Thursday, 29 August 2013


OK, we have budding buddhists and almost vegetarians in this house and we are trying Quorn tonight. So very sorry that I read about it on the 'net before buying it. Produced in sterilised VATS, the words fungus and single cell really did not appeal at all. The only thing I want to consume that is produced in VATS is wine....But, in this brave new world, we must embrace change. Hope it is tasty.

Parcel in the post

Yesterday the text book and DVD for the Open University course I am about to do arrived. Very exciting and a little bit daunting. 'Understanding Cardiovascular Diseases'. Riveting stuff.

This morning, very, very early, Juno and I went for a run. Shorter than our usual course, but invigorating non the less.

Exercise is good for the soul.

Please don't forget the giveaway....

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Give away x 2 - with a Japanese theme

Although there are not that many readers of this blog...bless you all who pop in from time to time....I am going to have another give away.

In the purge this little item turned up.

It is sashiko, and many moons ago I did a fair amount of it. These are five indigo coasters with backing fabric. The instructions are in Japanese, but for any crafty soul out there, they are not hard. For more information on how to, this is a very good web site:

I also want to give this away: Two fantastic Japanese fat quarters.

The awesome lady Katie from Japan Crafts very kindly sent this to me for returning the lost Japanese fabric to its rightful owner. The owner also gave me something so I thought I would share my bounty.

Please just put in the comments box whether you want the sashiko kit or the fat quarters. If enough people want them, there will be a draw.

Autumnal weather and sweeping away the gloom

The sun shines and the air is cool. The raspberries bushes are drooping with their heavy harvest....and today is about purging. (Not the body, just had a small death by chocolate  gluten free brownie!!). First is the crafty STASH. Already much reduced, out it goes. Out it all goes if I have not seen it for the last year....Charity shops here we come.
I suffer from time to time with a real sense of gloom and when that strikes the only way I think I can deal with it is to simplify life. But I don't. I get waylaid, distracted, disheartened and demotivated. Then things pick up and I look around and see that nothing has altered in any way. This time the gloom bug caught me unawares. From happy to somewhere in the depths literally overnight.
So, this time I thought that I would at least have a go at streamlining to see if there is true sense of order in my surroundings if it will make any difference.
Am having a second cuppa with Em before going back in to tackle stage two.

There will be a giveaway as well.

Watch this space.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Swimming in the Solent

Yep, in for a dip today. Not at my most glam either. Funny how for trips to foreign shores one prepares and has pretty toe nails and has been waxed smooth. Today it was sadly, moobs and pubes for Big J and myself. Fortunately I had a nice little sarong thingy to drape about my hips both in and out of the was bracing and I loved it, just love the sea.

Hammering away at another tiny sweater and keep having to unpick it. It has been an odd day, very gloomy start for me and for Em. We just get the blues really badly. Off to watch what we call 'crap TV' - it takes the edge off.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

TA DAH!!! Cardigan complete.....

Have FINALLY finished something. This is for Thomas and I hope it fits.....

Why is it in one's mind's eye things are always just so and in real life they are just a bit wonky? Anyway, I am really proud of this wonky little jacket. The buttons were in my stash and the perfect size, small enough to allow them to pass through the knitting without having their own holes.

We are back from Heathrow having taken granny there to catch her flight back. A few little tears.

Now it is time to bake. We are going on a picnic tomorrow and I want to have all we need in the hamper.

Casting off

Baby boy's cardigan is about to be cast off. The East West cardi went south and try as I might, I could not get it done in the fine wool. I tried it again in Rico Baby, but it started to look pulled and sloppy and not like anything that could be given as a gift.

A good hour on Ravelry (don't you just love it?), got me a couple of free patterns. The one I chose seems incomplete in its directions. There are no button holes and sometimes the stitch count is given and at sometimes not. Fortunately we have a nice knitting shop in town with a very nice lady who helped me out. I popped in to buy some stitch markers and she told me to use those tiny hair bands that can be bought at Claire's or Superdrug instead as they are cheaper, or just a bit of thread.....which I did in the end. She is also very patient at answering questions. So with her input and a lot of thinking, there is now a tiny wee cardigan on the needles waiting to be cast off.

Photos tomorrow. x

Friday, 23 August 2013

Way in the night

It is nearing 2:30 am and the pressure of work keeps me awake. There is so much sickness and leave at the moment. Four of my secretaries are not around, leaving moi to fumble around with things. Love it as I do, I feel tired. Another three or four weeks of this to go, it has been about 4 already.....

But, good news in abundance.

First, the arrival of Thomas Henry David Haslett in Newcastle, Australia. A new nephew. He has not made his Face Book debut yet, but soon will.

