in the genes. I learned from my grandmother, who taught my mother, who made bread with me. Now I have taught my daughter. Little grand-daughter was also there, but she is only 3 months old, so it will be a while before she is kneading bread.

The final results are shown below. Didn't she do a great job!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Knitcamp = happiness (yes, really)

Speaking personally, there has been a great deal of positiveness to come out of the whole Knitcamp debacle which may not have otherwise happened. The knitting community has come together in a wonderful way.

I have read so many messages, blogposts and Ravelry posts about the loving and caring words and actions of those hurt by the event, and those who were not involved directly but wanted to help. I have seen people set up completely unsolicited funds for those who have lost out financially. I have seen numerous posts offering helpful advice to those needing support legally.
During Knitcamp I saw many people sticking their necks out to give practical help and advice to those caught up in the whole whirlwind of disorganisation, in the face of criticism and other nastiness from 'friends' of the organiser. I have read and heard first hand from the many volounteers who spent their entire time making sure that others had a great experience.

I have been inspired by the dignity, courage and self-sacrifice of many people, too many to list.

Personally, I have discovered who my real friends are, and made many, many new ones. I have 2 knitting groups in Coventry to go to who are peopled by lovely, warm, friendly knitters. I have got to know many more people on Ravelry and learned how to Twitter.

Thank you, all of you.
In other news, Mr Sunflower has made me a top whorl spindle. Karen kindly let me try hers a few weeks ago as I had only previously used bottom whorl spindles. I don't prefer either, but its nice to be able to use both types. This is 40g and made from Sycamore.
On the work front I have now sold the last Sunflower Swift in existence, so back to the workshop on Monday!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Penguins and Baking

On Ravelry recently, there has been an outbreak of penguins. Crocheted penguins. There are 5 of them acting as moderators on the British Banter group, plus many more who are members of the group. I cannot crochet properly yet. Jane has patiently taught me the basics, but I need more help I think. So here is my penguin friend - a stuffed penguin. He is a very Posh penguin and has his own fisherman to catch his fish for him. See the little silver fish in the fisherman's hand???
The other news is that I have been touching up my breadmaking skills. I make bread the old-fashioned way, no breadmakers in this house : )
My eldest daughter is coming over next week to learn the finer points of breadmaking, so I thought I had better make sure I can turn out a good loaf everytime or it could be really embarassing LOL

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Facing The Pain

Sometimes people can hurt us. Sometimes through sexual, emotional or physical abuse. Sometimes through a betrayal of our trust and friendship, which is also a form of abuse. Sometimes by proxy by condoning the actions of another who has hurt or abused us, usually by silence or trying to silence us when we protest. The list could go on and on and incorporate many variations and combinations of this hurting.

Anyone who has been through counselling knows that at some point you are confronted by the pain of knowledge. The enormity and truth of what has happened to you through the words and actions of another person comes home with the force of a knife in the ribs. The pain is incredible.

Some people choose to back away from the truth through denial. They continue a relationship with the abuser or false friend. They pretend nothing has happened because they cannot deal with the pain. Other people turn on the councillor or messenger and direct their anger towards them because they are not able to confront reality and deal with the pain. It is easier to blame the persons who remind them of the pain and try to silence them than it is to confront the abuser to change the status quo or sever their links with the false friend. Some people abuse themselves with drink, drugs and addictions of many kinds to anaesthetise the pain.

All these strategies do not deal with the pain. They postpone or misdirect the pain, but it continues to gnaw away inside, slowly destroying themselves and their loved one, and ruining any chance of healthy relationships.

Facing the pain and embracing it is not masochistic. It is the only way to heal. It is like grasping the nettle. It has been liken to amputation and it is a true analogy. The person who can hurt us so deeply is often part of our lives, through blood or friendship. The experience goes deeply within us. Sometime we have to lose part of ourselves in order to survive. It is like a death. If we try to avoid grief, we suffer more. If we immerse ourselves in grief then we heal more quickly. We never go back to the person we were before, but we become a stronger and more complete person.

In my experience, people who deflect or deny abuse and hurt, people who take their hurt out on themselves and others, do not heal.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spinning and Knitting

This is some lovely BFL fibre which Freyalynn custom dyed for me. It is called Cottage Rose Pink and I have 200g. I started spinning it yesterday - so WIP photos to follow.

These are a pair of mittens for me. I used 100% Alpaca DK and an ancient Patons pattern.
Finally - my latest completed spinning. I spun 2 bobbins of undyed Shetland fibre and plied them together to get 125g of sock weight yarn. Its my finest and most even spinning yet on my wheel. Its my 1st wheelaversary so I'm quite pleased with my progress. I dont know how long the yarn is because i forgot to measure it before I made it into a cake (blush) It is very, very soft and completely different from commercial Shetland yarn.

Monday, September 13, 2010

'All Clear' and some knitting

Phew - I have been to the hospital today and my kidneys now have the 'All Clear' No more stones, all troublesome lumps removed and benign, kidneys working perfectly. No more surgery in the foreseeable future.
I am gradually getting my strength back and am feeling much better. My mood is lifting too and I feel almost back to normal, normal as I get : )

The relief is almost over-whelming!!!
These are some 'Mother & Daughter' mittens I made for DD1 and Grand-daughter. I made the big mittens and half a baby one and ran out of yarn. Fortunately my good friend Stasher had some left over from some socks she had made, so I was able to finish them. Thanks Stasher XXXX

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

GCSE results and Spinning

First the exam results: DS took 2 of his GCSE's early (he is in year 10) and he got Physics A and Biology A* Well done to him : )

And second, I have finished spinning Roadkill. It 60g-ish, DK/aran-ish 110 yards-ish.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I have spun up the Tortoiseshell (AKA Roadkill). The 2 bobbins are from the same batt, but look very different spun up. I hope to ply it this week.
I have another infection and am back on antibiotics. I wish there was some way to break this infection cycle. This is my 7th round of antibiotics this year : (

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Toffee and Cactus

My friend carded this batt for me on a drum carder. You can't see, but there is far more caramel colour on the other side. This batt is called Toffee.

My son just glanced at it while it was on the floor being photographed. His comment was that it looked like a Tortoiseshell cat which had been run over by a lorry!!! He now casually looks at me spinning it and remarks "still using the road kill?" Don't you love teenagers : )

Below is a photo of the surprise we found a few days ago. Excuse the funny angle but it was hard to photograph without holding the flower to support it. This flower appeared miraculously overnight on our cactus plant. It had whithered and died by the next morning, but was beautiful while it lasted. On the knitting front, I am about to attempt my first laceweight project. I am making a Forest Canopy shawl in Ice Blue Fiddlesticks zephr which is a wool/silk mix on 5mm needles and I am going to do at least 20 repeats to make it big enough to wrap round me and snuggle into. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I've been Quilting

Last week I went on a quilting retreat with 38 other ladies. We stayed in a outdoor education hostel, slept in bunk beds with shared toilet/shower blocks and generally had a fun time. I have been going 2/3 times a year for about 5 years now. Its usually for 2 days, but the annual Summer retreat is for 5 days and nights : )

First we all made name badges:
I spent the rest of my time hand piecing this quilt:

It is pieced over paper the traditional way and I use tiny whip stitches to put the hexagons together.

I have been working on this quilt for about 3 years now, on and off and reckon I have done thousands of hexagons so far. I just have the edges to complete and it is finished. Then it will be quilted and I will bind the edges.

It will be approx 6'6" wide and 7'6" long when completed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm a Grandma!!!