Some very, very good GCSE results.

My sister's exhibition opening here tomorrow....

and the lady who lost her Japanese fabric has sent the loveliest letter to say thank you for returning it to her.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Lovely day in Lewes, pottering at the rather small boot fair, then some charity shops.

At the BF, someone had a big pile of old crochet and knitting patterns. They were fantastic. Great ideas, just some of the colours looked odd - well let's be honest, some of the photos were odd too. What kids had to wear 45 years ago. Poor little being one of them!!!!

 I got very excited but ended up restraining myself and buying only ONE. In the back of my mind was the question - where is this leading? Crochet is my thing, and apart from that, FINISHING something off before a new idea takes hold is something I really, seriously need to work on.
So tonight, I have done some rows on the East West cardi  and will do some rounds on the crochet blanket.

Girls squabbling, things are back to normal!!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Coming home

The girls are on their way home from Japan today, with Granny S. (Mum to me even after all these years). House is sparkly, some beds to be made yet, but it will get done. Happy.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


You will remember that I posted here about the stash of Japanese fabric I found in the coffee shop after the Festival of Quilts. I wrote to the shop and they put it on their Face Book page and the owner has come forward....fabulous. She is a relatively local girl and I will be posting the bag off to her tomorrow.

What a good ending. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

1 Jack Russell pup x 1 ball of wool/knitting = DISASTER

The East West cardi very nearly came a cropper this morning when I was out doing errands. Juno took it out onto the lawn (she had to get onto the dining room table to do this) and shredded the ball of yarn. I could hardly bear to look as the trail of wool lead further into the garden. There, under the washing line was the little cardi, on its knitting needle, not a stitch dropped. It did look a bit mossy, but the wool.... Talk about tangled. After an hour of diligent unravelling I have three mini balls of wool and a long way to go. Juno spent some time reflecting on her actions in the cage....
Fortunately I am a few rows off finishing the first sleeve and will be able to get the second one done with what has been salvaged.
For some reason this afternoon, I have a very attentive little dog.

Here she is trying not to look as if she would rather be chewing the squares.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Festival of Quilts II - LOST FABRIC STASH - is it yours???

On the way home from the FofQ, in a coffee shop at the Birmingham International Station at about 6:30 pm, I picked up a bag of 12 fat quarters that some tired shopper obviously left behind, under the table. The cafe was closed so I brought them home.

I have contacted the shop the fabrics came from to tell them, have put it on Face Book - not that my page is widely read, and now here.

I hope that the six degrees of separation make it possible to track down the lady who lost her stash.

Please put the word out.


Festival of Quilts - I

The Festival of Quilts was really something, and the quilts that I liked most were upcycled/recycled ones like this lovely re-worked old wool blankets one: If you zoom in you can see some simple but great stitching which gives it texture.

Real life images like this one:

and this one:

Some were just sweet and appealed:

And one or two really made me think. About caring, proctection and being a woman.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

east west cardigan by Ruth and Belinda

The Festival of Quilts was just brilliant, but did not ignite the sewing fire in me.....however this lit a big one

In the finest marino, it is heavenly soft and so nice to knit. I am about to divide for the second sleeve....

Mine will not be as neat, but for an Aussie baby about to be born in Australia, who will live in Hong Kong and whose Auntie Lizzie is in England, it is the perfect little garmnet.

I will post my own work when it is done as well as some of the quilts that moved me.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

I've lost that quilting feeling.....

and in fact it has been astray for some time. However, Celia B and me (dreadful grammar but it rhymes) are going to the NEC in Birmingham on Saturday for the The Festival of Quilts . Just love textiles and looking but the days of cutting up fabric have gone.

Maybe there will be a lone yarn stall there and better still, one selling patterns for baby clothes. In the wee small hours when sleep was not to be had last night, I got all thingy about tiny little knitted baby clothes. This is what a granny must feel like.....

Crochet is going with me on the train to keep my hands busy. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Crochet and chocolate muffins

Tonight I made a dozen gluten free chocolate muffins just because I felt like it. Not bad flavour-wise, but they could have come out of the oven a few minutes earlier. They would be less dry.

Celia B and I ate one while working on our crochet.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

West Wittering

A lovely, sunny day with (sandy) Dog and Husband.

And a new blanket in peaceful, natural colours for the new baby Haslett on his way in Australia. I am doing it in Sirdar Crofter, Rico baby yarn, a German make which feels and works a bit like Debbie Bliss's Baby Cashmerino, only nowhere near as dear.... and a good old Double knitting acrylic... Note the new ergo handled crochet hook. Loving it.