Introducing my favourite (and first, and far) grandchild:
She was born today and is only 17 hours old in this photo. She weighs 7lbs 2oz and mother and child are doing well. DD1 had a straightforward labour of 14 hours. No pain relief, no stitches, no intervention needed : )

Isnt she the most beautiful baby you have ever seen in the entire world? I held her tonight and my heart just melted!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


DD2 has lost her baby. She was 12 weeks pregnant. We are all very sad. There seems to be no words of comfort and wisdom at such times. I want to find the right words to help my baby feel better about losing her baby. I want to comfort DD2's husband and shield them both from sadness, but I cant. They are both being brave and sensible at the moment and strong and positive, but they are hurting so much inside. Sometimes life is very painful.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Joy of Stash

At the Malvern Quilt show I bought this book and 2 triangle cutting rulers (and some charm squares)
When the dollar was nearly $2 to the £ a few years ago, I bought a Moda Jelly roll and matching layer cake. Last night I liberated them, plus some toning yards of fabric, from my loft.
On Friday DH and DS are being thrown out for a week for a male-bonding cycling holiday on the Yorkshire dales. I am going to be cosy at home with my cats and my baby knitting whilst waiting for No.1 Granddaughter to appear.
I also plan to turn the above stashing into a quilt for my bed : )
I think I am going to have a good week's holiday!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another Grandchild!! (and socks)

DD2 - the one who got married last month - has announced that she is also expecting a new arrival. The baby is due at the beginning of February so my knitting needles will be smoking : )

I have already gone into the loft to liberate the remains of my Phildar Luxe stash, and have cast on for a matinee jacket. Excited - moi??? LOL

DD1 has 2/3 weeks to go before her due date, so its very exciting here at the moment.

And the knitting - I finished another pair of socks for me. Knitting socks is so soothing and comforting, just the project for times of stress. The yarn is Regia Kaffe Fassett sock yarn in the Easter colourway.

I'm still feeling bad, but learning to live with it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Another Forest Canopy Shawl

I finished this a few days ago, but couldnt post it until the recipient received it : )

I used Yarn Yard Bonny sock yarn and 5mm needles. I did 12 pattern repeats and 12 edging rows.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

PTSD and Panic Attacks

I have PTSD and last evening something happened which triggered it off. Since then I have been having panicky feelings and trembling and feeling terrified on and off. I dont know how to make this feeling go. I recognise that it is PTSD, I recognise what triggered it, I am aware that I am not going to die or have something terrible happen to my breathing, yet I am still reacting as if I am in this terrible, terrifying situation. I can sort of control my thoughts, but not my physical reaction.
Am I making sense here?
Anti-anxiety drugs make me ill and, anyway, I cant predict or prevent something which triggers my PTSD.
I just want the fear to stop. I want to either live without fear, or die to stop fearing death.
I wish I knew someone in real life who understood PTSD and abuse and being extra sensitive, someone who is not a professional, just an ordinary (?) person like me. I dont have access to psychiatric help any more and anyway, what can they say? I havent toughened up after years of therapy or anything, so more therapy isnt going to change that. Life goes on, then whallop, I am in flashback and back to square one. I'm not scared of death, I am scared of the process of dying and PTSD is like dying over and over again with the same fear,panic, terror, struggling for breath and then days of reaction to it.
Sorry to go on but I need to get this out. I feel so alone when this happens and I cant face another 30 years of fear and the fear of fear if you see what I mean. Isnt there more to life than survival????? There must be more to it than that!!
I pray and read the bible to try and find meaning, but the fear doesnt go and this sense of peace doesnt happen. Even God has no place for me, or want to help me.

I have made the decision to write this here on my blog in the hope that someone out there knows some answers or stuff that helps. I also want others to be aware of this condition and its effects because, like depression and many other illnesses/conditions, it is invisible and secret and I think there are probably many people like me and perhaps we can support one another and share information if I have the courage to come out and talk about PTSD and its effects.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An English City Garden

DH and I live in the centre of a city, but we love old English flowers and cottage gardens.This year we created an abundance of flowers in the small front garden of our terraced house. It has caused much interest among the neighbours, particularly the older ones.
Last year we had some Dahlias, and the year before we had some sweet peas, but this year we went the whole hog with Honeysuckle, Fox Gloves and Roses. There are also 4 varieties of the flower I have shown below. We were given the cuttings by a friend, but I have forgotten the name of the flowers.
These are the mystery flowers I mean. They are all the same type, but in different colours:

The smell in the front garden is lovely. I open the top front windows in the morning to let the breeze waft through the house : )
I am so blessed to be married to a man with very green fingers !!